Rating system: penalty (bad), audit (average), deduction (good), return (excellent)
Location: The Davis Arena in Louisville, Kentucky
Hosts: Dean Hill and Kenny Bowlin
-Armando Alejandro Estrada once again comes to us from the “OVW Spanish news desk” and runs down the July 28th OVW show at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville. On the card Jerry “the King” Lawler returns to Louisville, “Ironman” Rob Conway faces off against Eugene, OVW Heavyweight Champion CM Punk is in action, OVW Southern Tag Team Champions Neighborhoodie and Shad Gaspard are also in action, and the women of OVW will be there live. Eh, this card does not look as appealing as the July 14th show they hyped. Estrada tries to introduce a black female co-host but is interrupted by ODB, the OVW Women’s Champion, who recently won a “seven day grueling tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.” Rio de Janeiro…the place has held more tournaments that have never existed in the history of our sport! The OBD cuts off Estrada’s “Estrrrrada” bit and issues an open challenge for July 28th to put her title on the line against any of the divas. Estrada finishes by doing the “Estrrrada” bit with shaky camera bit and then does a hilarious “card subject to change” line after a few moments of silence. This guy is priceless.
-The Miz with Ronnie cuts a backstage promo on “Miz TV” against Elijah Burke and says that nobody beats the Miz. I REALLY hate this guy and the Diva Search that appears on WWE television only reinforces my belief.
–Opening Contest: The Miz (w/Ronnie) vs. Elijah Burke (w/two scantily clad blondes):
Miz gets a takedown from the back to start as I notice that more people are in attendance for tonight’s show than last week. They go to a standing position where the Miz gets trapped in a hammerlock but applies a front facelock that Burke gets out of. Trade of waistlocks sees Burke get a takedown from the back and gets an arm ringer. The Miz gets a kneelift to break and a forearm sends Burke into the corner. Blind charge eats buckle, though, and Burke gets a TERRIBLE eye rake. That has to be the worst eye rake I have EVER seen. It did not even touch the Miz’s eyes and why is Burke using that move as a face? Burke hits a flying shoulderblock off the ropes for two and takes the Miz to the corner. Burke gets a knife-edge chop in one corner and then does it in another. Irish whip into the opposite corner reversed but Burke gets a reverse bodypress off of the second rope. However, that gets zero as Burke stands up to confront Ronnie who has jumped onto the ring apron. That is never a good idea and sure enough, Miz hits Burke in the back of the head with a fist.
Miz hits a variation of a neckbreaker that I have never seen before and am not sure to call for two and then recovers for another two-count. I always enjoy that spot. Miz then delivers forearms across Burke’s face as he is in a sitting position and delivers a dropkick to Burke as he remains sitting for two. Miz hits a snapmare into a chinlock and the crowd rallies for Burke. Burke tries to fight out but the Miz grabs the hair and forces Burke back down. I love that spot too, very old school. Burke successfully fights out this time and gets a sunset flip for two. However, the Miz hits a running elbow for two. The Miz goes back to the chinlock as I groan because two chinlocks is more than enough and Burke fights out. Slugfest sees Burke come out on top and he does a little shaking before flooring Miz with a fist.
Burke hits an inverted atomic drop, backdrop, and then gets a flying forearm off the ropes for two and a half. Burke hits some elbows to the Miz and floors him with another fist. Burke goes to the top rope but Ronnie pulls the ropes as the Miz distracts the referee and Burke goes crashing to the canvas where he is covered by the Miz at 6:34. Afterwards, the Miz spits on Burke and he makes out with Ronnie over Burke’s body. Burke gets on the mic shortly afterward and demands a handicap match against Miz and Ronnie next week
MATCH RATING: AUDIT. On a star rating this one would be about ** and both guys ran through the motions well showing that doing so can give you an average match. The Miz needs to work on his heel work a little more in the ring (such as doing one of his chinlocks with his feet on the ropes) but he does the fun stuff like pulling the hair and recovering after a near-fall. Burke is entertaining but should have been able to showcase more of his moveset in this match.
-Vignette for the same unnamed wrestler shown last week that has the metal mask on his head. He talks to his momma some more about the recent storm that has passed and talks about how people made fun of him as a kid and would not let them play with them.
–Raol vs. Cody Runnels:
Announcers hype how Cody is a big hit with the ladies for the second straight week and I could really care less. Runnels gets a takedown from the back and trades hammerlocks with Raol. Runnels gets a drop toe hold into a headlock to escape and hits a running shoulderblock for one. Runnels back to the headlock as Raol backs him into the corner and hits a shoulder thrust when the referee demands a break. However, Runnels goes under a clothesline and hits a bodypress off the ropes for one. Raol regains the advantage with a kneelift out of a lockup but gets armdragged when his Irish whip gets reversed. Runnels hits another armdrag and hits a dropkick for two. Runnels locks in a sleeper but Raol sits out of that move and gets a kickout to floor Runnels. That was an innovative escape. Raol gets a snapmare and hits an elbowdrop for two. Reverse chinlock gets applied but Runnels fights up only to get his head slammed backward agains the canvas.
However, a Raol elbowdrop off the ropes eats canvas and Runnels blocks Raol’s fists and hits his own almost hitting a Dusty elbow. Runnels hits a slam and gets a kneedrop off the ropes. Runnels applies a sleeper and that finishes (?!?!?!) at 3:50. Wow, have not seen a match finish with that in a while. Afterwards, Runnels “wakes up” Raol after hitting him in the back with a hard slap.
MATCH RATING: AUDIT. Good little four minute match that helped to showcase more of Runnels offense than his encounter last week with Eddie Craven. If they are going to build up Runnels (who shows a lot of potential) then they need to put him in more “showcase matches” like this.
-Maria (YES!) interviews Runnels and congratulates him on the match and the ladies. She asks where he got the sleeper and he says Greg Gagne. She also asks if he is Dusty Rhodes son but before he can answer KC James just snickers at him and then gets into a confrontation with Roadkill down the hallway. Roadkill has James pinned against the wall until he is hit from behind with a nightstick by Aaron “the Idol” Stevens. However, before the heels can beat on Roadkill too much, Runnels makes the save and the heels retreat. Well that save took a little while since Runnels was three steps away but
-A training video of OVW Southern Tag Team Champions Neighborhoodie and Shad Gaspard is shown to the tune of “Eye of the Tiger.” It shows them beating up a forest ranger, running from a police officer, Gaspard bench pressing a diva, Gaspard giving a big boot to an ATM customer, robbing a store with Gaspard WEARING his tag team belt, and then Gaspard punching a tied up police officer like a punching bag. This video is so ridiculous it is hilarious. Try to find it on YouTube or somewhere else if you can.
–Pat Rock & Shawn Spears vs. Deuce & Domino (w/Cherry):
Domino and Spears start. Both men jaw to start and after a Domino shove it goes to a lockup. Domino gets a headlock and Spears whips out only to get hit with a running shoulderblock. However, when Domino taunts he gets tripped from behind and armdragged WITH AUTHORITY. Dang, Domino got a bit of hang time on that move. Spears gets some forearms but an Irish whip gets reversed and Domino gets a short-arm elbow to the face. Tag Deuce and he gets greeted by a Spears dropkick. Tag Rock and he covers for one. Deuce holds onto the ropes when Rock whips him in and then hurls Rock to the floor when he runs at him. However, Rock hops up on the apron real fast, wins a series of forearms, but jaws with the crowd when he goes to the top rope and Deuce slams him off.
Rock tags Spears and Deuce knocks him down before tagging in Domino. Forearmfest is won by Domino and then he sidesteps a flying shoulderblock when Spears ducks one his clotheslines for two before Rock interrupts. Tag Deuce acts like Samoa Joe in hitting Spears with a series of knees to the face as Spears is in a sitting position. Deuce pulls a comb out of his pocket and combs his hair before hitting Spears with a reverse slingshot for two before Rock interrupts. Nice touch with the combing of the hair. Tag Domino and he hits Spears in the back of the head as Deuce holds for two. Domino gets a series of kicks while he holds onto Spears and that gets two. Tag Deuce and he gets a thrust kick to Spears as Domino holds him in place. Spears tries to fight out and succeeds when he is able to float over a suplex and into his corner where he tags in Rock.
Rock hits Deuce with a knee to the gut, an inverted atomic drop, and European uppercut. Domino gets a European uppercut and Deuce gets another knee to the gut and European uppercut. However, Deuce reverses an Irish whip into Domino and Domino hits Rock with a clothesline. Domino then holds Rock in place from a sitting position and Deuce gets a running knee to the face off the ropes for the pin at 5:03. Looks a little weak for a finishing move but you could say it was brutal enough.
MATCH RATING: AUDIT. This match had its moments, especially when Spears was involved but when Rock got in there it was not much to see. The best example of this is Rock’s moves during the “momentum swinging tag” sequence when he used kicks to the gut and European uppercuts instead of dropkicks or slams to Deuce and Domino. Also, are Deuce and Domino faces or heels because with the limited crowd reaction in Davis Arena, I cannot get a feel on them.
-Deuce & Domino announce that next week they face OVW Southern Tag Team Champions Neighborhoodie & Shad Gaspard and they also are set to face them on the July 28th show. So does that mean that next week is non-title? You have got to clarify guys! I also hope that this match is better than their match last week that was way too short.
–P.J. Dalton vs. Charles “the Hammer” Evans:
Evans is evidently one of the newest acquisitions of Kenny Bolin. Evans his Dalton with an elbow to the face when he gets in a waistlock and then hits a fallaway slam. Evans nails Dalton with a forearm when he is on the apron but Dalton floats over on a suplex attempt back into the ring and hits Evans with a forearm and flying forearm. However, Dalton only falls against the ropes and catches Dalton when he runs the ropes again with a clothesline that Dalton gives a 360 degree sell for. Evans beats the crap out of Evans and then hits a suplex. Evans gives Dalton a powerful Irish whip to the corner and does it again to the opposite corner. Evans hits another suplex and Hammer Time (which is just a bigger version of a bodyslam) finishes at 2:09.
MATCH RATING: PENALTY. Squash here but the purpose of the match was to showcase Evans and it did just that with Evans powerful offense being displayed in full.
–Main Event OVW Heavyweight Championship Match: CM Punk (OVW Heavyweight Champion) vs. Seth Skyfire (OVW Television Champion w/Shelly):
This is the first time I have ever seen a CM Punk match so I am intrigued to say the least. Lockup to start and Punk gets a takedown from the back and applies a front facelock. Skyfire reverses to a front facelock of his own and gets a takedown out of it from a standing position for one. Punk offers a test of strength and presses Skyfire to the canvas for three two-counts. Skyfire gets to a standing position, kicks one of Punk’s hands away, runs to the top rope and gets an armdrag and hiptoss for two. Skyfire applies an armbar into an arm ringer and then into a hammerlock but Punk gets a drop toe hold into a leglock. Punk goes for a bow and arrow submission but Skyfire hiptosses out of that.
Both men ponder their next moves and we see another lockup with Punk knocking Skyfire down and he tries another bow and arrow submission but Skyfire knocks him away again. I like how they are building up that move as being devastating. Punk locks in a headlock and Punk hits a running shoulderblock when he is whipped into the ropes. However, Skyfire hits a dropkick when Punk charges at him for two. Punk hits a European uppercut and headbutt to the gut, though, only to be countered by a hurling to the outside of the ring by Skyfire when he charges at him. Skyfire attempts a baseball slide and when Punk tries to counter he gets a headscissors on the arena floor for his troubles as we go to commercial.
When we return we are back inside of the ring with Skyfire punching Punk from a sitting position as the crowd does dueling chants. Punk blocks a take to the buckle and takes Skyfire into it instead. Punk hits a knife-edge chop and whips Skyfire into the corner. However, Skyfire floats over and gets a victory roll for two that Punk counters for two. Punk knocks Skyfire down and this time successfully pulls off a bow and arrow submission. Punk pulls for more leverage and Skyfire’s shoulders and Punk’s shoulders end up on the mat for two until Punk shifts his body weight to avoid the double pin. Punk releases the leg hold but still has control of the arms and pushes his left foot into Skyfire’s back before releasing to cover for two.
Punk applies a front facelock into a reverse chinlock but Skyfire fights out only to get tripped when he runs the ropes by Punk for one. However, Skyfire bridges out of the pin and then gives a quick standing moonsault to Punk’s back for two. I have to admit that that was pretty cool. Skyfire tries a standing spin kick but Punk ducks and applies a standing tarantula that looks absolutely painful before Skyfire gets his arm free to break. Punk stomps away for two. Irish whip to the corner gets reversed though and Punk’s raised book on a blind charge also gets caught. Skyfire ducks Punk’s knife-edge chops and gets some fists, flying forearm off the rope, and dropkick. Punk tries a sunset flip when Skyfire ducks his head on a whip but Skyfire hits a dropkick to Punk’s face as he is sitting for two and Skyfire re-covers for two.
Skyfire knocks Punk into the corner and whips him into the opposite corner. However, a blind charge into the corner sees Punk tie Skyfire into a modified tarantula in the ropes where Punk works the head and not the legs. Punk tries a top rope something but Skyfire moves and Punk lands on his feet and when Punk charges Skyfire he gets hit with a spinning wheel kick off the top rope for two. Skyfire tries an enzeguri but Punk ducks a series of reversals see Skyfire get a rollup for two. Skyfire tries a crucifix off the ropes but Punk spins him out of it into the Anaconda vice. Skyfire spins Punk over while the move is attached like he did to Brent Albright last week but that only gets two. Skyfire applies a headscissors but Punk will not release the hold. Skyfire tries a last ditch armdrag to escape the hold but when Punk does not let go Skyfire is forced to tap at 12:39 as Punk retains the belt. Afterwards, Punk and Skyfire shake hands and after Skyfire leaves Punk gets ambushed by Neighborhoodie and Shad Gaspard until Skyfire runs back in to break it up.
MATCH RATING: RETURN. I liked this match a little more than Albright-Skyfire last week due to the finishing sequence where Skyfire valiantly tried to fight out of the hold like Steve Austin did against Bret Hart at WrestleMania XIII. Also, Punk worked in the psychology on the arm and head with various submissions throughout the match and also told a story with other submission holds such as the bow and arrow. Plus, the Skyfire bridge into a standing moonsault bit earlier in the match pushed this one over a deduction rating for me. Needless to say, CM Punk did not disappoint me at all in this match and I hope I get to see much more of him in the future.
FINAL EVALUATION: Good show that had a lot of decent matches on it and one hell of a main event for the second straight week that delivered in a big way. I want to see the character in the vignettes in action as it looks intriguing and in my opinion OVW has a lot going for it with Punk, Skyfire, Runnels, some great video packages that are so ridiculous its hilarious, Armando’s segments to start the show, and letting guys have some old school wrestling matches to learn their craft. I am greatly enjoying this product right now and am definitely glad I took up this columnist position. Nuff’ said.