After an exciting Defiance Saturday Night Special, OVW returns to TV with some serious questions to answer: after being distracted by Kal Herro at Defiance, causing the loss of his OVW Tag Team titles, how will Tony Gunn respond and, more importantly, how violent will it be? Plus, will Omar Amir be able to pass the last Test of Brutality tonight against Steve Michaels, putting him back at the doo of OVW Heavyweight Champion Cash Flo?
It’s a big night so let’s head straight to the ring!
Kal Herro Is Reinstated!
Before the opening credits, Jesse Godderz is seen backstage in an absolutely apoplectic mood, screaming at Tony Gunn that it was all his fault that they lost the tag team titles and that he will lose money on his endorsements because of it. In particular, he seems to be really angry that he can no longer call himself ‘Jesse Two Belts’.
Which makes it an inopportune time for Kal Herro to walk past. Gunn went to smack him but was held back by an official, Jesse in the background still bemoaning Gunn for causing him to no longer be ‘Jesse Two Belts.’ You could always challenge Cash Flo, Jesse. Just a thought…
In any case, Tony Gunn made his way to the ring and demanded that Kal Herro come face him and like a man and take his stuff back, and then this can all be over. En route to making this point, Tony managed to insult Kal, Al Snow and Kal’s dad, not bad going for just a minute or so’s worth of talk. Stick the knife in early.
Gunn thought Al Snow was not in the building, but indeed he was, coming out to tell Gunn to shut the hell up and praising Herro for having accepted the consequences of his actions. If Gunn really wanted Herro back in the ring, Snow said, he would have to reinstate Herro but there would have to be something on the line. Herro made it clear: he wanted his gear back and he wanted his dreams of being a wrestler back permanently. Brilliant.
Gunn accepted, the fans answered Snow’s question of when they wanted the match with an overwhelming chant of NOW!’, a ref came down from the back and the match was on!
Kal Herro vs. Tony Gunn
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pumped up to see Herro finally get his hands on Gunn again, as Herro slid in the ring and immediately starting throwing bombs at Tony, showing a fire we haven’t previously seen from Kal before.
A Thez press took Gunn down but Tony soon came back with a big release German suplex that completely took the wind out of Herro’s sails. Gunn hoisted Kal up to the top turnbuckle but Herro attempted to turn it into a sunset flip bomb. Unfortunately for Herro, he couldn’t take him over and Tony dropped him with a big fist before throwing some mean clotheslines in Herro’s direction.
As things were looking bleak for Herro though, Kal managed to grab Gunn and roll him through into a cover for the 1-2-3! Kal Herro had done it! Gunn was absolutely shocked as Herro celebrated on the ramp with his things once again in his possession. It was a complete feel-good moment and OVW has booked this feud very well from start to finish.
I also liked how the loss was done in a way that still made Gunn look good but also made Herro look plucky and full of heart. Very good stuff.
Dream Girl Ellie vs. Jody Threat vs. Dani Mo
OVW seem to be showing some serious commitment to their women’s division at the moment, with a lot of new faces appearing on TV in recent weeks. This match was no exception, as the wild Jody Threat made her debut for the company here, seemingly terrifying Dream Girl Ellie with her metal-tastic entrance.
This was a solid encounter with each lady able to showcase a big moment: Dani Mo with a flying hurricarana; Jody Threat with a spinning Michinoku Driver and big released German suplex; and Ellie with a springboard facebuster and a shoulder block in the corner into a back kick, Ellie’s leg stretching all the way over her head!
In the end, Ellie went to superplex Dani Mo but Jody grabbed Ellie and power bombed her, taking Dani Mo over into the superplex at the same time! Jodie got a two count on Ellie, so she covered Mo as well, a nice little touch I enjoyed. Jody then nailed Ellie with an airplane spin into a Michinoku Driver, leaving Dani Mo free to walk the ropes and hit Jody with a leaping crossbody for the three count.
Kentucky Heavyweight Title Tournament 1st Round: “The Nephilim” D’mone Solavino (w/Jeff Ruby) vs. “The Mayan Mauler” Drew Hernandez (w/Amanda Lemond)
This one was a little bit more focused on the celebrity managers than the wrestlers which was a shame but it was still entertaining enough. I enjoyed Jeff Bell’s outrageous rhinestone jacket and his big cigar which never seemed to leave his mouth. I did enjoy Bryan Kennison’s continuous steak puns and Shannon the Dude’s story about Jeff Bell kicking OJ Simpson out of one of his restaurants. Don’t mess with Jeff Bell, obviously.
While Hernandez dominated a large portion of this match, Solavino seemed to regain the advantage, only for Amanda Lemond to distract him at ringside by picking up his wings. Jeff Bell followed her, only for Lemond to drop the wings and step all over them. As Solavino reacted with rage, Hernadez caught him with a heavy spinebuster, followed by the ‘Mayan Apocolypse’ sit-down powerbomb for the 1-2-3.
Brandon Espinosa vs. “The Neon Ninja” Facade
Before the match, we got a backstage promo from Espinosa, who mocked people who asked him why the change in personality. He’s always been like this, he said, it’s just he was always doing what people asked of him. No more, he said, looking at the camera with eerily tinted eyes like a werewolf.
Facade has made a big impression on the Ohio faithful in a very short period of time and they were pumped here by his energetic entrance. Unfortunately for Facade, Espinosa attacked him on the bell, pounding him down to the mat. By the time Facade was able to rally some offence, the beating he took seemed to be playing with him and he had to step down from the top turnbuckle as he was unable to hit whatever explosive move he had planned.
Espinosa showed his brains, rolling out of the ring when Facade looked to nail another big aerial move, so Facade just kicked him in the face from the apron instead. Facade rolled Espinosa back in but Brandon quickly rolled out again. This time, Facade was ready, nailing Espinosa with an insane somersault kick from the top rope to the outside. A further leaping kick from the top rope, this time into the ring, followed quickly, but AJ Daniels made an appearance. Making out like he was going to smash Facade in the face, he turned around and hit Espinosa instead, giving Brandon the win by DQ. What’s the deal with Daniels? Looking to hit Facade where it hurts by costing him the winner’s purse?
In any case, that was a really fun match, and I’m intrigued by where the story goes from here.
Test of Brutality: Steve Michaels (w/”The East End Villain” Josh Ashcraft) vs. Omar Amir
Having beaten Hy Zaya and Big Zo, this was Omar Amir’s last test before he would have the right to face Cash Flo once again for the OVW Heavyweight Championship. Talking of Flo, he sat on commentary for this one, very confident that Omar’s chances of facing him would end tonight at the hands of Michaels.
At first, it didn’t look to be so. Omar ran the ropes, drilling Michaels with an assortment of punches and forearms, eventually taking Michaels down to one knee. But as Omar ran the ropes again, Michaels grabbed the ref, handily stopping the official from seeing Josh Ashcraft grab the ropes, causing Omar to tumble out to the floor. Michaels took advantage immediately, driving Amir into the cold steel ring post. AMir only just barely made it back into the ring before the ten count.
Michaels stood on Amir’s back before locking in a bearhug, but Omar was able to fight his way out ad avoid a charge into the corner, returning fire with a big splash. Michaels went for a chokeslam but Amir again slipped out and, in an impressive feat of strength, nailed the Island Time spinebuster for the 1-2-3.
Afterwards, Omar got on the mic and stated that he had beaten all of the tests; now he wanted his title match. Flo teased giving it to him right then and there before dismissing Amir for his stupidity. Claiming what Omar had been through wasn’t the real test of brutality, Flo announced that Amir would have to go through all three men that he had beaten…in one night! I like it. Omar was less impressed. But Omar can do it, he’ll get to pick the stipulation for the rematch.
This is going to be cool.
Kentucky Heavyweight Title Tournament 1st Round: “Hood Ninja” Hy Zaya (w/Charles Booker) vs. “The Rocky Mountain Dragon” Atiba (w/Tony Vanetti)
Charles Booker gave a nice little promo before the match, claiming he was running for senator because he wanted to represent the regular people in the hood and he knows Hy Zaya does that in the ring, both men coming from the west side.
This was another really fun little match. Both Hy Zaya and Atiba have legitimate martial arts training and they displayed it in full effect here, showing a lovely series of feints, strikes and takedowns. Hy Zaya hit a codebreaker early on the take the wind out of Atiba’s sails, but Atiba returned fire with a brutal kick to the head and a standing senton for a two count. It was Hy Zaya who would end up victorious though, nailing a leg lariat followed by the ‘Ninja Vanish’ Swanton from the top to advance to the next round of the Kentucky Title tournament.
Blonde Bimbos and Empty Corners
It was Ronnie time as the good Reverend brought the Good Word once more to Ohio-HA! Reverend Ronnie made a point of stating how he started the segment to help solve people’s problems (not to meddle, Ronnie?) and so he had a lustful man he wanted to help: Luscious Lawrence.
As Lawrence came out and demanded Ronnie check out his outfit (“you’re lookin’ clean, I’ll give you that”), the exasperated Reverend drew the Luscious One to fact he didn’t come out with Haley J at Defiance but Kylie Myers, formerly of Playboy (and who Lawrence referred to as his “honey bunny”). Lawrence claimed he loves Haley J, but she hasn’t been around. She wasn’t there for his big National Heavyweight title match with Jesse Godderz and she wasn’t there at Defiance. But Kylie was.
Ronnie made me laugh by stating he’s not one to gossip—HA!—but he heard a rumour that Lawrence was trying to replace Haley because she’s been outshining him. Lawrence responded by claiming Haley J wasn’t even a champion until he got in her corner. He was there for her but she hasn’t been there for him. And anyway, Kylie chose him, not the other way around.
At this point, Tony Bizo interrupted proceedings on the screen, claiming he was going to beat Lawrence in their main event tonight. Haley J then appeared, telling Lawrence he had a blonde bimbo in Kylie and that while she’s been everyone representing Ohio by defending the OVW Women’s title, Lawrence has been doing things on his own. So tonight, Lawrence will see how it feels, as she will not be in his corner for the match Bizo. Then, to add insult to injury, Haley slapped Bizo’s ass and said he was displaying some juice of his own.
Lawrence said he was heartbroken and that this wouldn’t just be a match with Bizo; he was going to kick his ass!
“I’m Going To Put An End To Kal Herro!”
Backstage, Tony Gunn was asked about how Kal Herro’s reinstatement made him feel. Gunn was not best pleased, calling it “bullc**p” and alleging it only happened because Kal Herro’s dad, Dave Herro, is friends with Al Snow.
Acknowledging that both he and Kal Herro are still in the Kentucky Title tournament, Tony Gunn vowed to put an end to Herro once and for all…
OVW Women’s Champion “Hollyhood” Haley J vs. “Double A” Arie Alexander
As you might expect, Haley J came out without Luscious Lawrence. She didn’t seem particularly upset.
This was a good, hard-hitting encounter with both women pulling out some big moves—I particularly enjoyed seeing Arie hit Haley with the back of her head as Haley was draped on the ropes.Haley, meanwhile, looked in control as she drove Arie down into the bottom turnbuckle before hammering her with two snap suplexes.
In the end, Haley picked up her title belt, which Arie disarmed her of. As the ref took the belt and went to put it into the other corner, Haley got that sock of rocks she has and smashed Arie in the mouth to steal the win and retain her title.
It’s not going to end well for Lawrence tonight, is it?
Kentucky Heavyweight Title Tournament 1st Round: Jake Omen (w/JD Shelburne) vs. “The Fanny Pack Kid” Kal Herro (w/Maria Montgomery)
So not only has Kal Herro got reinstated as a wrestler in this episode, he also got revenge on Tony Gunn and, thanks to Brandon Tate having to drop out thanks to The Tate Twins making an appearance on AEW programming, he also gets a place in the Kentucky Title tournament! Could this be the greatest day of Kal’s life?
Not at first, as Jake Omen attacked from the bell, throwing Kal into the corner, chopping and beating him with fists and cracking him with a nice snap suplex before locking in a sleeper. Kal fought back though and sent Omen to the mat with some elbows and clotheslines. Maybe the day would still end on a high for Herro…
And then Tony Gunn appeared.
Tony snatched the guitar off of celebrity manager JD Shelburne and jumped onto the apron to smack Kal with it but, thankfully for Kal, Maria Montgomery took it off him. Herro took Gunn off the apron with a baseball slide, and one Jitterbug Kick later, Kal Herro was through to the next round of the Kentucky Title tournament! Yes!
It took an army of officials to hold Tony Gunn back at that result…
“The Complete Package” Tony Bizo (w/Dr. Ricky Jones) vs. “Mr. Juicy” Luscious Lawrence
There seemed to be a little bit of a glitch on my Fite app when I watched this. First, Ricky Jones was cutting a promo on the ramp, then there was a jump and Bizo was in the ring, peacocking to the fans from the corner, then it jumped again to Lawrence giving Bizo a taste of the juice (!) in the corner. I’m not sure if it was a Fite TV issue but I apologise if I’ve missed anything from this match.
The match itself was a bit low-key, Bizo dominating for extended periods. Things perked up when Lawrence took control, sending Bizo to the outside from the apron by using his juice, and giving Bizo a stink face in the corner.
Eventually, Lawrence nailed the One Night Stand power slam when Haley J came out with a teddy bear and a box of chocolates as a peace offering. Lawrence looked uncertain but he took the teddy and a chocolate and moved in for a hug. That’s when Haley J broke his heart good and proper and cracked him in the head with the sock of rocks! 1-2-3 and Tony Bizo was your winner!
I can’t believe it! Lawrence and Haley J were such a good pairing, which is why the turn had such impact. Bizo picked up Haley and plonked her on his shoulder, Macho and Liz style, as they grandstanded to the audience.
Lawrence is going to be furious when he wakes up from his rock-induced sleep…
This was a great show from OVW this week with some big angles and moments going down and rewarding fans who’ve been watching these stories play out long-term. Kal Herro finally got revenge on Tony Gunn and was reinstated; Omar Amir thought he had passed the Test of Brutality, only to find he has more trials ahead of him; and ‘Hollyhood’ Haley J, in a shocking moment, finally turned on Luscious Lawrence and left unconscious in the middle of the ring. Wow.
I can’t wait to see where these stories go next.