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Jack Reviews OTT ScrapperMania 3

May 2, 2017 | Posted by Jack Stevenson
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Jack Reviews OTT ScrapperMania 3  

Over the last year or so, OTT Wrestling have capitalised on the Euro wrestling boom to establish themselves as Ireland’s most buzzworthy wrestling promotion, capturing a similarly boisterous cult following to Progress, but with more of a focus on high profile imports in the main events, ala RevPro. ScrapperMania III typified this approach, with 2,200 packing the National Stadium in Dublin for a card headlined by The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega taking on Will Ospreay, Ryan Smile & Lio Rush. Marty Scurll vs. Jay White semi main events. It should be a good time!

1- Grado vs. Charlie Sterling
This was very heavy on Grado’s distinctive antics, and so your enjoyment of this match depends largely on how much you like him. I think he’s pretty charming and so liked this a fair amount. It was light and fluffy and breezed by at a likeable pace, and thus was very easy to watch. Charlie Sterling plays a stereotypical English villain, and the crowd enjoyed mocking him about Brexit. He spent an amusingly long amount of time wrestling with his arse out after Grado pulled his trunks down. Really though this is the Grado show, the crowd were hugely into him and he brought all his usual energy and enthusiasm. He also has an undeniably terrific Ace Crusher, dubbed the R-Grado, and it secured him the win here. *** 1/4.

2- Scotty Davis vs. Jigsaw
This was fine. Its main purpose seemed to be to give promising youngster Scotty Davis some time in the ring with a veteran, and he certainly didn’t look out of his depth. Jigsaw controlled most of the match in watchable fashion, but there were a few flourishes from Davis that hinted at a bright future. They didn’t go too long and kept the pace up well enough, which is all I ask for from a match like this. Jigsaw picked up the win with a double stomp from the top rope. ***.

3- Jurn Simmons vs. Paul Tracey
I didn’t enjoy this very much. Jurn Simmons’ much heralded entrance was, in fairness, just terrific, an absolute must watch for fans of giant vikings gyrating and air guitaring for minutes on end, but then the actual match began and it was slow and not very interesting. Simmons’ showed glimmers of a fun power wrestler, but Paul Tracey, who is 37 years old and has been wrestling for 2002, gave no indication that he’s a hidden gem of the European scene. Everything was just very basic and tediously methodical. Redeeming features included a decent, Simmons heavy finishing stretch, and the match being short. A sit out powerbomb won it for Jurn. * 1/4.

4- The Gymnasties vs. Justin Shape & Logan Bryce
A very fun little sprint here! I had never seen anything from either team before, but they both impressed me with their willingness to eschew traditional formula and just do an all out tornado tag style match from the get go. It kept the action ticking over really nicely, and gave everyone ample chance to impress. There were odd moments of sloppiness that indicated neither team is quite ready to break out of their home country yet, but plenty to suggest that both could do so with a little more seasoning. A hugely enjoyable, albeit low end indy moves sprint. B. Cool hit a Brainbuster on Justin Shape, but it was Shape that rolled over into the cover, and manager William J. Humperdink held Cool’s legs down to hand his team the victory. *** 1/4.

5- Martina, Nixon Newell & Alex Windsor vs. Jinny, Katey Harvey & Bea Priestley
More of the same! Breezy, unpretentious tag wrestling! Hooray! I mean, this one did have a brief face in peril segment, but it was energetic enough to remain entertaining, and then the finishing stretch was an absolute blast. Of all the wrestlers in the match only Nixon Newell is a properly polished competitor, but the OTT crowd absolutely love Martina and any awkward moments (Alex Windsor and Bea Priestley’s sequence in particular looked shaky at times) were much easier to ignore with the general atmosphere of good vibes. And we got a genuinely good dive train as well, which will always endear a match to me, and the finishing stretch had just the right amount of big moves and near falls for this point in the card, concise, but still satisfying. Martina picked up a popular win by planting Priestley with a diving Codebreaker. Not the most technically accomplished match you’ll ever see, but a darn good time all the same. *** 1/4.

Alex Windsor turned on The Session Friends in the midst of their celebratory rave! Nixon’s last rave before she goes to you know where! Booooo! Happily, Martina and Nixon revived themselves with a swig of restorative alcohol, allowing Nixon to get the send off she deserved.

6- OTT Tag Team Championships- The Kings of the North vs. The Lads from the Flats
This was actually a six man tag team match, with Martin from the Lads from the Flats making a one off appearance having apparently broken out of prison. Very happy with this designated ‘really good tag wrestling’ portion of the show. The interesting thing was, neither team looked like stand-outs, but they stuck to a tag formula that works for a lot of people, and it worked for them. They also deserve huge credit for pulling off a finishing stretch that was frenzied and impressively smooth; it was the most exciting conclusion to a match we’ve seen so far on the show. The Kings of the North’s control segment was merely OK, but that’s where the excellent Dublin crowd came in, their energy and enthusiasm has lifted matches all night and made what could have been a bit of a plodding part of the match pass by very easily. And like I say, once they hit the final portion of the match, events hit a different gear, with all these big moves and exciting near falls and a genuinely heated feel, with the Kings of the North-Lads from da Flats feud playing quite boldly on the tensions between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Everything seemed to align for this match, and it was the best thing on the show up to that point. A Lungblower/Blue Thunder bomb combination allowed Bonesaw to pin Martin for the three count. *** 1/2.

7- Jay White vs. Marty Scurll
I was not expecting this to be as good as it was. I’m unconvinced by Jay White, and while I really enjoy Marty Scurll’s shtick I um and aah about how much depth he has beneath it. But hey, they put together a lovely little match here! For a while it was shaping up to be a good ROH TV match, competitive and hard working, and I would have been fine with that. During the final third though they started to put together some sequences so twisty and elaborate and clever that they really made me sit up and take notice. I was particularly fond of one where Scurll snapped White’s fingers, in the way he likes to do, only for White to snap them back in again and give him a couple of middle fingers. So Scurll snapped those in turn as well, and then span him into a quick, spiky short piledriver! It doesn’t sound so great written down but in context it was a cool way to spin a signature Scurll spot into a different direction, one that escalated the intensity of the match and provided a great near fall. This was typical of the finishing stretch as a whole, unexpectedly, startlingly good, and again the show surpassed itself with a very good, borderline great match. Scurll made White pass out to the Chicken Wing for the win. *** 3/4.

It should have been main event time at this point, but instead Zack Gibson came out to cut his usual promo, where the words aren’t as important as the thick scouse accent they’re delivered in. Angel Cruz interrupted for an impromptu match. He mistook Gibson for Zach Gowen, which made me laugh.

8- Angel Cruz vs. Zack Gibson
I’m not convinced the show needed an extra match, and this was fairly obviously just to get both men on the card. Cruz had some fun comedy spots involving a couple of teenage boys that apparently form a kind of security force for him. Gibson is not very interesting, but put Cruz away with the Shankly Gates in fairly speedy fashion. * 1/2.

9- Will Ospreay. Lio Rush & Ryan Smile vs. BULLET CLUB
I think it was Alan Counihan who recommended this match for people who dug the WrestleCon 10 Man Tag from Wrestlemania weekend, and I not only dug that match, I consider it the best of the year thus far. As such, I was incredibly amped for this one, and it didn’t hurt of course that the six wrestlers crammed into it are all utter delights in the ring. Ultimately, I thought this was a couple of notches below the delirious heights of Team Ricochet vs. Team Ospreay, and not quite good enough to even make the top ten for the year thus far. It was, of course, tremendous. Tremendous tremendous tremendous. The equilbrium between comedy and high flying insanity tilted a little too much towards the former, which was the primary limitation of the bout, but all the humour was genuinely funny and whimsical so it wasn’t a big deal. The serious portion of the match was quintessential tag wrestling, really, with Ryan Smile and particularly Will Ospreay suffering from face in peril syndrome before everything exploded with dives and superkicks. It seems an odd thing to say about this sort of match, but the actual wrestling succeeded most from the quiet satisfaction of that build to the finishing stretch, rather than from the bombast and noise that similar bouts rely on. If they could see pass spots in the early stages like Matt Jackson cutting a lengthy promo advertising the Elite’s Youtube series whilst he held Ryan Smile in a Sharpshooter, traditional tag wrestling fans could actually get a lot from this, as it really is the 21st century answer to it. The basic thing you need to take from this match is that no, it didn’t have the transcendent insanity of WrestleCon or a first rate Dragon Gate match, but when that’s the biggest knock you can give something, said thing is probably pretty ace, and for the great flying, the superb execution of tag formula, and the pervading sense of fun throughout, this was indeed pretty ace. An Indytaker from the Young Bucks to Ospreay, followed by the One Winged Angel from Omega, and that did it for poor Will in the end. **** 1/4.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
It's a pity the usual FloSlam streaming issues tarnished the live broadcast of this, because in terms of what went on in the ring, OTT couldn't have given a much better first impression of their product on the biggest show in their history. Of course, anyone can book The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega in the main event and expect a hot crowd and a great match, but the undercard was also very consistent and grew steadily in quality as the show progressed. The Dublin crowd also deserve praise, because it didn't seem like they got an intermission as such, and this was a four hour event, but their energy levels were sky high right from the opening bell and it noticeably enhanced the show. This was a strong showcase for OTT, and to an extent for the Irish wrestling scene as a whole.