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Joe Gagne




Unless you've been living in or under some sort of rock formation, you've probably heard of Ohio Valley Wrestling. It's one of the WWF's "farm teams," headed up by Jim Cornette, where young wrestlers work on their skills in hopes of getting a call to the major leagues. It's also where WWF stars who get too fat are sent to shape up (Mark Henry and Big Show, for example). Everyone jokes about it, but how many have seen it? I finally managed to finagle some tape trading to get some OVW eps from this past July. Let's dive in, eh?

  • Originally aired sometime in early July.

  • We start off the show with clips from this past June's Rockin' Rumble from the Louisville Gardens. Mick Foley is in the ring discussing his past association with Louisville wrestling, and how he used to wrestle every Tuesday night in this very building. Mick goes on to say that all the WWF guys participating tonight (Kane, D'Lo Brown, and Al Snow) all worked hard to get where they are (even Al), and it's places like Louisville that allowed them to learn the trade. Mick didn't make Louisville wrestling, but Louisville wrestling helped make him. He hops that the fans will come back to see OVW, even after the WWF guys leave. Hear hear.

  • We then cut to the closing moments of the main event: Kane/The Damaja vs. D'Lo Brown/Tim Conway (w/Kenny Bolin): Kane hits a chokeslam on Conway and Damaja hits the Brain Damage (Miracle Ecstasy Bomb) on D'Lo. Both men cover, and Mick goes to count, only to have the pin broken up by Bolin. Mick responds by popping Bolin and introducing him to his old friend Mr. Socko. Kane and the Damaja hit their finishers again, and senior referee Rob Brisko hits the ring to count the pinfall (0:49 shown).

  • We're on the WB 34! Here's a public access-level opening! Your hosts are Jim Cornette and former USWA announcer Dean Hill (who sounds disturbingly like Lee Marshall)! I should point out that Cornette plays the Jim Ross role at the announce booth, which is just plain weird. This week: more highlights from the Rockin' Rumble.

  • The Damaja vs. Slick Robbie D: Damaja's a 22-year old well built white guy with a shaved head. Robbie's a young well built black guy with a shaved head. Damaja comes out to "Sex Type Thing," rather than the more obvious "Ya Playin' Yaself"(ten points to anyone who gets the reference). Damaja does the Justin Credible "stand on the ropes and raise your arm" pose, but I won't hold it against him. Basic back and forth action to start. Damaja gains an advantage with a gourdbuster (properly called by the announcers) that gets two. Robbie then shifts the momentum by hitting Lance Storm's leap to the top followed by a back elbow, followed by a really nice springboard clothesline. Robbie controls the match for a few minutes, until he ducks his head, allowing Damaja to nail a Russian legsweep. Damaja goes on the offensive, but he can't put Robbie away. He goes for the Brain Damage, but Robbie blocks with a kneelift. Robbie goes for a slam off the ropes, but Damaja manages to go behind and hits the Brain Damage for the pin (3:19). Pretty decent stuff, all in all.

  • We then see the closing moments of last week's main event featuring "Mr. Wrestling" Nick Dinsmore/The Damaja vs. "Iron Man" Rob Conway/Mr. Black (w/Jerome Crony). Black is a big guy dressed like Bubba Rogers. Damaja just got the hot tag and is cleaning house on Black (who apparently cost Damaja the OVW title). He's about to hit the Brain Damage when Conway breaks up the move, and a pier six breaks out. Crony tries to hit Damaja with a cross body off the top, but hits Black instead. Brain Damage, see ya (0:39 shown). Kenny Bolin then enters the ring and whacks the faces with his briefcase. Beatdown ensues, until Trailer Park Trash runs in to even the odds. But soon the Collector runs in and the heel beatdown ensues. Then Rico Costantino runs in. Then Mark Henry runs in. Then Russ McCullough runs in and a battle royal breaks out as we head to commercial.

  • We're back as Bolin Services (BS. Get it?) is assembled in the ring. BS would be the major heel group of the territory, and it's comprised of Kenny Boland, his lackey Jerome Crony, Rob Conway, Mark Henry, the Collector, Mr. Black, and attorney Thurston R. Throckmorton III. They hype the upcoming Wargames match against Damaja/Constantino/ Trash/McCullough. Conway is named team captain, and surprisingly no one complains about it. Conway says some stuff on the mic. He kinda looks like a shrunken Ken Shamrock.

  • We then see highlights of the OVW Heavyweight title match from the Rockin' Rumble between "Mr. Wrestling" Nick Dinsmore and Al Snow. Dinsmore's catchphrase is "It's All About Me." You may remember Nick from getting squashed by Wrath on a late '98 edition of Nitro. Or maybe not. (I DO!! ;-) - CRZ) This looked like a solid match, although we only see clips, so who knows? Dinsmore bumps quite a bit, taking a wheelbarrow suplex and a superplex. Finish sees Dinsmore hit a missile dropkick, but Snow takes out referee Teddy Long on the way down. Snow then grabs Head and bonks Dinsmore and goes for a cover. A recovering Long counts to 2 and then stops when he sees Head. He asks Snow what head's doing in the ring, and while Al explains, Dinsmore sneaks up behind him and hits a German suplex for the win (3:19 shown). That's a match I'd like to see in it's entirety. Dinsmore could be the real deal.

  • Speaking of Nick, he's in the ring with Jim Cornette. Jimmy announces that Bruce Pritchard and Kevin Kelly were at the Rockin' Rumble, and the upshot is that they were so impressed they signed Dinsmore to a WWF developmental contract. Nick thanks the fans and says that his four years of hard work have paid off. But here comes Flash to interrupt the proceedings (I think this is Flash Flannagan, who had a cup of tea with the WWF back when they started their Light Heavyweight Division. I could be wrong.). Flash says that he stole the show at the Rumble, and he's been busting ass for 8 years, and that contract should be his. So he jumps Nick and busts him open (or "lays him open" if you're Dean Hill) with brass knucks. Flash then steals the belt. It's old school, baby!

  • A bloodied Nick says he wants Flash. Cornette signs a title match so Flash will have to show up with the belt.

  • We see more highlights from the Rumble, this time from the tag title match featuring the champs the Payne Thrillers (B.J Payne and Scott Sabre) against the Disciples of Synn (Damien and Slash with manager Judas and slutty valet Synn). With Sabre and Damien fighting outside the ring, Payne goes for a DDT on Slash, only to have Synn break it up. So Payne hits her with a Sky Hi and goes for a Frog Splash (gee, who ya emulating there, Beej?), but Slash moves her out of the way. Damien gets back in the ring and the Disciples hit a shitty Dudley Death Drop on B.J. for the pin and the titles (0:49 shown).

  • Now we see the Disciples in the ring. I'm sorry, but Slash and Damien look like refugees from a gay biker bar. Judas dresses like the Undertaker circa 1990, and the chunky Synn has the mega-slutty thing going (which makes sense, I guess). They talk about sin a lot and call out the Payne Thrillers for a rematch so they can humiliate them some more and make them more susceptible to sin. The Disciples are big on sin, in case you didn't know. B.J. Payne (who looks and sounds like Goldberg) accepts the challenge, even though his partner Scotty Sabre isn't there yet. Uh oh, that's never a good sign.

  • Now we go back to the Rockin' Rumble for highlights of the Flash/Trailer Park Trash hardcore title match. TPT looks pretty much like you'd assume he would. Dutch Mantell (on a break from looking for Stan Hansen) is the special guest ref. Lots of ouchie spots here, including Flash taking a sunset flip/powerbomb to the floor on a car hood, Trash getting backdropped over the top rope onto a table (which doesn't break), Trash reversing a superbomb by turning it into a backdrop off the top, and Flash falling off the top of a ladder through a table on the concrete. Pivotal point in the match sees Trash going for a sunset flip, and Flash grabbing Mantell in retaliation. Mantell pushes Flash away, so Flash pops him. Mantell then grabs a belt or something, and TPT uses the distraction to hit a DDT. Trash finishes the match by legdropping a prone Flash through a table from the top of the ladder (4:10 shown). This looked real good, but it was clipped to hell so who knows?

  • B.J. Payne says that Scotty Sabre isn't there yet, but promises there will be a match.

  • The Collector (w/Thurston R. Throckmorton III) vs. Shelton Benjamin: Kenny Bolin comes out for commentary. The Collector is supposedly a master amateur wrestler, who I guess collects wins. Kenny Bolin joins the commentary team for whatever reason. The story here is that the Collector has been offering $2500 to anyone who can last three minutes with him, and $5000 to anyone who can beat him. Except he's only been fighting ringers, dig? But Benjamin is actually a former NCAA amateur All American, which doesn't sit well with Bolin. Dean announces that Benjamin has lasted 3 minutes-at 1:18! Better check your watch, Dean-o. Benjamin scores the upset pin a few seconds later (1:33). Bolin flips out at Throckmorton afterwards.

  • Mark Henry vs. Guido Andretti (w/Vito Andretti): Mark is (thankfully) back to being "The World's Strongest Man," but he still has "Chocolate" on his tights. Maybe he got hungry, I dunno. Henry gets on the stick and says that he's too good to fight chumps like Andretti on free TV, so he forfeits the match (0:00). Then he beats up Vito and Guido, hitting a nice spinebuster on Guido. See, you don't have to do "revolutionary" angles like Henry being a sex addict or not wanting to exercise to make him interesting. Just make him an unstoppable monster. It's not original, but it is effective.

  • The Disciples of Synn vs. B.J. Payne: Scotty Sabre hasn't shown up yet, so Beej offers to take either one on, but they goad him into making it a handicap match.. I just read that Slash is actually Wolfie D of PG-13 fame. If he is, I don't even recognize him. Payne holds his own for a few minutes, but falls prey to a blind tag and a top rope clothesline from Damien. Disciples dominate for a few minutes with some solid double team moves, then Chris Michaels runs down to be Payne's partner. Payne hits double DDT and makes the hot tag to Michaels. Michaels cleans house and hooks a sleeper on Slash, but Synn runs in and sprays him with mace for the DQ. Payne attacks Synn, but gets jumped by the Disciples and a heel beatdown commences. Damaja and Trailer Park Trash run in for the save as the show ends.

    Epilogue: I was going to do two shows, but the next week's show re-ran all the clips from this week's show and showed a tag match featuring two radio personalities, so I'll take a pass.

    Otherwise, I dig this promotion. Sure, most of the workers are pretty green, but that's the point. Far better to learn the trade here than on Nitro in front of a national audience. Yeah, it's old school, but I was more interested in this than I have been in WCW all year, although that's not saying much.

    Back with more soon, 'til then, take care.

    Joe Gagne
    [slash] wrestling

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