2 months ago, I predicted who I thought was going to advance in the first round of the Odyssey Pro Wrestling Championship tournament at Stormy Waters and got a perfect 4/4 correct (well, I did predict Big Guns Joe to beat RPD but Joe had to be replaced by Bailey - I’m counting this as correct because it was impossible to predict that Joe wouldn’t be there!) Now, just a few days away from Buried Treasure, we have the second and final round to think about. This night is going to be action packed, with both rounds being decided then and there, meaning the inaugural champion will be crowned. I cannot wait to see who comes out on top and it’s going to be a difficult one to predict – but let’s see if I can keep up my 100% record.
Ryan Hunter vs Sam Bailey
JJ Webb and Sandy Beach ran riot at Stormy Waters even without Big Joe present, but it wasn’t enough to secure either of them the victory. Despite making use of a steel chair, Beach was put away by Hunter who proved, as if he needed to, what a grafter he is inside the ropes and advanced to this match in emphatic fashion against the numbers game.
Sam Bailey fought hard against RPD in his first-round match but it was ultimately the interference of Dekker that meant he could advance. I’m not trying to take anything away from Bailey, who showed apt technical ability and opportunistic skill, but if Dekker wasn’t there at Stormy Waters, would he have won the match?
It’s an impossible question to answer, but I know these two are going to bring their all against each other, with grappling that’s sure to impress. Ryan Hunter’s momentum may be unstoppable, though. He is arguably the most popular wrestler in Morecambe and has proven that he is damn near impossible to keep down for the 3 count. Bailey will certainly try and prove me wrong, but in my eyes, this match is Hunter’s.
Tu Byt vs Rick Markus
These two aggressive competitors are going to clash in a big way on Saturday and everyone better watch out for the hard-hitting action spilling all over the arena.
Tu Byt may be known for using Jennifer to gain himself victories but there is no taking away from his ability to twist a match his way with calculated limb targeting and an inescapable submission finisher.
Markus, on the other hand, is an honourable fighter who loves being in front of the Morecambe fans, so will be alight with their energy in this battle. He was there to help RPD at Stormy Waters and managed to put away JJ Webb in his match despite Sandy Beach interfering, so he is a man who can multitask and rise to any occasion. This is precisely why I think he’s got this match firmly in the bag – Jennifer tends to be Byt’s dealbreaker, but I can’t see Markus being caught short by these shenanigans after he has proven how tough he is (physically and mentally) time and time again.
And who knows, even if Jennifer does try to interfere, maybe RPD will be out to repay Rick and even the odds?
So, this means that if my predictions are correct, it will be Rick Markus vs Ryan Hunter in the final for the Odyssey Pro Wrestling championship. To be an inaugural champ in any promotion is a highly respected moniker, but to win it in Morecambe would be particularly special for both of these wrestlers. They are both adored by the fans and have a history in the seaside town that can be sensed any time they step out from the curtain - this match will certainly make the fans happy. The aggression and resilience that both of these men can bring to the table will match each other pretty evenly, so it will be a long slug fest of a match.
To pick a winner between these two is obviously hard to do, so I have to put myself in the wrestler’s shoes for a moment. Ryan Hunter, who has been a part of Morecambe’s wrestling heritage since he was very young, has worked his way up the rankings from a camera man to a celebrated and decorated champion. He has seen Morecambe wrestling fall and be reborn in OPW – can he really afford to let the chance to be on top of OPW slip through his fingers? In my opinion, no he cannot… and he won’t.
No matter how many spears, suplexes or strikes Markus throws at him, Hunter might just be unstoppable. I hate to doubt Rick, who has shown his ability inside the ropes multiple times and beaten huge opponents, but there’s something about Hunter’s story with the fans here that makes him undeniable in my opinion.
No matter who ends up in the final, this tournament is not one you want to miss, so get your tickets while you still can so you can be one of the lucky few to witness this historic moment. This card is going to be huge from start to finish and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds!