Odyssey Pro Wrestling launches into 2022 on the 29th January with Overboard which is ladened with new champions defending their titles and new opportunities up for grabs. The WWE Royal Rumble may also be on this same day, but I have no doubt that OPW will steal the spotlight for themselves and prove why Morecambe is the place to be for quality wrestling. But who will come out on top and start the new year strong? Join me as I run down the card and give my predictions.
First off, perhaps the most anticipated match of the night, the 20 man rumble, has to be addressed. With most participants yet to be revealed, I don’t have much material to base a prediction off just yet. Anyway, this physically huge bout deserves its own article to do it justice – so keep a look out for this coming soon.
Alexxis Falcon vs Gia Adams
Instead, I’ll turn to an explosive grudge match where emotions will be running high and both competitors will be keen to bounce back from a disappointing loss at Buried Treasure. I am of course referring to Alexxis Falcon vs Gia Adams. It was these two with Taonga and Lizzy Evo in a fatal four-way match to crown the very first OPW Women’s Champion and in a hard fought battle, Taonga ended up on top. But this was only thanks to Gia unexpectedly turning on Alexxis in a jealous rage that she had already been eliminated. Now, these two have the chance to take it to one another and prove who the better woman is. It’s hard to say who it is between these two, as Gia’s elimination was mainly due to Taonga and Evo dishing out a two on one attack. Alexxis made it all the way to the final two and showed her grit to be able to continue fighting for so long. Having been friends and partners in the ring, these two know each other very well and will certainly be able to reverse the others move set. However, I think that Gia’s determination to prove that she is worthy of the respect of the fans after losing in all of her matches so far, as well as wanting to justify turning on her friend, will drive her forward to win this. She is tapping into her aggressive side and it’s yet to be seen what she is capable of, and here we may all find out. Alexxis is resilient as they come, and one of the most popular stars in Morecambe, but her emotions may prevent her from reaching her potential here, especially at the hands of a determined Adams.
Lucas Neon and Nick Kutter vs Reese and Rogan
Next up, I want to talk about the tag team match of the evening. At Buried Treasure, Chris Brooker ruined the Rising Stars match between Lucas Neon and Nick Kutter by unleashing Reese and Rogan on them in a blind-siding attack. This bizarre faction of sorts is returning at Overboard but this time they won’t have the element of surprise on their side. Neon and Kutter will be full of their usual energy and charisma and this will be further exemplified by their drive for revenge and desire to prove that they are more than mere cannon fodder for Brooker’s bizarre power trip. Both of these young upstarts have proven in OPW that they are valiant wrestlers with bags of talent and this is their chance to capture the attention of the wrestling world. Having never wrestled as a team before, I can’t help but think that they might struggle against the well-established team of Reese and Rogan, though, who are as aggressive and mean as they come. This, on top of whatever antics Chris Brooker may get up, to could spell disaster for the rising stars. This is why I am predicting a victory for Reese and Rogan.
OPW Women's Championship - Taonga (c) vs Lana Austin
It’s time to think about the championship matches of the night. First, let’s look at the Women’s Championship. In a backstage interview following her victory at Buried Treasure, Taonga told me that she would face anyone who wanted a title shot… except Alexxis Falcon because she was the woman she pinned. OPW management have chosen to take her up on this and have made a gigantic match for a first defence, against none other than Lana Austin. Lana made an unexpected appearance back at Pier Fear as the special guest referee for Jennie B vs Helena Razor, taking it to Jennie B who refused to start the match and then had Jackie B doing her dirty work for her. She’s shown, then, that she’s keen to get into an OPW ring and show off her attitude. What’s more, she’s been a champion in Morecambe before, so she’s not unfamiliar to the spotlight and the fans will certainly be happy to see her return. Taonga will probably be fuming that this match has been made and will be full of harsh words for the fans, but that’s not to take away from her skills between the ropes. Wrestling ability mixed with the savviness to break certain rules for her advantage means that Taonga is one of the most difficult competitors to keep down. She may be full of unsportsmanlike characteristics, but Taonga is not going to let her focus be taken off her brand new title any time soon. This is exactly why I think she won’t be dropping her title at this first defence, but it’s definitely going to be a tooth and nail encounter.
OPW Championship - Ryan Hunter (c) vs Nathan Cruz
Finally, it’s Ryan Hunter’s first OPW Championship defence after his painstaking journey to capturing it to one of the loudest reactions in the UK scene in 2021. No one could have predicted his challenger and the fans might not take too kindly to him, even if he is a huge returning star. It’s Nathan Cruz, a veteran of British wrestling who has emphatically stated that he will steal the show at Overboard and become the new champion. Ryan Hunter will certainly have something to say about this, and despite being keen to be a fighting champion and bring prestige back to Morecambe wrestling, he must be a little apprehensive going into this bout. Cruz has wrestled around the country making a significant name for himself and appearing in some of the biggest matches. The Morecambe fans aren’t likely to care about this though, and will be firmly behind their hero in his first defence. Hunter managed to win this title with an injured ankle against all odds thanks to this passion from the fans, so he will definitely bring the same level of grit to this battle. Cruz will have to bring all of his athleticism if he wants to keep up with Hunter, but for me, this is Hunter’s match. I don’t see him dropping this belt any time soon, but if he does, we better prepare for a riot in Morecambe!