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Stormy Waters 2022 Report

At the time of writing, it’s been one year to the day since Odyssey Pro Wrestling’s very first show, Set Sail. A lot has changed since then. We now have two hometown hero champions but only one of them is cheered; there are two general managers; Mark Meltzer is a baddie and he and the venue have gone through name changes. However, some things will never change, such as the passion of the wrestling fans in Morecambe and the quality of the chips served at the Alhambra. Plus, the quality of the shows doesn’t seem to alter, as proven at last night’s event.


I have written over 30,000 words about OPW shows since last year and have done countless interviews (during many of which I feared for my life), and I couldn’t be happier to continue doing so for the next year and beyond. Let’s add a few more words to that total and get straight into the action of this year’s Stormy Waters!


 

Rogan vs RPD


Reminiscing on Set Sail, it was peaceful in OPW when all Chris Brooker did was call the Morecambe fans simple before disappearing. Now, as co-general manager and leader of the Spotlight, it’s commonplace to see him (and Kelly) ringside for all members’ matches and it was no different here. The fans had seen enough already, chanting “RPD” relentlessly. Ethan Edwards agreed as he jumped on the microphone to stop Brooker before he could even start. “There’s a stipulation I forgot to tell you about… the Spotlight is all banned from ringside.”


Brooker was fuming and unfairly directed this towards Kelly, but he had no choice but to put the trust in Rogan to stop RPD’s aim to destroy the Spotlight one by one until he captures the OPW championship.


It was clear that this was at the forefront of his mind throughout the match as he attempted to use his speed as a foil for Rogan’s significant size and strength advantage. This made the opening lock-up difficult for him before he could start to build some momentum by putting space between them and making full use of his athleticism. Rogan’s strikes were incredibly painful, using a double chop straight to the chest, but RPD made good use of his patented boxing jabs as well.


Rogan showed skill by utilising a range of suplexes to stop RPD in his tracks, but his taunting did him no favours. All it did was rile up the fans and, in turn, RPD, who was able to hit a DDT for almost three. The fans stayed behind RPD even as Rogan hit a nasty Rock Bottom and taunted a People’s Elbow, but RPD was too quick and instead pulled out a nasty Stone Cold Stunner, matching the Attitude Era tributes. This was quickly followed by the Superman Punch for the well-earned victory. “Two down,” he said.


 

JJ Webb vs Rob Drake


After suffering from a hard-to-swallow loss at the hands of Sam Bailey at Mutiny, Rob Drake was determined to prove that he doesn’t need Sam Bailey’s help by defeating one of his former students. Webb was flanked by Sandy Beach and the pair are just as unpopular now as they were a year ago. Constantly distracted by chants, Webb struggled to get into the match and retreated to the ropes as much as possible.


Drake utilised his powerful chops and punches to retain the upper hand and it took Sandy clobbering him with a Croc behind the referee’s back for Webb to get on top. For all of Webb’s skill, he was too busy showboating to capitalise and was always late on going for the cover.


After landing a hard Michinoku Driver, Drake was frustrated to see the resilient Webb kick out, and again after a sudden spear that looked as if it tore him in half. Drake’s pure wrestling ability was never doubted in this match, especially when he locked in the STF submission, but Sandy got involved again, putting Webb’s foot on the ropes so the referee was forced to break the hold. Drake was frustrated and Sandy ended up in the ring, but there was no bite to his bark and Drake floored him within seconds.


As the referee checked on Sandy, Drake took a leaf out of Sam Bailey’s book and went for a quick roll-up, but without the ref. Out of nowhere, Bailey himself appeared and rolled the pair so that Drake had his shoulders down. The referee counted 1, 2, 3 and Drake had been let down by a Bailey roll-up again.


 

Scum vs Sinergy vs Lucas Neon and Nick Kutter vs The Freakshow


Mark Meltzer had some words before this match could begin. “The only person who ever wanted me to be myself was this man here, Isaiah Quinn.” He then pointed to the Book of Isaiah and said, “To me, this is the Law of Isaiah, and someone needs to uphold the law. So from now on, you can call refer to me as Sheriff Steele.”


After this name change, the match began with Troy Ryan facing Scotty Rawk, but not for long as Rawk dived head first out of the ring faster than you could say “head bump”. You couldn’t blame him for avoiding facing the Super Athlete. It was down to Neon to tag himself in and take the plunge instead, leaving the fans confused over who to cheer for.


This was a high-energy match as you would expect with eight phenomenal athletes all riling to get their hands on each other. Kutter and Will Carter each displayed high speeds and clever tactics, with Kutter aiming for Carter’s knee early on in an attempt to slow him down, which was Carter’s weakness for the rest of the match. Carter’s strength was perhaps the fans who, after seeing how he is treated by Quinn, have taken a liking to him and encouraged him at every opportunity.


But before Kutter could capitalise, Scum forced their way back into the equation with smooth double-team offence. When Carter got Byt into a submission, Rawk was quick to break it up. He then took out Nightmare and Kutter leaving Carter trapped in an ankle lock, but Carter was able to build momentum and tag in Ryan.


The size advantage came into play as Ryan and Jack Roberts took down Scum with ease. Ryan even managed to create a stack of bodies in the middle of the ring. At this point, Jennifer entered the ring - not to join the epic pile-on but to distract Ryan so that Rawk could lock in a Rat Trap. Collapsing, Ryan was within distance of Carter meaning the tag could be made. He launched into the ring and took out everyone at once, much to the fans’ delight, and was surely on his way to victory. However, Quinn orchestrated a tag to Nightmare while telling the fans to shut up.


Nightmare was not prepared for Neon and Kutter to outsmart him and go for a pin. Everyone burst into the ring to stop the 3 count, launching a giant brawl that not even seasoned referee (using his best teacher voice) James Greenwood could stop. With no one paying attention and punches flying everywhere, he had to call a no-contest.


None of the teams seemed to care much as they continued fighting outside of the ring, with Rawk even taking a huge Swanton bomb off the stage to take everybody out. It was down to Ethan Edwards to get their attention and announce that there was only one way to solve the problem of proving who the best tag team in OPW is - a tag team tournament to crown the first-ever Odyssey Tag Team Champions. This giant announcement seems to offer more questions than answers, but I am so excited to see how it pans out.


 

Alexxis Falcon vs Jennie B - OPW Women’s Championship


It was time for the first half main event and the newly crowned OPW Women’s Champion Alexxis Falcon was met with a hero’s welcome, but Jennie B didn’t quite get the message as she continued to call herself “Miss Morecambe”.


With Jackie B offering help at every opportunity and Falcon clearly determined to keep her belt, it was hard for either woman to gain the upper hand. It was a war of attrition, with long holds and mat wrestling that seemed to favour Falcon until Jackie grabbed her and put a stop to her momentum. This allowed Jennie to kick her out of the ring and take the fighting through the Alhambra.


Falcon’s head was slammed onto the concrete wall before being smashed into the merch table, where Jennie decided to unnecessarily flick the hat off wrestler Leah Raven who was watching from the sidelines, presumably taking in OPW’s women's division for inspiration and potential future matchups.


Alexxis struggled to get back into the match as Jennie was quick with skilful offence and submissions such as the camel clutch. But, Falcon was too resilient and used her strength to stand up and slam Jennie down, tailbone first.


Jennie attempted to regroup with Jackie, but Falcon was quick to meet her with a series of harsh clotheslines and a fisherman suplex. She was aiming for the victory when it looked as if Jackie B was about to get involved, but much to the fans’ relief, Leah Raven appeared and put a firm stop to that.

Alexxis was then able to hit the Sister Abigail for the retention of her beloved title that she had rightfully earned. The fans were loud in their appreciation while Leah Raven appeared quietly pleased with herself.


 

Big Guns Joe vs Dekker


Brooker had claimed that OPW management had allowed him to be ringside for Dekker and Hunter’s matches, so begrudgingly we were forced to see him again after the interval. The frustration of this was offset by the joy brought by Big Guns Joe, who was donning new gear having ditched the singlet and new entrance music. Perhaps he is hoping to be taken more seriously in OPW as he aims for victories and bigger opportunities.


He displayed this with ring smarts superior to Dekker, who was getting frustrated by the audience constantly chanting “Alcoholic” at him (to which he responded, “I do it in moderation alright!”) and had to turn to Brooker for emotional support.


Dekker then tried to use intimidation tactics on Joe which just got under Joe’s skin, leading him to unload on Dekker harshly. He pushed him to the outside and ran half a lap of the ring to unleash the harshest strike, sending Brooker scarpering in the process.


The pair were evenly matched in terms of strength but a battle over a suplex was won by Joe, whose bridge was only for 2. Joe never lost his focus, even reversing On The Rocks and nearly achieving victory with a roll-up followed by a Boston crab. Dekker managed to reach the ropes but was clearly shaken, leading to Brooker handing him the bottle that he was drinking on the way to the ring. Brooker distracted the ref so that it could be used as a weapon, hitting Joe in the midsection which he had been targeting throughout. The Pedigree was unleashed and victory was Dekker’s.


Morecambe was alight with rage and Brooker didn’t help when he rambled about Dekker’s talents, before announcing that he had exclusively found out that Rick Markus has retired from wrestling. They then insultingly sang “Goodbye” to him after Brooker claimed that “all actions have consequences.” We are yet to find out if this retirement claim is based in truth or not, but Markus’ absences at the last two shows perhaps speak volumes.


 

Craig Kollins vs Reece


These two heavyweights found their physical match in each other. They tried in vain to get the other down, but Kollins gained the upper hand at first. He unleashed 10 fists in the corner twice as the fans encouraged him, before going for a suicide dive. Reece had the smarts to block this but couldn’t do anything when Kollins went flying off the apron into him.


Back in the ring, Kollins headed to the top rope but Reece managed to hit an enzuigiri to take him down. Both men are surprisingly agile for their size and this was a common theme of the match. It seemed that anything Kollins could do, Reece was determined to prove he could also do, including Kollins’ signature cannonball in the corner.


But the match was slowed down by Reece deliberately getting in the way of the referee, meaning that when Kollins clobbered him, the ref was flattened. Predictably, Rogan was quick through the curtain to assist but so was RPD to the roar of the crowd. The score was evened, meaning Kollins could hit the frog splash for the win.


 

Ryan Hunter vs Sexy Kev - OPW Championship


The Spotlight was back and Hunter was on the receiving end of the worse crowd reaction of the night. He seemed to be proud of himself for this as he dished out a cocky chop to Kev, as if to prove that he was not taking his opponent seriously. This was a mistake as Kev displayed fantastic mat wrestling ability and come out on top, throwing Hunter off who Brooker had to tell to concentrate as the fans loudly kept up their support for Kev. He had to escape the ring after being dominated and outsmarted. For all of Kev’s technical ability, he was able to dish out aggressive punches too, embodying Morecambe’s attitude to Hunter since his betrayal.


But Hunter was able to abruptly change the tide of the match with one aggressive strike. He used the ropes to his full advantage to slow down the pace and threw Kev out of the ring where he pushed his head into the ring post before side slamming him onto the apron. Back in the ring, Hunter had locked in a harsh submission but Kev managed to make it to the ropes and started building momentum. He hit a harsh overhead belly to belly and a bridging German Suplex.


The two experienced wrestlers continued to showcase their arsenal, but it was Kev who was more focused, managing to reverse a package piledriver attempt into a STF. Hunter got to the ropes once, but Kev was fast to lock it in again. Brooker forced an unwilling Kelly to push the ropes towards Hunter so that he could break it again.


As the referee berated Brooker for this, Hunter decided to attempt the low blow from behind, but Kev grabbed his arm instead and trapped him, forcing him to eat several nasty knee strikes to the head. Kev had surely secured the title had it not been for Brooker pulling the referee before he could make the count. They argued on the outside and Brooker took it a step further by pushing the referee, who fell down and took Tony Knox with him.


Of course, now was the prime opportunity for the rest of the Spotlight to appear. Kev was victim to a spear from Dekker and Reece and Rogan’s finisher. Brooker demanded that a new referee come down to the ring and they did, only for Kev to kick out at the last possible moment miraculously. Furious, Hunter then hit two package piledrivers to secure the win.


Ethan Edwards helplessly looked on from the commentary desk as Brooker laughed and announced, “Ethan, when I said actions have consequences, I meant actions have consequences. Say goodbye to Sexy Kev.” A steel chair was thrown into the ring and we all feared the worst until Alexander Grey appeared to try and put a stop to it, after being at the receiving end of Reece and Rogan’s tirade at Mutiny. The numbers game was too much, though, and Hunter’s super kick took him out.


But, answering the fans' demands, RPD suddenly appeared to even the score. The Spotlight ran away, clearly shaken by his promise to take them all down in pursuit of the championship.


Kev didn’t earn the championship but the fans stayed behind him, cheering for him as RPD and Grey helped him.


The stage is set for Panic Stations with brand new tag team champions to be crowned, rivalries forming and a determined RPD. Get your tickets now for October 1st so you don’t miss out!


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