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OVW Rise 1296 Recap

By Ethan Absler

OVW fans were treated to yet another action-packed episode of Rise (1296) emanating from the historic Davis Arena in Louisville, Kentucky. With Independence Rage just over the horizon, the June 13th episode proved to be as significant as expected with everyone leaving it in the ring as they attempted to claw their way onto the card.

Between the fallout of last week’s Career versus Women’s Championship match, Al Snow promising to address Crixus and the men in black, and multiple current and former champions competing in matches, Rise 1296 was a can’t-miss show that gave viewers a better look at what Independence Rage on the 29th may look like.

At a Glance

        ○    Sophia Rose Vs. Angelica Risk

        ○    Jay Dinero and Tony Evans Vs. Tusk and Chains (C)

        ○    Dream Girl Ellie Vs. Hollywood Haley J

        ○    Luscious Lawrence Vs. Super-Z Vs. Dustin Jackson

        ○    Al Snow Addresses Crixus and the Men in Black

        ○    Buzz Backlund (C) Vs. “Ice Man” Justice Davis

        ○    Leila Grey (C) Makes A Statement

        ○    “Immovable” Jaylen Flye Vs. Jack Vaughn

        ○    Carson Drake Promises Update on Mick Foley Attack

        ○   Crixus (C) and the Masked Men Vs. Kal Herro (C), Tony Gunn, and Luke Kurtis

Match 1: Sophia Rose Vs. Angelica Risk

One-half of America’s Sweethearts squared off against Angelica Risk in the opening contest of the night. Rose gained an upper hand early with a flurry of offense before a miscalculation allowed Risk to trip Rose face-first on the apron. Risk made sure to continue inflicting punishment, hitting Rose with everything from thunderous shots in the corner to a stiff dropkick to the back, to a picturesque 619.

As the match progressed, Risk only grew more confident, eventually disrespecting Rose and giving her the opening she needed to recover. Two Clotheslines and a Pump Kick to the face later, Rose was in firm control. She proceeded to finish Risk off with a Stunner, ending a strong showing from both competitors.

Result: Sophia Rose DEFEATS Angelica Risk

Match 2: Tony Evans and Jay Dinero Vs. Tusk and Chains (C)

An angry Tony Evans recalled his last few weeks, promising to redeem his singles losses via tag team wins with his partner, Jay Dinero. Unfortunately for them, the current champions used their dynamic mix of size and speed to take control early, leveling both partners before focusing their attention on Evans. Cecil used TW3 as a battering ram before throwing him at Evans for an alley-oop-like Hurricanrana.

The champs continued picking apart Evans and Dinero, effectively preventing them from ever getting out of the gates. Besides a short-lived moment of offense where Dinero and Evans were successful in grinding down the faster TW3, the champs dominated this match. In the end, Cecil turned into a one-man wrecking crew, creating chaos in the ring that would eventually come back to hurt them.

With the referee distracted, Dinero hit TW3 with a brass-knuckled punch, knocking him out and causing the immediate disqualification. Although Evans and Dinero avoided a pinfall or submission loss, a disqualification still goes in the record book as a loss nonetheless.

Result: Tusk and Chains (C) DEFEAT Tony Evans and Jay Dinero Via Disqualification

Match 3: Dream Girl Ellie Vs. Hollyhood Haley J

Looking to prove herself against a former OVW Women’s Champion in Haley J, Dream Girl Ellie started this match off strong, trying to punish her opponent straight from the opening bell. After hitting a Wasteland, a sitting Clothesline, and a Diving Elbow Drop, Ellie found herself in the driver’s seat.

She continued her punishment, taking the former women’s champion to her limit with running boots to the face in the corner. Seemingly moments away from one of the biggest victories of her career, Ellie scaled the top rope only for Tiffany Nieves to emerge from backstage. The distraction allowed for Haley J to hit Ellie with a Powerslam out of nowhere for the victory.

Result: Haley J DEFEATS Dream Girl Ellie

Match 4: Luscious Lawrence Vs. Super-Z Vs. Dustin Jackson

Three of OVW’s brightest young superstars battled it out in a triple-threat match that lived up to the hype it advertised. From the get-go, the match was fast-paced and frenetic with each man trying to take each other out while simultaneously keeping track of the numbers game.

Everyone seemed to have an answer for each other’s offense, with none of the competitors able to gain a clear advantage for more than a few moves at a time. Multiple distractions on the outside from the likes of Mahabali Shera and Crystal gave Jackson the chance to roll up Lawrence for a quick three-count victory.

Result: Dustin Jackson DEFEATS Super-Z and Luscious Lawrence

Segment: Al Snow Addresses Crixus and the Masked Men

Accompanied by Kal Herro, Tony Gunn, Luke Kurtis and Doug Basham, Al Snow reassured the OVW fans that despite the havoc that the masked men and Crixus have caused, OVW is still in control, succeeding, and that the only “revolution” happening in OVW is the company’s success.

Snow challenged the masked men and Crixus to come out like men and face said members of the roster in a match, only to be uninterrupted by an arrogant Crixus and company. The masked men say that they aren't scared of a match, and despite Doug Basham overseeing the action to ensure the OVW faithful get their justice, they ask Snow to keep the side door of Davis Arena open for them.

Match 5: Buzz Backlund (C) Vs. “Ice Man” Justice Davis

With an angry Will Austin on commentary to watch the man who beat him for the OVW Rush

Division Championship last week, Buzz Backlund looked to defeat Academy standout Justice Davis. Backlund used his amateur wrestling skills to gain control early, displaying effortless takedowns and his technical prowess to dominate the rookie.

After a couple of minutes, the champ’s offense was too much for the Ice Man to handle.

Backlund made quick work of the newcomer, putting him away with an Angle Slam and

Crossface Chicken Wing for the submission victory. A tense staredown between Austin and Backlund ended the segment, with the champion reminding Austin he’s been beaten three times in a row now.

Result: Buzz Backlund (C) DEFEATS “Ice Man” Justice Davis

Segment: Leila Grey (C) Talks Women’s Championship Picture

Leila Grey kicked off her time in the ring emphasizing how good it feels to still be OVW Women’s Champion after last week, and did what she had to do in sending Gemma into early retirement despite disappointment from the fans. She continued, talking about how there is a snake in the Bad Girls Club in TIffany Nieves and vows to cut the snake’s head off at Independence Rage.

Just then, Nieves emerged, explaining why everybody in the Bad Girls Club turned on the champion. She claimed she was the leader of the faction, and even went as far as to take credit for their success and for Grey still being champion today. She proceeded to challenge Grey, saying if she’s so tough, she’ll have no problem with Nieves picking her opponent next week. Grey, fired back with the same offer.

After Grey accepted, Nieves selected Freya The Sleya to face the champ next week. As for Nieves, the champ chose her best friend and fellow Bad Girls Club member, Dream Girl Ellie, setting up for two blockbuster women’s matches next week ahead of Independence Rage.

Match 6: “Immovable” Jaylen Flye Vs. Jack Vaughn

The Veteran Jack Vaughn took on the much larger academy standout, Jaylen Flye. Still, the size was no match for the experience of Jack Vaughn who was able to shrug off the early rally of offense from Flye and take control with a big boot to the corner.

The newcomer stayed in the fight though, firing back at Vaughn, even stringing together a few combinations including a thunderous Sidewalk Slam before the Veteran figured out a way to deal with Flye’s immense size. Chopping him down little by little, Vaughn was able to finally down his opponent with a diving Shoulder Tackle and a Lariat for the victory.

Result: Jack Vaughn DEFEATS Jaylen Flye

Segment: Carson Drake Promises Update on Mick Foley Attack

A confident Carson Drake told the OVW fans that after a week of doing nothing but investigating the attack against Mick Foley with Al Snow, they have narrowed their suspect down to one man. He asked the fans to trust him despite his history of questionable behavior, before revealing that their top suspect is none other than Will Austin. Austin emerged but, unsurprisingly, vehemently denied attacking Mick Foley, saying he’s too focused on chasing the OVW Rush Division Championship to attack a “has been” like Foley.

Drake offers up a motive behind the attack: Foley has been critical of Austin’s performances on commentary. This pushed Austin over the edge, who hit Drake with a sucker punch to the face. He tried to follow it up, only for Drake to hit a devastating Backbody Drop on Austin, sending him reeling before promising to get to the bottom of the Mick Foley attack.

Match 7: Crixus (C) and the Masked Men vs Kal Herro (C), Luke Kurtis, and Tony Gunn

Before the team of Kurtis, Herro, and Gunn entered, cameras rushed backstage where viewers saw an injured Tony Gunn after being jumped before the match. Angry and undiscouraged, Luke Kurtis and Kal Herro charged the ring despite being outnumbered. Their pure fire and intensity was enough to overcome the numbers game, allowing the duo to gain a surprising early lead.

The duo continued rolling for a few minutes, defending OVW on their own before the numbers game just became too great. From there, Crixus and company methodically picked apart Herro and Kurtis, clearly enjoying the beating they were putting on their opponents. Surprisingly, the duo continued fighting back, determined to defend OVW from what they believe is evil.

Once the fight spilled to the outside, the numbers game once again suffocated Herro and Kurtis. After seeing Crixus headbutt Basham on the outside, a fired-up Kal hit a double DDT which promised to give him the opening he needed to tag Kurtis. Suddenly, two more masked men attacked Kurtis on the outside before he chased them out of the arena leaving Kal alone in the ring. Just when it seemed that the fight would become a three-on-one affair, a bandaged Tony Gunn came through the curtain, limping to the ring to save Kal.

Outnumbered and surrounded by the masked men, Kal and Gunn looked to fend off their enemies before Gunn shockingly turned around, hitting Kal from behind out of nowhere. Much to the shock of the fans and the announcers, it seemed as if Gunn pledged his allegiance to the masked men before standing over an unconscious Kal.

Who knows what more damage could have been inflicted if it wasn’t for the rest of the OVW locker room coming out to make the save and send the masked men retreating? Result: No Contest


Independence Rage cannot come soon enough as the tension in every division has reached a breaking point. Both advertised Women’s matches next week hold major significance as we approach the June 29th special with both the Champion and the challenger facing opponents of each other’s choices in one-on-one contests.

Additionally, Carson Drake has actually seemed to make some progress in the investigation of

Mick Foley’s attacker, peaking the interest of the OVW fans. In other news, the meteoric rise of Buzz Backlund continued this week after a hard-fought victory against OVW newcomer Justice Davis, and Will Austin’s luck just keeps getting worse.

Fans will have to wait until next week to see who continues building momentum, as multiple competitors have legitimate arguments for wanting a spot on Independence Rage based on the stellar performances we’ve seen over the last few weeks. The title pictures are getting more crowded, the drama is reaching a fever-pitch, and the next few weeks will prove immensely important in shaping the future of OVW.

OVW Rise 1295 Recap

OVW Rise 1295 Recap

OVW Rise 1295 emanated from the historic Davis Arena in Louisville, Kentucky in front of a packed and ever-enthusiastic house. The June 6th episode featured multiple championship matches, including a career versus title bout and Will Austin versus Buzz Backlund! With less than a month to go until Independence Rage on June 29th, this week’s high-stakes installment of Rise gave fans a little more insight into what the show might look like and who’s looking hot as we approach.

At a Glance

        ○    Tiffany Nieves and Dream Girl Ellie (w/ Gema) Vs. Sophia Rose and Haley J

        ○    Brandon Lee Vs Kal Herro

        ○    Will Austin Challenges Buzz Backlund

        ○    Troy Austin and Prime Vs. Tusk N Chains

        ○    Carson Drake Calls Out Tony Evans

        ○    Dustin Jackson and Jake Lawless Vs. Super-Z and Mahabali Shera

        ○    Buzz Backlund Vs. Will Austin: OVW Rush Division Championship

        ○    Shane Mercer Vs. Star Rider

        ○    Gema (w/ Bad Girls Club) Vs. Leila Grey: OVW Women’s Championship Vs. Career

        ○    Tony Gunn Addresses Crixus and the masked men

Match 1: Tiffany Nieves and Dream Girl Ellie (w/ Gemma) Vs. Sophia Rose and Haley J

One-half of America’s Sweethearts formed an intriguing team with former OVW Women’s Champion Haley J to take on two-thirds of the Bad Girls Club in the opening contest of the night.

Despite not normally teaming, Hollyhood and Rose showed off their teamwork and took control of the match early on, blasting Nieves with double Pump Kicks to the face. Haley J continued the momentum, hitting a Shining Wizard before blasting Ellie off the apron.

The numbers game eventually caught up to the new duo, allowing the Bad Girls to take control.

After taking punishment from Ellie and the number one contender for Grey’s Women’s Title, Haley was able to create enough space to tag in Rose. Rose blasted out of the corner like a cannon, but again, the numbers game was just too much to handle. A devastating Spinebuster from Nieves allowed her to lock in a Texas Cloverleaf, submitting Sophia Rose for the win.

Result: Tiffany Nieves and Dream Girl Ellie (w/ Gema) DEFEAT Sophia Rose and Haley J

Match 2: Kal Herro vs. Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee made his OVW debut against the current Media Champion, Kal Herro. Although the champion gained an upper hand early, he kept glancing at the side doors, clearly distracted and worried about the presence of the Masked Men. Lee took advantage, targeting Kal’s repaired shoulder with a methodical attack.

Lee continued his punishment, showing the OVW fans that he meant business with a showcase of strength and technical ability in his first match. Finally, Kal showcased his ability to flip a match on its head in seconds, hitting a pair of Clotheslines and a Bodyslam to slow his opponent to a grinding halt. Despite a valiant effort, Kal was able to hit the Fanny Pack Knee for the win.

Result: Kal Herro DEFEATS Brandon Lee

Segment: Will Austin Challenges Buzz Backlund

After a rough couple of weeks, the Rush Division Champion Will Austin stormed the ring, serenaded by fans chanting “You tapped out!”

He angrily told Buzz to come to the ring so he can finally avenge his pair of losses. Much to the delight of the OVW faithful, Buzz emerged and obliged, under the condition that their match would be for the Rush Division title.

Match 3: Troy Austin and Prime Vs. TW3 and Donovan Cecil (Tusk N Chains)

The current OVW Tag Team Champions reminded everyone exactly why they’re the champs, gaining control of their opponents early with frequent tags in and out. After suffering a dropkick at the hands of Cecil, the Boy Toy was eager to tag in his partner. Prime had similar bad luck, experiencing the technical prowess of TW3 before he was used as a battering ram by his larger partner.

Despite landing a few shots on TW3, Austin and Prime never really got out of the gate. Once tagged back in, Cecil absolutely steamrolled the pair before finishing off Prime with one of the most impactful Uranages the Davis Arena has ever felt.

Result: TW3 and Donovan Cecil (Tusk N Chains) DEFEAT Troy Austin and Prime

Segment: Carson Drake Investigating Foley’s Attack

Drake began by apologizing to the OVW fans for his behavior before saying that he is working with Al Snow to investigate who attacked Mick Foley backstage. He reveals his top three suspects as Crixus, Jack Vaughn, and the leading suspect, Tony Evans.

He offers up an explanation: Tony Evans lost the OVW Heavyweight Championship just 10 minutes before Foley was attacked. He promises to get to the bottom of the case, despite fan chants insinuating it was Drake himself who attacked the Hardcore Legend.

Match 4: Dustin Jackson and Jake Lawless Vs. Super-Z and Mahabali Shera

After a show of sportsmanship at the start of the match, it was Shera who used his strength to gain the upper hand, getting the better of both Lawless and Jackson early on. Super-Z continued the barrage of offense, hitting Jackson with a Super Head Scissors before Jackson scrambled to tag in Lawless.

Lawless met a similar fate, as Shera tagged himself in before hitting a ring-shaking Bodyslam. The duo never let up, as Shera and Super-Z dismantled their opponents, working like a well-oiled machine before the team of Jackson and Lawless reset on the outside. Despite a few short-lived moments of offense, Jackson and Lawless only prolonged the inevitable, as Shera effortlessly tossed the two around the ring before Gorilla-Press Slamming Super-Z onto the retreating duo outside.

Just then, Beaches N Cream emerged with a pair of steel chairs, unloading on Lawless and Jackson, effectively ending the match in a Disqualification. Shera charged Beaches N Cream on the entrance ramp, forcing them to retreat.

Result: Dustin Jackson and Jake Lawless DEFEAT Super-Z and Mahabali Shera via


Match 5: OVW Rush Division Championship: Buzz Backlund vs Will Austin

Looking to avenge his previous two losses, the current Rush Division Champion attacked Backlund from behind during his entrance, launching him into the ring post and knocking him completely unconscious. Austin wrestled Backlund’s lifeless body back into the ring, and despite the referee trying to stall as long as he could, the match began.

Austin covered the lifeless Backlund, but he suddenly kicked out at two. After arguing with the referee about a slow count, Backlund was able to recover, giving Austin a taste of his own medicine by sending him into the ring post. In the blink of an eye, Backlund rolled Austin up for a shocking three count to crown a new champion.

Result: Buzz Backlund DEFEATS Will Austin to become the new OVW Rush Division Champion

Match 6: Shane Mercer Vs. Star Rider

In a match all about speed versus power, Star Rider shot out of the corner as soon as the bell rang with two back-to-back Shotgun Dropkicks, stunning the Iron Demon in the corner. After coming out on top the last time they met, Star Rider looked to bring the attack to Mercer, wasting little time out of the gate.

The flurry of offense seemed to work until Mercer caught Star Rider on the outside of the ring, swinging him into the barricade. This began Mercer’s reign of terror, as he dominated Star Rider for the next few minutes. A tornado DDT from Rider evened the odds as the competitive battle continued. Both men hit each other with the best shots they had including a thunderous Superkick from Star Rider and a cataclysmic Powerbomb from Mercer.

In the end, Star Rider attempted an Avalanche Poisoned Hurricanrana, only for Mercer to land on his feet, allowing him to recover and hit the Moonsault Battery for the win.

Result: Shane Mercer DEFEATS Star Rider

Match 7: OVW Women’s Championship Vs. Career: Gema (w/ Bad Girls Club) Vs. Leila Grey

Within the first 10 seconds of the match, it was apparent that the numbers game would play a huge role in the outcome of this high-stakes matchup as Ellie’s momentary distraction was enough for Gema to take advantage. There’s nothing bigger than putting your career or your title on the line, and the Bad Girls Club made it clear they would do everything in their power to try crowning a new champion.

Grey was able to fend off the early attack, sending Gema to the outside to regroup with her team. After a few minutes of stalling, the champion took the fight to Gema as they made their way around the ring. After recovering from an Avalanche Powerbomb, Gemma took advantage of the ever-present numbers game with a brutal kick to the face. It was all Gemma from there, as constant distractions from the Bad Girls Club allowed her to hit everything from a Superplex to a Reverse DDT on the champion.

OVW fans already knew Grey was a resilient champion, but this match cemented her legacy of toughness as she withstood brutal punishment and distraction from Gemma and the rest of the Bad Girls club for more than 15 minutes.

As Gema bounced off the rope to continue her onslaught, it was none other than Tiffany Nieves who got involved, tripping her own teammate. With cracks in the Bad Girls Club forming right in front of her eyes, the verbal altercation between Ellie and Nieves turned physical as Nieves shoved her fellow club member to the ground.

Through the chaos, Gema hit a lethal-looking slam on Grey, but it was once again Nieves who got involved, breaking up the pin. “Who’s mad at who? Who wants who to win?”, said commentator Bryan Kennison, as the situation only grew more chaotic from there. Grey turned Gema around, hitting her with a Baddie Bomb for the victory, simultaneously retaining her title and sending Gema into early retirement.

Result: Leila Grey DEFEATS Gemma (w/ Bad Girls Club) to retain the OVW Women’s

Championship and retire Gemma

Segment: Tony Gunn Addresses Crixus

A fired-up Tony Gunn invited Crixus to the ring to explain his actions over the last two weeks, claiming he turned his back on everyone he used to be friends with. From the back, Crixus responded via video, but ringside, multiple masked men appeared, surrounding the ring.

Just then, Kal Herro, Super-Z, Luke Curtis, Jack Vaughn, and Mahabali Shera all emerged to make the save, inviting the rest of the OVW roster out with them for backup. Suddenly, it was the masked men who found themselves surrounded.

The roster beat down the masked men before lining them up and removing their masks, revealing the men underneath. Just as Dalton McKenzie and Beef were revealed to be the first two men, Crixus emerged with a bloodied coach Doug Basham, allowing a momentary distraction for the masked men to escape.

Backstage, Crixus and the masked men were nowhere to be found as the rest of the roster tended to Basham.

The Wrap-Up

OVW fans were treated to an incredible mix of high-stakes in-ring action and unforeseen story advancements that kept fans on the edge of their seats for the entirety of Rise 1295. Between two championship matches, one being a career versus title match, and learning the identities of two of the masked men, this week’s episode of Rise may have been one of the most important in OVW’s recent history.

In addition to crowning a new OVW Rush Division Champion in Buzz Backlund, The Bad Girls Club continues to crumble before our very eyes as Tiffany Nieves looks to build momentum toward her championship match. With Independence Rage just a few short weeks away, this episode of Rise only crowded the picture with more talent worthy of a spot