Hello everyone! Instead of the regularly scheduled Top 20, OVWmania presents the Top 10 stories that happened in OVW in 2012. Especially with it being New Year's Eve, let's take a trip down memory lane and "countdown" the most noteworthy events as we head into 2013 and the next big event for OVW, the January 5th Saturday Night Special.
#10) The Stories of Crimson & Jason Wayne:
I originally had these two superstars separated, but their paths in 2012 led them to an allied force known as the Coalition. Crimson surprised the fans with his debut in mid-August, immediately telling everyone that he would become the next OVW Heavyweight Champion, which he proved by defeating OVW favorite Johnny Spade before feuding with Rob Terry. Johnny Spade was also the victim of Jason Wayne who turned his back on him and the fans in mid-May. Wayne went on to form the Platoon of Wayne with the "Kamikaze of Combat Communications" Joe Coleman and the "Wrecking Ball" Jack Black, demanding respect from the fans and his opponents for all his service to this country. Crimson formed an army of his own with the Wild Cards (Shiloh Jonze & Raul LaMotta) and Doug Williams. Crimson & Wayne decided it was in both of their interests to form a Coalition and try to take over OVW, which has led them into a war after damaging the knee of Rob Terry with "Smooth" Johnny Spade, James "Moose" Thomas, and the Mascara Mafia at the January SNS.
#9) 10-Year Anniversary of the Davis Arena:
The Saturday Night Special in September marked the 10th year the new Davis Arena in Louisville had been around. It was a celebratory night for everyone in attendance as they were treated to a great night of action. A 30-man Nightmare Rumble lasted for a little over an hour with Crimson eliminating Rob Terry in the end after Big Rob had lasted since being entrant #1. The night ended with a very exciting 30-minute IronMan match between then-OVW Heavyweight Champion Johnny Spade and Jamin Olivencia, in which Spade prevailed 5 falls to 4.
#8) Moose Snaps and Becomes a Fan Favorite:
Since his arrival in OVW, James "Moose" Thomas was never exactly liked by the fans. His association with groups like Theta Lambda Psi and Bolin Services 2.0 and feuds with Beefy Wellington and Lowrider didn't help matters either. A new side of Moose emerged in 2012 when the former Triple Crown Champion couldn't stand the constant mistreatment of Mickey in BS 2.0. It was at the April SNS when BS 2.0 triple teamed Michael Hayes and Mickey jumped in to help, that Moose snapped and took out his former teammates in BS 2.0. Not only did the fans applaud this new side of Moose saving Mickey from being strapped with a leather belt, but Moose went on to form a friendship and tag team with Michael Hayes that the fans got solidly behind. The "Biggest Free Agent in the Business" is currently in a war against the Coalition that will go down at the January Saturday Night Special to kick off the new year.
#7) Joe Wheeler Retires:
Sometimes referees do not get enough credit for what their duty requires them to be able to do inside the ring. Wheeler deserves a lot of credit and then some. The veteran official recently decided to hang up the stripes. He was a big part of OVW for many years and will be missed. In his 25+ years in the business, he has seen many great superstars up close and will have many memories from his time with them as well as the great OVW fans who he didn't mind chatting with. Wheeler feels the time is right and is leaving the officiating duties in the capable hands of Chris Sharpe, Josh Ashcraft, & Jordan Barker. Even though he won't be inside the squared circle any longer, there's always a chance we will see him at the Davis Arena visiting his good friends OVW Owner Danny Davis and Director of Operations Trailer Park Trash.
#6) The OVW Heavyweight Championship:
The most prestigious title in the company, it's what all of the superstars shoot for and hope to capture. In 2012, it was held by only 4 different men: Rudy Switchblade, Johnny Spade, Rob Terry, & Crimson. The biggest news regarding the OVW Heavyweight Title came in March after the Saturday Night Special in which Spade beat then-champ Rudy Switchblade. Director of Operations Trailer Park Trash, the first ever OVW Heavyweight Champion, presented Spade with a brand new OVW Heavyweight Title that replaced the one that had been in existence for nearly 15 years, dating back to 1997.
#5) The Rivalry of Showmanship:
Two of the most explosive entertainers in the world clashed at the October edition of the Saturday Night Special. It was Cliff Compton vs. Chris Silvio, and they were enclosed in a 20-foot high steel cage. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Just 2 massive egos ready to beat the snot out of each other for bragging rights over who the main attraction in OVW really was between them. Both men tried getting in each other's heads leading up to the cage match, and Compton even viciously attacked Silvio leaving him with a concussion. It wasn't enough to stop Silvio, who was able to get the pin on Compton after Compton attempted a breathtaking dive from over 20 feet in the air, but crashed and burned. Both men left it all in the ring that night, and even still there is question as to who really won that night. Silvio has a "W" in the record book, but Compton might have proven that he is the ultimate showman after his death-defying leap.
#4) Randy Royal Suffers a Heart Attack:
The Double R Superstar, an OVW original, returned to his old stomping grounds in 2012. He gained support from the fans early in the year following his decision to side with OVW against Josette Bynum as well as his feud teaming with Epiphany against Taeler Hendrix & Dylan Bostic. Randy found himself moving up the ranks and facing high quality opponents in Doug Williams, Alex Silva, & Crimson to name a few. Royal had a big scare in late October, though, when he suffered a heart attack and actually died on the table a couple times, but refused to tap out. He fought back and is not only on the road to recovery, but on the road back to the ring. His first match back happens at the January 5th SNS, and although his opponent is unknown, he will find out if he is truly back and able to compete at the same level he was at. He has been training hard with good friend Tony Gunn, and all his people will be rooting him on when he makes his triumphant return.
#3) Kenny Bolin Steps Away:
Love him or hate him, another mainstay over OVW's history is the Starmaker himself, Kenny Bolin. Another good friend of OVW Owner Danny Davis and OVW Head Commentator Dean Hill, Bolin had to step away from OVW in late September to take care of a few personal issues. He hoped to return sooner than later and didn't want to say goodbye, because he wanted everyone to be ready to welcome him back when and if he made it. Bolin has been with OVW for most of the last 15 years as both a manager of Bolin $ervices and a commentator. He had quite the impressive resume as a manager, having had clients such as John Cena, Rico, Mike Mondo, Mark Henry, & the Miz, just to name a few. Bolin had a rough couple weeks to start off December as he was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat among other things. Over 250 pounds of fluid was drained from his system and his heart was shocked 3 times to get back in normal rhythm. He has lost several pounds of body weight and says he is feeling better than he has at any point over the last 7 years. Will the Starmaker return in 2013?
#2) Michael Hayes Sidelined:
Michael Hayes is a true American hero who has always had a passion for wrestling. Unfortunately, he had to step away from the ring in mid-October. 6 years ago, he was hit by an explosion that took away one of his legs, but it also gave him a second chance. All he wanted to do was become a professional wrestler. It's an outlet for him to take out his aggression, but it's taken quite a toll on his body. Some of his scars had busted open and were getting worse every time he stepped in the ring, so he had to step away to heal up. He thanked everyone and said that even if he's not in the ring, his spirit and energy will still be in the Davis Arena. He's been through many battles and told Moose that they started on opposite sides of the ring, but then fought side-by-side and went after the OVW Southern Tag Team Titles together and wanted to thank him for being his tag partner and friend. Will we see Michael Hayes back in the ring in 2013? Time will tell, but I'd be willing to guarantee Hayes is chomping at the bit to come back as long as his wounds heal up and he gets the okay to return.
#1) The Rise & Fall of "JO-VW":
There was not a bigger event in OVW in 2012 then the takeover by Josette Bynum and her rebranding it "JO-VW". First, she surprised everyone by taking control of "The Family". With her dominant group in place, she then did everything possible to stack the deck in her favor. She talked many superstars into joining her side against the OVW faithful, but totally won control of the company in April after then-Family member Rob Terry defeated Trailer Park Trash. Her group at one time held every major title in the company, and she even talked referee Chris Sharpe into joining her side and helping her superstars win. She refused to fire Trailer Park Trash, making him do undesirable jobs around Davis Arena. Things finally started to change when OVW Board of Directors member and reviewer Ken Wayne came in and cleaned house. A Best of 7 SNS was set up in July where the winning side would gain full control of the company. Danny Davis & Josette Bynum were both allowed to pick and choose their teams. Danny Davis shocked Josette by picking "Family" member Mohamad Ali Vaez and also by bringing in TNA's monster Abyss to help out. Ali refused to lay down and Abyss did enough damage to help Danny Davis win 4 matches to 3 and regain control of his company. Trailer Park Trash was put back in charge as Director of Operations and in turn made Josette his assistant which has led to the current feud between him and Josette, where she hired Flash to "take out the Trash". Many fans were happy that OVW returned to normal following the reign of Josette, but there's no denying that the "JO-VW" era made for one of the most exciting events in 2012.
So there you have it. The Top 10 stories of 2012 in OVW. Can we expect even bigger and better stories in 2013? Do you agree or disagree with the Top 10 OVWmania picks? If so, feel free to comment below. Everyone have a happy and healthy new year. We'll see YOU in 2013, and of course we'll see YOU at the shows!