Ohio Valley Wrestling

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Ohio Valley Wrestling
OV Wrestling.png
GenreProfessional wrestling
Created byNightmare Danny Davis
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons23
No. of episodes1,187 (as of May 15, 2022)
Production
Camera setupMulticamera setup
Running time60 minutes
Release
Original network
Picture formatHDTV 1080p
Original releaseJanuary 12, 1998 (1998-01-12) –
present

Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) is an American professional wrestling promotion based in Louisville, Kentucky.[1] The company is currently run by Al Snow and Matt Jones, who took over from founder and former owner Nightmare Danny Davis.

OVW was initially a member promotion of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) from its inception in 1993 until 2000, when it became the primary developmental territory for WWE.[2] It remained in this role from 2000 until February 7, 2008, when the promotion became unaffiliated.[3] In November 2011, OVW became the developmental territory for Impact Wrestling (then known as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling or TNA).[4] This relationship initially ended on November 2, 2013, but on March 19, 2019, the two promotions re-established their developmental agreement.[5]

OVW's television programming originates from the Davis Arena in the Buechel neighborhood of Louisville.[6] Their weekly series, known informally as OVW TV, currently airs locally on WBNA-21 and is streaming online via FITE TV. As of 2020, through various syndication and distribution deals, OVW's weekly series is seen in over 100 million households in the U.S, and over 700 million worldwide.[7][8][9]

History[edit]

Founding and NWA membership (1993–2001)[edit]

OVW was founded by Nightmare Danny Davis in 1993 as a National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) member promotion under the name NWA Ohio Valley.[10] The company primarily ran shows in the Kentucky and Indiana territories that were formerly run by the United States Wrestling Association, with weekly shows run out of the original Davis Arena in Jeffersonville, Indiana, with larger shows run out of the Louisville Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky.

In 1997, OVW ended its relationship with the NWA and renamed itself Ohio Valley Wrestling. Later that year, Trailer Park Trash became the first OVW Heavyweight Champion by defeating Vic the Bruiser.[11]

On January 11, 1998, OVW taped the first episode of its weekly television series, emanating from the original Davis Arena in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Louisville Gardens ring announcer Dean Hill served as play by play commentator alongside Faye Davis as the Ring Announcer. The show featured an introduction to the company by owner Danny Davis, with a main event of Nick Dinsmore and Rob Conway vs Juan Hurtado and The Intern.[12]

WWF/WWE developmental territory (1999–2008)[edit]

In 1999, WWF creative team member Jim Cornette bought a stake in OVW.[citation needed] Cornette, taking on the role of booker and show writer while appearing in an on-camera commentator role, made his first televised appearance on July 10, 1999, and spoke of the changes that were to take place.[citation needed] The first group of developmental talent included future stars such as John Cena, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar and Batista.[13]

OVW held its final show at the original Davis Arena on August 21, 2002, headlined by a match between Damaja and Rene Dupree.[14] On September 4, 2002, the company would debut its show at the current Davis Arena at 4400 Shepherdsville Rd in Louisville, Ky.[citation needed] On July 10, 2005 Jim Cornette parted ways with WWE and was relieved of his duties overseeing OVW. This resulted from an incident where Cornette reportedly slapped an OVW beginners class student Anthony Carelli for having an inappropriate reaction to being confronted by a horror-themed wrestler called The Boogeyman during a match at an OVW live show.[15] The two have not been on positive terms since, even having a confrontation during an event both were performing at as recently as October 2017.[16] Cornette was replaced by WWE Trainer Al Snow on the announce team, and Snow was replaced as creative director/producer by Paul Heyman. This arrangement would be short-lived, however, as WWE would eventually put Heyman in charge of the revival of ECW as a WWE brand. Eventually the booking duties would go to Al Snow, who would have the longest tenure outside of Cornette. Jim Cornette sold his stake in OVW to Davis in 2007.[17]

In 2007, WWE launched Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in Tampa, Florida to serve as a new developmental territory. OVW and FCW simultaneously trained WWE prospects for a brief period, but on February 7, 2008, WWE announced that it had ended its relationship with OVW, moving all contracted talent to FCW.[3] WWE-contracted talent also made occasional appearances on OVW shows, including a match between John Cena and Lance Cade as the main event for the final Kentucky Kingdom show.[18]

Post-WWE years (2008–2018)[edit]

In 2009, OVW alumnus John "Bradshaw" Layfield would leave WWE to sponsor OVW.[19] On September 8, 2010, in what was dubbed the company's "season premiere", Danny Davis, who himself was making his return for the first time in over a year, announced that Jim Cornette was returning to his role as match maker of the company.[20] Cornette, who was also executive producer of Ring of Honor's HDNet show, Ring of Honor Wrestling, announced that ROH talent were going to work in OVW, along with other new and returning OVW members of the roster.[citation needed]

2010s logo

On November 7, 2011, it was announced that OVW and Impact Wrestling (then known as TNA Wrestling), had reached an agreement for the former to become an official training and developmental territory.[21] This agreement would end on November 2, 2013, due to a financial dispute.[22]

Gladiator Sports Era (2018–2021)[edit]

On April 6, 2018, it was announced that professional wrestler Al Snow was purchasing the promotion from Danny Davis, who was planning to retire but didn't want to shut the company down.[23] On September 12, 2018, it was announced that Ohio Valley Wrestling would be merging with Top Notch Boxing, a major boxing promotion in Louisville, to form the Gladiator Sports Network.[24] OVW's first event under the Gladiator Sports banner was the 1000th episode special of its television series on October 10, 2018, from Louisville's Fourth Street Live!. This was OVW's first ever live televised event and it was streamed on FITE TV.[25] The event featured a tournament to crown the vacant OVW championship featuring both current and past stars as well as a tribute to the companies founders.

On October 29, 2018, the brand announced an international expansion of its wrestling school and television product to the European Market labeled OVW-EU.[26] Most of the schools now affiliated with the OVW Brand outside the United States were formally with the "Al Snow Wrestling Academy" brand which was merged with OVW upon the purchase by Gladiator Sports. This expands Ohio Valley Wrestling to a total of 17 wrestling schools worldwide. An on-demand service, which will air past and current editions of the original American brand plus the possibility of a future OVW UK Brand, was also announced. The service would officially launch on the third week of March 2019 at a cost of $4.99 a month.[27]

In February 2019, OVW would announce a partnership with Impact Wrestling to produce an exclusive event for Impact's Global Wrestling Network (GWN). The event, titled Clash in the Bluegrass, would be an Impact One Night Only special held on March 2, 2019, in Davis Arena. The full-length event would stream on GWN on March 9, 2019. Clash in the Bluegrass would mark the first collaboration between OVW and Impact since 2013, and would be the first time the new Davis Arena has ever sold out an event via pre-sale tickets. On March 19, 2019, Impact announced that the company had entered a new partnership with OVW as its developmental territory.[28]

In April 2019, local media in Louisville reported that OVW was developing a formal vocational educational program in professional wrestling through the Al Snow Wrestling Academy, and had applied for accreditation with the Kentucky Department of Education. On September 15, the school was approved by the state of Kentucky, making it the first officially accredited professional wrestling trade school.[29][30]

In October 2020, OVW announced a partnership with Qatar Pro Wrestling.[31] That same month, Game+, a Canadian channel owned by Impact's parent company, Anthem Sports & Entertainment, began syndicating OVW's television program in Canada and the United States.[9]

2021–present[edit]

On January 5, 2021, OVW announced that Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio and Craig Greenberg of 21c Museum Hotels were lead investors in a group that purchased a majority interest in the company. Snow continues to run the promotion's day-to-day operations.[32] Later that year, Louisville TV station WDRB reported that OVW was preparing to move into a building in the city's St. Joseph neighborhood that had served as a University of Louisville employee fitness center before being closed in 2019. If zoning approval is obtained, both OVW and the Al Snow Wrestling Academy will operate out of that facility.[33]

Current champions[edit]

As of May 21, 2022.

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location Notes
OVW Heavyweight Championship Ryan Howe 3 October 21, 2021 212+ Louisville, Kentucky Won a 20-man royal rumble to win the vacant title.
OVW National Heavyweight Championship Mahabali Shera 1 March 5, 2022 77+ Louisville, Kentucky defeated Jessie Godderz to win the championship
OVW Kentucky Heavyweight Championship Jake Lawless 1 April 21, 2022 30+ Louisville, Kentucky Defeated Omar Amir to win the championship
OVW Rush Division Championship Hy-Zaya 2 March 24, 2022 58+ Louisville, Kentucky Defeated Gustavo to win the title.
OVW Tag Team Championship Jessie Godderz and Tony Gunn 2 May 19, 2022 2+ Louisville, Kentucky Won a four corner tag team match to win the championships
OVW Women's Championship Leila Grey 1 December 16, 2021 156+ Louisville, Kentucky Defeated Sierra at OVW TV #1166 - Christmas Chaos 2021.
OVW Anarchy Championship Amon 2 August 18, 2020 641+ Jeffersonville, Indiana Defeated Mrs. Marvelous after she laid down in the ring for him due to putting her in a trance in storyline.
OVW World Radio Championship Shannon The Dude 2 May 6, 2021 380+ Louisville, Kentucky Defeated Arie Alexander at OVW TV.

Defunct championships[edit]

Championship Years active First champion(s) Final champion(s) Notes
OVW Light Heavyweight Championship 1999–2001 Jason Lee Chris Michaels
OVW Hardcore Championship 2000–2001 Trailer Park Trash Randy Orton
OVW Television Championship 2005–2019 Brent Albright AJZ On October 30, Tony Gunn threw the Television Championship into the Ohio River. OVW Commissioner Dean Hill announced on OVW TV that because of this, the Television Championship was deactivated.[34]

OVW World Radio Championship[edit]

OVW World Radio Championship
Details
PromotionOhio Valley Wrestling (OVW)
Date establishedDecember 10, 2019
Current champion(s)Shannon The Dude
Date wonMay 6, 2021

Reigns[edit]

Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
+ Current reign is changing daily
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days
1 Shannon The Dude December 10, 2019 OVW TV - Christmas Chaos 2019 Louisville, Kentucky 1 501 Shannon The Dude defeated Steven Rummage in a Steel cage match [35]
2 Arie Alexander April 24, 2021 OVW Saturday Night Special - Retribution 2021 Louisville, Kentucky 1 12 [36]
3 Shannon The Dude May 6, 2021 OVW TV Louisville, Kentucky 2 380+ [37]

Roster[edit]

Men's Division talent[edit]

Ring name Real name Notes
Big Zo Cowann Owens [38]
Brandon Espinosa Unknown [39]
Cash Flo Michael Walden [40]
D'Mone Solavino Unknown [41]
Dimes Chase Laughead [42]
Drew Hernandez Unknown [43]
Dustin Jackson Unknown [44]
Hy-Zaya Unknown [45]
Jessie Godderz Jessie Godderz OVW Tag Team Champion[46]
Josh Ashcraft Joshua Ashcraft Manager of The Legacy of Brutality[47]
Kal Herro Unknown [48]
Koda Jacobs Unknown [49]
Luscious Lawrence Lawrence Key Jr. [50]
Mahabali Shera Amanpreet Randhawa OVW National Heavyweight Champion[51]
Omar Amir Omar Amir [52]
Reverend Ronnie Unknown [53]
Ryan Howe Ryan Howe OVW Heavyweight Champion[54]
Star Rider Unknown OVW Rush Division Champion[55]
Steve Michaels Unknown [56]
Tom Coffey Unknown [57]
Tony Bizo Unknown OVW Kentucky Heavyweight Champion[58]
Tony Gunn Anthony Gunn OVW Tag Team Champion[59]

Women's Division talent[edit]

Ring name Real name Notes
Arie Alexander Kiley Selvey [60]
Freya The Slaya Unknown [61]
Hollyhood Haley J Haley James [62]
Sierra Unknown [63]
Judi Hendrix Unknown
Leila Gray Unknown OVW Womens Champion
Killjoy Kolbe Max Unknown
Dream Girl Ellie Unknown
Haley Shadows Unknown
Jada Stone Unknown
Olivia Devine Unknown

Announcers/Commentary[edit]

Name Real name Role
AJ McKay Unknown Announcer[64]
Bryan Kennison Unknown Announcer[64]
Eric Cornish Eric Cornish Announcer[64]
Shannon The Dude Shannon Grigsby Announcer
World Heavyweight Radio Champion[64]
Stephanie Unknown Announcer[64]
Steven Johnson Unknown Announcer[64]

Medical Staff/Officials/Referees[edit]

Name Title
Charlene Mackenzie Referee[64]
Daniel Spencer Referee[64]
Dave Harmon Referee[64]
Jake Cloyd Referee[64]
Shane Chess Referee[64]

Management[edit]

Name Title
Al Snow Management
Owner[64]
Amazing Maria Staff[64]
Andrew Jefferson Owner
Chad Miller Owner
Craig Greenberg Owner
Dean Hill Management
Commissioner[64]
Jeffery Tuvlin Owner
Jesse Morris Staff[64]
Joe Reeves Owner
Larry Benz Owner
Matt Jones Owner
Nightmare Danny Davis Founder
Sarge Chief Marketing Officer[65]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About OVW | Ohio Valley Wrestling". Ovwrestling.com. Archived from the original on 2013-12-06. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  2. ^ Cactus Back Wrestling (2017-05-31), OVW TV #1 (January 17,1998), retrieved 2018-04-18
  3. ^ a b "WWE to cease affiliation with Ohio Valley Wrestling". World Wrestling Entertainment. February 7, 2008. Archived from the original on February 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-07.
  4. ^ "TNA Impact Wrestling and OVW Sign Developmental Deal | Ohio Valley Wrestling". Ovwrestling.com. 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  5. ^ IMPACT (2019-03-19). "BREAKING: We are thrilled to announce that we have re-entered into an agreement with @ovwrestling to serve as an official development and training territory for IMPACT Wrestling.pic.twitter.com/Wm8g20VwPT". @IMPACTWRESTLING. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  6. ^ Marshall, Anne (December 7, 2011). "Learning the ropes". Louisville Eccentric Observer. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  7. ^ OV Wrestling
  8. ^ Watch OVW
  9. ^ a b "OVW Adds Game+ As 7th Network To Growing Platform; Owner Al Snow Comments". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  10. ^ "Danny Davis Sells Ohio Valley Wrestling | 411MANIA". 411mania.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  11. ^ Van Drisse, Trent (2011-06-02). "OVW TV report 6-1 tapings in Louisville". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Archived from the original on 2011-04-05. Retrieved 2011-06-03.
  12. ^ "OVW TV Taping (January '98 #1) at Davis Arena (Original) wrestling results - Internet Wrestling Database".
  13. ^ "The kids from OVW that changed WWE".
  14. ^ "OVW Jeffersonville Show (Aug '02) at Davis Arena (Original) wrestling results - Internet Wrestling Database".
  15. ^ "Jim Cornette Fired From World Wrestling Entertainment - WrestlingInc.com". www.wrestlinginc.com. Archived from the original on 2018-10-04.
  16. ^ "More Videos and Details from Jim Cornette - Santino Marella Incident at Wrestling Convention". 2017-10-08.
  17. ^ "TNA News: Jim Cornette says TNA needs a developmental program, criticizes WWE's developmental program". PWTorch.com. 2009-04-10. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  18. ^ "OVW Summer Sizzler Series '08 (#4) at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom wrestling results - Internet Wrestling Database".
  19. ^ MORE DETAILS ON JBL-OVW STORY (UPDATED) March 8, 2009
  20. ^ Caldwell, James (2010-09-09). "ROH/OVW News: Jim Cornette announced as new OVW matchmaker; "working relationship" announced between ROH & OVW". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  21. ^ Caldwell, James (2011-11-07). "TNA News: TNA announces official training program with WWE's former developmental territory". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  22. ^ "FRI. UPDATE: More TNA cost saving moves, Carters send e-mail to talent denying sale, Video game promotion, real story behind birth of one of greatest world title reigns, Legednary mafch, Classics on Demand, Weekend preview". F4wonline.com. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  23. ^ "Former WWE superstar Al Snow purchases Ohio Valley Wrestling". Louisville, KY: WDRB. April 6, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  24. ^ https://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/news/2018/09/12/ohio-valley-wrestling-merges-with-louisville.html[bare URL]
  25. ^ https://www.pw-core.com/news/OVW_s_1000th_Episode_To_Air_Live_On_FITE_Next_Week_Wrestlezone/147730
  26. ^ "OVW UK•EU". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  27. ^ "Exclusive: Al Snow on the Gladiator Sports Network & Ohio Valley Wrestling's future". 2019-04-06.
  28. ^ CURRIER, JOSEPH (March 19, 2019). "IMPACT WRESTLING & OVW RE-ENTER DEVELOPMENTAL AGREEMENT". F4W. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  29. ^ Bard, Jessica (April 3, 2019). "Ohio Valley Wrestling to open first professional wrestling trade school". Louisville, KY: WDRB. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  30. ^ "The Al Snow Wrestling Academy is Now a State Accredited Trade School". September 15, 2019. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  31. ^ OVW ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH QATAR PRO WRESTLING October 12, 2020
  32. ^ Melchor, Michael (2021-01-05). "Matt Jones and Craig Greenberg Purchase a Majority Interest in Ohio Valley Wrestling". Ohio Valley Wrestling. Retrieved 2021-01-09.
  33. ^ Draut, Sam (August 31, 2021). "Former UofL fitness center proposed as pro wrestling academy". WDRB. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  34. ^ Melchor, Michael (November 20, 2019). "Ohio Valley Wrestling Announces RUSH Championship". Ohio Valley Wrestling. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  35. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (December 10, 2019). "OVW TV #1061 - Christmas Chaos 2019 - TV-Show @ Davis Arena in Louisville, Kentucky, USA". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  36. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (April 24, 2021). "OVW Saturday Night Special - Retribution 2021 - Event @ Davis Arena in Louisville, Kentucky, USA". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  37. ^ "Ohio Valley Wrestling Results (5/6): New OVW Heavyweight Champion Crowned".
  38. ^ "Big Zo - OV Wrestling".
  39. ^ "Brandon Espinosa - OV Wrestling".
  40. ^ "Ca$h Flo - OV Wrestling".
  41. ^ "D'Mone Solavino - OV Wrestling".
  42. ^ "Dimes - OV Wrestling".
  43. ^ "Drew Hernandez - OV Wrestling".
  44. ^ "Dustin Jackson - OV Wrestling".
  45. ^ "Hy Zaya - OV Wrestling".
  46. ^ "Mr. Pectacular - OV Wrestling".
  47. ^ "Josh Ashcraft - OV Wrestling".
  48. ^ "Kal Herro - OV Wrestling".
  49. ^ "Koda Jacobs - OV Wrestling".
  50. ^ "Luscious Lawrence - OV Wrestling".
  51. ^ "Mahabali Shera - OV Wrestling".
  52. ^ "Omar Amir - OV Wrestling".
  53. ^ "Reverend Ronnie - OV Wrestling".
  54. ^ "Ryan Howe - OV Wrestling".
  55. ^ "Star Rider - OV Wrestling".
  56. ^ "Steve Michaels - OV Wrestling".
  57. ^ "Tom Coffey - OV Wrestling".
  58. ^ "Tony Bizo - OV Wrestling".
  59. ^ "Tony Gunn - OV Wrestling".
  60. ^ "Aria Alexander - OV Wrestling".
  61. ^ "Freya The Slaya - OV Wrestling".
  62. ^ "Hollyhood Haley J - OV Wrestling".
  63. ^ "Sierra - OV Wrestling".
  64. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Team - OV Wrestling".
  65. ^ "Sarge - OVW Profile".

External links[edit]