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2/11 OVW TV review: Background on Matt Cappotelli's speech, Punk and Albright continue feud

Feb 14, 2006 - 9:31:00 PM
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Ohio Valley Wrestling TV review
February 11, 2006
Taped February 8, 2006 at the New Davis Arena in Louisville, Kentucky
Report by Eric Hall, OVW correspondent


On Wednesday, February 8, 2006, OVW Heavyweight Champion Matt Cappotelli - the 2003 WWE Tough Enough co-champion - confirmed he had a cancerous brain tumor and would soon be undergoing treatment to deal with this serious medical condition. Citing his inability to carry the championship with honor, Cappotelli returned the promotion's title belt to OVW owner Danny Davis in front of his co-workers and a stunned crowd at the Davis Arena. With babyfaces and heels almost all in tears surrounding the ring, Cappotelli asked the crowd if he could pray for them. You read that right. Not "hey, pray for me." Cappotelli, hoping to help someone in pain, wanted to pray for members of the audience in pain, whether other people knew of their pain or not. In an era filled with the exploitation of Eddie Guerrero's death, this was the classiest thing I've seen on a wrestling show in a long long time.

The next day, WWE.com, in a rare acknowledgement of the fact OVW even exists, posted the video of Cappotelli's entire speech, complete with the storyline breaking moment at the end of the speech when former Thrillseeker partner (and current WWE Spirit Squad member) Johnny Jeter, who turned heel on Cappotelli last year in new OVW booker Paul Heyman's first major angle, entered the ring and tearfully embraced Cappotelli. The huge moment was not lost on the crowd. For those of us there live, it was one of the most powerful moments to see happen live in a wrestling show. On WWE.com, and on television, it almost like watching a dream sequence.

On Saturday, February 11, 2006, the OVW TV show aired on the WB Network in Louisville, Kentucky. It's no dream. The speech, which lasted 15 minutes, can't really be described. You have to see it.

Matt Cappotelli is 26 years old. He was the kid Bob Holly brutalized on Tough Enough. He was pegged early on as a standout cruiserweight then a tag team wrestler. His tag team with Johnny Jeter, The Thrillseekers, was very popular in OVW. Booker Jim Cornette used them as his top babyface tag team. Cornette made them the OVW Southern Tag Team Champions. When Paul Heyman became booker, he wanted Cappotelli as his top star. Heyman started the breakup of The Thrillseekers, but Cappotelli broke his leg in an OVW house show. Heyman didn't flinch. The former ECW cult leader turned Jeter heel on an injured Cappotelli, and heated up Jeter's heel run as OVW Champion by having him get into altercations with the injured Cappotelli. Almost four months later, Cappotelli returned and everyone was sure he'd win the title. However, Heyman wanted Cappotelli to chase the title so Jeter won with the help of special guest star Mr. Kennedy. They built to a two-out-of-three falls rematch for television. In that match, Matt Cappotelli won the title.

Reports were already circulating that WWE creative was combining Cappotelli with Deep South Wrestling's Mike "The Miz" Mizanin - the Tough Enough 2004 runner up - as a babyface tag team. In December, Cappotelli started a program with The World's Strongest Man Mark Henry, who was sent to OVW to prepare for his program on Smackdown with Batista. To build to Cappotelli bringing in The Miz, an angle was shot where Cappotelli agreed to team with Chris Cage against Mark Henry and Jeter. However, Cage turned heel on Cappotelli, who suffered a beat down at the hands of the heels. In turning heel, Cage legit kayoed Cappotelli. This was the same week Cappotelli was to go to WWE and film videos with Miz. So Cappotelli was sent to the hospital because he had been knocked out before, and they wanted to make sure he didn't have another serious concussion. The news was much worse.

OVW never used the age-old excuse of the 30-day rule to strip Cappotelli of his title. No heel commissioner or GM tried to get heat by taking the title away from the young man who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. No heel cut a promo about Cappotelli. He was mentioned a few times in that OVW acknowledged Cappotelli was undergoing tests, and we hope to hear from Cappotelli, live in the arena, as soon as possible. The week before the speech, Elijah Burke delivered a beautiful promo updating the audience that Cappotelli had a biopsy and he was awaiting results. It was then that Al Snow delivered his own promo about the fact OVW would not strip Cappotelli of the title and he'll be champion until he decides to defend it or until they get news that he has to deal with his medical problems.

Last Wednesday night, the day after being told he had brain cancer, Matt Cappotelli was introduced by OVW owner Danny Davis and delivered his historic speech.

For those who want to write to Matt himself, he is accepting emails at Keepthefaithmatt@yahoo.com.

Cappotelli's appearance on the TV show lasted about 15 minutes. Here's what happened before Cappotelli came out.

Chris Cage and The Miz won the OVW Southern Tag Team Titles from Seth Skyfire and Chet The Jet. It actually started out as Miz vs. Cage and it was a really good match. However, the hatred between the teams spilled over and an all out brawl with everyone involved took place. The referees separated the teams and Senior OVW Official Robert Briscko ordered this to be settled once and for all with a tag team title match. Behind the referee and Miz's back, Cage connected with a vicious belt shot. Miz scored the pin and new tag team champions were crowned.

The Brent Albright vs. C.M. Punk feud continued with a hardcore angle. Albright actually opened the show with a great promo about his grandpa in Oklahoma whipping him with a heavy leather strap. Albright showed the strap and explained that he turned on Punk last week because he was tired of being Punk'd and hearing about it from his grandpa. Albright offered a truce and said, "Otherwise, if we ever run into each other again, you'll get the strap!"

Punk was interviewed by WWE Monday Night Raw Diva (and Punk's girlfriend) Maria. He said he was going to get the Spirit Squad all by himself, because they're not five football players or even five Samoans. They're five cheerleaders. He laughed at Albright and teased him that for months, Albright's was Punk'd because C.M. kept offering a handshake before Punking Albright out. So last week, when Punk was unconscious, why didn't Albright force a handshake? Punk laughed, "Even when you Punk me, You Get Punk'd!"

Then came one of the best two part interviews ever. Osama Rodrigues Alejandro welcomed us to the Spanish segment and introduced Senor Robbie Dawber. When Dawber hit his catchphrase, "Hi, I'm Robbie Dawber," Osama slapped him and told him it's time to make a statement. Dawber declared Osama to be "The Dictator" and said he's going out to the ring to call out The Boogeyman. Well, Osama thought this was crazy. Osama said, "You're on your own!" and Dawber opened the door to go to the ring but was attacked by Boogeyman! Dawber was picked up by his neck, as The Dictator Osama ran out of the dressing room. Boogeyman, holding Dawber up by the neck, spelled out his name, and hit the tree slam on the dressing room floor! Boogeyman laughed, and we cut to commercial.

When we come back from commercial, we find Osama in the hallway closet, hiding. He says, "That was a close one," and calls Boogeyman's attack "an assassination attempt." This is the funniest promo on a wrestling show you'll ever see. Then, as Osama is finishing his promo, you hear screams down the hallway. Turns out someone stole Brent Albright's grandpa's leather strap. Albright is going crazy looking for it, but then says, "I know who stole it, and so you do watching on TV right now!"

So later in the show, the five members of The Spirit Squad (Ken Doane, Johnny Jeter, Nick Nemeth, Mikey Mondo, and Nick Mitchell) won a really good ten man tag team match against The Riggs Brothers, Danny Inferno, Mikey Batts, and Russell Simpson. When the match was over, Albright's suspicions were proven true as Punk attacked the Squad with the leather strap. As Punk destroyed the Spirit Squad, Albright attacked him from behind, wrapped the leather strap around Punk's neck, whipped him around the ring, choked him out, and then whipped him severely. Albright got on the mic and said, "I could reach over and shake your hand, but once again You Got Punk'd!" This was a great angle.

Elijah Burke won his match against James "The Tank" Dick, who had Chad Dick in his corner. This was a good match too.

Not enough can ever be said about the courage of Matt Cappotelli. OVW returns to The Davis Arena, 4400 Sheperdsville Road, Louisville Kentucky this Wednesday night with another TV taping. We'll see what happens to the OVW Title. Information on OVW, and directions to the TV taping, are available at www.ovwrestling.com.


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