#AnarchyInTheUK: “The Irish Ace” Jordan Devlin (VIDEOS)

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Photo: WWE

#AnarchyInTheUk is a new ongoing feature here at Last Word on Pro Wrestling to help those who are getting their initiation into the British indie scene via WWE’s NXT UK division and want to learn more about the Superstars appearing, as well as the promotions these Superstars also work in outside of the WWE Universe. This entry features “The Irish Ace” Jordan Devlin, the face of Ireland’s biggest promotion, OTT.

One of NXT UK’s biggest heels, the big-headed Jordan Devlin is actually one of the most beloved names in Irish Wrestling.  Outside of his home nation, Devlin is a heel to the UK crowds who have always found entertainment in talking about the size of his head.  While Devlin is happy to play to the jeers and hatred of the crowd, it is as the Number One babyface of Over The Top (OTT) Wrestling where Devlin is truly at his best.

Before he was “The Import Killer”, and before he was even Jordan Devlin, he was Aguila II.  Due to the fact he debuted at age 16 and was a skinny, shorter guy, the NWA Ireland booker decided to put him in a mask and make him a luchador.  NWA Ireland was one of two major schools in Ireland at the time.  It was a sister promotion of NWA Hammerlock (UK) and had Finn Bálor (then known as Fergal Devitt) and Paul Tracey as trainers.  NWA Ireland was the school which focused on in-ring abilities and churned out top talents like Becky Lynch, Bálor, Justin Shape, Alexander Dean and of course Devlin.  Having debuted in 2006, Devlin would wrestle on NWA Ireland, Fight Factory Pro Wrestling shows and the occasional show in the UK as well as two tours in Japan with Pro Wrestling Zero-One until 2014, when OTT changed the Irish Wrestling scene forever.

From the early days, it was clear to see that Devlin was going to be a big part of OTT.  While the promotion was quite character heavy on the Irish side Devlin had the talent to hang with the international names being brought in.  It was at OTT A Matter Of Pride in June 2016 that Jordan Devlin turned heel, something which he has always naturally gravitated towards, and defeated Tyler Bate.  Devlin let it be known that he was sick of toiling around on the undercards and was sick of the international names being brought in to the main event.  If not for his role in the Social Elite, this easily could’ve made Devlin a Stone Cold-esque babyface.  At this point, Devlin took a major step up and went on an undefeated run against imports that would go on until 2018.  Some of the names he beat include Kassius Ohno, Aleister Black, Killian Dain, Shane Strickland, and Matt Riddle.  During this run, Devlin would make his debut for WWE in the first UK tournament where he would get over for his lethal head kick.  Coming off a match with the Social Elite where he was the most hated man in the arena, Devlin faced Impact star Moose.  It was during this match that suddenly everything changed.

During the match with Moose, a match that tore the house down, Moose threw Devlin from the ring and onto the stage. Devlin jumped from the stage into the ring to hit a cross body as the crowd watched on, absolutely SHOCKED by Devlin’s innovation.  It was at this moment that Devlin literally made the jump from heel to face.  By the end of the match, the crowd was firmly in Devlin’s corner and were cheering him on to victory. At WrestleRama, Devlin cemented himself as the Irish Ace when he brought up not being booked on ScrapperMania, OTT’s first ever show in the national stadium, and mentioned the lack of Irish stars in the main event – the title had gone from Pete Dunne to Ryan Smile, and Marty Scurll was challenging for the title that night.  The fans agreed 110% with everything Devlin said and he became the Irish hero, “The Import Killer” – he was the Irish talent with the necessary abilities to be a legitimate main event talent in OTT.

Over the next few months, Devlin built steam as he continued to beat import after import until he faced the “Bro”, Matt Riddle, in a number one contender’s match.  Devlin managed to defeat the Bro and kill another import to secure his spot as the OTT’s first Irish Main Eventer in the National stadium.  In front of 2000 fans, all of whom were cheering him on, Devlin defeated Mark Haskins and became the first Irish No Limits Champion in over a year.  This night crowned Jordan Devlin as the Ace of OTT.  He was the companies number one talent, the best wrestler in the country and a someone that could be held in high regard against stars from anywhere.  For the next nine months, Jordan Devlin continued to knock back any and all challengers while going from strength to strength and becoming a better wrestler with every outing.  He would eventually fall to WALTER in one of the greatest matches in OTT history, in front of the hottest crowd in OTT’s three year existence.

Made in NWA Ireland by Finn Bálor, polished in Fight Factory Pro Wrestling and Zero-One and taken to the next level by OTT, Jordan Devlin has had a long road to the top but has proved to be a successful heel and face who has only been getting better over recent years.  Jordan Devlin has always succeeded no matter the circumstances and NXT UK will be no different.  The Irish Ace will have a whole nation behind him as he takes on the best of the best in the UK.

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