By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Fight Life 8
Streamed on FITE.TV
February 8, 2023 in East Greenwich, R.I. at LineSider Brewing Company
This show was recently released last week on Fite+. I was intrigued when I saw the main event was Mike Bailey vs. Jordan Oliver, plus Lio Rush is on the show, so I thought I’d check it out.
The venue was a brewery with kegs lining the back wall. Veda Scott and Reggie Kensington provided commentary. This is a small room and attendance is maybe 75-125. We have a high ceiling so no worries for the high-flyers. I noticed a few matches in that this ring is only maybe 18 inches off the ground instead of perhaps a typical height closer to three feet.
1. Dustin Waller defeated Ricky Smokes at 11:16. I have compared Waller to a young Trent Baretta and he’s impressing me. I don’t think I’ve seen Smokes before; he has Sammy Gueverra’s haircut, he wore generic white trunks and he’s the heel. These guys are both young and probably in their early 20s. Waller hit a 619 and an X-Factor faceplant for a nearfall at 3:00. Smokes hit a sit-out powerbomb. Smokes hit a backbreaker over his knee at 6:00.
Waller fought back with a top-rope flying forearm, and they were both down. Waller hit a rolling Death Valley Driver and a running Shooting Star Press for a believable nearfall. Smokes got a rollup with his feet on the ropes for leverage for the tainted pin at 9:28. Another ref came out and told the in-ring ref what happened, and the match was re-started. Waller hit a handspring-back-stunner for a believable nearfall. Waller hit a snap suplex for a nearfall. Waller hit a Poison Rana, then a top-rope Mamba Splash frogsplash for the pin. Really good opener.
2. “The Haven” Jay Onyx and Shawn Knyte defeated Sean Leiter and Steven Lust at 5:26. I don’t know these four. Lust looks like WWE’s Elias, and he just looks angry. Leiter his thin and wore a cap and made me think of the Grim Reefer. The Haven are Black men and wore yellow, think the Street Profits. The Haven worked over Leiter, as Lust appears disinterested in being there. Lust got in; the Haven worked Lust over. When Lust went for the hot tag, Leiter hopped off the ring apron and walked away. The Haven hit team superkicks and a team Flatliner faceplant for the pin on Lust. Passable.
3. Danny Miles defeated Yuval Goldschmit at 8:11. Yuval’s facial features, outfit and haircut makes me think of Mustafa Ali, and he’s the babyface. The commentary team said he’s been competing in WXW in Germany. Miles looks a bit like Brock Anderson or Cash Wheeler; he’s shorter, heavier with a beard, and balding. Yuval hit a standing moonsault and Miles immediately bailed. Miles worked Yuval over in the ring with basic chokes and stomps. Yuval hit a Shining Wizard for a nearfall at 7:30. He missed a top-rope Shooting Star Press, and Miles immediately applied a rear-naked choke, and Yuval tapped out. I definitely want to see more of Yuval.
4. Mike Graca vs. Paris Van Dale in an intergender match ended in a draw at 2:24. Paris is of average height and size. Graca wore a scary mask and long black robe to the ring. He took the mask off but he has dark shadows under his eyes. On the surface, it is absurd to think she could legitimately beat him, and she immediatley bailed to the floor at the bell. In the ring, Grace accidentally hit the ref. Paris hit a straight punch to Graca’s groin. The referee declared this a no contest. Graca hit a chokeslam on her after the bell. He went backstage and returned with a big board, which he placed in the corner, and he set up for a spear. However, a redhead guy made the save for Paris and he beat up Graca.
5. JT Dunn defeated B3cca in an intergender match at 15:32. Dunn, a former Pro Wrestling Revolver champion, is of average height and size, but he also is much larger than B3cca, who has long orange hair. He easily overpowered her and shoved her to the mat. B3cca fired back with some quick armdrags. They brawled to the floor, where she kicked him in the jaw as he sat on a chair at 5:30. In the ring, she hit a crossbody block for a nearfall. She did the Melina-style splits for a legdrop for a nearfall.
Dunn hit a back suplex for a nearfall. He hit a running back elbow for a believable nearfall at 8:00. He set up for a modified Cobra Clutch but she fought free. She hit a huracanrana and a running kick into the corner. B3cca hit a second-rope Meteora double knees to the chin for a nearfall. She dove through the ropes, grabbed his head, and hit a tornado DDT onto an open chair at ringside at 10:30. She got in the ring but was met by a roaring elbow, and they were both down.
They got up; he missed some punches, and she hit one to the jaw, then a running knee strike to his jaw for a believable nearfall. She tied him up in a surfboard move; Dunn reached the ropes. Dunn hit a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall, then a German Suplex for a nearfall at 14:00. He hit a running kick to her face in the corner; she hopped up and hit a Mafia Kick. They fought on the ropes in the corner and she bit his face. (I thought she was kissing him!) She hit a superkick in the center of the ring. He hit a straight punch to her jaw, then a tombstome piledriver for the clean pin. Wow, that was surprisingly good, and I don’t generally like intergender matches.
6. Lio Rush defeated Aaron Rourke at 12:06. Rourke is white and scrawny with makeup over one eye; think a much smaller Malakai Black. Lio got a hero’s welcome, and he of course is much smaller than Rourke. Rourke danced and slithered on the mat; Lio was not amused. Lio hit a huracanrana off the second rope, then his spin kick while barely off the mat. Lio hit some chops; Rourke twisted Lio’s nipples at 5:00. Rourke hit a shotgun dropkick.
Lio knocked Rourke off the ring apron to the floor. As Rourke got back in the ring, Lio hit a guillotine legdrop for a nearfall. LIo applied a rear-naked choke on the mat, then a high back suplex for a nearfall at 9:00. Rourke fought back with a superkick and a 619, then a slingshot stunner for a nearfall. Rourke set up for a package piledriver, but Lio escaped. Rourke went for a split-legged moonsault but missed, and Lio immediately hit a spear, then a tornado DDT for a nearfall. Lio hit the stunner out of the ropes for the pin. Wow, I’ve never seen Lio win a match with that! (It usually is a set up move for the frogsplash.)
7. “Young Dumb & Broke” Charlie Tiger and Ellis Taylor defeated Love, Doug and TJ Crawford at 10:09. I’ve seen Doug before; he is lovestruck hillbilly with a mullet. The YDB combo are regulars in GCW/JCW. Crawford has a short beard and mustache. The YDB team beat up TJ in their corner. Doug made a hot tag at 4:30 and hit a bulldog. Tiger hit a gutbuster over his knee then a gut-wrench suplex for a nearfall.
TJ hit a superkick on Ellis and was fired up. He hit a double-arm spinning slam for a nearfall. Tiger hit a spear on TJ. Doug and TJ hit a team slam for a nearfall. All four brawled in the ring at 8:00. YDB hit a team chokeslam move on Doug. TJ hit a Shellshock faceplant for a nearfall on Ellis. He went for another one, but Ellis fought free and hit a Canadian Destroyer. Ellis then slammed Crawford for the pin. Entertaining.
8. Kylon King defeated Alec Price, Marcus Mathers, Allie Katch, Shannon Levangie, and Griffin McCoy in a six-way scramble at 11:06. So, we have four men and two women in this match, and they all brawled on the way to the ring. I have only seen Shannon once; she has long brown hair and is of average height and weight. She hit a headscissors takedown on Price in the ring. Griffin gave Allie a hard spank on her butt at 3:00, which ticked her off. Griffin put her in a Camel Clutch move.
All six brawled in the ring. Griffin hit a plancha to the floor on several opponents at 5:30. Marcus hit a dive through the ropes. In the ring, Marcus hit a stunner on McCoy for a nearfall. Shannon hit a tornado DDT on Marcus, then a huracanrana on Kylon for a nearfall. Katch hit her buttbumps in the corners on everyone, then a double northern lights suplex at 7:30. Griffin hit a double jump twisting moonsault on everyone.
Griffin hit a double German Suplex, then a sit-out powerbomb on Mathers for a nearfall at 9:30. Kylon hit an enzuigiri on Katch, then a brainbuster on Griffin for a believable nearfall. Price hit his leg lariat on Kylon, then a standing powerbomb for a nearfall. Griffin hit a jumping piledriver. Kylon hit a German Suplex on Mathers for the pin. That was a sprint! Everyone got a lot of offense in; there wasn’t a lot of selling, but it was a fun mess, in a really good way.
9. Mike Bailey defeated Jordan Oliver at 22:51. The crowd chanted, “both these guys!” at the bell. Veda Scott told us they fought once before, six months ago. (This match took place three days before the GCW ‘J Cup’ tournament, where these two battled in the finals with Oliver winning.) Quick reversals at the bell with a standoff. They brawled on the floor and to the back wall, by the beer kegs. In the ring, Bailey dropped Oliver stomach-first on the top rope at 4:00, and he hit a double kneedrop to the back as Oliver was still hanging on the rope.
Bailey tied him in the Jaime Noble Trailer Hitch leglock, with Oliver eventually reaching the ropes. They traded chops. Oliver hit a release Exploder Suplex, then the Acid Kick for a nearfall at 8:30. They hit simultaneous Mafia Kicks and were both down. Bailey hit the Triangle Moonsault to the floor at 11:30. Oliver hit the Cleopatra stunner into the ring. Bailey hit a Poison Rana. Oliver hit the mid-ring Spanish Fly, and they were both down. Awesome exchange. Bailey hit some spin kicks to Oliver’s chest, while Oliver returned some loud chops.
Bailey got a jackknife cover for a nearfall at 15:30, then a moonsault double kneedrop for a nearfall. Bailey hit the second-rope Ultima Weapon moonsault kneedrop to the back for a nearfall. Oliver hit a Helluva Kick in the corner. Oliver hit a second-rope sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. They traded more chops.
Oliver hit a Tiger Suplex for a nearfall at 21:00. Oliver hit an Exploder suplex into the corner, then the Acid Drop across the ring for a nearfall. He hit another Helluva Kick, and he set up for the Clout Cutter, but Bailey blocked it. Bailey set up for the Flamingo Driver, but Oliver escaped. Oliver hit another sit-out powerbomb; he went for the Clout Cutter again, but Bailey hit him with flying double knees. Bailey then nailed the Flamingo Driver/modified One-Winged Angel for the pin. Fantastic match.
* Kellen Thomas walked to the ring to confront Bailey. Kellen said there will be a Fight Life tournament beginning at show #9. Kellen informed Bailey that they will fight in the tournament.
Final Thoughts: Bailey and Oliver had an absolutely fantastic match, and if you have a Fite+ subscription… if you don’t want to watch the whole show, at least watch this main event. You’d have no idea they worked that hard in front of a crowd that might not even be 100 in attendance. If you ask me who is the top indy wrestler who hasn’t been on TV in a major promotion in the past six months, I would say Jordan Oliver. Yes, he had a run in MLW a year ago, but he’s thicker and all-around better now. Again, these two had an excellent rematch just days later with Oliver winning.
While I am not a fan of intergender matches, I still give B3cca-Dunn second place, with Lio Rush’s match third. The non-stop sprint scramble was very good for honorable mention.
This show is filled with some of the top indy talent across the northeast. Kylon King and Dustin Waller just made their debut in California’s West Coast Pro, and Price has been there, too. Marcus Mathers is booked nearly every weekend. McCoy, Tiger, Tyler and others are routinely popping up in GCW and JCW. I admittedly didn’t see much in Leiter, Lust or Smokes in my first time seeing them, but I liked what I saw of Yuval Goldschmit.
I just don’t get the indy love for intergender matches, particularly when the men are so much larger and stronger than their female opponent. Why not just have B3cca fight Paris Van Dale and JT Dunn fight Mike Graca? Or have a four-way women’s match by using the women who were in the scramble? I know I’m old-fashioned, but I don’t enjoy watching a larger man beat up a smaller woman.
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