Wrestling Open “Episode 70” results: Vetter’s review of Marcus Mathers vs. Brad Hollister, Flip Gordon vs. RJ Rude, Ryan Clancy vs. Aaron Rourke, Pedro Dones vs. Kylon King, Mortar vs. Rex Lawless, Landon Hale vs. Antonio Cristiano Zambrano, Gal Barkay vs. Travis Jacobs, Brad Baylor vs. Love, Doug

By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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Wrestling Open “Episode 70”
Streamed on IndependentWrestling.TV
May 4, 2023 in Worcester, Massachusetts at White Eagle

The crowd was in the 200-250 range. Paul Crockett provided commentary. I admittedly decided to watch this show when I saw Flip Gordon was booked, and the main event looked promising. There are several wrestlers here I don’t know.

I admittedly dislike seeing the fans standing right next to the ring, with some resting their hands on the ring apron. That seems dangerously close to the action for everyone involved.

* The show opened with footage from the Beyond Wrestling show on Sunday (4/30) with the return of Richard Holliday.

1. Bobby Orlando defeated Ryan Mooney at 6:01. Orlando is the dork who comes out with a stuffed goat, and he’s quite popular here; he recently had an AEW Elevation match. Mooney has short reddish-brown hair. Orlando hit an Athena-style second-rope head-capture stunner for the pin. Solid opener.

2. Tiara James defeated Zayda Steel at 4:44. I don’t think I’ve seen either of these two before. Tiara is a Black woman who reminds me of Brandi Rhodes. Zayda is white and wore a short pink skirt and reminds me of Velvet Sky. Tiara almost had a ‘wardrobe malfunction; she had to pause and re-tie the front of her top.) Tiara hit a running splash for a nearfall at 3:00. Zayda hit a Helluva Kick and a second-rope crossbody block for a nearfall. Tiara nailed a spinebuster for the pin. Good match; I liked what I saw of both of them.

* Footage aired of Steven Stetson stealing the tag titles a week ago and driving off with them.

3. RJ Rude defeated Flip Gordon at 6:09. As I hinted above, I’m a big fan of Flip Gordon and I’m still perplexed he hasn’t been used at all in the new ROH. The commentary team noted Flip has traveled the world (the last time I saw him wrestle was the World Series Wrestling tour in Australia) and touted he’s a military veteran. RJ Rude looks like a young Chuck Taylor; my first time seeing him. Rude hit a dropkick and celebrated. Flip put Rude on his shoulders and tossed him to the floor. Flip took control in the ring, stomping on Rude.

Flip hit a snap suplex for a nearfall at 3:00 and chops in the corner; he’s been in complete control. The commentators talked about Flip’s matches in Ring of Honor and New Japan. Flip began jawing with the fans, allowing Rude to hit a pair of clotheslines and a kneestrike at 5:00. Rude went for a springboard moonsault, but Gordon caught him with a superkick. Flip put him in the Torture Rack along his bag; one of the commentators called Gordon the “total package.” (Nice Luger reference!) Gordon bent over to pick up Rude, but Rude grabbed him, rolled him up, and scored the pin. Flip was in disbelief. Hard for me to rate Rude, as he barely got in any offense.

4. Gal Barkay defeated Travis Jacobs at 4:40. Two more new guys for me. Jacobs has the side of his heads shaved and a ponytail on top of his head, like Wardlow. Barkay has a short blond haircut and he’s really, really tan with a great physique. Barkay hit a powerslam for a nearfall at 2:30. Barkay hit an enzuigiri and a top-rope missile dropkick for a nearfall. Jacobs hit a neckbreaker over his knee for a nearfall. Barkay hit a sit-out powerbomb for the pin. Solid match; I wouldn’t mind seeing more of both guys.

5. Antonio Cristiano Zambrano (w/manager) defeated Landon Hale at 4:56. Two more guys new to me. Zambrano has a soccer ball with him and he’s the heel; his manager let’s us know he is a star in ‘real football,’ earning boos. He has dark features, and could be Spanish or Portuguese and he’s wearing high black socks, like a soccer outfit. Landon his white and the babyface. The heel manager flashed a (soccer) yellow card at Hale. Hale hit a deep armdrag, then a Lungblower. The manager distracted Hale, allowing Zambrano to take control of the action. Landon hit a clothesline, and he dropped Zambrano face-first on a turnbuckle in the corner for a nearfall at 4:00. Zambrano hit a series of kicks, finishing with a running punt kick for the pin. Solid.

6. Love, Doug defeated Brad Baylor at 3:48. Again, Doug is the love-struck hillbilly with quite a mullet; think NXT’s Brooks Jensen. This is my first time seeing Baylor; he has a great physique and a dark tan and a 1980s bowl-style haircut, and he’s a solid heel. They took turns playing to the crowd. Doug hit a springboard elbow drop. Brad hit a powerslam. Doug hit a Stinger Splash and a bulldog at 3:30. Doug then nailed a Nigel McGuiness-style slingshot clothesline for the pin.

7. Rex Lawless defeated Mortar at 8:03. Mortar is thick like Rhino, with similar long stringy black hair. Lawless has a beard and has that same Wardlow-style haircut, and he has a great physique. Rex hit a big hiptoss early on. Mortar hit a springboard crossbody block for a nearfall at 2:30, then a European Uppercut and a senton for a nearfall. Mortar nailed some Yes Kicks to the chest. Rex hit a fallaway slam at 5:00 and he was fired up.

Rex hit a running elbow in the corner and a clotheslien in the corner and a Helluva Kick. He hit a spear for a believable nearfall. Mortar hit a Lionsault for a nearfall. Mortar put Rex on his shoulders, but Rex escaped. Rex then hit a two-handed chokeslam sit-out powerbomb for the pin. Easily best match of the show so far.

8. Pedro Dones defeated Kylon King at 9:08. Kylon is one of the promising young wrestlers here; he is half of the Miracle Generation tag team who have been getting a lot of bookings. My first time seeing Dones; his face looks a lot like Damian Priest, but he has short hair. He carried a Wrestling Open folder and he got on the mic and berated the crowd. He appears to be a bit older than most of the wrestlers here. King, a Black man with short, curly hair, hit a spinebuster to open the match and a series of punches. King dove through the ropes onto Pedro on the floor and hit some more punches to the face.

They fought on the ring apron, and Pedro hit a uranage at 2:00, with them both rolling to the floor. Dones slammed King’s back against the corner of the ring apron. In the ring, Dones was in complete control, stomping on King and choking him in the ropes, and he did a great job of jawing at the fans. Dones hit a Samoan Drop for a nearfall at 5:30. King fired back with an enzuigiri and a clothesline, then a T-Bone suplex, and they were both down.

King hit a second-rope missile dropkick for a nearfall at 7:30. King hit a German Suplex for a nearfall. Pedro placed King across his back and hit a backbreaker move by dropping to his knees to get the pin. Good match.

* More footage aired of Steven Stetson and his comrades celebrating with the stolen tag title belts.

9. Ryan Clancy defeated Aaron Rourke at 9:08. Clancy recently had a good showing against Zack Sabre Jr.; he has his short, black hair slicked back like Irwin R. Schyster, and he’s a decent heel. Rourke is flamboyant and his pink in his hair and a light-up mask. They had an intense lockup; they rolled to the floor and back into the ring without separating. Rourke hit a Helluva Kick for a nearfall at 3:00, and he applied a legscissorslock around Clancy’s waist.

Rourke hit a moonsault kneedrop for a nearfall. Clancy hit some kneelifts to the gut and a dropkick at 6:00, then a DDT for a nearfall. Rourke hit a spear for a believable nearfall. Clancy nailed a Side Russian Legsweep for the pin. Just like the show I reviewed a week ago, I can’t believe that Clancy’s finisher is a legsweep. Good match; I enjoyed that a lot.

* A backstage promo with Brad Hollister. He’s a short powerhouse with tattoos across his chest. He’s a smaller Brian Cage, really. He berated the female interviewer.

10. Brad Hollister defeated Marcus Mathers at 18:02. Mathers is a rising star in the northeast and he’s getting bookings every weekend. An intense lockup to open. Hollister rolled to the floor to regroup. In the ring, Mathers hit some kicks and a flying forearm, then a Northern Lights suplex at 4:30. Hollister hit a senton for a nearfall, then a snap suplex and a release German Suplex. Mathers hit a suplex at 7:00. Hollister hit a running buttbump in the corner and he took control of the offense.

Mathers hit a top-rope crossbody block for a nearfall at 9:30, then a spin kick to the face, then a stunner. Mathers hit a German Suplex with a bridge for a nearfall; I liked how Hollister tried to fight the move. Mathers hit a stunner and a Swanton Bomb for a nearfall at 11:30. Hollister fired back with a short-arm clothesline, then a sit-out powerbomb for a believable nearfall, and they were both down.

They traded overhand slaps to the face. Hollister hit a headbutt. They hit simultaneous clotheslines and were both down. Mathers came off the top rope, but Hollister hit a European Uppercut, then an F5 slam for a believable nearfall at 16:00. Mathers hit a second-rope sunset flip bomb, then he nailed a dive over the top rope to the floor. In the ring, Mathers hit a swinging suplex for a believable nearfall. However, Hollister hit a second-rope superplex for the pin. Really good match.

* Hollister got on the mic. Ryan Clancy, who joined by TJ Crawford, hit the ring. Hollister said Clancy didn’t have the balls to face him one-on-one. They argued a bit. I find this mildly confusing, as both men were presented as heels tonight, so not sure who I should be rooting for. Clancy challenged Hollister to fight next week. Hollister said yes, but only if it is a no-disqualifications match. Hollister hit Clancy with a headbutt out of nowhere and he scampered to the back, before Clancy was able to agree to the match.

Final Thoughts: A very good main event that met my high expectations going in, and easily best match of the night. The crowd was totally into it. I’ll go with that Lawless-Mortar match for second place, and Clancy-Rourke for third.

Nothing must-see here, but a fun show. They drew a pretty good crowd for a Thursday night, and the fans were happy with what they saw. Despite there being 10 matches, this show clocked in at just over two hours.


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