Wrestling Open “Episode 85 – No Respect” results: Vetter’s review of Ichiban vs. Ray Jaz to retain the Wrestling Open Title, Joe Ocasio defeated Gal Barkay in a No DQ match, Danny Miles vs. Alec Price

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

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Wrestling Open “Episode 85 – No Respect”
Streamed on IndependentWrestling.TV
August 17, 2023 in Worcester, Massachusetts at White Eagle

Two major storylines occurred at “Americanrana” on Sunday. First, Little Mean Kathleen hit a low-blow uppercut on her fiance, Love Doug, during their nuptials. Also, rising star Alec Price beat Big Van Vader clone Matt Tremont to win the IWTV title. Price has a busy travel schedule, and he’s already vowed to defend this title across multiple promotions. Unfortunately, Wrestling Open has stated that Max Caster was injured during his beat down on AEW Dynamite and couldn’t make it to the show. I certainly hope it is just a storyline injury. Paul Crockett provided commentary. Attendance appears to be in the 300 range; not as big as the ‘Americanrana’ crowd but still quite good.

* The show opened with a nice video package showing the ongoing storylines. For an indy promotion, they sure do a great job with these. Brad Baylor hit the ring, in his street clothes, and Crockett said he’s not scheduled to wrestle. Baylor, just age 18, got on the mic and belittled the crowd; I have described his look and feathered hair as ‘the jerk from every 1980s teen comedy you’ve ever seen.’ Baylor said he’s joining the commentary booth for the night.
1. Kylon King (w/Dustin Waller) defeated Ricky Smokes via DQ at 8:00 even. I always compare Smokes to Sammy Guevara. King and Waller carried their IWTV Tag Title belts and they got a nice pop. Smokes hit a spear for a nearfall at 4:00. I’m enjoying Baylor on commentary, talking about his country club lifestyle. King hit a top-rope superplex and both men were down. King hit a second-rope missile dropkick and he was fired up. He hit a Helluva Kick and a Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall at 6:30. Smoke launched himself in the ring, but King caught him with a stunner. King hit a tornado DDT and a brainbuster. However, Baylor attacked Waller at ringside! King dove through the ropes onto Baylor! Back in the ring, King set up for a move on Smokes, but Baylor jumped in the ring and attacked King, causing the DQ. Really good action despite the non-finish; I was surprised this match was slated to open the show but now I see why.

* Footage of the wedding from ‘Americanrana’ aired.
2. Little Mean Kathleen (w/Sidney Bakabella, Teddy Goodz) defeated JC Storm at 4:14. LMK is wearing her white wedding dress and she was loudly booed. JC Storm (think Kiera Hogan) has two long white-hair braids today, making me think of the X-Men Storm. Crockett was incredulous that LMK is going to wrestle in that gown. LMK hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall at 2:30, then a Samoan Drop for a nearfall. Storm hit a series of clotheslines and a Flatliner for a nearfall. Storm jawed at Goodz, which allowed Kathleen to get a rollup for the pin. Basic; this was all about the storyline.

* Up next is a ‘random pairing’ tag match, where guys who don’t see eye-to-eye are forced to team up. The winning team of match No. 3 will immediately be opponents in match No. 4!
3. Channing Thomas and Bobby Orlando defeated (Bear) Bronson and Ryan Clancy at 7:07. Again, Thomas is the slimy Rick Rude-meets-Joey Ryan heel. Orlando is the dork with his stuffed goat and a Colt Cabana-style humor. Clancy is a young mat-based wrestler, and, unsurprisingly, he argued with Bronson before the bell. Orlando and Clancy (the babyfaces here) opened against each other. Bronson entered and he hit a ‘snake-eyes’ on the top turnbuckle on Orlando at 2:30, but he jawed at partner, Clancy. Clancy hit a standing neckbreaker for a nearfall on Orlando. Clancy slapped Bronson to tag him in at 5:00. Thomas made the hot tag and hit a flying clothesline on Bronson. Channing hit a fisherman’s suplex. Clancy shoved Bronson in the chest, which allowed Orlando to get a rollup for the pin Bronson. Channing immediately attacked his partner, and he made a hand signal, calling for the bell so the next match could begin!
4. Channing Thomas vs. Bobby Orlando ended in a double-pin draw at 1:16. Thomas stomped on Orlando repeatedly. They traded rollups, with Thomas getting the three-count. Short and unsatisfying. Wait, the ref has declared that all four shoulders were down, and this match is a draw. The winner was supposed to be No. 1 contender, so does this lead to a three-way??

* Footage aired of past matches that set up the main event later. We have the first quarter-final match next in a 16-team tag tournament, so the first-round is now done, and we did briefly see the bracket.

5. “Brick City Boyz” Julio Cruz and Victor Chase defeated RJ Rude and Rex Lawless in a quarterfinal match at 6:18. Lawless reminds me of Jaxon Ryker, and Rude reminds me of a teenage Chuck Taylor — tall, lanky, and a bit awkward. Lawless, who has some good muscle mass, opened against Cruz and easily overpowered him. The BCB began beating up Lawless on the floor. Back in the ring, they kept Lawless in their corner. Rex finally hit a double suplex at 4:30 and he made the hot tag to RJ, who hit a rolling cannonball and a Sabin-style Cradle Shock slam, then a Lionsault for a nearfall. The BCB hit a pop-up spear move on Rude, then a team slam on Rude for the pin. That ended abruptly.
6. Alec Price defeated Danny Miles (w/Steven Stetson) at 7:35. Price has been feuding with these upscale cowboys in recent weeks. Boston native Price had the IWTV title belt draped around his neck and he got a huge pop. Miles is much shorter but he’s thicker; not fat but thick. Price hit a second-rope crossbody block at 2:00 that sent Miles scampering to the floor. Stetson distracted Price, allowing Miles to sneak up behind him, attack, and take control. Miles hit a delayed vertical suplex, then a sideslam for a nearfall at 4:00.

Price hit a back suplex for a nearfall, then his series of kicks in the corner. Miles hit a nice Slingshot Spinebuster for a nearfall at 6:30. In a nice spot, Miles set up for a Death Valley Driver but Price escaped and hit a legdrop. Price dove onto Stetson the floor. Back in the ring, Price hit his step-up mule kick to the back of the head for the pin. Stetson immediately jumped in the ring and helped Miles beat down on Price. Stetson challenged Price to a match next week. He told Alec don’t bring the IWTV title because he doesn’t want that; he just wants to beat him up. Really good post-match attack and set-up for the next match.

* It was announced that Bobby Orlando and Channing Thomas will have another match in two weeks to determine the No. 1 contender. The next match was supposed to be Dezmond Cole vs. Max Caster, but Crockett reiterated that Max was beat up by the House of Black a night earlier and wasn’t cleared to compete. Dezmond Cole hit the ring, but before he could even say a word, Brad Hollister and TJ Crawford came out of the back and challenged Cole. Dan Barry ran into the ring, and we have an impromptu tag match!

7. Brad Hollister and TJ Crawford defeated Dezmond Cole and Dan Barry at 8:14. Again, Hollister is the Brian Cage-meets-Taz spark plug. Crawford is the silver-haired mat technician. Cole has the look and style of Ricochet. Barry is the aging trainer on the East Coast. Barry dove through the ropes onto the heels. The heels worked over Cole in their corner. Barry finally made the hot tag. TJ hit a roundhouse kick to the head, and Hollister hit his swinging Jackhammer move for the pin. Much like the BCB tag match… that ended quite quickly.

8. Joe Ocasio defeated Gal Barkay in a no-disqualification match at 11:46. This feud has been brewing for a couple months now. Barkay is the thin, muscular Israel native, and Ocasio looks a bit like QT Marshall; he’s much thicker than Barkay. They brawled out of the back. Barkay hit a spinebuster for a nearfall at 1:30. Ocasio put Barkay on his shoulders and hit an Electric Chair drop. Ocasio choked Barkay with a weight-lifting rope, and he hit a running powerslam for a nearfall at 5:30. They hit simultaneous crossbody blocks and were both down. Barkay tossed a medicine ball into Ocasio’s back, then he slammed it repeatedly on Ocasio’s chest! Barkay hit a powerbomb move for a nearfall at 8:00.

Barkay choked Ocasio with a rope. They brawled to the floor. In the ring, Ocasio hit a top-rope superplex. Barkay hit a suplex for a nearfall, and he set up a board in the corner. However, Ocasio hit a low blow uppercut, and he ran Barkay backward into the board in the corner, to score the tainted pin. Good brawl.

9. Ichiban defeated Ray Jaz to retain the Wrestling Open Title at 20:01. Jaz, the stereotypical Jersey Boy meathead, is undefeated; he came out first and got on the mic but he was loudly booed. Ichiban, of course, has recently signed with Major League Wrestling, and he’s getting the attention he deserves; he is in a white mask and pants tonight. Jaz has the height and overall size advantage. Jaz stalled on the floor early on. Ichiban dove through the ropes, but Jaz caught him and he slammed Ichiban on the ring steps at 4:00. In the ring, Jaz was in control, hitting a bodyslam and he jawed at fans. He applied a belly-to-belly bearhug, then he hit a back suplex for a nearfall at 8:30.

Jaz dropped Ichiban stomach-first on the top rope, then he hit a kneelift to the gut. Ichiban dove through the ropes onto Jaz. In the ring, Ichiban hit a top-rope elbow drop, and they were both down at 11:30. Ichiban nailed a stunner for a nearfall. Jaz put Ichiban on his shoulders but the ref got bumped! Ichiban hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly; a different ref hopped in and counted a nearfall at 14:00. Jaz applied an STF move and he ripped at Ichiban’s mask, and the crowd loudly rallied for Ichiban. Jaz hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall at 15:30. Ichiban hit a tornado DDT and he was fired up. Jaz got a sunset flip for the pin at 17:54; Ichiban’s foot was clearly on the ropes but the referee didn’t see it. 

Pedro Dones hit the ring and glared at Ray Jaz. Another referee hit the ring and told the original ref about Ichiban having his foot on the ropes. Dones yanked the title belt out of Jaz’s hands and took it out of the ring. The ring announcer informed us the referee has ruled that the match must be restarted! (I never stopped my stop watch so we restarted at 19:52. Ichiban charged at Jaz, caught his head and hit a DDT for the pin, literally nine seconds after the bell re-started the match.

Final Thoughts: I do enjoy these Wrestling Open shows, as there is a sense that you never know who might show up. That said, once again there wasn’t anyone on this show I hadn’t seen before. Nothing must-see here; no ‘four-star classics,’ but they moved some fun storylines forward. The main event earns best match, even with all the shenanigans at the end. Likewise, even without a clean finish, I’ll go with the King-Smokes opener for second place, and the Barkay-Ocasio brawl for third.

I am a big fan of Hollister, Crawford and Dezmond Cole… but that tag match stayed in second gear. If you hadn’t seen them before, this match didn’t give you a sense that these are top-tier talents. Entering this show, I fully expected that to be among the top three matches of the show, and it wasn’t. Just to be clear, it wasn’t a bad match, but it certainly didn’t come close to my high expectations, based on the skill level of those involved. Check out this show, and all Wrestling Open shows, at IWTV.


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