Wrestling Open “Episode 96” results (11/2): Vetter’s review of Ray Jaz, Ricky Smokes, and Brad Baylor vs. Pedro Dones, Kylon King, and Dustin Waller, Alec Price and Ichiban vs. Ellis Taylor and Griffin McCoy

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

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Wrestling Open “Episode 96”
Streamed on IndependentWrestling.TV
November 2, 2023 in Worcester, Massachusetts at White Eagle

Paul Crockett and Brother Greatness once again provided commentary.

In a rarity, I don’t think I’ve seen four wrestlers on this show, and Crockett noted there are several debuts here. The crowd is maybe 200-250.

1. Bobby Orlando defeated AJZ at 5:19. I don’t know AJZ. AZT looks like NXT’s Tyler Bate but even more muscular; I’m impressed with his physique. Orlando is the dork with his stuffed goat so I’ll be cheering for the newcomer. AZT easily shoved him to the mat. AZT dominated Orlando early on. Orlando hit an Athena-style second-rope stunner for the pin. AJZ dominated.

* A video package showed the feud between Pedro Dones and Ray Jaz. Jaz has been hanging out with Dones’ children at the playground.

2. Armani Kayos defeated Saraya Saber at 5:07. I don’t know these two. Kayos is a stylish Black man, a bit effeminate… think a cross between Sonny Kiss and Velveteen Dream. Trans athlete Saraya has shoulder-length brown hair and wore a blue two-piece outfit; Saraya is listed online at 6’0″ and seems on par in size to Kayos. Saraya’s background states she was trained at the Nightmare Factory with Cody Rhodes and QT Marshall. Saraya hit a sliding clothesline. Kayos hit the splits on Saraya and made an arrogant cover for a nearfall at 3:00. Armani hit a Christopher Daniels-style double-jump moonsault for the pin. Okay.

3. Landon Hale defeated Travis Jacobs at 6:09. I don’t know Jacobs; he wore a black-and-orange singlet. Hale wears purple and always makes me think of a young Matt Taven. Standing switches to open, and Jacobs is a bit thicker. Hale hit an enzuigiri at 3:30, then a springboard crossbody block, then a Lethal Injection. Hale hit a lungblower, then a diving forearm to the back of the head for the pin. Pretty much an extended squash.

4. Mortar defeated Brian Milonas via DQ at 4:59. Mortar is the Rhino clone who paints half his face, like Thunder Rosa. They immediately brawled. Mortar tried a springboard crossbody block, but the 400-pounder Milonas just shrugged him off. Mortar hit a 619 at 4:00, then a top-rope elbow drop. Milonas began stomping on Mortar in the corner; when the referee tried to get in the middle, Milonas shoved him to the mat, and the ref called for the bell. After the match, Milonas hit an Earthquake-style buttdrop to the chest. Very Earthquake-Hogan in how it looked. This feud is definitely not over.

5. Amira defeated Zayda Steel at 5:33. This is Amira’s debut here, but I’ve seen this Oregon resident in Defy and Prestige Wrestling, so it’s a bit shocking to see her in Massachusetts. I describe her as a younger, shorter Raquel Gonzalez. Blonde Zayda wore her blue two-piece, and she slapped Amira in the head then immediately bailed to the floor. In the ring, Amira hit a couple armdrags and a dropkick that admittedly came up a bit short of connecting. Amira is a powerhouse and she chopped Zayda’s chest. Zayda hit a lungblower out of the corner for a nearfall at 2:30, then a step-up kneestrike in the corner.

Zayda stomped on Amira and was loudly booed. They traded forearms. This is easily the best match of the show so far. Amira hit a hard clothesline and a bodyslam. Zayda hit a second-rope crossbody block at 5:00; their clock is right on with mine. Amira got underneath Zayda in the corner and hit a sit-out powerbomb for the pin. A mild upset, as it seems like the visitors from outside the Northeast always lose here. It wasn’t flawless but this was fun and competitive. I hope Amira gets a few more indy dates while on the East Coast.

* A video package showed the feud between RJ Rude and Tyree Taylor, and the rest of the Church of Greatness. Brother Greatness left commentary to join his man to the ring.

6. RJ Rude (w/Rex Lawless) defeated Sammy Diaz (w/Brother Greatness) at 7:38. I always compare Diaz to Trey Miguel, and compare the lanky, awkward RJ to a young Chuck Taylor. Rude hit a leaping, twisting neckbreaker. Diaz hit a half-nelson suplex at 3:00. Diaz applied a Texas Cloverleaf. RJ fired up and hit some clotheslines and a rolling cannonball in the corner. Rude hit a Frankensteiner, then a modified Unprettier faceplant for the pin. Brother Greatness was shocked.

* A video package showed from a recent match where Paris Van Dale ripped a nose ring out of the face of Kennedi Copeland, causing the match to be stopped. Paris spoke outside, apologizing for causing the injury but of course, it was quite disengenous. Crockett said that Van Dale and Kennedi have “been going at it on social media all week.”

7. Paris Van Dale defeated Notorious Mimi at 4:23. Mimi, who briefly wrestled in NXT as Sloane Jacobs, is perhaps best known for starring in the Apple+ docu-series about the Monster Factory. The women appear to be roughly the same height and overall size. Mimi hit a hard kneelift to the chest early on. PVD took control and hit running knees for a nearfall at 2:00. Paris hit a splits legdrop for a nearfall. Mimi hit an X-Factor faceplant and a Helluva Kick, then a top-rope crossbody block for a nearfall at 4:00. Van Dale applied a chokehold while having Mimi in a Camel Clutch position, and Mimi tapped out. Solid match; while I’m not surprised PVD won, I didn’t think she’d win clean.

* Paris Van Dale got on the mic and she talked about pulling the nose ring out of Kennedi’s face. She was ‘suspended’ last week for her actions.Kennedi Copeland snuck in the ring behind her, hit a Thesz Press, and a series of punches, then a swinging clothesline. The crowd cheered for Kennedi. Copeland got on the mic and said she doesn’t care about wins or losses, she just wants to do to PVD what PVD did to her.

* Footage aired of Brad Hollister telling Ichiban he wants him, one-on-one, at Wrestling Open 100, which is now just weeks away (on Nov. 30)! Hollister hit the ring. He said he wants to stay sharp and face the best because “iron sharpens iron.”

8. Brad Hollister defeated Gal at 4:24. As I noted last time he appeared, they are apparently dropping Gal Barkay’s last name; not sure why. Gal is the “real life action figure” and he has zero body fat. He hit a powerslam in the first minute. Hollister (I always describe as Taz-meets-Brian Cage) hit a German Suplex, then a snap suplex for a nearfall at 2:00. Gal hit a discus clothesline, then a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall. Hollister hit a second-rope deadlift superplex for the pin. That was really good for the time given.

9. Alec Price and Ichiban defeated “Young Dumb N Broke” Ellis Taylor and Griffin McCoy at 9:40. This should easily eclipse anything on the show so far. Ichiban and the skinny, curly-haired Ellis (think Jungle Boy Jack Perry) started with some fast reversals. Ichiban hit a top-rope double crossbody block at 2:00. The bigger Griffin got in the ring and hit a Mafia Kick on Alec; (I read that Griffin was slated for the last MLW taping but I haven’t seen that match yet.) YDNB hit a team DDT for a nearfall at 5:30 and they kept Price in their corner. Price hit a double huracanrana and he made the hot tag. Ichiban hit a top-rope crossbody block to the floor on both heels. In the ring, Ichiban hit a top-rope missile dropkick at 7:00.

Ichiban nailed a tornado DDT on Griffin for a nearfall, but Ellis made the save. Ellis hit a German Suplex on Ichiban, then Griffin hit a half-nelson suplex. They hit a team slam for a nearfall, but Price made the save at 8:30. Taylor hit a half-nelson suplex. Ichiban hit a Canadian Destroyer. Price hit a rebound lariat. Price and Ichiban hit stereo kneestrikes in the corner. Price dove to the floor on one opponent while Ichiban pinned the other. The crowd chanted “Happy birthday!” at (now) 25-year-old Price.

10. Ray Jaz and “Swipe Right” Ricky Smokes and Brad Baylor defeated Pedro Dones and “Miracle Generation” Kylon King and Dustin Waller at 11:40. The heels wore tiny red, fairly identical, trunks. I always compare Smokes to Sammy Guevara, and I always say Baylor is the jerk from every 1980s teen movie. Ray got on the mic and said he is a better father to Dones’ children than Pedro is. He got the Dominik treatment, with the crowd loudly booing him when he spoke. Dones wanted to start, so Jaz bailed, so Smokes started. King hit a doublestomp on Smokes’ left elbow. The babyfaces worked over Baylor. Waller hit a running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall at 3:00.

King hit a Northern Lights suplex on Baylor. The heels began working over King in their corner. Baylor hit a powerslam for a nearfall at 5:00. Jaz hit a spin kick to the jaw for a nearfall. King finally hit a double neckbreaker and he made the hot tag to Dones at 7:30. Dones hit some bodyslams and was fired up. Dones hit a dive to the floor. In the ring, Dones hit a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall on Smokes. Jaz hit a top-rope elbow drop on Waller for a nearfall at 9:00.

King made the hot tag and hit a double missile dropkick and an enzuigiri, then a tornado DDT on Jaz. Waller hit the Mamba Splash frogsplash and they got a nearfall. Waller hit a Lethal Injection. Smokes flipped Waller mid-air and hit a stunner. King hit a brainbuster. Baylor hit a double-armbar swinging neckbreaker. Jazy got a backslide out of nowhere to pin Dones. That was really good. They all continued brawling on the floor. Suddenly the ring was filled with wrestlers and security, keeping everyone apart. Wrestling Open doesn’t do these ‘pull-apart brawls’ often to end a show, so this worked for me.

Final Thoughts: A solid show. I really like that everyone here knows they have just minutes in the ring, so these short matches are action packed. The top two matches were very good, with the main event just ahead of the Price/Ichiban match. Even though the other matches were good, I’ll go with Hollister-Gal just ahead of Zayda-Amira for third.


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