Beyond Wrestling “Americanrana 24” results: Vetter’s review of Donovan Dijak vs. Aaron Rourke, Tom Lawlor vs. Drew Gulak, Tracy Williams vs. Janai Kai, Brad Hollister vs. Alex Shelley for the Wrestling Open Title

By Chris Vetter, Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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Beyond Wrestling “Americanrana 24: Where Eagles Dare”
Replay available via IndependentWrestling.TV
July 4, 2024 in Worcester, Massachusetts at White Eagle

This is a star-studded lineup. After the AEW PPV, Lio Rush pulled out of the show and was replaced by Donovan Dijak in his first post-WWE match. The crowd is packed at 350-400. Paul Crockett and Brother Greatness provided commentary.

1. Brad Hollister defeated Alex Shelley to retain the Wrestling Open Title at 11:48. Hollister is a heel here, so Shelley got a nice babyface pop. Hollister came out solo without his Big Business teammates. Standing switches early on, and Shelley twisted the left arm. Brad knocked him down with a shoulder tackle at 2:00. Alex hit a Dragonscrew Legwhip in the ropes and hit a dropkick on the knee. Hollister seized control of the offense and he kept Shelley grounded. Hollister crashed hard into the middle turnbuckle at 6:00; Shelley twisted Brad’s leg around the ring post.

Shelley hit a Dragonscrew Legwhip on the right leg and he applied a Figure Four at 7:30. Brad hit a running buttbump in the corner but he sold the pain in his legs. He applied a Sharpshooter! Alex hit a Flatliner into the middle turnbuckle at 10:00. Shelley hit a chop block to the back of the left knee, and the crowd chanted “one more time!” They traded chops. Shelley hit a superkick. Brad blocked a Shellshock face plant, got a rollup with a handful of tights, and scored the cheap pin! Really good match.

* AEW’s Ortiz joined Paul Crockett on commentary, making him officially the only wrestler to “appear” on every Americanrana. (Ortiz declared commentary counts as an appearance, as he is injured.)

2. Janai Kai defeated “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams in an intergender match at 9:07. I’m a big fan of Kai, but she is giving up a lot of size here, and he easily tossed her to the mat. No shoulder brace on Tracy tonight; I feel like that had actually become part of his in-ring look. She hit some roundhouse kicks to the chest to drop him at 1:30. He hit a belly-to-belly suplex for a nearfall, and he worked her left ankle. She fired up and hit some kicks. She hit some Speedball-style kicks to his chest and back for a nearfall at 6:30.

Kai applied a Dragon Sleeper but he flipped her forward to escape. Williams hit a Gory Bomb, then slammed her knee into the mat. He hit a decapitating clothesline or a nearfall at 8:00. she got some rollups then a spin kick to the chin! She hit her Helluva Kick in the corner for the pin! Entertaining match. Tracy Williams then joined Ortiz on commentary!

3. Drew Gulak defeated Tom Lawlor at 12:38. Gulak wore his “Catch Point” training academy T-shirt; he’s basically shaved bald and his beard is fairly short today. Lawlor wore star-spangled shorts, hat and boa. Gulak got a “welcome back!” chant. They shook hands in a show of respect and they traded fast-paced mat reversals. Lawlor began hitting some chops at 4:30; it must really be warm in there because the sweat was flying as they traded chops. Lawlor hit some spears and a fireman’s carry. He applied a crossarm breaker at 7:30.

Gulak hit a hard clothesline for a nearfall. He came off the top rope but Lawlor caught him with a knee to the sternum at 9:00. They came off the top rope with Lawlor having him in a hammerlock as they hit the mat, but Gulak powered out and they were both down. They got to their feet before the 10-count and they traded forearm strikes. Lawlor hit an enzuigiri at 11:30. Gulak got the ref out of position and hit a low blow mule kick! Gulak hit a scoop bodyslam for the tainted pin and was loudly booed.

* Gulak was going to speak on the mic but we went to a video from Slade, saying he’s coming to take Gulak’s soul!

4. “Big Business” Julio Cruz, Victor Chase, TJ Crawford, and Love, Doug defeated Jermaine Marbury (w/Benny the Basketball), Pedro Dones, Dezmond Cole, and Ryan Clancy at 15:52. The storyline here is still the animosity between Julio Cruz and Love Doug. The babyface team all came out together as well. After some shenanigans, Dezmond and Doug finally locked up. Clancy entered and tied up Doug on the mat. The heels began working over Clancy. Dones got in, but Chase and Cruz worked him over.

Marbury got in and ‘broke’ Doug’s ankles with his basketball moves and hit a Eurostep neckbreaker at 5:30. TJ hit a bodyslam on Marbury and the heels worked Jermaine over. Jermaine hit a standing neckbreaker on Cruz. Dones entered and hit some punches to Chase’s stomach at 9:00. Dones and Crawford traded chops. Clancy got a hot tag and traded punches with nemesis Crawford. Dezmond hit his rolling guillotine legdrop at 11:00. He hit a Lionsault on a standing Doug, then a suplex and a Helluva Kick and a German Suplex, then a shining wizard for a nearfall.

Dones hit some punches on Victor Chase. Marbuy hit his palm-of-head slams on Cruz & Chase. Clancy hit a top-rope crossbody block on TJ and Doug. He hit a dropkick and a plancha. Marbury hit his own dive to the floor at 14:30. Dezmond hit a flip dive to the floor on everyone. Pedro dove off the top rope onto everyone on the floor. In the ring, Dones hit a Samoan Drop on TJ and was fired up. Gal suddenly appeared on the ring apron to distract Dones again! It allowed TJ to hit his Silver Bullet roundhouse kick to Dones’ head for the pin. Good action.

* Gal got a chair, trapped Pedro’s ankle in it, and stomped on it to ‘Pillmanize’ it. Several refs ran in to check on Pedro. Where did Pedro’s teammates go?

5. Donovan Dijak defeated Aaron Rourke at 18:04. “Evil Gay” Rourke is quite talented and I was looking forward to that Lio Rush match. Dijak is so much bigger, this could (should?) be a squash. Rourke wore a robe with a boa lining and he’s looking particularly flamboyant. Dijak wore his black trenchcoat and sunglasses and got a huge “welcome home!” chant. An intense lockup with Dijak’s size advantage quite noticeable. Dijak dropped him with a forearm at 1:30. Rourke hit a shotgun dropkick. Dijak hit a backbreaker over his knee at 3:30 and he kept Rourke grounded. Brother Greatness wondered if Rourke had time to prepare for Dijak after planning to face Lio Rush.

Rourke fired up and hit a series of chops at 7:00, then a Codebreaker to the lungs and a 619. Rourke dropped underneath Dijak and hit a powerbomb out of the corner, then a top-rope Meteora double knees for a nearfall. Rourke hit an X-Factor-style move for a nearfall at 9:30. He hit sme punches to the gut. Dijak fired back with some forearms. They traded superkicks, and Rourke hit an enzuigiri. Dijak hit his discus Mafia Kick to the chest for a believable nearfall, then a chokeslam for a nearfall at 11:30. Rourke hit a second-rope suplex with Dijak rotating and landing on his stomach. Rourke hit a buzzsaw kick for a nearfall, then he applied a crossface.

Rourke nailed a Blue Thunder Bomb for a believable nearfall, and BGreatness raved about hitting that move on a big man. We got a “This is awesome!” chant and Crockett called it a “career defining performance for both men.” Dijak hit a second-rope sit-out powerbomb for a believable nearfall and the crowd popped for the kickout. They traded blows while on their knees, then while standing. Rourke escaped Feast Your Eyes and got a rollup then some buzzsaw kicks. He hit a split-legged moonsault for a nearfall at 17:30, and he hit a Feast Your Eyes! However, Dijak hit a second discus Mafia Kick, then he nailed the Feast Your Eyes pop-up kneestrike for the pin. That was really good and a big match for Rourke. They shook hands afterward and got a standing ovation.

* Intermission was edited out of the replay. Beyond Wrestling promoter Denver Colorado joined Crockett on commentary.

6. “The Church of Greatness” Tyree Taylor and Ichiban defeated “Midnight Heat” Eddie Pearl and Ricky Gibson to retain the Wrestling Open Tag Team Titles at 12:35. The MH duo are regulars in the Pacific Northwest so this was a bit of a surprise to see them here. Gibson is bald; Pearl has a full head of dark hair, and I always compare them to FTR for their old-school tagteam style. The CoG just won these newly-created titles by winning the Eliminator Cup tournament. Tyree and Gibson opened and Ricky couldn’t budge him on a shoulder tackle attempt. Tyree hit a running body block and the champs hit some quick team offense. Ichiban hit a bulldog for a nearfall at 3:00.

MH began working over Ichiban. Gibson hit a backbreaker over his knee for a nearfall at 5:30 and the MH kept Ichiban on the mat. Gibson hit a second-rope legdrop for a nearfall at 10:00. Tyree finally got the hot tag and hit some shoulder tackles and running Stinger Splashes, then a uranage on Gibson. He hit a powerslam and a running knee on Gibson and was fired up, shaking the ropes. Pearl pulled Gibson to the floor, but Ichiban leapt off Tyree’s shoulders and hit a flip dive to the floor on both heels! In the ring, Ichiban hit a Flatliner as Tyree hit a clothesline to the back of Gibson’s head, and Ichiban pinned Gibson. Okay match; the heel beatdown went a bit too long for my tastes.

7. Joey Janela defeated Alec Price at 20:19. Janela came out to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA.” Ortiz returned to commentary with Denver. They immediately traded forearms and brawled. They went to the floor at 2:00 but got right back inside. Price hit his series of kicks in the corner, then his second-rope flying leg lariat at 4:00. Price hit a second-rope superplex. Joey hit a German Suplex at 6:00, then a brainbuster for a nearfall. Joey hit a Razor’s Edge for a nearfall at 8:30. Price slammed Joey onto the apron and they both collapsed to the floor. Price dove through the ropes but Joey caught him and hit a Death Valley Driver over his knee, then dropped Price on the floor at 11:00.

Joey hit a top-rope doublestomp to the chest in the ring for a nearfall. Pice hit a spin kick to the head, then a springboard tornado DDT and his Surprise Kick/step-up mule kick at 12:30, but Janela rolled to the floor to avoid being pinned. Price rolled him in and got a nearfall. They traded forearm strikes and Price hit some European Uppercuts. Price nailed a Rebound Lariat and they were both down at 15:00. Price hit is top-rope Blockbuster, but Janela rolled through — he no-sells everything!! — and hit a package piledriver for a nearfall.

Price hit a doublestomp to the chest as Janela was tied in the Tree of Woe, then a second one for a nearfall at 17:30. Price hit his top-rope Blockbuster for a nearfall. Are we headed to a draw? Price set up for another Surprise Kick but Joey caught him and hit a standing powerbomb. Price hit a Dragon Suplex but Joey no-sold it (of course), popped up and hit a German Suplex. They traded mid-ring forearm strikes. Price hit a dive to the floor. They got in the ring and traded kicks as we reached the 20:00 mark. Janela nailed a Burning Hammer for the pin. That was really, really good.

* They shook hands, but then Price superkicked Janela and was loudly booed. Price started to head to the back but Dijak emerged from the back and grabbed Price by the throat! Price spit in Dijak’s face and escaped!

8. “Waves & Curls” Jaylen Brandyn and Traevon Jordan defeated “Bussy” Effy and Allie Katch at 14:50. I really find Allie’s offense to be highly not-believable against bigger, stronger men. W&C are a last-minute replacement for Miracle Generation. Ortiz came out to be our special referee. Jordan and Effy opened but it feels like we’re going to have a comedy match. Effy hit a back suplex, and Bussy hit their buttbumps to his face, and Effy hit his Whoopee Cushion buttdrop at 3:30. Katch hit an elbow drop on Brandyn. Jordan laid down in the corner, apparently wanting to take a buttbump from Allie. (This is playing out like Viva Van vs. Man Like Dereiss in GCW!)

Effy and Jordan fought on the floor. In the ring, Bussy worked over Jaylen. Effy hit a back suplex for a nearfall at 8:00. Jordan got in and hit a sit-out powerbomb on Effy, then a springboard frogsplash for a nearfall. Effy hit a Helluva Kick in the corner on Jordan, then a Blockbuster for a nearfall. Allie hit her running buttbump and rolling cannonball. Jordan wanted her to hit that too. W&C hit their team X-Factor on Allie for a believable nearfall. Allie hit a stunner for a nearfall at 12:00. Effy hit a drop-toe-hold that sent Jaylen into Allie’s butt. Efy then hit his top-rope legdrop on Jaylen for a nearfall, but Jordan made the save. Effy clotheslined him and Jordan to the floor. Allie got the confetti stick but Ortiz confiscated it. Ortiz hit her over the head with it! Brandyn rolled her up for the pin. (It appears he was supposed to shoot the confetti stick at her but couldn’t make it work.) Merely okay.

9. Mads “Krule” Krugger defeated Megan Bayne via ref stoppage to retain the IWTV Title at 18:50. Krule has been unbeatable since defeating Price for this title, and he towers over all his opponents, men and women alike. He grabbed her by the throat and shoved her into the corner. She hit some chops that had zero effect. She slammed him onto the ring apron at 2:30. He shoved her into the edge of the ring as they brawled on the floor. They got back into the ring and Krule kept her grounded. She hit a clothesline at 6:00 that he no-sold. She hit a spear and a German Suplex, and he rolled to the floor.

Megan dove through the ropes onto Krule. In the ring, she hit a suplex. He fired back with a fallaway slam. She hit a leaping clothesline. She got underneath him in the cone and hit a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 9:00. He slammed her back-first on the ring apron. Krule got boards from under the ring and slid them in. However, she speared him through the boards in the corner at 12:30. She repeatedly hit him over the head with door shards, then she got a chokeslam for a nearfall.

Krule hit his own chokeslam on her and they were both down. They got up and traded punches. She hit an F5 for a nearfall at 15:00 and we got a “this is awesome!” chant. She went for a top-rope frogsplash but he grabbed her by the throat. He chokeslammed her through a board and got a believable nearfall. She hit a shotgun dropkick onto a board in his arms. She tried to get him up for a Tombstone Piledriver, but instead hit a gutwrench suplex for a nearfall at 17:00. Megan swung door shrapnel, but he punched through it. He nailed a Road To Valhalla faceplant for a nearfall. He applied a rear-naked choke and fell to the mat, and the ref called for the bell.

* Krule knocked the ref down after the match. Marcus Mathers ran into the ring and pulled her to safety, and he glared at Krule.

Final Thoughts: Beyond Wrestling is easily the best indy in the Northeast and they had a nice mix of big-name guests on this one. Price-Janela was really good and I consider that best match. They both are regulars in GCW, they work the same style, and it’s not a surprise how well they clicked. I realized during the match that Joey Janela is like Shane McMahon — they hit big moves, but they kick out of their opponents’ best offense and no-sell the effects of the big moves. The Dijak-Rourke match was quite good and certainly memorable, not just for it being Dijak’s return to the indies, but the fight Rourke brought to him; that match is second place and I won’t argue with anyone who liked that for best.

I’ll take Hollister-Shelley for third, just ahead of Lawlor-Gulak for honorable mention. A good mat-based match before Gulak’s cheap shot to win. The crowd really liked the main event, and anyone who has read my reviews has seen me rave about Bayne. She’s had very good matches with several men over the past 2-3 months. But I just found this one hard to get into as he is SO much taller, thicker, stronger, etc. So, it doesn’t make my top four of the night, but in no way would I describe it as a “bad match.” The Wrestling Open shows here at the White Eagle continue next Thursday.


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