Beyond took a slightly different turn thanks to a TV pilot that brought some big news.
We’re at Melrose Memorial Hall for this one – and while we’ve got no intergender matches, or indeed, no women’s matches, we do have the familiar safety blanket of Paul Crockett and Sidney Bakabella on commentary.
But first, Denver Colorado’s barely audible in the ring with a microphone as he tells us this whole “BCW thing is ridiculous”. It’s a contract signing with “Gerry” – the former Vin Gerard – who comes out in his old Equinox mask. DC tells us a potted history of Beyond’s recent past, before giving Vin a peace offering – the YouTube silver button for getting a million followers. They’re interrupted by Brandon Thurston, who distracts DC long enough for Gerard to clock him with the play button. That made a heck of a sound. Jay Freddie’s back from Japan to make the save, and it looks like Thurston vs. Colorado’s the new match later tonight.
Then… out comes the GM of BCW. It’s Swoggle. Yep, they’re deliberately playing up to the WWE tropes. Swoggle tells us the main event will be Thurston vs. Jay Freddie instead. So DC did all that weightlifting for nothing!
BCW Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-Final: Robo vs. Mike Verna
Beyond’s notorious for not having had any form of physical championship, so this tournament was a rib from the off. Jake Clemons is our head ref – straight outta Raw.
Robo’s been on a few Beyond shows in the past, but hasn’t been around for a bit. Meanwhile, Verna (or Taverna, as the graphic called him) was playing up to his Italian heritage… Verna vocally plays up for a Test of Strength, but instead Verna hits a monkey flip before he went all Tye Dillinger on us. A stalling suplex goes nowhere, as Robo gets free to elbow Verna ahead of a dropkick and a slam. That’s cut off as Verna hits a powerbomb, then a backdrop suplex for a near-fall, before a slingshot suplex off the ropes adds another near-fall to the mix.
In the ropes, Verna cracks Robo with a knee before he went up top… and aborted a leap as a wacky tiltawhirl slam gets a near-fall. Robo fought back with some right hands, but he’s caught with a buckle bomb, only to return with some clotheslines. DDTs from Verna get another two-count, before Robo hit a torture rack cutter… and that’s it. Very WWE-like in that the one big move proved to be enough to get the win, but this was a little shaky in the middle. **¾
BCW Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-Final: Anthony Bowens vs. Richard Holliday
Commentary pokes fun at Holliday’s new music. I feel like I’m stuck in a lift.
Bowens jumps Holliday at the bell as he looked to wrap this up early, landing a Blockbuster for just a two-count. A dropkick follows for a near-fall, as did a leg lariat, and it’s all Bowens… at least until Holliday took a cheapshot back in. the work over the leg and knee pays off as a 2008 Stock Market Crash almost nicks the win for Holliday, before a half crab nearly led to the upset as Bowens caught Holliday with a small package. Chops from Bowens sting Holliday in the ropes, as did a lariat, before another set of pinning attempts broke out in the corner. In the end, Holliday kicks out the legs of Bowens and rolls him up with the tights, as another TV finish wraps up our finals. **½
Colin Delaney vs. Josh
Delaney got no music, as he was the “local competitor” up against the renamed “Josh”. He’s lost his Briggs and his gear as we get a spoof of a Young Lion entrance. Briggs is playing up his former footballer background, and it’s a short one. Three point stance, running boot, and that’s your win. Chances are, this character isn’t going to last.
Up next: a bodyslam challenge between Puf and “the American Hero” Mark Sterling. Sterling’s even got the Lex Luger red, white and blue shirt and jeans look. This is the accidental early 90s WWF tribute show! Puf-zuna tries for a slam, but Sterling clings to the ropes before Puf whipped off Sterling’s wig… only for VSK to run in and attack Puf. Run-ins follow, and so our bodyslam challenge becomes a tag match.
Bodyslam Challenge: The Buffalo Brothers (Daniel Garcia, Kevin Blackwood & Puf) vs. Whatever It Takes (Alex Reynolds, Mark Sterling & VSK)
This music is killing me.
So we start with a match as Kevin Blackwood tries to DDT VSK, before the pair tried for slams. Puf and Blackwood go for slams, but Alex Reynolds ran in with low blows. Daniel Garcia makes a save, so this gets restarted as a trios match.
Blackwood scores a slam, but VSK had the ref distracted… so it doesn’t count. Garcia comes in to clean house, but Sterling takes out the ref as he got slammed. So it still doesn’t count! Alex Reynolds uses brass knuckles to lay out Garcia before he and VSK went for a top rope slam… but they take too long and Puf turns it into a tower of doom instead before a trio of slams get the win. Fun stuff as we stick with the mid early 90s WWF tropes! **½
Chuck O’Neil’s introduced as a former star of The Ultimate Fighter. They’re not wrong. What the hell is the Curb Your Enthusiasm music doing?! Larry Legend’s rocking a new, Mean Gene-ish look… ah, wait a minute, he’s fully Paul Heyman-ing it up for “Brock” O’Neil. Where’s the rat-tail?! This leads to a handicap match, and some comedy with the “evil archaeologists”.
Chuck O’Neil vs. The Archaeologists (Arty Facts & Doug Hole)
German suplex to Hole. German suplex to Facts. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. The greater metropolitan Suplex area wraps up with a stacked-up German suplex, before the Archaeologists were slammed onto each other for the easy pin. So much squash.
I love how the Curb Your Enthusiasm music played as Sidney Bakabella told us how Chuck’s contract meant he’d be gone for eight months…
Hardcore Match: Mack Hetfield vs. Slade
Matthew Justice “was unable to compete” because he was “far too abrasive”. In his place was Mack Hetfield, who… looked very familiar. Josh Briggs on the stage was marvelling at the Bruiser Brody-inspired grapple…
Slade’s all inspired by Nailz, chained out and brought out with some prison guards. We start out with some heavy hits, trading clotheslines before Hetfield landed a Stinger splash. Slade’s right back out with a clothesline before he grabbed some plunder from under the ring, grabbing a chair… but GM Swoggle comes out to admonish him for even thinking of using chairshots to the head.
Instead, Slade throws Hetfield through a chair, before a spear got Hetfield a near-fall. In response, Hetfield chucks in some chairs a la Terry Funk, before he used one as Slade tried to build some wacky contraption. Hetfield finishes it off with an upside-down chair… but Swoggle’s out to talk them out of it as he makes it a No Chairs Match. He didn’t say “no chair”…
Nor did he say “no doors”… two get thrown into the ring as Hetfield drapes them across the corner of the ring, only for Slade to escape and hit a sit-out side slam instead. Slade grabs some lighter fluid and a lighter as he tries to set the doors on fire, and of course Swoggle stops him. Same again when Slade grabs more plunder: no to a pizza wheel. No to a cheese grater… but yes to a toilet plunger! Hetfield manages to catch Slade unawares with a bin lid… and that’s the win. An anti-hardcore match then, as the trolling continues! *
After the match, Slade attacked his prison guards before chasing Rich Palladino out of the room…
Retro AG vs. Bull Fit
It’s “Retro AG”, to fit the “network’s desire to cut down last names”. Hah. Ava Everett’s out to introduce his opponent, since the network won’t allow intergender. So instead, she’s got a “former television wrestling superstar” to do her dirty work: “Bull Fit” – or Bull James. Complete with his old NXT music.
AG does push-ups as he tried to out-do Bull from the start, but a Test of Strength offers little resistance as Bull does star jumps instead. They Benny Hill chase around the ring, but Bull’s winded quickly. He recovered to chop AG, only to get caught back in the ring as AG took over. Except he couldn’t leap onto Bull, who log rolled away every time AG went up top, and that sparked a comeback as Bull squashed AG in the corner before an Earthquake splash was avoided as AG rolled to the corner.
From there, AG grabs some of Ava’s protein powder, and throws it in Bull’s face before a springboard Unprettier gets the win. This was okay for what it was – AG cheating to win in classic TV style! **
Control Of The USB Hard Drive: Christian Casanova vs. Hackman
You read that right. There’d been “mysterious messages” sent by a guy called “Hackman”. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the former Kevin Hackman from Tough Enough… it’s a familiar wheeler. Still a better hacker than Solomon Crowe. Probably.
Hackman charged at Casanova at the bell, but couldn’t avoid a neckbreaker as Casanova got an early pin attempt in. Armdrags follow, but Hackman hits a back senton then grounded Casanova with an armbar. A clothesline keeps Casanova down, as he had to fight free on the way to landing a springboard clothesline. A pratfall from Casanova led to a running knee and a suplex/cutter combo for a near-fall, while Hackman returned with a roll-up for a near-fall. The referee lost the USB hard drive during that exchange, but dove on it as Hackman proceeded to hit a stalling suplex… before both men hooked each other’s legs as we had a double pin. It’s a draw – and our ref runs off with the USB stick… **½
That was certainly… a thing.
BCW Championship Tournament Final: Robo vs. Richard Holliday
There’s still no sign of a title belt…
Robo tries to jump Holliday at the bell, but the Air Pod lover rolls outside before he got caught with a dropkick back inside. An elbow from Holliday just earned him a slam for a near-fall, before Robo superkicked him onto the apron. Back in the ring, Holliday took over with a dropkick, before a spinebuster almost put away Robo. There’s a LONG grounded chinlock, which keeps the show-long rib going, before Robo fought free with clotheslines. An overhead belly-to-belly drops Holliday too, before a superplex attempt was countered with an avalanche 2008 for a near-fall for Holliday.
Robo’s back with a sit-out death valley driver, before a spear surprised Holliday for a near-fall – as he needed to get a foot on the rope to save his skin, before a roll-up and a handful of tights got Holliday the win. By the numbers stuff, but a solid match that wouldn’t look out of place. Now, in the immortal words of Bart Simpson, where’s my elephant? I mean belt… ***
Oh, here we go. Holliday gets a bag and unzips it… but he looks bemused. Rather than show off the belt, he grabs a bin from under the ring, and Medusa’s it.
Control of Beyond Wrestling: Jay Freddie vs. Brandon Thurston
Or “Jay Feddie”, if you want to go by the caption.
These two have bad blood, and they start by shoving each other… before Freddie unloaded on Thurston. A clothesline drops Thurston too, before elbows and a splash in the corner led to a slingshot as Thurston took the corner. A Saito suplex is next for a near-fall, before a Benny Hill chase put Thurston on top… but chops back in the ring just annoy Freddie again.
A spinebuster from Freddie gets a near-fall, but a Sharpshooter’s pushed away as Vin Gerard tripped Freddie in the ropes. Thurston hits a knee to knock Freddie outside as Gerard chokes on Jay on the floor, which opened things up for Thurston as he peppered Jay with kicks… until Freddie cut him off with a suplex. Back-and-forth forearms follow, before Thurston got caught in the corner with dropkick. Freddie followed Thurston into the corner as they teased another slip off the top rope, but Gerard gets involved again, only to get headbutted to the floor, before Freddie accidentally wiped out the ref with a shoulder charge. With no ref, Jay continues with a DDT before a Sharpshooter was teased… but Vin Gerard assaults Freddie with the YouTube play button, smashing it into pieces as Freddie got a mugging.
Out comes Denver Colorado to make the save in a retina-burning singlet, clotheslining through Gerard and Thurston before hitting a Stunner to Gerard. Thurston’s thrown in as DC hits a death valley driver, and all that’s left is a Sharpshooter as the ref came to, just in time for Thurston to tap. Not the technical showcase they’ve done before, but this was perhaps the best match so far when you wrapped up the storyline too! ***¼
But wait, that’s not all! Swoggle comes out with an envelope, which I guess was his contract as DC rips it up. Then comes the big news: Beyond have a show head-to-head with WrestleMania, and they’ll be back with season three of Uncharted Territory starting on April 30! That made this whole gag worthwhile!
We’ve got a bonus main event too as we’re back to the proper music and the old-school “fans around the ring”. This is the Beyond I love…
Tony Deppen vs. John Silver
We’re back to Beyond for this one!
The pair started off with wristlocks as they cycled through holds early on, before Deppen helped Silver kip up out of some headscissors. A side headlock from Silver took us to an escape before almost a Torpedo Moscau from him wiped out Deppen. Mid kicks follow as Deppen was rocked, but he’s able to come back and trip Silver before kicking his leg out of his leg on the way to a back senton.
Deppen stays on Silver’s leg, tying him up for a bow and arrow hold, before a dropkick put Silver down again. A floatover suplex gets Deppen a near-fall, just as Silver began to find a way back through with kicks. He’s quickly cut-off by Deppen, who begins to get ahead of himself as a back senton’s stopped with Silver’s knees, before a press slam lawn dart and a running knee changed the momentum around.
A suplex from Silver’s good for a near-fall, but a knee and a low dropkick puts Deppen back in it. Deppen’s lungblower gets a near-fall, before he tripped into the ropes as Silver lands a knee… but he can’t get off a Spin Doctor rack bomb as Deppen fought back with a Tiger Bomb for a near-fall. Deppen misses a stomp off the top as Silver boots back in… then caught Deppen on the top rope for an avalanche brainbuster. Goddamn. That’s only enough for a near-fall, before a modified crossface chokehold, along with some knees, keep Deppen down. Another brainbuster, this time out of Deppen, shows some resistance, before he got caught with a small package after a flurry of shots.
More strikes from Deppen lead to a fightback as Silver cracks in with a knee, before the Spin Doctor… gets a one-count?! A Judas Effect and another running knee from Silver’s enough though, as he puts away Deppen in an absolute cracker. This is the Beyond we all wanted! ***¾
If you look at the star ratings, you’d be tempted to think this was a bad show. It was not. Beyond Championship Wrestling was always meant to be a rib on those who thought Beyond needed to change – and by presenting a mid-90s WWF show (complete with the sparse crowd from some angles), this was a fun show that should be taken for what it always was meant to be: mostly a rib.