David Starr. Joey Janela. One more time, for the last time. The feud that’s characterised Beyond capped off Americanrana this year, with an hour-long, anything goes Iron Man match.
We’ve got a packed Foxwoods Resort for Beyond’s showpiece event. Settle in for this, as the run time’s almost five and a half hours long, with intervals. Commentary comes from Paul Crockett and Sidney Bakabella.
Alex Reynolds vs. John Silver
This one played out over the course of Uncharted Territory, with the Beaver Boys breaking up, getting back together, then breaking up for good. Alex Reynolds is out with a robe probably stolen from Cam Zagami’s wardrobe.
Silver took Reynolds to task early on with strikes, but he’s outwitted as Reynolds took him to the outside in a bid to slow down the pace. A crossface wears Silver down, as Reynolds proceeded to mock his former partner with kicks… but some vicious ground and pound turned it back around. Reynolds almost stuck the win with a handful of tights, before dropping Silver with a right hand. That period of dominance ended when Silver avoided a moonsault from Reynolds, then snapped him down with a German suplex and a back cracker for a near-fall. Another barrage of strikes led to Silver pratfalling Reynolds into the ropes for a kick to the back of the head, before a rack bomb almost got the “Meat Man” the win.
Silver went for a punt to Reynolds, but he’s just shoved into the ref as “Smart” Mark Sterling appeared at ringside. A roll of quarters was thrown for Reynolds to catch… then use to punch out Silver for the win. Well, Sterling was one of the many Discovery Gauntlet guys who fell to Thomas Santell during Uncharted Territory, and I guess he’s coming in as a manager here – something which can only help Alex Reynolds around these parts. ***
Bear Country (Bear Beefcake & Bear Bronson) vs. EYFBO (Mike Draztik & Angel Ortiz)
It’s hard not to look into EYFBO going back to their former names here – especially since they’d been tagged as LAX in the very recent past. Still, it meant newer fans finally learned that EYFBO stood for “Entertaining Your Fucking Balls Off”. We’re all gonna be eunuchs.
Ortiz started by putting the boots to Bronson as the early feeling out process culminated in Ortiz realising that Bear Beefcake would just throw him around… so he’s not gonna lock up with him. Instead, he raked Beefcake’s back… and got chopped. Ah well. Mike Draztik tries the same trick, but gets popped up into the sky for good measure before the pace shot up with Bronson’s attempt at a dive getting stuffed as EYFBO broke into some double-teaming. Bronson got taken into the ring post as EYFBO wrapped his legs around the steel, with Draztik’s ringpost figure four keeping the big man in trouble. Another figure four follows inside, but Ortiz is grabbing the ropes… and gets caught. Bronson can’t get the tag out as Draztik’d snuck around to the other corner to pull him to the floor. The double-teams backfire as Bronson hit a Fire Thunder Driver as he sandwiched EYFBO on top of each other… and in comes Beefcake with a nice big back body drop!
Stacked up death valley drivers awaited EYFBO as Bronson proceeded to wipe out Ortiz with a tope on the outside…
Back in the ring, Ortiz and Bronson trade shots, but Bronson’s bad wheel cost him as EYFBO looked to be getting back on top… but Draztik just leaps into some repeated powerbombs and a death valley driver from Beefcake as Bear Country were back in the driver’s seat… finishing off with an Elevator Drop for the win, despite Angel Ortiz’s despairing dive. A bit of a wacky finish given that that break-up would have stopped the count in 99% of matches, but a disputed finish leaves the door open for rematches down the line. ***¼
Post-match, Team Tremendous run out to attack Bear Country. Dan Barry – back from surgery – and Bill Carr are in black shirts, so I guess they’re now posh bouncers, rather than cops? Regardless, EYFBO put over Bear Country as the “new aces” of Beyond, which caps off a remarkable rise given that they’d only debuted here early on in Uncharted Territory’s run.
Chuck O’Neil vs. Wheeler Yuta
The build-up for this saw Yuta outsmart O’Neil by repeatedly escaping his cross armbreaker – thanks to techniques allegedly learned in the wXw dojo in Germany.
Yuta makes a beeline for the ring, as Rich Palladino’s forced to bail and give introductions from the floor. There’s a nice touch as he introduces the wrestlers by the colours of their gear – it’s always someone’s first time watching these shows. A double-jump missile dropkick has O’Neil in the ropes, but he’s quickly spiked with a Falcon arrow as Chuck went for the cross armbreaker. Yuta escaped, then took him outside for a tope into the aisle, before they fought onto the apron… where Yuta’s thrown into the ring post as he spilled to the floor. Yuta barely beats the count-out, but was kept on the defensive as O’Neil kicks away the arm.
A second wind sees Yuta fire back with a shotgun dropkick and some stomps, before O’Neil waffled him with a leaping knee out of the corner, which knocked out Yuta and forced the stoppage. A hell of a finish that keeps Chuck legit after the last few weeks were spent having his cross armbreaker escaped from repeatedly – and a finish you really need to avoid people falling into the trap of waiting for “big moves” to finish matches. **½
Ladder Match for the Feast Wrestling Championship: Cheeseburger (c) vs. Puf vs. Solo Darling vs. Johnny Cockstrong vs. Anthony Greene vs. Swoggle vs. Kikutaro vs. Alex Zayne vs. Kenn Doane vs. Marko Stunt
We had a bunch of new names added to this since the Uncharted Territory roll call… Johnny lost his codpiece during his entrance, and this didn’t have quite the insanity we’re used to with ladder matches.
Yeah, there’s your shining moments, like Marko Stunt leaping from a ladder on the outside into a cannonball into a pile in the ring, before Kikutaro allowed Solo to climb the ladder so he could be a pervert. Solo’s response? To try and rip his leg off…
Kikutaro doesn’t learn his lesson, but Solo diverts her attention to Cockstrong, who hits an X-Factor on the apron. There’s a piledriver for Alex Zayne too, before Puf slammed Johnny onto a ladder. Ow. Anthone Greene and Cheeseburger try to knock Puf down, but he resists their chops until Cheeseburger’s step-up stomp off of Greene finally has the big man down. Cheeseburger stops Stunt with a Shotei before he finally press slammed someone… throwing Stunt into Greene for the hell of it. Greene comes back with a nice piledriver to Cheeseburger after flipping him out of the corner, before Swoggle goes German suplex crazy. He goes all Terry Funk, helicoptering a ladder, before he went nose-to-nose with Marko Stunt, who had about 2-3 inches on him, if that.
Kikutaro looked to stomp Stunt through a ladder, but Cockstrong’s tricked-out dildo stopped him as Alex Zayne did the thing, hitting a 630 to put Stunt through the ladder. That was bloody insane, given how close to the corner Stunt was to begin with… Christian Casanova, who wasn’t in the match, knocks Zayne off the ladder as he and Cam Zagami looked to help Kenn Doane. Puf stops that, but his attempt to climb the ladder’s stopped as the Platinum Hunnies powerbomb him instead, only for Doane to return to lay them out. His attempt to go for the title’s thwarted by Solo though, who traps his legs in the ladder, then steps over him on the way to the top as she unhooked the burger-themed belt. This was fine – everyone had a moment to shine, without necessarily having to kill themselves – although I have no idea what Feast Championship Wrestling is, save for their brief dalliances with Beyond… **¾
They go to an interval as the “free” portion of the show came to an end…
Josh Briggs vs. Johnny Foxwoods
Being the first match back after interval, Josh Briggs took it upon himself to go to the lobby and corral the crowd back into the room.
When we finally got going, Briggs tried to use his size to shove Johnny into the corner, but the former Johnny Nitro used his parkour flippy dos to evade the big man. It didn’t save him from a big boot, as Briggs finally started to build up some steam, throwing fka Johnny Impact into the turnbuckles for a near-fall, before a missing a standing splash. The old John Morrison hits a corkscrew splash and a break-dancing legdrop for a near-fall, before the ol’ Johnny Spade series of kicks and boots had Briggs in the ropes. I might be done with that long ol’ list of former names now. Oh wait, the old Johnny Mundo’s got a baseball slide German suplex in him for another two-count, before formerly Johnny Blackcraft worked a chinlock to force Briggs back down to the mat.
A Calaway clothesline gets Briggs back in it, setting him up for a big boot to Foxwoods in the corner… but Johnny’s able to respond by charging Briggs into the corner… where his Spanish Fly attempt was shoved away. It lands at the second attempt, before he flipped out of a chokebomb and responded with a Disaster kick as Briggs ended up kick powering up out of a pin, rolling Foxwoods up before a pair of backbreakers almost led to the win… but John Hennigan (away from the ring) got a foot to the ropes. Thanks for reminding me of that name, Paul!
Foxwoods has one last flurry with a Moonlight Drive, before he dawdled ahead of Starship Pain… Briggs rolls away and boots him back, before landing a chokeslam for a near-fall. The chokebreaker’s called for again, but Morrison ‘ranas out, then ran into the referee as Briggs was popped up into a mule kick. One Starship Pain later, and Morrison wins… a match I couldn’t really get into, although the early story of Briggs getting frustrated by Morrison’s agility was pretty cool. **¾
After the match, the lights go out as someone ran to the ring… it MJF! A second low blow allows MJF to spike Briggs with Cross Rhodes, as bequeathed to him by his “very best friend” Cody. I had wondered where he’d disappeared to since he was part of the GABES…
The Butcher and the Blade (Andy Williams & Pepper Parks) vs. The Rock N Roll Express (Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton)
Well isn’t this a wacky little match?
Ricky Morton and Andy Williams start us off, with Williams scoring an easy shoulder tackle. Robert Gibson snuck in for a double-team shoulder tackle that had Williams a little befuddled, so in comes Pepper Parks, who again fell victim to quick tags as the house lights suddenly came on. There’s a turnaround as Parks tried to choke Morton in the corner, but he gets tripped into the corner before we got the Ricky to Robert tag, as Robert Gibson caught Parks with a sleeperhold. Williams breaks it up, before the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express got whipped into each other… but they recover as a sunset flip – with some assistance on the pin – got Ricky and Robert the win.
They kept this basic, but this worked extraordinarily well, especially if you were any kind of fan of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express… **½
IndependentWrestling.tv Independent Championship: RD Evans vs. Orange Cassidy (c)
RD Evans – tagged the “Quitman” because of how he left WWE at the Hall of Fame – put his career on the line for this one. Would the former Marchie Archie leave with gold?
He started out the proverbial feeling out process by slapping the sunglasses off of Orange’s face. RD’s fuming as the hands go in the pockets, before he’s tricked into some criss-cross action, only for Cassidy to trick him with a Magistral cradle for the win to leave Evans crestallen… and without a career.
Or so we thought. Evans got the mic and baited Cassidy into a second match, after slagging off the Fast and Furious franchise.
IndependentWrestling.tv Independent Championship: RD Evans vs. Orange Cassidy (c)
Wise to Orange’s tricks, RD crunches a pair of sunglasses at the bell. Except Orange has another pair. And another. And another. Heck, even the referee’s carrying a spare… and for some reason, so was RD.
Evans was apoplectic with rage at all of that… even more so when Cassidy started his offence. I think I’ve pulled that facial expression a few times at shows… we get a three-way eye poke as Orange, RD and Bryce Remsburg then bonked into each other as the crowd went wild. They do the Undertaker sit-up spot as the referee had to be calmed down, but instead RD just shoved him into Orange before a spinning crucifix bomb drew a near-fall. A sharpshooter’s next, but Cassidy got to the ropes before he scored with the orange mist… but a spear from Evans saw him get a little cocky as he tried to Goldberg his way to the win.
The first Jackhammer’s countered into a small package for a near-fall, before the second landed as Evans nearly took the win. Evans heads up for a swandive headbutt, which misses, as does a top rope splash, before a second Jackhammer’s countered with a roll-up for the win. That’s RD done and dusted, for reals this time, as Orange Cassidy managed to find a way through. If you’re not a fan of Orange Cassidy, this match won’t change your mind, but it was a fun slice of comedy nevertheless. **½
The Chop ‘N Roll Express (Bryan Alvarez & Tom Lawlor) vs. Nerder Death Kill (Thomas Santell & Nick Gage)
Tom Lawlor literally had to carry Bryan Alvarez to the ring, as there was more than a little bit of fear running through the former sheet writer. Bryan played up that fear real well, particularly when Gage did the universal gesture for writing. Was Bryan scared he was going to have to do his sheet again?
Anyway, the match started with some comedy when Santell undid his cardigan and revealed a shirt proclaiming that “GARRETT IS NUMERO UNO.” That may have landed better on Twitter than live, as I doubt anyone at Foxwoods gave a damn over who the “better” podcast host is on the Observer site. Even Nick Gage was shaking his head at it. For the record, it’s any guy who has bass in his voice.
Alvarez started by taking Santell to the mat as I remembered the glory days of his show… back when he used to review Santell in a former life all the ways back in OVW. Bryan scarpers to the corner when Gage tagged in, so we got Lawlor and Gage slugging it out for a bit. A clothesline from Santell takes Lawlor outside, but he sidesteps a baseball slide as Alvarez kept his distance from Gage, watching on as Santell leapt off the top rope to the floor.
Santell headed back up top moments later, but got press slammed to the mat by Lawlor as Bryan looked to pick his shots. The crowd’s berating Alvarez as he hit a slingshot chop to Santell, then one off the top rope for barely a one-count, so it’s back to some more chops before Lawlor’s brought in to throw some more. Those had some more sting to them… as did Bryan’s chop to aid a suplex. More kicks from Lawlor serve to rile up Santell, who catches a punch… but got taken down to the mat as he tried to leap for a tag to Gage. Some cheating from Alvarez keeps building up the heat… with Lawlor pulling Gage off the apron as the anticipation continued to build. Slams from Santell to Lawlor and Alvarez finally opened the door as Nick Gage came in to kick some arse.
A spinebuster for Lawlor, then a German suplex and a TKO almost gets the win… as did a face-washing boot in the corner, before Lawlor recoiled off a jumping knee and fell into the tag of Bryan Alvarez. Chico disputed it, but Gage didn’t care as he tried for a piledriver… and nearly lost to a small package. Lawlor’s back to take an assisted chokebreaker, which just left Bryan open… and despite a barrage of superkicks, all of which Gage shrugged off, Bryan’s fionished off with a chokebreaker and a piledriver, as it really was NDK all effing day.
Say what you will about the whole “Bryan Alvarez doing random, high-profile indy bookings almost a decade after his regular career ended”, but this told a heck of a story. They kept it basic, and the crowd ate all of this up. ***½
Chris Dickinson vs. Daisuke Sekimoto
Sekimoto was Dickinson’s handpicked opponent for this show, after he was allowed the opportunity to do so by winning the Lethal Lottery tournament earlier in the year. Hope you like hoss fights!
The early exchanges are nice and fluid, as wristlocks, headlocks and the like are quickly kicked away from, before Dickinson uncorked the first chop. Like Sekimoto was going to refuse the offer. Foxwoods became alive with the sound of those chops, some of which went a little high, before Sekimoto ran into a spinning heel kick as Dickinson switched it up.
Dickinson keeps the pressure up with more chops, before a crossbody just about took Sekimoto down… only for him to power back up into a backbreaker. Clubbering forearms from Sekimoto continued to turn the tables as Dickinson ate some chops and boots in the corner, before a deadlifted suplex has Dickinson down for a near-fall. A single leg crab keeps Dickinson in trouble, but after getting to the ropes, Dickinson’s able to respond with a back suplex to give himself a breather.
That second wind came into play as Dickinson cornered Sekimoto with a bunch of lariats, before he spiked Sekimoto with a death valley driver for another two-count. Christ, Sekimoto’s having more luck finding bowling balls that fit him in Oberhausen than he is getting back into it here it feels… just as I say that, he back body drops out of a powerbomb attempt, before Sekimoto got caught with a piledriver for a near-fall. Out of nowhere, Sekimoto countered a clothesline into a uranage, before heading up top for a big splash… squashing Dickinson to nearly end the match. Daisuke keeps up the pressure with a bulldog, then a deadlift German suplex, before landing a diving crossbody… but he’s caught up top as Dickinson opted to bring him down with a superplex.
With both men on their feet, it’s back to the clubbering as forearms sent sweat spraying into the air, before a lariat decked Dickinson. Kicks from Dickinson turn the momentum around again though, before Sekimoto hauled him up for a torture rack fallaway slam. More sweat goes flying as we’re back to chops, which made for a hell of a visual from the ringside cameras as neither man gave no quarter… at least until Dickinson landed some kicks and a Pazuzu Bomb for the win. Holy hell, that was amazing. I wouldn’t have been shocked if Dickinson’d lost, but with this win here – and the shower of, erm “dick strings”, Beyond manage managed to propel him right to the top… beating one of Japan’s best at his own game. Watch. This. War. ****¼
After the match, Dickinson made sure to bring Sekimoto back to the ring so he could bow to him and give Daisuke his moment in the sun.
Cue another interval… because it’s time to put up a cage!
Cage Match: Kris Statlander vs. Kimber Lee
This cage looks a little on the short side, I’d say about a foot above the top rope. Eh, if it works, it works, especially if this isn’t under “escape the cage” rules.
Statlander jumps Kimber Lee as she entered the ring, and this is all about the clubbering early on. Kimber Lee quickly turned it around with a massive German suplex, as she began to have her way with Statlander, throwing her around the ring with relative ease. Here’s replies from Statlander, who brought the head drops with German suplexes and Saito suplexes, before an attempted spear saw Kris charge into the steel as Kimber sidestepped her. That meeting with the steel opened up Statlander, and good God, the crimson mask is quickly appearing… helped on a little by Kimber Lee’s biting. Things remain one-sided as German suplexes kept Statlander on the defensive, but she’s able to land some token offence, cracking into Kimber Lee with forearms and knee strikes as the blood continued to trickle. Kimber Lee’s bleeding too, as both women were looking to make their own mark on the Muta Scale, helping each other along with strikes to the head.
Kimber Lee’s taken into the corner before they resumed the forearms… only for Statlander to get powerbombed into the cage wall for a near-fall. Kimber tries to go up top, but she’s caught and sent down with a German suplex that folded her in half, before Kris headed back up for a 450 splash… and that’s the win. I’m not sure if the early blood changed plans, but this was a nice throwback to the violent cage matches of old. A clean win for Statlander pretty much puts Kimber Lee in the rear view mirror, regardless of what’s next. ***¼
As they took down the cage, Beyond promoter Denver Colorado took the mic to share some news… Uncharted Territory is coming back, but that’s only part of it. Beyond are looking to carve their own path and head into some fresher uncharted territory. Partnering with Sports Entertainment Experience, Beyond are getting their own venue!
Uncharted Territory season two will begin on Thursday October 3rd at the Sports Entertainment Experience/IWTV Live Studios in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. I’m getting strong Family Guy vibes here. In addition to Uncharted Territory moving to Thursdays, they’re also creating a Discovery Gauntlet-like show on Tuesdays, so they’re smartly avoiding the AEW/NXT block on Wednesdays, while making me try to figure out how the hell I cover the first episode of season 2 while in Germany…
No Disqualification, No Count-Out, No Holds Barred Iron Man Match: David Starr vs. Joey Janela
We’re going an hour here folks, so get comfortable!
Starr’s all about the heat, as he’s announced from the “real wrestling capital of the world… London, England”. I mean, Enfield’s technically not London, so he’s got a point.
Janela tries for a handshake at the bell, forgetting what Starr promised him at the end of Uncharted Territory last week. He disarmed Starr of his Kendo stick, since he wanted to wrestle… and wrestle is what Starr did, going for the arm in the early going, then the knees, as Janela was proving to be surprisingly adept. Starr tries to make Janela want to go for the Kendo stick, but he throws it aside as the pair went at a decent pace considering they were guaranteed for an hour.
Chops from Janela deck Starr, before he went for a chinlock to please his lord and master Jim Cornette. He’s quickly back to old ways, taking Starr outside for a tope, before Starr went for a chair and hit the comedy bump, whacking himself in the head after the chair bounced off the ropes as we got our first time call – ten minutes in. Janela uses the chair to good effect, as Starr’s back took a beating… not unlike Janela’s though, when his attempt to set up some furniture backfired horribly, as Starr broke a chair with a Product Placement… which put Starr 1-0 up. Defiantly, Janela wanted more of that chair, and gets it as Starr swung for the fences… which he did so again as he took Janela into the corner for some chops.
They head outside again, with Janela pulling out some more chairs… but again it backfires as an attempt to kick a chair into Starr led to him taking a Cherry Mint DDT onto a chair on the apron as Starr makes it 2-0. It’s nearly 3-0 after Starr used a tiltawhirl to plant Janela onto a chair, before he went for the Republican Remorse to force Janela to tap… and at 3-0, it’s horribly one-sided. Starr showed little sign of mercy though, jabbing and whacking Janela in the knee with a Kendo stick, but just like that, Janela steals the Kendo stick and smashes it into Starr’s head before making it 3-1. Starr’s coming up red from that, and with Janela in control of the Kendo stick, there’s more where that came from as Starr was left a sweaty, bloody wreck on the mat.
Eventually those shots had Starr powdering to the outside, but Janela brings him back in as he laid Starr across some chairs, before he snapped a Kendo stick and used the jagged edges to carve Starr some more. Janela looked for a moonsault into the chairs, but he slips… allowing Starr to get back in with an avalanche German suplex that damn near killed Joey, but didn’t get the fall! From there, Starr locks in a Figure Four, as he tries to get some sort of decision, but Joey rolls over the hold and… Starr taps to the reversal?! I’ve never ever seen that before. It’s 3-2 now as Starr’s threatening to throw his commanding lead away in a manner I’ve not seen since… let’s not bring up football analogies.
With Starr trying to recover, out come some doors… but Joey took too long and was met with a chair as Starr proceeded to pull out a table on the outside. Likewise, he’s met with a chair as he got back in the ring, as Starr looked to have his head bounce off the corner of a door as Janela measured up for something off the apron… but he slips as Starr kicks the table away before he got bounced off the apron with a death valley driver as somehow we’d only passed the 30 minute mark. Back in the ring, Janela kills Starr with a superplex into a pile of chairs, before rolling into a package piledriver as Starr somehow got his shoulder at two. A second package piledriver into the chairs ties it up at 3-3.
Janela stops the match to get a drink… and then drool it into Starr’s mouth for the hell of it. Yeah, I’m retching. They look to amp it up as Janela tries to piledrive Starr through the ladder bridges in the corner, before he instead hit a twisting Fisherman buster… but Starr landed on top of him, before Janela recovered to score a delayed two-count. It’s back to the crossface, with Janela using a chair for extra pressure, as Starr tapped… but his foot was on the rope, as the referee explained that since this isn’t falls count anywhere, rope breaks are still valid. Hey, rules actually mean something!
With Janela moaning about it all, Starr took advantage with a small package to restore his lead… but that just made Janela mad, as he threw a chair at Starr out of frustration. Janela resets the table on the outside as the plunder came back into it… and we’ve about 20 minutes left with both men looking spent. More doors? More doors! Starr’s whipped through one, then returned the favour… only for Janela to stand right back up. He shrugs off a Destroyer, as Starr proceeded to eat a chair, sending him onto the apron for… OHMYGODINHEAVEN a goddamn step-up Destroyer off the apron through the table!
Rather than go for a cover, Janela calls for some of the stage hands to help him carry a bit of the cage wall from the prior match back to the ring, before dismantling the guard rails as he had some more construction work in mind. Out comes a ladder as well, as Sidney Bakabella tells us it’s a shoutout to SuperHumman… but Starr stops him and superplexed him off the top of a ladder, through the cage wall that’d been bridged between the apron and guard rail. Holy shit indeed.
A leaping stomp off the apron saw Starr continue to boot Janela through the segment of cage, before he used the Kendo stick shards to stab Joey with again and again. Somehow, Joey’s back to his feet, all bloodied on the apron, before he got pulled up for an attempted superplex… but he slips free and powerbombed Starr onto an upright bin, which led to the pin – despite Janela having his feet on the ropes. It’s 4-4 now, but that’s as dubious a fall as you’ll ever see in a plunderiffic match as this. Referee Kevin Quinn’s begging for a time check, but it’s not announced before Starr has the bin bounced off of his head while Janela popped outside for a cigarette to mark 50 minutes gone. For those worried about the no smoking laws, don’t… Joey takes a seat and puts it out on Starr’s bloody forehead. That’ll leave a mark.
Starr dives in with a low blow to stop Janela, before using a chair to bat a ladder into Janela as the sense of urgency started to rise. They begin to use whatever was to hand to try and break the tie, including a second table, which Starr quickly used to piledriver Janela through… but somehow Joey gets the shoulder up! So Starr rips off a bit of metal from the table and stabs Janela with it… and it’s a line that the referee’s drawn as he tried to disarm Starr. That’s a line that shouldn’t be there, and it led to a stand-off as the ref takes off his shirt and… got chopped into pieces by Starr. There’s a chairshot too as the ref’s made to pay for overstepping the line, as Steven Dumeng stepped in for the final four minutes.
Starr gets into Dumeng’s face, and gets caught when Janela uses the same metal rod to stab him with… hey, there’s the double standards!
Starr barely gets up after he’s thrown into the remnants of a table… then a door… before Starr caught Janela with a sleeperhold as he tried to force a final submission. Janela poked the eyes to get free before he returned the favour… except this time Starr ripped off a part of the door and used it to get himself free. Another crack at the Republican Remorse almost forced the submission as we hit the dying seconds… but Janela got out and hit Starr with a superkick and scored the match-winning fall with ONE SECOND REMAINING. That was absolutely amazing – iron man matches can have a nasty habit of having a lot of downtime, but Starr and Janela found a way to avoid that, while keeping things interesting to the very end. ****½
After the match, Janela sat in a ring that was filling with what looked like dollar bills, before he turned the air blue. He then proceeded to put over Starr, take swipes at Impact before addressing Starr’s comment of him “selling out” because “I don’t want to deliver pizzas anymore”… while using it to babyface Starr, who somehow got the crowd chanting for him as the Ace of Beyond. Wow. Yeah, Joey got his handshake at the end, while Starr continued to babyface himself with the “Independent” promo he cut after winning Super Strong Style 16, as the rivalry that put Beyond on the map came to a shockingly amicable close. Well, as amicable as you can get when you try to powerbomb someone through a goddamn bin…
If you look at things purely from a star ratings perspective, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a run of the mill show until the top three matches. That’s not the case. With twelve matches and two intervals, this was always going to be a long show – unless you scrimped on time for matches here and there. Truth be told, nothing here felt like it went too long, or needed more time – which in itself is a masterpiece. When you’re providing such a smorgasbord of wrestling, less really can be more – even when it is as a part of a VOD that crashed past five hours in length. But if you don’t have that time… then block out an hour for that main event!
With this show, and the announcements for the future, things are bright for Beyond, you’d have to say. Their own venue, new shows, and a massive crowd on hand here… sure, there’s a question mark over how many fans they can attract to Pawtucket every week, but this’d be a calculated risk – and one I’m sure is going to reap rewards.