We’re back to Powerbomb.tv as we dip into Beyond Wrestling’s debut on the platform with a crazy – but long- show! Doors, chairs, bats and tacks… and that’s just the pre-show!
Beyond is one of the hotter promotions to have sprung up in the north-east of the States, only now getting some buzz away from the local area after seven years of operation. It’s funny what worldwide streaming can do, eh? We’re in the Electric Haze in Worcester, MA and we get going with a pre-show tag match!
American Gaijin (Jay Freddie & Rory Gulak) vs. Hot Wheels (Tracy Williams & Wheeler YUTA)
If you think Gulak’s familiar, yes, he’s Drew’s brother… and he was also a clown on 205 Live a few weeks back. Williams and YUTA are tagged as Hot Wheels – instantly a better team name than anything “Hot Sauce” has worked as in EVOLVE.
All four men blast out, trading blows as Gulak and Williams settle down – during which point commentary tells us that Gulak used to be a deathmatch worker back in the day. Mind. Blown. YUTA changes pace with a double-springboard dropkick as Freddie had tried to keep things technical, and that left Freddie pretty isolated for a spell. Freddie snapped back with a belly-to-belly superplex as Gulak was brought in to make a comeback against both halves of Hot Wheels. YUTA eats a double-team bucklebomb into Hot Sauce… YUTA’s missile dropkick takes down both of the so-called “American Gaijin” before a superkick levelled Gulak.
Freddie takes some offence too as Williams DDT’d him onto the top turnbuckle, but Gulak makes the save, and he ends up getting the win, blasting Williams with a big splash off the top after he’d been spiked by a tombstone from Freddie. A fun opener, maybe a little rushed at times, but thoroughly enjoyable. That piledriver though… ouch! ***
It looks like they’ve dubbing over entrances – playing a match graphic instead, almost like a loading graphic. It’s an odd aesthetic, but I kinda like it.
Francis Kip Stevens vs. Dick Justice
Stevens is “one tough nerd”, whilst Justice – outside of being Impact’s “standby wrestler” – is a comedy guy who plays a supercop. Gotta love the 80s porn star hair.
Stevens struggles shoving away Justice off the ropes, and that weight difference is going to cause Francis a lot of trouble. A fingerpoke sent Stevens to the outside, where he cowers away from a teased dive… yeah, this is all comedy. After taking off Stevens’ glasses to punch him, Justice brings him back inside the hard way, before pratfalling into a near-fall. A facebuster gets Justice down, but Stevens can’t roll him over… and when he does, he ends up nearly pinning himself! Stevens gets held at “gunpoint”, before distracting Dick with a donut… which he accidentally slaps away. Never slap food away from a fat guy. Or a cop – especially one who has a lot of girth to put into a Bossman slam, which gets Justice the win.
Enjoyable enough, but why do I get the feeling Dick Justice is going to register with me like Grado? Good in rare, small doses, but quickly grating? *½
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Penelope Ford
An outing for the Women’s Wrestling Revolution group here, and we’re starting off fairly technically as Purrazzo worked rings around Ford early on. An attempted Matrix counter to a clothesline ends with Purrazzo sweeping the leg, and Ford’s having a real tough time getting going as Deonna works over the arm.
Finally Penelope gets going, but she’s quickly restrained as Purrazzo trapped her arm between her feet. Regardless, Ford is able to hit a springboard back elbow into the corner as Deonna’s caught on the back foot… at least until she whiffed on a springboard stunner off the ropes, as Purrazzo caught her in an armbar for the quick submission. Short and sweet – a pretty good tease for the soon-to-be-defunct WWR. **½
15,000 Thumbtacks Match: Matt Tremont vs. Ace Romero
Not sure if anyone counted those tacks, but I sense blood. Lots of blood.
Romero’s someone whom you could kindly describe as a “larger fellow”, and he started off agile as hell with a dropkick, before diving into a trash can lid shot from Tremont. They brawl around ringside, during which Romero finds a something under the ring… a thumbtack’d bat?!
Tremont takes a baseball bat shot to the head, implanting way too many thumbtacks into his dome, before Ace empties the bin, spreading thumbtacks all across the mat. Romero tries for a powerbomb, but it’s stuffed as he ends up getting back body dropped into the pins. Good LORD. They find a door under the ring, but first Tremont takes a Bossman slam into those pins, then a chokeslam, as Romero just wants to turn him into a human pin cushion. A Sky High powerbomb’s only good for a two-count as Tremont (of course) is bleeding from the back of his still-pin-infested head.
Bryce Remsburg on commentary loves the idea of Ace Romero being all agile, but he crashes and burns into the pins as he misses with a senton bomb, before they end up clotheslining each other into the drawing pins. They either have high pain tolerance, or they’re sadistic.
I think it’s the latter: Tremont gets the thumbtack’d bat and whacks it into Romero’s back, then his head, only to get caught on the top rope as the pain continues with a death valley driver into the pins. Still it’s not enough as those pins flew all over the place, before Romero took a Samoan drop into the propped-up door. That looked awkward. Tremont then just hurls him into the door, which crumbles, and that’s enough for the W. Well, I’m not forgetting this in a hurry: Tremont relishes this sort of violence, but if you want to question this, why was this on the pre-show? Oh right… to help with the clean up later! **½
Encouragingly, commentary noted that Beyond may be streaming on the last Sunday of every month if there’s demand. So far, I’m all in!
After a time-out to clear the ring and get more fans in, we’re onto the main show!
Brandon Watts & Zenshi vs. EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik)
Zenshi had a brief run with Impact… if you believe Cagematch that is. As Shynron, he was one of those guys they signed and never used for whatever reason. Meanwhile, EYFBO are part of LAX in that group, so at least they’re getting used…
EYFBO work over Watts early, capitalising on his decision to not tag out when he had the chance, with Draztik hitting a moonsault for an early near-fall. Zenshi rushes in with a shooting star as he capitalised on a backcracker from Watts, and I’m getting a whiff of early Jody Fleisch from Zenshi here. Maybe it’s the parachute pants? Ortiz delivers an Exploder and a splash as he mounted a comeback, only for Zenshi to swerve away from EYFBO as they ran into each other… but Brandon Watts couldn’t make the tag as he was trying to fight back to his feet. Watts returned to break up a cover, then got the tag… only to eat a cutter from Draztik.
Draztik ends up on the apron, but he drops Watts onto it with a TKO as we get our mandated dives, ending with Zenshi hitting a shooting star press into his partner. An Asai moonsault from Draztik keeps both opponents down, before EYFBO earned a pair of near-falls as Draztik walked across Zenshi into a Blockbuster on Watts, as Ortiz hit a Tower of London. Insane tag team offence there!
The newly-minted pairing of Zenshi and Watts quickly rebound as Zenshi hits a double ‘rana on EYFBO, before he drops Ortiz with a stunner off the top for another near-fall. Zenshi hits a corner-to-corner kick… but Watts crashed into him as they went for similar moves at the same time, before Watts leapt into a double Ace Crusher as EYFBO got the win with a Blockbuster/Powerbomb combo! Zenshi apparently thought about breaking up the pin but didn’t… do EYFBO take home the win! Pretty fun stuff, although Watts and Zenshi looked a little clumsy at points. That’s what happens when high-risk goes awry! ***
With exit music being dropped for the sake of avoiding royalties, the end of these matches feel rather weird.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Josh Briggs
This was an open challenge from MJF, whose scarf makes him look like a clone of Alberto del Rio from back in the day. It was answered by Josh Briggs, who towered over Friedman and had the beard-tattoo look of a lot of the UK scene these days.
Apparently Briggs won his debut in Beyond a few months ago in short order, and he starts by booting MJF to the face early on before a spinning side slam left MJF reeling. Friedman gets back in as the referee randomly stopped a charging Briggs, before going after the shoulder and arm of the giant.
Briggs kipped up as Friedman mouthed off to the crowd… but MJF went straight back with a double stomp to the arm. A crossbody stops Friedman’s attempted offence, as does a diving clothesline as Briggs smashes Friedman with a gutbuster for a near-fall. A missed moonsault allows MJF the chance to capitalise, but he spends too long arguing over a two-count, and quickly eats another big boot and a vicious lariat. Yup, MJF being the loudmouth getting his comeuppance works here! He kicked out from that and went straight to an armbar on Briggs, who manages to counter out and deliver a chokeslam that sent MJF to the outside.
MJF again capitalises and kicks the rope into Briggs, setting him up for a spike piledriver – or Josh Bodom’s Bliss Buster (what is it about hateable guys and that move?)… but again, Briggs kicked out! In the end, an inverted crucifix into a slam – the same move that Marty Scurll’s been busting out lately – proves to be enough for the win. Briggs looked good here, but for a monster, he was on the defence a little too much for my liking. **¾
Anthony Greene, Brick Mastone, Cam Zagami & Mikey Webb vs. Massage NV (Dorian Graves & VSK), Joey Ryan & Johnny Cockstrong
Oh God, Ryan’s part of a team called the “Pull It Club”. Yeah, we’re in for dick jokes to the Nth degree, and that’s before you even activate Joey’s schtick.
Dick Justice comes in to keep the gag going, because of course he has to. He eats a superkick and this breaks down into some trolling as the Pull It Club massaged their opponents with their groins. Atomic drops keeps up the penile punishment, before Joey Ryan and Johnny Cockstrong are forced to scissor.
I’m calling what I see, folks.
When the comedy died down, we had a pretty basic match, leading to Zagami falling into Joey’s groin with a falling headbutt. VSK tags in next and clears over on Webb alongside Graves as Massage NV strung together some pretty good tag team moves, switching a hip massage into a flatliner then a wheelbarrow suplex. Hey, something tells me this kind of sick tag move might not be taken up by the squid and his wolf. Brick Mastone misses a charge into the corner as Johnny comes back with a double-team piledriver from Johnny and Joey. Yeah, Cam was a little too close the the strong part of Johnny.
Anthony Green gets out a condom and puts it on his hand, but Joey blocks Mr Cocko and turns it into a Penisplex. Except the condom makes it safe! Until the unprotected hand gets it, and we end up with a four-way Penisplex from the Pull It Club. The comedy returns for a slip and slide series, before Zagami takes a lollipop and a superkick from Joey… who then eats a death valley driver into a cornered Zagami as Mikey Webb scored the win! Well… this is a massive “your milage will vary” match. I don’t get on with Joey Ryan’s shtick, and magnified four-fold, this was excruciating for me. Behind that was a basic match, but this didn’t hit with me. **
JT Dunn vs. Martin Stone
Dunn wanted this to be the last time these two met… and since their first match was only last month, this is gonna be a short feud if that’s the case!
Dunn starts out by working on Stone’s arm, but it’s an even start as they grasp for submissions, with Stone dropkicking Dunn’s legs away from him ahead of an armbar attempt. Stone wears away on the left arm, stomping on the hand of JT, before trapping Dunn in a double wristlock until we finally got the rope break. Stone continues to stretch Dunn, who finally got some offence in after sidestepping a charge from the Brit, rolling back with an Ace Crusher for a near-fall as Dunn looked to dish out any offence he could that didn’t require both of his arms. That included a forearm that sunk Stone to the mat, as did some boxing-style jab forearms.
Stone replies in kind, blasting Dunn with uppercuts and knees before scoring a near-fall out of a butterfly suplex. A crossface followed, but JT escapes with a backdrop suplex as the former Chris Hero protege started to edge ahead… at least until stereo strikes knocked both men down. Dunn strikes again when both men got to their feet, replying to chops with a bicycle kick before a snap Exploder gets Stone back in it. It’s insanely even until Stone’s punch after a ducked spinning heel kick gets him a near-fall, before a big lariat and a rope-hung DDT… gets just a one-count?!
This insanity continues as Stone pulls Dunn into a crossface by the ropes, and we end with the Benoit WrestleMania 20 finish as Stone rolled him into the middle of the ring, keeping the hold on until JT tapped. Wow. This was all kinds of great – hard hitting and technical in equal doses… and I’ll be going back to watch this match later! ****
Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) vs. Amityville Project (Mike Verna & Ryan Galeone)
You’ll be familiar with Doom Patrol – they’ve got a LOT more colour here than they have in EVOLVE. Mike Verna, whom is eight years younger than me to the day, also moonlights for CHIKARA as Sloan Caprice from time to time, alongside Rick Roland… who’s working here as Rex Lawless. Confused? You shouldn’t be!
Verna and Dickinson get us going, trading slaps back and forth before tags got us to Jaka and Galeone. A leapfrog from Jaka’s easily caught, before he replies with a ‘rana to escape a pop-up powerbomb… but the Amityville Project were able to keep a foot in the door, with Galeone catching a dive from Jaka and turning it into a backbreaker.
Galeone keeps up on Jaka, before Verna busts out a rebound suplex, bouncing Jaka off of all four top ropes before landing the move. Things turned around briefly when Dickinson got in, dropping Verna with a spinning heel kick, before some mounted punches in the corner led to a wild enziguiri on Verna. A top rope ‘rana dumps Galeone for a near-fall, before Doom Patrol ended up in a Tower of Doom… with Galeone’s senton off the top proving to be enough for a near-fall after he wiped out Dickinson on the way down. Verna comes back with an F5 into a Uranage, but he loses his chance to make a cover as the match continued. Galeone’s deadlift powerbomb followed by a Verna senton was just enough for a one count as Doom Patrol had plenty of gas left in the tank, despite those high impact moves.
A high/low from the Doom Patrol leads us to the Death Trap, but Lawless gets onto the apron… only for EYFBO to come out and make the save… but in the midst of that Galeone escales the Death Trap and rolls up Dickinson for the shock win! This was a really good tag match, featuring a team that I saw a new side out of. ***¾
Afterwards, Doom Patrol and EYFBO – collectively known as Team Pazuzu – bicker, before Dickinson stormed off. Trouble in paradise!
Brian Milonas vs. John Silver
Milonas was a semi-finalist in ROH’s Top Prospect Tournament earlier this year, whilst Silver has worked for a litany of promotions in the States lately.
Silver brought the fight to Milonas early, looking to out-pace the much-larger foe, only for a simple clothesline from a kneeling Milonas to knock him down. Yeah, it’s going to be a long night for “Long” John… Silver hits a drop toe hold to take Milonas into the corner for a Shibata-esque dropkick, only for that to be shrugged off as he was lifted around like he were nothing. Poor Silver gets thrown around the ring to keep that theme going. It’s never not impressive seeing someone getting propelled around the ring, but commentary started to question Milonas for not trying to end the match. A high-angle back suplex keeps Silver down, but the inevitable fightback starts… and ends just as quickly as he’s choked in the ropes.
Another comeback’s more successful as Silver manages to drop Milonas with a PK, but the big guy comes back swiftly with an overhead belly-to-belly. It gets a little even as a diving dropkick works, as does a frog splash… but Milonas gets up at two. Some Bryan Danielson-esque kicks have an effect, as does a German suplex off the ropes, getting Silver a near-fall. Milonas fires back with some right hands, but he tries for a superplex… which gets stuffed as Silver somehow flips over and powerbombs Milonas down! A PK from there just angers the big man, who comes back with a swinging side slam for a near-fall. He tries it again off the middle rope, but Silver escapes… then goes back up for a top rope ‘rana, which is shoved away as Milonas flies by his own choosing, squashing Silver with a crossbody for the win! That was a bloody enjoyable David vs. Goliath match… and for once, David didn’t win! It’ll not win any awards, but this was a good showing from the big lad. ***
Team PAWG (Jordynne Grace & LuFisto) vs. Gentleman’s Club (Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy)
Grace and LuFisto are a regular pairing in Beyond… and I’ve a feeling that the intergender match on offer here will be suitably wacky given that Orange Cassidy’s involved. Beyond’s gone from the “loading screen” treatment to just dubbing over music, giving it a very wXw vibe.
The Phat Ass White Girls (seriously, that’s the acronym, according to commentary) start off brightly, with Grace going move-for-move with Chuckie T whilst Bryce cracks a POG joke. I remember those! LuFisto and Orange Cassidy come in next, with Cassidy being more effervescent than usual.
Things pick up as LuFisto dishes out some German suplexes before a dropkick from Grace gets rid of Chuckie T… just in time for Orange Cassidy to blow himself up with some shots to both halves of PAWG. They throw him around with hiptosses, and that’s the Freshly Squeezed one almost done. Nevertheless, he looked to come back, but he took way too long with a DDT as Grace lifts him onto the top rope before LuFisto joined her for a double superplex. Except Cassidy elbows them down and calls for a flip… which ends badly as he’s crotched on the top rope.
PAWG bust out the old Quebecers Cannonball, which crushes Orange’s face, before a moonsault from Grace gets a two-count. Good God, that looked brutal! Taylor tags in for a comeback, elbowing every PAWG in sight, and following up with a pair of Falcon arrows for a near-fall. Cassidy busts out a Michinoku Driver ahead of a stomp from Taylor… but things go awry when Cassidy sprays Tropicana into Chuckie’s eyes, blinding him as Orange eats an Awful Waffle!
Nobody tries to make the pin apart from Chuck, and after some hip attacks to Cassidy, Team PAWG get the win! Fun stuff here – entirely tongue in cheek, but everyone worked well together here, as PAWG racked up another W. ***¼
AR Fox vs. Joey Janela
Fox tries to launch into Janela at the bell, but Joey sidesteps his leap off the top rope as their feeling out process started with a lot of swinging and missing.
Our first dive of the match sees Fox connect with a tope, and of course the favour’s returned before Fox moonsaults off the apron onto Janela. Flashy stuff, just a shame if you’re on the other sides of the ring! Back inside, a spin-out suplex keeps Joey down, and it’s all Fox in these early stages.
Janela fires back with some chops in the corner, but a snap suplex dumped the Bad Boy again. It’s all very much tit-for-tat, as Janela hits a German suplex into the bottom turnbuckles, before a figure four traps Fox in the middle of the ring… and that pace continues as neither man’s able to get a grip on things… not helped by Janela slipping off the top rope as he went for a dive.
Fox keeps up on a reeling Janela, peppering him with kicks before a Diamond Dust through the ropes dumps Joey for a near-fall… and then Joey swung the tide with a vicious death valley driver off the turnbuckles and onto the apron. DEAR LORD! Somehow, that only gets Joey a two-count, and after he shoves away a Lo Mein Pain, a package piledriver gets… another two for Janela!
We get a ref bump after an enziguiri wiped out the official, and when Penelope Ford gets involved to check on the referee, she’s caught by Fox… only to dump him with a reverse ‘rana. Well, turnaround is fair play! Janel-ope hit a Doomsday Device on Fox, dumping him on his head. Somehow that gets a near-fall as Janela’s attempt at a crossface ends with a rope break. Fox resurges with a superkick as he goes under the ring for something, but initially finds nothing before finally finding a chair! Janela just superkicks him onto a chair, before heading up top… but Fox catches him and reintroduces him to that chair courtesy of a Lo Mein Pain.
My back hurt just watching that… yet Joey kicked out at two!
AR goes back under the ring and finds… a door?! He throws it into the ring, causing an accidental ref bump as it hits the ref in the calves, meaning nobody can make a call when Fox sets up an impromptu table, propping the door between two chairs. Once he kicked Janela onto the wood, Fox head up for a 450 splash… but Janela catches him in mid air with an RKO, and that’s all folks! Short, but really chaotic… a fun main event to end Beyond’s debut on Powerbomb.tv! ***¼
So… Beyond’s debut on Powerbomb.tv was quite remarkable. Twelve matches (including the pre-show) offered something for everyone… which could be a curse as well as a blessing. The sheer variety is bound to turn off some, but if you’ve got an open mind, this was a hell of an introduction to Beyond. They return to Powerbomb on October 29, with EYFBO vs. Michael Elgin and Brian Cage – a match that I want to see… NOW!