Beyond Wrestling – and Powerbomb.tv – closed out 2017 and rang in 2018 in style with a TLC match and a Fans Bring The Weapons Match either side of the ball dropping!

From the original card, we lost the Tournament For Tomorrow finals, as Ace Romero dropped out for unannounced reasons. Given that they just postponed the finals, rather than announce another alternate, you’d think that Ace was set to have won. Anyway, his scheduled opponent in Wheeler YUTA stayed on the main card with a match against Flip Gordon. Another change came when Jimmy Jacobs had to pull out of his match with Matt Riddle due to a knee injury – prompting the announcement of an open challenge.

A packed crowd in Worcester, Massachusetts was on hand to witness New Years Graps, and after they were told to quit hogging the venue’s WiFi, an at-home audience was able to join in too!

American Strong (Jay Freddie & Rory Gulak) vs. Chuck O’Neil & Tom Lawlor
We’ll start with the pre-show as the renamed American Gaijin took on a pair of former Ultimate Fighter entrants in Chuck O’Neil and Tom Lawlor – the latter of those sporting some nice PRIDE-inspired gear. Only one of those two “made it” in UFC before having to branch out in wrestling thanks to an USADA drug ban. I wonder what else he took to have to suffer at being Bryan Alvarez’s only Figure Four Daily guest these last few years?

So, the hard camera here’s pretty much obscured by the live crowd, so a lot of this pre-show we’re genuinely watching like we’re at the back of the room. I’m not sure if that was an artistic choice, but it’s one that could work… were that side of the ring not as densely populated.

The more experienced of the two, Lawlor took a lot of the offence as the feed (even on the replay) stuttered badly. WiFi congestion, everyone! Gulak and Freddie nearly pinned Filthy Tom with a Samoan drop/neckbreaker combo, but Lawlor quickly managed to bring in O’Neil afterwards as Chuck nearly killed Gulak with a release German suplex for a near-fall. The suplexes keep coming as Gulak takes a delayed suplex from Lawlor, before a rear naked choke almost ended things…

Except Gulak fought out… and was knocked straight back down with a clothesline to the back of the head. The more seasoned wrestlers seemed to be struggling, but Gulak’s able to get in a backdrop suplex, then a tag out to Jay Freddie… but he’s gone straight into a two-on-one situation which he nearly overcomes with a death valley driver and an F5. The end came when Gulak and Freddie went for a pair of crossbodies off the top… they were caught and met with German suplexes though, and poor Rory was left to take more of a beating as a double-team German suplex dumped him badly for the win. Decent enough when Lawlor was in the ring, but O’Neil… you could tell he’s not used to working those suplexes! **¼

Damien Smith vs. KTB
KTB – I guess formerly Kyle The Beast – is slowly becoming a regular on these Powerbomb pre-game shows… which is even more impressive given he’s having to make it to these shows from “the woods”.

Smith was outweighed by KTB here, and he was forced to use the David-esque speed and agility to avoid Kyle… but his attempt at a rope-walk lucha armdrag is brought to a rude end when KTB yanked him down into a slam. A back body drop propels Smith into the air, before KTB busted hit a rib-breaker – a move you see rarely – as he kept up the mauling. Damien nearly won with a roll-up out of nowhere, before KTB misses a rolling spear into the corner as Smith finally hits his rope-walk into a Blockbuster! Problem was, Damien thought going airborne was the solution, and it ended up being the problem as he was caught with an uppercut before KTB hit a superplex that rolled into a jackhammer for the win. An emphatic squash for KTB, who I can see being a big hoss in Beyond in 2018. **¼

Dick Justice vs. Orange Cassidy
A rematch from Apocalypse Dudes in October, this was more comedy. I saw Justice take part in NOVA Pro’s pre-show on Powerbomb.tv a few days before this, and his appearance in a gauntlet match just confused the crowd. As much as I love Dick Justice’s Police Academy theme, who knew a one-note comedy act could wear thin?

Joey Ryan’s on commentary for this, so if you’re not a fan of this stuff… skip along!

Cassidy talked his way out of an early chop before indulging in a spot of rope walking… which ended with a chop. Nonchalance takes over as Cassidy literally bumps into Justice and flies, before he “juices up”. The comedy’s in them making this look absurdly fake, and in Dick’s fake-gun spot… which Cassidy tries to fight away from. The ref calls for back-up, and the gun goes off! We’re getting a mass “shooting” in Beyond, with Joey Ryan somehow taking a bullet on commentary as the crowd finally get the joke and start ducking. All of a sudden the Swampmonster wanders in and takes a bullet for Cassidy, and now the Mexican non-union Robocop equivalent hits the ring?

Yeah, I’m having a fever dream.

Apparently it’s Shockwave the Wrestling Robot, and he disarms Justice before exiting stage left as Orange Cassidy gets the pin. Well, the punchline was funnier than last time, but there’ll be little middle ground for this match.

Brian Milonas vs. Mikey Webb
At Cold Brew, Webb caused his New England Pro Wrestling team-mates the win in a rather abrupt way as he was hell-bent on going after Milonas. The same happened here as the monstrous Milonas was jumped before the bell, getting sent to the outside early on.

Webb tried a tope and just got hurled into the ring post as this quickly went the way you’d expect it to given the size difference on hand. Despite getting his eye busted open, Webb fights back, but he’s caught and charged into the corners, before catching Milonas out of the corner with a neckbreaker. More of the same ends when Webb’s attempt at a knee is caught and turned into an Alabama Slam before a sit-out splash flattened Mikey for a near-fall… Again Webb tries to fire back as the stream stutters (WiFi-off guys!), and we return as Milonas obliterates Webb with a lariat.

Milonas tries for a Bossman slam, but Webb flips out and tries to counter with a death valley driver… and that’s the win?! Well, a real come-from-behind win for Webb, but it might have been a better idea to do something after that planned finish to try and mask the slip-up? **

Anthony Greene vs. Rayo
The last time we saw Rayo, he was pretending to be a footballer at NOVA Pro. He’s switched his character here, playing “the last Incan warrior” while retaining his kick-heavy arsenal. Meanwhile, Greene’s reinvented himself as the “Retrosexual”, complete with a zebra bum bag.

The feed’s still pretty stuttery here as Rayo looked to take Greene into the corner early, but we’re getting the heel-ish complaints about hair pulling. Rayo keeps things grounded until Green starts off with some dad dancing… right into a chop from Rayo, who mixes things up a little, taking Greene to the outside with some headscissors.

We build up to a character/comedy spot as Greene downs a can of Surge… and now I have a hankering for late-era Nitro. Damn you Greene… he mounts a comeback on Rayo, landing a dropkick for a near-fall, before hanging up the Peruvian on the top rope. Greene keeps it old-school with a Snow Plow for a near-fall, before getting rolled up for a near-fall as the pace remained on the low side.

Rayo nearly gets the win with a crossbody out of the corner, before he runs into a superkick and a springboard cutter for another near-fall. Green thrusts, just because, before he’s caught with a Code Red for a near-fall… then returns with an overhead belly-to-belly, and a Tree of Woe into a piledriver for the win. That finisher was impressive, but the rest of the match… was very much a take-it or leave-it proposition, more designed to establish Greene’s character. **¼

Santiago Street Fight: Zenshi vs. Brandon Watts
The storyline going in is that Zenshi – who’s currently the Chile Lucha Libre International All Star Champion (a belt that may as well be a vanity title given how often it’s defended) – had been ducking his tag partner Brandon Watts’ requests for a title shot.

Instead, we’ve got a Santiago Street Fight – where pinfalls can only occur in the ring – with Zenshi’s mask being on the line instead of the title. Well, it says something that Zenshi’s mask is worth more than his belt, but I’m not sure why you’d have two weapons matches on the same show? Zenshi started the match by attacking Watts with a Kendo stick, and it’s like we’re watching the fixed-camera New Japan shows as the hard camera is showing us… people looking at stuff happening. C’mon production truck, change the camera! Something’s happening off-camera, and we barely see a Zenshi ‘rana off the stage as the plunder comes out… including a new one for me: chilli powder. Ah, Zenshi’s being all meta on us!

The fight goes around the venue, with folks being thrown into the wall before Watts offers up Zenshi for some chops from the crowd. The meta stuff continues as a plastic chili comes into play, and I’m starting to think that Beyond got the Fight Club Pro cameramen as we can barely see anything, aside from “Zenshi’s mom” who’s got Chilean flags in her hair. Watts puts Zenshi in a bin, then grabs a chair which he doesn’t use.

More plunder follows as Zenshi gets more chillis as that joke wears thin, but Watts shrugs it off as he threatens to German suplex Zenshi off the apron. It’s the same spot Martin Stone and Dave Mastiff did at Rev Pro, except without the inopportune slip, as Zenshi apparently just grabs his title and leaves as Watts tries to fill the ring with chairs.

It’s a ruse though, as Zenshi whacks Watts with his belt as he tried to chase after, and now Zenshi grabs the old title belt as he whips Watts with it. Watts is busted open, and Zenshi makes it worse by pouring some Tabasco hot sauce on him, then grabbing a Singapore cane for some shots… but Watts manages to disarm his tag team partner and dish out some shots of his own.

The crowd seems to die during this one, and I’m not entirely convinced it’s the muted mics to protect from copyright claims… Zenshi puts a neck brace on Watts ahead of a neckbreaker, which feels like putting the cure before the cause… and the crowd’s now booing Zenshi as he hits a coast-to-coast cannonball into Watts. All of a sudden, Zenshi just whacks the referee with the cane, prompting a second one to come down… and block a shot as Zenshi found himself on the defensive from an official.

After throwing a chair at Zenshi, Watts hits a frog splash elbow for a near-fall, and we’re back to the chilli jokes as Zenshi hits a low blow. WE GET IT. ZENSHI HOLDS A TITLE BELT FOR A COMPANY IN CHILE. A release German superplex from Watts looked like it was avoided, but Zenshi still sold it like death onto the chairs, before another froggy elbow gets the win. Thank God. “Mercifully, this one is over” said commentary. Ain’t that the truth. This went on way too long, and felt like they had one joke that was trotted out over and over… *½

Sticking to his word, Zenshi threw up his mask as he left the ring, but shielded his face with his title belt…

Powerbomb.tv Independent Championship: Tracy Williams vs. Jonathan Gresham (c)
I see you there Jonathan Gresham, rocking the CCK gear from your recent trip to the UK… Gresham was out with Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Stokely Hathaway, bringing a conflict of interests since Hathaway manages both Williams and Gresham around the indys.

Once we got going, Williams took the fight to Gresham, but the champion quickly took control, grabbing a wristlock before he started going after the joints of Williams. Some wacky roll-ups nearly end it early for the champ, but the match unsurprisingly stays on the mat – and largely out of the view of the hard camera, unfortunately. Williams rolls in and out of a scissored armbar that somehow provides pinning predicaments, as did a sit-out powerbomb from Williams. How ironic would that have been? Perhaps that ought to be that title’s gimmick – first one to hit a powerbomb wins the match?

Back to this match though, and Williams looked to have won it when he’d knocked Gresham flat on the mat, but the champion rebounds with a Saito suplex as he started to work over Williams’ knee with chops. That’s not a typo. A leg grapevine followed, then an Indian deathlock as the submission was attempted, then stopped as Gresham just decided to stomp on “Hot Sauce”’s ankle. Somehow, Williams is able to make a comeback with a death valley driver, but the knee damage meant he was rather restricted… or was he? A DDT onto the top turnbuckle, then a brainbuster rocks Gresham, but he’s able to get a leg onto the rope to save his title. From there, both men trade roll-ups, with Gresham going back to the knee before trapping Williams in a figure four.

Williams makes the ropes, but he can’t stay on his feet from an Irish whip… although he can sneak in a piledriver, before MJF pulled out the referee with a broken hand. After the distraction that caused, Gresham goes back to the figure four, and although Williams made the ropes, Gresham wouldn’t break. Confusion reigns as the crowd said that Williams had tapped, and now the ref’s given up trying to separate as he just awards the match on the tapout. Well, that was a screwy finish… bell to bell the match was okay, but the crowd didn’t seem that invested. Heck, with that finish, I don’t blame them! **¾

Time for the main show then – hopefully a bigger crowd will produce more noise? MJF’s on commentary alongside Denver Colorado (the man, not the place) for the Powerbomb.tv portion of things.

Jordynne Grace vs. John Silver
Silver’s been on a losing run since last summer, so he’s trying his luck with the fairer sex here, and he instantly starts by throwing Jordynne into the ropes with a waistlock. See-saw shoulder blocks eventually get Grace ahead… at least until Silver started throwing some kicks.

Silver obliterates Grace with a kick to the chest, but she makes a brief comeback with forearms, as Silver quickly goes to a chinlock to try and put a stop to that. Of course, Grace powers away and gets off some slams… then a stunner after avoiding a knee trembler. Grace keeps up with some knees and a forearm in the corner as Silver looked like he’d be putting another L in the record books, but he’s able to flip out of a Muscle Buster.

Grace absorbs more kicks before hitting a brainbuster for a delayed near-fall… but it’s the hammer fists of John Silver that almost ends things as the ref’s forced to separate the pair. More boots just fire up Jordynne into a massive spinebuster as she returns the favours, before a snap German suplex off the ropes from Silver earns him just a one-count.

A running Ligerbomb out of the corner’s good for a two-count as Grace kept up her offence, but she misses a Vader bomb before getting tripped into a crossface with added knees to the side as the ref waved the match off. Finally Silver gets a W, but he had to work for it as Jordynne pushed him to the limit. An unpopular verdict, but a solid match… which ended with a cheapshot lariat and Knee Trembler as Silver snapped once more. ***

Joey Ryan, Johnny Cockstrong & Massage NV (Dorian Graves & VSK) vs. Amityville Project (Dan Barry, Mike Verna, Rex Lawless & Ryan Galeone)
I’ve liked Rich Palladino’s work as a ring announcer on these Beyond shows… but please, don’t go the FIP sweary-route because you can! As for this match, well, we’ve seen the so-called “Pull It Club” before at Far Beyond Wrestling in September, and we’ll have some comedy here I fear.

Mike Verna finds out that Joey Ryan’s immune to Manhattan drops as the Amityville Project were on the back foot early on. Which is odd when that offence includes Johnny Cockstrong intentionally crotching himself on Rex Lawless… In comes Dan Barry, who slowly goes through VSK with takedowns and a back elbow. VSK’s offence justifies the Dan Barry Look (copyright Arnold Furious), and we continue through the revolving door of guys on the apron until the ring suddenly flooded.

Not like that!

When things settled down, the Amityville Project quartet isolated Cockstrong, but Dan Barry’s bid for a piledriver off the top goes awry as Johnny counters into an Air Raid Crash onto the top turnbuckle. Ouchie. The comeback starts with Joey Ryan dumping Verna with a spinebuster before he stuffs his lollipop into Dan Barry’s mouth.

Things get a little, erm, dong-y as Ryan escapes a powerbomb from Lawless before giving him a Boobplex. Fair enough. Again the ring fills as Galeone looked to be taking control, as Massage NV hit a stuff reverse DDT as the Parade of Moves took pace. A TKO and back cracker keeps them on track, as VSK decides to dive head-first into everyone crotches, before Mike Verna eats an in-the-trunks Ganso bomb. Yeah…

We enter the diving portion of the match as Cockstrong moonsaults into a pile on the outside. Dan Barry puts a stop to that, but runs into a Shatter Machine from Massage NV as Lawless pulls of the big man’s fallaway slam/Samoan drop combo, before Galeone nearly kicks Cockstrong out of his romper suit. Joey Ryan does his thing with Dan Barry, then falls to a schoolboy as Mike Verna rolled him up for the win. Yeah, there’s bits of this I’ll never care for, but as a match it was enjoyable without the shtick becoming unsubtle. **½

Flip Gordon vs. Wheeler YUTA
A replacement match for YUTA then, who went from the planned tournament final to this make-do against Flip Gordon. The last time these two were in a ring together, they were partners in a tag match for ACW over WrestleMania weekend… remember that? Probably not.

YUTA tries to keep Gordon on the mat early, but those see-saw kip-ups just got Gordon away as YUTA looked on in disbelief. He gets fed up of Gordon’s, erm, flips, before calling his style “trash” as he channelled the MMA argument against the Young Bucks. Meanwhile, YUTA goes airborne himself with a back senton before Gordon tried to chop his way back into the match. It sort-of worked as Gordon was able to get some flips in, including a one-legged standing moonsault as MJF on commentary tore into the generic nature of “flippy guys with kickpads”. That’s a bit harsh on Gordon…

YUTA’s double-springboard dropkick takes Gordon outside for a tope, but Gordon manags to rebound with a springboard slingblade as the tide turned with Gordon hitting a reverse Finlay roll and a Pele kick to put the tournament finalist on the defensive. A Blue Thunder Bomb nearly ends it abruptly for Gordon, as YUTA heads up top… and gets brought down to the outside with a kick, with Flip nailing a springboard flip plancha to the outside.

Back in the ring, Flip keeps up the pressure, only to get caught in an Indian deathlock as YUTA switched tactics, rolling him into an STF until Flip made it to the ropes. More strikes from Flip left YUTA in place for a 450 stomp… but YUTA counters on the impact and rolls up Flip for the win! A pretty solid outing from YUTA, who showed some versatility… and perhaps a feud with MJF going ahead given the interactions on commentary. ***¼

Ahead of the next match, Rich Palladino asked the fans to give the ringside area a wide berth – safety first, and all that!

Tables, Ladders & Chairs: EYFBO (Mike Draztik & Angel Ortiz) vs. Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka)
There’s nothing to grab, so it’s a match that can end with a pin or submission…

Yeah, we’ve a jump start as the former members of Team Pazuzu blew up on the outside – and hey, everyone’s in their street clothes! Except this isn’t a streetfight… Jaka’s actually had 2018 shaved into the back of his head, so you know he’s out partying after this – but first he’s got a LONG brawl series to get through as Ortiz heads under the ring for some plunder that we don’t see.

We’re back to the Fight Club Pro school of filming crowd brawls as the crowd got the ref to pull the ring apron off the rope… so they could see! Apparently Ortiz kicks Dickinson low, but again, that’s missed as we finally see a landing area set up out of chairs… and dear God, Ortiz eats a Falcon arrow through those chairs. Finally in the ring, Chris Dickinson and his snazzy Zubas brings a table into play as Doom Patrol wear down EYFBO two-on-one, with Draztik getting stomped on in the corner, before he escaped a double Pazuzu Bomb through a table in the corner. That escape turns the tables around as Ortiz returns and places Jaka against the table so Draztik can cannonball him through it for a near-fall.

Next up comes the ladder portion of TLC, as Draztik slides one into the ring as commentary notes that neither of these teams’ tag titles from other promotions are at stake. So, why the ladder? Ah, to use it as a makeshift clothesline to Jaka. Fair enough! Somehow, Dickinson dropkicks himself through the ladder, crotching himself in the process, before making Ortiz wear a chair as the violence quickly got dialled up.

EYFBO gets placed in chairs back-to-back so Dickinson can kick them, before dumping Draztik into a back body drop onto the edge of those chairs. Good heavens, that’s almost an instant herniated disk right there. More chairs come into play as Ortiz is left laying on the floor, allowing the Doom Patrol to set up another contraption in the ring with tables and ladders… and the Doom Patrol are looking for the Death Trap chokeslam through the table off the ladder, but Ortiz makes a save and instead it’s EYFBO who profit, as Dickinson’s ladder gets pushed back, sending the Dirty Daddy crashing through the wood.

Ortiz keeps up the pressure with a springboard corkscrew moonsault through a bit of table on Dickinson, before Jaka decided to take on EYFBO on his own. It sort-of worked for the savage, as he worked up to a double chokeslam and a diving double knee, only for Dickinson to return to spark a Parade of Moves, featuring a sit-out powerbomb and a Stundog Millionaire as all hell broke loose.

More tables come into play as Beyond’s furniture budget was being shown in full it seemed, before Dickinson climbed another ladder, seemingly with the idea of diving off it to put Ortiz through some tables on the outside… but instead Draztik makes the save, and ends up getting himself into danger as the planned spot of the Dickinson and Draztik falling off the ladder through the tables went awry as they fell off the ladder as it fell into the ropes instead.

We’re back to the chairs as Ortiz did the goofy “I swing, hit the ropes, then myself” spot, as Doom Patrol decide to bring the tables into the ring instead as they set up for the Hardys old big splash and leg drop onto Ortiz, who was draped across two tables. Except Jaka leapt first and cracked the table, meaning that Dickinson’s legdrop saw him catch the edge of the table on landing, and thankfully that’s all folks. Good GOD that was a scary finish. It’s a cliche, but this match was left like a car wreck at the end, with all the bodies strewn across the ring when the final bell went. Plunderiffic, with some inopportune moments, but it felt wild. ***½

After the match, all four men faced off, but rather than shaking hands the Amityville Project ran out and beat down an already-broken quartet.

We have the interval neatly edited out here, as we return with Stokely Hathaway replacing MJF on commentary… and we see Matt Riddle getting confused by his music. Of course, he was meant to wrestle Jimmy Jacobs here, but injury means we have an open challenge… answered by Matt Tremont. The actual hell?!

Matt Riddle vs. Matt Tremont
Can you say “clash of styles”? Riddle instantly says that this isn’t a death match, it’s a “good old fashioned wrestling match”. That confuses Tremont, who does his best Tozawa “huh”, and we’re underway! We open with forearms between the two Matts, then chops, and believe me, there’s a LOT of them, as Riddle tried to soften up for an early Bro to Sleep, only for Tremont to surprise him with a Russian legsweep! Tremont keeps up the shock for those who only know him as a deathmatch guy with an Angle slam, and a Destroyer. Welcome to moves everyone does in 2017!

A death valley driver nearly beats Riddle, as he responds with a Bro to Sleep and a series of running knees to pick up a solid two-count, before a powerbomb looked to rock Tremont… but the deathmatch veteran avoids a running knee and rolls up Riddle for the surprise win! Pretty short, but given the late replacement it didn’t make sense to have a long match… especially since this had a pre-built storyline of Riddle beating Tremont in death matches, and now the “wrestler” couldn’t win at his own game.

As for the match though… nothing special, I’m afraid. **

Keith Lee vs. Josh Briggs
Time for some more hoss fighting – you’ve got to have been under a rock to not know about Keith Lee, whilst Josh Briggs is creeping onto the scene as a fellow big guy.

We started with shows of strength here, as Lee and Briggs fought in a tie-up, with Keith being the early aggressor, until Briggs starts throwing some clubbering forearms, and it’s pretty clear that we’re not going to be having a spring here. A whip into the turnbuckles sent Lee staggering out into a spinning sidewalk slam, but Lee’s able to reply with a release standing German suplex. Yup. Keith be strong.

Briggs finds himself cornered for more forearms, before he escaped… into a double handed chop and a crossbody to the back as Lee tried to flatten the lanky Briggs. When that didn’t work, it’s a case of Lee launching Briggs across the ring as the newcomer was really struggling to get going, as those Beel throws kept on coming. More chops force Briggs to sink to his rear, but he’s able to grab the ropes to save from another throw… only for Lee to just deck him with another forearm. He finally escapes a splash in the corner as Briggs mounted a comeback, waffling Keith with a Yakuza kick and a standing release back suplex. Well then!

Out of nowhere, Briggs shook Lee with a pop-up spinebuster, but it’s only good for a two-count, so Josh tries to add more pressure with forearms… only for Lee to hit back and pounce Briggs so hard he breaks the bottom rope on impact. Take THAT Monty Brown!

Well, at least the cameraman’s got a nice, unobstructed view!

With no bottom rope, Keith still climbs the turnbuckles, and gets caught as Briggs brings him down with a powerbomb and a backbreaker, before Briggs hits a moonsault off the middle rope for a two-count. We’re back to the strikes as Lee hits a massive lariat to flip Briggs around, and as they try to screw the bottom turnbuckle back together, Briggs flips out of Ground Zero. Lee tries the same from a chokeslam, but it doesn’t quite work as Briggs collects another two-count, before we return to the strikes as Briggs ended up countering a Spirit Bomb with a reverse ‘rana!

Yep, Josh Briggs is an impressively athletic hoss!

Problem was, Lee popped up from that and quickly polished him off with a Spirit Bomb, then Ground Zero, as experience told out in the end. Lovely stuff, and I wouldn’t mind seeing these two match up again anytime soon! ***¼

Rickey Shane Page vs. AR Fox
Admittedly booked as a “Christmas present” to the Beyond promoter, this is another clash of styles. Page brought his CZW title belt, and it seems this was used as a way to plug that CZW’s throwing some of their content onto Powerbomb.tv so… yeah. More bang for your ten bucks!

Page was all over Fox early on, throwing up into a back body drop with a cheeky kick on the way down for just a one-count. Fox rebounds with a tope and a tope con giro to knock down Page outside, before grabbing a hit of a fan’s eCigarette… just because. Back inside, Fox tears into Page with a dropkick into the corner, before skinning the cat and doing it again, and we’re back outside as Page catches a dive and chokeslams Fox onto the apron.

After that apron chokeslam, Page keeps up the offence, only to get caught in the ropes as Fox responds with a springboard Diamond Dust to collect a near-fall of his own. AR follows that up with a cannonball and a Coast to Coast that took him from the ring to the floor to Page… good heavens, that’s a new twist! A senton bomb comes next for a two-count as Fox busts out more moves in the form of Ace crushers and 450 splashes, but Page kicks out at one, to proverbially and literally flip off AR.

A choke breaker nearly does it as Page hit back, following back with a stalling superplex and an avalanche Tiger Driver… but as RSP scoots in for the cover, Fox counters the pin and gets a roll-up for the win out of nothing! Well, that was a rather unexpected finish to a solid match that never really got going for my tastes. **¾

We’re back from a second interval, and that ring’s full of plunder. David Starr’s there too with a Jewish (party) cannon. Ba-zing! There’s another health and safety warning, because it’s time for our main event…but first, we ring in the new year! Before the bell, we have the count down as everyone’s got a glass of something fizzy in their hands… and happy new year everyone (although it’s well into 2018 as this goes up!)

Fans Bring The Weapons: David Starr vs. Joey Janela
This is going to be beyond insane. Pun intended. Starr and Janela had barely downed their champagne before they threw fists in their bid to determine the “Ace of Beyond”.

An early Cherry Mint DDT led to duelling lariats from both men, and we’re into the early weapons with guitars and Singapore canes. That Jewish (party) cannon’s shot at Janela, but Joey grabs the Product to stop the “Look At It” hip thrust, as Starr then grabs Joey’s girlfriend as a human shield.

That didn’t quite work out, as Penelope Ford becomes a Young Buck, holding Starr in head scissors on the floor as Janela rushes in with a PK off the apron… and we’re back to the in-crowd brawling! Some toy swords get used for a Mongolian chop from Starr, and dear God, I see a bit of wood with halves of cans glued to it… who watched Cage of Death?! Ford tries to get involved, but Starr just chases her onto the stage, where she has to fight off a superplex… and instead shoves Starr down for a ‘rana off the stage as Janela took advantage. All the plunder follows as Janela toys with some bike handles, then a suplex on the floor as we return to the ring for more violent plunder… like a thumbtack bat!

A figure four’s applied to Starr, who takes several tack bat shots to the head as he tried to escape… but Starr’s able to grab a Singapore cane to free himself as we’re going full bore on the weapons now, leading to the Product bleeding from multiple places on his head. For some reason we have a barbed wire menorah, but Janela takes a suplex onto it

We go even more extreme as David Starr grabs erm, a thumbtack’d dildo and tries to sodomise Janela with it… then slaps him across the face with it. Yeah. Who the hell took the time to make this stuff?! A Singapore cane to the gut quickly stops Starr in his tracks, but Joey telegraphs the Janel-ope Device as Penelope misses… and the tables turn as she’s used by Starr to accidentally give Joey a Destroyer!

A Produce Placement after that almost seals the win, as Starr then decides that now is the time to de-tack his hair, but that self-made distraction allowed Janela to hit a low blow before suplexing Starr into a pyramid of plastic wine glasses. Inventive weaponry! A backdrop suplex onto a vacuum cleaner comes next as Starr’s landing on all the wacky stuff, but he’s able to grab a hockey stick as he mounted a comeback… and whacked Janela with some wood tiling.

For some reason what the fans brought wasn’t enough as Starr goes under the ring for some chairs, and now we have a chair duel! Both men were more than bloodied here as they traded slams and spinebusters onto the steel chairs… Janela amps it up with a superplex onto the chairs, but Starr somehow kicked out – despite looking like a zombie. A beer keg comes into play next, with Starr sitting on it as Janela drilled him with forearms ahead of a push-down stomp… but instead he’s press slammed onto the top of the keg. Jesus! Starr sets up a landing area with some chairs, throwing salt, Legos and pins into it, before hitting a release German suplex as Joey went through everything… and still kicked out!

Starr picks up the board of sliced cans and stares at it longingly… but you know how logic works in wrestling, as he instead takes the board courtesy of a tombstone from Janela (that looked to go through Janela’s kneepads and kickpads, but still, OUCH. Still that’s only good for a two-count as Joey goes back to the chairs, repeatedly drilling Starr with one as he tried to end the match via a TKO.

Starr puts a stop to it when he grabs a handful of skewers, and believe me, those aren’t for kebabs as they get spiked into Janela’s head as he’s met with a brainbuster for equal measure. Still, despite having wood driven into his head, Joey keeps kicking out, as Starr sets up yet another landing area with chairs, but a superplex into them doesn’t come off as instead Joey counters with a spin-out package piledriver that obliterates the chairs… and still Starr kicks out!

That was just about it though, as from the kick-out Starr’s caught in a crossface with a barbed wire Menorah, before Janela replaces it with a chair and eventually forces the Product to tap before he damn near passes out. Bloody, plunder-iffic and memorable – a heck of a way to kick off 2018 in Beyond… and someone’s going to have to go a long way to top this in terms of sheer brutality and inventiveness… if only in terms of the weapons! ***¾

Beyond’s year-bridging show perhaps wasn’t the best card they’ve done, but it’s definitely a really solid outing for all, from the pre-show down to the wacky main event. While perhaps there were some curious choices in the booking (why have two weapons matches and a TLC match on the same bill?), this was more than just a token “end of year” line-up, with the evolution of John Silver’s maniacal act, the prominence of several acts on the undercard (KTB and Anthony Greene to name two), and the positioning of the fully-healthy Amityville Project as a leading stable means that we’ve got a very tantalising 2018 in store for Beyond!