Calling your show “Beyond Hope” may seem like you’re throwing shade on yourself, but the promotion’s final event before their WrestleMania weekend show was far from shade-worthy!

Since we’re a little behind with Beyond, we’re going to try and just go “quick and dirty” here, especially since this would seemingly be David Starr’s final outing for the company. We’re in East Greenwich, Rhode Island… and we have a proper ring bell too as Denver Colorado and Paul Crockett do commentary.

Janelope (Joey Janela & Penelope Ford) vs. Latin American Exchange (Ortiz & Santana)
So, EYFBO are going by their Impact names these days – and they’re fully in the business of mocking Janelope from the off as well.

Ortiz found out the hard way that an atomic drop isn’t as effective on Penelope Ford as it would have been on her other half, as she took advantage of his refusal to hit a woman. She didn’t have quite the same reluctance, nor did Joey Janela, as Ortiz slipped and faceplanted himself on the floor after a tope from the Bad Boy.

The initial surge from Janelope quickly faded as a double-team uranage facebuster out of LAX had Janela reeling, before Ford tried to mount a one-woman comeback, with some success against LAX, nailing handspring elbows to both of them in the corner. A Janelope device is avoided, but Ortiz has to endure a bunch of chops before he just poked Penelope in the eye… I guess that counts? A stomp-assisted crucifix nearly put Ortiz away, but finally Ortiz loses his reluctance as he plays a part in some double-teaming of Ford, almost getting the win after a flip senton off of Santana’s back.

Things go a little wonky as LAX used Janela to break up a pinning attempt, but Janelope were able to rebound and nail Santana with the Janelope Device… almost winning as Ortiz just about made the save. LAX fire back with a step-up cannonball into the corner, before nailing Janela with the Dream Street powerbomb/blockbuster… only for Dan Barry to pull the referee out!

I guess that’s extending the LAX/Amityville Horror stuff, and the distraction led to the win as Penelope scored the pin with a bridging O’Connor roll… despite Ortiz seemingly having broken up the pin. A wonky finish, but a pretty solid opener nonetheless. ***

Josh Briggs vs. David Starr
Before the match, Starr cut off his own list o’ nicknames to declare himself the Ace of Beyond once again, and then take shots at prior awful refereeing decisions he’d lost out to. Starr labelled his opponent “Discount Dijak” and “Coke Zero Chris Hero”, which is a shadow that might be awfully hard to escape.

A big boot to the head may just do it, as Briggs jumped Starr, before nailing him with a spinning side slam as the Product struggled to get going. When Starr did get out of the blocks, he took Briggs to the outside and tried to keep him there, pushing him out after a Product Recall before scoring with topes. There’s some crashing into the ring posts from both men, before Starr literally threw Briggs to the outside as he tried to snatch the count-out victory.

Briggs barely beat the count-out as Starr stomped him back in the ring, before he tried to out-strike Briggs, nailing the Han Stansen and a Blackheart Buster as the Product was overwhelming Briggs. Or at least we thought, as Briggs caught Starr up top with an avalanche chokeslam, before his chokebreaker attempt was escaped… but it only delayed things as Briggs hit it, only for Starr to get his foot on the ropes.

Yeah, the ref counted three, but this time the ref noticed his mistake and reversed his call, angering Briggs… and giving Starr an open door to hit the Product Placement for the win. Nice work to keep the storyline going, and it’s nice bit of happenstance for Starr to win after the refereeing finally went in his favour. ***

Ace Austin, Myron Reed & Trey Miguel vs. Amityville Project (Dan Barry, Rex Lawless & Ryan Galeone)
On paper, this looked like an easy night for the Amityville Project, who were without Mike Verna. Pre-match, Dan Barry mocked LAX/EYFBO for no longer being the best team in Beyond, and then vowed to go after Janelope who took that spot “by default” earlier tonight.

It was a Beyond debut for Austin, Reed and Miguel, and after some early domination from Barry, Miguel was able to score with a lucha-ish springboard armdrag before tagging in Austin, who easily took Galeone to the outside with a drop toe-hold and some kicks. Quick tags, eh? Lawless and Reed are next, but although Myron could take down Lawless with a dropkick, he was instantly jumped by Dan Barry as tags were a novelty.

A neckbreaker from Barry softened up Reed for Lawless to take over again, as “Hot Fire” was finding himself isolated for a long spell… until he scored with a Stundog Millionaire on Barry. Reed finally got free to tag in Miguel, who attempted a spirited comeback, sending Galeone into Lawless for an accidental DDT, spurred on by an Austin neckbreaker, before Ace went out with a Sasuke special to Galeone on the floor.

Reed follows with a springboard senton to the floor as the debutants looked to be on the verge of an upset, helped on by Lawless’ inadvertent pop-up on Miguel to the pile on the floor. Hell, Rex tries a dive, but gets cut off with a Meteora for a near-fall, before Barry’s back in to nail a pumphandle exploder to try and swing the match back in his team’s favour. A springboard cutter from Reed gets rid of Barry, before Galeone just about got a one-armed pop-up before eventually tombstoning Reed as things looked a little off.

Austin kicks his way back in with an enziguiri in the corner, then a springboard legdrop out of the corner for a two-count on Galeone as the debutants began to triple-team Lawless… except a superplex is shoved away before Lawless took a top rope rana. Not to be outdone, a reverse frog splash from Austin and a senton from Reed got a near-fall as the Amityville Project were in deep trouble for a moment… only for their sheer power to win out as Miguel ate a wheelbarrow facebuster, a powerbomb and a moonsault to take the fall. Really good back-and-forth stuff here, with the trio of Reed, Austin and Miguel looking solid in their Beyond debuts. Hopefully it’s not one-and-done for them in any form here. ***¼

Orange Cassidy vs. Shockwave the Robot
Comedy! Orange tried to avert Shockwave by rolling around him, before accidentally breaking his hand by punching the robot’s metal plates. D’oh!

Shockwave keeps trying to choke out Orange, but the Swamp Monster appears to make a save, distracting the ref … two more Swamp Monsters appear and overwhelm Shockwave, but Cassidy can’t spray water on the robot, as he’s again outsmarted. Swamp Monsters 2 and 3 get choked out, so number one returns as Cassidy tries – and fails – to spray him again. Oops.

Eventually Shockwave gets the choke in, but he doesn’t let go… and that’s the DQ. Eh, at least the joke didn’t outstay its welcome! Like the referee, who got chased to the back as Shockwave was mad at the result.

Beaver Boys (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) vs. Matt Tremont & Nick Gage
Oh boy, a live, televised murder?! Tremont promised violence, but Silver wasn’t quite as keen on that idea, demanding that we have a regular tag match.

Commentary tried to gloss over Silver’s long losing streak last year, as he went face-to-face with Nick Gage… who bit his way free of Silver before dumping him with a back body drop. So far, apart from the biting, it’s no-frills stuff from Gage, who chained together a powerslam with a splash from Tremont… as Alex Reynolds suddenly brought in a chair and used it on their opponents.

Just as the referee went to wave off the match, Reynolds suddenly decided he wanted a hardcore match, which led to some brawling around the venue… finishing with Silver pulling out some custom kickpads from under the ring with some thumbtack’d kick pads. That’s a new one…

Tremont, who was already bleeding from the elbow, took some tack-pad kicks to the chest for a two-count, while Reynolds tried to lock Gage in the toilets, allowing the Beaver Boys to double-team Tremont for a spell. The crowd kinda went quiet for this, as Tremont was left laying, particularly as it was obvious what this was leading to… apart from Tremont getting some revenge with a chair.

Gage’s return was hardly a big moment as he just snuck out of the toilets with nobody noticing, but he tagged back in and kicked off Silver’s face for a near-fall – and some polite applause – before he went out for a table… but first, a piledriver onto a chair for Reynolds as the hardcore pair almost took the win. A Falcon arrow from Gage almost does it too, as the ring gets piled up with chairs… which Silver landed on after Tremont lariated the hell out of him.

Tremont’s next onto the chairs with a back suplex, before Reynolds missed a moonsault, landing on the chairs, as Tremont followed up with a spear through the table in the corner. A chokebreaker from Gage followed as Silver’s finished off with a death valley driver into the chairs, and that’s a loss for the Beavers. I’d have preferred it if they’d dropped the cute, technical stuff at the start, as that made this feel a little long, but it ended up being a fun, wacky hardcore match without too many of the tropes that seem to litter “hardcore” wrestling. ***¼

Jordynne Grace vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
We’ve got a bit of a weird match here, as Jordynne Grace acted as a sort-of surrogate for Jonathan Gresham.

MJF started by demanding a urine test after being surprised by a shove from Grace, before he decked her with a loud forearm to the head. Grace replies by trying to chop off MJF’s nipples, but she’s taken into the corner as MJF started to toy with her, nailing a side gutwrench powerbomb for a solid two-count.

An armbar from MJF’s broken up when Grace tried to charge him into the corner, but instead she just sent herself into the ring post. She recovers quickly to try and superplex MJF, before she instead opted to press slam him to the mat ahead of a spinebuster as she started to feel her arm from that earlier clash with the ringpost.

Another poke to the eye from MJF has Grace reeling, but she’s quickly back in it, landing a Vader bomb for a two-count, before going back to work with some clotheslines to the front and back of Friedman. A pop-up powerbomb and another lariat followed for a two-count, but MJF comes right back with the Heatseeker piledriver (Bliss Buster) before dragging Grace into an armbar for the quick submission… this felt a little flat, with a lot of back-and-forth but not much reaction from the crowd. Shame, because the match was quite decent bell-to-bell. ***

MJF held the armbar in until Jonathan Gresham came down to break it up – furthering the story between the former Dream Team members.

Jonathan Gresham vs. Wheeler YUTA
Luckily, Gresham was already out for his match, sporting a Fight Factory Pro Wrestling tee from his recent trip to Ireland.

Gresham took YUTA to the mat early as he looked to force a technical contest… something that YUTA was more than happy to oblige with as Stokely Hathaway remained at ringside as if he believed he was still managing Gresham. YUTA tried to target the former champion’s legs, while Gresham instead went for the arm. They managed to keep things technical without slowing the match to a crawl, at least until Gresham threw YUTA shoulder-first into the corner.

From there, the pair quickly worked their way up into chops, but Gresham decided to go back to the arm, cinching in on a key lock that morphed into a hammerlock, before YUTA slowly forced his way back in, eventually scoring with an armdrag and a dropkick. Gresham’s taken outside for a tope as YUTA connects, then again with a high cross body to pick up a near-fall.

Just like that, Gresham goes back to the arm, even throwing in a stomp and a slow-mo ‘rana as he tried to surprise YUTA, getting a near-fall after another series of moves, before he teased a victory with a series of La Magistrals and bridging pins. Gresham tried to head onto the apron, but he was caught in the ropes with a Dragon screw as YUTA tried to fight back, trading chops and body blows.

The leg work on Gresham was finally working, as he barely kicked out of a Blue Thunder bomb, before the pair went back and forth on inside cradles, rolling around the ring before YUTA finally tied Gresham in an Indian deathlock, eventually forcing a rope break out of it. They’re back to the strikes as the pair teed off on each other, despite YUTA going back to the leg with Dragon screws, as Gresham went back to that arm as the pace quickened.

A Dragon suplex dumped YUTA, as does a deadlift German, before YUTA switched things up with a dive as he threw Gresham to the outside. Another high crossbody backfires as Gresham rolled through for a two-count, before an Olympic slam gets YUTA a reply as he went back to the Indian deathlock, rolling Gresham into a STF by the ropes for the eventual submission. This was real good – a huge win for YUTA, who is getting the proverbial rocket put on him in Beyond (as much as you can there)… as the question must be “what next for Gresham?” ****

Post-match, Stokely Hathaway got in the ring and chastised Gresham for the loss, threatening to fire him… but instead he mocked Gresham as his “Tinder Roadie” lost to MJF earlier. That’s a bit harsh… Hathaway then said that Gresham would stay with the Dream Team, if only because he had to “help” him. Yay for reluctant employer/employee relationships!

Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) vs. oVe (Jake Crist & Dave Crist)
Yeah, this didn’t get off to a slow start, as Jaka and Jake went airborne with dives to the floor in the opening MINUTE.

The brawl quickly went around the venue, with Dave Crist getting dragged by his balls before whipping Dickinson into the merch table. Jake had to avoid a Pazuzu Bomb on the floor as that ring was a lonely place to be for a while – but when Jaka went back in, he was left on his lonesome as oVe double-teamed him for a spell.

Dickinson returned to turn things around, dumping Jake with a Pazuzu bomb ahead of a big splash from Jaka for a two-count as the match nearly ended with a sprint! The Crists kicked their way back into it, with a superkick rocking Jaka, before he was taken up for a superplex and powerbomb combo.

Dickinson broke that up before he tagged himself in, only to get caught in a Doomsday Ace Crusher as oVe tried to lay out the other half of Doom Patrol with elevated moves. It didn’t work, as Dickinson came back with Dave in an electric chair, as the Death Trap followed for the win. This was weirdly truncated, I felt, as once we had the brawling underway it was little more than sueprkicks and finisher teasing…***

…but it’s just a set-up as the Amityville Project rushed the ring after the match to beat down Jaka and Dickinson. EYFBO/LAX returned to make the save… the crowd chanted Pazuzu, sensing a reuniting of the two teams after that war at the end of 2017… and when EYFBO were handed their old Team Pazuzu knee pads, the quartet hugged as Pazuzu was back!

So, I guess we’re getting an eight-man soon between the Amityville Project and Team Pazuzu? Independent Championship: Colt Cabana vs. Tracy Williams (c)
This was Williams’ first defence of the title, having won it at Abbondanza in February, as Cabana marked his return to Beyond almost a year to the day from his last appearance.

Commentary notes that Colt’s been in more comedic matches as of late, so this could be a bit of a jarring experience for the former NWA and Rev Pro champion (there’s a shoutout I didn’t expect here), as the pair’s feeling out process began in earnest. Cabana seemed to be having it all his way as he pulled Williams into various surfboards, one of which was only broken when Williams bit the rope, before Colt went to work on Williams’ arm.

Williams tried an abdominal stretch, but Colt hiptossed free as he worked his way into some wacky pin attempts, before the pair decided to exchange chops and lariats. Colt held onto a fireman’s carry too long as he was taken down into a sunset flip and a knee bar by Hot Sauce.

After getting free, Colt tries to fire back, ducking a clothesline as he went for a waistlock, before a Flying Asshole was countered into a roll-up as that hip attack failed. Williams used a 619 in the corner to fend off a charge from Cabana, as the champion tried to retain control, taking Colt up top for a butterfly superplex attempt… but instead Colt counters by dropping him across the top turnbuckles for a near-fal..

A powerbomb and the Billy Goat’s Curse comes next as Colt tried to string offence together, but Williams pushes free and sent Colt off the ropes, tripping him into a crossface, only for Colt to roll free and back into that reverse Boston crab. Colt’s got that intense look on his face as he went for the Flying Asshole again, before Williams managed to counter and pull his way into a piledriver for a near-fall.

Straight from the kick-out, Williams rolls into the crossface, before he just threw forearm after forearm at Cabana, leading to a second piledriver for the win. A nice, emphatic win for Hot Sauce against a rather technical Cabana – who’s a lot better than most seem to give him credit for. Not sure what’s next for Williams with the title, especially since Gresham and MJF seem to be on a collision course for each other rather than the title. ***¾

“Hope” was a traditionally solid, albeit largely unspectacular showing from Beyond as they headed into their intergender special over WrestleMania weekend. You really ought to go out of your way to see the Gresham/YUTA match, and perhaps the main event too if you’re pushed for time, as Beyond look to build towards their “Welcome Home” weekender at the end of the month.