The first half of Beyond’s February double-header saw them head to Enfield, Connecticut as Joey Janela pulled double-duty, bookending the card.
There’s a discretion advisory before the show as Powerbomb seem to be distancing themselves from what they broadcast. Or perhaps, who… doing that with no sound at the start is one way to do it. It’s a nice looking venue in Enfield, but then again it is an Old Country Banquet Hall, with Paul Crockett and Josh Briggs on commentary tonight. No Denver Colorado?
Janelope (Joey Janela & Penelope Ford) vs. Beaver Boys (Alex Reynolds & John Silver)
The entry-way for this venue is genuinely folks coming down the stairs. I love this aesthetic! In the past, we’d have gotten annoyed at the Beaver Boys teaming here when they’re feuding, but in 2018 indy wrestling is pretty much insular to each promotion… until they want it to be different.
This is the first of Janela’s two matches on the show. The other? A main event against Nick Gage… which I’m sure will be a grappling masterpiece!
Janela and Silver keep it simple early, but it’s Penelope Ford who gets the first near-fall after an assisted moonsault, before they peppered Reynolds in the corner. On the outside, Ford’s dive is caught by Silver, and she’s held up for a suplex… shoved down to the outside with a Reynolds tope as the Beaver Boys wiped her out hard.
A double-team pop-up uppercut nearly puts away Joey as Ford started to climb back to the apron. Silver keeps away on Janela, but he’s yanked away from a tag… and it’s not helped when Reynolds makes a point of knocking Ford off the apron either. There’s a blind tag as Silver powerbombs Janela onto the knees of Reynolds for a near-fall… but Joey’s able to fight back and make the tag. Sorta!
Penelope flies in with a ‘rana and a wheelbarrow snapmare driver that dumped Silver on his dome, before a handspring double cutter took down both of the Beavers. Ford’s size became a detriment, as she was lifted up by one hand by Silver into a Reynolds cutter for another near-fall. It also stopped Penelope from hitting a crucifix… at least until Janela got in a stomp, before John Silver entered beast mode with some running boots to Joey. He’s somehow stopped by Ford though, until she ate a pair of German suplexes and a Yakuza kick as she’s ragdolled into Janela for another near-fall.
It takes an errant superkick from Silver to Reynolds to get things back in Janelope’s favour, but Reynolds is quickly back in before Penelope Matrix’s out of a clothesline and traps Alex in headscissors, as the Janelope Device followed for the win. A wild start to proceedings, keeping Ford and Janela strong as the “aces of Beyond”. ***
Wheeler YUTA vs. Martin Stone
This was a warm-up for YUTA, who had his Tournament For Tomorrow final the next night, and he starts up with some technical stuff, going hold-for-hold with Stone as the pair’s styles meshed well.
YUTA handstands out of a grounded headlock as the feed degenerated into a wacky slow-mo style. It gets back to normal as Stone’s sent packing with a low dropkick, but he doesn’t waver too far from his technical game, throwing in the odd strike here and there as he tried to damage YUTA’s hands. That doesn’t stop him from throwing a dropkick and various offence with his feet that again took the Brit outside.
Topes don’t need fully-working hands, so YUTA’s got those too, but Stone’s got suplexes and punches as he gets right back in with an Exploder and a solid right hand. A headbutt puts an end to YUTA’s brief collection of kicks as this feels effortlessly great, stopping as Stone wants a handshake.
It sparks more right hands as the pair unload on each other, until YUTA traps Stone in a leg grapevine, before catching him in a STF as the Brit tried to roll away. Eventually we get a rope break, and Stone’s instantly back in with a crossface as he’s forced to tap. A nice little sprint, starting with technical stuff until Stone flicked that switch and started throwing bombs. Keep Wheeler YUTA’s name in your mind, as he’s starting to break out of the pack here. ***¼
Denver Colorado is here, replacing Briggs on commentary here on in!
Amityville Project (Mike Verna & Rex Lawless) vs. Massage NV (Dorian Graves & VSK)
Dan Barry’s out in a suit as Powerbomb haven’t edited out Rag ‘n’ Bone Man… hey, this is like the Alternate Universe CHIKARA too, as they’re the CHIKARA tag champs under different gimmicks right now.
The whole “Pull It Club” gimmick is a little… weird. It’s like someone tried to wangle another Bullet Club pun and think of a less overtly-sexual gimmick for it. Dan Barry’s got a promo where he’s really looking past these guys, and ahead to the Amityville Project’s match with “EYFB-whatever”.
There’s a jump start as VSK gets caught in a swinging full nelson by Verna early on, before Lawless comes in to charge VSK into the corner. A double-team flapjack goes wrong as VSK instead switches it into a dropkick, but he’s quickly bulled down with a Verna clothesline for a near-fall.
Finally VSK gets the tag out after a double-team goes awry, and in comes the masked Graves to chop away at Lawless. Briefly. Some headscissors spiked Lawless face-first, before a tornado DDT to Verna almost turned into a reverse tornado DDT as Graves wasn’t exactly getting things off cleanly. Lawless tries a double-team, but instead he gets massaged in the back… which surely would have helped him?
Either way, Massage NV capitalise with a double-stomp-assisted reverse DDT, before chaining a TKO into a back cracker on Verna. They out-do the old GZRS with some slip and slide… but VSK’s diving headbutt off of the back of an oiled-up Graves misses, thanks to Dan Barry’s interference, and it’s not long before Graves is met with a wheelbarrow DDT for a near-fall. Barry and Johnny Cockstrong end up on the apron, but Dan escapes the in-the-shorts piledriver by rolling into the ring… that distracts the referee, but there’s nothing fishy as Lawless his a chokebomb on VSK before VSK and Graves eat a Hart Attack/powerbomb combo from Verna and Lawless for the win. An emphatic win for the Amityville Project, who are chaining together some wins these days. ***
Brandon Watts vs. DJ Z
It’s a Beyond debut for DJ Z, and it’s a battle of guys who are back from serious injury.
Watts took DJZ outside early, but there’s no dives as everyone’s showing off lucha-style, before DJZ goes low before falling into a headscissors submission attempts on Watts. That switches up as DJZ goes through more submissions, including a “remix” Indian deathlock, snapping back on the leg to the sound of some MLG horns.
Some wacky rope running allows DJZ to land a clothesline as he keeps Watts down, but the tide eventually turns when Watts lands an enziguiri to take DJZ off the apron… and now it’s dive time! First up is an attempted Asai moonsault, but DJZ pulls him down before slingshotting in with a splash before he misses a Quebrada as the match becomes a lot more even.
A STO and a standing splash almost do it for Watts, who manages to bounce back from getting crotched on the top rope, and drills a doubled-over DJZ with a leg drop for a near-fall. After shrugging away a tornado DDT, DJZ tries for one of his own as a superkick soiree broke out (yeah, someone has a similar term taken), before Watts counters a springboard cutter out of the corner into a hard back cracker.
Watts continues to waste time playing to the crowd, and he misses a frog splash elbow, allowing DJZ to hit a reverse ushigoroshi and a roll-up DDT for the win. A lot shorter than I’d have liked, but this was brisk and exceedingly fun to watch. So far there’s nothing on this show that hasn’t been less than entertaining. ***
American Strong (Jay Freddie & Rory Gulak) vs. Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka)
The story going in was that American Strong were struggling as a team to pick up victories… so Doom Patrol were just going to provide another stern test for them.
Freddie starts off well, taking Jaka down with armdrags and a crossbody off the top, but some dropkicks forced Jaka to cower as the momentum came to a halt, with Chris Dickinson tagging in to chop Freddie into pieces. Rory Gulak’s in next to give us a huge size mismatch, but Rory’s able to get off a double stomp as he surprisingly kept Dickinson at bay.
Things change around when Jaka’s in as Rory gets chopped, kicked and suplexed as Doom Patrol took over on the smallest man in the match… until Freddie came in for a brief two-on-one to swing things back-and-forth with Jaka trying to get a tag out. Some nice reverb greets us as Jaka busts out a double chokeslam to both halves of American Strong, as DIckinson finally gets the tag back in.
Gulak countered out of a Pazuzu bomb with a ‘rana, before knocking himself outside with a tope to both members of Doom Patrol. Freddie flies too with a clothesline off the top, but things remained finely poised until Freddie superplexed Dickinson, before a Gulak splash almost caused a massive upset. A bridging German from Freddie comes a little closer, as American Strong looked to double-team Dickinson, landing a suplex and a pair of Shining Wizards for another near-fall.
Things turned on a dime when Dickinson nails a Dragon suplex for a near-fall, but there’s still plenty of fight left in Doom Patrol’s opponents, as shown by Freddie’s chops… but Jaka hits back so hard with a headbutt that Freddie sails to the outside, before Gulak takes the Death Trap doomsday chokeslam for the win. Yet another fine match, with American Strong again valiant in defeat. ***¼
Dickinson gets the mic afterwards, and calls out the Amityville Project… who happily come out for a scrap. Dan Barry’s in to make it a 3-on-2 disadvantage, aided by a chair which he smashes on the back of Jaka, before he Pillmanises Dickinson’s leg in it.
Fast-forwarding past intermission on the live-stream replay then… and we’ve got Stokely Hathaway in for Denver Colorado on commentary now.
Bill Carr vs. Orange Cassidy
I have a feeling the stars may dip here as we’re in for comedy… and I’m not talking about the production crew that showed the cameraman panning the stairs rather than Bill Carr! Orange Cassidy is out with the Swamp Monster, who I swear last time out was unmasked as Chuck Taylor… who I swear was in Japan when this happened.
Knowing there’s more than one Swamp Monster is scary.
Orange goes all Mike Bailey with some slaps and kicks, but let’s be honest… he was always going to get crushed by an overhand chop from Carr. I hear the kids call that getting “Waltered”. It’ll catch on. Cassidy unbuttons Carr’s shirt for retribution, but he may as well be tickling him for the good its doing as we go into the slow-mo graps.
A clubbering clothesline decks Orange as he almost slammed Carr, but a ‘rana sends Carr stumbling… and he still tries for that slam. Instead, Carr superkicks him before the Swamp Monster gets on the apron to stop a diving Carr. Cassidy capitalises with a low blow as he then juices up… but gets stopped in his tracks with a kiss from Carr… who took some of the orange juice in the process before spraying Cassidy.
A Black Hole Slam would have won it, but the Swamp Monster pulled out the referee. In the chaos, Cassidy manages to slam Carr, and that’s enough for the upset as our retelling of WrestleMania 3 came to pass! Really entertaining for the time they had – and that’s before you factor in Stokely Hathaway losing it on commentary… **
Josh Briggs vs. Rickey Shane Page
So… somehow Rickey Shane Page is busted open from a LOCK-UP? Is his skin made out of tissue paper?!
Once they’re done searching Briggs for something that may have caused it, Page has to try and work through some technical stuff as he deals with that trickle of blood. A straight right hands knocks Briggs into the ropes as Page decides to stop caring about said blood, before snapping in with a scoop slam as Briggs came in off the ropes.
Briggs eats a back body drop kick as he tried to make a comeback, but a standing crossbody flattened RSP as he fires back, smashing RSP with kicks ahead of a spinning side slam. An enziguiri gets Page back in, as does a running boot and Ace crusher, but Briggs flips out of a chokeslam and drops Page with a chokebreaker instead for a near-fall.
The pair trade forearms to keep going, but Briggs headbutts one away before using his head on Page to knock both men down. Page somehow finds it in himself to kip up as he stops Briggs on the top rope, bringing him back down to earth with a superplex, and although that only gets a one-count, Page nicks the win seconds later with a wacky roll-up for the three-count. Not how I expected this to go, but I’d like to see a do-over without RSP bleeding from the off! **¾
Skylar vs. Jordynne Grace
Grace, who won a match against Tenille Dashwood in the coming weeks at WWR – started by having to counter a hammerlock from Skylar by backing her into the corner.
Commentary sort-of compares Grace to Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate by noting how young she started at, as she and Skyler worked into an indy’riffic pinning series that was remarkably smooth, ending with a double pin attempt that almost yielded a draw. A sliding clothesline from Grace almost cost her as Skyler turns it into a crucifix pin for a two-coun, before Skylar flies with a crossbody off the middle rope for a near-fall.
Grace rolls outside after the kick-out, but her attempt to have a breather forces her to run away from a dive attempt, before she ducked an apron PK to turn it into an electric chair onto the side of the apron instead. Back inside, Grace picked up Skylar for a brief bear hug, before effortlessly dumping her into a sidewalk slam for a near-fall.
Another dive’s stopped when Grace lands an uppercut in the corner, and instead tries for a Muscle Buster… but Skylar slips out and nails a German suplex. After taking some bombs, Skylar lands an overhead kick and a pop-up knee before she heads back up for a Meteora off the middle rope for a near-fall.
Grace reverses a suplex, but Skylar’s back up first… only to run into a spinebuster as Jordynne folded her up for a near-fall as the pin almost broke itself. Running knees into the corner and a sliding elbow keep Skylar rocked, as a Vader bomb keeps the near-falls a’coming. A neckbreaker and a DDT from Skylar almost put away Grace, as Jordynne’s then caught in a front chancery to keep the pressure on, but Grace easily breaks in the ropes.
Skylar again tries to charge, but Jordynne catches her… only for it to get countered into a Victory roll, and that’s the shock upset for Skylar! This was real good stuff – with Skylar getting the upset against one of the bigger names on the scene today. Solid work from bell to bell too, without any of the hesitation you sometimes see in women’s matches. ***½
Ring announcer Rich Palladino’s voice finally gave out before the semi-main… poor bugger.
Tracy Williams vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
Williams was out with Wheeler YUTA as commentary baited that Mattel lawsuit… meanwhile production was flashing up the wrong graphics as MJF came out with Stokely Hathaway and Jonathan Gresham for some extra distractions.
MJF jumps Williams at the bell, sending him outside as Hathaway and Gresham teased double-teaming “Hot Sauce” on the floor… until MJF just headed out and whacked him anyway. That ends badly for Friedman as his attempt at brawling in the crowd ends with him taking a drop toe-hold into a chair, before they head into the ring.
Despite throwing some chops, Williams is quickly taken down as MJF started to work the arm, before almost spiking Williams on his head with a modified version of Kofi Kingston’s SOS. Things descend into a strike battle until Williams decks MJF with a lariat, following up with a waistlock-like takedown as MJF was forced to escape a crossface.
Williams busts out a 619 to evade MJF as the pace remained steady, following in with a Fireman’s carry kneebuster and a brainbuster to collect a near-fall. MJF hits back suddenly with a pumphandle into an Angle slam as he continued to throw out new, wacky stuff, but it nearly ends with a roll-up after an armbar attempt was countered. MJF isn’t deterred, and nabs a near-fall from the Heat Seeking Piledriver (the Bliss Buster), before going back to the arm of Williams.
Somehow Williams manages to escape and locks in a Cloverleaf, but Jonathan Gresham, enters the ring to provide a distraction. The referee keeps on Gresham as MJF had the match win with a roll-up, and after he berates his colleagues, MJF’s quickly caught in an ankle lock for the rapid tapout. Well then… the Dream Team backfires on MJF, eh? Nice stuff from bell-to-bell, but this was way too short for my liking. ***
Tracy Williams tries to cut a promo after the match, but MJF and Gresham get into a shoving match as Williams calls Gresham on what he perceived as a feigned injury… and challenged Gresham to join the main event of Abbondanza tomorrow and put his Powerbomb.tv title on the line. Stokely Hathaway refuses the challenge, but after MJF sticks his oar in, Gresham overrides his manager… and we have a three-way for the title tomorrow!
Joey Janela vs. Nick Gage
Apparently this was originally slated to be Martin Stone vs. Nick Gage – but Jonathan Gresham’s injury forced a reshuffle of the card… hence Joey pulling double-duty.
Janela takes the fight to Gage early, but of course the “King” hits back in kind, before they head outside as Joey wipes out Gage with a suicide dive. Yep, Gage replies with a cannonball to the floor, knocking Janela down hard as the two go around the venue, annoying Josh Briggs who was just trying to have a snack at his merch table.
Janela uses a chair before he goes hunting for plunder… in the form of more chairs, before Penelope Ford helps him set up a table. That time wasted gave Gage a chance to recover, but now we’re in a chair-filled ring, which made things a little more interesting. Gage bites – and fights – back, taking Janela onto the top rope as he rolled together a superplex into a Falcon arrow onto an open chair for a near-fall.
Joey hits straight back with a pair of death valley drivers into chairs, but again it’s a two-count on Gage, as they then trade slams onto piled-up chairs in what commentary aptly described as a “pissing contest that’ll leave you pissing blood”. A brainbuster from Janela spikes Gage after all that, as he sets up a pair of chairs back to back… and yeah, it’s used as Gage takes a spinebuster onto the apex of those two chairs.
A package piledriver onto an open chair barely budges the chairs, so Janela hits a second one onto the pile o’ chairs, but Gage still has fight left in him! Those back-to-back chairs are still there, and Gage gets payback by suplexing Janela onto them… but Joey somehow gets back up as he teases throwing Gage through a table, before instead just stomping him through it instead.
Yep, this match is gonna be a career-shortener!
Gage is bleeding after that, but he still kicked out after he was thrown back into the ring, and they’re still going at it. Janela popped up out of a jumping piledriver to throw in a superkick before he fell to the mat… and they fight back to their feet… and knock each other right back down again!
Another landing pad of chairs is set up, allowing Gage to hit another jumping piledriver onto it… but still Janela’s up at two, and he’s right back in with a crossface as he tried to tease a submission out of Gage. Instead, Gage stands up out of it and drills Joey with a chokebreaker for a near-fall… then another, and that’s finally enough to end this war. Those who don’t like plunder matches will dislike this, but this was a definite career shortener – with endless bumps onto pretty much every part of the chairs they threw into the match. ***½
From top to bottom, “I Want It All” was a solid show – one of those that was steady throughout… which can be a bad thing as well as a good thing. Beyond is quickly becoming my favourite indy to watch in the US, in spite of them not having any championships or much in the way of strong ongoing storylines. I kinda compare them to the Rev Pro Cockpit shows – there’s usually good wrestling on every show, and a fun way to spend a few hours without there being too much to break down into excruciating detail.
All in all, a steady show with no peaks and valleys, but still somehow left you wanting more… thanks to the 10 matches in 3 hours format. A hearty thumbs up from myself.