Wheeler Yuta’s crew is in action throughout Beyond’s Masterclass, featuring Yuta’s latest defence of the IWTV title against Willow Nightingale.
Masha Slamovich pinned Jody Threat in 8:09 (***)
Alec Price pinned Rhett Titus in 9:51 (***)
Teddy Goodz pinned Aaron Rourke in 8:47 (***¼)
Rickey Shane Page & Vincent Nothing pinned Dan Barry & Dutch in 14:14 (***)
Chris Dickinson pinned Alexander James in 8:22 (***½)
Tony Deppen pinned Richard Holliday in 14:42 (***½)
Logan Easton Laroux pinned Trish Adora in 11:24 (***)
Wheeler Yuta submitted Willow Nightingale in 19:58 to retain the IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship (****)
Matt Makowski submitted Victor Benjamin in 8:05 (**¾)
SLADE defeated Atticus Cogar via referee stoppage in 12:52 (***¼)
We’re back to capacity crowds at the White Eagle in Worcester, MA. You know what that means – ring banging! Rich Palladino’s back as ring announcer, with Paul Crockett and Sidney Bakabella on commentary.
Masha Slamovich vs. Jody Threat
We’ve got an interruption before the match as Club Cam wandered in looking to recruit…
Threat took Slamovich into the corner for a clean break, but Masha’s not so clean cut as she booted Threat into the corner, only to get caught with a swinging suplex from the Canadian. Slamovich tries to go after Threat, but got kicked in the ropes before a lariat back inside drew a near-fall. Knees in the ropes miss from Threat as Slamovich took over, landing a leg lariat for a two-countb before she pulled on Threat’s hair. An Irish whip from Slamovich leads to a clothesline for another two-count, before she wrapped Threat’s arm around the top rope as Slamovich milked every second out of those five counts.
A Michinoku driver from Slamovich gets a two-count, before her aggression ended with a spear from Threat. Cross-chops to the throat lead to Slamovich getting hung up in the ropes for some double knees to the back… then a German suplex for a near-fall. A side suplex is next from Threat, but it’s still not enough… and the push for a win sees Threat get low bridged onto the apron. Slamovich gets caught with a clothesline back inside, but she manages to tie up Threat for a Cobra clutch/back suplex for a two-count, before a piledriver attempt was thrown away by Threat. A spinning back kick from Slamovich followed, then the piledriver… and that’s your lot. A solid opener – although I wish they’d more time to let things breathe… ***
Post-match, Cam tries to welcome Slamovich into Club Cam – supposedly the reward for winning… She takes off his glasses and then laid him out with a forearm before she hung him in the buckles with a choke. Better luck next time Cam…
Rhett Titus vs. Alec Price
It’s a Beyond debut for Titus, who’s a million miles away from telling us the thrust is a must, as he’s rocking the Foundation gear from ROH.
Price kicks away a handshake as the Beyond crowd were heavily on Titus’ back here, booing him as he tied up Price in an overhead wristlock, following up with a knee drop for nary a one-count. Hammerlocks follow as Titus came in with a side headlock, only to get pushed away before he countered a Price leapfrog into a slam. Price tries to talk down to the crowd, but they just cheer him more as a Northern Lights from the outside-in gets Titus a near-fall. A boot from Titus misses, as Price capitalises with knees in the corner, then some chops before Titus struck back with one of his own.
Titus misses a splash in the corner, which allowing Price to hit a big knee drop, then a stomp for a delayed one-count. A lucha roll-through from Titus gets some one-counts, while a backslide almost put Price away before a gutwrench suplex just chucked Price across the ring. Some short-arm clotheslines from Titus lead to a whirlibird back suplex from Titus, but again a delayed cover led to a two-count. A rebound belly-to-belly is next for Titus for another near-fall, before he had to kick out of a roll-up with a handful of tights. Price comes close again with a facebuster, but misses a knee strike in the corner as Titus came in with a knee buster, then a back suplex before Yakuza kicks drew some boos… and a near-fall. Titus keeps pushing with half crab, but that ends in the ropes as Price has one last flourish… only to get booted out of the corner before Price grabbed the ropes to block a sunset flip. The ref kicks it apart as Price ran back in with a Scorpio Rising kick… and that’s enough for the win. The crowd cheering Price between the bells made this a weird one for the atmosphere, but Price being “Beyond’s guy that they love to hate” is a nice niche. ***
Post-match, Titus offered a handshake again, and Price bails on it.
Aaron Rourke vs. Teddy Goodz
This one was set up on the last Beyond show when Rourke’s temper tantrum saw him flip over Teddy Goodz’s merch table.
We’ve trash talking to start, and a big paintbrushing slap from Goodz as this one started hot. Ground and pound from Rourke, then some boot choking was quickly broken as Goodz burst free with boots and clotheslines before a back body drop threw Rourke into the air. An atomic drop sends Rourke to the outside, with Goodz following outside for some chops before Rourke dumped him on the apron with a back suplex. A dropkick follows, with Rourke getting a two-count back inside as he then began to bite at Goodz’s ear.
Goodz’s enziguiri out of the corner gets him free, but Rourke quickly smothers him as he choked away in the corner. Chops in the corner wear down Goodz, but he snaps back with some of his own before Rourke tried to choke him out in the corner. Right hands and chops from Goodz help him back in as an Iconoclasm brought down Rourke, before elbows in the corner had Rourke loopy. Rourke recovers with a back cracker after raking the eyes, before another slugfest led to a head kick from Rourke… only for Goodz to reply with a headbutt and a leaping knee, before a diving clothesline left Rourke in a heap. One backpack stunner out of the corner later, and Goodz leaves with the win after a hell of a fight. ***¼
Some different music hits after the match… and the strains of “My Way” (not Limp Bizkit) were the cue for the return of Mark Sterling, who’s soundly booed. He’s got business cards for the fans, kinda like how Larry Sweeney had back in the day. Sterling’s drowned out by the Worcester crowd as he tried to call out Goodz for being a “toy expert” – given Sterling’s involvement with the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast. Sterling wanted a match with Goodz, who he berated before the match was accepted.
Of course, Goodz wanted it right here, right now… but Sterling bails and set the match for August 5. Except it’s not against him: it’s against “his clients”, who aren’t named…
Team Tremendous (Dutch & Dan Barry) vs. Faith in Nothing (Rickey Shane Page & Vincent Nothing)
It’s a reunion for Team Tremendous, but the former Bill Carr’s changed a little since he was last around these parts.
Barry looks to work RSP’s arm early on, but Page counters a wristlock before Barry reversed the hold back again. They go back-and-forth on wristlocks, then armdrags before they kipped up. Tags bring in Nothing, while Dutch refused to move to tag in.. so Barry’s left to do it alone as a dropkick took down Nothing. Barry blind-tags in Dutch, who went for some body blows on Nothing before he bit Nothing on the bridge of the nose. Nothing elbows out of a uranage, then came in with a clothesline as Barry tagged back in… only to run into an ushigoroshi for a two-count.
Faith in Nothing isolate Barry as some double teaming led to a propelled back suplex/kick for a two-count. A T-Bone suplex followed from Nothing, as Page returned to take his shots while mouthing off at Dutch. Barry manages to throw Nothing outside before he began the crawl to the corner for a tag… but Barry’s dive misses as Dutch stayed on the apron. Nothing drags Barry into the middle of the ring with a modified Trailer Hitch, before RSP came in with a back body drop kick as Barry kept taking a beating. On the top rope, RSP’s caught with an uppercut as Barry looked to bring him down with a top rope ‘rana… before Dutch finally put the hand out to tag in.
Dutch runs wild with shoulder blocks and suplexes, which took Page and Nothing outside… Barry tags back in to hit an Asai moonsault before Dutch nailed a tope con giro. Back inside, Dutch slams Nothing as Barry lands a Quebrada for a two-count, before Dutch got low bridged to the outside. Barry tries to save things, but gets caught in a double-team elevated facebuster for just a one-count. Dutch looks to take care of Barry, landing a double clothesline before a Bossman slam dropped Nothing. They then looked for the Irish Car Bomb on Nothing… with the Doomsday Sliced Bread landing… except Nothing isn’t legal. RSP is, and he quickly runs in to hit a chokebreaker for the win as Dutch refused to break the pin. The story of Dutch seemingly not helping his former partner nearly wore thin, but his hot streak after tagging in gave us a fleeting glimpse of the past before things broke down. ***
Post-match, Dutch grabbed Barry’s wrist and pulled him into a clothesline, before a ripcord Bossman slam left Dan laying. I guess Team Tremendous is no more in Beyond.
Alexander James vs. Chris Dickinson
This was meant to be James vs. Brogan Finlay, but Alexander James, Richard Holliday, Logan Easton Laroux and Wheeler Yuta jumped Finlay through the curtain. Chris Dickinson makes the save, and takes Finlay’s place…
Dickinson and James lay into each other to start, before a German suplex from Dickinson bridged for a near-fall. James rolls outside, but Dickinson followed into the proverbial lion’s den and got thrown into the ring post. Back inside, James put the boots to Dickinson, then hit a side suplex for a two-count before Dickinson manages to slip out for a cross armbar, which quickly ended in the ropes. A chinlock from James looks to choke out Dickinson, as James then looked to pick apart his limbs, stretching in almost an Octopus hold before Dickinson elbowed his way free. James’ clothesline has Dickinson down, but James whiffs on a jump off the top as we reset with back-and-forth strikes.
Dickinson finds a way through with some running back elbows, but James tried to come back with a sleeperhold before he ran into a spinning heel kick for a near-fall. A STF followed from Dickinson, but Logan Easton Laroux distracts… allowing James to come back with a Figure Four, which also ended in the ropes. A Dragon screw from Dickinson turns the tables, but this time Richard Holliday distracts… Brogan Finlay runs out to take care of Holliday, before an O’Connor roll from Dickinson saw him eke out the win. This felt a little chaotic – in a good way – but Chris Dickinson getting a win over one of Yuta’s cronies seems to set up for Dickinson running the gauntlet on the way to a title shot. ***½
Finlay and Dickinson stay in the ring as Yuta’s mob surrounds… but we’ve got a scheduled match, so it’s time for a Heyman special!
Richard Holliday vs. Tony Deppen
Holliday didn’t have time to retrieve his airpods before the match, I guess…
Holliday puts distance between himself and Deppen to start as he looked to frustrate early on. When we do get going, some scrambles on the mat led to Deppen working a wristlock, only to get taken down with a side headlock. Deppen gets up into the corner for a break, but leaps out… and gets charged down by Holliday. Deppen tries for a leapfrog, but has to escape a Fireman’s carry as his attempt to take Holliday into the ropes… so he just rolls down Holliday and hits a stomp for good measure. A floatover sees Deppen avoid Holliday, before an errant knee strike, then a knee drop had Holliday down… with a dropkick taking him outside.
Deppen gets dragged to the outside as he looked to measure up for a dive. Instead. Holliday charged the ROH star into the side of the ring, then threw him back inside as Deppen recovered in time to hit the tope con giro anyway. Back inside, Holliday lifts Deppen onto the apron, then dropkicked away a springboard attempt as Deppen crashed and burned to the floor. Some Garvin-ish stomps from Holliday wear down Deppen, but he’s able to mount a comeback with a barrage of palm strikes to take Holliday into the corner. Holliday goes for the eyes to cut off Deppen, but he’s met with more palm strikes before he shrugged off a back elbow to dropkick Holliday into the corner.
Another back elbow from Deppen meets Holliday there, before a second springboard successed, with a missile dropkick landing for a two-count. Holliday returns with a tiltawhirl backbreaker, then a regular backbreaker before a knee strike from Deppen led to a pop-up slap from Holliday. A sit-out powerbomb nearly got Holliday the win, but Deppen had one more comeback left in him, lifting up Holliday to the top rope for a superplex… with Deppen rolling through on the impact for a running death valley driver. Deppen heads back up for a stomp, connecting with it for a near-fall… but an attempt to follow in with double knees misses as Holliday scored with a roll-up, then the 2008… but Deppen’s foot went under the rope to force a break in the cover.
Deppen tries to nick it with an inside cradle, then a jack-knife cover, but he’s knocked down to the apron by Holliday. Deppen gets back in and kicks out Holliday’s knees, before one last roll-up got the win for the ROH TV champion. They worked this at a hell of a pace, and kept the interference out of the match – which perhaps backfired for Yuta’s lot as they fell 0-2 for the day. ***½
Wash, rinse, repeat as Yuta’s crew stay out so Yuta could chew them out… and we’ve another Heyman special.
Logan Easton Laroux vs. Trish Adora
Adora’s 2021 in Beyond (and their associated promotions) has been pretty buoyant… so hopefully that translates into another win here today.
We start with a tie-up as Laroux threw Adora down to the mat, before she returned the favour. A wristlock, an armbar, then a hammerlock has Laroux in trouble, but he elbows free and returned the hammerlock favour, only to get sent outside. Returning to the ring, Laroux punts Adora in the head before charging her into the corner. Armdrags follow from Adora, taking Laroux outside… but after he’s thrown back in, she gets caught with a tope as the match turned on its head. Adora narrowly breaks the count, but gets met with a snap suplex as Laroux tried to push ahead.
Out of nowhere, Adora rolls Laroux down for a cross armbar, but it’s rolled up out of for a two-count as Laroux ends up powerbombing her into the corner. Kicks and stomps wear down Adora as Laroux pulled her up into a Fireman’s carry… but she elbows free before getting caught with a dropkick. It gets Laroux a two-count, before Adora mounted a comeback with some back elbows and a crossbody block. A hip attack catches Laroux in the corner ahead of a pull-out powerbomb for a near-fall. Laroux runs into a big boot, then a Bossman Backbreaker for a near-fall, before she pulled Laroux down into Cattle Mutilation… only for Alexander James (off camera) to pull out Adora’s leg to break the hold. Laroux tries to capitalise, landing a superkick for a near-fall, before Adora escaped a sleeperhold by rolling Laroux into Holliday at ringside.
Alexander James interferes again, before Wheeler Yuta’s missile dropkick behind the ref’s back landed, allowing Laroux to take the win. Where the last match had no distractions, this one had it all as the Yuta crew (whose name may be RALY, at least going by the DAZN-inspired logo on their armbands) finally picked up a win. ***
One more Heyman special time…
IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship: Wheeler Yuta (c) vs. Willow Nightingale
This was the 98th defence of the IWTV title – not Yuta’s 98th defence, unless I missed a butt-load of matches! Willow got streamers for her entrance as the Worcester crowd were baying for a new champ…
We’ve trash talk to start as Yuta looked to dictate the pace. Willow works the arm early on, but gets met with a snapmare as the champion got in Nightingale’s face. Another wristlock from Willow’s rolled out of by Yuta, only for him to get thrown down with a waistlock takedown as Willow looked to stay close with another hammerlock. Yuta escapes and gets crucified, before a suplex took the champion down as he looked to regroup in the corner. Alexander James gets in the ring to mouth off a Willow… as did Laroux and Holliday, which finally led to the referee hitting the eject button. With the match down to a one-on-one outing, Willow elbowed away on Yuta, then booted him ahead of a back senton for a two-count.
Another back senton led to another two-count as Yuta headed outside… but he trips Willow up and followed with some stomps. A back elbow lands for a two-count as Yuta trapped Willow in the corner for some strikes. Those land for a two-count, with Yuta then looking to make Willow submit as he worked over her legs to build up to a Muta lock. He continues to rough up Willow, who pushes free before firing back with some rolling suplexes. Willow’s quickly caught with a back elbow and a low dropkick for a two-count, before a backbreaker shook Willow for another near-fall. Some choking in the ropes follows, but Willow’s back with a roll-up before she ducked an enziguiri and pulled up Yuta for an eventual series of clotheslines. A spinebuster’s next for a near-fall, before Yuta missed a crossbody off the top as Willow capitalised with an Oklahoma Stampede for a near-fall.
Willow goes for a missile dropkick, but she misses as Yuta countered into a Boston crab… and gets pulled away from the ropes as Yuta tried to force the stoppage. Nightingale’s able to push her way free, but she’s caught with an Olympic slam for a two-count. A superkick from Willow caught out Yuta, but she’s then sent outside for a tope as the advantage kept changing hands. Back inside, a top rope elbow drop nearly puts Willow away, but she’s right back in with a POUNCE… then a cannonball in the corner before a moonsault off the top landed for the nearest of near-falls. The pair head onto the apron to trade shots, with Willow then throwing in an apron death valley driver on the edge of the ring… but rolling Yuta back in just has the champion roll through to the other side to save himself and his bloodied back. By the time Willow could get him back inside, Yuta’s able to land an inside cradle for a two-count before a Thesz press and some headbutts had Willow back on top.
Shoulder charges in the corner keep Willow ahead, before she got suplexed into the buckles by Yuta… who then pulled her up for the Yu-Tap for the submission. Worcester genuinely believed that Willow had more than a shot of winning the title here – which helped remove any feeling of a “throwaway defence” that this may cynically have had. Throw in (perhaps a few too many) near falls, and this was almost a perfect defence for Yuta who escaped by the skin of his teeth. ****
Matt Makowski charges out afterwards to clear away Yuta’s crew… yep, we’ve one more Heyman special, because Makowski’s booked. He wanted all four of Yuta’s lot, but instead he gets someone else…
Matt Makowski vs. Victor Benjamin
So a surprise addition to the card, sort-of, as we start with the pair grappling before a big belly-to-belly takedown from Makowski took things to the mat.
Benjamin returns by taking Makowski’s back, but the rear naked choke’s avoided as Makowski spun out and threw some strikes. A cross armbar from Makowski is sorta blocked as Benjamin slipped free and threw some strikes before we reset with Makowski having his kicks checked. Benjamin throws some kicks of his own, before a spinning backfist tagged Makowski ahead of a leg sweep that had Benjamin on the deck. A boot from Benjamin has Makowski in the corner for some uppercuts, with a diving one landing for a two-count. Makowski strikes back with a flurry of body blows, then rolled Benjamin down into a knee bar as Lady Frost helped push the ropes towards Benjamin for the break. Things descend into Bloodsport-like strikes, with a leaping kick from Benjamin stunning Makowski ahead of a lifting, inverted over-the-knee brainbuster that almost ended it.
Makowski can’t get back into it as he’s met with a spear… on the apron, Makowski manages to land a gamengiri to knock down Benjamin, following back in with a frog splash off the top for a near-fall. Benjamin pulls up Makowski for a slam, but it’s escaped as Makowski gutwrenches his way in for a falling powerbomb that almost gets the win. From there, Makowski pulls Benjamin into a guillotine and that leads to your stoppage. This felt totally different from the rest of the show, but you got the sense the crowd sadly didn’t get into it. **¾
Post-match, Wheeler Yuta’s mob runs out to attack Benjamin… with Alexander James cornering Lady Frost for the hell of it. It leads to Benjamin being lifted up as a top rope elbow from Yuta left him laying, as it seemed nobody in the back was coming to his rescue.
No Disqualification: SLADE vs. Atticus Cogar
SLADE’s lower third is so big it fills the screen. I approve of that, and the music. Cogar’s presence of course autocorrects to cigar. Every. Damn. Time. Oh, and the no-DQ stipulation means “this may as well be a deathmatch”…
A shotgun dropkick from Cogar gets us going… but SLADE shrugs it off and replied with a T-bone suplex that caught the cameraman off guard. Out comes a door from under the ring, then several chairs, as SLADE clearly had designs on a makeshift table… Cogar stops SLADE in the corner, but an attempt to suplex SLADE through the door was blocked before the pair suplexed themselves from the ring to the floor, a la Bad Bones/Ilja Dragunov. That’s always a sick looking move to take. They’re back on their feet as SLADE pulls out a Kendo stick, but he’s cut off with chairshots from Cogar… but SLADE punches away the chair and began to stab Cogar with the broken Kendo stick.
Cogar recovers to post SLADE, who came up all bloody as they headed back into the ring. A chair’s been wedged between the turnbuckles, but SLADE stops himself from being thrown there before Cogar just tossed him into the chair. Some skewers from Cogar stab SLADE inside the mouth, before he raked SLADE’s back with them. Those skewer stay live as SLADE had them stabbed into his upper back – although not with the same “peacock” effect they do in the head. More skewers get stabbed in SLADE’s head as we get the peacock look before Cogar dented a chair over SLADE’s head for nary a one-count as the commentary pair bail. Just in time for another exchange of right hands as SLADE took a gamengiri in the corner ahead of Cogar setting up two chairs back-to-back on top of each other. Yeah, Cogar got slammed onto them as I wince.
Heading back outside, SLADE grabs the remnants of the Kendo stick… and handed it to Cogar for some free shots. It had no effect as SLADE dumps Cogar with a uranage, then again with one through a chair as Paul Crockett got back on the headset to beg for the pair to get the hell away from the commentary area. They did, with SLADE instead pulling a table in front of the stage… but Cogar just chucks SLADE into some chairs as he made sure this really was an all-standing crowd. Out comes a bin with a plunger… and a cheese grater. Guess what got used. Flakes of SLADE’s shoulder were left on the floor after that, before the pair went up onto the stage. Oh look, there’s the bin from earlier, and it’s upside down… and holy shit, Cogar hits an Air Raid Crash off the stage onto the bin. Which barely dents. Ow.
They head back to the ring for Cogar to get a two-count, so Cogar gets some more skewers… and they ALL stay in SLADE’s head. He tries a Snapmare Driver, but Slade blocks it before a Hidden Blade got a near-fall as those skewers stayed stuck. SLADE pulls them out of his head, then charged Cogar through the door in the corner before pulling him down in a rear naked choke for the referee stoppage. Look, I have no freaking idea how to “rate” death matches. It’s mostly two guys hitting each other with shit which at its best can be delightfully dumb to watch. This was in that bucket – although thankfully without too many big stomach-churning moments. ***¼
After the match, SLADE got the mic and called out Wheeler Yuta. Well, if you cynically think Beyond are looking to make SLADE the new Nick Gage, I guess having him in title contention isn’t a bad idea – nor is having SLADE (likely) obliterate Yuta’s goons…
This felt like the good old days, having the crowds right up to the ring. That hour of Yuta’s crew may be a turnoff, as it’s not what Beyond usually do – but it felt different, and as long as this doesn’t become the norm, I don’t mind it as a way to establish the new group. Consistency, storytelling, a hot crowd, and variety – that’s always been the formula for the better indy shows, and Beyond ticked all of those boxes here.