Beyond Wrestling returned to the Arts at the Armory for another supershow, featuring outings from Biff Busick, Jordynne Grace, Jonathan Gresham and so many more.
Marcus Mathers pinned Dustin Waller in 5:48 (**½)
No Disqualification: SLADE submitted AC Mack in 6:54 (**¾)
Kimber Lee pinned Billie Starkz in 11:44 (***½)
Brian Milonas pinned Max The Impaler in 8:14 (**¼)
Rickey Shane Page pinned Mark Sterling in 8:23 (**¾)
Trish Adora, Eel O’Neal & Jordan Blade pinned Encore, Jaylen Brandyn & Traevon Jordan in 9:06 (**¾)
Jonathan Gresham pinned Angel Ortiz in 13:52 (***½)
Channing Thomas & Sidney Bakabella pinned Little Mean Kathleen & Teddy Goodz in 9:46 (**½)
Alec Price pinned Masha Slamovich in 10:16 (***½)
Willow Nightingale pinned Jordynne Grace in 9:45 (***½)
Biff Busick pinned Wheeler Yuta in 11:10 (***¾)
We’re back at the Arts at the Armory in Somerville, MA, and it’s better late than never with this review, huh? Commentary initially comes from Paul Crockett and Sidney Bakabella…
Marcus Mathers vs. Dustin Waller
I think Mathers is still in line for a shot at the IWTV title, having won a shot last year in a wild ladder match…
Mathers starts with a side headlock as commentary broke down the history between these two on the Wrestling Open strand of shows. Headscissors from Waller lead to both men trying for kicks, with a rear spin kick from Mathers seemingly catching Waller low.
Mathers tries to apologise, but Waller kicks him to the outside as tensions remained high. A snapmare and kicks to the back keep Waller down for a two-count, before he snuffed out Waller’s comeback, only to eat a superkick. A return back kick has Waller back down ahead of a cutter, which Waller returned in kind.
A German suplex from Mathers keeps him in it, but he gets caught with a reverse ‘rana as Waller countered out of a finisher. Waller nearly wins with a standing Spanish Fly, then with a standing shooting star press, before Mathers leapt over Waller and hit his finish – Austin Theory’s Ataxia – ahead of a 450 splash off the top. Decent for the time they had, with Mathers getting the big win here. **½
AC Mack wandered out after the match to take a look at his potential future challenger. Mack took exception to Mathers’ “Mr. IWTV” nickname, and Mathers’ demand to get a shot in the north. Mack hangs around afterwards to cut a promo, where he was met with chants of “not our champ” from the Massachusetts crowd as he mocked taking Uncharted Territory to the south-east. Mack’s booked for a match, so why not do it now?
Cue the IWTV rocket launch countdown as Mack’s still talking…
No Disqualification: AC Mack vs. Slade
Of course, this wasn’t for the title, because Mack refuses to defend it away from the South.
Mack tries to powder at the bell, but gets caught by Slade, who landed a suplex before Mack tried to get away. Slade keeps throwing him back inside, but Mack changes tactics, catching Slade with a leaping knee off the apron. Back inside, a rear naked choke on the mat looked to put Slade out… but Slade bit his way free.
Kicks from Mack keep Slade down, before he went for his title belt… Slade ducks a belt shot, then hit a clothesline as he began to blast through the champion, following up with a belt shot of his own. It’s good for a two-count for Slade, who then went for a chokebreaker, but Mack knees his way out of it, then hit a spinning DDT out of nowhere.
A leaping savate kick from Mack, then a dropkick into the corner gets a two-count. Slade blocks a Codebreaker, then returned with a chokeslam for a near-fall… Mack’s back with a chop to the throat, then a Flatliner for a two-count of his own. Slade escaped a Mack 10, then blocked a low blow before a second chokeslam and a rear naked choke forced Mack to tap in short order. **¾
I must say, being horribly behind on the Beyond vs. The-South feud going on, I am liking the sly digs being made on all sides – commentary here poked fun at Mack being a “regional champion,” while comparing him to the likes of “Flair and Dusty” who “weren’t good enough for the north.” Touche.
Kimber Lee vs. Billie Starkz
An injury to LuFisto forced a change in the card, with Kimber Lee putting up this open challenge… answered by a debuting-in-Beyond Billie Starkz.
Kimber Lee starts with a wristlock, with Starkz countering out in kind, only for Kimber Lee to grab a hammerlock instead as they went hold-for-hold. A cross armbar from Starkz is rolled up on for a near-fall by Kimber, as Billie then found herself bridged down from a knuckle lock.
Starkz blocks a kick, but Kimber Lee splits out of a leg sweep… then hit another one again for a jawbreaker as Kimber looked to be a step ahead of Starkz. A sunset flip nearly wins it for Starkz, as did a head kick, before a tope attempt was swatted away with a kick from Kimber. A stalling brainbuster from Kimber Lee’s good for a two-count, while chops from Kimber Lee ended up being returned in kind.
Kimber Lee struck back, grounding Starks with a chinbar, before a spinning leg lariat snuffed Starkz’s brief comeback. More kicks from Kimber keep her ahead, but Starkz ends up catching one and returned with a knee strike. Forearms keep things going, leading to a discus lariat from Starkz, as the pair again looked to wear the other down with chops.
A bridging German suplex from Kimber Lee nearly wins it, but a half-and-half from Starkz provided a wild retort, taking Lee outside for a tope. Back inside, a Code Red nearly wins it for Billie, as did a suplex into the corner that stacked Kimber Lee on her head… but a trip up top undoes it all for Starkz, as she’s press slammed to the mat before Kimber Lee went up for a senton bomb to win the match. This was a really good outing for Starkz on her debut, as Kimber Lee “went back to basics” for want of a better phrase after her recent brawls with Masha Slamovich. ***½
After the match, Kimber Lee took the mic and dubbed herself one of the “Aces of Beyond,” before calling out Biff Busick for a match.
Brian Milonas vs. Max The Impaler
This match was originally set for Day 91, but was postponed… and we’ve got bad blood going back to the last ROH show between these two.
Milonas attacks Max as they headed to the ring, and that set the stage for this one, with Milonas looking to beat them to the punch throughout. Max gets shoved into the corner, but sidesteps a charge as Max clubbered Milonas in the buckles, wearing down Milonas with a mounted rear naked choke.
Falling on his back, Milonas breaks the hold, then took Max into the corner for some chops. A clubbing shot to the back dropped Max down, leading to them getting smothered in the corner. The pair trade shots from there, but they both go for crossbodies at the same time, which led to a big crash.
Max picks up first, charging into Milonas with a spear in the corner, then a second one, before a third took Milonas down. They slammed Milonas after that, before a chair came into play. Milonas flips off Max, then raked them in the eyes as the ref took care of the chair, while a crossbody and an Earthquake splash proved to be enough to get the win. **¼
After the match, Milonas also called out Biff Busick for a match. Join the queue…
Mark Sterling vs. Rickey Shane Page
RSP was forced to wrestle with one hand tied behind his back for this one, which is always a wacky stipulation…
A quick takedown from Sterling has RSP on the deck, before Page retaliated with a one-armed waistlock takedown. Page keeps going with a shoulder charge and some armdrags, before VSK popped up onto the apron to distract Page from hitting a chokebreaker. Sterling capitalises on that with a DDT as he stomped Page down to the mat, following in with some clubbing blows as Sterling looked to control the pace.
Sterling sees his suplex reversed by Page, who followed that up with some chops and a one-armed stunner for a near-fall as Sterling grabbed the rope. VSK pops up again as Sterling’s able to hit a low blow behind the ref’s back, while VSK then tied RSP’s other hand up to add to the disadvantage.
Hands-free RSP gets rolled up for a near-fall though as the referee somehow didn’t notice RSP’s new restriction as Sterling hits a series of right hands. Page kicks his way free, but missed a superkick as Sterling was able to return with a spinebuster for a near-fall. VSK’s back up with a chair as Mark Sterling feigned injury, but Atticus Cogar hits the ring to make the save, chasing VSK away with a handful of skewers…
Meanwhile, Sterling wears down RSP in the corner with some punches, before a trip up top ended with RSP crotching him in the ropes. Sterling crashes down, so RSP decides to take a really high risk trip up top, climbing the ropes with no hands ahead of a crossbody that ended up putting Sterling down for the count. Despite the limitations, this was a hell of a showing from RSP, complete with an impressive finish. **¾
RSP broke the streak as he didn’t challenge Biff Busick…
Encore & Waves And Curls (Jaylen Brandyn & Traevon Jordan) vs. The Kings Of The District (Eel O’Neal & Jordan Blade) & Trish Adora
Encore came in for Willow Nightingale in the shuffled card…
Eel O’Neal’s far from happy with everyone singing Happy Birthday for Trish Adora, as we start with Jordan and O’Neal trading wristlocks. Eel’s pissed at how Traevon’s taking him, as we get a tag to bring in Jaylen Brandyn for a springboard hooking clothesline and a propelled ‘rana. Encore’s in for an assisted splash to O’Neal as he kept the momentum going as he gyrated in O’Neal’s face.
Headscissors from Encore keep Eel down, but there’s a turnaround as O’Neal’s able to tag in Jordan Blade, as she went to work on Encore with a levering armbar. O’Neal’s back to focus on that same arm with kicks, while Blade utilised an arm whip. Another armbar keeps Encore down, as did a spinning cross armbar, before Encore rolled up Blade to break up the hold.
Blade stays on the arm though, but Encore fights free with an enziguiri before tags brought in Traevon Jordan to charge through the Kings of the District. Trish Adora’s notably staying on the apron as the Kings got battered, taking a bulldog/leg lariat combo from Jordan. Brandyn’s back, and finally Adora comes in… and got Slingblade’d.
Brandyn’s dive wipes out everyone on the outside, before Encore’s frog splash nearly ended things. Encore followed with a back elbow and a dropkick to Adora, as a back suplex dumped Trish in the middle of the ring as Waves and Curls stayed down on the outside. Adora blocks a ripcord, turning it into a swinging back breaker, before Lariat Tubman took care of Encore for the win. This was solid, with the key story seemingly being Trish Adora becoming the deciding factor between the two. **¾
Eel O’Neal resumes the streak by calling out Biff! There’s a bit of an impromptu gauntlet in the works, hey?
Jonathan Gresham vs. Angel Ortiz
One week on from winning 16 Carat Gold, Jonathan Gresham’s back… against a returning-to-beyond Angel Ortiz.
Opening with a handshake, commentary notes Ortiz’s lack of singles action in recent times, having not had a one-on-one match in two years. Ortiz scores early with a shotgun dropkick that took Gresham to the outside, but Ortiz fakes out a dive as we reset with some gyrations. A tie-up from Ortiz takes Gresham into the corner for a chop, before Gresham sandbagged himself ahead of an armdrag to Ortiz.
Some headscissors into an armdrag have Gresham ahead as he began to chain together offence. A stomp to the elbow has Ortiz down, as did a hammerlock that forced Ortiz into the ropes. An armdrag has Ortiz back down after he offered some resistance, before Gresham went back in with a hammerlock, trapping Ortiz in the middle of the ring.
Ortiz makes it to the ropes again, before he recovered with a Manhattan drop, a clothesline and a back senton. Chops follow from Ortiz, before an abdominal stretch trapped Gresham for a brief moment. An enziguiri’s next after Gresham broke the hold, while a trip up and a snapmare led to a cross-legged abdominal stretch as Ortiz looked to beat Gresham at his own game.
Back rakes kept Ortiz ahead, but Gresham goes back to the arm as he looked to force an opening, stomping on the left arm ahead of a cradle for a near-fall. Ortiz tries to stay in it with chops, which Gresham answered, before a series of backbreakers from Ortiz left Gresham laying. Going back to the arm forces Ortiz onto the back foot, before some tit-for-tat ended with Ortiz snatching a Fisherman’s suplex for a near-fall. A Ligerbomb’s next as Ortiz got even closer, before the pair traded roll-ups.
Gresham’s met with a hiptoss as the pace quickens… with an inside cradle suddenly nicking it for Gresham in the end. This was lovely and competitive – Ortiz was never ever too far behind Gresham, but in the end it was perhaps Ortiz’s lack of singles action that led to him getting caught off guard. ***½
After the match, Gresham joined the queue of those wanting to face Biff Busick, as I think Beyond are starting to pile up main events for the rest of the year here.
At intermission, we’ve a promo from Jaden Newman, who was showing up to Wrestling Open this week (well, last night as I type this)… he challenged Alec Price for a shot at Newman’s SUP Bonestorm title.
Little Mean Kathleen & Teddy Goodz vs. Channing Thomas & Sidney Bakabella
This feud’s been bubbling away on Wrestling Open, with shenanigans including restraining orders and the use of brass knuckles…
Goodz and Thomas start, but Thomas quickly tagged out to Bakabella, who claimed to have had a bad back. Stalling has the crowd baying for LMK to tag in, which she does, as we have a tie-up and a side headlock from Bakabella… which he’s pushed off of. Bakabella grabs a handful of hair, before the favour was returned… and off comes the wig!
For some reason, Bakabella covers his head and his (covered) nipple in shock, before running to the back as LMK paraded that mop over her own head. Goodz tagged in as LMK thankfully didn’t gain any weird behavioural powers from wearing the wig. Bakabella returned with a baseball cap on his head, but had the ropes kicked into him by LMK as all four were in the ring, with Bakabella and Thomas see-sawing in the ropes.
Goodz sets up for a dive to Bakabella and Thomas… but LMK’d snuck out on the floor to throw the pair into each other. Kathleen’s stolen Bakabella’s baseball cap like she’s playing a human game of Buckaroo, while Bakabella headed up top, avoiding a nosebleed as Goodz and Thomas took the fight away from Bakabella.
Bakabella’s tired himself out from that climbing, as LMK took advantage with some stomps to Bakabella in the corner… then to Thomas. An assisted elevated senton from LMK’s good for a one-count, before Bakabella caught Kathleen in the corner, allowing the “World Class” tandem to take over. Kicks from Bakabella keep LMK down, as the pair swap tags to isolate LMK for a while.
A head claw from Bakabella ends up getting broken with a stunner as Goodz and Thomas come in. There’s a big back body drop to Channing, then a discus clothesline as Goodz ran wild, charging into Thomas and Bakabella in the corners. LMK’s back, but Bakabella shoves the referee into the ropes to crotch Goodz, before a punch and a piledriver from Thomas got the pin over Kathleen. This was good for what it was, with the comedy stuff not being overdone, while Bakabella proved to be more use than many would have expected in that in-ring role. **½
After the match, Bakabella issued an open challenge to LMK for this weekend’s WWR+ show – shouting out the first line of Nia Jax’s music to make everyone ponder… while Bakabella also called out Biff Busick. On behalf of Channing Thomas.
Alec Price vs. Masha Slamovich
Both Masha and Price have been making a claim for that mantle of being the “ace of Beyond,” as of late…
Masha took the fight to Price early on with punches and some hair-assisted snapmares before she blasted a boot through Price for an early one-count. Right hands from Price looked to give him a foothold in the match, but Slamovich remained on top, stretching Price with a double chickenwing variant.
Elbows keep Price rocked, before he returned with a wheelbarrow roll for a near-fall, then a dropkick to lay out Slamovich. A snap suplex keeps Price ahead, as did some punches from the mount, before a low superkick took Masha down for a two-count. Slamovich returns fire with a knee and a spinning heel kick, getting herself a delayed two-count, before a torture rack facebuster into the buckles led to a nasty landing for Masha.
Price is quickly caught again with a bridging half-and-half suplex for a near-fall, as things then broke down to a slugfest on the mat. A Gotch-style powerbomb dropped Slamovich for a two-count, before a Waterwheel slam from Masha drew a near-fall… she rolled back up into the Jig ‘n’ Tonic, but couldn’t position herself for a pin as Price again kicked out at two.
A sit-out powerbomb got Slamovich closer to the win over a bloodied Price, before a piledriver from Slamovich was countered out of into an enziguiri. A neckbreaker slam a la Okada’s next from Price, before a jumping Gotch piledriver still couldn’t get it done! Exasperated, Price yells at Slamovich, running in to hit a Su-Prize Kick for the eventual win. Run this one back in a main event spot – and with a little more build – because this was a pretty damn good sprint. ***½
Price asks for the mic, prompting the crowd to chant “call out Biff.” Of course he does.
Willow Nightingale vs. Jordynne Grace
It was a return to Beyond for the first time in nearly three years for Grace…
Grace snaps ahead with a headlock takedown, but Willow’s quickly out of it as she heads up with a POUNCE to Jordynne… the Three Amigos follow, only for Grace to block the third as she’s taken down into a grounded Octopus. Grace gets free via the ropes, before she paintbrushes Willow ahead of an O’Connor roll for a near-fall.
Willow returns the pinning predicaments with a crucifix, only to eat a short DDT as Grace picked up another near-fall. Grace stays ahead with another suplex, then with a standing elbow drop before things headed into the corner. A push-down stomp out of the corner nearly wins it for Grace, whose attempt at a Made in Japan was blocked as a head kick got Willow back in it.
Coming off the top rope with a clothesline gets Willow a near-fall… Grace blocks a Doctor Bomb by charging into the corner, leading to a teased sueprplex… which Grace turned into a Muscle Buster instead, nearly winning with the move. Going to a full nelson, Grace ends up seeing her hold broken as Willow returned with a uranage, then a cannonball into the corner, before a moonsault off the top crashed into Grace for a near-fall.
A whip takes Grace into the corner, before Willow cartwheeled into a superkick… but Grace ducks it and eventually returned with a spinning rack bomb. It’s still not enough though, as double knees to the back trapped Willow in the corner ahead of a Vader Bomb for another near-fall. The pace ratchets up here as both women looked for the win, with Willow eventually snatching it with the Doctor Bomb. Another lovely sprint that didn’t go too overboard with the near-falls – again, run this one back folks! ***½
Willow gets the mic… but rather than directly challenge Biff, she called out Alec Price for a rematch.
Wheeler Yuta vs. Biff Busick
Biff’s back after his bloody brawl with Slade… and an unfortunate cancellation that precluded a trip to Germany a week earlier. Meanwhile, I had a hard time differentiating the crowd – were they saying BOO or YOOTS?
Yuta calls out Biff to start, continuing the night’s theme, as wristlocks and escapes provided an early stalemate. Headscissors on the mat are countered out of as Yuta ends up on the defensive, returning with a dropkick to take Biff into the corner.
Chops from Busick lit up Yuta in the opposite corner, while a snap suplex floated over for a two-count as Yuta found himself in trouble… and in the corners. A back elbow rocks Biff, who ducked a crossbody attempt and returned with a neckbreaker… before going down with some figure four headscissors.
Yuta and Biff exchange chops briefly, before a double crossbody ended with them crashing into each other. Another crossbody off the top, this time from Yuta, sees him build up a head of steam as Biff ended up rolling outside for respite. A tope from Yuta made sure he wasn’t safe there, before a rebound off the bottom rope led to an Angle Slam from Yuta for a near-fall.
A charging uppercut from Biff’s caught and turned into a bridging German suplex for a near-fall, before Biff dumped Yuta in the ropes with a suplex. Busick followed it up with a sit-out gutwrench powerbomb for a near-fall, before YOSHI-HASHI’s Headhunter neckbreaker got a one-count. Yuta’s quickly down with a lariat as a half crab, then a STF forced Yuta into the ropes to force the break.
Things descend into back-and-forth strikes, with Yuta going almost Timothy Thatcher with a slap… Biff returns them in kind, then blasted Yuta with some uppercuts, only to get met with a big boot. A big dropkick snuffs out Yuta ahead of a release German suplex, before a diving European uppercut finally put Yuta away. ***¾
After the match, Biff took the mic and called himself out… just kidding. The folks who did call him out during the night appear on the stage – Channing Thomas, Brian Milonas, Kimber Lee, Eel O’Neal, Alec Price… and as Biff asked who wanted to jump ahead first, a “fan” hits the ring and beats down Biff. He quickly takes off his hood and face-mask to reveal himself as the (former Fan) Dango, wearing an Oney Lorcan tee… it’s ripped off as Dango laid out Biff with a Falcon arrow, then an Alabama Jam, and I guess he’s next in line for Busick.
This was a breeze of a show to watch, with nothing on the card outlasting its welcome. Perhaps a “supercard” of some of the best of the indies in 2022, depending on who you ask (and who’s available), and while some may feel that Beyond may have too many irons in the fire with Beyond, WWR+ and Wrestling Open running concurrently, they’re doing a good job of making sure you know the important stuff for each show.