Debuting in Boston, Beyond continued their path to Americanrana with a mystery show – featuring a tonne of the promotion’s big stars.
Coming from Ned Devine’s in the middle of Boston, Beyond’s debut in the city came in the form of a mystery show. It wasn’t planned like that – they sold out tickets before they could announce anything. That’s impressive, considering their shows so far have been in the suburbs… Commentary here’s from Paul Crockett and Richard Holliday.
Jay Freddie vs. Tristian Thai
Thai was one of the first Discovery Gauntlet entrants, and he’s back here as we almost had Jay Freddie headbutt a projector. What is it with Beyond and venues with wacky things above the ropes?
We’ve a nice, pacey start here, as Freddie’s rocking some YOSHI-HASHI-like gear with the lettering clinging on for dear life. Freddie’s apparently been signed by MLW, and lit up Thai with chops early on, before a springboard clothesline took him outside. Thai blocks a dive with a gamengiri, but he seems to not have any clear plan of attack – and it cost him as Freddie comes back to nearly win with a Michinoku Driver.
After almost picking up the W with a Tiger Bomb, a powerbomb and a Shining Wizard gets the win – a pretty good opener, but the crowd seemingly died after the Tiger Bomb. Perhaps one that could have wrapped up a little sooner? ***
Brandon Thurston vs. Brad Hollister vs. Gabriel Skye vs. DL Hurst
“As seen on Uncharted Territory”, as we’ve a trio of Discovery Gauntlet entrants back on the card.
We start with everyone trying to take a slice out of “Big Bacon” Brad Hollister, who was more than up to the task as the match quickly broke down into your usual Parade of Moves. It keeps the match paced well, before Skye went for a tope con giro. It didn’t whiff as badly as the whatever-it-was Coast to Coast last time out. Hollister shows he’s a goddamn monster with a stacked up Samoan drop out of the corner, with all three opponents going down at the same time. From there, Hollister and Thurston slug it out while they had Boston crabs on the go, before Gabriel Skye was used as a human battering ram.
“Big Bacon” shines through, but in the end it’s Thurston who got the win when he countered Skye’s flying headscissors into a Rings of Saturn. This was bloody good fun, with the guy with the spotlight not getting the win in a curious move. ***
Chuck O’Neil vs. Thomas Santell
It’s Beyond’s favourite proponent of hot malted drinks… as Thomas Santell’s here to take on another big bully. Pratfalling into the ring may not be the best way to warm-up against an ever-angry Chuck…
Santell has a gift for Chuck, but it’s not Ovaltine… it’s a white belt. A bit of an insult for a black belt, but Santell threatened to outwrestle him from the off. Wasn’t expecting that! Nor Santell’s attempts for a rear naked choke, as he looked to play O’Neil at his own game. It worked at first, but Chuck starts to go after Santell’s arm… then the referee, as he swung at the official in the corner. Kevin Quinn ducks as Santell mounted a comeback, going after O’Neil’s arm, only for Chuck to come back with a Samoan driver for a near-fall. There’s a nice leapfrog over Santell – a bit too high for the powerbomb – and when O’Neil locks in the cross armbreaker, he refuses to let go. There’s your DQ, but Thomas Santell is heading into next week’s Discovery Gauntlet with a bad wing. This was really good stuff, but perhaps a bit on the short side for my liking. O’Neil losing matches through DQs like this is going to get annoying, I fear. ***½
Josh Briggs runs in to make the save, only for O’Neil to go after the leg. Tom Lawlor’s out to even things up… and hey, we have another match!
Josh Briggs vs. Tom Lawlor
Lawlor’s going for Briggs’ leg early on – but it’s all high impact stuff when Briggs got the upperhand, landing some backbreakers for a quick two-count.
A big boot through the ropes backfires as Briggs gets caught with some chops, allowing Lawlor to get back on the offence as he kept Briggs on the mat. Eventually Briggs got fed up of those leg kicks and went for a “Calaway Clothesline”, before his bad leg again gave out on him. Kamigoye-style knees leave Briggs loopy, but he’s able to find a second wind… until his leg gave out again, as a loooong airplane spin into a death valley driver led to a break in play.
Clotheslines from Lawlor trap Briggs, who comes back out of the corner with a big boot before a chokeslam almost worked… and I guess someone’s bloodied because the ref’s suddenly in latex gloves. Once more, Briggs’ leg gives out, as Lawlor refused to capitalise on it, until a rear naked choke on the mat forced the stoppage. Decent stuff, but Briggs’ ongoing leg issues are quickly becoming a detriment and an asterisk next to pretty much every match of his. **¾
After the match, Briggs shoved down the ref as tensions boiled over.
IndependentWrestling.tv Championship: Kris Statlander (c) vs. Kimber Lee vs. Orange Cassidy
Originally announced as “no disqualification, non-title”, that tells you that Kris Statlander’s involved… with Kimber Lee being the initial opponent before Orange Cassidy wandered out and pointed his way into a three-way for the title.
It’s a weird clash of styles – Orange Cassidy’s laid back shtick, and Kimber Lee’s aggression. It drew something out of him, before Orange drew Kris’ hands into his pockets. Kimber breaks up the shtick with Germans, which led to some comedy spots as a Human Centipede of German suplexes got broken up by Kimber Lee’s mule kick. We’re back to Kimber and Kris trading blows, before a Snow Plow-like suplex led to a near-fall for Statlander. Things picked up briefly as Cassidy nearly put away Kimber with a DDT, before a brief Parade of Moves led to all three participants being put down. We’ve curiously little use of the no-DQ part of things as Cassidy nearly won with a Blue Thunder bomb after another flurry, before Statlander broke up an ankle lock with an Electric Chair.
Kimber Lee flips off Orange by drinking his OJ… she accidentally sprays it in his eyes, which nearly helps Statlander, but Kimber Lee broke up a tombstone with a beltshot, laying out Kris before draping Orange onto her for the title change. Interesting that Kimber doesn’t want the title – she just wants to cheat Kris out of any kind of success. A fun three-way without too much of the usual tropes, and I really like how they stoked the Kimber/Kris fire with this. ***¼
Post-match, Kimber bragged about her prior 18-month unbeaten run in Beyond – as she tried to take credit for Kris’ own run.
Ken Doane vs. Anthony Greene
Doane’s been making a bit of a spirited comeback to wrestling, having appeared on the last few episodes of Uncharted Territory.
Greene jumped Doane as he went to cut a promo, and nearly ends it with a sunset flip before Doane found his way in with a PK. A Boston crab nearly gets Green the win, as a fan at ringside flipped off Doane’s attempt to beg for help. That’s when you know you’re hated. Doane made a comeback with a nice dropkick, but Greene’s got some of his own before he nearly put Kenny away with a cutter. A second one gets countered with a lungblower, as the crowd perhaps tailed off a little on Kenny… at least until he ripped off the turnbuckle pad. Greene stops himself from whipping Doane into the corner as the ref reattached the pad, while the Platinum Hunnies had to scarper as Kenny swung for them.
Somehow the ref’s not sorted the buckle out, and Greene ends up leaping into it… and that’s what led to the roll-up as Kenny wins. A little flat at the end, but hey – Kenny’s getting built up for someone to topple. **½
It’s a Gabe Sapolsky special as we bleed between matches…
Platinum Hunnies (Angel Sinclair & Ava Everett) vs. Top Dogs (Davienne & Skylar)
Greene headed to the back to get some medical attention – so it’s a straight-up tag match featuring the newly-christened Top Dogs. The Hunnies use hip attacks before and after the bell, but Davienne breaks up Angel Sinclair’s fun by slamming Ava onto her. That was the turning point as the Hunnies had little answer for Davienne’s strikes as Angel was kept isolated. A hot tag’s made to Everett, who dropped Skylar with a cutter, before a swinging neckbreaker spiked Davienne.
More hip attacks keep the Hunnies ahead, but Davienne’s strikes opened the door… until Angel closed it with a powerbomb. A quick turnaround took care of Angel though, as a powerbomb/backcracker combo puts away Ava after what you’d probably call a competitive squash. I like how Skylar and Davienne are building themselves up – although I do wonder… will they start to look for intergender matches if they continue to sweep the board? **½
Violence is Forever (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku) vs. Bear Country (Bear Beefcake & Bear Bronson)
Ahem. HOSS FIGHT.
We start on the outside as all Bear Country powerbombed Garrini onto the edge of the ring, while Kevin Ku didn’t help… he just prepped for a moonsault instead. When they got to the ring, the hard hits began… and we had it change up a little as a freshly-shaved Bear Beefcake almost put away Ku with a moonsault. Garrini and Ku Chase The Dragon on Bronson for a near-fall as tags seemed to be a novelty. Still, it meant we got some nice double-teams, like a kick-assisted piledriver, which Beefcake broke up by popping up Ku onto the pile. Paul Crockett shows us why Ku and Garrini changed their name as there’s a Freudian slip (“RINGKAMPF”) as Bear Country began to throw them around for fun, before more double-teams barely registered on them.
Garrini seemed to slip as he went for a crossbody to break up a powerbomb on Ku… then seemed to help powerbomb his man as the match then just stopped, as Beefcake was lifted up for an Electric Chair splash… but he lands in Garrini’s triangle armbar as they looked for the submission. When that doesn’t work, the Bears piggyback each other into a cannonball before they stacked up and Electric Chair splashed through Ku and Garrini for the win. Some good offence from Bear Country, and a rather unfortunate slip from Garrini that almost derailed things. Bear Country continue to impress in this new era of Beyond. **¾
Post-match, Bear Country started to talk about the possibility of being Aces… but they’re interrupted by Independent David Starr, who’s plastered in his new INDEPENDENT merch. The surprise of his appearance was kinda muted given he’d Tweeted about being here… Nevermind. Bear Country say they’ll be at Americanrana, before handing the mic to Starr, who repeats the claim that he won’t be joining them.
I guess Davey’s turning down Joey Janela’s challenge. He’s also mocking Bear Country, before Starr’s interrupted by Solo Darling’s music. She tells Starr he can’t be the Ace if he’s never around, then looked to stake her claim for that title… with a match. Right now.
David Starr vs. Solo Darling
Luckily, Rich Palladino had seen Davey’s tweet, so he had the List o’ Nicknames prepared. Just in case.
There’s the obvious size difference in play here, but that’s in danger of being nullified by Starr taking Solo lightly. Mocking and belittling her only adds to that point, as it just fired up Solo into a quick tease for the Sharp Stinger. Starr gets to the ropes and suckers Solo outside ahead of a stalling suplex for a near-fall. A cartwheel kick cracks Solo, but she’s able to get to the ropes to break-up the pin, before she tried to chop down Starr with kicks. It started to work, as she was able to soften up Starr for the Honey Steamer springboard bulldog, before a backbreaker stopped her in her tracks. Solo’s back with a swinging bulldog off the apron and to the floor, before a Blackheart Buster dumped her awkwardly back in the ring.
Solo’s back to those kicks, before a paintbrushing slap almost puts Starr away, as did an Exploder, before Starr got to the rope to break a Sharp Stinger. The disappointment in Paul Crockett’s voice at that was quite the thing. After he swatted away a kick, Starr waffled Solo with a Han Stansen before the Kaepernick put her away… a brave effort from Solo, but in the end Starr backed up his words by taking it to a rather violent level at the end. ***½
The Butcher And The Blade (Andy Williams & Pepper Parks) vs. SLITHER (Chris Dickinson & Joey Janela)
Another tag match main events the show, as one of the standouts from WrestleMania weekend return… and it’s another goddamned hoss fight. Dickinson came out first, not giving away who the partner was. Paul Crockett hoped for Jaka, but instead it’s the return of SLITHER.
Parks tries to impose himself on Janela early, but Joey’s matching him before he brought in the hoss of the team in Chris Dickinson to do some of the heavy lifting. Eventually getting free, Parks is able to tag in Andy Williams to light up Dickinson as commentary managed to miss what the butcher’s cleaver on Williams’ trunks meant.
Janela and Dickinson managed to work well together to restrain Williams, but when it got to one-on-one, Williams made a point of isolating Janela, looking to squeeze him out with a bear hug before a suplex dropped Janela for a near-fall. Problem was, it was also giving Dickinson a hell of a breather, and when Joey got free, it was a hot tag to a fresh Dirty Daddy. A double team death valley driver/powerbomb nearly ended it as Janela took to the skies to put down the Butcher.
That dive seemed to take it out of Janela, who was left out of it as Dickinson had two hosses to withstand – which was a good test ahead of Daisuke Sekimoto. Things broke down into a barrage of Janela superkicks before he leapt into the Butcher and the Blade, who hit a suplex/backcracker combo. Somehow Janela’s able to rebound with a stunner before a pair of piledrivers nearly ended it… More superkicks weaken up Parks as he’s tossed into a German suplex… with Janela folding through on top for the pin. This was fun, but was more about showcasing Dickinson’s durability ahead of Americanrana than anything for the tag team division really. ***½
After the match, Janela gets the mic and hypes up Americanrana before he dropped a bombshell – his AEW contract is exclusive, so he’ll not be able to stick around. This is probably his last one, so he calls out “Pyramid Scam” David Starr and demands the pair of them main event… Starr comes out and instantly takes down Janela as we have ourselves a nice little pullapart… but Starr still rejects the match. We’re going to tease this a little longer, eh?
Ten matches in around three hours is a LOT, but that was the norm for Beyond’s big shows before they switched to a weekly format. The stifling heat inside Ned Devine’s clearly told on a lot of the wrestlers, with the effects being visible in terms of the sweat, if not the fatigue that could have led to a few of the slips on show. Still, Beyond delivered a consistent show for their Boston city debut, as the momentum continues to build to Americanrana – even if we’re still waiting for more confirmed matches…
- Catch Uncharted Territory on Wednesdays, along with this show, as part of a subscription to IWTV.live – sign up today and get a 20-day free trial with the code UNCHARTED