Beyond returned to action with the first of their Signature Series – featuring the returns of the Tournament for Tomorrow and the Greatest Rivals Round Robin tournament!
Trish Adora pinned Jordan Oliver in 11:59 (***)
Tre Lamar & PB Smooth pinned Dave McCall & Nate Carter in 7:57 (***¼)
Chris Dickinson submitted Tony Deppen in 14:39 (***¾)
As Aaron Lewis once sang, it’s been a while. September 20 was the last time we had a “regular” Beyond Wrestling show, from the undisclosed location that ended with Milk Chocolate (the tag team, not the food) getting thrown into a lake. With the world still in varying degrees of being messed up, Beyond can’t run their regular shows – no more packed Electric Haze, no more White Eagles… so we’re off to the H20 Wrestling Centre in Williamstown, New Jersey for the start of the Signature Series – a run of shows that’ll feature the returns of two Beyond staples: the Greatest Rivals Round Robin and the Tournament For Tomorrow.
We open up with Denver Colorado against a green screen of past Beyond footage, before he pitches the round robin entrants: Chris Dickinson, Tony Deppen, Wheeler Yuta and Matt Makowski. As for the Tournament for Tomorrow, the eight-team tag tournament will feature: Milk Chocolate (Brandon Watts & Randy Summers), The REP (Dave McCall & Nate Carter), Shook Crew (Bobby Orlando & Bryce Donovan), Mike Verna & Rex Lawless, 40 Acres (PB Smooth & Tre Lamar), Faith in Nothing (Rickey Shane Page & Vincent Nothing), The Bird & The Bee (Solo Darling & Willow Nightingale), The Nouveau Aesthetic (Still Life & BLANK).
Paul Crockett & Sidney Bakabella are on commentary – there’s a pairing I’ve missed.
Jordan Oliver vs. Trish Adora
Adora beat Tony Deppen in the Iron Match not too long ago – so here she’s up against the other half of that epic Iron Man match last month.
Adora blocks a lock-up attempt from Oliver, but has to defend a leg lock from Oliver early before pushing away a Boston crab. An armbar attempt from Adora’s blocked as Oliver rolls her to the mat from a waistlock, before Adora’s front facelock ended with Oliver breaking in the corner.
Adora ducks a chop on the break, then looked for a suplex, but it’s countered in kind by Oliver for some one-counts, before he grounded Adora in a front chancery. He goes back to the Boston crab, but Adora tries to roll free, only to get taken down for a pin before a dropkick knocked Adora into the corner.
Oliver chucks Adora from corner-to-corner with an Irish whip, but Adora fought back with some right hands before a knee to the back knocked her down. A low dropkick knocks Adora to the outside, but Oliver doesn’t follow her… and instead waits for Trish to return to the ring before he hits a sidewalk slam for a two-count.
Adora tries her luck with a small package, getting a near-fall from the inside cradle, before going back after Oliver with some right hands. Oliver reverses another Irish whip, but runs into a back elbow before he went back to the Boston crab, which Adora again powered out of. Adora’s latest comeback’s cut-off with a kick, before a leaping crossbody drew a near-fall.
A Curt Hennig neck-flip from Adora puts Oliver down, before she went for his injured shoulder with Cattle Mutilation… but she couldn’t keep the grip as Oliver backed into the ropes for a break. Oliver hoists Adora up top and looked to hit an avalanche sidewalk slam, but Adora fought free and escaped the danger before an arm whip dumped Oliver onto his shoulder… from there, it’s back to Cattle Mutilation, only for Oliver to roll his way back up…
Oliver gets to his feet and sweeps Adora into a Boston crab, using one arm to keep the hold on, which weakens the grip as the pair resorted to trading right hands. A superkick from Oliver staggered Adora briefly, before she dove in with Lariat Tubman, and that’s enough for the win. A solid opening match, with Adora targeting Oliver’s shoulder from the off, and eventually chipping away enough to get to the win. ***
There’s a plug for the Showcase of the Independents over WrestleMania weekend…
Tournament For Tomorrow – First Round: 40 Acres (PB Smooth & Tre Lamar) vs. The REP (Dave McCall & Nate Carter)
40 Acres are a bit of a staple in AIW, while the REP cut their teeth in CZW and stole the show on their Beyond debut last January. Before everything went to hell…
Smooth and Carter start us off, with the pair looking for slams early on before a leaping shoulder tackle from Carter took Smooth into the corner. Tre Lamar and Dave McCall tag in, as McCall’s side headlock was quickly escaped with Lamar coming off the ropes with a shoulder tackle, ahead of a neat spinning heel kick from McCall… who then got decked with a clothesline as the ref was checking on Lamar.
Double-teaming from Smooth and Lamar has McCall down, as did a big boot from Pretty Boy Smooth, which gets just a one-count. A snapmare out of the corner from Lamar, and a low dropkick has McCall down for another two-count, before a side headlock on the mat ended with McCall charging Lamar into the corner. Except it was the 40 Acres corner, as Smooth tags in and continues the beating.
Quick tags keep 40 Acres fresh, with Lamar’s crossbody off the top getting a near-fall on McCall before McCall hit a dropkick and tagged in Carter, who ran wild with shoulder tackles on Lamar. A T-Bone suplex from Carter tosses Lamar ahead of a big lariat, but it’s not enough to win the match. Smooth comes in and takes Carter into the corner, but misses a charge as a spinning heel kick set up for the ol’ C9 fireman’s carry/leaping flip neckbreaker to Smooth. Lamar’s the legal man though, but makes a blind tag out as McCall couldn’t get the pin from Carter’s pop-up spinebuster on Lamar…
Smooth capitalises with a big boot, before a fireman’s carry/sitout powerbomb (the Player’s Club) from Smooth led to a frog splash elbow from Lamar to McCall… and that’s the win! An enjoyable sprint of a match with 40 Acres working well after Lamar’s feigned injury took the REP off their game. ***¼
Greatest Rivals Round Robin: Chris Dickinson vs. Tony Deppen
These two have met three times before, with Dickinson taking a clean sweep in the past…
Dickinson takes down Depen at the bell, looking to grapple on the mat. Dickinson gets the guard, but Deppen tries for a triangle armbar before they break in the ropes. A belly-to-belly takes Deppen out of the corner, before Dickinson looked to beat Deppen to an ankle lock… neither get it as Dickinson rolls with Deppen on the mat, opting to grab a knee bar before Deppen’s roll-up forced the break.
Deppen has to defend another leglock on the mat, and manages to roll onto the top of Dickinson before they reset. From a lock-up, Dickinson grabs another side headlock, then charges down Deppen with a shoulder tackle before Deppen swiftly dropped down and rolled Dickinson down for a Yehi-like stomp to the hand.
The pace keeps going with a wheelbarrow armdrag, then a regular armdrag as Deppen looked for an armbar. Yep, that’s his target here, as he wrenches the arm over the top rope before tying up the arm for a double armbar. Another stomp to the arm followed when Deppen relented, before Deppen wrapped the arm in the ropes again, pinning it there for some kicks as the referee tried to separate the pair.
Back inside, Deppen slaps and kicks Dickinson some more, retaining the focus on the arm, before a swift Dragon screw turned the match on its head. A second one followed, before a missed enziguiri led to Deppen being caught in a STF, quickly breaking it in the ropes. Dickinson stomps on Deppen on the break as he keeps the pressure up with a Figure Four, again ending via the ropes.
Dickinson stays on top with a front facelock that he switches up into a nasty brainbuster, dumping Deppen for a two-count. A Pazuzu Bomb from Dickinson’s escaped as Deppen tries to fight back, but he’s swatted into the corner before Dickinson tries to boot him off the apron. That goes nowhere as Deppen fought back with a springboard lungblower for a near-fall, before a cross armbar’s powerbombed free by Dickinson.
We get back-and-forth pinning attempts before Dickinson rolled back onto Deppen with a knee bar, but yet again the rope saves Deppen. A back elbow from Dickinson has Deppen down, but he counters with what looked like a Cattle Mutilation attempt, only to keep on rolling through to the armbar… which Dickinson cradles out of for a near-fall.
A leaping rear spin kick from Dickinson misses, allowing Deppen to hit a stomp and a diving elbow for a near-fall, before uppercuts to Dickinson’s arms… a death valley driver from Dickinson’s countered out of, but Dickinson just snap German suplexes Deppen for a near-fall, before a STF was cranked on Deppen for the submission. A lovely little match this, with Deppen having a game plan – but Dickinson was able to tough through all of that arm work to force the submission in the end. ***¾
Next week: Aaron Rourke vs. Delmi Exo… plus the Tournament for Tomorrow continues with the Shook Crew vs. Nouveau Aesthetic… while the Greatest Rivals Round Robin throws us Matt Makowski vs. Wheeler Yuta.
Three decent, but not-short matches in well under an hour, with nothing outstaying its welcome? That’s a perfect formula for a TV show in my book – especially in the current era of empty arena matches. Yeah, “the indies are being raided”, and they always will be, but leave it to Beyond to give a platform for the current and future indie stars…