Hot on the heels of Sunday’s Lethal Lottery, we’re back for more of Beyond’s trip to Uncharted Territory.
This marked the tenth anniversary of Beyond Wrestling, and we’ve a video that chartered some of Beyond’s history before the show went live. We’re back at Electric Haze, and we’ve a ring full of “Beyond originals” to celebrate the event. Chris Dickinson’s out for a promo as he celebrates winning the Lethal Lottery… and reminds us he challenged Daisuke Sekimoto for Americanrana. He wants to prepare for Sekimoto by facing some of the biggest folks around, and he doesn’t even care if your name is Jaka and you’re coming out of semi-retirement to do it. Sadly this week, it’s not Jaka… it’s Josh Briggs!
Paul Crockett and Anthony Greene are on commentary since Briggs is back in the ring…
Chris Dickinson vs. Josh Briggs
This was Briggs’ in-ring debut on Uncharted Territory, having literally only just come back from his dislocated hip at the weekend.
We start on the mat with a headlock takedown and escapes as both men tried to keep the other on the mat early on. A leg grapevine from Dickinson looked to test Briggs’ hip, sending him scarpering into the ropes for a break. There’s a shoulder tackle too as Dickinson keeps the pace low and slow, only for Briggs to issue a receipt. An enziguiri stops Briggs’ Test of Strength, as Dickinson instead looked to rough up the returning Briggs in the corner with some stomps, only to get caught with a sidewalk slam and a standing splash for a near-fall. Briggs keeps up with a butterfly backbreaker, which doesn’t help his knee and hip any, and that gave Dickinson a window of opportunity.
Briggs fought back, but runs into a mid kick… only to power back up and whip Dickinson onto the apron, where a big boot gets caught and hung up in the ropes. Not to worry, Briggs comes right back with the “Big Test Boot”, only to get caught with a baseball slide dropkick on the outside as the match remained even. A PK off the apron from Dickinson’s turned into a chokeslam on the apron, but another enziguiri back inside just sets up Briggs for a barrage of clotheslines from Dickinson, with one big lariat nearly ending it, only for Briggs to stretch his hands onto the ropes for a very tenuous break. They’re back with strikes before Briggs looked for a Go To Hell knee… but Dickinson avoids it and comes in with a Dragon screw.
Briggs tries to go up top, but Dickinson just pulls him down before a Trailer Hitch in the middle of the ring forces Briggs to stretch to those ropes. An attempt at a Pazuzu Bomb’s countered with a jack-knife roll-up, as Briggs comes right back with a Go To Hell knee for a near-fall, before another big boot drops Dickinson for yet another two-count. Josh is coming over strong here, but in the end the M5 gets rolled up into an ankle lock… and Briggs taps quickly. A strong effort, but given this was his first “real” night back, this was the right result – especially given Dickinson’s getting star billing at Americanrana. ***¼
After the match, Dickinson challenges Eddie Kingston to a match as his tune-up matches against hosses continues.
We’re somewhere with Cam Zagami and his prop mic. He’s with “Big Bacon” Brad Hollister, who goes over his history with Thomas Santell – his trainer, in fact. Hollister’s the recently-deposed champion of NEW, and I got majorly distracted by whomever was creaking on those stairs during the promo.
Discovery Gauntlet: Brad Hollister vs. Thomas Santell
For week two, Santell got a pretty good reaction from the Electric Haze. I guess Worcester are big fans of Eartha Kitt… and Ovaltine. There’s other characters on the US scene that’s going for this look, but Santell pulls it off really well.
Santell does his “I can’t see without my glasses” shtick, but Hollister just uses his foot to brush them towards him, prompting Santell to remind him of what he “should” do. The crowd even bait “Big Bacon” into picking them up, but he’s smarter than that, and they end up passing the glasses among each other… leading to Hollister scoring a waistlock takedown as Santell got himself distracted.
The bell goes as a grappling match breaks out, with Santell and Hollister scrambling each other into the ropes, before a takedown led Hollister into the ropes. They go back and forth, looking to one-up the other, exchanging shoulder tackles before Santell grappled Hollister back into the ropes. There’s not much offence, but this game of human chess was proving very intriguing. A knucklelock forces Santell back into a neck bridge, but he powers back up and uses a headlock takedown to get Hollister’s shoulders on the mat. Brad rolls outside to collect his thoughts, which earned him the chant of “turkey bacon”. Presumably because chicken bacon isn’t a thing, is it?
The story doesn’t change much for Hollister when he returned to the ring, as Santell keeps him in a hammerlock, before a headbutt from Hollister got him a slight opening as someone on the street was lighting fireworks. Either that or someone was using an angle grinder late at night… Santell doesn’t gets distracted as he rolls Hollister into an ankle lock, but it’s countered in kind as they looked to go back and forth, upgrading from holds to strikes, with Hollister snapping out of it with a German suplex, then with “Down with the Thickness” (EVIL’s Darkness Falls) for a near-fall.
After taking some forearms, Santell comes right back with a half-nelson suplex before trapping Hollister with an Anaconda Vise… but Hollister just powers up, deadlifting his way free before charging into Santell in the corner. Hip attacks follow, as does an O’Connor roll, but from the kick-out Santell traps Hollister in a rear naked choke, which is again escaped. A pop-up powerbomb is Hollister’s retort as he gets another two-count, but he took too long to follow up and gets pulled down into a crossface. Hollister rolls free into a camel clutch, only for the pair to trade German suplexes, then clotheslines, before Hollister had to be pulled away on the apron as he was headbutting Santell.
He gets into it with the referee, but that distraction opens it up for Santell to come back with a Saito suplex, before another crossface is again escaped… only for Santell to transition into a Banana Split, which he used to pin Hollister for the three-count. This was lovely stuff, starting with some mind games on the mat, before Hollister tried to use his size and strength advantage… only to get undone by some wrestling. This Discovery Gauntlet continues to deliver! ***¾
Post-match, Cameron Zagami’s got his usual post-match interview… where Santell tells us he’ll celebrate with Ovaltine. He runs to the bar and gets a jar of the stuff out of a bag… which Santell then gives to the crowd. That… is going to taste mighty weird mixed with beer.
Warehouse Rules: Eric Corvis, Johnny Cockstrong & Nicholas Kaye vs. Chase Burnett, Jefferson Saint & Zane Silver
This was a “throwback” match to celebrate Beyond’s 10th anniversary – but I’ve got a feeling we’ll have an appearance from Chuck O’Neil at the end of this…
Warehouse Rules is just no-DQ, and we start with Corvis jumping Burnett before the ring filled as Cockstrong ended up taking an assisted ‘rana. We’ve a stacked up Boston crab/camel clutch from Corvis, before he suplexed Burnett into Cockstrong’s, erm… you know. A log roll from Cockstrong’s next, before Kaye wiped out someone with a spinning Flatliner as commentary was doing a wacky job of keeping up with names.
Saint delivers a spinebuster to Kaye, following in with a Figure Four, only to get caught with a big splash from Corvis as that ref was really just there to count a pin. Silver kicks Cockstrong then hits a back senton as he was sat upright, as hell continued to break loose. We calm down with Corvis taking Burnett up top, but Burnett followed through with a wild sunset bomb, rolling all the way through before a standing backflip knee cracked Corvis for a near-fall. Cockstrong breaks it up for a Go To… Dong? He tries to follow up with a piledriver with Silver’s head in his trunks, but Zane gets free, only to get caught with an Air Raid Crash on the top turnbuckle for the win. This was fine, but a little too “all over the place” for my takes – longer-term Beyond fans would have loved this, but I fear the newer fans wouldn’t be so keen. **½
Joey Janela vs. Matt Cross
A first-time match-up sees Joey Janela continue his comeback with a pretty stiff test, as Cross came out of the gates pretty quick. Cross floats over Janela in the corner, only to see a handspring back elbow get caught as Janela teases a German suplex, only for Cross to get free.
Janela manages to get the upper hand, taking Cross into the corner with some chops, before he tripped Cross off the top turnbuckle. Back-and-forth elbows follow as Cross was left laying on the mat, before he made a comeback with a cartwheel elbow and a springboard crossbody as Janela was suddenly on the back foot. Cross keeps up the combos with a double stomp, then a big boot for a near-fall, before a sharp death valley driver turned it back around for Janela. Joey heads up top from there, following in with a frog splash for a near-fall, before he ended up getting caught in a wheelbarrow roll-up with a stomp for another two-count for Cross.
Heading up top, Cross went for a split-legged moonsault, but Janela gets his knees up as he made a comeback with some running forearms, then a lariat, before a package piledriver was blocked. Cross responds by hauling Janela outside for a tope, before eating a rolling forearm and a springboard cutter that nearly ended the match. Chops and forearms from Cross are replied to in kind, before Janela blocked a second springboard cutter and instead turned Cross into a package piledriver for the win. Some good stuff here, with Janela managing to take Cross’ best stuff, but with David Starr “done” it remains to be seen what’s next for Janela here. ***¼
After the match, Janela told the crowd that he’d just had a match he’d always wanted, since Cross was one of the men who inspired him. In response, Cross just apologises…
We get a replay from the debut episode of Uncharted Territory, where Jordynne Grace pinned Orange Cassidy in the mixed tag match. A nice use of a recap for explain why we’re getting this match…
IndependentWrestling.tv Championship: Jordynne Grace vs. Orange Cassidy (c)
Having completed a quickfire visit to the UK over the weekend, Grace is back in the States for a chance to win another title.
Cassidy flexes at the bell, so that gives Jordynne a chance to try on his sunglasses and pull an Orange. He calls for a Test of Strength, only to psych Grace out, as he then started his hands-in-the-pockets offence, which just annoyed Jordynne. Standard. A series of hands-in-the-pockets kip ups wow the crowd, as does a lucha roll-up, before Jordynne got caught in a delayed small package… then returned fire with a spinebuster for a one-count. Grace looked to capitalise on Cassidy’s hand placement, landing some clubbering forearms ahead of a Jackhammer for a near-fall. Some chops are eventually blocked, as Cassidy shoves Grace outside for a tope, only to take too long with the follow up as a spinning electric chair led to Orange getting dropped on the apron.
Grace goes for a “fan” and slams him onto Cassidy – harkening back to her slamming a little child on Nick Gage in Black Label Pro – as commentary left a few hints as to his real identity. Cassidy eventually trips Jordynne onto the apron and looks for a receipt, except this fan slammed him onto Jordynne… subversiveness!
The second “fan” rolls Grace back inside for a flying DDT that nearly ends it, before Jordynne pushes Cassidy down for a big back senton off the top rope. That too gets a near-fall, as did a short clothesline, as the match started to get a little more competitive, with both champion and challenger throwing bombs. A Blue Thunder bomb from Cassidy gets a near-fall before he went to the orange juice, but a forearm makes him spray it out before he’s properly spiked on a Michinoku driver for a near-fall. I think Orange may be a little shorter after that one.
A German suplex from Grace is next, before Cassidy put his hands in his pockets to turn a German suplex into a Tiger suplex of sorts. The hands in the pockets thwart Grace’s pumphandle driver though, as Cassidy gets free and pins her with a Mouse Trap. An excellent turn for the finish, with Cassidy showing he’s more than comedy – he can lull anyone into a false sense of security. Me included. The crowd were not happy with that result, by the sound of it… ***½
Next week: Eddie Kingston vs. Chris Dickinson… Butcher & the Blade vs. Bear Country (YES!)… John Silver vs. Brandon Thurston (YES!)… Alex Reynolds vs. Jay Freddie… that’s a tasty line-up!
They play a video of some talking heads from Beyond’s history – Dan Barry, Davey Vega, Allysin Kay, Brian Fury, Steve West, Sugar Dunkerton and Dave Cole. It’s a long happy birthday video as I sure hope this isn’t a collection of Cameo videos. You know, given that he’s put off his retirement, I’d sure love to see Dan Barry back in Beyond in some form…
We’re back from that video as there’s plunder in the ring: a barbed wire door, and some boards with forks sticking up. Yep, this is going to be gruesome. Except Chuck O’Neil made his appearance before the bell to decry the main event, saying that he could choke out anyone, and doesn’t need weaponry to do it. Rory Gulak’s in the ring with a barbed wire bat to send Chuck packing, and there’s an Amazing Gulak rolling back to his past there!
Death Match: Eric Ryan vs. Rickey Shane Page
We’ve a measured start here as Ryan, whose hair has been shaved in such a way that I almost mistake him for Mantaur, trades some roll-ups with Page early on.
Page lands the first blow with a bat with forks glued to it, as now RSP has something to carve Ryan up with. A snap, no-bump slam dumps Ryan in the middle of the ring, before he grabbed a fork and jabbed Ryan in the head with it. The no-bump suplex throw follows, as RSP sets up a styrofoam board of forks between a pair of chairs. Yeah, Rickey goes for a chokeslam, but takes a drop toe hold into the board of (thankfully plastic) forks. Eww. Ryan keeps up on him with fork shots, before he took the remnants of the fork board and put it in RSP’s chest as we had flashbacks to Jimmy Lloyd and the scissor board, as Ryan lands a Coast to Coast for a near-fall.
A top rope legdrop misses as Page comes back by throwing a chair to him, before he went for a door. Ryan stops a suplex as he grabs a sleeperhold, dropping RSP as he had a fork jabbed into his arm… Ryan’s back to the sleeperhold as the fork again becomes a part of Page, sticking into his shoulder as I see my lunch again. A third sleeperhold’s broken up when RSP back bumped into the corner through the door… but when he got back to his feet, Ryan went back to it, this time grabbing a syringe which he poked through RSP’s cheek. Oh, hi there, rest of my lunch! There’s a second syringe to make sure I empty out my entire stomach, as RSP stood up like a zombie before a discus boot put him down for a near-fall. STILL with the syringes in his mouth.
Ryan looked for a tornado DDT, but ended up taking a back body drop kick as RSP pulled out the needles before going outside to throw in a shopping trolley. You heard me right. Oh Jesus, the cart’s got a bed of forks on the side, and straight away they set up for a powerbomb onto it… with Ryan ending up bouncing off the side of the trolley. Somehow that’s not enough, as RSP heads up top for a senton bomb and another two-count, before Ryan took a no-bump suplex into another fork board. CHRIST.
Still, Ryan kicks out, so RSP dumps the trolley to the outside only to get caught with a rebound German off the ropes before a Tiger Driver gave Ryan an unlikely near-fall. The top rope leg drop gets Ryan another two-count, before RSP lands an enziguiri before using a barbed-wire bat-assisted chokebreaker for a near-fall. Page sets up some more chairs as he goes for the barbed wire door, before a piledriver off the top rope, through the door finally got the win. Holy mother of God – that was brutal from start to end. I’m not a deathmatch guy, but this was quite the spectacle if your “hardcore” wrestling is limited to baking tray shots. ***¼
After the match, RSP took the mic and put over Eric Ryan, along with Beyond Wrestling, as the show came to an end… with a video of David Starr vowing to show up on Uncharted Territory next week, because he’s insulted that he hadn’t been invited to the Lethal Lottery, or indeed, anything to build up for Americanrana.
Another week, and another home run from Beyond as Uncharted Territory continues to deliver – giving us a little something for everyone. You’ve got the death match main event, some intergender, some “boots and trunks” grappling… and there’s even something that a lot of indys are coming up short in: ongoing development. I really like the idea of Chris Dickinson facing hosses as he prepares for Daisuke Sekimoto in July – and while this week’s first round may have been hampered by Josh Briggs being fresh off the treatment table, this is a story that can only improve with time.
Add in the fact that Beyond damn near announced their full card for next week, and you’ve got plenty of reasons to tune in. Me? I’m living for the Butcher and the Blade against Bear Country next week – gotta love the tag team hosses! A pro-tip for this week – if death matches make you a little queasy, turn off after you see Chuck O’Neil!
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