There’s a lot of talk about Aces on Uncharted Territory this week, as we had plenty of claims for those tags – including in the main event as Kris Statlander and Joey Janela stole the show.
It’s back to Electric Haze for another week – and with Josh Briggs, Richard Holliday and Anthony Greene on commentary, that means we’ve a new face in the booth next to Paul Crockett. It’s CHIKARA’s Sidney Bakabella, which is certainly a bombastic choice.
Bear Country (Bear Beefcake & Bear Bronson) vs. WRSTLING (David Starr & Eddie Kingston)
Bakabella’s throwing back to the territory days here, literally, as they had issued an open challenge. If you’ve seen the Secret Show from Sunday, you might not be too shocked that David Starr interrupted them in, erm, street clothes? Courteously. Don’t boo.
Bear Country tried to bait him into taking the challenge, which he did. Except Starr wasn’t by himself: he had Eddie Kingston with him to do a spot of WRSTLING. Wait, that’s not Eddie Kingston, he’s now going by the abandoned name of ACH. I popped. We’ve a jump start as Starr feigned going to the back to change into his gear, and this is instantly Bear Country’s biggest test in Beyond. Things settled down a little as Beefcake and Bronson found themselves having issues against Kingston, before a wacky butterfly lock from Starr had Bronson’s head in a nasty place.
Double-teaming keeps Bronson at bay for a little while later before we got the hoss fight – with Beefcake taking down Kingston with a clothesline. Hey, we even get the obligatory big man spot of a dual fallaway slam/Samoan drop too! Despite being the smallest man in the match, Starr tries to waffle the bears with Han Stansens, but a Cherry Mint DDT, then a Saito suplex from Kingston put them back ahead, before an assisted Blackheart Buster almost put away Bronson.
Bear Country found a second wind, but the Elevator Drop’s stopped when Kingston pulled Bronson to the floor, before a series of strikes ending with a Product Placement for the win. A hard-fought match as Bear Country’s run comes to an end – but it was shockingly even. ***½
Anthony Greene vs. Richard Holliday
A battle of former commentators, starting when Holliday barged Greene out of the booth last week. Holliday’s billed as the “Consumer’s Champion”… is he a Watchdog? Ah, That’s Life. There’s a bunch of references people outside the UK won’t get.
After an even start, Greene managed to outsmart Holliday with a stalling dropkick before a lucha-inspired crossbody surprised the so-called Consumer’s Champion. Holliday sneaks his way back in with elbows and stomps, as he slowed down the pace of the match. Green slips free with a bunch of superkicks, only to get dropped with a twister suplex, dubbed the 2008. After the stock market crash. Holliday keeps up his offence, including the Black Monday – a swinging backbreaker-like move – but Greene rolls him up and steals the pin. This was decent, but Holliday isn’t yet connecting with the crowd. Give him time, he’s got the ability. **¾
Post-match, Holliday beats down Greene until Kenn Doane hit the ring and attacked Angel Sinclair of the Platinum Hunnies. A fan gets into it with Doane, before Josh Briggs interjected himself and demanded a fight. With a few more swears.
Kenn Doane vs. Josh Briggs
Doane tries to stall, but Briggs throws him in and around the ring as the former Spirit Squad man was seeing a lot of air.
Backbreakers follow as commentary seems really pleased to mention how Kenny’s beaten Ric Flair. 2006/2007 was a weird time. Even more so today as Briggs had fans chop Kenny at ringside, and to his credit, Doane was bumping like a champ here. When they got back into the ring, Doane was able to find a way back in… targeting Briggs’ left leg. Fancy that! Doane went under the ring for some powder, but Ava Everett returned to throw it in his face, allowing Briggs to get the win with a chokebreaker. Short, but effective. **
They announce that Heidi Katrina faces Solo Darling at the WWR show on June 30… while Sidney Bakabella’s made to move his car. Chris Dickinson isn’t doing a wrestle this week, so instead he’s ring announcing for the next match, which just happens to feature part of Team Pazuzu…
Oh yeah, and there’s another announcement: Dickinson’s got Shane Mercer next week. It took a while, but there’s another hidden gem back from over WrestleMania weekend.
LAX (Ortiz & Santana) vs. Youthanazia (Josh Prohibition & Matt Cross)
A lot of indy fans are feeling REAL OLD right about now…
We’ve a tentative start as LAX combining well early on against their more experienced, if not rustier opponents. Getting hung up in the ropes didn’t help things, as Cross and Prohibition leapt on that to slowly wear down Ortiz. Quick tags didn’t give him much of an opening, but he forced a way through by leaping by Cross and Prohibition to tag in Santana, who cracks Cross with a head kick.
The pace quickened a little from there, with Cross cartwheeling out of a back roll stunner as the exchanges seemingly drew blood as referee Kevin Quinn was forced to don the blue gloves of doom. Ortiz had to break up a cover, but ends up taking his part of a double double stomp from Cross for a near-fall. LAX chain together more offence as Santana lands his stunner, before a double team hiptoss/flapjack got them the win. This was pretty good, but if you were into the Cross/Prohibition era of indy wrestling you’ll probably have gotten into this more than I. ***¼
Post-match, LAX took the mic and declared themselves Beyond’s tag team aces – and took exception to those who wanted that label for themselves.
Earlier today, Cameron Zagami’s interviewing the newest entry for the Discovery Gauntlet – Travis Huckabee. He’s been in Beyond before, and he’s a little bitter about being invited here so late in the series.
Discovery Gauntlet: Travis Huckabee vs. Thomas Santell
Huckabee used to be a referee in CHIKARA, but made the switch to wrestler and is now a part of FIST in that group. Problem is, he’s up against a rather irresistible force in Worcester, in the form of everyone’s favourite Ovaltine drinker.
Huckabee tried to not play Santell’s games here, but he’s quickly suckered in as the match began with the traditional mat-based stuff as both men looked for an advantage. The pair work what you’d call a World of Sport-influenced match, going in for back-and-forth cradles before a finger snap from Santell looked to stagger Santell. Bakabella breaks his character briefly as he stepped in and out of a graps Tardis while Huckabee had Santell in a Stretch Muffler off of the apron. That seemed to work as Santell couldn’t run into the corner, as commentary brought up how Chuck O’Neil worked over his arm at the Secret Show at the weekend.
Santell mounts a comeback with a release Regal plex, then a Ki Krusher for a near-fall… but Huckabee keeps up with his big bag o’ Stretch Mufflers as Santell again had to fight free. A trip puts Huckabee on the mat, where he ends up falling to the Rings of Saturn as elbows to the ribs forced the issue. Santell’s unbeatable it seems, but the ongoing punishment is going to take its toll eventually. ***
Another interview with Cameron Zagami followed, but he’s unhappy at the role and throws the microphone at Santell. Is… is Cam upset that he followed Santell’s advice? Meanwhile, Santell really does interview himself, while hobbling, which was a hoot. Shame the Bruins lost the Stanley Cup – he’ll need a smaller mug for his Ovaltine…
Chuck O’Neil vs. Tom Lawlor
O’Neil’s been a tough opponent in the last few weeks, but he’s been costing himself a LOT of wins. Is it going to be the case against another former MMA fighter?
As you’d expect, they started looking for strikes and takedowns, but there’s a quick standoff. Lawlor gets the first hold in, forcing O’Neil into the ropes with a Sharpshooter, before he responded to a German suplex with some more slaps. It’s very MMA-like, which is exactly what you’d expect, with a big boot from O’Neil sending Lawlor’s mouthpiece flying!
Lawlor can’t put it back in, so O’Neil peppers him with shots around the head, but again, neither man was able to maintain an advantage. A rope break stops Lawlor from tying up Chuck in knots, before a leaping knee saw O’Neil get out of a suplex. O’Neil turns a guillotine choke into a Michinoku driver for a near-fall, before Lawlor countered a triangle armbar into a Styles Clash as we got some nice MMA/graps transitioning… only for O’Neil to cling onto the arm and force the submission. This was different, that’s for sure. No ebbs or flows from good to evil, but a really good, MMA-like match that had more than a hint of “catch as catch can” wrestling to it. Well worth a watch. ***½
They announce for next week: Team Tremendous (Dan Barry & Bill Carr) vs. Bear Country… Solo Darling vs. JXT… Josh Briggs vs. Richard Holliday… Anthony Green, Ava Everett & Angel Sinclair vs. Kenn Doane, Skylar & Davienne… Shane Mercer vs. Chris Dickinson.
Joey Janela vs. Kris Statlander
After Statlander lost her IWTV title on Sunday, her big return to Electric Haze came without any hardware, as the clock continued to tick on Joey Janela’s indy career.
We’ve an even start as Janela and Statlander began the feeling out process, trading a couple of near-falls and the like as the pace was kept slow. Everything Janela threw at Statlander was matched though, with dualling kip-ups seemingly getting to Janela, who took a while to compose himself. Everyone continued to swing and miss, but Janela regained his cockiness, flipping off Statlander after she, erm, missed a flip.
Statlander manages to edge ahead with forearms and a nice moonsault off the apron, but she misses a splash off the top as Janela began to pick her apart. A Romero special/Dragon sleeper’s broken when Janela went for the hair, which slowly had the crowd turning on him. It only made it sweeter for the Worcester crowd when Statlander started to inch into the match, Matrixing out of a clothesline before landing an enziguiri. Janela cut off Kris as she went for a dive to the floor… then brought her down his own way, with a Ki Krusher onto the apron. Jesus H…
Somehow, that doesn’t finish her off, nor does a Superfly splash, as Janela started to get frustrated again, and that just opened the door for Statlander again, as a Blue Thunder bomb and a 450 splash led to another agonisingly-near fall. Superkicks eventually give way to a Destroyer for Statlander, but Janela stops her then went under the ring for a… door?!
Janela lands rudely on his head from an axe kick, before she fell back into the door with Janela in an Electric Chair… but it’s still not enough! Nor was a Zangief-like spinning package piledriver as both these guys looked to be unpinnable. So of course, we’ve another door, which is broken through as Janela used a Made in Japan off the top rope, before a diving superkick put Kris away.
Well, that was a memorable main event. An endurance test for both Statlander and Janela, but with one of those on the road out, this was a match that solidified Kris’ role at the top of Beyond. Even in defeat. The hype for this one is justified, my friends. ****
After the match, Janela dropped an F bomb on Jim Cornette before he called out David Starr. I hope he doesn’t come out with a sock like Janela intimated… Thankfully he doesn’t, but Joey continues to poke the bear as he tried to get Starr to accept his Americanrana challenge. Once again, Starr says that Joey’s a hypocrite and has “lowered the value” of wrestlers, so he’s again refusing. It’s a hell of a heartfelt rejection from Starr, who kept getting baited… and eventually snapped. We’re getting Starr vs. Janela at Americanrana – in an iron man match – in what’s seemingly going to be the last time we’ll see these two one-on-one.
Another week, another home run for Beyond. While the “ace” tags are solely about bragging rights, they sure as hell draw the best out of a lot of people. Kris Statlander’s having a career year, and I’d not be shocked if this was just the start of her meteoric rise. Puns intended. We’re weeks away from Americanrana, and you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’ve not even sampled the current Beyond format in 2019.
- Catch Uncharted Territory as part of a subscription to IWTV.live – sign up today and get a 20-day free trial with the code UNCHARTED