Another month, another Powerbomb.tv live stream, as Beyond Wrestling paired up with the Women’s Wrestling Revolution to hold a one-night tournament.
It’s a show of two halves – the pre-show featured some names whom perhaps ordinarily wouldn’t be there, as the main show was centred around that eight-woman tournament, with some non-tournament action thrown in for good measure. Some jaunty music takes us to the pre-game show, and we’re straight into the action!
Dream Team (Maxwell Jacob Friedman & Jonathan Gresham) vs. Hot Wheels (Tracy Williams & Wheeler YUTA)
There’s dissension within the Dream Team from the off as Friedman and Gresham argue over who’s Stokely Hathaway’s favourite…
Gresham keeps the match on the mat early, trying to keep Wheeler YUTA at bay, wrenching away with armbars. A nonchalant cartwheel took Gresham into the other corner, just so he could knock Williams off the apron with a forearm – as he tried to get under Hot Wheels’ collective skin.
Friedman does a leapfrog and lands badly, but yeah, it’s a ruse as he and Gresham quickly double-team YUTA with stomps. A chop to the balls puts YUTA on the mat as Gresham keeps up the technical-yet-underhanded motif, with the Dream Team trying to coax Williams into the ring to distract the ref. YUTA fights back with a load of big boots as the Dream Team can’t get their shit together, and that’s the cue for a hot tag to Williams, with Hot Sauce throwing clotheslines and chops at Friedman. The Hot Wheels tandem worked well over Friedman, but MJR ends up snatching the win out of nowhere with a piledriver in the ropes – Josh Bodom’s Bliss Buster – to YUTA. That was massively “out of nowhere”, but a fun tag match until that point. **¾
Orange Cassidy vs. John Silver
Commentary notes that Silver’s been on a losing streak in Beyond, with his last win being over Zack Gibson in August. Against Orange Cassidy, you’d perhaps expect an easy ride, but that wasn’t the case as Cassidy angers Silver with some pinning attempts before mocking him with slaps.
Silver snaps by repeatedly throwing Cassidy across the ring, prompting everyone’s favourite fruit-named wrestler to seek refuge on the top rope. He’s press slammed to the mat before a spin-out Blue Thunder Bomb’s countered by Cassidy, who then nearly wins with a Michinoku Driver. Cassidy juices up, but Silver superkicks it out of his mouth before dumping Orange on his head with a release German suplex. For some reason he doesn’t go for the cover, and after a superkick attempt misses, Cassidy rolls up and stacks up Silver for the win – yet another loss, and Orange can’t believe it! Fun stuff that didn’t do too much other than keep the Silver story going. **¾
Yes, Silver kills Cassidy after the match with a powerbomb and some punt kicks.
Ace Romero vs. Brian Milonas vs. Kyle The Beast vs. Josh Briggs
HOSS FIGHT! We’ve not seen Kyle The Beast since the Joey Janela Spring Break over WrestleMania weekend – he’s since done a tour of Mexico to break up his year around the north-east.
Cam Zagani – Brian Milonas’ manager these days – tried to get a word in before the match, but there’s no microphone… so all he gets is a dropkick from Romero before he’s thrown outside by Briggs and KTB. With that done, we build up to a lot of short-lived showdowns: Romero and Briggs, Briggs and KTB to name just two pairings.
KTB tries to spear Briggs off the apron, but instead he has to make do with a tope as Josh sidesteps it, with Briggs deciding to springboard into a cannonball to the floor. That’s an athletic tall guy right there! Milonas goes flying too, with a body press off the top rope, before a double chokeslam from Briggs and KTB barely gets Milonas off the mat. They try again with Zagani, who grabs onto the ceiling to delay his bump, as the big lads go back to laying into each other, with Romero hitting a Bossman slam to Briggs. KTB’s impressive Quebrada sees him clear half the ring, but Milonas is still on top, thanks to a little bit of distraction from Zagani.
Zagani’s wiped out by Milonas as we got back to the regular match, with KTB flying around, but a moonsault misses and he’s chokeslammed into a lumbar check by Briggs for the impressive win. This match was a little spotty, but my God, we’ve got some big lads who can fly. Briggs’ finisher is impressive to see, and I think this guy’s got a good future if he can carve a niche out for himself. **½
No Disqualification: David Starr vs. Nick Gage
It wasn’t even 3pm when this hit the ring, as the crew set up for this one with some chairs and barbed wire boards. Pray for Starr.
Starr tried to keep this as a wrestling match early, which wasn’t easy given the plunder that was around. It’s not long before Starr plays Gage at his own game – throwing Nick into a barbed wire board in the corner, splitting it in two. That means technically we now have four boards?
Surprisingly, there’s more plunder as David Starr gets a box full of drawing pins, and Wrestling Logic hits as Starr takes a uranage into them. It gets worse as Gage feeds the thumb tacks to David, and kicks them, before setting up a makeshift barbed wire table, which Starr was powerbombed into as well. Yeah, I wasn’t expecting David Starr to be taking as much here… least not into the plunder. Falcon Arrow onto a barbed wire board, anyone?
Starr tries to drag his way outside to freedom, but he’s caught by Gage on the apron, before switching it into a Cherry Mint DDT. Despite being covered, Gage gets up first and demands a sit-down bar-fight with Starr, who grabs a staple gun as he instead wants a staple fight? The hell are they thinking?! Gage snaps and staples Starr to hell, then gets the referee, before Starr dumps him through a chair with a German suplex.
Starr turns it up a bit cutting off some barbed wire from the board, ripping the rest of it off with his hands, before deciding to staple Gage’s chrome dome some more. Finally Starr gets a strand of wire wrapped around Gage’s head like a crown of thorns, before single-handedly filling Powerbomb.tv’s swear jar. A guillotine to the barbed wire’d Gage doesn’t work, before a Blackheart Buster and a grounded chinlock – still with barbed wire on the head – forces the referee to wave off the match.
This was so not the match I was expecting to see, but this was a new side to David Starr on show here. Perhaps next time… wear a t-shirt? And jeans? ***¼
Despite that, Gage and Starr went face-to-face after the match, but we could barely make out what they were saying. Wrestling’s answer to Bluto told Gage to leave, before he was given a mic, where he fills the swear jar some more, before issuing a challenge for Beyond’s big show on December 30: Starr vs. Joey Janela in a fans bring the weapons match. That is going to be insane!
The WWR portion of the show gets underway with a cleaner ring, a new canvas, a slightly-smaller crowd (by the look of it) and a non-tournament match.
Veda Scott vs. Sonya Strong
Apparently Scott and Strong came to blows after they won a tag team match in Beyond about a year ago – a match that’ll soon be up on Powerbomb.tv as they’re getting the Beyond back catalogue – and it’s led to this match.
Scott took the upper hand early, low-bridging Strong to the outside before leaping off the apron to her on the floor – all away from the fixed camera, sadly. When we switch to a floor camera, we see Scott land a kick to Strong, then a ‘rana off the apron… which Sonya countered into a thudding powerbomb.
Strong keeps up on the floor with a head kick of her own, before wrenching over Veda’s arm back in the ring. Scott manages a comeback, taking down Sonya with a middle rope clothesline, before they exchange forearms against the ropes, leading to Strong pulling Scott into a Ricola bomb that’s saved and turned into DDT.
A spin-around splits kick is telegraphed as Strong misses and nearly gets pinned from it. Scott can’t quite get the win, but she does follow up with an Ace Crusher for another near-fall, before Strong nearly gets the pin with a folding powerbomb… but the ref caught her holding the ropes and holds up the count. That didn’t seem to be the finish, as Scott rolls her up straight away, only for Sonya to reverse it with a handful of tights for the win. This was fine in places, but parts of it just felt sloppy – such as the finish. Might have been bad timing, but either way, it didn’t look crisp. **
Tournament For Tomorrow – Quarter-Final: Skylar vs. Jordynne Grace
Commentary was building up Grace as a potential finalist given the field of entrants, but Skylar seemed to be matching her in the opening moments, taking down Jordynne with a crossbody and a wheelbarrow armdrag.
Despite hitting a top rope Meteora, Skyler’s quickly taken down with a spinebuster from Grace for a near-fall, before she was awkwardly dumped to the outside a la Perry Saturn that one time. You know the one, Mike Bell… Skylar easily beat the count, but the beating continues, getting planted with a sidewalk slam for a near-fall, before a Vader bomb misses its target.
Skylar rebounds with a hiptoss into a knee strike, before spiking Grace with a DDT that almost win the match for her. Jordynne rolled to the apron to avoid any follow-up, before spiking Skyler with a Michinoku driver for the win. Yep, I replayed that finish and that looked brutal – a fun match until that finish, establishing that Grace had “one move” that could end it all. **¾
Tournament For Tomorrow – Quarter-Final: Tasha Steelz vs. Terra Calaway
Terra Calaway isn’t an Undertaker rip-off, thankfully, but the “Queen of the Dinosaurs” is a bit of a monster in the mould of Awesome/Amazing Kong.
Steelz tries to grab a headlock early, but Calaway’s too strong and shoves her away with ease. Wash, rinse, repeat, until Terra flattened Steelz with a slam, then an Earthquake-esque sit-down splash.
Calaway pulled Steelz into a backbreaker for a lackadaisical near-fall, then just throws her across the ring for the hell of it. It’s Goliath-beating-David stuff, but it feels like the crowd’s not really into it. Unless they’re making noise internally. Steelz tries another comeback, but Calaway’s strength helps her pull Tasha into another sidewalk slam, before she countered a mounted sleeper into a backpack stunner.
The one-sided arse kicking continued with a cannonball from Calaway, but Steelz still keeps kicking out, and earns herself a full nelson-ish slam, but Tasha gets a foot on the ropes – getting Terra something of a burial on commentary, before she tries to follow with a Samoan drop. Steelz escapes, avoids a telegraphed sit-down splash, then hits a crucifix pin for the win! This felt a little plodding, with Steelz winning via slipping on a banana peel… it just didn’t feel urgent at all from either side. *½
Tournament For Tomorrow – Quarter-Final: Willow Nightingale vs. Karen Q
Karen Q’s had a little bit of buzz around her lately, having had a WWE try-out earlier this year – and being the woman who ended Kelly Klein’s long winning run in ROH.
Nightingale looked to take Q down early, but the pair ended up swapping headlock takedowns. Q tries for a Boston crab, but cartwheels out as she instead opted for a handspring back elbow… but Nightingale hits a forearm to the back of the head instead as she looked for the Three Amigos suplexes.
Q looked to get a win with a crucifix, but Nightingale kicked out before kicking her in the gut, as she worked up to a missile dropkick for a near-fall. A strait-jacket submission’s escaped by Q, who hits a cartwheel elbow and an Exploder as it was second time lucky for Q… even if it only got her a near-fall.
Nightingale comes back with forearms and kicks to the head, before flattening her with a release German and a back senton for a near-fall… but another missile dropkick attempt whiffs, allowing Q the easy chance to trap Willow in a Boston crab for the win. This was much better than the preceding match, with Nightingale doing the Goliath act without seeming lumbering. **½
Tournament For Tomorrow – Quarter-Final: Vanity vs. Davienne
Vanity starts out with a headlock as she tried to take Davienne down to the mat – but it’s eventually broken with a knee to the head before a crossbody dropped Davienne once more. Another headlock from Vanity gets broken with a backdrop suplex, and that puts Davienne in the driver’s seat, strangling Vanity with a strait-jacket, before moving to a more striking-based set of offence. A charging back elbow in the corner drops Vanity, who then eats a baseball slide dropkick into the ring post as Davienne chased her back in to score a near-fall.
Somehow Vanity mounted a comeback, hitting a dropkick for a near-fall, before a spinning backfist looked to have rocked Davienne into the corner for a kick to the thigh… but Sammi Lane heads out and crotches Vanity as she headed up top, giving Davienne some easy picking as a release Fisherman’s suplex booked Davienne a spot in the semis. This was pretty short, but fun while it lasted – tournament matches always have a bit of roughness to them, especially in one-night tournaments… **¼
Jenny Rose vs. Alexxis
After a tour of Japan last year, Rose’s 2017 has been largely spent on ROH dark matches it seems, but she started out brightly in this non-tournament match… at least until Alexxis nailed her with a short-arm lariat.
Rose gets cornered with chops and chokes, but she manages to get back in with a bulldog out of it for a near-fall before rolling Alexxis over into a Boston crab as the momentum continued to swing – with Alexxis suddenly pulling Rose by the hair into a backbreaker. Despite that, Rose hits a spear and a fisherman’s suplex… and that’s it! Very short, but decent enough for the time they had… but this felt a lot like “your move, my move” with a rather staccato pace. **
Tournament For Tomorrow – Semi-Final: Jordynne Grace vs. Tasha Steelz
Another match, another monster for Tasha Steelz as she looked to work around Jordynne Grace by taking her down to the mat… but one false move gave Grace a way back in, with shoulder barges making things easy for her.
Tasha slips in a ‘rana to take Jordynne outside, but Grace counters by dragging Steelz onto the apron as she cut off whatever was being attempted, as Grace started working over the lower back of Steelz. A bear hug’s quickly escaped by Tasha, who tried to knock Grace to the outside, hitting a Triple H-style leaping knee for a two-count, only for Jordynne to knock her down with a Pounce!
It’s pretty elementary from there as Steelz gets cornered and pancaked, before Grace looked up for a superplex… and instead opted to just press slam her down a la Ric Flair. Somehow, Steelz kicks out from a pumphandle driver as she began another comeback, leading to a grounded rear naked choke on Grace to almost force the submission… but Grace stands up and backs up into the corner for freedom.
Steelz tries to go back to it, but it’s avoided as Grace instead lifts her up for a Ligerbomb out of the corner for the win. A perfectly fine big vs. small match as Steelz had to try and use her speed to get past Grace… but in the end, size and strength won out. Enjoyable stuff! ***
Tournament For Tomorrow – Semi-Final: Karen Q vs. Davienne
Davienne jumped Karen Q at the bell, as we had another size differential on our hands here. Q tries to use her speed to trap Davienne with some pinning attempts, but as soon as Karen went to the striking game, her days seemed numbered.
Some headscissors take Davienne into the corner, where a few leg lariats and superkicks earn a two-count… but all of a sudden Sammi Lane appears at ringside to trip Q, as if the odds weren’t stacked enough. From there, it’s methodical stuff from Davienne, as she wears down Q some more, either side of her being forced to spin away from a Boston crab. Davienne takes Q onto the apron as she looked to kick the spine out of her body, but Karen keeps fighting back, and has some success with a leg sweep and a standing moonsault! But the resulting pinfall’s only good for a near-fall before she tries for a fireman’s carry… and although that doesn’t work, Q goes for a Boston crab, Sammi again gets involved and distracts Q into breaking the hold.
That distraction also tied up the ref, allowing a second woman – later identified as just Miranda – to hit the ring, hitting Q in the back of the head before Davienne crushes Q with a Samoan drop for the win. A little overbooked, but it makes Davienne look even more conniving as she has a pair of lackeys to help her win, despite having the obvious size and strength advantages on the way. **
Nadi, Layni Luck & Allie Kat vs. Team Sea Stars (Delmi Exo & Ashley Vox) & Solo Darling
Oh hi, CHIKARA trios! There’s a lot of animal-themed stuff in this match: Layni Luck “the party Unicorn”, Allie Kat, Solo Darling the furry (who’s now sans tale), and the Sea Stars being rather aquatic.
Fortunately they keep it fairly straightforward, so it’s pretty easy to keep track of, with Allie Kat taking Delmi Exo into the corner early, only to miss with a cannonball as it seemed that a tag brought the other Sea Star into the match… but instead we get an awkward roll-up for just a one-count as legitimate tags took us to Nadi and Vox. The Sea Stars seem to be fishing and hooking their opponents, before Solo Darling just knocks Layni Luck off the apron with a hip attack. There’s a lot of downtime and apparent confusion before Darling took down Luck with a Dragon screw… and then, more pausing as Darling eventually worked up into a tornado suplex.
Darling tries to cloverleaf Luck’s legs, but instead a tag’s made back to Nadi, before Ashley Vox came in and almost won it with a nice roll-up on Nadi. The fightback sees Nadi roll around Vox whilst holding a handful of hair, as the CHIKARA trio were put on the back foot, “forcing them” to try and reel in Vox for the tag. Instead, Ashley hits a DDT as she finally brought Darling back in for more hip attacks.
We get a series of dives, but Nadi refuses… and instead has to escape a Cloverleaf from Darling, as she went to sacrifice Allie Kat, rolling her into the ring before eventually coming in to try and break up the hold. Awkward pauses ‘r’ us! Those give way to a Parade of Moves, with Exo dumping Luck with a Fisherman’s suplex into the corner, before Nadi saves Allie Kat once more.
Things break down as Vox splats Nadi with a Gory Bomb, and they try again as Solo Darling opts to leap off the top rope, onto the bent-over Luck and Kat, before playing Lykos as she finished off a second Gory Bomb onto Nadi, helping with an Ink Bomb-like neckbreaker. Yeah, it went about as well as you’d think. As did the attempt to break up Darling’s cover, as Kat and Luck’s double suplex to Exo came late and missed the pinning attempt.
A superkick-assisted German suplex to Vox looked to have won it, but Nadi broke up the pin so she could have it for herself. Of course, the referee didn’t know who was legal and counted both attempts, but hey, this has already deteriorated into a mess. Fortunately, it ends pretty soon after as Nadi taps to a cloverleaf from Solo after her partners deserted her. This didn’t work – a lot of spots looked clunky, and they tried a lot of stuff that didn’t click… at least they tried, I guess? *½
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Madison Rayne
Fresh from Impact, this was a bit of a marquee match for Madison, who wasn’t too pleased with the crowd being so close to the ring.
It’s a bit stop-start as Purrazzo chases Rayne into the ropes as the pair traded a variety of pinning predicaments, before Rayne just yanked Deonna down to the mat by her hair. A simple cravat from Rayne neutralises Deonna, whose fight back ended abruptly when Rayne slipped onto the apron and charged Deonna’s head into the turnbuckles, almost like a short Flatliner into the corner.
There’s a bunch of near misses as Rayne misses a ripcord Ace crusher before hitting a Northern Lights for a near-fall, before trapping Deonna in a modified cross armbreaker. Somehow it’s countered, but they’re way too close to the ropes, so it’s quickly broken before the pair had the same idea, levelling each other with simultaneous clotheslines.
After both women got up, Purrazzo edges ahead with the Three Amigas, only for Rayne to counter the third one into a Rainmaker Ace Crusher for another two-count… but the offence comes to an abrupt halt when Madison looked to go for a clothesline off the ropes, only for Purrazzo to counter it into a Fujiwara armbar for the instant submission. This was swift, but really good for the time they had – perhaps the best match on the show so far? ***¼
Tournament For Tomorrow – Final: Jordynne Grace vs. Davienne
After a tournament full of size differences, this was refreshing to see – although Grace (and her third set of self-made gear of the night) would have to figure a way past Davienne’s number games to win this final. Of course, Davienne had Sammi and Miranda out with her at ringside.
The match opened with both women tying up and backing around the ring as they neutralised each others’ power games early on, taking a while to break in the ropes for good measure. Once the ref got them to separate, we’re back to see-saw shoulder tackles, which Grace wins out on, barging Davienne down and to the outside for cover. And by cover, I mean “of course Jordynne dives to take her down outside” – landing a sweet tope in the process.
Hurriedly throwing Davienne back in, Grace followed up with a Vader bomb for a near-fall, before she ended up getting whipped into the corner as Davienne reverses an Irish whip. It’s back to the strikes as Davienne throws some knees to the midsection as she went to wear down Grace, as she baited the referee into a distraction so Sammi and Miranda could sneak in some choking from the outside.
Grace finds a way back, taking Davienne into the middle turnbuckle with a drop toe hold, but a running knee misses as Davienne gets out of the way and baseball slides Grace into the ringpost. Cue more cheating! Second time was lucky for those knees from Grace, but again there’s distractions as Sammi and Miranda get on the apron and stop the ref counting when a spike Michinoku driver dumped Davienne on her head.
Miranda hits the ring… and gets speared by Grace! Karma! Davienne tries to capitalise with a Samoan drop, but Grace kicks out at two to keep the finals alive… even if she had to fight back from getting choked in the corner some more. Just like that though, Grace ducks a right hand and suckered Davienne up into another Liger Bomb… but that’s only good for a near-fall despite the roll-up!
Grace fires back some more, but her pumphandle driver’s blocked and met with a German suplex, before deciding to go for another submission, by way of a bearhug. Davienne tries to fight out, but the bearhug’s reapplied, and with Grace dragging Davienne to the mat, we get some confused commentary as the referee waves off the match and awards the tournament to Jordynne! Well, that was a weird, albeit decisive finish, but had the production been better (a mobile camera on hand to show a close-up of the bearhug at the end), it perhaps would have come across better?
Overall, that was a solid main event – a totally different match to the rest of the tournament, with the story of Davienne’s lackeys finally not paying off for her. ***
After the match, Deonna Purrazo hit the ring to shake Grace’s hand… and we get the show of respect rather than any kind of cheating. All in, this wasn’t a bad show. The problem is that one-night tournaments have an inherent issue where – for better or for worse – you can’t go balls to the wall all the time. Add in the fact that you had 11 matches in a little over two hours, and that gives a second issue: not enough time to do stuff, especially once you remove entrances and the in-between match downtime.
Overall, the Beyond pre-show had its moments, highlighted by the wacky-but-violent David Starr/Nick Gage match. The WWR Tournament for Tomorrow too had its ups and downs, but this is probably one to cherry pick from if the names take your fancy.