Beyond and WWR joined up for a special intergender-only show for WrestleMania Weekend’s first late show!
It’d be fair to say this was a sparsely attended show, with the estimates of tickets sold putting this in the low 200s. We’re calling this “April 6” since ring announcer Rich Palladino said “good morning” (and it started late, surprise!). Paul Crockett and Emil Jay are on commentary for this one.
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Matt Riddle
Barely hours after winning the EVOLVE title, Riddle was straight back in action, wearing his new belt and his natty Kill Bill-ish tracksuit.
Deonna tried to work a hold early, going for the heel of Riddle, before working an arm wringer as it felt like this was not entirely being taken seriously by Riddle. There’s a lot of rope breaks here as they both went for body parts, with Purrazzo trying for a Fujiwara armbar before trying a Bro To Sleep… but Deonna escapes and stomps on Riddle’s bare feet. Purrazzo keeps up with a crossbody for a near-fall, then some headscissors, before Riddle turned a headscissors into a powerbomb and a knee strike for the win. This felt a little by the numbers, but alright for what it was, being Riddle’s third match in 12 hours. **½
After the match, James Ellsworth of all people ran in and hit Matt Riddle with his vanity belt to build up for their match at Joey Janela’s Spring Break tomorrow. Of course, Ellsworth ran like the proverbial rat up a drain pipe when Riddle gave chase.
Team PAWG (Jordynne Grace & LuFisto) vs. LAX (Santana & Ortiz)
Santana started the match off with a kick to Grace’s face, but Jordynne wasn’t holding back, absolutely pouncing the heck out of Santana in the opening moments.
There’s a cannonball of the apron from LuFisto that almost went badly wrong as the PAWGs took over, at least until Ortiz came in as a double-team allowed for a Santana slingshot DDT and a wacky body splash from Ortiz for a near-fall. Ortiz gets off a Northern Lights for a near-fall, before grace comes back in to deliver a spinebuster to Santana! Santana’s kept up with hip attacks, knees and cannonballs in the corner as Team PAWG mauled him, but again the numbers game threatened to turn things around as Santana rolled backwards into a cutter on LuFisto. LAX takes PAWG outside for some dives, but Grace makes a comeback, pulling Santana into a Muscle Buster/Powerbomb combo that almost ended the match.
The debuting referee counted three after PAWG squashed Santana with duelling hip attacks, but it was ruled as only a two-count, before Grace nailed a Michinoku driver to get the upset win for reals. This was fine, but the finish looked a little messed up.. But hey, this is stuff that’s going on after midnight, so you can’t expect bangers all the time! **½
Davienne vs. Josh Briggs
As a character, Davienne is extremely underrated on the WWR shows… but tonight, she’s got a hell of a task against Josh Briggs – who may still be stinging from being called “Discount Dijak” on the last Beyond show.
Davienne jumped Briggs with a powerbomb out of the corner as he was on the ropes, then suplexed him back there as she sensed that she had to get the win quickly if she were to stand a chance… but all Davienne could get was some one-counts. A back elbow knocked Briggs down as Davienne shrugged off his flurry of shots, before nailing a German suplex to flip Briggs inside out.
They head outside, where Davienne worked over Briggs’ shoulder, connecting with a boot that sent him down to the floor, but back inside Briggs gets into a new gear, scoring with a leaping lariat before a spinning side slam almost put away “Not America’s Sweetheart”. There’s a wacky transition as Davienne countered a kick from Briggs into a Samoan drop, before she countered a chokebreaker into a facebuster for a near-fall!
Davienne charges back into Briggs and eats a sidewalk slam, before the chokeslam into a lumbar check earned the win. This was a fun little sprint, and didn’t feel like anyone was holding back – a good showing for Davienne in defeat too ***
Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) vs. Twisted Sisters (Holidead & Thunder Rosa)
You can tell that there’s a fair chunk of the crowd here “because wrestling”, since a lot of the Beyond guys’ music didn’t generate the Pavlovian reactions you’d expect.
We started with Jaka and Rosa, but there’s a lot of stalling as Jaka was dealing with a heckler, before he started to punch Thunder Rosa into the corner. Rosa’s thrown into the other corner, but she gets a boot up before freezing as Jaka lifted her up top for an eventual lucha armdrag from the Twisted Sister.
More armdrags follow, as Jaka was taken to the floor for a dive attempt that turned into a flying seated senton off the apron instead. Dickinson tries his luck against Holidead, pulling her in a waistlock into a pinning attempt, before a nonchalant shoulder tackle knocked her down with ease. Back and forth chops break out as Holidead ends up getting floored with a back elbow, before a Falcon arrow earned a near-fall for the Dirty Daddy. Jaka comes in to spike Holidead with a nasty DDT, but it’s only good for a two-count as the isolation continued, with Dickinson booting her in the back to keep those near-falls piling up.
A desperation spinebuster gets Thunder Rosa a shot, as both guys tagged out, allowing Rosa to land a ‘rana on Jaka, before a modified Codebreaker took the Savage into the corner. Rosa pauses again as she gets off a nasty flying ‘rana for a near-fall, but she recovers with a tornado DDT to Jaka as Dickinson tried a double-team… and when Dickinson’s wiped out with a Holidead tope, it looked to be the end, as Jaka fell to a Samoan drop and an assisted splash for a near-fall as Dickinson broke up the cover!
Dickinson’s in with a murderous German suplex to Holidead as Rosa tried to stem the tide, but she’s folded up with a sit-out powerbomb. She’s still able to recover as Holidead landed a superplex to Jaka, before Rosa’s back senton off the top squashed Jaka for a near-fall, with Dickinson again making a save. Holidead kicks away a Pazuzu Bomb attempt as we have a parade of kicks, before Holidead’s spike pedigree and a flying stomp from Rosa got the win. This was patchy – Holidead looked alright, but Rosa had some iffy moments in a match that did little for either team, all told. **
Karen Q vs. Jonathan Gresham
Gresham was out by himself here, as the Dream Team storyline seemingly didn’t carry over into intergender graps.
They kept it on the mat early as they seamlessly flowed between takedowns, counters and reversals, to the point where Karen almost looked to be frustrating Gresham. A leg sweep and a moonsault almost got Karen the win, but it remained intensely even until Gresham snapped her arm between his legs, as he started to work over her arm with a hammerlock variation. That gives way to some indy’riffic pins out of a sunset flip, going back and forth and round and round, almost ending in the win for Q as Emil Jay busted out a Gladiator’s reference for old time’s sake. They butt heads after running into each other, before things break down into back-and-forth strikes, ending with Gresham chaining in an enziguiri and a bridging German for a near-fall.
Gresham tries to follow up with an Octopus, but Q blocks it and takes him into the corner for some running kicks, taking him out of the corner with an Exploder as we came painfully close to a three count. Waistlock reversals ends with a stomp to the arm by Gresham, before he snapped into a roll-up and a clutch to score the win. A fun little technical match, but perhaps not one that’d wake up a tired crowd. ***¼
Joey Ryan & Laura James vs. Rumblebees (Solo Darling & Travis Huckabee)
I feel like I’ve accidentally put on Bar Wrestling here… or is that CHIKARA? It’s the guy who used to be a ref! Solo Darling really wants Joey’s lollipop, because sugar, and we get going with Joey’s shtick as he really wants to be touched.
Solo Darling comes in and grabs Joey… with a nipple twister as he’s taken into the corner for an elbow and a cloverleaf… except Joey gets the ropes pretty damn quick. A tornado suplex surprised Ryan for a near-fall, before Huckabee tagged in and looked for a Stretch Muffler – forcing Ryan to tag out.
Apparently there’s a storyline in Bar Wrestling where Laura James and Joey Ryan are having “marital difficulties”. Being married to someone who’s so open about who touches him will do that, I guess. Problem is, I don’t think anyone here knows that story, as the interactions between Joey and Laura drew little response. Huckabee manages to get in a Stretch Muffler, but Laura gets the ropes before fighting back, taking Huckabee into the corner for a Bronco buster.
With Huckabee in trouble, Ryan’s tagged back in, taking Travis into James’ arse with a drop toe hold, before a headbutt knocked Joey down. A pair of tags bring Solo and Laura in, with Darling connecting with a slew of kicks ahead of a Dragon screw, finishing off James with a fireman’s carry facebuster for a near-fall. The cloverleaf follows, as Joey Ryan finally wanders in to break it up, as the arguments continue.
Ryan takes Darling up top for a Moustache Ride in an ode to Candice LeRae, but Solo fought free, before she dives onto Ryan… who slammed her onto the apron. Are you okay Joey, that’s a little different…
The guys trade shots next, before Huckabee counts a lariat and turned it into a German suplex, as James hits Eat Defeat… and Darling takes her down with a butterfly suplex as tags become a novelty. Ryan lands a Boobplex to fold Darling in half, before forcing her into the Penis Suplex… which Huckabee breaks up. James teases the, erm Vagina Plex? That worked where Joey’s didn’t, as he dives out onto Huckabee on the floor.
The stream freezes (on demand!) as James was teasing a dive, and we recover as Ryan gave Solo Darling a lollipop. Yep, the sugar rush fires her up, before Solo hits an awkward fireman’s carry facebuster and a Cloverleaf for the submission. Eh, it was what it was – a match that was extremely patchy, and that’s before you factored in the storyline nobody knew! *½
Powerbomb.tv Independent Championship: Kimber Lee vs. Tracy Williams (c)
I wonder how WWN feels about having Powerbomb.tv’s belt on their show? It’s a return to the indys for Kimber Lee, barely a month on from her WWE release.
Williams was all over her early on, using a waistlock takedown as commentary notes that this was Hot Sauce’s third match of the night, but he was able to keep the match on the mat, working through holds as the pair transitions and countered, before Kimber fell into a splits to avoid some kicks.
Lee tries a stump puller, rolling back into a pinning predicament for a surprise early two-count, only to get met with a gutwrench powerbomb as Williams spiked her. An Octopus stretch follows from the champion, but Lee escapes with a jawbreaker before going into the corner for a stretch in the ropes. A missile dropkick follows for a near-fall, but Lee runs into a back elbow as the picture freezes. We miss a kick from Kimber as Williams is up top, and now we’re out of sync! A DDT onto the turnbuckle then a death valley driver gets a two-count as Williams started some clubbering, only to get me with some chops in return.
Lee’s bridging German nearly wins it, but she takes too long climbing the ropes and gets caught with a gutwrench superplex attempt… only to get shoved down and met with a senton bomb for a near-fall. More kicks from Kimber Lee end up with her getting met with a lariat for a near-fall, before Williams switches to a crossface for the eventual submission. This was alright, but the technical issues made this tricky to watch, with the audio giving away the finish before they even got there! ***
Mia Yim vs. Tessa Blanchard vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Wheeler YUTA
This was Mia’s return after a few months out with injury, which gave MJF a chance to be misogynistic in his pre-match promo as he claimed he was going up against “three women”.
I’m having to turn the sound off because the audio sync is bad. We started with Tessa and Mia double-teaming YUTA while MJF laid across the corners… he’s spotted and met with a shotgun dropkick, then a cannonball as Mia was cleaning house, taking out MJF with a PK. We’re quickly into the revolving door format, with MJF decking Blanchard with a forearm, before YUTA’s back to take him out with a dropkick as we get a tope as well! Blanchard joins them outside with a missile dropkick, but Mia’s right after him, and we’ve got some ground and pound as Mia was all over Blanchard, grabbing a cross armbar before Friedman nonchalantly broke it up.
Yim goes for MJF, and flips him back… so he pokes her in the eye as a measure of revenge, only to be met with a German suplex off the ropes as the former Jade was showing zero signs of ring rust… until she turned around into a cutter from Blanchard as a Parade of Moves broke out. YUTA seemed to be a bit of an afterthought as he became a proverbial third wheel, laying on the match watching as Yim tried a package piledriver, only for it to be blocked.
MJF ends up taking the fall though, as Blanchard flew off the top with a lungblower – and that’s your lot. Hey, how come everyone else has no trouble taking that move… **¾
Jimmy Havoc vs. Jessicka Havok
I see what they did here!
Jimmy flipped off Jessicka, and tried for an Acid Rainmaker early, before scarpering when that was blocked. Havoc tried to bait Havok to the outside, with little success as he gets slung back into the ring, and thrown around with ease… but he manages to mount a comeback, taking Jessicka into the corner for a dropkick and a double stomp.
Now we’re outside again, where they have a walk ‘n’ brawl, at least until Jimmy bit her foot to avoid some kicks. Jessicka’s taken into the ring post, but she recovers to powerbomb Jimmy on the apron as he was going for a PK, following up with a big boot back in the ring. A missed legdrop gives Jimmy an opening, but by this point the crowd seem to be beyond dead, with not even an Acid Rainmaker waking them up as Jimmy gets a near-fall.
Havoc tried another Acid Rainmaker, but this time Jessicka counters it, nailing a pair of chokeslams and a tree slam for the win. This was fine, but at this point I think the hook of intergender wrestling just wasn’t doing it for the few hundred in attendance. **¼
Janelope (Joey Janela & Penelope Ford) vs. Martina & Orange Cassidy
Beyond decided to go with Sandstorm for Martina, who was accompanied by the always-carefree Orange Cassidy, who was perhaps a little TOO carefree?
The hell… Cassidy starts with a headlock on Janela, but he’s a touch too enthusiastic over it, as he loosens his grip, allowing Janela to push him vaguely into the ropes as Cassidy’s lethargic graps style just annoys the Bad Boy. Penelope Ford tried her luck, and charges through Cassidy, who nonchalantly rolled left and right to avoid her rope running. Ole!
A double-team clothesline sees Martina clothesline herself in, as she spears both halves of Janelope, before she winds herself running for a dive. Is there beer handy? Luckily, Orange has one, and it spurred on Martina into a tope! Back inside, she trades shots with Ford, does a doe-see-doe, before they almost crashed into their own partners in the corner. They correct it and go into Bronco busters, which Martina enjoyed too much, as Ford pulls her out.
Cassidy has the finger guns out, as he struts into a Stinger splash… which misses as Ford handsprings into him, only for Martina to throw her to the outside. After struggling with a back roll, Martina gets clobbered by Janela’s bad bad forearm, as Janelope looked to be in control. Except Martina avoids some clothesline and tagged out to Cassidy who was… mildly warm? Eh, I’ve seen weaker strikes.
Janela opts to rip into Low Ki with some double stomps, but of course they miss as Janelope bump into each other, before Orange and Martina juice and beer up respectively… a Janelope device misses as Martina rolled up Joey for a near-fall, then we get some spray sat Joey and Penelope, before Mr. Durexo from Martina was applied to Janela… who bit free!
The claw’s passed onto Orange, then back onto Martina as the Bad Boy waffles the Session Moth with a superkick, before Orange Cassidy… HITS A GOD DAMNED DESTROYER!? Okay, it was in slow motion, but it’s technically a Destroyer, and I pop, just in time for Ford to collide into Orange with a crossbody off the top for the win. This ruled, and I think Martina really benefited from, how can you say, “having new friends to play with”? ***¼
Toni Storm vs. Timothy Thatcher
You read that right.
Thatcher and Storm fight to grapple and not be grappled, as the pair reached a stalemate early on. Timmy replies by wrenching Storm’s arm to send her into the ropes, before lifting her up for a delayed gutwrench suplex, with the greatest of ease. A single-leg crab keeps it easy for Thatcher, who looked almost nonchalant while doing this, going from hold to hold as Storm tried to push free.
A bow-and-arrow hold follows, with Thatcher looking like he was enjoying this dissection. He shrugs off some chops from Toni, before a single overhanded forearm knocked her down. Thatcher keeps Toni on the mat for some near-falls, throwing some knees to her ribs for good measure as the crowd slowly started to turn on Thatcher as it was so one-sided. A headbutt from Storm looked to just inconvenience Thatcher, as did some European uppercuts from Storm, who easily gets decked with a swiping slap. Even commentary turns on Thatcher for how dominating he is against the struggling babyface Storm, who gets in a desperation headbutt and German suplex!
Just like that though, Thatcher decked Storm with another uppercut, but she kicked out at two, before she tried to catch Thatcher in an armbar, throwing in some kicks as she extended the arm… and shocked Thatcher with a flash submission! Well then! Storm took a beating, but ended up scoring the upset over Thatcher, who skulked to the back with a bloodied nose as the show went off the air.
Maybe not a great match, but a fantastic story as Toni fought from beneath to complete the shock. ***½
Lit Up may have ended the streak of hot shows we’ve covered, but it certainly wasn’t for the want of trying. There were several factors going against it – the time, the fact that intergender is a niche of a niche, and that some of the key figures were already two matches deep by the time this show rolled around. Still, a credit to the Beyond and WWR crew for attempting and seeing through their vision. Not every match can be a banger, but there was at least enough here to pique your interest, and some surprisingly good matches given the time of day as well!