At the end of January, Beyond Wrestling held it’s first double shot in a long time. “Robbing Peter” would be the first night of said double shot, eminanting from Somerville, MA.
The show opened with a bang, as Dave Crist made his Beyond Wrestling debut alongside his partners in JML/Scarlet & Graces/OI4K Dave Crist, Zachary Wentz, and Dezmond Xavier against four New England Pro Wrestling Academy trainees. We’ve all seen how bonkers JML can go and this was no exception. The real surprise here was how well the NEPWA students were able to “hang” with them, especially Mikey Webb and Elia Markopoulos. The action was fast and furious, the crowd loved it, and it ended on the high point with Mikey Webb taking a double stomp/tombstone piledriver on the ring apron. This was exactly what you want from a match like this, and the right way to kick off the show.
Jordynne Grace had not found success in tag team action with either Deonna Purazzo and Karen Q in December, so the quest for a tag team partner continued tonight as she hand picked LuFisto, who had defeated Grace back in May in her Beyond debut and been very successful in Beyond and WWR since. To say they were successful would be an understatement, as despite Black and Blue jumping Grace and LuFisto before the bell, Grace and LuFisto mauled Davienne in the corner and pinned her in 65 seconds. Grace will take LuFisto into the fight agains the Secret City Soldiers tomorrow night in the hopes of putting her issue with Taeler Hendrix and Alexxis to rest.
Veda Scott issued an open challenge that went unanswered, so instead her partner Ryan Galeone’s scheduled match with Hanson took place. The two big men had a competitive match with the crowd firmly behind Hanson. Of course, Veda interfered when Hanson went to the top turnbuckle, allowing for Galeone to take back over and pin him in a folding press after a powerbomb. I appreciate the effort Beyond has put into Galeone, but the investment doesn’t seem to be paying off. He doesn’t seem to connect with the crowd and lacks personality. He’s fine in the ring, but that just isn’t enough. Big guy matches in and of themselves I find compelling and the match was relatively short, but I come away from the match wondering what exactly it accomplished and if the juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to Galeone.
It was back in August where Brion Milonas defeated JT Dunn and took his spot on the Beyond Wrestling roster. Of course, Dunn didn’t live up to his end of the bargain, executing multiple sneak attacks since then, and reforming Death By Elbow the previous month in a losing effort to the American Destroyers. Milonas has taken exception to Dunn breaking his promise and looked to exact revenge on this evening. Milonas attacked Dunn right at the get-go and mauled him outside of the ring. Dunn essentially had to play catch up when he could, using tactics like eye pokes and moving the referee in front of himself to get in what he could. Dunn had agility on his side, but Milonas had power and size. Despite getting in a few good splashes in the corner, Dunn cut him off with a flying forearm against the ropes, and hit a rolling elbow to the back of his head to pick up a win. Even in a loss, Milonas looked great. He came off as motivated, angry, and differentiated himself from the other large competitors we had seen up until this point on the show. This gives Dunn a proper re-introduction to the roster while also showcasing Milonas at his best, making this a success for all involved. After the match, Dunn mocked Dave Cole’s art at his merch table, leading to Dunn taking him down with a bicycle kick. Dunn ran when Cole went to fight back, and Denver Colorado calmed Cole down as well.
Keith Lee has been enjoying success as a singles competitor in Beyond Wrestling, but this month he decided to bring in his tag team partner in the Pretty Boy Killers, Shane Taylor, to see what the tag division has in store. If you’re going into Beyond’s tag ranks, there’s no better place to start than with EYFBO. Like the last match, it was a battle of size and agility, though we all know the PBK can move like cruiserweights. EYFBO were able to low bridge the PBK to the floor, but the PBK caught their dive attempts and disposed of Ortiz so they could gang up on Draztik back in the ring. It took him awhile, but Draztik did eventually catch Lee with a spring-back Ace Crusher and tag in Ortiz for assistance. EYFBO took the PBK much more seriously and utilized some tandem offense to take over. Lee was able to get Ortiz placed upon the top turnbuckle for a superplex after he and Taylor hit him with a Broken Arrow. While Lee was setting up, Draztik wiped out Lee with a yakuza kick. He then nailed Lee with a gamengiri, allowing Ortiz to counter Lee’s superplex with a sunset bomb. With Draztik’s help, a jackknife pin gave EYFBO a big win over a big team. Da Hit Squad were on commentary eyeing the PBK as they’re set to square off the night before. They’ve been having issues with EYFBO of late, so it would be a coup for EYFBO if they were able to knock off Lee and Taylor and Da Hit Squad could not. I felt at points the narrative wasn’t clear but the action was steady and the finish was great. I prefer Lee in singles competition but it’s nice to switch things up and see him face people he likely never will one-on-one.
The tag team match that succeeded couldn’t have been any different tonally. Then again, what else do you expect from teams called Massage NV and ΑΣΣ? There was a blow-up doll (that got deflated with a corner clothesline), baby oil, a lot of as based offense, massages, and surprisingly some solid wrestling! This wasn’t as egregious as some other comedy tag matches, but still a “watcher beware” situation. I liked it.
It’s no secret that Joey Janela is somewhat of a heatseeker. His issue with David Starr somehow branched out and involved Jonathan Gresham and John Silver last month, causing a fight amongst them. A fatal four way was set for tonight so these four could hash things out. Starr wasted no time diving on Janela outside, leaving Gresham and Silver to wrestle inside. The three of them got into a fight over who would beat up Janela in the corner (seriously!) which started all four men getting into it with one another. At one point, Gresham and Silver were out of the picture allowing Starr to once again demolish Janela. Janela’s main squeeze Penelope Ford distracted Starr right as he had Janela hooked up for the Product Placement, taunting Starr with his wXw Shotgun championship. That distraction enabled Janela to escape and drop Starr with a tombstone piledriver for the pin. This was a good way to build into Janela and Starr’s match the next night while also getting Silver and Gresham getting involved to shake things up. It was a fun, fast-paced match, and like the 8 man tag, was exactly what you would want from a match like this.
It was EYFBO’s turn to scout a match Da Hit Squad were involved with in the semi-main event, as Dan Maff and Monsta Mack found themselves across the ring from The American Wolves. The Wolves had a very hard time with DHS, discovering quickly that they could take whatever the Wolves dished out. Eddie Edwards became the poor soul to take the brunt of their wrath. A failed double suplex led to Richards assisting with a rebound, although Maff did manage to take them out rather quickly. A turning point in the match came when Mack had Richards on the top turnbuckle, and seemingly going for a top turnbuckle brainbuster, fell to the floor with Richards hitting the top turnbuckle on the way down. Both men were okay, but clearly Mack was rocked. Mack was taken out with the Boston Knee Party from Edwards, leaving Maff to fight off the American Wolves on his own. Maff endured quite the onslaught until eventually succumbing to a brainbuster/superkick combo. EYFBO got to have their laugh at Da Hit Squad’s expense, but they may not be laughing when they find themselves facing Richards and Edwards tomorrow. For historical purposes this is a match worth your while.
Donovan Dijak had quite a bit at stake in the main event. Dijak hasn’t won a singles match since Matt Riddle defeated him in the finals of Tournament For Today in early November and has been chomping at the bit to get his hands on Riddle once again. Dijak’s opponent for the night, Brian Cage, is scheduled to face him the next night. Dijak stated that he will do whatever it takes to face Riddle on that evening, even if it means taking out his opponent (Cage). Thus, Dijak and Cage were pitted against one another on this event. The battle between the two big men was a mix of slugfest and “can you top this?” I wasn’t expecting to see men of this size fight for a moonsault, but here we are. If Dijak wasn’t already in his own too much, it got worse when Cage grabbed the bottom rope to prevent being pinned after Feast Your Eyes. In what could only be seen as a foolish move, Dijak attempted Riddle’s Bro-Mission on Cage. Dijak of course is not a submission specialist or former MMA fighter, so the hold was executed poorly, making it easy for Cage to fight free. Cage was also able to maneuver Dijak into the Steiner Screwdriver and earn the victory, keeping Dijak’s downward singles competition spiral going, and cementing Riddle vs. Cage for tomorrow evening. This was a strong main event. Both guys showed a lot of emotion and intensity and it felt like a hard fought win for Cage. One has to wonder what Dijak’s breaking point is and who will be the one to feel his wrath.
Overall: This was a success as a standalone event and as a precursor to what’s coming the night before. With 4 matches hitting 3 stars or higher and the show being 2 hours long with 9 matches makes it an easy watch and gets a solid recommendation from me.
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Quick Results/Match Times/Star Ratings
1. JML (Jake Crist, Dave Crist, Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) Team NEPWA (Mikey Webb, Scotty Slade, Elia Markopoulos & Christian Casanova) when the Crist’s gave Webb a double stomp in 6:53. ***
2. Team PAWG (Jordynne Grace & LuFisto) defeated Black & Blue (Davienne & Mistress Belmont) in 1:05 with the Weapon of Ass Destruction.
3. Ryan Galeone pins Hanson with a powerbomb into a folding press in 8:29. **¼
4. JT Dunn pins Brian Milonas with a rolling elbow in 11:58. ***
5. EYFBO (Mike Draztik & Angel Ortiz) defeated the Pretty Boy Killers (Keith Lee & Shane Taylor) in 15:53 with an gamengiri from Draztik into a sunset powerbomb from Ortiz to Lee. ***¼
6. Massage NV (VSK & Dorian Graves) defeated ΑΣΣ (Anthony Greene & Big Daddy Beluga) in 8:16, with VSK pinning Greene after a slip and slide headbutt off of a blow up doll on Graves’ back. **
7. Joey Janela defeats David Starr, Jonathan Gresham, and John Silver in 8:01, pinning Starr with a tombstone piledriver. ***
8. The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) defeat Da Hit Squad (Dan Maff & Monsta Mack) in 15:42 with a superkick/brainbuster combo to Maff. ***¼
9. Brian Cage pins Donovan Dijak with the Steiner Screwdriver in 16:02. ***½