After a great show in Providence, Beyond returned to Worcester, MA for it’s last stop before More Than Mania weekend.
The new tag team of XXXL couldn’t get the job done against Da Hit Squad last month, but maybe they’d fare better against Da Hit Squad’s rivals EYFBO. They wasted no time attacking EYFBO and using their girth to maul the top team in Beyond. Ortiz low bridged the top rope to send Ace Romero to the floor, then lept over Milonas when Milonas attempted a corner attack, allowing for EYFBO to hit some of their signature offense in the corner and bring Milonas down to a seated position. When Romero re-entered, EYFBO got a hold of him, and used a dropkick/German suplex on him to send Romero into his own partner in the corner. With Milonas out of commission, EYFBO were able to pin Romero. XXXL may be 0-2 in wins-losses, but their 2-0 in really fun matches. EYFBO kept up the energy and the two teams put together a succinct, but fulfilling contest to open the show.
Chuck O’Neil answered Dake’s open challenge With Cole coming off of a loss to JT Dunn the last time Beyond Wrestling was in Worcester, he issued the open challenge to try and get things back on track. This match just did not work. O’Neil dominated Cole until Cole caught him in the corner with a boot. Fans turned on Cole when he flubbed a DDT and there was no recovering. He attempted the Tiger Bomb, only for O’Neil to counter into a falcon arrow and submit Cole with an armbar. This was relatively short, but moved at a snail’s pace.
LuFisto was unable to compete due to a concussion, but Jordynne Grace was ready to battle Alpha Sigma Sigma (ΑΣΣ) in a handicap match regardless. While Grace did an admirable job fighting both men at once, the man advantage caught up to her and ΑΣΣ had her number. Grace luckily found an opening to drill Big Daddy Beluga with a bodyscissors facebuster, and at that time, Chris Dickinson appeared on the apron to fill in as her makeshift tag partner. This was a bit curious, as Dickinson tried to Pazuzu Bomb Grace last month after he lost to Jonathan Gresham, but on commentary Jaka stated that Dickinson had cooled off and everything was good with them. Grace tagged in Dickinson and let him run wild on ΑΣΣ. Dickinson also assisted Grace with her offense, feeding Anthony Greene to her for the match winning Falcon Arrow she delivered. Grace was surprised by Dickinson, but offered his handshake at the end of the match. Of course, Dickinson ambushed her after the fact and Jonathan Gresham saved her like she did for him last month. Jaka had to get involved and play peacekeeper between everybody. This was a good way to make up for LuFisto’s absence and keep the issue between Gresham and Dickinson going.
Unfortunately for Jaka, Brandon Watts didn’t feel like keeping the peace and attacked Jaka once he was the last one standing in the ring. Randy Summers, Watts’ tag partner, was not medically cleared to compete, so Watts was to go it alone against the Smooth Savage. This was a very even, hard hitting match, with Watts wrestling like he had something to prove. He won over the Beyond audience (again) with his perseverance and impressive offense. Despite falling to Jaka’s T’Challa kick and Jumanji Bomb, Watts showed he could thrive as a singles competitor if the opportunity called for it. Jaka was a good opponent to put him against to showcase his strengths.
Before competing with each other next month at “Caffeine”, Beyond let Matthew Riddle and Donovan Dijak decide each other’s opponents on this night. Dijak chose to put Riddle in a Deathmatch against the same man Riddle defeated at “Insatiable” last November, Matt Tremont. Not a bad strategy for Dijak, as even if Riddle were to beat Tremont again, the man with the Deathmatch EGOT would do some serious damage before Dijak faced him next month. As expected, this got pretty nasty. Tremont’s was busted open in the opening moments of the contest as he ran head first into a barbed wire chair. Riddle proceeded to dig a barbed wire bat into his head. Tremont turned things around and dug the bat into Riddle as well. Tremont cleverly used thumbtacks to halt Riddle’s momentum, as it would hurt his bare feet. Tremont drove Riddle through a thick barbed wire board with a Death Valley Driver. When Riddle kicked out from that, Tremont called in the heavy artillery, and the fans crowd surfed a barbed wire net contraption (all the while chanting “what the fuck?”). Tremont placed Riddle into the net before heading to the top rope. Unfortunately for him, it gave Riddle time to escape and follow Tremont up to the top rope, then bring Tremont down with a fisherman’s buster into the net and get the win. I wasn’t all that interested in seeing this match again, but it was very different from their first encounter and quite fun (albeit grotesque and not for everyone.) Dijak attacked Riddle after the match, prompting Chuck O’Neil and Mikey Webb to get involved, and Dijak was none too pleased to see Webb try to settle things down.
Rex Lawless would continue to try and find his footing as a singles competitor on this event against JT Dunn. After losing to Hanson and Sami Callihan the last two months, Lawless could use a win against one of Beyond’s premier homegrown talents. Meanwhile, Dunn has been running through the giants of Beyond, defeating Brian Milonas and Michael Elgin since the start of the year. This match would be no different. While Lawless put up a good fight, Dunn’s agility and hard strikes caught up with the Pectoral Poseidon. Dunn escaped a double chokebomb attempt with a headbutt, stringing together strikes after the fact, knocking down Lawless for the three count with a rolling elbow to the back of the head. This was OK. The lack of a real story and coming after the spectacle of Tremont vs. Riddle made this an uphill climb for both competitors. There just wasn’t anything substantial to sink your teeth into. Fine, but forgettable.
You know what you’re getting with Colt Cabana, Kikutaro & Dick Justice vs. Massage NV & Johnny Cockstrong. Lots of dick and massage related offense and “humor.” I say this with a lot of these matches, but you know whether or not this is for you just from the competitors. This was a nice change of pace to set up for the second half of the show, at least. Dick Justice ended up pinning Cockstrong with a Boss Man Slam.
Beyond Wrestling making it’s debut as a part of “More Than Mania” weekend is a big deal, but not everybody can be featured on the card. Because of this, Beyond had a four way elimination match between Jay Freddie, John Silver, Jonathan Gresham, and “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams, with the winner earning a guaranteed spot on the card. Gresham was the first one eliminated thanks to a distraction from Chris Dickinson. Gresham’s momentum he had sustained was halted by this distraction, allowing Silver to catch him with a catapult into a Canadian Destroyer. Freddie brought a lot of intensity to the bout, determined to get the win. He and Williams traded some very heavy shots leading them to the mat. Williams was likely looking for his crossface when Freddie hooked him into an Oklahoma Roll and sent him packing. This left Silver and Freddie, the only two men in this match yet to meet in a Beyond singles contest. Both guys kicked out of each other’s big offense and had the crowd biting on the nearfalls. Silver finally hooked Freddie up in his crossface one-armed straightjacket choke, the same move that made Zack Sabre, Jr. submit, and made Freddie tap as well, punching his ticket to Mania weekend. After the match, Silver issued the challenge to AR Fox to meet him at “Caffeine”, wanting to defeat somebody who was a staple of Beyond in its formative years. This match was competitive and fun to watch. With Silver being such a cornerstone of the Beyond shows the past year, having him on the “More Than Mania” show was the right choice. I’d be very interested in a singles match with him and Jay Freddie down the line.
Matthew Riddle’s choice for Donovan Dijak’s opponent was Dijak’s own tag team partner, Mikey Webb. Riddle saw the dissension between them last month when Dijak refused to pin Chuck O’Neil when he had the match won, opting to try and get his hands on Matthew Riddle instead, and Webb ultimately lost the match for them when Riddle hooked him in the Bromission. Why not exploit that and put the two friends and tag partners against one another? Dijak putted a physical obstacle in front of him, while Riddle went with mental. On commentary, this match was framed as two friends taking out their frustrations on one another, and that’s exactly how it was wrestled. Dijak was the more aggressive of the two, but also more reckless and careless. Webb was a bit more mindful and careful in his approach, making it so he was able to have control over the larger man on several occasions. Webb even hit Dijak with his own Feast Your Eyes, but it was only good enough for a nearfall. Not long after Dijak hit the move himself to get the victory. I loved the story of this match, because it is theorized that part of the reason Dijak’s singles streak was thrown of course was because he began double dipping as a singles competitor and tag team competitor, so him defeating his own tag partner to get back on the right track seems all too cathartic. Webb came off looking particularly strong in the match too, proving himself an equal to his partner. It’s worth giving a watch, and it’s free on YouTube!
By now, you’ve probably seen one clip from the main event of this show: Dan Maff spearing Penelope Ford mid-cartwheel. Da Hit Squad did indeed face Team Janelope in the card’s ultimate contest, and it went about as you would imagine; for a while, anyways. Da Hit Squad took turns backing Penelope Ford in the corner while the other beat down Janela. Ford was able to take out one of Da Hit Squad with a headscissors and give her and Janela some time to fight back. The entire fact it felt like Janelope was fighting from behind, but they always had each others’ backs and made sure to save or protect the other when they could. That cartwheel spear you’ve seen came when Mack talked down to Ford and she unloaded on him with forearm strikes. Maff cut her off with that spear leaving Janela once again to fight DHS on his own. Fortunately for him, DHS introducing weapons into the match proved to be their own downfall. Mack missed a spear through a door of all things, taking himself out of the match by crashing through the door with his own body weight. Janela leapt into action by going to the top rope and double stomping a chair into Maff’s ribs, a chair which he brought into the match. Despite the odds, Janela was able to pin Maff after that and Janelope celebrates another victory. I could’ve done without Ford’s Steve Austin shtick and Mack’s sexist rant towards her, but despite all that this was a better match than I expected. I don’t know if this should’ve been the main event, but it was pretty good.
Overall: Despite a couple solid matches and some minor story building, this felt like a placeholder show before “Caffeine.” Nothing is must see or required viewing for you to get the entire scope of a story. If you’re caught up on everything else Beyond has to offer it may be worth cherry picking through, but you can comfortably skip this if crunched for time.
Check out the bulk of Beyond Wrestling’s entire catalogue at BeyonDemand. $9.99 a month unlocks tons of past and current shows to stream, including raw footage of the latest events, as well as BeyonDemand exclusives such as “Greatest Rivals Round Robin 2”, a clinic with Zack Sabre, Jr., never before seen Eddie Edwards matches, and shoot interviews.
For more information, visit Beyond Wrestling’s official website. For a bunch of free matches, clips, and other fun stuff, check out Beyond’s YouTube page. You can also follow them on Twitter and through their Facebook page.
Quick Results/Match Times/Star Ratings
1. EYFBO (Mike Draztik & Angel Ortiz) defeated XXXL (Brian Milonas & Ace Romero) 5:54 with a shotgun dropkick/German suplex on Romero. **½
2. Chuck O’Neil tapped out Dave Cole to a cross armbreaker in 6:20. *
3. Jordynne Grace & Chris Dickinson defeated ΑΣΣ (Anthony Greene & Big Daddy Beluga) in 6:52 with a Falcon Arrow from Grace to Greene. **¼
4. Jaka pinned Brandon Watts with the Jumanji Bomb in 9:18. **¾
5. Matthew Riddle defeats Matt Tremont in a Deathmatch, giving Tremont a super fisherman’s suplex through a barbed wire net in 8:54. ***
6. JT Dunn defeats Rex Lawless in 6:44 with a rolling elbow to the back of the head. **¼
7. Colt Cabana, Kikutaro & Dick Justice defeated Massage NV (VSK & Dorian Graves) & Johnny Cockstrong in 13:49 when Justice pinned Cockstrong with a Boss Man Slam.
8. John Silver won a four way elimination match to earn a spot on the “Caffeine” show during “More Than Mania” weekend. ***
Jonathan Gresham is eliminated at 7:48 with a Mexican catapult Canadian Destroyer from Silver.
Tracy Williams is eliminated at 9:44 when Freddie caught him in an Oklahoma Roll.
Jay Freddie is eliminated at 15:25 when Silver forced him to submit to a crossface one-armed straightjacket choke.
9. Donovan Dijak pinned Mikey Webb with Feast Your Eyes in 12:18. ***¼
10. Team Janelope (Joey Janela & Penelope Ford) defeated Da Hit Squad (Dan Maff & Monsta Mack) in 13:53 with a chair-assisted top rope double stomp form Janela to Maff. **¾