Beyond Wrestling “Death Knell” Review

Originally titled “Please Don’t Die” due to Paul London’s involvement, Beyond solemnly switched the title to “Death Knell” when London had to pull off from the show. That seems a bit harsh, but we’ll see if that title rings true.

Jordynne Grace was none too pleased that Jonathan Gresham didn’t choose her to face Doom Patrol last month at “Feeling Minnesota.” Gresham claims he didn’t want to put Grace in harm’s way, but she thinks Gresham saw her as a worthy partner. Because of this, Grace challenged Gresham to a match on this event, which kicked off the event. Dan Barry on commentary framed the story of the match perfectly: Gresham treated Grace like his girlfriend, while she treated him like an opponent. Gresham was satisfied going for quick pinfalls and working over her arm, but with no striking his attempt came off as very half-hearted. Meanwhile, Grace gave it her all, going for her signature bear hug early and having no issue mauling Gresham when the opportunity presented. Grace missed a charge in the corner, and for the first time in the match, Gresham willingly used a big offensive maneuver in the form of a shooting star press. Grace kicked out, so he tried to Octopus Stretch. When Grace was close to the ropes, Gresham decided to go back to his idea of trying to catch Grace in a cradle. This backfired on Gresham, as Grace would end up countering one of these into a backslide to get the win. I liked the story of the match, as Gresham’s refusal to commit cost him, and Grace was able to beat him at his own game. It’s not the best match either has had in Beyond, but it was a fun watch.

Chuck O’Neil had an open challenge for this event. At first nobody stepped up and O’Neil pretended to wrestle an invisible man, but shortly after some goofing off, Kyle the Beast stepped up to the plate. Kyle is a competitor from New Jersey who years earlier won a four way on a Beyond Sleeper Cell taping at the CZW Academy, back on a proper Beyond event to hopefully make an impact. I think in that respect Kyle was successful. Any time a large man has agility it’s impressive, especially when they hit a beautiful lionsault for a nearfall. Despite his size advantage, O’Neil was able to pull him down into the triangle choke for the submission. Despite the foregone conclusion, Kyle did an admirable job showcasing what he can do when he could and would be a serviceable addition to the Beyond roster. With O’Neil’s buddy Matt Riddle set to face Joey Janela at “Americanrana” in two months, O’Neil will look to soften Janela up at “Go With the Flow” next month.

Brandon Watts of “Milk Chocolate” has been looking to make a go of it on his own since March. He lost to Jaka in a valiant effort in March, but defeated Rex Lawless in April. John Silver marked AR Fox as a “man to beat” to earn credibility in Beyond, and so Watts would have a chance to prove himself against Fox himself on this night. This would also be the first time Brandon Watts would wrestle in Beyond’s Somerville venue since breaking his neck in the same venue in April of last year. It was with that in mind that Fox targeted Watts’ neck during the bout. Despite this, Watts had a great showing, tossing Fox around and keeping up with his speed. I really enjoyed Watts fighting out of the Lo Mein Pain and bringing Fox down with a super Rough Ryder. Fox had such a tough time with Watts that he had to give him a low blow when Watts tried to suplex him off the apron. This led to Fox hitting the 450 splash and stealing the win. Watts shows a lot of progress every match he’s had, and always impresses the audience. If he can get the most mileage from those moves, and whip a bit more story behind what he does, he’ll be golden. This sets us up for a rematch at “Go With the Flow” which I am looking forward to.

Tessa Blanchard and Ricochet stole the show at “Midas Touch” in this building last October, where Tessa scored a major win against her beau. A few months later Tessa finds herself back in Somerville pitted against David Starr. Starr was set to face Paul London, but with London’s absence found himself pitted against the Queen of the Carolinas, who had lost to Jordynne Grace at a WWR event earlier in the day. This was a fun, competitive match, and a reminder of just how good Tessa Blanchard is (that’s no slight to her, I unfortunately just don’t see a ton of her.) They built up who would be the first one to pull off a dive to the floor which ended up being Blanchard. After that, she got a nearfall on Starr with a diving lungblower. Blanchard said no one had ever kicked out of that, then taunted the King of Taunts before delivering a slap to his face. This would turn out to be an error, because the fire that lit in Starr is what led to her being pinned by the Product Placement. Blanchard turned out to be a perfectly suitable replacement and gave us a very good match we may not have otherwise seen.

Looking to recover from their loss to Team Janelope last month, XXXL of Brian Milonas of Ace Romero squared off against the returning Tabarnak de Team. TDT made a big splash a year ago when they broke the wall of the venue in Providence, RI when facing Da Hit Squad, so what better way to celebrate that anniversary than facing an even larger team? Friendly fire and general miscommunication cost XXXL their match against Janelope, and that’s part of the reason they lost to TDT as well. Romero also had some trouble executing his offense and found himself isolated by TDT for a portion of the contest. XXXL had one of TDT set-up for a Vader Bomb from Milonas, but Romero was taken out by the other member of TDT, leaving Milonas vulnerable to be brought down for a second rope powerbomb. I love seeing TDT in action any time Beyond can get them, but XXXL just didn’t carry their weight (no pun intended) here. Things came off as disjointed and the match didn’t come off as well as I had hoped coming in. It seems as if their team is short lived, as Milonas attacked Romero after the match, then bailed when Romero looked like he was going to fight back. Given Romero’s great match with Hot Sauce last month, maybe dissolving the team is the best idea.

Beyond has been trying to showcase a “New Crop” of talent in 2017, and pitted four of those men against one another in a four way: Rex Lawless, Wheeler YUTA, one half of the American Destroyers Mikey Webb, and Veda Scott’s tag partner/associate Ryan Galeone. This was all action from start to finish, with no alliances formed and everybody wanting to raise their own stock. Ultimately, it was YUTA who got the victory, halting Ryan Galeone’s offense with a prawn hold into a bridging back folding press for the win. All four competitors did a great job, but considering YUTA had never wrestled in front of this crowd, he had the most to gain with this victory. Veda Scott was so displeased with Galeone that she tried to fire him after the match, but he ended up quitting. Everybody made the most of this showcase, and Dan Barry’s comments would set the table for him to “buddy up” with Lawless.

After impressing in a few pre-show encounters, CZW Wired Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) made his proper Beyond debut against the returning Buxx Belmar, last seen in Beyond over two years prior. Friedman refused to wrestle Belmar until he used listerine, deodorant, and brushed his teeth. To Belmar’s credit, he obeyed, but not in a conventional sense. He poured listerine down the front of his pants, bit off part of the deodorant, and shoved the toothbrush down the back of his pants, brushed with it, then put it in the referee’s pocket for safekeeping. MJF would not be psyched out and brought the intensity to Belmar in his offense. Belmar’s own offense is just as unorthodox as he is, but incredibly effective, making him more than an even match for what Friedman brought to the table. Belmar reintroduced the toothbrush later into the match, shoving into MJF’s mouth. MJF would not be deterred, as despite Belmar blocking his Canadian destroyer and attempting to counter into an Air Raid Crash, Friedman countered that back into a sick spike piledriver to put his misery to an end. MJF has a lot of charisma and does a good job in the ring, and Belmar more than delivered when the time called for it. It was fun seeing MJF against a different type of opponent too. It’s important to see if a wrestler can produce when out of their element, and he did just that. This didn’t steal the show or anything, but was honestly better than I expected.

EYFBO has been pitting themselves against a variety of teams for the past year and a half, all to prove that they are the best team in Beyond Wrestling. This year has seen them pitted against some unique teams, and the Gentleman’s Club of Chuck Talor and Orange Cassidy. We’re used to seeing the Gentleman’s Club in Beyond, typically in a more light-hearted affair, but for some reason they had a fire lit under them tonight. The shenanigans were gone and Cassidy wasn’t his typical lethargic self. The tandem came off as smart, formidable, and introduced some tandem offense I don’t think I’ve seen from them (specifically, Orange hitting a diving DDT while Taylor held Ortiz in a wheelbarrow position.) Instead of EYFBO having to go down to the Club’s level of absurdity, Orange and Taylor rose to the challenge and took their competitors seriously. As much as I love the Club’s humor, I think it’s great to have these matches now and again to show why the Gentleman’s Club have their spot on shows. If they aren’t taking matches seriously, and not winning, why even book them? This challenge showed they’re capable of “hanging” with the top team in Beyond. While Orange was able to halt Mike Draztik on the top rope with his typical orange juice mist to the eyes, Ortiz and Draztik had taken out Taylor moments early, and Ortiz countered Orange’s huracanrana, allowing Draztik and him to hit the Street Sweeper for the win. This is hands down the best Gentleman’s Club tag team match from an in-ring perspective.

The main event saw Sami Callihan join the line of top contenders John Silver has faced in Beyond. Sami and Silver were a near perfect match for each other, not only moving at a same pace, but hitting the same moves at the same time. Twice they knocked one another down with stereo pump kicks. Sami dove onto Silver outside, then Silver did the same. It was thanks to Callihan’s manager JT Davidson that Callihan was able to take full control and wear down Silver’s leg. This not only would help to weaken Silver’s kicks, but wear down Silver’s leg for when Callihan inevitably tried the Stretch Muffler. The odds were not in Silver’s favor as Callihan beat him down and Davidson would interject whenever Silver got momentum, but as he’s done so many times, Silver beat those odds. He took out Davidson with a powerbomb and nailed Callihan with a punt to the head to secure yet another victory atop the Beyond mountain. This was a fine match to include in Silver’s “run” of top Indie talent. Not his best, but a perfectly good way to end the evening.

Overall: Although I liked this show more than “Seven Years of Bad Luck”, this show had a similar vibe in that it was a placeholder event before the next FloSlam show. There isn’t anything I’d avoid, but also nothing I’d encourage anyone to go out of their way to see either. It’s nice to see Beyond is always cultivating new talent, and this could be a fun show to look back on in a year to see how far certain people have come, but you can take a comfortable pass on the event.

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.

You can purchase the show on DVD from Smart Mark Video. For a reduced price, you can also download the show as an mp4 from Smart Mark Video or watch it On Demand through SMVOD.

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. Jordynne Grace catches Jonathan Gresham with a backslide in 11:55. **¾

2. Chuck O’Neil submits Kyle the Beat to a triangle choke in 6:10 (approximate). **

3. AR Fox pins Brandon Watts with a 450 splash in 8:19. **¾

4. David Starr pins Tessa Blanchard with the Product Placement in 8:03. ***

5. Tabarnak de Team (Mathieu St. Jacques & Thomas Dubois) defeats XXXL (Brian Milonas & Ace Romero) in 13:03, pinning Milonas after a double powerbomb off the middle rope.**¼

6. Wheeler YUTA defeated Mikey Webb, Rex Lawless, and Ryan Galeone in 9:27, pinning Galeone with a prawn hold into a back bridge folding press. ***

7. Maxwell Jacob Friedman defeats Buxx Belmar with a spike piledriver in 8:38. **¾

8. EYFBO (Mike Draztik & Angel Ortiz) defeated The Gentleman’s Club (Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy) in 14:08 with the Street Sweeper on Cassidy. ***

9. John Silver pinned Sami Callihan with a running punt to the head in 16:23. ***

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