Beyond Wrestling Caffeine on 04/02/2017
Orlando Events Center – Orlando, Florida, United States
Watching this, it’s clear that at 12:43 AM after a few days of hard wrestling and multiple matches a night, these boys are feeling it, and I really can’t blame them for that. They’re a lot slower than usual and it really shows, as they both have a lot of agility for men their size, and while it’s far from terrible, it’s more than a little low effort for what I was expecting. Highlights include a killer Pounce from Lee and some good strikes towards the end, but all in all this is pretty mediocre affair between two wrestlers who are far better than this. Lee wins with an awkward roll up in a short, underwhelming match.
A solid little technical bout here. That sort of thing is ill-advised in this setting, I think, on a show this late, but thankfully LuFisto recognizes this and throws in a variety of mean strikes to keep things interesting as she takes control of the match. Fired up, Deonna responds in kind, holding her own with the veteran, but she doesn’t quite have the strength that LuFisto has and she’s forced to return to her technical game time and again. It doesn’t take much for LuFisto, though, and when she catches Deonna with a backfist and tops if off with a tiger driver, it’s enough for the victory. Certainly enjoyable, though like Cobb/Lee it feels a little underwhelming.
This superteam consisting of the Gentleman’s Club and Team Tremendous might be my favorite team up in wrestling history, being four guys I love a lot. And hey, I quite like Team Pazuzu too. It’s not a match for everyone, but this is one of my favorite kinds of matches, one full of life, full of character, full of comedy, and more than a little lucha-flavored highflying and big man slams. Everyone plays to their strengths and gives the crowd a good time. It’s a little more self-aware than some people would like, and I certainly don’t want all of wrestling to be this way, and it goes much too long for this time of night, but for this kind of show, I think it was appreciated by both this sleepy crowd and myself. Too fired up to realize his miscalculation, Carr accidentally hits Cassidy with a scrapbuster in the heat of the moment and Pazuzu are able to capitalize and steal the victory by pinning Cassidy.
I think quite highly of these two and tend to like their matches together, so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed this. Both men have a tendency to be a little too cute sometimes, especially together, but they keep things pretty tight here, sticking to their particular brand of speedy, hard-hitting light heavyweight action along with plenty of characterization. They understand what will work on this show and for this audience, keeping this short and sweet as Starr gets the three count after a Canadian Destroyer.
A simple and effective match, but also an interesting one considering how similar these teams are with a sleazy 80’s throwback guy tagging with a blonde female highflier. You don’t see that sort of matchup often. It’s more obvious and sordid than I’d like, but it’s fun enough for what it is. Janelope pick up the win with a handspring cutter/top rope splash combo on Ryan, winning the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship in the process.
It’s hard for Silver to have a bad match, I think, as long as he’s working someone he can throw around a bit. Fox certainly fits that bill along with being a high energy highflier himself, so the combination of their efforts is solidly one of the highlights of the night. Like Starr and Callihan, they understand the situation they’ve found themselves in and play to it while also doing their usual thing, keeping things as speedy and fun as they can. In the end, Silver catches Fox in the monkey flip Canadian Destroyer for the three.
While I’m not really a fan of Elgin or Cage, the DHS formula is a fairly foolproof system, and being that all four of these men are more than able to keep things fast and aren’t afraid to throw hands, we get a pretty enjoyable match in the end. Elgin and Cage are quite a bit bigger than the types of opponents DHS are used to facing, which gives them a considerable amount of trouble and forces them to up the ante, making for a nonstop car crash tag team match. Just when Elgin looks to have Mack done for, Maff floors him with a spear to maintain Da Hit Squad’s place atop the Beyond Wrestling pecking order.
The culmination of months and months of build, from Dijak’s tremendous undefeated streak in Beyond to his downfall at Tournament For Today to his descent into madness over the thorn in his side that was Matt Riddle, this is one of the matches on WrestleMania weekend that I was most excited for. Dijak doesn’t even wait for Riddle to enter the ring before getting in his face, shoving the former UFC fighter during his entrance. They don’t wait long before going at it with strikes, quickly blowing through a few finishers. Though there are questionable moments, they keep things very heated, wildly doing what they can to finish off their rival once and for all. Riddle claws his way into chokes and submissions as Dijak goes for pin attempts. Dijak responds with his biggest strikes and slams. It’s more over-the-top than I’d like (see the dueling Canadian Destroyers, of which there have been waaaaay too many on this show), but considering the situation, being the blowoff of a six month story built off a pair of undefeated streaks, it works to some degree. Pulling out all the stops, Dijak hits a nutty corkscrew moonsault off the top rope and scrambles to hit Feast Your Eyes for the third time in the match. Exhausted, he takes too long going for the pin, and Riddle’s able to trap him in the Bromission. As with the earlier Bromission in the match, Dijak uses his weight to shift Riddle onto his shoulders in a pin attempt to break up the hold, but Riddle is able to kick out and keep the submission on. Unwilling to submit, Dijak faces the pain and passes out, with the referee stopping the match in Riddle’s favor.
BEYOND WRESTLING CAFFEINE (04/02/2017)
Sub Par - 4.0/10
If you needed a reason to second guess the absurdity of WrestleMania weekend festivities, this was it. Heading into this show, many fans in the indie wrestling community felt that this was one of the better-looking cards of the entire weekend, a tight little show with lots of variety, talent, and a marquee match on top. But with an endless bevy of shows that exhaust both the wrestlers working on those shows and the fans watching them as well as a terrible timeslot that was pushed back even farther due to CZW running late, there was no way this show could have succeeded even if they tried. And they certainly tried, to be fair. Most of these matches aren't what I'd call bad, just sort of middling, undercut by an impossible situation thrust upon them by the wrestling machine's need for constant output. I can’t blame any of these wrestlers or fans for being completely spent. I find it hard to blame Drew Cordeiro, too, on some level. Sure, it was easy to see from the outset that this situation was probably a bad idea, but taking a gamble on being on a major streaming service as a part of the biggest wrestling weekend of the year is a hard thing to sneer at. In the end, this is a pretty mediocre show put on by a good promotion with a slew of good to great wrestlers who are not performing at their peak because they are physically unable to. I can't exactly call this a bad show, as it's a show that didn't have the opportunity to be good. I wouldn’t recommend this event and knowing the situation that led to its mediocrity is frustrating and disappointing. Hopefully promoters and wrestlers other than these will learn from this and other mistakes and understand that oversaturation and fatigue aren’t what make pro wrestling great. Force feeding your audience exhausted wrestlers makes your product look bad and makes everyone feel bad in the process.