Some may know about my situation with Beyond. I lent a helping hand in a time of need, and I was happy to do so — receiving some awesome merch back as well. However, ironically around this time, the company took a turn for the worse in my eyes, so I migrated from the product I was on board with. However, with their new streaming service providing more content than ever, and I, more intrigued than ever with the current rivalries and booked cards — am coming back full circle to review Beyond. It’s “The Dream Left Behind” from just a week ago.
January 31, 2016
Arts At The Armory
It’s not often you see a Cage Match on the indie circuit, and not often you see a feud as heated as Janela/Dunn has been. I’ve always been keeping tabs on it in a worked/shoot way as things often went south with the Janela & Beyond Wrestling interactions. I understand wanting to pace your show and putting on this first, but all cage matches have to be of adequate length to build the stipulation. This was only nearly 10 minutes job; yet is an oxymoron because it still did its job. This put over JT as a sympathetic killer; with “Bad Boy,” Janela’s moniker painted on his body. The two blatantly went to war, yet Joey hardly got offense in. The dynamic was the fact that JT wanted to keep him in, and Janela wanted to get out. Chris Hero as guest commentator was excellent, talking trash about Janela but keeping it unbias; talking us through the match and getting you into Dunn’s head. All in all a solid match that ended way too early for its stipulation. After spots including a Tree of Woe German off the cage, a leg drop off the cage to a bent over the cage Janela, strong style offense embedded in the cage, etc, Janela couldn’t help but throw in the towel and throw up his hands. Dunn did a good job struggling to either hit harder or back off, and he ended up backing off, exiting the cage and getting the win whilst Janela needs help after the beating he took.
It’s ironic that Gresham vs. Cedric Alexander is a feud that’s happening in Ring of Honor, where Veda Scott is heavily involved. Now we switch gears to a singles match where Veda is managing Jonathan’s opponent. Cross-promotion continuity is something that needs to happen more — as it pops us hardcore’s. This was a confirmed HOOT, until the finish that is. Galeone, on first exposure, reminds me of fellow Beyond roster member Donovan Dijak because of his ability to destroy you, but has grace in doing so if he flies in the match as well (hint: he did)! A good, simple story was told where Gresham had to chop the ‘big man tree’ down whilst Ryan tried to hold him down in every sense of the word. Big man offense, catching Gresham out of mid-air, Veda throwing herself into the mix and more caused Gresham to struggle to fully gain control; but when he finally locked on the Octopus Stretch, out came Jordynne Grace to takeout Veda. As Gresham looked on with his back turned to Ryan, that very decision cost him the match. Ryan attacked from behind and powerbombed Gresham for the win. I sense some tag booking or ladies singles action coming out of this. The execution of literally two moves that were the same made the finish so awkward. A botched kick from the chick, and a botched kick from the dude! All in all was still fun to watch.
This was a short and sweet bout as you come to expect from Matt Riddle. Chuck O’Neil was impressive upon first viewing, as this was all about the Catchpoint style; with Drew as the fair ref and Tracy Williams on commentary. We got slaps, we got jiu-jitsu, we got suplexes, and lastly we got sneaky Riddle. There wasn’t much to the match besides grapplefuck, and that’s not a bad things. After the smaller Riddle had to eat suplexes and reverse holds of O’Neil’s, we got to the point where it was do or die for him. After a mini-Tenryu drop ya on ya neck powerbomb from Chuck, it was followed up with another suplex throw. Riddle, however, then had on the guillotine, but O’Neil suplexed out of it — wait though, Riddle hung on! A butterfly hook around the body and the left leg stretched around O’Neil allowed for Gulak to call for the bell, even if O’Neil didn’t give up. Post-match Gulak had to manhandle Riddle to get him off O’Neil who was passed out. Nice stable tease that capped off a solid outing from both men as well as for the Catchpoint style.
This was simply fun wrestling. I love fun wrestling. I love fun wrestling when it is done right. This was done right. Da Hit Squad are one of my favorite acts to watch in all of professional wrestling. Much like The Hooligans, they’re two big brawlers that want to hit you hard. If you’ve been a proponent of the 15 year ago indies, you’ll enjoy this match even more. Hit Squad brought back throwback moves, and Gargano/Ciampa played up the Mass. crowd via cocky prick mentality. Although it took them longer than expected, they eventually put down Da Hit Squad for good. The MVP of this show already is being awarded to Monsta Mack, as he went all out like I usually see him do. Hurricanranas, dives and the like. Maff was the solid hot tag in comparison to the workrate, and it all worked out because of the fun dynamics. It took more superkicks than a Marufuji match to keep Da Squad down. Dickinson & Corvis marking out on commentary made this extravaganza even better. After a struggle to keep the vets down, Monsta Mack’s eyes left his head as he fell to the ground. A stereo superkick/high knee combo (the very high knee that kept Maff down for most of the match) got the new wave indie tag the win. Awesome stuff. P.S., if you want an extra incentive, the banter from all involved was on point; especially Ciampa, showing more character than I’ve ever seen from him. If the past text hasn’t sold you on the show/match yet, watch for Ciampa taunting Haitch as well as Da Hit Squad in various means.
ZSJ is one of, if not the best technical worker in the world; making his Beyond debut against the man that has trained Sasha Banks, as well as multiple others. Fury has also appeared on ROH TV recently, advancing in the Top Prospect Tournament. A really good wrestling match. It was an exhibition with fantastic technical wrestling. It can be summed up like this: a perfect introductory match as to what the grapplefuck style is, who two premier technical athletes are, and a sample of variety in the Beyond promotion. Although I wasn’t a big fan of the massive elongated stretches, really long match time, and a handful of times where ZSJ still shows weakness in selling; it was still (key word) good. There wasn’t a story told sans the struggle of guys in a technical wrestling dominated match, but it was captivating at points to see unfold. Reason for being an introductory match? We got the ‘best of’ ZSJ at many points, and much like a best of compilation at first exposure to an artist, Zack does that in a sense; although he’s still in his prime. It’s to show off everything he’s got. Fury was an admirable part of the match, but either he was getting put through holds or countering things and working overtop which wasn’t nearly as compelling — 1) Zack’s selling and 2) Fury isn’t as exciting. Still all and all a good time, and the finishing sequence was bonkers. It took three transitions in and out of holds for Zack to end up finally locking in the Ode to Breaks for the win. Callihan and Gargano were on commentary for the match and were OK. Nice to have veteran presence put over guys — but awkward to see them take missteps in presentation and conversation.
Really entertaining cruiserweight match that had me verbally reacting throughout its course. Shynron is always awesome, and on first exposure, Travis Gordon can be a star in the future if he finds out what nook and crannies work/don’t work. The match went through mini-phases, with solid commentary that accentuated the match well; as AR Fox & Brian Fury talked up their two boys (Fox – Shynron, Fury – Gordon). Shynron carried the workload of the match with Gordon coming through on big spots. It was a well done veteran vs. newcomer dynamic that blended in with the rest of the card like butter slapped on bread. At times Shynron talked shit, other times working over Gordon’s back, and other times the two went all out with their pele kicks, corkscrews, dives, and the like. The finish was one of the best parts of the match. Gordon landed off of a Shynron top-rope hurricanrana, and proceeded to attempt to give a Tornado DDT to Shynron, but Shynron did a grounded flip counter. Then Shynron hit the Shiranui for the win. A testament to this promotion’s variety, and something that was easy and fun to sit through.
What a crazy ass matchup. Alright match — but have to give massive props to Hero as well as Tremont. Hero made Tremont look like a million bucks, and even if it wasn’t the best atmosphere for a match like this, to those who watch — Hero is a…hero for what he did. He ate Tremont’s DVDs, he ate tons of blows, he sold the brawl aspect of the match, and he added nuances that make you realize how much of a struggle he was going through at the time of the fight. The way the match was structured was fitting as this truly was a styles clash. Hero didn’t bring out his trademark elbows, seen as early on in a match as right away, until the closing stretch. It was a struggle to get over the hump that was pitbull Tremont, and to be able to have enough time to set things up. The death blow was almost hit earlier on, but another part of the dynamic was the fact that Tremont has been scouting for a long time. This ended up making the match a little long (much like others on the card), but it wasn’t horribly hell to sit through. I enjoyed the “fuck you, dude, I’m The Bulldozer” mentality put on display, with Hero overcoming adversity to win rather than dominating the whole way through. Once again: a really unique dynamic. It took multiple elbows, Death Blow finally being hit, and The Bulldozer finally letting go on his reversal grip in order to be Gotch Piledrivered for Hero to win this match. This match helps Tremont get ‘legitimized’ in terms of the non-deathmatch wrestling scene. If only for that, this was still a success.
Chris puts over Tremont on the mic post-match, joking that he doesn’t want to wrestle him again with more positive vibes and comments towards The Bulldozer. Good ovation for Matt as he leaves the ring.
Jaka is GOAT. I don’t care for this ongoing narrative and/or feud as a part-time viewer. I can’t provide ridiculous in-depth insight as I don’t particularly know some of these guys. Jaka is GOAT, by the way. Pazuzu are ‘sort-of’ babyfaces in my view, and did some cool spots. Crusade For Change are known for being idiotic not just in their gimmick, but I ain’t here to pull a fearless Fray and bury those involved. This is my free pass – skip of the show and my reviews on the site in general thus far. Sorry Beyond! You all will live. I’m selling the product more. You have no clue if you’ll enjoy the match or not because of the review. Go watch this show with your free 14 Day Free Trial because you gained no insight. Jaka paid for being distracted by Crusade For Change, and was rolled-up in the process.
What better way to start a submission match than AR Fox highspots?! Precursor: I dislike AR Fox, and think he’s quite the bad pro-wrestler. Holy shit. This shit the bed harder than I thought it would. It started with Fox doing flips, and ended with Fox completely dismissing the struggle of being placed in a side headlock for a long period of time, as well as being worked over, just so he could hit Lo Mein Pain and lock-in a Anaconda Vice. Hot Sauce was great for a majority of the match, ya know, actually bringing the TECHNICAL dynamic to the match; applying holds and not working it, for the most part, like a regular match (with those submission additions). That is, until the finish…where he shook and freaked out in the submission, only to fade once and get back out of it with energy; only to tap out as AR Fox WON THE MATCH without doing NEARLY as much damage as Hot Sauce did throughout the match. The whole story told was essentially: fuck grapplefuck. AR Fox did all his flips and high impact moves, as well as a few submissions, he completely overcame the whole element of a submission match struggle, no sold that, then hit his regular finish and locked in a finish; which was presented like garbage; as one of the best at the craft tapped out in a short amount of time to the high flier. This will finish high on my Worst of the Year list. Avoid this at all costs.
This was also quite the terrible match. I’m a bigger Kimber fan than most, but she wasn’t in sync for the most part. Tons of awkward movements and awkward sequences led to me rolling my eyes; plus the additional uncomfortable (yes, opinions differ) layers like spitting on the girls just didn’t do it for me, but in no means was that the factor that separated my enjoyment from the match. There wasn’t much enjoyment to be had none the less. Also, in the middle of the match, Dickinson cut a promo explaining how Lovelace can join The U.S. Death Machine but of course that offer was rejected. Heidi was worked over for a long while until Kimber got the hot tag vs. her nemisis in Dickinson (and if you don’t know the story, Lee was smashed into the corner with the dreaded Pazuzu Bomb in their singles encounters; which set the internet ablaze). There were a few things I liked however, and one of them was an innovative and simple sequence that saw Kimber Lee & Sami deliver YES! Kicks to Heidi & Dickinson who were rolling each other up based on said kick momentum. Besides that, it felt like a chore to see the match unfold, and in a once again (word of the night) AWKWARD ending; Dickinson went for a Pazuzu Bomb off the top rope onto the outside, but Heidi low-blowed him, and Kimber Lee gave Dickinson a Pazuzu Bomb off the top rope for the win. Kimber has finally overcame her worst fear in Beyond.
I wanted to give Beyond a fresh start, and that I did, but the product just isn’t for me. Through all its ups (which I enjoy heavily) and downs (which I despise), I can’t think of a more spotty product in independent wrestling today. The cage match was a great idea for Janela & Dunn’s feud, but clocking in at under 10-ish minutes, it felt flat in the end although they tore the house down in the way they needed to. Gresham & Galeone was really fun for its short (notice the trend on the workhorse matches) time allocation. Matthew Riddle continued to show me why he has such a bright future, and we got some always appreciated #grapplefuck with Chuck O’Neil & awkward ASIS branded ref Gulak. Gargano & Ciampa vs. Da Hit Squad was a testament to the variety of Beyond, and a positive of that variety. It was a hoot of a time with no consequences. Sabre Jr. vs. Fury was more technical goodness although it went much longer than expected, and longer than it should have been. Shynron/Gordon was another shrunk match with ridiculous amounts of adrenaline (love it)! We moved on to Hero/Tremont, where tasks were fulfilled as Hero put the deathmatcher over like a million bucks, and played the unselfish vet; but by no means is The Bulldozer a rookie himself. Then came the Big 3 of disappointment. The 6 man was really nothing, the submission match was some of the worst thought out graps I’ve ever seen, and the main event completely underdelivered. It’s safe to say that although I still have a good time watching Beyond’s cards filled with multi-wrestling cuisine buffets, the bad outweighs the good; and to me, the bad is usually much worse than what bad entails. Regret fills up some cards’ booking aspects as well as some matches work. It’s just as bizarre watching a Beyond Wrestling show as it is to see the evolution of the company unfold; even after putting tons of effort into supporting it prior to 2016. I’m going to have to bow my head and walk out the back door. Wrestling is subjective, and don’t take this as a burial more than a goodbye. All I have to do is flip on another source of wrestling whilst still knowing that Beyond is the east coast PWG. Thanks Drew & co. I’m out.