Beyond Uncharted Territory Episode 1
April 3 2019
WrestleMania weekend is here and Beyond are kicking the weekend off with a show from outside of the New York area. We’re in Worcester, Massachusetts as Beyond start a new venture; a weekly PPV on Fite TV. Paul Crockett & Josh Briggs on commentary. I know this building and I’ve seen wrestling in it before. They have fans up against the ring and it feels like a club/pub atmosphere.
Team Pazuzu (LAX & Chris Dickinson) vs. SCU (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky)
It would be rude to say these guys are taking it easy but the effort levels are not the highest you’ll see all weekend. There’s a lot at stake this weekend and nobody wants to get hurt the day before it all kicks off. Daniels virtually sleepwalks through the action. His stomp/punch business is shocking. Ortiz looks to be the most motivated of everyone. It’s safe to say this won’t make my list of recommended matches come the end of the week. Dickinson is particularly bad and can’t seem to run any sequences with anyone.
It’s not an ideal way to start the weekend. I’m also somewhat vexed by the one cameraman being unable to get anything in focus. The match does remind me that LAX are a great tag team but they need dance partners. They will get them. As soon as they get into the pre-planned stretch the match drastically improves. And then Ortiz falls off the ropes and they re-do a spot because it’s SO vital. How is this getting over? Crockett calls it “some of the best trios action you’ll see on the planet”. LOL! David Starr runs in to take out Dickinson and SCU win. This was pretty awful but with some excellent spot work scattered amidst the bullshit. Kazarian was really good for the most part and LAX, one major botch aside, were stand-outs.
Final Rating: **3/4
MJF vs. Kimber Lee
MJF is starting to get the Gibson treatment only as well as booing the crowd sing “Please Don’t Take My Sunshine Away”, which apparently he sang on Rosie O’Donnell as a child. MJF is really good at pro wrestling. He cuts a mean promo but he’s incredibly capable so while he’s trash talking he’s also out-working his opponent, which must be tough for people to take. Kimber looks like a little rusty and it worries me that she went to WWE and came out worse than how she went in.
MJF uses this as a showcase for his selling, his talking and his attitude. He’s an Indie standout as a dickhead heel, which makes him somewhat unique. Blissbuster puts Kimber away. This was a lovely little match. Around ten minutes including introductions. I could use more of that Mania weekend. Get in, look good, get out.
Final Rating: **1/2
The Beaver Boys (John Silver & Alex Reynolds) vs. Aussie Open
This was an open challenge from the Beaver Boys.
In Europe we’ve been blessed with Aussie Open for the past two years or so. Beyond fans discover the joys of the Aussie Arrow and Dunkzilla in short order. Silver is mega over because he’s “The Meat Man” and is super jacked for a tiny guy. Aussie Open are good in singles but also as a team and they come across as smooth and exciting. They also have a formula that they lean on and Kyle eats heat here. Dunky does his hot tag business and it’s over huge. Everyone loves a big powerhouse throwing dudes around for fun. As much as Kyle takes heat, Reynolds is the guy who gets really beaten up in this match. Taking a load of Davis chops and is punted in the chest by Fletcher for giggles. Even when he’s pinning Kyle the break-up involves him getting smacked in the face. Rough night for Reynolds. Beaver Boys have some good tandem offence but it is a little rushed. You need to let things breathe. There’s no time to react in between. The one-armed powerbomb from Davis is absolutely sick here. The crowd haven’t seen it before and it looks so good. Fletcher eats a double Destroyer DDT and the Washing Machine finishes. Not sure the right team went over here but Aussie Open looked terrific in their Beyond debut.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Mick Moretti vs. Gabriel Skye
Moretti is an Aussie too. He’s over for Black Label Pro and is on this show as a bonus. Skye isn’t someone I’m familiar with.
He sure is dumb. Moretti stands in the corner saying he’s “in the ropes” and Skye just stands there looking confused. I think you need to duck into the ropes to make that spot more obvious. It made Skye look like a chump. Moretti spends a chunk of the match taking flying headscissor takedowns from various angles. Skye certainly has potential but hasn’t quite got the timing down yet. There are certainly intermittent issues with a lack of familiarity. Moretti looks calm and confident and powers through. There’s no shortage of effort.
Moretti scores the pin on the more flamboyant Skye. The format of this ‘newcomers’ showcase is that it’s winner stays on. So Moretti will be on next week against another opponent and will continue until he loses. All newcomers. Clever stuff.
Final Rating: ***
Kris Stadtlander vs. AR Fox
I’ve only seen Stadtlander once and she sucked but that was very early in her career and there was a ton of potential that apparently she’s lived up to. She’s not even two years into her career. Fox doesn’t bring any brain cells to the match and tries for a distraction low blow. Then he just watches Kris set him up for a takedown and I don’t understand why he just stands there.
As a result of the approach both guys take the match is weird. I can only assume both wrestlers have a space cadet gimmick because neither of them takes a conventional approach. There are still moments that connect. Like Kris holding the ropes to stop herself being bulldogged out of the corner. Fox does a wonderful job of a snapmare/forward roll combo to get himself in position and discombobulate Kris. My biggest take home from this show is that Kris is way better now than a year ago, even if she is still a little rough around the edges. The axe kick for example doesn’t have enough height to it. AR Fox tries for some execution style kicks but gets rolled up and Kris picks up another big win. This was enjoyable but tonally odd.
Final Rating: ***
Post Match: Kimber Lee comes out to show support for Kris and then obviously turns on her.
Orange Cassidy & ? vs. Jordynne Grace & ?
This is a mystery partners bout with Cassidy and Grace selecting partners as yet unnamed.
Grace has Brian Cage as her partner. Cassidy might be the best character in Indie wrestling today. He introduces his partner; Martina. So we have a comedy team facing a badass jacked up team.
Martina runs through her spots and they face a mixed reaction. Some of it is over, some of it isn’t.
Orange Cassidy wrestling the bulk of the match with his hands in his pockets, including taking a giant swing, is good stuff. The delayed vertical suplex has me chuckling as the crowd count along. When the match gets a little more serious Martina has her work boots on. There’s definitely a feeling that everyone else is taking the night off. The OJ spit misses and Grace pins Cassidy for the upset win. This was a hodgepodge of comedy and more serious stuff and it couldn’t find a tone.
Final Rating: **1/4
David Starr vs. Masato Tanaka
“Do it right!” The crowd hate Starr and his twenty nicknames. As you’d expect this is very good from the start. Tanaka isn’t the wrestler he once was but he’s still in good shape. Starr is at the top of his game and it’s a recipe for success. They make the match feel like a struggle and Starr is happy with every little victory. He’s a jerk about breaking a hold too. It’s great character work. I admire Starr’s approach here; wanting to overcome Tanaka the right way and duel with him but eventually taking shortcuts because he can’t beat Masato straight up. I’ve been mentioning tone all night and Starr gets it perfect here. The match isn’t as hard-hitting as it could be and that’s not really a surprise because we’re at the start of a very busy weekend. Starr clearly has a gear above the bulk of his work as is demonstrated when he switches to the Cartwheel Fuck You Kick and the Blackheart Buster. The dueling elbows/dueling clotheslines stuff is great. I’m a little sad we don’t get the Tanaka of even two years ago who was still incredibly good at every aspect of pro wrestling. Sadly we have a ref bump but it does facilitate Penelope Ford’s arrival and Joey Janela is here.
Starr takes the chair shot, which is not what I expected, unprotected no fucking less, and the Sliding D finishes.
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) April 4, 2019
This could have been blowaway good but they opted instead for telling a longer form story and I dig that. The result is a good match but it scrapes onto the rec list at 3.5 rather than potentially being a match of the weekend contender.
Final Rating: ***1/2
It’s a good start to Mania weekend but, as expected, there’s nothing spectacular on a show that lands the day before the weekend starts in earnest. Two good matches for the recs sheet; Starr/Tanaka and the Aussie Open/Beaver Boys tag. Also very impressed with Kris Stadtlander and Mick Moretti. MJF and Orange Cassidy, if you’ve not seen them before, should have stood out too.