NJPW “G1 Climax 24″ Day 2 Reviewed

So here’s the thing, Day 1 of the tournament launched with a litany of great matches and that was on purpose. You’re not going to launch the G1 tournament with a lackluster event. But in fairness with so many guys competing in the event you’re also not going to have every show be as stacked as the first night. This Day 2 event was never going to live up to the hype of Day 1, it just wasn’t possible. All you’re trying to do with Day 2 is to build on the momentum you got from Day 1, move the tournament forward and give the fans something to talk about. I think Day 2 did all of that and more, though the biggest highlight of the day was the crowd who were electric throughout and at one point even convinced me that Toru Yano might beat AJ Styles. Let’s talk about the show though, shall we?

Block A: Satoshi Kojima (1-0-0, 2) v. Tomohiro Ishii (0-1-0, 0): Ishii appears to be the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Titles of the G1 as he kicked off Day 1 and Day 2, not a bad choice actually as his match today was really solid. Every once in awhile blood does add intrigue to a match and in this one Ishii got busted open in the mouth which immediately made it feel more intense. Really fun spot during the match where Ishii reversed the Kojima slap spot in the corner, Kojima humored him for a moment, reversed it back and laid into Ishii. The crowd was super into this match and the intensity of the striking really put it over the top. Ishii finally puts Kojima away with the brainbuster but this was a great match and a great way to open a show that I was a little iffy on before it began.

Block A: Shelton Benjamin (1-0-0, 2) v. Bad Luck Fale (1-0-0, 2): Well, there goes the neighborhood. So Shelton Benjamin pins the current IWGP Intercontinetnal Champion clean as a whistle after escaping a Bad Luck Fall, because of course he does – who didn’t see that coming? To be honest even Benjamin seemed legitimately shocked to have heard the bell ring indicating that he had won. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for Shelton — he deserved the win but it just felt like with Fale obviously on the fast track to super-duper stardom in New Japan that he wouldn’t struggle much with Shelton Benjamin.

Block B: Yujiro Takahashi (1-0-0, 2) v. Hirooki Goto (1-0-0, 2): Everything about Takahashi is hateable. I’m not even a huge Goto fan but I went into this match just wanting to see Takahashi get pummeled. I will give Takahashi some credit, I mean it is his job to get people to hate him and on that front he’s doing swimmingly. There were a ton of near falls in this match which did help to build the drama towards the finish. This match was without a doubt the best Takahashi match that I’d ever seen. I loved the finish sequence including Goto hitting a brutal head butt before the Shoten Kai and the three. Solid effort by both guys which is something I haven’t said about Takahashi, ever.

Block B: Lance Archer (0-0-0, 0) v. Tetsuya Naito (0-1-0, 0): The crowd, which has been good up to this point is so hyped for Naito it’s not even funny. The reigning G1 champion hasn’t had the best twelve month stretch since the last tournament but he’s very popular in this particular room. If you were looking for a match that was mostly just Lance Archer beating the shit out of Naito than this is the one for you. I did not particularly enjoy myself during this match but I must confess that Archer hit a great chokeslam that Naito took like a champ – that should have ended things but instead Naito kicked out at two, got a quick roll up out of the F’n Slam and scored the victory. I know this was Archer’s first match of the tournament so it sets the table for him but he got about 90% of the offense and lost, this match made him look like a goober.

Block B: Yuji Nagata (0-1-0, 0) v. Tomoaki Honma (0-1-0, 0): It’s crazy how popular Honma is with this crowd, especially when you take into account that he wasn’t even supposed to be in this tournament. At this point I could probably watch an entire match that is just Honma missing head butts. The crowd did their best to make this match better than it was. They love Honma and he does such a great job putting over other people’s offense but I don’t know I just wasn’t into it. Nagata wins with the backdrop driver with a bridge for the pinfall victory.

Block A: Shinsuke Nakamuara (0-1-0, 0) v. Davey Boy Smith Jr. (0-0-0, 0): I haven’t really read reviews of the show yet because I’m writing these thoughts while I watch Day 2, so I might be on an island with this thinking but I loved this match. Davey Boy Jr., more than held his own in this match and did a great job of pinballing Nakamura around the ring for long stretches of the match. Even though Nakamura won the match I don’t think Smith Jr., looked bad and in fact I’d argue that he looked spectacular in this match — the exact opposite of how I felt about Archer in his loss to Naito. Nakamura dug deep in this one and withstood everything that Smith threw at him, the fact that Smith Jr., was able to lay into Nakamura so much and really beat him up helped pay off the face burst at the end which was sold even better when Smith Jr., kicked out of the first Boma Ye. It took two Boma Ye’s to put down Davey Boy Smith Jr., and honestly even in losing I came away from that match looking forward to seeing more of him.

Block B: Toru Yano (1-0-0, 2) v. AJ Styles (0-1-0, 0): It’s somewhat comforting that AJ Styles has the exact same reaction to Toru Yano that I do which is sort of head scratching confusion. I liked this match because it was the IWGP Heavyweight Champion against Toru Yano, and AJ Styles dominated and won clean. The only moment of real note came on a near fall by Yano on a quick roll up, playing off his victory over Suzuki on Day 1, but AJ blocking the second attempt into the Styles Clash was perfect and this was a good reminder that AJ Styles is for all intents and purposes the top dog in the New Japan yard. I will comment that even though the roll through to the Styles Clash was a bit ugly, I give AJ credit because when he rolled Yano over for the pin he was so close to the ropes that it looked like Yano’s hand might go under the ropes, so AJ positioned himself to hold Yano’s hand away from the ropes to complete the pin — that’s professional work right there.

Block B: Hiroyoshi Tenzan (1-0-0, 2) v. Kazuchika Okada (1-0-0, 2): Wait, was the purpose of this match to make Tenzan look a lot like Yano because he kind of looked completely overwhelmed in this match to me. I am sort of feelin’ Tenzan right now, I loved him breaking away from a Rainmaker Lariat by headbutting Okada in the face, but other than that most of this felt like a vicious beating by the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Even when Tenzan hooked in the Anaconda Vice, which helped him win on Day 1 I never thought he belonged in the same ring as Okada.

Block B: Togi Makabe (0-1-0, 0) v. Karl Anderson (0-1-0, 0): This is another example of a match getting some added heat because of blood. Early on Anderson busted Makabe’s mouth open so he had that pink smile throughout that always makes a match feel a little more intense (as I said during the Ishii opener). The problem I have with this match is that it built up nicely and then ended, like abruptly ended with Makabe hitting the King Kong Knee and pinning Anderson. It all felt rushed and the ended really let me down.

Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi (1-0-0, 2) v. Doc Gallows (0-1-0, 0): Watching Doc Gallows come to the ring something strikes me, nobody current in the Bullet Club makes a convincing finger gun. Every one of them has these limp, tired, bored looking finger guns and Anderson of course has no concept of what a machine gun firing would look like, it’s all very distracting. Devitt used to commit to the finger gun — we miss you Prince Devitt. This match involved my favorite New Japan trope, red sleeve referee watching Doc Gallows hit someone with a steel chair and just shaking his head in disapproval. Does Doc Gallows have distractingly thin legs? Gallows did a good job of putting a beating on Tanahashi which made the baby face comeback more appealing. It took two high fly flow’s to put Gallows down. I’m not going to revisit this match by any means but it was perfectly acceptable and a decent way to the end the second day of the tournament.

With that, day two of the tournament ends with Tanahashi in the ring celebrating a victory over a Bullet Club member, after Okada received similar treatment on Day 1. I was disappointed not to see Shibata on Day 2 after his excellent performance against Nakamura on the first day of the event, but I do think that having the extra time off for performers will keep guys fresh and healthy through the duration of an otherwise relentless schedule.

BLOCK A

Shelton Benjamin (4)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (4)
Bad Luck Fale (2)
Satoshi Kojima (2)
Katsuyori Shibata (2)
Tomohiro Ishii (2)
Yuji Nagata (2)
Shinsuke Nakamura (2)
Doc Gallows (0)
Tomoaki Honma (0)
Davey Boy Smith Jr. (0)

BLOCK B

Hirooki Goto (4)
Kazuchika Okada (4)
Yujiro Takahashi (2)
Toru Yano (2)
Hioyoshi Tenzan (2)
Togi Makabe (2)
Tetusyo Naito (2)
AJ Styles (2)
Karl Anderson (0)
Lance Archer (0)
Minoru Suzuki (0)

NJPW “G1 Climax 24″ Day 1 Reviewed

I’m posting this review a little bit late as Day 2 has already concluded and by the time I actually finish this review, Day 3 will probably be in progress. I had always intended on reviewing the entire G1 tournament but then my son was born on July 21, 2014 and I fell two days behind. Soooooo, I’m playing catch up. Whenever I actually get “caught up” these reviews will probably take on a more comprehensive feel but keep in mind that I watched Day 1 from a rocking chair in the Mother/Baby room at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester and I watched Day 2 from my couch after my two children and wife all went to bed, so my thoughts are a bit scrambled.

  • Bad Luck Fale d. Tomohiro Ishii (Block A): The opening match of the tournament is an interesting bout because both of these guys are legitimately solid choices to emerge from Block A. Fale is being pushed to the moon right now after a stretcher job victory over Shinsuke Nakamura to become the IWGP Intercontinental Champion and Ishii has been having match of the year quality matches with just about everyone. This match gives you a decent idea of which of the two is more likely to come out of Block A as Fale dispatched Ishii relatively easily with one of the best finishers in wrestling right now, the Bad Luck Fall.
  • Shelton Benjamin d. Luke Gallows (Block A): Raise your hand if you thought that Shelton Benjamin and Festus would be meeting in the first round of the most prestigious heavyweight tournament in the world? I remain nonplussed by Gallows and Benjamin is always a mixed bag for me. I didn’t hate anything I saw in this match but I’m not going to check it out again.
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan d. Karl Anderson (Block B): Another match that I could take or leave. I don’t particularly understand the appeal of Tenzan, or Anderson for that matter. I don’t think the Machine Gun has a run in him like he made last year and Tenzan certainly isn’t going to wind up winning the tournament but it was interesting to see one half of the NWA World Tag Team Champions submit one half of the IWGP Tag Team Champions.
  • Satoshi Kojima d. Yuji Nagata (Block A): I showed this match to my wife, she thought Nagata looked very old, so take that for what it’s worth. I actually really enjoyed this match and lately I’ve found myself more and more invested in Kojima. I think this tournament could do wonders for him. You always know what you’re going to get out of Nagata and even though it feels weird that he just dropped the GHC Championship he’s certainly going to take a ton of pinfalls in this tournament block.
  • Toru Yano d. Minoru Suzuki (Block B): Enough with these two please? Yano with a quick roll up to get the win in match 75 of their best of 225 series.
  • Yujiro Takahashi d. Tetsuya Naito (Block B): I know there is someone out there that loves Takahashi but I am not that person. At one point he appeared to just forget what he was supposed to do and wound up dropping Naito right on the crown of his head — thankfully Naito wasn’t killed in the process but he did ultimately succumb to the Miami Shine and Takahashi continues his inexplicable rise through the ranks of New Japan.
  • Hirooki Goto d. Togi Makabe (Block B): This match began the string of amazing matches to end the show. The near falls towards the finish of this match sold me on it and I was way invested by the time it ended. Really the only problem with this match is that it came at the front end of such a strong ending that nobody will remember it happened in two weeks.
  • Tanahashi d. Tomoaki Honma (Block A): Holy Honma! So this match was supposed to be Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi but I honestly think this was a better match. There was a moment here where Honma goes for his ridiculous diving/falling headbutt and misses. The referee standing just off to the side just stands next to the downed Honma shaking his head in disappointment, it was glorious and hilarious and everything I want out of a Honma match. I loved everything about this and I am so happy that Honma got a spot in the tournament if he’s going to put matches like this one together.
  • Katsuyori Shibata d. Shinsuke Nakamura (Block A): This match. This match. This match. If there is one match every night of the G1 that is the equivalent of this match than this is going to be the greatest tournament that has ever happened. I honestly never think about Shibata until I’m watching a match like this and suddenly all I can think is that there is absolutely nobody on the New Japan roster who is better than Shibata. This match was awesome and maybe it was sleep deprivation but it felt like Shibata handily beat Nakamura and absolutely announced himself as a legitimate threat to win the tournament.
  • Kazuchika Okada d. AJ Styles (Block B): This had to happen. Styles has basically beaten Okada at every turn using outside shenanigans and clean as a whistle, if Okada didn’t win this match he’d never be seen as a legitimate threat to Styles again. I thought this was a solid effort and I even understood having Takahashi show up to interject himself into the proceedings — before that we had a completely clean night where other than Takahashi the Bullet Club was beaten relatively easily. But Okada overcame the odds, tossed Takahashi from the ring and hit the Rainmaker lariat for a huge win to kick off the tournament. I still think that Okada is going to win the G1 this year to set up a rematch with Styles where he takes the belt from him and I think this win goes a long way towards building that up.

BLOCK A

Shelton Benjamin (2)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2)
Bad Luck Fale (2)
Satoshi Kojima (2)
Katsuyori Shibata (2)
Tomohiro Ishii (0)
Shinsuke Nakamura (0)
Doc Gallows (0)
Tomoaki Honma (0)
Davey Boy Smith Jr. (0)

BLOCK B

Hirooki Goto (2)
Kazuchika Okada (2)
Yujiro Takahashi (2)
Toru Yano (2)
Hioyoshi Tenzan (2)
Togi Makabe (0)
Tetusyo Naito (0)
AJ Styles (0)
Karl Anderson (0)
Lance Archer (0)
Minoru Suzuki (0)

Beyond Wrestling “Americanrana 14″ Preview: Drew Gulak v. Tommaso Ciampa

Beyond Wrestling’s biggest show of the year and arguably the biggest independent wrestling show on the East Coast this year takes place from Fete Music on July 27th. If you haven’t already picked up your tickets, the company is trying to #SellOutFete and move 400 tickets to the show, they’re about half way to the goal and if you’re thinking about attending you should totally grab you tickets right now. Instead of doing one lengthy preview for the show I’m going to preview one match per day in advance of the event.

Part 1: Kimber Lee v. Silver Ant

Part 2: Ryan Rush v. Brian Myers

Part 3: Eric Corvis v. Jimmy Jacobs

Part 4: Team TREMENDOUS v. Best Friends

Up next it’s the European Rounds match between Drew Gulak and Tommaso Ciampa.

INTRODUCTIONS

Drew Gulak: I haven’t talked about the points standings at all in these previews but Drew Gulak is the highest rated wrestler on the Beyond Wrestling roster and it’s not even that close. There are no titles in Beyond Wrestling so he isn’t the champion, but he is essentially the King of the Mountain. Gulak made his Fete Music debut for Beyond at the first “Americanrana” where he went toe to toe with Chris Dickinson. He returned at “Point of No Return” as Biff Busick’s partner against the Dojo Bros. He’s wrestled Ciampa once before at Fete, but he’s also tangled with Biff Busick (at CZW “To Infinity…”), Kevin Steen (at “Feeding Frenzy”) and Kimber Lee (at “Unbreakable”). Gulak has also been involved in the Secret Shows and is an all around great performer.

Tommaso Ciampa: Ciampa debuted in Beyond Wrestling rockin’ a Dan Marjerle jersey at “Point of No Return” and had a war with Chris Dickinson at “Tournament for Tomorrow II.” Ciampa has wrestled Gulak once before at Fete Music and also had a pretty intense stand off with Gulak at a Secret Show following a Ciampa/Ryan Rush match. Ciampa is very familiar to the Fete Music crowd though.

RELEVANT HISTORY

This is one of those matches with some history. So Gulak and Ciampa had a “Submission Match” at “CRITICAL! Acclaim” that included the picture you’re seeing above of Gulak being choked out by Ciampa’s knee brace. I missed “Critical! Acclaim” live but watched it on tape immediately upon it becoming available and I thought their first meeting was amazing. For purposes of this preview, here is my review of the first Gulak/Ciampa meeting:

Let me talk about that submission match for a second. So the rumor is that the live crowd hated the submission match and neither Drew Gulak or Tomasso Ciampa were happy with it when it ended. When I watched the match on video I L-O-V-E-D it. Honestly I think it was the best match on the card and it’s not really that close. I am so digging what Drew Gulak is doing right now, the guy is literally on a roll that is tough to match having amazing technical, hard hitting matches with everyone from Timothy Thatcher to Ciampa. The way this match was laid out – and the way Ciampa wrestled it was excellent. Ciampa is a brute and he hit as hard as he could, but he broke out some awesome spots including an amazing Rings of Saturn using his knee brace (which had been ripped off) as added leverage.  I also loved that Gulak had a game plan and stuck to it – he focused on the weak knee of Ciampa and that weakness ultimately led to Gulak getting the win. I flippin’ loved this match and if the live crowd didn’t that’s too bad I hope they revisit it on video because it was excellent.

The two had a further interaction at a #SecretShow following Ciampa’s victory over Ryan Rush. As Ciampa was leaving the ringside area he slapped Gulak right in the face who was sitting by the curtain. I have heard that it wasn’t planned and that Gulak was none-to-pleased by the slap but who knows when you’re being worked. Either way there is some history here that should play into the match.

THE STAKES

The weird thing is that the Submission Match seemed to favor Gulak (and he won) and the European Rounds match seems to play right into Gulak’s style as well. I haven’t seen a ton of information on the rounds for this match so I won’t speculate as to how long the bout will be, but the added stipulation of judged rounds like European style wrestling will be a very interesting. I think the stakes for Ciampa are pretty clear – he hasn’t been able to beat Gulak yet and now he’s getting a chance to beat him, in a match that seems prefectly tailored to Gulak’s style. A win for Ciampa would absolutely validate his technical prowess but would also erase some of the bad taste in his mouth from the submission match loss back at “CRITICAL! Acclaim.” For Gulak that stakes are always the same – he’s the top ranked wrestler in Beyond which makes him the standard bearer. I’ve said before that Gulak hasn’t been one of the “break out” Beyond stars, he isn’t in the same group as JT Dunn, Biff Busick, Kimber Lee — but I think he exists on a level above them, as the guy who the rest of the promotion kind of flows around. He represents the company very well, and because this match is being contested in a style that seems to favor him — he has the pressure of holding up his end of the bargain with this one.

PREDICTION

A lot of feuds that have been built up over time are ending at “Americanrana 14″ and I’m not sure this will be one of them. This feels like the kind of thing that needs a third act, so give me Ciampa to win but maybe not on points, could be a KO to set up some type of wild brawl down the road to blow off this feud.

Beyond Wrestling “Americanrana 14″ Preview: Team TREMENDOUS v. Best Friends

Beyond Wrestling’s biggest show of the year and arguably the biggest independent wrestling show on the East Coast this year takes place from Fete Music on July 27th. If you haven’t already picked up your tickets, the company is trying to #SellOutFete and move 400 tickets to the show, they’re about half way to the goal and if you’re thinking about attending you should totally grab you tickets right now. Instead of doing one lengthy preview for the show I’m going to preview one match per day in advance of the event.

Part 1: Kimber Lee v. Silver Ant

Part 2: Ryan Rush v. Brian Myers

Part 3: Eric Corvis v. Jimmy Jacobs

Up next, it’s the tag team match that everyone is talking about — well, okay, maybe it’s the *other* tag team match that everyone is talking about featuring the most popular tag team in Beyond Wrestling and a guy making his Beyond Wrestling debut. It’s Team TREMENDOUS against the Best Friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTIONS

Team TREMENDOUS: Dan Barry tells an interesting story about how the pairing of Bill Carr and Dan Barry wasn’t even supposed to appear on Beyond Wrestling’s “We Care A Lot” they were a last minute replacement. Due to their excellent performance at that show they secured a booking as part of the tag team 4-Way at “Americanrana” and proceeded to steal the show. Team TREMENDOUS has been off and running since as maybe not the “break out” success tag team of the past year, but certainly the most popular tag team in Beyond Wrestling. The Juicy Product might have all the gold, but only one team has had the crowd start a chance because a member bought a new shirt. Team TREMENDOUS has been in the ring with everyone that is anyone coming through the door in Beyond Wrestling including a CZW tag team title match with the Beaver Boys, a match with the *then* ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon and 3/4 of Mount Rushmore. This time out it’s the highly entertaining and wildly popular duo of Chuck Taylor and his best friend Trent Barreta.

Best Friends: Trent Barreta is making his Beyond Wrestling debut, so he has no history with the company. Chuckie T made his debut at “Point of No Return” and discovered a terrible secret about Eric Corvis’ handbook. Taylor also popped back up in Beyond at “Feeding Frenzy” when he stepped up and took the “secret challenger” spot against Kimber Lee. Even though they have no history in Beyond together, Best Friends are one of the most popular tag teams in the country right now and have already locked down BOLA 2014 honors, so a match with Team TREMENDOUS isn’t exactly the most significant pairing they’ve had this year.

RELEVANT HISTORY

None. Though Dan Barry did team with the Swamp Monster back at “Point of No Return” and you know how Chuck Taylor feels about the Swamp Monster.

THE STAKES

It’s easy to suggest that the Juicy Product has benefited the most from Beyond Wrestling over the past year but I think much of their success has to do with Combat Zone Wrestling as much as anything else. Even Biff Busick who has been an absolute stud for Beyond Wrestling can probably credit National Pro Wrestling Day and the “Wrestling Is…” family of promotions for getting his name out over the last year. Nobody has benefited more than Dan Barry and Bill Carr through their status as Beyond Wrestling tag team aces. Even though the Juicy Product hold belts up and down the East Coast there is a reason that when the Young Bucks came to Beyond Wrestling it was Team TREMENDOUS that they ran into first — because Barry and Carr are the bell weather team in the company. Whether it’s Da Hoodz or reDRagon, Team TREMENDOUS is capable of putting on a great match with anyone — so if you’re looking for a stand out match, you throw someone in the ring with Barry and Carr and see what type of magic happens.  What’s at stake in this match for Barry and Carr is that sooner or later someone is going to have to acknowledge that while they do wrestle a comedy style at times, Team TREMENDOUS deserves to be booked anywhere in the country and the fact that these guys are wrestling in places other than Beyond Wrestling (and occasionally CZW) is a crime. Jokingly during their match with the Bucks and Steen, Barry and Carr did their interrogation spot and asked Steen how they can be booked in PWG — a great showing against the Best Friends would be a solid step in that direction. For the Best Friends, they have nothing to prove. Nobody is afraid that they won’t have a great match, the crowd will love them, they’ll sell a ton of t-shirts and everyone will go home happy. Sometimes being one of the best national acts in the country is as easy as that.

PREDICTION

This is one of those beautiful matches where neither team actually needs to win. Nobody is harmed if they lose, nobody really gains anything by winning. The only purpose for this match is for four guys who are fully capable of putting together an amazing match to go out and do just that. When reDRagon was the ROH World Tag Team Champions, Team TREMENDOUS beat them so adding the BOLA2014 winners to their mantle would really add to Barry and Carr’s cache plus I really don’t think Taylor and Baretta have any reason to do anything but put over two guys trying to break nationally so gimme Team TREMENDOUS in the match of the night.

Beyond Wrestling “Americanrana 14″ Preview: Eric Corvis v. Jimmy Jacobs

Beyond Wrestling’s biggest show of the year and arguably the biggest independent wrestling show on the East Coast this year takes place from Fete Music on July 27th. If you haven’t already picked up your tickets, the company is trying to #SellOutFete and move 400 tickets to the show, they’re about half way to the goal and if you’re thinking about attending you should totally grab you tickets right now. Instead of doing one lengthy preview for the show I’m going to preview one match per day in advance of the event.

Part 1: Kimber Lee v. Silver Ant

Part 2: Ryan Rush v. Brian Myers

Up next, it’s the feud that has taken a very strange journey to get here but we’re finally going to see Eric Corvis seek his revenge against Jimmy Jacobs in a First Blood Match.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Eric Corvis: When you look at the guys who “represent” Beyond Wrestling there isn’t anyone on the roster with a better claim to the throne than Eric Corvis. He’s been around since this promotion was having matches in a storage unit in Ohio and he’s still here. Corvis is a funny case because he’s sort of loved because he’s so wonderfully hateable and the crowd hasn’t really come around to him being the “good guy” just yet. Corvis once became so incensed by the Fete Music crowd chanting “nice gears, dick!” at him that he quit the company. That didn’t last very long but he stormed out, took his book of dicks with him and went home. He ultimately jumped back into the ring because Chris Dickinson attempted to take the mantle of “Beyond Wrestling Rep” which Corvis took exception too, the rest hasn’t turned out to well for him.

Jimmy Jacobs: You’re not officially a meaningful independent wrestling organization until Jimmy Jacobs joins (or creates) a heel stable. Jacobs is one of those guys who was so fantastic as an insufferable twit ten years ago that I’ve never come around to him. Seriously Emo-Jimmy Jacobs singing songs to Lacey in a Midwestern hotel room is one of my the best/awful things that has ever happened in wrestling. Jacobs always finds himself leading a group of wrestlers who all move on to bigger and better things and leave him around to try and figure out what to do next. The crazy thing is that Jacobs is really good in the ring, can talk and has a ton of charisma if he was a foot taller he’d be holding the Money in the Bank briefcase right now as Seth Rollins is really just doing a Jimmy Jacobs impression. Jacobs has had one match in Beyond Wrestling, he seemed to be sick and wrestled a “meh” match with Michael Elgin, this is the match we really wanted though.

 

RELEVANT HISTORY

Jimmy Jacobs stabbed Eric Corvis in the face at “Feeding Frenzy.” Do we need more relevant history than that?

 

THE STAKES

This match is part of what ends with Elgin/Dickinson because it has grown from that situation. I’ll talk a lot more about the Beyond Wrestling/ROH invasion type story that has gone on over the past year when I talk about Elgin/Dickinson but nothing really represents that dichotomy better than this match. Think about this, Jimmy Jacobs in a lucha mask springs out of the crowd at “Feeding Frenzy” to help Chris Dickinson and Jaka take out Michael Elgin. Eric Corvis breaks in and calls out Dickinson for his shit, leaves the balcony, comes to the ring and then gets brutally beaten by Dickinson, Jaka and a spike wielding Jacobs while Michael Elgin is allowed to escape through the crowd (I’m still not over Elgin bailing like that). Corvis fights valiantly but winds up getting spiked in the head, bleeding everywhere and wanders out of Fete Music with a comically oversized bandage on his head holding his brain inside his skull. The issue in this match is simple — it’s for the soul of “Beyond Wrestling.” I love Michael Elgin and I think he’s been a valiant banner carrier for the company, but he’s the ROH World Champion so he isn’t allowed to fight to defend the honor of Beyond Wrestling. Eric Corvis can — and Eric Corvis will. At “Americanrana” Corvis stands up for all the guys in the back who bled for a company that wrestled in front of zero fans and posted videos on YouTube that got hundred of hits. A guy like Jacobs shows up out of the blue with all the history and gets a booking he’s taking it from a guy like Corvis — this match is personal for Corvis and if “the soul of Beyond Wrestling” isn’t high enough stakes for you I’m not sure I can help ya.

PREDICTION

Corvis has to win. Let me reiterate, Eric Corvis HAS TO win this match. Jimmy Jacobs is a wonderful heel because it’s so satisfying to watch him lose. This match should be wild. I kind of hate the “First Blood” stipulation because Corvis should want to murder Jacobs, it should be a “Last Blood” match, just spiking Jacobs and winning the match will be satisfying but it might not be as satisfying as a more prolonged beating. Jacobs is so good and Corvis really has been in a grove lately that this has the chance to steal the show. It’s also a chance for Corvis to have a signature match at Fete, which I don’t think he’s had yet. It’ll be close, and there might be some outside interference but at the end of the day Eric Corvis MUST win.

Beyond Wrestling “Americanrana ’14″ Preview: Brian Myers v. Ryan Rush

Beyond Wrestling’s biggest show of the year and arguably the biggest independent wrestling show on the East Coast this year takes place from Fete Music on July 27th. If you haven’t already picked up your tickets, the company is trying to #SellOutFete and move 400 tickets to the show, they’re about half way to the goal and if you’re thinking about attending you should totally grab you tickets right now. Instead of doing one lengthy preview for the show I’m going to preview one match per day in advance of the event.

 

If you missed Part 1: Kimber Lee v. Silver Ant

 

Up next, the Student vs Teacher match between Brian Myers and Ryan Rush.

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTIONS

Brian Myers: Formerly Curt Hawkins, Myers wasted no time following his release from the WWE in jumping right into the proverbial independent wrestling fire. Myers was released from the WWE on June 12th and was all-but confirmed to appear at “Uncomfortable” before the end of that night. Myers had been spotted around Fete Music before he was released and made it known that wrestling in front of the Fete crowd was something that he was very much looking forward to upon his release from the WWE. His debut for the company came against AR Fox in a match that confirmed to any skeptics that Myers was going to slide right into the independent scene seamlessly. He’s already been announced as a participant in PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2014 which all but confirms that the independent scene is ready to welcome him with open arms.

Ryan Rush: Rush “Adrenaline” Rush is the future. I’m not so much of a fan boy that I’m not willing to admit that Rush has had some dubious appearances in Beyond Wrestling to date. As most people remember only their most recent exposure to something, most people reading this will recall that Rush is the guy who almost slipped off the top turnbuckle and shoot hurt himself at “Uncomfortable” in that eight man tag match. He also had a less then stellar performance in an opening four way at “CRITICAL! Acclaim.” However, he had a great match with Tomasso Ciampa at a #SecretShow and he has all off the tools to be a breakout star for Beyond Wrestling if this current crop of breakout stars move on to brighter pastures.

 

RELEVANT HISTORY

I’ll let Ryan Rush, from Issue #16 of the Beyond Wrestling newsletter explain why this match is so important:

Saying this is the single most important match I’ve had on the most important show I’ve ever been on wouldn’t be an overstatement by any means. The Beyond fans who were either at or have bought the raw footage from Uncomfortable saw me at ringside banging the mat rooting for The Prince of Queens Brian Myers. It’s pretty obvious Brian is somewhat of a mentor in my career right now and getting to step across the ring from him in a match is a big deal considering what he’s done and more importantly all that he will do. Last month was just a glimpse of how good he really is. Now throw in the fact that it’ll be under the bright lights at Fete on what I’m confident will be the best wrestling show on the East coast this year and you can kind of see why this matters so much.

 

STAKES

Pretty obvious that this is a huge opportunity for Ryan Rush to prove himself. He’s a CREATE-A-PRO guy from NYWC. This is a great chance for him to measure himself against someone who he would like to usurp on the scene someday. For Myers at this point in his career he doesn’t have anything to personally prove, but as someone who spent about a decade in the WWE returning to the independent scene is a daunting task and every time he hits a ring these days he’s trying to show the independent wrestling scene that he has what it takes to fit into the “indy style.” Not everyone successfully makes the transition and unless you’re a former world champion who is doing “legend” appearances you need to prove that you’ve got the chops in the ring to keep getting these types of bookings. Myers did a very good job against AR Fox, but Fox is such a pro that anyone can look like a million bucks with him. The question becomes whether or not Myers can carry someone who isn’t as well known to a match that fits into the parameters of what the crowd at Fete Music is looking for.

PREDICTION

I think we’ll get a very competitive match that ends with Brian Myers getting the victory. Student vs Teacher matches don’t work if the Student comes out on top right off the bat. Remember that Kimber Lee didn’t exactly kick Drew Gulak to death to win their recent match at “Unbreakable” — she got a roll up and left the door open for a future bout. The big win for Rush won’t be getting the pinfall, it’ll be in having a competitive match with someone the stature of Myers and doing so in a way that leaves no question in fans minds that Rush deserves to continue having singles matches at Fete Music as one of the new foundation pieces of Beyond Wrestling moving forward.

Beyond Wrestling “Americanrana ’14″ Preview: Kimber Lee v. Silver Ant

Beyond Wrestling’s biggest show of the year and arguably the biggest independent wrestling show on the East Coast this year takes place from Fete Music on July 27th. If you haven’t already picked up your tickets, the company is trying to #SellOutFete and move 400 tickets to the show, they’re about half way to the goal and if you’re thinking about attending you should totally grab you tickets right now. Instead of doing one lengthy preview for the show I’m going to preview one match per day in advance of the event and we’re going to start with the most recently announced bout pitting Beyond Wrestling’s favorite female grappler Kimber Lee and the artist formerly known as Green Ant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTIONS

Kimber Lee: There is no female wrestler more beloved in Beyond Wrestling than Kimber Lee, in fact you could make a compelling argument that Kimber is one of the Top 5 most important and most “over” wrestlers that appears regularly at Fete Music. She made her Beyond Wrestling debut at “Tournament For Tomorrow II.” She wrestled five times over the course of the weekend including two great matches with JT Dunn with whom she has shared a pretty intense rivalry, and an amazing match with Allysin Kaye that you should absolutely check out as soon as it becomes available. Kimber Lee is a great striker who has gone toe to toe with basically everyone in Beyond Wrestling. She’s wrestled AR Fox, Dunn, Candice LaRae , Drew Gulak and Chuck Taylor just to name a few. She’s beloved by the Fete Music crowd so much so that it wouldn’t surprise me one bit for this match to open the show. Kimber is a great striker who really knows how to sell a beating and she is a very interesting opponent for Silver Ant.

 

Silver Ant: The man formerly known as Green Ant also made his Fete Music debut at Tournament For Tomorrow II getting to the finals of the TFT2 before falling to JT Dunn. Silver made one return to Fete after that to wrestle the Juicy Product at “Unbreakable” in a match that I absolutely thought I’d love (and didn’t). Silver Ant is always going to be a popular guy in the room though because of his history in Chikara and because he’s a fantastic wrestler.

 

RELEVANT HISTORY

In Beyond Wrestling, none.

 

THE MATCH

Nothing at stake but bragging rights. This is one of the few matches at “Americanrana ’14″ that doesn’t have a history heading into the event. I acknowledge that these two may have crossed paths in the past but for purposes of Beyond Wrestling they have no real beef with each other.  For a show that is stacked with matches that have been built for the better part of a year it’s this match that has the sneaky chance to be a show stealer. For those who haven’t been “all in” with Beyond Wrestling I cannot overstate how important Kimber Lee is to that room. It’s very hard to make Silver Ant the “heel” in any sense of the word but between these two I just can’t see anyone booing Kimber. I’m expecting a good technical match – Kimber Lee is a striker, but Green Ant is such a great mat technician that I think it’ll give Kimber Lee a chance to show off a side that we don’t always see from her. I had actually expected the match between Kimber and Drew Gulak to be more European mat based than it was, and I expect that this match will deliver in a somewhat similar fashion, meaning that I expect that it’ll be a mat based match but it’ll likely wind up being a hard hitting affair. I’m excited to see if Silver Ant is wrestling any differently with the color change.

 

PREDICTION

I think Kimber Lee gets the win and she continues to move forward as one of the best wrestlers on the regular Beyond Wrestling roster.