Beyond Wrestling “Hit & Run” (January 31, 2015)
Available: BEYONDEMAND and Smart Mark Video
AR Fox with the Chile Lucha Libre Championship comes out to apologize to the crowd that he can’t perform tonight. Shynron comes out to confront AR Fox. Shynron demands that Fox hand over the belt. Fox asks Shynron to shake his hand – he does, Fox tries to attack, Shynron fights him off and Fox and bolts.
Dave Cole v. Davey Vega: I wanted to like this a lot more than I actually did. For what it was, it was perfectly fine – and the finish was pretty good. But, as a show opener this was a bit lacking. I liked the story of Cole and Vega being the first ever Beyond main event, and now it’s opening the first show of 2015, but I’ve seen both guys perform better than they did here. There were times when everything kind of clicked here, specifically, Vega with a dive to the outside into a tornado DDT on the floor, and the finish with Dave Cole hitting the Dave Cole Bomb off the top. I know it’s probably unfair to hold these guys to the standard of other Beyond Wrestling openers, but this was a perfectly fine match, that just felt like it lacked the appropriate spark for a Fete Music opener.
Gentlemens’ Club (Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy) v. Team Create-A-Pro (John Silver & Ryan Galeone): I’m not sure you’ve really lived until you watch Chuck Taylor and John Silver wrestle on their knees. I honestly can’t tell if Orange Cassidy is the worst or greatest professional wrestler alive. His style to me appears to be almost impossible. I mean, when everyone else in the ring is going at full speed, and you’re operating at like 30% speed, but you’re still always in the right spots, that’s impressive. Cassidy probably doesn’t get enough credit for how well he adapts this gimmick to a wrestling match. Cassidy also has the ability to make everyone else look great – he makes Ryan Galeone look like a million bucks in this match – the single arm press into the jackhammer was awesome by Galeone. This match also included one of my favorite wrestling tropes – the, I’m blinded by a foreign substance so I just suplex everyone in the ring, including my own partner thing. The finish was a bit distracting as it did appear that Orange Cassidy might have died on a jump to the outside where nobody caught him and he spiked himself, but Taylor wound up hitting John Silver with the Awful Waffle and picked up the win for the Gentlemens’ Club. After the match, Jimmy Preston shows up, joins forces with Ryan Galeone and they leave together.
Anthony Stone v. Matt Cross: I’m pretty sure the story here is, Stone was basically the MVP of Beyond Wrestling in 2014, so they asked him who he wanted to wrestle, and he said Matt Cross – so here we are. These two men have wonderful beards. Apparently the theme tonight is “not catching people” as Anthony Stone hits an Arabian press to the floor and M-Dogg appeared to make no effort at all to catch him. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that watching M-Dogg cartwheel across the top rope to avoid Stone in this match didn’t make me squeal in delight. My problem with this match is – I’m not entirely sure Matt Cross was “trying”. The whole thing felt like it was happening under water. Stone was doing his part, and it’s possible that Cross was holding back because he didn’t know Stone and wasn’t sure if Stone could keep up with him, but everything that Cross did felt like it took maybe one or two beats longer than it needed, and it made the match feel very disjointed. I’m also pretty sure Stone hurt himself during the match and that slowed things down as well. While there were parts that will take your breath away with Cross and his athleticism, the match itself didn’t flow very well and the ending, with Stone hitting the running double knees for the three count felt odd. It’s a huge win for Stone though over a guy that is a pretty big deal.
Matt Tremont v. Rickey Shane Page: Does this match feature two big dudes sitting in steel chairs in the middle of a wrestling ring, punching each other in the face? Yes, yes it does. It also features Rickey Shane Page being superplexed onto two chairs that had been set up back to back – which looked vicious. This was not a technical masterpiece, but it sure was two dudes beating the tar paper out of each other, and I approve of that. Tremont continues to be one of the best features of every Beyond Wrestling show. RSP was excellent here as well, and the crowd loved him for his performance. After the match as RSP is getting a “please come back” chant, the Crusade for Change comes out and attacks him. Davey Vega tries to make the save, but Darius Carter takes him out.
Da Hoodz v. The Hooligans: This match features one of the least believable Code Red’s that has ever been hit in a match. Kris Pyro hits one of the Cutter brothers with it – from a full stop. The physics of the move made so little sense that it kind of distracted me from everything else that was happening. Basically Buff Bagwell hit a Code Red, and now it shows up five or six times on every independent wrestling show – it’s not necessary guys and it almost never looks natural. Ultimately Da Hoodz pick up the victory. The match was fine, but like everything else so far during this show it just didn’t have much flow.
Shynron v. Fire Ant: Athletically there is no denying that Shynron is amazing. However, this match (like much of the night) felt a bit like a choppy mess. In order to truly engage Shynron in a match, his opponents are required to do a lot of standing around, watching Shynron do something athletic before the move. That happens a couple of times here and it just takes me immediately out of a match. It know there is some level of suspension of disbelief required for all wrestling, but when Fire Ant just stands near the apron, holding a hand in front of his face and waiting for Shynron to do his “movez” – well, that isn’t great. There are other times where things happen in sequence and it feels less like a choreographed dance number, and more like a fight (which I’m relatively certain is the idea). In a match where both guys are capable of staggering feats of athleticism, the moment that got the crowd the most excited, was Kevin Quinn punching out AR Fox (not really, the coast to coast dropkick by Shynron was the best). Ultimately, Shynron wins with the 630 – I don’t want you to think I’m being overly negative, the stuff that was there was amazing, but sometimes it’s hard with Shynron to not just feel like you’re watching two guys hit their marks while doing pretty okay gymnastics. After the match AR Fox sneak attacks Shynron and beats the tar out of him. Building this feud has been one of the central features of this entire show, and this final beat down also features a Canadian Destroy (#2 on this show, so far) which is significantly more impressive than Kris Pyro’s – and this one is done by AR Fox’s wife. Fox then does the best heel thing ever and slides into the ring, steals Shynron’s mask and wears it while taunting the crowd. As far as heel shit, that’s about as devious as you can get in professional wrestling.
“Speedball” Mike Bailey v. Silver Ant: Here’s my issue, and I acknowledge that this problem is about me, and not really about what I’m watching, but when I watch wrestling, most of the time I don’t want to see the strings. So if you’re going to do a finishing sequence where Silver Ant is on all fours, Bailey runs across the ring, leaps off Silver Ant’s back, to the top rope, and hits a shooting star knee from the top — it better look fluid and natural, and not like Silver Ant is the dumbest motherfucker on the planet who just got stuck in a frozen animation of guy on all fours while Mike Bailey flails around on the turnbuckle. It happened roughly a million times during this show, but none of this is working for me right now. Thing’s just aren’t fluid. Moves are being set up in the most obvious way possible, and most of these matches feel like they involve one guy paused, in a completely unnatural position, waiting for the other guy to get into position to perform his move. It’s basically a wrestling video game, where there is a hitch in the animation so everything looks ridiculous. This match had some nice parts that I really enjoyed, but the parts that didn’t work took me out of the moment completely and ruined the rest of the experience for me. I get that sometimes you’re going to try stuff and it isn’t going to work, but you should also think about how something is going to seem before you do it – the end of this match was never going to work, ever, in any situation, and yet they tried it, and it looked bad and took me away from the moment and kind of ruined my whole mood. After the match Team Pazzuzu hit the ring and assault Bailey, which brings out the Canadian Quad, and we’re off and running with our next match.
Franky the Mobster, Buxx Belmar, Tabernak de Team v. Pinkie Sanchez, EYFBO, Jaka: This match featured another move that might have seemed good on paper, but in practice was just someone (in this case Mike Draztik) looking like a fucking fool on all fours waiting to have his partner powerbombed onto his stupid dog body. However, that being said, the rest of this match was delightful. Just a great mix of characters all working together in a really fun match. EYFBO and TBT are two of the best tag teams in this particular company and they were both great here. I honestly thought everyone was on point throughout this match. The comedy stuff worked for me, the power stuff was all on point. Other than the one moment that I mentioned earlier, I thought the match had a noticeable flow, and people were positioned correctly so that the moves transitioning from one to another never felt forced or stalled. Yeah, I can’t speak highly enough about this one – great work from everyone involved. Team Pazzuzu picked up the win after a Stereotypical Savage Splash from Jaka on Buxx Belmar.
David Starr v. Kimber Lee: You don’t see streamers in Beyond Wrestling very often, so Kimber Lee being showered with a TON of streamers is kind of a big deal. I want to live inside this match. On a show that was just littered with guys doing stupid shit, and taking forever to set everything up, Kim and Starr put on a clinic on “how to wrestle a grudge match.” This match had emotion, it had pace, it had PSYCHOLOGY which was completely missing from almost everything else on this show. I mean, get this — David Starr chops the support beam early in the show, injures his arm, AND THIS MATCH PLAYS OFF THAT IN THE FINISH! I know, the idea of that happening shouldn’t surprise me, and yet here I am. Starr goes for a big elbow drop, misses it, further injuring his arm, Kimber Lee locks in an arm bar and manages to force Starr to submit. This was a gorgeous match, and on a show that I was kind of starting to hate, it managed to avoid all of the stuff I had been complaining about. This was a match with emotion, that told a story and had flow — kudos to both Kim and David Starr for remembering the things that make people love wrestling. Also, David Starr hugging Kim and then superkicking her in the back of the head was glorious. AND the fact that he remembered to sell his arm injury during his shoving match with JT Dunn, just perfect, that’s a guy that knows how to do pro wrestling. Starr’s interaction with Hero and Dunn was also beautiful, and Hero’s discus elbow KO of Starr was a perfect way to end that segment.
Death by Elbow (JT Dunn/Chris Hero) v. Biff Busick & Drew Gulak: This match was so fucking fun. It’s not going to win any psychology awards, but man for like 20+ minutes these four guys just beat the snot out of each other in a highly entertaining fashion. Basically all of my complaints from the rest of this show were washed away during this match. I’m not a huge Chris Hero fan, and I could mention how he looked just absolutely terrible from a physical standpoint, but I don’t want to be labeled a “hater”. I can however acknowledge that Hero is a great professional wrestler, and he’s perfect in matches like this because he can help direct traffic and hold everything together — which is much easier when everyone else is doing their job at such a high level. Hero was actually the low point of this match for me. My biggest regret watching this thing, is that we will not be getting an extended JT Dunn/Biff Busick program in Beyond Wrestling. I had never really contemplated how perfectly their styles meshed before now, but man watching Biff ragdoll JT around a wrestling ring is something I wish I could enjoy more of, and who knows, maybe someday down the line, in a venue much bigger than Fete Music we can. The raw brutality on display here by Biff and Gulak is amazing, and they’re just so perfect working this type of style. I defy you to watch the last two minutes of this match, with Biff, holding Chris Hero’s face and slapping the shit out of him and not just be giddy and a bit mortified all at the same time. This match has so much good stuff going on that I never once recognized how long it was — which is the mark of a great match. Sometimes I’ll watch something that is 5 minutes that feels like 40, this was about 30 and felt like 12. It ended with an awesome visual or Biff kicking out of a bridge into a rear naked choke on Hero while Dunn watched helplessly from the ring apron in an ankle lock from Gulak. Good work all around.
Final Thoughts: This was a show that I was not enjoying for a LONG time. I don’t know what got into me. It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed a wrestling show, and actually it’s been awhile since I’ve watched a whole show start to finish – so maybe it’s a me problem, and not a Beyond Wrestling problem, but man I hated most of this show. But when things turned around, they really turned around. The last three matches saved this show for me — and actually would kick it from a pass, to a purchase. The main event specifically was really great, and we have so few Biff Busick in Fete Music moments left that him kicking away Chris Hero’s bridge and choking him out in the middle of the ring is worth the price of admission alone. The David Starr/Kimber Lee match was delightful, and Starr is such a good smarmy dick at the end, and the four on four match delivered. The rest of the show was pretty “meh” though I’ll never give a worst to Matt Tremont, so that match deserves to be mentioned as worthy of your time as well.
Now that Beyond Wrestling has launched their streaming service BEYONDEMAND I’m going to be reviewing all of the 2015 shows that I have missed. It’s been tough for me to spend much time watching wrestling lately as I have just been so nonplussed by everything that has been going on. Basically, I was in love with the G1 Climax tournament, then I went to Costa Rica and I haven’t watched wrestling since. Hopefully watching the slate of 2015 shows from Fete Music on Beyond’s new streaming service can rekindle that fire that I once had when I first walked into Fete at the original Americanrana.