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Superstar Sleeze

Beyond Wrestling: Unchartered Territory on IWTV

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Beyond Wrestling is a New England-based Independent that recently launched on a weekly TV show every Wednesday from 8pm-10pm Eastern on Independent Wrestling TV on April 3rd in Worcester, MA. 

I first heard of Beyond in 2014 with the rise of grapplefuck being popularized by the likes Biff Busick, Drew Gulak and Timothy Thatcher. I went to a smattering of Beyond shows all in Rhode Island. I dont know if started as a Rhode Island based promotion and moved to Worcester or what have you. I went to one of if not the last Biff Busick's shows on the independents which was a round robing amongst Busick, Gulak and Thatcher needless to say that was one of the best live shows I have ever attended. With Busick & Gulak's departure to WWE, work and a personal life, I stopped going to independent shows. 

I attended Beyond's New Year Eve show and had a good time even if I did make an ass out of myself vociferously booing & heckling Orange Cassidy. In my defense, I did catch on about halfway through the match that Orange Cassidy is very over and I just have to check my own personal feelings about the gimmick at the door & let everyone else have fun with it.  I made it a resolution to attend more live independent shows. 

I heard that Beyond would be starting a weekly TV series on Wednesdays in April in Worcester. My work is about halfway between Worcester and Boston and it seemed like a fun thing to do on a Wednesday so I bought the season pass. I have attended all three episodes. Here are my thought thus far. 

Overall, I have been very happy with all three episodes. I have enjoyed the wrestling and have enjoyed the commitment to traditional babyface/heel dynamics. Even though, I rarely know who anyone is I can easily figure out who the babyface and the heel is and follow along with the in-match narrative. 

The Core Four (Chris Dickinson, Joey Janela, David Starr & MJF):

So out of these four, the only I had ever seen before was David Starr who was on the Beyond shows I went to in 2015. I like his promo style a lot. He speaks with a lot of conviction and is readily hateable. He reminds me a lot of heel Shane Douglas on the mic, but has some more stooging elements in the ring that I enjoy. Also Do Ya Wanna Touch by Joan Jett is second greatest theme song of all time (The GOAT Theme Song goes to this SHIMMER Chick that uses Black Sabbath/Taylor Swift mash-up, ask Stacey (Jimmy Redman), she will tell you it is the GOAT)

MJF I was aware from the Stone Cold podcast. I was not in love with Stone Cold podcast because he tried to do it in gimmick, but at his core is a nice guy. He would try to give kudos to people and then work back into his gimmick. It caused weird inconsistencies. Stone Cold actually was a really good interviewer in helping him navigate that and also being along for the ride. I like the MJF gimmick. It is a tried & true pro wrestling gimmick that will never get old of the rich sissy that thinks he is better than everyone else because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. I mentioned this to Pete (aka Shoe) & Johnny P when I met them over Mania weekend that I think MJF plays a pro wrestling heel whereas I think David Starr comes off more organically as a prick.  Shoe disagreed with me he thinks Starr comes off as more over the top and forcing it. He thinks MJF is more natural.

I was aware of Joey Janela because of his Spring Break which I have never seen just thought it was a cool name for a show and from the Stone Cold podcast. I thought it was a strong episode of the show but I thought he was surprisingly humble & quiet. Chris Dickinson aka The Dirty Daddy is someone I have never heard of before.   

I think of them as the Core Four because they are the ones who have had storyline development week-to-week. David Starr wrestled the visiting Masato Tanaka in the first episode's main event. I thought this was the match of the night. Tanaka looked amazing. He is still one of the best verbal sellers of all time. You can really tell the difference between the undercard and the main event. Just how Masato Tanaka was able to show fire that really engaged the crowd and how good David Starr is at carrying himself as a heel. The Joey Janela surprise appearance to cost David Starr the match actually felt huge. Like I said, I barely know these characters but I could feel the heat. Janela definitely looks like a star and "The Bad Boy" moniker is a great one. Tanaka absolutely clocked Starr with a wicked chair shot to the back of the head. It looked brutal! Very electric end to show. I will be honest my memory is already hazy but I believe Dickinson had his six-man tag screwed up because of Starr and he also made an appearance during the main event. 

This led to the tag team main event the next week of Janela & Dickinson vs. Starr & MJF. I thought the promo segment in the middle of the show was excellent. Four unique and distinct characters that really mesh well together. I thought the tag team main event was again the best match of the night. The Dirty Daddy has totally won me over as my favorite wrestler on these shows. He is like a mini-Gronk, fun-loving, but a total asskicker in the ring. He hits hard, good seller and is very athletic. Janela showed me more in the way of personality and crowd interactions. I didnt think much of his in-ring work. MJF and Starr are just gold together. I see Modern Day Midnight Express with those two. They really could be the best heel tag team of the next day if they committed to working with each other full-time. 

The third episode they took a step back and let Orange Cassidy main event. Also, Starr & Janela did not appear. I though MJF and Dirty Daddy had easily the best match of any of the first three episodes. To me, it was the first truly great match produced by this show. The opening matwork was great. Dickinson was busting out Volk Han magic. MJF is such a great stooge. The arm psychology in the middle was excellent. MJF rocked both the work and the character aspects. Dirty Daddy sold well. I loved the double stomp to the arm when Dickinson had the ropes ala Smaurai/Otani. Dickinson showed great fire, loved the struggle over the belly to belly for Dickinson. The finish was great because these are your two most over acts there was NO reason for a clean finish instead they introduced MJF's Dynasty buddy, Richard Holliday. I attended two MLW shows over Mania weekend. I am a little bummed because I hope they dont drop the MJF/Starr pairing because Holliday is a step back. It does look to be headed in that direction as Y2J Jr. from MLW is debuting this coming week for Beyond. My only hope is that the Hart Foundation will show up at one point. Teddy Hart won me over huge during Mania Weekend and I think Brian Pillman Jr. is one of the best young talents out there. 

Go out of your way to check out the Dickinson/MJF match from Episode 3. 

Champion Orange Cassidy:

Their champion is Orange Cassidy. If you have seen Orange Cassidy and read my wrestling reviews, you know I am not going to like him much. The nonchalant attitude and treating wrestling like a joke is anathema to me. I will say this. He is incredibly over. So I will let people have their fun. It is also very impressive that he can run the ropes and do so many spots with his hands in his pockets. He does use his props well. Like when the heel goes after the sunglasses or he busts out the Orange Juice it does feel like a big deal. I just think the whole thing is really not that funny. Like slow motion spots or not selling holds are not funny and insult me as a fan. Other people dont feel that way and if I was the promoter I would push him too, but does not mean I have to like it. I finally did see an entertaining Orange Cassidy match against Kylie Rae. Kylie Rae is indy Bayley but even nerdier. She comes out to the Pokemon theme. The way I would describe is Bayley appeals to little girls and as creepy as it sounds Kylie Rae caters to the nerdy male demo. I thought the gimmicks did mes well and they came up with some cute spots. The best of which was the thumb war. The reason the Thumb War worked is because they sold it. They sold the struggle and when Kylie Rae did finally best Orange he sold his fucking ass off. I think thats why issue with Orange is he won't feel traditional wrestling but he will his sell cute, little LOLuniverse he lives in. The Thumb War was fucking great. I thought this was the NOAH 2008 of comedy matches in that. It was a good thing that went on 10-15 minutes too long. It peaked at the Thumb War and petered out. 

Undercard:

As for the undercard, what has stood out to me was the Aussie Open specifically the big dude who I believed is named Mark Davis. Great hot tag. I see a lot of upside. I liked Jordynn Grace a lot, muscular dynamo. Solo Darling (Daring?) impressed me in her technical match with Wheeler Yuta. 

Anyways, I have enjoyed the last three episodes live and I encourage people to watch as it is a fun, breezy two hour show. I will write my thoughts down every week as opposed to waiting as long I to do this. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nice write up. I've been debating watching this as I already have so much wrestling sitting around that I haven't watched. Plus, I really don't want to add more Orange Cassidy to my life. Mania weekend was my first time seeing him and I ended up skipping ahead every time I saw him on screen after the Alvarez match. However, your review is enough that I will be checking this out. I haven't watched a lot of Starr but what I've watched, I've enjoyed. I'll check back in next week with my thoughts on this. 

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Have also been meaning to check this out, although there's so much to watch. Thanks for the write up of the first few, will try and jump in.

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This is the best two hour weekly show in wrestling in a LONG LONG time. Great matches. Stars from all over the world will show up. Angle advancement. Nothing is wasted, just a great show.

I don't think the Discovery Open has been mentioned. On the first show two no names had an awesome match which Mick Moretti won (he's awesome, btw). Each week the winner faces another no name and the winner stays on the show. It's such a simple and great idea.

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I want to strongly co-sign that Mick Moretti is awesome. Enjoyed pretty much everything in the first episode, except the unprotected chairshot to the head in the main event. David Starr really doesn't need to take that to get over, he's consistently great on his own terms. Otherwise yeah, big fan so far!

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So I dropped the ball and missed reviewing Week 4. So here we go...

Week 4 featured in my opinion the most sparsely populated and weakest crowd. Week 5 featured a big time rebound in both attendance and crowd heat back to Week 1.

Week 4: I thought Jay Freddie vs. Dude Whose Name I Forget was tremendous. Definitely a top 3 match thus far. I likened this match to as if "Kobashi vs Misawa had to debut on Nitro". Really strong. Jay Freddie won me over with work alone and he showed how you can do that! I thought the Dynasty stuff at the beginning was pretty ok. Dickinson and LAX, I guess are a full time stable called Team Pazuzu (sp?). The main event was pretty fun, but also pretty forgettable, definitely the least important main event thus far. The only thing I remember was singing along to Shout at the Devil with Team Pazuzu at the end, which is pretty much my favorite song ever so that was pretty awesome. I LOVED PUFF! He is a comedy Crusher Blackwell! I looked at him and that is what I was hoping for and he delivered. Also, wrestling a gym coach was the perfect foil. Wicked fun. Loved the modern take on Blackwell's weeble wobble selling with Weekend At Bernie's Dance! Great shit. Calling a spade a spade the Beaver Boys match was dragging ass, but I think they realized that and so they brawled on the outside. Then BLEW MY MIND WITH A SUPLEX FROM THE BAR TO THE FLOOR! HOLY SHIT!

Week 4 Highlights: Jay Freddie wins the crowd over with an All Japan on Nitro Match. Puff is a Modern Day Crusher Blackwell and needs to be on more shows. SUPLEX FROM THE BAR TO THE FLOOR! SHOUT AT THE DEVIL!

Week 5: So this was two nights ago. I thought this was a contender for best show thus far. LAX vs Best Friends was a very fun match. I am not usually too fond of Chatty Cathys in the ring, but LAX is actually pretty funny. It was the type of match that puts a smile on your face. Then we got to the real highlight: The Nerd. He was so good I tried to learn his name. Thomas Santell (Santelli?). Dude comes out and is doing this George McFly gimmick. He is tripping over the ropes and looks uncoordinated. But it is all a hustle. He is a fucking old school bruiser. He rips his opponents apart standing up and on the mat. Best part he won the Discovery Gauntlet so he gets to come back next week. Highly anticipating his return. His post-match promo was good and got an Ovaltine chanted started. It is the best of both worlds: quirky enough so the audience at large likes it and he is actually good in the ring so I will like it. :)  The women's fatal 4-way was very fun. Having watched more and more women's wrestling, I am thinking Solo is the best and am glad she is being treated as such by actually winning. I'll be honest I talked through the tag team match and integender match featuring Statlander so I dont have much an opinion. I will say the crowd heat for the dude that keeps interrupting matches and talking about making "Beyond Wrestling Legit Again" was fucking nuclear! Like I could not hear him at all this week. Great shit! The Main Event pitting Slither vs Beaver Boys was fucking awesome! Just a total Balls To The Wall spotfest that delivered. Anyone says the babyface shine is NOT important and can fucking suck it after watching this match. The crowd heat for the shine was insane! Slither looked great. That one powerbomb holy shit DIRTY DADDY THREW HIS ASS DOWN! I love a mean powerbomb and that was a mean powerbomb. I have this behind Dickinson/MJF and Jay Freddie/Unknown, but this was a fucking fun to the max. 

 Week 5 Highlights: Crowd heat for "Make Beyond Legit Again" Dude and Slither was fucking NUCLEAR! The NERD RULES ALL! We need to book Nerd vs Jay Freddie ASAP! The most important conclusion of the week: SLITHER MOST DEFINITELY FUCKS!

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Yes, he was and he is fucking awesome! Highly recommend his work!

Going tonight and realized I need to catch up on these reviews. 

Episode 6: I watched this one with Joe Gagne. Beyond was celebrating its ten year anniversary. So they had a six man tag featuring a bunch of guys from their beginnings. The Death Match main event was insane. Not a huge fan of Death Match Wrestling, BUT every once in a while it can be fun. Styrofoam makes a great sound. That Door when it broke, fuck it sounded like a gun went off...insane! The powerbomb onto the shopping cart was fucking insane. The most insane thing for me was then dude plunged the fork into the other dude's arm so that it stuck in there. He was moving around with a fucking fork in his arm. I have never seen anything like that live. I think these matches have a lot more visceral impact live. It just doesnt translate on the TV for me at least. Being there and seeing with my own two eyes, another human with a fucking fork in his arm is something else. I am a pretty big fan of Big Momma Pump Jordynne Grace and I thought she got the best possible straight match out of Orange Cassidy. I am not a fan of OC's act, but I thought Kylie Rae did a good job by building a match around their respective gimmicks. Grace said Fuck that and hit him really hard, which is something I can always get behind. I am not taking credit for this, but it did make smile really big. I am relatively loud, but I stand about as far away as possible. She had him up in position for a sidewalk slam and I yelled "THROW HIM THE FUCK DOWN" My God did she ever! I was so happy! She has a great punch and a great lariat. Orange Cassidy was doing the best thing he can do...be a tackling dummy. I thought the Thomas Santell match was not quite as good as the week prior or as good the one from episode 8, but I love how much of a throwback he is. He is like a supped-up version of Dory Funk Jr that fucks. I was a bit late to the show and walked into Briggs vs Dirty Daddy about halfway through. What I caught was good. Dirty Daddy pulling out some Volk Han magic to work over Briggs' injured knee. 

Episode 6 Highlights: Jordynne Grace hits Orange Cassidy really fucking hard and makes me a very happy fan. The Death Match was batshit insanity and I was glad to see one live. 

Episode 7: I was on a business trip in Ireland and missed the show. 

Episode 8: Best show of the year! This was really good. The same week I went to Money In The Bank live in Hartford and Smackdown live in Providence and this show blew the WWE out of the water. Now I know what some of you thinking wrestling fan with an internet presence says "Local Indy smokes WWE" is not especially earth-shattering, but it was how they did it that is what is cool. Beyond Wrestling beat them by having SUPERIOR BABYFACE-HEEL DYNAMICS! It was so good to watch old school wrestling. The opening contest between Solo Darling (who is the best female indy wrestler I have seen besides Tess Blanchard) and Skylar was exquisite babyface vs babyface wrestling. The beautiful symmetry at the beginning all leading to the tempers flaring. It was 5-10 minutes before the first punch was thrown. When Skylar threw it in anger, EVERYONE booed. Not just me, old school traditional wrestling fan, everyone booed. THAT'S PRO WRESTLING! From there Skylar got rougher and Darling got more sympathetic and they blew it off with a perfect crescendo. Terrific studio pro wrestling. The next match was my boy Thomas Santell the Nerd That Fucks Hard! He was going up against some nameless California jerk who was great at getting heat. Again, they were working the crowd to invest in the wrestlers not the MOVEZ~! Santell looked great in this contest best since his first week. I love the nickname, "The Ovaltine Dream". Nick Fucking Gage and Josh Briggs was a FUCKING BANGER worked around knee psychology and just general insanity. The heat was off the charts for this.  The Intergender Match du jour was high end comedy wrestling that actually turned serious during the heat segment and had a compact, feel good finish. I believe the team was Milk Chocolate (generic cocky heel tag team) against the Platinum Bunnies, maybe Hunnies. Then comes the climax of the night, "Dirty Daddy" Chris Dickinson and Erick Stevens just lighting each other the fuck up. This was a brutal, UNGODLY stiff match. They were both chopping hard, but Dickinson unleashed the MOST FURIOUS CHOP I have ever heard live. He had everyone myself included clutching our chests in sympathy for Stevens. If you like stiff, brutal wrestling, then this is the match for you. I loved every minute of it. If I recall correctly, the finish was a Burning Lariat that would make Kobashi proud and JBL ejaculate with glee. The tag team match was a bit long in the tooth. The Beaver Boys broke up. The Meat Man, the shorter, muscle-bound one seems like he has a future. He has good kicks. 

Episode 8 Highlights: Everything! This show was pedal to the fucking metal! Solo Darling vs Skylar have a tremendous old school face vs face match that builds to tempers flaring. Santell and Cali Asshole have a great babyface vs heel match. Nick Fuckin Gage lit up the bar and him Josh Briggs tore it down in their brisk match. The intergenerder match was really good comedy wrestling. Dirty Daddy is Our Savior and Redeemer!  

 

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You are doing the Lord's Work brutha! I fucking love THE NERD! He was an instant hit with me and love his throwback style. He is like the coolest possible Dory Funk Jr. 

I ended up attending all but three episodes of the First Season. I have only missed two episodes live this year. I really should add my comments. To be frank, I did think the past two shows were the weakest I have attended. The Halloween episode was filled with a lot of comedy wrestling that didnt hit my funny bone, but they drew a monster crowd and they loved it. So thumbs up there!

Then this past episode, I really liked the Jay Freddie match. He is an Asskicker to the MAX! Such a throwback to 90s workrate and just absolutely love it. I thought the Remix dude was going to be a generic flippy dude, but he acquitted himself well. Other than that, it was a pretty weak card. 

The best match of Season 2 has easily been Thatcher vs Kingston. I was in MARK OUT CITY watching that unfold live. I have been pretty bummed Dirty Daddy, the co-workhorse of Season#1, has been stuck in pretty lame tags with the "Suck Me" guy. Then Solo Darling, the co-workhorse of Season #1, has not been on a lot of the episodes I have been to, but I did really like match with Dick Holliday (it is right there, babyfaces), what a hellacious powerbomb that was! 

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I don't know if they have booked him yet but if they didn't, Beyond really needs to give a shot to "Red Death" Daniel Garcia. That guy is unreal. Considering that he was involved in a very serious car accident earlier this year, the fact he's back at that level already is amazing.

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He is the one who beat Christian Cassanova at the end of Season 1 to win the Discovery Gauntlet. I missed the premiere episode of Season 2 because I was in Ireland for work, but I believe that's when Deppen beat him to win the Gauntlet. Red Death was an instant hit with me & the live audience at large. When I took a friend to Beyond, she was very impressed by him. He reminds me of Fujita Jr Hayato, an undersized asskicker. I would definitely be a fan of more Red Death. 

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On 11/13/2019 at 10:37 PM, Superstar Sleeze said:

The best match of Season 2 has easily been Thatcher vs Kingston.

While I really enjoyed this, my favorite is probably Starr-Mercedez. I thought they worked the indie epic formula really well. Speaking of Santell, I thought he had a really great sprint against Wheeler YUTA this season as well.

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Speaking of Red Death, he was booked last night against John Silver (I finally get his name...its a play on Long John Silver because he is so short! LOL!) and MY GOD was that a barnburner of a match. So stiff, tons of body on body contact, and great escalation. That lariat out of the corner by Silver was EVERYTHING I LOVE ABOUT PRO WRESTLING! I fucking flexed when he hit that shit I was marking out so hard. I thought this was more of a return to form for Beyond. Dirty Daddy the Asskicker returned and am excited to see him kick Chuck The Fuck's ass. Solo Darling is being utilized in a prominent role.

Thomas Santell and Nick Fuckin' Gage are the best tag team of 2019. Nick Gage is the realest muthafucka in the world. Shit feels like a shoot out there because you are so emotionally connected to him. He is just so earnest and authentic. I will NEVER get tired of shouting "MDK ALL FUCKIN' DAY"

The Starr/Mercedes match I left early because I know his propensity to go long. The Thursday night switch was a bad move for me personally, I have a lot of meetings Friday morning and I live an hour away from Worcester. Santell/Yuta I was late for. I caught like the last 5-7 minutes, which was a bummer. 

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