The PG Era Rant for Beyond Reverse the Curse, November 7, 2021.
Seeing as I already cover the second-tier AEW shows and a lot of independent stars make appearances there, why not watch a few in their natural habitat? On top of that, names from AEW, Impact, and Ring of Honor are making appearances here in what looks to be an incredibly loaded card.
Live from Somerville, MA. Order IWTV to watch the replay.
Your hosts are Paul Crockett and Sidney Bakabella, alongside ring announcer Rich Palladino. It’s a sellout crowd, and as part of Beyond’s tradition, fans are literally next to the apron, giving “ringside seating” a new meaning.
Opening match: Ryan Galeone vs. Brody King. Let’s begin with a slugfest, shall we? King is part of Violence Unlimited in Ring of Honor alongside Homicide, Chris Dickinson, and Tony Deppen, and on top of that is one half of the PWG Tag Champs alongside Malakai Black. And how often do you get a match on the indies between two guys with a total combined weight of this much? (Galeone is 257, King is an even 300.)
Code of Honor to start. Lockup goes nowhere. A second lockup goes nowhere as Crockett talks about how Galeone has beaten big names in Beyond. King offers to start a forearm slugfest, and Galeone obliges, leading to chops, leading to attacking each other out of the ropes, and ending with a Bossman Slam from King for two. Chop in the corner by King, then he goes CLUBBERIN. Silencio chop by King, then an uppercut, forearm, and kicks in the corner. King tries a slam, but Galeone fights out – twice – and smashes King into the corner. Whip in the corner is reversed and King gets a clothesline, but runs into a corner dropkick from Galeone. Galeone goes up, but King crotches him and follows, landing a superplex for two. (Bakabella drops Gorilla’s “reinforce the ring” comment.)
King keeps on the offensive with LOUD chops in the corner, but Galeone responds and the two smash each other. King with a slam and half-senton for two. Another forearm from King, but Galeone ducks a clothesline and gets an enzuigiri (King is 6’8!). Lariat by Galeone and he follows with a slam for two. Uppercuts in the corner by Galeone, but King recovers with a corner clothesline and avalanche. Cannonball follows, and King with a piledriver for two. King tells Galeone to get up, but Galeone powers through forearms and we get a slugfest. Galeone wins that one, but King recovers with a German suplex.
Galeone pops up fast (much to King’s surprise), getting a flying knee and Sky High for two. Galeone wants a piledriver of his own, but King fights out. Galeone changes to a ripcord roundhouse, then adds a deadlift powerbomb (!!) for two. Galeone is too tired to follow up, so we have a double-down and both men meeting while on their knees to slap each other. They pull each other up and keep up the slaps, which ECHO through the building, leading to King chopping Galeone woozy. Galeone gets a headbutt to the jaw, but King with another German suplex, and the lariat. Cradle Shock gets two, and we get our “what do you mean, two?” from King.
Outsider’s Edge try from King, but Galeone knees out and goes up. King follows, Galeone shoves him off, and a side spring cannonball by Galeone gets two. Galeone up first, but his back gives out on a piledriver try, so King gets a lariat for a VERY close two. King thought it was three, but shrugs it off and gets the over-the-shoulder piledriver to win at 11:56. BIG. MEATY. MEN. SLAPPING. MEAT. ***1/4 King picks up Galeone and gives him the ring afterwards. I want Galeone to appear on Dark now.
We need to take a delay at this point because Galeone and King hit each other so hard the ring’s support system broke! For those who don’t know, under the ring are a pair of chains along the diagonal used to hold the ring in a square shape. They’re usually tightened very tight, but they’re chains, so they should be durable. However, if the links go out, there’s not much you can do but wait until they’re fixed.
During the delay, we get a montage of people on national promotions who have appeared in Beyond, focusing on Josh Alexander, Daniel Garcia, Silver and Reynolds, Alex Shelley… okay, we’re back. It was only about a 5 minute delay.
Kaia McKenna vs. Alisha Edwards. McKenna is dressed as a witch, complete with broom and spiky crown. Bakabella says this is a youth vs experience matchup. Edwards, despite being the local and the big name, gets the boos.
Edwards kicks McKenna’s broom out of the ring – not without reason, mind you – then ducks a lockup and says she’s not ready. McKenna runs into a kneelift from Edwards, who adds a forearm. Snapmare and soccer kick follow, then another kick for one. Edwards with a headlock, but McKenna slips out into a full nelson. McKenna with a snapmare and kick of her own, then another just for fun, getting two. McKenna gets her own headlock, but Edwards uses the hair to reverse it. McKenna suplexes out of it, but Edwards elbows out of a fireman’s carry and slugs her. McKenna no-sells the shot to the back and gets a Stinger Splash, but Edwards shoves out of a bulldog and sends McKenna into the turnbuckle repeatedly. Shotgun dropkick follows.
Edwards chokes McKenna on the middle rope, then picks McKenna up by the hair to chop her hard. Another one follows, but McKenna gets a jawjacker out of desperation. McKenna hulks up and punches away on Edwards, getting a chop in the ropes. She adds an awkward Mongolian chop and back elbow, then lands a Samoan drop as Edwards rolls to the ropes. Bulldog out of the corner connects for McKenna, getting two. Edwards holds onto the ropes on a whip and kicks McKenna down, then adds a low Flatliner for two. McKenna tries to catch Edwards into an armbar, but Edwards kicks her away and gets the Flatliner for real to win at 6:32. McKenna’s timing was off all match – she needs more experience in a match like this. *1/4
The Goodfellas (Mike Verna and Rex Lawless) vs. The Administration (Pedro Dones and Damian Adams w/Tina SanAntonio). We get a “gabagool” chant before the match as the Goodfellas come out. This is an extension of SanAntonio’s feud with Willow Nightingale, as Willow brought in the Goodfellas to represent her and get even with SanAntonio after she cheated to beat Willow in the past. You may remember Verna and Lawless as being pretty good during the Daily’s Place era of Dark. And before the match begins, Willow comes out to keep SanAntonio at bay! Everyone argues in the ring about who will start and who will do what, and Palladino reports that Willow wants to expand the match. HOLLA! (takes drink)
The Goodfellas (Rex Lawless and Mike Verna) and Willow Nightingale vs. The Administration (Pedro Dones, Damian Adams, and Tina SanAntonio). Willow and SanAntonio start. Just kidding, Willow and Dones start after a quick tag. Willow with a waistlock, but Dones fights out and runs her over with a shoulderblock. Dones celebrates, then turns around to see Lawless has tagged in. Dones tries to tackle him only to get knocked down, and Lawless steps over Dones (“I’M WALKIN HERE!”). Adams in, and Lawless blocks a kick and gets a fallaway slam. Dones tries again, but Lawless leapfrogs him (!) and brings in Verna for a corner splash into a BACK body drop (.7 Warlord). Verna gets one.
Verna with a stalling suplex into a Finlay Roll from Lawless, but the Vader Bomb misses and Lawless’s knee is messed up. Adams drops elbows on the leg and DDTs the leg for one. Dones steps on the leg in the corner and kicks away. Standing kneebar by Dones, and he hyperextends the knee for two. Dones with a Boston Crab try, but he cartwheels out of an escape attempt. Lawless with a big boot out of desperation, hot tag Willow.
SanAntonio gets run over a few times, and Willow chops like a maniac in the corner. Hammer Throw and hip check follow. Willow goes up, but Adams pulls her off and SanAntonio works the arm (Adams yanked Willow onto the top rope shoulder-first). Dones with a hammerlock slam to Willow for two. Keylock by Dones, and Willow elbows out only to run into a back elbow. Adams with a double axhandle off the middle rope and a Hammer Throw. Adams works knees with both arms for two. SanAntonio in with her own double axhandle, then she drops the arm over her shoulder. Back to a top wristlock, but Willow escapes and lands a SPINEBUSTER for the double-down.
Hot tag #2 to Verna, and he destroys Dones and Adams in turn. Running right to Adams and he goes up, landing a shotgun dropkick to Dones. Powerslam to Adams gets two, SanAntonio saves. Verna now has a chance at SanAntonio with both guys down, but she rakes the eyes and gets a DDT on Verna. She’s proud of herself, but Lawless enters and spears her into next week. Adams chops Lawless on a second spear try, but Willow with a hip check on Dones and she sets up for more. Becca of all people distracts the ref, and Alec Price runs in with a SUPERKICK to Willow. Adams sends Verna into Dones, and the lungblower/neckbreaker combo finishes Verna at 9:37. For those wondering why, Willow’s friend Chris Dickinson has been making Alec Price’s life awful the last few weeks, but Dickinson isn’t here so strike while you can. Chaotic six-person tag. **1/4
And we go straight to:
Becca (w/Alec Price) vs. Jody Threat. Threat does the Mojo Rawley entrance of having way too much energy. Threat also has a skater girl gimmick, because sure why not. Becca looks very different from Miss Scrunchie that I rememeber in Maine.
Becca gets advice from Alec Price to start, and I don’t know them well enough to make a joke here. Threat shoves Becca into the corner, giving a clean break. Becca with a waistlock, but Threat reverses and throws her down. Front facelock by Threat, but Becca reverses to a headlock only to get reversed back. Becca can’t break even with the hair, so she backs into the ropes for a break. Becca with a clothesline to Threat’s back and she goes ground and pound. X-Factor follows for one. Becca with forearms to keep Threat in the corner, and she chokes Threat against the middle rope. Dropkick to a draped Threat gets two.
Hammer Throw by Becca, following with a handspring… uh… she overshoots and lands in the ropes so she just gets up and slaps Threat. They fight out, and Threat with a small package for two. Becca with a big boot to Threat and she stomps down Threat. Threat fights back to her feet and adds a side boot, but double knees in the ropes miss and Becca with a backbreaker for two. We HIT THE CHINLOCK, but Threat with a jawjacker to break. Threat cuts off a blind charge with a boot, but she runs into a back heel kick and back elbow. Threat bursts out of a Hamemr Throw with a lariat for the double-down.
Threat with forearms on the comeback, and Becca runs into lariats and a full nelson spin slam. Becca bails, so Threat baseball slides Becca into Price and goes to the apron. Full senton off the apron takes out Price and Becca, and she rolls Becca in before kicking away at Price more. Threat returns with corner clotheslines and shoulders to the gut, setting up a Northern Lights suplex for two. Threat wants a Burning Hammer, but Becca cradles through for one. Threat recovers with a brainbuster try, but Becca slides down and hooks a rear naked choke.
Threat backs Becca into the corner repeatedly, but she runs into a back elbow and Becca adds a roundhouse kick. Code Red gets two. Becca slams Threat down by the hair and fires off with forearms, but Threat refuses to be Irish whipped. Becca ducks a pump kick and gets a SUPERKICK on Threat before going up. Threat rolls out of range, then she catches Becca with a spear in mid-air. Double knees against the ropes sets up a German suplex, and the UFO Bomb gets two before Price grabs the ref. Threat grabs Price and demands he be ejected, which means Becca is up. Stunner and rear choke gets the submission for Becca at 11:04. Started very sloppily but the finish was fine. **
Kings of the Distrcit (Eel O’Neal and Jordan Blade) vs. Trish Adora and Suge D (aka Pineapple Pete). Oh, heck yeah! I’ve seen Kings of the District several times in local action, and seeing them get better and better has been a joy. Adora is the reigning PAWD World Champion, which is for the best black independent wrestler. Suge D is just a barrel of fun. Three local talents, and four of the best black wrestlers in America? Give me this. This is set up because Adora beat Blade to retain the PAWD title last Thursday and the Kings didn’t take kindly to that, so they invited Adora to the tag division. Suge volunteered to join her.
Suge and Eel start with a Code of Honor. Suge works the arm to start, with Eel fighting through to reverse. Suge cartwheels to reverse back into a cravat, then a hangman’s lock, with Suge adding some squats to emphasize the hold. Eel gets the arm on Suge, who rolls through to break and hooks a sunset flip from the ground for one. Suge is having a blast here. Suge gets a top wristlock to floor Eel, but Eel folls through and reverses to a headlock. Suge fights out, and the two run into each other with Eel getting the better of it.
Eel ducks under a leapfrog and gets a schoolboy for one, then gets the headlock again. Suge slaps the gut to break, sending Eel into the ropes and getting a monkey flip. Eel reverses a hiptoss and sends Suge into the ropes with a drop toe-hold, then gets an Area Code Kick. Suge fights out and gets a snapmare and uppercut, then a kneedrop for one. Suge decides against throwing hands, but Blade comes in to question him and they get into a standoff.
Eel lets Blade in, and Blade with a forearm smash and waistlock takedown. Knees to the rolling gut of Suge and she goes ground and pound, but walks into an anklelock try. Blade rolls out and ties up the legs before slapping Suge around. Muay Thai knees to Suge, then an right hook. She wants Suge to slug with her, and he obliges with body shots and an uppercut. Suge demands respect from Blade, who simply gives him a backfist. Adora tags herself in and gets uppercuts of her own on Blade, then a big right into a back suplex and bridge for two.
Jordan with a double-arm DDT on Blade (ducking Eel’s charge as she does), then she boots Eel out of the ring. Blade pulls Adora into a big right from Eel, and Eel comes in with a front facelock and some clubbering. Uppercuts by Eel, but Adora catches one and rides Eel down into Cattle Mutilation. Suge adds a Boston Crab to the Cattle Mutilation and won’t break even as Blade slaps Suge around, so Blade stomps Adora’s open chest and kicks Suge out of the ring before pulling Eel over to tag in.
The Kings with a Spin Cycle for two, Suge saves. The Kings decide to beat up Suge, with Eel cornering him while Blade works on Adora. Eel sends Adora into Suge, who shoves her back into Eel for a lariat. Wrist clutch by Suge sets up the Lariat Tubman from Adora / Slice from Suge, and they both cover her for two. Bakabella is indignant on that cover. Blade catches Adora with a Saito suplex, but turns into a discus forearm and back elbow from Suge. So Eel with a spinout powerbomb on Suge, but Adora enters with a Black Hole Backbreaker. Adora and Blade are standing now and exchanging forearms, ending with Blade getting a rolling fisherman’s suplex for two.
Adora blocks a suplex and gets one of her own, and we go back to the tag team rules with Adora getting a powerslam. Adora tries to load up an armbar as Suge and Eel collide heads, and Suge falls into the pile allowing Blade a cradle for two. Running knee strike by Blade pins Adora at 11:15. Not much tag teaming meant it felt a little disjointed, but in a good way. **3/4 The easy lesson here: Adora is a better singles wrestler, but a good tag team will always beat two singles stars. Code of Honor post-match, and the Kings walk away as Suge and Adora argue. Suge grabs the PAWD title and refuses to let go as he looks at it, and we have a tug of war for the belt. Suge: “You will hold this as long as I let you. I said I was gonna make a moment; if it wasn’t tonight, it might be you.” Yes, give me that match in the future.
Teddy Goodz vs. Matt Cardona (w/Smart Mark Sterling). This was supposed to happen at Beyond’s signature summer event, Americanrana 2021, but that event was canceled by a hurricane. Amazing to see Cardona, once THE darling of the Internet, now being booed out of the building. But before we begin, Sterling takes the mic as the crowd wants Jade. Meanwhile, Sterling says that if anyone is driving a white Prius, they had it towed. Also, Cardona has new action figures. And now Cardona is given the mic, and he is Not Impressed with the promotion. This is someone who’s won gold at WrestleMania! He’s the 2-time Internet Champion! He’s the Deathmatch King (Crowd: “EFFY’s Better!”). Cardona promises he won’t return after this, and he is still the Ace of Beyond and will end Goodz’ career. He says he is the Michael Jordan to Goodz’ Bugs Bunny, and after this, everyone will have dinner together and celebrate that he dominated Goodz. (Crockett: “I don’t think he’s taking it seriously.”) Goodz waves the flag with a logo of a local toy store, which gets a plug from Bakabella. By the way, it’s a non-title match.
Cardona stalls to start, going to the floor and getting fanned off by Sterling. Cardona returns, and we lock up with Cardona slugging Goodz on a break. Goodz goes up and over and gets a Japanese armdrag, and Cardona gets advice from Sterling (“Always read Page 14 of the contract when in the ring with Jon Moxley”). Cardona keeps yelling at the crowd, then kicks down Goodz and gets a headlock. We go International~!, but Cardona blocks the hiptoss and gets a clothesline. Cardona celebrates, but Goodz is back up with a clothesline of his own as Cardona bails again. Sterling has an idea for Cardona (“Team up with Shaquille O’Neal! It worked for my other client!”), and Cardona gets the mic and offers a truce.
Cardona wants Goodz to shake on it, and Goodz catches a kick from Cardona out of it and chops away. BACK body drop by Goodz and Cardona bails AGAIN. Goodz follows this time and fights on the stage, then goes under the ring to find a box of action figures! He empties the box and slams Cardona on the action figures, then holds up the Internet title as if that means anything. Back in, Goodz goes up, but Sterling distracts him and Cardona crotches him. Cardona with forearms to Goodz in the corner, but Goodz fires out only to get clubbed down. Cardona with a swinging neckbreaker for one. Cardona dumps Goodz (by the action figures, too), and Sterling smacks Goodz behind the ref’s back.
Cardona with a dropkick through the ropes onto Goodz and he holds up a Vince McMahon action figure just to hammer it home. Swinging neckbreaker on the stage follows, and Cardona will take the counout. Goodz races in at 9, only for Cardona to pound away. Cardona rips his shirt off and chokes Goodz against the middle rope, then chokes Goodz with the shirt as Sterling has the ref. Cardona goes to throw the shirt into the crowd before thinking better of it, and it took so long that the Broski Boot misses and Cardona crotches himself. Double clothesline cues the double-down. They slug it out, won by Cardona, but Goodz catches Radio Silence with a Manhattan drop and a clothesline.
Goodz with running elbows in the corner, then a ten elbow count-along – replacing #10 with a loud chop. Backpack Stunner gets two. Cardona is dead weight when Goodz tries a piledriver, so Goodz chases off Sterling only to get suckered into a Codebreaker from Cardona for two. Radio Silence is reversed again, this time into a Rydeen Bomb for a very close two. The elbowpad comes off Goodz, but a running elbow eats boot and Cardona lands the Killswitch for two. Cardona’s confused and searching for ideas, but Goodz is in Broski Boot position, which connects this time for two. Sterling and Cardona are heated, but Sterling slides the belt into the ring.
Cardona wants to use it, but Goodz pops up with a Diamond Cutter for two. Now Goodz has the belt and is ready to strike, but the ref rips it away to allow Cardona a low blow and cradle for two. Cardona is now praying for ideas, and again he picks the belt up. He shoves the ref into the corner, but Goodz ducks twice and the ref is crushed on the second swing. Radio Silence by GOODZ gets a visual pin, then a second ref comes out and counts… two before Sterling pulls him out and slugs him. Now Little Mean Kathleen chases Sterling into the ring, backing him into Goodz. LMK with the Acid Drop onto Sterling after a shot from Goodz, but Cardona runs both Goodz and LMK over with clotheslines.
He sends Goodz into the post and stalks LMK as Crockett freaks out. LMK with a low blow to Cardona, then she stomps all over Cardona in the corner. Now VSK (another Sterling client) enters and SUPERKICKs LMK, but Goodz with a running knee to VSK. Cardona with a beltshot to Goodz, and the first ref… revives… for… two. Cardona goes up as Goodz stands up, but Radio Silence airballs. Goodz crotches Sterling and smacks VSK off the apron, but Radio Silence from Cardona gets the pin with the tights at 20:31. The way this match was going, the wrong guy won, but this was a hell of a WWE-Style match and shows there’s a place for overblown Sports Entertainment in today’s wrestling. Cardona could do worse than modeling his heel character after Jeff Jarrett in early TNA. ***3/4 Cardona flips off the crowd as he leaves. Goodz gets a loser’s ovation as he leaves.
Beyond’s next major show is December 5 in Providence. Ruby Soho will face (drum roll) Alex Shelley!! (This match will happen whether Shelley is still IWTV World Champion or not, and it will be a title match if he is.)
Wheeler Yuta vs. Jeff Cobb. Oh man, I would’ve guessed this would main event! Yuta is a former IWTV World Champ and is one of the Best Friends in AEW. Cobb finished 8-1 in the G1 Climax this year, only missing out on the finals due to a tiebreaker. And Cobb also made an appearance in MLW as Matanza… and he looks GOOD. (Note: the announcer says Cobb is 263, but the announcers act like he’s 283.)
Touch of respect to start. Cobb tosses Yuta into the corner off a lockup. He does it a second time (that’ll happen when you have 70 pounds on your opponent). Yuta tries a crossbody, but Cobb catches him and turns it into a suplex try, but Yuta slides out the back and tries a German. Cobb won’t go, so Yuta throws forearms instead. Cobb tanks them and shoves Yuta away, and Yuta is shoved into the ropes before coming back and getting the worse end of a tackle. He fires off forearms, but Cobb refuses to go on an Irish whip before Yuta gets a casadora armdrag. A chop does nothing to Cobb as a follow-up, but Yuta escapes a charge and gets a springboard armdrag. Yuta goes over and under Cobb, landing a dropkick to send Cobb to the corner. Cobb stops a cross-corner whip and gets an overhead suplex all the way across the ring!
Big right from Cobb, then a headbutt. Hammer Throw from Cobb and he surfs on Yuta’s back. Big forearm in the corner by Cobb, then a stalling suplex with full Hindu squat for two. Yuta tries to fight back as he’s picked up, but Cobb with a kneesmash. Yuta escapes a sitdown on a sunset flip try and gets a basement dropkick for one before being thrown on a kickout. Cobb with a double-leg throw on Yuta, and he goes CLUBBERING, THEY BE CLUBBERING TONY! Big chop floors Yuta, getting two nonchalantly before another two when Cobb hooks the leg.
Yuta tries to punch back on Cobb, but Cobb headbutts Yuta and slams him. Cobb with a People’s Moonsault, but Yuta escapes. Yuta fires off as they get up, landing a big forearm off the ropes to set up a Manhattan drop and enzuigiri. Mizline in the corner and Yuta goes up, and the shotgun missile dropkick connects as Yuta kips up. Cobb bails, so Yuta dives onto him. Back in, crossbody off the top… is caught, and Cobb tries Snake Eyes only for Yuta to wiggle into delivering a Tornado DDT for two. Yuta tries an Olympic Slam on an Olympian, but Cobb naturally elbows out and runs Yuta pillar to post.
Running leaping uppercut in the corner on Yuta, and Cobb alley-oops him into a spinning back suplex for two. Moonsault gets two. Yuta rolls to the apron, so Cobb smashes him into the turnbuckle and climbs. He wants the Cesaroplex, but Yuta lands on the turnbuckle and fights out, knocking Cobb down. Yuta with the big splash off the top for such a close two Bakabella is certain it was three. Yuta with forearms to Cobb as they fight on their knees, but Cobb knocks him loopy with one shot to the head. Yuta fires up and forearms back, but again one chop to the face floors Yuta.
Yuta staggers around and fires forearms as they stand, but Cobb with a double-handed chop to Yuta. Yuta does the Nigel McGuinness rebound and catches Cobb, then adds the Olympic Slam for two. Yuta can’t hook the crossface as Cobb scrambles to the ropes. Cobb with short right jabs into a lariat, but Yuta reverses Wrath of the Gods into a sunset flip for two. Rana try, but Cobb catches him. Yuta flips away only for Cobb to deliver a Kamigoye, and Wrath of the Gods (okay, Tour of the Islands) wins at 13:20. Cobb is spent after the match as the crowd loves this. And so do I. ***1/2 Cobb salutes what’s left of Yuta post-match as we get a Both These Guys chant.
Heidi Howitzer vs. Kennedi Copeland. Heidi looks like a poor woman’s Road Warrior. Copeland is known for taking tons of punishment, so no points for guessing how this match will go. Copeland is definitely a fan favorite here, which isn’t a good sign given how this show has been going. For the record, Howitzer has 50 pounds on Copeland who is xxx pounds of Pure Angst and hails from Ocean Avenue.
Copeland charges on the bell and chops away on Howitzer, who tanks them and shoves Copeland. Copeland tries the Black Widow off the ropes, but Howitzer blocks the armbar. Copeland just holds a wristlock, which Howitzer reverses to get Copeland to her knees. Judo throw by Heidi and she smashes the back before getting a hammerlock/facelock hold. Copeland gets to her feet and gets to a top wristlock, but an unimpressed Heidi punches out before hitting a clothesline. Hairpull slam by Heidi, then another, before getting the Strongest Slam for two.
Neck crank follows as Heidi jaws with the crowd and taunts Copeland. Heidi throws her down and gets a full nelson, slamming Copeland’s head intot he turnbuckle and landing an overhead chop. A second one as Copeland goes around the world on the chops, then Heidi adds the Uso hip attack. Hammer throw and running clothesline by Heidi, then another as even the announcers wonder how much more Copeland can take.
Lariat by Heidi gets two. Heidi steps on Copeland on the way up for a Vader Bomb, but Copeland rolls away. Now Copeland goes up, and a crossbody floors Heidi. Sliding cutter sets up mat slams by Copeland, followed by a running knee for two. Copeland tries a tijerres, but Heidi catches her in a Tombstone position only to be cradled out of it for the pin for Copeland at 6:17. Copeland doesn’t even realize that was three. The arrogant heel getting beaten by the plucky face will always work. *1/2
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The One Called Manders vs. Masha Slamovich. This is an intergender match, so if you don’t like that, move on to the next match. A shame if you feel that way, because these are two of the top brawlers out there. Slamovich will be seen on Impact soon enough, having been signed last month. I am utterly surprised no one’s picked up Manders, an Iowa-trained wrestler who does a cowboy routine. He would fit in perfectly in WWE. Slamovich threatens to attack early.
Staredown to start as Manders messes with Masha. Masha with a boot and she slugs away in the corner, but Manders with a chop to floor Masha. Masha kips up and takes Manders down with an armlock before kicking away and going up. Cannonball senton try, but Manders catches her and gives a gutwrench suplex. Big chop in the corner by Manders, and he kicks her to the ropes. Masha kicks away and chops Manders, but Manders floors her with forearms. Slam by Manders, but Masha tries to fight back only to get chopped back down. Masha drop toe-holds Manders into the middle rope and adds an enzuigiri.
Masha with shots to keep Manders down, then she pounds away in the corner. Blind charge eats boot, though, and Manders with a DDT for two before picking her up. He’s gonna regret that. Another chop from Manders, then a snapmare before getting a straitjacket choke. Masha bites the hand to break, but Manders stays on top with chops. Masha wants more, so Manders gives her a headbutt and clubbing blow. He toys with Masha, who slaps away in a flurry leading to a heel kick. Masha tries a cross-corner whip, but Manders reverses and gets a lariat for two (Masha can only get her foot on the rope). Big chop by Manders in the corner, then a Hammer Throw only for the charge to hit the boot.
Masha with an up kick and running knee in the corner, then a running Yakuza kick to set up a koppo kick to Manders. Masha crawls over for two. Masha with Tazmission, but Manders backs Masha into the corner only for Masha to get the choke again. Manders fights her off in the corner and catches her coming in, and the Oklahoma Stampede… only gets two. Another corner chop, then a second one as he puts Masha up top, but Masha fights back from behind Manders on the top. She headbutts him off, then gets a shotgun missile dropkick for two.
Masha takes the lifted arm and hooks a cross armbreaker, but Manders with the deadlift counter into a Buckle Bomb. Another lariat gets two, and even commentary was certain that was the finish. Crowd stays behind Masha, but Manders takes off the elbowpad and is ready to end it. Manders with a rear naked choke on Masha, but Masha reverses to one of her own. Manders beals her off and hooks HIS choke instead, but Masha gets the Bret reversal for two. Axe kick by Masha and she gets the choke now, but Manders pounds on the leg to break.
Masha with Jordynne Grace clotheslines and kick, and the rear choke goes back on. Manders bites Masha’s forearm to break, but Masha keeps pounding away. Kawada Kicks by Masha and the choke goes back on, now in the middle of the ring, with Masha adding a chop to the head. Buzzsaw Kick to Manders, then another, and one more choke gets the TKO for Masha at 10:55. I had my doubts about this match, because both are brawlers but one is twice the other’s size, but they made it work and built around the rear choke finish really well. Masha kept going to it because it was her only chance, and it paid off. **3/4
Mane Event (Midas Black and Jay Lyon) vs. Bear Country (Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder). Black and Lyon were part of the Discovery Gauntlet and was invited back by Beyond for this match. Black and Lyon are the circus folks who did a few appearances on AEW Dark. Crowd appreciates them, but Bear Country might as well be the Beyond aces when it comes to tag wrestling. I’m looking forward to this, given all I’ve seen from both teams.
Boulder and Black start. Code of Honor begins the match. Black with a waistlock, but Boulder shoves him off. Black with a pop-up into a dropkick, then a leg lariat to send Boulder to the apron. Lyon in, and the Mane Event with a variation of the Broken Arrow to give Lyon one. Lyon takes the meat out of his mouth and tries to slam Boulder, but, yeah, no. Lyon tries an armdrag, and that doesn’t work either, so Lyon gets a headbutt to the gut. Lyon with a knucklelock and he does the ropewalk armdrag, but Boulder pops back up.
Boulder gives respect to Lyon, and Black and Bronson tag in. Mane Event with Poetry in Motion on Bronson, but Bronson recovers and runs both over with shoulderblocks. Black does up and over, and Lyon with a lariat to Bronson, setting up a leg sweep into multiple pump kicks. Bear Country bails, and Lyon dives onto both with a tope con hilo (through a hoop, too, because circus folks). Back in, it gets two. Lyon with Yes Kicks to Bronson, and a sunset flip try, but Bronson blocks and catches Black trying to help, giving Black a Michinoku Driver onto Lyon. Crockett: “They’re awake now.”
Bronson gets two on Black, then chops the paste out of his chest before bringing in Boulder. Boulder with a running elbow to Black before tossing him into Bronson for a back elbow. Boulder stands over Black before picking him up and chopping him flat. Backbreaker by Boulder and he turns it into a submission stretch. Boulder adds an elbow, then gets several rib breakers in a row on a deadlift. Crowd is behind the Mane Event, showing the formula works. Boulder with a nasty Hammer Throw to Black and he gets two with one foot. Black tries to fight back, but Boulder axhandles him and brings in Bronson as they stomp away.
Slam by Bronson, getting two, and he HITS THE CHINLOCK. To be fair, he wrenches Black around to keep it interesting. Black elbows out and wants a tag, but Bronson won’t let go and gets a uranage. Boulder in, but Black tries to fight away only for Bronson to get a knee to stop it. Bear Country wants a double suplex, but Black lands on his feet and it’s hot tag Lyon. Leg lariat to Boulder, clothesline to Bronson, and he comes off the ropes with a rana to send Bear Country into each other. Lyon wants to slam Boulder, and actually gets him up, but Boulder recovers and hooks both Man Eventers in a powerslam position. Lyon escapes, though, and spears Boulder for two (Black landing on top helped, but he wasn’t the legal man).
Boulder with a hard right, but Black tags himself in and goes up. Rana try, but Boulder catches him and tosses him to Bronson… but Black gets the Cutter on Bronson! Boulder wants a moonsault, but Black avoids that too, and Lyon tags in as they both go up. Sunset bomb throw into a moonsault by Mane Event onto Boulder gets two. Boulder throws Lyon into Black and tags in Bronson, who runs over Black with a lariat. Lyon and Bronson slug it out, won by Bronson, but Lyon kicks away a discus lariat and kicks Bronson into a flying knee. Bronson powers out only for Mane Event to get a SUPERKICK/enzuigiri combo and everyone’s down.
Lyon powers up and brings in Black as they measure Bronson, but whatever they were trying, Boulder stopped it by Pouncing Black. Bronson tosses Lyon into the corner and stacks Black in front of him, and Bear Country get the backpack cannonball on the duo! Totem Splash (with the hoop, just to make a point) ends Black at 12:42, but man they made it interesting. This was like an NCAA tournament game where the 14 seed is within 5 points of the 3 seed for the entire game only to run out of gas and have to foul late. So much fun, and the crowd was into it, thinking we might see an upset. ***1/2
Crowd gives Mane Event a chant after the match, and everyone poses with the hoop to show respect post-match. All four guys do a curtain call, and Boulder feeds Lyon his steak as a final show of friendship. Mane Event needs more matches on Elevation and Dark. They were great here.
Max the Impaler vs. Megan Bayne. Bayne is the Greek goddess wrestler from Dark. Max looks like a caveperson, and they – this is important, Max prefers the pronoun “they” – is bigger and more imposing than Heidi Howitzer before. And nothing against Heidi, but I think booking her to debut at the same time as Max was a mistake given how similar they are. Bayne, according to announcers, is basically the uncrowned top woman in Beyond.
Max charges at the bell and everyone jostles in a lockup around the ring. No one gets the edge at first. Bayne tries a waistlock takedown, but can’t throw Max over. Max breaks and elbows Bayne, getting an avalanche in the corner as Bayne bails. Max follows and the chase is on, with Bayne escaping back in. Max follows, so Bayne catches them coming in and clubs away. Bayne ducks a clothesline and forearms Max, who tanks it and responds. It’s a slugfest, with Max clobbering away and adding a clothesline or three in the corner.
Fireman’s carry, but Bayne elbows out and tries her own. Now Max elbows out, and a clothesline rocks Bayne. Clothesline battle breaks out, with Bayne ducking one and getting a Samoan Drop. Half-senton follows, and Bayne stomps away. Bayne stops to pose, but Max hangs onto the ropes. Bayne sends them into the ropes anyway and gets a wristlock knee strike, but she can’t lift them for a slam. Bayne sends Max into the corner and stomps away. Max runs into a kneelift on the way out, and Bayne toys with them before picking them up and actually getting the slam.
Max fights up from their knees, but Bayne kicks away. Max keeps powering back up after each kick, with Bayne trying a running start only to run into… something like a Thesz Press from Max. Not a botch, mind you, just done differently. Corner spear from Max leads to a suplex. Another corner spear misses and they eat the post, and Bayne with a German suplex that Max pops up from for a mid-ring spear leading to a double-down. Max up first and tries a powerbomb, but the arm that hit the post has no strength in it. Bayne kicks that arm, then gets the Catatonic on Max. Triangle choke by Bayne gets the submission out of nowhere at 7:19. Fun little power matchup there, even if the submission seemed like it was tacked on with hot glue. ** Max gets a Please Come Back chant.
We get an ad for the Wrestival, Beyond’s official New Year’s Eve show.
Main Event: Alec Price (w/Becca) vs. Rickey Shane Page. I assume this match went on last in kayfabe because Price wanted the time to recover from the earlier match. Page has been very impressive on AEW Dark, as you know if you read my reports, and I’ve always been a fan of his whether or not he’s in regular wrestling or a deathmatch. Price is getting booed out of the building. RSP is getting chanted so much the crowd even forgets to yell One Fall.
Page rolls outside to make sure Becca doesn’t interfere to start. The more Page stalls, the crazier Price gets, as the announcers note, and when Page comes back in, Price tries to look unrattled by jab stepping on lockups and posing on the ropes. Finally, we lock up and Page puts Price in the corner. Price with a cheap shot during the break. Price gets Page in the corner on a lockup, but Page this time claps his hands and FAKES being hit. The crowd plays along, and as Price protests his innocent, Page grabs a headlock.
Price stomps the feet to break, but tries a monkey flip and Page just kicks him in the head. Price slides under Page, who claims a knee injury, but when Price tries to capitalize, Page with kneelifts to reveal he was faking. BACK body drop (.9 Warlord) and a boot to Price on the way down, and Page sends Price into the corner. Uppercut by Page, and he bites Price. Look, no one said RSP was a good guy. RSP chokes Price against the middle rope, and he follows with the suplex throw from corner to corner. Page steps on Price’s hand before stomping him, and the crowd wants one more, so Page tosses Price across the ring again. Cover gets two.
Page tries a suplex, but Price flips out and gets a cross-chop. They pull each other’s hair, but Price gets the better of it eventually with a springboard DDT for two. Big stomp to Page, then a knee strike and forearm. Double stomp on Page follows, for two. Price clubbers away on Page while yelling at him, but Page equalizes with one slap. Page with a goozle, but Price fights out and gets a diving knee and top rope legdrop for two. Becca adds a choke against the middle rope on RSP, and Price with a knee drape and more choking. Price with forearms and an uppercut, but a charging knee airballs and RSP gets an avalanche. Back suplex follows and Page kips up.
He goes up, but Price rolls out of range for a Swanton Bomb, so RSP does a ropewalk frog splash instead! It gets two. Another suplex toss, but Price lands on his feet only to run into the Twist of Fate from Page for two. Page gets the goozle, but Price elbows out only to be yanked into a kidney shot. Page tosses Price into the buckle, but Price runs up it and gets a Blockbuster. Tilt-a-whirl mat slam gets two for Price. Price argues with the referee before calming down and trying the running kick, but Page catches him and gives him a spinning flapjack. Price is dazed, so RSP gets a chokeslam into a knee strike for… two, as the ref STOPS HIS COUNT (!?) to get Becca off the apron.
Page shrugs and tries to chokeslam her, then blocks a low blow kick from Price. Price gets the low blow on the second try, and the Sur-Price Kick wins it at 11:16. TERRIBLE finish, good match. **1/2 Seriously, why did the referee stop counting? I know referees are easily distracted, but you’re supposed to pay attention to the fall against everything else!
Post-match, Page gets the mic and says he knows what to say even though he didn’t plan anything before the show. He says wrestling is the best it’s ever been… AND the worst. He talks about “the types who are gonna retweet their way to a contract” or “who politic for a higher number on the PWI”. Basically, people who think they don’t get what they deserve. But Page has been at this for 20 years, going through blood and glass to get to where he is. He helped start Beyond, and to all those who chase clout and those who just became free agents, he’s waiting and will take on anyone. But he has one name in particular. And he is mad at Cardona calling himself the Deathmatch King when RSP has been in there with all the deathmatch kings. Broski can cause all the trouble, but RSP doesn’t care. You’re always ready? Page is WAITING for it.
But as we’re ready to leave, VSK and Smart Mark Sterling come out. Matt Cardona has left the building, but Sterling is there to take care of his business. But it’s a distraction as Cardona clocks Page with the Internet belt and it’s a 3-on-1 on RSP. Radio Silence kncosk Page out and Cardona poses with the belt as Crockett is disgusted and we end the show for real. Man, whoever does RSP/Cardona is gonna be making bank.
Well, first thing to note is that this show was four hours. If that’s too much, then buyer beware. If it isn’t, you got a good variety of matches, although it was very heel-leaning tonight. The big angle at the end is going to lead to another war with Matt Cardona against RSP, but at some point Cardona has to lose to somebody and I don’t think Rickey Shane is it. I don’t know who gets the rub in the end – Goodz looked like he should have, but they think there’s still life in the chase.
Still, some fantastic wrestling here, with Black and Lyon keeping up with Bear Country, Yuta and Cobb doing a wonderful styles clash, and Cardona/Goodz showing WWE-style overbooking is not inherently bad. Bayne/Max was also fun, and Masha/Manders was a million times better than it should’ve been. All in all, if you have the stamina, it’s worth checking out.
BELL-TO-BELL – 2:12:44 over twelve matches (average time 11:04)
MATCH OF THE NIGHT – Goodz/Cardona, somehow.
- Matt Cardona
- Jay Lyon
- Jeff Cobb
- Masha Slamovich
- Brody King
Thanks for reading! I’m ready for some football and I’ll see you tomorrow!