Monday, May 16, 2016

Beyond Wrestling: Battle of New England Review

The Doom Patrol takes on Team Tremendous in the Main Event!

Beyond Wrestling: Battle Of New England
Providence, Rhode Island 8/31/14

So just to give a little bit of background, this show took place on the same weekend that PWG held its annual Battle of Los Angeles Tournament, meaning that there isn’t as much “star power” in for a Beyond Wrestling show as you would expect. Still, they put together a pretty interesting card, focusing more on regulars and other regional independent talent.

1.) Fatal Four-Way Match - Hanson vs. Brian Fury vs. Julian Starr vs. Antonio Atama: ***

This was billed as an “XWA Showcase Match”. I thought it was pretty solid opener. As you would expect, this was an action-packed match from start to finish, as everyone was trying to get their stuff in. It only went about seven or eight minutes, but it was a perfectly fine opener. Atama would eventually get the win after getting Starr to submit to the Black Widow (AJ Lee’s finisher).

2.) The Juicy Product (JT Dunn & David Starr)  vs. The Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti): ***1/2

So here we have a regular team in Beyond Wrestling taking on a regular team in CHIKARA. The Throwbacks, at the time this show took place, were just coming off winning CHIKARA’s Campeones de Parejas. This was a really good match, and was easily one of the best matches on this card. The Throwbacks showed a lot here, and I think they meshed well with The Juicy Product here. There was some entertaining action throughout this match. It had the potential to be the best match on the card, but unfortunately, the match ended in a No Contest when Michael Bennett ran out and punched the referee.

After he took out the referee, Bennett (who is feuding with Biff Busick at the moment) cut a promo basically running down Beyond Wrestling (like he’s done before), but he’s interrupted by JT Dunn, who says that if Bennett wants a fight, he’s got an opponent in the form of Kimber Lee! Kimber Lee & Michael Bennett go back & forth with promos until Bennett accepts her challenge for later.

3.) Matt Tremont vs. Stockade: **1/4

So this was….a match. These two brawled for a little bit in the ring, and then brawled to the outside until they both got counted out. They shrugged this off and continued brawling throughout the building. It was probably the worst match of the night, but you know based on this finish that this feud is far from over.

4.) The Hooligans vs. Aeroform (Louis Lyndon & Flip Kendrick): ***1/4

So on this show we’ve got a number of talent from the Midwest (specifically from places like AAW & AIW) making appearances on this card, and this match is full of them, as Aeroform are regulars in the Midwest while (I believe) The Hooligans are from the Midwest and just started with AAW around this time. I thought this was a pretty entertaining tag team match. Of course, Aeroform showed off their high flying ability, while The Hooligans displayed some impressive athleticism of their own. The Hooligans would get the win in this one.

5.) Timothy Thatcher vs. Jonathan Gresham: ***1/2

Now this was a really interesting match. This was a few weeks after Timothy Thatcher won the 2014 Style Battle Tournament in Evolve (during the first weekend of Evolve’s “reboot”). Of course, Jonathan Gresham is someone who I feel like is perennially underrated, and deserves more opportunities on the independent circuit. This was a really good match. There was a lot of grappling in this match (basically the style that’s been popularized by Evolve over the last two years), and while some don’t like it, in this case, I thought it worked very well. There was a ton of back & forth action in this match, and it would end up being one of the better matches on this show. Gresham would get the win in this one, and Thatcher would shake his hand in a sign of respect after the match.

6.) Six-Man Tag - Eric Corvis, Rickey Shane Page, & Davey Vega vs. The Crusade For Change (Dany Only, Darius Carter, & TJ Marconi): ***1/4

Before this match, we get a promo from Corvis, who said that RSP, Vega, and himself were supposed to face The Crusade For Change earlier in that day on one of Beyond Wrestling’s “Secret Shows”, but they had been blown off. He calls for the match right now, and Darius Carter cuts a promo before the match officially starts. As far as the match goes, it was a very solid six-man tag. A lot of dives and brawling, basically what you would have expected. Fun for what it was. Corvis, who has been feuding with The Crusade For Change, tries to use a wine corkscrew at one point, but is stopped by the referee, which leads to Dany Only to low blow Corvis, and for Carter to take him out for the win. The Crusade For Change would take out Corvis, RSP, & Vega after the match. A fine match, but you know that this story is far from over.

7.) Silver Ant vs. Anthony Stone: ***1/4

I always enjoy seeing Silver Ant in environments outside of CHIKARA, and he would have a pretty solid match with Anthony Stone. Not a long match (around seven or eight minutes), but a very solid back & forth affair. Perfectly fine for what it was. Stone would get the win out of nowhere with a roll up/cradle/small package flash pin. The bigger story here was that Mr. Touchdown came out and attacked Anthony Stone. This was supposed to be followed up on a Beyond Wrestling Show in September, but that show got abruptly cancelled at the last minute due to an issue with their usual venue, so sadly, this would go nowhere.

8.) Ultimate Endurance Match - Da Hoodz vs. M1nute Men vs. EYFBO vs. Milk Chocolate: ***1/4

This is a match that was used frequently during the heyday of ROH. It’s an elimination match, and each fall is different. I forget what the stipulations for the first and third falls were, but I know the second fall was held under Lucha Tag Rules. Here we have four teams who are all regulars in Beyond Wrestling, and as you would expect, this match went all over the place. Bodies were flying everywhere, and there was a ton of dives and brawling. The M1nute Men were eliminated first, then followed by EYFBO. Finally, Da Hoodz would eliminate Milk Chocolate in the final fall to win the match. An entertaining match for what it was.

9.) Michael Bennett vs. Kimber Lee: ***¼

The Semi-Main Event was a result of the challenge made earlier in the show. The stakes are high for Kimber Lee, who was still undefeated in Beyond Wrestling at this point. Michael Bennett was just coming off his debut in New Japan at the G1 Climax 24 Finals in the Seibu Dome. The match was pretty solid, and the crowd really helped, as they were really behind Kimber Lee and heavily against Michael Bennett. Kimber Lee eventually picked up the win with her Alligator Clutch pin, but Michael Bennett would attack her after the match, punching her in the face and hitting her with a piledriver. The Juicy Product would run out to make the save.

10.) The Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) vs. Team Tremendous: ***3/4

The Main Event features two of the bigger acts in Beyond Wrestling. I thought this was a really good match. Team Tremendous are always an entertaining act to watch, while Dickinson & Jaka are an interesting tag team in their own right. It’s also interesting seeing Jaka in particular, outside of the CHIKARA-verse, playing a (slightly) different role. A very solid Main Event from start to finish. Eventually, The Doom Patrol would pick up the win, and Dickinson would cut a promo to close the show.

Overall: 7.0/10

As I mentioned in the beginning, there weren’t that many big acts on this show, as PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles was going on this exact same weekend. Despite that, Beyond Wrestling was still able to put on a pretty entertaining show that focused more on their home grown talent. While there weren’t any matches that are must-see, the card was still very solid from the opener, all the way up to the Main Event, with only one match in the undercard being a little iffy. It’s not show you need to see immediately, but if you’re looking for a show with a ton of solid matches, this one is a decent pick.

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