Saturday, March 31, 2018

Beyond Wrestling: Caffeine Review

Donovan Dijak & Matt Riddle face off in the main event!

Beyond Wrestling: Caffeine
Orlando, Florida 4/1/17

1.) Keith Lee vs. Jeff Cobb: ***1/4

With two big guys like this, you know you’re in for a hoss fight. This wasn’t as great as I was expecting, but it was still a pretty solid opening contest. It went about ten minutes, and there was good action throughout (with both men showing off their power), though it didn’t really get to that next level. Lee would end up getting the win after catching Cobb in a victory roll (of all things), and the two men shook hands after the match.

2.) Deonna Purrazzo vs. LuFisto: ***1/4

This was billed as a “Women’s Wrestling Revolution Showcase”. For those who might not know, WWR is an offshoot promotion from Beyond that focuses primarily on women’s wrestling (as the name would indicate, obviously). I was actually looking forward to this one, since I know that both of these women are very talented wrestlers. They ended up having a very solid back and forth match that was about on par with the opener, in terms of quality. Purrazzo tried her best to keep LuFisto grounded, and at one point, locked her in the Fujiwara Armbar. However, LuFisto was able to escape the hold, and got the win after hitting a Tiger Driver. Then, much like Keith Lee & Jeff Cobb did after the opener, these two women shook hands following this match.

3.) Eight-Man Tag - Team Pazuzu (Chris Dickinson, Jaka, & TNA/Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Champions LAX [Ortiz & Santana]) vs. The Gentleman’s Club (Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy) & Team Tremendous: ***1/2

I pretty behind when it comes to watching Beyond Wrestling, but I was very aware of the stable known as Team Pazuzu. At the time, however, there had been some recent developments with some of his members. EYFBO were brought into TNA/Impact Wrestling (under the new Jeff Jarrett regime) and became part of the newly reformed LAX. They had only been with the company for a few weeks, but they had already capturing the TNA/Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Titles. They were pretty over with this crowd when they came out. As for the match itself, I thought it was a really entertaining eight-man tag. I got a good amount of time (clocking in at just over sixteen minutes) and there was a lot of fun action from beginning to end. There were some comedic elements here and there (mainly from The Gentleman’s Club & Team Tremendous), but this was mostly nonstop action. The only negative thing to say about this one is that it had a weird finish. Towards the end of the bout, Bill Carr accidentally hit Orange Cassidy with a Black Hole Slam. LAX takes advantage of this mishap, as they trap Cassidy in a Jackknife Pin for the victory.

4.) Sami Callihan vs. David Starr: ***1/2

While these two are technically part of the same group (JML), they’re not afraid to fight each other. This was a sub-seven minute sprint that was packed with nonstop action from start to finish. I’ve said this consistently in many of my past reviews, but it’s worth repeating. Sami Callihan’s best work is in sprints. That’s where he excels, and this particular bout was a perfect example of where he does well. This match was hard hitting, and filled with energy, which is exactly the kind of bout that this show needs (since it started just before midnight). Starr would ultimately get the win in this one. It certainly wasn’t a contender for match of the weekend, but I loved every second of it.

After the match, Sami Callihan took the mic. He said that, at this point, he’s wrestled nine matches over the course of this big weekend. Callihan proclaimed that this was part of the reason why he left WWE, so he could wrestle for great independent companies like Beyond Wrestling on ‘Mania Weekend. He put over David Starr, and the two left together.

5.) Mixed Tag Team Match - Joey Janela & Penelope Ford vs. The World’s Cutest Tag Team (Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae): ***

Up next, we had a mixed tag team encounter. Janela takes the mic. This went just under eight minutes, and it ended up being a relatively solid bout. Of course, you did get some intergender spots with Penelope Ford & Candice LeRae going after their respective male opponents. Of course, we did get some weird spots, like Ford trying to rip of Ryan’s chest hair. On a more serious note, both teams work together so well (both as actual teams, and in this match in particular), and it resulted in an entertaining. In the end, Janela would get the pin on Ryan following a splash off the top rope.

Afterwards, Joey Janela took the mic, and mockingly congratulates them on their efforts. Janela then proclaimed that, since he just pinned Joey Ryan, he should be awarded the DDT Iron-Man Heavy Metal Weight Champion. Bryce Remsberg (the referee for the Mixed Tag Team Match) then had no choice but to award Janela the title, and Janela says he’ll see Joey Ryan in Japan. Of course, Janela didn’t hold onto the title for very long, but you can follow the escapades of that title in the United States on YouTube.

6.) AR Fox vs. John Silver: ***1/4

This singles bout was very similar to the opener. It went right around ten minutes (in this case, just under ten minutes), and the action throughout was very solid, but as a whole, I was expecting this to be slightly better. Still, it was a fun match to watch for sure. Fox utilized his speed and athleticism, while Silver showed off some of his freaky strength. Eventually, Silver managed to put Fox away after hitting a Canadian Destroyer. This didn’t really set the world on fire, but as a whole, it proved to be pretty entertaining.

7.) Da Hit Squad (Dan Maff & Monsta Mack) vs. The Unbreakable F’N Machines (Brian Cage & “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin): ***1/4

While they’ve on the independent scene for a very long time, I’ve only seen Da Hit Squad a few times. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this bout, but it ended up being very similar to the Sami Callihan/David Starr match from earlier in the show. It was an absolute sprint that was packed with action. In hindsight, I suppose that was for the best, since Da Hit Squad probably aren’t physically capable of doing a long match. This was a hoss fight, but in the form of a tag team match. These four just through bombs each other for almost eight minutes, and it was incredibly entertaining to watch. Da Hit Squad getting the win here was a bit of a surprise, but they are Beyond Wrestling regulars, so I probably shouldn’t have been shocked.

Afterwards, the two teams shook hands.

8.) Donovan Dijak vs. Matt Riddle: ****

These two nearly got into it during Riddle’s entrance, and needed to be separated before the match could officially begin. The story here is that Dijak has been obsessed with facing Riddle again after he failed to beat him in the 2016 Tournament For Tomorrow Finals. I was expecting this to be a great match, and it met my expectations perfect. This was an awesome main event and a great way to close out the show. At just over eleven minutes, it was a little shorter than I was expecting, but it was still awesome to watch. There was plenty of back and forth action in this one. Both guys used every move in their arsenal in an attempt to put each other away. Dijak wanted this victory so bad, but unfortunately, he came up short against “The King Of Bros” once again. Once again, this was a incredible match from start to finish.

Overall: 8.0/10

This was technically the last show of the WWNLive Experience on this big weekend in Orlando, Florida (if you don’t count the Broken Tailgate on Sunday, which features shows from ACW & FIP). It wasn’t an event that really stood out amongst all of the other shows, but from top to bottom, I thought this was an incredibly consistent show. While the main event was the only bout that was truly great, the rest of the undercard featured several very entertaining matches, all in the ***-***1/2. Plus, the commentary (from Sugar Dunkerton & Veda Scott) was pretty solid as well. It’s unfortunate that this show got lost in the shuffle on this massive weekend, because it was a very enjoyable show to watch from beginning to end.

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