Beyond Wrestling is coming off one of the greatest stretches it could possibly imagine. The promotion is still sizzling after one its most-impressive events of late, last June’s Ripped Off in the Prime of Life. Beyond recently became the most-subscribed to independent wrestling promotion on YouTube. It’s biggest event of the year, Americanrana, is also less than two weeks away on July 31.
That’s without even mentioning what happened this past weekend. Beyond Wrestling held the event Flesh on Sunday July 17. This event marked the first time fans could watch Beyond live on iPPV. This was also Beyond’s first event held at Melrose, MA’s Memorial Hall. It was also the first time Beyond held a dual event with Evolve Wrestling.
Generally speaking, in the midst of all that is going on, it can be easy to get lost in the moment. With that being said, Beyond Wrestling and all of those who work with the promotion need to be congratulated for all they have done and all they continue to do.
This Sunday’s action allowed Beyond to showcase its unique experience to a brand new audience in addition to longtime fans.
The night opened up with a rematch between grappling extraordinaires Zack Sabre Jr. and Jonathan Gresham. As the first match on the card, this one got the fans riled up and set the tone for the whole afternoon.
I was lucky enough to be standing ringside for the whole contest. Sabre and Gresham tested one another’s ability to withhold joint-bending pain. When they weren’t hyper extending each other’s limbs they alternated on inventive submissions, Muay-Thai-inspired strikes, and any kind of suplex you could think of.
Gresham defeated Sabre and forced him to tap out. Gresham has won 2 straight against Sabre Jr. and the two will face off in a 2 out of 3 falls match at Americanrana.
LuFisto faced off with Veda Scott next and they did not disappoint. In anticipation of Women Wrestling Revolution’s next event, being held on July 31 at Fete Music Hall in Providence, RI, two of its biggest stars brought it all in a tense contest.
Before the match started, Veda Scott took to the microphone to let LuFisto know exactly what she thought of her. Veda made it clear that she felt LuFisto’s success was far behind her and that it was now her time to shine.
Scott and LuFisto went back and forth the entire time and gave the match all they had. Despite Veda Scott’s early trash talk, LuFisto would have the last laugh. She used a variety of moves including a powerbomb and a couple of cannonballs to set up her finisher: the Burning Hammer. LuFisto won by pinfall.
Some of Beyond’s most dynamic and entertaining stars did battle in an out of this world 6-man tag team match. Team Pazuzu (Mike Draztik, Jaka and Angel Ortiz) took on the team of TFT4: Da Hit Squad (Steve Mack and Danny Maff) and Brian Fury.
The reason this match was such a success was because of the focus on tag team style moves. Each of the team’s members had such great chemistry with one another that the highlight-reel moves were being performed like clockwork.
By the end of the match each of the competitors had taken a bruise-inducing spill or bump. Team Pazuzu won the hard-fought battle. They can add another impressive victory to their resume.
Following the match The Crusade For Change (Darius Carter, TJ Marconi, Tommy Trainwreck, Devin Blaze and Anthony Gangone) had a surprise for Da Hit Squad (their opponents at Americanrana).
In perhaps a preview of what’s to come, The Crusade proved exactly why they are the most dominant faction in professional wrestling. The way they tactically and opportunistically scout out their foes is unmatched. The Crusade were able to land some damage on the down and out Hit Squad before Team Pazuzu came to the rescue of Mack and Maff.
In a barnburner, former allies Chris Dickinson and Pinkie Sanchez faced off for an opportunity to rejoin Team Pazuzu. Sanchez showed off his athleticism by pulling off not one, but two consecutive moonsaults on Dickinson. They weren’t enough.
Dickinson was wrestling like a mad man. He dug deep toward the end of the match and used his power to overcome Sanchez. A Michinoku Driver and a particularly painful-looking Pazuzu Bomb were enough for Dickinson to defeat Sanchez by pinfall.
In her match with JT Dunn, Kimber Lee proved that she can never be counted out. It seemed like the odds were stacked against Kimber Lee in this one, but she overcame all obstacles.
After surviving some early strikes from Dunn, Kim took JT to Suplex City and then some. I counted at least a dozen suplexes, but there had to have been more.
The ultimate downfall in Dunn was his ego. He was certain he had the match won on a few occasions, but he couldn’t seal the deal. He decided to take his anger out on the referee. He cornered the official into a corner and climbed the ropes one by one.
Kim took advantage, got underneath JT and sent him flying with a powerbomb. Kimber Lee picked up the win.
In the main event it was the man of many nicknames (Psycho Killer, Beyond Wrestling’s #2, etc…) Tommaso Ciampa taking on MMA veteran Matthew Riddle. This match put an exclamation point on the afternoon.
It was so much fun seeing the unpredictable, powerful and fast-paced style of Ciampa against the technical, grappling, hard-striking style of Riddle.
After both men essentially went to hell and back I thought the match was in the bag. Ciampa nailed Riddle with his signature finishing move Project Ciampa. The referee’s count came within a fraction of a second of being a 3 count.
Riddle somehow found a way to kick out. The Ultimate Fighter contestant proved his toughness and was able to submit Ciampa with an armbar.
Beyond Wrestling is in the middle of one of its best stretches ever, but the best has yet to come.
Americanrana is around the corner and it can’t get here soon enough.
by: Kevin D’Hooge