7/31 Zim’s Beyond Wrestling review: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Jonathan Gresham in a best of three falls match, Tommaso Ciampa vs. Brian Fury, Johnny Gargano vs. David Starr, plus Joey Ryan, AR Fox, Chris Hero, Donovan Dijak, and more

beyond1Beyond Wrestling’s Americanrana 2016
Providence, Rhode Island at Fete Music
Report by Dot Net staffer Zack Zimmerman

1. Keith Lee beat Brian Cage with a Pop-up Last Ride. This was a good big-man opener with some very cool not-made-for-big-men spots.

2. DDT Pro Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship Suge D fought Joey Ryan to an apparent no-contest. Joey sexually harassed Suge right out of the arena. The title is defended under 24/7 rules and would come back into play later in the show.

3. AR Fox beat Matt Tremont. This one didn’t go long, but at the wild pace it went, it didn’t need to. Fox won with an Swanton off the balcony into the ring.

4. Crusade for Change (Darius Carter, TJ Marconi, Anthony Gangone, and the M1nute Men) beat Homicide, Eddie Kingston, Dan Maff, and B-Boy. After a stiff walking brawl, Darius Carter stole the pin with a rollup. Post-match Homicide shouted out Monsta Mack who was scheduled for the match but apparently didn’t make it.

5. Chris Hero over Kimber Lee with a tombstone. This was solid. Post-match, Hero said that very often he comes into a match with a certain perception and over the course of a match, the competitor proves him wrong and earns his respect, “but that shit didn’t happen tonight.” He buried her and then introduced his Death By Elbow partner JT Dunn for the next match.

6. Donovan Dijak beat JT Dunn and Chris Dickinson in a three-way. Very good match featuring the guys vying to be “ace” of Beyond. After a good closing sequences of finishes and counters, Dijak landed Feast Your Eyes on Dunn for the win.

Joey Ryan and Suge D brawled back out through the crowd and into the ring, but then agreed to a temporary truce to go sell gimmicks at the merch table.

Intermission. It was somewhere around this point when the sound system went out for the remainder of the show, which meant no entrance music nor microphones. It certainly seemed to hurt the atmosphere, but there was a kind-of neat throwback feel. Still, a microphone for introductions would’ve been nice.

7. Tanya Cornell (Beyond’s camera lady) won the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight belt. Cornwell won when Ryan and Suge knocked each other out and she pinned Suge. There was a good pop of appreciation for her and that’s exactly the silly type of thing that the title is for, so it made for a cool moment.

8. Matthew Riddle beat John Silver. This was among the best matches of the night, though it only went a little over 10 minutes. Both guys are among the most underrated wrestlers on the indies right now and are making great strides. Riddle won with a Twister submission (think Korean Zombie).

9. Team Pazuzu (Jaka, Angel Ortiz, and Mike Draztik w/ Pinkie Sanchez) beat Catch Point (Drew Gulak, TJP, and Tracy Williams). This match went significantly longer than necessary. Closing in on the four-hour mark, these guys decided to work a slow-paced, unspectacular, 20-plus minute formulaic tag match. A real lack of self-awareness from the guys in the ring. Pazuzu won with their powerbomb/neckbreaker/stomp combo. Post-match Matt Riddle came out and helped Catch Point beat down Pazuzu until Chris Dickinson came out for the save. He shouted that he’s back aligned with Pazuzu. They also looked to be setting up Dickinson vs. Riddle for down the line, which is one of the strongest matches Beyond can put together right now.

10. David Starr tapped Johnny Gargano to an inverted sharpshooter with a crossface. Good match, with Gargano playing the cocky heel on his way out.

11. Joey Ryan pinned Johnny Cockstrong to regain his DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight belt. Apparently there had been 9 title changes to this point in the day. After his win, Joey cut a promo and made the mistake of saying that the title belonged more to the crowd than him, so the referee called for the bell and declared us all the champion. I missed exactly what happened, but I think some fans at ringside ran slapped the mat and the referee called for the bell, awarding the submission win and title back to Joey. Funny stuff.

12. Brian Fury forced Tommaso Ciampa to submit to a Boston crab. Good match from two guys who have been around the northeast indie scene for a long time together.

13. Jonathan Gresham defeated Zack Sabre Jr. in a best of three falls match. The first fall was actually a double pin on Zack’s bridging clutch rollup when both guys’ shoulders were down, making it 1-1 and thus, sudden death from there. Gresh finally tapped him to a Figure Four after working over the knee all match. These two work so well together and brought the stiffness and intensity here, but I think my favorite match between them was still the second in this Beyond trilogy which took place two weeks ago on the Flesh iPPV (available on WWN).

Overall, I knew what I was getting into with Americanrana this year. A show with a lot of great names and solid matchups, but a Beyond show with 11 matches (not counting the additional Ironman Heavymetal matches) nonetheless. As usual, it was a marathon. The matches delivered for the most part and there were more fans in Fete than I’ve ever seen, but I wasn’t engaged throughout the show, and engagement is absolutely necessary if something is supposed to hold me for four and a half hours. I enjoy Beyond Wrestling as a general rule and this was a strong show, I think I was just spoiled by the tightness of their iPPV and so by the time intermission rolled around, I was ready to turn in.


The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Mister Saint Laurent, who offers passionate words about what MLW delivers that pro wrestling has been missing, addresses criticism of MLW's contracts, straying from the path that his family paved for him, discusses the MLW Saturday Night SuperFight pay-per-view event that will be held on November 2 in Chicago, and more (62:44)...


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