Written by: Bob Colling
Beyond Wrestling presents Americanrana
From: Providence, RI
It is kind of a cool sight to see everyone walking into the arena for the show as the first match was being introduced. This is my first Beyond Wrestling show to ever watch. There aren’t any guard railings and the fans are standing right next to the ring with their hands on the apron making it an up close and personal atmosphere.
Opening Contest: David Starr vs. Latin Dragon vs. Sozio vs. Shane Strickland in an elimination match: All four men compete in CZW on a regular basis and this is a pre-show match. Sozio bullies around the guys at the start and leg sweeps Dragon after shoving Strickland. Sozio sets double teamed by Strickland and Dragon before Starr sends Sozio to the floor. Dragon arm drags Starr to the floor and head scissors Strickland to the corner. Sozio returns to the ring to shoulder block Dragon and is soon met with a dropkick from Dragon. Dragon knocks Sozio into the crowd where Dragon takes Sozio out with a moonsault off the apron. In the ring, Strickland almost pins Starr with a rollup. Starr catches Strickland on a springboard with a German suplex for a near fall. Starr nails Strickland with a forearm shot but Sozio comes out of nowhere to deliver a running yakuza kick. Sozio tosses Strickland with an overhead suplex into Starr in the corner. Dragon rolls Sozio up to eliminate him.
Dragon misses a spear on Strickland hitting the post instead. Strickland dropkicks Starr and attempts a dive but Starr goes back into the ring. Shane blocks a suicide dive with a kick. Starr rolls through a cross body and almost pins Strickland. Starr has Strickland hitting a double leg slam, which he hits three times. He just did a three rolling double leg slams but can’t an elimination. Dragon kicks Starr to breakup a Boston Crab. Strickland nails Starr with a double stomp in the middle of the ring to eliminate Starr.
Strickland and Dragon slap each other until Strickland cuts Dragon off with a kick. They continue to exchange plows until Dragon hits the pop up Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Strickland nails Dragon with an axe kick for a two count. Strickland hits a spinning piledriver out of the corner that started as a head scissors. Dragon hits a Torture Rack turned into a face buster to get the win. (***1/4. I mean, this is the damn pre-show and it’s off to a solid start for the first show I’ve ever seen. I must not give CZW enough credit for actual wrestlers and not death match guys, too. I enjoyed this and saw moves I haven’t seen before. I thought it was well done.)
Second Contest: Chris Dickinson vs. Drew Gulak: A clean break in the corner by Dickinson to start the match. Gulak gets a two count with a rollup as they are keeping the match mat based. Dickinson runs over Gulak with a running shoulder block and chops Gulak a few times. Dickinson runs into a big boot and Gulak nearly wins with a clothesline. Dickinson takes Gulak to the mat but Gulak nearly wins with another rollup. Gulak has a hammerlock and drops Dickinson across the ropes. Gulak gets a two count with a bridging suplex on the injured arm of Dickinson. Dickinson hits the Falcon Arrow and a stiff kick to the back of Gulak. Gulak trades chops with Dickinson but Dickinson gets the better of that exchange. Gulak takes Dickinson down to the canvas with an arm bar but isn’t able to get a submission. Gulak clotheslines Dickinson in the corner and just tosses Dickinson into the ropes. Dickinson stops Gulak with a kick to Gulak’s legs and puts a figure four on. Gulak is able to turn the hold over but the move is let go by Dickinson.
Gulak takes Dickinson over with a side suplex for another near fall. Dickinson drops Gulak with a forearm shot and goes back to work with chops. Dickinson goes to the apron going from a sunset flip into a power bomb but Gulak kicks out at two. They trade blows on their knees. Dickinson just slaps Gulak and goes for a crucifix bomb, which connects but Gulak manages to kick out at two. Gulak tries to put an arm bar across the top rope but Gulak slides off and crashes to the floor. Gulak fights back with several forearms and has the dragon sleeper on Dickinson. Dickinson gets out of the hold and drops Gulak with a German suplex. Gulak gets out at one and Dickinson can’t believe it. Dickinson nails Gulak with a forearm shot and Gulak counters a power bomb with the dragon sleeper. Dickinson refuses to give in or pass out. They go back to trading chops in the middle of the ring. They are just destroying each other with strikes. Gulak gets the win with a roaring elbow! (***1/2. Okay, I’ll admit that I was getting a little bored with the first four or five minutes, but these guys went and worked a stiff match and this was loads of fun to watch. Dickinson worked the big man style well and Gulak felt like an underdog and it was a very enjoyable match.) After the match, they show respect for each other.
Third Contest: Team Tremendous (Bill Carr & Dan Barry) vs. EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik) vs. Da Hoodz(Davey Cash & Kris Pyro) vs. The Minute Men (Devin Blaze & Tommy Trainwreck): Aside from Barry and Carr, I have no idea who these guys are. Tremendous search all their opponents but don’t find anything. They are going with a lot of comedy, which is fine considering the hard hitting match that went on prior. Carr destroys Ortiz with clotheslines are they interrogated him about smuggling something that Ortiz had no idea what they were talking about. Barry hit a split legged moonsault but can’t put Ortiz away. Draztik hit a moonsault on Barry after stepping on Ortiz. Barry is double teamed with a double flapjack and dropkick while seated by EYFBO. Blaze hits an impressive flipping double clothesline off the top rope on Ortiz and Draztik. Hoodz have control of the match working over Trainwreck. Tommy fights them off and Blaze hits a dropkick/senton splash. Minute Men hit a blockbuster/side leg sweep combo on Pyro. Blaze gets caught on a dive and is sent into Trainwreck. Ortiz hits a suicide dive on everyone on the floor. Draztik takes everyone out with a 450 splash dive off the top. Bill Carr stops Dan Barry from doing a dive. Carr decides he’ll do a somersault dive and he does just that! Pyro uses the post to kick Carr and a head scissors on Ortiz, I think. Barry stops Blaze from a double moonsault to the floor. Barry has Blaze on the top rope and attempts a power bomb but Blaze counters with a hurricanrana sending both men onto everyone on the floor!
Back in the ring, Draztik kicks Trainwreck but Blaze comes off the ropes only to be caught and that allows Pyro to hit a swinging face buster. Trainwreck takes Draztik over with a suplex. Trainwreck gets superkicked to the floor by Hoodz. Blaze is met with a spike tombstone by Hoodz but the cover is broken up. Pyro is planted by a DDT and a Canadian Destroyer by Blaze but that doesn’t get a three. Barry hits a DDT and Carr saves his partner to hit a swinging side slam on Draztik for a two count. Carr catches Ortiz with a slam out of the corner. Barry hits a double stomp off the top and that gets the three count for the win. (***1/4. I didn’t do enough for the spots done here. Just an absolute spot fest and it was an enjoyable match. I’m sure I got people confused with others because I’m not familiar with everyone, but this shows how much talent is truly out there on the independents.)
Fourth Contest: Aaron Epic & Dave Cole vs. Le Tabarnak de Team (Mathieu St-Jacques & Thomas Dubois): Again, not familiar with anyone in this match. Epic goes at it alone at first and is worked over by the Canadian team. Their name translates to “The Fucking Team”, apparently. Epic is sent into the corner with a suplex. Dave Cole pulls Epic out of the ring and helps Epic out by going into the ring to brawl with the Canadian team. Cole and Epic hit a clothesline/side Russian leg sweep combo on Jacques. Epic continues to be double teamed in the ring. The fans are singing the star spangled banner to distract the Canadian team. Jacques hit Epic with a slam as the fans got to the end of the song. Dubois drops Epic throat first across the top rope to end his attempted comeback. Jacques hits the Hogan boot and leg drop but Epic gets a second wind. Epic elbows Dubois and Cole plants him with a DDT for a near fall. Cole hits an ace crusher on Dubois for a two count. Cole hits a top rope double stomp for a near fall. Jacques gets a double knee to the face but kicks out on the cover. Epic gets a forearm and power bomb in the corner. Cole gets tossed into Epic, who gets slammed with a double Alabama slam, which gets the win. (**. They tried to make it a fun match, but I wasn’t into the action. Epic worked well in there but I think this was more of me being unimpressed with Jacques and Dubois.)
Fifth Contest: Colt Cabana vs. Jaka: Cabana blocks a kick and is grossed out by Jaka’s feet so he rubs his hands and midsection. Jaka licks his feet while Cabana is on the apron. Cabana takes Jaka down to the mat and has the foot but isn’t wanting to do anything. Cabana rubs the referees face into the foot! Jaka back rakes Cabana but Colt delivers a karate strike that doesn’t impact Jaka until clapping his head does the trick. Jaka hits a leaping neck breaker and a somersault head butt for a two count. Jaka puts his foot on Cabana’s face in the corner which grosses Cabana out again. Jaka takes Cabana over with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Jaka keeps control of the match with a falling head butt and strikes in the corner. Colt avoids Jaka in the corner and delivers a chop. Cabana jabs Jaka several times and an elbow strike to the back of Jaka’s head. Cabana hits a splash in the corner and a clothesline for a two count. Jaka drops Cabana with a super kick for a two count. Jaka misses a splash off the top rope. Cabana goes to the top but lands on the canvas first before hitting a splash anyway. Cabana tries for the Billy Goat’s Curse, but Jaka gets out of it. Jaka slaps Cabana and hits a sit out spine buster but Colt kicks out at two. Cabana hits the GTS and pins Jaka. (**. The comedy at the start was kind of funny, but this felt like a way to cool off the fans while still giving them a name in Cabana to keep them entertained. Considering the final few matches, this cool down makes sense.)
Sixth Contest: CZW Heavyweight Champion Masada vs. Kevin Steen: Steen shoulder blocks Masada for a two count but neither man is really getting any kind of advantage. They trade forearms in the middle of the ring. Masada stops Steen with a knee strike to the gut and tosses Steen to the floor. They brawl into the crowd where Steen uses a beam to put a modified surfboard on Masada. Steen is sent into the ring post arm first. Masada hits a side Russian leg sweep on the floor. Masada takes Steen out with a suicide dive. Masada goes for the move again but Steen cuts him off. Steen plants Masada with a suplex onto the apron. Steen attempts a piledriver on the apron but Masada stops that. Steen trips Masada causing his injured knee to hit the apron. Steen chop blocks the injured knee to keep Masada on the canvas. Steen rams Masada groin first into the ring post and wraps his around the ring post. Steen sends Masada into the ring post shoulder first. Steen rolls into the ring saying he’d take a count out. Steen works on the knee after Masada was able to roll back into the ring. Masada avoids a running cannonball attempt by Steen in the corner. Steen gets sent into the corner by Masada but Steen uses a football tackle to the injured leg to knock Masada down. Masada slows Steen down with a sleeper hold but Steen counters with a sleeper suplex for a two count. Steen attempts a swanton but Masada got his knees up which gets him a near fall. Masada has a wooden stick but fails to use it on Steen. Steen goes for the sharpshooter but Mada puts the sticks in Steen’s head and hits a piledriver! Steen somehow kicks out on the cover attempt. Steen kicks the injured leg and hits a cannonball to the leg. Steen puts the Sharpshooter on and Masada has to give up. (**1/2. Some decent brawling between the two and I never expected Steen to have the sticks sticking out of his head. They told a story with Masada’s knee and I’m glad that actually played a part in the finish.) After the match, they shake hands.
Seventh Contest: DGUSA Heavyweight Champion Johnny Gargano vs. JT Dunn: Gargano takes Dunn down to mat at the start. Gargano continues to out wrestle Dunn on the mat and taunts Dunn once they get up. Dunn takes Johnny down once and say this is his house. The fans are heavily behind Gargano despite this being in Dunn’s hometown. Johnny wants to shake hands and ends up kicking Dunn down to the canvas. Dunn knocks Johnny down with a dropkick sending Gargano to the apron. Gargano gets kicked off the apron to the floor. Dunn hits a suicide dive to the floor. Dunn goes for another one but Gargano surprises him with a spear from the apron, and good camera work making it look like it came from nowhere. Gargano works over Dunn with strikes but Dunn fights back with a series of punches and attempts a springboard cross body but Johnny casually sidesteps it. Gargano takes Dunn over with a snap suplex and controls Dunn on the canvas. Johnny locks in a Cloverleaf but Dunn refuses to give in and rolls to the apron when the hold is let go. Gargano and Dunn attempt cross body blocks and they collide in the middle of the ring. Dunn gets up and hits a few clotheslines and a knee to a kneeling Gargano for a near fall. Dunn kicks Johnny from the apron and slingshots back in to hit a face buster for a near fall. Johnny runs into a big boot but stops Dunn with a double stomp. Johnny tosses Dunn with the lawn dart into the corner which gets him a two count.
They begin to trade forearm shots in the middle of the ring. Gargano kicks Dunn a few times and they trade superkicks. Dunn knocks Gargano down with a stiff clothesline. Dunn gets taken down to the canvas but Dunn avoids the Gargano Escape by getting to the ropes. They run the ropes with neither man managing to hit a move until Johnny kicks Dunn. Dunn drops Gargano across his knee and hits a Slice Bread for a near fall. Dunn counters Gargano’s offense with a rollup that nearly got a three count. Dunn forearms Johnny but runs into a super kick. Dunn comes off the ropes to hit a wild forearm and almost pins Gargano again. Gargano connects with the Hurts Donut and locks in the Gargano Escape forcing a submission. (***1/2. This was a fun match and it felt like Gargano was always just a little better than Dunn. JT showed a lot of heart and determination keeping up with Gargano and made for a really good match.) After the match, Gargano goes for a handshake but walks away before stopping at the ropes. Johnny comes back to Dunn and slaps his hand.
Eighth Contest: EVOLVE Champion AR Fox vs. Anthony Stone: Stone takes Fox down to the mat and continues to control with a few arm drags. Fox avoids a kick and kick Stone to the mat where Fox delivers another kick. Stone drives Fox into the corner back first and face first into the corner. Fox pops up to drop Stone throat first across the top rope. Fox goes to the apron but misses a moonsault after spring boarding off the ring post. Stone brings the action back into the ring. Stone hits Fox with a dropkick in the corner followed by a slam. Stone misses a splash in the corner and Fox hits a Codebreaker after coming off the top for a two count. Fox drives Stone down with a rib breaker and a split legged moonsault for a near fall. Stone kicks Fox, who dropkicks Stone moments later. Fox puts Stone in the tree of woe where Fox hits a bronco buster. Stone tries to fight back but Fox just kicks him down. Fox sends Stone to the floor where Fox takes Stone out with a somersault dive over the top to the floor. Stone misses a kick and crotches himself over the top. Fox takes advantage hitting a leg drop across the apron! Stone struggles but manages to get back into the ring to continue the match. Fox puts an abdominal stretch on Stone but isn’t going to get a submission.
Fox ducks a clothesline to kick Stone down to the mat again. Stone flips onto the apron but gets really sloppy with attempting a move. Fox avoids a handspring by flipping off the apron but Stone eventually takes Fox out with a moonsault on the floor. Fox crotches Stone on the top rope and delivers a super kick. Stone avoids the Spanish Fly and ducks a kick leading to a rollup for a near fall. They counter some rollups with neither man getting a three. Stone explodes out of the corner to hit a running knee strike but Fox kicks out on the cover. Stone works over Fox in the corner with a few kicks and puts Fox on the top rope. Stone gets knocked off the ropes and Fox punches Stone to the canvas. Fox plants Stone with a springboard ace crusher and hits the 450 splash but Stone kicks out. Stone avoids Fox in the corner and counters a sunset flip by sitting down to win the match. (**3/4. This felt longer than 15-minutes as there were moments that it just dragged. Stone seems to be a high flyer who just doesn’t hang with Fox in that role. Fox is incredible and I really enjoy his work, and he didn’t even do a lot of his stuff in this match. It’s not awful, but it would have been better had it been cut a few minutes.) After the match, Fox embraces Stone and the show mutual respect. Wait, Nicholas Kaye enters the ring and knocks Stone out with cloth. These two will be meeting at the next show in September. Kaye carries Stone out of the arena.
Main Event: Eddie Edwards vs. Biff Busick: They go to the mat where Biff has the early advantage with a go-behind but Edwards quickly gets control of Biff’s arm leading to a standoff. They have a test of strength where Biff is able to take Eddie down to the mat but Eddie prevents his shoulders from touching and takes Biff down to the canvas. Eddie bends Biff’s fingers backwards with his knee on his arm but Biff gets up to back Edwards into a corner and Biff tries a cheap chop but Eddie avoids it. Edwards takes Biff down to the canvas but Biff gets out of it and they trade rollups with neither man getting a three count. They have a standoff after both attempting dropkicks. Biff chops Edwards and naturally Eddie comes back with one of his own. They trade vicious chops until Eddie takes Biff down to the mat with a headlock. Edwards takes Biff down with a drop toe hold after avoiding Biff in the corner. Edwards goes for a surfboard after gauging his face. Edwards locks in a surfboard with a dragon sleeper but Biff gets out of it. Biff nails Edwards with elbow strikes but Eddie sidesteps a flying elbow and Biff crashes to the outside. Edwards slams Biff onto the apron. Edwards works over Biff with a chop against the apron as they go towards the bar. Eddie works over Biff with head butts and we see that Biff is busted wide open from the mouth. Biff battles back with uppercuts but Edwards stops him with a kick. Edwards misses a chop hitting a metal post. Biff follows up with a super kick.
Biff has Edwards on the apron but Eddie manages to backdrop Biff onto the apron and they both crash to the floor. Edwards rolls Biff into the ring but only manages a two count on a cover. Edwards runs into an uppercut and chops Biff a few times. They begin to trade more chops in the middle of the ring. Edwards gets the better of that exchange with rapid fire chops in the corner. Biff boots Edwards to the floor and hits a somersault dive! Biff heads to the top rope but rolls through and Edwards hits a backpack stunner off the middle rope for a two count. Biff trades slaps with Eddie before hitting a dragon suplex. Eddie tries a few clotheslines and settles for a clothesline. Biff decks Edwards with a lariat and a dragon suplex for another two count. Biff has Edwards on the top but Eddie knocks Biff off the middle rope. Biff uppercuts Eddie on the top turnbuckle. Edwards knocks Biff off and hits a double stomp followed by a power bomb, twice, but Biff kicks out. Edwards transitions into a half Boston Crab. Biff tries to fight out but Eddie stomps on Biff’s head and that knocks Biff out awarding Edwards the match. (****. That was the best way to end the match with Biff being knocked out instead of a pin or submission. This was hard-hitting and just great action between these two. Very good wrestling and the fans were amped for everything they offered. Great main event to end a really solid show.)
Well, this won’t be the last Beyond Wrestling show I review. What a great show with many top names and the local talent mostly delivering. Seriously, the Beyond crowd might be one of the best independent wrestling crowds as it makes for a great atmosphere. This was just about three hours long and was an absolute breeze to watch. Which, is often hard to say for independent shows, at least for me. This gets two thumbs up and is well worth a watch.
Thanks for reading.