Tagged: Jonny Mangue

Beyond Wrestling and St. Louis Anarchy: Double Trouble Review

Featuring: ACH, Johnny Gargano, Eric Corvis, Jonny Mangue, Chase Brunett, Zane Silver, Matthew Justice, The Pitboss, The Hate Junkies, dany only, Strknyn, Arik Canon, Darin Corbin, Christian Rose, The Submission Squad, Evan Gelistico, Gary Jay, Pierre Abernathy, Dale Patricks, Remi Wilkins, Heidi Lovelace, Nate Stone, Reed Bentley, Tripp Cassidy, Davey Vega, Eric Ryan, The Kentucky Buffet, Alex Castle, Matt Cage, The Hooligans, Devin Cutter, Mason Cutter, Mark Angel, Drew Gulak, Aaron Epic, Pinkie Sanchez, Sugar Dunkerton, The Slaughterhouse, KJ Crush, Maserati Rick, Tony Banks, Rickey Shane Page, Dan Walsh, Johnny Cockstrong, RD Evans

Available on DVD for $12 here, MP4 for $12 here, VOD for $10 here.

Photos Courtesy Wayne Palmer 

On the day that their purchase of Women Superstars Uncensored was confirmed, Beyond Wrestling ventured to Absolute Intense Wrestling’s stomping ground, Turners Hall in Cleveland, in Ohio. But instead of AIW, they had a different dancing partner, in the form of St. Louis Anarchy. The mid-west cousins of Austin’s ACW had perhaps their biggest platform yet for this show. Did Beyond and SLA dare to try and one up AIW on their home turf? Indeed, they dared.

1. Eric Corvis [+11], Jonny Mangue [+2] & Team Beyond (Chase Burnett [-7] & Zane Silver [-3]) vs. Matthew Justice [-1], The Pitboss [+7] & The Hate Junkies (dany only [+4] & Stryknyn [+2]) – Team Beyond versus Team Kill Everyone In Beyond, essentially. Pitboss is facing his former Doom Patrol stablemate, Jonny Mangue, with some new, more like-minded partners in Justice and The Hate Junkies. Prior to this Mangue had helped Pitboss and Chris Dickinson make life hell for Corvis, Brunett, and Silver, but the “Smooth Savage” changed his ways this year and worked with his former rivals.

The match started with a big brawl that spilled to the outside very quick. Team Beyond got the early advantage, but the storm was weathered, and dany only puts his team in control. The “Shitboss”… sorry, Pitboss (only reporting what was chanted) continued to work over Zane Silver, but after a few minutes, Silver made the tag to Eric Corvis. After losing the advantage, the wrestlers at ringside got Corvis back in it by singing the Rocky theme.

Later on Mathew Justice, Pitboss and the Hate Junkies found themselves stacked up together, when Zane Silver dropkicked off the top rope onto all of them in a unique moment. dany only then created another one by suplexing Burnett into a DDT on his own partner Silver. After another melee, Justice caught Corvis with a low blow, and hit two DVDs into the corner on him for the win. A good opening contest, a bit crazy in places, but it had a nice flow. Johnny Cockstrong noted on commentary that The Beasts had a 200lb combined advantage on their opponents, and it ultimately told.

2. Arik Cannon [0], Darin Corbin [0] & Christian Rose [0] vs. The Submission Squad (Evan Gelistico [0], Gary Jay [-2] & Pierre Abernathy [-1]) – Cannon’s team came out to B.o.B, which Rose noted was not the song they originally intended to come out to. The Submission Squad were looking for a great performance here, with two of the members on losing records going in.

Things were off to a rough start for the Squad when even the referee found himself bodyslamming Gary Jay. As this is a St. Louis Anarchy match, and therefore competed under Anarchy Rules, the match continued. Then there was gigantic showdown between “Big Daddy” Pierre Abernathy and “Ginger Madness” Darin Corbin, and then there was the the usual slo-mo sequence (which Robert Evans, on commentary, followed suit in slo-mo calling). The Squad then took control and Evan “Kick the World” Gelistico pretty much took Christian “Born to Hurt” Rose’s face off. Appropriate. Arik Cannon (the Dastardly Urban Fiend as Evans put it) put down his PBR long enough to come in and run riot all over the Submission Squad. Things then went bonzo gonzo, and Jay used a break in the confusion to pull Cannon’s tights for the pin, and earning a huge win for the Submission Squad.

3. School Of Roc Tag Team Sole Survivor Elimination Match: Dale Patricks [0], Remi Wilkins [0] & Heidi Lovelace [0] vs. Nate Stone [0], Reed Bentley [0] & Tripp Cassidy [0] – Availible in its entirety above, this was a sole survivor elimination match: once a team is completely eliminated, the remaining members of the other team must wrestle each other until there is one winner. A sort of mini Cibernetico. Continue reading

Beyond Wrestling: Crises Precipitate Change Review

Featuring: ACH, Drew Gulak, Johnny Cockstrong, Nick Talent, Doug Summers, AR Fox, Brian Fury, Julian Starr, Mark Angel, JT Dunn, Steve “The Turtle” Weiner, Anthony Stone, Jonny Mangue, Sugar Dunkerton, Pinkie Sanchez, Aaron Epic, Mikaze, Mark Shurman, Darius Carter, Taka Suzuki

Available on Demand: YouTube -$9.99  and Smart Mark Video – $9.99

Upstart existentialist promotion Beyond Wrestling held their Crises Precipitate Change show over the weekend of November 19th and 20th, 2011 in North Andover, MA. As some of you may well be aware, Beyond Wrestling is built on the concept of wrestling for wrestlers – there’s typically no fans in the audience, only the other wrestlers on the card watching on as the wrestlers express themselves. In the months leading up this event, Beyond began its expansion into fan attended shows with About Time and Back In Flesh. Crisis was a return to the original formula. However many Beyond mainstays, like Chris Dickinson, Corvis Fear, and Team Beyond, were unavailable due to injury or retirement. This led to multiple new faces making their first appearances in the true Beyond environment, hence the title.

Another big change is that this is the first show in Beyond Wrestling’s new partnership with YouTube. The video is available On Demand for $9.99 there as well as on Smart Mark Video.

Note: Beyond Wrestling applies a ranking system for its wrestlers, which affords wrestlers certain privileges and perks for building up wins, such as making their own matches. I’ll be including each wrestler’s rank with their name, so if you see them with a +, they’re doing well, a – means they need to do better, so here we go…

Your announcer is the almighty Denver Colorado (the man, not the place).

AR Fox [-2] vs. Johnny Cockstrong [+12]

Cockstrong is the current leader in Beyond Wrestling. Most of Cockstrong’s offence involves him trying to stick Fox’s head in his trunks. No wonder he has such a good record. AR Fox comes in intimidated by “the cock,” understandably.

Fox pulls off a nice delayed stomp on Cockstrong. He follows it up with a sweet Skin the Cat into a dropkick in the corner. However, he soon runs into the “Cock of Steel”. Cockstrong spins Fox around in a chair, and then hits the Shining Cock on him. Cockstrong may well be one of my new favourite wrestlers. Fox jumps into the other ring in the building and hits a Tope Con Hilo out of it onto Cockstrong on the floor. Fox then leaps off the other ring, hitting a legdrop onto Cockstrong on the apron of the official ring. Why wasn’t World War 3 like this? Cockstrong shrugs off the Lo Mein Pain and hits the In The Pants Piledriver to put AR Fox away. Cockstrong moves onto +13 points, dropping Fox down to -3. Really fun opener, and I’m happy to see there’s another Cockstrong match later on this show.

Nick Talent [+1] vs. Doug Summers [0]

Sugar Dunkerton is so happy to be at Nitro… then realises it’s not the year 2000. Talent is a member of the Academy of Anatomy, with teammate Mark Angel seconding him at ringside. This is Summers’ Beyond Wrestling debut, I’ve previously seen him in a 10 person tag in CHIKARA that didn’t particularly impress me with the way it went, so let’s see how he fares here in singles competition.

Both men take time to figure each other out, and it’s Summers who utilises his conservative style to take the early advantage. Talent takes a couple of shortcuts to try and get ahead. Funny moment at this point – Dunkerton takes Talent’s entrance gear and puts it on to goof about. Summers hits a superkick on the outside, but in a bid to take control, Talent careers him into the ringpost, and then hits a facebuster on Summers to the outside.

Talent makes a lot of easy mistakes throughout this match, which Colorado puts down to not having Anthony Stone in his corner anymore, instead of the less experienced Mark Angel. However, Talent does take control, but it doesn’t last long, and Summers hits a Shining Wizard to put him down. Summers lays waste on Talent in the corner, but as the ref tries to break it up, Talent pokes him in the eye, and hits a spin out facebuster for the pin. Talent moves onto +2, dropping Summers to -1.

Continue reading

Beyond Wrestling: About Time DVD Review

Beyond Wrestling – “About Time”

July 23rd, 2011
Heirloom Arts Theatre – Danbury, CT
Availible on LookMaNoFans.com for $9-$12.

  1. Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Player Dos) vs. Aeroform (Flip Kendrick & Louis Lyndon)
  2. Leon St. Giovanni w/ vs. “The Juice” JT Dunn
  3. Aaron Epic vs. Amber
  4. Academy of Anatomy (Nick Talent & Mark Angel) vs. Team TREMENDOUS (Dan Barry & Ken Scampi) vs. D.U.I. (Anthony Stone & William Thorne) vs. Connecticut Superstars (Dave Cole & J-Busta)
  5. RD Evans vs. Jarek 1:20
  6. Throwbacks (Sugar Dunkerton & Dasher Hatfield) vs. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (Darius Carter & TJ Marconi)
  7. Cockstrong Carnival – Participants Include: Cecil Nyx, Tuck Hanson, GLAAD Badd, Veda Scott, Stan Styles, Addy Star, Steve “Turtle” Weiner, Josh Thor, Fredo Majors
  8. Mat Fitchett vs. Jonny Mangue
  9. Team Cockstrong (Johnny Cockstrong, Corvis Fear, Chase Burnett, Zane Silver) vs. The Submission Squad (Davey Vega, Gary Jay, Pierre Abernathy, Evan Gelistico)

It was only a matter of time. Beyond Wrestling’s post-modernist, no-fans-in-the-audience, wrestling-by-wrestlers-for-wrestlers philosophy created so much buzz that, ironically, a growing number of fans wanted a chance to experience a show live. There was some question as to whether Beyond’s specific formula could be brought to the public in a genuine way. After all, the raucous crowd made up entirely of other wrestlers was part of what made Beyond unique. Likewise, the contrast between HD visuals with the underground, “Fight Club” style environment was something that would be difficult to capture in a traditional venue. Beyond also had a number of concepts, characters, and traditions that an uninitiated fan would have a hard time sorting through live. Some feared the aspects that made Beyond stand out would need to be changed or minimized in order to make a successful transition from its private enclosed gyms to an open public theatre.

However, any such fears were allayed roughly 15 seconds after the cameras started to roll. Flip Kendrick and Louis Lyndon, Aeroform, made their way to the ring and are given a typical Beyond greeting by wrestlers around ringside. You see Corvis Fear, Pinkie Sanchez, and TJ Marconi singing, dancing, and Houston hopping to Lil Flip’s “Game Over” as the high-flying brothers entered. As stated on commentary, this show was done to bring the two communities, Beyond fans and Beyond wrestlers, together. So the Beyond locker room was ringside behaving as ridiculously as it would be at any other Beyond taping. The only difference this time was that fans were lucky enough to be in the mix dancing, chanting, catching diving wrestlers etc., all right along with the Beyond roster. In order to ensure home viewers got a similarly engaging experience,  Beyond eschewed the traditional hard camera and only used two HD handhelds. This succeeded in capturing the personal feel of earlier Beyond DVDs in the new, larger venue.

With the atmosphere settled, the card itself retained authenticity as well as it was filled with a number of “Only in Beyond” matchups. Two tag team bouts, Aeroform versus The Super Smash Brothers and CHIKARA’s Throwbacks versus Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous highlighted this. Each team looked good, but it was the lesser known team of Marconi and Carter that stood out, showing star potential with both their wrestling ability and charisma (no easy feat when across from someone like Sugar Dunkerton).

Fresh faces JT Dunn and Leon St. Giovanni had a solid, smooth bout. Giovanni looked like a natural, which his manager, talker extraordinaire Jon Harder, made sure to let everyone know. ACW’s Young Lion Mat Fitchett faced Beyond’s home-grown super athlete Jonny Mangue. Both demonstrated why they’ve garnered so much confidence from the promotions that are grooming them to be the next big things.

The Four Team tag match was, expectedly, insane. At one point it looked like someone had emptied a dump truck filled with sweaty, unconscious wrestlers onto the floor of the Danbury Heirloom Arts Theatre. In a similar vein, the “Cockstrong Carnival” was entertaining from beginning to end. The purpose was to showcase wrestlers who, like its namesake Johnny Cockstrong, liked to have a bit of fun while they’re wrestling. It was generally a good, fun time…until Inter-Species Wrestling’s cute and cuddly psychopath Addy Star showed up. She stole the show with a brief but impactful appearance, delivering the sickest Sliding D this side of Masato Tanaka to Stan Styles (after Cock-slamming, suplexing, and force-feeding him). It was an unforgettable moment, as was Josh Thor decapitating poor Steve Weiner, the crowd chanting for GLAAD Badd to do something terrible to Veda Scott, and Thor slugging it out with the decidedly un-fun Fredo Majors. Good stuff all around.

The Match of the Night battle is a three-way between ACW/ROH/CHIKARA/Everywhere standout RD Evans taking on Beyond’s Man of Illusion Jarek 1:20, an inter-gender brawl between WSU’s Amber and Aaron “Kanye” Epic, and a Captain’s Fall Elimination match between ACW’s Submission Squad and Team Cockstrong.

RD Evans did what he always does. He disarmed everyone with his humor and wacked charm, before blowing them away with his skill and frightening intensity.  Jarek comes from much the same mold, and matching these two up was genius. Evans has already conquered much of the United States 2011. Here’s hoping Jarek brings his one-of-a-kind style to more fans in the 2012.

Beyond is known for its hard-hitting intergender matches and the brawl between “The Encore” Aaron Epic and Amber may have been the most brutal yet. You can probably blame Dunkerton who started a “Whoop dat trick!” chant as things got under way. Amber gave the crowd what they wanted and immediately cracked Aaron with a vicious elbow strike, and then another.  Epic recovered and countered with an elbow of his own and a kick right to Amber’s grill. Things just got madder from there.

Amber is one of the more imposing women on the scene and she had no trouble throwing Epic, in between back chopping him or trying to kick his teeth out. Epic’s known for his knockout power and he needed every bit of it in this phenomenal battle. I’ve always enjoyed Amber’s work, but this was the best she’s ever been. The crowd, fans and wrestlers alike, helped make the match as they were hot for it from beginning to end. This was another case where Beyond tried something different and it paid off ten-fold.

The main event saw Beyond’s heroes Justice League, Cockstrong, Fear, Novak, Burnett, and Silver take on of its top villain, Davey Vega, and his Secret Society of Super-Villains, The Submission Squad. It was a Captain’s Fall 8 Man Tag Team Match, as Vega and Cockstrong are in a heated race to be points Champion in Beyond. A potentially infinite number of pinfals, therefore points, could be scored until either of the team captains was pinned. Early on Vega’s crew, looking more like the Suicide Squad, gave up a number of falls until Vega stepped in and things really got going.

Earning his @StiffRoboGinger Twitter handle, Gary Jay laid into his opponents whenever Vega wasn’t beheading them with discus lariats. Cockstrong, as always, courageously used his incurable case of priapism1 to his advantage. Novak busted out his Super Ultra Combo of Destruction. Vega somehow managed to survive having his finisher stolen and done to him on the top turnbuckle, and so on. Everyone was on point, except the dead tired ref who was forced to keep up with all of it.

There’s no need to spoil the end of this epic clash of super teams, but it does have a shocking twist that ACW followers especially will want to see.

As usual, all the action on the show can be viewed with or without commentary. While Denver Colorado is informative as always, you should definitely try the live audio option at least once. It, coupled with the lack of hard camera, delivers an extremely visceral experience. You’ll feel like you were at the show, minus having to deal with the triple digit temperature.

Altogether, About Time featured 9 matches with 41 wrestlers. The quantity was much less important than the variety. Here was a cross-cut of the current crop of young talent wrestling in the US. The diverse mix lead to lots of good matches, and three really good ones. However the show overall felt better, and more important, than even the sum of its parts. About Time came across a lot like the early days of Ring of Honor. The time when you would see unknown young wrestlers from across the country come together to put on groundbreaking events that redefined wrestling for a generation. There’s even a group of guys from a Texas promotion trying to steal stealing the spotlight like TWA’s Danielson, Spanky, and London used to2. Beyond invited this favorable comparison even more with its second live taping, Back in Flesh,  where Davey Richards and Johnny Gargano faced Jonny Mangue in a Round Robin Challenge.

Yes, big things are happening for this small, but rapidly growing company. This show brought Beyond to a new environment but everything that made the promotion intriguing and unique remained. We recommend this DVD to all wrestling fans (Amber lovers and ACW Fanarchists especially should give it a look). But you don’t have to take our word for it. Beyond has provided tons of media from this event to preview. Below is a playlist of clips from several of the matches. Enjoy!

———–

DDS was provided with a review copy of this release. It is available for purchase at LookMaNoFans.com for $12.

  1. Priapism is a potentially harmful and painful medical condition in which the erect penis or clitoris does not return to its flaccid state, despite the absence of both physical and psychological stimulation.
  2. Of course The Submission Squad and Mat Fitchett are based in St. Louis and RD Evans has moved to the East Coast, but Anarchy defies geography.

Beyond Wrestling: Back In Flesh Live Report

This past weekend, I traveled to Lakewood to participate in Beyond Wrestling’s Back In Flesh. I wasn’t sure what to expect, never having been to an independent show before, but I will tell you: I saw some of the best wrestling matches I have ever seen in my entire life.

The venue was in the gymnasium of the Puritas Lutheran Church. I’m terrible at guessing numbers, but I could comfortably put less than a hundred people in attendance. The small crowd gave the event a really intimate and friendly atmosphere. Also in the crowd were various other Beyond wrestlers, adding their own particular brand of participation and insanity. There was a grand total of 11 matches and the show ran for about three hours.

1. Six Man Melee: #KOA (Sugar Dunkerton, Pinkie Sanchez and Aaron Epic)defeated The Submission Squad (Gary Jay, Pierre Abernathy and Evan Gelistico.)

This was a really nice opener. The Submission Squad, known bad guys, went all out in getting the crowd riled up and involved in the show. There was a lot of solid back and forth between varying members of both sides, including a series of very hard chops, which pretty much hurt even me.

Sugar Dunkerton had an amazing moment when out of nowhere “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly started to play and everyone in the ring went into slow-motion, giving him a chance to use his basketball in a bid to gain the upper hand over the Submission Squad.

The match came to a satisfying end when Aaron made the pin for the win, but the moment was short lived as afterwards Submission Squad cohorts Davey Vega and Mat Fitchett ran in and cleared the ring, bringing us to…

2. Aeroform (Flip Kendrick and Louis Lyndon) defeated The Sex Bob-ombs (Davey Vega and Mat Fitchett)

This match, in my opinion, was one of the best of the night. While the opener focused a lot on brute force and heavy physicality, this one was all finesse, and submissions, and high-flying, and acrobatics, which I utterly loved watching. Flip Kendrick and Louis Lyndon were an absolute privilege to watch. Both teams worked together beautifully, and traded a series of truly awesome holds.

Flip Kendrick took home the win for Aeroform with a gorgeous spinning rope jump, leaving Davey and Fitchett limping backstage.

The crowd was totally on board the entire time, with more than a few “This is awesome!” and “Holy shit!” chants.

3. Dave Cole defeated Jack Verville

The pace for this one was a little slower and the crowd wasn’t quite as into it, but it was still very good. No acrobatics, just a solid physical matchup.

Dave Cole won via submission.

Match Four, Winner Takes All Four-Way Tag: Team TREMENDOUS (Dan Barry and Ken Scampi) defeated Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous (Darius Carter and TJ Marconi), The Jollyville Fuck-Its (Russ Meyers and T-Money), and WWA4 All Stars (Stitch SyphEr and Uhaa Nation)

This was another phenomenal match. Everyone was leaping over the top rope and pulling suicide dives onto the floor which, by the way, was not in any way padded. Tons of huge aerial moves that put the crowd ridiculously over. It was the kind of match where you were half-afraid someone was going to land wrong and break something, which was terrifying but also get-on-your-feet exciting. Like the series of four suicide dives in a row done by four different guys, or Russ Myers doing a cannonball onto Uhaa Nation from the top rope.

Team Tremendous took home the win and Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous had some dissent after losing. A very strong performance from all teams involved.

5. Round Robin Tournament Match 1: Jonny Mangue defeated Johnny Gargano

I was very excited to see Johnny Gargano wrestle, since I’ve always heard the best things about him but had yet to see his skills in person. He was superb and I am hugely impressed. His control and presence in the ring is absolutely sublime. Complete precision.

Gargano got a huge ovation when he came out and held near complete control over Mangue for most of the match, until Mangue got in a headshot and took over for a while. Johnny responded with a huge powerbomb for a pin, but it was to no avail.

Due to some ringside interference from Pitboss, which involved him getting forcibly ejected from the venue, Mangue got Gargano for the win.

There was a quick intermission to allow everyone to catch their collective breath, and then right on to…

6. Four-Way Elimination Match: Jarek 1:20 defeated Chase Burnett, Mazarati Rick and KJ Crush

Jarek started out by hypnotizing everyone in the ring, including the ref (with the exception of KJ), which was quite hilarious. After that, it was a good match with a lot of really excellent physicality. KJ and Jarek stood out the most, KJ being clearly a jerk and Jarek the crowd favorite.

KJ owned the ring with a lot of Kevin Steen-esque moves. Lots of really huge body slams and powerbombs and things of that nature. He even looks a little like Steen.

The first elimination was Chase Burnett, taken out by KJ after a giant slam. Second out was Rick Mazerati by Jarek, leaving Jarek and KJ to beat the heck out of each other for a while before Jarek was able to pick up the win after a top-rope throw.

Jarek then took the mic for a moment to say he would be moving to California in January to further pursue his wrestling career, but he would always go with Beyond when they were around, as Beyond is and always would be his home. It was a sweet little moment.

7. Round Robin Tournament Match 2: Davey Richards defeated Johnny Gargano via submission

I do not even have the words. I really wish I could paint everyone a picture of how fantastic, how mind-blowingly, jaw-droppingly spectacular this match was, but I can’t. Johnny and Davey both put it on the line, so much that Davey was bleeding by the end of it. They were two fantastically matched competitors, with Davey’s intensity and Johnny’s precision bringing everybody to their feet and to ringside if there was enough space.

It was just absolute glorious perfection. Buy the DVD when it comes out. Do it for this match alone and you will not be disappointed. I promise.

Davey ended up winning the match via submission.

The crowd was so emotionally into this match that everyone was drained and fairly silent for the next two matchups.

8. Tony Kozina defeated Nick Talent via Submission

This was probably the weakest match of the night, not to say it was bad, because it wasn’t. There were just a few missed opportunities the crowd was still trying to get over Davey and Johnny from a few moments before. Both guys did definitely give it their all, and I’m sure any match taking place immediately after Davey and Johnny would have had trouble winning us over.

9. Mark Angel defeated Kyle O’Reilly

This match brought the crowd back from our Davey/Johnny induced awe. It had a strong start and kept a fast pace throughout, and the rest of the matchup was solid enough to keep the crowd interested and involved. Mark Angel pulled out the win, to the delight of most of the crowd.

10. No Disqualification: RD Evans defeated AR Fox.

One of the best matches of the night. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like, considering that Evans came out to Journey music in bright pink and white gear, and seemed almost afraid of Fox.

Fox flew right out of the box, in his Beyond debut, with flying moves that defy description. He was off the top ropes, running up the ringpost, flying leaps, backflips… he completely owned the crowd.

However, Evans slammed him to the floor, which you will recall was not padded, and then gave him two chairshots to the back. RD received some negative chants afterwards, including a very rousing rendition of “You’re an asshole!”

Evans took out a huge table to tease us with for a while when Davey Vega took it on himself to interfere and put Fox through the table.
RD Evans pulled off the win, but the clear crowd favorite was AR Fox. Keep an eye on this guy, he was utterly phenomenal, even when he was getting the absolute crap beat out of him.

11. Round Robin Tournament Match 3: Davey Richards defeated Jonny Mangue

Again, I do not have the words. Davey Richards in any match basically defies description. The only words are words like “intense” and “raw.” While Davey and Gargano’s match was all about precision, Davey and Mangue was all about raw brute force. There were tons of jaw-dropping moments (I think I spent the majority of the match with my mouth agape, when I wasn’t screaming at the top of my lungs, that is)  including some amazing suicide dives from Davey. Mangue and Davey were excellently matched and both of them really went  all out. Though Mangue put up a really good fight, Davey came out with the win.

I honestly feel so honored and so blessed just to have been in the same room as Davey Richards, much less been able to watch him wrestle two separate and amazing matches.

That being said, I am beyond impressed with the Beyond roster (pun not really intended, I promise.) These guys really lay it all out there in the ring, and I admire that so much. I also really loved how the roster just hung out at ringside. They interacted with the fans, with the guys wrestling in the ring, shouting encouragement and the like.

It was altogether a great experience. Get the DVD when it comes out. Let me know if you see a girl in a red shirt and a cool hat, because I totally name-dropped this website on camera. And if they come to your area, for the love of everything… just go. There is no better way to spend $15. Support your local wrestling promotions.

Learn more about Beyond Wrestling by following them on Twitter (@BeyondWrestling) and checking out their website http://www.lookmanofans.com.

Review: Beyond Wrestling – All Dude Review and High Five Academy

Featuring: Corvis Fear, Chris Dickinson, Chris Dickinson, Hailey Hatred, Christian Faith, Vincent Nothing, Jonny Mangue, Sean Maluta, Chase Burnett, Zane Silver, Eric Ryan, Bobby Beverly, Louis Lyndon, Flip Kendrick, Luis Diamante, Joey The Snake, Denver Colorado

DVD available from SmartMarkVideo.com – $15.00

One of the benefits of being a forward looking company is that even your older material can appear timely and relevant. That is the case with Beyond Wrestling‘s latest release, a double disc set of All Dude Review and High Five Academy. Taped over a year and a half ago, the DVD features several matches that were not only good, but significant to the history of Beyond and precursors to some trends seen throughout today.

Although the company has begun producing traditional live wrestling events, Beyond’s initial concept was to present a show by wrestlers for wrestlers. There were no fans in the audience and grapplers fought how they wanted for as long as they wanted. Wrestlers were given full creative freedom to express themselves in the ring, to be judged only by their peers in attendance. This lead to some great performances, but left the company light on narratives. That changed with these tapings. Here we see exactly what began the Clark Kent/Lex Luthor-like eternal, company consuming feud between Chris Dickinson and Corvis Fear. It is essential viewing for Beyond fans, but what makes this release relevant on a wrestling wide scale though, are the three matches with Hailey Hatred.

Since these shows occurred, Hailey has ascended to the top of the Joshi Puroresu scene. She’s captured numerous titles, most notably the JWP Open-Weight Championship, the most prestigious women’s title in Japan. Seeing a Japanese star in a still growing US promotion is pretty interesting in its own right, but the matches themselves were spectacular. Hailey appears in three bouts: against Chris Dickinson, Louis Lyndon and Corvis Fear. Yes, all men and including the two top guys in Beyond. In the past year companies like RCW, ACW, and CHIKARA in the US, as well as companies like SMASH and FREEDOMS in Japan, have put on big matches featuring some of the top women in the country against their top male athletes. Beyond Wrestling got in on the ground floor of  this movement, with some of the grittiest inter-gender matches you’ll see.

Hailey Hatred vs Chris Dickinson is the first match on All Dude Review, and the best bout on either show. It was brilliant to put Hailey and Dickinson against one another. Dickinson is a hard-hitting, hard-kicking, hard-chopping no-nonsense striker. Hailey was the first woman in Beyond, and she prides herself on being a pretty big badass as well (in fact she outsized Dickinson). There was a lot of tension at the start of this match. Some of the wrestlers surrounding ringside weren’t very fond of Hailey and, frankly, wanted to see Dickinson kick the shit out of her. In the early going both focused on mat wrestling and Dickinson actually held back on delivering strikes. This was met with taunts from the crowd, and Hailey who wanted to be treated like any other wrestler. That’s when things got nuts.

Dickinson “snapped” and wailed on Hailey with sick chops and kicks, causing the crowd of wrestlers to leave their seats, screaming and pounding on the mat. Hailey was no pushover though. She took everything Dickinson had and gave it back to him in the form of her signature head-kicks and brain scrambling suplexes. The match seemed to just get more brutal over time, with Hailey’s Cut Throat Backdrop driver being answered with a deadlift Lyger Bomb. The reactions of the audience made what happened in the ring seem even more insane. While gender was a factor going on, eventually the match turned into just two brutal wrestlers giving their all against one another. It was fantastic. You will rarely ever see a match like this anywhere, and it alone is probably worth the price of the DVD.

Besides unique match ups like Hailey and Dickinson, Beyond also gives opportunities for a lot of younger wrestlers to perform without the pressure of a live wrestling crowd or limitations on their matches. At times, this environment drives them them to put on matches well avove their experience level. We have an example of that in the Team Beyond (Chase Burnett and Zane Silver) vs Young Studs (Eric Ryan and Bobby Beverly) tag match from All Dude Review. While the Young Studs were the then AIW champions, Chase and Zane were two relative unknowns put together because of the potential seen in their early Beyond appearances. The match was an exciting, innovative, fast paced bout. It comes across as all the more fresh since even dedicated US wrestling fans probably have not seen a lot from any of these wrestlers. It is a testament to the effectiveness of the Beyond formula that with less experienced athletes, you still see matches that meet the standards set by all-star companies.

Another great match was Chris Dickinson against his childhood best friend Johnny Mangue. As Dickinson puts it, these guys have been wrestling since they were nine, and it shows. The match is fluid, but gritty, and just drags you in as it goes along. It starts off pure wrestling, then breaks down with Mangue getting sent into a guardrail, before diving over a huge wooden desk and burying Dickinson under it (for some reason a framed autographed picture of Kevin Nash came into play).  While Dickinson is a breakout star in the making, Mangue showed that he has just as much raw potential here. Great showing!

High Five Academy featured an eight man tournament, as that was about the number of wrestlers who were able to brave the blizzard that day and make it to the show. Those wrestlers included Flip Kendrick and Louis Lyndon, so it wasn’t all bad. The tournament format also aided in building towards the first Corvis Fear and Chris Dickinson encounter, which closed out the show.

Again, Hailey Hatred found herself in the opening match. This time against Saturday-afternoon-movie-kung-fu specialist Louis Lyndon. We’re informed on commentary that this match had the most single day hits on youtube for Beyond, a demonstration of the novelty of a serious inter-gender match between two quality wrestlers. It was also just really good. Lyndon’s Wu Tang Fu plus Hailey in lucha mode produced several rewind worthy moments. Again, Hailey defied the gender stereotype with her strength, at one point catching Lyndon coming off the ropes in mid-air and bringing him down with a Northern Lights Suplex. Beastly!

Corvis Fear’s match with Lyndon’s tag partner, Flip Kendrick, was equally impressive. Corvis is one of the most innovative people wrestling today. He comes up with things no one’s ever done before, only to use them once. Of course, Flip can fly with the best of them and has top tier athletic ability. The two complemented each other extremely well. Later, Corvis faced Hailey and it nearly matched the Dickinson bout.

Corvis, in a bout of temporary insanity, began the match by copping a feel and stealing a kiss from Hailey, and was then promptly dropped on his head for the trangression. If that wasn’t enough to get him to respect her, Hailey dropping a senton on his head surely was. Frankly, Hailey brutalized Corvis for much of the match and he had to dig deep in order to get the win. Corvis being one of the faces of Beyond being pushed to the limit by Hailey was great to see. At no point in this, or any, of her matches was her gender a detriment or distraction. With female wrestlers as strong as Hailey, Sara Del Rey, Cheerleader Melissa, and Rachel Summerlyn, it’s no wonder more and more companies are using them in high profile roles like this. Beyond’s forward thinking on this is commendable.

Eric Ryan vs Chris Dickinson was another methodical performance by the “Dickster.” Ryan’s sleaze-rocker demeanor belies a confident and capable foil for Dickinson. Again we see Dickinson snap and actually bring a chair into the ring, before being stopped by ref Dave Dawson (pre-sparkly shirt). The match was technically sound with Dickinson focusing on the arm the entire time, even with his strikes. It ended with a slick submission finish, and nods to yet another member of the Wolfpack.

The tournament finals finally brought Corvis Fear and Chris Dickinson together. The match was good purely from a wrestling aspect, but what makes it such a significant part of Beyond history was the ending. Dickinson and Corvis walked into this match as friends and traveling buddies, but walked out the most bitter of enemies. It began as you’d expect with Dickinson focusing on strikes and holds and Corvis using crazy moves that may or may not have come from Tekken. At the end though, Dickinson crosses the line from a guy with a few anger issues to someone truly despicable. He fakes an injury to lure Corvis in, and takes advantage to steal the win and the tournament. Understand, this marked a sea change for the company: Beyond went from a place where everyone was there for the wrestling and competition for it’s own sake, to a place where some simply put winning above everything else. It was a really cool moment that was built up over both shows, and it was a key change that helped clarify the direction of the company.

There’s several this shows worth seeing, and the audio options provide incentive to watch them more than once. First there’s the well done one-man-booth commentary of Denver Colorado (the man, not the place). Then each disc has a raw audio, no commentary option which, given how vocal the wrestlers in the audience are, is worth visiting at least for the big matches. What makes this release really special though, is a fantastic director’s commentary feature. Beyond Wrestling promoter Drew Cordeiro teams with Chris Dickinson to provide insight not only into the matches on the show, but the history and concept of Beyond itself. Given that Beyond is so different from every other wrestling company, hearing Cordeiro talk about the creative process behind it is quite eye-opening. Likewise, it’s nice to get to know the laid back, humorous guy behind the deranged sociopath that is Chris Dickinson. As he appears in 5 of the 11 included matches, you get an in depth look into his personal history, how he approaches his craft, and what it means for him personally to be “the guy” for Beyond Wrestling. He even takes the time to address criticism of his wrestling style, and the rumors that he stuffs his tights. DC and CD cover all of that, and much more in an informative and, at times, hilarious session.

When you take the quality of the matches, their significance to Beyond history, and their relevance to the next stage of evolution for women’s wrestling, you’d be hard pressed not to find some value in this DVD. There are a couple of  less than stellar matches, an odd lack of entrance music (which some wrestlers actually use to their advantage), and the drain of the tournament is sometimes visible on the competitors, but all of that is completely overshadowed by what’s good here. The Hailey Hatred matches are all phenomenal, and Dickinson and Fear put on a great showings as well. The director’s commentary is much like getting a full “shoot” interview as a bonus on this release, and it really puts it over the top as a great DVD and worthwhile purchase.

This is a must have for any Hailey Hatred, Chris Dickinson, or Beyond Wrestling fans. Everyone else should seriously consider purchasing it as well. Check the video preview below!

Score: 7.5

Links:

Beyond Wrestling – http://www.lookmanofans.com

Hailey Hatred The Dirty Dirty Sheets Interview

Contest:

Beyond provided a review copy of the DVD, and we’ll also be giving one copy away on Twitter. If you see us make a tweet wtih the #BeyondDVD tag, retweet it, once and only once, for a chance to win. We’ll make several tweets over the next week, each giving you a chance to enter our random drawing, but please don’t retweet the same thing multiple times.

Prize is one (1) copy of the All Dude Review/High Five Academy DVD. Winner must follow @BeyondWrestling and @DirtyDirtyTweet to be eligible, and provide address for shipping of DVD. Contest ends Friday, August 19th, 2011 12:00AM. Any form of spamming is prohibited and will result in disqualification. Void where inter-gender chop battles are prohibited.

Beyond Wrestling: Gospel of the Boards Review

"Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" TJ Marconi and Darius Carter

Gospel of the Boards

iPPV – $9.99 GoFightLive.tv

DVD – $9 or $12 with Artwork (pre-order) LookMaNoFans.com

Featuring: Corvis Fear, TJ Marconi, Danny Danger, Matt Marvel, Jarek 1:20, KJ Crush, Zack Novak, Pitboss, Chris Dickinson, Darius Carter, Jonny Mangue, Chase Barnett

Beyond Wrestling is perhaps the first truly post-modern professional wrestling federation. It eschews the one constant in every proper promotion thus far: fans. The events take place with no fans and an audience made up of the wrestlers themselves. There are no time limits. The roster is full of up and comers still looking to establish themselves in the independent wrestling scene. Wrestlers don’t fight for titles as much as they fight to prove themselves among their peers, and wins and losses are tracked with a +/- point system. In an industry where everything seems to have been done before, Beyond’s concept comes across as legitimately fresh. We were provided with a review copy of the iPPV version of Beyond’s recent Gospel of the Boards show. The DVD version comes with 5 bonus matches, some of which are available online via Beyond’s youtube channel. You can check out the preview video below before house show diving into our review.

Rating Scale: 1-10 with 10.0 being Scream (Great), 5.0 being Scream II (Good), and 1.0 being Scream III (Fast Forward). NC (No Contest) is for matches that can’t be fairly scored, i.e. extremely short matches, squash matches, etc.

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