Debuting with a spectacular show for the first ever Beyond Wrestling Americanrana last year, Denver Colorado and friends had a lot to live up to. Jamming the card with 11 matches filled to the brim with the top independent talent from across…well…America went a long way towards not only living up to last year’s show, but blowing it away. I took 744 photographs during this Beyond Wrestling event. Some of the better ones are below along with some words about the action.
A multi-man match opened last year’s show and the same happened this year, but on a much grander scale. A slew of teams fought in a battle royal with participants including: Third oLeg ( Usurper and Johnny Cockstrong), Vine Famous (Rydoon and Will Noonan), EYFBO (“The Funky Monkey” Angel Ortiz and “The Real Deal” Mike Draztik), Da Hoodz (Kris Pyro and Davey Cash), The Minute Men (Devin Blaze and Tommy Trainwreck), Flawless and Lawless (Blake Morris and Rex Lawless), MILK Chocolate (Brandon Watts and Randy Summers), Team Friendship (Scotty Slade and “Sure Thing” Mark Shurman) and Team Create-A-Pro (VSK and Dorian Graves).
Although Watts of Milk Chocolate is shown nearly being eliminated in the above pic in that instance he held on. In fact, MILK Chocolate had one of the more impressive showings of the battle royal. However, in the end Da Hoodz stood tall and got the win. After the victory Pyro and Cash were interviewed by the show’s host, Dick Justice. They demanded that the upcoming Beyond Wrestling Tournament for Tomorrow III be a tag team tournament, which brought out promoter Drew Cordeiro who readily agreed to this. Also, in a side note of awesome Pyro was wearing an ICOPRO t-shirt, which at the risk of hyperbole I’m pretty sure makes him the greatest wrestler on earth.
The next contest was a grudge match between Fear and Loathing in New England (Aaron Epic and Dave Cole) and Sex and Candy (Sugar Dunkerton and Pinkie Sanchez). The conflict in this one stemmed from Dunkerton wanting revenge on Epic for breaking up their old tag team, The KOA. Even the introductions of this match were fun as Dunkerton was announced as “The Adam Rose of Slapping Hos” and “Dolph Niggler” (feel free to take offense to either or both). At any rate Dunkerton wanted Epic’s ass and when Cole tried to lock up with Dunkerton, Sugar wasn’t having it and demanded Epic.
Although the fans were definitely behind Sex and Candy, Epic and Cole still came out on top. This resulted in Dunkerton saying he thought this match would be the end of his beef with Epic and Cole, but it wasn’t anything of the sort.
The last encounter before the first break of the show was a throw-in-the-towel match between Nicholas Kaye and Anthony Stone. Kaye had his buddy, Myke Quest hold his towel while Stone’s sister, Natalia Stone held his. The thing that stood out most about this match is Kaye getting busted open hard way when Stone launched a chair at him.
The match went back and forth with Quest and Natalya proving they’re both sadistic as hell by refusing to throw in the towel. However, Quest finally relented when Stone pulled out a goddamn chainsaw.
Since this was also a loser must retire match (or simply a loser leaves town match if Kaye goes elsewhere) Kaye cut a “farewell promo” after the match. Instead of getting sappy Kaye just talked about how much he hated the crowd.
The big surprise of the show came after the first break. Biff Busick needed an opponent since “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett had canceled on him sighting Beyond Wrestling was not paying him enough. Busick cut a promo and said he wanted someone who really loved wrestling. Out came current TNA World Tag Team Championship holder, Eddie Edwards!
The two have always had amazing chemistry and Americanrana was no exception. Edwards defeated Busick and even pulled out that cool backpack move that he sometimes does.
After the match the audience was in for another surprise as Bennett came out anyway and attacked Busick after the TNA star left.
A teacher versus student match took place next and pitted “The Prince of Queens” Brian Myers against his protege, Ryan “Adrenaline” Rush. Since both men have beyond decent mat wrestling skills a lot of the match consisted of such before Myers got the win. Rush laid in defeat afterwards while the former Curt Hawkins put him over on the mic.
Up next was what could have been the match of the night when Team Tremendous (Bill Carr and Dan Barry) took on The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Barreta). After a relatively brief contest Barry appeared shocked that his team won.
Another shocking event in this match is what probably led to it being cut short. During a double suicide dive, Barreta injured his knee. Despite this he still cut a promo after the match describing the injury. There must be some mighty balls on that one!
Kaye’s bleeding from earlier set a high standard for the night, but if anyone was going to top it, it would be in the first blood match between Jimmy Jacobs and Eric Corvis. Jacobs revealed a spike early on, but then Corvis surprised the crowd by pulling out an identical spike of his own. Oddly enough neither man ended up busting the other open. Instead Darius Carter and TJ Marconi came out with a third man dressed in a Guy Fawkes mask. Pardon, the WCW exclamation, but WHO IS THE THIRD GUY?!
The man who carved Corvis up with a spike revealed himself to be a prodigal son of Beyond Wrestling in Dany Only. Only then announced he would be joining Carter and Marconi in the Coalition for Change. Corvis could only look on stunned…and bloodied!
After the last break of the night the next contest went in an entirely different direction. Drew Gulak faced Tommaso Ciampa in a European rounds match. The rules of the match were that there would be 10, three minute rounds with a 20 second break between rounds. A winner could be determined before the tenth round if he scored two pins, two submissions or a knockout. Gulak and Ciampa had to be careful because they could also be disqualified for three public warnings. A public warning would be given for things like using a closed handed punch or attacking a downed opponent. Of course both men soon racked up the maximum amount of warnings allowed before a disqualification could be made.
Although Gulak scored a pin in the third round, Ciampa landed a knockout blow in round seven for the win.
After the match Ciampa ran down Gulak on the mic, but offered him a handshake. For some reason Gulak still wanted to shake his hand despite the disrespect, but Ciampa just flipped him off.
This match was fairly brief, but had a good amount of technical wrestling with just a touch of brawling thrown in. Lee ended up making Silver Ant tap with an alligator clutch. Afterward Lee cut a promo where she said she appreciated that the fans see her not as a woman, but as a wrestler.
If you go by fan reaction alone then the next contest between The Juicy Product (“The Juice” JT Dunn and “The Product” David Starr) and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) was probably the match of the night. Super kicks were flying everywhere in this one including one that Dunn fed the referee to start the encounter. In the end Matt set Starr up for Nick and The Young Bucks won it.
Being good sports The Young Bucks offered to shake hands with The Juicy Product afterward.
The Juicy Product instead gave the double bird to The Young Bucks and as a result devoured some more super kicks from Matt and Nick.
The night’s main event was current ROH World Championship holder, Michael Elgin taking on Chris Dickinson. Dickinson made some awesome faces in this match that reminded me of Hulk Hogan hulking up. However, that was not enough to put Elgin away so Dickinson’s buddy Jaka interfered. The two set up a table and Jaka gave Elgin a splash from the top rope through it.
However, Elgin would still not go down and ended up powerbombing Dickinson through a second table while Jaka laid on it.
Dickinson looked bad ass too because getting put through a table would not put him down either. Instead Elgin had to lock on a crossface to get the win.
After the match the ROH star cut a promo and talked about how Dickinson knocked his shoulder out of place and that if ROH is his home then Beyond is his home away from home. With such hard hitting action a Beyond Wrestling show is always worth a look. Fans in Providence, Rhode Island will get another chance to do so when Beyond Wrestling returns to Fete Music for Beyond Wrestling Battle of New England on August 31!
Photos 1-21: Daniel Johnson / Johnsontranscript.com