Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Beyond Wrestling: Life Sucks & Then You Die Review

Beyond released two of their most recent events on DVD & MP4 last week and sadly, I only had the money for one at the time. It was extremely tough to choose which one to get because both cards are loaded. I nearly opted to go with The Real Thing because it came first, but for as awesome as that card looked, I wanted to see this show even more. SO, that leads us here. I apologize for not going order however I do plan to go back and watch The Real Thing before the end of the year so no worries. I'll probably pick it up with Americanrana.

Anyway, the show kicks off with Team Tremendous in the ring and Death By Elbow, Chris Hero & JT Dunn, on commentary.

1) Team Tremendous vs. The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett)
There's been a lot of talk in Beyond recently about "the best tag team in the world". That is actually what catapulted this match into fruition. Taven & Bennett get a mixed reaction that soon turns to mostly boos as their antics & remarks were not applaudable in the least. This was pretty much your basic solid tag team opener. The Kingdom got some good heat and Team Tremendous looked well despite coming out on the losing end. Things started off slow only to pick up a lot near the end. Taven & Bennett pick up the cheap victory thanks to a distraction by Maria Kanellis.
Team Tremendous appear to have some troubles post match as Dan storms away from Bill. Meanwhile, The Kingdom targets Hero & Dunn who are up on the balcony for commentary. Nice start to the show overall.

Match rating - **3/4

2) Colt Cabana vs. Joey Ryan vs. Johnny Cockstrong - Elimination Match - No DICKSqualifcation Rules
Yeah, you read that correctly. I'm just as confused as you are so don't ask me any question because I honestly have no clue what I witnessed here. Joey's lollipop ended up in his pants, Johnny's pants, and all around. The end result saw it enter every competitor's mouth as well as the refs. There were a number of spots based around Johnny Cockstrong's "strong cock" which was funny. This was mostly comedy as you could probably guess and it was entertaning & worked well. It luckily didn't overstay it's welcome by any means, either.

Match rating - **1/2

3) Team Pazuzu vs. Beyond Originals

Eight man tag action springs into craziness after Team Pazuzu attacked Colt Cabana & Johnny Cockstrong post-match. I thought this was pretty enjoyable. After a bunch of chaotic brawling early on, the bout settles down into the ring. Pazuzu takes control for a bit which obviously gets the crowd on their case as if they didn't dislike them enough already. Rickey Shane Page is the recipient of the hot tag here for the Beyond Originals and things get pretty wild at this point. The closing sequence made this match what it was.

Match rating - ***

4) David Starr vs. Anthony Stone

Starr was supposed to face Dave Cole who's injured and he calls him out. Cole brings out an old opponent of Starr, Anthony Stone to face him instead. I really enjoyed this while it lasted as you could tell they had chemistry from past encounters. THEN, it ended. Starr picks up the win.

Match rating - **1/4

4) The Hooligans vs. Da Hit Squad - No Disqualification Match
OH MY! This is a modern day Indy dream match. Da Hit Squad carved their own niche for themselves in the early 2000's in ROH & JAPW before fading away in the latter part of the decade. Well, Maff & Mack are back and they look just as beastly as ever. The Hooligans are the perfect match for them and that translated into this crazy contest. Devin & Mason talked to shit to Hit Squad early & often and never backed down from them. This led to a number of strike fests/showdowns in the center of the ring which was nothing short of awesome. Chairs and a table got brought into play which led to a mark out moment or two. The finish saw Hit Squad powerbomb one Cutter brother onto the other off the stage through a table. Great match.

Match rating - ***1/2

5) Biff Busick vs. Donovan Dijak

I'd heard tales about this one prior to watching so I was hyped. The story behind it is pretty simple. Dijak has been tearing through Beyond this year which has led him to assaulting referees and dominating a number of opponets. Two of these are people that are close to Busick - Eddie Edwards & Brian Fury. This made for an emotionally fueled contest for Busick as he ran to the ring to a standing ovation followed by streamers and "welcome back" chants. The staredown between these two competitors began from the moment Biff stepped foot in the ring and lasted through the introductions. INTENSE! And speaking of intense, that's the best word to describe this match. Dijak took this already personal match to the next level by not only busting open the crowd favorite, but also talking shit to him while doing so. It was extremely odd seeing Busick be the underdog, almost, although it honestly made sense when you consider how big Dijak is. Busick is no small man yet Dijak towered over him. Dijak's size advantage gave him a lot of cockiness as usual and Busick made him regret it on a number of occassions as he fought back through all the blood loss. Uppercut after uppercut landed with every ounce of intensity that he could muster. Dijak rolls to the outside, Busick dives, DIJAK CATCHES HIM IN MID AIR AND SLAMS HIM INTO THE RING POST!! That exchange details how this match went as we saw Busick fight with everything he had only for Dijak to maintain/regain control in some way or another. Busick helped tell the story of this match by channeling the two men he was essentially fighting for in this contest, Eddie Edwards & Brian Fury, by using a number of their signature moves in attempts to put Dijak away.
The crowd got really into this as time went on and everyone was going nuts by the time things really kicked into high gear. This made for a number of awesome false finishers. Not to mention the counters such as Biff countering out of Feast Your Eyes into a vicious chokehold. "TAP! TAP! TAP!" chants roared through Fete as everyone, including myself at home, thought Dijak was going to be done. But he was nowhere near finished. Dijak POWERS UP WITH BUSICK ON HIS BACK AND SLAMS HIM BACK DOWN ONTO THE MAT! This breaks up the hold. These two just put it all out there here and it ruled. I think this takes the cake for the best Beyond match of the year thus far. 2015 is only half over though so who knows what else we'll see. I'll just say this, it's gonna be hard to outdo this one. Busick was the valiant home promotion guy and Dijak was the dickish up & comer who continued to prove himself. It was a fantastic battle.

Match rating - ****1/4

6) Death By Elbow (Chris Hero & JT Dunn) vs. Da Hoodz (Davey Cash & Kris Pyro)

DBE was supposed to face The Kingdom, but they already had a match tonight, I'm guessing due to a card shuffle. SO, that led us here with DBE calling out Da Hoodz. This is a match I was looking forward to, but it sadly didn't reach the heights that I expected it to. I'm thinking it something to do with the crowd being sorta burnt out after Busick & Dijak tore the house down. Between that and things never really seeming to click in the ring between these two teams, it was sort of a disappointing contest. They did a lot of stuff and that's about all there is to it.

Match rating - **1/2

7) Nick Gage vs. Stockade

NICK FUCKIN GAGE! NICK FUCKIN GAGE! How can you not get hyped when this man comes to the ring? This only lasts a few minutes as Gage makes pretty short work of Stockade, surprisingly. It certainly had it's highlights though as they fought through the crowd and Gage ends up throwing Stockade down the steps. They get back in the ring and the trusty chokebreaker earns The Man the victory.

Match rating - **1/4

8) Chris Dickinson & Heidi Lovelace vs. Kimber Lee & Shynron
Some Team Pazuzu shenanigans got this match off to an abrupt start immediately after the previous contest. Everybody settles in and the contest gets going as the bell rings. This was just as enjoyable as I expected it would be. Heidi & Kimber start off with a badass stand off where they trade shots. They had two of these showdowns, once in the early going and once near the end of the match - both were great. Speaking of the end, the final few minutes of this were awesome with several exchanges resulting in stalemates after a number of big moves. The finish came off as sort of weak although it made a lot of sense. Heidi lowblows Kimber and pounces on top of her for a quick three count.

Match rating - ***1/4

10) Paul London vs. AR Fox

Paul London made an extravagant entrance here that I HAVE to talk about. He's known for going through the entire crowd and he did just that here at Beyond, even making a trip to the bathroom when crossing through the building. He finally made it to the ring and this dream match got underway. This was just about what you'd expect from the two. They kept it fairly toned down early on then they headed outside and shit hit the fan with dives, Fox cutting a flip onto London, and London hitting a shooting star press off the stage. Fox's girlfriend interfered on several occassions which kept him positioned as the heel he's been in Beyond as of late. It was a pretty fun match up overall despite not being the MOTY candidate that many expected.

Match rating - ***1/4

Afterwards, London, being the awesome humble guy he is, gave a great speech and highly complimented Fox by labeling him the future of wrestling. Cool moment.

Overall thoughts: Another good offering from Rhode Island's finest promotion. Busick/Dijak is your reason to buy this DVD/MP4 with Hooligans/Da Hit Squad being a great bonus. Everything else was enjoyable with nothing being remotely bad although DBE/Da Hoodz was kind of disappointing. That may just be me though because they did a lot of stuff, I just could never get invested in it due to things not feeling like they flowed well together. None the less, this is an easy show to sit through with one match that is undoubtedly the best Beyond match of the year thus far. Therefore, this is something I'd recommend if the card interests you.

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