Live Review: Beyond Wrestling: Life Sucks and Then You Die
By Eric Perzanowski, Staff Writer
Sunday was a new day, and it was time for Beyond Wrestling’s “Life Sucks And Then You Die” show. This day was stacked for wrestling fans, just like Saturday's event. Prior to Beyond Wrestling, there was a secret $5 show around town. Following Beyond Wrestling, Colt Cabana would be hosting a live edition of his popular Art of Wrestling podcast. Taking place in the Fete Music Hall, with the Championship Melt food truck parked right outside, Beyond Wrestling is a unique experience.
When you walk in, the ring is placed right in the center of the hall. VIPs are sat on the stage, while the rest of crowd stands around the ring.
Michael Bennett and Matt Taven of The Kingdom entered through the crowd, and challenged the best tag team in Beyond Wrestling to a match. No longer having a match, Team Tremendous answered the challenge. The match had a nice mix of comedy spots and wrestling. Bennett and Taven are the IWGP Tag Team champions; as they gave their belts to the refs before the match began, Dan Barry and Bill Carr of Team Tremendous snatched them and celebrated as if they had won. The Kingdom won after Maria Kanellis-Bennett, also of The Kingdom, interfered in the match.
The next match was a three-way elimination match between Joey Ryan, Colt Cabana and Johnny Cockstrong. Playing up to his name, Cockstrong told the ref the match would be held under No-Dicksqualification, meaning low blows were legal. Sure enough, Cockstrong was immune to low blows; in fact, attempting them caused his opponents to be injured. After a series of genitalia-based gags, which were actually pretty well executed, Cockstrong eliminated Ryan with a piledriver, and Cabana eliminated Cockstrong with a Go To Sleep which transitioned into a Billy Goat’s Curse submission hold.
Cabana barely had time to celebrate his victory when four members of Team Pazuzu attacked him and Cockstrong. The Garden State Gods (Eric Corvis and Myke Quest) and The Symbiote (Davey Vega and Rickey Shane Page) made the save and that turned into an eight-person tag team match. Team Pazuzu got the pin after a wild match. Team Pazuzu is an interesting stable, in that all the members have a unique, distinct style while remaining a cohesive unit at the same time. I also love that they are the type of team that runs in after their enemy’s matches to further beat them up.
David Starr came to the ring and called out Dave Cole, a local wrestler recovering from a knee injury. After Cole declined to fight for obvious reasons, he had his friend Anthony Stone take the match. This contest was pretty quick, and Starr took the pin.
Da Hit Squad (Mafia and Monsta Mack) took on The Hooligans (Devin and Mason Cutter) in a No-DQ match. I heard so much during the entrances about how brutal this match would be, and these four competitors delivered just that. One member from both teams received hard chairshots to the head. There was also a sequence in which two of the fighters placed chairs in the ring, sat down and gave back-and-forths of stiff strikes. The finish to the match happened when Da Hit Squad powerbombed Mason Cutter off the stage, onto a table, on which Devin Cutter was laying. After the match, Da Hit Squad called out Chris Dickinson and Heidi Lovelace (who were doing commentary for this match), likely setting up a future match. Team Pazuzu returned and took out Da Hit Squad.
After intermission, Donovan Dijak and Biff Busick squared off. This match absolutely stole the show. Busick was making his return to Beyond after over three months away. I cannot put into words how much the crowd loved and adored Busick. I’m getting goosebumps reminiscing about his reception: Busick entering through the crowd as nearly everyone in Fete Music Hall passionately chanted along to the chorus of his entrance song, Pennywise’s “Bro Hymn.” As he entered the ring, he was showered with streamers thrown from all over the venue. “Biff is gonna kill you” was lovingly chanted.
The action got off to a quick start, as Dijak and Busick started brawling. Early on, Busick busted his head open pretty badly. He donned the crimson mask for the entirety of the match. The two fighters showed outstanding chemistry. This match was all-out captivating. The unrelenting fighting spirit that Busick showed throughout was astonishing. This was best shown when Busick received a pop-up powerbomb from Dijak, and kicking out at two, Busick received another powerbomb, only to kick out after a one-count.
Dijak got the win after performing his finishing move, Feast Your Eyes, which is a devastating knee strike to the head after being dropped from the backbreaker rack carry. I’m sure many people wanted Busick to win, but after the bell rang, everyone gave Dijak and Busick a huge round of applause out of respect for that wonderful performance. The Kingdom returned to mock Busick for his defeat, and just when it seemed as if they were about to beat down Busick, Drew Gulak came in for the save.
Chris Hero and JT Dunn faced off against Davey Cash and Kris Pyro. This would be the last match I got to see, as I had to leave. This was a huge bummer, as I’m sure the three remaining matches, Nick Gage vs. Stockade in a No-DQ match, Chris Dickinson and Heidi Lovelace vs. Shynron and Kimber Lee and Paul London vs. AR Fox in a “Please Don’t Die” match were all probably fantastic.
This was my first experience with live independent wrestling shows, and I must say that it was an all around blast. The fans are passionate and supportive for the wrestlers. Everyone just wants to have fun and get lost into the world of wrestling.