The next company in our new series looks at one of the most unique promotions in wrestling history. They're subversive. They're cooperative. They're out for respect. They're Beyond Wrestling.
PROMOTION: Beyond Wrestling
BASED OUT OF: Wherever there's wrestling. No, really.
WHERE YOU CAN BUY THEIR SHOWS: SMVOD/Smart Mark Video
Beyond Wrestling isn't a typical wrestling promotion. At times, promoter, auteur, and lead marketer Drew Cordeiro doesn't even want to call it a regular company. The model is more symbiotic/parasitic and based in advancing both wrestling's art, as well as the reputations of competitors who are either rookies looking for quick experience or veterans who haven't gotten their due.
While they have run full-slate shows to paying audiences in the past, most of their bones have been made either through closed-tapings, where the only audience consists of the wrestlers, or through "showcase" matches with promotions like Combat Zone Wrestling, Women's Superstars Uncensored (also owned by Cordeiro), and Absolute Intense Wrestling. The promotion plays to the essence of viral build, and thus its official YouTube feed has become the fifth most viewed wrestling channel.
There aren't any titles; rather, statistical achievement is measured through a plus/minus system where a win is worth one point and a loss is worth the negative of that. While that seems a bit whitebread, there are stories and feuds that are ongoing, centering mostly around abstract qualities like respect and honor. There is a strong emphasis development of alignment and character traits on actions inside the ring, which is an invaluable thing to be teaching wrestlers in this day and age.
Again, Beyond Wrestling is more a symbiotic entity that latches onto other companies in order to get itself exposure while providing companies with inexpensive undercard talent who can go. However, most of their shows have run either in various arenas in Ohio or New England.
WRESTLERS TO WATCH:
Beyond has probably the most unique roster imaginable because they are very much a pastiche of wrestlers from all over the country. Much of their talent base has come from the New England area, because that's where they've started. However, they gave Allysin Kay a stage, and were the first to import ACH to a location outside of Texas or St. Louis, and also helped break St. Louis Anarchy out to the rest of the country with their co-promoted event in the summer of last year, Double Trouble.
The poster children for Beyond's mission statement, though, are probably the Kings of the Armory (hash-tag, KOA), Sugar Dunkerton and Aaron Epic. Dunkerton remains mostly known for his work in CHIKARA as an anachronistic, ABA-era basketball player, while Epic is a decade-plus veteran of the Southern indies looking for his big break. They formed their stable with Pinkie Sanchez (who is in and out of Beyond with the mental surety of Gunner Kiel committing to a given college), but he bailed on them.
Even though they lost that founding member, the two have pretty much become Beyond's top two wrestlers. They've remade their image, and because of it, they've gotten bookings as a tag team across the Midwest.
Another wrestler whom Beyond has helped define is Chris Dickinson. He cut his teeth in the troupe, and it led to a spot on the EVOLVE roster in its early days. He suffered a gruesome leg injury that kept him out for a year, but he's back active, throwing his signature kicks and flashing some epic villainy. He's also spreading his wings, mostly into AIW.
The nature of Beyond is that there's no real set roster, but the ethic sets up several regulars who are either helped by the troupe to get into more regular work or who come in to help the company enhance its own standing.
Wrestlers like Dasher Hatfield, Anthony Stone, Mark Angelosetti, Davey Richards, Johnny Gargano, TJ Marconi, Darius Carter, AR Fox, Veda Scott, Robert Evans, the Batiri, the Submission Squad, Eric Corvis, Necro Butcher, JT Dunn, Dave Cole, Oleg the Usurper, Biff Busick, Addy Starr, and Steve the Turtle Weiner, among others, have come through the ranks.
One of the charms of Beyond Wrestling is that you never know whom you're going to see, whom you're going to love.
You can find all their free stuff at their YouTube channel, but here are some selected vids to get you started:
It's still a bit of a ways off, but their next full event will take place at the Fete Music Ballroom on July 21, 2013. The venue is located in Providence, RI at 103 Dike Street. Until then, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for showcase matches on various other promotions' cards.