Drew Gulak and the Replacement Referees: Beyond Wrestling/St. Louis Anarchy Double Trouble Review

Scott Finkelstein

Beyond Wrestling and St. Louis Anarchy teamed up to rock Cleveland. This is definitely a show worth watching.

In the time-tested format!

Highlights:

  • Matthew Justice put Eric Corvis into a corner violently, twice, with a Death Valley Driver to get the win in his atomicos match (Justice, dany only, Stryknyn and the Pitboss over Corvis, Johnny Mangue, Chase Burnett and Zane Silver).
  • Gary Jay reversed an Arik Cannon suplex into a rollup to get the win for the Submission Squad (Jay, Evan Gelistico and Pierre Abernathy) over Team Minnesota (Cannon, Darin Corbin and Christian Rose).
  • In a mini-cibernetico match, Remy Wilkins outlasted teammates Miss Heidi Lovelace and Dale Patricks and opponents Nate Stone, Tripp Cassidy and Reed Bentley to win the School of Roc Summit.
  • Replacing the injured Mat Fitchett in the three-way tag team match against Devin and Mason Cutter and the Kentucky Buffet (Alex Castle and Matt Cage) as Davey Vega's partner was then-Absolute Intense Wrestling Champion Eric Ryan.
  • The brothers Cutter (also known as the Hooligans) eliminated the Buffet with a sick wheelbarrow/DDT combo on Cage.
  • Vega and Ryan would win the match with a Total Elimination on one of the Cutter brothers.
  • Drew Gulak thought he won with his Gulag submission finisher Mark Angel, but the ref called for the disqualification when Gulak accidentally struck him going to hit an interfering Nick Talent.
  • After the match, Gulak "put Talent in the hospital" with a brutal attack.
  • Johnny Gargano used a rolling prawn hold to apparently pin ACH, but the match was ruled a draw after his shoulders were also on the mat.
  • They requested and got five more minutes, which expired without a conclusion.
  • The Slaughterhouse (KJ Crush, Maserati Rick and Tony Banks) defeated the #KOA (Pinkie Sanchez, Aaron Epic and Sugar Dunkerton) when Rick pinned Sanchez after a sit-out tombstone piledriver.
  • After the match, Sanchez went back on his retirement stipulation and laid out his partners with Dirty Ugly Fuck stablemate Arik Cannon.
  • Dan Walsh successfully defended his St. Louis Anarchy Championship by tapping Rickey Shane Page with a guillotine choke.
  • In the main event, Johnny Cockstrong fended off the Submission Squad and was able to pin RD Evans with a Kryptonite Krunch combo, one on the turnbuckle and one on the canvas.

General Observations:

  • Knowing that there was a stabbing incident involving only and Stryknyn during this event really kept me from getting into the opener. But hey, Johnny Mangue looked good as always.
  • Arik Cannon grabbed Gary Jay's hobo beard for leverage. As a fan of cheap tactics involving hair, I approve!
  • I can see why Pierre Abernathy is polarizing. Most great comedic wrestlers are. Loved him getting "blown up" just running the ropes.
  • SLO-MO!
  • Poor Gary Jay got abused by Cannon during this match again, taking a giant buckle bomb towards the end.
  • Heidi Lovelace getting the ball sweat/fromunda cheese treatment was alternately awesome in its dickery and kinda disgusting for, well, y'know.
  • Nate Stone got KO'd by his own teammate during the team vs. team portion of the match. I guess you have to follow the Class Wars for more on the context there.
  • Bentley had the finisher of the match, KOing Heidi with a Rydeen bomb into a KO punch. Love random strike finishers.
  • Okay, the Hooligans are awesome. They're hosses who fly. Fucking love that combo, especially the visual of a stocky bald guy with a beard doing quebradas.
  • I also couldn't tell the Hooligans apart during this match, so forgive me for not being able to label Mason or Devin with certainty.
  • Vega and Ryan had a lot of great chemistry despite being a last minute mashu team.
  • A lot of matches started out with World of Sport/mat wrestling, but the Angel/Gulak match was the best. We know Gulak is awesome at that kind of thing, but don't sell Angel short on his technical ability.
  • Gulak is so agile. He leaped over the ropes with such ease.
  • The apron spots on this match made me believe they were auditioning to get into PWG. That's only half a joke.
  • The DQ misdirect finish felt like a cocktease given the match, but I think it worked within the story. I guess that's why this match didn't main event the show.
  • ACH gets a lot of play for his insane jumping ability, but the guy actually GETS pro wrestling. Loved his counter of the corner leapfrog into the Manhattan drop.
  • Gargano: "IT'S MY HOMETOWN!" ACH: *gives theup yours gesture while sitting in the corner* Gargano: *dropkicks ACH in the face*
  • There were another abundance of apron spots in this match too. PWG East Coast?
  • Tony Banks is a big dude, bigger than both other knownTonyBanksesin known history most likely.
  • Crush and Maserati Rick flapjacking Epic into a spear by Banks may have been the best spot of the match. Slaughterhouse for King of Trios '13!
  • Maybe it's because I never believed Sanchez would retire anyway, but the retirement swerve didn't faze me at all. I hope that we get a Cannon/Sanchez vs. Epic/Dunkerton match in the future.
  • Rickey Shane Page is surely an offensive juggernaut.
  • I loved Cockstrong offering up his dick for handshake. "Shake his dick" as a chant needed to happen at some point in my life.
  • I guess it took me a couple of matches, but I really dug Cockstrong's penile-based offense.
  • I'm not sure if I were Evans that I would've trusted fans to chop me in the chest, but it was fun to watch at least.

Match of the Night: Even with the disqualification non-finish, it has to be Mark Angel vs. Drew Gulak. This was one of the finest matches in Beyond Wrestling's history, even if it ended unsatisfactorily. Gulak and Angel proved that they are two of the best wrestlers going right now. The story was that Gulak was the mat guy who was on a revenge tour, taking out everyone who beat him to date. Angel, the athletic points leader, was next on his list. The narrative said that Gulak should have outclassed Angel on the mat early on, but I'm not sure I bought that completely. Angel acquitted himself; well, almost belying his story of a talented guy whose heart maybe wasn't completely in being a wrestler.

(I also really dug the jabs at Angel and Mr. Touchdown being two different guys, but not really, by Denver Colorado and Johnny Mangue in the announce booth here; subtly amusing.)

As the match progressed, both guys impressed the hell out of me more and more. As Gulak "snapped," he started breaking out bigger and bigger moves, including his "Diamond clothesline," a lariat from the top rope. Angel did the accordion sell on it, which skipped him up like ten spots in my book. Gulak also busted out an exploder on Angel from the floor with Angel on the apron. My eyes bugged out of my head for that.

Onto the finish, in a vacuum, I probably would've been pissed off. That was a great match that I thought deserved an actual, cathartic finish, preferably with Gulak redeeming his prior loss. However, in the context of it being an actual story and its placement on the card, it was more than adequate. Gulak flipping out at the end and establishing his character in the promotion. It also accidentally foreshadowed both the NFL's replacement official fiasco and WWE's hamhanded parodying of it, even if Jake Clemons is a regular AIW official. Then again, there was no AIW branding on this event, so draw your own conclusions...

Overall Thoughts: I thought top-to-bottom, this was the best Beyond show that I've seen. The addition of the St. Louis Anarchy and AIW guys helped to add to that, obviously, but a good bit of the stars of the show to me - Gulak, Angel, Cockstrong, Mangue - were the natives. The whole show felt like a big deal because of all the big time matches, no matter what the finishes were.

My one complaint was that there were too many post-match respect turns on the mic. Like, I get it, there were more than a few dream matches on here, but I feel like getting on the mic to gush about each other after the match took me, at least, out of the moment. It's not surprising to me that matches with the best atmospheres were the ones that actually had angles to them (Angel/Gulak and Cockstrong/Evans).

That being said, those were minor annoyances at best. This is totally a card worth seeking out, and you can do so either through the Beyond Wrestling site or through Smart Mark Video. Do it right now, because it'll be well worth your time.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Cageside Seats

You must be a member of Cageside Seats to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cageside Seats. You should read them.

Join Cageside Seats

You must be a member of Cageside Seats to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cageside Seats. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker