WrestleMania Weekend: Beyond Lit Up Review

Image result for beyond lit up
Lots of people to enjoy there. Credit: Beyond Wrestling

It’s hard to judge where Lit Up sits on the WrestleMania Weekend silliness spectrum. A card of intergender matches taking place at midnight has the potential to go either way. The timing certainly hints towards at least a touch of the ridiculous as I’m guessing most of the audience have had a drink or two. Let’s just say that there’s the potential for all kinds of madness to go down.

Matt Riddle defeated Deonna Purrazzo

Riddle came out with the Evolve title he’d won a couple of hours before. This was only his third match of the night, having already faced off against Sabre and Suzuki. He should work a bit harder.

They told the easy story here with Matt taking Purrazzo lightly before being caught off-guard when she gave him a fight. It’s the obvious story for a reason, but I hope it’s not going to be a recurring theme throughout the show. That would get boring fast.

In the end, Purrazzo maybe gave Riddle too much of a fight as she woke him up. It only took one stiff knee to the face for her to go to sleep.

It was short and sweet. However, with Riddle’s schedule in mind, you can’t really blame them for that. They made Purrazzo look good which was the important part.

Verdict: Three Stars

Team PAWG (LuFisto and Jordynne Grace) defeated LAX (Santana and Ortiz)

I had to Google the meaning of PAWG. It mainly brought up porn.

Santana was mouthing off at Grace from the start, although the commentators decided we didn’t need to know what was said as they talked over it. Whatever it was, it went badly for him as Team PAWG quickly took control.

My worries about these matches following a formula were quickly forgotten. It could have been any four wrestlers in that ring as they were just badasses beating each other up.

There was no dilly-dallying either. Right from the start, everyone hit top gear and then sabotaged their brakes. Momentum shifted, but no one was grabbing a rest hold.

Team PAWG hit an awesome Muscle Buster/Powerbomb combo before squashing Santana with a Double Hip Attack. It looked like they got a three-count until the ref disagreed and called it a two. I think that might have been a mistake as Grace hit a Michinoku Driver a few seconds later for the win.

That was a fun sprint with both teams looking awesome. While it was a shame the finish didn’t go to plan, it wasn’t a total disaster and did nothing to dampen my enjoyment.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Josh Briggs defeated Davienne

These two are local to Beyond, so I don’t know much about them. By which I mean I’ve never heard of them before.

As Briggs flexed on the turnbuckle pre-match, Davienne snuck underneath him and hit a powerbomb. From there she dominated the early action, using her power to bully poor Briggs. Davienne showed some impressive strength considering Josh was at least a foot taller than her. At one point she had him up for a Samoan Drop where his feet were nearly touching the floor.

Despite being dominated, Josh Briggs came back with a couple of backbreakers (one of which came out of a Chokeslam) and got the win. It was a sudden finish and didn’t feel deserved after the tale they’d told. Still, they worked hard in the short time they got.

Verdict: Two And Three Quarter Stars

Twisted Sisters (Holidead and Thunder Rosa) defeated Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson and Jaka)

Chris Dickinson joins the three-match club, as he’s faced Dan Severn, a multi-man clusterfuck for Evolve and now the Rosemary inspired Twister Sisters. Jaka, meanwhile, was in the mood for a laugh as he bantered with the crowd. In fact, at least in the early going, he gave the impression of not taking this too seriously.

With his intense personality, Dickinson might have been doing the same, but it’s hard to tell. He and Holidead had a stiff off which he won before dropping her with a Falcon Arrow. Thunder Rosa, meanwhile, provided the pace, hitting some Lucha arm drags and a seated senton from the apron. She impressed and didn’t look out of place in the ring with a team as accomplished as Doom Patrol.

Holidead was a bit less sure of herself. While she grew into things as they went on, there was still something missing, literally when it came to some of her kicks.

Twisted Sister got the win with a Pedigree/Double Stomp combo in what was an entertaining if slightly sloppy outing.

Verdict: Three Stars

Jonathan Gresham defeated Karen Q

Karen Q had the unenviable test of chain wrestling with Jonathan Gresham. It’s a match that saw her – in both reality and kayfabe – being given the goal of impressing rather than winning.

A goal that she achieved. Being in with someone like Gresham must be a learning experience for any young wrestler, and she stepped up to it. While things were probably being directed by the Octopus, keeping up with him deserves a round of applause alone.

She even kept pace when things got violent. There was a point where these two started throwing strikes and suplexes for all they were worth. It went from relatively friendly grappling to a fight in seconds and, once again, Karen Q was keeping up with Gresham.

In the end, Gresham slipped into a European Clutch for a three. However, Q got her victory by not being outclassed.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

The Rumblebees (Solo Darling and Travis Huckabee) defeated Joey Ryan and Laura James

You can’t hold an intergender party without calling Joey Ryan.

There were two sides to this. One involved people using unusual parts of their body to execute moves and the other had Travis Huckabee trying hard to have a wrestle. It was endearing. He attempted to outwrestle Laura James and ended up having his head repeatedly driven into her backside.

Of course, Ryan was his usual sleazy self. Alongside bickering with his wife (a recurring theme), he was screaming at Solo Darling and Huckabee to grab his dong. Those two things might have been related. At one point he powerslammed Darling on the apron which was a lot more violent than I expected. Did you know it’s the hardest part of the ring?

She somehow made it back to the ring and ate a Boobplex from Ryan. Huckabee broke up the Dongplex, but James came in and hit a, em, Vagplex? Fuck knows.

I lost the stream for a bit, and when it came back, Solo was being superkicked in the face while she had the lollipop in her mouth. Sadly for Ryan, it only fired her up as the sugar rush hit her system (apparently she’s the Sugar Creature Solo Darling) and he was tapping shortly after.

If you hate Joey Ryan, you’ll hate this. If you’re like me and find him amusing, then you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. I probably didn’t need to write all those words and could have just said that at the beginning.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Tracy Williams defeated Kimber Lee to retain the Powerbomb.tv Title

Kimber Lee is back having only recently been released by WWE. I’m not entirely sure what happened there as she had a great Mae Young Classic then vanished

This is for the Powerbomb.tv Independent Title and they should ditch the TV part of that name. It turns the belt into a walking advert.

After the silliness of what came before, we were back to a more technical contest. Full of chain wrestling and suplexes. As far as I could tell, no one grabbed any genitals.

What we did get was a Kimber Lee who was enjoying herself. She was playing to the crowd every chance she got and seemed to relish being able to let loose and wrestle.

Eventually, things devolved into a fight, with Lee dishing out a series of kicks. That only fired Williams up as he came back with a spinning Lariat for a two of his own. He was able to transition from that into a Crossface and when he rolled away from the ropes Lee’s fight was over.

A great match, perhaps the best on the show so far.

Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars

Tessa Blanchard defeated Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Mia Yim and Wheeler YUTA

MJF cut a promo beforehand and got all toasty with the heat he was getting. He ran down all three opponents and came across as a smug prick. Well played.

He then tried to chill out on the turnbuckle as Yim and Blanchard went to work on YUTA. Wheeler rightfully pointed out that they should maybe hit him instead, a suggestion to which they all agreed.

From there this broke down with Tessa Blanchard looking particularly great. I had it in my mind that she wasn’t good, so that caught me off-guard. I don’t even know why I thought that. Sorry, Tessa.

I knew Mia Yim wasn’t shit and she proved me right. Sadly, Wheeler YUTA wasn’t able to get over my disappointment at him not being a masked lad from Dragon Gate. He came off painfully dull compared to what his name concocted in my head.

The star of the show was MJF, though. He was the weasel heel who held everything together. Sneaking in whenever he saw a chance and generally being a right wee prick. He’s someone I’ve heard a lot about although I think this is my first time watching him and it’s clear he’s a star.

The finish came off Blanchard hitting a flying Codebreaker to MJF at which point he bashed heads with Wheeler knocking him out of the ring as MJF fell into the pin. Strange set-up but fair enough. Another fun if slightly unspectacular outing.

Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars

Jessika Havok defeated Jimmy Havoc

Fuck me; this show is long. Ah, Jimmy’s here. That will make things better. He’s fighting his ma. Or maybe his daughter? I don’t know, make up your fanfiction.

Whoever it was, poor Jimmy was here to get thrown about. He tried to end things early by going for a couple of Acid Rainmakers and was, sadly (at least for him), unsuccessful. He reverted to the Havoc bag of tricks in the end, biting her foot and hitting her in the back of the head. I complain about the boot biting when Iizuka does it so I should do the same here. It’s Jimmy though, ain’t it?

Even the biting didn’t help him too much as he ended up being powerbombed on the apron. Eventually, his desperate attempts to his the Rainmaker succeeded as he slipped out of a Chokeslam and struck. Then she went and kicked out! Bloody hell, Jim. Did you not hit her hard enough?

He tested that theory with a couple of spinning punches and then went for another Acid Rainmaker. This time Jessika was the one to reverse it, grabbing him for a Chokeslam, before following up with another one and a Chokebomb for the win.

A fun brawl. Jimmy’s selling is an underrated part of his game. He flopped around working hard to make Jessika look good. An invitation that she was happy to take.

Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars

Janelope (Joey Janela and Penelope Ford) defeated Orange Cassidy and Session Moth Martina

Session Moth hits America. It didn’t take long for her to start grinding on people.

Janela and Cassidy started off at about one mph, and I was having a lovely time. Cassidy’s complete lack of effort caught Janelope off-guard as he refused to play to the usual wrestling tropes. That included a drop down where he never bothered getting back up and instead had a nap.

Martina tagged in and went into the shtick. It’s really something when Joey Janela is not the weirdo in the ring. Much like the Ryan match, your enjoyment will come down to whether you’re a Jim Cornette type or, em, for the sake of this article, my type. If you’re of the Cornette persuasion, I’ve got a tip for you. Don’t watch it, it will only make you angry.

It was basically a whole load of pissing about which I laughed all the way through. At one point Orange Cassidy hit a slow-motion Canadian Destroyer, and if that doesn’t sound great, you are dead to me.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Toni Storm defeated Timothy Thatcher

You know what I don’t get to do very often? Blather on about how awesome Toni Storm is. I usually only review her in wXw where I try to keep things relatively serious. I think she’s incredible and having her face off with Big Tim (another Ramblings About favourite) is genius. It is pretty much the only reason I bought this show.

Early on, it looked like Storm was going to get Thatchered. Big Tim did what Big Tim does and ignored the boos of the fans to play his own game, dragging Toni to the mat and grinding her into it (not in the Martina sense of the word). He was using his bulk to make sure she had no chance of gaining any momentum.

However, Toni wasn’t going down easy. Whenever she found her feet, she was dishing out some stiff strikes. Everything from chops, to forearms to a series of headbutts. She wasn’t going to win in a straight-up wrestling contest, but Big Tim’s chest was starting to turn red.

And eventually, it paid off. Toni lashed out with a headbutt shaking Thatcher enough for her to follow up with a German. That momentum began to flow as she hit a Hip Attack and climbed the ropes. Sadly, as she came down, she met a Tim Thatcher uppercut and it looked like we were back to square one.

Except, the damage done had given Toni an opening. As Thatcher came in for the kill, she grabbed an arm and an armbar later Big Tim was tapping.

This was a fight and a damn good end to the show. Tim walked out of there with his chest cut open and a bust nose while I can’t imagine Toni Storm was feeling fresh either. It was the best thing on the show and a perfect end to proceedings.

Verdict: Four Stars

Overall Show

This was far too long as twelve matches were too many. I get wanting to highlight your wrestlers on the big stage but I started watching this in the afternoon, and I was knackered by the end. What were the people in the building feeling?

That aside, I enjoyed a lot of it. I wanted to drink some beer and have some fun which is what I got. Throw in Big Toni and Big Tim having a scrap and you’d be daft to whine too much.

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