Review of Beyond Wrestling's 'Heavy Lies The Crown'

Beyond Wrestling Presents 'Heavy Lies The Crown'
December 31, 2019
Live from the White Eagle in Worcester, MA
Streaming on

We closed out 2019 in a gigantic way with Beyond’s Heavy Lies The Crown! After a year of great strides and gains made by this promotion including two successful seasons of Uncharted Territory as well as solid pay-per-view summer events such as Americanrana and All Hands on Deck, we’ve made it to the final show of the decade. The White Eagle has gotten a nice upgrade over the holiday break as now there’s a flashy new lighting system in the building that made for some really great entrances on the show! Just to say ahead of time - I’d been expecting Heavy Lies The Crown to deliver on a couple of fronts; I wanted to see satisfactory closure on certain ongoing feuds and I also figured there would be some last-minute match of the year candidates on such a loaded card. Not only were my expectations met, but they were surpassed! That’s a damn good sign of how things are going to go for Beyond in the new year.

Tonight’s Commentary: Paul Crockett and Mark Sterling
I wasn’t sure how I’d enjoy having Sterling share the broadcast table with Paul Crockett since Sidney Bakabella was out doing his New Year’s Eve partying, but the guy’s not bad at all on commentary. This stands to reason since Sterling rarely shuts up, but this was an agreeable change from the usual commentary team.

Spotlight Match: Davienne vs. Addy Starr
Davienne impressed on her last showing in a Spotlight Match and I enjoyed seeing her back in the ring for the last event of the year. Addy Starr, who has put hard work in the Uncharted Territory ring in 2019, rallied back in this match after being attacked by Davienne at the beginning and powered through a series of suplexes as well as escaping a close near-fall. Starr in the end manages to hit a smooth Sliding D on Davienne for the pinfall, and the Queen of Crazy gets the win!

Match 1: Wheeler Yuta vs Fred Yehi
In a night full of matches that were worthy of ‘BOTH THESE GUYS’ chants, this one was the most deserving. Yuta and Fred Yehi were the opening match for this show and they indeed showed out. Much of this match was spent with both men going for the classic wrestling style and one man doing his best to get an advantage over the other. The action was both in and out of the ring, with Yehi being particularly ruthless at one point mercilessly beating Yuta’s arm in the corner of the ring and then suplexing him to the hard ground outside the ring. Yuta stays in the game despite the ass beating he takes for much of the match, recovering enough to lock in a STF on Yehi who ended up biting Yuta savagely to escape. Just as it looked as if Yehi had the win in his grasp, Yuta reversed Yehi’s piledriver into a pin and narrowly escaped this match with the victory.

Match 2: Nick Gage vs. Slade
The fighting started right off the bat here with no time taken for Gage’s beloved ring introduction - these two scary-ass dudes came to fight! This was a no-disqualification match, of course, so rules quickly went out the window in favor of chairs and doors. I’m telling you, it never gets old watching Nick Gage slam a door into someone’s head until it breaks into pieces. Both Gage and Slade end up going through a door after Slade hits a superplex, so both men went through significant damage here trying to kill the other. Gage comes through with the win here, but it takes a huge powerbomb and multiple choke-breakers to get the pinfall win over Slade.

Match 3: Warhorse vs. Manders (IWTV Championship Match)
Manders started the night off huge at the White Eagle as he accepted his IWTV ‘Indies’ award after being voted Face of the Future. In a prediction for this match, Manders stated in his acceptance speech that this wouldn’t be the only award he picks up. Warhorse would have his answer to that statement in the ring as these two went to battle; not only was this an opportunity for Manders to advance in his career but it’s also Warhorse’s chance to get payback for Manders turning on and attacking him back on Thanksgiving night after they did work as Team IWTV on Uncharted Territory. The balance of power steadily went back and forth in this championship match and the crowd had picked their favorites, it appeared as if half the crowd was pulling for Warhorse and the other half for Manders. Excellent showing by both guys here; I honestly thought we’d have a new champion at more than one point in this match but Warhorse does not stay down long no matter how hard you go after him. This was the match, however, that proved to me that Manders is ready for the IWTV title and will get it somewhere soon, whether it’s in a rematch or elsewhere. Warhorse gets the win after hitting the double stomp from the top turnbuckle and getting the pinfall, and then he faces off with David Starr in a post-match moment that lets us all know that the next IWTV championship challenger is going to be a damn TOUGH one.

Match 4: David Starr vs. Erick Stevens
I’ve learned that when you see the name David Starr on a wrestling card you’d better expect to see the match of the night when it’s his time to get in the ring. THIS was one tough act to follow. It makes me sad to think that Erick Stevens will be calling it quits on his in-ring career, especially knowing that he can still deliver classic matches like this one. If there’s a wrestling fan who’s looking for one match that defines all of the best qualities of the current independent wrestling scene, this one is what I’d recommend showing to them. This match gets bloody early after a headbutt from Stevens busts Starr open and leaves him messy for the rest of the match. This match has it all from hard-ass lariats thrown to breathtaking dives to stiff chops; simply another standard-setting match where credit has to be given to both Starr and Stevens alike for showing the best of their craft in the ring. Definitely one to put on your watch list if you missed this show; Starr gets the win after not one but two solid lariats to Stevens (who countered to the end with a piledriver of his own, but it was the second lariat that did him in). Amazing, totally amazing work done by Starr and Stevens! 

Match 5: Legit Legends (Chuck O’Neil/Violence is Forever w/Larry Legend) vs. Team Pazuzu (Chris Dickinson/Pinkie Sanchez/Jaka)
Get ready for the big payback! Jaka is back in town and now the playing field between Team Pazuzu and the Legit Legends has been evened. Not to take away from the actual talent that exists in Legit Legends (congratulations to Violence is Forever for their IWTV Indies award for Best Tag Team of 2019), but I was more than ready to see Chuck get taken out of the picture and if the rest of his very capable team had to go down alongside him, so be it! Everyone went after one another in the beginning of this match and from there it’d be almost impossible to establish any kind of order. That is, of course, until Jaka gets in the ring. The return of Jaka that finally reunited Team Pazuzu was the shot in the arm that the team needed; once he gets in the ring in this match we finally start to see Chuck take some of the punishment he so richly deserves (even since Season 1 of Uncharted Territory!) Violence is Forever is quick to come to Chuck’s aid and soon the Legends are in control at one point with double rear naked choke submissions on both Dickinson and Jaka. Pinkie makes a brilliant El Presidente executive decision and breaks up both holds by sending Kevin Ku crashing into all 4 competitors. Exceptionally entertaining match, Dickinson gets the win for Team Pazuzu with assistance from Jaka, who chokeslams Chuck O’Neil down to the mat for the pin. Pazuzu wins - and even more importantly - gets back that stolen kneepad from Chuck! This is the kind of satisfaction I’m looking for in feud resolutions; very first-rate ending here.

Match 6: Daniel Garcia vs Brandon Thurston
Garcia/Thurston was a teacher vs. student bout that was more akin to a mirror match as time went on here and showed exactly how much influence Thurston has over his trainees. Abundant German suplexes were traded in the beginning of this match and Garcia looks fantastic here at the start. Thurston realizes this too, and we go into what feels like a tortoise vs. hare situation where the master purposefully saps his charge of all of his energy before stepping in to take control. The longer the match goes on the harder (and closer) Garcia comes to getting the victory over Thurston, but it’s veteran skill that keeps Thurston in the game and it’s that same skill that leads him to an unanticipated win over his younger and hungrier opponent. Thurston gets the victory here over Garcia after slowing him down long enough to hit a brainbuster on him and cover him for the pinfall. I have a feeling Thurston will emerge as one of the major hated names in Beyond for Season 3 as opposed to being the annoying yet accomplished guy he was in Season 2.

Match 7: Christian Casanova vs. Tony Deppen
You can’t ring in a New Year without Tony Deppen around! This match was announced just days ago on the season finale of Uncharted Territory, and it’s a damn good thing they did so. We needed to see a Discovery Gauntlet winner and the most recent Tournament for Tomorrow winner go toe to toe to close out the decade, and Casanova/Deppen brought the house down after Starr/Stevens shook it to the foundation. The crowd was staunchly divided between Deppen and Casanova for the whole of this one, and most of the bout focused on both men going at top speed in an attempt to outdo and outmatch the other. In fact, it seems like the only time Deppen slows down slightly is when he’s blowing snot on his opponent. Deppen’s snot spot on Casanova led to a strong brainbuster but could not take out the Top Talent for good. Casanova regains control by the end of the match and pulls out a Sucka Kick from the top rope, laying Deppen out for the pinfall victory. This was an awesome win for Christian Casanova and I would not mind one bit seeing a rematch in Season 3 of Uncharted Territory, I have a feeling there’s a whole series of great matches in these two.

Match 8: Anthony Greene vs. Josh Briggs (Ava Everett as guest referee)
This whole feud has left me so conflicted! Not only have fans been left to wonder where Ava Everett’s true alliance lies but we’re also having to figure out if either Greene or Briggs want anything to do with her anymore. It’s hard to watch friends struggle, and what’s really tragic is there’s no real way to satisfactorily end this feud without friendships being severed. Anthony Greene (who has gone in the esteem of the audience from “fucks” to “sucks”) was at his cagey best here, faking a knee injury at one point for a believably sustained amount of time before coming back miraculously to hit a DDT on Briggs. Greene didn’t let up his new jerk attitude for a moment, even causing Ava to have to get physical with him, forcing him to break a submission at one point. The end of this match focuses on the breakdown between Ava and AG as she refuses to count a pinfall on Briggs and spends most of the time arguing and fighting with Greene. The end of the match sees Greene with a chair in the ring and Ava quarrelling with him over it and Briggs using the distraction to his advantage. After a low blow on Greene, Briggs gets the pin and win. Greene announces after the match that he’s done with both Briggs and Ava, as he’s been the good guy all along and she’s the one who (he claims) turned on him. Classic gaslighting strategy, AG brings excellence to his new asshole character.

Match 9: John Silver vs. Kris Statlander
It was only a few weeks ago at the end of Uncharted Territory that Silver requested this match, but it’s been a year in the making. Silver/Statlander is a rematch from their original bout in September 2018 at Beyond’s Please Come Back (which makes its return in January 2020). The beginning of this match is adorable as Statlander and Silver are treated to a huge amount of streamers thrown into the ring by the audience, to which they play around and wrap themselves up in. It’s a nice moment for recalling that these two are really good friends who are both on their way up in AEW in the year ahead. There’s a lot of showing off and cute callbacks to start us off here, but it’s all good because we know how hard these two can both go when the time comes. Trading nose boops, flexing, cartwheels, and wet willies set the tone at first, but soon enough out come Silver’s savage kicks and chops and we are off! The friendship is stored safely away somewhere else right now as the competitors come out to play, and it’s not long until Silver’s nose is busted and yet he’s still continuing to bust fierce kicks and strikes out on Statlander. There’s a nice moment of dueling enziguris and Silver even manages to hit the Spin Doctor on Statlander although he’s unable to get the three-count pin. Statlander goes in the end for Area 451, but Silver pulls his knees up just in time to catch her on the landing and capitalize for the pin and win. Badasses both here showing their stuff! Statlander and Silver end the match with a hug to close out the final match of 2019.

Match 10: Bear Country vs. Team Tremendous (Dan Barry/Bill Carr) (Fans Bring the Weapons)
I was damn near obliterated by the time this match went on, so a lot of it is a haze in my memory. Admittedly, I had to go back and watch the replay so I could figure out what the hell was going on here. The first match of 2020 was something like a GCW match, which is fitting since GCW’s back catalog is now available on demand at IWTV. Excellent advertising here. Yeah, this shit was CRAZY. It was fun to see Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder without their usual Bear Country masks and it was just plain nuts to see how many fans just brought the wildest things they could think of to use as weapons for this match. A globe wrapped in barbed wire? A wedding dress wrapped in barbed wire? A pinata filled with thumbtacks and Lego pieces? It was like something out of a Tim Burton/Guillermo del Toro collaboration movie, it was brilliant! Bear Bronson is the first to wear the crimson mask after he gets stapled, cheese gratered, and smashed in the head with a beer bottle. Even while all this is going on I still have to praise Dan Barry, everyone went through hell in this match but it seemed like his walk was a little more fraught with peril - he got stapled in the balls, skewers to the head, and powerbombed through a door rigged with mouse traps. If this all sounds slightly insane to you then it doesn't come close to describing how out of pocket this match got. Bear Boulder gets locked outside of the building at one point only to return with a car bumper in his hands; I feel sorry for the car that had to take one for the team out there. As if this match weren't GCW or CZW enough for you, we even have skewers lodged in everyone's foreheads at one point (without being too graphic, I just recommend you watch the damn show to see that at least this match has a nice aesthetic effect when everyone's skewered). Bear Country gets the hard-fought victory after hitting the elevator drop on both Barry and Carr. Happy New Year, friends, we are most surely now living in the roaring 20s!

Post Show Thoughts
It’s bittersweet to come to this section as this will be the last Beyond Wrestling review I’ll write on a regular weekly basis until we’re back for the next season of Uncharted Territory. However, Heavy Lies The Crown was one of those shows with plenty of re-watch value to keep me without going into deep Beyond Wrestling withdrawal. With that said, the next few weeks will be an excellent time to get caught up on Seasons 1 and 2 of Uncharted Territory or get another look at what you've seen before just to admire the complex storytelling that's been going on throughout 2018-2019. Congratulations to Beyond Wrestling for their success, congratulations to Beyond's talent for using Uncharted Territory as the greatest platform available to make a bigger name for themselves, congratulations to the Beyond Wrestling faithful at the White Eagle for being some of the best fans in wrestling today, and a big congratulations to Beyond Wrestling referee Kevin Quinn for getting engaged to his lovely fiancee last night at the show! See you all again for Season 3 of Uncharted Territory!

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