Review: Uncharted Territory, Season 1 Episode 17

Uncharted Territory, Season 1 Episode 17
Original Air Date: July 24, 2019 (Re-aired May 17, 2020)
Episode Venue: White Eagle in Worcester, MA
Available on demand via IWTV.live

The penultimate episode of Season 1 is also the go-home episode for Americanrana ‘19. The build for this show during the mid-to-latter half of the season was done so well that you’ll likely find yourself getting a new feeling of excitement over an event that took place close to a year ago. I found myself (among many others!) feeling this way throughout Episode 17 and it speaks to how excellent of a job Beyond Wrestling did overall with booking both Uncharted Territory and planning for the long term.

On Commentary: Paul Crockett and Sidney Bakabella

Match 1: Milk Chocolate (Brandon Watts & Randy Summers) vs. Ortiz & Santana
Milk Chocolate gets a chance to shine in the opening match! Ortiz & Santana are back in Beyond in Episode 17 because they’ve previously been called out by Bear Country; they’re here tonight for a match and to respond to the challenge that the tag team aces sent their way. Bear Beefcake and Bear Bronson are at ringside for this match, and Ortiz & Santana took the opportunity to send them a message. Watts & Summers did a fine job holding their own for a good deal of this one, but EYFBO had something to prove to the Bears and did so by summarily getting the victory and looking ahead to Bear Country’s challenge.


Match 2: Da Hoodz (Kris Pyro & Davey Cash) vs. Bear Country (Bear Beefcake & Bear Bronson)
Almost immediately following the opener, it was Bear Country’s turn to show Ortiz & Santana what they had planned in mind. As good of a team as Da Hoodz are, their show debut seemed more like an opportunity for Bear Beefcake & Bear Bronson to display their well-known ursine level of destruction while their Americanrana opponents watched at ringside. Bear Country gets the win via Elevator Drop, showing to EYFBO that they’re ready to prove to the world that they’re the true aces of Beyond.


Match 3: Leyla Hirsch vs. Alex Reynolds
Legit Leyla took on the second half of the busted-up Beaver Boys in this episode after previously going toe to toe with John Silver. She turned out to be a pretty damn considerable challenge for both men, too, as Reynolds had a far nastier edge to him in this match than Silver had shown when in the ring with Hirsch. One memorable spot to pinpoint Reynolds’s savagery is when Leyla went for a dive outside the ring; Reynolds managed to catch her and then slam her directly down on the hard floor! You’d think this would have turned the tide completely in favor for Reynolds to get the win, but no one can take Leyla out without an all-out battle. That’s what Silver learned but Reynolds wasn’t so quick to pick up on that lesson. Speaking of the Meat Man, Leyla could likely thank him for showing up at ringside near the end of the match. Silver’s appearance clearly threw Reynolds off his game, allowing Leyla to get the win with a beautiful moonsault that led to the three-count pin.


After the match John Silver hit the ring, delivering a nice German suplex to Reynolds. His former partner escaped the ring before the Meat Man could do any more damage, but they’d finally get their chance to have it out at Americanrana, as now their match was officially booked.


Match 4: Club Cam (Cam Zagami & Christian Casanova) vs. Nerder Death Kill (Nick Gage & Thomas Santell)
Club Cam has got to be the easiest club in the world to get into; apparently they’ll take anybody. That was made evident in this match. We thought we’d get a chance to see Cam get his ass kicked in a tag team match, but just as things were getting underway (and just as Cam demanded that Casanova start the match with Gage instead of stepping in the ring himself) the newest ‘member of the Club’ Kenn Doane stormed his way into the ring and wreaked havoc, ending the match in a DQ and denying us the pleasure of seeing Cam get what he deserved. 


Match 5: Daniel Garcia vs. Kevin Blackwood (Discovery Gauntlet match)
All throughout the season we’ve seen the challenges get harder with each passing week for those who make it to another episode for the Discovery Gauntlet. Daniel Garcia is still at the top of the mountain, but his hardest fight yet came at the hands of fellow Buffalo boy Kevin Blackwood. If I had to rank the Gauntlet matches that took place throughout Season 1, this one would definitely be in the top three tier. Blackwood is amazing, but Garcia is Red Death personified. I recommend watching this match as these are two names you’ll be hearing more often over the next few years. Garcia gets his third Gauntlet win, this time using his intense submission technique to get Blackwood to tap out in the end.


Match 6: Anthony Greene & Josh Briggs (w/Platinum Hunnies) vs. The Butcher And The Blade (Andy Williams & Pepper Parks)
Just one week after they went hard in the main event, AG and Big Josh are back as a tag team in Episode 17 and the bond is as strong as ever (you have to see this one for Briggs making his entrance in zubaz, it’s great). A solid friendship is not necessarily what it takes to overcome a team like the Butcher and the Blade, though. Greene and Briggs are extremely skilled as singles competitors, but as a tag team I don’t think they’re quite yet up to the level of cohesion that Williams & Parks have found in their professional partnership. Nonetheless, this was a match that I thought AG and Josh would win, seeing as they gave it their all against each other the previous week and expecting them to have that same energy when teaming up against opponents. They make a damn good team, but Williams & Parks managed to get the win (and I consider it an upset victory as I didn’t see it coming) in the third and final tag team match of the evening.


Match 7: Wheeler Yuta vs. David Starr
The remaining two matches of this episode were simply meant to knock us back in our seats, I’m pretty certain. Yuta vs. Starr even looks incredible on paper, so it’s safe to say that this one would be something superb. Both Starr and Yuta deliver here, starting out with classic mat style wrestling and later taking more risks as they fought for control of the match. Both these guys went incredibly hard here considering they’d have matches upcoming in just days at Americanrana - Starr would face Joey Janela and Yuta would finally get his chance at revenge on Chuck O’Neil. Janela and O’Neil were both in attendance for this show, but if there was any mental distraction from this in either Yuta or Starr neither men showed it. They stayed laser focused on each other until the end when Starr finally laid Yuta out with a devastating lariat for the pinfall victory.


Of course, Chuck O’Neil never comes around until after the match; that’s just what he did in this episode too. This time, though, it looked like Chuck wanted to take Yuta out of the game completely - he wasn’t even waiting for their match a few days later at Foxwoods. After hitting the ring and attacking Yuta, busting his head open in the process, Chuck gloated as officials once again came to the ring in an attempt to restore order. All this violence only served to incite Yuta even more, though. If Chuck was trying to take him out and prevent the match at Americanrana from happening, he only ended up making his opponent angrier and more fierce.



Match 8: Chris Dickinson vs. Timothy Thatcher
Pardon my thirst for this main event. This match was incredibly hot if you enjoy two strong guys throwing each other around and straining each other’s limbs. For anyone new to Timothy Thatcher in NXT, there are plenty of excellent matches of Thatcher on the indie scene to get you accustomed to his style. I say that this is one you should watch first on the list. Thatcher’s 2019 indie matches, in my opinion, are some of his best. Both Dickinson and Thatcher are in superb condition, and that’s part of the reason why this main event is so awesome. Lots of stretching, suplexes, slaps, punches, and that hard body karate the Dirty Daddy does that I enjoy so damn much. I’ll say this, though - if Dickinson hadn’t been on such a hot run in Season 1 I don’t know if he would have had the momentum going into this match to put Thatcher away. That’s how big of a threat big Timothy is. However, summer 2019 was Dickinson Season and there was no way Captain Dickey was allowing himself to go anything but full power. In the end, Thatcher fell hard to the Pazuzu Bomb and Dickinson earned the latest win in his summer-long streak.


Post-Show Thoughts
The end of the go-home episode had Joey Janela and David Starr having one last war of words before they went to the real battle at Foxwoods. I enjoyed every moment of this lead-in to Americanrana ‘19; the final two episodes of Season 1 are great bookends to the event itself. Kudos to Beyond for creating such an evergreen product, too - watching the re-airing of this episode gave me the same excited energy as I had last summer.

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