Review: Uncharted Territory, Season 1 Episode 18


Uncharted Territory, Season 1 Episode 18
Original Air Date: July 31, 2019 (Re-aired May 18, 2020)
Episode Venue: White Eagle in Worcester, MA
Available on demand via IWTV.live


Not everyone will agree with this, but I think wrestling’s flagship programming needs an off-season. I’ve had that opinion for a while, but it wasn’t until I discovered Uncharted Territory that I realized this show makes the best case for a weekly wrestling series to have an actual season premiere and season finale (not just arbitrarily choosing an episode in May or October to be the finale/premiere like WWE has done with RAW). Pay per view events could still take place, sure (i.e. Beyond’s All Hands on Deck), but weekly live broadcasts going on summer hiatus is a prudent idea. It honestly gives me something to look forward to and I don’t feel burned out on wrestling by the end of September. It’s something to contemplate, though, and Beyond has made a hell of a case.


The Season 1 finale took place post-Americanrana, and this episode did a wonderful job of putting a wrap on some feuds and stories while creating new rivalries and situations to carry on in the second season.


On Commentary: Paul Crockett and Sidney Bakabella


Match 1: Anthony Greene, Josh Briggs & The Platinum Hunnies (Angel Sinclair & Ava Everett) vs. Club Cam (Cam Zagami, Christian Casanova, Richard Holliday, Kenn Doane)
Just as it looked as if the season would begin and end with Josh Briggs doing commentary after a fine comeback in the ring, enter the ever-growing Club Cam. What was supposed to be a match between Greene and Zagami got sidetracked since Cam refuses to do anything without his group around. Only thing about that, though, is that Cam's got a pretty formidable team. Rather than see his friend AG take on Cam and his new friends, Briggs promptly went from the commentary table to ringside to even things up. As a result, our opening match is the biggest one of the season. The action went everywhere quickly, too, with everyone in and out of the ring doing their best to close down Club Cam. The frenzied pace of this match turned out to be the best for the cheaters of Club Cam, however, as Kenn Doane was able to get the pinfall victory on Ava Everett via a handful of tights.


Match 2: Chuck O’Neil vs. Wheeler Yuta
Brad Hollister returned to the White Eagle to give everyone an update on his condition after his injury in his recent match with Chuck O’Neil. Hollister, arriving on crutches, confirmed he’d need ACL surgery, but he remained in good spirits. Even when Chuck O’Neil inevitably made his way out to the ring to gloat, Hollister wasn’t one to back down despite his injury. Thankfully Chuck’s bullying didn’t last long; Yuta made sure of that once he hit the ring. This was Yuta’s opportunity, after all - he did not get to put O’Neil in his place at Americanrana, but that didn’t mean the war was over. The rematch was on now with no disqualifications - the winner could only attain victory via knockout or submission. Hollister remained at ringside for this match, which was a beauty of a second bout between O’Neil and Yuta. There was a lot of pride on the line as well; Yuta simply could not go down to Chuck’s armbar this time, not after losing to him days before at Foxwoods. Thankfully for Yuta, Hollister would be an even bigger help than he imagined. It took one hell of a battle to get O’Neil weakened, and once Yuta accomplished this he put the perfect finish on a successful submission on Cold Steel by using Hollister’s crutch to add insult to injury (no pun intended). Finally Yuta got his well-earned win!


Match 3: Daniel Garcia vs. Bullet Joe (Discovery Gauntlet match)
One might not have expected the season finale Gauntlet match to last very long upon first glance at Bullet Joe, but this guy was more of a thorn in Garcia’s side than I think anyone expected him to be. Looks can be deceiving, and this bullet fires fast and fierce. Garcia’s at the top of the Gauntlet for a reason, though, and despite a valiant effort from Bullet Joe on his show debut Red Death was still able to overcome the latest challenge with his most effective submission and remain the king of the mountain as Season 1 came to a close.



Match 4: Jay Freddie vs. Brandon Thurston
The Freddie/Thurston series of matches is one of my favorite things about Uncharted Territory, and it actually all started with this match. For one thing, it’s an instant classic. Any time these two are in the ring it’s something special because they’re both masters of their craft. Freddie is the more likeable of the two which makes him much easier to root for than Thurston, who just comes across as so smug and arrogant because he’s so damn good (and he has such brutal names for his moves, like the Divorce Court...ouch). Love him or resent him, however, Thurston is nothing to take lightly. Freddie brought his skills to this match but I don’t think he was at the top of his game here. Why? Because I believe on his best day Jay Freddie can beat Brandon Thurston, but this would not be that match. Thurston would get the win here...and in fact from here on out in Season 2 we’ll see that Thurston might actually think the same thing. It’ll be awhile before we see a proper rematch happen between these two.


Match 5: Team Sea Stars (Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo) & Leyla Hirsch vs. The Top Dogs (Davienne, Skylar, & Sierra)
The Sea Stars made one hell of a debut tagging with Leyla Hirsch in this trios match. These ladies went all out with the Top Dogs (including Sierra, not quite a Top Dog yet but still a pup tagging along) and it was great to see. As talented as the trio of Leyla and the Sea Stars are, though, I have to say how impressed I am with the Top Dogs here. As Sierra was not an active tag during the majority of this match, it was mostly Davienne and Skylar doing the work against three very imposing competitors. The Top Dogs may not be the most orthodox or rule-following team, but they are an effective team, and they take the win in the end.



Match 6: Milk Chocolate (Brandon Watts & Randy Summers) vs The Butcher And The Blade (Andy Williams & Pepper Parks)
For anyone who wonders why I am one of the staunchest supporters of Watts & Summers, this match is the one for you to see. This is Milk Chocolate at its finest! After a full season of disappointing finishes to matches, Watts & Summers had something to prove by the finale. Only thing is...they had to prove themselves against one of the hardest tag teams going today. The Butcher and the Blade, just a short while away from their AEW debut, would be a difficult challenge, to say the least. Milk Chocolate did not back down, however! This was their best match all season with nearly 15 minutes of going toe to toe with one of the top tag teams on the independent scene. Though they did eventually fall to Parks & Williams devastating Full Death finisher, I hold Watts & Summers in high esteem for not just lasting for a long period in this match but also for their expert tag team work here. Amazing tag match and one of the season’s best!



Match 7: Solo Darling vs. Alex Reynolds (w/’Smart’ Mark Sterling)
Mark Sterling might hold the record for getting a crowd to collectively loathe him all at once. Sure, he started out the match bragging about his brain and his accomplishments...but however intelligent he is has nothing on how unscrupulous he is! Now that he’s aligned himself with Alex Reynolds (complete with a ritzy smoking jacket), Sterling will do whatever it takes to help his colleague get the win. That’s exactly what happened here. 


There’s no doubt in my mind that Solo Darling could have had the win over Reynolds in this match, but that Mark Sterling just had to get involved near the end in the worst possible way - at the climax of the match, he picked up and absconded with Solo’s ever-present ringside companion Officer Magnum. That’s right, it took kidnapping the goodest boi in the world for Reynolds to be able to get the win on a very distracted Solo Darling. Whatever it takes, indeed...


Match 8: NDK (Nick Gage & Thomas Santell) vs. Bear Country (Bear Beefcake & Bear Bronson)
The final main event of Season 1 started out as good as we expected it to be with NDK, now a legitimately solid tag team thanks to Gage & Santell’s chemistry and ring skills, going up against the tag team aces of Beyond Wrestling. This was a treat of a match after watching both teams progress to the level of success they’d found by the end of the season. However, if you thought this one would end with a decisive winner...well…


Right at the highest point of action where Santell had Bear Bronson locked in the sugar-free hold submission, it looked as if we would have new rivals to the title of tag team aces in Beyond. It looked that way until Kenn Doane and the rest of Club Cam showed up to attack Santell, though, and from there all hell broke loose! The main event was quickly ruled no-contest as the entire Beyond locker room emptied and went to the ring. Everyone who had feuds against one another this season went at it, it was great. We end up seeing poor Randy Summers and Christian Casanova taking a number of everyone’s finishers, we see Leyla Hirsch literally launch herself off Bear Beefcake’s shoulder’s in a moonsault right on to the rest of the roster, and THAT is how Season 1 ends. Not with a banger, but an all out explosion!


Post-Show Thoughts
Holy hell, what a season finale. What a promotion. I recall upon finishing this episode last summer having this huge sense of satisfaction that I hadn’t felt in a while watching wrestling. I felt like I’d just witnessed a huge accomplishment take place. In hindsight it was clearly a major achievement for Beyond. For a wrestling company to knock it’s first season out of the park on the first try like that is something incredibly special. Looking back on all of the hard work and planning that it must have taken to pull Season 1 off puts me in awe of DC and the gang at Beyond, and I salute them all for bringing us the best while still working hard to follow it up with even more excellence in Season 2.

Post a Comment

0 Comments