Beyond Wrestling is back.
Beginning this Thursday (Feb. 25), the independent wrestling launchpad is unveiling its newest show, The Signature Series, Beyond Wrestling owner Drew Cordeiro confirmed to Sports Illustrated.
“We’ve been sitting back and watching the direction that independent wrestling has taken, and this is the right time to return,” said Cordeiro. “People are going to really enjoy what they’re about to see.”
The Signature Series will stream exclusively on IWTV for six consecutive weeks, with each new episode airing on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET from the H2O Wrestling Center in Williamstown, New Jersey. Due to the pandemic, the independent scene in 2021 is far different than it was a year ago. Many indie stars have signed with bigger promotions, so The Signature Series stands an opportunity to be at the forefront of a new era of independent wrestling.
“We were able to figure out what the independent wrestling scene was lacking, and put together a series focused on a specific style of technical wrestling,” said Cordeiro. “Traditional technical independent wrestling is being overlooked, and tag team wrestling is always overlooked on the independent wrestling scene, and we’re going to highlight both. We’re also going to able to feature women’s wrestling, heavyweight wrestling, intergender wrestling, and hardcore wrestling.”
A slate of emerging stars is part of The Signature Series. The “Greatest Rivals Round Robin” tournament is the centerpiece of the series and features Chris Dickinson, Tony Deppen, Wheeler YUTA, and Matt Makowski. Beyond will also showcase Trish Adora, Jordan Oliver, a no-disqualification bout pitting Matthew Justice against SLADE, and the tag team Tournament for Tomorrow. Tournament for Tomorrow includes Nouveau Aesthetic’s Still Life and BLANK, The Bird and The Bee’s Willow Nightingale and Solo Darling, Milk Chocolate’s Brandon Watts and Randy Summers, The Rep’s Nate Carter and Dave McCall, Faith in Nothing’s Rickey Shane Page and Vincent Nothing, 40 Acres’ Tre LaMar and Pretty Boy Smooth, Mike Verna and Rex Lawless, and Shook Crew’s Bryce Donovan and Bobby Orlando.
A negative COVID-19 was a requirement for wrestlers and personnel to be part of the project. And though wrestling has often felt disjointed in the pandemic era, Cordeiro believes this series of shows produces an atmosphere both gritty and authentic to the presentation, especially with wrestlers ringside during the matches.
“One of the things that’s been missing from no-fan shows is the atmosphere,” said Cordeiro. “There is no energy, there is no environment. Beyond Wrestling started doing no-fan shows in 2009, and that’s because I had been involved in professional wrestling and backyard wrestling. The wrestlers that were professionally trained kept coming back to do the backyard shows, and that’s because of the freedom of the performance and the camaraderie of having the wrestlers ringside.
“That environment creates a legitimate competition where everyone wants to out-do each other. We innovated this genre out of choice in 2009. With The Signature Series, this is our chance to show everybody what it’s all about.”
Beyond’s previous event took place last September with Shangri-La Magistral. Cordeiro now looks to seize the wrestling world’s attention with The Signature Series, reminding those watching that every trend in the pro wrestling industry begins at the independent level.
“I’m very proud of the roster we put together,” said Cordeiro. “We’re going to be able to accomplish a lot with The Signature Series.”