Supernatural: Beyond the Mat Review

Supernatural introduces us to the demonic world of wrestling in "Beyond the Mat." Here is our review!

Supernatural has shown us ghosts, parallel universes, and demonic possession. Now we have the opportunity to see something even harder to believe: wrestling. Meanwhile, Crowley and Lucifer discuss the finer things, such as who is better at the classic double-cross.

I am not a wrestling fan. I couldn’t find myself too interested in Dean and Sam revisiting some aspect of their childhood that was never brought up before and doesn’t seem to fit their characters. Sure, Dean got to enjoy a bit of a second childhood. It was certainly amusing to see Sam all flustered talking to the hostess with the mostest, and Dean playing around in the ring was genuinely funny (those facial expressions!), but I still couldn’t buy that these guys were wrestling fans. Maybe that’s an inherent problem with trying to add some new facets to characters who’ve been around for eleven seasons.

There was a parallel between Gunner’s wrestling life and Dean’s hunting. Gunner describes going back into the ring time after time with a sort of dedication and sadness that represents a hunter’s state of being. Gunner even says, “I’d be damned if I didn’t get back up. Gotta keep on grinding on.” From the look on Dean’s face, I’d say that was his internal policy towards his job as well. The guys even share stories of their “war wounds” inflicted on the job. The connection between hunters and wrestlers was also present when Sam and Dean discussed why on earth these wrestlers would put their neck on the lines all the time for crappy money.

I found the scenes away from the wrestling storyline to be the most engaging. Crowley finally finds a friend, a loyal follower named Simmons, to free him from his dog cage. He starts putting his plan into motion, divulging that he already has a Hand of God, the Rod of Aaron. Surprise, surprise, Simmons is a double-crosser and Lucifer makes his appearance.

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It seems all is lost for Crowley at this point until he gets the upper hand. Sure, Lucifer might have invented the double cross, but Crowley perfected it. There is this epic moment in which Crowley absorbs the power from the Rod. The visual effects used here were incredibly effective, the staff starting to glow and red and white tendrils of power snaking through Crowley’s body. Crowley tries to blast Lucifer but Simmons ends up the recipient. Too bad Crowley had to learn the hard way about that whole “one and done” factor on these Hands of God. We sure are going through them fast.

There were a few new elements to making deals with demons in this episode. This particular demon was a managerial type who outsourced his soul-gathering to his human victims. When he tries to get another lackey, the unthinkable occurs: the guys says no. Finally, someone is smart enough to decline a demon deal, and his logic for doing so is pretty sound. Basically, “If you’re a demon, then that means there’s a heaven, and I’m not giving up my chance at paradise for something meaningless.”

I’m in between on ratings for this episode. It had its moments, but I still believe the wrestling theme could have easily been replaced with something else to better effect.

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3.5 out of 5