CZW Best Of The Best IV 7/10/2004

Written by: Sean McCaffrey from

Best of the Best IV

Approx Attendance: 750+
Ring Announcer: Dennis Shock
Referees: Brian Logan, Mike Koehner

The show started off with the National Anthem, which was sung by a little girl, who was representing some sort of organization. I thought the loud Philly fans were going to start chanting something, but they were respectful and applauded loudly when the girl finished singing.

The first match was ready to go. Jack Evans was announced as Teddy Hart’s replacement and he was the first one out. Homicide came out next. Trent Acid’s music plays, but instead of Acid, we got CZW Owner/Wrestler, John Zandig. Zandig got the mic. Zandig said they tried getting in touch with Acid, but Acid is nowhere to be found, and no showed CZW. Zandig took a shot at Acid and said he was probably around somewhere with Teddy Hart. Zandig then acknowledged The Dew, who was at ringside with the $5000 bounty that The Messiah put on Trent Acid’s head. Zandig said that Homicide/Evans will get a new opponent. All of a sudden, the returning Justice Pain came out. The crowd went fucking wild and started a huge “WELCOME BACK” chant. If you don’t think there is any heat between Zandig and Pain, you’re crazy. Their facial expressions told a thousand stories. If you watch this on tape, you can see Pain’s face get real read as he bad mouthed Zandig. Both guys get into a verbal war. Pain says he’s not here to wrestle, because he doesn’t work for CZW anymore. Zandig tells Pain he’s too fat to be in the BOTB. Pain tells Zandig he’s a punk. Zandig then gives this great speech, that went over well, that “you should wrestle for the fans, not the money.” That line can only work in the wrestling business. Shit just look at the NBA or any other sport, or even any other profession for that matter, it’s always about number 1. Anyway the fans want Pain back. Pain said maybe he’ll come back next month, but he’s not going to do anything tonight. Pain then bounced with The Dew. Zandig then introduced Trent Acid’s replacement, Chri$ Ca$h.

Real quick, the Best of the Best isn’t like any other tourney. The first round is all triple threat matches. Whoever gets pinned/submits/counted out/dq’ed is eliminated. The other two men then wrestle each other in round 2. It’s a unique concept that has really gotten over well in CZW.

Homicide vs Jack Evans vs Chri$ Ca$h
Homicide pins Chri$ Ca$h

This was a rough match that Homicide dominated. The crowd was really into Homicide as they were chanting his name huge in this one. The fans wanted to see Evans get killed, but I don’t think that was really that fair. More on Evans at the end of this review. The match started off with some slaps and strikes. Homicide went on the advantage as he threw Ca$h into the guardrail, and forearmed Evans. Homicide then hit a rough clothesline on Evans, which sent Evans fucking flying. Homicide then victim kicked Evans. Ca$h came back in and attacked Homicide. Ca$h then hit a DVD on Evans. Evans hit his 630 splash on Ca$h. After more action, Homicide pinned Ca$h after taking off his elbow pad, and hitting a brutal ass lariat.
Good first round match that the crowd was really into. I think everyone knew Homicide and Evans were going to advance in this one and were satisfied about how it went down.
It should also be noted that Homicide was wearing his Natural Born Sinners gear, except for the mask.

B-Boy vs Roderick Strong vs Jimmy Rave
B-Boy pins Jimmy Rave

This was the best first round match. Just a crazy match with lots of action. The match started off really fast with everyone criss crossing the ropes and countering each other, to an eventual stand off. Strong whipped out his backbreakers in this match. B-Boy at one point double drop kicked both guys down. Rave took a beating in this match, which led to his eventual elimination. B-Boy jumped off Roderick Strongs back, and hit the shining wizard on Rave for the pinfall.
Really great match, and just so match stuff going on at once to really recap everything from memory.

Alex Shelley vs Bobby Quance vs Ruckus w/”Primo” Robby Mireno & Maven Bentley (AKA The Blacklot)
Ruckus gets counted out; Quance and Shelley advance

PREMATCH: Mireno tells the crowd to respect 1/2 of the CZW Tag Team Champions, Ruckus. Funny promo here.
This match kept all three guys strong. We saw alot of submissions early in. After a standstill, we saw some strikes. This later turned into Ruckus and Shelley going to the outside. Quance then hit a big ass shooting star press on both guys. Quance later on hit a springboard dropkick on both guys. Ruckus got up and then hit a headscissors on Shelley. Ruckus, who had a table set up on the outside, went after Shelley, as Quance was down. Ruckus looked to put Shelley through the table, but Nate Hatred ran out. Hatred threw Ruckus through the table. Meanwhile, Quance hit a Shooting Star Press on Shelley and had him pinned. Instead of counting the pin, the ref counted Ruckus out, as Ruckus was on the outside before Quance had Shelley pinned. Ruckus was eliminated, and it looked like Quance wanted Shelley to be eliminated instead.
Solid stuff here. Some may not like the fact that some of the finishes in this tournament, such as this one, weren’t clean. As for me, I enjoyed it, as it told a story throughout, and none of the fuck finishes really dampered anything. If anything, it made everyone’s worth rise.

Sonjay Dutt vs Petey Williams vs Nate Webb
Petey Williams pins Nate Webb

Nate Webb = FUCKING OVER. The crowd was into him BIGTIME. This match was very fast paced. The match started off with all three guys doing a dance off, which the crowd gave a big pop for. There were alot of 2 counts in this match, as every guy kept going for pins. Sonjay at one point hit a muscle buster on Webb right on Williams chest. Petey Williams hit his Canadian Destroyer (flipping piledriver) on Nate Webb for the pin.
Another solid match in this tournament. CZW would be wise to bring Nate Webb back, as the crowd fucking loved him.

Xtreme Strong Style Tournament Match
Non Title Match
CZW Iron Man Champion Chris Hero d. Hot Stuff Hernandez

PREMATCH: Hero said something to the effect that him and Hernandez were going to show everyone who the real best of the best were. This was a non BOTB match, but a XSS tournament match, which is a tournament to crown an Xtreme Strong Style Champion.
This was a decent match. Hernandez might be one of the best big man wrestlers today. I have never seen a guy his height fly like he does. This was another match with alot of submissions. Hernandez hit his big tope near the end of the match. Hero won this match after three forearms to the neck.
Good match but wack finish. I can see how the forearms to the neck make sense from an “Xtreme Strong Style” view and for the pyschology in it, but it came out of nowhere and the finish sucked the life out of the crowd. I think everyone, including myself, was looking for a big move to win this match, as all the other matches prior to this one, had a big move to end the match.

Homicide d. Jack Evans

This was a massacre early on, but Evans was able to get off some offense. Homicide chopped Evans up early. Homicide then put his boot to Evans face, then picked him up to give him some forearms. Homicide then took a fans sign that said “TEDDY HART IS SCARED OF HOMICIDE AND JACK EVANS IS A PUSSY” and showed it to Jack as he slapped him. Evans was able to push back Homicide’s flurry with a springboard kick. Evans then hit a corkscrew, but couldn’t put Homicide away. Evans bounced off the ropes but Homicide caught him with an overhead suplex. Homicide then hit a planted DDT off the turnbuckles, but Evans wouldn’t get pinned. Evans came back with a sliced bread number 2. Homicide then hit a huge yakuza kick for 2. He followed that up with a butterfly suplex from the top rope. Homicide then went for another top rope move, but Evans was able to fight Homicide off. Jack then did this big flip from the top rope, and caught Homicide with a DDT. Definitley the first time I saw that. I don’t know what you call that, but the best way do describe it is a 360 DDT. Nuts. Homicide was able to come back though, as he hit his huge lariat. Homicide had Evans pinned after that rough lariat, but instead of pinning him, he lifted up Evans head at 2. Homicide then got the mic and said “Tell Teddy he’s gonna die.” Homicide then hit the running Copkilla on Evans and got the pin.
POSTMATCH: Homicide slapped Evans hand. As Jack Evans got assistance to the back, the crowd opened up with a huge THANK YOU JACK chant.
I’ll get more into this at the end of the review, but all I will say here is that Jack Evans must be respected by every fan. The guy took everything here. More on this at the end.

Roderick Strong d. B-Boy

Another great fucking match here. This match went to the outside early. B-Boy hit some victim kicks while Strong went crazy with bakcbreakers. Both guys traded forearms. This match was just very rough and very stiff. Strong hit a wicked yakuza kick in this match. Strong after more backbreakers put B-Boy in a boston crab. As B-Boy climbed to the ropes, while being in the Boston Crab, he reached out for the ropes with his hand. He tried going for the ropes three times, but missed. The ref then calls the match and gives Roderick Strong the submission win, because in his eyes, B-Boys arm tapped out.
Screwjob finish, but a great way to keep the New Age Punisher strong. I thought this was a unique finish, and apparently IHPW did too, as they did the same thing the next day, without knowing that CZW did it here. Good match.

Bobby Quance d. Alex Shelley

The crowd loved this, as this was another fine match. This match went back and forth with both guys getting off their offense. We saw multiple submission holds and suplexes from both sides. Quance hit a nice rana on Shelley in this match. Quance won this match after Shelley tapped out to an armbar submission.
Solid shit here, as Quance went after Shelley’s arm the whole match, and that’s how he wound up winning it.

Sonjay Dutt d. Petey Williams

Phenomenal match here. Both guys hit alot of high impact moves. Sonjay hit a huge top rope dive on Petey. Sonjay hit a corkscrew press. Sonjay near the end of the match hit a muscle buster for 2. Petey came back with the Canadian Destroyer for 2. Sonjay was able to come back with a suplex and a top rope huranacarana for the three.
Sonjay Dutt is the fucking man and the crowd gave him alot of respect. Petey williams was also a big fan favorite in this one.

Got some more beer at the beer stand and floated around. Also picked up some tapes, and for anyone who cares it was the PWG Tango Tournament show, IWA’s King of the Deathmatch, and this years J-Cup.

Xtreme Strong Style Tournament Match
Danny Maff d. Nick Gage

This match started off slowly, so Maff grabbed the mic. He said he came to wrestle a fucking Xtreme Strong Style match in South Philadelphia. The cheap hometown pop followed after that, and the match picked up big time as the crowd was into it, and both guys killed each other. Maff asked for a chair, and the crowd obliged him, as 100 chairs went flying into the ring, Public Enemy style. For the rest of the match, both guys hit moves onto the chairs. Also, Nick Berk came out to watch this. Maff hit a huge half nelson suplex onto the chairs but it wasn’t enough to keep Gage down. Gage then germaned Maff onto the chairs. Towards the end, Berk ran in, but Gage beat the shit out of Berk. This gave Maff some time to rebound, as he came up from behind and hit the burning hammer on Gage right onto the chairs.
POSTMATCH: Berk ran in again to attack Gage, but Gage hit his chokeslam into a backbreaker on Berk instead. Gage then chairshotted Berk a few times.
Good match here, that really went nuts after Maff got the mic. The Berk stuff was sort of unneccessary, but at least it didn’t affect the match.

Roderick Strong d. Homicide

This wasn’t voted the best match by the fans at the end of the night, but to me, this was the Match of the Night. While Homicide/Evans and Strong/Sonjay might be the matches that get the most notoriety and will be remembered the most, this one stood out. Both guys traded holds early on. Strong hit a backbreaker then a sidewalk slam, followed up by 2 backbreakers and a suplex. Strong then put Homicide in a Boston Crab. Homicide came back with a suplex. Homicide also hit his cannonball dive in this ma tch. Homicide brought Strong back into the ring, suplexed and then piledrove him. Homicide then hit a top rope diamond cutter, followed by his torturous lariat for 2. Homicide looked frustrated that he couldn’t put away Strong. Homicide then went for 2 yakuza kicks, and had both blocked. Strong then hit a back breaker and cradled Homicide after doing it for the 1-2-3.
Great fucking match here. Both guys killed each other. Strong winning this match is somewhat of an upset, and somewhat cements Strong as a big player now in the northeast.

Sonjay Dutt d. Bobby Quance

Sonjay went for some unique submissions early on, as he put Quance in variations of the octopus. Quance was able to get out of it and hit various suplexes such as a german and a brainbuster. Sonjay came back with a drop kick, but then Quance came back with a northern lights suplex. Quance then hit a variation of hte perfect plex. After enziguri’s, Sonjay hit the osaka cutter on Quance. Sonjay then followed that up with a hindu press for the 1-2-3.
I know I sound repetitive, but this was another great match on this show. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t one bad match on this show.

One Fall to a Finish
4-Way Match
Jimmy Rave d. Ruckus (w/Sabian, Robby Mireno & Maven Bentley), Chri$ Ca$h,”Spyder” Nate Webb

I wasn’t really into this match. This pitted the four guys who lost in the first round. I might be one of those fans that Jimmy Rave vented about in one of his statements, as I’m not really a big Jimmy Rave fan. The show was pretty long, and this just delayed the finals. I think a tag team match would’ve been better in this spot, especially with The H8 Squad there. Jimmy Rave wound up winning this match after hitting a shining wizard on Nate Webb.
Probably a better match on tape, but this match had no significance to it, and just seemed like something to put in front of the main event, which it was.

Sonjay Dutt d. Roderick Strong

Just like Christopher Daniels in ECWA’s Super 8, Sonjay Dutt lost his first finals match, but came back to win the tournament the next year. Sonjay deserved this win, and got a great match here. The one problem with this match, which wasn’t any of CZW’s fault, was some fan that was there. Apparently, some middle aged man went to take a leak outside, behind the arena. As he was pissing in the back, some little girl was there, as there was a house party going on next to the arena. Well apparently the old man said a comment like “Do you want some of this?”, as he was exposed which thankfully, got the girl to run away. The girl told her parents. The fan, who I’m guessing was on drugs or drinking, came back to the show. This brought the cops to the show to arrest the fan. I don’t know what the end result of what will happen to the guy, but all I do know is that the cops arrested him and took him in a cop car. The reason why this story is important is because while this was all going on, the wrestlers went to get the guy, and some of the locker room emptied out in the crowd. The cops were also in the crowd. Meanwhile, Strong and Dutt were having the match of their lives. This match was really good, but the crowd wasn’t into the first 10 minutes, as they were watching what was going on around them.

Anyway, as far as the match, Sonjay went for his octopus. The match went back and forth and to the outside. Sonjay got tossed into a rail. Both guys got in the ring where Strong suplexed him. Sonjay got up and was able to get off a neckbreaker. Strong came back with a slew of backbreakers. Sonjay hit the hindu press, but Strong wouldn’t be pinned. Strong then hit a vertebreaker for 2. All of a sudden Sonjay put Strong in some weird cradle for the pin.
Good match, HORRIBLE finish. With a tournament full of big finishes, I don’t see what the point was of a sudden small pin. It also took Sonjay a few seconds to get Strong into it, it wasn’t like a small package or anything. Anyway, Sonjay becomes the fourth Best of the Best Champion.

POSTMATCH: M-Dogg 20 comes out and attacks Sonjay Dutt. Like Pain, this was M-Doggs return. M-Dogg had Sonjay’s CZW Junior Heavyweight Title. M-Dogg keeps on attacking Sonjay, but Zandig with everyone from Best of the Best (Except Ruckus) came out to make the save.

Every participant from The Best of The Best (Again, except Ruckus) celebrated with Sonjay Dutt. He was put on everyones shoulders as he celebrated the victory.

Zandig then cut a post show promo. The way Zandig treats the fans in his promos is incredible. It’s like he unites all the fans together and talks to them like they are his workers too. Zandig tells everyone that Justice Pain will be back next show.

Zandig, along with CZW commentators, Garigulo and House, gave out Best of the Best awards. The crowds reaction is what determined the winners.

Winners of BOTB Awards:
Best First Round Match: Jimmy Rave vs. B-Boy vs. Roderick Strong
Best Singles Match: Alex Shelley vs. Bobby Quance
Best Wrestler: Bobby Quance
Obviously, CZW will be wise to bring Quance back.

Zandig then thanked the crowd, and plugged the next two shows, which I’ll tell you about at the end of this.

Final McWord

Some smarks might disagree with me, but this is how I truly feel. I saw ECWA’s Super 8. I saw JCW’s J-Cup. I saw WXW’s Samoan Cup. I’ve now seen CZW’s Best of the Best, and this has been the best tournament I’ve been to all year. There was not one bad match in the whole entire tournament. While the tournament stressed solid work rate and told in ring stories, CZW was also able to advance inner-promotion storylines. Just a phenomenal tournament.

Now let’s talk about Jack Evans. This guy has my utmost respect, and I hope others respect him too. Due to his friendship with Teddy Hart, he’s been on the wrong side of the fence of alot of heat. While calling Teddy a pussy and a bullshit artist might be bold by other writers, I’ll reserve my opinions about Teddy for a future column. As far as Jack, I think he’s as tough as they come. Not only has he subsituted for Teddy Hart here, but he’s done it at other shows. While people book Jack/Teddy as a tandem, and Teddy either has an injury or no shows, Jack Evans always shows up and wrestle. Jack Evans was injured himself at two shows I’ve been to (FTW and IHPW) and still wrestled. My point is, don’t confuse Teddy with Jack. Jack shows up, shuts up and wrestles. Jack also filled in for Teddy Hart here, KNOWING he was going to get a beating from Homicide. It has been rumored that Homicide is out to get Teddy Hart for stiffing USA PW Promoter Frank Goodman. Whether Teddy cancelled this booking due to knowing Homicide was going to be there or due to his alleged bar fight that no one I know saw or can even 100% confirm, is not an issue that Jack should be involved in. Jack stepped up to the plate and took a huge beating from Homicide in two matches. These matches did nothing for Jack’s career, but it did alot to establish his character. I hope Jack doesn’t lose work due to Teddy’s actions, as Jack has been great on various shows, and it seems that the crowd likes him alot as well. Jack proved himself to be a tough motherfucker at BOTB. I congratulate him for that.

As far as the non-tourney matches, I think Maff/Gage was the best one. The chairs flying to the ring felt like an old ECW moment. Great stuff in that match.

Overall- One of the best shows of the year.

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