Written by: TJ Hawke
September 8, 2012
Rich Swann vs. Shane Strickland
Strickland comes out to Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” which means a winner is him.
At the last show, Swann apparently refused to shake Strickland’s hand after Strickland defeated him. Swann slapped Strickland. Strickland responded by sending Swann to the floor and hitting a somersault plancha. Back in the ring, Swann cut off Strickland. Swann got the heat. Swann went for an Alabama Slam, but Strickland reversed it into a twisting piledriver! That was cool. Strickland hit a release German suplex and then a bridging Electric Chair suplex: 1…2…NO! Strickland went for a 450, but Swann got his knees up. Swann then hit a frog splash: 1…2…NO! Swann went for a super hurricanrana, but Strickland avoided it and hit a ghetto stomp: 1…2…NO! The bell rang anyway. Not sure if that was a fuck up or a planned spot with the ring bell. Swann pounced with a Lethal Injection: 1…2…NO! Swann then hit a package piledriver variation: 1…2…NO! Swann called for his standing 450, but Strickland managed to roll him up: 1…2…3!
Swann shook Strickland’s hand after the match. As soon as Strickland turned his back, Swann hit him with a Trouble in Paradise! The crowd cheered him.
This match was a lot of fun. I had never seen Strickland before, but he seems like a great athlete. Swann has been one of the more fun independent wrestlers for a while now, and he continued to show why here. The rudo turn was predictable in a way that made Strickland seem like naïve idiot for turning his back. Swann putting Strickland over clear makes sense since Swann is definitely an irregular in CZW.
Match Rating: **3/4
The Gulak Campaign (Drew Gulak & Kimber Lee w/ Alexander James & Tofiga) vs. Mia Yim & Greg Excellent
I’m pretty sure Excellent and Yim had a very violent feud earlier this year. I don’t care enough to google this though. Ok, I asked someone on Twitter. Yes, they had a violent feud and developed a respect for one another as a result.
The Gulak Campaign got showered with toilet paper. Excellent pulled Gulak’s face into his crotch early in the match, which predictably drew a homophobic response from the crowd. Excellent rubbed Gulak’s face in his man boobs. Yim rubbed Lee’s face in her woman boobs. The crowd approved of both of these things. Lee hit a diving hurricanrana on Yim. Gulak worked over Excellent for a bit. Excellent came back with a Hellevator. Yim hit Gulak with a cannoball splash in the corner. Excellent went to piledrive Lee, but Alexander James of the Gulak campaign convinced him not to. Excellent then piledrove that geek instead. Yim hit Lee for a bridging German for a nearfall. Lee came back with a kick to the vagina and a Code Red: 1…2…3
Between Gulak’s campaign doing a fair number of jobs lately (as I understand it), and Mia Yim heading over to Japan, this result made a lot of sense. Not much to the match though. Drew Gulak is a tremendous wrestler, but CZW really has no idea how to market him to maximize his talents.
Match Rating: **1/4
Kekoa (w/ Sunny) vs. Pepper Parks (w/ Cherry Bomb)
This is a “Chri$ Ca$h Opportunity Match,” as neither guy is on the CZW roster.
Kekoa caught Parks with a thrust kick from the middle rope. Bomb grabbed Kekoa’s foot from the outside. Kekoa went outside to deal with her. Parks attacked him from behind, and he brought him back to the ring to work him over. Parks hit an Alabama Slam for a nearfall. Kekoa came back with a sloppy springboard dropkick. Kekoa made a comeback, which included a Lionsault to a standing Parks for a nearfall. Kekoa hit a superkick for another nearfall. Bomb hopped up on the apron to interfere again, but Sunny pulled her off. Parks then hit a diving neckbreaker: 1…2…3
Again, not much of a match. Neither guy seemed like someone that I needed to watch again for a while. This was also a strange use of Sunny.
Match Rating: *1/2
Nation of Intoxication (Danny Havoc & Devon Moore)© vs. Rory Mondo & Ron Mathis [CZW Tag Titles]
With Alexander James being injured earlier in the show, Mondo & Mathis were given this title shot (which was originally booked for the Gulak Campaign) in a segment right before this match
Moore and Havoc spat beer in their face. Havoc and Moore then hit some dives to the outside. Back in the ring, Havoc and Moore mostly had control of the match. Havoc then gave the referee money so that they could use a steel chair on Mondo. Mondo threw the same chair in Havoc’s face to cut him off. Havoc came back with an exploder into the chair. Moore then hit Mathis with a super hurricanrana onto the chair. Mathis came back with a Gibson Driver onto a chair for a nearfall. That nearfall got no reaction. Havoc hit a Dragon Suplex on Mathis for another nearfall that got no reaction. Alex Colon and Tofiga came out and interfered in the match, which caused the match to be thrown out. The match was officially ruled a “No Contest.”
This match was mostly just a bunch of spots that varied in their coolness. I’m not opposed to the idea of “spotfests,” as fun wrestling comes in all shapes and sizes, but this match just didn’t do it for me. I like Rory Mondo a lot based on some of his non-deathmatch work, and I hope he gets booked in some other promotions to show off his full range of skills.
Match Rating: **1/4
Ruckus vs. Alex Colon (w/ Chrissy Rivera)
Colon jumped Ruckus, as the latter made his way down to the ring. Ruckus came back though and hit a shooting press off the apron. Colon came back with a tornado DDT onto the floor. Back in the ring, Ruckus hit a handspring corkscrew kick. Ruckus went for a moonsault, but Colon managed to get his feet up. Ruckus came back with an Iconoclasm variation: 1…2…NO! Colon hit a kneeling superkick for a nearfall. Rivera distracted the referee, and gave Colon a belt to use as a weapon. That backfired as it allowed Devon Moore to run in and superkick Colon. Ruckus then hit The Hate Crime: 1…2…3.
The finish really took away from what was building to a fun match (on a show that needed another fun match). The match was a breeze to watch, but it just didn’t add up to much when all was said and done.
Match Rating: **1/2
Matt Tremont came out to cut a promo to hype his barbed wire match with DJ Hyde that would happen two weeks later. DJ Hyde came out. I’m not very knowledgeable to the current or past (or future!) CZW product, but from my limited experiences, Hyde books himself like Triple H in 2003, but he is not half the wrestler that JBL was in 2009. And JBL was not all that good. So, yea. Hyde says he has an opponent for Tremont tonight…
Matt Tremont vs. Solo
Solo is a big muscular dude that is somehow not in FCW. Tremont quickly killed Solo with a fucking stiff chairshot to the head. Solo did not get his hands up if you care about that sort of thing. Tremont got back on the microphone and repeated “Redemption” over and over again, as that is the name of the show where he will face Hyde.
Their promos weren’t that interesting and hitting a jobber with a very hard unprotected chair shot seems like a silly thing to do. Plus, since it’s all to build up a DJ Hyde match, it really isn’t worth it.
Match Rating: Chair Shot
Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Player Dos) vs. Ohio is For Killers (Sami Callihan & Jake Crist w/Nevaeh)
OI4K jumped them before the bell, and the match quickly turned into a brawl on the floor. The match briefly ended up in the ring, but the SSB managed to send OI4K to the floor. Dos hit a somersault plancha. Nevaeh took out Dos on the outside, which allowed OI4K to work Uno over in the ring. OI4K got the heat for a while. Uno eventually came back and managed to tag in Dos. Dos hit a diving legdrop to a standing Crist: 1…2…NO! Dos hit his double Pele kick. The SSB then hit their Alabama Slam/Backstabber combo on Crist: 1…2…NO! Sami came back with a Silverking Forearm to Uno. OI4K hit a superkick/shoulder breaker combo on Dos: 1…2…NO! Uno made the save. They all traded big moves. The SSB set up for a combo move, but Sami killed Dos with a lariat. Sami got the Stretch Muffler on Uno. Dos tried to save him, but Jake locked Sami in with a triangle choke! Uno taps out!
This was a good tag team match from four talented guys, and the right team went over definitively. Thumbs up for everything about this. The Super Smash Bros. should be booked by every promotion possible. They are great.
Match Rating: ***1/4
Masada© vs. El Generico [CZW Heavyweight Title]
Masada took him down with a leaping hurricanrana for an early nearfall. Masada ended up on the floor, and Generico did a feint dive, as Masada got out of the way. Masada went back into the ring and got control of the match with a snap powerslam. Masasa worked him over. Generico desperately kept weapons out of play. Generico managed to low-bridge Masada, and he followed that up with a somersault plancha. Back in the ring, Generico hit a swinging DDT for a nearfall. Masada blocked a Yakuza attempt and reversed a Blue Thunder Bomb into a body press for a nearfall. Generico then managed to hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall. Masada came back with a Buckle Razor’s Edge and then a Big Dave Bomb: 1…2…NO! Masada went to the top rope. Generico met him up there and tried for the brainbuster. Masada went for a sunset flip powerbomb, but Generico avoided that. They traded Yakuzas and Generico hit a half-nelson suplex. Generico called for a brainbuster, but Masada reversed that into a brainbuster of his own. Masada hit another brainbuster: 1…2…NO! Generico then caught Masada with an exploder into the corner. Generico set up for another Yakuza, but Masada caught him and hit a Regal-Plex: 1…2…3!
Masada talked about wanting a rematch with Joker. Instead, Joe Gacy and Christina Von Eerie came out and explained that Joe Gacy will be getting a title shot on September 22nd. Considering this involved a Christina Von Eerie promo, this segment was pretty harmless segment.
These two didn’t have instant chemistry, but they told a good story early on (Generico using his speed early for the advantage and then avoiding the weapons once that didn’t work), and they then did some good nearfalls down the stretch. I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch. Masada is definitely more than just a “deathmatch” wrestler. I’m hoping his run in DGUSA/Evolve picks up after an uninspired start.
Match Rating: ***1/2
AR Fox© vs. Dave Crist© [Ladder Match for the CZW Jr. Heavyweight Title and the CZW Wired Title]
This match will feature many near-death moments.
Crist hit a tope suicida as Fox walked to the ring. Fox came right back with a running, no-hands cross-body plancha. Crist came right back with a Fosbury Flop. Fox then came back with a somersault plancha where he ended up in the first row. Fox then hit a shooting star cannonball splash on the floor. Crist hung Fox up on some chairs, and Crist hit a diving double knees. Crist set a ladder up against the apron, but Fox reversed whatever Crist was going for with a suplex through the ladder. Fox finally brought a ladder into the ring and started to climb. Crist used a couple of springboard moves to take Fox down. Both men then used a chair to do some damage. A guardrail was hung up between the apron and the rest of a guardrail, and Fox then did a Sliced Bread #2 through the guardrail. Fox then bridged a ladder between two other ladders on the floor. I would have a climbed a ladder in the ring and grabbed the belts myself, but hey, I’m not an expert at winning ladder matches. Back in the ring, Fox did a split-legged twisting senton onto Crist with a chair. Fox started to climb a ladder in the ring, but Crist took him down with a Lionsault (Yes). Fox went for a diving guillotine legdrop on the apron, but Crist avoided it and Fox came up empty. Fox then hit a rolling DVD through the bridged ladder that Fox had set up earlier. Bananas. Fox placed Crist on a leaning guardrail. Fox went back to the ring. Fox went for a no-hands running senton, but Crist rolled out of the way and Fox landed back-first. Ouch. Holy fucking shit. I don’t understand why anyone would agree to do something like that. A double table structure was set up. Crist got a big fucking ladder and started to climb. Fox managed to meet him up there. Fox then hit a diving neckbreaker through the two tables. The titles fell to the floor as that happened. Fox grabbed the belts and thus, won the match.
I’ve watched a lot of ladder matches in my time, and I’ve basically determined that there are three types of ladder matches: Trainwreck/Clusterfuck (The Hardys/E&C/Dudleys matches), Street Fight with Ladders (Rock/Mankind), and a more story telling based match (Lawler vs. Miz comes to mind, but there are surely better examples). Obviously, most ladder matches can contain several factors of each of those types of matches, but that’s a basic breakdown of different ladder match styles. This match was definitely a combination of the Clusterfuck and the Street Fight matches. These two did every single stupid thing they could possibly think of, but they still managed to sell their hatred of each other throughout the match. It was a spectacle, and I enjoyed every moment of it (even if I cringed a couple of times). These guys don’t main event a ton of prominent shows (especially in singles matches), but they absolutely stepped up and delivered something special here on a show that definitely needed something special to be recommendable.
Match Rating: ****
Overall Thoughts: As long as CZW prominently features deathmatch wrestling, the promotion will never be for me. However, that doesn’t mean I think they should stop featuring deathmatch wrestling, as independent wrestling needs more variety, not less. That being said, this promotion has a lot of problems that have nothing to do with the amount of deathmatches (and it was nice for me that I didn’t have to sit through any of them here). The commentary on this show was dreadful, and I found myself tuning them out as often as I could. From what bits I did catch though, they seemed much more concerned about getting themselves over instead getting the wrestlers and the storylines over. Another problem is the booking of the undercard (which was also a big problem with the Cinqo de CZW show). Basically, everything on the undercard felt worthless. Luckily for this show, CZW closed with three good matches that made up for that, but they’re not always going to have the Super Smash Bros., El Generico, and a ladder match to make up for the shortcomings earlier in the show. Another problem was that this iPPV didn’t feel like an important event but rather just a house show that happened to be taped for live online viewing. They should really take a look at the last two Chikara iPPVs to see how to make an iPPV seem like a big deal throughout the show. Finally, DJ Hyde needs to minimize (if not eliminate) himself from the on-screen product as soon as possible. From the shows I’ve seen in 2012, he is way too much of a focus given his abilities in the ring and on the microphone. Combat Zone Wrestling has developed a loyal following over the years, and they really should be a flag bearer for independent wrestling instead of the punchline that they currently are. It really comes across like they are trying to be better, but they are a still long way away from becoming something that I would consider watching on a regular basis. Booking El Generico and pushing AR Fox is a good way to get my attention from time to time though.
Recommendation: Despite the very lackluster start to this show, I have to give this show a Thumbs Up because of the last three matches. AR Fox vs. Dave Crist is a match that you should go out of your way to see (although it definitely won’t be for everyone).
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.