Written by: Bob Colling
Squared Circle Wrestling presents Saving Wrestling From Mediocrity
From: Binghamton, NY
Opening Contest: Cheech vs. Isys Ephex: Isys takes Cheech down to the canvas with a go behind but nothing happens with the advantage. They trade some mat wrestling holds with Ephex getting the better of it by working over Cheech’s arm. Ephex baseball slides Cheech into the guard railing and hits a head scissors on the floor! Isys works over Cheech with a kick to the chest a few times to maintain control of the match. Ephex arm drags Cheech to the corner but Cheech catches him and hits a gut buster. Cheech delivers a double stomp to Ephex’s midsection and is focusing his attack on Ephex’s midsection. Cheech gets a near fall following a splash off the middle rope. Cheech has a body scissors locked in and does sit-ups while having the hold locked in. Cheech rolls Ephex up for a two count. Ephex blocks a suplex attempt and drives Cheech down with a front suplex. Ephex gets a triangle choke on Cheech but isn’t able to get a submission.
They begin to trade forearm shots until Cheech hits a nice pump handle suplex for a near fall. Cheech works over Ephex with a chop and hits a spear in the corner. Cheech attempts another spear but Ephex got his knees up to block the move. Ephex nails Cheech with a kick to the head but Cheech comes back with the Gory Special for a near fall. Cheech misses a top rope double stomp and Ephex delivers a few strikes before hitting a back suplex for a two count. Cheech bails to the floor and gets a steel chair but instead grabs the trophy. Ephex blocks a strike with it and drops Cheech with a move similar to the Jay Driller for the win. (***. That was a good match that I wasn’t expecting much from. Considering Ephex hasn’t really been the same wrestler since this time, it’s refreshing to see him motivated and put on a good match. Cheech did very well, as well. A good start to the show.)
Second Contest: Matt Taven vs. Mike Bennett: This is the 2CW debut for both men. Bennett yanks Taven down by the hair a couple of times but Taven gets up and slaps Bennett into a corner. Bennett shoulder blocks Taven but Taven quickly takes Mike down with an arm drag. Mike cheap shots Taven with a right hand in the corner but misses a charging attack in the corner. Taven hits a springboard cross body for a near fall. Taven continues to work over Bennett with an arm drag as the fans are appreciative of the effort shown thus far. Taven takes Bennett over with a few dropkicks and heads to the apron attempting another springboard cross body but Bennett catches him to hit a spine buster for a two count! Bennett clotheslines Taven to maintain control of the bout. Taven boots Bennett in the corner but Mike drops Matt across his knee in the corner for a near fall. Matt nearly wins with a rollup after Bennett hit the corner chest first. Bennett hits a reverse crucifix power bomb for a near fall on Taven yet again.
They begin to trade right hands until Taven drops Bennett with a superkick. Taven follows up with a kick to the head and a swinging neck breaker. Taven drops Bennett with a spin kick and nearly wins with a springboard moonsault. Taven scoop slams Bennett and heads to the top but misses a frog splash. Bennett hits a swinging reverse neck breaker and wins the match. (***. A quality match similar to the opening contest. They kept a good pace and I was entertained throughout by what they put together.)
Third Contest: Jay Freddie vs. Michael Elgin: At this point, nobody knows who Elgin is as he comes out to crickets for a response. This is Elgin’s debut in 2CW. Elgin avoids a Sharpshooter but kicking Freddie away and they begin to trade forearm shots. Elgin runs through a chop attempt and shoulder blocks Freddie. Jay clotheslines Elgin and again attempts the Sharpshooter but can’t get the hold locked in. Freddie drops Elgin with a running forearm strike and they trade some chops. Freddie dropkicks Elgin off the apron to the floor and Freddie hits a suicide dive. Jay heads to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick for a two count on Elgin. Elgin hits an overhead belly to belly suplex into the corner but can’t keep Freddie down long enough on the pin attempt. Elgin delivers a few knee strikes and clubs Freddie to the canvas.
Elgin sends Freddie hard back first into the corner and slowly crawls towards Freddie while talking smack. Jay gets out of a sleeper hold with a jaw breaker and clotheslines Elgin for a two count. Jay blocks a suplex attempt but runs into a big boot that gets Elgin a two count. Elgin attempts a power bomb but Freddie gets out and hits a seated clothesline for a near fall. Elgin rams Freddie into the corner and delivers a few running strikes to get a near fall. Elgin heads to the top rope but misses a twisting senton splash! Freddie plants Elgin with a tornado DDT but only gets a two count. Elgin attempts a slam but Freddie gets out of it and clotheslines Elgin in the corner. Freddie hits the Diamond Dust out of the corner but only manages a near fall. Elgin knocks Jay silly with a clothesline but only gets a near fall.
They begin to trade chops with Elgin getting the better of the exchange. Freddie runs into a big boot but Freddie quickly hits two German suplexs for a near fall. Freddie goes to the top but gets crotched. Freddie knocks Elgin off the middle rope but misses a flying head butt! Freddie counters a power bomb attempt with a rollup and gets the three count. (***. A solid match between these two talents. Freddie is starting to find his groove after his recent performances and Elgin was a fine opponent for him here. I was rather surprised that Elgin was so unknown prior to his exposure in ROH.)
Fourth Contest: 2CW Tag Team Champions The Olsen Twins vs. Kings of Wrestling: This is the debut of Chris Hero in 2CW and the debut of the Kings of Wrestling in 2CW. Claudio has made several appearances in the past in a singles role. The Olsen’s quickly go after the challengers and send them to the floor where they begin to brawl. Hero decks Delaney with a right hand and Claudio sends Jimmy over the railing by blowing a fans horn at him. Hero splashes Delaney in the corner and sends Delaney head first into Claudio’s boot. Claudio comes off the top and blows the horn at Colin before sticking in his trunks and rubs it in Colin’s face! Claudio is having fun with the horn but the horn doesn’t work for Colin. So, this is a comedy start to the match.
Kings of Wrestling hit a delayed vertical suplex and dropkick combo on Colin for a near fall. Hero hits a standing senton splash for a two count. Jimmy sneaks a tag and Hero is backdropped to the floor by Colin in the corner. Claudio enters and hits a double bulldog on the champs. Jimmy gets stuck in the ropes as he is continually hit by Claudio with right hands. Jimmy gets double teamed by the challengers briefly. Hero works over Jimmy with a series of chops in the corner. Hero blocks a sunset flip and tags in Claudio who uppercuts the back of Jimmy. Claudio scoop slams Jimmy and quickly hits a leg drop for a two count. Jimmy avoids the Giant Swing and Claudio falls to the floor where Jimmy hits a suicide dive! Colin comes off the top to deliver a stomp to the back of Claudio and the champs double team Claudio in the corner.
Hero distracts the referee as the champions are pummeling Claudio in the corner. Colin works over Claudio with strikes and decks Hero on the apron. Hero gets the fans behind Claudio as he wants a tag into the match. Claudio is stopped by Colin with a chop block and Colin delivers a DDT to Claudio’s leg. Jimmy tries his luck with a few clotheslines but Claudio doesn’t budge and nails Jimmy with a clothesline of his own. Hero gets the tag and here comes Colin who is met with jabs from Hero. Hero hits a dropkick and Hero follows up with a flipping neck breaker for a near fall as Jimmy broke up the cover attempt. Hero hits a nice springboard moonsault on the champs for a near fall. Hero decks Colin with a discus elbow but can’t keep Colin down long enough on the cover attempt. Colin tries his luck with a discus clothesline but Hero knocks him out with one of his own. Claudio sends Jimmy flying into the corner with a huge uppercut. Claudio has Jimmy on his shoulders and hits the Giant Swing on Colin at the same time! Claudio drops Jimmy across Colin and gets a two count on Colin. KOW hit a double team German suplex on Colin for a near fall. Jimmy dropkicks the referee and hits Claudio with a tag belt. Hero avoids a belt shot but Colin trips Hero face first onto the belt. Jimmy hit a hurricanrana on Hero and Colin goes to the top but Claudio kicks Colin off the top rope. Hero rolls Jimmy up and gets the three count! A second referee made the count and we see the referees chatting in the corner as the original referee woke up. The original referee yanks the belts away from Claudio and Hero. The referee proceeds to give the match to the KOW but by disqualification. Thus, there isn’t a title change. (***. A solid tag match between these two teams. The heel tag team of Colin and Jimmy is really enjoyable and get a great crowd reaction. Hero and Claudio are impressive as per usual making this a breeze to watch.)
Fifth Contest: Kevin Graham vs. Zaquary Springate III: Steve Mckenzie comes out and is the special referee for the match. Springate slaps Graham to kick off the match. Graham has enough of the slaps and comes back with a series of his own and Springate goes to the floor. Graham kicks Springate in midair as he came off the top and got a near fall with a swinging neck breaker. Graham comes off the middle rope to hit a somersault neck breaker for a near fall. They begin to trade chops until Springate tosses Graham over the top to the floor. Graham rolls Springate up but gets driven down to the canvas quickly as Springate hit a clothesline. They block suplex attempts until Graham takes Springate over with one. Springate hits a gut buster but Graham quickly delivers a kick to the head for a two count.
Steve Mckenzie confronts Springate but Springate hits an under hook slam for a near fall. Springate works over Graham on the floor with chops and rams Graham into the ring apron face first. Springate attempts a piledriver but Graham counters with a backdrop on the floor! Graham sends Springate head first into the ring post. Graham hits a missile dropkick but only gets a near fall. Graham spikes Springate with a piledriver for a near fall. Springate hits a rolling German suplex but can’t follow up. Graham hits a full nelson slam but only gets a near fall. Springate hits an overhead suplex off the top but Kevin refuses to stay down long enough on the pin attempt. Graham nearly wins with an inside cradle. Springate stops Graham on the middle rope with a forearm shot and hits a middle rope pedigree but Graham somehow gets his foot on the bottom rope. Graham is clearly exhausted as he hits a power slam and heads to the top rope. Kevin hits a swanton bomb but Springate kicks out again! Springate low blows Graham and slams Graham down with a claw slam to win the match. (***. Well, that was not something I expecting to be so damn entertaining but it sure was. The finish was disappointing as this seemed like a perfect way and time to give Graham a win over the established Springate, but Graham looked really good despite his lack of experience at this point.) After the match, Springate declines to shake hands with Graham and walks out of the ring.
Sixth Contest: Slyck Wagner Brown vs. Loca Vida: Slyck tosses Vida to the canvas early on and taunts Loca afterward. Brown works over the left arm with a wrist lock but Vida gets out of it and puts a wrist lock on Slyck as well. Vida takes Brown down with a snap mare and hits a suicide dive to the floor. Slyck nails Vida with a leaping kick to the head and baseball slides Vida to the floor. Slyck lifts Vida high into the air and drops him across the railing. Slyck works over Vida with a chop and rolls him back into the ring. Back in the ring, Brown focuses his attack on the arm and tries to rip the mask off. Brown has a head scissors on Vida and proceeds to do some pushups to add insult to injury. Vida gets out of the hold but his advantage doesn’t last long. They begin to trade strikes while they are on their knees. Vida hammers away on Slyck and nearly wins with a rollup.
Loca hits a head scissors takedown and a high knee in the corner followed by a running bulldog for a two count. Vida avoids Brown in the corner and attempts a missile dropkick but Brown avoids it and places Vida on the top turnbuckle. Vida leaps off the top and spikes Brown with a tornado DDT for a two count. Loca works over Slyck with a few chops and looks for a snap suplex. Vida counters a vertical suplex attempt with a neck breaker! Vida dropkicks Slyck across the middle rope and misses the 315. Vida drop toe holds Slyck across the middle rope and hits the 315 on a second attempt. Vida heads to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick but only gets a near fall. Vida goes to the top but Slyck got the referee in the way and hit a leg lariat on Vida for only a two count. Vida loses his footing on the top rope as he went for a hurricanrana but Brown blocks the move anyway and hits a swinging side slam off the middle rope! Slyck pulls Vida up on the cover attempt to prolong the contest. Brown delivers several kicks to the back of Vida and locks in the Cloverleaf to get the clean submission victory. (**1/2. A fine match that saw a few bright moments. I’m enjoying the attitude change that Brown has displayed as he simply doesn’t give a damn and beat the crap out of Vida. These two have two styles that work well together.)
Seventh Contest: “Big Pun” Mike Van Slyke vs. Raven: Raven tricks Pun into looking at the ceiling and kicks him in the shin. Pun calls Raven a joke of himself because he isn’t wrestling his style. Raven wastes no time in pummeling Pun in the corner and sends Pun to the floor. Raven sends Pun into the railing and wears the viking helmet to poke Pun in the eye. Raven continues to send Mike into the railing. Raven hits a side Russian leg sweep into the railing. Raven tosses a chair into the ring and wedges it in the corner. Pun manages send Raven back first into the chair and gets the upper hand stomping on Raven. Pun gets the microphone again and the fans quickly ask for him to stop. Pun claims to have never really liked Raven and thinks it may be time for a new hero. Raven misses a punch on the floor and hits the ring post. Pun works over the right hand of Raven with stomps and knee drops. Pun misses a running mafia kick and hits the guard railing groin first. Pun sends Raven face first into the ring post but Raven tosses a chair at Pun’s face.
Raven tosses another chair into the ring so there is now two chairs in the ring. Raven jabs Pun and hits a discus clothesline. Raven knocks Pun down with a running clothesline after Pun was sent chest first into the corner. Raven drop toe holds Pun face first into a chair that gets a two count. Pun stops Raven with a low blow in the corner and hammers away on Raven until he gets shoved off. Raven goes for and hits the DDT to get the victory. (*. This would just be an example of a legend coming in and having his way with a young up and comer for the company. It wasn’t all that competitive and Pun didn’t do anything to suggest he could offer anything in the ring. Of course, now in 2015, Pun is working in Japan, but he was not given much to showcase his ability here. It was a lazy hardcore match for Raven.)
Main Event: 2CW Heavyweight Champion Brodie Lee vs. Jason Axe in an I Quit match: Lee starts off with a shoulder block and tries for a Cloverleaf but Axe manages to break free and rolls to the outside. Brodie splashes Axe in the corner and follows up with a chop but misses a running attempt as Axe dropkicks Lee face first into the turnbuckle. Axe knee lifts Lee to drop the big man down to a knee and tries to get a submission with a front face lock. Axe delivers a spinning kick in the corner and springboards off the top rope to keep a triangle choke on Lee. Brodie powers out of the hold and slams Axe to the canvas. Axe drops Lee throat first across the top rope but is met with a big boot off the apron. Brodie takes Axe out with a suicide dive to the floor! Brodie sends Axe into the railing to maintain control of the bout. Lee continues with a suplex on the floor.
They return to the ring where Brodie backdrops Axe followed by a big boot in the corner and a swinging side slam. Lee takes Axe over with an overhead back suplex and locks in a camel clutch but Axe refuses to give in. Axe counters a discus clothesline and locks in a Crossface but Brodie isn’t giving in. Axe heads to the top but is crotched by Lee from behind. Lee big boots Axe and Jason is upside down in the corner. Lee grabs a chair after pulling on Axe’s head. Brodie bridges a chair in the corner and signals for a power bomb into the chair in the corner. Axe gets out of the move and low blows Lee a couple of times. Jason sends Lee head first into the chair. Axe goes under the ring and has a barbed wire bat. Lee drop toe holds Axe face first into the barbed wire bat. Lee proceeds to scrape the barbed wire bat across the forehead and Axe quickly quits. (*1/2. I mean, the finish was good and violent but this was a rather lackluster I Quit match. Axe didn’t come across like somebody who could hang with Lee. I was hoping for a more competitive and violent match. This was almost a complete dominating performance by Lee.)
Mike Metaxas comes out to the ring because he had an open challenge for the event. Mike is from Binghamton and isn’t going to leave the arena until he has a match. He says he beat two of the best 2CW students seven months ago. Mike is pissed that he hasn’t been mentioned. Jason Axe grabs the microphone and is angry that he just quit. Axe accepts the open challenge and Mike says he will be champion in Utica. Axe smashes Mike over the head with a steel chair rather hard and it was unprotected. Axe sets up a table and proceeds to light it on fire. Axe power bombs Mike through the flaming table. Jack Trades was there quickly to put the fire out.
The undercard really delivered for this show as the two main attractions didn’t do a whole lot for me. If you’re expecting Raven from his glory years, well, you’d be really disappointed. The I Quit match wasn’t what I was hoping for, either. However, the other six matches all had some entertaining aspects to them and I enjoyed the show as a whole. Quite a few debuts on this show as well as those wrestlers would continue to make appearances for 2CW over the next several years.
Thanks for reading.