Written by: Bob Colling
Combat Zone Wrestling presents Cage of Death XVIII
From: Voorhees, NJ
A video package highlighting various matches taking place on the biggest show of the year is aired. Homicide/Excellent is all about respect for Excellent, it would appear. Joe Gacy is chasing a coward of a champion in Jonathan Gresham.
Opening Contest: Zachary Wentz vs. Tony Deppen vs. Tim Donst vs. Jimmy Lloyd vs. Dave Crist vs. AR Fox vs. Alexander James: James gets toilet paper treatment similar to what Jimmy Rave would get in ROH ten years earlier. Jimmy Lloyd came out before the bell and demanded be inserted into the match, which the fans approved. Fox and Deppen super kick their opponents and they have a standoff. James attacks Fox sending him to the floor and Deppen strikes James several times. James plants Deppen with an elevated ace crusher. Crist goes to the top and drives James down with a leaping knee. Lloyd tries his luck with Crist, which doesn’t go very well for him. Lloyd hits a sit down power bomb on Crist but here comes Donst to get involved. Donst drives Lloyd down with an STO but Wentz works over Donst with a series of kicks and two standing shooting star presses. Fox avoids Wentz in the corner and hit a springboard dropkick. Fox hits a twisting vertical suplex on Wentz. Fox goes for a dive but Wentz cuts him off with a clothesline. Donst is in the ring and Deppen tries to get involved but is tossed over the top onto everyone else on the floor. Donst clotheslines Wentz to the floor and takes everyone else on the other side out with a suicide dive. Fox goes for a springboard but Wentz prevents that and proceeds to dive over the top hitting a shooting star press to the floor.
Fox finally springboards and takes the whole crew out with a dive. Fox goes around ringside hitting people with running boots, which Lloyd and Deppen are doing as well to the heels. Deppen accidentally knocked out AR’s wife after Donst pulled her in front. James has Donst in the corner hitting a power bomb, who took Deppen over with a superplex. James drops Lloyd with a spinning elbow, but Crist nails James with a kick. Fox blocks an ace crusher and kicks Crist instead. Wentz drops Fox with a handspring knee but Donst clotheslines him. Donst hit a running ace crusher on Deppen, but a knee stops Donst seconds later. Fox kicks Crist and hit a Spanish Fly followed by a 450 splash but Brittany Blake broke up the cover attempt. AR’s wife has recovered and DDTs Blake on a chair. James super kicks Fox and hits the Saturday Crunch. Donst arm drags James and takes Alexander out with a swinging neck breaker. Deppen kicks Donst on the apron and hit a springboard DDT followed by a knee! Wentz drives Deppen face first into the canvas with a modified Stroke, and nearly wins with a swanton, but Lloyd got to breakup the pin. Wentz hit Lloyd with a Codebreaker, but Lloyd no sold it and hit a modified piledriver. Crist manages to put Lloyd away with an ace crusher off the middle rope. (***. I like how much the fans hate James, as it is easy heat and he fits in the company. Anyway, the match is exactly what an opener should be and everyone looked good when they had their moments to shine. Good start to the show, I thought.)
WrestleScope TV got a look at the newest signing of Maxwell Jacob Feinstein and his girlfriend Maria Manic. Apparently, they made a sex tape that they didn’t want anyone to see. Anyway, Feinstein hit a camera guy and apologized. They make their debut at COD next. Feinstein is the biggest free agent signee for CZW. Fans toss toilet paper at the couple with a few hitting Manic and the crowd popping for it. Feinstein decides against speaking about his debut and leaves the ring wit his girlfriend. This is a great segment to get Feinstein some great heat. I first got a look at Feinstein in a students match at a PWS show in 2015 and it is great to see him get a shot somewhere in a high profile role, I’d assume.
Second Contest: Homicide vs. Greg Excellent: Homicide hits a running dropkick in the corner and teases a dive to the floor, but Excellent runs away. Homicide still hit a somersault dive off the apron and chases after Greg’s valet. They brawl on the floor briefly before returning to the ring where Homicide hit a spinning elbow shot. Homicide works over Excellent in the corner until Greg drops Homicide face first across the top turnbuckle. They trade forearm shots in the corner which Homicide gets the advantage and attempted a slam but Excellent counters with a slam of his own. Homicide continues to work over Excellent in the corner and is ripping Greg’s back hair. Homicide attempts another slam, but Greg is able to counter it again. Homicide big boots Excellent in the corner but can’t hit a tornado DDT as Greg tossed him away. Greg goes to the top rope but Homicide stops Greg with a throat thrust. Homicide takes Excellent over with a superplex for a near fall. Homicide grabs Crissy and went for the Cop Killa but Excellent plants Homicide with a swinging side slam. Homicide dumps Greg to the floor and went for a suicide dive but was stopped by Crissy. Homicide put an STF on her and hit an ace crusher on Excellent for a near fall after Greg accidentally hit an elbow drop on his valet. Excellent grabs the ropes to get out of an STF. Greg is tapping out but his hand is on the ropes. Excellent rams a knife into Homicide’s throat and hit a Tiger Driver to win after the referee was spun around. (**. They told a story between the two, but the finish was kind of lame and a clean victory for a homegrown talent here would have been better off. Homicide should be used in a role to elevate other talents and not be protected.)
Third Contest: The Dub Boys (Dave McCall & Nate Carter) vs. Johnny Yuma & Kevin Martenson: it’s billed as a WWN Live showcase match, which I’d assume is another way of saying this is filler. McCall nails Yuma with a spinning heel kick early into the match. Martenson and Yuma manage to double team McCall with a few strikes a leaping kick by Kevin. Carter tags in and they hit an elevated spin kick on Martenson. Martenson hits a dropkick on Carter and tags in Yuma. Yuma wants a double stomp but Martenson is preventing him from doing it. Carter crotches Yuma on the top and hit a double power slam. Carter is double teamed and kicked several times while across the middle rope. Martenson and Yuma continue to work over Carter in the corner, but the fans don’t appreciate their offense. Carter tosses Kevin with an exploder suplex and Carter gets a second wind. Carter power bombs McCall into Martenson in the corner and they hit a power bomb/double knee back breaker for a near fall. Yuma dumps Carter to the floor and McCall is met with a neck breaker by Yuma. Carter hit a German suplex on Martenson while Yuma was on Kevin’s shoulders. “Fuck this shit” from the crowd as Martenson hit a swanton to the floor landing on Carter. Carter power bombs McCall into the corner after missing Yuma. Carter sends Yuma into Martenson and the Dub Boys hit double team jumping Flatliner to pin Yuma. (*1/2. They tried here, but the Dub Boys are very green and probably shouldn’t have won this as Yums and Martenson were the more impressive duo to me. I’m figuring the Dub Boys will be working in CZW on a more regular basis.)
Fourth Contest: Dezmond Xavier vs. Shane Strickland: This is a rematch from Down With The Sickness event. Neither man can get an advantage in the first few moments managing to counter each other. They both flip to the floor and stare at each other, which was an impressive moment. They literally haven’t been able to hit a move yet but they both hit forearms on the floor. They catch their boot attempts and they slide into the ring to stare at each other again. Xavier dropkicks Strickland while he was across the top rope and finally Xavier has control of the match stomping on Shane. Strickland gets a few shots in but Xavier regains control with strikes in the corner. Xavier avoids a rolling ace crusher and hit a standing twisting splash for a near fall. Shane head butts Xavier on the chest but is met with more strikes dropping to a knee. Strickland stops Xavier with a spinning Flatlliner. Strickland does hit an ace crusher but Xavier kicks out at two. They trade kicks until Strickland hit a running power slam. Xavier hit a flipping DDT but can’t put Strickland away. Xavier stops Strickland on the middle rope hitting a reverse hurricanrana but Strickland lands on his feet. Strickland kicks Xavier to the floor. Strickland takes JT Davidson out with a springboard 450 to the floor. Xavier proceeds to hit a handspring dive over the top to the floor onto Strickland. Xavier works over Strickland with a kick in the corner and hit a Death Valley Driver for a near fall. Strickland kicks Xavier on the top causing Xavier to flip off the ropes and crashes to the canvas. Shane misses the Spiral Tap. Xavier kicks Strickland and goes to the top hitting the Spiral Tap but Strickland kicks out. Strickland counters a suplex with a rollup for a two count. Shane counters a reverse hurricanrana and hit manages to hit the JML Driver for the win! (***1/4. I liked the style these two went with as they knew each other very well and the inability for consistent control by either man made for a great back and forth match. It didn’t even go all that long, at least it didn’t feel like it did. I thought it was good, for a two guys I’m not very familiar with.)
Fifth Contest: CZW Tag Team Champions Da Hit Squad (Dan Maff & Monsta Mack) vs. EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik): Ortiz and Draztik hit dives during the Squad’s entrance to jump the match off to a quick start on the floor. Maff whacks Draztik out with a chair shot. Ortiz drops Mack throat first across the guard railing. Mack catches Ortiz coming off the apron and is sent into the railing. Both teams are hitting splashes against the railing. Mack misses a splash and hits the railing instead of Ortiz. Maff plants Draztik across the railing back first. The match legally starts with Draztik and Maff in the ring trading blows. Draztik and Maff trade forearms until Maff hit a sit down power bomb for a two count. Ortiz slaps Maff several times but Maff returns the chops to drop Ortiz. Maff is stopped by a double dropkick to the legs and a super kick by the challengers. Mack delivers a running clothesline to keep control of the match for his team. Mack goes to the top rope and has Draztik but gets stopped. Mack has Draztik on the apron and sits down, which seemingly would do more harm to Mack than Draztik. Maff runs over Ortiz back in the ring. Maff drives Ortiz down with a back suplex. Ortiz is splashed by Mack and taken over with a suplex for a two count. Maff knocks Draztik off the apron and keeps working over Ortiz.
Maff gets a two count following a double arm DDT on Ortiz. Draztik gets the hot tag and Mike cleans house with kicks. Maff comes off the middle rope but is met with a kick to the face. Mack is taken over by a double suplex. Maff gets splashed in the corner a couple of times. Maff leaps off Angel’s back to spear Draztik. Mack attempts a German on Ortiz, which he hits on a second try. Maff gets a two count following a standing senton. Maff attempted a power slam on Ortiz but Ortiz countered with a German suplex. Mack is in now and hammers away on Ortiz. Ortiz has Mack on his shoulders hitting a Death Valley Driver! Draztik gets the tag as does Maff. Draztik kicks the champs a couple of times. Draztik hits a springboard double ace crusher for a near fall! Maff splashes the challengers in the corner a couple of times. Maff chops the back of Mike, but Ortiz delivers a kick. EYFBO hit a dropkick/reverse hurricanrana combo for a near fall. Mack hits a middle rope head scissors on Draztik and an overhead belly to belly for a near fall. Mack heads to the top but gets stopped by Ortiz. Maff comes over and power bombs the challengers who take over Mack with a superplex. Ortiz hammers away on Maff and the challengers work over Maff briefly. Maff is sat in the corner and Mack put in a tree of woe in the same corner. Draztik leaps off of Ortiz’s back to hit a somersault splash for a near fall. Maff is left in the ring as Ortiz hit a frog splash and Draztik hit a 450 splash to win the match and titles! (***1/4. A good match that had some enjoyable action throughout. Mack looked really good, the best I’ve seen from him in all the times I’ve watched him. EYFBO is likely a team to take notice of for 2017 and beyond on the independent scene.) After the match, Da Hit Squad show respect by handing over the belts and shaking their hands. Brittany Blake and JT Davidson come out and put over the new tag champs for their victory. They mention they have the ability to challenge for only tag team titles. Blake cashes in on the tag titles for right now. The new champs are attacked by Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz from behind.
Sixth Contest: CZW Tag Team Champions EYFBO vs. Scarlet And Graves (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz): Wentz nails Draztik with a tag title and hits a standing shooting star press to win the titles. This is perfectly fine to put more heat on the heels and allows the EYFBO to chase the gold going into the new year, along with Da Hit Squad, too. I like it.
Seventh Contest: Sami Callihan vs. Lio Rush: Sami tries to deliver strikes but Rush avoids them and gets a few of his own followed by a kick. Rush takes Sami out with a suicide dive under the middle rope to the floor, three times. Sami recovers and proceeds to hit the same spot. Sami continues his offense with a chop against the railing a couple of times. Rush is sitting on a chair as Sami runs around ringside. Rush is able to counter the move by hitting a head scissors causing Sami to go into the crowd. Lio gets a running head start and runs around ringside but ducks a clothesline before attempting a hurricanrana on the floor. However, Sami counters hitting a power bomb per the railing into the crowd! Sami lays into the arms of the fans in the first few rows. Lio returns to the ring before the count of ten. Sami plants Rush with a power bomb from his knees for a near fall. Sami sends Rush hard into the corner causing Rush to crash through the ropes and to the floor. Sami seems content with taking a count-out victory but Rush returns to the ring and kicks Sami on the middle turnbuckle. They battle on the middle turnbuckle until Sami attempts a sunset flip power bomb but Lio counters and eventually hit a running Spanish Fly for a two count!
Lio goes to the top but rolls through a double stomp. Sami mule kicks Lio and a running forearm shot but Lio kicks out at two. Rush stops Sami with a forearm shot and a bicycle kick. Sami kicks Rush and drops Lio across his knee face first for a near fall. Sami runs into a big boot in the corner a couple of times. Rush plants Sami with a springboard reverse hurricanrana and a shining wizard for a near fall. Rush goes to the top rope hitting a frog splash but Sami kicks out at two. Sami takes Rush to the canvas and puts the Stretch Muffler on right in the middle of the ring but Rush gets to the ropes and nearly wins with a rollup. Callihan stops Rush with a package tombstone but Rush pops his shoulder up at two. They are on their knees staring at each other but Rush repeats Sami’s name several times and wants Sami to hit him harder before spitting at Sami. Sami responds with slaps but Rush hit another standing Spanish Fly to get the victory. (***1/2. A really good match and this is a completely different side of Rush, and I gotta say, I like it. Sami seems to always lose the big matches and yet is still highly popular. The match is really good and the match of the night thus far.) After the match, Sami doesn’t seem to appreciate the fans chanting his name.
Eighth Contest: CZW World Champion Jonathan Gresham vs. Joe Gacy: Gresham knocks Gacy off the apron during his entrance to get the cheap advantage and uses a chair on Gacy. Gresham is quite proud of himself for destroying Gacy on the floor before the match even started. Gresham gets his ring introduction while Gacy struggled to his feet in the corner. Gresham stomps on Gacy while putting down the fans for preferring blood and gore instead of his pure skill. Gresham calls Gacy a scumbag and is slapped by Gacy. Gacy has an eye patch due to a scratch on his eye. Gacy gets a two count following a standing senton. Gresham rolls to the floor to regroup. On the floor, Gacy kicks Gresham’s head into the railing a few times. Gacy is either selling the knee or slipping on streamers at ringside as he was running. The fans are chanting “sloppy Joe” which sucks for the moment, I’d say. Gacy gets tripped on the apron and crashes to the floor. They trade blows until Gresham drop toe holds Gacy on the floor and locks in a figure four leg lock. Gresham attacks a ring attendant holding his championship and taunts the fans while Gacy struggles to his feet on the floor but returns to the ring before ten. Gresham delivers a running big boot and slingshots Gacy into the ring nearly winning with a rollup. Gacy misses a standing senton hit spinning sit out death valley driver. Gresham is trying to rip the eye patch off and succeeds. Gacy tosses Gresham with an overhead suplex and a big boot for a two count. Gacy drives Gresham back first into the corner but Gresham keeps a sleeper on before switching to a figure four in the middle of the ring.
Gacy is able to reach the bottom rope to break the hold. Gresham continues to work over Gacy’s injured knee which is preventing Gacy from running the ropes. Gresham low blows Gacy and goes for a rollup but can’t get a three count. Gresham knocks out the referee with a right hand. Gresham has his championship and shoves people at ringside before getting a microphone. Gresham says he can beat everyone in CZW two times in one day. Gresham has a second referee and is going to tap Gacy out. Gresham has the microphone while putting a sleeper on Gacy and is taunting Gacy about not being champion. Gacy breaks the hold with a cannonball into the corner. Gacy power bombs Gresham into the corner followed by a handspring ace crusher but Gresham got his shoulder up. Gacy locks in the Rings of Terror and Gresham is forced to tap out! Gacy wins! (***. I’m not a big fan of Gacy, but the heel work by Gresham here really made the last few minutes worthwhile and managed to get a pop for Gacy, who I don’t think would have gotten that pop had Gresham not performed so well as the cocky heel as he did here. I’m not thinking this will be a long reign for Gacy, but we shall see, right?)
Ninth Contest: Danny Havoc vs. Rickey Shane Page in a death match: The ring has boards with nails attached all around the inside of the ring. They are both sent into the boards for a moment but nothing much occurs. Havoc sends Page into the boards and misses a spear hitting the boards. Page is already bleeding from the arm and sends Havoc head first through other boards causing Havoc to be busted wide open. Page delivers a back breaker but Havoc kicks out at two. Havoc hip tosses Page into the board of nails for a near fall. Page does a blade job as he is rammed into the boards. Havoc rams the gusset plate into Rickey’s arm. Havoc punches a stick into Rickey’s mouth but Page puts Havoc through a wooden cross. Page slams Havoc on the cross that had razor blades on it. Page hits Havoc with an ace crusher and puts Havoc through some more wood. Page slams Havoc onto the gusset plates. Page misses a top rope swanton landing on the gusset instead and is nearly pinned. Havoc hits a top rope moonsault onto Page onto the gussets but only manages a near fall. Page forearms wood into Havoc’s face and hit a backdrop suplex for a near fall. Havoc suplexs Page off the top onto a chair but only can get a two count on the cover. Havoc hits a dragon suplex with wood across the neck of Page for a two count. Oh boy, here comes a pane of glass. The glass is laid across to chairs by the corner. They trade shots with Page putting Havoc on the top where Page hit a top rope power bomb through the glass and gets a three count. (**1/2. That finish is nuts, and if you enjoy senseless violence you’ll greatly appreciate this. I’ll always give credit for this insane stuff, but it usually gets redundant for me. This was kept fairly short and this was a solid match.) After the match, Page thanks Danny for everything he’s ever done in CZW. They embrace and basically no sell that insane ending. Page promises to be the CZW World Champion by the end of 2017.
The only ways to be eliminated from the next match are falling out of the cage, falling off the top of the cage, or there is a pin fall.
Main Event: Cage of Death:
Notorious Inc. (Dal Patricks, Devon Moore, Drew Blood & Josh Crane)
Team CZW (Conor Claxton, Jeff Cannonball, Joey Janela & Matt Treamont)
Drew Blood is the first entrant for the team Notorious Inc. Conor Claxton is the first entrant for Team CZW. Both men are dropkicked into pane of glass in the corner and they both no sell it. Blood sends Claxton into some barbed wire on a board. Claxton slams Blood onto the barbed wire before grabbing a barbed wire bat hitting Blood in the midsection. Blood jabs the barbed wire bat into Conor’s throat.
Josh Crane is the next entrant for the match. Claxton is busted open as he kicks Crane and Blood in the corner. Crane stops Conor with a big boot and uses the barbed wire bat into Conor’s forehead. Blood DDTs Conor onto a water jug for a near fall. Crane uses the barbed wire bat on Claxton again. Claxton tries to fight back but a water jug shot to the head stops him.
Jeff Cannonball is the next entrant. Crane and Cannonball trade right hands until Crane hooks Cannonball but they trade strikes. Cannonball puts Crane through a pane of glass with a side Russian leg sweep. Claxton backdrops Blood onto a ladder that was setup in the corner. Claxton mists tacks into Blood’s face while Cannonball put glass into Crane’s mouth.
Dal Patricks makes his way into the match. Dal climbs the cage instead of entering like everyone else. Dal hit a vertical suplex on Claxton. Dal uses barbed wire on Cannonball. Dal power bombs Claxton onto the ladder.
Joey Janela is the next entrant for the match. Joey leaps off the top to take everyone out with a cross body in the ring. Joey puts the ladder across two chairs and puts Crane through the ladder with a suplex off the top. Joey plants Crane with a DDT onto a steel chair.
Devon Moore is the final entrant for Notorious Inc. Moore flips off the scaffold taking everyone out in the ring with a somersault dive. Blood slams Joey’s throat into a ladder. Joey hit a spinning vertical suplex on Moore. Joey dropkicks a chair into Patricks in the corner.
Matt Treamont is the final entrant for Team CZW. Treamont cleans house with clotheslines. Treamont puts Moore through a table with a running Death Valley Driver in the corner. Joey is on the top rope walking the ropes kicking a chair into Crane’s head which gets a two count. Team CZW is standing tall and everyone is up now trading punches in the middle of the ring. They all sit down in chairs and proceed to trade punches. CZW hit four vertical suplexs and get near falls. Blood takes Claxton over with a snap suplex onto a chair. Crane is sent into some glass but doesn’t go to the floor. The second try kind of works and Crane lands on a barbed wire board. Crane has been eliminated from the match.
Jeff Cannonball is climbing the cage but Patricks is climbing with him as well as they are outside the ring. Patricks rams Cannonball into the cage a few times and Cannonball crashes through several barbed wire tables on the floor causing his elimination from the match.
Janela put a picture of Jim Cornette on Patricks head which didn’t get much of a reaction. Joey slams Patricks off the top of the cage with a Falcon Arrow into the ring. Joey misses a top rope swan ton and lands on the chair but kicks out at two on the cover by Blood. Moore puts Treamount through some glass with a double knee and gets Teamount out of the match. The fans don’t like that and voice their displeasure.
Claxton is standing on the scaffold but is getting circled by Notorious Inc. Claxton has Patricks and hit a northern lights bomb off the scaffold into the ring, which gets a three count and Patricks is eliminated from the match.
Moore is on the scaffold and begging off from Claxton which allows Blood to appear from behind and rakes Claxton’s eyes. Moore super kicks Claxton off the scaffold and Claxton crashes through a barbed wire table on the floor causing his elimination.
Joey tosses Moore into the ring and hit a swanton off the scaffold onto Moore and Blood. Joey has a bucket full of thumbtacks that he dumps in the ring. Joey pins Blood to eliminate Drew from the match.
Moore hit a Canadian Destroyer on Joey right on the thumbtacks and uses the ropes for leverage for a near fall. Moore slams Joey onto the tacks before hitting a middle rope elbow drop. Joey puts Moore onto the tacks with a Death Valley Driver. Joey wants more glass to use on Moore. Joey does get his glass to use and lays it across two chairs. Joey climbs the cage and double stomps Moore through the glass! Joey has the cover but Moore manages to kick out. Joey gets another pane of glass and has to fight off the Notorious Inc. crew that is still at ringside. Patricks and Crane hit a superkick/piledriver combo on Joey. Patricks has scissors and is going to cut Joey’s injured thumb. Matt Treamont makes his way down to make the save with light tubes. Treamont puts Blood through the tubes with a Death Valley Driver. Joey kicks Crane in the corner. Treamont charges at Joey and puts him through the pane glass in the corner! Treamont is looking around like he’s in shock he actually did it. Moore takes Joey out with a yakuza kick and wins the match. (***. It’s fine for what it was with the eliminations beating entertaining and violent. The heel turn by Treamont didn’t seem to make much of an impact on the fans. I don’t know if there was a backstory behind it but apparently Matt is a top face in the company and turned his back on the company. So, that should raise questions for 2017 and that direction. Janela is being setup to be the top face with Gacy for the next year. This wasn’t a overly memorable main event to me, though.)
I enjoyed the show as it featured some really good quality wrestling and the mixture of death match action, which isn’t a major interest of mine. Regardless, I liked the show that ran nearly four hours.
Thanks for reading.