Tangled Web 5 on August 11th, 2012
Opening Match: Rich Swann vs. Shane Strickland
Swann is making his return to CZW after his last appearance against Sami Callihan in January. They have a fast-paced exchange and Swann connects with a dropkick. He teases a dive but Strickland catches him with a dropkick of his own. Strickland lands a springboard splash to the floor. Swann follows with an impressive dive as well. In the ring, Swann takes control until Strickland fights back with a leaping neckbreaker and a gutbuster. Swann hurricanranas him off the middle rope and lands a standing shooting star press. He finds knees on a frog splash and Strickland hits a german suplex. Strickland lands a frog splash of his own for a nearfall. Swann hits a handspring ace crusher for a two count. Strickland ducks a lariat and kind of hits a flipping piledriver. Strickland adds a 450 splash for the win at 9:17. This was the kind of athletic opener that you’d want to kick off an iPPV. Swann was absolutely on fire and while Strickland could have been cleaner with his offense, the crowd didn’t mind that he upset Swann and gave him a solid ovation. **¾
The Gulak Campaign makes its way to the ring. The crowd prevents Gulak from talking with airhorns. He introduces his “advocate for women’s suffering in professional wrestling,” who turns out to be Kimber Lee. Greg Excellent interrupts and talks about how he thought Gulak would change after his no-rope barbed wire match against Danny Havoc. However, Gulak is just the same obnoxious phony. Gulak calls Excellent a joke and challenges him to a match…
Match #2: Drew Gulak vs. Greg Excellent
Gulak attacks before the opening bell. Excellent takes him down with a shoulder block and shoves toilet paper into his mouth. Gulak comes off the middle rope with a double axe handle. Excellent responds with a samoan drop and a corner cannonball. Kimber Lee saves Gulak from a tiger driver. The distraction allows Gulak to apply the Gu-Lock for the victory at 4:04. A four-minute match, mostly played for comedy, and featuring a screwy finish isn’t ideal. I have to agree with Excellent’s pre-match comments – it’s a shame that Gulak hasn’t changed since his hardcore outing against Danny Havoc. *
Match #4: Sami Callihan vs. Ruckus
Before the match, Callihan says that AR Fox was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he received a fireball in his face last month. Callihan charges forward with a bicycle kick. Ruckus tries a headscissors but Callihan almost reverses into the stretch muffler. Ruckus connects with an enzuigiri but gets bicycle kicked off the apron. He trips Callihan on the apron. Ruckus lands a shooting star press from the apron to the floor. Callihan sends him into the guardrail and connects with another bicycle kick. Callihan hits an exploder, sending Ruckus into a staff member at ringside. In the ring, Ruckus hits the Razzle Dazzle and lands a top rope splash. Callihan anticipates a cartwheel maneuver and hits a saito suplex into the turnbuckles. He connects with two facewash kicks. Ruckus dodges a third one and lays in a coast-to-coast dropkick for a nearfall. Callihan reverses a moonsault leg drop into the stretch muffler for the win at 8:05. This was an effective way to keep Callihan looking strong after the events that took place at New Heights. They worked well together and the finish was inventive as well as an awesome visual. I’d be curious to see what these two could put together with five or so more minutes. **¾
Fox runs into a rowdy fan with an Ohio is for Killers’ shirt on. When he walks through the curtain, he sees another shirt hanging on a rack. Fox challenges Dave Crist to a ladder match next month where both the World Junior Heavyweight Title and the Wired Television Title will be on the line.
Match #7: Tangled Web: Matt Tremont vs. DJ Hyde
Both men immediately get busted open by headbutts. Tremont utilizes a staple gun and hits Hyde with a chair. Hyde responds by hitting Tremont with a traffic sign and returns the favor with the staple gun. He grinds a barbed wire bat across Tremont’s forehead. Tremont then headbutts the barbed wire bat into Hyde’s forehead. Tremont connects with a series of chops and punches in the corner. Hyde spears him into a screen of barbed wire. Hyde misses a cannonball and crashes into the barbed wire. Tremont hits a vader bomb into the barbed wire. Hyde levels him with a traffic sign shot and connects with a barbed wire chair-assisted facewash kick. A table is brought into the ring. Hyde back drops Tremont into the screen of barbed wire. He dumps thumbtacks onto the table. Hyde misses a top rope senton and crashes through the table. Tremont pushes a fork into his forehead and lands a kendo stick shot. Hyde falls onto barbed wire caging propped between the apron and the guardrail. Tremont lands a frog splash from the top rope onto him. They move to the top of the tangled web structure. Hyde chokeslams Tremont off of the structure, but Tremont misses the table and his head bounces off of it. Staff members immediately rush to Tremont’s aid. They tape the gash on his left arm and he somehow returns to the ring. Hyde hits him with a stop sign and connects with a lariat for a nearfall. Tremont charges at Hyde, who back drops him through the table on the floor. Hyde connects with a final lariat for the victory at 28:30. I want to be hesitant in calling this match a “spectacle.” It’s a bit alarming that someone has gotten injured in the last three Tangled Web matches. The spot from the top of the structure was brutal to watch, and Tremont is a warrior for pushing forward. As far as deathmatches are concerned, this one delivered on the hardcore side of things and the crowd was extremely receptive to the action. You’ll know whether or not you’re going to enjoy this match before you watch it, but this was a pretty solid deathmatch. ***¼
Joe Gacy runs out and attacks Tremont. MASADA and the Nation of Intoxication make the save. Greg Excellent comes out and uses his last wish to grant Tremont a rematch against Hyde next month.
Overall: Tangled Web 5 was a show that definitely had its high points. AR Fox and Alex Colon delivered in a big way and the main event should be enjoyable to most deathmatch wrestling fans. However, I wish some of the undercard bouts like Callihan/Ruckus, MASADA/Joker, and the tag team title match would have received more time to play out. As it stands, I’m at a thumbs in the middle for this show and another solid undercard match might have tipped the scales. But if you’re curious about the main event or any of the storyline advancement, I don’t think you’d regret purchasing the replay or DVD.
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Ryan Rozanskii has been a professional wrestling fan since he was six years old. His first memory of it comes from witnessing Scott Hall win a sixty-man battle royal at WCW World War 3. Of course, that was before alcohol became a problem for Scott. Speaking of alcohol, Ryan is a youngster…not even old enough to consume alcoholic beverages. However, Ryan has used swear words to describe how much he loves Pro Wrestling Ponderings. That is something he’ll never try again, due to the risk of possibly being grounded by his parents. Some people compare Ryan to Butters from South Park. Currently, that comparison has yet to have any legitimacy.
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