-Thanks to some incompetence on my part, Ryan Rozanski was unable to complete both a review for Evolve 17 and this CZW show. He of course will be at his very first King of Trios weekend and is also a college boy. For once, I am the one who deserves to be grounded. Instead, I’m watching Down with the Sickness. A year ago, I would have made a joke about this being my own penance, but this company has put on some genuinely good shows the last few months, and I was intrigued enough to not only buy the show but also have the DVD delivered. Granted it was only 10 dollars (15 with shipping), but for me they would have had to have paid at least that amount to me (plus shipping) to watch one of their shows in the past.
-Taped from Jason, New Jersey
-Your hosts are irrelevant. Sorry Joe Dombrowski, but the less said about the commentary, the better.
-Rich Swann vs. Shane Strickland
Match in Five Words or Less: Strickland Continues His Rise
Match Highlights: This is a rematch from New Heights as Strickland scored the biggest victory of his CZW career over Swann. Swann shows more disrespect to Strickland. Strickland sends him outside and hits a tope con helo. Swann sent back in the ring for one count. Swann catches him with a boot out of the corner. Swann takes control and chokes him. Chop and a follow-up forearm. Snapmare and kick to the back. Another snapmare and kick to the back. Fans call for it a third time. Swann covers instead. Right hand and boot to thet head. Chop appears to hit Strickland in the face. Strickland comes back. Forearm and stomps. Series of right hands. Swann with a sitting abdominal stretch. Quick roll-up for two. Chop in the corner. Strickland with a modified Canadian Destroyer out of the corner. Clothesline misses. Swann out. Inside out German suplex. Ocean Cyclone suplex by Strickland gets two. 450 is met with knees. Swann hits a frog splash. 1-2-NO! Strickland gets his boot up. Leaping enziguri by Swann. Rana blocked. Double stomp by Strickland. 1-2-3? Timekeeper blew that one as he rang the bell early. Strickland yells at the referee. Swann hits a Lethal Injection. 1-2-NO! Package piledriver. 1-2- NO! Strickland rolls up a distracted Swann for three.
Swann hugs Strickland but then hits a spin kick… to a standing ovation. Gotta love CZW fans.
Match Analysis: These guys did a little too much considering it was the opener, but I like the thought process of Strickland being pushed at the expense of a guy who hasn’t been around for much of the last year. Swann is an established guy who’s been to Japan multiple times. Strickland surely has work to do before being considered at Swann or AR Fox’s level when it comes to high flying, but this was a solid start to the show.
-Drew Gulak and Kimber Lee (w/Gulak Campaign for a Better CZW members) vs. Greg Excellent and Mia Yim
Match in Five Words or Less: Farewell Mia
Match Highlights: Excellent is one of those guys who really fits in better with CZW as opposed to any other promotion in the world. Gulak offers a handshake. Crowd tells him he sucks dick. These are some rude people. Feeling out process starts. Excellent wins a test of strength and he puts Gulak near his balls up and down. Yim and Lee enter the ring. Excellent and Yim take turns chopping in different corners. Yim with forearms on Lee. Slap from Lee. Kick to the side of the head by Yim. Series of punts. Gutwrench suplex. Kick to the lower back. Chinbreaker by Lee. Kicks of her own. Choking along the middle rope. Vertical suplex leads to a two count. Strike exchange. Lee chokes Yim out while tied in the ropes. Clubbering blows across the chest. Forearm and another chop. Yim with a stomp and forearm. Back to the kicks. Whip across. Lee grabs a submission in the ropes. Face wash. Rana off the top rope but Excellent tags in. Gulak drop toehold. Series of stomps. Choking along the middle rope. Mr. Tofiga forearms Excellent from the outside. Heat segment continues. Boot by Excellent. Uranagi out of the suplex position. Yim tags in. Dropkick sends Gulak out of the ring. Lee low bridged out. Superkick by Excellent. Cannonball in the corner by Yim. Gulak exits out of the ring. Lee goes after Excellent. This goes about as well as you might expect. Excellent teases kissing her. Alexander James, another of the goons, pleads to save Lee. Excellent drops him in a butterfly driver. Enziguri by lee. Yim attacks her. High angle German suplex. Lee with a low kick. Yoshi tonic gets Lee the victory.
Match Analysis: Probably a good idea to get Gulak and his people the victory after some recent struggles. Because of yim’s upcming departure, her jobbing makes sense. This was an okay match but nothing to run out and see.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Drew Gulak and Kimber Lee/10:42/**
-Alexander James receives medical attention after the match because of the butterfly driver. James is supposed to challenge for the CZW tag team titles. The crowd acts like their usual charming selves. Excellent puts over Yim over in what may be her last appearance for CZW in quite some time.
-Pepper Parks (w/Cherry Bomb) vs. Kekoa
Match in Five Words or Less: Yeesh
Match Highlights: Parks put in a good showing a month or so ago against Adam Cole at a Ring of Honor show. This is being advertised as a “Chris Cash opportunity match.” Kekoa makes fun of Cherry Bomb and brings out Tammy Lynn Sytch. I’ll refrain from making jokes. Duck of the clotheslines by Kekoa. Off the ropes with a rana. Armdrag. Parks blocks another and hits a dropkick. Armdrag. Hip toss countered with a kick. Stalemate. They take turns working the arm. Forearm and a chop by Parks. Kekoa reverses a whip. Parks out of the corner. Kick by Kekoa. Moonsault misses. Armdrag into the armbar. Parks with a chop. Ugly rana by Kekoa. Series of punches. Forearm. Cherry Bomb trips Kekoa. Kekoa hits a kick and heads outside. He threatens to hit her. Baseball dropkick by Parks. Parks performs the Alabama slam in the slowest manner possible. Kick to the side. Series of chops in the corner. Boot out of the corner by Kekoa. Parks tosses him. Another forearms. Springboard dropkick that looked… interesting. Leg sweeps and chops. Springboard moonsault gets one. Whip and follow-up charge by Parks. Superkick by Kekoa. 1-2-NO! Kekoa puts Parks on the top rope. Chop. Cherry Bomb climbs to the apron. Sytch pulls her down. Cherry Bomb takes a nice bump. Parks shoves Kekoa off. Neckbreaker connects. 1-2-3.
Match Analysis: I read reports about this match being abysmal, and it just wasn’t. The CZW fans never gave these guys a fair chance. Kekoa did not exactly excel and isn’t ready for primetime, but I’ve certainly seen worse professional wrestlers in my time. Parks was the right choice to pick up the win as I think he and Cherry Bomb could make for a solid duo in CZW.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Pepper Parks/6:43/*1/2
-Maven Bentley is considering cancelling the tag team title match since James is not in good shape. Alex Colon wants 4 Locos to get the championship match instead.Rory Mondo and Ron Mathis come in and talk about wanting the title match. Bentley says 4 Locos get the title match next month. Mathis and Mondo will get it RIGHT NOW!
-CZW World Tag Team Championship: Nation of Intoxication( Danny Havoc and Devon Moore) (champions vs. )Rory Mondo and Ron Mathis
Match in Five Words or Less: Mindless Violence
Match Highlights: Mathis and Mondo take advantage right away. Moore and Havoc each spit beer in the challengers’ faces. Moore tossed up and over in a dive. Moonsault from the top to the outside by Havoc. Suplex by Moore. Right hand to the face. DDT connects for Mondo. Headlock. Mathis in with a right hand to the back. Forearm. Neckbreaker by Mathis. Forearm. Moore ducks a clothesline and hits a DDT. Havoc with a right hand. Mathis whipped. Clothesline by Moore. Running elbow by Havoc. Havoc with a bodyslam. Springboard splash. Series of right hands. 2K1 Falcon arrow by Mathis. Kicks by Mondo no sold. Havoc flips him up and over on his head. Suplex into a backbreaker by Havoc. Chinlock. Havoc brings a chair… well, the referee prevents that. Moore gives the referee drugs and is thus allowed to use the chair. He tosses it at Mondo. I don’t even know what to make of that. Mondo tosses a second chair back at Havoc. Slingshot back suplex for a two count. Chair. Springboard moonsault. Series of kicks by Mondo. Havoc ends up in the chair. He catches Mondo and hits an exploder into the chair, which does not give at all. Mathis has to break the count. Havoc whips him. Moore springboards off with an elbow drop. They set another chair up. Rana and Mathis glazes the chair. Mondo fights off a move. Yakuza into a back suplex by Havoc. Moore taken up and over. Forearms between Havoc and Mathis. Havoc wins. Chinbreaker by Mathis. He sweeps the legs and hits a tiger driver. 1-2-NO! Moore and Mondo are on the top rope. Dragon suplex by Havoc gets two. Shot to the back of Mondo. Moore double stomps and then swantons on Mathis. Clothesline. Moore covers and gets two. Alex Colon and Tofiga come in for a beatdown. Referee has no choice but to call it a no-contest.
Mondo wants a rematch since they never gotten beaten. I would see the logic except they were getting their asses handed to them. Havoc says they have heart and they can have their rematch in Delaware, which is basically a hardcore playground.
Match Analysis: I was enjoying the insanity of this match until the ending. Look, this wasn’t high art bit watching Moore and Havoc obliterate their opponents, but it was pretty fun. Moore and Havoc don’t have the best reputation because they wrestle in CZW, but both guys could be solid midcarders and a really good tag team in other places. Not quite sure why they needed that sort of finish and a subsequent rematch between the two teams.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: STILL CZW Tag Team Champions- Nation of Intoxication /11:30/**3/4
-Ruckus vs. Alex Colon (w/Chrissy Rivera)
Match in Five Words or Less: Colon Gets Shafted
Match Highlights: Colon attacks during Ruckus’s entrance. These two men used to be in BLK OUT so this could be heated. Ruckus catches him with a boot and powerbombs him into the side of the ring. Moonsault from the apron to the floor. Ruckus keeps Colon on the side of the ring. Elbows by Ruckus. Colon misses something. He rolls underneath and hits a DDT on the floor. Boot to Ruckus’s head. Ruckus tossed back in the ring. Spin kick misses. Ruckus comes off the ropes with an upside down kick. Moonsault met with boots. Colon hits a running elbow. Snapmare and he cranks Ruckus’s neck with his feet. Forearms by Ruckus. Another spin kick. Cartwheel elbow. Colon catches him in an STO. Roll through by Ruckus gets two. Ruckus small package gets two. Exchange of nearfalls. Clothesline misses. Colon hits a running boot. Whip across again. Ruckus gets his boot up. Roll through. Forearm. Colon put on top. Iconoclasm as Colon lands right on his head. Colon put on top once again. Sunset bomb. Ruckus rolls through. Bankroll. 1-2-NO! Ruckus catches Colon with his feet. Sunset flip. Colon rolls through and kicks him in the face. 1-2-NO! He calls for Rivera to get up on the apron. She does and tosses her boss to Colon. Devon Moore saves the day and superkicks Colon. This is the second straight show Moore has become involved in a Colon match. Twisting suplex hit. Ruckus wins.
Match Analysis: Best match of the show so far. Ruckus can be sloppy at times, but he’s also a solid hand. Colon gets better with every show, and I’m genuinely surprised he doesn’t get more bookings outside of CZW.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Ruckus/12:00/***
-Matt Tremont is out just two weeks before his big match with DJ Hyde. I can’t even begin to describe the match… but it sounds bad. Tremont talks about the first match and how he used to be a CZW fan. He looks ahead to the big match in Delaware. Tremont talks about fans missing the old CZW. Tremont talks about taking the ropes and mat away. It’s going to be allllllll barb wire. Here comes DJ Hyde. He’s out in a wonderful suit and claims not to be a douchebag. Hyde calls Tremont a boy and a mark. Tremont talks about Hyde changing the company. This is a fascinating angle because it sort of feels like some of the tension in the back is manifesting itself in this angle. Not sure if this is good or bad. Hyde says Tremont will not beat him and will not main event the company’s top show, Cage of Death. I’m not usually a fan of promos nor am I fan of death matches, but CZW is doing an effective job building these two up. Hyde says Tremont is going to be in a match right now.
-Matt Tremont vs. Solo
Match in Five Words or Less: Career Not Over
Match Highlights: Solo is a big black guy. Forearms by Tremont. Solo misses a charge. Tremont nails Solo right in the head with a chair. Ovuh
Match Analysis: Just a squash. Hope Solo is okay. Pun not intended.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Matt Tremont/:23/N/R
-Tremont says the word redemption over and over. Well, that is the name of the show.
-OI4K(Sami Callihan and Jake Crist) (w/Naveah) vs. Super Smash Brothers (Player Uno and Player Dos)
Match in Five Words or Less: The Announcers Suck
Match Highlights: Callihan gets on the microphone beforehand and says OI4K which means Ohio is for Killers. I’ve certainly heard worse faction names. They attack SSB right away. Uno chops Callihan as Dos battles Jake. Callihan puts Uno in a chair. Running boot to the face. Dos suplexes Crist spine first into the apron. Callihan back suplexes Dos as well. Crist gets in on the fun. Uno punched Callihan in the midsection. Crist gets his arm rammed into the ring. Chop by Uno. Knees by Dos. Crist chops Dos. Uno chokes Callihan in a chair. Back in the ring. Dos headscissors Crist over. Rana. Boot by Crist. Boot blocked. Sent to the referee. Neckbreaker by Uno. Dos hits a tope con helo on Crist and Callihan. Naveah attacks Dos. Uno goes after her. Forearm by Crist. Kick. Uno sent into the ring post. Uno whipped into the corner. Boots. Crist gets in on the stomping party. Callihan hits a running knee. Headbutt. Another boot and tag to Callihan. Double spinebuster. Callihan hits a leg lariat on Uno. Into the chinlock. Callihan with a hard forearm to the back. Another one and Dos has to break the count. Headbutt. Uno rammed into the top turnbuckle. Crist with a series of shoulder blocks. Uno with kicks and strikes. One boot from Callihan sends Uno crumbling in the corner. Uno tells Callihan to stop and hits a right hand. Crist comes in. Flatliner. Dos hits a forearm and sends Callihan to the floor. Now to Crist. Reverse neckbreaker. Flying leg lariat gets a nearfall. Crist hits a knee in the midsection. Callihan hits Dos in the back. Double team from OI4K. Double pele kicks from Dos. Double team backcracker. 1-2-NO! Crist sent hard into the turnbuckle. Whip across. He catches Dos with an elbow. Uno sent up and over. Callihan hits him with a clothesline. Crist explodes Dos in the corner. Calluhan lifts him up. Superkick into the shoulder breaker. Uno makes the save. Boot to Crist. Callihan punches him. Strike exchange. Slaps from Callihan. Back elbow by Uno. Boot from Callihan. Dos with a springboard kick. Running boot by Crist. Uno with a big punch. Running shoulder tackle. Crist sent on the top rope. Double chops by Uno. Callihan sweeps him off. Dos with a flying knee. Uno kicks Dos right into a Callihan clothesline. Uno rolls Callihan in for a two count. Dragon screw legwhip. Callihan applies the stretch muffler. Dos with a forearm. Superkick but Callihan won’t let go. Crist with a superkick and spin kick of his own. Cross armbreaker. Uno and Dos have no choice but to tap.
Match Analysis: These two put together a very good tag team match. These are four solid performers and in order to get the new heel group over, it makes sense to give them a victory against a team that is pretty well known around the indies. My issue isn’t with the match but the commentary. It’s been pretty terrible the whole night but between the racist comments and overall awkwardness, but for both of them to go out of their way to make fun of SSB’s characters has to be one of the most counterproductive things I’ve seen a wrestling company do this year. Surely many things about this promotion are improving. The commentary is not one of them.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Sami Callihan and Dave Crist/11:05/***1/4
-CZW World Heavyweight Championship: Masada (champion) vs. El Generico
Match in Five Words or Less: Oleeeeeeuch
Match Highlights: Code of honor followed. Chop by Masada. They stay basic for a bit. Masada is clearly nursing an injured shoulder. Masada with a shoulder tackle. Snap rana for two. Chops by Masada. Right hands by Generico. Masada actually covers up. Boot from Masada. He tosses Generico outside. Generico quickly comes back in. Dropkick. He fakes a dive. Masada throws a chair in frustration. Forearm exchange. Boot by Generico. Masada with a powerslam. Shot to the back by Masada. Chop. Choking. Generico tossed to the floor. Another blow to the back by Masada. Generico tosses a chair away. Masada continues choking the challenger. Masada tries putting a chair in the ring. Generico keeps tossing it away. Great psychology there. Masada wins a forearm war. Back elbow off the ropes. To the chinlock. Generico elbows out. High knee by Masada. Boot by Masada. Uppercut. Chop. Another blow to the back. Masada tosses the chair back in again. Guess what Generico does? Tosses it out. Knees and an uppercut by Masada. Generico sends Masada shoulder first into the post. Tope con helo. Masada tosses back in the ring. Generico with an open hand chop. Swinging DDT. 1-2-NO! Masada catches Generico with a back elbow. Another one. Yakuza by Generico. Masada reverses a suplex into a cross body for two. Generico counters. Blue thunder powerbomb blocked. Off the ropes. Generico gets it on the second try. 1-2-NO! Masada takes Generico into the corner. Shoulder blocks. Splash mountain into the top turnbuckle. Sitdown powerbomb. 1-2-NO! Generico meets Masada on the top rope. Top rope brainbuster blocked. Masada goes for a sunset bomb. Punches from Generico. Masada walks away. Running yakuza. Generico follows him and hits one of his own. Half nelson suplex. 1-2-NO! Masada reverses into a brainbuster of his own. Masada is bleeding from the forehead. Simultaneous forearms. Masada catches him and hits a second brainbuster. 1-2-NO! Regalplex blocked. Generico in the corner. Exploder! Yakuza countered into a Regalplex of all things. Masada bridges over and gets three.
Match Analysis: Masada is one of those guys who will lull you to sleep. On the surface, he’s just another hardcore/death match guy who looks like a borderline homeless men. But the looks are deceiving. Masada is a very good wrestler who may in fact be as good as the top shelf indy guys because he can wrestle those multiple styles. He can hang around with Generico but can also get in the trenches and the death matches. I would argue that Masada is the best booked world champion in indy wrestling. Yes, above Steen in PWG and ROH. Yes, above Kingston in Chikara. Masada might be one of the best things going in the company, and when someone does finally beat him, it should be treated as a huge deal.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: STILL CZW Champion-Masada/13:56/***1/2
-Masada talks on the microphone for a bit, but I have trouble understanding him. I believe he says something about wrestling Joker after their recent confrontation. Christina Von Eerie of all people walks out with Joe Gacy. Bottom line: Masada is wrestling Joe Gacy in Delaware in two weeks in a “Fans Bring the Weapons” match.
-Ladder Match- Title Unification Match: AR Fox (CZW Junior Heavyweight Champion) vs. Dave Crist (CZW Wired Television Champion)
Match in Five Words or Less: These Guys Are Crazy
Match Highlights: Crist immediately dives on Fox. Fox recovers. Tope con helo. Shirt comes off and here we goes. Crist kicks Fox. Another huge dive. What does the crowd want? Blood. Guillotine on Crist. Fox hits a tope con helo and ends up in the first row. Dave gets tossed about five rows. They take a brief tour of the Flyer’s Skate Zone. Crist whipped into the rail. Follow-up boot. Cannonball senton. On the floor. He wants to die. Fox brings out another guard rail and hits Crist with it. Crist sets up two steel chairs back-to-back. Fox placed between them. Crist dives and the thud is pretty disgusting. Brainbuster by Fox THROUGH THE LADDER! The crowd sits on their hands. These fans are the worst. Fox climbs up a ladder. Crist stops and hits a springboard splash. Crist hits an acecrusher across the middle rope. Running kick. Double stomp misses.DDT by Fox on the edge of the chair. Crist tosses Fox and ladder down. Fox pretty much guillotines across the chair. Crist sets the ladder up in the middle turnbuckle. Fox with clubbering blows. Kick to the midsection. Superkick. Sliced bread as they go through the rail and Fox’s leg appears to hit the standing guard rail. Fox goes for another ladder. Crist sent into the ladder. Kicks from Fox. Bicycle kick. Fox moves ladders around. Fox sets up one ladder between two other ladders. Crist hits him with a fourth ladder from the inside. He climbs but Fox tosses a chair at him. Bodyslam. Fox puts the chair on top. Asai moonsault. Crist springboard moonsaults into Fox while he’s on the ladder. Crist goes for another ladder since I guess there aren’t enough in and around ringside. Crist chops Fox with a rubber-soled sandal. Crist sets a table up in the corner. Crist sets up a ladder but takes too long. Fox hits a Michinoku driver. Crist cuts him off. Rana blocked. Fox with a boot. Leg drop to the apron misses. Um… ow. Battle on the apron. Rolling death valley driver through the ladder contraption set up on the outside. Fox sets up the guard rail. He puts Crist on it. Crist moves. Tope con helo misses. Jesus H. Christ. Crist puts yet one more table into the ring. A huge, gigantic ladder is out in the ring. Crist stacks a second table on the original in the corner. Crist can’t even lift the giant ladder up and he forces the staff to it. That’s either a really good heel move or Crist is hurt badly. Crist climbs one side. Fox climbs the others. Fox hits neckbreaker through the stacked tables. The titles actually fell off. Fox just has to grab them and indeed he does. Fox wins.
Match Analysis: These two are insane and each have death wishes. Put this match in front of a PWG crowd, and you might have a match of the year contender. I’m not going to out this in the same category as the Threemendous III ladder match, but these two certainly put their bodies and lives on the line. Dave Crist doesn’t get enough credit for his athletic ability, and Fox is a mad man. Think about it. The man wrestled Ricochet earlier in the evening and then put on this display. Major props to Fox again for showing why he’s turning into one of the best wrestlers on the independent scene. Great way to cap off a very solid show.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: NEW UNIFIED CZW Junior Heavyweight and Wired Television Champion-AR Fox/19:46/***3/4
The Verdict: This is the first wrestling show I’ve ever watched and thought it would be better on mute. The announcers for this show were hot garbage. The fans were completely up their own asses, and I’m not sure how you can rectify this. To me, CZW has to bring in credible announcers to call the action and put over both the wrestling and death match aspect of this promotion. I am not the type of fan who is going to purchase Redemption in two weeks, but there is a clear audience of people who will. CZW should not completely change its identity because then it’s going to become like every other indy. I don’t want another Evolve. I want something that at least feels fresh and different. CZW is definitely improving. DJ Hyde is at least trying to put forth a product that appeals to more fans. I really enjoyed the last three matches on the show, and even most of the stuff on the undercard was inoffensive at worst. This company is willing to give younger guys like Shane Strickland a chance while also promoting someone like Masada and Matt Tremont. There is enough for both sides. If CZW can balance their identity as a death match promotion while also gaining credibility as an actual wrestling company, they’ll be one of the biggest money making indies in North America.
For more information on CZW, including the chance to watch their Internet show “Wired”, and information on upcoming shows, check out CZWrestling.com. To purchase this show and so many other iPPVs, check out HybridEnt.TV. You can really get some great deals here, including combination stream and DVD prices as well as bonus matches included as part of a stream purchase.
Jerome Cusson has been a professional wrestling fan since late 1994. Having started out as a fan of WWF, he eventually expanded his horizons into WCW and ECW. After the unfortunate deaths of these two companies, Jerome's interest in wrestling nearly came to an end before he discovered independent wrestling. Let the love/hate relationship with wrestling continue.
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