Watch the episode at the bottom of this review.
Tonight’s very special Saturday night edition of CWF entertainment kicks off in a big way with the PWI Heavyweight Champion C.W. Anderson in action against Ric Converse. The story of the match was that Converse was trying to avenge the title lost he suffered from Anderson back in December. He wasn’t pinned nor submitted for the belt and he wanted to re-capture the belt tonight by any means necessary. Despite the determination by Converse, Anderson was in control from the very start of the match and apart from some minor punches here and there by Converse, Anderson kept that offense for a large bulk of the early goings. However, the endurance and fortitude from Converse was too high and the more he fought hard to win back his title (even when it was teased that he could get screwed from his title match again by another ref stoppage), the more you wanted to see Converse come out on top. Sadly for Converse, it was all for naught, though we nearly got a title change here. After a great back and forth in the final minutes, Converse is seconds away from locking in his Crossface Chickenwing, but right beforehand as the ref asks Anderson if he quits, Anderson smacks the ref in the face. Moments later, much like Anderson did to Converse in December, Converse made Anderson pass out. However, because Anderson hit the ref beforehand, this is deemed a DQ. Therefore, Anderson retains. A lot of people aren’t going to like the finish, but I thought it was smart. Not only was it an ironic twist of fate from what happened in their last encounter, it continues the feud between these two. Which I have no problem with as this was such a great match before that finish. Good chemistry between the competitors who told a compelling story that had you rooting for the babyface and hating the heel. It’s wrestling at its best when told right. Looking forward to the rematch.
Surprisingly enough, the second match of the night is what I thought would be the main event and, frankly, what should have been the main event: Trevor Lee vs Alex Daniels for the CWF Heavyweight Championship. My God. Where to even start with this one? It would an understatement or maybe even a cliche at this point to say that Trevor Lee put on another 30-minute classic, but it is the honest truth. Ever since Lee first won that title back in February 2016, he has put on an incredible match with every one of his challengers and this is no exception. If anything new can be said about the latest Lee title defense, its that this match really goes to show just how well Lee is capable of making his opponent look like a million bucks. He made Daniels look like the next star in the making. Daniels walked into this match as a little known, despised heel, but by the end of the match, everyone knew his name by the end of the match as the crowd cheered “Alex! Alex! Alex!” before it was all said and done. More than a title defense and another Lee classic, this was a showcase for the abilities of Alex Daniels to show us what he can do in the main event scene and boy, did he not disappoint. He keeps putting on contests like this–whether in CWF, down in Orlando, or some bingo hall in No Man’s Land–this guy is going places and he will go as a mega-star one day; mark my words. To echo the words uttered in Lee’s post-match promo, “Alex Daniels, you’re out of your damn mind, but I respect you, kid.” These two put on an absolute clinic, but Daniels absolutely stole the show and surprisingly outshined Lee. In any case, these two gave us an excellent bout that needs to be seen to be believed. Words cannot do it justice. Like most Trevor Lee matches, it is a match that needs to be seen to be believed. For that reason, I won’t even give away the finish. You just HAVE to watch it for yourself.
Again, Lee vs Daniels was an incredible contest, but I think putting it on second came as a detriment to the show as everything that came after it just paled in comparison to this greatness. Take this Champion vs Champion contest between CWF Television Champion Aric Andrews and PWI Ultra J Champion Chet Sterling. This was actually a really good match, but it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed when it comes right after Lee vs Daniels. Don’t get me wrong, Sterling and Andrews try their best to follow it up by making sure their contest is non-stop action. From bell to bell (and a pre-bell brawl between the two), they make sure their match is nothing by non-stop exhilarating action and it works. They work well together and they squeeze in as many high flying and high impact moves as they can in a short 4:41 time-span, but it’s like trying to watch the WrestleMania XXX Divas Championship match right after watching The Undertaker’s Streak end. No matter how good the match is (and trust me, it’s really good), all you can think about is what came before it. In any case, Sterling goes for his Blockbuster, but Andrews catches him in mid-air. He tries to hit his Full Nelson finisher, but Sterling nearly reverses it, right before Andrews changes the trajectory and rolls up Sterling. Thanks to some pulling of the tights, Andrews is our winner.
Next, with their partners banned from ringside, Roy Wilkins takes on CWF Mid-Atlantic Tag Champ Mecha Mercenary. Although, because tag team partners are banned from ringside and not managers, The Coach gets to stay at ringside in favor of Royal. This plays into the finish where Coach prevents Mecha from apron suplexing Wilkins while the ref is down. When Mecha deals with Coach himself, this allows Wilkins to grab the CWF Tag title and smash it over Mecha’s head. When the ref is up, Wilkins puts Mecha in a submission hold and since Mecha is already out cold, Wilkins wins by submission. The shock from Lee vs Daniels has somewhat worn off by now, but even if it hadn’t, this felt average at best. Which isn’t bad, but after three straight great matches, this just wasn’t making the cut in my book. It’s unacceptable by the precedent set by the show, but as far as just being a regular match, it wasn’t bad. It was the typical match you’d find in the middle of an average CWF card. Which, considering that this is a special Saturday night edition of CWF rather than an average card, that isn’t good, but the match isn’t bad.
For our “main event,” Rising Generation League Champion Cain Justice takes on Dominic Garrini. Weird way to end the show, but not a bad one. This was quite good actually. While not a back and forth contest, this seems to be a showcase of Garrini’s skillset, which he not only impressed, but he absolutely laid into Justice knocking him left and right at every opportunity. In true old school fashion, the end saw Justice try to get a sneaky win over Garrini by rolling him up with his hand on the rope for leverage. The ref wasn’t having it and kicked his hand off, allowing Garrini to wrench in his armbar for the submission victory. Garrini looked strong and it made me interested to see a proper match between the two with the title on the line next time. It’s also worth noting that early on, the two brawled out into the crowd and by the announcer’s desk, where Justice briefly got into the face of longtime rival, commentator Cecil Scott. Interested to see where that continues, especially when it seemed like the match tried to emphasize that Justice’s obsession with Scott is what cost him the match.
As a whole, this special episode not only made up for last Wednesday’s lackluster show, but it truly lived up to its special connotation. Apart from Mecha vs Wilkins, I’d recommend all of these matches (yes, even Justice vs Garrini), but this episode is an absolute must see for Trevor Lee vs Alex Daniels. The show kind of suffered for not letting that title match go on last, but man, it is a phenomenal match regardless. Just watch it. Go ahead, stop reading, and watch the match below.