We kick things off with a bonafide big boy battle between the team of Mike Mars and Otto Schwanz vs Sandwich Squad. As I’m sure I’ve said before, I love mah big boys and I love mah big boy battles, so this was a lot of fun for me to watch. Two huge sets of boulders bouncing off of each other for about 10 minutes. What’s not to love? Well, Schwanz’s German screaming. Could’ve done without that. Seemed to do it more than he usually does, especially when he was just standing on the apron. Got annoying after awhile. Which, if its apart of his heel tactics, it works, but it kind of took me out of the match hearing Schwanz scream every 10 seconds into my earbud. Other than that, this match gets no complaints from me. Although I have to admit, the finish was weird. At the end, Coach Gemini ran in and grabbed Mecha Mercenary (not a DQ?). Him and Coach have a staredown while Jarry Caray does “something” to Schwanz’s metal mask. I say “something” because no one could tell what exactly Jarray Caray did to it, if he did anything. The commentators couldn’t even figure it out. Regardless, Schwanz headbutted Mecha to high Hell (apparently, Caray’s tampering with the mask made it extra lethal, whatever he did) and Schwanz’s team won. Fine match until the weird finish.
In a backstage promo segment, Caray and the rest of The All Stars confirm the members of his team for next week’s Ultimate Survivor match against Team CL Party. Caray’s team includes Caray himself, Arik Royal, Mace Li, Otto Schwanz, and Roy Wilkins. Weird that Caray would insert himself in the match rather than, I don’t know, Mike Mars (love that big boy), but this team still looks solid.
CWF TV Champion Jesse Adler is out next to defend his title against a name randomly drawn from a jar by an audience member, as usual. That is until the newly clean shaven, tie wearing former champion Aric Andrews interrupted. Like a true politician, he apologizes for everything he’s done in the past year as champion and passes out buttons. Andrews is campaigning for the crowd to choose him as Adler’s next challenger for the title. Brad Stutts reminds him that fans can only choose the names randomly drawn from the jar. A fan pulls out a name, and to Andrews’s dismay, the name is Rising Generation League Champion Dirty Daddy.
Before Jesse Adler vs Dirty Daddy is underway, Aric Andrews gives his blessing towards the match and congratulates DD on getting picked. Andrews promises he’ll watch the match from the crowd stands. As for the match itself, this match was awesome. Good back and forth between two tremendous athletes. Plenty of memorable spots to go around. The most memorable one being when DD dove off the top rope and nailed a big boot on Adler. Mostly memorable because it gave me bad flashbacks to when Sid Vicious tried that spot in WCW and destroyed his own leg. Thankfully, DD didn’t kill himself doing this spot. The match ended when Adler and DD had a nasty collision–looked like Adler went for a running headscissors and DD for a Lariat–and they both collapsed as the match reached its time limit draw. Again, really great, fun match. Would’ve been nice for an actual finish, but I’m fine with this because a match of this caliber would benefit from a proper build with a storyline, rather than a random thrown together match. Their chemistry is phenomenal and I’m sure it will remain phenomenal when they come back for a Round 2 later down the line, whether it be for the TV Title or the RGL Title.
After the match, Adler campaigns for five more minutes, but Andrews says fair is fair and America is always fair, so since the time expired, the match should be left at that. Andrews congratulates DD on a hard fought victory and hands him a Vote 4 Andrews bumper sticker. Andrews does the same to Adler, then shakes his hand and they pose for some camera shots. I continue to love Andrews’s new gimmick, but I’m starting poke holes in it. First off, this whole “Vote 4 Andrews” doesn’t make much sense for the TV Title picture. In any other title picture, this gimmick would be fine, but in a title picture where opponents for the title is only ever decided through random drawings, it doesn’t quite work when there’s nothing to vote or campaign for. Second, I feel like this gimmick is basically a pro-Trump parody thing, which is fine. Wouldn’t be the first of its kind in wrestling, but I’m not sure how this is gonna get heat. It started to get heel heat because it was Andrews (someone who’s noteworthy for being a heel), but before all this was over, most of the crowd seemed to buy what he was selling. The problem here is that North Carolina itself is more pro-Trump than anything else. Similar gimmicks (like Team Trump in AAA, or The Cabinet in ROH) work because they’re pro-Trump heel groups marketed towards anti-Trump crowds. Andrews’s new gimmick is a pro-Trump heel character in a state that Trump won. Gonna be hard to get heel heat when your audience loves the guy you’re parodying. But it’s still in its early stages, so we’ll see.
CL Party has a backstage interview segment with her Ultimate Survivor team to reveal her fifth team member: Faye Jackson. That makes Faye, Sandwich Squad, Snooty Fox, and herself. This segment tells me two things. One: Faye Jackson is awesome. I was hoping they’d bring a woman to the team, though I was kind of hoping it would be Allie Kat if only to tie in Caray’s line from last week about her “sent her back to her litter box,” but I’m not complaining. Again, Faye is awesome. Two: CL Party will be wrestling. I guess that explains why Caray inserted himself into the match earlier. Two non-wrestlers in a match. That usually spells disaster, but there are enough bodies in the ring to take up the grunt work rather than having CL and Caray wrestle for 20 minutes straight. If Shane McMahon could book himself into a Survivor Series match, I guess I can’t complain about CL and Caray booking themselves into theirs.
Right before the main event, Trevor Lee comes out and issues an open challenge for his CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship. Who answers that challenge? None other than Ethan Alexander Sharpe. Which makes sense and nicely ties together last week’s promo from Sharpe where he complained about Lee breaking his CWF Rumble record. One thing that did make me sad was despite how hard Sharpe has been grinding to break out of his comedy schtick and be a serious wrestler, the crowd immediately broke out in laughter as soon as his music hit to answer the challenge. Really makes me sad. Just give him a chance, guys. He’s trying really hard.
Anyway, Sharpe and Lee acknowledge that no one is taking Sharpe seriously right now. Lee can’t even look at Sharpe coming to the ring without laughing. Sharpe brings his broken Iron Man Rumble record up before the match and Lee points out that Sharpe couldn’t even last 20 minutes in the ring with him. To put that challenge to the test, Sharpe wagers that if he does last 20 minutes tonight, he’ll become the new Heavyweight Champion. He doesn’t even have to pin or submit Lee beforehand. All he has to do is last 20 minutes. Lee accepts.
Anyway, our main event for tonight is officially underway. Trevor Lee defending his CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship against Ethan Alexander Sharpe. The special stipulation added some nice stakes and drama to the match, but sadly, you never get the impression that Sharpe even has a chance with Lee. From the opening bell, Lee lays out Sharpe. To kill some time, he just tortures Sharpe the whole match. He acts like his sole intent of the night is to wrench every bone out of Sharpe’s body and the way Lee twerks the guy’s limbs for most of the match, you believe he can do it. Sharpe gets a second wind near the end, but it never lasts long. The whole match is just Sharpe taking a beating. I’m not sure if this was just a showcase of Lee as a wrestler, or Sharpe’s way to earn his stripes as a serious competitor, but Goddamn. Sharpe took a Hellified beating in this match. When he wasn’t getting his arms and legs nearly torn off, he was getting punched and slapped in the face. Gotta give it to him for taking it all, but all this match did was show that Sharpe wasn’t ready for the big main event stage yet. It’s a sad afterthought, but it was clear here. Actually, it’s not even that Sharpe isn’t ready, because he has the charisma and the ability to pull it off. It’s just that the fans aren’t willing to take him seriously in this main event spot yet. Maybe it’s the gimmick, or maybe it’s him specifically, but the fact of the matter is he isn’t ready because the majority of audiences aren’t willing to embrace him in the main event. Which makes me sad because I’m a big fan of the guy. Here’s hoping Sharpe has a much better 2018.
In the closing minute of the match, Lee hits the top rope just as Sharpe is messing around with the ref. The ref pushes Sharpe back and into Lee, knocking Lee off the turnbuckle, seemingly knocking him out. Sharpe decides to wait the time out with under 20 seconds left on the clock. Lee miraculously makes it to his feet. Sharpe runs at him, only to get caught in the STF and tap out with 5 seconds left on the clock. Well, that was an…interesting main event to say the least. It never felt for one second like Lee’s title was in jeopardy and this was a far cry from his better title matches, but this match said a lot, for better or worse.
After the match, PWI Heavyweight Champion CW Anderson appears on the titantron to challenge Trevor Lee to a match at Ultimate Survivor next week. Lee criticizes Anderson for challenging him via video screen rather than in person, but he accepts the challenge. It’s unclear if its going to be Champion vs Champion or Team Lee vs Team Anderson, but one thing for sure, Anderson and Lee will square off next week.
Another damn good night of CWF action helped emphasize that there is a lot to look forward to next week at Ultimate Survivor and we should all be looking forward to it. Until then, give this episode a look. As usual, it’s worth it.