CZW Welcome to the Combat Zone
April 7 2018
We’re at The Sugar Mill in New Orleans, Louisiana for CZW’s WrestleCon show.
Emil Jay and DJ Hyde welcome us and Hyde, owner of CZW, thanks everyone for not being dead so far and encourages them to get drunk a swear as much as they like provoking a “fuck” chant.
Dan Barry, Josh Briggs, Ace Austin, Kit Osbourne & Dan O’Hare vs. Peter Avalon, Matt Knicks, Stevie Fierce, Suede Thompson & Douglas James
“This is not a good idea” says Dan Barry right into camera.
A lot of these guys appeared in the Style Battle clusterfuck stuff. Stevie Fierce has a mirror and he uses it to adjust his hair and see people who are about to sneak attack him! Love it! This is what you’d expect from a ten-man tag. Lots of craziness, dives and mistiming because it’s impossible to get ten strangers on the same page. Briggs chokeslams his own partner over the top rope when he won’t dive and screams “I hope you die”. I love Briggs. He hates everyone. They do a bunch of spots and Avalon puts Barry away for the win. Avalon looks like a sex offender or a meth dealer. This was like 15 minutes long!
Final Rating: **1/4
MJF is out here to call Rickey Shane Page “garbage” and that’s why CZW didn’t sell out WrestleCon. KTB shows up and MJF offers to put the Wired title on the line right now.
CZW Wired Championship
MJF (c) vs. KTB
Six letters, two wrestlers. Kyle is a powerhouse. MJF is a dick. It’s an easy story to tell, although MJF is starting to look bulkier. He’s been putting that gym time. I do like the crowd chanting “EC2” at him because he’s like a smaller Ethan Carter III. Kyle can’t get much momentum going and gets trapped in the Rings of Saturn. It’s over! MJF retains, relatively easily.
Final Rating: **
Flamita & Bandido vs. oVe (Dave & Jake Crist) vs. Myron Reed & Trey Miguel
oVe are “dominating professional wrestling” according to comms. I couldn’t even stifle a laugh. They’re dominating the world of pump kicks and that’s about it. And I guess Jake looks like Cricket from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Jake Crist is Cricket from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia pic.twitter.com/sbMFdpRKQx
— Arn: Fan of Ronda Rousey (@ArnoldFurious) April 9, 2018
There is some serious talent in this. Myron Reed is one to watch but I’ve known that for a while. Trey Miguel has really stepped up his game. And they’re in there with two flippy lucha boys who had a ****3/4 classic at WrestleCon. The timing is less good on this match. Flamita finds himself exposed and when the timing is off it makes little things more obvious. Like a thigh slap when there’s no actual kick connecting. It’s still much better than the first two matches. Lots of creativity and if they knew each other better it might be a thrill ride. The action breaks down too often. There’s nothing resembling a tag and the miscommunication is virtually non-stop. There was definitely a plan for this match and if it had all come off it would have been one of the best matches of the weekend. Instead the Rascals and the luchadores team up to superkick oVe out of the match and then Bandido gets beaten with a Myron 450 Splash. Good match but with a few glaring issues.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Joey Janela & Penelope Ford vs. Joey Ryan & Laura James
Two of American wrestling intergender power couples colliding here. I’m fairly certain I’ve seen this before. Or maybe that was World’s Cutest Tag Team. The crowd chant “spring break” at Joey. He’s over as fuck for that. All the wrestlers give their chewing gum away. When a fan calls it disgusting Joey points out they’ve all had their blood work done. God bless Louisiana. Protecting us from dirty wrestler blood.
Joey shares the oil around and the ref gets some in his pants too. Janela does a good job of being freaked out by Ryan’s dick. “I’m reporting you to Twitter”. This crowd disappoint me as there’s no duelling chants of “let’s go Joey”. I’m also impressed that Janela shuts down a “too sweet” thing on the near falls. Can Joey Janela get any better? Janela’s reaction to taking a battering by Laura’s buttocks (falling backwards with two thumbs up) is sensational. “Let’s go hard cam I’m a TV guy”
“But I should be on TV because I’m so funny” complains Janela in a chinlock. Laura and Penelope have a kiss off and my god, they start making out. It really is Spring Break! They have a spot in the corner that’s so bad I don’t even know what Ryan was attempting. The lollipop spot isn’t good either and the match falls off a cliff suddenly. They have another weird spot where Laura James falls on her face and Penelope ends up pinning Ryan. This was very funny and entertaining to begin with but completely lost its way. Janela has a knack of fitting into whatever match he’s in. He plays up to his opponents strengths, and he’s getting better in the ring. Given his lack of size he’s unlikely to ever make WWE so companies can build around him and his antics long term.
Final Rating: **3/4
Juice Robinson vs. David Starr
Juice’s last CZW match was in 2015. He’s changed his act a little since then!
So has David Starr to be fair. He’s gotten very good at wrestling and a lot hairier. He also has a beautiful tope, which he does right into camera. Tremendous form. Not good for Juice’s face though, which gets busted from it. They’re having a really solid match and the crowd chant “get the tables”. What? Oh yeah, CZW! Juice actually looks but there aren’t any there! Great stuff. The match continues to be solid, if unspectacular (not that I blame them it’s only CZW). Starr slips out of Pulp Friction and hits Product Placement to get the win. Decent match between two good wrestlers. Nothing to particularly write home about. Just good.
Final Rating: ***1/4
“I am super over in Europe” – David Starr
Ace Romero vs. Jason Cade vs. Adam Brooks vs. Zachary Wentz
Acey Baby takes dropkicks off everyone at the bell. The threat is clearly there are Romero is the biggest of Big Boys. Wentz is really good. Every time I see him he surprises me because I forget just how slick he is. The team with Xavier is always good but Wentz is brilliant by himself. Here he hits a dive to the floor off Romero’s unsuspecting back. Then he randomly hits a senton onto Romero which Ace is not expecting at all and isn’t in position for it. We have an outta control Wentz in there. Wentz makes everything look so easy. This whole match is him doing difficult moves and barely breaking a sweat. The other star of the match is Acey Baby. He’s a big lad, carrying a tonne of weight but he’s a charismatic, hard-working son of a bitch. Cade’s role is to bring heat. Brooks to try and hold everything together. Wentz, being the most outstanding performer, is the winner, but he also picks up the pin on Brooks. Seeing as Brooks is Australian and fairly unlikely to come back he eats the pin. This was fun.
Final Rating: ***
Joe Gacy vs. Jeff Cobb
Cobb is a more traditional professional wrestler with a power base. He only exploded Internationally due to Lucha Underground. Gacy has spent his career in trash promotions. Namely CZW. He used to suck but now he’s pretty good. His strikes are very tidy. Cobb perhaps lacks a little charisma compared to his contemporaries (Riddle, Lee etc) but is still an impressive in-ring specimen and he enjoys throwing Gacy around. Gacy is around 250lbs but Cobb is so powerful he just throws him around. If large men throwing large men around is your kink Jeff Cobb is your guy. He throws Gacy around all match and then misses one standing SSP and Gacy knees him in the face for the pin. I was kinda into this, even though the finish was weird.
Final Rating: ***
CZW World Heavyweight Championship
Rickey Shane Page (c) vs. Ethan Page
The battle of the Pages. Rickey is in a great mood and even hugs Ethan on their first corner spot. Ethan is in less of a good mood and decides to banter with the fans. The match is patchy. Ethan’s approach is somewhere between comedic and serious. It’s not unlike Tommaso Ciampa on the Indies. It was always hard to get a read on him. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is dependant on you. Another complaint I have about Ethan is his thigh slaps are really obvious and he could do with switching the leg he does them on. Try to conceal that shit a bit better.
I know thigh-slapping is prolific in wrestling nowadays but if it’s that noticeable, amongst a mass of thigh slaps, it must be pretty obvious. RSP has quite the range. He’s not just a death match guy, although he is very good at death matches. His happy-go-lucky act here is nice and his switches are tidy. He’s easy to like. I still think his conditioning needs work if he’s going to be a big Indie star. He still has time btw. He’s in his early 30s. That window is still open. RSP takes the win with a cheeky roll up and All Ego comes up short. This was fine.
Final Rating: **3/4
Dezmond Xavier vs. Will Ospreay
Will messed his neck up last weekend and thought he’d miss all of NOLA. But here he is in one of SEVEN bouts he took part in over the weekend. He’s not exactly been taking it easy either. Comms call it Ospreay’s CZW debut although he did appear on co-promoted shows with Southside four years ago.
Dezmond Xavier is no stranger to British shores, having gone on tour there last year. He impressed during the run, tagging with Wentz. Xavier focuses on the shoulder, which is heavily taped.
Will is known for his meticulous pre-planning so it’s very weird to see him pausing for a rest hold while they call spots. Will does his springboard pose thing and Xavier scoots around the ring and elbows him in the neck. That was nice. It plays into Xavier’s heel persona and Will’s injury. This leads into Ospreay being angry and coming after Xavier with strikes. His striking has been worked on, cleverly moulded into a strength. I like Xavier getting angry with the crowd for getting on his case and Ospreay is able to make a comeback based off it. It’s a good match but it would be better if Ospreay was healthy. He’s aware this is not a major show and he can get away with not killing himself. He still does a load of flips but he doesn’t land on his neck so much. Ideally he shouldn’t land on his neck at all but at least there are less neck bumps here. Dez heels it up a treat, pulling off Will’s shoulder tape, and going after a piledriver. It’s a marvellous display of dick behaviour. Will getting all fired up in response to this is great. Xavier’s aggression and focus is great. Will kills him with the Decapitation Elbow and finishes with the Oscutter. Great psychology here, with Xavier going after the neck harder than anyone else did this weekend, and Will showing incredible fire in the comeback.
Final Rating: ****
By CZW standards this was extremely solid. It helped having their pick of the various fly-in’s who happened to be knocking around without anything to do. Having Ospreay was a huge bonus. He absolutely killed it all weekend, considering how busted up he was.