CZW CAGE OF DEATH 5
December 13, 2003
Obviously if you’re here at this site, then you know about the whole 411/Pulse split. I’ve decided to continue my writing at Inside Pulse in faith to my buddy Widro and his vision. I have not one bad thing to say about 411Mania.com, it is a fantastic site, and everybody there is a tremendous writer who doesn’t need my endorsement. Mad props go out to my boy Mike Campbell, and thanks to all at 411 for supporting me during my tenure there.
I am reposting this review for any new readers to get a good feel of what Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) is all about. CZW is an independent wrestling promotion operating on the east side of the US, and has featured many famous talents on the indy circuit, including Trent Acid, Homicide, Chris Hero, B-Boy, Alex Shelley, Jimmy Jacobs, Justice Pain, Low Ki, Tajiri, Red, The SATs, to name but a few. They are a company I enjoy watching and I hope any new readers will take the time to enjoy this article and check out this show, as well as my future reviews, which will be posted frequently on Inside Pulse. Thanks to all the fans who continue to read and have supported me. – TIM
Cage of Death is CZW’s Wrestlemania. The yearly feud ending showcase of the promotion where everyone pulls out the stops and tries to perform to their best.
The set up for the actual Cage of Death is different this year, and you can view a picture here. That composite photo is taken from the staging area at Viking Hall, and the suspended cage in the left extends from the stage to the actual cage of death around the ring (although the COD is not in that photo). The ring closest to you is the one that was filled with a million thumbtacks. There are more photos later on to help you get more of an idea.
By the way there’s a cool video package at the start of this to recap the Hi-V vs. Zandig feud.
Jude & Niles Young vs. Jon Dahmer & Cory Kastle vs. Jamie Samuels & DJ Hyde – Dahmer runs out and double suplexes Jude and Niles. We then settle into a tag match, with Samuels and Kastle starting. Cory gets the advantage on Samuels and then tags in Dahmer who gets a near fall. Dahmer delivers a f*cking weird but dangerous suplex to Samuels, who manages to tag out to Niles. Jude and Niles get the better of Dahmer for two. Hyde tags in and takes out Jude and Niles. Hyde and Dahmer compete over chops on the outside. Back in, Dahmer gives Jamie Samuels the MOVE OF A THOUSAND MANIACS OFF THE TOP!!! It wins it for them at 9:07. That’s a powerbomb into piledriver off the top, people. INSANE. Match was crappy, but what a finish. *
Shun The Kabuki Kid vs. GQ vs. Rick Feinberg vs. Krystian Wolf – Wolf and Feinberg start out, with Feinberg getting the advantage. Kabuki tags in and locks Feinberg in a version of the STF. Feinberg comes back with a sit out tombstone for two. GQ comes in, showboats and cleans house. GQ and Kabuki go at it, and GQ gets a facebuster. GQ hangs Feinberg in the tree of woe and hits a Van Terminator. Kabuki gives GQ a Michinoku Driver and then takes out Wolf. He goes up and hits a cannonball senton on GQ for the win at 6:13. Pretty blah. *
#1 Contendership For The Tag Titles: Dirty Rotten Scoundrelz vs. Nick Berk & Z-Barr vs. Greg Matthews & Rockin Rebel – Brawl erupts and the Softcore Connection (Berk & Barr) clean house. Z-Barr gets a flipping plancha onto the other teams. Inside, Berk works over Matthews. Things turn however and Berk plays face in peril, getting double teamed by both the Scoundrelz and the Rebel’s Army. Barr continues to break up their pin attempts before getting the hot tag and cleaning house. Berk hits a plancha onto one of the Scoundrelz and the Rebel’s Army gets the victory with the Heat Seeker on the other Scoundrel at 7:53. Damn it, Berk and Barr should have gone over. *1/4
#1 Contendership For The CZW Jr Heavyweight Title: Jimmy Jacobs vs. Sabian vs. Derek Frazier – Sabian grabs Becky Bayless’ (Jacob’s valet) ass, in an unplanned move that caused some serious heat between the two. They do some three-way spots to start and Sabian gets a flipping tope. Back inside Jacob’s cops a kick to the head whilst trying a headscissors. Frazier takes Sabian’s legs out and goes to work on the knee. Jacobs joins in, and they both stretch Sabian. Frazier and Jacobs go at it and Jacobs gets a northern lights, but Sabian comes off the top to break the pin. Jacobs gets the big HUSS boot on Frazier and an Impaler on Sabian for two. Sabian and Frazier goes up, which ends in a triple superplex. Sabian almost died there. Frazier nails Jacobs with the Discharge and Sabian gets a 450 for two. Jacobs gets the Sliced Bread #2 on Sabian, knocking Frazier off the ropes at the same time, for the win at 7:06. Inoffensive little spotfest designed to put Jacobs over, which it did perfectly. **
CZW Iron Man Title: 20 Minute Iron Man Match: Trent Acid vs. Jimmy Rave – Trent one the title in the finals of a tournament at ‘Redefined’, of which Rave was a finalist. Rave demanded a shot of the belt because he wasn’t beat, but instead of being a fighting champion, Acid made him earn the shot by taking out various cronies of the Hi-V. After all the interference and all the great matches, we come to the blow off: Acid vs. Rave, Iron Man Title on the line. Most falls in 20 minutes wins. Acid is a fantastic heel, just watch his entrance. Trent stalls a lot to start, as he should be, knowing he is facing a man capable of beating him. When they do lock up Rave gets the better of Acid with some arm drags. Trent takes Jimmy down in a headlock but has trouble holding him down. Rave gets a hiptoss into an armbar, and goes to work on the arm. Some HEEL TACTICS give Acid the upperhand again, locking on another headlock. Rave fights back again, getting back to Acid’s arm. Northern lights suplex from Acid gets two. Acid showboats and Rave takes advantage, going back to the arm. Trent fights back again, and suckers Rave outside, crawling underneath the ring and then blindsiding his opponent. Gotta love those old school heel tactics. I told you Acid is the man. Trent grabs a chair and throws it into Rave’s face. This is a brilliant story. Acid has tried wrestling Rave, but once he knows he is outmanoeuvred he resorts to brawling and cheap tactics. Acid throws Jimmy into the guardrail and then hits an Asai moonsault. Back inside Acid is still selling his arm. He backdrops Rave and showboats again, only this time he has the time to. Acid props Rave up top, giving him forearm after forearm. Rave shoves him down but misses a body press. The fans are chanting boring. FUCK THAT. This is awesome. Rave tries in vein to gain the advantage but Acid hits a roaring elbow and a tumbleweed to go 1-0 at 10:49. Acid keeps the advantage, kicking Rave while he’s down, not allowing him to get up. Trent goes for one too many elbows and Rave comes back with a few of his own, followed by a belly to belly. Acid bails and Rave follows with a plancha. Back in, Acid gets a tornado arm drag, but Rave blocks his next attempt by locking on the Crossface. Acid taps to make it 1-1 at 14:32. Both guys go at it again, leading to a double KO. Rave tries a back suplex but it only gets two. One minute remains. Bullshit, only 16 has past, and I know what finish they’re heading to, and I hate it. Rave tries a reverse DDT but it only gets two. Trent gets a yakuza kick but Rave kicks out!! The time limit expires at 17:30. FUCK THIS!! Now I’m pissed off. It’s a draw, so Acid remains champ. You know the drill, five more minutes is requested. Acid protests, RIGHTLY SO, but Rave gets on the mic and says don’t start something you can’t finish. This is bad booking because they should be putting RAVE OVER CLEAN, and he realistically did NOT beat Acid, so he doesn’t deserve it. Anyway, five more minutes is scheduled. Acid sneaks up on Rave and school boys him for two. They go at it at a BREAK NECK pace, and Rave gets the RUNNING KNEE to crown a new Iron Man Champ at 23:33. Okay, here’s the deal. Acid came out of this looking better than Rave, and they messed up a chance to put Rave over HUGE here. The match fell apart after the second fall, and the ending ruined it. The first 15 minutes was the first 15 of a **** match, and all the shenanigans at the end pulled it down. Still, they were doing very well before the BOOKING kicked in. ***1/2
The Hi-V come out and cut a promo about how it’s 6 on 5 tonight and they’ll win, but Zandig interrupts them and says it’s 6 on 6 and he has a wrestler lined up to complete his team.
#1 Contendership for the CZW Iron Man Title: Alex Shelley vs. B-Boy vs. Chris Hero – This is elimination. They lock up and go into a series of three-way submissions and counters. B-Boy takes a breather as Hero and Shelley go at it. Hero goes for his finisher but B-Boy breaks it up and takes Hero out. Shelley throws B-Boy outside and Hero nails Shelley with a dropkick. Shelley tries a DDT but Hero blocks. B-Boy gives Shelley a neckbreaker, forcing Shelley to complete the DDT. GREAT spot. B-Boy suplexes Hero for two, and they trade forearms. Shelley grabs Hero in a standing sleeper and Hero uses the extra weight to hit a huge stomp on B-Boy. Both guys fall down and B-Boy gets a DOUBLE STOMP on BOTH GUYS. He jumps up and down TWICE on each of their stomachs! That was BRUTAL!! B-Boy nails Shelley with a dropkick to the back of the head, but falls victim to a twisting backbreaker from Hero for two. Hero suplexes Shelley onto B-Boy for two. Hero goes to piledriver B-Boy but Shelley gets a step up enziguri, allowing B-Boy to nail Hero with a neckbreaker. Just great three-way innovation going on here. B-Boy hits Shelley with a t-bone suplex but gets KILLED by a whirlwind spinebuster by Hero. Piledriver from Hero gets two. Hero gets an elbow drop and legdrop on Shelley for two. B-Boy powerbombs Shelley into the turnbuckles but cops a clothesline from Hero. In a great spot Hero hits a Diamond Dust on Shelley as Shelley nails B-Boy with a reverse Russian leg sweep. Shelley and Hero team up to double team B-Boy but he KICKS OUT! Hero locks B-Boy in the Hangman’s Clutch but B-Boy escapes with the CROSS SPECIAL BRAINBUSTER!! Shelley takes out B-Boy and mimics him by hitting Hero with a dropkick in the corner. B-Boy takes out Shelley and hits his own dropkick on Hero, who manages to come flying back out of the corner. B-Boy nails Hero with the Shining Wizard to eliminate him at 15:38. Shelley and B-Boy immediately go to the mat, trying various submissions. Shelley gets a sit out DVD for two. Crucifix pin also gets two. B-Boy comes back with a DVD of his own, but it only gets two. Shelley escapes a brainbuster and nails the Shell Shock, but B-Boy KICKS OUT!! Shelley locks B-Boy in a crossface like submission and B-Boy TAPS at 20:09. And Shelley is the number one contender. Man, this was absolutely awesome, and I don’t think the recap did it justice. Very spotty, but the spots were well worked, innovative and all made sense. Once Hero was eliminated B-Boy and Shelley did a good job of doing a more mat-based match, then moving towards some climactic near falls. Just total fun, and non-stop action all the way. ****
Ladder Match: Joker vs. Chris Cash – This was set up last month as Cash/Deranged vs. Joker/Azrael, but Deranged and Azrael had travel troubles, or were fired, depending on who you believe, so we get a singles match. This match made a star out of Joker, and you’ll see why in the recap. This ends by pinfall. They lock up and go into a criss-cross and some feeling out moves. Cash throws a ladder to Joker who catches it and cops a dropkick for being a good catch. They move to the outside where Joker sends Cash into the guardrail. A ladder is set up leaning against the guardrail and Cash spinebusters Joker through it. Joker gets the advantage on Cash and sets up a ladder between two chairs on the outside. He goes up top and hits a STOMP off the top onto CASH! Man that was awesome. They go back in, bringing a ladder with them. Cash gets off a DDT inside for two. Joker comes back with a headscissors and a knee charge. He goes outside and gets the HUGE ladder and slams it over Cash’s head. Joker props it against a chair in the ring and lays Cash on it. Cash gets up and throws the ladder at Joker, who’s head gets caught in it. Cash pushes the ladder over, pulling Joker off the rope and headfirst into the mat. Cash props the big ladder in the corner, then sticks a smaller ladder inbetween its rungs, creating an X-like shape. Cash climbs the contraption and Joker joins him, giving him a rock bottom through the ladders in a SICK spot. That gets TWO. Joker goes out and props a ladder between two chairs on the floor. Cash sets up the huge ladder in the ring and climbs it. Joker cuts him down and goes up himself, looking to hit something. Cash grabs another ladder and SPEARS it into Joker’s head, sending him flying BACKWARDS off the ladder, OVER the top and through the ladder on the outside. It barely breaks his fall and he smacks the concrete in another sickening spot. Cash goes backstage and gets another big ladder. He props it on the second rope in the corner. Cash puts Joker up top and stands on the ladder. Joker knocks Cash down into the ladder, and then picks him up, and SUPLEXES him up and ONTO THE SUSPENDED LADDER!!! CRAZY. That gets TWO!! Cash gets the Cutthroat Driver on the ladder, and brings a table in the ring. He sets Joker up on the table and climbs the huge ladder. Joker joins him and does the unthinkable JOKER DRIVER OFF THE LADDER THROUGH THE TABLE!!!! OH MY GOD!!! That is officially INSANE. Cash has GOT to be dead, he lands on his neck and Joker wins it at 16:16. The Joker Driver is an Electric Chair Drop into Storm Cradle Driver/Michinoku Driver. CRAZY. This was a spotfest, but it was one HELL of a spotfest. ***1/2
CZW Jr Heavyweight Title: Ruckus vs. Sonjay Dutt – Sonjay and Ruckus had been old foes turned tag partners, but Ruckus went all badass heel on Sonjay after they lost a match at the previous show, setting up this encounter. They lock up and try to choke each other out. Ruckus takes a powder but eventually comes in and gets rolled up for a quick near fall. They test out arm wringers on each other and then moves into a criss-cross sequence and Sonjay hits his awesome double tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Sonjay goes for a plancha but Ruckus pulls him down and slams him into the guardrail. Back in they trade more counters. Sonjay goes for a springboard move but Ruckus dropkicks the ropes and sends Sonjay falling for two. Ruckus tries the Razzle Dazzle but misses, and Sonjay gets his own version of it. Sonjay locks Ruckus in the Octopuss Stretch into a DDT for two. Ruckus gets his handspring spin kick for two. Ruckus gets a weird flipping neckbreaker for two. Sonjay comes back with an enziguri and a couple of clotheslines. He gets a back suplex and goes up, hitting a flying elbow for two. Sonjay gets a reverse DDT for two. They both go up and Ruckus gives Sonjay a HUGE FALCON ARROW off the top for TWO!! Sonjay tries a hurricanrana but Ruckus counters it with a powerbomb for two. Sonjay pulls Ruckus’ shirt over his head and chops the crap out of him for two. Ruckus comes back with the Chronic for two. Ruckus goes for a moonsault but eats boot on the way down. Sonjay climbs and hits a dragonrana for TWO. Sonjay goes up and hits the Pheonix Splash for TWO! Ruckus is so screwed up he can’t run an irish whip, though he manages to get a big punch off. Ruckus tries a rollup but Sonjay reverses it and wins the belt at 16:49. I hate that finish, the Pheonix should have ended it. This was really fun and they seemed to do more matwork than usual. What it really lacked though was a solid period of Ruckus being on offence, so Sonjay could have a comeback that really meant something. ***
1,000,000 Thumbtacks & Cage Of Death War Games Match: Team Ultraviolence (Zandig, Nick Gage, Wifebeater, Ian Knoxx, Lobo and Myster Partner) vs. The Hi-V (Messiah, Trent Acid, Johnny Kashmere, B-Boy, Nate Hatred & Adam Flash) – Okay, look at this picture and it’ll give you a good idea of the set up. Wrestlers start on the stage, go across the suspended cage and into the cage of death (the ring), the idea is to get your whole team across and back, but if your feet touch the ground you’re eliminated. Entrances are staggered, with Zandig and Kashmere starting. Zandig stands on the suspended cage, and Kashmere comes out wearing a puffy jacket, shinpads, kneepads and a baseball helmet. Kashmere tries to get right into the ring but Zandig tells him to start from the stage. Kashmere goes up there but is hesitant about getting onto the cage. He finally does and spears Zandig, surprising him. Man that cage looks solid but it’s certainly up high. Kashmere continues pummelling Zandig. Zandig comes back with the Motha F’N Bomb on the cage. Zandig teases pushing Kashmere off down into the second ring full of a MILLION THUMBTACKS. He takes Kashmere onto the scaffolding above the ring. The Messiah and Trent Acid enter the match at the same time, BECAUSE THEY CAN. Zandig is outnumbered three-to-one and he gets his ass kicked. B-Boy is the next to enter, as the Hi-V have rigged the entrances or something. B-Boy watches from the suspended cage as the Hi-V tear into Zandig, then THE BOMB DROPS. Zandig’s Mystery Partner is NEW JACK!! New Jack comes out and smashes B-Boy with the trash can and the staple gun. The Hi-V keep beating on Zandig in the ring as New Jack beats on B-Boy. New Jack comes down in the ring and joins them, then TURNS ON ZANDIG. Then, LOBO makes his entrance and jumps down into the cage of death. IAN KNOXX makes his entrance and goes at it with B-Boy on the suspended cage. The Hi-V beat on Zandig and Lobo in the ring as Knoxx and B-Boy are up on the suspended level. Knoxx whips B-Boy into one of the suspended cage walls, which BREAKS!! B-Boy goes PLUMMETING INTO THE MILLION THUMBTACKS!!! And he landed BAD!! Knoxx jumps onto the swinging bit of fencing and DROPS AN ELBOW INTO THE THUMBTACKS!!!! Nick Gage enters the match. Okay, I need to take a breather, as the match gets CRAZY from here on in, so stick with me.
Still here? You should be. Gage drops down into the ring and goes after the Messiah. The sides are evenly matched up now. Adam Flash comes out and goes directly into the ring with a million thumbtacks. He goes after his ex-tag partner Ian Knoxx and they fight amongst the thumbtacks. Trent Acid begins walking back over the suspended cage towards the stage. Knoxx sees this so he tries to climb back up to the cage. As he hangs off it, Flash SPEARS him out of the air and DOWN INTO THE TACKS!!! That is HARDCORE. Lobo and Acid go at it on the suspended cage, and Flash joins them. The Wifebeater comes out just as B-Boy drags Zandig out of the cage, eliminating himself and Zandig. Beater and Acid brawl on the scaffolding above the ring. Flash DROPS A LEG off the scaffolding down into the ring on Gage. B-Boy props Zandig on a table on the outside of the ring. New Jack comes OFF THE CAGE AND SPLASHES THROUGH THE TABLE!!! That’s INSANE. Nate Hatred makes his entrance as Acid tries to crawl back across the suspended cage. Messiah, Gage, Lobo and Flash go at it in the ring, using various weapons. Knoxx and Acid are on the suspended cage, and they start brawling, in an INSANE spot, Acid gives Knoxx a YAKUZA kick and sends him FLYING OFF THE SUSPENDED CAGE THROUGH A TABLE!!! Oh My GOD that’s a huge drop. The table just SHATTERS and Knoxx is dead. I need another breath.
I apologize for all the caps, but I’m not finished yet. Gage and Acid go at it on the suspended cage as Hatred busts Wifebeater open. Acid sends Gage falling from the suspended cage down into the Tacks. Meanwhile, up on the scaffolding above the ring, Lobo fights with Johnny Kashmere and Hi-V manager Dewey Donovan. He then picks both Kashmere AND Donovan up in a DVD (that’s right, TWO men on his back), and gives them a â¦. DEATH VALLEY DRIVER OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE THROUGH FOUR TABLES!!! The tables just shatter and don’t break their fall, and EVERY fan in the arena is on their feet. Acid SPLASHES off the Suspended Cage down onto Gage in the thumbtacks but lands awkwardly on his hand. You can view a picture of Gage in the thumbtacks here. Messiah, Hatred and Flash beat on Wifebeater in the cage. For the record, Beater, Messiah, Hatred, Flash, Gage and Acid are the only ones still legal. The Hi-V put a chain around Beater’s neck and hang him from the scaffolding. Gage and Acid tussle on the apron of the thumbtack ring, and Gage hits the Chokebreaker, sending Acid to the floor, eliminating him. Gage returns to the Cage Of Death and beats on Hatred as Adam Flash makes it all the way back to the stage, the first person to do so. Wifebeater also makes it back to the stage as he chases Flash, making it 1-1. They come back across the cage, though officially they’re not in the match anymore. That doesn’t matter as Wifebeater gives Flash a SIDESLAM OFF THE CAGE INTO THE THUMBTACKS!!! Hatred and Messiah double team Gage in the ring. They set up a table and prop Gage on it. They both go up onto the scaffolding, but then Zandig comes on the mic, saying âHatred, NOW!â and Hatred TURNS ON THE HI-V!! He takes out Messiah on the scaffolding. Gage joins his old tag partner and they PRESS SLAM MESSIAH OFF THE SCAFFOLDING DOWN THROUGH THE TABLE!!! The H8 Club reunite on the scaffolding as Gage and Hatred embrace. Apparently now that Hatred has switched sides it is impossible for Messiah to win. Gage delivers some bootscrapes in the ring and they throw Messiah out to officially eliminate him and win the match at 30:57. I need another breath.
Still with me? Again, sorry about the caps, but that is without a doubt, the BEST hardcore, spotfest, main event I’ve ever seen. It was overbooked but you had multiple storylines all throughout the year being ended in the match, and it was all brilliance. While it was no technical wrestling classic, it was the right booking, and EXACTLY what the Cage Of Death match should be. Everyone put in a great effort, particularly the surprising efforts of Knoxx, Flash and B-Boy. With all the hype, with all the buildup, this match delivered in spades, featuring twists and turns and bumps galore. To view a picture of the Messiah bump, click here. This just has to be seen to be believed. ****3/4
The Verdict: – You NEED this. A few inoffensive little matches to start which aren’t great but aren’t bad, and once you hit the Iron Man Title match, everything from there is *** or higher, with two matches breaking ****. That’s a GREAT average, and this is a great event. Highly Recommended.
-You can get CZW tapes from www.smartmarkvideo.com, the original proprietors with the best service around.
-Check out www.czwfans.com for the best CZW discussion on the net.
-Big special thanks to WHACKS, the official CZW photographer, for letting me use those photos. You can check out the rest of his extensive albums at whacks.bizland.com.
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