Friday, May 15, 2015

CZW 15th Anniversary Show Review

AJ Styles comes to the Combat Zone!

Yes, I have once again ventured into the world of CZW. There were a few shows from 2014 that peaked my interest (for specific reasons), so I decided to give them a look. On this particular show, the hook is AJ Styles wrestling Drew Gulak. Let's see how this show turned out.

CZW 15th Anniversary Show
Voorhees, New Jersey 2/8/14

1.) Joe Gacy vs. Shane Strickland: ***

Strickland's entrance music is "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5 (known recently for being featured in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy), which is pretty awesome. I thought this was a good, solid wrestling match. Nothing much else to say, really. Shane Strickland wins, and we're off to a good start.

Tommy Dreamer is out next. He welcomes everyone to the show, and thanks them for helping CZW make it to 15 Years. He says one thing he learned in ECW was about being honest to the fans. This leads into him announcing that Ruckus wasn’t at the show tonight. He also said that Biff Busick has a knee injury and won’t be in the scheduled Four-Way Match later in the night, but notes a surprise will take his place, with the winner facing the CZW World Champion next month. He then announced that there will be a special bonus Main Event for all of the CZW Fans. This brings out CZW Owner DJ Hyde. He says he has respect for Dreamer, but reminds him that he is the boss of CZW. This makes him Dreamer’s boss, and that he works for DJ Hyde. Dreamer tells Hyde to not disrespect him, and reiterates that the Bonus Main Event is still on for tonight before leaving.

DJ Hyde then makes an announcement for Tournament of Death XIII (which I most certainly will not be watching), saying that it will be June 14th, and that the first two entrants will be the defending Tournament of Death winner Danny Havoc, and Big Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Jun Kasai. He then announces the newest addition to the CZW Hall of Fame….himself! What a prick. This brings out BLK Jeez. He says all of the wrestlers are laughing at him, and calls him the biggest piece of s**t in all of pro-wrestling. He says people talk negatively about CZW because of Hyde, blames him for Ruckus not being there, and says CZW would be better if John Zandig was back in charge. BLK Jeez then slaps DJ Hyde across the face, and says he’s adding himself to the Four-Way Match later in the night, and calls him a “fat ass” before leaving.

2.) Pepper Parks vs. Caleb Konley: **3/4

Much like the opener, there really isn't much to say here, other than I thought it was a solid match. Pepper Parks is a guy who I think should get more bookings elsewhere, and we know all about Caleb Konley from his time in Dragon Gate USA & Evolve. In this encounter, Konley would score the win.

3.) Joey Ryan vs. Greg Excellent: *1/2

Well, this should be an interesting encounter. Joey Ryan is being all sleazy, and Greg Excellent is being all....disgusting. So there were a lot of things going on here. Excellent steals Ryan’s lollipop during a headlock, but then Ryan steals it back. Gross. Ryan then rubs the lollipop in his chest hair, and puts it down his trunks before sticking it in Excellent’s mouth, and he actually enjoys it. No joke, this all actually happened. Towards the end of the match, Pepper Parks tries to help Joey Ryan, but it backfires, and Greg Excellect pins Joey Ryan with his crotch in Ryan’s fact to score the win.

Greg Excellent says that he left Pepper Parks’ wife, Cherry Bomb, at home (I think he won her at Cage of Death XV, the story being that Pepper Parks & Cherry Bomb are fitness nuts and Greg't). He says he is CZW, and if Parks wants to face him next month, he’ll put Cherry Bomb on the line.

4.) CZW Wired TV Title – Devon Moore vs. Matt Tremont: **3/4

I believe Moore just recently won the CZW Wired TV Title from Alex Colon. I thought this was a fine match, though a relatively short one (for a title match). Moore got busted open (I think) on his chin, and there was a bit of blood on his chest. Eventually, Moore would get the win with a Sunset Flip. 

After the match, Matt Tremont goes after Devon Moore. He goes to use a BBQ Fork on Moore but The Nation of Intoxication make the save.

5.) Candice LeRae vs. Kimber Lee: ***

Here's one of the matches I was looking forward to on this card. Kimber Lee (who is part of Drew Gulak's Campaign for a better Combat Zone) takes the mic prior to the match. She says that Christina Von Eerie is “indisposed”, and that she will beat Candice tonight (I'm guessing Christina Von Eerie was Candice LeRae's original opponent). 

This was a pretty solid women's match. These two are great women's wrestlers, so it was no surprise that this was good. There was some interference, as Alexander James (honorary CZW Junior Heavyweight Champion, and also a member of Drew Gulak's campaign) got involved while Kimber Lee has the referee distracted. Kimber Lee would eventually with a reverse Tombstone Piledriver.

6.) The Front (Ace Delic & Sozio) vs. The Juicy Product (JT Dunn & David Starr) vs. OI4K (with Nevaeh) vs. The Nation of Intoxication (Danny Havoc & Lucky 13): ***

This is a match that shows off the depth of CZW's tag team division. It was fun for while it lasted. There were two big issues with this match. Firstly, they didn't even try to get together any semblance of a tag team match. They brawled right from the opening bell, and we rarely saw any tags. Secondly, the match was less than 6 minutes. Had it been long, I feel like it could have been really good. Still, the stuff that went on was entertaining enough. Sozio hits a big kick on JT Dunn to get the win for the win.

7.) CZW Tag Team Titles – The Beaver Boys (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) vs. Murderer’s Row (Azrieal & Alex Colon with Chrissy Rivera): ***1/2

I believe this is the 1st Defense for Reynolds & Silver, who won the titles at the previous show. This was actually a pretty good match. The Beaver Boys are a team on the rise on the indie scene, so it's cool to see them in action. Towards the end of the match, Rivera tries to bring one of the titles in, and she has a brief argument with Colon before getting superkicked by Silver for her troubles. There’s further dissension in Murderer’s Row, and Azrieal kicks one of the tag team title belts in Colon’s face, leading to The Beaver Boys getting the win.

After the match, Rivera yells at Colon while Azrieal hits a double stomp. Looks like Murderer's Row is finished.

8.) #1 Contender’s Fatal Four-Way Match – BLK Jeez vs. Chris Dickinson vs. AR Fox vs. Drake Younger: ***1/2

So, as mentioned earlier, Biff Busick was unable to compete in this match, so in his place is BLK Jeez. The winner of this match will get a CZW World Title Match at the next show. This was a pretty entertaining four-way match. You know it's going to be crazy when guys like Dickinson, Younger, & AR Fox are involved. A lot of really good action throughout this one. DJ Hyde comes out towards the end of the match and attacks BLZ Jeez. Younger gives AR Fox a Death Valley Drive from the top rope to the ring apron, but shortly thereafter, Dickinson hits Younger with a Pazuzu Bomb from the 2nd Rope, and he kicks out!! Holy Crap. It comes down to Fox & Younger, and Fox is able to hit the Lo Mein Pain to score the win.

Younger takes the mic after the match and says he loves CZW, and that they’ll see him again soon.

9.) CZW World Title – Drew Gulak vs. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles: ***3/4

So this is what we came to see. There was a big crowd in attendance to see this match. Huge “F**k TNA” to start. The Campaign tried to interfere early on, but all of them (expect Kimber Lee) were ejected from ringside almost immediately. The match ends when Styles goes for The Styles Clash, but Kimber Lee hits him with the CZW World Title. Despite the BS finish, this was still a really good World Title Match. Styles got his offense in, but to my surprise, Gulak dominated most of the contest, and really held his own against AJ Styles. A shame that it ended with a DQ, but we probably should have seen it coming.

Gulak goes to leave, but Kimber Lee is still in the ring. She tries to go after Styles, but Styles catches her and gives her the Styles Clash! MASADA then shows up, and he corners Gulak in the ring, allowing Styles to deliver the Styles Clash to Gulak.

So, as promised, we now have our Bonus Main Event. Danny Havoc comes out as a bunch of weapons are brought out to ringside. He says he’s proud to have been part of CZW since 2005, and he wants to face someone who epitomizes CZW in Drake Younger. He calls him down to the ring, and our Bonus Main Event is set.

10.) Bonus Main Event - Ultraviolent Death Match – Danny Havoc vs. Drake Younger: ***

You know, for this being an "Ultraviolent Death Match", it was pretty tame, and I'm not saying that's a bad thing. Of course, tons of plunder were involved, including Trash Can Lids, Chairs, a Barbed Wire Chair, Wet Floor Signs, a Ladder, and a Table. It was definitely hardcore, but it wasn't the type of overtly grotesque hardcore matches that CZW is know for. I thought it was perfectly fine. Danny Havoc would end up winning the match to close the show.

Overall: 7.5/10

I have to admit, this was a pretty solid show from CZW. Sure, the card had it's issues (like the best match on the show, the CZW World Title Match, ending in a screwy DQ finish because AJ Styles couldn't lose), but there was a lot of good wrestling on here. Joey Ryan vs. Greg Excellent is the only thing that I thought was bad (and that's because I'm not into the gross comedy, though I'm sure others are). Most of the matches are decent to relatively solid to pretty good. Besides the aforementioned CZW World Title, you had the CZW Tag Team Title Match and the #1 Contender's Fatal Four-Way, both of which were pretty good. You also had some other enjoyable matches including the opener, Kimber Lee vs. Candice LeRae, the Four-Way Tag Team (which was fun as far as clusterf*cks go), and even the Bonus Main Event (a relatively tame hardcore match by CZW standards).

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