So a lot has happened in the world of CZW since the last show I reviewed. I will try to go through most of those in my review of CZW’s biggest show of the year. Let’s see how it turned out.
CZW Cage of Death XVI
Voorhees, New Jersey 12/13/14
Kyle Francis (No idea who that is. I guess he's an interviewer?) introduces Santa Claus. Yes, you heard that right. Santa Claus showed up in CZW. Of course, the crowd chants “F**k You Santa”. He says everyone has been good this year, except for one. Before he could say who it is, DJ Hyde comes out. He says the fans don’t deserve s**t unless he gives it to them, and that they will do whatever he says and like it. He says if anyone deserves the best Christmas Gift in the world, it’s him. Hyde is then interrupted by Chris Dickinson, and it looks like our opening match is underway.
1.) Chris Dickinson vs. DJ Hyde: **3/4
Dickson plays nice with Santa Claus initially, before giving him the Pazuzu Bomb. Yep, of course Dickinson would do that to Santa Claus. This match saw a lot of brawling on the outside. They did get eventually get into the ring, and Dickinson was able to hit a Burning Hammer on DJ Hyde for the win. A decent opening match. Hyde got some offense it, but for the most part, Dickinson dominated.
2.) Papadon & Pepper Parks (with Cherry Bomb) vs. The Nation of Intoxication (Devon Moore & Lucky 13): **1/4
The team of Papadon, Pepper Parks & Cherry Bomb are known as The Body, The Bomb, & The God. The Nation of Intoxication spit beer on Parks & Papadon, and they attack in retaliation to start the match. There some decent action in this match, but it was a relatively short match. Cherry Bomb attempted to interfere towards the end of the match. She initially got caught, but the referee got shoved away, and she kicked Devon Moore in the nuts. With Moore down, this leads to Papadon & Parks taking advantage of Lucky 13 for the win.
3.) The Beavers Boys (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) vs. Team Tremendous (Dan Barry & Bill Carr with Dick Justice): ***1/2
So the story between these two teams revolves around Team Tremendous trying to arrest The Beaver Boys for crimes they have committed. I’m not exactly sure what they did, but they’re now on the wrong side of the law. If Team Tremendous win, they can arrest The Beaver Boys for their crimes, but if Silver & Reynolds win, all charges against them get dropped. This was a really good tag team match. There were a lot of crazy moves throughout this match, especially in the closing stages. We even saw Bill Carr hit a Canadian Destroyer, which is insane for a guy of his size. Towards the end of the match, Reynolds & Silver try to use a chair, but Dick Justice has a gun! Reynolds gets a donut, and throws it, and Dick Justice falls for it. Did that just happen? Unbelievable. This allows The Beaver Boys to use the chair and secure the victory. All charges against them are officially dropped.
After the match, Alex Reynolds & John Silver hoodwink Dick Justice and kidnap him. They throw them in the truck of their car, and drive away.
4.) CZW Wired TV Title – Shane Strickland vs. Joe Gacy: ***3/4
There was a really good video package that explained the backstory of this match. Strickland had a long road to the CZW Wired TV Title, and he held the title for a few months before losing it to Joe Gacy, who’s had his own trials & tribulations. Strickland quickly won the title back, turning heel in the process, setting up this match. Gacy also had issues with Strickland referring to himself as a “CZW Legend”.
This was actually a really good match. The wrestling was pretty good, and with the story they were trying to tell, it really felt like this match had serious stakes, which makes any wrestling match better. Towards the end of the match, Strickland tries to walk out, but the Nation of Intoxication block the entranceway, and force him back in. This leads to a great exchange in the closing minutes, and in the end, Joe Gacy gets the win and captures the CZW Wired TV Title! I really enjoyed this. When you combine a good wrestling match with an engaging story, you usually get something great, as was the case here.
As Gacy goes to the back, the camera cuts to Tim Donst! He criticizes the hardcore style of CZW wrestlers, as well as the CZW fans. Donst says he’s going to save pro-wrestling.
5.) Ultraviolent Food Fight – Matt Tremont & Buxx Belmar vs. Greg Excellent & Sexxxy Eddy (with Chrissy Rivera & Mama Excellent): *1/2
So this is a match that is actually happen. We are actually having an Ultraviolent Food Fight. Matt Tremont & Greg Excellent each have a mystery partner, who are revealed to be Buxx Belmar & Sexxxy Eddy, respectively. I’m not going to go into this match in detail, because it was pretty disgusting. All I will say is that Greg Excellent & Sexxy Eddy won the match. The two teams shake hands after the match.
Up next, we have an in ring segment with a wrestler known as The Preacher. He’s a younger wrestler, who suffered a broken neck in a horrific accident during a six-way match at the previous CZW show, Night of Infamy. He thanks the CZW wrestlers and the fans for all of their support. He says he will recover and he will be back. Alex Colon, the man who injured The Preacher, comes out. He says that the CZW locker room is family, and says that he’s sorry…that The Preacher is such a pussy. The woman who was with The Preacher (either a family member or his girlfriend, I’m not sure), gets in front of Colon, to prevent him from going after The Preacher, but Mike Bailey comes out and makes the save. The rest of the participants for the next match then come out.
6.) Best Of The Best Qualifying Match – Six-Man Scramble – Alex Colon vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Caleb Konley vs. David Starr vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. AR Fox: ***1/2
So the way this match works is that the winner will be the first person entered into the Best Of The Best Tournament, while the loser will be barred from participating. As you would expect, this was an action packed match, filled with high-octane offense and aerial insanity. During the match, everyone gets into a strike exchange, and even the referee gets caught up in it. He punches David Starr! When he realized what he had done, he starts running wild on everyone!!! He even hit Alex Colon with the GTS. That was pretty crazy. Eventually, Jonathan Gresham gets the win, becoming the first entrant into the Best Of The Best Tournament. He pinned David Starr, thus barring him from the tournament.
After the match, they show a bunch of post-match promos from the match participants. In particular, I want to focus on David Starr. He announced that he has fulfilled his obligations with CZW, and will be leaving the promotion. I feel like this may have to do with a controversy from earlier in the year that led to JT Dunn & Kimber Lee leaving CZW.
7.) CZW Junior Heavyweight Title – Alexander James vs. Rich Swann: **3/4
The Revelation accompanies James to ringside. At this point, I believe his CZW Junior Heavyweight Title is still “honorary”, and I guess is technically still inactive? I don’t know what the deal is. Here, James is taking on Rich Swann. It was a decent match, that was hampered by a lot of interference from The Revelation, which including pulling the referee when Swann had the match won. All of this interference allows James to pick up the win.
After the match, Swann is attacked by a guy dressed all in black. Black hoodie, black ski mask, the works. After his attacks, he exits through the crowd, leaving as quickly as he came.
8.) CZW Tag Team Titles – OI4K vs. The American Wolves: ***3/4
Now here’s a match that I was looking forward to. One of the good things about TNA loosing their restrictions on where talents can work is that we see sights like this. Who would have ever though we would see The American Wolves in a CZW ring? Here, they’re challenging OI4K for the CZW Tag Team Titles. As you would expect, this was a really good match. Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards are just so good as a tag team, that it’s hard for them to have a bad match with anyone. Lots of really solid tag team action throughout this one. At one point, The Wolves isolated Jake Crist for a good period until he eventually made the tag to his brother, Dave Crist. After a hard fought contest, OI4K are able to get the huge win over Richards & Edwards, retaining their CZW Tag Team Titles.
9.) CZW World Title – Cage of Death Match – Sozio vs. Biff Busick vs. Drew Gulak vs. BLK Jeez: **3/4
Like I said in the beginning, a lot of things have happened since the last show I reviewed from CZW. Biff Busick was finally able to unseat his rival Drew Gulak to win the CZW World Title. The Front were on top of CZW, and Busick held the title for a few months, but things soon changed. Sozio, who had earned a favor from CZW Owner DJ Hyde, cashed in a surprise title shot, and dethroned Busick to win the CZW World Title, turning the rest of The Front on Busick in the process. Gulak & BLZ Jeez soon entered the title picture, which leads us to this match. In an interesting note, BLK Jeez is the only person in this match who has been in Cage of Death before, but he also the only person in this match who hasn’t held the CZW World Title.
There are five black bags hanging above the Cage of Death. Four of them are above the corners of the cage, with tiny platforms to stand on so you can get them, and one is able the middle of the ring. Lots of weapons, including Panes of Glass, were used. The first bag was retrieved by Sozio, and it had two Barbed Wire Baseball Bats inside. Sozio then retrieved the 2nd bag, and it has a bunch of kitchen supplies, like steel bowls & cooking sheets. The Front attempts to interference, but Busick tosses one of them (Nicholas Kaye) off the cage and onto the rest of The Front. Busick retrieves the 3rd bag, and it’s a staple gun with CZW stickers. I don’t need to say what’s happening with those. The Front sets up tables on the outside. As Busick tries to get another bag, he’s caught by Sozio & The Front, and they pull him off the cage and send him through a table, eliminating him. Gulak retaliates by knocking Corvis off the cage and through a table with a pane of glass on it. Gulak then grabs the 4th bag, and it’s light tubes. After a bunch of light tubes were used, Gulak is eliminated by Sozio after he hit a tombstone piledriver onto a bunch of light tubes. The Front gets a ladder so Sozio could get the final bag, and it’s a weed whacker!!! BLK Jeez gives Sozio an ace crusher from the top rope through a pain of glass. Sozio then hits a double stomp using a chair from the top of the cage. That was crazy. Just as I say that, BLK Jeez cuffs Sozio to the cage, and goes to use the weed whacker! He uses it!! Sozio soon passes out from the pain, and BLK Jeez wins the CZW World Title.
I don’t think this Cage of Death was as good as the one I saw from Cage of Death XV. I feel like part of that is because that Cage of Death Match somewhat set the standard when it comes to what should I expect from a Cage of Death match, with all of it’s death defying stunts. Having guys like Biff Busick & Drew Gulak, who are guys that are the complete opposite of this type of style, in this match probably had an effect on it as well. It wasn’t nearly as crazy as last year’s Cage of Death. I think another reason why I thought last year’s was better might have to do with the fact that it was a War Games/Lethal Lockdown/Steel Cage Warfare style of match, with two teams of four, and guys entering at fixed intervals. Having everyone in the match from the start takes away from the match, in my view. I know it’s hard to do a War Games style of match if you don’t have enough wrestlers in a faction to comprise two teams, but maybe they could have thrown two more guys in there and started the match with two and had fixed intervals. I guess what I’m trying to say is that last year’s Cage of Death gave me a certain set of expectations about a Cage of Death Match, and for various reasons, this match didn’t live up to them.
So like other shows from CZW that I’ve reviewed, this show had a lot of ups & downs. You started off with two decent matches, before the show really picked up steam with The Beaver Boys vs. Team Tremendous, and a very good match between Shane Strickland & Joe Gacy for the CZW Wired TV Title, which had a great combination of in-ring action and storytelling. The show then hit a low point (in my view, at least), with the disgusting Ultraviolent Food Fight. Things then picked up again with another set of really good matches, such as the Six-Man Scramble and a CZW Tag Team Title Match between OI4K & The American Wolves. The show concluded with the annual Cage of Death Match, that I feel didn’t live up to expectations, despite the fact that the CZW World Title changed hands.