STRETCHED IN SMYRNA LIVE REPORT
May 12, 2001
Mike Johnson Reporting
Pre-Show: We're here at Combat Zone Wrestling in Smryna, Delaware at the Firehouse. I mean Firehouse in the literal sense as this place is a active Firehouse and the trucks are parked in a lot across the street to make room for the show! Amazing! The main event of tonight's show will feature CZW Heavyweight champion Wifebeater vs. John Zandig in an "Ultraviolent Death Match." The fans in Smyrna are more than ready for this as I've seen lighttubes, including six of them taped together and a handle glued to the bottom to swing in AND thumb tacks glued to it. Japan's Minoru Fujita is in the house as well and will be making his CZW debut.
The show opened with ring announcer Dennis Shock coming to the ring. It looks like there is about 300-350 fans here tonight. Dennis tries to welcome the crowd but they chant for him to shut up. The opening match tonight features Adam Flash (who's worked a ton of Northeastern independent the last few years) taking on Nick Berk. They start off with exchanging chops in the corner. Flash charged Berk, who hiptosses him. Flash retreats and Berk goes for a sliding kick outside the ring but misses. Flash snaps him throatfirst over the ropes and hits a flying clothesline from the top rope for a near fall. Flash hits a neckbreaker and works over Berl. He hits a one handed chokeslam. Flash snaps Berk out of the corner by his legs, sending him down on his neck and back for a two count. Berk comes back with a side Russian legsweep. He goes to the top but Flash takes his legs out. Flash hits a frankensteiner from the top rope that gets a nice pop for a two count. Berk dodges a legdrop, leaving Flash crotched in the ropes. He hands him over the ropes and hits a quebrada. Berk follows it up with a great facebuster for a two count. Berk goes for a TKO, but Flash evades it. Berk hits an atomic drop into an forward facebuster for a two count. Berk charges Flash and jumps for a hurancanrana but is caught with a running power bomb. Flash dives off with a top rope legdrop but misses. Berk hits a TKO variation for the pin. Good opener. Berk gets a nice response from the crowd as he leaves.
The second match is a Three-Way Dance as Ruckus takes on Jeff Rocker and "Fast" Eddie Valentine who is accompanied by Mac Smack. The match started with each competitor trying to get a quick pinfall. Ruckus hit a superkick on Rocker, who came back with a DDT. Ruckus backdropped Valentine over the top to the floor. He signaled for a dive but was rolled into a crucifix by Rocker. Ruckus dove over the top on both guys. All three brawled on the floor. Rocker went for a powerbomb but was flipped over by Valentine. The referee counted two but they bridged out. Rocker suplexed him over but before he could work him over, Ruckus was back in the ring. Ruckus hit a handspring elbow in one corner on Rocker then charged into a frankensteiner on Valentine. Rocker hit a Head and Arms Tazplex on Ruckus. Valentine hit a spinning DDT out of the corner on Rocker, but was hit with a Japanese armdrag by Ruckus. Ruckus went to the top rope and hit a twisting moonsault press on both men which got a big pop. Rocker and Valentine doubleteamed Ruckus, but Rocker then turned on his would-be partner. Rocker then hit a diamond cutter on Ruckus, but before he could score the pin, Valentine hit him and made the cover. Your winnner, Fast Eddie Valentine.
The third match featured Mac Smack and Eddie Valentine coming back out to the ring, this time leading Jon Dahmer to the ring. Mac Smack took the mic and talked about the Z-Barr running his mouth off and said he made homosexual remarks about the lackey of John Zandig's Big Dealz Faction. Mac Smack said Z-Barr was their Buffalo and it was Buffalo Season. Out came Z-Barr to the serena sounds of Skid Row's "Youth Gone Wild." I bet my boy Jeremiah Evans in Cincy just popped for the Sebastian Bach reference, didn't you Jer? Z-Barr came out dressed like John Zandig, who he is a lackey for. Barr started out the match trying to work over Dahmer's arm but each attempt was quickly reversed. Barr kept trying to tie up Dahmer but was overpowered. Dahmer killed him with a clothesline and a suplex. Dahmer gave him a killer back suplex. Barr squealed as he was tossed in the air. Dahmer then hit a cradle suplex but somehow the Barr survived and kicked out. The barr kept squealing with each move. The Barr somehow hit an inverted spin doctor for a two count. The crowd was getting on his squeals. Barr hit a superkick and chopped Dahmer in the corner. Dahmer came back and took him down with one punch then began chopping him around the ring. Dahmer hit a killer Bubba slam but pulled up Barr at the count of two. Barr came back and hit a bodyslam. He went for a moonsault but missed. Dahmer finished him off with a delayed suplex. Your winner, John Dahmer. Buffalo season is over, folks. Barr was carried to the back. 2 points for effort?
The Midnight Express theme played, I popped and out came Trent Acid, sporting new dark hair. Acid was billed from South Philly, Japan. It was evident Acid has been working on his build. Trent Acid's opponent, making his CZW debut is Minoru Fujita. Fujita gets a big pop coming out. They shake hands at the bell but Acid jumps ggim when Fujita turns his back. He tosses him over the top but Fujita lands on his feet and jumps in with a dropkick. Acid retreats to the floor. Fujita holds the ropes open and dares him to return. When he returns to the ring, Acid asks to shake hands. They do and Fujita bows, only to be kicked hin the chest. They begin to trade matwork. Acid retreats during an exchange to the floor but turns right into a dive through the ropes by Fujita. Fujita whips Acid across the floor into a wall. Fujita drags him back to the ring and hits a nasty dropkick to Acid's face while Trent is in a sitting position. He works over Trent's knee and hit a dragon screw legwhip. He locks on a leglock but Acid gets to the ropes. Fujita goes to springboard the ropes into the ring but Acid connects with a kick in mid-air. He locks a camel clutch on Fujita who gets to the ropes to force a break. Acid stomps his back. Acid spins and gives Fujita a backbreaker across his knee. He locks an upper Boston Crab (aka the Walls of Jericho) on but Fujita gets to the ropes. Acid drapes a knee over his throat to choke him. Acid nearly got a three with a powerbomb variation but Fujita kicked up. Acid goes outside and gets a chair, then another and another, totalling four in the end. He works over Fujita with some chops but out of nowhere Fujita hits a hurancanrana for a near fall. Acid cuts him off. Acid ascends to the top but Fujita dropkicks his legs out from under him. Fujita sets up the chairs across from each other and a third above them. He hits a frankensteiner off the top onto the chairs on Acid getting a two count. Fujita holds a chair and swings, but misses. Acid hits a flying bodypress off the top but Fujita rolls through for a near fall. Fujita goes a for a rocker dropper, Acid tries to reverse but Fujita rolls forward into a rollup for a near fall. Acid hit a mafia kick on Fujita for a near fall. Acid goes for his finisher, the Acid Wash (an inverted Razor's Edge) when Johnny Kashmere comes out and grabs his legs. Fujita escapes and suplexes Acid on his head for the pinfall. Your winner, Fujita. Kashmere takes the mic and says once again he's come to Delaware to find out he doesn't have a match. He said that he needs to face Acid to prove himself but they feed Acid to the new guy. Zandig comes out with Z-Barr and tells Kashmere that he's been whining about wanting a shot but hasn't proven a thing to him. Kashmere asks him to give him that chance. Zandig says that Acid just wrestled for 15 minutes and now Kashmere wants a chance? Kashmere says he does. Zandig says that after Acid rests, after intermission tonight, maybe he will give Kashmere the shot. Zandig announces that later in the show, Acid and Kashmere will meet. Fujita got a nice pop leaving. Later on tonight, Trent Acid vs Johnny Kashmere, the battle of the Backseat Boyz!
The next match featured The Spanish Announce Team, Red and the Maximos (who are students of Mikey Whipwreck) accompanied by the Dew taking on the Briscoe Brothers. The Dew says he is going to make it a six man tag match and tells the Briscoes to pick any partner they want. They pick Ric Blade. The place pops huge for that announcement. The match starts with a triple dropkick on the SAT and then a triple asai moonsault from the top rope to the floor by Blade and the Briscoes. The place goes ballstic. It settles down into one of the Maximos and Blade. They trade manuevers and martial arts kicks. When they face off, the crowd gives them a round of applause. Red and one of the Briscoes tag in. He shoulderblocks Red down. They trade moves and try a dropkick at the same time. They come to their feet and face off to a nice round of applause. The other Maximo and the other Briscoe tag in. Maximo kills Briscoe with a clothesline. The SAT triple team the Briscoe. One Maximo locks him in a bow and arrow while the other locks on a dragon sleeper. Red comes off the top rope with a stomp to the stomach. Sick! Red and Blade nearly face off (can you say dream match?) but the Maximos attack him. They work over Blade. Red tags in and hits a spinkick in the corner. He tags in a Maximo who trades kicks with Blade. As Blade gets the upper hand, Red and the other Maximo attack him with stereo springboard dropkicks. One of the Maximos goes for a moonsault off the top rope but misses. One of the Briscoes tags in and goes for a senton off the top on the Maximo, who moves. The other Maximo misses a moonsault on the Briscoe. Blade misses a moonsault on the Maximo. Red goes a spinning dive off the top and misses Blade. The other Briscoe misses a senton drop off the top. Blade hits a KiKrusher on the Maximo for a near fall. The other hits him with a belly to back suplex. One of the Briscoes hits a nasty powerbomb on Maximo. Red hits a springboard shooting star press on the Briscoe but the other one kicks him in the head. He hits Red with a spicoli driver. The crowd chants "F--- the Hardyz." The madness continues with a sick move- Brisco #1 on the shoulders of Briscoe #2 and Briscoe #2 on the shoulders of Blade. They then hit one hell of a superplex on Red. The Maximos hit a just as insane double superplexon one of the Briscoes. The Briscoes and Blade hit a triple dropkick to the head of one of the Maximos while he was on his knees. They lock the Maximo into a camel clutch with a chair in front of his face. Blade does a tremendous dive off the top rope, dropkicking the chair. The Briscoes take turns hitting moonsaults and sentons on him. Blade hits a spinning press off the top rope for the pinfall. Amazing six man tag! If you like Michinoku Pro Wrestling, this one is for you!
The Briscoes turn to walk out but the Dew gets on the mic. He tells them not to walk out as they might want to check where their parents are sitting. He tells them that if they don't leave the ring with him (he is/was their manager), something will happen to them. Nick Hatred and someone else I can't recognize is over by the Briscoe's parents, threatening them. With no choice, the Briscoes leave with the Dew. The SATs leave to a nice pop.
The next match is Trent Acid vs. Johnny Kashmere. Acid comes out with Z-Bar, who is bandaged up from his beating earlier tonight and carrying a chair. Kashmere comes out and they start out hot. Kashmere takes out Barr and backdrops Acid over the top to the floor. He does a senton dive off the top rope to the floor on Acid. Back in the ring, Johnny hits a fisherman's buster then locks on a submission lock similar to the Great Muta's. Barr hits him with a chair but Kashmere takes him out. Kashmere opens the chair and backdrops Acid on it chest and stomachfirst. Sickening! Kashmere does another dive to the floor on Barr and Acid. Acid whips Johnny into a row of chairs to the right side of the arena. They brawl back towards the ring. Acid goes for a spinning DDT off the ropes but Kashmere avoids it. He and Acid battle in the corner, culminating with Acid hitting a facebuster off the ropes for a two count. Acid goes for the Inverted Razor's Edge but Kashmere avoids it. Kashmere goes for a suplex but barr breaks it up. he picks up Barr for a supolex but drops him headfirst on his knee. Acid hits a Mafia kick, but Johnny hits one of his own. Johnny goes for a victory roll but Trent held up and ended up on top and scored the pin. Your winner, Trent Acid. Both guys hugged after the match. Zandig came out to the ring irate screaming at Acid saying he's been carrying Johnny forever and he should know he's one of the Big Dealz and they don't tolerate people like Johnny. He attacks Johnny and hits a bubbaslam on him while Acid tells him not to do it. Zandig presses Kashmere over his head and runs, sending him into the crowd. He tells Zandig the stipulation for the last match was loser leaves town and Johnny is fired.
Wifebeater hits the ring and breaks a lighttube over Zandig's head. He beats another one over his head, then his back. I'd say the CZW heavyweight championship match is on. A board wrapped in barbed wire is brought to the ring by Justice Pain. Zandig, who is now bleeding, is suplexed into the barbed wire board by Pain. The place pops huge. They start tying up Zandig's arms and legs to the ring corners and collecting light tubes from the crowd. Pain breaks a collection of tubes over his back, then another. They light candles and if you can believe this, drip the hot wax into his wounds. Nick Mondo hits the ring and breaks a tube over someone's head and a wild brawl is on. CZW Iron Man champion Lobo hit the ring and broke light tubes over the head sof Mondo. Zandig was taken out on a stretcher. Pain did a running dive off a chair into the crowd on several CZW performers. A secnd barbed wire board is in play as well. This is absolutely off the charts insane. Everyone is battling around the ring with trashcans, chairs and the like. The crowd is loving it and are all on their feet- it's like being at a punk concert. Nick Hatred suplexes Justice Pain on the floor. The brawl just continues on with no end in sight. Most of the guys are bleeding and with the way the crowd is standing, there's no real way to say who's doing what but it's pretty insane. Even RF Video's Doug Gentry has been cut and is bleeding bad from flying glass. I was hit with a piece of broken crutch and I'm a good 10-15 feet from the ring. Nick Hatred and Lobo brawl towards the entranceway. Zandig returns with a weed whacker! He zaps Wifebeater in the back, then presses him and drops him down into a tiger bomb on ten light tubes for the pin. Zandig is the new CZW champion. Zandig takes the mic and says that everytime Wifebeater gets involved with Justice Pain, he ends up a loser. Zandig says tonight the Big Dealz stand triumphant.
STRETCHED IN SMYRNA THOUGHTS
What does one say about a main event that features somewhere in the area of 30 light tubes, a weedwhacker, two barbed wire board, hot candle wax and endless amounts of weapons from the crowd, blood, and brawling squeezed into a fifteen minute span? Beats the hell out of me!
I really enjoyed my first Combat Zone Wrestling show held outside the confines of the state of New Jersey and their "Extreme Wrestling" silliness although I can't say I wasn't disturbed by the amount of brutality the performers put themselves through in the main event. While all that will be remembered when all was said and done is the insanity of the main event, there was a ton of great wrestling and angles underneath. I would highly suggest the tape to anyone who likes hard working performers and high spots as well as those of you who fit into the "vampire/garbage" style of fandom just for the main event.
When I arrived at the building, I was informed that a good portion of the lineup had changed. One scheduled surprise (Winger from Big Japan) was going to be held off until the Junior tournament the following week, but they would be giving fans the long awaited Trent Acid vs. Johnny Kashmere bout CZW has been building to for several weeks instead. Some matches were scrapped to include workers in the show closing brawl.
Some thoughts on the show, match by match:
The opener with Nick Berk taking on Adam Flash was solid. I've seen Flash look crisper in the past but Berk did a great job of working the match. It was just what an opener should be, enough to get the crowd into the show without going all out "spotty" with a million moves.
The three way dance between Eddie Valentine, Ruckus and Rocker was enjoyable. It was funny to see Rocker announced from Smyrna only to be booed. Ruckus is one hell of an athlete, weighing in somewhere at 300 pounds and doing space flying tiger drops and handspring elbows. I almost want to compare him to the 1996 version of John Kronus but seeing how Kronus bottomed out in the end, that may not be a good thing. I'd love to see what Ruckus could do if he dropped some more weight and added a bit more speed. A solid match although I don't really care for three-ways that end with one pinfall.
John Dahmer vs. Z-Barr was a hoot. Barr, who is the weasely lackey for the Big Dealz faction showed some fire refusing to give up, even though he was outweighed and outwrestled. Barr is probably my favorite lackey-esque character in wrestling since Stevie Richards and the Blue Meanie. His squealing as he was beaten down was hysterical. The crowd was really into getting on his case too.
Trent Acid vs Minoru Fujita was a good match, but given the capabilities of both performers, I don't think they scratched the surface of what they are capable of yet. The crowd was into the angle with Johnny Kashmere big time as well.
The six man tag featuring the SATs taking on the Briscoes and Ric Blade was beyond amazing. If you are into the insanely aerial Michinoku Pro six man tag team matches, this one is a must see for you. Mikey Whipwreck has done a phenomenal job with his students. The superplex Red took while three men were on the shoulders of the others was sick and amazing. The post match angle with the Dew sending out heels to threaten the Briscoes parents to make sure they stayed under his employ was great as well. The six man may have been the first great independent classic of the 21st century style of wrestling.
While the Trent Acid vs Johnny Kashmere match was short, it was an interesting twist in the storyline of Kashmere trying to get respect out of CZW owner John Zandig by defeating his former partner. Acid and Kashmere did some great back and forth stuff culminating with the heel (Acid) getting a clean pinfall out of nowhere reversing a victory roll using the Owen vs Bret Wrestlemania 10 finish. After the match Zandig buried Kashmere, pressing and throwing him into the crowd and announcing that the previous match had been a loser leaves town match. Acid was playing up that he respected his former partner and didn't want to see Zandig beat him down. I've seen a few places report that Kashmere was indeed fired, so we'll have to see.
Which brings us to the main event which I watched with great interest, knowing they would try to outdo the "Fans Bring the Weapons" match that made Jun Kasai a cult figure on the Internet the last time they were in Smyrna. It was utter absolute chaos. Lobo, Nate Hatred, Nick Gage, Zandig, Wifebeater, Justice Pain and others just literally beat the hell out of each other. The sight and sound of the weedwhacker ripping through the flesh of Wifebeater was one of the most out of this world, sickly things I have ever witnessed. The brawl was very intense, perhaps too intense as I was struck with a piece of wood although I was nowhere near the brawl and RF Video's Doug Gentry had his face and hands sliced up by flying pieces of glass. Jim Quigley said to me last night that it was beyond anything ECW had ever done during it's run. Viewer discretion advised indeed!
Notes & Thoughts: The Ultraviolent brawl may have been too over the top for the Fire House as there was a lot of talk that CZW may have run their last show there. While Zandig was cutting a post-match promo after the main event, a police officer (who I didn't notice all night) instructed the sound crew to kill the power and then oversaw the crowd disperse. One person who was involved with the building that I spoke to last night felt that while everything they did was entertainment, it was the wildest he had seen and it went beyond what he felt was acceptable for the local community. Of course, the first question that came to mind for me was, "Where was he last month?" While word last night was they had lost the building, I was told today discussions were still ongoing. It should be noted that the crowd, which seemed like being at a punk rock show to me, absolutely loved every second of the event.
I've gotten a good amount of emails about the long-term future of CZW lately. Can they continue beating each other with light tubes and the like and expand? Absolutely not in my opinion. All it will take is one politician going after them looking to make a name for themself and CZW will be done, banned from building after building with nowhere to run.
When the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission is even cracking down on blood in the former ECW Arena, the environment is just not right for over the top violence in today's marketplace if the promotion wants to expand into something much larger than they are now. If CZW can temper their product as they look into television clearances and the like, it could help them a tenfold. If not, they chance running into a lot of problems that could easily be avoided in the first place.
Make no doubt about it. CZW doesn't need to do the "Ultraviolent" brand of wrestling by any stretch. They have more than enough solid performers underneath they can use as a core group of workers. That's easy to see just looking at the lineup for their tournament next week (which you can find later in this column). Whether they ever do that or not? That's all up to the CZW braintrust. If they are happy being where they are and doing that style, more power to them and they've got their niche for sure. If they decide to make changes, it wouldn't hurt their product in the least. Either way, it will be an interesting story to follow in the weeks and months to come as the promotion has a TV timeslot in the works locally and DVD releases forthcoming.