CAGE OF DEATH 4
Mike Johnson Reporting
Combat Zone Wrestling presented their biggest show of the year "Cage of Death 4" on Saturday 12/14 at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, PA in front of a crowd estimated to be 800-900 fans. Full results of the show saw:
*John Zandig defeated Lobo in the Cage of Death to become the new CZW Owner by capturing the contract hanging above the Cage after sending Lobo crashing from the top of the Cage through a piece of plate glass that was placed between two chairs and a table. They gimmicked the ring so that the middle collapsed with the bump. Among the weapons in the Cage were an electrified fence, a Cactus, and trash cans.
*In a 10 Man Elimination match, New School (GQ & Chris Cash), Danny Rose, Rockin' Rebel, and Greg Matthews (Tough Enough 1) defeated the team of the Irish Drinking Team (Chris Stylz & Ian Knoxx), Jon Dahmer, Adam Flash, and Derek Frazier with Cash being the lone survivor pinning Knoxx.
*In a Handicap match, Z-Barr defeated Rick Feinberg and the Hurricane Kid.
*In a submission match, Nick Berk defeated Josh Prohibition.
*Sonjay Dutt defeated M-Dogg 20 and Ruckus in a Three-Way Dance.
*CZW Tag Team Champions the H8 Club (Nick Gage & Nate Hatred) defeated B-Boy and Chris Hero.
*The Backseat Boyz defeated Nick Mondo and Ric Blade in a TLC Match when Johnny Kashmere pinned Blade. Kashmere was believed to have suffered a concussion during the bout.
*CZW Iron Man Champion the Messiah pinned Justice Pain to win the CZW Championship.
The promotion announced they would return to the ECW Arena on 12/28 with a 1 PM Matinee belltime, prior to the scheduled 3PW event in the same venue that day. More details and my thoughts on the event are forthcoming.
CZW CAGE OF DEATH 4 THOUGHTS
I attended Combat Zone Wrestling's Cage of Death 4 at the ECW Arena over the weekend. The show was what you would expect from CZW, in that is featured a high number of insane spots and bumps, some solid wrestling, and an extremely unique atmosphere.
After a phenomenal video package (one that rivaled the best WWE has done), The show actually opened with the main event of the Cage of Death. There was a miscue at the onset of the show when Lobo, the heel owner of the company got in the ring only to have some sort of pyrotechnic effect blow up on the Cage as he entered. He went down and was looked over but it was never sold. Later on, his first bump into the Cage was that very spot, after they teased having electric current turned onto the cage. Obviously, and unfortunately, the effect was accidentally triggered. They did an angle before the match where John Zandig was attacked and laid out backstage with light tubes (the Commission bans them on the show? Use them in a pre-tape! Brilliant!) and they teased he forfeited the match, but a bloody Zandig came out for the bout.
This wasn't a pretty match to watch in the opening moments, but the insane bumps made up for the work inside the ring. Lobo actually hit a Death Valley Driver off the top of the cage's scaffolding to the floor through several tables. It ended with Zandig capturing the contract hanging above the Cage after sending Lobo crashing from the top of the Cage through a piece of plate glass that was placed between two chairs and a table. They gimmicked the ring so that the middle collapsed with the bump. Among the weapons in the Cage were an electrified fence, a Cactus, and trash cans. An amazing spectacle.
The undercard was highlighted by a really entertaining Three-Way Dance where Sonjay Dutt defeated M-Dogg 20 and Ruckus. This was my second time seeing Dutt and he's a great worker. Ruckus continues to do moves no one his size can do. The best comparison I can make to him (and this isn't an insult to Ruckus) is that he's similar to John Kronus in terms of a guy who's really big and hits moves that logic says he can't. MDogg 20 is a great athlete but this performance wasn't as notable as his previous ones.
Another really fun match on the undercard was a TLC bout that saw The Backseat Boyz defeat Nick Mondo and Ric Blade when Johnny Kashmere pinned Blade. Kashmere was believed to have suffered a concussion during the bout. Backseats are easily the crown jewels of the company in terms of look, charisma, and star power. Their ring entrance alone makes them stand out against the rest of the crew. This match featured the most resilient ladder I've ever seen as several times it was bent into insane positions only to continue unscathed. Mondo looked really good here. Blade seemed a bit off, but they made the smart booking move here in having him pinned in his return bout.
The four hour plus show ended with CZW Iron Man Champion the Messiah pinned Justice Pain to win the CZW Championship. This was just OK as I think the crowd was heavily burnt out by the long show by the time they got into the ring. I know I was sitting and waiting for the pin, because I was so exhausted from the day.
Other Undercard Results & Thoughts: CZW Tag Team Champions the H8 Club (Nick Gage & Nate Hatred) defeated B-Boy and Chris Hero. What a weird pairing for the challengers. Boy is solid. Hero didn't seem to get over with the crowd...he New School (GQ & Chris Cash), Danny Rose, Rockin' Rebel, and Greg Matthews (Tough Enough 1) defeated the team of the Irish Drinking Team (Chris Stylz & Ian Knoxx), Jon Dahmer, Adam Flash, and Derek Frazier with Cash being the lone survivor pinning Knoxx. This was quick and to the point. Wow the fans hate Rockin' Rebel....In a Handicap match, Z-Barr defeated Rick Feinberg and the Hurricane Kid. Barr hit a Tiger Driver '91. He's gotten much bigger since the last time I saw him and his ring entrance is really great.....In a submission match, Nick Berk defeated Josh Prohibition. This was a fun wrestling match and perfectly placed on the card.
Quick Thoughts on the Show: It's pretty scary to think how banged up the top guys on the roster have gotten. Zandig looked to be hurting bad and hardly walking, Wifebeater has retired after just three years in the business, and Lobo was telling those backstage he was done after the COD match, and he had hardly wrestled over the last year. Zandig actually told the crowd that he wasn't even sure he was going to be able to work the match and had Wifebeater scheduled to come out for the bout as a backup if needed. When I watched Barry Blaustein's Beyond the Mat for the first time, I was amazed how much younger a good portion of the ECW performers featured had aged in the two years between the footage being shot and the time I saw the film, and CZW goes beyond what ECW asked of it's workers physically....Another amazing thing I always notice at CZW shows is the high percentage of women in the crowd. For a promotion that is so over the top with blood and violence, you'd think the ladies in the audience would be turned off. Then again, this is Philadelphia, a city that spawned a whole generation of hardcore fans when the backward ways of the locals (cheering heels and booing faces) was exposed nationally on ECW tapes, so go figure....The atmosphere at the CZW shows almost always makes CZW for me. While Ring of Honor, for example, is a very quiet and respectful crowd looking to show how smart and appreciative they can be, CZW is a very loose feeling, almost like a punk show where everyone gets along, and is yelling at the ring and even at each other all night....www.SmartMarkVideo.com is selling the video of the show. I'd highly suggest checking out their site as they do great work in general.