Welcome to coverage of CZW’s Proving Grounds iPPV from the Parkwood Youth Organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Kid Osbourne vs. Dustin Rayz
Dustin enters with graphics and the announcers make sure we know that Kid Osbourne has only had a single victory in 65 matches. They insult Kid Osbourne through the entire match.
Dustin starts with a lot of chops and kicks while Kid gets in next to no offense, and the match is over in less than 2 minutes. Simple overpowering squash match with the return of Dustin from a broken leg
Winner: Dustin Rayz
Niles Young vs. Alex Colon
Niles Young is billed as “The Filthy Italian” and Alex comes in to music that has quotes from Scarface in it. To be honest, I have no idea who the heel is and who the face is.
They start quickly, going out to the floor almost immediately. Once they are back in the ring, they trade kicks. Alex gets in a poorly executed reverse go to sleep for a two count. Niles takes the offensive side of the match, goes up to the top rope, but takes too long as Alex hits a muscle buster for another near fall. Niles reverses and gets a quick two count. He follows up with a second two count. When he attempts to give a clothesline in the corner, Alex sidesteps, drives him to the mat for a three count. Another quick match, some big spots, but it felt as if they had five minutes or so to work in their big spots and rush to the finish.
Winner: Alex Colon
The Pay Per View Begins
Larry Legend welcomes us to the PPV, and he hypes up the show and reminds us of the main event. He reminds us that the show is for Mature Audiences and that there will be violence, and there will be blood in the matches. He introduces the referees, lets the audience know to stay behind the barricades and introduces the first match.
Match Number One: CZW Junior Heavyweight Championship: BLK Jeez vs. Drake Younger
BLK comes to the ring, rapping along with his theme music. Drake enters to scattered cheers from the crowd. Blk antagonizes the crowd for a bit after his introduction while Drake is introduced to sheers. Announcers remind us that he has only had the title for a week. They start with a handshake (code of honor?) then hookup with BLK controlling the first lockup. Second lockup Drake controls, and they run the ropes, moving out to the floor. Drake sidesteps a baseball slide and follows up by climbing back into the ring and going off the top onto Blk on the floor. Drake tosses him back in the ring for a two count. Drake is able to hold up BLK upside down for almost 30 seconds before dropping him down into another 2 count. They exchange chops, Drake gets a bulldog for another two count. In the next exchange, BLK gets in a low blow the ref doesn't see and gets a two count. BLK controls the match now, dropping Drake for another two count. When Drake is able to get in some offense, BLK is able to stop it. Lots of work in the corner. Black is able to get in enough offense for a power bomb and a two count. Nice little series of trading moves which ends with BLK kicking Drake out of the ring and following up with a leap from the top rope. Drake is thrown back in the ring for a series of two counts. Drake is able to reverse when they are in the rope for a two count...they trade two counts with Drake breaking up a count with a foot on the ropes. Drake hits his finisher “Drakes Landing” and is able to score the pin.
Winner: Drake Younger
Nice match with both competitors looking strong, but Drake coming out just a little bit smarter in trading moves. BLK Jeez is left in the ring and there is a long period of referees and officials checking on his condition. BLK is carried from the ring by officials and the announcers tell us the BLK must be knocked out by the finishing move.
Match Number Two: Lucky tHURTeen vs. Ruckus
Ruckus is introduced with a long, funny series of pot references
Lucky attacks Ruckus before the bell, then tosses Ruckus out and leaps onto him from the third rope. Ruckus recovers and leaps on Lucky from the apron in a brutal looking move. They trade offense outside the ring with Ruckus doing acrobatics and Lucky just attacks. Ruckus rolls Lucky into the ring for the two count, then slaps on a submission hold that Lucky breaks. The announcers state that the crowd is split as Lucky wrestles drunk and Ruckus wrestles high, and they continue jokes along those lines ll through the match. Ruckus pulls Lucky to the top rope and does a suplex onto the turnbuckle for a two count. Lucky hits the “Irish Corn Bomb” for the three count. After the pin, they shake each other's hands.
Winner: Lucky tHURTeen
Good brawl, with Ruckus having control through most of the match, but Lucky pulls a quick finisher to win.
Match Number Three: LATIN DRAGON vs. SHANE STRICKLAND vs. ALEXANDER JAMES
Alexander is billed as being from “The Coalition for a Better CZW”, and Shane is pushed as being two months clean from a drug addiction.
Starts quickly with all three fitting in moves in succession. Alex does a couple of quick three person moves including a three person small package. They moves to the floor, with Alex and Latin Dragon making it back in. They trade two counts, until Shane gets in, and they trade moves. Tofinga gets up on ring apron while the match continues, and he head butts Shane, allowing Alex to get the pin.
Winner: Alexander James
VERY quick match with some nice moves, but other than the interference at the end, it just felt like they wanted to quickly get their moves in. Were they all double parked?
DJ Hyde (founder of CZW) comes to the ring and insults the crowd, the people watching on PPV and humanity in general. He is in the ring to give the match-ups and stipulations for Tournament of Death. Matt Tremont comes to the ring and is told his match will be light bulbs and bats. DJ lets him know that Matt will not be allowed to touch him unless his wins the Tournament of Death.
Match Number Four: MATT TREMONT vs. GREG EXCELLENT
DJ Hyde makes it an ultraviolent rules match and wants them to beat the hell out of each other for his amusement.
Matt is over with the crowd, but Greg goofs around in the ring until the bell rings. Greg pulls out a plastic fork from his tights while Matt brings out a BBQ fork that looks MUCH more intimidating. They begin by mock swordfighting until the plastic fork is broken. Matt scores a two count, and then tosses away his fork. Greg is able to get in some offense, goes out to get a chair, but he tosses it down when D orders him to use it. They trade offense, and DJ tosses the chair in the ring, but Greg picks it up and tosses it out of the ring. Greg controls the match, laying in blows until Matt is able to reverse and score a two count. As Matt runs the ropes, DJ grabs his foot, giving Greg the ability to get in some offense, broken up by Matt giving a side slam followed by a head butt off the top rope.
DJ enters the ring with a chair, nails Matt and then nails Greg with the chair, causing Greg to fall on top of Matt for the three count.
Winner: Matt Tremont
The in ring action was typical punch and kick stuff, but the story of the match was DJ trying to force the pair to get ultraviolent so that Matt would be impaired for his future match while they refused. Good story being told that builds future heat.
Match Number Five: CZW Wired TV Championship: DAVE CRIST vs. JAKE CRIST
Jake enters first, and Dave, the Champion, enters second. Dave won the championship last month after his brother's nine month title reign.
Jake attacks before the bell, controlling the match through a fight outside the ring. Back in the ring, Dave takes control and scores a quick two count. The announcers push that Jake is fighting for the respect of his daughter and Dave will do anything to keep the title. Dave attacks, concentrating on Jake's midsection with kicks and chops. He goes for a HUGE leap off of the top rope and misses, letting Jake gain control with a Tiger Suplex and a two count. Dave keeps up the assault with a hangman's DDT on the edge of the apron (which looked brutal). They then battle on the top turnbuckle with Jake outside the ring again.
Dave pulls a ladder out from under the ring and nails Jake in the head, losing the match via DQ, but retaining the title.
Winner: Jake Crist by disqualification
Obviously, this match was to set up future matches and the story was that Dave can't complete with Jake, so he has to get DQed to keep the title.
After this match, we lost sound and they showed the opening graphic repeatedly. Don't know if it's technical difficulties or if it's intermission.
Match Number Six: CZW Tag Team Championship: AZRIEAL & BANDIDO JR. (c) vs. THE RUNAWAYS
Runaways to the ring first, followed by Azrieal and Bandito Jr with the belts.
We start with Azrieal vs Joe Gacy The Chainsaw locking up. Joe control the offense until Azrieal is able to reverse in the turnbuckle and tag in Bandito. Joe escapes, tags in Ryan Slater controlling until we get another tag from Azrieal for a double team move to give the champs control. They trade blows until Chainsaw is tagged is. Quick tags from the Runaways as they keep Azrieal in their corner for a number of double team moves. When Ryan taunts Bandido, Azrieal is able to get in some offense, but he is overwhelmed quickly by the Runaways until we get to the double clothesline that allows Bandido to get in and clean house.
Bandido nails a DDT for a two count. Azrieal is tagged in. A short sequence of all four men in the ring. The Runaways try a two man power bomb on Azrieal who dodges the move. They continue brawling, with Joe on the floor and Ryan in the ring.
Alex Colon runs in and takes out Ryan Slater while the Referee is dealing with the battle outside the ring. The Champions combine in the ring, set up the two man DDT, getting the three count.
Winners: Azrieal and Bandido Jr.
Alex grabs a microphone and states that “his People” built the company, built the country and take care of everyone's children. He joins with the champs and proclaims that they are Four Loco.
After their defeat, the runaways attack each other with Joe hitting slash off of the top turnbuckle onto Ryan. He grabs a microphone an says it is no longer about the Runaways, the Switchblade Conpiracy or the GNC. He states it's been 5 years and it's now His Time.
Average tag team match, with the Runaways doing a good job of cutting the ring in half and setting up for future storylines.
Match Number Seven: MASADA's CZW Championship Open Challenge!
Masada puts over the title, stating it's the most important title he's ever held in his 13 years of wrestling. He also states the the Philidelphia fans are the best fans in the world, while burying Ring of Honor. He states he's better than Davey Richards, Low Ki and will take on anyone in the back.
Challenger: Devon Moore
Devon Moore runs to the ring and Masada takes his best shots and slams him, then tossing him out to the floor. Masada escapes a power bomb to the floor and leaps from the ring to the floor, but Masada is able to take the blows. They brawl outside the ring with Devon tossing him into the ring, leaping from the top rope. This does little to Masada who slams him to the mat for a two count. Devon reverses and gets in some offense as the announcers sell that he is back from a wellness violation as a member of the Nation of Intoxication.
Devon has control of the match, working Masada in the ropes. They trade offense, Masada putting on a figure four, Devon reversing it to a two count and then slapping on his own figure four. Masada breaks the hold through strength. They trade more blows until Devon is able to work in another two count.. Devon takes too long for the Shooting Star Press, allowing Masada to hit the Death Valley Driver off of the top rope for the three count.
We get a taped match from BJW with no commentary or information on the wrestlers after this match, as they are setting up the ring for the barbed wire match. If it was an attempt to get people interested, it wasn't a good match to show. It started with almost two minutes of the wrestlers head butting each other in a mostly empty arena, and different competitors coming in at random times until I was able to figure out it was a tag team match. Lots of blood and plunder, but I had no earthly idea what was going on. They actually ended the match with the participants addressing the crowd in Japanese for over 2 minutes and then the winners gave a promo in Japanese in the lobby of the Arena. How hard would it have been to at least run some subtitles giving the names of the participants? Or to edit out the promos that don't mean anything to those of us who don't know Japanese. Les Thatcher would NOT be pleased.
A video package that gives the history between Danny Havok and Drew Gulak starting as friends and becoming rivals. Not the best package, as I had to piece together what story they were trying to tell, and I am unsure as to who is the heel and who is the face. Production-wise it looked good, but they should have had some sort of narration to make it clear to first time viewers.
Match Number Eight: No Rope Barbed Wire Match: DANNY HAVOC vs. DREW GULAK
The ring ropes have been replaced with Barbed Wire as we are now ready for our Main Event. Drew enters first to streamers being thrown when he hits the ring with the Coalition for a Batter Combat Zone accompanying. Danny enters next wearing a Nation of Intoxication shirt..
The entrants get full introductions, giving the match a “Big Fight” feeling. They both send back their entourages.
They lock up, and as Danny is tossed near the barbed wire, he stops short, emphasizing that they will not be able to run the ropes. Danny is tossed into the barbed wire, and we have first blood off of his shoulder. They exchange mat moves, break and stalk each other around the ring. They lock up inconclusively. When they lock up again, Drew goes behind, and Danny reverses and they break. The next lock up, Drew controls, Danny reverses and attempts to use a full nelson to drive Drew into the barbed wire. Drew reverses and takes it to the mat and holds Danny down with an Indian Death Lock.
Danny escapes with a series of elbows and they both nearly are tossed into the barbed wire. They exchange chops near the wire, but Drew is finally able to whip Danny into the wire. As Danny escapes the wire, Drew covers for a one count. He then locks Danny into an STF, but Danny bites his way out of the hold. Drew is able to lock on an abdominal stretch, and he taunts the crowd as he holds the hold. He pulls Danny over to the wire and rakes it across his head. Drew controls the match, holding Danny onto the mat and then holding him into the barbed wire, moving quickly to a two count.
The announcers put over that Danny was in a barbed wire match last Saturday as Danny hits a DDT, then tossing Drew into the ropes, and Drew goes over the top, onto the floor. The barbed wire does little to Drew as the Coalition has returned to the ring and uses a chair to keep the barbed wire from during too much damage. They help Drew back into the ring when he hits a belly to back suplex.
The Nation then comes to the ring, attacking the coalition. The brothers show up and join in the brawl outside the ring, and they continue the brawl into the back.
As the outside the ring brawl continues, Drew is finally tossed into the barbed wire. Danny tosses him into the barbed wire again and they rakes it across Drew's head. With the next attempt to toss Drew into the ropes, he stops short and body slams Danny into the barbed wire. He follows it up with a backbreaker and a two count. Drew demands the barbed wire be snipped off the ring, and they begin to take away the barbed wire roping. When Danny attempts to engage him, Drew body slams him to the mat.
They exchange holds in the center of the ring and Drew is able to lock Danny into the Gulock. They roll into the barbed wire, which breaks the hold. Both wrestlers are covered in blood and look exhausted as they lock up again. At this time, one side of the ring only has a single strand of barbed wire, and the others still have all of the barbed wire. Drew slams Danny to the mat and then whips him with barbed wire. He locks on the Gulock, releases it and then wraps the barbed wire around Danny's midsection and around his arms before locking in the Gulock again in the center of the ring. His hand drops once...twice...but his hand stays up the third time. Danny fights out of the submission hold, and lifts Drew for a Death Valley Driver.
Danny takes the barbed wire off as Drew recovers. Drew is the first to his feet, yelling at him to stay down. Danny stands up as Drew slaps him and follows up with forearms. He gives Drew a Dragon Suplex onto the barbed wire that he unwrapped from himself. Danny grabs a section of barbed wire and lays both sections in the middle of the ring. Drew gets a surprise small package for a two count. Drew is first to his feet, but Danny reverses for a suplex, locking the leg during the leg for a three count.
Winner: Danny Havoc
The announcers say that with Danny winning, the Coalition For a Better Combat Zone will not be able to ban the Ultra Violence matches. Drew is rolled out of the ring by the Nation of Intoxication members. Drew is dragged to the back by the Coalition as the Nation stands triumphant.
When you have a PPV bargain priced, you should use it to introduce new people to the product, and as such, I think they did a good job. They introduced the factions, gave a little storyline information on the wrestlers and set up a lot of story lines for their upcoming shows. Having never watched the product before, I was impressed that they informed the viewer, gave background on the titles and informed us as to what was coming in the future while calling the matches. Workmanlike commentary throughout, but the people calling the match felt the need to throw in profanity randomly, when if they would have saved it for the BIG moments, it would have had more effect.
For all of their talk at the beginning promising Violence and Blood, they saved it for the final match, and I feel that was a good idea for new viewers. If it was ALL blood and weapons, it would have made the main event seem less brutal and shocking. There was a lot of the “punch and kick” style work, and little in the way of chain wrestling. The main event was a brutal, bloody match, but it wasn't until we were into the match that they said if Danny Havok loses, the Ultraviolent rules matches would be banned, and it would have made the match even more dramatic if they would have sold that to the viewers harder whenever members of the Coalition were in the ring.
I was also a little surprised that so many of their story lines and factions revolve around addiction and alcoholism, but unlike a lot of the smaller indies I am used to watching, they do have long-term angles and appear to be building toward their bigger events.
Was it worth $5? Yes. I felt it was a solid effort to introduce people to the product.
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