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By Mike Johnson on 2018-12-08 07:45:00

by Mike Johnson  

Combat Zone Wrestling held their Sixth Annual Cage of Death on Saturday 12/11 at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, PA drawing an estimated 900-1000 fans to the building, which is a hell of an accomplishment without a TV slot and much of a buzz going into the show. If nothing else, it shows how strong the Cage of Death event name has become in terms of a draw.

With the theme of this year's event having the name “Dual Dimension", the promotion set up two rings next to each other encased in a Steel Cage with a platform across one of the cages. There were also two main events, a Fans Bring the Weapons Match with the two H8 Clubs battling it out over the rights to the team name, and a Wargames style match with CZW Tag Team champions The Blackout putting their CZW Tag Team championships on the line against a Team led by Chris Cash.

*The show opened up with Blackout's Maven Bentley in the ring proclaiming that John Zandig wasnt giving any of the CZW students a chance on CZW's biggest show of the year. He declared that he was going to give them a chance and had a two ring elimination bout featuring a number of CZW's undercard talent and students. They had two separate matches running at the same time in each ring, with Derek Frazier coming out on top. Nick Berk ended up returning to the company in this match as well. The crowd didn' get what was going on and other than the opening sequence where each ring had the same moves going on in a “simulcast" this probably should have been kept off a show of this magnitude, but Zandig likes to make sure everyone gets a chance, and they did.

*Kid Kamikaze (with valet Elsa Bangz, who wore a skirt so short it didn't leave much of her tush to the imagination) defeated Beef Wellington. Wellington laid out Bangz after the match, which brought out Sexxxy Eddy, who comforted her with some sexual gyrations and threw her over his shoulder to take to the back. This was eh, although the comedy bit at the end with Eddy was funny.

The "actual" show opened at this point with CZW playing an awesome video package setting up the main events. I don't know who does these videos for the company but they are better than anything that ROH, WWE, or TNA puts together for their video and PPVs. The footage is that great.

*All Money is Legal defeated Heretic & Spyral & Ghost Shadow in an OK six man tag. There was an awesome spot with a Styles Clash like flipping powerbomb off the ropes at one point.

*Roderick Strong & Erick Stevens (a Strong trainee) defeated Alex Shelley and Jonny Storm. Storm now has a shaved head. The crowd was heavily into Shelley.

*Blackjack Marsciano & Larry Sweeny & Hallowicked defeated Mike Quackenbush & Ultramantis Black & Jigsaw in a CHIKARA six man. They tried to do a Lucha style here, with the highlight being a dive series where all three member of Team Quackenbush sailed out of the ring at the same time, with Black and Jigsaw crossing over each other in mid-air. Marsciano was introduced by Chris Hero as one of his trainees and was dressed like Hero. Hero claimed that Zandig didn't want the Iron Man champion wrestling on the show. Quackenbush has noticeably improved since the last time I saw his work. Everyone in this was working hard.

*In a great brawl, CZW Junior Heavyweight champion Sonjay Dutt defeated M-Dogg 20 in a Loser Leaves Town, No DQ Falls Count Anywhere match. At this point in the show, this blew away everything that came before it. Dutt came dressed in jeans like he was going into a Bunkhouse match, which I thought was a nice touch. They brawled through the crowd towards a corner of the ECW Arena, where M-Dogg climbed up on scaffolding, and extended himself off like a flag sideways, then dropped an elbow. They brawled back to the ring, where Dutt was put on a table. Dogg scaled a pole in the Arena, teasing he was going to dive off, but then came back down as a way to get heat from the fans. Dutt had M-Dogg pinned when referee Sean Hanson (JAPW, ROH) came out and nailed the referee, setting up a quick pin on Dutt. They rang the bell, even though Hanson doesn't work for the company. John Zandig sent out referee Brian Logan to spear Hansen and continue the match. Justice Pain hit the ring and laid out Dutt, but Nick Gage hit the ring and laid out M-Dogg, setting up Dutt for the pin. Zandig came to the ring after the match and presented Dutt with a new Junior Heavyweight championship belt. Dutt shot down rumors he was leaving CZW on the mic as well. This was a fun brawl with a mix of an old school ECW wildness and some new-school CZW crazy spots.

*B-Boy pinned Danny Maff to win the finals of CZW's Xtreme Strong Style Tournament. The fans from New York City were loudly behind Maff while The Philadelphia faithful were behind B-Boy. Maff seemed winded early, possibly because he did a time limit draw the night before with Samoa Joe in JAPW. They beat the hell out of each other with chairs. This never seemed to really click. CZW Iron Man champion Chris Hero attacked B-Boy since he also won a shot at the title. Zandig announced that Hero would be forced to defend the belt right there....

*B-Boy pinned Chris Hero to win the CZW Ironman Championship. Hero pitches a major fit after the loss, throwing chairs and swearing that he would never ever come back to CZW. Zandig told him that if he did, Zandig's neck rehab was almost done and he had one more match left in him. Crowd popped huge for the title change.

*Super Dragon and Excalibur defeated Kevin Steen and El Generico in a match that was highlighted by a great final five minutes of action. The crowd seemed to enjoy this one much more than I did, althouhg the ending sequences were great. They teased Generico hitting a brainbuster onto the turnbuckles for a long time before they did it. Steen actually hit some of Dragon's trademark moves on him during the match. Steen turned on Generico after the match. Dragon and Excalibur stopped him, only to join in and aid in the trouncing.

*CZW champion The Messiah defeated Adam Flash and Kaos in a Ladders & Scaffold match by ascending to the scaffold and capturing both his CZW championship belt and a briefcase holding his money. This was easily the biggest letdown of the show as the fans were waiting for a big bump off the scaffold (that was teased when three tables were set up outside the ring by Dewey Donovan) that never happened. The fans heavily, and I mean, heavily booed when that didn't happen. Kaos got busted open in the back of the head and took a bump in between the rings, where three steel ladders broke his fall. That was sick, but whatever else they had planned, they didn't go through with. The scaffold was set up similar to the one that was used in the legendary Tommy Dreamer-Brian Lee High Incident match in ECW.

During a 45 minute intermission, CZW staff set up the Cage of Death around two rings, complete with platforms in the corners (think ROH's Scramble Cage) and plywood in between the rings. They actually had to reposition the rings in order to set up parts of the cage that would go between them.

*In the first Cage of Death match, Team Cash (Chris Cash & JC Bailey & Nate Webb & Sexxy Eddy) defeated Team Blackout (CZW Tag Team champions Ruckus & Sabian & King & Jack Evans). The match was set up Wargames style with a new entrance every one minute. The Blackouts' manager and lawyer, Robby Mireno and Maven Bentley were forced by John Zandig (wielding a barbed wire bat, which was never used) to the scaffold above one of the rings, where they were handcuffed to chains and left there with the Tag belts. The object of the match was to retrieve the belts from them in order to win. This match was worked War Games rules with wrestlers entering each minute. A competitor was only eliminated when they hit the floor. As you can imagine this was one of the most insane collection of spots and bumps you could think of. Nate Webb was eliminated first after being thrown through the plywood between the rings to the floor. Chris Cash and King brawled to the top of the cage where Cash and JC Bailed worked over King's hands with a chair and a trash can lid until he took a bump to the table. Jack Evans was absolutely the star of the show as he took a million insane bumps, even while landing on thumbtacks that were all over the rings. Evans actually ended up taking the scariest bump I have ever seen in my life, as he was backdropped off the top of the cage to the Arena floor, missing a ringside table completely and wiping out on the floor. Even more insane is that he seemed to push off the cage with his feet as he fell. Chris Cash and Sabian brawled to the top of the cage with Cash hitting his “Cash Flow" move off the scaffold, with Cash crashing through a table and Sabin sailing into the crowd below. Two girls in the crowd got into a fight right after the bump and were escorted out. Sexxy Eddy ended up putting a trashcan over his head and doing a moonsault off the top of the cage as well. It ended up with Team Cash getting the belts and Zandig announcing that any 2 of the 4 could defend them. Zandig them decreed that Bentley and Mireno would stay locked on top of the scaffold for the rest of the show.

*In the second Cage of Death match, it was Fans Bring the Weapons as The H8 Club (Justice Pain & Wifebeater) defeated The H8 Club (Nick Gage and Nate Hatred) for the rights to the name. There were a ton if insane items brought by fans including several keyboards, a rain gutter, several plates of glass, thumbtacks, christmas ornaments, a plastic snowman and all kinds of other instruments of destruction. CZW was always built on violence in the early days and this was a throwback to that type of match with nothing but four guys beating each other bloody in crazy fashion. Out of nowhere, Gage turned on Hatred to set up the pinfall. Then, Pain turned on Wifebeater, with Pain and Gage (who are brothers) joining forces and ripping on the fans to end the show. Gage ended up clobbering Robby Mireno with a guitar as well. It just hit with a sickening "thud" instead of a loud crack. This was more set up as an angle to kick off CZW's new storyline for 2005, as the Team Cash match was considered the main event internally.

After the new H8 Club left, CZW staffers handed out water balloons to the ringside fans who began pelting Mireno and Bentley. That was a funny way to end the show, especially if it was a rib, but unfortunately you had some goofs who after five plus hours of drinking who decided to throw plastic bottles (and one moron who threw a chair). While the fans were wrong, you couldn't have expected other than that in that environment. I also saw CZW staff throw one drunken fan down a set of stairs and out of the building when he tossed a bottle. While they were right to eject him, it might make sense not to try and cause bodily harm while doing so, just to avoid lawsuits.

Notes: Believe it or not, while some of the guys were aching last night, there were no major injuries from the Cage matches....The show started at 7:30 and ended about 1:30 AM, so yep, CZW ran long again. Who would have thought it! CZW actually did have their organizational skills together big time with this show as compared to previous efforts but ended up running longer than they wanted. They had actually wanted to start the first match earlier but had to wait for the Athletic Commission to give them the go ahead..I couldn't get over with how different the ECW Arena looks now. They have two sides of the building draped with a huge Miller Light ad that covers the entire wall. The Eagle's Nest is now a “Miller Light Skybox.   The old stages are long gone. It's sad to see that but in a way, its no longer the ECW Arena either.  You can't live in the past, folks...There were fans from Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Australia in attendance last night....CZW returns to the Arena on 1/8/05. For ticket information, visit

Combat Zone Wrestling will present the 20th Cage of Death event tomorrow 12/9 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, PA, streaming live live for subscribers of The Highspots Wrestling Network.

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