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By Mike Johnson on 2004-12-09 12:00:00

Mike Johnson Reporting

Combat Zone Wrestling returned to the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, PA on 11/15 for the "go home" show leading into their biggest show of the year, Cage of Death 5, with a show booked to build up COD5 featuring the returns of former CZW regulars and the announcement of perhaps the most unique stipulation bout in the history of a promotion that has lived and died by stipulation matches.

Complete results of the show saw:

*The Rockin Rebel and Derek Frazer defeated CZW Junior Heavyweight champion Ruckus and Sonjay Dutt. The finish saw Ruckus go to the top for a move. Rebel Irish Whipped Dutt into the ropes, crotching Ruckus, who went down. Ruckus was knocked out of the ring. Frazier hit a frog splash from the top on Dutt from the pin as Ruckus was kept from breaking it up. After the match Ruckus seemingly turned heel as he complained that he wasn’t used to losing matches, but ever since he began teaming with Dutt, he was losing. Dutt and Ruckus argued and Dutt accused Ruckus of ducking his challenges for the Junior Heavyweight championship. Ruckus attacked him, culminating with a Tiger Driver through two chairs on Dutt while standing atop of them.

*BJ Hyde and Jude & Niles Young defeated Cory Kastle & Jon Dahmer & Sabian in a six man tag.

*Tony Mamaluke defeated Scotty Matthews by submission with a great finish. Matthews, who was larger and muscular that Mamaluke was controlling the bout with his power moves. He went for a move and Mamaluke whipped around and mounted Matthews’ back with an Octopus-style submission. Matthews went down on his back and tried to reach the ropes but tapped out. This was great because the finish came out of nowhere and gave the idea that Mamaluke could make someone tap from any point without warning. Given that Mamaluke was trained by Dean Malenko, that plays into his history as well. Good finish. I had never seen Matthews before but he has a really good look and was working hard.

*CZW champion Zandig came to the ring and thanked all the loyal fans who came out. He noted that in the last year, the promotion had gone through it’s ups and downs and noted the problems with the outside promotion forcing them out of the ECW Arena and the confusion that resulted from it as well as all the wrestlers who were injured. Zandig said that it was becoming harder to continue to run with the dwindling support from the fans. He said that this year’s Cage of Death show may end up being the last. I don’t know how much of the statements were storyline or real, but the promotion has been hurting, as I noted in my column earlier this week and Zandig is the only backer.

Johnny Kashmere, who had quit the promotion in September, walked in the front door of the building at the onset of this segment, hopped the railing and got in the ring. He told Zandig that he was done with HI-V and that he couldn’t believe it was taking him (Kashmere) to wake up Zandig and bring back the fire in him. HI-V came out and confronted Kashmere. They introduced Adam Flash (who turned heel at the promotion’s Italy show) as their new member and also brought out a “lawyer” for reasons unclear as the sound system was atrocious. It ended up with a huge brawl, with babyfaces Ian Knoxx, Nick Gage, and the Wifebeater (making his return to the ring later in the evening) making the save.

Zandig then announced the main event for the 12/13 Cage of Death 5 event would feature a 5 vs. 5 Cage of Death Match. As far as I can ascertain, here are the stipulations: The match will feature a two Steel Cage "Cage of Death" Match with Wargames style entrances. The first ring will be the traditional Cage of Death Steel Cage (which traditionally has been filled with weapons) while the second Cage will be suspended from the ceiling near the stage of the ECW Arena and will be filled with "one million thumbtacks." There will be scaffolding suspended from the ceiling as well, with platforms connecting the two Cages that the competitors will have to climb across. I'm assuming the idea is that no one will want to take the bump into the tacks (and can you blame them?) I’ve no idea how the match is won as of this report.

*Azrael pinned Deranged in an “Aerial Assault” match after interference by Joker (Lit in ROH’s Special K faction.) This started out slow but built into a series of awesome spots. They pulled a ladder out from under the ring to no reaction from the crowd. OK, if that’s not a sign of a crowd that’s seen it all, I don’t know what is. Deranged at one point put a ladder atop of Azrael and then did an insane senton bomb off the top rope onto him. Both workers are awesome young talents. Lit ended up taking a hard shot to the rails and had a pair of goose eggs on his head and it was believed he may have suffered a concussion. Deranged and Azrael were sore after the performance they put on, but were OK. After the match, Chris Cash hit the ring and made the save, and challenged for a Tag Team Ladder bout at 12/13 with Deranged as his partner. Cash tries really hard to get the crowd into it but at the same time, insulted the “fans who think they are smart” which is a weird thing to hear coming from a babyface.

*The Dirty Rotten Scoundrelz defeated Z-Barr and Nick Berk. Barr and Berk have matching outfits now. The Scoundrelz were introduced first and then hid to attack the babyfaces as they came out of the entranceway. KC Blade took a backdrop in the first spot and came down on his ankle, injuring it, so the match that was planned out pretty much went to hell from there. Several hours after the match, Blade couldn’t put any weight on the ankle and had to be helped out of the building. The finish of the match saw Derek Frazier and Greg Matthews (who had been out due to injury) pull the referee out of the ring to allow DRS a chance to pin Berk. Berk and Barr challenged for a Three-Way bout as Cage of Death 5.

*Jimmy Rave pinned B-Boy in a 15 minute Iron Man Match in overtime after they went the full time limit when Rave turned a shining wizard attempy into a powerslam for the pin. Crowd was into Rave’s upset. Earlier in the match, Trent Acid hit the ring from the front door and his a Yakuza Kick on Rave, who kicked up. Crowd popped for that false finish. The idea here is that Rave had to defeat B-Boy to get a shot at Acid.

*In a Women’s bout, Mercedes Martinez pinned Nikki Roxx.

*CZW Iron Man champion Trent Acid pinned the returning Danny Maff. This was Maff’s first appearance with the promotion since he was injured in August. They added him at the last minute to the show and he was never announced. Acid came out and gave an open challenge for his belt. Maff came out, although the sound system screwed up his music and blew a pop waiting to happen. This was my choice for match of the night as they worked well together going back and forth with a series of great false finishes towards the end. Maff nearly scored the pin on Acid and argued with the referee. Acid scampered through his and the referee’s legs and hit a Yakuza Kick the back of Maff’s neck (playing off his ROH injury) and then a second one to the face. Maff kicked out which shocked the hell out of me, it was such a good series of spots. Acid went to his Maff with a chair but Jimmy Rave came out and grabbed it. Maff grabbed Acid for a burning hammer. Acid escaped as Rave got in the ring. Why is Rave in the ring? Acid goes to Yakuza Kick Maff, who ducks. Rave grabs Acid and locks him in a crossface? WHY in the world is this happening? Why is Rave, the babyface, trying to screw Maff, another babyface out of his chance at the title, especially 10 seconds after he just helped Maff by grabbing the chair from Acid? Maff stands there as the referee is trying to break up the move. The referee finally got Rave out of the ring. As he removed Rave, Acid hit the Yakuza Kick on Maff from behind and pinned him. A great match with a completely unneeded and overbooked finish, but Maff and Acid did a spectacular job here. To me, it seemed like Rave’s inclusion here was completely unnecessary when the match had been laid out to the point that either competitor winning clean would have elevated both.

*Chris Hero defeated Homicide, Jimmy Jacobs, and Alex Shelley in a great Four-Way bout when Hero pinned Jacobs as Homicide had Shelley tapping out with his STF variation. The referee didn’t see Shelley tapping, so the finish came off really good. Lots of great innovative back and forth stuff here.

*The Messiah and Nate Hatred went to a no contest with the returning Wifebeater and Nick Gage with CZW champion John Zandig as special referee. This was Wifebeater’s first match in a year since retiring due to shoulder problems. The crowd was there to see him, without a doubt. Messiah and Hatred tried to walk out of the match but were prevented by Wifebeater’s old manager Mack Smack, who came out with a weedwhacker. Crowd chanted “Welcome back” to Smack. This was a back and forth brawl with Beater bleeding. The heels put a flowerpot on his head and broke it after two chair shots. Beater took a press slam by both heels off the top stage of the ECW Arena through a table on the lower stage. The babyface began making a comeback when the rest of HI-V hit the ring. Johnny Kashmere and Ian Knoxx hit the ring for the save and HI-V retreated. Kashmere turned around killed Zandig with a chair shot, turning heel. It ended up with all six members of HI-V beating down Zandig, Wifebeater, Knoxx, and Gage. Lobo, who hasn’t been seen in CZW since Cage of Death 4 a year ago, charged the ring for the save. The building exploded for this. Zandig said he was prepared for something to happen so he called Lobo, then announced that it would be he and Kashmere starting off in the Cage of Death.

CZW Notes: The crowd was up from previous events, looking like about 400, which is a good sign. The return of Beater was a shot in the arm for them as a lot of fans were there to see him work….They held a moment of silence at the onset of the evening to note the passings of Stu Hart, Road Warrior Hawk, and Crash Holly....Frank Talent of the PA State Athletic Commission was bringing the new Commissioner around in the crowd to introduce him to fans. Although they said No when fans asked about bringing back light tubes and barbed wire, they did note they would be bringing "Ultimate Fighting" to the State....ROH's Allison Danger and Becky Bayless were in attendance visiting....Although no one has said this to me, I am of the belief that the original plan was to feature Nick Mondo on the babyface side of the cage of Death. With his retirement, Ian Knoxx was slotted in the match.

Cage of Death 5 Lineup: The lineup for CZW's Cage of Death 5 at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, PA on 12/13 features:

*CZW champion Zandig & The Wifebeater & Lobo & Ian Knoxx & Nick Gage vs. Johnny Kashmere & Nate Hatred & The Messiah & B-Boy & Adam Flash in a two Steel Cage "Cage of Death" Match with Wargames style entrances. The first ring will be the traditional Cage of Death Steel Cage with weapons while the second Cage suspended from the ceiling near the stage of the ECW Arena will be filled with "one million thumbtacks." There will be scaffolding suspended from the ceiling as well, with platforms connecting the two Cages that the competitors will have to cross.

*CZW Junior Heavyweight champion Ruckus vs. Sonjay Dutt

*CZW Iron Man champion Trent Acid vs. Jimmy Rave

*Chris Cash and Deranged vs. Azrael and Joker - Ladder match

*Z-Barr and Nick Berk vs. Greg Matthews & Derek Frazier vs The Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

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