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

by Mike Johnson

Combat Zone Wrestling held its third annual Tournament of Death event in Smyrna, Delaware outdoors behind the Break Away Tavern on Saturday afternoon 7/24. The show, CZW's annual celebration of insane spots and gore, drew in the area of 450-500 fans, a little down from last year's event, but still a great, fun insane show with the feeling of a demented Woodstock.

Complete results of the tournament saw:

*The show opened with CZW owner John Zandig coming out and asking the fans to remember that everyone working the show is a professional and that the fans should be careful to stay out of the line of the wrestlers and the objects they use.

Round One:

*Arsenal defeated Evil Ninja 2 in a best out of three falls Log Cabin Light Tube Death Match. Both are from the Canadian Internet Wrestling Syndicate (IWS) which does a hardcore style north of the border. The Log Cabins are light tubes taped together to build a square. Arsenal hit a dive through the ropes. They used the light tubes as weapons. Ninja tossed Arsenal off the apron into the first log cabin on the floor. The crowd popped huge for every light tube destroyed all day, letting out "ooohs" as the glass and powder flew into the air. Arsenal set up a chair in the ring and climbed, it dropping Ninja on it with a tombstone. It ended up with Arsenal superplexing Ninja off the top rope through two stacked "log cabins" for the win. OK match. The crowd was heckling the guys at the start since they were small and young and most of the fans hadn't seen them before.

*Nick Gage pinned Ruckus in a Barbed Wire Board Death Match. They had two barbed wire boards in the corners. Ruckus was a substitution for CZW owner John Zandig who pulled out of the show a few weeks back due to neck issues. Robby Mireno cut a good promo before the match. The Blackout gimmick (Mireno as a white boy trying to be a gangsta while running a "label" of black wrestlers) is my favorite thing in CZW right now. Gage used a chair to pummel Ruckus. Gage hit a running boot to a board, which was draped over Ruckus' face. Gage powerbombed Ruckus on the board for the pin. OK match.

*In the first of several Fans Bring The Weapons matches, The Wifebeater defeated Mad Man Pondo in a sick match that saw a stop sign, various light tube creations, a bunch of old records, a flat screen TV and more used as objects of destruction. Beater slammed a keyboard with thumbtacks glues to the keys over Pondo's head and the tacks stuck in. Both guys got huge reactions coming out. Fun brawl.

*Sexxy Eddy (another IWS worker) defeated Ian Knoxx in a Thumb Tack and Tack Strips Death Match. Tack Strips are strips with tacks attached to wooden boards. Eddy, who looks like WWE's Nunzio if he wore his hair like something out of the 1950s greaser movement, did a lot of mic work before the match. He also did a striptease bit using Zandig's wife to disrobe him. It was so out of place on the show, it had to have been a practical joke or something that was setting up a later angle that didn't take place. The early portions of the bout were pretty bad, but it turned into both guys taking numerous bumps into a ton of thumb tacks that were poured out of a cooler into the center of the ring. Eddy splashed Knoxx through one of the nail boards, propped on chairs, to the outside of the ring. He also slammed Knoxx off the ropes onto one of the tack boards. Eddy's routine was goofy but he was great at interacting with the crowd. Knoxx, who took an awesome bump at Cage of Death 5, had been sidelined with a shoulder injury in recent months, and seemed to be trying to make up for lost time with his bumping here. Just sick.

*In a second Fans Bring the Weapons Match, Necro Butcher defeated IWS's Green Phantom. Butcher got the biggest ovation on the show for his entrance. He beat the living hell out of Phantom, potatoing him with crazy stiff shots as they brawled around the ring and into the crowd. Phantom was bleeding heavily from what I believe was a broken nose as the blood was just dripping out of his mask. There were more unique weapons including a fan made "Light tube Cactus" made out of green tubes in a flower pot. Butcher stuck it between Phantom's legs and kicked it. No babies tonight. They splattered sour milk all over the place as well, which no doubt made those fans nearby happy. At one point, Phantom look a snowboard with light tubes attached to the bottom and jumped off the ropes onto Butcher on the floor with it, like he was in some demented XGames tournament. At this point, this was my favorite match on the show. It was just completely evil and brutal.

*JC Bailey defeated Chris Cash in a Light Tubes and Ladders Death match. They started out fast with Bailey putting a light tube under Cash's arm and kicking it, opening him up under the armpit. That's gotta hurt. Two ladders were brought into the equation. Cash was killing himself left and right out there. At one point, Bailey was hit with a light tube and a jagged piece jutted out of his stomach like a knife. Naturally, he made sure to sell it and waited for everyone to take photos and get video closeups before pulling it out. Sick! Bailey put Cash under a ladder with light tubes and hit a senton off the top onto the ladder. Who thinks of this stuff? Zandig came out after the match and noted that Cash was nervous about doing the match, but had proven himself. Zandig asked Cash to be on his team at the promotion's Cage of Death 6 which will apparently follow the great methodology they used last year with the team concept and (I assume) the two rings and suspended cage.


*Sexxy Eddy defeated Arsenal in a Light Tubes Death Match with a springboard moonsault. The tubes were taped along the ring ropes horizontally, so if someone was whipped into the ropes, they would hit the tubes. They also had tubes set in the corners. Arsenal began drilling Eddy in the face with the bottom of a trash can several times. That was sick. At some point, Eddy was cut in the arm by something and apparently sliced a vein. He was shooting blood, which he shot farther by pulsing his hand. After the match, Eddy pulsed the blood into his own mouth, which may have been the most disgusting thing I've ever seen inside and out of wrestling. This was another insane bout. Thankfully, Eddy was OK after being stitched up.

Zandig brought Eddy back out and announced that due to his injuries, he was being sent to the hospital and would not work the finals. Zandig invited him to come back to Philadelphia at the promotion's ECW Arena afternoon show on 9/11.

*The Wifebeater defeated JC Bailey in another Fans Bring The Weapons match. Beater came out with a weedwhacker but Bailey attacked him and zapped him in the stomach with it. Beater pured a huge bucket of salt over Bailey's wounds. The finish saw them brawl into the crowd and atop a pickup truck. Beater gave him a sitdown powerbomb into the back of the truck, which had well over 100 light tubes sitting inside it, for the pin.

*Necro Butcher defeated Nick Gage in a Panes of Glass Death Match. They had the four Panes in each corner of the ring. Lots of brawling on the floor. Gage did the running boot through a plane of glass. Blackout returned and distracted Gage. They tried to attack Gage after the match but Butcher kept them at bay and ran them off.

Tournament of Death Final *WifeBeater defeated Necro Butcher in a match that saw more fan-made weapons, dozen of light tubes, barbed wire wrapped around the ropes, and two pieces of Cage fencing bridged between the ring and the guard rail -- one with barbed wire board and the other littered with light tubes. They had the sections of the crowd closest to the bridges back up as they set up the ring. They started out taking turns beating each other with the weapons and light tubes. Butcher got suplexed out of the ring onto the cage fencing covered in light tubes. They brawled through the crowd and on top of a truck. Beater gave Necro a sideslam off the top of the truck through two tables, with featured a plane a glass bridged across two chairs and one of the tables set on fire. The place went nuts for that. Beater pinned Butcher. Both men returned to the ring, where Zandig awarded Beater the Tournament of Death trophy. Zandig thanked the fans and teased there would be a PPV announcement soon. The promotion has been working on some kind PPV deal, although what that entails I am not yet sure of the details on. I would guess it would be a taped deal of some sort.

Notes: Necro Butcher also went to the hospital to get stitched up....The tournament was a rousing success in that it was a really entertaining show, especially if you are a fan of the death match style. I expect it will be a hot seller on show attracted bus trips from both New York City and Canada to the show....The outdoor location made for a unique atmosphere, as it did last year. Thankfully, the weather held up as the forecast was thunderstorms. It didn't actually rain until the final match of the show, and even then it wasn't a heavy downpour....There had been talk of last year's TOD winner Nick Mondo making an appearance at the show but it never happened. He recently did an interview with CZW's website discussing last year's TOD....The promotion returns to Philadelphia on 8/17 and then again with a matinee on 9/11. For more information, visit may have some of photos from the show up here later on the site.

Tournament of Death winners 2002: Wifebeater
2003: Nick Mondo
2004: Wifebeater

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