CZW Only The Strong: Scarred 4 Life 05/02/2005

Part two of Maffew Defends CZW 2005, click here to read the January show or don’t and just wing it. Commentators are John House and for whatever reason, Rick Feinberg (a horrible parody of Rob Feinstein). They’ll be yelling into their bass-filled headsets like Gordon Cole in Twin Peaks for the next three hours.

Derek Frazier vs. The Heretic

Heretic is an evil, baggy camo pant-wearer and Derek is a skinny, pleather flipper. Feeling out process until Heretic borrows Claudio’s press slam into an uppercut. Mexican Surfboard gets shifted into a Dragon Sleeper as the crowd mock Heretic with Jimmy Jacobs’ HUSS chants. Frazier plants him with a DVD but Heretic shrugs it off and gives him a springboard lungblower. Frazier shrugs THAT off and finishes Heretic with a Pure Impact head-spike.

Winner: Derek Frazier (Quick nothing match filled with movez and no zelling. These matches usually warm the crowd up but in Philly the crowd got to warm up by heckling both wrestlers.)

Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli vs. DJ Hyde & Jon Dahmer

Last month Hero dubbed Claudio his One Man Gang and he’s only not found out there’s already a wrestler called that. He apologises and calls Claudio his personal I.R.S. DJ Hyde shows up to ruin the highlight of the show, foreshadowing his role in the company years later. Dahmer looked bad as CZW’s token technician last time so he does his best to ground Hero so he can’t show him up. Chris escapes with elbows and Claudio and Hyde get tag in. ”Hyde’s able to throw his weight in two different directions if he wants.” Hyde escapes a cravat (take a shot) with a judo throw and applies his own. Claudio runs around the ring feigning fear so Hyde gives chase and gets caught in Hero’s cravat (take a shot). Claudio tries his best to tag out but Hero refuses even when Hyde has been sent running via Irish Whip. Dahmer tags in and gets two after a spinebuster. Hero cravats (take a shot) Dahmer behind the ref’s back which sets up the slingshot-into-European-Uppercut. That gets two so we get an ultra-camp slingshot-into-cravat (take a shot) which the crowd loves.

Claudio’s offence is still developing at this point, his diving spears look a tad clumsy because he’s so lanky. He got smoother the more he turned into a horse. Dahmer’s able to turn a spear into a Sunset Flip for two so Hero tags in to save. Dahmer’s black-and-yellow pleather is less flattering than Claudio’s mini-Hero gear which is one of the reasons the crowd isn’t overwhelmingly behind him. Dahmer makes the warm tag to Hyde and they proceed to avalanche the Kings of Wrestling in the corner. Hyde spinebusters Claudio onto Hero but that doesn’t work, as does a suplex-into-powerbomb combo. Snap Brainbuster sends Dahmer outside so Claudio locks in a Cobra Clutch. Hyde’s hand falls three times but Hero distracts the ref at the third fall so it doesn’t count, he tags in and finishes the dead Hyde with Hero’s Welcome. Claudio doesn’t mind Hero stealing the win.

Winners: The Kings of Wrestling (The KOW were lovingly endearing, even making the granite-faced Philly fans crack a smile.)

Skayde vs. Milanito Collection AT

Woah woah woah sweet child of mine, what the f--- is this doing in CZW? Quack joins us on commentary so I can copy-paste his thoughts and sound knowledgeable in lucha. For example, did you know Skayde is Super Porky’s cousin? AT’s invisible dog causes issues during the ref check.

They go through some impressive arm-counters that I have no hope in hell of typing properly but it’s well received by the crowd. It’s all grapple-counter-grapple-flip and it’s peanut butter-smooth. Skyade goes for the Romero Special, flips over and uses his head to shove into AT’s back. Skyade locks in an arm-bar so Milanito runs the ropes and turns it into an arm-drag, following with a twisting Frankensteiner. Skyade fakes a breather on the outside but comes back in with chops. Skyade counters a springboard something into an X-Factor. AT is able to turn La Mahsitral into an arm-bar and into a pin-fall for two. Skayde gets a stunner and some more rolling pin-falls. They go for submissions then roll them into pin-falls, none are successful until Skayde nails the Skyade Special he’s been trying for and wins via roll-up.

Winner: Skyade (This was a hell of a six-minute sprint of lucha submissions and whatever AT was doing. All action, no resting and the fans gave it a standing ovation afterwards. Neither man returned to the company.)

The Flying Hurricanes (Kenny The Bastard & Takao) vs. All Money Is Legal (K-Murda & K-Pusha) vs. Beef Wellington & El Generico vs. Ghost Shadow & Spyral (IWS Tag Team Title Four Way Elimination Match)

Feinberg asks ”How does a ghost have a shadow?” and I apologise for criticising him. Takao and Beef start with Beef getting predictably beat up. Generico takes on AMIL but their funky collection of double-teams are too much so Shadow tags in and axe-kicks Murda in the back of the head. Spyral double stomps a spread-out Murda but this is a big, fat spot-fest so Murda delivers a step-up enziguri to be able to tag out to Kenny The Bastard. He sends Spyral flying with a satellite headscissors. Flying Hurricanes’ flip one another onto Spyral in cool-looking ways for two. They were a perfect example of the IWS style of the time which involved flipping and landing on as many audience members as possible. Shadow and Spyral f--- up something then f--- up the recovery as badly as humanly possible.

Kenny takes a mid-2000s-spike-you-on-your-head move but Takao saves. AMIL lands a dropkick-Code Red to thankfully eliminate Shadow and Spyral before they can hurt someone.

Beef powerbombs Generico onto AMIL while they’re still bragging for two. El follows with the Yakuza Kick and Sit-Out Piledriver for two. Beef tags in and lands an Axe Handle which is perfect for this type of match. Reverse Powerbomb/X-Factor gets two on Beef and while AMIL are going for another double-team, Beef nails the ASS PUNCH and a Brainbuster from El eliminates them.

That leaves the Canadians. Kenny takes a brutal slingshot off the apron onto concrete but he’s saved by Takao diving off the top rope. Generico tries to end with another Brainbuster but Takao lands the DVD for two. Kenny tries to Victory Roll Beef but he grabs his legs mid-move and German Suplexes him in a package position. F---. Takao lands Derek Frazier’s finisher on Beef (I’m sure he was thrilled) and they land the flipping powerbomb double team off the top to retain.

Winners and still IWS Tag Champions: The Flying Hurricanes (Unlike last month’s multi-man-mega-flip match, these guys kept it short and sweet and stuck to the crazy double-teams. No-one looked bad apart from Spyral and Shadow who out-stayed their welcome as soon as the bell rang.)

BLK OUT vs. Excalibur & Super Dragon

This month BLK OUT is represented by Eddie Kingston and Sabian. Ruckus isn’t at ringside as he’s getting ready for his world title shot later on tonight, which is the first mention of it. BLK OUT caused these guys to not win the tag titles last month so it’s serious. Well, I say that but Excalibur sent me a message one time and claimed he had zero recollection of wrestling Sabian until he saw a clip from this match in Botchamania.

Those two start with Sabian using his speed to stay one step ahead of the feeling-out process. Excalibur grins and gives a thumbs up and tags in Super Dragon. Kingston’s in too, these two had wrestled previously in IWA-MS with Kingston winning. Then SD realises Sabian is like a bag of sugar to him and gives him an almighty twilt-a-whirl backbreaker. SD surfboards Sabian as the poor bugger is getting trounced by the SoCal duo. Sabian declines to tag out though and manages to double armdrag both men out the ring and connects with a pescado. Kingston STO-backbreakers Excalibur so Sabian can take over. BLK OUT take turns locking in a Camel Clutch on Excalibur. Kingston delivers a Canadian Backbreaker and makes sure to mug SD as he goes for a pin. Sabian antagonises SD to prevent Excalibur from escaping the oubliette of pain he finds himself trapped in. Sabian is fine at being a dick but Kingston’s facial expressions and mannerisms are top-tier. Fans hate his cuntiness and rejoice when Excalibur finally makes the tag and SD cleans house with Tiger Drivers. Kingston tries going up top but SD cuts him off. Awkward moment as both men are clearly waiting to be interrupted but no-one comes so Eddie has to shout for Sabian to hurry up and get in the ring. SD stomps on Kingston’s crotch but Kingston is able to f--- him off and deliver a Side Suplex. Excalibur doesn’t appreciate that and manages a Backdrop Suplex on Eddie. He sells it for five seconds so he can give Excalibur a Shoulderbreaker type move but SD interrupts it as he’s the legal guy and he’s been lying there for two minutes. Kingston throws SD off the top rope so Sabian can Frog Splash SD but Excalibur barely makes the save. ”It’s Black History month, have some respect!” shouts Robbie Mireno. Excalibur kills Kingston with a Spider German Suplex off the top so Sabian uses this position to double-stomp him, Low Ki style. SD annihilates Sabian with a sickening Curb Stomp. The CZW Fans (mutants?) demand another one and they get it. Sabian kicks out and the crowd isn’t impressed. Spinning Blue Thunder Bomb off the top gets two and this is getting a bit silly now. SD tries for the Psycho Driver but he takes too long and Sabian frankensteiners him into the pin.

Winners: BLK OUT (First half of this was fine with BLK OUT being cocks but it fell apart and both teams were on different pages by the end. The kick-outs bordered on parody, no-one should kick out of two curb stomps. It may have got heat or at least a positive reaction from a PWG crowd but here in Philly it made people go ”that’s silly.”)

Adam Flash vs. Kaos (Falls Count Anywhere, Tables & Ladders Match)

This is Kaos’ last match in CZW. Kaos dominates to start, clearly pissed at Flash interfering last month. Some nice sequences in the ring play out to silence as the crowd are more interested in the already-set up ladders at ringside. I know it’s easier for the wrestlers to have them ready but it messes with the start of the match as no-one cares about pin-fall attempts when there’s cool-looking ladders at ringside being not-used. Every company needs a Bill Alfonso or Jeff Jones to set up s--- for the wrestlers. Kaos hurls Flash into a ladder a few times but gets crotched on a set-up one in the corner. Flash slingshots Kaos for two, followed by a running powerbomb. Flash misses his trademark leg drop so he takes a breather. When he tries to get back in, he gets a mouth-full of ladder and Kaos unwisely dives over the top onto him. Kaos’ selling is nice and dramatic, he takes an Irish Whip into the barricade and makes sure to move all of his body and yell like AHHHHHHHH. Or maybe he’s just in real pain. They brawl into the bleachers as Flash’s manager Discount Dewey Donovan sets up some tables. Where was he earlier for the ladders? Flash scales the crow’s nest and lands the Big Ass Leg Drop for the win.

Winner: Adam Flash (Like the previous match, they kept it short and to the point and got the Big Ass Leg Drop in. Flash wasn’t amazing or anything but knew his way around a plunder.)

Justice Pain & Nick Gage vs. Team Cash (CZW Tag Team Title Match)

Team Cash is represented by Chris Cash and Nate Webb, with JC Bailey at ringside. Webb’s Teenage Dirtbag is always a highlight and I can’t stand the song when sober. Bailey makes it clear before the match he isn’t happy with not defending the titles but he understands. WELL S---, might as well skip to the end of this match after that. Pain & Gage formed the third version of The H8 Club at Cage of Death VI and this is their first shot at the titles. Justice Pain reminds Cash he was in the crowd watching The H8 Club in ’99 and he’s going to wish he was still there. Pain then calls out the long-retired ‘Sick’ Nick Mondo to return. Surprisingly that retirement stuck and you can find out more by reading my review of Mondo’s film The Trade!

Webb starts with Gage and despite Gage being terrifying, Webb still dances with him before tagging out to Cash. Chris takes down Gage unconvincingly because he probably weighed less than Sabian despite being twice his height. Gage gets double-teamed by the Cash guys hurling themselves at him with Gage having to take a rage-breather to escape. It’s unusual for Cash to be in a normal tag match, he’s a fearless death match guy but his strikes look like they couldn’t dent rice pudding. Cash tries to confuse Pain & Gage by running the ropes a lot so Gage nearly decapitates him with a lariat. Pain dominates Cash, which is where Pain is best. As long as he’s wrestling someone who can take his occasional dumb move he’s fine. Cash is fine against him as Pain bounces him around like a tennis ball. It gets ugly when Cash tries to do moves to Pain and JP isn’t in the mood so he stands there grinning before planting him with a brainbuster. Webb makes the save with a Frankensteiner and a springboard pescado to the outside onto both men. Cash does the same with a dive that ”doesn’t get all of it” onto Pain who neglects to catch him. Webb brings in his Eazy-E clock to counter Gage’s Spinning Elbow but Pain has none of it and gives him a spinebuster. Diving headbutt gets two as Cash makes the save and Pain brings the table. Webb counters a Hardcore Drop through the table into a DDT which only gets two. Webb can’t believe it, realises he needs to bust out something big and misses a top-rope moonsault to the concrete. JESUS F---. Bailey walks in the ring and to the surprise of no-one, turns on Cash by bashing him with a chair. Face scrapes, spike piledriver, cocky pin, new champs.

Winners and NEW CZW Tag Team Champions: Justice Pain & Nick Gage (Titles are off Team Cash, we get a new feud with Bailey, Webb got to dance. Match served it’s purpose even if Cash vs. Pain was like water and oil.)

Webb and Cash get brutalised post-match until Zandig shows up to call out Bailey for not showing up last month. This segue-ways into him introducing the Ultraviolent Underground. CZW was getting screwed hard by the Philly State Athletic Commission with regards to death matches so Zandig’s idea was to stage matches after the show in front of no fans for DVDs. I missed the rest of what Zandig was saying as the mics were awful at this point but he definitely said F------ CZW a few times.

Franky The Mobster vs. B-Boy (CZW Iron Man Title vs. IWS World Heavyweight Title)

Franky! One of my favourites from IWS, accurately described as ”a big cocaine filled freak” by Feinberg. He makes friends by starting fights with the entire front row. He’s the IWS World Champ and B-Boy’s the Iron Man Champ but it’s thankfully not an Iron Man match.

Franky spits in B-Boy’s face but runs outside after taking a few punches which really pisses off the crowd. B-Boy works over FTM until Franky starts throwing him around and surprisingly dives over the top rope onto B-Boy. Franky applauds himself after that, then stops to use his inhaler. Franky doesn’t have an indie move-set but he gets a reaction out of the crowd which is always welcome at CZW shows. Franky sticks to hurling around B-Boy with suplexes and neckbreakers as the crowd chant s---. Match gets a little clunky as B-Boy is used to doing a thousand different things but FTM is keeping it simple and keeping him down. Eventually he relents and delivers his Side-Suplex to little reaction. The bigger moves get exchanged but there’s no heat. Crowd likes hating Franky but they’re not cheering B-Boy. B-Boy halts another throw with a knee to the chin and nails the Shining Wizard but FTM kicks out. That gets a reaction. He tries again, Franky blocks and turns it into a Wheelbarrow Neckbreaker which looks nice but doesn’t end the match. Instead, B-Boy tries a small package but FTM rolls it the other way to win the match and title.

Winner and new CZW Iron Man Champion: Franky The Mobster (These two didn’t have the type of match the crowd was expecting from B-Boy so it fell a little flat, but Franky was memorable even if the match wasn’t. Frank celebrates by attacking the ref after the match.)

Mike Quackenbush vs. Alex Shelley (c) vs. Sexxxy Eddy vs. The Arsenal (CZW Junior Heavyweight Title)

Shelley’s the champ having won it last month from Sonjay Dutt. Eddy is the most over thanks to his blood-drinking at TOD last year (which lead to increased interest in IWS which lead to Kevin Steen and El Generico getting booked everywhere, so TOD lead to WWE Champion Kevin Owens). Arsenal is an IWS guy and this match lead to an interesting blog I’ll post after this match.

Four-way lock-up ends with Quack putting multiple people in submission holds at the same time because he’s wrestled everywhere and knows everything. Shelley takes out Quack outside with a dive over the top but Quack comes back with a perfect tope. Eddy tries a Split-Legged Moonsault but Arsenal kicks his ”five pounds of cock meat” on the way down. Arsenal with a funky rope-assisted neckbreaker and a sunset flip/powerbomb combo takes out 3/4 of the match. Shelley nails Shell Shock on Quack but it’s one-fall so Eddy interrupts. Feinberg questions why Shelley would try to pin Eddy after landing his finish on Quack, then shits on the fans for chanting for Shelley. Feinberg was 100% better a commentator than a wrestler. Shelley and Arsenal team up to pound away on Eddy, until Arsenal swerves Alex. Arsenal then brutally botches a Fisherman’s Neckbreaker on the apron before both men ignore it and do the spot in-ring instead. ”This match needs more cravats.” Shelley tries to superplex Eddy off the top to the floor but Arsenal pushes them both off, which was for the best. Quack sneaks in and gives a Backpack stunner to Arsenal who makes Quack look like Andre The Giant. Quack locks in the Pendulum of Doom to show off which Arsenal doesn’t appreciate so he plants him with a Backback DVD. Everyone goes finisher crazy and f--- typing all that. It ends with a Quadruple German Suplex session off the top. Shelley ends up stretching Quack with no-one else in the ring which looks like the finish but Quack’s the Submission God so he escapes, destroys everyone with PALM STRIKES and lands the Quackendriver II to win the match and title.

Winner and new CZW Junior Heavyweight Champion: Mike Quackenbush (Fun match with the style differences increasing the enjoyment, similar to the four-ways ROH would do around this time. One half of it was Quack and Shelley trying submissions and the other was Arsenal and Eddy trying to kill one another with suplex variants. Quack’s range was showcased en route so he looked like a killer before winning the title. Shelley stays behind after the match lamenting his loss after chasing the title for so long to lose it in the first defence.)

Oh and here’s The Arsenal’s semi-famous post about the match (thanks to trentapercenta for finding this, thought it was gone forever):

As someone that’s wrestled Quack, Alex Shelley and Sexy Eddy in a 4 way match, here’s my thoughts on Quack.

1. Gifted athlete.

2. Passion for the sport.

3. Bit of a hypocrite and minor douchiness.

(I hope Quack doesnt come find me in Canada for this breach of kayfabe…. lol)

When we were planning the match backstage it was pretty much the Quackenbush show. At one point I was like… so, that’s the 3rd stacked superplex maneuver we’re doing in the same match? Ok, whatever. So many oddly coordinated 4 man spots that I hated but they kept saying how good they were(Chikara influence).

Anyways, before the match Quack wants to try his new finish which he explains to me and Shelley as a tombstone with your legs crossed. He’s going to do it to Shelley to win, then to me after I jump Eddy post match. Fast forward to the end of the match, Quack hits me with a palm strike while I’m on the top rope that knocked my jaw out of place (aka stiff), does his finisher on Shelley (which nearly kills him, didnt know why at the time) then proceeds to give it to me. Tombstone my f------ ass. He gave me a f------ figure 4 cross legged Owen driver that nearly broke my neck.

So we get backstage, both Shelley and Quack come up to me and bitch that I work too stiff. LOL. Guy almost breaks my neck with a move I woulda never taken if he had described it right (and like he couldnt) and nearly palms my face off, and they bitch about me?

Shelley also kicked Eddy’s f------ face in at one point, but those crybabies had the (lack of balls) to come up to me and bitch.

So yeah, not the most dirty of stories, but its something to stoke the fire, and like always, I’m a big enough small man to put my f------ name and own up to it.

Ruckus vs. The Messiah (CZW World Heavyweight Title)

This is Ruckus’ first World Title shot ever despite being one of the longest lasting wrestlers on the roster. He was always reliable but his place on the card wasn’t in the main event until BLK OUT became the highlight of many CZW shows last year. This would have been ridiculous a year ago but thanks to BLK OUT, Ruckus gets an encouraging hate-filled reaction from the crowd. Moves are exchanged until Messiah ends up outside and Ruckus flips outside and bonks him with a chair. Ruckus tries his moonsault off the apron but Messiah moves, so Ruckus lands on his feet and chases him with backflips until he nails it.

Messiah is bleeding from the eye but he’s able to block a headscissors with a dropkick. A calf kick sets up a Tornado DDT from Messiah who isn’t looking sharp. He’d alternate between looking amazing and hungover during his CZW run. Rough-looking top rope neckbreaker gets no reaction from the crowd. Ruckus tries another Razzle Dazzle multiple moonsault but Messiah gets his knees up. Ruckus pays him back by getting his knees up on Messiah’s lionsault and crowd has lost interest as it’s turning into two dudes giving each other moves for the hell of it. Razzle Dazzle connects followed by a rolling fameasser as Ruckus takes over the match and the Crowd starts chanting for him after that. Messiah tries a German Suplex but Ruckus blocks it by backflipping over him. Messiah gives him a TKO instead which also describes Messiah’s condition right now. After getting a messy monkey flip, Messiah takes a literal rest outside and Ruckus decides to end the match with a roll-up.

Winner and new CZW World Heavyweight Champion: Ruckus (Messiah looked worse for wear so this was all Ruckus, which the crowd were happy with. He started the match as a bad guy but thanks to out-shining his opponent he was getting cheers towards the end. At the time, this was a weird decision as the main events had been nearly all death match-focused but by 2005 they were out of main event death matches guys. Lobo had retired, so had Wifebeater and Zandig was f----- after the powerbomb on concrete. Messiah was able to wrestle death matches but I’m going to speculate based purely on this match he didn’t want the title & pressure anymore, so all hail Reliable Ruckus.)

Overall: New champs, new era, new direction. Death matches have gone the way of DVD-only Ultraviolent Underground, open relationship with Chikara and IWS to fill the inconsistent mid-card and BLK OUT shirts everywhere. There were some fun matches here but given the lack of feuds in the title changes, the important thing here was the start of a truly great era for the often-maligned company.

And as an added-bonus I messaged Kaos about his time in CZW because only the best for Scott Keith’s Blog Of Doom (my questions in bold):

How did you get booked by CZW? You were/are a So-Cal guy so were you trying to make a move to the area?

I never moved to the area. CZW brought me in for a handfull of show. After I was released from XPW my buddy Messiah was OVER in CZW and Zandig wanted to bring in someone from his past. The run in was legit, Messiah had no clue I was there until I hit the ring.

You were part of the XPW self-proclaimed Hostile Takeover of Philadelphia so were you seen as an evil So-Cal invader or was that water under the bridge by 2004?

I felt like an outsider, since I only knew a few people backstage. Everyone was cool tho, Johnny Cashmere, Trent Acid, Adam Flash, Chris Cash and Ruckus were all cool as f---. I think the heat was more between the promoters or maybe more so, Messiah and Rob Black had major heat.

What was it like dealing with the legendary Zandig?

Zandig was cool. I dealt more with Messiah and Whacks.

You were there for five shows, was this the intended length? I ask because Mike Burns took over booking mid-way through your run.

I never knew there was a booking change. I agreed to one shot and they wanted to keep bringing me back in. Mainly cause Messiah and I had a great relationship and he was batting for me. I was in a bad place mentally, emotionally and physcally at the time. I was doing coke, my girlfriend of 3 years had cheated on me and I wasnt working out. I had no business taking those bookings and looking back the worst performances of my career. Maybe the worst performance was around the same time when I wrestled for JAPW vs Justice Pain.

Thoughts on your matches with Adam Flash, Messiah and B-Boy?

Dudes took care of me and treated me like one of their own. Much love and respect to these men.

Also you were unlucky enough to be part of a Ladders & Scaffold match at Cage of Death VI that received a very negative reception from fans due to the lack of falling off tall things. Your thoughts on the match and reaction?

Yeah I think I was the only one picked to fall of the hanging scallfold onto a ladder or two. I think Messiah got to take a atomic drop in some thumbtacks. I did some crazyness in my career like deathmatches, tables, chairs, ladders. But falling from a high place was never my thing, guys usually WANT to take crazy bumps like ANGEL or SUPREME. But CZW forced me to take this bump. I did my best. Sorry to hear no one liked it.

Finally, overall thoughts on your run there? Something you were happy with or just another show?

It was definitely forgettable. If i had gone a few year earlier when my head was straight or a few years later when I was matured, it would have been a better run.

Thanks Kaos, if you’re interested in wrestling training in the So-Cal area be sure to check out The Santino Bros.

Until then, this review is more than long enough so thank you and goodnight.