Back to working my way through my Smart Mark Video On Demand splurge from a couple of years back, as we take a look at Tournament of Death 16. I really have no idea why I purchased this as Deathmatch wrestling isn’t really my thing, but I can only assume that it was because I felt like broadening my horizons a little bit and taking myself out of my comfort zone.
There’s really only one Deathmatch styled show I’ve ever watched in full and that’s the King of the Deathmatch tournament from 1995, which featured Cactus Jack, Terry Funk and Terry Gordy. I liked that show well enough for what it was, but that may have mostly been down to the fact that I’m a big Mick Foley fan and also because they broke up things up with non-tournament matches so it wasn’t just a cavalcade of people doing Deathmatch spots.
I may not particularly enjoy this, but I’m willing to give it a go because I am somewhat interested in the whole Deathmatch scene as sub-genre within the wrestling business. I really do ponder sometimes why the guys put themselves through this pain, especially as most of the time there doesn’t even seem to be a backstory to explain why. I get doing a big brawl with blood and weapons if it’s to blow off a long running and hate filled feud, but to just do it for the sake of doing it seems to fly in the face of wrestling logic (It’s why I didn’t really dig that Omega/Janella match as much as others did because they were doing stuff that could really mean something in a heated blood feud but were burning it off on a thrown together match for YouTube).
I’ve decided that giving these matches actual ratings probably isn’t going to work because it’s very difficult to actually rate them on any sort of scale because this style of wrestling is so niche and unusual, so I’ll just give my thoughts on each match and leave the stars at home for today.
The event is emanating from a field somewhere Townsend, Delaware on the 10th of June 2017
Calling the action are Dan Kelley and Joe Dombraski
Tournament of Death – First Round
Light Tubes and Cinderblocks
G-Raver Vs Jeff Cannonball
G-Raver looks a bit like a really skinny Erick Rowan whilst Cannonball looks like King Kong Bundy if he decided to open up a body piercing and tattoo parlour. As the match name suggests, this is a match where Light Tubes and Cinderblocks are strewn across the ring and legal for the competitors to use. Both men grab cinderblocks to start, but that joust ends with the blocks splintering and Raver dropkicking Cannonball to the floor. When he tries a follow up dive however Cannonball holds up a light tube to block it and then works him over outside. Raver fights back with cinderblock shots of his own and both men are bleeding mere minutes in, and this is just the opener! The opener!!
The crowd are mightily into Cannonball and he is definitely the favourite here based on these reactions. Cannonball gives his public what they want by German Suplexing Raver through some of the light tubes, but Raver is able to kick out at two. Cannonball stacks up some cinderblocks and then sets Raver up on the top rope, but he takes too long before going for whatever move he wants to go for and Raver comes off the top with a Meteora onto the blocks. Raver buries Cannonball under some light tubes and then tosses a cinderblock onto him.
Raver adds a cinderblock shot to the crotch (Which looked safer than it sounds as the block mostly disintegrated upon impact thankfully) and the crowd chants “no more babies” as consequence. Raver gets two from that and then brings in some chairs. Cannonball fights off whatever he has planned however and then puts two blocks on one of the chairs before flinging Raver down onto them for two. Cannonballs heads outside for some water, which allows Raver to follow him out with a dive and then try to dropkick a light tube into him. Sadly Raver misses the tubes though, so he just hits Cannonball with them instead. Oh well, he didn’t repeat the spot at least.
Raver sticks some knitting needles in Cannonball’s head back inside, which is utterly gross, but Cannonball replies with a suplex into the corner and then heads up top. Raver stops him however and then drapes him over the top rope. Raver tries to leg drop some light tubes onto Cannonball’s back whilst he lies on the top rope, but he hilariously botches it up and the light tubes fall to floor as Raver tumbles onto the apron. Cannonball decides at this stage that this has gone on enough and lifts Raver up into the Greetings From Asbury Park onto both light tubes and blocks for the win.
WINNER: JEFF CANNONBALL
If you’re going to do crazy garbage wrestling like this then at least hit your spots. This was botch-tastic and would probably provide Maffew with some decent material if he’s ever inclined to give this one a watch (If he hasn’t already of course).
What a way to start us off!
We get a bunch of replays and then a promo from Cannonball, where he says he’s going to kill whomever he faces in the next round.
Tournament of Death – First Round
Barbed Wire Craziness
Conor Claxton Vs Clint Margera
Claxton’s thing is that he has a big wrench whilst Margera is a Deathmatch guy from the UK. So the gimmick here is that there is that there are weapons and boards both inside and outside the ring that are all wrapped in barbed wire, which is actually a pretty cool idea that could be used in a big feud ending bout. The fight spills outside almost instantly, where Margera opens up Claxton with a barbed wire covered baseball bat and then stacks a barbed wire board between the ring and the railings. Margera tries to put Claxton through the board with a dive, but Claxton moves and its Margera who tastes the wire back first.
Claxton puts the board over Margera and then follows with a double stomp from the top rope before dragging Margera over to a barbed wire trampoline that happens to be by the ring truck, because…
Anyway, Claxton tries to suplex Margera onto the trampoline but Margera fights him off and then starts dragging him back towards the ring as the crowd boo’s. I’m with the crowd there, you can’t tease us with something that mental and then not deliver, especially as nothing else they can do in the ring will top just how silly that would have been. Both guys actually do some wrestling back inside the ring, but Margera botches a rana attempt so goes back to the basics by stomping Claxton’s face into the wire for two. Claxton starts fighting back but gets Falcon Arrowed onto the barbed wire for two.
Margera drags Claxton out towards Chekov’s barbed wire trampoline and throws him onto it whilst he climbs up onto the truck. Claxton joins him up there however and we have a brief brawl before Margera knocks Claxton down onto the wire, with Claxton actually bouncing on the wire in one of the more impressive ultra-violent garbage spots I’ve personally seen. Margera isn’t done however and follows with a Swanton Bomb off the truck, which causes both men to bounce upon impact. Of course getting off a barbed wire trampoline is no easy feat and both men have to be helped off by a gaggle of ring crew and referees, which leads to them heading back to the ring.
That all gets a two for Margera once they get back inside, so Margera brings in some chairs and stacks one of the barbed wire boards on them. Claxton and Margera fight over who goes through it, and eventually Claxton wins that battle by getting a second rope piledriver onto the board for the win.
WINNER: CONOR CLAXTON
The barbed wire trampoline was pretty inventive, I’ll give them that. Aside from that it was a lot of walking around and very little in the way of transitions between the big spots. I didn’t overly enjoy it but it did hold my attention.
Following the replays we get comments from Margera, who says that match was everything he wanted it to be. He wanted to get beaten in the opening round?
Tournament of Death – First Round
Doorway to Deathmatch
Shlak Vs Masada
Shlak is a very scary looking dude with lots of tattoo’s who I’d never heard of before watching this but he certainly looks like an imposing customer that you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. Masada used to be in the Carnage Crew back in ROH but I haven’t really tracked his career much following that as the Deathmatch scene isn’t really my thing. The rules here are that doors covered in light tubes are propped up in the corner and you can put your opponent through the doors should you so desire.
Shlak wins the slug fest inside the ring, but Masada fights back with a light tube outside the ring. The fight continues outside for a bit longer before heading back into the ring, where Shlak puts Masada through one of the doors with a pounce and then takes a light tube to Masada’s forehead to open him up. Both men take it in turns to clobber one another with the remains of the first door, as Masada is now wearing the proverbial crimson mask and looks like he’s in dire need of a lie down and a nice cup of tea, but instead he gets some wooden skewers and sticks them in Shlak’s head, as you do
Urgh, that’s straight up disgusting. Shlak fights back however by dropping one of the doors onto Masada and then following with an elbow drop for two (Although Masada was smart enough to push away the door before Shlak made contact). Shlak ends up on the apron but Masada knocks him off to send him through a door/light tube contraption outside the ring before putting him back inside. Shlak replies with a low blow however and gets a Michinoku Driver, but chooses to bring another door into the ring rather than going for a pin. Shlak sets the door up between two chairs and lays Masada on it before heading out and pouring some lighter fluid on his elbow pad before SETTING HIS ELBOW PAD ON FIRE AND GOING FOR AN ELBOW DROP!! Seriously, what in the love of fuck was that?!?! Masada thankfully dodges that and then hits a series of Death Valley Drivers on the door for two before digging more skewers into Shlak’s head for the submission win.
Well, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything like that flaming elbow drop before. It certainly made the match memorable if nothing else. If you’re going to do something like a Deathmatch tournament then you might as well turn the crazy up to 11 I suppose, but man, that was terrifying.
Masada grabs a mic post-match and puts Shlak over
Tournament of Death – First Round
Pains in the Glass
John Wayne Murdoch Vs Jimmy Havoc Vs Rickey Shane Page
Wayne seems to be your usual redneck character from Tennessee. Page is quite well known on the indie Deathmatch circuit and is the defending Champion, whilst Jimmy Havoc made a name for himself on the British indie scene before securing a contract with AEW. As the match name suggests, this one features panes of glass in each corner and you can throw people through them. My main over riding thought whenever I see a match like this is how easy it could be for someone in the crowd to get some glass in their eye. It doesn’t seem worth the potential lawsuit.
Havoc is decked in white here, just so any blood he gets on himself will be amplified that much more, which I actually kind of appreciate. If you’re going to get cut to pieces in a violent Deathmatch you might as well make sure it’s going to be clearly visible to people in the cheap seats (Or those standing at the back of the field in this case). Murdoch and Page aren’t interested in Havoc and start punching away at one another whilst Havoc catches a breather outside before clearing the ring and then diving out onto both men. Havoc is very over with the crowd as a big international star here, and he looks to be pretty jazzed because of it.
A pink chair gets involved and Havoc flings it at Page before politely returning it to the audience member he got it from. Well, he is British at the end of the day and we’re all hotwired to be courteous to a certain degree, even our violent Deathmatch wrestlers. Into the ring we go, where everyone takes a turn going into the glass in the corners, as they’re clearly not waiting around here to start getting violent. Murdoch tries to break the final pane of glass by head butting it whilst Page holds it, but it isn’t playing ball so Havoc gets involved as well by flinging Murdoch into it whilst Page also throws himself into it as hard as he can on his side and the glass finally shatters.
Havoc and Murdoch drag Page around the ring in the broken glass, as the referee is adorned with protective glasses and gloves, so at least he’s planned ahead. Havoc Canadian Destroyers Page, but turns around into one from Murdoch and rolls outside, where Murdoch follows with a cannonball senton off the apron. Murdoch and Page decide to sit on some chairs face to face in the middle of the ring and start trading punches, which leads to them sticking metal gauze into each other’s’ chests. This brings in Havoc for a double Pele kick, and it looks like he’s put some protective gloves on. We find out why as he brings in a pane of glass wrapped in barbed wire that I had no idea was even there, and then stacks it on two chairs. Havoc lies Murdoch under the pane of glass and then tries to double stomp Page through it, but it doesn’t shatter, thus ruining the big spot of the match. Havoc finally manages to break the glass with a snap suplex and then pins Murdoch, for two. What’s the point of doing such a big spot if it’s just going to be a two count?
Page gets Havoc with a back breaker, but Murdoch no sells it when he tries it on him and takes him down with a suplex before catching Havoc with the Pay Dirt. ANOTHER pane of glass gets brought in, this one having metal things on it, and lays Havoc under it before heading up top. Page stops whatever he has planned however, but Murdoch fights back and then Canadian Destroyers Page from the top rope through the pane of glass. However, Havoc attacks Murdoch and then steals the pin on Page to advance. Okay, I’ll concede that was a bigger spot to end it on, fair enough.
WINNER: JIMMY HAVOC
Plenty of energy in this one, as the crowd clearly viewed this as a big match and the guys were amped up as consequence. Shame about the botches, but overall I was entertained by it.
Four Corners Of Pain
Dan O’Hare Vs George Gatton Vs Jimmy Lloyd Vs Kit Osborne
Funnily enough you could see these four planning their match backstage when they were doing the gory slow motion shots of Rickey Shane Page’s bleeding back during the post-match replays of the previous bout. Osbourne definitely comes across as heel based on his entrance but the other lads all seem to be babyfaces as they slap hands and play to the crowd. Lloyd kind of looks like Lobo, Rhino and Sami Callihan had their genes spliced together in a laboratory by a shady Eastern European scientist. The stipulation here seems to be that there some of the left over weapons from the first round are strewn around and inside the ring.
Osbourne bails to start but then comes back in with a sickening unprotected chair shot to O’Hare, drawing blood in the process. O’Hare doesn’t take that lying down and powerbombs Osbourne onto some light tubes, which leads to Lloyd and Gatton taking him out with some light tubes of their own. Lloyd and Gatton do the light tube duel, which ends with both men bleeding and Lloyd getting a package piledriver for two. Why would that move be anything but a finisher? What a waste. Lloyd sets a door up between two chairs and then Tombstone Piledrivers Osbourne off the second rope through it, only for Gatton to break up the pin. Oh well, they didn’t have Osbourne kick out at least.
A pane of glass covered in razor blades gets set up between the chairs and Gatton gets an Acid Drop onto Lloyd through the glass, which leads to the horrifying image of Lloyd having the blades stuck in his hand. O’Hare flings Gatton out of the ring onto some trainees and then squares off with Lloyd for a weed whacker (O’Hare) vs barbed wire bat (Lloyd) fight, which not surprisingly ends in the weed whacker coming out the victor. Gatton uses this chance to attack O’Hare, but Osbourne takes him out with an Olympic Slam and then rana’s O’Hare off the top through a chair.
Osbourne stops to taunt however, which allows Gatton to attack him. Gatton tries going up, but Lloyd attacks him with some light tubes and then tries to DVD him off the apron through some sort of stack of weapons, but he misses and they both fall onto the grass. O’Hare lights a board in the corner and power slams Osbourne through it for the three count.
WINNER: DAN O’HARE
That was probably one of the wildest matches on the show so far and it wasn’t even in a match from the tournament. This was exceedingly violent and was also fought at a brisk pace, meaning it was never boring at the very least.
Jimmy Lloyd does a promo talking about how he’s the future of ultra-violence. I’m not sure that means he himself will have much of a future though considering how this style wears you down. O’Hare has a swig of what looks like cider and says he’ll keep kicking ass until CZW kicks him off the roster. Osbourne says his performance means he deserves a place on the main roster for suffering in the Deathmatch. Gatton says he’s had two matches in CZW and he wants more.
Tournament of Death – Semi-Final
Jeff Cannonball Vs Conor Claxton
“Summertime Fun” seems to mean that there are summer themed weapons in the ring, although they seem to have sadly not used a paddling pool filled with thumbtacks, which you think would be apropos in such a situation? Cannonball actually lays a lip smacker on Claxton to start and DDT’s him onto a guitar for two. Next we get a mace of barbed wire, which makes this feel more like a 1300’s English Deathmatch, which might actually be quite fun now I think about it. Outside we go, where Claxton hits Cannonball with a golf club so that we can get the obligatory Barry Darsow reference from the commentary team.
Claxton pours literal salt in Cannonball’s wounds and the fight spills into what would constitute the aisle way, where Cannonball takes a broken bottle to Claxton’s head. Into the crowd we go, where Cannonball buries Claxton under everyone’s chairs and then poses for a selfie with a fan. Claxton fights back, but Cannonball grabs a cooler of beer and flings it at him. Everyone in this crowd are far too easy going, if someone threw my beer at someone I’d be pretty nettled. We finally get back to ringside, where Cannonball goes for a…err…cannonball into the railings but Claxton moves and then wears him out with a sack full rubber chicken. Well, that’s a new one on me I must say.
Eventually we get back into the ring, where Claxton chokes Cannonball with a baseball bat and then adds some shots with it for good measure. A watermelon gets involved and Claxton tries to DDT Cannonball onto it, but Cannonball blocks it with an underhook piledriver for two. Cannonball suplexes Claxton into some barbed wire wrapped metal bins in the corner, but Claxton is able to kick out at two once again. Claxton fights back with a guitar shot and then drapes the bins over him before heading up top. Cannonball gets back up however and throws Claxton down onto the bins for two.
Cannonball leans Claxton up against a bed of nails and goes for the cannonball, but Claxton moves and Cannonball goes onto the nails for two. Claxton leg drops the bed of nails over Cannonball’s face, but Cannonball kicks out again. Claxton lays Cannonball upon the bed of nails and then comes off the top rope with a splash, which is finally enough for the win.
WINNER: CONOR CLAXTON
This one meandered a bit too much for my personal tastes, but it wasn’t awful or anything. I just don’t think the summer theme really worked, but I suppose how many sorts of wacky gimmick matches can you have with this sort of budget and in this sort of set up? It’s one of the issues that come with doing a tournament format I guess.
Tournament of Death – Semi-Final
Light Tube Treachery
Jimmy Havoc Vs Masada
I would have preferred “Light Tube Infamy” to be honest, but what can you do? Three guesses for what the stip here is. In addition to all the light tubes Havoc throws in a barbed wire board for good measure. This really feels like it should have been the final if I’m being honest, as I can’t personally see Claxton defeating the winner. We actually get some wresting to start, as both men work a wrist lock and Havoc does some quick counters, only to eventually get caught and powerbombed through the barbed wire board in the corner. Havoc’s hair and shirt are pretty badly caught in the wire, but he’s eventually able to get free, only to get promptly flung into the light tubes in the corner.
Outside we go, where Masada stalks Havoc like a slasher movie villain and then clotheslines him into the crowd for some brawling out there. Over we go to where the barbed wire trampoline was, with Havoc getting chucked onto it and getting stuck once again. Whilst Havoc pulls himself out of the trampoline, Masada grabs the mic and insults him, which leads to Havoc rallying and flinging chairs at him. Havoc gets a rana from the apron and then puts Masada back inside for the Acid Rainmaker, which gets two.
Havoc gets a double stomp from the second rope, but Masada is once again able to kick out, so Havoc brings in a table with light stubes stuck to it. Masada fights back with a hip toss into the corner and then powerbombs Havoc onto the table, but it doesn’t break as I’m honestly going to be shocked if this match hasn’t made it onto Botchamania yet. Havoc tries putting Masada through the table next with a DVD, but it still doesn’t break so Havoc just cuts his losses and gets the Acid Rainmaker for the three count.
WINNER: JIMMY HAVOC
Fans are not happy that they took it home without breaking the table, but that table was clearly not breaking and the right thing was just to take it home and call it a day. The match itself wasn’t bad up until the table going into business for itself.
We don’t even get a replay of the table spot and just move on to the next match.
Fans Bring the Weapons
Matthew Tremont w/ Stockade Vs Mad Man Pondo
Tremont was getting built up for a big match with Onita later in the year and had been enjoying a steady push in the company, whilst Pondo was the veteran Deathmatch guy coming in to test him. You can tell that Tremont likes him some Kevin Sullivan as he gets announced as being from Singapore. Pondo of course has his trademark stop sign with him, along with a saw on the end of a baseball bat. Pondo yells “I’m the babyface” before the match starts, which is helpful for new viewers at least.
Pondo wastes no time throwing Tremont into some light tubes to start and then pulls out a dildo wrapped in barbed wire on the end of a jigsaw and shoves it up Tremont’s bum for one of the weirder weapon spots of the night. The commentators pondering if this means the tape has to be sold in the porn section now is pretty funny. Tremont finds an old Casio keyboard and uses it to break a light tube over a downed Pondo before heading to a box of giant Lego’s and pouring them on the mat. Tremont tries to set Pondo up for a superplex but Pondon is NOT up for that and fights it off for all his worth, before throwing Tremont off the top onto the Lego’s.
Pondo tries to staple an autographed picture to Tremont’s back and then reaches for his baseball saw, which thankfully doesn’t look real as he rakes it across Tremont’s forehead, allowing Tremont to blade. Pondo takes the saw to Tremont’s groin (Called the “scrotum slicer” by one of the announcers) and then hangs Tremont in the Tree of Woe before putting a stop sign over his head and FLINGING a bowling ball at it. Oh my word, they looked rough to take. Stockade tries to come in to help his client, but Pondo fends him off and the rolls the bowling ball into Tremont’s crotch, breaking some light tubes in the process.
A bicycle gets put in the ring, as this show seems like it’s one giant love letter to wrestling MEME’s, but Pondo instead hammers away at Tremont with a plastic bat wrapped in beer cans before stacking a bin filled with light tubes on top of some chairs. Tremont cuts him off however and throws Pondo onto the stack of weapons before grabbing the bike. Tremont seems to have a change of heart though and tries to help Pondo up, only to find a middle finger waiting for him. With his offer of friendship rebuffed, Tremont DVD’s Pondo onto the bike and that’s enough for the win.
WINNER: MATTHEW TREMONT
This one actually had a story to it with Tremont surviving everything a Deathmatch legend could throw his way in order to prove that he could defeat another legend (Onita) down the line. The match itself was mostly just Tremont getting hit with weapons by Pondo before pulling off the win, but that worked for the story they were trying to tell so I was okay with it.
Tremont grabs a mic post-match and thanks Pondo for the match and then hypes up the Onita match. Pondo grabs a mic after Tremont leaves and then rides the bike around the ring a bit before thanking the fans for coming.
Devon Moore and Drew Blood Vs Alex Colon and Danny Havoc
Moore and Havoc have been taking part in ultra-violent Deathmatch’s for years, so they should be right at home in this one. I wasn’t sure if Colon was a hardcore guy at first but a trip to CAGEMATCH reveals that he’s been in Deathmatch’s quite a lot, so this shouldn’t be too unusual for him. The scaffold just seems to be there so that the guys can do moves of it and doesn’t seem to be the way of winning the match. The commentary team mention that Havoc and Moore used to be a team, so that’s the backstory behind this one. This is a wild brawl from the off, with light tubes getting broken and Moore leaping off the scaffold down onto Havoc and Blood, and seemingly twisting his ankle in the process.
I’m not surprised to be honest, as he didn’t even seem to make sure that everyone was ready to catch him before he jumped and the landing did not look right at all. Havoc buries Blood under some chairs and then heads up to one of the scaffolds with an elbow drop for two as Moore gets carried to the back, seemingly leaving Blood on his own for the rest of the match. Kit Osbourne runs down to seemingly fill in for Moore and brawls with Havoc whilst Colon and Blood fight on top of the scaffold. That leads to Colon giving Blood a Spanish Fly off the top of the scaffold through some barbed wire boards in another of a series of wild high spots on this show.
With those two out of proceedings, Havoc gets a sit out powerbomb onto a bunch of chairs back inside but Osbourne is able to kick out at two. Havoc tries to get a DVD off the apron through a table that is covered in glass and light tubes, but the table doesn’t break so Havoc lays him on it (With a ring crew member holding Osbourne in place) and then comes off the scaffold with an elbow drop. The table STILL doesn’t break however, so Havoc goes up once again and this time the table finally breaks (Or at least sags a little bit), leading to the three count.
WINNERS: DANNY HAVOC AND ALEX COLON
This was an absolute mess, with the Moore injury clearly ruining everything and the table issues completely botching the ending. Did they really need the Osbourne bit? Once Moore was injured, why not just do the Spanish Fly on Blood and call it a day?
Havoc grabs a mic post-match and tries to retire, but Colon interrupts the promo and challenges Havoc for one last match so they can finally resolve their issues. Havoc agrees to the match in September and the two men shake hands.
Tournament of Death Final
Conor Claxton Vs Jimmy Havoc
Seeing as this is the final they’ve stripped the ring down to just the wooden boards with the ropes on two sides being replaced with barbed wire and light tubes. There is also a wooden coffin with light tubes on it, just to really ramp up the danger. Havoc wastes no time knocking Claxton out of the ring through some light tubes, which leads to both men fighting outside. Claxton has a look on his face of someone who just doesn’t want to be here now. It’s the expression of a person who just wants to go home and watch the Coronation Street omnibus whilst having a brew and a nice biccy. It’s the expression of a person who wants to be wrapped in a blanket and be told that everything is going to be okay. It’s a haunting look, the look of a dog that’s 16 years old and can’t control when it needs to poo anymore. It doesn’t want to go for a walk, it just wants to sit on the rug and wait for death.
Yes, that look.
Anyway, back into the ring we go, where both men take it in turn to hit the other with light tubes, whihc leads to Claxton getting a bulldog onto some of them for two. Claxton ups the ante by laying a guardrail and some glass up between the ring and the ringside railings before coming off the apron with a Michinoku Driver which leaves both men bloody and in a lot of pain. Medics come over to check on both men but they defy them and get back in the ring, where Claxton coats the coffin in lighter fluid before setting in on fire, only for Havoc to foil his plans and give him a DVD onto it. Not content with just that, Havoc DVD’s Claxton into the coffin through a pane of glass before pulling him out and getting the Acid Rainmaker and then following up with a curb stomp onto the light tubes for the win.
WINNER AND CHAMPION: JIMMY HAVOC
Both guys were hurting and struggling here, so they did the right thing by getting it over and done with reasonably quickly before someone got seriously injured. The match itself was just more of the same, with light tubes in particular being very overdone. I would have limited all the glass breaking for a few matches because by the end of this show it had lost all its lustre and was just another transition move.
Rickey Shane Page, last year’s winner, comes down to hand over the trophy and congratulate Havoc on winning. In an interesting line, he calls the crowd the most fickle one he’s ever worked in front of. He also shows respect to Claxton, but Claxton is furious over losing and beats everyone up before destroying the trophy (Which some of the nihilistic crowd actually cheers) and then flipping Havoc off before leaving. Page challenges Claxton for July and then passes the mic to Havoc, who says that winning is a dream come true and then thanks the crowd before requesting a beer.
I didn’t hate this. I didn’t particularly enjoy it either though, and I don’t think I’ll ever really understand the appeal this genre of wrestling holds for those that do like it, but for what it was it held my attention and I can’t deny that some of the big spots and moves were very impressive.
I do feel like I have to question the psyche of some of the people who like this sometimes though, especially with all the gory close ups of all the litany of injuries the wrestlers suffered. It’s almost like it was some kind of “gore porn”, where the more damaged and brutalised a wrestlers body became the more eager the camera operator was to zoom in as much as possible so that we could get a really good view of the gushing wounds.
I can kind of understand the idea of liking this style of wrestling because it’s essentially like watching a human car crash with all the big bumps and wild weapon attacks, which can be exciting even if the bits between the big spots don’t really thread everything together that well, but the fixation on the RESULT of the car crash might be the most unedifying thing on display.
I wonder sometimes if there’s almost a kinky element to all this, where the wrestlers are acting in a somewhat masochistic way because they enjoy the punishment and the audience enjoys watching the punishment being inflicted? Or maybe I’m just overthinking things?
Regardless, if you think this sounds like something you might want to watch then you can pick this up for $9.99 on www.smvod.com (Or trawl certain video streaming websites for the inevitable clip compilations, but you didn’t hear that one from me)