Welcome to the Combat Zone (WrestleMania Weekend 2018 Previews)
CZW Welcome to the Combat Zone
Saturday, April 7 (3:00 p.m.)
The Sugar Mill
Let’s flashback to last year; Mania weekend 2017. My friends and I went to our final show of the weekend on Saturday night; CZW’s Best of the Best. This was my first CZW live show and would actually be the first CZW show that I had seen in years. This show would go on to make me a fan of the company. Everyone on the card worked incredibly hard to put on the best possible show for the fans that chose them over NXT and ROH. Since then, I’ve watched every CZW show and find the company to be one of the most interesting in the US from a booking perspective.
I say all this to preface my sheer disappointment with this card. Instead of putting Best of the Best on this weekend again, CZW put together a fairly generic feeling card that the booking has essentially ignored. All of the booking points to the BOTB tournament and the RSP/MJF championship match that will be on that show as well. When the previous show spent so much time building the RSP/MJF match with a contract signing, why would I ever believe that Ethan Page would win the title on Mania weekend?
The announced card sounds good enough, but I want better than good when it comes to Mania weekend. More than anything, I want CZW out of a CZW show, but this card doesn’t have that feel. After winning the Tangled Web Deathmatch against Matt Tremont, you would expect CZW to give Brandon Kirk something to sink his teeth into on this show, but as far as we know, Kirk isn’t even booked. I understand that the New Orleans Athletic Commission might keep CZW from having the light tube war we saw last year, but even if one of your hottest up and comers is known as a deathmatch guy, you should still probably book him for what is one of your biggest shows of the year.
Gripes aside, there are some very high points for this card. OvE vs. the lucha team of Flamita and Bandito will probably be the match of the night and could actually be one of the best matches of the whole weekend. Prior to that match announcement, the main drawing point of the show was the singles match between Will Ospreay and Dezmond Xavier. As of this writing, the chances of this match actually taking place are up in the air following Ospreay taking a nasty fall in his New Japan match with Marty Scurll. The sleeper match to look out for on this card is David Starr taking on Juice Robinson in a battle of the underrated workhorses.
Ultimately, the show will most likely deliver, but on WrestleMania weekend, that isn’t enough. CZW put out a very safe card built from guys that seem to be working every other show that weekend. While CZW’s rival GCW is putting on two incredibly different shows in Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport and Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2, CZW has done nothing to make their card distinct from the other shows of the weekend. Hopefully there will be a fire lit under the wrestlers to put on the best possible show, just like there was last year.
- Joey Janela and Penelope Ford vs. Joey Ryan and Laura James
- Jeff Cobb vs. Joe Gacy
- Will Ospreay vs. Dezmond Xavier
- David Starr vs. Juice Robinson
- Rickey Shane Page vs. Ethan Page
- Zachary Wentz vs. Ace Romero vs. Adam Brooks vs. Jason Cade
- OvE vs. Bandito and Flamita
- The Open Scramble