Combat Zone Wrestling
Welcome to the Combat Zone
April 1st, 2016
AR Fox vs. Joey Janela vs. Dezmond Xavier vs. Trevor Lee vs. Shane Strickland vs. Ricochet
AR Fox and Joey Janela were set to face Mike Bailey and Lio Rush on this show, but unfortunately both of those guys had to pull out. Bailey because of visa issues and not being able to work in the U.S. for the next several years, and Rush because…he promised to not show up, and was also booked for ROH the same night. I’m not sure why he was pulled from this show, as both bookings were set and mapped out for weeks prior, but I guess that’s just how that works sometimes. Fox issued an open challenge to make up for Bailey’s absence, and of course all six of these guys answered. Ricochet was a surprise of sorts, which was nice to see.
Fun opener here, the exact car crash you would expect given the names involved. Flips, spots, reversals, dives, flips and more flips. It’s pretty easy to get lost in the shuffle and look out of place in these big multi-way matches, especially when you’re someone of Dezmond Xavier or Joey Janela’s stature, but both of those guys did very, very well, held their own and never looked out of place. Xavier is one of the younger guys in CZW and has certainly impressed as of late. He may not be the most charismatic, but he’s a good wrestler and has a lot of time to grow. Strickland got the win over Janela and will assumedly pursue Lio Rush (great chemistry between those two, should make for a good program). Best match on the show by a large margin. ****
Andy Dalton vs. Chris Marvel
Now, I’m not very well versed in the Texas indie scene, but I can tell you that Chris Marvel jobbed to Paul London on a Ring of Honor show in 2002. Both these guys wrestle mainly in Texas, though Dalton takes an occasional booking out of state. He was the main focus of the match, Marvel was just there to make him look good. Dalton is a grimy heel and got over as one in the matter of seconds. The crowd HATED his guts in the best way possible. Short, yet sweet match that did its job. Not much to complain about there. I’d like to see Dalton back in CZW this year. He’s perfect for the company. **¼
Veda Scott vs. Brittany Blake
Veda Scott always looks lost. Blake did her best, but clearly needs work. Both are extremely green. Veda tapped. Avoid the match at all costs. *
Joe Gacy vs. Tim Donst
Joe Gacy was what I would call a very good wrestler early last year but has regressed a ton since Donst returned to CZW in July. Donst is bland as can be, lacks any sort of charisma and has more go-away heat than any other wrestler in the world. I’ve never been a fan, there’s not one match of his out there that I thought he was good in. They brawled around for a few minutes and Gacy got the win via roll up. Hopefully their last match together, not sure how much more Tim Donst I can take in CZW. Another match to avoid. **
Dave Crist vs. David Starr
Starr returned from his tour of Germany (wXw) few weeks ago and has a lot more eyes on him as he delivered on every show he was on over there. He returned as a new wrestler, a new performer, and I can safely say that 2016 will be his year. These two had a 103 minute match in November for Rockstar Pro in Ohio and have good chemistry together. Dave Crist is very much guy who needs to wrestle someone equally as good or better than him to have a good match, he’s not a guy you expect to carry someone, but under the right circumstances, he can indeed have a good or even very good match. Him and Starr are perfect for each other. Starr has extremely unique offense and brings the best out of Crist. There were some sloppy spots and botches and such, but I’m someone who’s generally not bothered by that, especially since the rest of the match was clean and they were able to cover a lot of that up. Scarlet and Graves got involved towards the end and cost Starr. Second best match on the show, easily. ***¼
WSU Championship: Cherry Bomb (c) vs. Jessicka Havok
Cherry Bomb is likely to start in TNA this summer. She plays a good character everywhere she wrestles so I’m sure she’ll do okay there. She’s more of a TV wrestler than an indie wrestler, that’s for sure. On the topic of TNA…hey look, Jessicka Havok. Remember when she was there for those ten minutes? She left in February 2015 (I was there for her last match, only TNA show I attended that year). There was not much to here. The two have bad chemistry and were never on the same page. Both looked awkward (as workers, though Havok looked physically awkward, she was dressed as a zombie and I have no idea why), were given way too much time and never got anywhere. Bomb rolled Havok up for the win, so I assume they’ll have a rematch. Bleh. ½*
Sami Callihan vs. Bull James
Bull James (Dempsey) is no good, let’s be real here. He’s never been good, he’s a 300 pound broom. He’s very much a WWE guy and not an indie guy. I have a feeling that unless he gets snatched up by TNA or brought back to WWE (doubtful), he’s not very long for the business. He was awful here and looked so out of place. Some of the crowd took to him but not many, as I’m pretty sure they were smart enough to realize that he’s not very good. Callihan on the other hand did very well bumping around and selling for him. The only bad part is that he was bumping around and selling for someone who looked like they had no idea what they were doing. Callihan got the win, Dempsey attacked him but Sami laid him back out. Not sure we’ll see Bull back in CZW, but we very well could. He lives in New York, so there’s a strong chance. **
Tables Match: Chuck Taylor & Amazing Gulaks vs. Nation of Intoxication (Lucky 13, Danny Havoc & Devon Moore)
This was the only show Chuck Taylor was booked on all weekend. I mean, he probably worked Kaiju, but this was the only show he was booked on as Chuck Taylor. EVOLVE stopped using him over a year ago and he’s kind of been floundering since. He mainly works CHIKARA and PWG openers but also does smaller North American and UK indies, he’s doing okay for himself, he’s just not where he once was as a wrestler. He seems to be way less motivated since he was turned down by WWE last summer, which is never good, obviously. Rory and Drew Gulak are the best acts CZW has and are one of the more fun tag teams to watch in general. CZW Drew Gulak and EVOLVE Drew Gulak are night and day, and for anyone who dislikes him in EVOLVE because of how dull his matches can be, I urge you to watch him in CZW. Havoc and Moore are both deathmatchers while 13 is more of a shooter, and an underrated one at that. They make for a fun group as well. It was a tables match so was clearly a mess but was pretty enjoyable. Drew and Chuck powerbombed Havoc through one of the tables to get the win. They seem to be building an Amazing Gulaks/NOI feud, which could be good. ***
CZW World Heavyweight Championship: Matt Tremont (c) vs. MASADA
It was a CZW deathmatch. It was the exact cheap backyard crap you’d expect where they were given way too much time, did things for the sake of doing them and got nowhere. What else can I say? Pure garbage. MASADA took a powerbomb and ate the pin, since, you know, he can jump off crap and have concrete blocks smashed over his head but absolutely cannot kick out of a simple powerbomb, I mean that would just make no sense. DUD
There were two, maybe three good matches here and a whole lot of crap. The opener was nuts but was not enough to save the show. Not worth the three hours, let alone the money.
Quick Story: So when you order a show from WWN Live, you can choose to order the live iPPV, or the live iPPV and the VOD. I mapped out what I would watch and when about a week ago. I planned to watch NXT TakeOver live and then catch CZW on VOD on Saturday. I go to wwnlive.com on Thursday when I’m half asleep, I order my iPPVs, and then I look at all of them and realize that I bought the live iPPV for CZW instead of the VOD, so yes, I missed NXT TakeOver because I’m an idiot and was forced to watch this show live. Just thought I’d share that. Try and order iPPVs when you’re not half asleep.