Eddie Kingston vs. Chris Hero
April 7, 2007
CZW Out With The Old, In With The New

Reviewed by Rich Kraetsch (VOW Author Page / FlagshipPatreon.com)

Gifted by Jon Hernandez (VOW Author Page / @OldJonHernandez)

I’m glad my Secret Santa gave this match to me, as I was aware of CZW at this time, but as a wrestling purist (see: a Ring of Honor fan), I was pre-disposed to think of CZW as garbage wrestling.

Access to pro wrestling, particularly indie wrestling, was significantly more complicated than it is today. DVDs were the lifeblood and the gateway to investing, especially as a teenager/early college student. The uncertainty that followed in CZW was not on my list.

Today, if someone recommends a match to you, it’s usually available online via free means, or you subscribe to a wrestling subscription service like Triller/FITE or IndependentWrestling.TV. It’s easy to do that. It’s a few clicks and 20 or so minutes of your time. If you like it, great, you’ve just discovered something or someone new. Expanding your horizons to the vast wrestling world is easier than ever.

In 2007, plopping down $20 for a DVD that you may not even enjoy… that was rough. So, I didn’t. CZW largely fell by the wayside.

I’d read message board posts about this match, that match, and this wrestler and it all didn’t mean a thing to me. CZW was garbage wrestling to me, call me when those guys show up in Ring of Honor. Of course, many of the top CZW guys DID show up in Ring of Honor; they showed up to kickstart the best promotional war feud in indie wrestling history (CZW vs. ROH), culminating in the most excellent WarGames-style match ever. So, little by little, I started to learn more about the CZW roster. While the junk I ignorantly thought represented all of CZW was there a bit, I also discovered several of their supremely talented wrestlers, most notably Chris Hero.

This Secret Santa match is Loser Leaves Town: Chris Hero vs. Eddie Kingston. It’s the culmination of what I’ve since learned and discovered as one of the best indie wrestling feuds ever. The investment fans had in the feud, particularly this match is palpable before a bell rings or an announcement is made. Both men stand in the ring, surrounded by security guards who constantly have to keep the two men away from one another. When the bell rings, a 30-minute fight to the death follows. A classic duel, this town aint big enough for the both of us-type shit. The two men battle back and forth through the bulk of the match. It’s not as action-packed as you may expect, and it slows to a crawl sometimes. Still, the energy and emotion remain significant throughout.

After years of failing to defeat Hero, Kingston, the best underdog in wrestling history, finally wins the big one. It’s a back fist to Hero, sold beautifully, that ends the match and Hero’s CZW career, leaving the company that first put him on the map. Hero was off to the greener pastures of Ring of Honor and, not long after, NXT. CZW was a great launching pad, but it was time for Hero to leave. Hero would return for three more CZW shots later in his career (2010 vs. Egotistico Fantastico, 2013 vs. Drew Gulak, and 2014 vs. Gulak & Michael Elgin), but effectively, this was the end of his regular CZW run.

As it would turn out, it was also Kingston’s final CZW match for a year. For those who don’t know the story, I’ll sum it up as quickly as possible. It’s all so very CZW.

Anyway, Kingston was to win the match, but CZW founder John Zandig wanted to do some type of dumb-ass angle in the aftermath. Anyway, Kingston, a man who has always worn his heart on his sleeve, yells at Zandig to not ruin this moment. The moment is the final sendoff of Hero and Kingston finally exercising his demons and defeating him. But nah, CZW IS garbage wrestling, so they fucked it up. Zandig wanted to clothesline Kingston and insert himself into a story that did not need him. Kingston tells Zandig to go fuck himself and leaves the ring early. Zandig pleads with Kingston to come back in the ring. When it’s clear he isn’t going to, Zandig starts a “Fuck you Kingston” chant, buries Kingston for bitching and moaning every month, then fires Kingston publicly.

So both the winner and the loser of the Loser Leaves CZW match left. Garbage wrestling at its finest.

Regardless, this match rocked and is worth watching during the holiday season, especially if you are a newer fan who has yet to see this era of Kingston or Hero.

Thanks Secret Santa! (Listen to Time Shares: https://linktr.ee/timeshares)