wrestling / Video Reviews

411 Video Review: CZW Tournament Of Death 2

December 16, 2003 | Posted by Tim Madden

JULY 26, 2003

In August of 2002, CZW held their first death match tournament, and as far as death match shows go, it was one of the best. The tournament was well booked and the matches were violent without overdoing it.

This year’s show comes on the heels of the IWA invasion, and at the previous show, Dйjа Vu 2, Ian Rotten won the right to put several of his IWA Midsouth wrestlers into Zandig’s tournament, so he chose Nate Webb, JC Bailey, Corporal Robinson, the Necro Butcher, and himself.

For the record: I feel Death match tournaments are contradictory to the point of doing a death match in the first place (ie to let a heated feud be settled by the guys killing each other).

This is also Nick Mondo’s last show, after being with the company almost from the start and forging quite a cult following. I’ll explain why later.



Panes Of Glass Match: Zandig vs. Nate Webb – Webb’s entrance is among the best in wrestling, but was even better at IWA’s tournament. Webb squirms out of a few arm drags before taking a powder and grabbing some chairs. Zandig throws a chair back at him and suplexes him into the ring. Zandig nails some clotheslines for two, then bites Webb’s forehead and rips open his wound. We have our first bleeder of the night. Webb gets on offence and sandwiches Zandig’s head in some chairs. Webb sets some chairs up and suspends a pane of glass over Zandig. He goes up top, holding a chair, and hits the fucking CHAIRSAULT through the glass! What a terrific bump. I wonder if anything tonight is going to top it. Zandig manages to fight back and powerbomb Webb through the other pane of glass in the corner. Zandig hits a fisherman’s buster onto the broken glass for the win at 8:33. This was a solid opener, giving us some blood and bumps without anything stupid. *

Light Tubes & Ladders Match: JC Bailey vs. Nick Mondo – This was a bit of a dream match for CZW and IWA fans, as these two have similar styles. I have to say I wasn’t holding my breath for it to deliver, however. Bailey cheapshots Mondo and takes the advantage before taking a brutal release drop german suplex. A light tube comes into play and they dance around in a obviously blown spot, with Mondo eventually taking the tube to the gut. Bailey hits a neckbreaker and they go out. Mondo gets some tubes smashed over his back. He returns the favour but gets sent into the rail. Bailey sets up a ladder between two chairs on the concrete. And for the record: this is an outdoor show, and that is ASPHALT. Bailey tries to suplex Mondo out onto the ladders, but he gets crotched on it himself. Mondo follows with a tope over the top, and eats nothing but ladder. Ouch that had to have hurt. Back in, Mondo gets a blue thunder bomb onto some tubes for two. Bailey comes back to slam Mondo off the top through some more tubes for two. Bailey is bleeding from his back and head. He stomps some tubes into Mondo’s chest for two. Mondo makes a comeback but Bailey kicks out of the M.Bison (stomp from the top). We get some duelling ladders, and JC gets the advantage. Bailey sets up both ladders and hangs some tubes between them. As is usually the case, irony interjects and Mondo gives him a reverse DVD through the contraption for the win at 11:20. This was better than usual but the final spot took way too long to set up. **

Four Corners of Pain Match: Necro Butcher vs. Corporal Robinson – These two are both from IWA MS, but must fight each other anyway. Robinson unloads a cooler full of broken glass onto the mat. These two should never take their shirts off. They trade some brutal sounding punches and chops before they head out. Necro beats Robinson with the ring bell and the ice cooler. More hard punches follow as Robinson fights back, busting the Butcher open. Light tubes come into play, and Robinson nails a stunner, while holding a tube in the Butcher’s MOUTH! What a fucking insane spot. Robinson smashes him with the barbedwire bat and rakes a broken tube across his face. Corporal goes out, so Necro throws some tubes down onto him. Robinson grabs a staple gun and staples Butcher’s tongue to the turnbuckle! What a funny spot. Butcher comes back to give Robinson a DVD through some tubes for the win at 7:27. This was sloppy but had enough inventive spots in it to make me enjoy it, sadistically. *

Barbedwire Boards & Light Tube Tables Match: Nick Gage vs. Ian Rotten – Gage had the best match in last year’s tournament against Wifebeater in a good panes of glass match. Straight away Gage takes Rotten down and busts him open with a fork, in a disturbing visual. They go out and more work with the fork continues as Rotten just bleeds all over the place. Gage baseball slides some light tubes into Rotten’s face. Pity you saw Rotten telegraph it first. Rotten hits Gage with some chairshots and sends him through a barbed wire board in the corner. Rotten stomps on him and tries to cut him with the wire. Rotten goes low with a headbutt, then some uppercuts and a bite. Ian’s really showing his moveset, you see. Gage whips Rotten into a board and then spears him through it. He goes for it again but Rotten moves and Gage eats barbed wire. Rotten sets up a board against the railing, but irony interjects and Gage hits a northern lights suplex through the board. Nate Hatred, Gage’s former tag partner and current rival runs in and gives Gage a double choke bomb through a light tube table. Rotten gets the win at 10:11. There was really no doubt who was going to win this match. Still, Gage is one of the better death match workers around so he kept this from being completely shitty. *


Z-Barr vs. Trent Acid – I have no idea why these two are fighting on this show. Acid suckers Barr in and nails a superkick early on. More kicks follow, as well as a roaring elbow, taking the Barr to the mat. Acid makes suggestive gestures to his genitals as he makes a cover. Acid hits a missile dropkick and they go outside. Johnny Kashmere, Acid’s tag partner beats on Barr. Back in, a moonsault gets two for Trent. He gets on the mic and says this match is a joke. I agree. He mocks one of Z-Barr’s patented moves, the donkey punch, but Barr moves out of the way and gets one of his own. He makes his comeback and hits a jawbreaker and sit out powerbomb for two. Rollup and small package both get two. Barr completely blows a reverse DDT spot, then blows a moonsault as well. This has gone way too long. Acid nails the yakuza kick to put me out of my misery at 7:33. This was okay comedy but kept going when it should have ended a few minutes earlier. Nice change of pace though. DUD

Chris Cash vs. Jude vs. Niles Young vs. Cory Kastle vs. Rick Feinberg vs. Ian Knoxx – Jon Dahmer, the man who trained all these wrestlers, is the special referee. Cash and Knoxx start off, and immediately tag out, making Jude and Niles Young start against each other. After a short sequence they tag out, so Cash and Feinberg go at it. Cash brings Kastle in, and Cory straps a hold onto Feinberg. As far as I know, this is not elimination. Young tags in and trades fists with Kastle, after another sequence, Jude and Knoxx tag in. Man this match is going to get old fast. Dahmer shows Knoxx how to throw proper chops in the corner. Knoxx nails a big clothesline and a DDT for two. Young comes in and he and Jude double team Knoxx for two. Cash comes in and pours some alcohol into Knoxx’s mouth, and he POWERS UP! Knoxx and Cash murder Young and Jude, but won’t let each other get the pin. Kastle gets dumped and we go into a trainwreck spot with people hitting planchas and the like. Cash gets a nice one. Some chairs are set up back in the ring and Knoxx gives Jude a pumphandle slam off the top through the chairs for the win at 8:14. There was just nothing in this match to hold my attention. ј*

Johnny Kashmere vs. Nick Berk – Kashmere gets beat down and takes a powder so Acid and the fans can massage him. Berk keeps the advantage with some lowblows and a legsweep. He holds him in a stretch, but Acid breaks that up. Kashmere takes Berk down and locks on a figure four, getting assistance from the Dew. Berk makes a comeback but gets bulldogged and yakuza kicked for two. Small package from Berk gets two. Clothesline and superkick get two. The ref gets chased out of the ring as Berk hits a fisherman’s buster. Acid counts three and Berk thinks he’s won, but the Backseats take him out and Kashmere gets the real win at 6:15. Man, these non-tournament matches have been very lacklustre. But I guess you shouldn’t really be buying these shows for the non-tournament matches. Ѕ*


Fans Bring the Weapons Match: Ian Rotten vs. Necro Butcher – These IWA MS alumni must fight each other for the good of winning the tournament. Rotten chooses to cut a promo, AFTER the bell has rung. Man, way to waste match time. Test of strength to start, with both guys headbutting each other while still holding hands. Funny. Butcher immediately busts Rotten open and smashes him with stuff, including a cheesegrater. They go outside where they continue to try to kill each other with sharp objects. There is a HUGE TV outside, and Rotten pushes it over onto Necro, then JUMPS onto it, smashing all the glass. That was impressive. He continues to smash the Butcher with everything from thumbtacks to keyboards to light tubes and light tube bats. There is just blood pouring out of both guys. Rotten smashes Necro several times with a chair back inside and eventually falls on him for the win at 12:58. This was heavy on blood and violence and low on wrestling, but that TV spot, whoa. Ѕ*

Two Out Of Three Log Cabin Light Tubes Match: Zandig vs. Nick Mondo – Just as the IWA MS guys have to fight each other, so do the CZW guys. Log Cabin Light Tubes are a bunch of light tubes tape into a square one on top of each other so that they look like a log cabin in the woods. To win you have to put your opponent through two of them, as 2/3 falls rules go. Mondo calls for one of the log cabins to be placed on a stack of six tables near the entrance, against the wall. This is an outdoor show so they’re actually next to a building. That’s a bad idea because the fans will know that the finish will only come from those tables being broken and not sooner. All of this is being done after the bell has rung. Anyway, on with the match. They lock up and start shoving each other. Zandig brings the thumbtack bat into play and both guys get smashed with it. Zandig is able to put Mondo through the first log cabin with a face first suplex. Mondo then suckers Zandig to the back, where they disappear for a while. They then reappear, on the ROOF of the building, that’s a legit 25 feet there. They trade light tube shots and tease falling off down to the tables below. Zandig presses Mondo above his head, and THEY JUMP OFF!!!!!!!!!!! OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH MMMMMYYYYYYY GGGGGOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!! That is THE most hardcore bump in the history of wrestling, period, full stop, ever. THIS is the bump that ENDED Mondo’s career. Zandig gets announced as the winner, but the ref cries out that he actually hit the tubes first, so the match is 1 a piece and there is one fall left. Zandig and Mondo are bleeding all over the place, and are literally dead. They gingerly walk back to the ring, where Mondo is able to get the victory by throwing a log cabin at Zandig at 13:25. Jesus Christ. That bump off the roof was fucking INSANE, and topped Mondo’s insane bump last year. Just crazy crazy crazy. It actually gave Mondo a concussion and a gunshot-like wound in his back, as he was bleeding buckets. The medical people told him not to wrestle the final round, but he did anyway. As for this, the bump alone is worth **


B-Boy & Messiah vs. Ruckus & Sonjay Dutt – You could have put one of the other non-tourney matches here to get the crowd off that high before the Champ (Messiah) wrestles. B-Boy and Ruckus start off with a fast-paced sequence which ends with B-Boy blocking a hurricanrana and hitting some stiff kicks. Messiah tags in and goes to work on Ruckus. Tag in B-Boy and repeat, as Ruckus plays face in peril. Ruckus gets off a handspring spin kick and makes the tag to Sonjay who takes out Messiah before being blindsided by B-Boy. Sonjay gets double teamed and choked by B-Boy. Boy hits some more kicks and tags in Messiah who goes crazy with rolling suplexes and brainbusters. Sonjay continues to be dominated as B-Boy nails a double-arm DDT. Ruckus continues to break up the pin. Sonjay is able to get off a dropkick and tag in Ruckus who takes out everyone. The heels get set up in the corners and the faces hit elbows and Ruckus nails the razzle dazzle. They almost blow a double shooting star press spot, which could have been ugly. The heels get off tandem northern lights suplexes on the faces into the turnbuckles, and all four guys are out. Heel miscommunication allows Ruckus to get a nearfall. Messiah nails a crucifix powerbomb on Sonjay for two. Messiah drops Ruckus in the Godsmack (spinning stunner), and then B-Boy launches off Messiah’s back to hit a shining wizard on Ruckus for the win at 11:12. This was okay tag action but it was obvious that the heels were going over, because one of them is the fricking heavyweight champ. Anyway, nice change of pace after all the death that is taking place. **


200 Light Tubes, Ropes In Barbed Wire Match: Nick Mondo vs. Ian Rotten – For those who don’t know, 200 light tubes is exactly what it says it is. There is 200 flourescent light tubes lining the ring ropes, propped on the concrete outside, EVERYWHERE. Mondo was told not to work this match but did anyway, and he comes out with bandages around his ribs. For the record, there have been five 200 light tube matches in CZW, this being the 4th. Only the first was good. Fans are heavily behind Mondo. They tease going into the tubes for the first few minutes as they take each other down and shove each other. Rotten takes the first bump into the tubes against the ropes, and Mondo breaks more tubes over his head for a near fall. Mondo smashes a HUGE amount of tubes on Rotten. He goes backstage and brings out an insanely large light tube crucifix, and breaks it over Rotten’s back via a springboard legdrop. It gets two. Mondo steps up to the plate and hits a home run on Rotten’s head. Mondo goes outside and grabs a bucket of salt, in a tribute to last year’s tournament final. He tips it on Rotten’s bloody head. Rotten makes a comeback and smashes and rakes tubes all over Mondo’s back. Rotten nails a splash in the corner, breaking more tubes. Rotten grabs a bear hug. Call me crazy, but that’s actually okay psychology, and I will give this match an extra ј* for it. Mondo fights back and nails the M.Bison with tubes on Rotten’s back for two. Mondo misses a kick and gets planted with a double arm DDT for two. A chair comes into play and Mondo nails another M.Bison with chair and tubes for the win at 15:36. And Nick Mondo is the winner of the tournament, after being the runner-up last year. This was just another 200 light tube match, nothing special, but I promised that the bear hug would add a little, so I’ll go *

Zandig and others come out to congratulate Mondo, and Rotten a great promo, full of emotion and hatred, setting up Zandig vs. Rotten in an exploding cage at the “Respect” show in August.

-A little word to Mondo: Thanks for all the memories. You were one of the reasons I got into CZW, you put your life and body on the line for the fans, and you’ve participated in some of the best CZW matches ever. For that, I, and all of the fans thank you. You’ve made the best decision you could in your life by choosing education over wrestling, where, as you have found out, injuries could end a career at any stage. For more on Mondo, check out www.nickmondo.com.

The Verdict: – Well, let’s face it, you weren’t going to buy this show looking for traditional wrestling. If death matches are your thing, then you WANT this, as it was a very bloody, violent and action packed tournament, even if my ratings don’t reflect that. I’m a fan of death matches when they are worked well, but I have to recognise that this is a good show if DM’s are your flavour of choice. If so, I recommend picking up the IWA MS King Of The Death Match tournament from 2003 to see some of the CZW guys as well. I’m not going to bother doing a recommendation or not, you make up your own mind.

-You can get all CZW tapes from www.smartmarkvideo.com

-CZW Cage of Death 5 occurred over the weekend and it is being heralded as one of the best show’s in the company’s history, with some great action. (Despite its title, this is not a death match show). Check out www.czwwrestling.com and www.czwfans.com for the fall-out of the event.

-Like the review? Hate it? Disagree? Well, just e-mail me at the link below and tell me.

Thanks for reading.


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Tim Madden

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