wrestling / TV Reports

411’s CZW Best of the Best 2013 Review 4.13.2013

April 13, 2013 | Posted by TJ Hawke

April 13, 2013
Voorhees, NJ

I had some internet issues with the opener. The issues were on my end and had nothing to do with the stream on the website that hosted this iPPV. Will I tell you what website this iPPV aired on? No. You may be saying right now, “Give me 17 reasons why you shouldn’t tell us?” I’ll pretend you said 18. You’re welcome. I’ll be here all week.

Anyway, the first match of the tournament saw Jonathan Gresham advance. In the match, Biff Busick eliminated Caleb Konley, and Gresham then eliminated Busick. Reports indicated Busick and Konley definitely looked good here.

Best of the Best First Round
Tommy End vs. Shane Hollister vs. Alex Reynolds
End ended up on the floor. Hollister hit him with a tornado DDT onto the floor. Reynolds wiped out Hollister with a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Reynolds suplexed Hollister into a turnbuckle. Hollister came back with an Alley Oop into the same turnbuckle. Hollister took out End with a tope suicida. Hollister returned to the ring, but Reynolds hit him with a Mic Check variation: 1…2…NO! End took out Reynolds and hit Hollister with a brainbuster: 1…2…NO! Hollister came back with a big lariat on End for a nearfall. Reynolds dropped Hollister head first on the apron. End suplexed Hollister and Reynolds at the same time, which almost resulted in a double elimination. Hollister came back by tombstoning Reynolds onto End. Hollister then hit Reynolds with God’s Last Gift: 1…2…3!
Alex Reynolds was eliminated.

End tried to lock Hollister in with a dragon sleeper, but Hollister escaped. End then connected with a sole but to the head of Hollister: 1…2…3.

I personally would have picked Shane Hollister to win the match, but this was a damn fine match. They didn’t have much time, but they packed in a lot of action. The match was what all wrestling should aspire to be: FUN.
Match Rating: ***

Best of the Best First Round
Alex Colon (w/ Chrissy Rivera) vs. Shane Strickland vs. Rich Swann
Strickland came out to Jackson 5. Swann came out to Macklemore. Hopefully this means Strickland wins so that Swann’s musical choices are not encouraged.

A lot of one man out, two men in to start. Colon went for a dive, but Swann and Swerve blocked it with stereo enzuigiries. Swann and Swerve botched something soon after that, but it didn’t look too bad. Mostly just looked painful. Colon did a feint dive to piss off the crowd. Swerve hit Colon with a pop-up gutbuster. Swerve locked in a weird looking submission on Colon. Swann saved Colon for unknown reasons. Swann and Swerve hit Colon with several enzuigiries. Swann gave Swerve a super hurricanrana. Swerve took out Colon with a Fosbury Flop. Swann gave Colon a Lethal Injection and a standing shooting star for a nearfall. Strickland then hit a standing shooting star on Colon, but Swann broke up the pinfall. Hashtag stupid. They all traded kicks. They did a labored spot where Colon gave Swerve a blockbuster, which caused Swerve to DDT Swann. Colon gave Swann a michinoku driver: 1…2…3
Rich Swann was eliminated

Swerve hit Colon with a kick and a sloppy twisting Canadian destroyer: 1…2…NO! Colon got a fruit rollup with a handful of tights: 1…2…3

This match was very fun but there were several things that made it annoying to me. First off, Alex Colon won. Fail. Secondly, they keep breaking up each other’s pins and submissions for no earthly reason. It’s not rocket science. It’s an elimination match. Don’t break up pins and submissions. Also, the match was noticeably sloppy at points, with Swerve seemingly being the main culprit. I like Swerve and Swann a lot though, which means I found this still to be fun overall. I’m being mean to Colon for no real reason other than I like Swann and Swerve more. Colon is just fine, but the Swerve and Swann potential matches were just much more appealing.
Match Rating: **3/4

Best of the Best First Round
AR Fox vs. Uhaa Nation vs. Chiva Kid Andrew Everett
Everett used to have a great gimmick where he was a goat. Now, he’s just a dude. Blah.

This should be amazing. Everett hit a springboard shooting star to the floor early on. Back in the ring, Fox hit Everett with a blue thunder bomb for a nearfall. Fox hit a Lo Mein Rain on the other two. They stood there forever waiting for Fox to hit the move. Uhaa gave Fox a brogue kick, which sent the latter into the crowd. Everett hit Uhaa with a springboard hurricanrana. And another one. Pele kick from Everett. Uhaa gave Everett a trio of powerbombs, and then Fox hit him with a springboard backstabber: 1…2…NO! Uhaa gave Everett and Fox a suplex at the same time. Everett got a sleeper on Nation, but Nation then dropped Fox on his head with a deadlift German. Ouch. Fox hit Uhaa with a pair of stunners and then Everett with the My Dick Explodes. Fox gave Everett a Venus, but Everett blocked the Lo Mein Pain. Everett murdered Fox with a reverse hurricanrana. Everett went for a double rotation moonsault on Fox, but the latter avoided it. Everett almost broke his neck on that. Nation then gave Everett the Uhaa Combination: 1…2…3.
Andrew Everett is eliminated.

Fox vs. Nation. Let’s do this. Fox hit a leaping Paydirt for a nearfall. Split-legged moonsault from Fox got another nearfall. Fox hit a springboard frogsplash for a nearfall. Fox went for another moonsault, but Nation blocked it once. Fox fought him off, only for Uhaa to come back with a super German! Uhaa hit two Germans. Fox avoided a third and went for a springboard move, which Uhaa reversed into a deadly German: 1…2…NO! Uhaa then hit a rebound Liger bomb: 1…2…NO! Fox came back with a Thugbait and a nasty swanton bomb: 1…2…NO! Fox went for a 450, but Uhaa got his knees up. Uhaa hit a tombstone and a standing moonsault: 1…2…NO! Fox came back with the Lo Mein Pain: 1…2…3!

In some ways, this match was somewhat of a mess, but it was incredibly fun and easily the best match of the first round that I saw. The former Chiva Kid is going to be a star, but I wish he kept the goat gimmick (I at least hope he keeps the gimmick in some promotions). Personally, I don’t think Fox needed to go over here. He’s already established, and guys like Everett and Uhaa deserve more of a chance to shine.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Matt Tremont vs. Ron Mathis [Fans Bring the Weapons Death Match]
UGH UGH UGH Joe Gacy came out. Gacy and Tremont started brawling. Rory Mondo decided to wrestle.

Rory Mondo vs. Ron Mathis [Fans Bring the Weapons Death Match]
Mondo was covered in thumbtacks quickly enough. Mondo busted Mathis open with repeated Xbox shots. Mathis came back by throwing a bag of flower and hitting an Ace Crusher. STO from Mathis onto the apron. Back in the ring, Mathis hit a Gibson Driver for a nearfall. The crowd gave zero fucks about that nearfall. Mondo gave Mathis a Cutthroat Driver through a seated chair: 1…2…NO! Sure. Mondo set up a guardrail between two chairs. They ended up on the top rope. Mathis gave Mondo a middle rope tombstone threw the guardrail: 1…2…3.

You are either entertained by this, or you are not. I am not. Using weapons and stunts to tell a story is great. Using weapons and stunts for stuff like this is whatever.
Match Rating: RUCKUS BABY!

DJ Hyde vs. Michael Dante
This is a DJ Hyde match, which means it will likely suck. Nothing happened early on. It was very boring. They ended up on the floor. They brawled. It was vanilla. Back in the ring, Dante hit the Silas Young backbreaker/lariat combo for a nearfall. Dante hit a spear for a nearfall. Hyde came back with a spear, a cobra-clutch suplex, and a DEEJ LARIATO: 1…2…3.

This match sucked. Nothing more needs to be said.
Match Rating: ¼*

Best of the Best Semi-finals
Alex Colon (w/ Chrissy Rivera) vs. Jonathan Gresham
Fuck, this means we’re probably not getting Gresham vs. Fox.

Gresham was mostly getting the better of Colon early on. Colon managed to cut off Gresham, and Colon started to work over the Mr. Hughes student. Gresham came back with a pair a yakuzas. Gresham got a nearfall with a buzzsaw kick. Colon gave Gresham a DVD onto the apron. Colon then hit a kneeling superkick and a half-nelson suplex on the apron. Why?!?!?!? Back in the ring, Colon hit a kneeling superkick and then locked in a Camel Clutch. Gresham made the ropes. Gresham came back with a punt to Colon’s wrist. Gresham then locked in an octopus variation. Colon hit three superkicks. Gresham came back with a Yakuza. A yakuza from Colon, and then Colon caught him with a nasty michinoku driver: 1…2…3.

Blah, I don’t get Gresham vs. Fox, and now I have to watch three Alex Colon matches in one night. I’m being flippant obviously. This match was pretty solid; unfortunately, the crowd gave very few fucks for this one. They put together some cool sequences, but they really never engaged the crowd. It’s a shame, but Jonathan Gresham has just never really had a consistent run in America, despite his talent. Oh well. Life moves on. Colon vs. Fox will be a fine finals for sure.
Match Rating: ***

Best of the Best Semi-finals
AR Fox vs. Tommy End
We need Fox to win this match.

Fox hit a Silverking dropkick and a kickflip moonsault to the floor early on. End came back with a dropkick and a powerslam on the edge of the ring apron. End was in control of the match after that. Fox eventually came back with a lope, a tope, and a tope con hello. Fox then hit the guillotine legdrop on the apron. End came back with a sole but to the head and a German suplex: 1…2…NO! End hit a nasty ghetto stomp: 1…2…NO! Fox came back with the My Dick Explodes and a shooting star cannonball splash. Fox then hit a 450 splash: 1…2…3.

This was fine. Normally that means average, but “fine” is a pretty big insult for an AR Fox match. The dude has nothing but entertaining matches. This one just never really got into a good rhythm though. At least the right man won.
Match Rating: **1/2

One Last Time
Adam Cole vs. Sami Callihan
These two have had a billion matches, but this is supposedly the last time they will wrestle in CZW. Sami to the WWE is supposedly a done deal. Cole is also rumored to be signed at any minute.

Sami hit a trio of face washes in the corner. Sami followed it up with a tope suicida. Sami was in control, until he accidentally chopped a ringpost. Adam Cole repeatedly reminded the crowd of his name until Sami gave him an apron powerbomb. Sami then powerbombed Cole into the fans. Cole came back with a superkick. Sami came back with some strikes, and Sami eventually took Cole down with a lariat. Sami caught Cole with DVD. Cole made a ref bump happen. Cole then hit a low blow and a brainbuster on the thigh: 1…2…NO! Cole then got a bag and pulled out the old CZW Junior Heavyweight Championship. The new referee wouldn’t let Cole use the belt. Cole gave him a superkick. Sami hit a Brogue Kick and a release powerbomb on the belt. STRETCH MUFFLER! Cole made the ropes. Cole came back with a gourd buster and a Panama Sunrise: 1…2…NO! Cole called for a superkick. Sami blocked it and locked in the Stretch Muffler. Cole reversed it into a small package: 1…2…NO! Enzuigiri from Sami. Superkick and a leg lariat from Cole. Another Panama Sunrise. FIGHTING SPIRIT FROM SAMI! Cole hit two more superkicks and a high tension suplex: 1…2…3.

Cole put Sami over after the match. I guess they’re both definitely out of here, but I don’t understand the point of putting Cole over if he’s out of here soon too (unless Cole is having a match with Deej). Cole’s face promo was definitely some shades of UFC (put over your opponent after you’ve done nothing but trash him during the build). Speak of the douchebag, here’s DJ Hyde. Hyde yelled at both of them. Every time Deej yelled at Cole, Sami fingered Deej’s ass. That caused some homophobic chants. Hashtag CZDUB! Deej kept yelling about Sami’s secret. Sami was getting pissed off. Whatever. Looks like Sami and Deej are having another match.

Easily the best match of the night so far. I haven’t been Sami’s biggest fan for a while now, but this match was so clearly a step or two above everything else going on tonight. If these men never meet again on the indies, this was a fitting way for their rivalry to end.
Match Rating: ***3/4

Best of the Best Finals
AR Fox vs. Alex Colon (w/ Chrissy Rivera)
Only CZW could book AR Fox to have three matches in one night and make two of them really boring on paper. These two have actually had some fine matches in the past, but I do not care about this at all.

They start the match slugging it out. Colon ends up on the floor. Fox hit the lope, tope, and a baseball slide that sent Colon into the crowd. Oh dear god. Yep, Fox hit a springboard swanton past the guardrail and onto Colon into the crowd. Shivers. Back in the ring, Colon cut off Fox and started working The Whole Foxing Show over. Rivera attacked Fox on the floor. Back in the ring, Fox was able to come back with a Trouble in Paradise. Fox went for a kick flip moonsault, but Colon avoided it. Colon then hit a blockbuster on the guardrail. Fox came back with a swantom bomb: 1…2…NO! Colon caught him with the michinoku driver: 1…2…NO! Kneeling superkick from Colon: 1…2…NO! Fox came back with a THUGBAIT! Swanton from Fox got a nearfall. Fox hit a 450: 1…2…Chrissy Rivera attacked the referee! TOPE SUICIDA FROM FOX ONTO RIVERA! Fox then hit Colon with the Lo Mein Pain: 1…2…NO! What! Colon blocked another Lo Mein Pain. Colon then hit a middle rope DVD onto the apron: 1…2…NO! That was mind boggling stupid. Fox hit four yakuzas. Fox does not do yakuza kicks well. Fox went for the twisting brainbuster, but Colon reversed it into a small package: 1…2…3. Lololololol.

Fox threw a hissy fit after the match.

Those two really busted their asses in this match to put on a great main event. I would say they came this close to succeeding, but the end was definitely something of a wet fart. If Alex Colon becomes a major player in CZW going forward, then this tournament will probably be a huge contributing factor towards that. If Colon never really connects in CZW the was guys like Cole, Fox, and Callihan did, then this was a wasted BOTB when guys like Hollister, Swann, Swerve, Chiva Kid, and Uhaa could have used a great push. In case you couldn’t tell, I didn’t care that Fox didn’t win the tournament. He’s over big time and has a mid-level belt. There were just far more interesting guys in the tournament that could be getting the Alex Colon push. Oh well, the match was definitely fun.
Match Rating: ***1/2

The 411: Unless you’re a huge fan of the Adam Cole/Sami Callihan rivalry, it’s hard to come up with a reason for why you need to pay for this show. Alex Colon is a fine wrestler, but this was not exactly a “Star is Born” type of situation with him. There were a bunch of entertaining matches on the show, but there were also some real clunkers. DJ Hyde no longer needs to be a major character in the CZW universe. He drags down everything he is involved in right now. The promotion also needs to find a new building because the Voorhees building really adds nothing to these shows (and I know that from first-hand experience). As with most of my conclusions for my reviews, this was a bit of a rambling mess. I just believe CZW js in a constant state of underachieving when they have a ton of talent on their roster. This show did not make me sway from that belief. Basically, if you get this show, you will probably be enjoy it, but there is nothing must-see about the show.
Verdict: Mild thumbs up.

BONUS BOTB 2013 Contestants Match Reviews

Uhaa Nation vs. AR Fox

These two trained together at Mr. Hughes’s school in Georgia so they have insane chemistry.

Nation hit a big overhead belly-to-belly suplex and then hit a standing moonsault. Fox came back and hit a split-legged corkscrew senton. Fox went for a top-rope cross-body, but Nation caught him and powerslammed him. Nation followed that with two German suplexes. Nation went for a third, but Fox escaped only to run into a Samoan Drop. Nation then hit a standing shooting star press: 1…2…NO! Crowd chanted “What the Fuck!” Fox came back with a middle rope diving cutter and then a swanton bomb: 1…2…NO! Fox then hit a top rope single knee codebreaker. Nation rolled to the floor and Fox then hit a no-hands running plancha crossbody. Fox followed that up with a kick-flip moonsault to the floor. Fox rolled Nation back into the ring. Fox went for a springboard move but Nation caught him and gave him three powerbombs in a row: 1…2…NO! “Holy Shit!” Fox came back and went for a top rope Vader Bomb, but Nation avoided it and hit a Roll-of-the-Dice: 1…2…Fox gets his leg on the ropes! Fox went to the top rope, but Nation caught him and gave him a super German Suplex! Tombstone Piledriver: 1…2…NO! WHAT! Nation went to the top rope, but Fox jumped up and hit the Lo Mein Pain: 1…2…3!

Yep, this ruled. These two bring out the best in each other. Nothing else really needs to be said in my opinion. Anytime you have the opportunity to see these work against each other, you should take advantage of it.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Shane Hollister vs. Louis Lyndon

This was the opener for the Reign of Violence show.  Lyndon is known more for his tag team with Flip Kendrick, but he’s been getting a solid push as a singles wrestler in AAW.

They both tried for some rollups early, but neither got the pinfall.  Lyndon dropkicked Hollister to the outside.  Lyndon went for a suicide dive, but Hollister blocked it with a forearm.  Back in the ring, Hollister trapped Lyndon in the Tree of Joey Lawrence and hit a delayed dropkick.  Hollister started to get the heat on Lyndon.  Lyndon came back with a series of cool kicks, including a Brogue Kick and a Sick Kick: 1…2…NO!  Hollister went for some kicks, but Lyndon got a Dragon Screw Legwhip that caused Hollister to retreat to the floor.  Lyndon wiped him out with a tope con hello.  Lyndon rolled Hollister back in the ring and went for a moonsault, but Hollister got his knees up.  Hollister hit a Busaiku Knee Kick: 1…2…NO!  Hollister then killed him with a powerbomb: 1…2…NO! They traded some kicks until Lyndon hit a bridging Dragon Suplex: 1…2…NO!  Hollister hit a suplex ace crusher and a Final Cut: 1…2…NO!  Lyndon avoided a buzzsaw kick.  They traded rollups until Lyndon trapped Hollister’s arms on one: 1…2…3!  Hollister did not show any sportsmanship after the match, as he was in the midst of a losing streak/heel turn.

This was quite the good showing from both guys, and it definitely served as a good opener for an AAW show.  Hollister is one of AAW’s most well-rounded wrestlers, and Lyndon is one of the more exciting independent guys to not have a larger platform.  Check this match out.
Match Rating: ***1/4

Daniel Bryan vs. Tommy End

This match happened shortly after Danielson got fired from the WWE.  This is my first time watching End actually.  Finally, this match was a part of the first round of the one night, eight man “AMBITION” Tournament.  The winner of this match would get to face TJ Perkins in the second round.

Dragon was super over as expected.  End started the match with a big running knee that caused Dragon to retreat to the corner.  They went to the mat where Dragon got control. Dragon seemed to be going for the Yes Lock early, but End escaped.  End went for a leg submission, but Dragon escaped and almost got a cross armbreaker.  End made it to the ropes, before Dragon got the submission completely.  End hit some big knees to slow down Dragon.  Dragon hit a big kick to the left thigh of End, which knocked him down.  Dragon went after that injured leg with more kicks and then got a knee lock.  End was near the ropes though, so he was able to survive.  They traded some kicks until End hit some more knees.  Dragon cut him off with a big kick to the injured leg.  Dragon hit more kicks to that leg, and End almost couldn’t answer a standing ten count twice.  End almost failed a third time, but he realized he couldn’t continue so he verbally submitted.  Cool finish to set up Dragon as an absolute killer for the rest of the tournament.

Danielson would go on to defeat TJ Perkins in the semi-finals and then Johnny Moss in the finals to win the first AMBITION Tournament.

wXw labeled this match on Youtube as “shoot style,” which can be derisively referred to as faux-MMA in some circles.  To me, “shoot style” (or whatever you want to call it) can be like any wrestling style out there.  If you can use a style that effectively takes the live crowd on an emotional ride, then what is the problem?  I think this was an effective use of this style, and it’s not surprising that Bryan Danielson was heavily involved.  My only real complaint is that the crowd was not as rabid as most wXw shows.
Match Rating: ***1/4

AR Fox vs. Rich Swann

DGUSA recently released this match for free.  You can also legally download it here.

Swann got control first.  Fox came back with his awesome twisting brainbuster for an early nearfall. Swann rolled to the floor. Fox went for the kickflip moonsault, but Swann avoided it.  Swann then hit a moonsault off the apron.  He just barely caught Fox on that.  Back in the ring, Fox hit the My Dick Explodes and the shooting star cannonball.  That got another nearfall for Fox.  Fox was in control after that.  Fox hit a split-legged moonsault for another nearfall.  Fox hit a spiked Mic Check for another nearfall.  Fox is definitely winning in the points.  Swann came back with an enzuigiri and a leaping super hurricanrana.  Swann hit a Scissor Kick and Rolling Thunder: 1…2…NO! Fox came back with a rolling DVD and a senton atomico: 1…2…NO!  Swann went to the floor again.  Fox hit Lo Mein Rain (the move that defies reality).  Fox went for the diving guillotine apron legdrop, but Swann avoided it.  Swann hit the Lethal Injection: 1…2…NO!  Swann went to the top rope and hit a frog splash: 1…2…NO!  They traded pinning combinations.  Swann hit a super kick and went to the top rope.  Fox gave him a Brogue Kick and then hit the Lo Mein Pain: 1…2…3!

AR Fox psychology (hit ALL the moves) probably drives some people nuts, but I always have a good time watching him.  These two got the crowd super hot, and this was pretty much a perfect opener.  Watch this match.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Drew Gulak vs. Biff Busick

Both wrestlers were at “-1” on the Wins Leaderboard at the time of this match. Busick was originally supposed to face the “Wins Leader,” Mark Angel. Mark Angel saod he is no longer wrestling Busick and that AJ Evers is no longer wrestling Gulak, because Angel, Talent, and Evers will face The Batiri. The crowd wants Gulak vs. Biff, and both wrestlers agree. Gulak is annoyed at Angel, but he’s also just fine with this new match. This match will be awesome.

They started out trading holds. Gulak tried going after Busick’s left leg. Busick then went after Gulak’s left arm. Neither man got a decisive advantage. Busick nailed him with a lariat for a nearfall. Gulak came back with a headbutt to the chest, a bridging German suplex for a nearfall, and then a release Northern Lights for a nearfall. They traded some stiff chops. Ouch. My chest hurts just watching. Gulak got the upperhand on that exchange, but Busick came back with a leg lariat. Gulak then got the Gu-Lock and Busick had to tap out!

This was really good for the 10-12 minutes that we got, but these two have the potential for greatness. Gulak is the current “ace” of Beyond, but Busick is the future “ace” of Beyond. Beyond should be doing everything in their power to make Busick their star.
Match Rating: ***1/4

Thanks everybody for reading! You can send feedback to my Twitter or to my email address: [email protected] Also, feel free to check out my own wrestling website, FreeProWrestling.com. Also, check out my Best of Chikara blog and an archive of all my 411 video reviews.

I leave you with some words of wisdom…


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