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British Optimism: CZW Best of the Best XI

April 16, 2012 | Posted by Maffew Gregg
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British Optimism: CZW Best of the Best XI  

Best of the Best is one of the Big Three events of the year for CZW (the other two being Tournament of Death and Cage of Death) and it gives the Dub a chance to show they’re not all blood and guts so they usually go out to impress.

Tonight’s Drinking Game: Take a shot every time there’s a bump on the apron.

DJ Hyde starts the show. Hyde’s weird: He’s the biggest heel of the company but still announces things that generate a positive response like announce the participants to start the show. It’s very awkward. All the participants get a positive reaction from the crowd apart from Lince Dorado, with Drake Younger and Chuck Taylor getting the loudest. Callihan and Younger stare off and Sami storms out immediately after the group photo.

BOTB First Round: Drake Younger vs. MK McKinnan vs. Trent 7 vs. Sami Callihan

The only four-way opening round. All the opening rounds are elimination and only the winner progresses. I had to type this part retroactively as no fucker says it on the show. Drake looks to be in shape, tanned and bald. MK comes out to a rock version of the Back to the Future theme and Trent 7 gets called fat by the fans. Drake/Sami and Brit/Brit to begin. Callihan gives Younger a Saito Suplex but Younger just shrugs it off and drops Sami on his head. MK missile dropkicks Younger out of the ring as the commentators reference ‘That Match’ in reference to the bloody awful Fight Club Pro vs. Philly’s Most Wanted match from last year. MK with a rough roll-into-a-knee in the corner to boos. 7 counters a MK dive off the top with a clothesline. The commentators talk about 7 being a heavy hitter, which may be true but he’s way out of shape to be not wearing a shirt.

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Sami and 7 chop each other until Sami gives him a scissor kick and DVD. The slingshot splash (with posing) gets a two-count. Younger appears to break MK’s nose on the outside. Sami gives 7 the slingshot lariat and follows with a suicide dive. Younger one-ups them with a moonsault off the top to the outside. I’ll type it again to emphasise it: Younger is in great shape. He halts MK coming off the top but everyone joins in and 7 ends up powerbombing Sami and Drake who superplex MK. 7 tries a pin on everybody but gets nothing. 7 misses a clothesline in the corner and everybody misses everything tuntil Sami hurls MK into 7 in the corner. Drake then hurls Sami into the pile and plows MK into all of them with a running sit-out DVD Bomb/Samoan Driver. Nice. Drake reverse neckbreaker’s 7 who DDT’s Sami. 7 delivers a very quick Dragon Suplex to Drake and follows it up with a quick piledriver. Mk and 7 beat the hell out of each other and MK adds unnecesary flips to things. Commentator calls their last match ”a terrible, er, auspciious debut” but they’re doing a much better job now as MK counters a suplex to a Tornado DDT. MK halts Sami off the top but Sami doesn’t take kindly to it and chops him whilst on the top. MK stops a Sunset Flip counter so Sami kicks his legs and he just plummets instead. MK gets out of the Stretch Muffler so Sami just KILLS him with a Double Underhook Drop-The-Guy-Headfirst-On-Your-Knee. He re-applies the Stretch Muffler but Drake turns it into a schoolboy for two. Younger one ups Sami by giving him a beautiful Tiger Driver for another two-count. Drake murders 7 with a Fire Thunder Driver for another close two. MK with a shining Wizard for two and everyone tries to take a breather outside so MK cannonball sentons everyone. Sami is bleeding from the forehead. Drake sets up the ring-steps on their side and tries the Cop Killer. Sami suplexes him on the apron instead (Take a shot). That was a slightly mental series of events. And as I’m really getting into it, both Drake and MK are counted out, because apparently you can get counted out in CZW. WHO BOOKED THIS CRAP?

That leaves Sami vs. 7. They pound it out as only two ‘Heavy-Hitters’ can. 7 stuffs Sami with a nifty spinning piledriver for two. The commentators are certainly getting better, they’ve been doing things like explain why the spinning piledriver hurts more than a regular one. Sami doesn’t sell any of the piledriver which flusters the commentators but the effort is appreciated. 7 and Sami battle on the top rope until 7 splats Sami with a big Frog Splash but it gets…1? I’m not a fan of that. 7 with another piledriver for two this time. 7 focuses on the crowd’s jeers which allows Sami to recover and nail the Fat Bastard with a Saito Suplex. Forearm to Remember gets two, so Sami locks in the Stretch Muffler with added kicks to the head for the tap-out win!

Winner: Sami Callihan (***1/4)

Very fun opener but that AWFUL elimination took something out of it. I can see why they’d take Drake out if they’re going for a Drake/Sami feud, but to take out one of the fly-ins at the same time?

Post-match Drake comes out to knacker Sami and is secured by security.

BOTB First Round: Greg Excellent vs. Alex Colon vs. Willie Mack

The commentators namedrop Twitter ironically then shill it properly. Huh. Greg and Willie overpower Colon. Greg stops the action to dance to Brodus Clay’s theme as the crowd cheers. We get tedious remarks about how Greg has been noting on his FaceBook (sigh) that Brodus Clay is more than just a bit similar than him. That’s as ridiculous as the time Gargiulo accused Jim Ross of stealing his lines. Greg gets sent outside. Colon takes down Willie with a lot of kicks, finishing with a Scissor Kick and…a Spinaroonie? It’s one of THOSE matches. Willie joins in on the fun with a huge Pounce to Colon who soars through the air. Greg and Willie engage in a mock sumo challenge and try to knock one another off their feet. ”I think we’re trying to make it back onto George Lopez with this. And he’s been cancelled”. Colon tries to break up the fun but he takes a 3D variant as the commentators give up trying to guess what’s going to happen next. Willie gets quick and clotheslines both men before plummeting to the outside. Colon can’t knock Greg down with strikes so he goes for a roll-up instead. Willie back in with a dazzling flying kick. Everything Willie does looks impressive because of his size. He’s like 2001 Ruckus. Greg slowly backdrops Willie as it’s called a Samoan Cookie Drop for some reason. Willie and Colon end up in the corner and take the Rick Roll/Cannonball. One of the commentator’s obvious hatred is fun of Greg and his gimmick is pleasant to hear, especially when he’s shouting such things as”Call 2007!” Greg goes to the top and Colon tries to stop him, but takes a powerbomb off the top onto Willie. All men down from that big move so they all retreat to their corners for Moutain Dew (Greg), Pineapple Soda (Colon) and Grape Soda (Willie). And from this we get a triple mist spot! AND NOW YAKETY SAX IS PLAYING. ALL THREE MEN GO OUTSIDE TO CHASE ONE ANOTHER. More soda is spilt. Commentator A complains about the ring being sticky due to the spilt soda ”rather like when that one tag team champion who had some alone time back in the day” without naming the wrestler. Brett Lauderdale takes the drinks away and they all spit JOHNNY KASHMERE at him. The music stops playing as I wonder how to feel about this. Willie takes a drop toe hold into the corner and Colon gives him the Face Wash. Greg murders Colon with a Double Underhook Piledriver on the ring apron (take a shot) but it’s treated like a transition move as Colon flops on the floor afterwards and Willie Tope Con Hellos both men. Back in, Greg motorboats Willie (yes) and I half expect him to sell it at this point. It’s not to be as he gives Greg a big T-Bone Suplex instead. He follows with a Frog Splash off the top to eliminate Greg from the tournament.

Considerable boos for that. Colon back in and he takes a Samoan Drop and standing moonsault combo. That gets two and Willie is amazed. He tries for a chokeslam but Colon flips out of it and gives Willie the Feliner kick. Willie tries to squash him in the corner but Colon uses his elevation to turn him upside down and drop him on his head to eliminate Willie.

Winner: Alex Colon (**1/2)

Weird comedy match that mostly did a good job of mixing the comedy with the head-drops. The crowd responded well to the comedy and as long as they never repeat those spots ever again, it’ll be OK. I tolerate the comedy more than most as it gives some variation to the tournament. I’d have liked to have seen more of Mack though.

BOTB First Round: Samuray Del Sol vs. Chuck Taylor vs. Johnny Gargano

Commentators talk about Gargano’s history. ”Last year he had a match with the in-door Superkick record”. Taylor sent outside to begin and Sol comes spinning off the top into an armdrag. Gargano responds with a top rope stomp to a bent-over Sol and reverse neckbreaker. Taylor back in with a backflip and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Del Sol manages to convert a Reverse Powerbomb into a pin attempt followed by a leglock submission. Taylor escapes the hold by biting the ref who’s in the way of the ropes. Taylor takes a breather outside, so Del Sol goes to bump off the ropes to dive out, only for Gargano to give Del Sol a slingshot spear and take his place by suicide diving Taylor instead. Classy. Gargano gets up immediately after that and gets back in the ring with a slingshot DDT. Taylor notices the awesome recovery abilities of Gargano so he comes back in the ring with a missile dropkick off the top. A lionsault on Gargano gets two but he takes a Standing Sliced Bread No. 2 from Del Sol.before he can follow up. Del Sol lands on his feet after a monkey flip and dropkicks Taylor after being sent in the air by Gargano. Gargano sits on top with his knees out and Taylor decides to plonk Del Sol onto them with a running powerbomb. Eep. Gargano is outside (due to Del Sol landing on his knees I guess) and Taylor follows with a dandy-looking Tope Con Hello. Dol Sol sees this and is suddenly energised to give both men a…big flippy move. No idea what to call that but it looked divine. Del Sol with some more counters but he takes Taylor’s arse to the face and takes a few suplex variants and double-teams from both men. Gargano and Taylor go at it rather than pin Del Sol. After some sequences, Gargano tries for his submission but Taylor turns it into a pin and holds on to eliminate Gargano. Del Sol then immediately gives Taylor Franksteiner Pin to eliminate him too.

Winner: Samuray Del Sol (**)

A problem with opening rounds at BOTB is that the wrestlers not progressing to the next round are more focused on ‘getting their shit in’ than focusing on putting together a match. So we get lots of nice spots and bumps but no-one sells them, making them worthless. Nice was a nice exhibition but nothing else. Sorry.

BOTB First Round: Lince Dorado vs. ACH vs. AR Fox

Dorado comes out to Megadeth’s cover of the Duke Nukem Theme. This is ACH’s first appearance at CZW and Fox dropkicks him out of the ring. Lince is the only man to get booed and when he sends Fox to the outside with a Frankensteiner the crowd doesn’t react at all. Haha. ACH and Lince go through an extended armdrag/armhold sequence which finishes with ACH fucking up the sell. Lince gives him a dropkick in the corner as punishment. He redeems himself by bouncing off the ropes after being shrugged off Lince’s shoulders and giving Lince a headscissors. Lince tries to kip up afterwards, only drawing laughs from the crowd. ACH attemps a Hadouken but Lince avoids it and responds with a middle finger ”because he couldn’t afford video games in Mexico”.

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Fox intercepts these shenanigans and sends both men out, just so he can dive onto them with a dropkick through the ropes. He then follows with a fucking blind springboard reverse tope. That takes a lot of confidence/insanity. He props up ACH on the apron and misses his legdrop off the top (take a shot). Lince takes the opportunity to moonsault Fox on the outside and ACH decides to join in…and misses a crossbody. He lands on his feet though and clotheslines Lince in the ropes and THEN manages an Asai Moonsault to the outside. Crowd chants for ACH. I’m enjoying him so far,  he at least has a personality and is showing it rather than just doing moves. Lince tries to pin Fox after a moonsault body block but Fox leaves him and tries to moonsault ACH off the apron instead. Lince then immediately follows with a running moonsault over the top! ACH gives Lince the Sonic Boom (to mild applause) and a Hadouken, which Lince sells by flunging himself into the corner (to louder applause). ACH gets put in the Tree of Woe but both Lince and Fox decide to do springboard moves to him at the same time. After a second-long stare, Lince Frankensteiners Fox off the top. I liked that. ACH tries to splash both men but they both move. Fox is bleeding from his ear. Fox gives Lince the flying clothesline in the corner, holds on and turns it into a springboard dropkick and THEN splats Lince with a running cannonball. He gives himself a breather after that. It lasts five seconds as he misses a springboard and Lince plants the sorry sod right on his head with a flipping DDT. That broke the laws of physics and his neck at the same time. Lince dives off the top OVER ACH and into Fox with a Shooting Star Press Lariat. THAT was nifty. ACH stuffs Lince in the ropes, shouts ”MORTAL KOMBAT!” and proceds to give Lince Liu Kang’s Bicycle Kick.

Something new. With Lince still on the ropes, he plows Lince with an elevated Roll The Dice to eliminate him.

Fox and ACH are both exhausted. It’s refreshing to see that, actually. They go chop-for-chop until Fox gives ACH a stunner, kips up and gives him another, kips up and tries another but ACH tosses him off. Fox goes off the top rope instead but ACH catches him off the top with a stunner of his own. Didn’t look too pretty so the crowd didn’t didn’t like it. Fox sits in the corner now so ACH dropkicks him. He continues working on Fox by stepping on him when he’s sat down and follows it with a Shining Wizard. I though they’d outlawed the move before wacthing this event. ACH tries a powerbomb type move but Fox tosses him off only for ACH to bounce off the ropes (still holding Fox) and bounce back into position to deliver a powerbomb pin. It gets two. ACH’s fancy kip-up is missed by HybridENT and so is ACH’s 450 splash attempt. Fox with three scissor kicks to ACH in the corner and finishes him off with the Lo Mein Pain (One Man Spainish Flyoff the top rope).

Winner: ACH (***)

Enjoyable action from all three men who worked their arses off. Lince in particular shined brightly.

Dave Crist vs. Jake Crist (C) (Wired Title)

These two have been feuding since before COD. Dave is the punk one. Dave sneak-attacks his brother during his entrance and beats him until Jake bodyslams him into the guard-rail in a hideous spot. Jake comes off the top (with nothing) as Dave tries a high-knee but Jake grabs it as he lands and turns it into a dragon screw. There’s a lot of typing for three seconds of action in this show. Crowd chant something indecipherable. They use a lot of the moves and offence already seen in the night (springboard dropkick into the corner, flying kicks to the face) so the reaction isn’t anything special. That’s always a risk with shows with lots of the same genre . Dave chops Jake a lot but he gets fed up of that and gives him a Superplex. He holds on and follows with a Twist of Fate. I think I’m done with follow-up moves tonight (well, until the next AR Fox match anyway) and Jake takes the knee-pad down and gives his brother a Shining Wizard. Has that move gone back to being cool again? It gets two. Jake with an incredibly loud superkick and a Tiger Suplex for two. He holds on though (argh) and sends his brother into the turnbuckles with another Tiger Suplex. It gets two. Oh come on that could easily have been the finish, it looked like it killed him for Christ’s Sake. Jake tries something off the top but Dave intercepts and decides to re-enact the Rey Mysterio Jr./Eddie Guerrero armdrag/moonsault DDT sequence for two. Where the hell did that come from? Up on top, Dave tries his own Superplex but Jake shoves him off into the ref. Dave decides to hit his brother twice in the groin, wakes up the referee and pins his brother for the match and the title.

Winner and NEW Wired Champion: Dave Crist (*1/2)

Maybe it’s just me but having ”Holy shit I think that guy is dead” moves for five minutes and finishing with two ball shots is just stupid. They tried to do everything they knew in a very short space of time, which isn’t wanted for filler matches at BOTB.

BOTB Semi-Finals: Alex Colon vs. Sami Callihan

Sami comes out with a bandaged head and throws chairs at ringside. Last year these two wrestled to compete for a BOTB position. They go outside immediately and beat each other up around guard-rails until Colon misses a dropkick into the guard-rail. Sami slams him on an upright chair, as if to say ”Why the hell would you dropkick anybody on concrete?” On the ring apron now as they sell exhaustion (yes!) until Colon gives Sami a DVD on the ring apron (take a shot) and his injured head. Sami tries to avoid Colon for a while until he hurls him into a sat-up chair/ring attendant. Sami follows with an absurd Saito Suplex into the same sat-up chair/ring attendant. Back in the ring, Sami clotheslines Colon in the corner a few times but Colon slips out and gives Sami the Facewash. It gets two. Colon tries to pin Sami multiple times, making up for his dropkick on the concrete. Sami just kicks him in the head and gives him his own Facewash. And again. And again. And again. The crowd chants for Nick Gage. As he’s posing/soaking in the crowd’s chants for someone else, Sami allows Colon to recover and he is able to counter Sami’s corner charge into the same Sit-Out Head-Drop he used to beat Willie Mack but Sami grabs the ring ropes. Colon puts Sami in his own Stretch Muffler but Sami rolls him slightly to the right and pins Colon for the pin.

Winner: Sami Callihan (***)

Overall it was good and Sami is noticabely and thankfully varying his match styles. Some bits dragged it down, like having the same counter that beat Willie Mack. To do the move, Colon’s opponent needs to do something specific in order for Colon to bust out the counter, so ti feature it TWICE in one night is more than a little silly. Colon wrestled like he wanted to win rather than just bust out spots so that made up for it so feel free to ignore my overly anal rant.

Post-match Sami rants on the mic that he’ll be winning tonight. Sami is so determined he forgets his Jr. Heavyweight belt until Larry Legend gives him it.

BOTB Semi-Finals: Samuray Del Sol vs. AR Fox

Sol is the only non-regular CZW guy to advance in the tournament. Fox has cleaned his ear up. They mat-wrestle to begin which is a nice change of pace. The commentators speculate that maybe Fox’s ear is worse than he’s letting on, hence the slower pace. These commentators really are getting better. Sol gets caught mid-handspring into a back body drop but lands on his feet. He manages a satellite armdrag but gets the springboard Ace Crusher from Fox for two. Running clothesline/corner dropkick/running cannonball combo gets two. Fox sells the ear! Sol with a springboard Frankensteiner to Fox, which knocks him to the apron where they jostle. Ray gives him a kick to the head and THE LOBO UPSIDE DOWN DVD ON THE RING APRON (TAKE A SHOT).Fox’s ear is bleeding again and Sol runs off the apron and (mid-air spin) armdrags Fox into the guard-rail! You’d question the logic of hurling yourself onto conrete to hurt the other guy, but he’s Lucha so he doesn’t have logic. He has ATHLETICISM. And sure enough, he’s up after mere seconds. So is Fox, who sends Sol into the ring post and follows him with a kick-flip Shooting Star Press. he drags Sol back into the ring and gets two. When they’re both vertical, Ray gives Fox a Double Underhook Sit-Out Tiger Driver and holds on and turns it into an armbar. Nice move but Fox gets the ropes. They exchange kicks to the head (of course, it’s an indy show in 2012) and Ray ends up outside. Fox dives OVER the Turnbuckles to land on Sol and his own feet. Picture perfect. He follows with a running cannonball to Ray in the corner of the guard-rails, which doesn’t make any godamn sense as he plants his own head into the concrete/metal rails/Sol’s hard abs but it looked effective. He brings Sol back in and looks for the finish with a springboard 450 Splash…for two. Crowd chants ”THIS IS AWESOME.” Ray agrees and annihilates Fox with a Reverse Frankensteiner…for two. Ray gives Fox a running knee to the groin/mid-section but this only spurs Fox on to give Ray the Lo Mein Pain for the 1..2…3

Winner: AR Fox (***1/4)

The type of over the top wrestling that used to be the hallmark of CZW. Great stuff and I hope Sol is brought back.

We then cut to BJW for an Abdullah Kobayshi match! Wasn’t expecting that. It’s a full match with Japanese commentary. No Date or match stipulations are listed.

Drew Gulak comes out and rants. Sounds a bit iffy on the mic but he gets TP’d so it’s OK.

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The chants from the 13th Anniversary Show start again, with ”Brooklyn Brawler” and ”Savio Vega” being the clearest. Gulak is still feuding with Havoc.  When I type ”still” I mean as in ”he started feuding in January 2011”. He talks about the drug-use in the locker room and bemoans his assistant/male rat Alexander James being hooked on PCP. Crowd chants for ”PCP”. Gulak promises change for CZW. He’s been promising change for a year. He has Obama power. He wants a match with Havoc next month so Havoc comes through the crowd to sneak attack Gulak with a barbed wire bat. (CZW! Where the good guys sneak attack the bad guys!) Gulak goes into Angry Mode as he bleeds from the forehead and the crowd laughs at him. Gulak challenges Havoc to a No Rope Barbed Wire Match next month. Havoc agrees and uses Gulak’s blood to sign the contract. He then licks Gulak’s blood off his own hand. Licking blood in a wrestling ring is more dangerous than a No Rope Barbed Wire match nowadays.

Matt Tremont vs. DJ Hyde

Matt has a vintage ‘Beyond Xtreme’ CZW shirt. Hyde comes out and brags about how much his suit costs. ”By the way, fuck Nick Gage.” Hyde is improving on the mic but he still talks for way too long. He tells Matt that he promised him a match with him appearing…not neccesarily wrestling. Just appearing. And seeing as he’s appeared, here’s his opponent (via sneak attack with kendo stick), Clint Margera.

Matt Tremont vs. Clint Margera

He’s from Fight Club Pro and none of the crowd knows who he is. The crowd loves Bulldozer so Clint could be anybody. Which er, he is. He strikes Matt with sticks o’ stuff as he insults fans. Tremont makes a comeback as Tremont isn’t capable of feeling pain so it’s hard for him to sell. He charges up a headbutt and bust HIMSELF open doing it.

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Matt is a guilty pleasure. The crowd seems to share this feeling. He clotheslines Clint a few times as the crowd chant ”BULLDOZER”. Tremont with an interesting looking suplex as the crowd insist upon weapon use. He decides to give Clint a brutal chairshot to the head. Crowd wants another but Clint trips him up and chairshots Matt instead. Crowd chants ”PUSSY!” at him. Matt is OVER. He explodes a water-jug (on a stick, of course) over Clint’s head. Matt and Clint go punch-for-punch but crowd has seen that tonight and wants stuff smashed over people. A Michinuko Driver II gets two and no reaction. They both grab thumbtack bats and connect at the same time. Matt takes it to the chest and arms (he’s not wearing a shirt) and actually sells. Holy shit. Clint gets a very close two-count after another thumbtack bat shot. Russian leg sweep and a high senton by Clint. Slingshot chair-assisted leg-drop gets two which causes Matt to commence his comeback and chair-shot the Brit. Matt drops some thumbtacks into the canvas…and some jacks. That’s a new one. He slams Clint on them and removes his shirt. He proceeds to drag him across the toys as the crowd goes wild. Matt tries a splash off the top but Clint moves and he goes belly-first into the spiky stuff. Clint tries to break the thumbtack bat over Matt’s head but he no-sells and gets to his feet whilst shaking uncontrollably as the crowd yells for him. He bulldogs topless Clint into the sharp stuff and sets the barbed-wire chair up on two other chairs. On the top rope both men fight over something unpleasant with Clint giving him a big kick (to chants of ”You Fucked Up!” for some reason) Matt has enough and simply powerbombs him through the chairs and barbed wire for the pin.

Winner: Matt Tremont (**3/4)

Enjoyable hardcore storyline match that was made better by the loud-arse crowd.

Matt challenges Hyde right here and now. Hyde issues a challenge: If Matt wins TOD he gets Hyde. Hyde announces Matt’s first round opponent: BJW’s Abdullah Kobayshi! Matt welcomes it as he’s too American to know fear.

BOTB Finals: AR Fox vs. Sami Callihan

Both men deserve to win. Sami has been in the last three BOTB Finals. Fox busts out his big-arse Tope Con Hello as Sami is making his entrance to start the match with a bang. Fox immediately goes back into the ring to re-dive onto Sami but Sami moves and pulls the guard-rail forwards SO FOX LANDS BANG ON HIS HEAD IN THE FRONT ROW. Shit the bed. The referees check to see if he’s still alive. Sami stalls by taking Larry Legend’s iPad (preventing Legend from sending clips of the dive to people online). Sami throws Fox into the guard-rail and drags him into ring. He gets a two-count, so he’s alive. Sami headbutts Fox’s ear and follows with a slap. Hooray, sensical offence! Sami grounds Fox and pounds his ear. Sami is noticabley more heel during this match. He mocks the crowd’s chants for Fox. The pace is slow, but it’s the finals and Fox has a bad ear and everything else.

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Sami stomps the hell out of Fox and cuts off a Fox comeback. Crowd continue chanting for Fox and nobody is behind Sami apart from Chrissy. Fox manages to stop Sami executing something off the top rope, but he follows with a rolling dive and the running cannonball, both involving his head so he needs some time to recover afterwards. Sami doesn’t get to comeback though as he takes a missile dropkick sending him to the outside as Fox tries to dive again. Sami tries to stop him, but Fox relents and misses the 450 Plancha! He doesn’t sell it though, for fuck’s sake. He sets up Sami for the Top Rope Legdrop to the apron (Take a shot) and misses for the second time this tourny. Sami seizes the opportunity to kick him off the apron and give Fox a suicide dive. Back in, Sami continues slapping Fox’s ears as Steve Corino grimaces somewhere. Fox manages to give Sami the Big Time Driver and tries to finish with the Senton Atomico…for two. Fox is distraught. He tries another 450 off the top but he gets kicked in the face as he lands. As Sami gives Fox the Face Washes in the corner, I realise Fox is playing the same role as Sami was playing last year and Sami is Adam Cole this year. Interesting. He makes the mistake of flexing to the crowd before trying further Face Washes…only for Fox to grab his foot and schoolboy Sami for two. The rest of the BOTB participants are around ringside now, giving this match the Big Match feel. Fox tries for the Lo Mein Pain for 2.9999! Fox can’t believe it. It was good enough to get him this far. Crowd is the loudest it’s been all night getting behind Fox. He misses the springboard reverse blind swanton and Sami clotheslines him down. He gives him another one, tougher than the last. Then another, tougher than the previous. Fox kicks out and if Sami doesn’t turn heel after this there’s something wrong here. ANOTHER clothesline gets a ONE count, angering Sami so he locks in the Stretch Muffler and kicks the living fuck out of Fox’s ear. This is how he knocked out Fox at the last BOTB but Fox had good ears last year. He stretches even further and Fox can take no more and taps out.

Winner and BOTB XI Champion: Sami Callihan (****)

Match of the night. We got a great story, great action, an entire arena behind one guy and a heel turn. All it was missing was Ken Shamrock as the referee.

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Streamers come in for Sami and Hyde brings out the trophy. he spits on Sami and leaves. Hyde’s pressence REALLY isn’t suitable or wanted here. Sami cuts a heel promo (yes!)  and hopes Fox’s ear-drum is busted. Crowd doesn’t seem to want to boo Sami as he didn’t cheat or say ”Fuck Nick Gage”. Sami challenges anybody as he’s ”undefeatable” so Drake steps into the ring. Sami punches him and Drake just stands there. Drake  says right now he’ll give Sami the trophy he’s rightfully earned then leave so he can have his moment. But next month he wants him in a match. Drake turns to leave but Sami low blows him when his back is turned and insults all the men around the ring. Some of the crowd still applaud him, wankers.

Sami leaves and Hyde gets on the mic. Ugh. He compliments Sami and everyone else’s performance tonight and the crowd applauds. He makes Sami vs. Drake 2/3 Falls: Normal, Submission and Hardcore. He then insults the crowd. See how awkward that transition is? They really need two different ‘owner’ characters. Get Maven or Larry Legend or somebody the crowd likes to play the good guy to present trophies and such and leave the feud related stuff to Hyde.

The People’s Award is decided via crowd response and AR Fox takes it again. How could he not win? Hyde says he doesn’t have a plaque for him, but he instead gives him any title shot at any time he wants it. Fox accepts it and the crowd cheer for everybody to end the show.

The 411: One of the major issues I've had with CZW over the last few months have been the lack of feuds. Nice wrestling, just no point. Well this event gives us Drake/Sami and Fox/Sami and Fox/Anybody and introduced/helped establish several newer guys to the roster as well as continuing Crist/Crist, Hyde/Tremont and Havoc/Gulak. If they keep this up, BOTB will mark the kick up the arse CZW has been needing to wake itself up. The wrestling was consistently good too. RECOMMENDED. You can purchase BOTB XI from HybridENT right here.
 
Final Score:  7.8   [ Good ]  legend

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