From The Shelf- CZW Cage of Death XVIII

December 19, 2016 | Posted by Dylan Diot
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From The Shelf- CZW Cage of Death XVIII  

CZW Cage of Death XVIII
Voorhess, NJ

Dave Crist vs. Zachery Wentz vs. Alexander James vs. Tim Donst vs. Tony Deppen vs. AR Fox v. Jimmy Lynn
Jimmy Lynn is a late entry, as he wanted to make an opportunity for himself. Everyone throws super kicks to start and James catches Deppen with a hanging cutter. Meteora by Crist to James gets 2. Tiger Driver by Lynn to Crist and Donst rolls him up for 2. Standing moonsault into standing SSP by Wentz to Donst. Springboard dropkick by Fox to Wentz. Twister by Fox and he looks to dive but Wentz cuts him off with a clothesline. Wentz and Donst hip toss Deppen onto everyone on the floor!!! Cactus clothesline by Donst and he hits a suicide dive onto everyone on the floor!!! Fosbury Flop by Wentz!!! Springboard inverted summersault senton by Fox!!! Donst and Deppen go up but James catches them in the TOWER OF DOOM!!!! Frog Splash by Fox gets 2 as Lynn saves. Everyone lays each other out in a crazy sequence and Fox catches Crist with Low Main Pain. Fox goes up and hits the 450 splash for 2 as Brittney Blake saves!!! She has a chair but Mrs. Fox saves and lays out Blake with a DDT on the chair!!! Super kick by James and he hits Saturday Crunch. Swinging neck breaker by Donst and Peppen fires away on Donst. Enzuigiri form the apron by Deppen and he hits a springboard DDT. Headlock Driver by Wentz and he goes up. Swanton Bomb by Wentz gets 2 as Lynn saves. Codebreaker by Wentz but Lynn comes back with a super kick. Jig-a-Tonic by Lynn gets 2 as Crist saves. Magdalen by Crist gets 3!!!
Winner- Dave Crist ***3/4 ( This was one hell of an opener. It’s everything you would have wanted between the crazy dives and the non-stop action. Everyone looked good in this match and I was blown away by how crisp almost everything in the match came across, there were no slip ups and all the batshit crazy sequences came off without a hiccup. I was very impressed and they could have gotten this show off to a better start. )

A Maxwell Jacob Feinstein and Maria Manic vignette airs and they come out. The crowd throws toilet paper at him so he refuses an interview and quickly leaves the ring.

Greg Excellent w/Crissey Rivera vs. Homicide
Dropkick by Homicide and Excellent bails. Cannonball off the apron by Homicide and he chases Rivera who runs to the back. Back in, Homicide hits a back elbow and he hits some punches in the corner but Excellent breaks with snake eyes. Slam by Excellent and he counter a suplex into one of his own. Excellent blocks the Tornado DDT and he goes up. Homicide stops him and follows up. Superplex by Homicide gets 2. Rivera comes in so Homicide grabs her, but the distraction allows Excellent to hit the Black Hole Slam for 2. Homicide dumps Excellent and looks to dive but Rivera grabs the leg. Homicide drabs her in and grabs the STF. Excellent goes to break with an elbow drop but Homicide misses and he nails Rivera!!! Ace Crusher by Homicide gets 2 and he grabs the STF but Excellent makes the ropes. Homicide refuses to break the hold and shoves the ref in frustration, allowing Excellent to nail him in the neck with a dinner knife and hit the Double underhook piledriver for 3.
Winner- Greg Excellent **1/2 ( This was fine, nothing spectacular. The in-ring action was decent but the idea of the match was that Excellent wanted the 2002/2003 version of Homicide and we didn’t get anything close to that. Hopefully this will set-up a rematch with a more violent nature to it, cause these two could probably put on a hell of a brawl instead of the by the numbers match we got here. )

Yuma & Kevin Martenson vs. The Dub Boys (Dave McCall & Nate Carter)
Yuma and McCall start. Spinning heel kick by McCall gets 2 and Yuma & Martenson double team him. The Dub Boys return the favor on Martenson but Martenson catches Carter with a dropkick. Tag to Yuma and he goes up but Carter catches both and hits a double running power slam. Back in, Martenson repeatedly jump on Carter in the ropes and they double team Carter in the corner. Martenson jumps off the top but Carter catches him with an exploder suplex. Tag to McCall and Carter power bombs him into Martenson in the corner. Carter presses Martenson into a back breaker from McCall for 2 as Yuma saves. Neck breaker by Yuma and Martenson hits a double stomp to the back of the head. Carter catches Martenson with a German suplex. Double stomp to the back of the head of McCall by Martenson and he follows up with a Swanton Bomb plancha onto Carter on the floor!!! Knee strike by Carter to Yuma and Carter goes to power bomb McCall into him but Yuma moves. Carter presses Yuma into the Flatliner from McCall for 3.
Winners- The Dub Boys ** ( This match didn’t do much for me. My first impression of the Dub Boys wasn’t a good one. They weren’t in sync with one another and their work was rough around the edges, so they needed some polishing. This was the first time I’ve seen Yuma & Martenson in some time and they looked decent, but both teams just couldn’t get on the same page. )

Desmond Xavier w/JT Davidson vs. Shane Strickland
Both men show off their athleticism and we have a stalemate. They have a crazy counter sequence on the floor and they drill each other with forearms. They realize they’re both about to be counted out and they quickly re-enter the ring. Dropkick to the back by Xavier and he stomps away in the corner. Davidson gets a cheap shot in and Xavier works him over in the corner. Strickland tries a handspring ace crusher but Xavier blocks and hits a basement super kick. Standing corkscrew press by Xavier gets 2 and he grabs an arm bar. They trade blows and Strickland hits a 619 to the midsection. Flatliner by Strickland and he hits the rolling Ace Crusher for 2. Spinning enzuigiri by Strickland and he hits a knee strike. Running powerslam by Strickland but Xavier comes back with a standing Blockbuster for 2. They go up and Xavier goes for a reverse hurricanrana off the top but Strickland lands on his face. Super kick by Strickland and he hits a corner dropkick knocking Xavier to the floor. Strickland goes for the springboard 450 to the floor but Xavier moves, so Strickland takes out Davidson!!! Sasuke Special by Xavier!!! Back in, Xavier hits a basement hip check and follows up with the DVD for 2. Xavier goes up but Strickland catches him with an enzuigiri to bring him down. Strickland goes up and misses the Spiral Tap. Basement Meteora by Xavier and he goes up. Spiral Tap by Xavier gets 2!!! Wheelbarrow roll-up by Strickland gets 2 and he counters a reverse hurricanrana into the Muscular Bomb for 3!!!
Winner- Shane Strickland ***1/2 ( Big shocker, this match was a blast. Early on in the match this was looking like it was going to be a high-flying exhibition but as the match progressed they incorporated their big spots in a way that made for dramatic near falls and Xavier progressively got more frustrated when he was connecting with his signature stuff and yet he couldn’t put Strickland away. Strickland persevered and was able to catch Xavier in a position that allowed him to drill him with that Muscular Bomb for the win. )

CZW World Tag Team Championships- Da Hit Squad (Dan Maff & Monsta Mack) © vs. EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik)
EYFBO dive onto Da Hit Squad as they make their entrance!!! They brawl on the floor and Maff hits a back suplex onto the apron on Draztik. Back in, Maff catches Draztik with a sit-out powerbomb. EYFBO double team Maff but Mack lays them out with a double clothesline. Mack goes up with Draztik and he catches Draztik with an Island Driver on the apron!!! Maff trucks Ortiz and he hits a back suplex. Northern lights suplex by Maff gets 2 and he grabs a never hold. Ortiz starts to fight out so Da Hit Squad truck him for 2. Double arm DDT by Maff gets 2. Draztik catches Maff with a super kick and EYFBO hit a release double back suplex on Mack. Maff catches Draztik with a Spear and Mack hits a release German suplex on Ortiz. Back senton by Maff gets 2. Chin lock by Maff but Ortiz fights out and hits a release German suplex on Maff. DVD by Ortiz to Mack and Draztik gets the tag. Springboard double Ace Crusher by Draztik gets 2. Enzuigiri by Ortiz to Maff and they hit a dropkick/reverse hurricanrana combo for 2. Second rope hurricanrana by Mack and he hits an overhead belly to belly suplex on Draztik for 2. Mack goes up but Ortiz stops him and EYFBO follow up. Maff takes everyone out with the TOWER OF DOOM~!!!! EYFBO pile Da Hit Squad up in the corner and Drazik hits a cannonball off of Ortiz’s back into the corner for 2. Ortiz goes up and hits a Frog Splash. 450 splash by Drazik gets 3!!!
Winners and NEW CZW World Tag Team Champions- EYFBO *** ( There’s always a weird charm to these Da Hit Squad matches. They’re aren’t the prettiest to watch, but damn do these two work their ass off and pull off some coll stuff for guys their size and the fact they can still go like they did 13 years ago is impressive. This was a fun brawl that was a total mess at times but it was engaging the whole way through and EYFBO got a strong, definitive victory so this was a winner all around. )

After the match, JT Davidson comes out and reminds everyone that Brittney Blake is the holder of the Ultimate Opportunity. Blake says she wants a shot at the tag team titles and Zachery Wentz & Desmond Xavier attack EYFBO, so we got a title match!!!

CZW World Tag Team Championships- EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik) © vs. Scarlet & Graves (Zachery Wentz & Desmond Xavier)
Wentz nails Draztik with the belt and he hits a standing moonsault for 3.
Winners and NEW CZW World Tag Team Champions- Scarlet & Graves NR ( Just an angle to set up a new tag feud for the new year, it was effective considering how much of a battle EYFBO put up just before against Da Hit Squad, so the crowd will be into their redemption story against Scarlet & Graves next year.)

Lio Rush vs. Sami Callihan
Rush throws some strikes and he hits an enzuigiri forcing Callihan to bail A series of Heat Seeking Missiles by Rush!!! Callihan comes back with a series of his own!!! Calliahn works over Rush on the floor but Rush catches him with a hurricanrana sending Callihan into the front row. Callihan blocks a hurricanrana and HE POWERBOMBS RUSH INTO THE FRONT ROW!!!! Back in, Callihan hits a powerbomb for 2. Callihan sends Rush hard into the corner and he falls to the floor. Back in, Rush catches Callihan with an enzuigiri and they go up. Rush blocks the Sunset Bomb and he hits the standing Spanish Fly for 2. Rush goes up and misses a double stomp off the top. Mule Kick by Callihan and he hits the basement forearm for 2. Bicycle kick by Rush but Callihan comes back with a high knee. Knee lift by Callihan gets 2. Springboard reverse hurricanrana by Rush and he hits a spinning enzuigiri for 2. Rush goes up and hits the Frog Splash for 2. Callihan catches Rush in the Stretch Muffler but Rush counters into a small package for 2. Callihan counters a Tilt-a-whirl into the Package Tombstone for 2!!! Callihan throws some slaps but Rush catches him with another standing Spanish Fly for 3!!!
Winner- Lio Rush ***1/2 ( This was quite the hot little sprint. Lio Rush is a special talent, the kid took some sick bumps here and has incredible energy in everything he does in the ring. He withstood the brutal beating Callihan put on him and played mind games with Callihan which ultimately allowed him to capitalize on a mistake and beat Callihan with that standing Spanish Fly. )

CZW World Championship- Jonathan Gresham © vs. Joe Gacy
Gresham attacks as Gacy was making his entrance and he repeatedly nails Gacy in the leg with a chair. Gresham cuts a promo as he continues to stomp on Gacy, complaining about not main-eventing since becoming champion. He calls Gacy a part-time deathmatch schumbag but Gacy finally connects with a right hand to gain control. Urinage followed by a basement superkick by Gacy. Back senton gets 2 and Gresham bails. Gacy works over Gresham on the floor and he hits a bicycle kick against the railings. Gresham sweeps the legs of Gacy as he attempted to enter the ring, sending Gacy crashing to the mat. They trade chops on the floor and Gresham trips up Gacy before catching Gacy in the Figure-4 on the floor!!! Back in, Gresham rolls Gacy up for 2. Gacy misses a back senton but he counters the crucifix into a sit-out DVD for 2. Gresham rips at the bad left eye of Gacy but Gacy comes back with a release German suplex. Bicycle kick by Gacy gets 2. Gresham grabs a sleeper but then releases to go back to the Figure-4. Gacy makes the ropes to break and Gresham grabs a chair. The ref takes it away so Gresham goes low and gets a small package for 2!!! Gresham nails the ref and he starts to walk out with his championship. He claims he can beat anyone in the locker, so he drags another ref into the ring and continues the match. Sleeper by Gresham and he cuts a promo while maintaining the hold, claiming Gacy would never become champion. Gacy runs into the corner, sending Gresham crashing into the turnbuckle. Buckle Bomb by Gacy and he hits the Lethal Injection for 2!!! Rings of Terror by Gacy and Gresham taps!!!
Winner and NEW CZW World Champion- Joe Gacy **1/2 ( The actually wrestling in the match was pretty boring since they were telling the story of Gacy coming into the match with bad leg due to the Gresham attack and the already injured eye, so Gresham pretty much had total control of the match until the finish. That being said, the whole package was phenomenal. Gresham was such a piece of shit in the best way possible, cutting awesome cocky promos during the match and attacking the ref and ringside crew just because he wanted too. His cockiness got the better of him and Gacy was somehow able to catch Gresham and make him tap in a huge moment of triumph. )

The Storm of Entrails come out and announces that SHLAK is the first entrant in the 2017 Tournament of Death, promising a big year for them in 2017. They promise that anyone who enters the ring with them will die.

Ultraviolent Death Match- Rickey Shane Page vs. Danny Havoc
Havoc rams Page’s hand into the gusset plate but Page rams Havoc back first into it in return. Havoc charges but misses and he rams right into the plates. Backbreaker by Page gets 2 and Havoc hiptosses Page into the gusset plates for 2. Havoc drives Page’s face into the board of nails and he drives some nails into the shoulder of Page!!! Havoc elbows the nails into the head of Page but Page comes back with a Urinage into a razor blade cross!!! He slams Havoc onto the cross for 2. Ace Crusher by Page and he hits a flatliner through some boards for 2. Page slams Havoc onto the gusset plates and he goes up. Swanton Bomb misses and he lands in the plates!!! Havoc covers for 2 and he goes up. Moonsault onto the spiked boards onto Page gets 2!!! Rolling elbow by Page and he sends Havoc into the gusset plates. Back suplex by Page gets 2. They go up and Havoc superplexes Page onto a chair for 2. Dragon suplex onto some carpet strips by Havoc gets 2. Havoc sets up a glass board and they trade blows. Rolling elbows by Page and they go up. POWERBOMB OFF THE TOP THROUGH THE GLASS BOARD BY PAGE GETS 3!!!
Winner- Rickey Shane Page ***1/4 ( Ultraviolent matches aren’t my cup of tea but I thought these two did a pretty good job in the match. They incorporated all the weapons in clever ways so nothing felt convoluted or contrived. They used everything in an attempt to harm one another rather than to set up cool spots, so I thought this was a well worked match but I cringed multiple times during the match and wonder why the hell these guys willingly choose to work matches like this on a consistent basis. )

Cage of Death Match- Devon Moore, Drew Blood, Josh Crane & Dale Patricks vs. Matt Tremont, Joey Janela, Conor Claxton & Jeff Cannonball
You’re eliminated if you fall to the floor, fall from the top of the cage, or get pinned. Blood & Claxton start. Claxton hits a big boot to knock Blood through a glass board but Blood comes back with a dropkick sending Claxton through another glass board!!!! Blood tosses Claxton into a barbed wire board but Claxton comes back with a running powerslam into the board!!! Blood drives a barbed wire bat into the neck of Claxton and he drives the barbed wire into his head. Josh Crane is next and he drives the barbed wire into the head of Claxton as well. DDT onto a water jug by Blood gets 2. Jeff Cannonball is next and he slugs it out with Crane. Cannonball hits a side Russian leg sweep into the glass board. Claxton backdrops Blood onto a ladder. Dale Patricks and he hits a suplex on Claxton. He drives the barbed wire bat into the head of Cannonball and Patricks powerbombs Claxton onto a ladder. Joey Janela is next and he climbs into the walkway and DIVES ONTO EVERYONE IN THE CAGE!!! Janela superplexes Patricks onto a ladder. Janela DDTs Crane onto a chair as Devon Moore comes out. Moonsault by Janela to Crane and MOORE DIVES OFF THE WALKWAY WITH A SUMMERSAULT PLANCHA INTO THE CAGE!!! Janela catches Moore with a release suplex and he dropkicks a chair into Crane in the corner. Cannonball with the cannonball into the chair in the corner. Matt Tremont is the final entrant and he cleans house. DVD into a barbed wire board in the corner by Tremont to Moore!!!! Janela walks the ropes and dropkicks a chair into Crane in the corner for 2. Double stomp to the back of Crane by Janela. Everyone takes a seat and slugs it out. Team Tremont connect with suplexes onto the chairs. Tremont sends Crane into the glass board which doesn’t break. Tremont does it a second time and he lands onto a barbed wire board on the outside. Josh Crane is eliminated.

Cannonball and Patricks brawl on the floor and they climb the cage. Patricks pulls Cannonball off the cage through two barbed wire boards on the floor!!! Jeff Cannonball is eliminated.

Janela pins a Jim Cornette face onto the head of Patricks and he brings Patricks back into the cage with a Falcon Arrow!!! Janela goes up and he GOES FOR A SWANTON BOMB BUT PATRICKS MOVES SO JANELA CRASHES ONTO A CHAIR!!! Moore goes up but Tremont stops him, so Moore hits a Meteora into a glass board for 3!!! Matt Tremont is eliminated.

Claxton is on the walkway but Patricks follows up. CLAXTON HITS A NORTHERN LIGHTS BOMB OFF THE WALKWAY INTO THE CAGE FOR 3!!! Dale Patricks is eliminated.

Moore and Claxton head onto the walkway but Blood attacks from behind. Moore hits a superkick and CLAXTON FALLS OFF THE WALKWAY ONTO SOME BARBED WIRE BOARDS ON THE FLOOR!!! Connor Claxton is eliminated.

Janela attacks Moore on the walkway and he tosses Moore onto Blood in the cage. SWANTON BOMB OFF THE WALKWAY ONTO BOTH IN THE CAGE!!! Janela covers Blood for 3. Drew Blood is elimated.

Janela pours out a bucket of thumbtacks but Moore catches him with the Canadian Destroyer into the tacks for 2!!! Elbow drop off the top by Moore to Janela gets 2. DVD into the tacks by Janela to Moore. Janela sets up a glass board and he puts Moore under it. Janela climbs the cage and HITS A DOUBLE STOMP THROUGH THE BOARD ONTO MOORE FOR 2!!! Moore’s team re-enters the cage but Janela fights them off with a chair. Patricks & Crane catch Janela with a superkick/piledriver combo and they attempt to cut open the cast on Janela’s hand. Tremont comes out with a pile of lighttubes and he hits a DVD onto the light tubes. He hits a shotgun dropkick into the glass board on Patricks!!! Janela throw some Yakuza kicks on Crane but TREMONT SPEARS JANELA THROUGH A GLASS BOARD IN THE CORNER!!!! Sick Kick by Moore gets 3.
Winner- Devon Moore *** ( The Cage of Death lived up to its’ reputation once again, as this was crazy, violent spectacle. However, the match ran into the usual problems, with way too many inside of the smaller cage which caused tons of time to be used on stand around brawling and the set-up of the match set up for multiple spots that, while spectacular visually, you could have moments before they occurred. There were a ton of crash test elements to the match, with dives and bumps for the sake of doing them rather to cause harm like the match is designed to do. So while it was a fun spectacle to watch, the match dragged way too often and I just couldn’t buy into the big spots and moments since they came off so contrived. The booking of the finish seems weird in the moment, as I struggle to make sense of Tremont going through the entire Cage of Death violence only to turn on his own team at the finish. If this goes into a Tremont jealous of Joey Janela storyline, then the finish will look smarter in hindsight, so we’ll have to wait and see. Joey Janela came out of this match looking like a star and I’m excited to see where he goes in 2017, as the crowd adores him and he seems destined to be the next CZW icon. )

The final score: review Good
The 411
Cage of Death lived up to the hype as CZW's biggest show of the year, as this was an extremely enjoyable card from start to finish. This was the first full CZW show I've watched in some time and I have to say I was genuinely impressed and surprised by what I saw. The under card for the most part was excellent, with a collection of exciting matches highlighting some of the best and brightest young talent that seemed to be on the rise like Desmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz & Lio Rush among others. The booking on this show was really good as well, with a good collection of impactful angles and emotional championship switches that did a great job of setting the stage for things to come in early 2017. Even the Ultraviolent stuff which is in acquired taste was good despite it's flaws. I really liked the balance of good wrestling and violent brawls and outside of shows like Tournament of Death if CZW continues with these well balanced shows they could be in for a strong 2017. For anyone interested in jumping back into CZW, this is definitely a good starting point and this is well worth a look.

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Dylan Diot