Best of the Best 16 Review


Best of the Best 16 boasts one of, if not, the most impressive line-ups ever. This event features of some independent wrestling’s most decorated stars, as well as the most talked about up and coming talent today. This creates the perfect blend for one of the most fun shows during the Wrestlemania weekend.

Shane Strickland vs Joey Janela vs Lio Rush vs Dezmond Xavier

This match was a great start to the tournament. The action was fast-paced and all the spots were set up well. Some may argue that it was a spotfest, but given the position on the card I found it to be perfectly acceptable. In a single elimination tournament, everyone needs to get their fifteen seconds. I have no problem with that if it doesn’t look too contrived. Very fun opener. ★★★

Ricochet vs David Starr vs AR Fox vs Jason Cade

This was another fun match that was well put together. It was also a nice showcase for Jason Cade who had a lot of buzz coming into Wrestlemania weekend. AR Fox brought his wife out and she even did a suicide dive. This match was just crazy. This show has been on a roll thus far. ★★★

Michael Elgin vs Anthony Henry vs Zachary Wentz vs Scorpio Sky

The momentum continues with what is the best first round match thus far. Unlike the previous bouts, there is a slower pace due to the size differences. This does not mean that the match is slow or dull, it just means that you get more time to appreciate the action. Scorpio Sky looked really impressive. I’m not sure what he’s up to on the SoCal scene, but this match made me want to check. ★★★¼

Dave Crist vs Jake Crist vs Sami Callihan vs Ray Fenix

Interesting choice having the entire Oi4K in this match. Despite being stablemates, Sami, Jake and Dave have no problems beating the hell out of each other. This match continued the string of really good matches. Another fun match where everyone got to shine. So far, this is shaping up to be a great show. ★★★

CZW World Heavyweight Championship: Joe Gacy (c) vs Brian Cage

This was a really solid title defense. Joe Gacy has come into his own over the last few years, and Brian Cage has fully embraced the Mr. GMSI shtick. These two meshed pretty well and had a nice back and forth encounter. The crowd was a bit quiet, but you can’t blame them. At this point, they had probably seen about 100 hours of wrestling. Still, the action was always engaging and the finish was built to well. ★★★½

Ultimate Opportunity Scramble: Rickey Shane Page vs. Tony Deppen vs. Ethan Case vs. Ace Austin vs. Flip Gordon vs. Caleb Konley vs. Alexander James vs. Mascarita Dorada

The hits keep on coming! Despite the high stakes, they started the match with some light-hearted comedy to get the crowd invested. Once invested, they started to take a page out of Brian Cage’s book; everyone got their shit in. Mascarita Dorada was a much-appreciated addition to this match. Another fun match. ★★★

Semi-Final #1: Michael Elgin vs Dave Crist
All good things must come to an end. This match slowed the pace down considerably. A large portion of it was spent on the outside. The action is “okay” enough to keep you engaged but it started to drag. Inside the ring, things dragged even more but luckily they got the hell out of there before things came to a complete halt. As a semi-final match, this match is a bit underwhelming. However, it did at least service the show. ★★¾

Semi-Final #2: Shane Strickland vs AR Fox
Like the previous bout, this match was worked at a slow pace. Despite the names involved, there wasn’t much death-defying aerial maneuvers. The slower pace didn’t necessarily equate to a compelling. There were some dead moments in here where absolutely nothing was going. It’s understandable why they worked this match the way they did. Hopefully, the energy conserved would be released in the finals. Decent match, just disappointing given their capabilities. ★★¾

Anything Goes: Penta El Zero M vs Matt Tremont

This was a match I did not know I wanted to see until it was announced. It was every bit of awesome as I expected. Pentagon is so comfortable in this sort of environment and he looked extremely motivated. There was an epic light tube sequence and the almighty doors were used. Whoever came up with doors in a wrestling a match deserves a medal. Kevin Sullivan was the special guest referee and he damn near shit his pants when the light tubes started breaking. Sullivan really brought this match down. He did not count pinfalls since he feared getting cut. You can’t blame him. Given his age and all that his body has been through, he does not owe this business anything. Still, if he was uncomfortable with the idea then he should not have been there. All in all, this was a great deathmatch. ★★★¾

Best of the Best Finals: Shane Strickland vs Dave Crist
This match was not a good finals. Like the semi-finals the pace was slow, but it had no reason to be. They spent a significant amount of time on the outside, but it just felt like they were stalling. There wasn’t any sense of urgency to make it exciting and the near falls lacked drama. The finish fell flat as well. I’m not sure why they went this route. There was no reason for this match to be this plodding considering the fact that they conserved all their energy during the semi-finals. The use of weapons didn’t add much to this match either. Really flat ending to a tournament that kicked off with a bang. ★★

Final Thoughts: Overall, this event was an easy watch. The first half flies by so quickly, but the semi-finals really halted its momentum. The finals were just exhausting and perhaps the bar was set too high from the beginning. The match between Pentagon Jr. and Matt Tremont, however, is a must-see match for fans of deathmatch wrestling.


You can get this DVD as well as other great titles at

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