Tournament Of Death 16 Review

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Jimmy Havoc makes his long awaited Tournament of Death debut as CZW presents the sixteenth installment of its annual ultraviolent festival. This event was held on June 10, 2017.

First Round Match: Light Tubes & Cinder Blocks- G-Raver vs Jeff Cannonball

I’m not sure what the appeal for G-Raver is, if there is any at all. Everything about him screams backyard wrestler. From his name, to his gear, to the way he wrestles- it all comes off as amateurish. G-Raver botched every spot he attempted in this match. Most of these spots were very unimaginative. He attempted a silly spot that only he knew what he was going for. He almost injured himself, and luckily, Cannonball took it home. This should have ended five minutes earlier. Instead, they prolonged it and G-Raver’s missteps brought it down a lot. Very reckless. ★★½

First Round Match: Barbed Wire Craziness- Clint Margera vs Conor Claxton

This was a pretty solid match. They didn’t go overboard with their spots, but they made everything count. There wasn’t really much ‘craziness’ to the barbed wire in this match, but they made the most out of what they were given. This match featured one of the sickest ideas I have ever seen for a weapon. Someone took the time and effort to reconstruct a trampoline, replacing the surface with barbed wire. Margera threw Claxton off a truck onto the contraption, and Claxton literally bounced three feet in the air. It was an amazing sight to witness. Good match. ★★★¼

First Round Match: Doorway to Death- MASADA vs Shlak

This is how deathmatch wrestling is done. MASADA might just be the greatest North American deathmatch wrestler of all time. Everything he does is so calculated, and he has a great sense of pacing and timing. He just knows how to build to a cut-off or the next big spot. They didn’t just hit each other with weapons, they used it to their advantage. This match was an absolute war. Deathmatches can often seem like a circus freakshow, but this match felt like an actual fight. It felt like an actual competition. This was two modern day gladiators trying to rip each other’s heads off. At one point, Shlak lit his elbow pad on fire. Had anyone else done this spot, it would have come off as ‘bush league’. These two made it a spectacle. This is one of the greatest TOD matches I have ever seen. This is undoubtedly the Match of Tournament. Call me crazy, but it can even be in the conversation for Match of the Year. That’s how amazing this match was. ★★★★¼

First Round Match: Pains In The Glass- John Wayne Murdoch vs Rickey Shane Page vs Jimmy Havoc:

TOD debuts for Murdoch and Havoc. This match had the trouble of following the previous match, but for the most part they succeeded. There were some spots that didn’t go as planned, but it happens. Not all the time the glass would break, so they had to come up with other ways on the spot. They did a good job of making up for it. It did feel like they were just trying to come up with cool spots rather than actually win, but this was an enjoyable end to the first round matches. ★★★½

Non-Tournament: 4 Corners of Pain: Kit Osbourne vs. Dan O’Hare vs. Jimmy Lloyd vs. George Gatton

I’m not really a fan of non-tournament deathmatches. I think it can be a bit of an overkill, but it seems to be the trend lately with deathmatch tournaments. I guess they’re a good way for non-tournament participants to try to steal the show. This was an example of the ‘freakshow’ type deathmatch. Four guys hurting each for no real reason. That being said, this was a fun match for what it was. There were some slip-ups that it hurt it a bit, but it was entertaining. ★★¾

Semi-Final #1: Summertime Fun Deathmatch- Conor Claxton vs Jeff Cannonball

As you can probably guess by the stipulation, this match was a more lighthearted match. They didn’t do anything too outrageous or extreme. A significant portion was spent brawling through the crowd. They worked at a much slower pace, which is understandable given all that their bodies have been through. It was just enough to get by and set up for the finals. ★★¾

Semi Final #2: Lighttube Treachery- MASADA vs Jimmy Havoc

The best deathmatch wrestlers are the ones who know how to actually wrestle. There’s just something special about guys who are able to incorporate technical wrestling into deathmatches. This match started off with both men going for pins, and why not? The whole point is to get to the finals. If you can do so without putting your body through pain, then you’re the smartest person in the tournament. The chain wrestling sequences that fed into the weapons, and it really made their match seem unique. Really nice work. It didn’t go too long and they kept it simple. A solid match. ★★★

Non-Tournament Match: Fans Bring The Weapons- Mad Man Pondo vs Matt Tremont

Mad Man Pondo walks with the limp of an eighty year old man. It really makes you wonder if this style of wrestling is worth it. On paper, this seemed like a really good match. However, the execution was poor. Pondo spent the majority of this match just hitting Tremont with a bunch of weapons. Tremont just sat there and let Mondo hit him. It was fun from the point of view that it had Man Man freaking Pondo in it, but honestly you’re not missing much if you decide to skip this match. ★★

Non-Tournament Match: Scaffold Match- Devon Moore & Drew Blood vs Danny Havoc & Alex Colon

Devon Moore suffered what appeared to be a broken ankle within the first few minutes. He tried to fight it off but, you know, it’s a broken freaking ankle. If you’re curious, he got injured from jumping off a scaffold that was about ten feet high. I’m not sure if they were supposed to catch him, but he landed feet-first and was limping immediately. Kitt Osbourne ended up replacing him and the poor kid got murdered by Havoc. The CZW Academy may have lost a student after this event. There wasn’t much they could have done to save this match, but they made the most out of an unfortunate situation. ★★

Tournament of Death 16 Finals: No Ropes Barbed Wire Lighttube Madness- Conor Claxton vs Jimmy Havoc

This match started off fast and heavy as both men traded kicks and forearms. It didn’t take long for the weapons to get involved, as Havoc sent Claxton crashing into pile of light tubes on the outside. This match was going pretty well, but Havoc ended up getting cut pretty badly from a pane of glass. Claxton also appeared to have suffered a gash from the spot (a michonuku driver onto a pane of glass placed on a steel cage fencing). The medics came out but they shrugged it off and rushed to the finish. It sucks when this sort of thing happens, but this is probably the Universe’s way of telling them to stop before something severe happens. An underwhelming finals, but it was beyond their control. ★★¾

You can get this DVD as well as other great titles at Highspots.com

 

 

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