Ladies and gentleman just in case you’re deaf, dumb, blind, stupid or, let’s just assume, poor: On Saturday 14 October, Combat Zone Wrestling debut in its new home- The Rastelli Complex. This event saw a returning Ethan Page take on Shane Strickland for the CZW World Title as well an impromptu main event as Joey Janela fought MJF for the CZW Wired Title.
David Starr vs. Kit Osbourne
Not really much to talk about in this match as it served to further David Starr’s angle in the Combat Zone. If you’re familiar with that angle, then you would know the outcome of it. A serviceable opener nonetheless. N/R
Space Monkey vs JT Dunn vs Jon Silver vs Trey Miguel
I wanted to like this match a bit more, but it was just missing something. It lacked the characteristic frenzied pace of multi-man matches. There weren’t really any exciting nearfalls or pinfall break-ups to really keep you on the edge of the seat. If anything, all four men get their spots in but I was just left wanting more. A tad bit underwhelming. ★★¾
Matthew Palmer vs. Ace Austin
Poor Ace Austin. I know he’s still young and paying his dues, but it will be nice just to see a glimpse of Dojo Wars work on the roster. The match existed to introduce Palmer. N/R
CZW World Title: Ethan Page vs. Shane Strickland (c)
One thing I absolutely love about Strickland’s work as CZW champion is the slower, methodical approach he takes to matches. He has definitely shown that he’s more than just a ‘flippy guy’. This was a very solid contest. The heat segment was very engaging and Page had some well-timed cut offs. It never quite got out of second gear but this was a very satisfying title match, especially given its placement on the card. ★★★¼
Greg Excellent vs Ace Romero
This match didn’t really go anywhere. It was mostly a wild brawl that saw the CZW dojo students try to break it up. We may be getting another match between these two and I’m not sure how I feel about that. N/R.
Alex Colon vs. Mr. Claxton vs. Rickey Shane Page vs. Brandon Kirk
I found this to be a very entertaining four way match and I enjoyed it more than the earlier bout. The real standout in this match was Brandon Kirk. I want to see more of him in the Combat Zone. He really impressed in this match. The thing that probably helped this match was that it was under CZW rules even though there wasn’t anything crazy. The story of this match was based on Claxton’s unwillingness to be a deathmatch wrestler. The irony of it all, of course, is that this was a deathmatch. I wasn’t a fan of the ending but I get why they had to do it. ★★★
The Hooligans (Devin & Mason Cutter) vs. The Carnies (Nick Iggy & Kerry Awful) vs. Storm of Entrails (Shlak & Dan O’Hare)
On paper, I was really excited for this match. Sadly, a lot of things went wrong and it really hurt my overall enjoyment. There were a lot of sloppy spots or just poorly placed targets. They missed a lot of the things they were going for, landing far from their target object whether it be a chair or barbed wire board. Even when they tried to cover it up, there were still hiccups. Definitely a bad night at the office and it’s such a shame because these are three great teams. ★★¼
CZW Wired Title: Joey Janela vs. MJF (c)
Before the match, MJF came out to celebrate (I can’t remember what he was celebrating, probably just the fact he was born) and he cuts one of the greatest promos of all time. I really can’t help but not sing his praises. He seemingly blew up overnight and for good reason. He’s just the overall package right now.
Now as for the match itself, it mostly consisted of Joey Janela beating the crap out of MJF. Seeing MJF wince in pain is always funny. As much as I’m a fan of his work, he comes off as a pretentious douche. He deserved it. MJF would eventually get his turn to beat the crap out of Janela and there was a lot of trash talking from both men. It didn’t really feel like a match but I appreciate the story they told This was just the veteran, Janela, beating some respect into the rookie. Janela felt as if MJF got everything handed to him whereas he had to scratch and crawl for the past ten years. There was a lot of heat to this, with an interesting twist near the end.
If you watch this in isolation, you’d probably think it’s sadomasochistic behaviour. However, when you take into consideration everything surrounding the match, it actually told a story and there was a lot of emotion to it. This is the kind of match I hate to rate because I feel that star ratings don’t do it justice. From a wrestling match stand point, there’s not much to it but there’s a lot of heart to it story-wise. (Maybe ★★¾?)
You can catch the replay of this event at CZW Studios
Also streaming at Highspots Wrestling Network