CZW Cage of Death 19 Review


Rickey Shane Page defends his CZW World Heavyweight Championship against Shane Strickalnd and Joey Gacy inside the Combat Zone’s most ultraviolent structure, the Cage of Death. This event was held on December 9, 2017.

10,000 Thumbtacks match: Matt Tremont VS Jimmy Lloyd

Some ultraviolent action to whet your appetite for the night’s main event. They wasted no time as Lloyd impaled the skull of Tremont with a thumbtack bat in the opening seconds.  For the most part this was a fairly solid match. There were a few ‘awkward’ moments here and there, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment. Jimmy Lloyd continues to improve and showed that he can hang with the very best of them. This match was very violent but they told a story, despite bordering on ‘hack and slash’ at times. A good start to the show. ★★★¼

Mr. Claxton vs Alex Colon

This was a fairly standard CZW brawl that quite frankly felt like filler. It went around the five minute mark and the post-match shenanigans felt like the focal point more than the actual match. Quite forgettable. ★★¼

Ethan Page vs David Starr

Overall, this was a very structurally sound match that was just lacking that extra something to really take it to the next level. Page dominated most of the match, making Starr have to di deep down for any bit of offense he had in him. Starr’s comebacks were well placed  and Page’s cut-offs were well-timed. It made for compelling viewing and they did hold my interest for the entire duration. Still, it never quite managed to get out of second gear. Nonetheless, this was a very solid undercard bout. ★★★¼

CZW World Tag Team Championship Four-Way match: The REP (Dave McCall & Nate Carter) VS Scarlet & Graves (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) (c), Alex Reynolds & Matt Palmer & OI4K (Dave & Jake Crist)

This was just balls-to-the-wall, non-stop action spotfest. There’s absolutely nothing to come back to but, in the moment, it’s a pure adrenaline rush. The action is always flowing, the sequences are smooth and there are enough “holy shit” moments to make you jump. This match was wild from beginning to end. The finish had some shenanigans but it looks like it’s going to lead to a feud between Alex Reynolds and Jon Silver. I can’t complain about that.  Fun match. ★★★½

NWA World Heavyweight Championship match: Nick Aldis VS Tim Storm (c)

So yeah, this happened. There was nothing wrong with it structurally, but I’d be lying if I said anything was interesting about this. I’d be lying if I said I cared. This was a total snoozefest that the crowd completely shat on. I’m not sure why CZW would think a partnership with the NWA would be a strategic business move, but maybe this leads to something more interesting in the near future. ★★

Jimmy Jacobs vs Jimmy Havoc

The Battle of the Jimmy’s. As part of his ‘Zombie Princess’ shtick, Jacobs wore a pink fairy dress in this match. It was hard to take anything about this match seriously and a staple gun was involved. As far as the action goes, it had its highs and lows. There were more highs than lows but it was mostly your typical run-off-the-mill brawl. It was a decent match but there was  nothing particularly memorable about. Decent match. ★★¾

Handicap match: Chrissy Rivera & Greg Excellent VS Ace Romero

This also happened and, I guess, this was the blow-off match for Romero and Excellent. The most entertaining thing about this match was Chrissy Rivera who isn’t given enough credit for the bumps she takes. ★½

CZW Wired Championship match: Maxwell Jacob Friedman VS. Joey Janela (c)

Although CZW doesn’t recognize MJF losing the title at Wolf of Wall Street as a loss, for some reason Janela is champion despite MJF, technically, not losing. All that aside, this match was a very good back and forth encounter. It may have went a little bit longer than necessary but there’s a certain aspect of storytelling here that I admire. There’s an incredibly sick bump near the end that basically set the stage for the more ‘drama’ influenced aspects of this match. It was a nice conclusion to the Janela/MJF/Penelope saga. It may not be the best told or the biggest pay-off, but I appreciate the work they put in and I was entertained by it. Also, Joey Janela yelling “Fuck you Jim Cornette” before (safely) dropping MJF with a DVD on the apron is the greatest thing to happen all year. ★★★½

CZW World Heavyweight Title Cage Of Death Three-Way match: Rickey Shane Page (c) VS Joe Gacy VS Shane Strickland

This is the first time that these men have been involved in Cage of Death so it was interesting to see how this match would play out. Needless to say, they did a very good job putting together a well-paced and compelling match. Gacy dominated the first few minutes tossing Page and Strickland into the cage and panes of glass. Eventually, Strickland and Page would join forces to thwart Gacy’s efforts. Their friendship would only last so long as the two eventually started slugging it out. There were a lot of sick bumps in here and some very violent use of weapons. An electric knife was used and it had me flinching. Just nasty. There was a light tube stand-off that saw all three men go around in a circle bashing each other’s skulls for a good minute. One feature that I liked about this year’s set-up was a trap door that released some chairs that were tied together. They were just hanging from the top of the cage and they weren’t really used effectively, but it was a nice feature that had some potential. However, at this point, the competitors were clearly suffering the effects of this environment. There were lots of shenanigans in this and for the most part it’s understandable. It felt a bit of an overkill but I was entertained by most of it. I would say this, it raised a lot of questions and it helped shaped the course of CZW in 2018. Overall, the Cage of Death match this year provided enough ultraviolence to keep the hardcore fans satisfied. ★★★½

You can catch the replay of this event at CZW Studios

This event is also streaming at Highspots Wrestling Network

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