Combat Zone Wrestling returned to Rastelli's Kids Complex last night for its year-end annual blow-out show Cage of Death event, with title changes, psychoviolence in the main event and beyond, an NWA World Heavyweight Title change, a Memphis legend making an appearance, and a shocking return/potential invasion angle.
First, CZW set another record for its 12th annual Toys for Tots collection....an estimated 600 toys, slightly more than last year. An incredible part of that was CZW fan Bob Manning, who drove up from near Glen Burnie, MD...snowstorm be damned. Why so remarkable? He did it with $1,000 OF TOYS. A literal truckful of toys which he bought through a $865 GoFundMe. So many toys that Kathie Fitzpatrick had to make three trips and employ others to help transport and store the toys, which will go to places such as Ronald McDonald House/Cooper Hospital, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as other agencies and groups.
A heroic effort on her part, on Bob Manning's part, and on the part of the everyday fans and wrestlers of CZW, many who often don't have enough for themselves and their own.
So thank you on Kathie Fitzpatrick's behalf...and the kids who'll get to be a little more innocent for one more year because of CZW's fans.
Now to the matches:
* Dan O’Hare and Shlak won the Ultimate Opportunity Coin Challenge Cage of Death pre-show match and the Coin, pinning simultaneously AAW Pro Wrestling's Kody Rice, Dan Berry, from Canada's Alpha 1 Wrestling: Shane Sabre, and from Dojo Wars, G-Raver and Blackwater.
* Matt Tremont defeated Jimmy Lloyd by pinfall, with all sorts of plunder including thumbtacks, a bed of nails, a chair, and a soda can board
* Mr. (Conor) Claxton defeated Alex Colon by pinfall, with a guest appearance at the end by Danny Havoc
* David Starr defeated "All Ego" Ethan Page via pinfall after a shining wizard in easily the best pure wrestling match on the show. Starr did his best attempts to dive 20 rows deep I do wish CZW had done a little betetr job at explaining page's extensive Ontario indy background to help get him over.
* The Rep defeated CZW Tag Team champions Dezmond Xavier/Zach Wentz, OVE (Jake/Dave Crist, aka OI4K) and Alex Reynolds/Matt Palmer to become the new champion.
* Nick Aldis defeated NWA Champion Tim Storm to win the NWA World Heavyweight title by pinfall, working Storm's "injured" ribs. Pre-match, Memphis legend Austin Idol came out (sadly much of the crowd had zero clue who he was), telling the CZW referee to get out and brought out former Impact referee Brian Hebner to call the match
* Jimmy Jacobs doing his Zombie Princess character, looking like a cross between Boy George and Iggy Pop, defeated Jimmy Havoc by pinfall in an all-arena brawl. Fun was had including Jacobs spiking Havoc in the head, Havoc responded by stapling Jacobs in HIS head, chair throwing and all sorts of bloody fun.
* Greg Excellent and Crissy Rivera defeated Ace Romero when Excellent pinned Romero . Romero, who is the size of a large refrigerator...did an incredible dive early on. Chrissy Rivera continued her annual tradition of a sick bump, getting plowed through a table by Romero. Next of kin did not need to be called, though.
* MJF (with Penelope Ford) defeated CZW Wired TV Champ Joey Janela by rollup pinfall to become the new champion, including brawling throughout on to the floor until a dive off of the balcony of the venue. Post-match, Ford turned on MJF, again going back with Joey Janela.
* In the Cage of Death, CZW champion Rickey Shane Page retained his title, defeating Shane Strickland and Joe Gacy in a match that at some moments looked like something out of a snuff film; including the usual Cage of Death, augmented with multiple panes of glass, a normal scaffold, another scaffold of glass, a contraption of chairs draping down from the regular scaffold, barned wire tables, a drill (yes, a drill) being used like a weedwhacker, and a scene right out where the three took turns hitting each other in the head with light tubes ala the Three Stooges on crystal meth. Other highlight included Rickey Shane Page chokeslamming Joe Gacy through a flaming pane of glass, Page and Shane Strickland going through a glass scaffold.
Then the post-match fun. Game Changer Wrestling's (CZW not-that-friendly competitor) Brett Lauderdale and GCW (and former CZW legend) went through the front door. Gage hit the Cage, with Matt Tremont and seveal others from the back. Gage demanded Page, Gacy and Stricklan get out, and told the crowd "that this wasn’t an angle, and was a straight shoot" (usually: angle alert).
NOTES: DJ Hyde told staff before the show and the crowd later that this was the promotion's last show at Rastelli's. While the venue management was somewhat cooperative, the venue is heavy on cheerleading activities and a group of cheerleader mothers were said by multiple people to be....to put it politely... obsessive beyond anything remotely resembling reason...that CZW would somehow threaten their girls....before the first show even took place. One wonders if the cheerleader mothers have done anything like collected well over a thousand toys for children over a 12 year period, unlike this supposed "menace". CZW will thus, sensibly, move to a new venue in February, supposedly a bit closer for some of the Flyers Skate Zone location.
CZW has been selling the show ending angle bigtime as a shoot online....the right way to go presuming this is the slow build to something. Might be interesting to see what happens at Game Changer Wrestling's show in Howell, NJ on December 16.
CZW's Best of the Best will return to their new venue in South Jersey, and that Will Ospreay will work the Wrestlemania weekend show in New Orleans.