Monday, February 28, 2011

CZW Cage of Death XII -- December 11, 2010

Cage of and Tournament of Death are always great mainstays in the world of deathmatch wrestling. Can't wait to see what this one has to offer with such a strong looking undercard.

CZW DVD December 11, 2010 "Cage Of Death XII" - Philadelphia, PA
1. Akuma vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Ruckus vs. Rich Swann vs. Ryan McBride vs. Alex Colon - 5
2. Adam Cole vs. A.R. Fox - 5
3. Robert "Ego" Anthony vs. Sami Callihan - 7
4. Philly's Most Wanted (Joker & Sabian) vs. Osirian Portal -6
5. Jon Moxley vs. Homicide -5
6. Yuko Miyamoto vs. Nick Gage - 7
7. Cage of Death: The Suicide Kings (Devon Moore, Dysfunction, Scotty Vortekz & Danny Havok) vs. Cult Fiction (Brain Damage, tHURTeen, Drake Younger & Masada) - 5

The event starts off with the typical CZW insane scramble match. In front of us we are greeted with a bevy of workers that I dig like Akuma, Gresham, and McBride. This match really saw a great performance out of Alex Colon. In every event that passes, his offense becomes more and more crisp. Colon hit this really great move in the corner on Gresham that I can't really find a way to describe. Basically Colon ran into Gresham in the corner. In an attempt to evade his oncoming, Gresham got his legs up, but was caught by Colon and nearly dumped on his neck. It was amazing. Colon did a good job protecting Gresham's neck from injury, so he's becoming better in the ring to work with, I would think. Akuma was stiff as hell, hitting some great power-bombs. Rukus hit his usual offense, McBride ate some nasty stuff, and Swann seems to be coming into his own style as well. Good way to open the show.

Cole and Fox are arguably two of the best junior heavyweights on the roster, which makes this match happening at the annual Cage of Death quite appropriate. Cole has really gotten comfortable with his character. We all knew he was great in the ring, but he never really had a chance to shine in any kind of creative way. He's secured a cocky, pretty-boy heel character and fits it well. I'm a little bit on the fence with Fox. He seems to be more concerned with doing cool moves rather than emoting and focusing more on working. I think it'd be cool to see some more selling and less flashiness out of him. The match itself didn't really have any flaws and Cole did an excellent job, but Fox's offense is become cumbersome and rather monotonic. Post-match, the Philadelphia Hillbilly Tyler Veritas came out and challenged Cole for the strap. The two battled around the ring in some solid action.

The next match may be my CZW MOTY. The former Egotisico Fantastico, Robert Anthony, is great. Going against one of the best guys on the indy scene today, Sami Callihan, you'd have to expect a great match... and that's what we received. As we all know, Callihan has that sadistic madman way about him that leads to feelings of reckless abandon and oftentimes insanity in his matches. As Ego's character matured, Anthony came out from under the mask to become a serious heel in the company, which complimented the style of Callihan perfectly. Anthony went from a goofy wrestler to a legitimate contender for the title, and I believe this match pushed him to the next level. Anthony hit this sickening power-bomb on Callihan in to the crowd which parted like the Red Sea. It was just great. Pair that with great, stiff in-ring work and you've got a hell of a match. Well done.

The next tag was for the straps, and it was a lot of fun. The team of Sabian and Joker really resonates with me as a great team that can carry the belts for a long time because they both seem like legitimate bad-asses. The Portal was great in this match, and one of my favorite comedy spots occurred when the Portal did the hypnotizing spot, causing all four men to dance like MC Hammer. I feel, though, that there was no way that The Portal could have the belts because they're not seen as a serious team. They are great in CHIKARA, don't get me wrong, but this company doesn't seem appropriate for their type of wrestling. The nearfalls were great in this match, especially after the Portal hit their signature double top rope manuever on Joker who kicked out at the last possible second. Really fun, well-worked match that went a perfect amount of time.

The next match was good. I love Moxley (we all do), and Homicide is undeniably one of the best on the indys. His return post-Orlando has been rather lackluster, but this match was quite good. The sprint atmosphere worked really well with hardly any down time on the mat. Both guys brought a stiff element to the match. Mox got his nose busted open early on which added a really great element of realism to the match. Mox took a nice looking Cop Killa on the top of his back and sold it by folding in half like a deflating balloon.

The next match was fucking awesome. Now, normally it be damn-near impossible for me to give anything this high to a Nick Gage singles, but this was unlike anything I've seen out of him before. The BJW star Miyamoto was tearing it up hardcore in the Asylum. I fucking loved this so much it's beyond words. Gage took a back bump into a fence of barbwire and shortly after ate a Miyamoto back senton from the top rope onto said fence. Miyamoto was willing to go all out in this match as was more than evident of the next spot: a balcony fall. That's right, Korakuen style. Miyamoto crashed through the table below perfectly -- you couldn't have asked for a better bump. The final spot that has to be mentioned in Miyamoto's amazing moonsault from the top of the ladder. He seriously was to the ceiling of the building and just fell backwards, rotating ever-so precariously in the air, crashing onto Gage's ribs with his knees. This was just amazing. The flow of the match and the brawling aspect combined with great spots makes for an amazing hardcore match. I love it!~

The CoD match itself is where things get interesting. While this was by no means the best one in company history, it wasn't without it's good points. Thurteen really showed his ability here at performing. His vocal selling during all the barbwire madness was great, and his initial bump off the top of the cage was sick. His dedication really came through during the match. The eliminations in this match also were done well, but the thing that really knocked points off for this match is what usually knocks points off: the incoherency of the match. There's just too much going on inside of a small space at one time. Combine too many men with too many weapons in the ring and you don't have a good outcome. The middle of the match dragged up until Brain Damages elimination. BD was thrown onto a table of barbwire and got his bicep caught in a barb - -a sickening visual. The elims off the top of the cage were a nice call back to the old school CZW CoD matches, especially Zandig and Lobo. MASADA nearly died in his elimination by (almost?) hitting his head flush on the guardrail from the top of the cage. A good match pardon the lackluster middle, but in the end it was memorable for Masada's elimination and the surprise return at the end.

Overall, a really great event -- maybe the strongest the company has had all year. Well worth the money.

Match Average: 5.7
Recomendation Level: Highly Recommended.

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