Another year, another year full of death match tournaments. Sadly, though it appears that really only three are left … Carnage Cup, Masters of Pain, and Tournament of Death. I reviewed last year’s Carnage Cup and admittedly was really harsh on it. I promise I will try to do better this year. I should note also that this show is being held in a vacant gravel lot in the middle of the countryside with maybe a few dozen people in attendance. If that doesn’t scream quality, I don’t know what does.
1) Spidar Boodrow vs. Bryant Woods – Spider Net Circus Death Match – 2
Boodrow spells his name like that because he thinks it’s cool, yet here he his getting paid peanuts (yes, he’s actually getting paid in peanuts) to scar and maim his body on a weekend off from his real job, wherever and whatever that may be. Match starts with what else but light tube shots. The ring is holding some giant barbed wire contraption therefore, the whole match takes place outside the ring. Reminds me of the old WCW Backstage Assault game where there was no ring in the whole game. Loved the spot where Woods was throwing weak ass chair shots and then gets his shit wrecked with a vicious clothesline. The finish was beyond absurd with a huge “Spider Driver” off the top of a U-Haul truck into the mess of barbed wire and light tubes in the ring. Could somebody please tell me if it was even necessary to do that in the very first match.
2) Kody Krueger vs. Bill the Butcher – No Rope Barbed Wire Carpet Strip House of Pain Match – 3
Seconds in and the goofy commentators start dropping Bruiser Brody references. Please, let’s not go there. Do not make me go off on a tangent on how bad this commentary is. The chair throwing segments, while fun to watch in the comfort of my office area, are a very dangerous idea live, especially considering that one errant chair almost hit a fan. I was expecting a slow, prodding match here but so far it’s been pretty fun. Krueger took a gnarly bump into some carpet strips attached to barbed wire and followed that up later on in the match by taking a huge bump on a carpet strip board. Butcher took a wild bump through the wire to the ground and ended up getting huge chunks of his hair ripped out in the process. The major problem I have with this is that it ended in heel hook submission. Yes. A heel hook as in something you might see in the UFC. In this type of match, that felt really out of place.
3) John Rare vs. Mad Man Pondo – Deep Sea Death Match – 1
Apparently “deep sea death match” is just a euphemism for a fish hook match. Who comes up with the names of these matches? Pondo comes out with his trademark “STOP” sign and looks really terrible. Can’t stop Pondo? I wish someone would. The suplex on the chairs that Rare took was a pretty neat little spot. Both of these guys look absolutely terrible. I’ve seen panhandlers by the Reds stadium in better physical condition. Super awful neckbreaker by Rare with Pondo tangled in the wire. I noticed that there were storm clouds in the distance. If these guys really wanted to tempt fate, they could climb a ladder in the middle of the ring with lightning in the area. Hey, whaddaya know! They did exactly that! Finish has a run in from some redneck who whacks Pondo in the back with a kendo stick which lead to Pondo taking one of the worst recorded bumps off a ladder in history.
4) Shane Smalls vs. Jerek Tyler – 3
A non-tournament match here and I don’t know either of these guys so hopefully this will be a decent showing. Pace seemed really frantic with them mostly going from one move straight into the other. They must have been watching Japan tapes (yes, I said tapes) because I saw them blatantly rip off some strong-style kick and strike exchanges. I also saw Smalls do a Low Ki spot where he did the mat slap before delivering a big kick to the head. I’ll give them credit though, they managed to pull off all their high spots despite the fact that it was raining during the match, thus making the ropes slippery. Finish was royally fucked up with Tyler hitting a sloppy looking Phoenix Splash and Smalls rolling out of the pin immediately after getting hit. Can’t say I was really impressed with either guy here.
5) Freakshow vs. Travis Locke – Smash, Bam, Pow, and Crash Match – 3
There’s a huge puddle in the ring as apparently this match happened right after a massive downpour. To me, the whole match seemed to be Freakshow just giving Locke an epic beating and felt like every other match I’ve seen of this style. There was a great moment when Locke grabbed a tennis racket weapon only to have it break apart and the Freakshow just ruined his night by punching him straight in the face. Locke was put over huge by kicking out of Freakshow’s finisher. Loved Freakshow hitting an elbow off the apron to the ground and landing with all his weight right on top of Locke.
6) Damien Payne vs. Josh Crow – Loose Light Tubes Match – 4
These guys have to be some of the most non-descipt generic dudes ever so I’m not really expecting much out of this. Another match that was soaked in rain and blood. Five minutes in and Crow is just destroyed and covered in blood. Aside from a few wild spots, it just felt like a meandering brawl with no end in sight. Crow got absolutely murdered on a light tube shot from Payne in the middle of a moonsault and then took a skull-shattering Canadian Destoyer on the ground. Crow, not to be outdone, hit an awesome Spanish Fly into a huge puddle of water and then a pretty swank German suplex. This ring is just wrecked. There is blood, water, and glass everywhere. Payne’s Canadian Destoyer from the second rope was a pretty wild way to end. I’ll give this a bonus point for some of the wild spots but that’s about it.
7) Matt Tremont vs. Sid Fabulous – Barbed Wire Massacre Match – 3
I’m guessing this is from the next day as everything has dried out and the sky is bright blue. Sid is from HWA, which is our local fed, and it’s really strange to seem him working is HWA gimmick in front of a bunch of rednecks who have no clue who he is. Sid just got bludgeoned here and looked like a kid who looked like he took an epic beating from the school bully over lunch money. Tremont’s head butts were pretty sick, including one towards the end of the match that sounded like two bowling balls clacking together in the ball return. Tremont’s Razor’s Edge off the apron through some barbed wire was probably the highlight.
8) Neil Diamond Cutter vs. American Kickboxer #2 – Nathan’s Sadistic Playground Match – 3
Who is Nathan and what fucked up childhood must he have had in order to come up with some of these contraptions? Some of the more interesting ones include a goofy looking football goalpost with light tubes and a bed frame wrapped in barbed wire called a “Deathbed” (ok, I’ll admit, that’s pretty clever). Kickboxer is another guy from HWA, and I was actually in attendance when he acquired that moniker. Wonderful botch by Kickboxer on a springboard off the ropes. Kickboxer seemed he was intentionally wrestling around the weapons and trying to work a normal match. Cutter took a wild bump on a sunset flip off of one ladder onto another. Nothing here to really get excited about.
9) Ron Mathis vs. Devon Maximus - Bundles of Joy Match – 4
Mathis is another local guy who’s been making waves on the regional indy circuit and actually got a few bookings in CZW this year. Maximus certainly looked nothing like a Roman gladiator and had he competed in ancient days at the Colisseum, he probably would have been eaten by a tiger. Mathis was the star here taking some wild bumps and doing some awesome selling, which is the sole reason you should watch this match. I had a big problem with one spot where Devon took a sick half-nelson suplex and then popped right up and went into his next spot, which involved kicking Mathis in the head. A good chuckle was had when Mathis tried a piledriver from the second rope and it snapped sending both guys crashing to the canvas. A bonus point here just for Mathis’ selling and crazy bumping.
10) Josh Crow vs. Shane Smalls – 2
Not a stellar way to end this night. I never though a guy could top himself in non-descriptness (is that even a word?) but Crow found a way to do it. Crow’s lockups are really, really loose and no force in them, almost like a kid in junior high locking up for the first time during wrestling practice. Double arm drag spot was blown all to hell. Crow exudes about as much emotion as a corpse and the whole match seems like the blind leading the blind. Inverted piledriver by Crow was nice and I’m surprised that I actually found something worthwhile in this.