Wednesday, 29 December 2010

CZW An Afternoon of Main Events - Retro Review

As I’ve finished my TV reviews for a while and cleared the pile of DVDs I’d been sent to review I’ve decided to step out of my comfort zone as it were, taking a look at a company I’ve reviewed only once before - Combat Zone Wrestling.

The show I’m going to look at is An Afternoon of Main Events, held at the former ECW Arena in January 2006, just a few hours before Ring of Honor held a show in the very same building. It’s a show that was part of the Supercard Sunday slot on The Wrestling Channel here in Britain. (Oh, how we miss you!)

The show began with the flamboyant (and by that I mean he was wearing a feather boa) Larry Sweeney facing the masked Excalibur.

It’s an okay match, but nothing special, and a somewhat messy looking ending. Sweeney went for a tombstone, Excalibur reversed for an attempt of his own, Sweeney countered by ringing the masked man’s bell with his legs, only for Excalibur to get the pin with a roll-up.

Next up were Cloudy and Niles Young.

This was a very entertaining encounter. Cloudy pulled off some great highflying moves, with his suicide dive turned arm drag a thing of beauty.

But his efforts came to nothing. Despite mounting a spirited comeback Cloudy fell to Young’s tombstone. They certainly liked this move here in CZW.

Then it was on to Adam Flash against Heretic.

Another entertaining encounter, although it had a few less than perfect moments. Apart from that these two put some nice sequences together, with Flash countering Heretic’s top rope hurricanrana with a great looking power bomb.

ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson then made an appearance, entering the ring after coming through the crowd. This was one of the first events in the ROH/CZW feud, with Danielson confronted by Chris Hero, who would challenge the American Dragon for his title later that evening.

This led to the inevitable brawl between the two factions, which itself led to the next match as Hero, along with his Claudio Castagnoli and Super Dragon, faced the Black Out team of Sabian, Ruckus and Eddie Kingston.

This was basically one big brawl that took in every part of the building, and was built around the feud between Hero and Kingston.

It was okay, but it seemed to drag on quite a bit, with Sabian getting the pin for his team after taking Super Dragon down with the black Caesar stomp from the top rope.

The first title match of the evening saw Cheech challenging Derek Frazer for the Junior Heavyweight title.

This wasn’t the most enthralling match I’ve seen. The action was okay, but a few botches, and Cheech visibly calling a spot ruined things a little.

Niles Young made his second appearance of the show, crotching Cheech on the top rope before Frazer took him down with the discord driver. Young then attacked Frazer before Cloudy made an appearance as we saw another mass brawl.

The penultimate match saw Justice Pain taking on Joke in a number one contenders match for the Iron Man title.

Like some of the other matches on this show this featured some good action but ultimately failed because of some botched sequences, poor psychology at times and because it just seemed to drag on and on and on.

Pain and Joke fought all over the place, in the ring, around the arena and backstage, and after a few botched table spots Joker got the submission win with what looked like a side headlock, but was referred to as a neck crank by the announcers.

The main event saw Nick Gage and Necro Butcher challenging J.C. Bailey for the Ultra-Violent Underground title in a no rope barbed wire elimination match.

Lets get straight to the point. I really didn’t like this match. All three men spent a great deal of time on the wire, and all three got stabbed in the head with a pair of scissors on numerous occasions. It looked more like a mugging than a wrestling match.

Then there was the confusion over the ending. After Necro pinned Bailey with a sit down power bomb on a chair he was announced as the winner and the new champion. Lobo then hit the ring and took Necro out with a death valley driver on some chairs before helping Gage take him out with a yakuza kick. A three count later and Gage, after some conjecture, was announced as the new champion. Lobo then got on the stick and said something about how the Butcher had to go through his boys.

In conclusion - so where do I start?

It’s been a while since I first set foot in John Zandig’s world (October 2005’s Point of No Return), and after watching this show I was reminded of why I hadn’t been there in a while.

This show had it’s moments, but they were few and far between. The majority of it didn’t set the pulses racing though, and combined with so-called ultra-violent action that was little more than mindless violence. Add in the poor ring psychology and quite a few botched sequences and you’ve got a show that is memorable for all the wrong reasons.

So CZW’s An Afternoon of Main Events doesn’t get the thumbs up, and even though I’ve got quite a few shows I taped from The Wrestling Channel a few years ago I doubt it I’ll be pulling the box containing them off the shelf soon.

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