Tales from the Eastside Directory Tales from the Eastside #1

I'm not much with intros, but I'm going to give it a go with this one anyway...

My name is Patrick McGovern. You may recognize me from the Death Valley Driver Video Review MB, where I posted CZW and NWA Wildside TV reports. I've decided to export these reports to here at Ichiban Puroresu, since I...don't like DVDVR all that much. Simple as that. Mad props (yes, I'm white) to Brandon for allowing me to post on his fine website (yes, I'm a kiss ass).

For those who are unfamiliar with my style of writing, it's done with extensive play-by-play (like CRZ), with additional commentary after the match. If enough people e-mail me saying that I'm boring, I promise I'll change my technique. :-)

Anyway, what I want to do here is do an introduction to the shows that I'll be reviewing. While I will primarily be reviewing the TV shows I mentioned above, that won't be all I'll be writing for the site. I'll also review any notable Puro that I watch, and do columns occasionally.

(If a move description is missing, it's because I can't recall the details of the move currently, but I will update so the profiles are accurate).

Combat Zone Wrestling TV

In my opinion, CZW gets a rather undeserved bad reputation as a mindlessly violent backyard company. Despite the incompetant marketing which is mainly targeted towards bloodmarks and the like, CZW has lots of quality wrestling to offer, mainly with its juniors. Anyway, I figure I'll go over the roster, so there's no confusion when I'm talking about people or move names. (Also, the show is technically called 'Fake You TV', but I think that's a fairly awful name, so I always refer to the show as 'CZW TV').

Justice Pain (CZW World Heavyweight Champion and CZW Iron Man Champion)
CZW's franchise player and probably the best worker in the promotion as well, Pain holds the top two singles titles in the company. Works a mix of technical and power styles, and I should note that I'm biased towards him. Signature Moves: Pain Thriller (backwards head drop, kind of like the Olympic Slam), overhead belly-to-belly suplex, Tiger suplex, Blockbuster, Dragon Screw Legwhip, STF.

Trent Acid (CZW & "BJW" Junior Heavyweight Champion)
CZW's Junior ace, heavily pushed by the company although his work is inconsistant. His personality is very Shawn Michaels circa-1997, meaning lots of stalling and crowd taunting. When he's 'on', he's very solid, but when he's not, watch out. One half of the 'Backseat Boys' with Johnny Kashmere. Oh, and the Big Japan Jr. title Acid holds is questionable, as Winger is the holder of the BJW recognized Jr. title, but CZW took the older belt and claims Acid as its champion. Signature Moves: Stalling, Yakuza Kick, Acid Bomb (reverse Crucifix Powerbomb), Wheelbarrow Suplex.

Nick Gage and Nate Hatred (CZW World Tag Team Champions)
Gage and Hatred, collectively known as the 'H8 Club', are CZW's resident monster power team. Gage is surprisingly agile, while Hatred is more in the vein of Vader (obviously not as good). Gage's Signature Moves: Chokeslam into a Backbreaker, Brainbuster, Frog Splash, Rolling Elbow. Hatred's Signature Moves: Lariat, Fire Thunder Driver, release German Suplex. H8 Club Signature Moves: Double Shoulderblock, Double Lariat.

Johnny Kashmere
Trent's partner in crime is the more overlooked part of the team, but arguably is more consistant and talented. Has a natural heel charisma. Signature Moves: Cradlebreaker (kind of like a Fisherman's Shoulderbreaker), Yakuza Kick. Backseat Boys Signature Moves: T-Gimmick (Double Crucifix Powerbomb), One-Hit Wonder (Sideslam/Inverted DDT combo).

The Messiah
CZW's most over babyface is this XPW alum, who is probably the only good thing to come out of that company. He doesn't really play up the 'Messiah' gimmick and is more of a lone wolf babyface. Signature Moves: Fall From Grace (Burning Hammer), Godsmack (Fireman's Carry into Stunner), Press Slam into Ace Crusher

Nick Mondo
"Sick" Nick is another one of CZW's top babyfaces, one who has taken more crazy bumps than almost anyone. He has some wrestling ability, but he's more about highspots. Signature Moves: Assault Driver (Iconoclasm done off his shoulders), Mondo Sledge (Springboard Legdrop), delayed Fishermanbuster, M. Bison (Double Stomp to the top of the head).

CZW's resident spot monkey. He's pretty large, although he's lost quite a bit of weight recently. He's got some amazing spots, but doesn't know how to put together a meaningful match with them. Signature Moves: Sasuke Special #2, 450 Splash, Leap of Faith (Moonsault Legdrop), standing Shooting Star Press, Poetic Ruckus (somersault VanTerminator).

Jon Dahmer and Eddie Valentine
Collectively known as 'VD' (I know, I know...), these two have a 'Respect Old School' gimmick. Previously faces, but they did an effective heel turn when they lost the CZW Tag Team titles to the H8 Club. Dahmer's Signature Move: Saito Suplex. Valentine's Signature Moves: Shotei, Ropewalk Elbowdrop. VD's Signature Moves: Doomsday Device, doubleteam avalanche-style bulldog, double suplex.

Adam Flash
One half of the Rachies tag team with Danny Rose, Flash has moved up from being a midcard semi-comedy worker into a main eventer. Flash is very over with the Ultraviolent Mutants due to his willingness to dive off of ladders and balconies with Legdrops. Signature Moves: Top-Rope Legdrop, Move of the Month (second-rope faceslam, which he gives a different name every month), running Ligerbomb.

Danny Rose
Flash's tag team partner, very funny guy, but not so good as a wrestler. The Rachies aren't really a full-time team since Flash's singles push took off anyway. Signature Moves: Tough Enough Driver (Cradle Piledriver), Doomsday Device (Death Valley Driver), singing.

Nick Berk
Probably CZW's best technical worker, Berk also has a great personality. He worked as a comedy worker for some time, but he's starting to get the exposure he deserves (although he's still underpushed and underrated by many fans). Signature Moves: Berkoset (Double-Underhook Last Rites), Berk Driver, Oriental Scorpion (legbar with bridging facelock), Chimera Suplex.

Ty Street
Nick Berk's Softcore Connection partner (although he's only in that team part time). Very bad worker with lots of comedy spots, because he can do little else. Signature Move: Street Driver

Comedy worker, formerly a rather useless manager, but his work has improved a lot in the past year (it had nowhere to go but up anyway). Was previously a member of the Softcore Connection but was kicked out, so now he's feuding with Berk. Signature Moves: The Fluffer (spinaround DDT); Toe Jam (second rope legdrop); Purple Mushroom; Donkey Punch (fistdrop). Z-Barr has one more signature move that I don't recall, and Jeff Strauch tells me that it's the most groan-inducing sexual pun of all anyway.

The New School
GQ and Chris Cash, two graduates of the CZW wrestling school, team up as this cocky heel tandem. Neither have impressed me very much, but they are over and have their heel personas down. Cash's Signature Moves: 450 Splash, Cash Flow. New School's Signature Moves: Double Figures (double slingshot legdrop to victim in the Tree of Woe), Six Figure Deal (double VanTerminator to victim in Tree of Woe).

Ian Knoxx and Chris Styles
Knoxx is another CZW wrestling school graduate, while Styles is your basic indy worker. Both are thoroughly decent, but they don't get that much TV time. Knoxx's Signature Move: Senton Atomico Elbowdrop. Styles' Signature Move: Stylesplex.

Hurricane Kid and Ultraviolent Towel Boy
A pair of rookies that have bump like crazy, although they're very green. They also don't get that much TV time.

Rockin' Rebel
CZW's representative in the Pennsylvania Athletic State Commission (he makes that part of his gimmick), Rebel is only a part-time worker, thankfully. Very mediocre and boring, hasn't improved a bit since his days in early ECW. Referred to as 'Rockin' Racist' by me because of some offensive comments he made in the past, and an insulting 'white power' gimmick he had in CZW in early 2001.

The Wifebeater
Previously, Wifebeater was one of CZW's major stars, but an injury changed that and now he 'wrestles' infrequently. As for his style...well, imagine Leatherface or Shoji Nakimaki with even more of a capacity to bleed. Definitely not someone I miss as a full-time worker. Signature Moves: Bleeding, Chokebomb (Sky-Hi).

Big Mack Smack
Wifebeater's manager (and VD's former manager), a VERY annoying blob. His interviews consist of incoherant ranting.

CZW's storyline owner and part-time a part time 'wrestler' (in the same way that Wifebeater is a 'wrestler'). Lobo's a decent mic worker, but his matches mainly consist of bleeding and falling from high places. Lobo suffered a potentially career-ending injury last year, but he's since recovered enough to have a truly horrible match with Zandig and he'll be having another surely horrid match with Wifebeater this month. Signature Moves: Limping, Death Valley Driver.

John Zandig
And we reach the bottom of the barrel. Zandig is CZW's real owner, although in storylines he lost the company to Lobo. He still runs in during nearly every show. Zandig is responsible for nearly killing BJW, is a horrible micworker, and as a wrestler...well, he mainly spends matches hitting people with weapons and bleeding. Signature Moves: Spiral Bomb, Rotating Lariat.

Eric Gargiulo
CZW's PBP man. Damn fine at his job, some don't like him for his tendancy to call moves by their Japanese names (it does come off as kind of smartypants at times), but he does a good job of getting the matches and the wrestlers over. Unlike...

John House
CZW's Colour Commentator. Easily the worst colour man this side of Mongo McMichael. Is totally unknowledgable of the wrestlers, the moves, the angles, everything. Embarassing to CZW, and painful to listen to.

It should be noted that CZW brings in outsiders for nearly every monthly show they run.

NWA Wildside TV

Wildside is best described as "Southern Style Wrestling With Modern-Day Work", I guess. The angles are all very Southern-style and could very well be booked by Jim Cornette in his heyday. However, the workers are very modern in their style, and Wildside presents a blend of power wrestlers, juniors, and garbage brawlers. Wildside bills itself as the 'alternative to Sports Entertainment', which is fitting, as while Wildside is heavily involved in angles, it's always about the wrestling. They could work on having more clean finishes, though.

Jeff G. Bailey
The storyline CEO of Wildside and manager of the monster heel stable 'NWA Elite' is an awesome talker on the mic. His rantings can be a bit overbearing at times, but when he is confined to one or two talking segments on the show, he's gold. He also serves to get the talent over, not himself (although he is extremely over).

Bill Behrens
Wildside's actual owner and a foil to Jeff G. Bailey. Only appears to make rulings for babyfaces and to occasionally be beaten to a pulp by the NWA Elite.

Jason Cross (as of the last Wildside TV show aired, the Wildside Heavyweight Champion)
Cross is an interesting case. He's a tremendously talented wrestler, a heavyweight who does cruiserweight moves (much like Ruckus, although he's more fluid and is much more skilled at putting together matches), a wrestler with unlimited potential. He won the Wildside Heavyweight Title from David Young and was booked for CZW's 'Best of the Best' tournament. Then...he quit. Retired. Claimed wrestling was 'getting too stressful' and he disappeared. So I'd expect that on this week's TV, there will be some mention of the title being vacated. Signature Moves: Sheer Drop Brainbuster (affectionately referred to by me as 'THE BEST BRAINBUSTER IN NORTH AMERICA', which is true, as only Hashimoto's is better), Shooting Star Legdrop, running Shooting Star Press, Last Rites.

Cru Jones (Wildside Television Champion)
Comedy worker, yet he has the secondary belt in the company. I'm not a big fan of his. He has a 'football star' gimmick which normally leads to ranting mic work. Has a valet named 'Destiny' who does a surprisingly joyless cheerleader gimmick. Signature Moves: Monster Blitz (Back Suplex into a Uranage), Point After Touchdown (kick to the groin).

The Lost Boys (Wildside Tag Team Champions)
Azrael and Gabriel together form the most successful team in Wildside. They can be most closely compared to the Hardys, except they have talent. :-) They have a vampire gimmick, rarely speaking. The Lost Boys have a Lucha-influenced style, with dives aplenty. Signature Moves: Corkscrew Senton (Gabriel only), Unholy Roller (avalanche-style hurricanrana/diving senton combo), Fallen Arcadia (DVD/Powerbomb combo), Time Warp (Sideslam/Powerbomb combo), double sitout powerbomb.

Jeremy Lopez (Wildside Junior Heavyweight Champion)
Wildside's most technically acomplished wrestler and the cocky Junior heavyweight champion. Lopez is an incredibly fluid matworker, on par with some of the T2P guys. He doesn't do that much aerial work, though. Was trained by Dean Malenko. Signature Moves: Elevated DDT (Implant DDT with the victim's arms crossed behind their back), Rolling Elbow.

David Young
Wildside's top face, a worker in the Arn Anderson mold, but he has considerable aerial skills as well. Has been seen on NWA:TNA PPV recently, although I can't vouch for the quality of his matches. Signature Moves: Spinebuster, Moonsault.

Rick Michaels
Young's former tag team partner. They had a bitter feud and now seem to respect each other, with Michaels playing more of a tweener role. Not a garbage worker but he won't hesitate to bleed like a maniac. Signature Move: Double Shot (facebuster, followed up immediately with a quick neckbreaker in what's essentially one motion)..

Adam Jacobs
Typical Southern Heel type, a good technical worker, not as great as his (ex)partner Cross, but nonetheless very fun to watch. Signature Moves: Frog Splash, top-rope Legdrop.

Wildside's monster heel is this 600-pound behemoth. Obviously limited in the ring, but he's over and most of the time he'll go out there to tell a story. He's certainly not as bad as he could be. Signature Moves: Ground Zero Splash, Avalanche, Top Rope Senton (he busts this out once in a blue moon, it's as amazing as it sounds).

AJ Styles
Wildside's most famous worker is also possibly the most over man in the company. A tendancy to be spotty, but otherwise is an excellent worker. Signature Moves: Styles Clash (face first piledriver with the victim's arms hooked behind Styles' legs), Shooting Styles Press, Starmaker (Air Raid Crash).

Best described as the Mr. Pogo of Wildside, a sickle-wielding lunatic that specializes in wild brawls. Except Tank has the wierd habit of occasionally going technical on you, pulling out moves you'd never expect from him. One of Wildside's top faces. Signature Moves: F Bomb (Emerald Frosion), Mafia Kick, release Northern Lights Suplex.

Scotty Wrenn
Another garbage brawler type, but not as accomplished at wrestling as Tank is. Has a very annoying 'ticking time bomb' gimmick. Signature Moves: Psycho Slam (spinning sitout Uranage-cum-Bossman Slam), military press into face-first powerbomb.

Wildside's dominent heel tag team. If the Lost Boys are the Hardys with talent, then Blackout are the Gangstaz with talent. Are able to nearly incite riots with their heel work. Signature Moves: Spine Splitta(Sky-Hi; Rainman only), Blue Thunder Bomb (Homicide only), Burning Lariat (Homicide only), double lariat, double bulldog, Violator 2.0 (double sitout chokeslam), Violator 420 (double military press into double sitout chokeslam).

Jimmy Rave
Traditional underdog face, with some beautiful aerial moves. He's added some matwork to his repertoire recently. Seems to have a raver gimmick (his nickname is the 'Original XTC') but it rarely comes into play. Is currently feuding with Jeremy Lopez. Signature Moves: Gravity Killer (Tornado DDT with extra height and velocity), Full Nelson Camel Clutch.

Todd Sexton and Tony Stradlin
Together known as 'TnT', these two underwent a recent turn from fan-favourite faces to bitter heels, blaming their recent lack of success on the fans (isn't that always the way?). Both are graduates of Shawn Michaels' wrestling academy, and possess highflying styles and an affinity for the Superkick. Currently feuding with the Lost Boys. Sexton's Signature Moves: Superkick, Gamebreaker (suplex onto the ropes into an Implant DDT). Stradlin's Signature Moves: Superkick, Tombstone Piledriver. TNT Signature Moves: Spike Cradle Piledriver, X-Bomb (double hiptoss into spike powerbomb), stereo superkicks.

Bart Sawyer
Low-ranking member of the NWA Elite. He trained The Rock and tagged with him in USWA, but that doesn't necessarily make him good. Has a 'Smart Heel' gimmick, which normally leads to screwjob finishes.

Somewhat like a black Scott Steiner minus the roid rage and incoherant micwork. Very over, he was pushed heavily in the Spring but he's more of a midcarder now. Occasional tag team partner of Caprice Coleman. Signature Move: Blackout (spinaround Implant DDT).

Caprice Coleman
High-flying face, in the vain of Scorpio. If he'd work on his strikes (his kicks are pretty silly looking), he'd definitely be one of Wildside's best workers. Currently feuding with Cru Jones. Signature Moves: Thermal Shock (press slam to Ace crusher).

Sweet Dreams
Coleman's brother and occasional tag team partner, is currently relegated to a 'love interest' angle with Destiny.

Tony Mamaluke
While Mamaluke has a willingness to take sick bumps, he's primarily a matworker, and an excellent one at that- second only to Lopez in Wildside (notably, Mamaluke is a student of the Malenko Dojo also). Signature Moves: Sicilian Crab (high-angle single-leg crab), Fujiwara Armbar, high-angle side suplex.

Terry Knightonelli
Previously known as Terry Knight, he recently found his Italian roots and became the second member of the FBI with Tony Mamaluke. Technically Knightonelli is pretty good, but he's quite boring overall. Signature Move: Flying Elbow.

That Guy
Formerly both Lazz (a transvestite) and Dustin Timberlake (more of a basic babyface but had some of Lazz's, err...'questionable' characteristics), That Guy has been in a very long feud with Jeff G. Bailey and the NWA Elite. Dustin lost a match at Hardcore Hell '02 (the biggest show of the year for Wildside) to Adam Jacobs and had to essentially sell himself off to Bailey as a result. Bailey proceeded to strip Dustin of all his dignity, forcing him to wrestle in plain black rookie tights and to be called 'That Guy'. Signature Moves: (Britney) Spear, repeated headbutts to the groin (although he hasn't been allowed to do this since becoming That Guy).

Kidcool and Kid Xtasy make up this goofy tag team. Kid Xtasy was previously known as Sal del Rio, but he recieved an X-Bomb onto the concrete from TnT which caused him to revert to the Xtasy persona (actually his original ring name when he entered Wildside). They do a lot of comedy and are frequently jobber fodder, but G-Rated are fun to watch at times. Together with Onyx they're currently feuding with the FBI. Signature Moves: The Right Stuff (Stack Superplex), double Side Russian Legsweep, Tidal Wave.

The Rage
Scott Cage and Mike Pittman together are The Rage, an unexceptional but improving tag team. Like most of Wildside's lowercard Junior talent, these two are very young and have lots of untapped potential, but right now, they're only average.

Future Shock
Jay Freeze and Brandon P are the members of this undercard tag team, who are caught in a seemingly unending feud with The Rage (Future Shock being the heels in that feud). Brandon P is a pretty decent worker, but Jay Freeze hasn't really shown me anything. Signature Moves: Icebreaker (Gory Guerrero Driver; Freeze Only), Aftershock (The victim is put in a hanging position by Freeze and given a sliding dropkick by Brandon P, then Freeze lifts the victim and gives them a powerbomb).

Slim J
A relatively inexperienced (he's only sixteen or seventeen years old) Junior, but one who is extremely entertaining. As his name suggests, he has an Eminem gimmick, but it's played up well. Signature Moves: Fishermanbuster (several variations), 420 Splash (Phoenix Splash), 3-6 Mafia Kick (Spinning Heel Kick off the second rope).

Jeremy V
Another junior heavyweight rookie, Jeremy doesn't have much of a gimmick: He comes out to 'Jeremy' by Pearl Jam and looks kind of like a grunge rock fan circa 1994, but that's about it. Okay little worker, has definite flaws but is also improving. Currently feuding with Slim J. Signature Move: Derrick Driver.

Derrick Driver
Occasional partner of Jeremy V and G-Rated, Driver rarely wins in Wildside. Probably the greenest out of the Juniors, and the least exciting.

Kevin Harden
Harden is probably the only outright jobber in Wildside (he's mockingly nicknamed 'The Winner'). Currently feuding with That Guy in Jeff G. Bailey's latest attempt to humiliate Dustin. Signature Move: Losing.

Big Business Brown
Cru Jones' manager and the money mark (sorry, "financial consultant") that helped Bailey get ownership of Wildside. Pretty funny, but he's been MIA recently.

Dan Wilson
Wildside's PBP man. Very good at getting wrestlers and storylines over, also very knowledgable when it comes to move names. Kind of like the anti-Jim Ross. Also handles ring introductions and in-ring interviews.

Steven Prazak
Wildside's Colour Commentator. Kind of goofy at times, but he's also pretty funny. You might remember him as one of the ECW interviewers from back in the day.

Well, that's about it. Hope you enjoyed reading this, and that you'll enjoy my future columns/TV reports.

Oh, and I (heart) feedback; send any thoughts, complaints, death threats or illegal solicitations to A Useful ldiot@aol.com [lowercase L in "ldiot"], and I'm on AIM pretty frequently under that name.