Tales from the Eastside Directory -CZW TV report for 7/27/02

-So, Low-Ki is the first ROH World Heavyweight champion? Can't say I'm too thrilled with that choice. Spanky would have made more sense since he has the 2/3 falls match with American Dragon in Boston, and Daniels would be a better choice since he's the top heel anyway. Still, Ki apparently did a very good job in the match, and I'm confident that during his time holding ROH's flagship title he'll drop his annoying characteristics (his spotty selling and "Grr! I'm steaming mad!" angry/constipated monkey facial expressions). I have a few friendly suggestions for ROH:

1) Include match times on your official site. It's something most US companies forget to do (the last major company to include match times was ECW I believe), and it's extremely helpful.

2) After big matches, have post-match comments ala NJPW. I don't mean promos, I just mean general comments on the match. It adds a really important feel to the matches.

3) The Boston show is supposed to be Mark Briscoe's wrestling debut for ROH. I'm sure there's a lot of temptation to do a Mark/Jay match there; don't. You'd be shooting your load way too early. I humbly suggest doing a Briscoe Brothers vs. James Maritato & Tony Mamaluke match. If you want to still build the Jay/Mark angle, you could have the FBI win when Mark walks out or something.

The Boston card already looks really good: Dragon/Spanky 2/3 falls, Ki/AJ Styles in Ki's first title defense, and Red/Quiet Storm in a match that could be really great if Red is on. The September show sees ROH return to Philly and it too is off to a good start, with American Dragon vs. Steve Corino and the ROH debut of Mike Modest (challenging for the ROH World Heavyweight title maybe?).

That's all I have to say about ROH, so let's get on with CZW.

-No intro; we open with Danny Rose in the ring, talking to Rainman (who is sitting on a chair in the center of the ring). Rose asks Rainman who his favourite singer is? Rainman responds with "Lionel Ritchie" and Rose...starts singing "I'm Still in Love With You"! Danny Rose singing = RATINGS (I'm not kidding). Rose gets the crowd into it, then finishes with a tender "I love youuuu..." and puts his hand on Rainman's shoulder. Rainman is suitably frightened and he jumps to his feet. Looks like we have a match.

- Danny Rose vs. Rainman . Rose with a right hand, throws Rainman to the corner and unloads another right. Rose shushes the crowd so they can hear him chopping Rainman. Rainman fights back with a corner whip and he tries a charge, but Rose catches him, grabs a waistlock, and launches the Soul Assassin with an overhead German suplex! Rose whips Rainman into the ropes and sends him back down with a leg lariat. Rose covers with one arm and gets a two count. Rainman whipped to the corner again, and brought out with a release Vertical suplex. Another release Vertical suplex by Rose and he does an arrogant cover with one foot, getting a two count. Rose tries the single arm cover again and gets a one count. Irish whip by Rose and he tries a lariat, but Rainman ducks and drops him with the 'Buttbomb' sitout Back suplex (misidentified by Gargiulo as the 'City Driver').

Lariat by Rainman and he covers for two. Right hand by Rainman and there's the City Driver (spinaround Side suplex). I think Gargiulo's misreading the move name and it's supposed to be the 'Dark City Driver' but who knows? Rose taken into the corner and Rainman works him over with punches. Hard whip to the corner by Rainman and Rose hits the mat. Rainman with a second hard corner whip, and again Rose drops hard to the mat. Rose pulled up by his hair, right, Rainman trying a whip but Rose reverses. Rainman tries a bodyscissors but Rose holds on and drops him with a face-first powerbomb. Rose revs up his foot and catches Rainman with a superkick. Low blow by Rainman shifts the match back his way though. Blatant choke by Rainman. Forearm, whip, Rose reverses, Rainman ducks a lariat attempt and folds Rose with the Spine Splitta. Cover by Rainman, close two count. Whip by Rainman and he tries a leapfrog, but Rose catches him and hits a running Ligerbomb! Both men down. Rose drapes himself over Rainman for a two count. Rainman rakes the eyes and goes for a lariat, but Rose ducks and hooks Rainman into the Tough Enough Driver, then rolls through to a cover- that gets the pin.

Nothing much here. Not really bad or anything, just nothing that good or memorable; it's not like they could've done much with five minutes anyway. Rainman probably should've gone over here (because of the Wildside invasion), although since it was his first CZW appearance I can understand why he didn't.

- Eric Gargiulo promises a 'loaded-up show' this week, while John House says little (thankfully). I can't hate House this week because he says 'Nobody likes John Zandig!' which is completely true. Tonight, Tony Stradlin takes on M-Dogg 20 ; it was supposed to be M-Dogg vs. Josh Prohibition but Prohibition injured himself training before the show. Also, The Wifebeater vs. Lobo in a No Rope Barbed Wire Deathmatch. Will Wifebeater succeed with his Karl Gotch-esque suplexes or will Lobo's shoot-style submissions (honed during his years in BattlArts) win out? Read on...

-Spot advertising the 8/10 show. Scheduled matches: The Wifebeater vs. Lobo in an Ultraviolent Weapons match (geez, this is the third time in as many months that they've threatened us with this match; enough, guys); Justice Pain 's open challenge; Nick Gage and Nate Hatred defend their CZW Tag Team titles against the Rachies ; M-Dogg 20 takes on Josh Prohibition and it's CZW vs. Wildside in an eight man tag match: the Backseat Boys , Nick Berk and Ty Street vs. Rainman , Tony Stradlin and the Lost Boys !

- Tony Stradlin vs. M-Dogg 20 . Stradlin flips off the crowd as he makes his entrance. I should note Gargiulo constantly miscalling Tony as 'Todd'. Stradlin immediately gets up in M-Dogg's face, so M-Dogg slaps him. Stradlin with a slap of his own. M-Dogg tries a lariat, Stradlin ducks, M-Dogg tries a whip but Stradlin reverses. Stradlin trying a press slam, but M-Dogg bounces off of him with a dropkick! Both guys retreat to separate corners as the crowd works up a "You Suck" chant for Stradlin (encouraged by M-Dogg).

Stradlin and M-Dogg circle. Collar-and-elbow tieup, Stradlin grabs a side headlock but M-Dogg punches out of it and throws Stradlin into the ropes. M-Dogg drops down, then leapfrogs Stradlin as he comes the other way. M-Dogg tries a monkey flip to catch Stradlin as he comes off the ropes, but Stradlin counters by grabbing M-Dogg's legs and rolling him to his feet. Stradlin chops M-Dogg and whips him into the ropes. M-Dogg tries a dropkick coming the other way, but Stradlin holds on to the ropes and M-Dogg catches nothing but air. Trying to pull M-Dogg up by his hair, but Stradlin is surprised with a single-leg trip. M-Dogg goes for a quick Red Star Press, but Stradlin rolls out of the way.

We get a clip here, but I don't think too much was cut out. Stradlin works a side headlock. M-Dogg throws him into the ropes and hits a shoulderblock. Whip by M-Dogg, but Stradlin counters and grabs an inverted facelock. M-Dogg reverses and goes for a Reverse suplex, but Stradlin flips out and comes back with a sunset flip (nice) for two. Stradlin hits a Floatover suplex (never seen that before). Corner whip and Stradlin stomps away. He goes for the Justin Credible 'grab your opponent by the legs and drag him into a sitout powerbomb' move, but M-Dogg flips to his feet and throws a forearm. Stradlin with a forearm of his own and he wins the exchange, hitting an STO and covering for two. Scoop slam and Stradlin goes up top. Phoenix Splash...misses! Stradlin is able to roll through and land on his feet, but M-Dogg grabs him from behind and hangs him in the Tree of Woe. M-Dogg goes for a sliding dropkick, but Stradlin (still in the Tree of Woe) catches him and drops him with an upside-down Ace Crusher! Cool spot.

Stradlin covers after the Ace Crusher and gets a close two count. Corner whip attempted, M-Dogg reverses, Stradlin stops himself from hitting the post by putting his knee up (ala Regal). M-Dogg lays in right hands and whips Stradlin hard into the corner, then harder into the opposite corner causing Stradlin to flip out over the post and to the floor. M-Dogg signals to the crowd and makes with the rhythmic clapping. Going for a Spaceman Plancha, but M-Dogg blows his knee out on the somersault! Referee Rob Hartog checks M-Dogg's knee, while Stradlin smells blood and re-enters the ring. Stradlin snaps M-Dogg's knee on the mat and locks on a kneebar. M-Dogg struggles, but he's able to grab the bottom rope. Stradlin throws his elbowpads off and hits a kneebreaker, then a Dragon Screw legwhip. Cover by Stradlin, hooking the injured leg, gets two. Death suplex and Stradlin goes up top- Senton Atomico to M-Dogg, who is draped over the top rope! Gargiulo says he calls that the 'Crash Diet'. Cover by Stradlin and another two count. M-Dogg gets to his feet and hits a DVD backbreaker (on his good knee) to Stradlin. M-Dogg slowly ascends the ropes, and hits a somersault double stomp for the anti-climactic pin. M-Dogg looks in serious pain after the match and has to be helped out by Hartog and security.

Pretty good stuff here. They made the most of their seven or eight minutes, with some innovative spots and decent (if short) ground work. I may rag on M-Dogg for being a backyarder, but he's obviously had some formal training as his work is constantly improving. He was more than watchable here, especially with his convincing strikes. This certainly wasn't a match without flaws; the knee work was abandoned FAR too quickly and the ending was very abrupt. Makes me think that maybe M-Dogg's knee injury was at least partially ligit and they finished early.

- Jody Fleisch vs. Trent Acid in the Best of the Best 2002 Finals. Acid, limping heavily, brings two chairs with him...and the microphone. "Eh, mate! I don't know what you're used to in England, but here in CZW we make our own rules!" I don't like where he's going with this. "So let's do it right, CZW style!" Trent says, and then he throws a chair in the ring for Fleisch to use. ::Groan:: Gargiulo gets audibly embarrassed on commentary; he tries to sell it as 'psychological warfare' by Acid but you can tell Eric doesn't even believe his own argument.

Chair duel in the ring to start. They clash twice, before Fleisch misses with a swing. Acid throws a chair at Fleisch. Chair to the back twice and a nasty chairshot to the head follow. This is not exactly what I'd want in the finals of a major Juniors tournament. Acid sets up the chairs, putting two side by side and two more on top of them. Acid lays Fleisch on top of the chairs and goes up top, but Fleisch crotches him. Fleisch goes for a Superplex, but Acid holds on. Acid going for a Front Superplex now, but Fleisch counters by grabbing Acid's head and DDTing him off the second rope onto the chairs! Cover, two count. Fleisch, apparently as sick of this prop usage as I am, kicks the chairs from the ring. Fleisch slams Acid on the apron and he rolls out to the floor. Fleisch tosses Acid over the guardrail, then flies onto him with a beautiful Asai Moonsault!

Fleisch clears some fans out of his way and gets a running start in the crowd, but he trips allowing Acid to give him a Tornado DDT on the concrete! Acid goes back to ringside and grabs a table (::sigh::), propping it up against the apron. Fleisch rolls back in the ring and grabs a chair, tosses it to Acid, then sandwiches it into his face VanDaminator style with a springboard dropkick! Fleisch did that just fast enough so it wasn't as business exposing as the VanDaminator normally is. Cover by Fleisch for a two count. Fleisch moves the table into the ring and leans it into the corner. Acid with a clubbing forearm and he goes to slam Fleisch's head into the table, but Fleisch blocks. Fleisch backs out and tries to whip Acid into the table, but Acid stops himself and slides the other way, smoothly transitioning into a Yakuza Kick attempt- Fleisch ducks and Acid is left hanging on the ropes. Fleisch again trying the whip through the table, Acid reverses, Fleisch reverses that and throws Acid over the ropes. Acid holds on and lands on the apron, Fleisch tries a shoulderblock through the ropes but Acid sees it coming, flips in over Fleisch, then pulls Fleisch from behind into a running Blue Thunder Bomb through the table! Well, through half of the table but it was still an impressive move. Cover, one, two, Fleisch BARELY gets the shoulder up.

Both men are down. Acid gets up first and throws Fleisch into the corner, Acid charges but Fleisch steps out and catches Acid with a drop toehold into the middle turnbuckle. Looks like the Phoenix is going to fly...Fleisch comes off the top rope with a breathtaking Shooting Star Press! Fleisch hooks the leg, one, two, no. Fleisch tiredly drapes himself over the buckle and slowly goes up top for another aerial move, but Acid throws a chair to stop Fleisch at the top turnbuckle. Acid brings Fleisch down with a reverse 'rana! Acid puts a chair on Fleisch's face and sprints into a tumbleweed legdrop off the second rope. Cover by Acid, yet another close two count. Both men are down again.

Acid up, so is Fleisch, and Jody walks right into a YAKUZA KICK!(x3) Cover, one, two, NO! Crowd is stunned. Acid bangs the mat in disbelief. Going for another Yakuza Kick, Fleisch sidesteps, roundhouse to Acid and Fleisch hits him with the 720 DDT! Fleisch covers, one, two, NO! Crowd is again stunned. Fleisch leads some of the ever-popular rhythmic clapping. Fleisch goes for another 720 DDT, Acid blocks with an armwringer and Fleisch is tossed to the corner. Acid runs and hits a corner Shining Wizard (Keji Mutoh take note, this actually made contact)! Fleisch is staggered, and he stumbles out of the corner into the path of a second Yakuza Kick! Acid hooks the leg, one, two, FOOT ON THE ROPE! Fleisch may have added a late kickout as well. Crowd is incredibly hot, a 'Jo-Dy' chant ringing out. Acid comes off the ropes, and a third Yakuza Kick is able to finally seal the match for him. Afterwards, Trent is presented with the BotB '02 trophy. He and Jody hug, and raise each other's arms.

This match is a very odd case. The second half is excellent, with tons of good nearfalls and great crowd heat. They did a bit of finisher killing with the Yakuza Kick and 720 DDT, but it was the final so it was excusable. The first half of this match was just not good, too spotty with too many props. If the match had replaced its spotty first half with more build, maybe some leg work by Fleisch building off of Acid's limp, and then done the same second half it would've been fine. They didn't, though, and this is a match that reaches no higher than **. Still better than last year's finals, though.

- Robby Merino is in the bowels of the CZW Arena to interview the Lost Boys , Rainman and Tony Stradlin . Azrael pulls out a knife and starts slicing up his arm. That's pretty digusting; Merino proclaims it '(fucked) up'. Rainman: 'No, what's (fucked) up is driving fourteen hours and not being able to get a fair match!' Rainman says that the Wildside guys are sick of being disrespected, and that it's no longer business- it's personal. Stradlin rants about the Backseat Boys, saying that while he made a courageous comeback from a shoulder injury, all everyone talks about is the Backseat Boys. Stradlin proclaims it a 'personal slap in the face'. Merino pleads with Stradlin to get Azrael to stop cutting himself, and Stradlin says it's proof that they'll do whatever it takes to get back at the Backseats and CZW. Azrael licks the knife, we get a shot of his cut-up arm (sick), and there's a Wildside-esque fade out. Nice touch, if it was intentional. Bizzare promo, but strangely effective; Stradlin may be the best talker in Wildside aside from Jeff G. Bailey.

-Back to Eric Gargiulo and John House . Gargiulo hypes the 8/10 show, then says we're only moments away from a 'sick, brutal, disgusting and violent' match in Lobo vs. Wifebeater. He fails to mention Lobo's training in Pancrase and his mastery of the 'Ultraviolent Armbar', but we'll all have a chance to see Lobo's technical skills in action next!

- Robby Merino has found the Softcore Connection and gets a word with them. Ty Street talks about how since CZW has started, 'there have been hundreds of gangs, cliques and groups of silly little wierdos trying to be the next nWo or DX or whatever'. He proclaims the Softcore Connection to be the real deal, and says that there will be no more silly Ty Street or Nick Berk. Acid says he's sick of being overlooked, and he calls Wildside the 'kings of nothing'. Turning his attention to Berk, Acid says that he sees a guy who has worked for years and is underrated, yet he's held back becaue he makes people feel threatened and jealous. Acid says that he's not going to stand for jealous people anymore, since the Softcore Connection are who the fans come to see. Berk says he's not going to let Wildside ruin what he helped to create. Street: 'And if they're into pain, we've got something for them. Show em, Johnny Kashmere.' Kashmere smirks into the camera, then destroys a garage door with his baseball bat. Good promo, helped to get Wildside over as a big deal in CZW.

- Lobo (with Big Daddy Smooth ) vs. The Wifebeater (with Big Mack Smack ) in a No Rope Barbed Wire Deathmatch. Both Lobo (wearing an old-school Green Day shirt, showing that his taste in music is nearly as bad as his wrestling) and Smooth carry chairs with them. Lobo takes the mic and announces that there will be a special guest referee for this match: the Rockin' Racist . Rebel comes out smoking a cigarette, and he shares a handshake with Lobo. Racist takes the mic and says nothing of note, except for a cheapshot against Allen Iverson. Hey Racist, lay off Iverson; he is The Answer, after all. Wifebeater and Smack carry a barbed wire table with them to the ring. Before we start, Wifebeater throws potato chips to the fans.

I promised I wasn't going to do detailed PBP for this, but oh well. 'Wife-Bea-Ter' chant from the Mutants. Lobo bails at the bell and Rebel puts a count on him. Lobo eventually rolls back in and the two circle. Wifebeater throws a right hand but Lobo ducks and does an Ali shuffle. Knee to the gut by Wifebeater and he hits a Snap suplex for a rather ginger two count. Wifebeater tries to whip Lobo into the barbed wire, but Lobo slides out. Lobo comes back in and is taken down with an STO (!), and that gets another two count. Popular move tonight. Lobo schoolboys Wifebeater for a fast two. Lobo slides out again and paces outside. Back in the ring, Wifebeater tries a forearm but Lobo ducks and slides out yet again. Ugh. Wifebeater follows Lobo out, throwing him into the guardrail. Another whip into the rail, then Wifebeater chairs Wifebeater in the back. Lobo is thrown to Smack, and Smack runs Lobo into a chair held up by Wifebeater. Now Wifebeater gives the chair to a fan and runs Lobo into that, too. This is thrilling action, let me tell you. Lobo and Wifebeater visibly talk over a spot, then Lobo gives Wifebeater the single ugliest DVD in history (more of a samoan drop) through the barbed wire table. Looks like Wifebeater is hurt, having reaggrevated his shoulder. The Ultraviolent Mutants work up another 'Wife-Bea-Ter' chant. Smack and Security help cart Wifebeater off. Back in the ring, Rebel says that since Wifebeater is seriously hurt, he has to award the match to Lobo. The crowd looks ready to riot. Praise Allah, John Zandig is out from the crowd. Zandick takes a swig of water and walks up behind Rebel, then when Rebel turns around he gets a faceful of water. Rebel sells it like someone showed him the Yoshiaki Fujiwara porn, clutching his eyes. That's it. Really, really lame finish.

I have little to say about the match. That had to be a ligit injury, because otherwise it may be the single stupidest booking decision ever. Up to the injury, the match was thoroughly putrid, with long spaces between moves, but did you expect anything better from these two?

-Half of a good show this week. Fleisch/Acid was disappointing, but still pretty exciting for its second half. Stradlin/M-Dogg was better than I expected and gets me excited for M-Dogg's work in the future. He's the kind of worker that given the proper training could be really great in about a year. Rainman/Rose wasn't anything really worthwhile. Lobo/Wifebeater was just as shitty as I thought it would be, just with less blood.

Next Week: More on the Zandick situation (man, I can't wait for that!) and some more stuff from the 'Deja Vu' show; I'm hoping for Adam Flash vs. Justice Pain although I hear it was disappointing.

See you Thursday for Wildside.

Tell me how much I suck! Send it to A Useful ldiot [lower case L in 'ldiot']@aol.com.

-Patrick

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