Tales from the Eastside Directory -CZW TV report for 8/17/02.

-In news that pleases me greatly, Dick Togo and Ikuto Hidaka were announced as a team for the ROH tag tournament next month! The Far East Connection comes stateside! Chris Daniels & Donovan Morgan and Da Hit Squad were the other two announced teams, expected additions. With the FEC as a team I'm definitely going to this show, though. Togo & Hidaka/Briscoes, anyone?

-We open in the ECW Arena parking lot; The Ultraviolent Cripple, Lobo talks with Big Daddy Smooth and Rockin' Racist (I think it's them, correct me if I'm wrong) about the upcoming Tournament of Death on 8/31 in Dover. Little of note is said.

-There's a new intro before the video package that normally opens the show: A small circular screen shows CZW highlights while the words "Ultraviolent" "Wrestling" and "CZW" circle around it in 3d. Swanky. CZW: Like Malcolm McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange" with all the Ultraviolence, but minus the snazzy clothes.

-God save us all, I Hate John House is flying solo this week. He mentions that Eric Gargiulo was suspended by Lobo and red flags immediately go up in my mind. Thankfully, I was able to talk with Eric myself and it turns out he missed the show because he went to his sister's wedding that day, so everything's kosher. Anyway, House announces tonight's main event as Nick Berk, Ty Street and the Backseat Boys vs. Todd Sexton, Tony Stradlin and the Lost Boys- it's NWA Wildside vs. Combat Zone Wrestling!

-Spot for the "Tournament of Death" on 8/31. It's for "Zandig's Deathmatch title" which I can only assume is the BJW Deathmatch title he doesn't deserve or earn, and I guess he bought the belt from Kojika. Announced for the tourney are Nick Gage, Nate Hatred, Nick Mondo, Zandig and Wifebeater. Not in this spot but also announced are two outsiders, Necro Butcher and Homeless Jimmy. I'm not much for US indy deathmatches, but Butcher/Mondo could be really good and Mondo/Gage could also be solid. None of the other matches fill me with any confidence. If I have nothing better to do on 8/31 I may go, but don't count on it.

-Rainman and Jeff G. Bailey make their way out to the ring. Because God hates me this week, your announcers are House and Rick Feinberg. Let's see if Bailey can incite riots in Philly like he can in Georgia: "Now, I know you insecure, illiterate scumbags aren't accustomed to being in the presence of those so much better than you..." Yeah, I'd say Bailey's in top form here. Bailey says "Filthadelphia" is starved for real wrestling talent, and he calls the ECW Arena a "(shit)hole, just like all of you fans!". Bailey says Rainman beat Danny Rose half to death last month, but the "incompetant official" still counted the fall for the wrong man. Bailey says he and Rainman are here to avenge that loss, and they make an open challenge for anyone in the back to answer. "Last Resort" by Papa Roach plays...

-Nick Mondo vs. Rainman (with Jeff G. Bailey). Mondo gets stomped as he enters the ring. Irish whip by Rainman, Mondo ducks a lariat and double-arm chop and comes the other way with a spinkick. Whip by Mondo and he catches Rainman with a 'rana. Rainman rolls outside and gets nailed with a baseball slide dropkick. Mondo leading some rhythmic clapping while Rainman staggers around outside, then sprints into a tope atomico, sailing over the corner turnbuckle and crashing into Rainman! Whip into the guardrail by Mondo. Mondo politely asks a fan for their water bottle, so he can take a swig and spit it in Rainman's face. Another whip into the guardrail by Mondo while the Mutants work up a "Mon-Do" chant.

Rainman gets rolled into the ring. Lariat tried by Rainman, Mondo ducks, whip into the ropes and Rainman tries a chop but that's ducked as well, Mondo with the do-si-do whip reversal and Rainman hits him with a pair of forearms. Rainman going for an Acid Drop (!), but Mondo reverses and drops Rainman with a modified Michinoku Driver II! Mondo covers for a two count. Mondo with a Back suplex onto the top rope, bouncing Rainman back into the ring; I saw Terry Knightonelli do that once. Right hand by Mondo and he tries a corner whip, reversed by Rainman and he tries an avalanche but Mondo nips up and smacks Rainman in the back of the head with a right hand. Whip to the opposite corner by Mondo, this time it's Rainman with the nip up, trying to sunset flip him from there but they blow the spot and just kind of collide. Rainman goes to the mount and hits Mondo with a trio of right hands, then throws him into the corner and works him over with a right, a forearm and an uppercut. Dark City Driver out of the corner by Rainman, leg hooked- only two. Chop by Rainman, Mondo fires back with one of his own, Rainman, Mondo, Rainman, Mondo, Rainman, Mondo, Rainman breaks up the chopfest with a right hand. Double middle finger salute by Rainman. Mondo tries a high kick but Rainman ducks and drives Mondo down with the Buttbomb. Spinkick for good measure and Rainman covers, getting two.

Right hand by Rainman and he tries a whip, Mondo reverses into an armwringer and gutshot. Two snap kicks to the chest by Mondo, then a roundhouse to the head. Rainman pulled up, whipped into the ropes and hit with a spinning heel kick. Mondo is firmly in control here, and he goes outside to get a chair. Corner whip by Mondo, Rainman reverses, Mondo tries the nip up but Rainman catches him and throws him outside. Mondo lands on the apron, shoulderblock through the ropes by Mondo then he flips into the ring over Rainman. Mondo trying to run off the ropes for something, but Bailey trips him up, allowing Rainman to grab the chair and sliding dropkick it into Mondo's face! Mondo stumbles outside while Rainman gets a running start- AMAZING no-hands somersault tope! Rainman got some insane distance and height there (he also smacked into the guardrail on his landing, oh well). Back in the ring, Rainman whips Mondo into the Spine Splitta. Rainman doesn't choose to cover, instead throwing down the chair and giving Mondo a brutal face-first powerbomb onto it. Now Rainman covers, getting a very close two count. Rainman rolls outside to get another chair, but this gives Mondo time to recover. Mondo grabs the chair already in the ring and throws it at Rainman, knocking him to the floor. On the outside, Mondo seats Rainman in one of the chairs, while giving another to a fan to hold over his head. Mondo going to the top rope- M. Bison double stomp to sandwich the chair into Rainman's head! Well, if you're going to do a contrived spot, make it a good one, I guess. Mondo rolls Rainman back in the ring and gets the pin (73). Some nice spots, but there was no flow to the match and Rainman didn't get enough offense. These two have a really good match in them, but this wasn't it.

-Robby Merino is in the bowels of the ECW Arena with Big Mack Smack and The Wifebeater. Wifebeater sets up tons and tons of glass weaponry for his upcoming weapons match with Lobo. It's like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, except instead of chocolate, there's glass! Smack rants and raves while Wifebeater continues making weapons; is that a tree? Wifebeater: "Lobo, I'm gonna beat you 'til you're as bloody as a day-old tampon." This is quite bizzare. Smack rambles some more about the Tournament of Death, while a crawl below the screen tells us that the Wifebeater/Lobo weapons match is too violent for TV so you'll have to buy the tape to see it. That's a shame.

-Earlier Today: The Softcore Connection arrive at the ECW Arena. Brian Logan approaches them and tells them the Wildside guys have already shown up and they're looking for a fight. Logan encourages discretion but the Softcore Connection will hear none of it and set out in search of team Wildside. Logan wonders aloud why no one in the company listens to him.

The Softcores make their way outside of the Arena, where a parking attendant tells them the Wildside guys are in a van. Acid and Street look inside for them, but of course it's a set up and the Lost Boys, Tony Stradlin and Todd Sexton ambush them from behind. The fight spills out into the street and team Wildside gets the better of team CZW. Security intrudes to break it up but the Lost Boys decide they want more, and continue the beating. Eventually Nick Gage and Nate Hatred run out to chase off the Lost Boys. Hatred shoves Rob Hartog for no apparent reason. The Softcore Connection stare down the H8 Club...

-Last Saturday at the CZW Arena: Zandig, standing in the Eagle's Nest, formally announces the Tournament of Death. His micwork is horrible, as usual. Nice fake Rolex, John!

-Nick Berk, Ty Street and The Backseat Boys vs. Todd Sexton, Tony Stradlin and The Lost Boys in a WarGames match. It's WarGames, but there's no cage. Basically, the entrances are staggered so two men start, then entrants from either side enter every couple of minutes.

Gabriel and Johnny Kashmere start. Kashmere takes time to kiss all the girls at ringside before entering. Gabriel attacks at the bell and stomps away. Kashmere gets a double-leg takedown and throws wild punches, Gabriel responds in kind, they tussle on the mat until they roll outside and pound on each other some more. Gabriel gets shoved into the guardrail, where Chad Shaft holds him for a slap or two from Kashmere. Kashmere tries a punch, but Gabriel ducks and Kashmere has to pull himself back from hitting Shaft (and getting a lawsuit no doubt). Gabriel tries to capitalize by leaping onto Kashmere, but Kashmere ducks and Gabriel crashes into the second row. Kashmere with some knee strikes, Gabriel fights back with a series of right hands that are broken up when Kashmere rakes the eyes. Gabriel gets whipped into the guardrail. Kashmere to the mount, and he hits Gabriel with about five right hands in all. Gabriel rolled into the ring by his hair.

Out comes Todd Sexton, the next entrant for Team Wildside. He and Gabriel try to doubleteam Kashmere but Johnny backs up into a corner to avoid them. Sexton tries a corner whip, Kashmere reverses, Kashmere charges and gets backdropped on the apron. Sexton immediately follows up with a Stunner on the ropes, then pulls Kashmere onto the top rope and drops him with the Gamebreaker! Double whip into the corner by Sexton & Gabriel, then they stomp Kashmere silly. Double boot choke. Ty Street is Team CZW's next entrant, and he wastes no time cleaning house. Street with a double jawbreaker to Sexton and Gabriel, while Kashmere follows with a dropkick that hits both men! When Nick Berk & Z-Barr teamed up as the Softcore Connection, they called that the "Systematic Breakdown". Sexton and Gabriel roll outside, and get nailed with stereo sliding dropkicks from Street and Kashmere. Street punches a chair into Gabriel's head while Kashmere chokes Sexton on the concrete. Gabriel fires back with right hands and he rolls Street back into the ring. Stomps by Gabriel and he whips Street into the ropes, Street gets a go-behind and turns Gabriel into a powerbomb- holding on for two- holding on for three it looks like, but instead he spins Gabriel into a nasty face-first powerbomb!

Azrael is member #3 of Team Wildside and he immediately attacks Street, kicking him. Cool move by Azrael, running up Street's chest into an enzugiri (Think of Chono's 'Shining Black' but without the victim kneeling). Gabriel going up top for something (corkscrew senton?) but Kashmere catches him and brings him off with a flying bulldog, hitting Azrael with a dropkick on the way down! Scoop slam by Street to Sexton, which allows Nick Berk to make a dramatic entrance, flying off the top rope with a Frog Splash onto Sexton! Berk whips Gabriel into the ropes and presses him into a faceslam. Berk runs off the ropes into a somersault legdrop to Gabriel, then he whips Azrael into the ropes and hits him with a facebuster. Tony Stradlin makes his entrance here, attacking Berk and draping him over the top turnbuckle, then going to the opposite turnbuckle and hitting (kinda) him with a missile dropkick! On the outside, Street and Kashmere team up to backdrop Gabriel over the rail and onto chairs. Sexton enters the ring and helps his TNT partner work over Berk, so Street goes back to the ring and gives Sexton the Street Driver!

Street gets Stradlin up in a fireman's carry, but Stradlin reverses and drops back into an inverted DDT. Stradlin hits a funky standing corkscrew splash to Street. Sexton and Gabriel whip Street into the ropes and catch him with the Time Warp! Kashmere runs in to save Street but only succeeds in getting stomped down, and then stretched by Stradlin in an Indian Deathlock. Kashmere is turned into a double Mexican surfboard from Gabriel and Sexton, while Azrael works over Street on the outside. Meanwhile, Berk is lifted into a Gorry Special from Stradlin, who's standing on Kashmere's back! Stradlin then lowers Berk to pretzel him with Kashmere, tying the two Softcore Connection members back-to-back. Sexton and Gabriel hit sandwich sliding dropkicks to Berk, then Stradlin straps a Camel Clutch on Kashmere and he gets hit with sandwich dropkicks as well. Stradlin adds a rake to Kashmere's face.

Trent Acid, your final entrant in the match, enters to save his partner Kashmere. Acid runs into a superkick for Azrael, throws a dropkick that hits both Gabriel and Sexton, then nails Stradlin with two kicks and a rolling elbow! Acid's not done, tossing Stradlin in the corner and charging into him with a running kneesmash. Gabriel gets cinched up on the top rope and brought down with a reverse 'rana! Azrael is on the apron, and Acid knocks him to the floor with a Yakuza Kick! Gargiulo would've said "YAKUZA KICK! YAKUZA KICK! YAKUUUZA KICK!" right now, but Feinberg is talking about how he likes the last name "Stradlin". I hate this commentary team. Acid poses on the apron while everyone else fights on the floor. Berk with a trio of right hands for Azrael, but TNT rush Berk and there's a tripleteam beating. Everyone brawls and this is too chaotic to accurately do play-by-blay for right now.

Back in the ring, Street and Sexton are squaring off. Street whips Sexton into the ropes, but Sexton ducks a lariat and flies right outside onto the Backseat Boys with a tope suicida! Street calls to the crowd and poses- Asai Moonsault onto the Lost Boys by Street! Lucha Ty Street! Everyone brawls some more and now Berk decides he wants a piece of the dive action, going up top and diving onto the other seven guys with a senton atomico! The Lost Boys doubleteam Berk while TNT gang up on Street. Stradlin with a field goal kick to Street's ribs. Team Wildside continue the beating of Berk & Street onto the rampway, while the Backseat Boys go through the crowd and climb to the top of the entrance tunnel. Acid and Kashmere signal to the crowd, who are going crazy. Kashmere dives off the entrance tunnel with a senton onto the Lost Boys and Acid flips with a moonsault onto TNT at the same time! Awesome spot.

We get some clipping, as now TNT and Berk & Street are in the ring. Berk and Street try a double whip, reversed, TNT go for stereo backdrops but Berk and Street go over with stereo sunset flips for a two count, Stradlin and Sexton shift their weight for a stereo two count of their own, Berk and Street do likewise for another pair of two counts, TNT reverse the same way for one more stereo nearfall. Whew. Both teams roll to their feet, Berk and Sexton lariat each other at the same time, Street and Stradlin do the same, and all four men are down. Meanwhile, on the outside, the Backseat Boys are setting up a chair structure. Clip. Azrael whips Berk into the ringpost. In the ring, Acid is trying to give Gabriel a brainbuster. Gabriel fights, but Acid is able to eventually get him up. Before he can drop him though, Azrael comes in the ring to make the save. The Lost Boys go for a double suplex from the apron to the chair structure on Acid, but Kashmere charges from out of nowhere with a spear through the ropes (almost a tope suicida) that sends both the Lost Boys and himself crashing through the chairs! Acid is the only man standing, but Rainman runs out from the crowd. Inside cradle by Rainman as Wildside referee Andrew Thomas sprints in to count a lightning fast onetwothree that gives the match to Team Wildside (78)! Acid, as you can imagine, is less than pleased and he gives Rainman a rolling elbow and Yakuza Kick. Jeff G. Bailey is out and Acid has spotted him. Acid setting up for a Yakuza Kick to Bailey, but TNT block his way and lay on a doubleteam beatdown while Rainman and the Lost Boys mug Kashmere, Berk and Street on the outside. Stradlin puts Acid on his shoulders while Sexton goes up top- flying bulldog to Acid! TNT choke Acid on the ropes while Bailey gets the mic and makes with some of his signature ranting. "Ohh yeah! Everybody's gonna leave on a stretcher tonight! There's not a damn person who can save you tonight!" Spoke too soon, Jeff. Nick Gage and Nate Hatred run down and pummel the Lost Boys. Gage hammers Azrael with right hands on the outside while Hatred gives Gabriel a release double-choke powerbomb in the ring. TNT charge the H8 Club and those four fight into the crowd and out of sight. Bailey has grabbed the mic again and he proclaims victory for Team Wildside, but he's oblivious to the fact that the Softcore Connection are now surrounding him, a member in each corner. Bailey drops the mic and smiles...and gets nailed with a quadruple superkick from the Softcore Connection! The crowd explodes. Acid gyrates over Bailey's carcass for good measure.

The rating of the match doesn't do justice to how entertaining it was. Sure, it was mainly a brawl, with obvious faults in selling, but it was really fun to watch. Think of those Far East Connection matches in MPro, where Togo, Gedo and Jado will brawl with Sasuke and friends for about twenty minutes, making time for the occasional dive or fancy submission; that's what this match was like. This match, however, had the benefit of a rabid crowd and some amazing moves. My only gripe here is with the finish; couldn't they have had someone who was in the match get the flash pinfall on Acid? Oh well.

I'm going to digress a bit and climb onto my soapbox for a little while, please forgive me. I think we, the 'internet wrestling community', take ourselves too seriously sometimes. I'm not referring to the WWE sites and reviewers, I'm referring to the Puroresu fan community (for the record, I'm not referring to this site :-) ). We start to take things that happen in wrestling a bit too personally. Sometimes you just gotta enjoy the wrestling, y'know? Okay, I'm done. ::Steps off soapbox::

-Back to I Hate John House to close things up. He sure is annoying. He plugs the Tournament of Death some more and that's it. No matches announced for next week.

-Messy show this week. Too much non-wrestling filler, and having the horrible team of House and Feinberg on commentary didn't help things either. Mondo/Rainman wasn't bad, but both guys are capable of much more than an average match. The main event was fun to watch, but it wasn't quite enough to make this a recommended show. It did serve it's purpose though (as a heated match to forward the CZW vs. Wildside feud).

Freedom Fight '02 arrived today and I'll be watching that, with a review forthcoming later this week. Also expect an ROH preview with a strategic guest star in everyone's favourite ZERO-ONE guru and British correspondant, ~Alf~! Then the usual Wildside TV review, then maybe the ROH key matches review. Then a sandwich and a long nap. Until then...