411 Video Review: CZW Redefined
Posted by Tim Madden on 04.22.2004
First stop on the road to the Cage Of Death.
September 13, 2003
Nick Mondo injured himself severely at the Tournament of Death 2, and therefore this show features a tournament for the newly vacant Iron Man Title. The belt was originally a kind of “hardcore” title with falls count anywhere stipulations applied to all matches, but with this tournament they wanted to “redefine” the belt into a more wrestling-oriented title, with title matches being contended under 20 minute Iron Man rules.
Anyway, this show features a VERY controversial angle, and I believe Redefined is what turned the company around, heading into Cage Of Death 5 in December 2003.
By the way, I apologize for the lateness of this review, I’ve been very busy lately with various things. But alas, I’m back now.
As with Aftermath, this has some “dark matches” before the card officially begins, and I’ll give quickie reviews of them:
Dark Match: Elimination Match: Cory Kastle vs. Sabian vs. Joker vs. Krystian Wolf – As far as I know, this was Joker’s CZW debut, and he didn’t make a big impact until a few events later. This is just spotty action, but its pretty inoffensive. Kastle wins at 4:09. *1/2
Dark Match: Rockin Rebel & Greg Matthews vs. Jon Dahmer & DJ High - Standard tag formula with the big men, which is a refreshing change from the usual junior heavyweights. Matthews pulls out a pescado (!) at the end of the match, just to impress the shit out of me. Rebel gets the win at 10:49. Fun but too long. **
Now, onto the real show.
IRON MAN CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
Sonjay Dutt vs. Nick Gage - VERY interesting combination here. I’m a fan of both guys but I’m not sure if the clash of styles will get the better of them. They lock up and go into some nice fast counters and stiff elbows. Sonjay escapes a backdrop and hits a facebuster for two. Sonjay counters Gage’s bootscrapes and almost KILLS himself on a missed 360 plancha. That was scary, as Sonjay’s head hit the apron on the way down (you see this if you slow-mo it). Back inside Gage gets a suplex and a neckbreaker. Dutt’s nose is bleeding as Gage nails a headbutt off the top for two. Sonjay summons the strength to hit the Calcutt Cut and a big springboard elbow for two. Dutt escapes the Chokebreaker and hits the Phoenix Splash for two. Dutt goes for it again but eats knees, and Gage nails the Chokebreaker for the win at 6:38. I’d like to see a match between these two with more time and with Sonjay NOT rattling his brains early on. **
Adam Flash vs. Johnny Kashmere - They quickly spill to the outside where Flash gets speared off the apron into the guardrail. Flash goes chasing Dewey, Kashmere’s manager, and Flash’s tag partner Ian Knoxx takes the Dew to the back. Flash hits a big spinebuster on Kashmere for two. Kashmere sets some chairs up on the floor and gives Flash the Cradlebreaker on the apron, sending him into the chairs. Kashmere takes his shoes off and puts on some soccer boots, complete with studs. Flash eats it in the face too. Flash misses a legdrop from the top and Kashmere gets a dropkick with the boots for two. He quickly locks on a submission to win at 6:34. They didn’t seem to do much for how long they were out there. *
Jimmy Rave vs. Nick Berk - Both guys try for submissions early on, and they end up tumbling to the outside. Back in they continue to try for submissions. Berk gets a facebuster for two. A double clash leads to a chopfest and a round the world pin sequence. Rave hits a stiff knee out of nowhere for two. Man that should have been the finish, to get that move over as a finisher. Berk nails a German suplex and a half-n-half. Rave tries to get a crossface out of a tilt-a-whirl but they blow it and have to improvise, as he rolls into the crossface and Berk taps at 6:55. Rave was obviously winning so this match was merely a formality. The blown finish didn’t help and was proof that the knee should have been the end. ½*
Kendo Kashin vs. Ruckus - This is a battle of the AJPW and CZW Jr. Heavyweight champions, respectively. They start off with some quick trades and rolls and stuff. Kashin gets an armbar but Ruckus makes the ropes. Ruckus gets off a standing shooting star for two, and a handspring spin kick, also for two. Kashin counters the razzle dazzle with a headscissors and gets a victory roll for the pin (with assistance of the ropes) for the win at 4:45. Too short to mean anything. ½*
Chris Hero vs. Nate Hatred - This was a big surprise as Hero had vowed never to return to CZW after the way he was treated (by Hatred) at Cage Of Death 3 (explanation in the review on www.rollinggermans.8m.com). They try some shoving inside but soon move out where Hatred gets a chairshot. Back in, Hatred gets a two count off a bodyslam. Hero makes a comeback and gets a sitout hiptoss for two. Hero gets a stomp and a standing senton for two. Hatred takes him out with some clotheslines and a northern lights suplex for two. Hatred nails a massive clothesline but Hero comes back with a massive yakuza kick. Hatred gets a massive german suplex but Hero gets a massive cradle suplex. Hatred rolls outside, and Nick Gage runs to ringside to smack him with a chair. Back in, Hero rolls the dice for the win at 7:15. Typical big man stuff, but Hero’s better at it than most. **
Trent Acid vs. Tony Mamaluke - Acid stalls a hell of a lot at the start, which reminds me of 2001 Acid. They lock up and go at a breakneck pace with whips and sunset flips aplenty. Mamaluke prevents Acid form hitting a plancha, and instead hits a huge one himself. Back in Mamaluke gets a jawbreaker for two. Acid hits a facebuster off the top and an Orange Crush for two. Acid hits a double knee in the corner and a superkick. He leaves Mamaluke hanging from the turnbuckles and nails him with a big yakuza kick. Mamaluke comes back with a roll up for two. Mamaluke locks on a triangle choke in the turnbuckle but is forced to break it. Acid tries some forearms but gets suplexed. Mamaluke nails a superplex and holds onto a facelock, but Acid manages to escape. Tony goes up but gets crotched, and Acid joins him to hit a Blue Thunder Bomb off the top for the win at 13:25. These two didn’t work as well together as they probably could, but still, the best thing we’ve seen so far. **3/4
Chris Cash vs. Ian Knoxx vs. Niles Young - Knoxx and Cash both start by spitting beer at Young, before Cash hits him with a plancha. Knoxx follows with a nice somersault to the outside, catching a beer on the way down. A chair comes into play but nothing much happens with it. Each man takes their turns hitting moves on each other, Cash with a big hurricanrana. Cash tempts Knoxx with beer in order to hit him with a Cutthroat Driver. Cash Flo on Niles Young is broken by Knoxx, which is totally the wrong way to be treating Cash’s finisher. Cash hangs Knoxx in the tree of woe and hits a Van Terminator. Young suplexes Cash (poorly) off the top onto a bunch of chairs, and then Knoxx slams Young off the top onto the chairs for the win at 7:43. Okay as a change of pace but way too long. ½*
IRON MAN CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
Nick Gage vs. Johnny Kashmere - Apparently Kashmere is injured and won’t be competing. I think the real reason for this was that Kashmere was angry about the way he was being poorly treated. Nick Gage is supposed to have a free pass into the finals, but Rockin Rebel comes out and demands Gage face Greg Matthews instead. Lame. Gage agrees to the match… Nick gets the better of Matthews at the start, but Greg takes advantage on the outside and suplexes Nick onto some chairs. Back in, Matthews takes some vicious chair shots, but Gage misses his frog splash. Gage hits a senton and then sets a table up outside. Greg amazes EVERYONE by pulling out a suicide dive, which is impressive for a man his size. Back in, Gage nails a piledriver and suplexes Greg off the apron through the table. It gets the win for him at 7:02. This should have been more of a squash for Gage than it ended up being, but Matthews bumped well enough. *1/4
Kendo Kashin vs. Jimmy Rave - Kashin takes the early advantage, knocking Rave down and locking in a surfboard and camel clutch early on. Rave counters with his own camel clutch but Kendo escapes and goes to work on Jimmy’s arm. Kashin locks on an armbar but Rave makes the ropes as Ruckus arrives at ringside. Rave makes a comeback, hitting his mad running knee for two. He locks on an armbar but Kashin makes the ropes. Kashin blocks a Rave punch and locks on an armbar again. Again Rave makes the ropes. The arm work would mean more if Kashin was doing more to it than armbars. Ruckus gets up on the apron and smacks Kashin, allowing Rave to lock on the Crossface for Kashin to tap at 4:40. They should have just put Rave over Kendo clean. Again, this was too short. Why have the guy from Japan in four minute matches? *
Trent Acid vs. Chris Hero - This should be good. Feeling out process to start as Acid jaws with the fans. Hero goes on offense and lands a big slam and an elbow. Hero unleashes some forearms and chops. More throat chops and Hero goes up. Moonsault misses and Acid pops up with a missile dropkick. Hero bails and Acid follows. Acid goes for a plancha but Hero grabs him and throws him into the guardrail. Back in, Acid fires out a huge roaring elbow and tries to choke Hero out. Acid goes for a moonsault but Hero doesn’t catch him. Instead Hero hits an elbow for two. Acid hits a tornado DDT for two. Hero blocks the yakuza kick with a weird neckbreaker suplex. Hero hits a big dropkick and an enziguri. Huge piledriver gets TWO. Acid hits a cross-body for two. Rollup gets two. Acid goes for another rollup but Hero grabs him in the Rubix Cube for two. That is an amazing move, like an electric chair drop into Storm Cradle Driver. Brilliant. Hero goes to roll the dice, but Acid escapes and hits two yakuza kicks to finish him at 10:48. Great match, I’d love to see one with these guys where they’re given some time. ***
Deranged vs. Derek Frazier - Frazier disrespects the brilliance that is Deranged by slapping him in the face. Punk. Deranged showboats and gives him one back. Yeah, that’s my boy. They do some gymnastics and Frazier bails, prompting Deranged to hit a nice moonsault. Frazier absolutely BLOWS a hurricanrana and then REPEATS the spot, annoying the hell out of me. Frazier hits a wheelbarrow suplex into neckbreaker combo. Deranged escapes a pumphandle with a DDT for two. Round the world pin sequence leads to a double KO. Deranged hits a hurricanrana and a Code Red for two. Azrael comes out and accidentally nails Deranged, leading to Frazier getting the win at 8:57. This set up the Azrael vs. Deranged feud that lasted a few months after this. Nothing clicked here and there was way maximo botched spots. An off night for both guys. ½*
IRON MAN TITLE TOURNAMENT FINALS:
Iron Man Title: 20 Minute Iron Man Match: Nick Gage vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Trent Acid - Whoever has the most falls at the end of 20 minutes is the winner. No DQ or Count out. Gage and Rave start out as Acid stands on the apron. They trade headlocks and counters with some chain wrestling. Acid comes in and quickly falls victim to the Chokebreaker to give Gage a fall. Rave nails an enziguri and tries to get Gage to tap to an armbar. Gage slips out of it and goes for some bootscrapes but is tripped by Acid. Trent and gage fight on the outside and Rave almost murders himself, slipping but still managing to hit a flipping plancha. All three guys brawl on the outside, Acid smashing Gage with a chair. Back inside, Acid pulls out a tumbleweed, which he hasn’t done in ages, but as he lands it, Rave hits the mad running knee on him to win a fall. Rave locks a sleeper in on Gage but it doesn’t work. Rave goes back to the arm but Acid breaks it up. Acid dumps both guys and moonsaults off the top onto both of them. Man, that is so 2001 Acid. Trent is busting out the old moveset tonight. Acid tries to put Rave through a table but it collapses underneath them. Gage nails Acid with a chair and piledrives him through a remaining piece of table. The ref counts the pin outside but Acid kicks out. Back in Gage gets a brainbuster on rave for two. Rave comes back with a superkick for two. Acid hits his own superkick on Rave and they hit a superplex/powerbomb combo off the top. Rave sends Acid flying into the guardrail and locks the arm submission back on Gage. Acid breaks it up again. Gage and Acid trade roaring elbows but Rave breaks up the pin attempt. Rave locks on an armbar and once again Acid breaks it up. Acid goes up and hits rave with a twisting splash, but Gage breaks the pin again. Gage hits some rolling piledrivers on Acid and a sitout powerbomb on Rave for two. Acid rolls Gage up and suplexes Rave at the same time, proving he is as brilliant as he says he is. Triple belly to back suplex takes all three out. Gage hits a brainbuster on Acid but the pin is broken. Brainbuster on Rave but the pin is broken. Man, so many broken pins. Three minutes remaining. Gage gets so much momentum on a bootscrape on Acid in the corner that he sends himself over the top rope. Gage goes for the Chokebreaker on Rave but Acid breaks it up and hits a yakuza kick, leading to both guys butting heads in a brilliant spot. Acid rolls Rave up for three and pins Gage for three, putting him at 2 pins. Rave locks on the Crossface but Gage breaks it up. Rave backdrops Gage over the top and locks on the Crossface. Can Acid hold on? HOLD ON TRENT!!! Acid tries anything, including grabbing the ref to avoid tapping. Acid manages to hold on and win the match at 21:17. Man, that is the first time a time limit in CZW has expired AFTER it was supposed to, instead of before. Many fans hated this booking and started calling Trent “HHH” because of it, but I think it was the right thing to do. Acid is a guy I never get tired of watching, and the subsequent feud between him and Rave was the best CZW feud of 2003, resulted in a great match between Rave and Mamaluke, and got Rave over for good at Cage Of Death 5. ***1/2
CZW World Title: John Zandig vs. Messiah - This is supposed to be “unsanctioned” or some kind of bullshit like that. Dewey Donovan comes out, forcing a CZW security guard to set up a chain with hooks from hanging from the ceiling. This is no match, the Hi-V bring Zandig out and beat the shit out of him. They tell everyone in the arena to leave as they cut Zandig and hang him from the ceiling, metal hooks in his back. It’s like a body-piercing stunt. Fans start emptying out as the Hi-5 take over the show and the tape cuts out. This got so many people talking and many were outraged at this. Truth is, Zandig already did this stunt in a pre-tape at Cage Of Death 4, so I don’t know what the big deal is. It got a lot of people talking and I think in doing so they focused people on the October show, leading to them bringing in a lot more fans for the build up to Cage Of Death 5. I don’t approve of this as a wrestling angle, but at least it’s different and daring, which is what CZW is.
The Verdict: - Forgetting the non-match at the end, this is a solid show and historically significant for being a turn around on the way to Cage Of Death. It got a lot of people talking, it set up Rave vs. Acid and Hero returned. While there’s no great match, the show in general is solid and worth checking out. Recommended.