Thanks to WrestlingINC.com reader Nicko Alexakis for sending in these results from last night's 2CW show in Rome, NY:
Doors were scheduled at 5:30 and the show at 7:00 but doors were pushed back to 6:00. I think they opened around 6:15 which is pretty good for a 2cw show. DDP was doing meet and greets for ten dollars and had a huge line. They didn't start the show until the line was gone, which was about 7:30. It seemed that 2/3rds of the crowd went for the meet a greet, DDP had a pretty good pay day tonight.
There were seven rows of chairs around the ring. There were eight at the first show, and about twelve at the last. Second row seats were still available at the front door, which I usually don't see. They had bleacher seating alongside one side of the ring/rink, as opposed to two side as they've done in the past. The building was hot as hell, it may have been as low as 85 degrees but plenty humid.
The first match was The Killer Steves and Loca Vida (electric dream machine) versus Supercop Dick Justice, Pete D Order and some guy whos initals are EMT. I think it might've been superbeast but I'm not too sure. This was a pretty standard opening match, everyone hit their basic spots without anyone getting too risky. Dick Justice is hilarious inside the ring but he always wrestles a little soft, as in cautiously. Loca Vida always brings the energy and the Steves are solid, they hit a flurry of Tatanka chops that were pretty ridiculous/entertaining. The Steves and Loca Vida pick up the win. Decent match but the opener style wrestling coupled with the muggy arena made for a sluggish crowd, which kind of set the tone for the night. 8/10 on an opener scale.
Next up was Isys Ephex versus Cheech. Cheech is fantastic really. His in ring persona and personality are better than most of the guys on TV. Every one of his moves and mannerisms are deliberate and he's also a fantastic technical and pro wrestler. I've only ever seen him live in mid card or opener type matches with about 1/4th comedy and 3/4th wrestling matches. I've seen him do a lot of risky stuff with Cloudy back in the day, I would like to see him on the uppercard in some competitive singles matches, but he's such a good heal that he's good anywhere on the card. Isys was wearing his ridiculous hat, he's a 2cw fixture and he's constantly over, I'm not sure that he's ever played the bad guy but he would probably be good at it... This was a solid match with a lot of playing the crowd. Cheech tried to start a fight with several toddlers during his way to the ring. The crowd was heating up a little for this match and I believe both wrestlers traded suicide dives or topes to the floor. Isys defeated Cheech with a version of the vertebreaker. A sick spot that gave the match a nice exclamation point and ending, a little risky for match #2 though. 7/10 for what it was.
Zachary Springate the Third against Matt Milan and Bin Hamin in a 2 on 1 streetfight. ZS3 is another 2cw staple, wearing his street clothes for a street fight that stayed in the ring mostly. Milan is a young guy trained by Brodie Lee I understand, He's good. I'm sure he wasn't happy about joining Bin Hamins group but as the new guy I guess he doesn't have much of a choice. Speaking of Bin Hamin, he is terrible. Firstly, it's not the 70s anymore, people are going to notice that he's just a white guy with a beard. Even his accent is terrible. I know the foreigner thing is a good way to get cheap heat, and it worked when he wrestled Hacksaw, but he's just terrible. But I guess cheap heat is better than no heat. He's terrible in the ring and hardly did anything during this match, which was probably for the better. Billed as a streetfight this match was a total letdown. That was a mistake. ZS3 laid out Milan with a few belt assisted punches and they traded some hard hitting moves. A half dozen people in the crowd were very anti Milan. Milan and Bin Hamin pick up the win after Hamin hits Springate from the outside with a flag followed by a roleup, or something. The crowd lost steam for this match but it was still a solid performance by both guys, especially for Milan as a relative greenhorn. Couldn't have hurt adding a few trash can shots or some chairs or something, there weren't any weapons on the show so it wouldn't have taken away from anything. 4/10 because it was billed as a streetfight and didn't deliver.
There was no intermission and I think it was a good idea. I think there was 9 matches and a long DDP segment, a half hour intermission would've drained the crowd further alongside the heat. The lobby was well air conditioned and the food was good as always. The chicken fingers and mozzerella sticks are always good, they also had all sorts of ice cream, four flavors of slush puppy etc. The prices are decent but the service is very slow, still the food gets a 10/10 as far as snackstands go. Would've gotten a 15/10 though if they served some beers.
Next up was the Super Smash Brothers Player Uno and Player Dos defending the Tag Team Titles against Punisher Van Slyke and Kevin Graham. The Super Smash Brothers are great, originally from the West Coast I think. The unmasked Smash Brother sells hard and wrestles intensely. Graham and Van Slyke are pretty good as a tag team, if only for their differing styles. I was hoping to see the Smash Brothers against a different tag team but Slyke and Graham kept pace with the Brothers. The match started with First Class beating on Player Uno for a good five minutes. They threw him around pretty good and he sold beautifully. The crowd was in to this match considering the heat and the fact that 2/3rds of the audience were sitting behind ice rink glass. Player Dos got the hot tag and cleaned house. The Smash Bros hit an awesome double team move, a top rope 450 and a running cannonball corner senton at the same time. I've never seen that one before and it was quite awesome. Next, Punisher hit Player Uno with a monster top rope belly to belly release suplex, followed by a top rope splash 2/3rds across the ring bu Kevin the Man. The Smash Brothers retained their titles, hitting their incredible finisher on the big man Punisher. You would have to see this move to believe is, the best I could describe it would be a standing backslide/blockbuster combo but that doesn't do it justice. I was very happy to see the Smash Brothers win. I prefer them to First Class and am happy to see that they'll be back.
I enjoyed seeing the Briscoes twice in 2cw, but they brought their B game instead of their A game. They wrestled as if it was a house show and didn't get over with the crowd as much as they could. Turmoil between Graham and Van Slyke after the match as Kevin the Man slaps Punisher in the mouth pretty damn hard. Van Slyke stalked Graham to the back, almost catching up with Player Uno who was still selling his way to the locker room. I saw Punisher in a singles match recently at In Your Face Wrestling in Whitehall NY and I'm almost looking forward to seeing him in singles matches, after what I hope will be a grudge match stlye feud with Graham.
Up next was Masada against Jason Axe. Axe is a 2cw staple and always gives 100%. I saw him in a Chikara Young Lions Cup qualifier in Syracuse, the crowd loved him and delivered as usual. If memory serves correctly he and Portia Perez still deserve a tag titles rematch. I noticed Portia is off of the roster page, and that sucks. I'm a huge fan of Masada. He is the current CZW Heavyweight champion as well as (I think) the CZW Ultraviolent Underground title. 2011 and 2012 CZW King of the Death match etc. An international wrestler well traveled in Japan, Masada is a fearless deathmatch wrestler as well as an excellent worker.
This match started off with three solid minutes of catch as catch can technical wrestling. The pace was fast and the action was awesome but the crowd wasn't as into the fundamentals as you would like to see. The match got a good reaction but as always the crowds sluggishness was apparent. They traded about 15 forearms to the jaw, which Masada smiled about and seemed to enjoy quite a bit. At one point Masada tore away the ringside mats, only to be suplexed on the floor. Axe hit his trademark running somersault off the apron to the floor, he nearly missed Masada and hit the ground hard. Masada busted out some pretty awesome power moves including a couple hard powerbombs. Jason Axe picked up the win in a clinic. Awesome amateur/pro wrestling start with a hard hitting "strong style" middle and a powermove style ending. The crowd was in to this but not as much as they should've been. I love seeing Masada get "hardcore" but he's so good in traditional matches that I don't mind. He was added to the weekend doubleheader the day of the first event, maybe he caught a ride up with Swann and or Sammi. He's wrestled for 2cw before and I loved seeing him live again. As CZW champ and a very hard worker I would've liked to see him defeat Axe, but I suppose you can't blame 2cw for putting their guy over in what was almost bad politics. I really hope Masada comes back.
Next up was Kevin Steen defending his world title against Diehard Eddie Edwards. I thought this would've been the main even. I believe both of these guys are booked for XPW the next day, which they are quite often. ROH is a bigger payday than 2cw so you can't blame them for not going as hard as they can. They didn't phone it in by any means but they were shooting for a 7.5 star match at best. Both of these guys are great, Steen being a triple champion holding the PWG and ROH titles as well. Steen got some slack from a teenage kid as soon as he came out from behind the curtain. They had an exchange and the fan seemed to get the better of Steen with a DX crotch chop, getting a respectable and amusing pop. After feeling eachother out they started competitively trading shoulderblocks. Things escalated and both men exchanged over 15 running shoulderblocks, literally bouncing off of eachother. Pretty awesome. Steen set up what what I thought would be a corner cannonball senton but instead hit the bronco buster. I've never been a big fan of that move but he did it to spite the kid who did the DX chop earlier, which was quite funny. Another exchange and Edwards nails Steen with X Pacs X Factor. Another Exchange and Steen nails Billy Gunns Fameasser, asking the crowd what other moves DX does. I suggested a superkick. Edwards hit Road Doggs shaky knee drop, Steen responded with a pedigree, yelling to the crotch chop kid "This is all because of you!"
The DX spot was about five minutes of the match, and although they weren't giving 100% it was fun to see them improvise on the fly. They picked up the pace a little bit and Steen hit his package piledriver on the apron. Wow. They tried to have a house show style match but couldn't resist pulling out a crazy spot, awesome. Steen picks up the win. It would've been nice to see these guys in the main event giving it all, but they're both so good technically and Steen plays the crowd so well that it didn't matter. I like Steen but I'm not sure about him being champ. I guess it's a good idea because it gives the 2cw title a lot of publicity, but after Steen loses one of those other titles I'd like to see a new champion. 8.5 out of 10 as far as mid card matches go.
I assumed intermission was next and went to my car to party for a little bit. Came back in and the entire arena was dark, with corny music playing and DDPs inspirational yoga video playing on the screen. The lights came on and DDP cut a promo, mentioning that he was 56 years old but he can still go. He said that he has one good match left in him and he would like to wrestle Randy Orton for using his finisher. A random comment, it sounds like DDP is fishing for one last hurrah on WWE TV wrestling Orton. From where I'm sitting, DDP is what, 25 or 30 years older than Orton? I haven't seen DDP Diamond cutting people regularly on TV in the last ten years, I think his finisher is public domain by now.
My Brother told me that DDP and Muscle Marcos exchanged slaps before DDP hit him with the Diamond Cutter. You can't blame DDP for not wrestling at his age, really. He certainly made out like a bandit. I assume he sold 200 meet and greets at ten dollars a piece...he was probably selling books or yoga DVDs....whatever 2cw paid him, along with what was basically a live infomercial. He came across as a salesmen/motivational speaker, which I guess is a persona he picked up while pushing his yoga. At one point he told the crowd something along the lines of "you can do whatever you set your mind to" which got an amusing pop. DDP made some bank and 2cw boosted ticket sales, I doubt they got a percentage of the meet and greet profits but that would've been nice.
Next up was All Money is Legal against Team CK Carr and Cage. The crowd slipped a little bit during this match. Kage is a legitimate international superstar and an obvious veteran. He's a powerhouse and always brings his A game. He was part of a couple blown spots in this match and if you looked closely he only showed the slightest bit of frustration. A total pro. Carr always seems to have a strong if not small part of the local crowd behind him. I'm not very familiar with him buts hes also a pro, always a solid performance. I get him confused with Graham a lot. AMIL is a solid comedy act and they can pull out the highspots when they need to. Their right attire is hilarious. At one point Kage knocked the beads right out of one of their goatees. AMIL were pretty over the top ridiculous and pretty funny/entertaining. Kage hit his standard double clothesline, K Pusha and K Murda hit Carr with their impressive running double brainbuster. AMIL picked up the win. This was a decent match but I think it dragged a little and the crowd was getting weary. It's good to see AMIL is back but I wish they would use a table every match, or something. I was also hoping that Carr and Kage would've turned on eachother like First Class did earlier. I think they would both (especially Kage) have some excellent singles matches. I'd like to see Kage play the heel as well, as he claims to be very versatile. 5.5/10, shouldn't have been so high on the card or should've been shorter.
Up next was a four way between Slyck Wagner Brown, Rich Swann, Jay Freddie and Colin Delaney. Slyck is another Indy veteran, a true pro inside and out of the ring, always entertaining. Swann is a natural good guy as well. He is hilarious and very over the top, pure entertainment and an incredible spot guy. Jay Freddie is a 2cw mainstay, a top notch wrestler who I've enjoyed seeing fluctuate between face and heel for the last few months. Delaney is always excellent, great in ring talent as well as a great "persona". This was a two man in, two man out type match. The pace was set fast quickly as all four men took turns knocking eachother out of the ring only to have the favor returned. Freddie and Swan engaged in what looked to be a legitimately impromptu dance off, complete with music on the PA for Freddie. Freddie did a standard shuffle followed by what was almost passable dancing. The music unfortunately didn't play for Swan, who got just got warmed up and pearl harbored Freddie.
Everyone traded highspots to the floor, with cross bodies, suicide dives and a beautiful twisting somersault type move by Swan. They all traded finishers, Slyck hitting his running reverse fameasser. These guys delivered a lot of fast paced hard hitting action in a short amount of time. They set up for a tower of doom type move, an electric chair drop/superplex with Delaney taking the fall. I think Swan was supposed to be in on the move too but they started early on accident. Luckily they fell forward as opposed to backwards which would've been a dangerous drop for Delaney. Swan hit Freddie with a Cactus Jack clothesline to the floor and Slyck made Delaney tap in an awkward submission in a blown finish. Swan was ushered to the back with what appeared to be a legit neck injury, but you never know. It did seem the match was cut short but the action was pretty non stop and fast paced while it lasted. Great booking/talent, 8 out of ten not counting the dance number.
Main event time, Sami Callihan versus Tomas Ciampa for the first time ever. These two have been trash talking eachother for months on Twitter and I imagine got the match booked themselves. I've only seen Ciampa wrestle twice Live, once on ROH TV. I haven't been able to cheer for him yet, as the last time I saw him wrestle was against Rhino. I like Ciampa though, he's intense and really comes across as the "Sicilian Psychopath" that he claims to be. This was the first time that I've seen Callihan wrestle in 5 months and thats far too long.
The crowd was as hot as they could be considering the conditions. Sammi started the match off with a running big boot as the bell rang, followed by a few running bootscrapes to the face, Nick Gage style. I've seen Sammi start matches like this on youtube but it was awesome to see in person. Ciampa countered with a lariat that send Callihan into a backflip, hitting a couple running knees to the face in the corner. These guys were stiff as hell this entire match and it was excellent. Even if the crowd wasn't exactly on fire, these two still beat the hell out of eachother, and that's what you want to see. It's the first time they've wrestled, they're both at the top of their games and they're both highly competitive. They'll give 100% for that reason alone. Also, it's the main event, and also, it's being recorded for DVD.
They exchanged some ridiculously hard chops, fighting on the outside of the ring. Sammi hit a running chop an then missed one, blasting hit hand on the turnbuckle. They exchanged headbutts and took turns tossing eachother into the guardrails. Sammi hit a kick to Ciampas leg, knocking him off the top head first and setting him up for the Stretch Muffler. They exchanged reversals on the apron. Ciampa sets the Death Machine up for an air raid siren and what the f--k- he nails it. A super risky move and a spot worth the price of admission. Exchanging headbutts, clotheslines, these guys really blew it out of the water. Both of these guys are fantastic and I cant wait to see them wrestle in person again. Callihan could make at least as many shows as Steen and I would love to see the belt on him. A great choice for the main event. 9 out of ten, awesome main event.
Overall another awesome show from 2CW. This being the second show in a double header weekend you expected the guys to give 90%. The heat was rough but that's part of what you sign on for. Match of the night was Callihan Ciampa. My least favorite match was All Money is Legal vs. Carr and Kage, but only because I have to choose. It wasn't bad. Highspot of the night was Ciampas air raid siren on the apron to Callihan. Sick.
Very good show despite some of the boys bringing 90%. 8/10 over all, 2CW always puts on an awesome show.