|Guest columnist: Miguelito|
May 18, 2002
Hello again, everyone. 'Tis me, Miguelito, with a somewhat different article for you this week. Instead of letting you know what I thought of last week's Raw (basically, two slices of honey-wheat bread around a layer of ground rat meat), I will be sharing my impressions of this past Saturday's CWO Annhiliation.
What, you ask, is the CWO? I'm glad you asked! The Central Wrestling Organization is an independent wrestling organization based in Denver. The CWO runs shows ever six to eight weeks or so, and features some very promising wrestlers. I had the opportunity to catch the show from ringside seats (thanks, CWO!). And I find it amusing that I enjoyed this show much more than I've enjoyed the last few week's of WWE Raw.
But enough setup. Let's get to the show!
The main storyline in the CWO right now concerns ownership of the CWO. At the CWO's last show, it was announced that fan-favorite Zeek had just become part-owner of the CWO. No one was certain what this would mean to current owner, the hated Magnum Man. That show ended, however, with Zeek apparently throwing his alliance behind Magnum Man.
Tonight's show starts out with Magnum Man bringing his stable of wrestlers to the ring. The Magnus family consists of the lovely Danielle, former two-time CWO champion (Psycho) Sarge, "Money Man" John Blaze, Joe Juvenile, The Deacon (not Bautista) and probably someone that I missed. It's hard to take notes in a dark arena!
Speaking of which, I should point out that Buffalo Rose is not the biggest venue in the world. It is basically a big storeroom in a bar. The owners decided that the space was big enough to host concerts and other events. About 200 people fit into the room when configured for a concert. Unfortunately, the ceiling is VERY low; so low that the ring lights couldn't be set up over the ring. When the wrestlers got up to the top rope, they could just about touch the ceiling if they reached out far enough. It wasn't the most hospitable place to host a wrestling event. On the plus side, the 100 or so of us there tried to make sure the wrestlers knew we appreciated the show they put on for us. And the wrestlers themselves worked their asses off. It made for a great show. But I digress!
The Magnum Man grabs the microphone and proceeds to set up tonight's action. First, he renames himself 3M, for Magnum Man Magnus. 3M then proclaims that he wants to capture all of the gold in CWO. He signs a match pitting the CWO Champion, Corpse, against the CWO Tag-Team Champions, The Excellences. If one of the Excellences (Tom Terminator or Deuce) wins, that person instantly joins 3M's stable as the CWO champion. If Corpse can somehow get the win, Corpse gets to pick a partner to join him as CWO Tag Team Champions. (Yeah, that IS a little contrived. Let's see where it leads too...)
3M - who, I should point out, has been sucking on a bottle of Jim Beam all this time - next calls out CWO Cruiserweight champion Doc. Doc is pretty tired, however, of 3M doing whatever 3M wants in the CWO. So Doc agrees to put the title up against the Deacon only if 3M agrees to put the CWO commissioner-ship on the line, too. 3M agrees to this, and we have our second title match set up.
Before 3M and his troops can depart, Kid Justice makes his way to the ring. Kid Justice is feeling pretty good about himself since he won the f/x Toughman challenge. Kid Justice demands a match against 3M. 3M isn't drunk enough to agree to this, however, and instead grants Kid Justice a submission match against "Money Man" John Blaze.
Are we going to get the 3M family out of the ring now? Apparently not, as Sarge gets the mic. Sarge is PISSED because he has not received a CWO title shot against Corpse, as 3M apparently promised. Even worse than this, Sarge isn't scheduled to wrestle anyone tonight. Sarge demands a match, so 3M suggests Sarge wrestle Joe Juvenile. Sarge suggest Juvenile isn't in Sarge's league; 3M suggests that Sarge teach Juvenile some discipline (as 3M is taking a tug from the Jim Beam bottle). Sarge hints at a face turn, saying "Maybe tonight I'll teach you all a little discipline."
Okay, NOW we are through with the initial promo, and are ready to get to the wrestling. Up first, we have Plaqe taking on Pain. Big and stocky, Plaqe looks a little bit like Jake "Milkman" Milliken, for those AWA fans among you. Pain, on the other hand, looks a whole lot like the Sandman. Both men have a brawling style in the ring, which mixes well. Both men got a lot of offense in. Pain hits a splash into the corner, following it up with a bulldog and an elbow drop. Cover, 1 - 2 - kickout. Plaqe coming back. Plaqe with a backbreaker. Plaqe with some stomps. Irish whip, but Pain knees Plaqe coming off the ropes. Pain yanks off his 'do rag! Pain tries to slam the massive Plaqe, but can't do it. Plaqe off the ropes, Pain POWERSLAMS him! Cover, 1 - 2- NO! Plaqe kicks his way out, then nails Pain with a knee in the corner. Plaqe tries to Irish whip Pain out of the corner, but Pain reverses Plaqe into the ropes. Pain picks him up, SIDEWALK SLAM! Pain calls it a Spinebuster, and it's his finisher. Pain covers, 1 - 2 - 3!! (4:00) Not a bad little match at all.
We go immediately to our next match. For the CWO Cruiserweight Championship, Doc defends against The Deacon. Doc, who has the same frame as Scottie 2 Hottie, wears a doctor's jacket along with the CWO Cruiserweight belt. Doc is usually seconded by the Naughty Nurse, but Deacon has used his power as part of the 3M family to fire all of the CWO's female valets. Except, of course, for Danielle, who accompanies 3M. Deacon's gimmick, in case you couldn't figure it out, is a bible-thumping preacher. Deacon wants to make the CWO a more wholesome environment, and wants to purge all sin from the CWO. Hence the firing of Naughty Nurse. Which, of course, gives Doc another reason to want to win this match.
Oh, yeah, this match is also for to determine the new CWO Commisioner. There hasn't been a CWO commissioner since Roddy Piper made a one-night appearance as CWO commissioner in 2001. Actually, Piper ended up costing Sarge the CWO Championship that night. I wonder if that fact will figure into future commissioner storylines? I am getting ahead of myself again, though.
The match starts out slowly, as both men feel each other out. Deacon sneaks in a sidewalk slam (the CWO's favorite move), and starts preaching to Doc. (HA!) Deacon hits a neckbreaker on Doc, covers for a two-count. Deacon mounts Doc, and starts preaching again ("TRY HARDER!"). I love Deacon! Into the corner, and Doc gets the advantage. Splash in one corner, make it two. Doc rolls up Deacon, but just gets a two-count. Deacon back up, hitting a devastating blow to Doc's head while yelling, "You are healed!" Deacon back in control, and he is ALL over Doc.
Deacon stomps on Doc, then chokes Doc on the ropes. Deacon back up, and nails Doc with the Healer! That's Deacon's finisher, but Doc wisely rolls out of the ring. Doc back in, and catches Deacon with a single leg. Doc with a boston crab! Broken up, off the ropes, Doc with a leg lariat. Both men getting up slowly, Deacon is up first. Deacon up to the second rope, nails Doc with a cltohesline. Deacon with a crucifix, and hits a crucifix slam! Cover, 1 - 2 - NO! Doc kicks out, but he is in trouble.
Deacon picks up Doc... SITOUT POWERBOMB! That's gotta be it, but for some reason Danielle is out! Danielle distracts the referee, preventing Deacon from getting the pinfall. WTF? While Danielle is distracting the referee and Deacon is arguing with the refereee, Doc rolls out towars ME! But before I can offer Doc any words of advice, Doc digs into his jacket and finds a HUGE syringe filled with Green Mist O' Doom! Doc back in, and Doc squirts the mist into Deacon's face! Deacon is blind, the ref is still checking out Danielle, which leaves Doc free to nail the Cranium Driver. That's his finisher, and that gets the pin! (6:53) Doc retains the CWO Cruiserweight Championship, and Doc is the new CWO Commissioner.
The ring clears, and again we go straight to the next match. I *love* this pacing! And I love that these stories are being told in the ring, instead of in backstage promos and skits. Are you paying attention here, WWE? *THIS* is the way things are supposed to be done!
Anyway, up next we have Ronin battling the mighty Rage. And the stage really needs to be set for this match. Ronin, who supposedly hails from Tokyo, is about the same size as Spike Dudley. He stands 5'1", and weighs 130lbs. Rage, on the other hand, looks exactly like Brock Lesnar, only bigger and taller. Major mis-match. Surprisingly, though, Ronin is the heel. Usually the underdogs are the good guys; that's why Spike is so popular. Interesting twist, to say the least.
Ronin is introduced first. Ronin comes to the ring, replete in his rice-paddy hat, and immediately jumps up to the top rope, where he takes a seat and waits for his opponent. Rage isn't happy to see his opponent disrespecting him so as Rage gets into the ring. Rage has words with Ronin, then turns to pose for the crowd. Big mistake, as Ronin comes off the top rope right into Rage. Ronin with some knife-edge chops! Ronin with an Irish whip, tries a shoulder block on Rage, but succeeds only in knocking himself down. RAGE WITH A DDT! Wow, that might be the end of the match right here.
Rage isn't going for the cover, though. Rage brutalizing Ronin with Forearms. Rage picks up Ronin... Sidewalk Slam! Elbow into the corner by Rage. Again. Rage going for a third, but Ronin moves out of the way. Ronin goes to work on Rage's arm. Arm bar. Leg drop on Rage's arm! Arm bar, but Rage picks up Ronin. One armed powerbomb! AWESOME! Rage picks up Ronin, then throws him into the corner. Rage charges, but Ronin is up and over. Tries for a sunset flip, but misses. Ronin tries again, this time Rage catchs Ronin with a forearm in the middle of the back. Irish whip, but Ronin reverses it into a HANDSPRING JAWBREAKER! HOLY SHIT! I've NEVER seen anything like that before. Ronin RULES! Ronin goes for an armbar, but Rage reverses it.
Rage goes down to a spin kick from Ronin. Ronin follows up by... standing on Rage's back? That can't be a good idea. Rage is up to his hands and knees, Ronin is STILL standing on his back. Ronin jumps up, FAMEASSER! AWESOME! Another move I've never seen. Ronin falls to a backbreaker, however, and is back in control. Rage with a boston crab! Ronin reaching for the ropes, but he ain't gonna get there. Rage let's go of the crab and covers, 1 - 2 - no! That little guy is tough! Rage picks up Ronin, FACE FIRST CHOKESLAM! Rage covers, and NO one is getting up from that one. Rage with the pin (6:08).
As Rage celebrates his win then head back to the lockerroom, Ronin rolls out towards ME! Ronin gets up, looks around groggily, then asks ME if he won the match. Of course, I tell him that he was the winner. Ronin breaks into a celebratory dance, and walks triumphantly back to the lockerroom.
And I have to say something here about this match. First, it ruled in so many ways I can't even begin to count them. And it ruled because both men were willing to put over the other's offense. Rage could've just brushed aside everything that Ronin threw at him, no-selling everything like a few WWE wrestlers we could mention (*cough*takernashaustinrock*cough*). Instead, Rage actually sold for Ronin's offense, making it look all that much better. And, of course, Ronin sold Rage's offense like a champ, making Rage look even more like the monster he is. All in all, this match was simply awesome.
And there's still more! Our next match pits Machine against Mad Dawg. Machine is a goofy-looking normal-sized guy who wears a ridiculous outfit of a t-shirt under tights, along with gloves and penny loafers. Madd Dawg is another tall, bulky wrestler, who the fans love. It doesn't take long for the offense to get going, as Madd Dawg nails a pretty book end on Machine. Machine hits an elbow, but then catches a nice cltohesline. Off the ropes, Madd Dawg hits a Sidewalk Slam (copyright CWO). Cover, 1 - 2 - Machine is up. Machine with a slam by the corner, Machine comes off the ropes with a Vader Bomb! Cover, 1 - 2 - NO! Machine nails the Machine Stunner (a modified Stone Cold Stunner), but Madd Dawg is in the ropes. Machine is so surprised that he didn't get a pinfall that he walks right into the Madd Dawg Driver (double-underhook DDT). 1 - 2 - 3!! (4:15)
The lights go back out, and the sound of a Harley fills Buffalo Rose. That can only mean that the new co-owner of the CWO is on his way in. Zeek owns a tattoo parlor here in Denver, and obviously loves tats. His arms are covered with them. Add in his leather apparel and the Harley, and it is hard NOT to make Undertaker comparisons. Except, of course, that Zeek is almost a foot shorter and less stocky than the 'Taker.
Zeek heads to the ring and grabs the mic. He declares that he is now 3M's enforcer. Also, as CWO co-owner, he is going to make sure that everyone gets taken care of. Doc comes out before Zeek can really get going. Doc grabs the stick! "Now that I'm CWO Commissioner, every thing comes through me!" As his first act as commissioner, Doc reinstates all of the CWO valets, including his Naughty Nurse.
Before Doc can tell us the rest of his plans, however, Zeek attacks. Danielle has found a trashcan lid from somewhere; she hands this to Zeek, who proceeds to wrap it around Doc's head. Doc is out cold. Zeek grabs the mic: "You wanna talk more shit? Come on out." Zeek stands over Doc. "NEVER get in my face again." Zeek dumps the mic, then leaves with Danielle. Eh.
It's time for the next match, as Joe Juvenile takes on former two-time CWO champion Sarge. Sarge just doesn't look right without the CWO title belt around his waist. DAMN that Piper! Anyway, here we go. Lockup, Sarge shoves Joe to the corner. Lockup, Joe shoves Sarge this time. Sarge doesn't like this lack of respect. Lockup, Sarge takes down Juvenile, and unleashes a half-dozen slaps to the back of Juvenile's head! Sarge goes to get up, but then drops to do 10 quick pushups. HA!
Both men trade headlocks. Joe takes Sarge over. Sarge powers out, and locks a headlock on Joe. Sarge rolls him up, 1 - 2.. not even really a two-count. Too early in the match for those near falls, I think. Hmmm... Zeek is sauntering out to ringside. Are we going to see Sarge turn here tonight?
Armbar by Sarge. Reversal by Juvenile, small package, but only a two-count. Headlock. Sarge with headscissors to take Juvenile back. Sarge with a bridge. Rollup, another two count. Both men back up, Juvenile takes Sarge down with a drop toehold. Juvenile slapping the back of Sarge's head! That CAN'T be a good idea! Sarge takes a walk outside the ring, pausing to complain to the ref that Juvenile is using the hair! (Which is funny, once you realize that Sarge has a sharp crew-cut.)
Sarge back in, and he offers Juvenile the Handshake of Friendhsip! Why not? Both men are part of 3M's stable. Juvenile takes the hand, and pays foor it. Running elbow! Off the ropes, knee to the breadbasket. Sarge powerslams Juvenile. Cover 1 - 2 - still too early. Sarge with a SWEET belly-to-belly suplex. Sarge covers again, another two count. Sarge puts Joe into the corner, Sarge is choking him! Sarge with a SWEET snap suplex out of the corner. Cover, another two count. Into the ropes, leg lariat! Sarge pauses to get in some more pushups! (I love that spot!) Sarge covers.. 1 - 2 - Juvenile gets a foot on the ropes. Sarge pulls the leg off, covers again. 1 - 2 - kickout. Sarge stomps Joe in the chest, but Juvenile sneaks in a small package! 1 - 2 - Sarge kicks out.
Off the ropes, clothesline by Joe! Joe stumbles and falls, inadvertantly elbowing Sarge in the groin! Hard whip to the turnbuckle. To the other side. Sarge tosses Juvenile outside the ring. Juvenile takes advantage of this, however, tripping up Sarge, then crotching him on the steel ringpost! AGAIN! Zeek is inching closer and closer to the action here. Joe somehow has a trashcan lid (did Zeek just give that to Juvenile?). Juvenile nails Sarge in the head with the trashcan lid, and Sarge is in BIG-TIME trouble.
Joe goes up to the top rope. Joe nails a splash off the top rope, but just gets a two count. Joe turns to argue the count with the referee, casually draping his leg over Sarge's throat. CLASSIC heel spot; I love it! Both men up, Sarge with a BIG inverted atomic drop. Joe jumps around like a jack-in-the-box 'til Sarge destroys him with a clothesline. Cover, 1 - 2 - kickout. Sarge with an elbow, but then runs right into a side kick. Joe covers, 1 - 2 - Sarge out. These near-falls are starting to make things VERY exciting here; the crowd is ALL OVER this match now.
Joe goes up to the top rope. Sarge is too far away to stop Juvenile, so Sarge pushes the ref into the ropes, which knocks Joe into the straddle position on the turnbuckle. Sarge slams Juvenile off the top rope. Sarge going up top this time. Snuka splash, but there's no one home! Both men up, but both men are groggy. They back into each other, Juvenile reacts faster. Juvenile nails the Conniver Cutter (his version of the Downward Spiral). Juvenile covers. 1 - 2- 3!!! (17:30). HOLY SHIT!! Joe Juvenile just beat the Sarge! MAJOR upset here, along the same lines as if Lance Storm were to get a clean pinfall victory over HHH.
And I just can't begin to describe how awesome that match was! Great pacing, great timing, they used the near-falls as a great way of increasing the tension in the match. They did a great job switching between rest holds and high-action spots. This is the quality of match that one expects to be seeing in the WWE, not in an indy promotion. Bravo, gentlemen, on one of the best matches that I have ever seen, and definitely the best match I've ever seen live. Awesome, completely awesome.
Intermission keeps anyone from having to directly follow up on this match. Once we get back to the action, however, things get cranked up one more notch, as we get our main event a match early. The CWO Tag-Team champions make their way to the ring. The Excellences consist of Tom Terminator, a character who was supposedly a major geek as a teen who is now getting his revenge on all those who tormented him, and Deuce, a surfer dude in the Spicoli mode. They are battling CWO Champion Corpse. Corpse looks a bit like Bradshaw, with the same flowing black hair and goatee. Corpse is INSANELY over, as the woman who stood next to me screaming throughout the entire match can attest to.
I was impressed by Corpse's work ethic. I arrived at the Buffalo Rose about an hour before the gates opened, so I could get set up to cover the action. There were a few wrestlers either arriving or talking about the night's action when I got there. Standing alone in the ring, however, was Corpse. Corpse proceeded to get in some practice taking bumps, running into the ropes, jumping off the ropes. He spent probably a half-hour just getting used to the ring in the Buffalo Rose. VERY professional.
But that was then, and this is the main event. Tom Terminator starts out for the tag champs, and immediately gets dumped by Corpse. Corpse calmly brings Deuce in, then tosses him, too. Corpse seems to know his only chance against the tag champs is to get in as much offense as possible, and Corpse does just that. Corpse nails a nasty (wait for it) Sidewalk Slam, and actually has Terminator covered, but then pulls him up before the three-count. The crowd loves this, but I kinda think that Corpse would WANT to get an easy pin here.
Corpse sends Deuce into the ropes, and catches him for a fall-away slam, but Terminator is in to break that up. Tom Terminator tags in, then nails Corpse with a dropkick. Into the corner, Corpse tries to slam Terminator, but Terminator actually reverse it! Terminator is a lanky kid, 6' 163lbs. Terminator tags, Deuce runs in and catches Corpse's big boot right in the mush. Corpse taunts Terminator, then nails the Leg Drop O' Doom! Corpse covers, 1 - 2 - no one wins with that move but Hogan. Corpse nails a vertical suplex, but Terminator breaks up the pin attempt. Terminator whips Corpse into a Deuce spear! Tag. Deuce tries for the pumphandle slam, but Corpse reverses that into a hiptoss. (That was pretty cool.) Terminator tagged back in, he tries a sunset flip, but Corpse resists. Deuce clotheslines Corpse over, finishing the hold. 1 - 2 - kickout.
The tag champs are starting to figure this out, realizing they need to be double-teaming Corpse whenever possible. Terminator nails Corpse with a DDT. Tom covers, 1 - 2 - kickout, but a little slower than the last ones. Are the tag champs wearing down the CWO Champ? Tom Terminator busts out a Camel clutch! Corpse back up, but he runs into a double-chop by the champs. Leg lariat! Cover, 1 - 2 - kickout with more authority. DAMN, that woman can scream! My ear is numb, Dear Readers.
The tag champs nail Corpse with an awesome double-team move, and the Champ looks like he might be finished. However, instead of covering Corpse, Tom Terminator gives him a Wet Willy. Taunting the Champ is never a good idea, nor is missing a chance to pin him. Corpse with a massive kickout, and Tom Terminator hits the road! Terminator is out of here, leaving Deuce to deal with the angry champion. Corpse grabs Deuce and nails his finisher, Six Feet Under. Corpse covers, but the referee rightly points out that Deuce is not the legal man.
Corpse calmly tosses Deuce aside, catchs Terminator, pulls Tom Terminator into the ring, and then goes for the Six Feet Under on him. OOPS! Someone screwed up, as Terminator flops to the mat long before Corpse has him set up. Let's try that again, ANOTHER screwup! Finally, Corpse gets Terminator up high enough to hit the Six Feet Under and get the pin. (9:53). Corpse is now 1/2 of the CWO Tag Team champions, and gets to pick his partner at the CWO's next show (June 15th in Golden at the Buffalo Rose).
Except for the flubbed finish, that match was pretty damned good, too! The CWO has put on two awesome matches, a pretty damned good match, and two enjoyable matches. Why the hell can't WWE put on something this entertaining anymore?
Hey, we still have another match! We may have forgotten this, but Kid Justice made a challenge to 3M earlier in the show. 3M decided to allow Money Man John Blaze to take his slot, and so we have this match. This is a submission-only match, which Kid Justice wanted because he is an f/x Toughman Challenge winner. For some reason, the Money Man wrestles in a suit. That has GOTTA be uncomfortable.
Off we go, as Kid Justice gets the first submission move; a cobra clutch. The Money Man reverses, but Justice reverses THAT into an ankle lock. Money Man to the ropes, and we have a break. Both men trading punches. Money Man takes Justice down and locks on an arm bar. Justice reverses this into a powerbomb! Justice picks him back up and does it again! Back up, Money Man is trying for a camel clutch (that'd make two in one night!). Kid Justice shrugs this off and tosses Money Man into the corner. Kid Justice out to the floor, looking under the ring for something. Kid Justice has the Particle Board O' Destruction, and breaks this over Money Man's head!
Justice decides to do some taunting: "I'm the toughman champ, YOU can't beat me!" Oops, Justice really should've been watching the Money Man, though, as Money Man cleans Justice's clock with a superkick! Money Man outside the ring now, and brings in his Haliburton. (The first person who mentions the name Mongo must immediately leave the room.) Haliburton to the side of Justice's head! Money Man locks on the Moneyclip! That's his submission hold, but Kid Justice manages to Snap Mare (Miguelito's favorite move) his way out of this. Kid Justice locks in a dragon sleeper, but here comes Danielle! Danielle distracts the referee, just as Money Man starts tapping. 3M sneaks into the ring here, and smashes his mostly-empty Jim Beam bottle over Justice's head!
Money Man gets back up, and now he locks Kid Justice in the dragon sleeper. The referee is trying to figure out what is going on here. 3M instructs the referee to declare the Money Man the winner. The ref knows where his bread is buttered. Money Man John Blaze is your winner. (4:29). And that match was pretty ugly.
We still aren't done! Zeek comes out to join 3M in the ring. 3M has a waitress bring them each a shot of.. something. Zeek and 3M shoot the shots, gloat a bit, then leave. Just as they leave, Kid Justice starts pulling himself off the mat. Justice is pissed, and unfortunately for the referee, there's no one for Justice to take his anger out on. Justice levels the referee, then starts whipping the ref with the ref's belt. That is COLD, man! Quit harshing on the ref! Justice locks in a submission move on the ref (who looks suspiciously like CWODenver.com's JDT). The ref is tapping! But who's going to call it?
Justice, his anger finally spent, exits the ring.
What's next? Hmmm, the heel ring announcer says, "Zeek has left the buildling, now get out!" And that is apparently that. That's definitely not the best way to end a show. Say what you will about WWE, at least they know that they need to send the crowd home happy. That is apparently something the CWO still needs to figure out.
So we are finished. The last match was a bit of a downer, but that is probably because of the two matches it had to follow. Stick this match earlier in the show, and then put the Sarge/Juvenil match as the semi-main event and the CWO Title/Tag Title match as the main event and there'd be no complaints about this show. As it was, the show ended weakly, but the two matches referenced above, as well as the awesome Ronin/Rage match, were so strong that this show can earn nothing less than a Thumb's Up!
The CWO's next show is on June 15th, in Golden, CO at the Buffalo Rose. You can be damned sure that I'll be there, front row. If you are going to be in Denver on June 15th, GO SEE THIS SHOW! If you are a wrestling fan, you will have a good time.
For more information about the CWO, visit their website at http://cwodenver.com
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