BEST OF THE BEST 4 LIVE REPORT
Chris Catanese Reporting
CZW Best of the Best 4 Live Report
by Chris Catanese
I managed to get the chance to attend CZW's Best of the Best 4 yesterday, and here's a quick report of some points of interest.
People started arriving at like 6, and of course they didn't open the doors until 7:45, there were a lot of people here, I am no good at estimating but the place was packed, I don't think they turned anyone away though because there were still a few available seats on the floor during the show. During the long, smelly (thanks to a manhole on the corner) wait outside, CZW had John House come out and interview the fans on who they thought would win which was a nice touch. Ian Knoxx cut a quick promo on how although he wasn't in BOTB, he would go on to win the Tournament of Death next month, to which he got total silence from the crowd, pretty funny.
Not as much anti-Teddy Hart sentiment as I had expected, although the smart comments were flying among the crowd.
Show starts with Homicide and Jack Evans coming out for the first opening round match, followed by Zandig, coming out to a chant of "WTF". Zandig said those were his words exactly and said Trent Acid was nowhere to be found, they checked his home, the Berwynn Tavern, his girlfriend, nowhere to be found, which got large boos from the audience. Out of nowhere, Justice Pain makes his return to CZW, cutting a promo on how he took out Acid (which sounds like they were trying to cover for him no-showing?). Zandig goes to the crowd on whether he should be allowed back, 50/50 split, some good heat on him, Zandig says he will give Pain one match to prove himself to the fans or something, at next month's show. Zandig then announces Chris Cash as the replacement for Trent Acid.
Homicide pinned Chris Cash with a lariat in a fun match, Evans hit some nice spots, Cash had a lot of fire in this one. Homicide and Evans go on to the second round.
B-Boy and Roderick Strong advance over Jimmy Rave. B-Boy pins Rave with the Shining Wizard as Rave got a mixed reaction, especially from my section who wanted him to die immediately. This was solid. Strong and B-Boy advance.
Bobby Quance and Alex Shelley advance, as Ruckus is counted out. Quance got a cool response to start, but his work got him over and he got a huge standing ovation at the end of the night. Ruckus is counted out as Nate Hatred hits the ring and puts him through a table on the outside, continuing the Blackout/H8 Club feud.
Petey Williams and Sonjay Dutt advance over Nate Webb. Some comedy spots in the beginning with a dance off. Fun match. Petey hits the Canadian destroyer for the win. Crowd is firmly behind Sonjay.
Chris Hero over Hotstuff Hernandez.. It doesn't surprise me that Hotstuff got a contract from TNA, this guy is awesome, no hands dives over the top rope, amazing for someone his size. Hero was no slouch himself, as this match was better than I think anyone expected.
Homicide over Jack Evans. After the match, Homicide asks Jack to give a message to Teddy Hart, and nails a killer looking Cop Killer (Vertebreaker)... sick!
Roderick Strong over B-Boy. Weird finish as B-Boy is locked in a Boston crab and reaches for the ropes, on the third time he pulls himself to the ropes, ref Brian Logan calls for the bell. Crowd pissed all over this, but I think it was planned. Roderick is looking great all night tonight. He deserves the acclaim he's been garnering on the indies lately.
Bobby Quance pins Alex Shelley in the surprise of the night. Quance is definitely a name to watch this year if he continues getting booked on the East Coast. I understand why he is so highly regarded on the West Coast now. Match starts slow with lots of mat work and reversals, which is great usually except there was NO AC in the New ECW Alhambra Viking Bingo Hall Arena tonight, and it was at least 115 degrees in there, so the crowd was not as into it as they probably would have been, but this was great. Definitely something to buy the tape for.
Sonjay over Petey Williams. Mixed reaction for Williams, crowd solidly behind Sonjay. Dueling "Let's Go" chants for both guys. After Sonjay kicks out of the Canadian destroyer, we start a "ONE MORE TIME" chant, but to no avail. Sonjay hits the Indian summer and moves on to the semis.
Dan Maff over Nick Gage with the burning hammer. In this extreme strong style tournament match, both start out with insanely stiff forearms, moving on to a battle of chairshots. After Gage destroys Maff with a sick chair shot, Maff grabs a mic and says he's gonna do this CZW style, and asks the crowd for chairs. Well, the crowd sent like 20-30 chairs sailing into the ring, as both took turns taking bumps on them. Nick Berk comes out with a chair halfway through the match, interferes for the finish, and allows Maff to hit the burning hammer for the finish. Afterward Gage destroyed Berk with a chair. Definitely a fun match, Maff looks great.
Roderick Strong over Homicide in a great match, tons of backbreakers from Strong, who was maintaining his heat with a certain section of the crowd as everyone else was pretty split between the two, Homicide did his best to make Strong look good.
Sonjay Dutt over Bobby Quance. Lots of shaky spots from Sonjay. Quance looked great. Sonjay wins with phoenix splash, moving on to the finals vs. Roderick Strong.
Next up was a first to a fall four way match with all four of the first round losers, as Jimmy Rave wins with a knee to the face over Nate Webb, Ruckus and Chris Cash. Blackout (Robby Mireno, who was hilarious all night dressed in all pink, Sabian, Ruckus, and Maven Bentley) beats up Cash after the match and steals his wallet, as the H8 Club come down and destroy Blackout with chairs.
Best of the Best Final - Sonjay Dutt vs. Roderick Strong
As both guys came out, there was some sort of situation that had developed outside of the CZW Arena, as some woman led police into the arena, and arrested some big fat bearded guy. I've heard like 15 stories so far as to what happened so I'll leave that up to Mike Johnson to reveal. This match was great, tons of heat on Strong, Sonjay wins out of nowhere with a rollup!
Your Best of the Best 4 winner, and light heavyweight champion, Sonjay Dutt..
M-DOGG20 hits the ring with Sonjay's belt (that was stolen in an earlier CZW storyline), and nails him with it from behind, and hits a double moonsault legdrop which he sort of missed, but the crowd was going nuts.
Zandig comes out and the locker room empties with tonight's BOTB competitors congratulating Sonjay on the win, as Eric Gargiulo conducts a fan survey, on best matches, MVP of the night, etc. I didn't catch all the results, but Bobby Quance won the MVP award to a tremendous ovation, something I doubt he expected, but he put in a great showing.
This was definitely a great show, possibly the best CZW show I've ever seen, from top to bottom there was nothing bad! The building sucks with no AC and the crowd usually smells bad, but CZW definitely gave us our money's worth at Best of the Best 4, get the tape of this one, without a doubt their best show of the year so far. Hope TOD lives up to the hype, as this year's BOTB blew last year's away.