(Credit: PWBTS.com)

CZW opened the day’s events, with an afternoon show… as its final show at the ECW Arena, preceding the evening EVOLVE show

The show’s theme was “An Excellent Adventure”, with Greg Excellent “in charge of the show”. The afternooncstarted with CZW promoter Maven Bentley and Roger Argitiani, the man’s who’s run the ECW Arena for years. Bentley put over the Arena; then publicly thanked Roger for bringing back (in 2002 after XPW’ failed attempt to run the Arena).

Roger took the mike, thanked his crew. amd put over Michael Pancoasted, “Juicy Hotdogs.” Roger then asked that all the performers on tonight’s show come out to ringside. The locker room came out .

Bentley mentiioned what seemed like an incredibly unnecessary cheap shot by new leaseholder Joanna Pang….that CZW was apparently asked to take the Hardcore Hall of Fame banners down. Roger Artigiani, in one last show of recognition, kept up one…the banner that last year inducted the ECW Arena fans into the Hardcore Hall of Fame. Bentley said banners or not, he wanted Trent Acid, JC Bailey and Chris Cash now “they are all missed and they are watching tonight”. Longtime CZW employee Shawn Kernghan opened a bottle of champagne and sprayed it to honor Cas, Bailey, and Acid.

Excellent started out bys “giving out contracts”, a no-cut contract to himself and one to re-instate Drew Blood. As someone who won “three wishes” at Cage of Death, Excellent then introduced DJ Hyde as a “Genie in a Bottle”… complete with a turban, in a hilarious moment.

  • Excellent then started the evening with what was billed as a “tuneup match”, WHACKS defeated.DJ Hyde after a back senton splash off the ropes for a quick count pinfall.by Drew Blood. Pretty forgettable match, but a cool moment to allow WHACKS, who has done so much hard behind-the-scenes work for CZW over the years, one final appearance at the Arena.
  • The next match saw Ryan McBride defeat Derek Frazier by pinfall with a jumping Death Valley Driver. the real story of the match was Frazier’s “guest referee”, since he didn’t want Blood (these two have a program starting). In another example of bringing out old faces, out came Rockin’ Rebel. The finish saw Frazier using his knee brace, go for McBride, hit Rebel, who took a bump and Drew Blood came back in to count the pinfall. Post-match, Rebel “recovered” and thanked the fans for their 19 years of support.
  • Next, in a great match symbolic of all the great young talent that debuted in the Arena over the years, AR Fox defeated Uhaa Nation after a springboard flipping Uranage for the pin. This, only after spots including: a Uhaa Nation series of Germans, followed by a Chaos Theory suplex, an AR Fox springboard 450 splash, and one more Uhaa Nation spot with an incredible flipdive to the floor.
  • In the CZW tag Team Title Match, Azrieal/Bandido (no longer Jr. apparently) and BLK Out go to a no contest after a Runaways run-in.
  • Sami Callihan submitted Rich Swann with a second Stretch Muffler after a Sawnn escape to retain the CZW Junior Heavyweight Title in a great back and forth physical match.
  • Greg Excellent defeated Mia Yim in a match that was far better than it had any right to be. While there was a lot of the predictable sexually oriented spots, there was a sequence with Excellent going for a superplex, reversed by Yim into a great-looking Code Red off the top into the ring for a nearfall. The match ended when Excellent hit Yim with a Jay Driller for the pinfall.

    Danny Havoc came out to do a toast to the ECW Arena with Homicide, Nick Berk, Adam Flash, Messiah, Nate Webb and The Blue Meanie. Out came (doing a great “resident turd in the punchbowl” routine) Drew Gulak and entourage. They missed a great opportunity here for Gulak, who’s been doing a “Campaign for a Better Combat Zone” routine for months. It would have been perfect for Gulak to somehow take “credit” for CZW leaving the ECW Arena. Instead, CZW went another way, having Gulak ridicule the “debauchery” in the ring. The fan chanted for Nick Gage. Gulak said that “Gage can’t be here, because he robbed a bank” Yikes.

    Gulak called out all those in the ring, calling them “relics”. Gulak then told Havoc not to hit him or he’ll be fined again, then followed up with a comment about Havoc’s wife and Havoc attacked him, starting a schmoz that led to…

  • Drew Gulak defeated Matt Tremont via submisssion with a Dragon Sleeper. Some in the crowd got cranky, because the whole idea is that Gulak works a “wrestling” style while fans expect brawling and craziness from Tremont. To pacify those sorts, at one point, Tremont let loose with a particularly disgusting looking fishhook into Gulak’s mouth) After Gulak escaped, showing attrention to storyline from Cage of Death, Gulak went into a spinning toehold and hooked Tremont’s ankle to wear him down. He continued working over Tremont’s ankle

    Tremont made a comeback, beating on Gulak, then an armwringer, and a leaping elbow. Gulak made a comeback, again working over Tremont’s bad ankle, including dropkicking it, then eventually locked in the Dragon sleeper for the win.

    Post-match, they announced Havoc will face Tremont on February 4 in Indianapolis, IN (yup, Super Bowl weekend).

  • In a Philadelphia Street Fight, Eddie Kingston defeated Joker in a physical match that would have done any of the Street Fights in this building over theyears, after a backfist and roundhouse backfist combination. Quite simply, these two beat the shit out of each other.

    Post-match, Kingston said that this will be the last (CZW) show in the Arena. He then said “Eddie Moore was born in New York City, but Eddie Kingston was born because of this building….A lot of times I don’t like the fans and they don’t care for me, but without this place, I’m nothing. When I die, don’t take me to the hospital, take him to the Arena, because this is where he was born.”

  • In a bit of a surprise, Devon Moore defeated Adam Cole to retain the CZW World Championship. The crowd got on Cole at points for actually wrestling, which he, of course, then kept doing even longer. There wasn’t much patience in either show for technical wrestling, as a lot of people were here to see either what they view as CZW style, or the ECW celebration. People mercilessly got on any sort of technical wrestling or rest holds all night, during both shows.

    They went back and forth. Cole took control and worked over Moore. He teased a big move while rebounding off the ropes and instead stopped and locked in a side chinlock. Moore came back with a sunset flip for a two count. Cole nailed a Fireman’s Carry into an over the knee backbreaker. The crowd started getting on Cole for being boring, He scissored Moore’s head and neck with his legs to try and wear him down.

    The crowd seemed to be pulling for heel Cole, as two near finishes that saw Moore escape got hooted at by a segment of ther crowd. Finally, Cole gave Yim the belt and they did the reverse into the belt spot, but Cole stopped dead before she hit him. Moore went to kick Cole, but got out of the way with Yim taking the boot in the face. Finally, after fighting over who was going to belt shot who,. Moore superkicked the belt into Cole’s face for the finish.

  • In the final CZW match at the ECW Arena, a Past and Present Ultraviolent Icon Rules Death Match, DJ Hyde defeated. Zandig with a rollup. The match featured glass panes, a barbed wire chair, and two wifflebats with thumbtacks taped to it

    Hyde then did a heel promo, ripping on the fans, saying they love Zandig, but that he’s a Tournament of Death winner and Zandig wasn’t…then said the venue belongs to him, “not ECW, not CZW, not Zandig but DJ Hyde.” Zandig got the mike, and in a pretty cutting promo, Zandig said if it was HIS building, it wouldn’t be CZW’s last show here. He then put stink on Hyde, saying that after selling the company to Hyde, CZW loses the building . Zandig said to Hyde “Where are you going next? I don’t want to hear about Japan or Arkansas, but what about the fans here”?

    Hyde confronted Zandig, and the fun started with Zandig nailed Hyde with a thumbtack bat. Both brawled into the crowd, including. Zandig playing bowling with chairs with Hyde, dragged Hyde to another part of the building and through Hyde into anothe pile. After continuing to brawl through the crowd, they came back inside with Zandig opening up Hyde..

    Eventually, after come back and forth, DJ Hyde plowed Zandig into the first pane of glass, tearing up Zandig’s back with a ugly tear near the beltline. Hyde started to cut Zandig’s head with broken pieces of the glass pane, then blasted Zandig with the barbed wire chair, ran the thumbtack bat over his forehead, then slammed it again into his back. Zandig rettruned the favor, using the thumbtack bats like they were nunchakus on Hyde’s back. He then powerbombed Hyde onto the barbed wire chair. Zandig whipped Hyde into the corner and worked him over, then placed a pane of glass over Hyde. Zandig hit a running knee through the pane of glass to Hyde’s face.

    Zandig eventually threw Hyde into two different panes of glass. The finish saw Hyde ducking a Zandig discus clothesline, and rolled him for the pinfall.

    Post-match, Hyde was celebrating on the top rope when Zandig blasted Hyde with the barbed wire chair, and threw Hyde a pane of glass on the floor. He then decided he was enjoying himself so much he clothelined referee Brett Lauderdale.

    Post-match, Zandig got on the mike, putting over Nick Gage, Wifebeater, Nick Mondo and names from the past. Zandig said “It isn’t about the building, but about the young guys who worked their ass off every time for you people”. Zandig then apologized to his daughter (in the ECW Arena balcony) for “not winning” and said this was probably it, saying he came because it was the Arena’s last night. He thanked JC Bailey, Larry Sweeney (oddly enough no mention of Chris Cash or Trent Acid) . Zandig said to Hyde “You may be the owner but you’ll never be CZW.”

    No word on a new Philadelphia venue. Dates were announced for CZW Wired tapings at local sites, and for Tournament of Death (earliest announcement in memory of that). While the website lists the Anniversary show as taking place on February 11, no location is listed.