Road Trip

CZW Total Havoc
Philadelphia, PA
Former ?ECW Arena?
March 14th 2009
Report by: David Stephens of

In My Eyes

The literal blood, sweat, and tears of hardcore wrestling history have been spilled in the arena formerly known as the home of ECW. The main event was in full ultraviolent swing and my second row seat had already paid out dividends from profits of enjoyment. The CZW Underground Ultraviolent Champion Danny Havoc was squaring off against Germany’s own ?Thumbtack? Jack.

The match thus far had included sick bumps that were destined to cause me to cringe and relive the experience for weeks to come. Seeing as how it was a glass panes match, it was only natural that the huge door sized panes were now in the ring. Danny Havoc took the opportunity to cleverly weave the glass in between the ropes so that it was standing in all of its glory. I felt the guard rail pushed into the crowd as the security urged and cautioned us to step back. We all knew that the inevitable was about to happen, and had to be mindful for our own safety in the midst of an already superb match. Havoc continued his control of the match as he grabbed Jack’s armed and began to whip him straight at the pane of glass. The next moment is one I will never forget and may never again be topped due to its sheer awesomeness.

In the same moment that we began to bring our arms up to protect our faces and shield our eyes Jack went flying face first into the glass. In what was a surreal moment of slow motion, beads of rain seemed to fall inside the arena. Opening my eyes the first thing I noticed was the ground littered with debris. The glass had literally exploded and rained over my body. The crowd and I did the only thing justifiably worthy in this situation. We began to chant.

Throughout history chants have been used in everything from political and social revolutions to religious practices. On this night in the very arena that has presented the true legends and gods of hardcore wrestling an unmistakabl cry of shouting arose. The crowd began to roar with the only three syllables to give this moment justice ? CZW! CZW! CZW!

Guilty Pleasure

There is perhaps no better way to describe Ultraviolent Wrestling than as a guilty pleasure. The simple fact that my ticket had paid for a modern day gladiatorial assault can be difficult to stomach. However, without fail, once the show starts all doubts of justification vanish from my mind. Now I don?t want you to think that I am violent individual because that is certainly not the case. I am on the same level as any pro-wrestling enthusiast. Furthermore I?ve never gotten into anything similar to a fight club battle in my life.

And yet there is something beautiful about watching the human body taken past its limits. Seeing barbed wire, chairs, tables, glass, weedwackers, thumbtacks, and pizza slicers et al being used far outside their warranty guidelines cracks a smile upon my face. There is an indescribable joy and satisfaction that arises from watching this fringe genre of wrestling.

Ultraviolence is NOT for everyone. Not everyone can stomach towels drenched in blood pressed against wounds in a frivolous attempt to halt the flow. Even fewer can endure the sight of human flesh riddled with thumbtacks and barbed wire stuck in a wrestler’s skin.

?You Enjoy This Why?

I jumped into the ultraviolent scene headfirst this past spring when I attended CZW’s Tournament of Death 7. The experience was destined to be one that would make or break my interest in the style. Undoubtedly the main even cemented my fandom and ensured that I would be supporting the promotion in the future.

I watched as the competitors were embroiled in a battle inside a ring in which the ropes had been replaced with barbed wire. A ring where a slew of fluorescent lighttubes [a signature weapon of CZW] were weaved into these new ?ropes?. In the audience we watched as the competitors literally gave their body and health for our enjoyment. These were the bodies that would be ripped to shreds right in front of our eyes. The Finale Ultimo of the hardcore experience came not from a wrestler, but instead the referee inside the ring.

As you may be aware fluorescent lighttubes are filled with toxic gas. Countless environmental groups have been less than thrilled by their usage in the home. Their use for wrestling has been banned in several states which is why CZW hosts its annual Tournament of Death in Delaware. Procedure for dealing with accidental breakage of a single tube is to open a window and allow the area to air out before removing the glass.

During the course of the tournament hundreds of these lighttubes were smashed and broken. The culmination brings us back to the final match of the card. In what hindsight would reveal to be a logical conclusion, the released gas eventually reached a level at which it became simply unhealthy. The ref in the ring fell to his knees and began to vomit inside the squared circle. He had to be helped to the back to recover. In those situations there is nothing to say except ? ?that’s hardcore?.

A Disclaimer

Ultraviolent and Deathmatch wrestling are undeniably fringe and niche styles. As I said before, not everyone will enjoy them. This is the same rational that makes this statement true for the smaller wrestler gymnastic style promotions such as Chikara, and the numerous all women divisions that exist. Not every flavor will be your cup of tea.

I am sure that I have run the risk of offending or turning off some of the readers of this column. If you are still reading and felt uncomfortable then I take my hat off to you for being brave enough to stomach my descriptions. This type of wrestling is not for everyone and you are certainly not alone.

I was incredibly trepid leading up to my first true hardcore venture. I took the risk of wasting a Saturday spent at a terrible show that required hours of travel. The amazing result was an experience that hooked me on the in your face style of CZW and Indy wrestling as a whole. If you are even slightly curious then I urge you to give it a chance. You never know what newfound joy you might discover.

Results Courtesy:

Jon Moxley def. Jon Dahmer

LJ Cruz def. Sabian w/ Ruckus, Robby Mireno, and Chrissy Rivera
after Sabian went to hit LJ with a brainbuster and LJ rolled Sabian up into a cradle for the three count.

– After the match, Ruckus came into the ring, laughing at Sabian. He then told Sabian that he was going to show him how to entertain the crowd, since he obviously doesn’t know how to. Cue Ryan McBride.

CZW World Junior Heavyweight Championship ?
Ryan McBride(c) def. Ruckus

after Ruckus tried to hold McBride in a front facelock near the turnbuckle for Sabian to double stomp him, and McBride spun it around and made Sabian double stomp Ruckus instead, which led to McBride getting the pinfall.

– After the match, Robby Mireno, Ruckus, and Chrissy all question Sabian about what happened, and Sabian just cracks a smile and says “My bad”. Robby Mireno gets on the mic afterwards and tells Sabian he .ed up.

Devon Moore def. xOMGx
with a shooting star press.

– Jagged of 2.0 comes to the ring and tells the crowd that Shane Matthews is out with a strep throat, and he has found a replacement partner who is “the baddest man since John Zandig”. Cue Cole Calloway.

Tyler Vertias & Adam Cole def. Jagged & Cole Calloway, GNC of Joe Gacy & Alex Colon, and Team AnDrew of Andy Sumner and Drew Gulak
after Joe Gacy refused to tag into the match, and Alex Colon got pinned.

– After the match, Cole Calloway, Joe Gacy, and Alex Colon were in the ring. Joe Gacy went to shake hands with Alex Colon, but ended up slapping him in the face and beating him down, which led to LJ Cruz coming down to save his former friend.

– Cole Calloway was left in the ring when The H8 Club’s music hits, and Nick Gage and Nate Hatred hit the ring to destroy Calloway, in what many would call a “H8 Crime”.

– Nick Gage then introduces their tag partner for the six-man deathmatch, Mad Man Pondo. Cult Fiction of Brain Damage and Deranged w/ Billy Gram come out, and introduce Toby Klein as their partner.

Six Man Tag Team Deathmatch
The H8 Club (Nick Gage & Nate Hatred) and Mad Man Pondo def. Cult Fiction (Brain Damage & Deranged) and Toby Klein w/ Billy Gram

in a brutal bloody brawl after Nick Gage continuously carved away at Deranged’s forehead and around his eye with a pizza cutter while holding him in a chokehold, leading to the referee calling for the bell.

Aerial Assault
Egotistico Fantastico def. Drew Blood, Carter Grey, and Pinkie Sanchez

Pinkie Sanchez was taken out early after Drew Blood attacked him during his entrance and took him out with the Notorious Tombstone Piledriver on the ring stairs. Pinkie came out near the end of the match and attacked Drew, allowing Ego to capitalize and finish Drew off for the win.

CZW World Tag Team Championships
The Best Around (TJ Cannon & Bruce Maxwell) def. 2 Girls, 1 Cup (Beef Wellington & Greg Excellent)(c) w/ Kylie Pierce

after TJ pinned Greg Excellent and Bruce held onto TJ’s legs on the outside to keep Greg from kicking out.

– Cole Calloway comes back out to the ring and starts to flirt with Larry Legend. H8 Club’s music hits once again, and Cole/Larry run out through the crowd. Nick Gage comes to the ring and says he’s gonna “beat that homosexual up if he ever see’s him again”. He then tells the crowd that he’s going to be doing the ring announcing for the main event.

CZW Ultraviolent Underground Championship
Danny Havoc(c) def. Thumbtack Jack

with a Death Valley Driver onto thumbtacks.

So That’s a Wrap. Love it? Hate it? Disagree with everything I said? Just want to chat wrestling? I?m always up for reading your thoughts so send them over to me at

David Stephens
ECW Recapper
Author of ?That’s a Wrap?