Podzilla 1985

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

CCW Caged Chaos - Brutality at it's Finest

I left Blogzilla 1985 a little over a year ago to focus on this silly little podcast thing that I was never fully committed to. My passion has always been writing. It started with awful short stories on an actual type writer that my mother got me for Christmas when I was a preteen, and continued through my college career as a contributor and eventual editor.

In short - no, Egon. Print is not dead.

Blogzilla 1985 had been very successful for me. I reached a bigger audience through the internet than I did working for a local publication, and I had no restraints on what I could talk about. When the idea was bounced around what would eventually become Podzilla 1985's core group, I was hesitant. How would this translate to an audio form where I couldn't plan out what I was going to say? Were we good enough to improvise and keep people interested?

Of course we were! Podzilla 1985 has been a smashing success for me, and I can trace my excitement back to that original Wrestlemania podcast I did with Double H, Zach, and Louie. I've always had an attachment to the world of professional wrestling, and to be able to work with my old friend and fellow former GameStop victim Hunter was the best introduction I could ever hope for.

One of the perks of covering wrestling regularly on Podzilla 1985 was that I became aware of Cape Championship Wrestling. It's a great alternative to the corporately produced big box federations like World Wrestling Entertainment, and as luck would have it, our old friend and former PWU co-host Hunter was the general manager. I attended my first CCW strictly to see his performance and hear my good friend and pro wrestler Osby Tomlin take his last trip through the curtain and into the squared circle. Years of battling in this sport of barbarians and dreamers had taken a toll on him, and he had to retire that night.

In the silver lining of tragic circumstances, something wonderful grew where he planted the seed of his retirement.

Cape Championship Wrestling became a monthly tradition for me, both as a fan attending the live shows and as a journalist covering the event for the podcast. Over the months since that first official show I've come to know the people in the ring and behind the scenes personally, and it's been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my life.

The shows have gotten better and better each month, with a mixture of fantastic performers from around the United States, special mainstream guests, and amazing homegrown talent. These men and women have left their sweat and tears all over Southeast Missouri.

On January 28th, they decided to put it all in a steel cage, and it was one of the most brutal things I've ever seen as a wrestling fan.

I arrived late at the Arena Building with fellow PZ85 cast member Dalton, and as we were heading up the steps we found one of our other PWU co-hosts Ally and friend of the show JR talking to a reporter, It wasn't just Podzilla 1985's story anymore - CCW was a force to be reckoned with. I felt like Mr. 100 gets enough attention, so Dalton and I ducked away and met up with Lee Montgomery at the entrance. Lee is one of the head honchos in CCW and has become a regular on Pro Wrestling Unscripted along with lead booker Jason Wells.

We got our tickets and met up with the usual gang inside. The first thing I noticed was how impressive the production values were for this show. The ring looked great, we had our very own Titan-tron, and even the barricades looked fantastic. It was great to see CCW in fine form in Cape Girardeau after a couple of shows in other cities.

It was a full house too, which was both a blessing and a curse. We like to call ourselves the taste makers in CCW, and the Podzilla group is usually the most vocal fans there. Hell, we're almost entirely the reason Blaster is the megastar he is today. We start most of the chants and were gracious to hear from the higher ups in CCW that they appreciate the hell out of us driving the show. If I had one complaint about the first show I went to it's that the crowd was so flat you could hear Tanner thinking about his life choices. This show was loud though, and while the chants were mostly still driven by us, the crowd seemed to be really into it.

Ken Murphy did the usual introduction, and I can honestly say I get a kick out of Ken's genuine excitement for the product. His sincerity is a compliment to wrestling and I cannot imagine Cape Championship Wrestling without him.

Double H made his entrance and I was giddy to see how much he has evolved since the first show. He was a special guest then, but has firmly established himself as one of the most important people in that ring without ever wrestling a single match. I even saw him signing autographs, which made me smile even though I was sad no one wanted mine. Those kids act like they don't listen to podcasts or something, I don't get it.

The action was incredible. I'm not going to give you a match by match recap, because someone already did. You can catch up on what you might have missed by clicking here and reading Jared's write up on the show.

With that said, I do have a couple of thoughts I want to add to Jared's recap.

  • It still amazes me how over Blaster is with the crowd. It started as a joke between me and the PWU cast after seeing some guy with a Sin Cara mask at one of the earlier shows. The name Blaster probably took them literal minutes to think up, and the whole thing seemed like it was thrown together at the last minute. So of course, being the antagonist bastard that I am, I decided that this Blaster would be important. He's a friend of a friend anyway, and a genuinely nice guy. I couldn't be happier with his success in CCW. Before the show Barry, who also made the save multiple times that night when the ring wasn't behaving, handed me a stack full of Blaster Section print outs and I handed them out to the crowd along with Ally and Tanner. To see so many people excited when Blaster came out was a, well, blast. And will the gunslinger of the Pinnacle turn to the light soon? Jeff O'Dell didn't seem too pleased that Blaster has become a fan favorite. My reporter instincts tell me trouble is a brewing.
  • Cody Wilson. Can we talk about Cody Wilson for a second? Here's a guy that I've been taunting for weeks ever since I found out his Twitter handle claims him to be Mr. 100. As everyone knows, there is only ONE Mr. 100, and I took offense to that arrogance. So I made it my mission to call out Cody and when I found out he was fighting Blaster I was overjoyed. This feels like it was set up specifically for me. So what happens when Cody Wilson comes out for his match? He shakes my hand. He shook my hand! Points for being polite, at least. I bragged that either Cody or Blaster would finally get a win, and I totally jinxed it. Jason Vaughn's little buddy ruined everything by being added to the match, and he ended up winning the whole thing by stealing a pinfall. Karma would come for him later.
  • Good to see Phoenix again. Good wrestler and a swell guy all around. Glad to see him pick up a victory.
  • Sexy Sarge is always a blast to see, even if he might not fit the definition of "family friendly." D'mone is one scary dude, both in the ring and outside. I talked to him a few times during the show and his calmness is unsettling. 
  • Dell Tucker is one brutal mofo. After beating Jason Vaughn clean he obliterated him and his ward JD Wilks. If they were looking to establish a top tier bad guy they've done an amazing job in just two shows with Tucker. I hope he sticks around for a long time, and Brandon should watch his back.
  • I never realized how legendary Tony Kozina is until recently. I started looking more into the man's history, and he's kind of a big deal. Not only that, but his match with Brandon Espinosa stole the entire show. Just a brutal old school hard hitting fight, and Brandon continues to be an in ring highlight of the CCW shows. There was a little confusion about what the hell Espy was trying to do with the bottom turnbuckle, as it took what felt like 10 minutes to get it loose to use as a weapon in the finish. Espy is a great improv artist though, and his taunts to the crowd while he worked on it covered the awkwardness of it. 
  • Kyle O'Reilly was in Kozina's corner and it was cool to see the former Ring of Honor champion at the show. He was covering for Davey Richards who, shockingly, cancelled at the last minute. The crowd loved Kyle, and he was kind enough to take pictures during intermission. The guy seemed like a class act.
  • The saddest moment the night came when we didn't get our patented selfie with Austin Lane. Thanks to the cage and the surprise attack by Billy and Sarah, Austin didn't come to our section for our usual chit chat. Even worse was when referee Lane Austin, not to be confused with Austin Lane (though they're both dreamy), came over and told us they were worried Austin broke his rib during the match. It was still entertaining as hell, and Little Bit carried her team pretty well against the Pinnacle's first couple. Billy continues to be just the most entertaining bad guy with his over the top antagonistic attitude, and Sarah has become so much more than just the eye candy for him. Bonus points to Sarah for taunting a group of kids in the front row by bending over and wiggling her butt at them as they threw less than polite insults at her. Right in front of their parents. Trashbirds were in full force that night.
  • Joining the already announced Joey Ryan in April is none other than internet darling Colt Cabana! Colt made an appearance live via satellite (sure!) to tell the crowd he was coming, and I think you can still hear the ghost of Dalton crying tears of joy in the Arena building.
  • Also of note - next month CCW is crowning their first tag team champions! Exciting stuff, and I love tag team wrestling.
  • Main event time, and Hollis Giroux is the man. One thing CCW has done very well is establishing stars quickly, with Brandon, Hollis, Billy, Dell, and Jason becoming megastars and endearing themselves to the fans almost instantly (we still take credit for Blaster). 
After Hollis, out comes Brandon, and who does he get in the face of? You guessed it (and no, it's not Frank Stallone.)

I don't know why Brandon Barbwire continues to think that calling me out is a good idea. His attempts to turn me to his side and become his enforcer have all been in vain. For the past few shows he's gotten in my face and told me to "turn," but I'm a journalist. I try to stay neutral because that's my job. Brandon's job is to wrestle and focus on his opponent, and my job is to report on it. I think I do my job very well. This time though, Brandon kicked it up a notch by grabbing me by the back of my head and telling me to "stop wasting" my potential. For a moment, I even held the belt, and I would be lying if I said it didn't feel right.

But this wasn't my night to take that belt. Tonight was all about Hollis getting his title shot after Brandon ducked him for three months. It was a hell of a match, and while my PZ85 cast mates were cheering on Hollis, I sat there quietly. What Brandon said was still swirling around in my brain. By the time I came to my senses to cheer on honorary PZ85 member Hollis, it was too late. After a bad fall from near the top of the cage, both men were down, and then something happened. Brandon went for a pin, and from my vantage point I couldn't see exactly what happened, but it was only two and Jeff O'Dell came unglued. He yelled about the hypocrisy of referee Lane Austin for not counting a three because apparently Hollis was on the ropes, when before he wouldn't break a hold Hollis had on Brandon despite him doing the same.

Brandon, through the grace of God or the Devil, ended up winning anyway, and laid a brutal beatdown on Hollis after the match that was completely over the line. Hunter helped Hollis to the back, and Brandon got on the mic and went on a tangent about Double H had paid off the ref to screw him over, and tried to present himself as the victim.

But Brandon Barbwire is not a victim. He's a liar, a cheater, and a manipulator, and the fact that there are fans in the audience that slap his hand and cheer him on when he comes out shows what a master at it he is. I've known Hunter Hendricks for almost a decade, and he's always been the most honest person I've ever known, even when I don't want him to be. I don't know how Brandon did it, but I know in my heart that Brandon orchestrated this whole event to make Hunter look bad. I've never been a saint, and I'm a bit of a manipulator myself. Evil knows evil, and I will continue to haunt Brandon until the truth comes out.

Sexy Sarge came out after and told Brandon he was his next opponent for that title. Sarge was a member of Pinnacle once, before O'Dell betrayed him and Sarge has been on a mission of revenge ever since. Brandon may have fought younger opponents before, but he's yet to take on someone driven by rage and vengeance.


Our very own Mandy Kennedy took some exclusive shots for her site Voyage Vision, and has been gracious enough to let me share some of them with you here. And make sure you check out Cape Championship Wrestling's Facebook to keep up to date on the next amazing event!

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