Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

All Time MOTY Head to Head + Wednesday Morning Wargames : ROH: Team ROH v. Team CZW Cage of Death

Team ROH (Samoa Joe/BJ Whitmer/Bryan Danielson/Adam Pearce/Ace Steel/Homicide) vs. Team CZW (Claudio Castagnoli/Chris Hero/Nate Webb/Necro Butcher/Eddie Kingston) ROH Death Before Dishonor IV 7/15/06

ER: This was sooooo good. The very first 90 seconds kind of annoyed me as Claudio/Joe worked a standard rehearsed indy sequence, and then with no warning Joe punted a trash can into Claudio's head and they never looked back for 40 minutes. There was a lot of this that I had totally forgot, and it was stuff that had I been told, really wouldn't have sounded good: "Danielson turns on Joe, ROH gets to use an extra man because I guess we feel bad that one of their men turned, BJ Whitmer is in it..." It has tons of stories happening all at once and could have been a complete mess, but all the bullshit of the match works really great, and a lot of guys have arguable career performances.

Potential career performances include: Chris Hero, Nate Webb, Homicide, Ace Steel, and Adam Pearce. Chris Hero was such a perfect smug jerk, setting up potentially violent moves only to end them with uncomfortable cravates (jumping off the middle rope with two of his men holding someone, setting one up on top of a chair), disappearing when things would get messy, but really the whole match - which had already been violent as hell - kicked into an entirely new gear when Hero got on the mic to start the CZW chant, and really inciting a lot of hate. "It's going to take a lot more than that to take out Chris Fucking Hero!!" is a great thing to scream maniacally at a ROH show, and the shots of he and his invaders ruling the ROH ring as trash gets thrown in is a pretty unique indy wrestling visual. They really did seem like conquering kings in that moment and without Hero I don't know that they get that.

Nate Webb is a total bump freak and he broke out some of his all time craziest stuff here. He and Kingston were the guys who truly felt like outsiders here, and Webb looked like a dirty, unhinged version of clean cut ROH fliers. Webb takes a disgusting Pearce press slam from the ring through a table, hits an absurd coast to coast moonsault mule kick into a trashcan, and he's right there at the end battling with Homicide, taking a horrific cop killa on a bunch of barbed wire. Necro brings all his great Necro attributes to this, never really standing out as the main guy, but always around to get wrapped in wire, take a shot to the ear, literally RUN through thumbtacks barefoot (in an all time great Necro psychology moment), just doing all of the things you would hope he'd do in a match like this. Pearce comes out dressed like a man who belongs in a match like this, and does his big part by brawling and bleeding all over the place, hitting a big piledriver on the floor and that press slam on Spider. Ace Steel had a real superstar performance, really feeling like a "big stage" performer the whole time. The cowbell he brought out was a great prop, but his facials and movement came off big league and he had a grounded performance that the match needed. Homicide enters because of a strange rule and the crowd is going crazy, while he immediately pulls out forks and spikes and a freaking boxcutter, and in that movie the ringside area resembled the orgy of violence in Event Horizon.

There's tons of violence and tons of crazy spots (Claudio's Russian leg sweep off the cage through a table!?), JJ Dillon hams it up extraordinarily at ringside, the crowd is riled up the entire time, everybody bleeds all over the place, and this is just the best wrestling.

PAS: This felt like a super violent version of one of those Pat Patterson produced WWF Attitude brawls. They build so many different story lines in this match, the Danielson and Joe confrontation, the Homicide surprise, the Eddie Kingston v. Chris Hero feud, the beginning of the Homicide v. Cornette fued, and even little things like J.J. Dillion being the master of the coin toss or the Necro thumbtalk run, I have pretty mixed feelings about Gabe as a booker, but if he put this together this was his peak. The ROH team minus Homicide ended up being kind of a scrub squad, but this was pretty much peak Steele, Pearce and Whitmer, I loved Steele coming out with the cowbell and waylaying everyone, Pearce achieved the Arn Anderson he had been shooting for his whole career, and Whitmer took some horrid bumps. Nate Webb was an underground favorite of mine from his IWA-MS days, so it was cool that he got a semi-big stage showcase, and man alive does his kill himself with insane bumps. Hero was such a great prick too, I loved him getting smacked in the head in the middle of his speech, jumping up stomping fools and yelling "It will fucking take more than that to stop me." I did think this went a little long in the Match Beyond section, Homicide's entry was such a huge moment, and I think they should have rid that wave into the finish quicker (also no way should a Wargames end on a pin.) I would have also liked to see Nick Gage or even Zandig in this match, a real CZW original would have made it even hotter. Great match though, one that I remember loving in 2006 and loving again on rewatch.

Verdict:

ER: That NWA Anarchy WarGames is a real revelation, a true classic that deserves praise and a bigger viewing audience. Cage of Death edges it out though. It sustained the fever pitch violence almost twice as long, everybody contributed in big ways, you had tons of storylines and successfully converging (which almost never works in wrestling), and front to back you're left with an all time classic hour of pro wrestling.

PAS: This is a style preference thing the ROH v. CZW match is an slickly produced studio album, and the NWA Anarchy match is more of a gritty live recording. I am a guy who will always prefer the rougher version, so I am sticking with the champ.

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