Wrestler of the Year
A long time ago at a county fair, AR Fox was told by a fortune-teller that he would live a long life. This resulted in Fox giving 110% every time he stepped foot in the ring this year, knowing he’ll be OK. Cracking year for Fox saw him headline a few shows and win the Jr. Heavyweight Title. Just promise to maybe turn it down a bit for next year mate?
Turned into a leader and pounded Drake a million times. Somehow even crazier than last year and has a fascination with shit.
The Nicest Man In Wrestling has never looked better. Shame he had a reduced role this year, aside from losing to Callihan ninety times.
Drew Gulak and Greg Excellent
Both offer different styles changes which are a welcome change from the ”You either do flips or go through tables” mentality that used to exist. Both are also very over, so if nothing else their matches are loud.
My favourite guilty pleasure in wrestling .
Worst Wrestler of the Year
Some people are better in a tag team. Gacy and Slater were a fun card-filler team until they split up early this year. In their blow-off match at TOD, Slater nearly died at least twice (and not in a good way) which sadly resulted in Gacy receiving two CZW title shots against MASADA. Only over as a heel when he doesn’t wear a shirt and only enjoyable when teaming up with Slater or getting annihilated by MASADA. WHACKS has more credibility.
Has improved since last year and has wisely been teaming up with Ron Mathis which means he’s in the ring less and looking good more. Has also looked really good in his matches in Japan and has been very receptive to criticism.
Decent wrestler, but he’s called LATIN and he’s paler than me.
Last year he was the biggest heel in the company. This year he spent his time starting fights with people in the crowd and losing to Ryback on SmackDown.
Don’t ever bump.
Show of the Year
Every match meant something. Fun undercard, the feud-ending Mia Yim vs. Greg Excellent TLC match, Adam Cole vs. MASADA, Drake Younger vs. Sami Callihan Part 56, MASADA starting his long-arse title reign and a fun Aerial Assault headliner. One of those shows where everything comes together.
Best of the Best
Only some awkward booking stopped it winning. Double count-outs? Piss off.
The show TOD was supposed to be and a nice upswing after a lack-lustre summer.
Cage of Death XIV
Because it’s their Wrestlemania.
Worst Show of the Year
Tournament of Death
The death match scene isn’t what it once was and never has this been more evident than during the annual TOD event in Hyde’s parent’s backyard. The roster was split between the same faces that had wrestled each other hundreds of times before or wrestlers who had no business being there. Scot Summers lost to MASADA and then re-challenged him on the mic. MASADA stayed in the back and ignored him. Abdullah Kobayashi vs. MASADA failed to meet any expectations. The only good thing about the event would have been Tremont winning and he lost in the first damn round. Crowd booed after MASADA won in the finals. Maybe because the build-up is so high or maybe it’s because I watch every damn show, but there was nothing here that hadn’t been done already and done better.
Feud of the Year
Sami Callihan vs. Drake Younger
Well shit, what DIDN’T they do this year? Jr. Heavyweight Title matches, Best of the Best matches, 2/3 Falls and one Iron Man match a good feud make. So good in fact that they’re re-doing it in PWG.
DJ Hyde vs. Matt Tremont
Featured some of Hyde’s best in-ring work (and biggest bumps) and Tremont got elevated due to his inability to feel pain and ability to put Deej through things.
Mia Yim vs. Greg Excellent
Greg gets a lot of negative press due to his physique and weird comedy matches. His feud with Mia went some way to changing that as crowds got to see three ”WHAT THE FUCK AM I WATCHING” matches.
Danny Havoc vs. Drew Gulak
Gulak’s character is the best in CZW (because he has one) and building up to a match with fan-favourite-but-never-booked-to-do-anything-important-for-whatever-reason Havoc led to some fun exchanges and climaxed with one of the better NRBW matches over the last few years.
Rich Swann vs. Shane Strickland
Strickland is eager to learn and Swann is eager to hurt Strickland. Made for a worthwhile trilogy.
The Ten Best Matches of the Year In No Real Order
Drake Younger vs. Sami Callihan (Cinco De Mayo)
Their best match this year.
Devon Moore vs. Adam Cole (An Excellent Adventure)
Probably Moore’s best match as Champ. I can’t name any better off the top of my head and he was champion nine months so aye fuck it, it was his best.
Uhaa Nation vs. AR Fox (An Excellent Adventure)
Samuray Del Sol vs. AR Fox (Super Saturday)
Because Del Sol. Thei rematch at Best of The Best was great too.
Sami Callihan vs. AR Fox (Best of the Best)
BOTB was awesome but the finals clenched it. Fox did everything he could (which is a lot) but his ear injury prevented him from being able to win. Story-telling + crazy wrestling = yay.
Greg Excellent vs. Mia Yim (Aerial Assault)
You’ll feel bad about yourself afterwards, but until then enjoy this car crash. Shame Yim went nowhere afterwards.
DJ Hyde vs. Matt Tremont (Tangled Web 5)
OH MY GOD THAT BUMP.
Matt Crist vs. AR Fox (Down With The Sickness 2012)
Watch as much as you can of Fox before he dies in the ring soon.
Danny Havoc vs. Drew Gulak (Proving Grounds)
Saving a dull show from ”avoid” to ”watch this match but avoid the undercard”, Gulak worked extremely well for a guy not used to hardcore. In fact, that probably helped things: they don’t touch the wire until ten minutes into the contest.
AR Fox vs. Alex Colon (Prelude To Violence)
Colon finally grabbed people’s attentions.
Worst Matches of the Year
WHACKS vs. DJ Hyde (An Excellent Adventure)
I feel bad about naming a feel-good moment as a bad thing but the closest WHACKS should have been to that ring was on the outside taking photos and dodging sweat. At least it was brief.
BLK OUT vs. OI4K (Cage of Death XIV)
Was it a shoot? Was it a work? No, it was shite. Sabian attacks a fan at ringside then ‘shoots’ on The Crists as security run-in to stop it. This malarkey at Cage of Death? Ask Feinstein how well the fake riots went in ROH.
Best Things Of The Year
Hyrbident.net = Smoother than babyshit
The production, editing and streaming have been top-notch. You don’t notice these things unless they’re bad, so thumbs up for this usually thankless task.
Turn that Colon Into a Semi-Colon
This time last year Alex Colon was known as Ruckus’ tag team partner who kept on fucking up the double-team. Since his split he’s improved every show he’s been on. Good for him.
Nation of Intoxication forms
They drink beer, they’re not being used for anything else and they wear The Wildhearts’ inspired shirts. I like it.
Everything Robert Anthony did.
Ditto Adam Cole. Oh, and Larry Legend. And ACH & Uhaa’s brief appearances.
Continuing to branch out
CZW’s moved around the world like Carmen Sandiego with a kilo of stolen heroin as The Dub continues to share it’s ever-improving self with more and more people. Doing Twitter questions and feud recaps are also good things.
MASADA as a Champ
Even if he’s a miserable bastard (if his shoot interview is anything to go by), he’s been very versatile as the fighting champion and representing the company against outsiders like El Generico or Michael Elgin. And people remember he’s champion, unlike Moore.
Worst Things Of The Year
Lack of Adam Cole due to ROH Contract
Not sure how the deal works, as PWG seem fine with pushing him but Cole was sadly demoted to ”Guy Who Is There” as opposed to The Guy. Obviously not much CZW can do with it, but still.
Azrieal & Bandido Jr. hold Tag Titles for 273 days, do nothing
No gimmicks and no feuds for nearly a year. Well, unless ”Hey we were in ROH!” is a gimmick. I couldn’t tell you who they beat for the titles if you gave me a winning lottery ticket.
DJ Hyde on the mic
Only ever speak for a minute Deej, not ten. Please. Also get someone else to say the babyface things, I don’t care if you’re the legit owner, a child of four can tell you it’s daft having the biggest heel in the company making the crowd pop. Especially when Maven is right there as a babyface management person.
Botchamania Moment Of The Year
Scotty Vortekz vs. Drew Gulak
The crowd decided for whatever reason to turn this match into Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar and blew it away with ”Super Dragon!”, ”Giiiiiiillbeeeeeeeerg”, ”Barry Horowitz ” and other humorous chants. Hey, at least it meant people actually had something to remember about Scotty’s title reign.
Say what you want about DJ Hyde (and everybody does), 2012 was fucking great for CZW.