Snooty Foxx vs. Ethan Alexander Sharpe**3/4
Compact grudge match here with Sharpe overwhelming Foxx with his tricks and brain. Foxx obviously is the stronger competitor in this but Sharpe surprises even the commentary lasting as long as he does with Foxx. Sharpe attempts to embarrass Foxx as Sharpe believes Foxx is beneath him even though Foxx is a hot rookie upstart and the fans love him more than Sharpe.
Shortcuts, raking of the eyes, counters from the leader of Moneyball and again Cecil and Brad put over Sharpe’s smarts that although being devious help the man to have an advantage. Sharpe targets multiple areas of Foxx to stay ahead of the runaway train. Sharpe is a step ahead of Foxx as Sharpe avoids the top rope bulldog and any offensive surges Foxx has. In the end it comes down to Sharpe doing the Gran Naniwa Crab Walk Elbowdrop and Foxx countering with the powerslam to pick up the win. For as short as this was, both men worked a great cowardly heel vs. rookie babyface with fire match. Foxx continues to get better every time I see him and Sharpe is always underrated no matter his role in the company.
Darius Lockhart vs. PWI Ultra J Champion Cedric Alexander****1/4
Before the match gets underway we are in the back with Brad Stutts and Alexander talking about Lockhart’s experience with Cedric and his time in Europe. They even promote Cedric and his time in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic or as Fray puts it “THE TRIPLE HAITCH CUP”. Cedric exudes confidence here and I’m quite happy that he is no longer with ROH as he does not have to suffer the injustices done to him by a company that would rather put the Bullet Club over. Yes, that’s a shoot. Whenever you fans get the chance, go see the Trevor Lee vs. Darius Lockhart HORROR SHOW according to Dustin Spencer.
The match opens with world class banter from Cedric and Lockhart lays down for his mentor only to surprise him with a cradle for a near fall. Lockhart has improved leaps and bounds since last year’s Rising Generation League as he goes hold for hold with Cedric even busting out some great British wrestling offense. Both men are not fan favorites but Lockhart is out to prove a point and even tells Cedric repeatedly “I’m not your student anymore!”. The pace is exceptional with both men busting out high impact moves combined with stiff strikes, swell submissions and smack talk that will make your head spin.
Both men try to stay a step ahead of each other, whereas Cedric is willing to teach Lockhart life lessons and Lockhart willing to show Cedric everything he has learned in his time away from CWF. Cedric bullies and disrespects Lockhart with the apron backbreaker, chinlocks and a huge running PK on the apron. Lockhart busts Alexander open and in Cedric’s words “No one makes me bleed my own blood”. Cedric becomes even more unglued at Lockhart unleashing forearms, a bullet train boot and a lovely headbutt. Lockhart takes his punishment like a man and defiantly spits in Cedric’s face which just further enrages Cedric although Cedric is still calm and focused with his game plan.
They go toe to toe trading forearms and Lockhart’s resiliency finally pays off as he starts controlling the pace. The exchanges down the finishing stretch are brilliant as you start believing in the small possibility Lockhart can pull off the upset. Lockhart incenses Alexander after kicking out of the Michinoku Driver and Alexander now has to bring out the big guns to take out Lockhart. LARIATOOOO!!! from Lockhart and he follows up with a Hammerlock Brainbuster.
Lockhart refuses to quit and Alexander goes for broke with the brainbuster over the knee and that’s still not enough. The finish is otherwordly-Lockhart is broken near in half with the Lumbar Check twice which he sells the best that anyone ever has to take this one home. Great image with Cedric at the end proclaiming himself “CHAMP FOR LIFE”. Cedric has proven ROH wrong with his last few outings in CWF being proficient and efficient wrestling matches that get the fans excited to see what’s to come. Lockhart, this kid has enormous upside and potential. When you can pull off two different matches with people the talent levels of Trevor Lee and Cedric Alexander and have both matches deliver, I’m giving you a RBSOA-Rob Barry Seal Of Approval. This is a low level as well as a low key MOTYC. These two absolutely killed it. WATCH IT ASAP!
Last Man Standing: Nick Richards vs. Kamakazi Kid****1/4
Kazi comes to the ring with his whip. You can already tell he means business and we are going to get a grimy and gritty fight. Richards arrives on the scene with a kendo stick and the support of the whole audience. I feel sorry for Red Jones having to officiate this chaos. I’m not going to bother with any play by play here people and just watch two men in a heated rivalry brutalize each other. Chairs are used liberally, whether people are landing on them or smashing each other with unprotected shots to the head. This is ugly and that’s why this works as well as it does-the war had to end and this was the most logical way. Yes, logic can still happen in pro wrestling and that should be acceptable. Anytime Stuttsy declares “Man Alive” on commentary the match increases a star or two.
Concussion Cannon DDT is a spectacular name for a particularly nasty move on the concrete. The psychology here is right on the money with Richards forcing Kazi to do these kind of matches again even though Kazi said he never would when he became an All Star for Coach Gemini. It’s almost as Richards is the sacrificial lamb to the beast and bitterness that dwells inside of Kazi. Backfists and punches are traded until ultimately Kazi hits a dangerous Death Valley Driver in the corner-sickening spot right there. They one up that spot with the Tiger Suplex onto the chair if not a few moments later. Both men are going for broke to force the the other down for the inevitable ten count.
The humanity of Kazi getting whipped right on his abdominals is a stomach churning moment and when the women are covering their faces in shock this match has gone into overdrive with the hatred flowing freely and violently. Of course Chappie and Coach Gemini get involved only to be taken out of the match effectively. The facials in this match are some of the best I have seen this year. Richards is on a mission for redemption no matter the cost even getting decimated with a powerbomb through the commentary table causing Brad Stutts to have a near aneurysm. THEN THE BARBWIRE BOARD IS BROUGHT INTO PLAY! A spear by Richards through the bard wire board causes Kazi to become entangled and not answer the call by ten. It’s almost a metaphorical ending, Richards in all his attempts to get right and straight with the fans and himself had to force himself through this match to renounce his ways and claim redemption. Kazi turns his back on his hardcore roots only to return back to them for one night and the image of him getting tangled in the barbwire is synonomous with him not moving ahead no matter how hard he tries. A ten month voyage for Richards ends with the Lost Cause being found and vowing “On to the next one”. Prophetic words indeed.
CWF did it again like they always do. A grudge match, a match for respect and a last man standing match all spotlight what is great and unique about CWF and the talent inside it. Two low-tier MOTYC’s are the focus of this week’s episode. I’ll talk until I’m blue in the face about this promotion. Papa Hales said it best… “Honestly, I refuse to promote crap. I love wrestling too much. But if I see something great, I can’t stop talking. Share what inspires you!!” CWF – thank you for being something great. I will continue to promote you and not stop talking about it. For all of your CWF Mid-Atlantic needs you are already in the right place, Wrestling With Words.