Combat Zone Wrestling Crosses the Line
September 15, 2003 by Mark Rose
Raven crucifies Tommy Dreamer at the ECW Arena with chains and a barbed wire "crown of thorns". Brian Pillman pulls a gun on Steve Austin live. Mae Young gives birth to a hand. The Undertaker, doing a character that's downright satanic, crucifies Steve Austin. New Jack blades a 17 year old kid wrestling as Mass Transit and almost kills him. Owen Hart falls from the rafters live on PPV and dies because of a stupid stunt. Sgt Slaughter portrays an Iraqi sympathizer during the middle of a war. Degeneration X takes profanity on pro wrestling TV to a new level and turns "Suck It" into a catchphrase. Mae Young's "breasts" exposed.
The events I listed above are just a few examples of pro wrestling crossing the line of good taste and taking the product to a level that is just plain disgusting, stupid, and highly offensive. On Saturday's show titled "Redefined" CZW and it's owner John Corso (John Zandig) decided to perform a stunt that would make that list and perhaps make it at the top. The end of the show was supposed to feature a match between Zandig and CZW champ Messiah. But instead what the fans got was Messiah and his group Hi V attacking Zandig and hanging him in middle of the ring with hooks in his back, bloodied and beaten. Fans were forced to leave the arena immediately, some more than happy to oblige to avoid seeing this grotesque spectacle, so they could let Zandig down and not break kayfabe.
This "stunt" was not necessary and they could have got this angle over in a different way without taking it to that level. CZW is a company that prides itself on presenting a great mix of highflying, hard hitting in ring action and sometimes also for the bloodmarks out there a product they call Ultraviolent. Personally I have no problem with the deathmatches CZW puts on but i'm sure glad now they have it on a much more limited basis during the summertime. This horrible angle at the end of Redefined put a huge black mark on CZW and may have ruined an otherwise great night of wrestling action. There were some fans in attendance who vowed that they would never again pay money to see CZW shows. I heard those people were in the minority but with descriptions and pictures of this now all over the internet CZW is just doing more damage to their reputation. There are people out there that haven't seen CZW and will now not watch it because they are afraid of seeing stuff like this. Considering that bloody and violent action is now not as frequent on CZW shows this is unfortunate for CZW and for wrestling fans. They'll miss out on some great talent like Trent Acid, Sonjay Dutt, B-Boy, and others.
Do I blame these fans? I'm sad to say as a CZW fan that no I don't. The last thing CZW needed right now was more negative press. The Redefined show drew approximately 500 people which was great news for CZW as they have had attendance problems at Viking Hall since the spring. This was despite the recent negative publicity I have been talking about with them being banned from Dover, Delaware. With crap like this CZW is not only hurting it's own product but other wrestlers like the talent I mentioned above, who never wrestle deathmatch style, are now being viewed by the general wrestling audience as violent wrestlers. It may also bring the attendance problems.
As a big CZW fan since early 2001 I beg you John Zandig apologize for this. Put out a big public apology like Paul Heyman and ECW did after the crucifixtion angle. I'm not saying get rid of all the violent wrestling on CZW just keep it toned down for the oh so important Viking Hall shows. Keep the thumbtacks, chairs, tables,etc for a match or so on these shows but don't cross the line in Philly again. You're only hurting yourself and your company when do stuff like this. The summertime gives you a great opportunity to promote shows for the bloodmarks and you can keep them happy there. Keeping the Viking Hall shows clean will show the wrestling world that CZW isn't all blood and guts and it really isn't. Best of the Best tournaments and other shows this year have proven that CZW can put on a solid wrestling product without blood. Why not keep that up and save the violence for the outdoor shows only? It's not too late to put a band aid on this wound John, apologize before it's too late.
Special thanks to Jason Lee (some people call him Taka on yahoo!) for helping me with this column
by Mark Rose..
WillZilla (OWW Staffer) wrote - CZW Any news is good news:
I've seen the tape, I've read the articles, and i've seen pictures of the now imfamous "Hanging of Zandig" incident. Questions I ask myself are "is this going too far? Was this a smart move?" After countless hours of debating with myself and others over the incident i've come to the conclusion that answer is yes and no.
While I myself didn't see the need for Zandig to do this spot simply because i'm already a CZW fan. However, Doing what Zandig did will not only turn away a few, but get a couple of people who have never heard of CZW to see for themselves what the fuss is about. I also think it's sad because of the Deleware situation and how it can spread to other places such as Philly. Does Zandig think it's only Deleware and New Jersey where poeple think "Ultraviolence" is too much? Then again, perhaps Zandig has another agenda on his mind.
When you go to any other wrestling news sites (I'm not going to name them because I think if it isn't OnlineWorldofWrestling, then it sucks) You'll see almost every headline have something to do with a WWE employee backstage, a WWE employee getting hurt or fired, or a WWE employee relationship gone bad. Unfortunately, there is a small fraction of real wrestling NEWS. And if any, it's 9.9 times out of 10 about WWE. Wich is sad. So perhaps Zandig wants to turn the wrestling news seeker on his company. And as talented as some of the wrestlers Combat Zone Wrestling has to offer are, if you just post results, 9.9 out of 10 readers wont know who CZW is, and wont care about wrestling results of the traditional matches. Again, this is sad. If the average wrestling fan gave CZW and companies like them a chance they would see that there is other wrestling out there than WWE. Now, if you go to one of these wrestling websites that have pretty much all WWE headlines and stumble upon "HI - VS BRUTAL ATTACK ON CZW OWNER - SHOCKING PHOTOS INSIDE!" A lot of those readers would read the article and see the pictures just to find out what the fuss is all about. Some would be shocked to the point of wanting to know who did this, why they did it, and who is CZW anyways. I forgot what famous celebrity made the quote that "Any news is good news," but in a way I think this move by John Zandig has me saying. "Either you're very smart, or you're very Stupid."
R.T.Y MAN wrote:
I don't see how crucifing (I think thats how you spell it) is so bad? If you love god so much don't watch it. If you love god then you should not be watching wrestling in the first place! If they want to do that I would be glad to see it. I can't watch CZW (Go J.C) but I wish I could. Like I said if they want to cut some dude's arm up so bad that you see the bone let them go at it, as long as the guy wants to lol.
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