TRENTON, N.J. – The first release through Combat Zone Wrestling’s new international distribution deal is a historical look at some of the fieriest and most extreme matches in the company’s near 10-year history, entitled “Hotter Than Hell.”
The DVD is set for release on September 30 in North America via Locomotive Vision/Ryko Distribution.
The first featured bout is a classic match from the legendary former home base of Champs Arena in Sewell, N.J. A five-way from February 10, 2001’s “Crushing the Competition,” Lobo, Wifebeater, Nate Hatred, Madman Pondo, and the unexpected cult favorite Lord Everett Devore battle for the Iron Man Championship.
“We had been in Japan for almost a year and were just put on local TV,” said Wifebeater, innovator of the weed whacker as a weapon and still a fan favorite despite being retired. “Not only that, we were still using mostly home grown CZW guys and the locker room was never tighter. CZW truly had a family atmosphere, from the wrestlers, to ring crew, to the security guys, and even the fans. The reception that Lord Everett Devore got showed that CZW fans had developed their own unique personality.”
The next match comes from the following month, during CZW’s most infamous and extreme string of shows at Station 44 in Smyrna, Del., which came to an end with a near-riot when the show was threatened to be shut down by the building’s management. “Every time we had a show at that firehouse they got nervous and didn’t realize what a CZW show was,” said Wifebeater. “I have no idea why they kept having us back.” Filmed March 10, 2001 at “War at Station 44,” Madman Pondo, Wifebeater, and Lobo put “extreme” to the test in a flaming barbed wire light bulb death match.
“We were setting the pace for all the other companies to do what they do,” said Madman Pondo. “They were the best times I had in CZW. Those were the guys I was hanging out with in Japan, and then I also got to work with them back home.”
Culled from February 9, 2002’s “This Time It’s Personal” at CZW’s new home, the former Viking Hall/ECW Arena, the next match pairs Lobo against Zandig in a “Career vs. Ownership” match. The winner of this barbed wire ropes and barbed wire canvas “Pyramid of Hell” match retains ownership of CZW, while the loser is forced into retirement. “Hotter Than Hell” also includes never-before-seen bonus footage with “Hardcore” Nick Gage and Lobo.
“Hotter Than Hell” captures some of the classic moments in CZW history and shows the earlier years of a burgeoning wrestling company with matches that legends are made of. “I’m happy to see these matches are being re-released and this era has not been forgotten,” Wifebeater said.