HALLOWEEN HANGOVER REVIEW
by Drew Archer
Impact Zone Wrestling (IZW) presented its fall classic Halloween Hangover and delivered another tremendous iPPV continuing the streak of must-see TV. For those of you who missed watching it live, y
ou will want to order this event on video on demand (VOD) at GFL.tv. Many scores were settled in this 3+ hour pro wrestling extravaganza.
In the main event, IZW delivered the quintessential battle royal, the Monsters Bash, to the feverish fans at the sold out Impact Arena. With every active IZW Superstar competing in the ring, this was the most competitive, dramatic, jaw dropping Monsters Bash in the history of IZW. Not only was the in ring action amazing, but what was at stake was equally important as Double D put up his IZW World Heavyweight Title and had to run through a gauntlet of challengers if he was going to come out of Halloween Hangover continuing to hold the strap. But before we get to that match, let’s look back at some of the other bouts of the evening.
In the opening match of the night, IZW Impact Division Champion Jermaine Johnson retained his title by defeating “Lights Out” Jordan Jacobs, Damien Morte, IZW Wrestler and Kyle “Machine Gun” Kelly in a 5-Way Scramble Match. The rules of this bout meant that the last person to get a pinfall in the match would be the Champion. It was a great match as there was a mix of high flying provided by Jacobs and Morte combined with the power moves of Kelly and the technical prowess of Johnson. Every wrestler got at least one pinfall in the bout, with most getting multiple falls. But the rules were who would get the final pin and as the minutes winded down, things got crazy. With 30 seconds left in the 15-minute match it looked like Kelly would become the new champion. As Starr lay motionless on the ground outside of the ring, Kelly tossed Johnson over the top rope onto the mats outside the ring too and then splashed both Jacobs and Morte in the corner then hoisted both men onto his shoulders and slammed them down to the mat in a feat of strength. But with only 10 seconds left, Johnson was able to recoup enough and get back into the ring where he hit an ES2 on Kelly then rolled up a motionless Jacobs for the pinfall as time ran out. It was a bitter sweet moment for Kelly who was in full control of the match and would have ended up the new Impact Division Champion if Johnson didn’t pull off the improbable pin at the end.
New IZW Tag Team Champions were crowned when the Old School Suckas (Randy Price & Bryan Cruize) defeated former Champions Big Business (Damon Windsor & Kevin Morgan), Aerial Assault (Dane Griffin & Joe Herell) and Cody Jones & Copycat. Copycat and Winsor battled in the ring with Windsor beating down Copycat at every opportunity, but from out of nowhere, Copycat hit an enziguri kick and Winsor fell to the mat, giving Copycat his chance to tag in Jones. But in a shrewd move by Big Business, as Copycat and Jones worked over Windsor in the corner, Morgan tagged himself in, by hitting Jones; which meant Big Business were the two legal men in the ring! The OSS worked over Windsor in one corner, while Aerial Assault put the boots to Morgan in another corner. From there it was a series of moves delivered by each wrestler that saw each man give and take punishment. Finally, there were three men in the ring, the OSS and Windsor with Windsor and Price the two legal men. Cruize landed a Blockbuster on Winsor and then Price landed a perfect Old School Splash off the top rope on Windsor and then hooked a leg and got the pinfall, making The Old School Suckas the new IZW Tag Team Champions. The victory showed that the OSS still have what it takes to run the tag team division, as this bout showcased 4 of the best tag teams in IZW history.
“The Bronze Bull” Aaron Neil won his grudge match with Johnny Z as he defeated Z inside of a Steel Cage. Early on, it was a methodical dismantling by Neil who proved that he is as sick as he is efficient. Neil took great pleasure in crippling Z throughout the bout. Spine busters, slams, forearms, right hands, you name it, Neil was throwing everything at Johnny Z and trying to end his career once and for all. Neil busted Johnny Z open early in the bout by slamming his head into the unforgiving steel as Z bled like a stuck pig for the remainder of the match out of his forehead. As Neil taunted the crowd, they never gave up hoping that Z would recover, but after the fourth spine buster in a row, Z’s chances looked bleak. After Johnny Z kicked out of a two-count the momentum started to shift his way for the first time in the bout. But it didn’t last long as Neil landed yet another spine buster totaling five in the match. One more made it six spine busters. But Z refused to stay down and be pinned, even though he was probably fighting with a broken back at this point. As Neil went for another spine buster, this time on a chair, Z reversed the move and landed a perfect DDT which busted open Neil above the eye. Z unloaded some right hands on Neil, opening up the cut even more. Neil was then bounced from side to side, smashing his body up even more against the steel cage. Z then hit the Final Impact and it looked like he would win the bout, but Neil kicked out. Out of nowhere Neil hit a Greetings from Mt. Olympus but Z kicked out of that move too! A second Greetings from Mt. Olympus by Neil could not even stop Johnny Z at this point. It was a match for the ages. A float over DDT by Johnny Z evened the score once again. Z then unleashed his Big Boot in the corner, but Neil still found a way to kick out! Z went to the well one too many times as he tried another Big Boot but it was sidestepped by Neil who then maneuvered Z into a Boston Crab submission. The ref called a stop to the match, awarding the bout to Neil as Z was out cold from the pain of the Boston Crab.
Erica was a late replacement for Kyra Maya in the Triple Threat Match with Venus and Angel Blue and scored the victory proving even though her focus has changed a bit as the leader of Impact Elite, she still has the tools to produce inside of the ring as she became the new Queen of IZW. Venus looked like she would win with a backslide pin on Blue, but Blue kicked out at the last moment. Then a rollup from Blue on Venus for a pinfall attempt, but Venus kicked out. Venus then landed the Venus Envy on Blue for the sure fire pin, but was double crossed by Erica as Erica threw Venus out of the ring and scored the pinfall on Blue. What this means for Venus’ spot in Impact Elite is anyone’s guess.
Finally in the main event, Double D retained his IZW World Heavyweight Title by winning the Monsters Bash Battle Royal in what was the most grueling match in IZW history. Double D was the #1 entrant into the bout and had to survive every other wrestler’s attack if he was going to remain champion when the night was over. And he did just that. In an act of courage and perseverance, Double D fought through insurmountable odds and proved that he is the #1 wrestler, not only in IZW, but on the Independent circuit. Double D was a workhorse who had to deal with uneven odds throughout the contest as at times he was ganged up on by Impact Elite. During the bout the ring was full of wrestlers, 10-deep sometimes, and Double D had a giant bullseye on his chest the entire match. But The Champ dug deep and managed to outlast everybody, including the giant Kevin Morgan who D eliminated in the final three. Then it was down to Double D and his final challenge, former 6-time IZW World Champion Aaron Neil. It was almost a dead heat as Neil was the final entrant in the Monsters Bash, but also wrestled a grueling match earlier in the night against Johnny Z in a steel cage, so when Double D and Neil squared off one on one at the 40 minute mark of the match, it was a pick’em match. Neil got the better of the exchanges in the beginning with a spear and a systematic tearing apart of D. But D fought back valiantly, landing a knee to Neil’s face all in an attempt to get Neil over the top rope any way he could. Double D had Neil in a leg lock around Neil’s neck as he hung on to the ropes and tried to flip Neil over the top rope but Neil’s center of balance was too low and Neil was able to power out. Neil missed a splash in the corner and his own momentum got him in trouble as he dangled on the ropes about ready to fall over the top. Neil regained his balance and landed a stiff forearm that sent Double D down to the mat as both men were tipping the breaking point of what their bodies could physically do. A spine buster in the center of the ring by Neil looked to have finally taken all of the fight out of Double D. As Neil hoisted up Double D high above his head and readied to throw him out of the ring to claim his 7th world title, Double D pulled off the improbably and hit a modified hurricanrana and flipped Neil head over heels onto the floor outside of the ring to retain his championship in a 45-minute match!
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