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October 9, 2010 / Reed

Sami Callihan vs. Homicide from CZW’s It’s Always Bloody in Philadelphia 2010

Review by Reed Benson:

DID YOU KNOW?: Sami Callihan currently wrestles as Solomon Crowe on WWE’s NXT…maybe…if they ever let him! And Homicide used to work under the name “Homicide” in NWA: TNA Total Non-Stop Impact Action Tainted Brand Wrestling! Isn’t that just MIND-BLOWING?!

Ahem.

Callihan obviously feels he has a lot to prove in this match, because he is fired up and violently assaulting the ring mat. Homicide, the storied veteran, looks confident and prepared until Callihan rushes in and fires away. Then it’s a stiff-as-all-get-out strike fest for respect. Callihan demands Homicide to recognize him as his tough-as-nails equal (or perhaps better), while Homicide not only refuses, but insists that Callihan realize his own lowly position. Cue the profanity.

These guys hit each other hard. Big surprise, right? Within the first couple of minutes, Callihan headbuts Homicide once, busting them both open. It’s the kind of sadistic/masochistic display that the dude with the yellow face paint in the front row gets his kicks from. It just makes me want to vainly scream, “It’s supposed to be a work!” at my computer. Personally, I watch wrestling for the storytelling. If I wanted to watch people get legitimately hurt (I don’t), I’d watch MMA and boxing.

Not to say that there isn’t a lot of storytelling here, because there totally is. No leg or arm work, just a lot of striking and some submission attempts. Homicide does his best to bring back the “old Homicide,” as the announcer say – a more vicious, blood-thirsty gangster character than what one would remember from his LAX days or his babyface runs. No forks, though, and thank God for that.

Callihan takes the heat for a while and even gets dropped on his head with some kind of fall-forward brainbuster, but he comes up with a second wind and brings the fight back. Homicide gets the ref bumped (which seems pointless in CZW, what with the lack of DQ’s) to protect himself but fails off the top rope. Callihan seems on the verge of overcoming the (figurative) giant with the stretch muffler, but Joe Gacy’s appearance prompts him to break the hold and hit a dive. Homicide recovers, Callihan ducks a lariat, Gacy trips him up, Homicide hits the lariat, and an Ace crusher finishes Callihan off.

Wait, really? An Ace crusher? The guy who intentionally headbutted his opponent earlier gets beaten by that? I might’ve believed it if Callihan had been selling concussion-like symptoms, but as far as I could tell, his head is as strong as a Samoan stereotype’s. It also doesn’t help that Homicide’s cover was pretty lackadaisical, meaning that Callihan’s failure to kick out was based on his level of consciousness. Hard to buy, at least for me.

As a whole, the match was certainly exciting in spite of the unbelievable finish. Still, while I may be in the minority, I feel dirty watching wrestlers beat each other’s skulls in, knowing that I’m becoming complicit in whatever future health issues arise in them. If you feel the same, you probably don’t want to see this.

– Reed Benson

If you’re interested, I’m working on a Tumblr where I write match reviews in the form of letters to friends. It’s at wrestlingbytheletter.tumblr.com
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