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December 8, 2012 / Reed

Robert Anthony vs. AR Fox from CZW’s Cage of Death XIV 2012

Review by Reed Benson:

FYI: The video credits this match as happening in 2009, but Cage of Death XIV actually happened in 2012.
Anthony starts us off by letting everyone know that he didn’t want to come back to CZW after the way he was treated the last time. However, when he heard he would be facing AR Fox – the “spot monkey” whom everyone thinks is “the man” these days – he couldn’t resist the opportunity to expose him as just a “piece of garbage,” take his Wired title, and never come back to the Combat Zone again. Fox responds with an incredulous expression, shocked that anyone could possibly feel that way about him or CZW.
Anthony then proceeds to back up his mindset by getting the better of Fox in three exchanges. In the first, he shows that he can exhibit the same kind of agility as Fox by copying Fox’s cartwheel break of an arm wringer. In the second, he shows that he has the power to slow Fox down and ground him while also countering Fox’s own chain wrestling. (Then he takes a water break.) And in the third, he shows that his moves can have real impact while also being visually appealing. And all the while, Anthony keeps running his mouth.
But then he slips up. He gives Fox room, and Fox gets on his spaceship and takes to the skies. Four dives – a spaceman plancha, a leg drop from the top to the apron, a kickflip dive, and a somersault plancha over the corner post – all connect. Notice that that’s four “victories” for Fox against three for Anthony, so the scales of one-upmanship have reversed. Anthony’s face now tells the story of a man blitzed by a storm he had no idea was coming.
Fox isn’t immune to his own mistakes, however. When he tries to get too fancy doing a rope dance before a quesadora, he gets a wheelbarrow suplex into the corner. And now Anthony is not only back in control, but now he’s ticked off about being shown up. He becomes more deliberate here, targeting Fox’s back with a lungblower and some stretching holds. Of course, once he gets his groove back, his mouth returns to writing checks he feels are as good as cashed.
Once Fox fights free, he finally gets some hope with a blue thunder driver. This eventually leads to the Lo Mein Rain, and Fox thinks things are back in his wheelhouse now that they’re on the outside. Unfortunately, now Anthony has the kickflip dive scouted, and his counter of that leads to the craziest spot of the match: A running powerbomb into the crowd. Two fans seem to try catching him with a sign or chair or something, but he mostly goes straight to the floor.
Fox doesn’t stay down long (my biggest complaint with the match); he’s back on offense in maybe 30 or 40 seconds. A series of big moves can’t keep Anthony down. He blocks the Lo Mein Pain and returns to working the back, which Fox has criminally not been selling. The thrilling finishing sequence featuring an exchange of strikes where Anthony betrays common sense by hopping to the second rope, leaving himself open for Fox finally hitting the Lo Mein Pain and retaining his Wired title.
Anthony was very impressive. He told his story, he played his very egotistical part, and he sold Fox’s impressive offense to make him look like the champion he was. Fox, sadly, didn’t feel like doing the same in return; he never acted like his back was hurting, nor did he really seem to care that his leg drop onto the apron should have broken his tailbone. If you’re going to do a crazy thing like that, at least make it seem as crazy as it is! The same goes for the powerbomb into the crowd. Fox’s gimmick seems to be that of an action figure who feels no pain, but if that’s the case, how can I reasonably believe that any move can hurt him enough to beat him? That’s the kind of thing that could hurt a match’s credibility down the line.
I do recommend this match. Even with his aggravating style, Fox’s acrobatics are entertaining, and Anthony’s heel persona and dedication to the plot are a breath of fresh air in the land of wacky spots.
– 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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