Danny Havoc vs Alex Colon
Viking’s Funeral Deathmatch
Flyers Skate Zone, Voorhees, New Jersey, United States
(reviewed 09/22/2017) It’s hard for me to write about this one. Hard in a way that I don’t think any match I’ve reviewed for this blog has been. Danny was my first favorite wrestler. After perusing WWE for a while, after learning about other promotions and other styles of wrestling for a few months, I stumbled on CZW as winter thawed into spring back in 2008, right in the middle of Danny Havoc’s prime. I immediately took to him, this young guy with weird hair and baggy pants and piercings and a Duran Duran theme song. He was My Guy in a way that no one else was until I really fell in love with Jumbo Tsuruta and Chuck Taylor. As the years went by and Danny’s career waned and as my tastes in wrestling changed and as my life in general changed, I moved away from Danny but never forgot what he used to mean to me. When, here in 2017, he announced his intentions to retire, I wasn’t surprised or altogether that broken up about it. It’s what people do. They get older, they move on.
But here? Watching it finally happen all come to an end? Watching this match? It got to me. It helps that it’s a real good match, the best in either man’s career in God knows how long. It helps that it’s, in many ways, the end of an era, both with Havoc retiring and with this being the last CZW match in the Flyers Skate Zone. It helps that the build is genuinely compelling. Part of the recent overhaul in CZW management and production means an uptick in high(er) quality hype videos, and the one before this match is pretty damn good. Colon does a great job running down his perspective, saying that he’s been in CZW about as long as Havoc but hasn’t had nearly the same sort of career there, being an on again, off again member of the roster. He says that unless he sends this bonafide CZW legend packing, he’s only ever going to remain a guy who gets brought in once, twice a year to bleed or to fill a spot in a tournament. That’s some dramatic stuff that plays off real life situations and animosities and it’s a great angle. On the other end, Havoc recognizes that his time is done and explains why exactly he’s chosen Colon, who’s probably been his biggest rival since Drew Gulak, for this final match, citing the fact that respect is formed between enemies and he wants someone who can bring 2007 Danny Havoc back out of him. Solid stuff on both ends here, an interesting build to what is already a fairly emotional match.
At first these two feel each other out, doing their best to drag the other into the panes of glass and spools of barbed wire strewn about the ring, and before long they’re reversing their momentum and just shoving each other into these elements, each cutting themselves pretty badly around the arm and shoulder blade. Less than five minutes in, Colon gets pushed off the top rope into a table as he tries to prepare for a move, a breathtaking act of danger made all the more harrowing by the fact that a thick smear of his blood is left on the table as he slides down the broken pieces of it to the floor. Havoc continues to lay into Colon, but the Ohio native’s highflying ability ensures that he doesn’t stay down for long. Havoc tries to keep up but simply isn’t as young as he used to be anymore and spends the next 10 minutes or so on defense, weathering the storm, waiting for his chance that finally comes in the way of a reversal: a dragon suplex off the apron through a barbed wire board draped between the ring and the barricade. After a General Order 24 fails to get the win, Havoc starts pulling out the stops, pulling out light tubes that are (supposedly) (probably) banned by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission. In a final act of defiance, of burning out in a blaze of glory, of salting the Earth on your last night on its rotten husk, he and Colon smash them over each other’s heads one by one, a bloody game of one-upsmanship that ends with Colon hitting a running Death Valley Driver off the ring through an exploding barbed wire board set up on the floor. The explosions aren’t great but the move itself is crazy enough without one. Looking to finally kill off the Deathmatch Viking, Colon climbs a massive ladder and hits a hell of a double stomp, basically just sitting on the man from 15 feet in the air, but it’s not enough. He takes a crazy contraption of two panes of glass with a few bundles of light tubes sandwiched in between and sets it up between a few chairs before again ascending the ladder. Havoc, perhaps looking for his General Order 24 again, follows him up in what proves to be his undoing, as Colon is able to grab Havoc and yank them both down for a Spanish Fly through the glass nightmare below and it’s enough to end Danny Havoc’s storied career.
The post-match is what you imagined it’d be like. Havoc and Colon both exchange thank yous. The locker room empties out to clap at ringside. DJ Hyde says a few things. “Hungry Like The Wolf” plays. Danny says “thank you for letting me do what I wanted to do with my life” before ending this chapter of his life, bringing to a close an era of my own wrestling fandom, ten years on. You couldn’t ask for a better ending.