Thanks, both! Not 100% sure about the COTT belts myself, but I think I have a plan. Expect to see them feature fairly infrequently - maybe once every few months on our big shows.
Here we go, with the first ever CZCW The Next Wave show, at a generic South-West venue on Sat week 1.
CZCW The Next Wave - Sat Week 1
Bullseye and I team up in the first dark match, jobbing to Rich and Famous. We are NOT a good team, and he's also having an off day; it's left to the established team to carry us through the match with some reasonably good matwork and excellent heelish gestures. Cash In on Bullseye finishes. (D)
Also on the pre-show, Al Coleman taps out Chet Chavez via ankle brace. Note to self: for the moment, the crowd REALLY don't want to see Chet! (D-)
We open things up with another Donnie J promo. "I want to test myself against the best. So I asked the CZCW Board of Directors and they agreed to let me name 8 competitors, who'll face off in two 4-way matches tonight. The winners of each match will join me in next week's main event, a Coastal Zone Championship three-way dance!" (B)
The first of those four-ways is the opener, with Matt Sparrow, Frankie Perez, Super Ninja and Tigre Salvaje Jr colliding. In a match in which the three veterans all appear dangerous, and hit some nice spots, it's Sparrow who gets the pinfall, hitting the Bird Brain Buster on Tigre. However, he also suffers knee ligament damage during the match after Tigre botches a move. (C)
In a Coastal Contract try-out match, three former Zone Academy grads - Ade Nelson, Ash Barnaby and Zach Rudge, better known as the Paratroopers - compete in a four-way with Mexican competitor Rapido. It seems early on as if the former Troopers will focus on the luchador from the start, but after Nelson takes out Barnaby accidentally with a super kick aimed for Rapido, the alliance breaks down. Rapido takes advantage of this, waiting for Rudge and Barnaby to be locked in combat on the outside before he hits a Rapido Knee on Nelson to get the win. The Troopers weren't meant to be around for too long, but Rudge does better than expected in the ring and the crowd go wild for his bubbly babyface gimmick, so there's a chance he'll get an extension. D)
The second four-way qualifier for next week's title match sees Air Attack Weasel, Masked Cougar, Fox Mask and El Jaguar go at it. The quartet go all out for a great match and Foxy and Cougar, in particular, deliver. Finishing sequence sees the pair of them collide after they drop the other two on the outside - Cougar tries for a hurricanrana, but Foxy blocks it and falls forward to powerbomb him, then picks him up and hits a Fox Hunter for the win. (C-)
Joanne Rodriguez introduces the 3 women who'll be taking her on in the first round of the Women's Title tournament; Jana Marie Bowen from Canada, Maribel Mercado of Mexico, and Japan's Fuyuko Higa. (E-)
J-Ro looks great in this one, hurling around Mercado and Bowen, and showing off her great power moves. But it's Higa who shows everyone - in kayface AND in reality - why she's nicknamed Miss Perfection; spending most of the match keeping out of everyone else's way as much as possible, she pounces on the other three when they're tired, dropping Bowen and Mercado with vicious leaping DDTs, then locking on a crossface chickenwing which forces J-Ro to submit! (D)
In a five-way non-title match, Donnie J beats Marvel Malloy, Storm Spillane, Frankie-Boy Fernandes and California Love Machine. The members of Going Coastal team up, as do the pairing of the American Cobras, and they go at each other fiercely. As the latest chapter in their epic rivalry continues, the champion is able to spend much of the match pumping up the crowd, who go wild when he eventually drops FBF with Death on Miami Beach and makes the cover to win. (C)
Matt Sparrow's injury will keep him out for a month - not as bad as I'd initially feared, but far from good given he's meant to be in next week's main event.
Higa and Ninja both tell me they're feeling the effects of a gruelling schedule.