Hell Storm vs. Crazy Crusher (EWR Brutal Carnage 12/19/04)

Match Reviews

This review was commissioned by Eamonn over on my Ko-fi account.

A full-blown experience. It’s a struggle to even put into words any coherent thoughts about this match when the bout itself barely coheres at any point. Narrative and logic crumble to dust beneath the impulse to do the most insane shit possible, and once one comes up with the answer, seeking to top it all over again. Repeatedly, again and again, for close to half an hour.

By now, this match’s reputation precedes it. Even if you haven’t seen the whole thing, a few GIFs have probably circulated enough times that you’ve seen some of the wilder moments in this. It holds a certain place in the wrestling pantheon as a truly out there experience that could really only happen with the sort of creative freedom and reckless disregard for bodily safety that stems from the wild west nature of the 2000s indies. Before they got big enough to face more scrutiny and before social media could really cast a microscope over this kind of things, it was just two dudes dreaming up spots and going out to get them done regardless of the physical cost.

It’s not just that the spots are wild, it’s the anticipation and confusion that stems from the build up. I say confusion in a complimentary way here, because a repeated experience of watching the match is seeing them working towards a big spot and just saying, “What the hell are they trying for here?” One person will wrap a ladder around their body and instead of doing the Funk Benny Hill spot, start climbing a ladder instead and all one can say is, “What the fuck is going on?”

To Storm and Crusher’s credit, the answer to the question is often something extremely sick.

In the case of the example I brought up, it’s all leading to Crusher and his ladder getting spiked into the mat to shock Crusher’s ribs. It’s difficult to even describe because these spots exist so far outside the realm of the standard toolbox of professional wrestling that one doesn’t even begin to form the vocabulary to express such Brutal Carnage. In both the quality and awe behind every spot as well as in the inventive nature behind it all, words truly don’t match up.

Being so beyond the realm of the art form is a double-edged sword though. There is a trade off that occurs here. They do find transcendence by being so dedicated to the sheer freakish nature of it all, but there is something lost in veering so far away from what the medium offers. There is only so much “OH FUCK” energy that can be sustained across 30 minutes, and to Crusher and Storm’s great credit, they get so close to nailing it the whole time. Pretentious and sappy as it might sound though, I can’t help but wish it was in service of something greater as a whole.

There is admiration to be felt here, and immense respect for doing truly horrific things to your body and your opponent’s body. And it really, truly does rock to behold. But it’s hard for me to position it as one of the finest accomplishments of a medium when it feels mostly detached from the aspects of that I love the most.

But also, who gives a fuck about that nerd shit? Sometimes you just gotta watch some white boys die.

Rating: I don’t know, man, just go watch it and yell for 30 minutes (but also probably ****ish)

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