The Tournament of Death is an annual professional wrestling tournament organised by Combat Zone Wrestling since 2002, during which a number of wrestlers compete in various deathmatches in what are mostly single-elimination tournaments similar to World Wrestling Entertainment's King of the Ring tournament. These tournaments include the typical hardcore weapons used in deathmatch wrestling such as barbed wire, nails, thumbtacks, fire, tables, ladders, and light tubes, and are known for all their large amounts of blood loss.
Notable entrants in the Tournament of Death have included Jimmy Havoc, Ian Rotten, Corporal Robinson, Nick Mondo, Ruckus, Eddie Kingston, Jon Moxley and Mickie Knuckles (the only female entrant to date). Many of the cards have also included non-tournament matches featuring top independent wrestlers such as Sonjay Dutt, Nick Berk, Trent Acid, The Blackout and B-Boy.
|Winner||Date||Location||Tournament of Death||Runner-up|
|Wifebeater||August 31, 2002||Dover, Delaware||I||Nick Mondo|
|Nick Mondo||July 26, 2003||Dover, Delaware||II||Ian Rotten|
|Wifebeater||July 24, 2004||Smyrna, Delaware||III||Necro Butcher|
|Necro Butcher||July 30, 2005||New Castle, Delaware||IV||Zandig and Nick Gage|
|Nick Gage||July 29, 2006||Smyrna, Delaware||V||Brain Damage, Drake Younger, and J.C. Bailey|
|Drake Younger||June 9, 2007||Smyrna, Delaware||VI||Brain Damage|
|Brain Damage||September 15, 2007||Smyrna, Delaware||Fast Forward||Scotty Vortekz, Danny Havoc, and J.C. Bailey|
|Danny Havoc||May 17, 2008||Smyrna, Delaware||VII||Nick Gage, Scotty Vortekz, and Drake Younger|
|Thumbtack Jack||June 6, 2009||Townsend, Delaware||VIII||Thumbtack Jack, Jon Moxley, Sami Callihan, DJ Hyde, Brain Damage, Dysfunction, xOMGx, Drake Younger, and Scotty Vortekz1|
|Thumbtack Jack||October 25, 2009||Townsend, Delaware||Rewind||Masada|
|Scotty Vortekz||June 26, 2010||Townsend, Delaware||IX||J.C. Bailey|
|Nick Gage||November 11, 2010||Oberhausen, Germany||Tournament of Death vs. Gorefest||Masada|
|Masada||June 25, 2011||Townsend, Delaware||X||Masashi Takeda|
|Masada||June 23, 2012||Townsend, Delaware||XI||Drake Younger|
|Masada||November 4, 2012||Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany||Europe||DJ Hyde, Drake Younger, and Matt Tremont|
|Danny Havoc||June 8, 2013||Townsend, Delaware||12||Scotty Vortekz|
|Jun Kasai||June 14, 2014||Townsend, Delaware||XIII||Masada|
|Matt Tremont||June 13, 2015||Townsend, Delaware||14||Conor Claxton|
|Rickey Shane Page||June 11, 2016||Townsend, Delaware||XV||Matt Tremont|
|Jimmy Havoc||June 10, 2017||Townsend, Delaware||16||Conor Claxton|
|Jimmy Lloyd||June 9, 2018||Berlin, New Jersey||17||Rickey Shane Page|
|Conor Claxton||June 22, 2019||Voorhees, New Jersey||18||Officer Dan O'Hare|
|May 30, 2020||Somerdale, New Jersey||XIX|
1The finals between Thumbtack Jack and Nick Gage was ruled a no-contest due to Gage suffering an injury that required emergency surgery. Zandig won an Ultraviolent Battle Royal. After the match, Zandig awarded the win to Thumbtack Jack.
August 31, 2002 saw the first annual CZW Tournament of Death. The event was billed as Zandig's Ultraviolent Tournament of Death due to a storyline of John Zandig losing ownership of CZW to Lobo, thus promoting his own deathmatch tournament. It was held in Dover, Delaware. Non-tournament matches included Green Phantom & Arsenal defeating The Hardcore Ninjaz and a tag scramble match which saw The Backseat Boyz defeat Derek Frasier & Sonjay Dutt, Jon Dahmer & Towel Boy and The New School, as well as a Three Way Dance in which Ruckus defeated Justice Pain and Nick Berk. On winning the tournament, Wifebeater became the CZW Death Match Champion, however, the title was vacated on November 9, 2002 upon his retirement.
† - Both men were attacked by Lobo, Rockin Rebel, Z-Barr, Adam Flash, & Danny Rose. Lobo then entered Flash into the tournament and challenged anyone in the locker room. The Messiah returned and defeated Flash with Carlito's Way
July 26, 2003 saw the second CZW Tournament of Death, again held in Dover, Delaware. Non-tournament matches included Trent Acid pinning Z-Barr, Johnny Kashmere pinning Nick Berk, and a tag match in which B-Boy & Messiah defeated Sonjay Dutt & Ruckus. Although Nick Mondo won the tournament, due to the injuries he sustained he had to vacate his CZW Iron Man Championship afterwards. This event would also be the last he wrestled in.
On July 24, 2004, the third CZW Tournament of Death (subtitled Banned... My Ass) was held in Smyrna, Delaware. This year there were no non-tournament matches held, however, the number of entrants rose from eight to twelve (including representatives of Canada's International Wrestling Syndicate).
↑ Ruckus entered as a substitute for John Zandig
‡ SeXXXy Eddy was taken to hospital following the match after suffering a wound to the arm, and so could not compete in the final
On July 30, 2005, the fourth CZW Tournament of Death took place in New Castle, Delaware. This year's show included a non-tournament Ultraviolent Student Battle Royal, won by WHACKS. As well as featuring Gypsy Joe as special guest referee for the tournament final. After the final, as Necro Butcher had won the finals, he was awarded the CZW Ultraviolent Underground Championship.
Competitors in the Ultraviolent Student Battle Royal
↑ Robbie Mireno and Eddie Kingston entered as one, losing to Zandig in a first round handicap match Joker came out and help Zandig
The fifth CZW Tournament of Death was held in Smyrna, Delaware on July 29, 2006. The format changed slightly for this show, with the first round matches being three-way elimination matches, the second round matches being 4-way double elimination matches, and the final being a single elimination 4-way match. Non-tournament matches included The Blackout (Ruckus & Robbie Mireno) defeating Drew Gulak & Jimmy Dream, and Kylie defeating former ECW star Chad Austin.
Tournament of Death VI returned to Smyrna, Delaware on June 9, 2007. This was a 12-man tournament, with non-tournament matches including Team AnDrew (Andy Sumner & Drew Gulak) defeating the then CZW Tag Team Champions The Blackout (Ruckus & Sabian) in a non-title match.
†Necrobutcher was originally scheduled to face Mitch Ryder but he could not make it due to travel issues
Tournament of Death: Fast Forward took place September 15, 2007. It was a mini-TOD for the vacant Ultraviolent Underground title.
Tournament of Death VII took place for the third year in a row in Smyrna, Delaware, on May 17, 2008 and marked the first time a female competitor had entered the tournament. It included a non-tournament match between The Blackout (Ruckus & Sabian) and Joe Gacy & Alex Colon. Attendance was reported as 527.
↑Ram was Mickey Rourke's stunt double during the taping of "The Wrestler" movie and served as Necro Butcher's stunt double in this match
Tournament of Death VIII took place on June 6, 2009 at the Ultraviolent Underground in Townsend, Delaware. Attendance was around 800.
Tournament of Death: Rewind took place on October 25, 2009, after being postponed due to weather issues from the day before, at the Ultraviolent Underground in Townsend, Delaware. The Ultraviolent Underground title was on the line throughout the tournament. Attendance was about 150.
Tournament of Death 9 was held on June 26, 2010, at the Ultraviolent Underground in Townsend, Delaware. Non Tournament matches were Brain Damage defeated Drake Younger in a "sit and hit" Tai Pei deathmatch and Sami Callihan and Joe Gacy defeated Greg Excellent and DJ Hyde in an Ultraviolent Tag Team Fans Bring the Weapons Falls Count Anywhere Deathmatch. Attendance was around 1,000.
Tournament of Death vs. Gorefest was held on November 7, 2010, in Oberhausen, Germany. Non Tournament matches were Jon Moxley defeated Devon Moore in a match for the CZW World Heavyweight Title, Big van Walter defeated 2-Face in a match for the wXw World Heavyweight Title, Adam Cole, Drew Gulak, Karsten Beck & Blk Jeez defeat Zack Sabre Jr., Greg Excellent, Bernd Föhr & Rich Swann in an 8-man tag inter-promotional showcase, and Sami Callihan defeated Carnage. Attendance was around 356.
†Nick Gage received the Ultraviolent Underground Title after defeating Adam Polak
‡Nick Gage successfully defended the Ultraviolent Underground title against Jon Ryan
±Nick Gage successfully defended the Ultraviolent Underground title against Masada
Tournament of Death X took place on June 25, 2011 at the Ultraviolent Underground in Townsend, Delaware. Non tournament action saw Devon Moore and Little Mondo lose to Philly's Most Wanted, and DJ Hyde vs. Greg Excellent vs. Sami Callihan became Sami Callihan def. Greg Excellent the loser became DJ's slave.
The tournament was held June 23, 2012 in Townsend, DE.
This tournament was held November 4, 2012 in Germany in front of an audience of 357. In non-tournament action Jay Skillet def. Karsten Beck taking Match 5 of the Jay Skillet Trial Series, OI4K def. Gridiron, Are$ def. Robert Dreissker, and Jonathan Gresham def. Alex Colon qualifying for the 2013 wXw 16 Carat Gold Tournament.
No Ropes Barbed Wire, 200 Light Tubes Elimination Death Match: Masada def. DJ Hyde, Drake Younger and Matt Tremont.
Happened June 8, 2013 in Townsend, DE @ the Ultraviolent Underground. In Non- Tournament action Drake Younger defeated Devon Moore in a Scaffold Match, Drew Gulak vs. Chris Dickinson went to a no contest as both men attacked Masada, and Sami Callihan vs. Greg Excellent ended with DJ Hyde getting a watermelon smashed over his head and was Callihan's last match in CZW.
This event was held on June 14, 2014, and was cited as being a "BJW vs. CZW" show.
The 14th annual Tournament of Death took place on June 13, 2015 at the Ultraviolent Underground. Non tournament matches had Dave Crist def. Devon Moore in an Scaffold Match and Lucky tHURTeen def. Eric Ryan in a LOL (Ladders, Orange Sacks and Legos) Match.
The 15th annual Tournament of Death took place on June 11, 2016 at the Ultraviolent Underground. Eat The Turnbuckle, the band of Dojo War's wrestler Shlak, played songs during Intermission of the event. This Tournament of Death was featured in the Vice documentary "Bloodlust: Tournament of Death".
The 16th annual Tournament of Death took place June 10, 2017. This tournament marked the debut Tournament of Death for John Wayne Murdoch, Shlak, G-Raver and Clint Margera. This is also the first mainstream Tournament of Death Jimmy Havoc competed in, having wrestled in ToD Europe as a member of Westside Xtreme Wrestling.
The 17th annual Tournament of Death took place June 9, 2018.
The 18th annual Tournament of Death took place June 22, 2019.
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Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) is an American independent wrestling promotion. In 1998, John Zandig and five of his students, Ric Blade, T.C.K, Lobo, Nick Gage, and Justice Pain began to run professional wrestling shows in New Jersey and Delaware, showcasing a brand of hardcore wrestling dubbed as "ultraviolence". Ladders, tables, steel folding chairs, thumbtacks, barbed wire, weed whackers, light tubes, panes of glass, and fire are all common elements of "ultraviolent wrestling" in CZW. The company filled a niche for hardcore wrestling fans that had been left open by the folding of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). CZW established themselves as the leading American hardcore wrestling promotion at the ECW Arena with their Cage of Death 3 show in 2001, the year ECW folded.
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