Full credit for this news report goes to Sean McCaffrey of DeclarationofIndependents.net:
“The DOI has been receiving several emails from several employees/talent/staff of CZW, talking about an incident involving CZW Owner, John Zandig and CZW Production Assistant, Michael Pancoast. According to several people in CZW, apparently there was a physical altercation between the two, at Cage of Death VII.
During Cage of Death VII, former CZW IronMan Champion, Chris Hero, cut a promo, challenging American Dragon Bryan Danielson for a match at the next event. When Zandig heard the promo live, he was fuming and irate. Apparently, Zandig did not know about the deal that CZW booker, Mike Burns arranged with ROH Booker, Gabe Sapolsky. The news of CZW working with ROH, made Zandig go into a frenzy.
Upon hearing the news, backstage, Zandig was going nuts, and even threatened not to wrestle in the main event of Cage of Death. Why Zandig would sabotage his own company is not known, as of press time.
Michael Pancoast, who many might not know, but is very valuable to the company, as he handles the website, the graphic/designs for CZW, the CZWtron, the Ultraviolent Underound and other numerous oddjobs, went to approach Zandig as Zandig was flipping out. Pancoast asked Zandig why would you do this to CZW, especially after all the work that everyone in CZW put into Cage of Death? Zandig told Pancoast not to raise his voice with him, but Pancoast was visiably and understandably upset.
After having a very vocal argument, where Pancoast was trying to look out for the best interests of CZW, John Zandig couldn’t control his anger, and allegedly, pushed Michael Pancoast down a flight of stairs, from the Crows nest. It is not known if Pancoast was able to break the fall, by holding the rail, during mid flight down the steps, or if he had a crash landing on the locker room floor.
Allegedly, when Zandig pushed Michael Pancoast down, he was quoted, to me, by one CZW staff member as saying, ‘Make sure to grab the rail on your way down.’
After this incident, and after being pissed about the Chris Hero/Dragon ROH Deal, it has come to the DOI’s attention, that CZW booker, Mike Burns has left CZW.
What is not known as of right now, is if Mike Burns quit CZW or was relieved of his duties by John Zandig. What is known was that Zandig was steaming mad at Burns for setting up a deal with ROH, without telling him first.
Mike Burns has been credited with turning the company around this year, and has been largely responsible for CZW’s success this year.
According to several CZW employees, Zandig was overheard saying he’s going to turn the company back to the way it was. Zandig also made reference to Burns departure at the end of Cage of Death, when he said he was going to change the company back to the way it was, which could be a good or bad thing.
As of right now, Mike Burns is not going to be at CZW’s next event. However, his company, Smart Mark Video, is still believed to be taping the event. Glen and Gary of SMV, are supposedly going to be manning the camera’s at CZW’s next event in January.
While speaking of CZW’s next event, CZW is advertising a ‘No-Ropes-Barbed-Wire’ match between CZW Owner, John Zandig and Indy Hardcore Journeyman, Necro Butcher. According to state officials that the DOI has been in contact with, John Zandig has been told in the past that he can’t do this type of match, under the PSAC rules & regulations. Apparantly, Zandig is attempting to defy the PSAC’s power to enforce the rules, as Zandig is promoting the match without clearing it with the PSAC first.
It should be noted that when Hardcore Homecoming did their ‘No-Ropes-Barbed-Wire’ match, officials from Hardcore Homecoming asked the PSAC what they could do ahead of time and cleared the match before promoting it. That is why Hardcore Homecoming was allowed to do their bout. In addition, Hardcore Homecoming didn’t use a ‘No-Ropes-Barbed-Wire’ match in their advertising for the event, and drew a large crowd without using the gimmick match to draw fans.
In an attempt to gather more information about all these occurrences, I checked out the official CZW website, at CZWrestling.com. Upon arriving at the website, I noticed that the original site and archives have all been taken down. It is known that Michael Pancoast runs the website and is in charge of maintaining it. However, if you go to CZW’s website today, you’ll notice that the site, which was Flash heavy and graphic heavy, has been reduced to one page of straight up text. There was no explanation given to why the website was changed, when it looked so good in the past.
As of right now, the DOI doesn’t know the status of Michael Pancoast in CZW. It is alleged that Zandig has tried extending an olive branch to Michael, but several in CZW have told the DOI that Pancoast would be nuts to accept it.
The one thing that really sticks out to me, from a personal note, is the fact that so many people in CZW were willing to provide this information to the DOI. For a company that has been close knit for many years, I couldn’t believe the abundance of information that I was receiving. Having been covering the indies for several years now, whenever controversy like this is spread, and openly talked about to people like myself, and others who cover indy wrestling, usually the writing is on the wall.”