SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
GCW Announcers: Dave Prazak, Nick Knowledge, and Emil Jay
(1) SCRAMBLE MATCH: BLAKE CHRISTIAN vs GRINGO LOCO vs JIMMY LLOYD vs SHANE MERCER vs B-BOY vs LIO RUSH
Rush (who entered the match late) pinned Lloyd with a frog splash at 11:55.
(McClelland’s Thoughts: This was a very fun opener. It was a bit disjointed in places without the controlled chaos of the best multi-man matches but it was fast paced and had lots of cool moves to get crowd fired up, which is what you want in an opener. I thought that Christian and Rush were the stars of the match.)
(2) SHUN SKYWALKER vs NICK WAYNE
Skywalker pinned Wayne with the SBS (a wrist-clutch blue thunder bomb) at 10:55.
(McClelland’s Thoughts: This was a very good back and forth match. It was not the sprint I was expecting but had a super-hot finish with both guys trading falls in the last couple minutes.)
(3) SAWYER WRECK vs ALLIE KATCH
Wreck pinned Katch with a chokeslam (in theory) off the top rope through a door bridge at 8:09.
(McClelland’s Thoughts: Another good match. Wreck controlled a lot because of her height advantage and I thought they told a good story off that. Katch is great at connecting with the crowd and combining comedy and more serious wrestling. Unfortunately, the finish was botched as Wreck didn’t really get Katch up for the chokeslam so it was more of a choke push, leading to a flat finish to the match.)
(4) TONY DEPPEN vs YAMATO
Deppen pinned Yamato with a shining wizard at 8:40.
(McClelland’s Thoughts: Disappointing match. The two started with a good intense brawl but it never moved much beyond that stage into a higher gear. The finish was also flat as Yamato took a piledriver in a very strange way, totally tucking his head to the side and then Deppen hit the knee strike for the pin.)
(5) LOS MACIZOS (CICLOPE AND MIEDO EXTREMO) JOEY JANELA vs COLE RADRICK
Ciclope pinned Janela with a rollup after Radrick accidentally gave his own partner a cutter at 11:30
(McClelland’s Thoughts: This was technically pretty bad but also entertaining in a car crash way. Miedo separated his shoulder at one point, but popped it back in (off camera) then came back and tried to do more moves, including giving Radrick a Razor’s Edge which is nuts. Miedo then retreated for good. Janela called for a giant scissor lift and dropped an elbow off it and that wasn’t even the finish. I guess they couldn’t go home early despite Miedo’s injury because of all this stuff they had planned so they had to improvise. Radrick and Janela came to blows afterwards.)
(6) JONATHAN GRESHAM vs JORDAN OLIVER
Gresham pinned Oliver with the bayonet forearm at 10:00.
(McClelland’s Thoughts: This was probably technically the best match on the show. Gresham and Oliver did a great job in recapturing the crowd’s interest in their technical wrestling match following the chaos in the last match. Gresham worked on Oliver’s arm quite a bit and Oliver kept fighting and failing to get a Tiger Suplex, then hit one basically out of nowhere with no drama. Gresham did a unique move, catapulting Oliver into a stunner to set up the finish.)
(7) DEATH MATCH: RINA YAMASHITA and DREW PARKER vs ALEX COLON and MATT TREMONT
Yamashita pinned Tremont with a top rope splash through some light tubes on Tremont’s stomach at 14:28.
(McClelland’s Thoughts: Death matches aren’t really my thing, but I was kind of charmed by the stupidity on display. Even though much of the match centered around whacking each other with light tubes, at one point Rina hit her own partner with a tube to get him fired up. Both teams took a ton of abuse, mostly with light tubes. The match could have used some other weapons to break up the monotony of it all. I found this more energetic than the main event, also a death match.)
(8) EFFY vs SHOTA
Effy pinned Shota with the Sack Rider at 4:40.
(McClelland’s Thoughts: Not much to this match. I don’t know if time was cut or it was just designed to be a filler between the two death matches. Basically, it was Effy spots you can’t really describe on a family website.)
(9) GCW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, TITLE VS CAREER: JON MOXLEY (c) vs NICK GAGE
Gage pinned Moxley with two piledrivers and a chokebreaker (chokeslam into a back breaker) at 21:10. Moxley was in control until W. Morrisey (accompanied by Stokely Hathaway) appeared and choke-slammed the champ, setting up the finish.
(McClelland’s Thoughts: This was fairly slow paced and your enjoyment will probably mostly be based around how much you like gore and/or Nick Gage. Lots of glass breaking and forehead slicing, including the infamous pizza slicer from Gage. I think it’s kind of deflating that Gage’s career was only saved because of the interference of outsiders, but perhaps that was the compromise that had to happen for Moxley to do a job here.)
OVERALL THOUGHTS: This was a pretty fun show for most of the way but it lost momentum after the first death match and the ending was very flat to me. I think it was a huge mistake to book a second death match on a show where the main event is basically the biggest death match in the history of the promotion with the promotion’s biggest “home grown” talent’s career on the line. I don’t always favor the “less is more” philosophy but I things like involving heavy machinery and gratuitous weapons in the middle of a card can hurt the overall flow of a show. There was some very good technical and high- flying matches on this show. GCW does a good job of providing something for everyone, but I also cannot argue if death matches, or the overall excess of ever GCW show, are a turnoff.
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CATCH-UP: Jon Moxley run with GCW comes to an end