The SmarK Rant for The WRLD on GCW – 01.23.22
Damn, there’s some BUZZ around this one. Seems like people are into Game Changer Wrestling. As opposed to WWE, which is Name Changer Wrestling.
So is it intentional that they literally ripped off the WWE PPV warning for the beginning of the show? Some kind of metatextual deal?
Live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York
Your hosts are Lenny Leonard & Dave Prazak and others.
Grab the Brass Ring Ladder match: Jordan Oliver v. Tony Deppen v. Jimmy Lloyd v. Alex Colon v. PCO v. G-Raver v. AJ Grey
I’m only familiar with PCO but in the words of Ben Potter, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. Deppen tries to climb first with a tiny ladder and gets nowhere, so Grey powerbombs him into a ladder in the corner and makes a go himself. So immediately the sound mix is pretty awful here, as there’s no microphone in the ring and it’s really hard to hear the crowd at all. PCO and Colon do a crazy Doomsday Device on Raver using a ladder. Jimmy Lloyd sets up various ladders on the ropes, but Oliver boots him out of the ring and dives off a ladder onto Deppen and Grey. Everyone ends up on the floor and PCO follows with a dive onto the pile, and then Deppen does a double springboard dive to follow and they fight to the stage, where Grey does a flip dive onto them as well. Back to the ring, where PCO moonsaults off the post and onto the pile, allowing him to make a climb attempt. Everyone tries to stop him one by one, so he fights them off and does a very slow climb, only for Deppen to find a bigger ladder and bring PCO down. Oliver uses a SNOT ROCKET to bring Deppen down, but then PCO chokeslams Oliver off the ladder and then gives Oliver an insane package piledriver onto a ladder. PCO ends up laying on a chair and Colon comes off the ladder with a double stomp to the kidneys to take out PCO. Next up, G-Raver makes a ladder and chair sandwich with Colon in the middle and then goes to the top of the ladder and squashes it with a senton, totally ignoring the brass ring. And then Lloyd tosses Raver out of the ring with an Awesome Bomb onto a ladder on the floor in a horrifying bump. Grey goes up a ladder in the corner and tries some kind of elbowdrop off the top, but completely botches it and falls on his face. Colon fights off Oliver and makes it to the top of the ladder, but Lloyd knocks him over to save. This leaves AJ Grey alone and he climbs the ladder and wins the brass ring at 15:00 after some struggles to unhook it. This was a giant mess to say the least. There was a bunch of really crazy spots and bumps, but the actual match didn’t really make much sense and every spot that hit was sandwiched between two or three that didn’t. *1/2
ASF, Bandido & Laredo Kid v. Gringo Loco, Flamita & Arez
We get some wacky lucha action to start with Bandido hitting the triple suplexes on Arez to send him out, and Gringo Loco comes in with a heel kick. ASF with a rana and a pair of flying armdrags to send Gringo to the floor. So Flamita comes in and teases a dive off the top, and then denies the fans because he’s now DEMONIC Flamita. The rudos beat on ASF in the corner and hit an incredible stereo dive onto the technicos outside, allowing Gringo to beat on ASF and toss him into the corner. This sets up the rudos holding Bandido & Laredo in stereo bow and arrow holds on the floor, and Gringo dives onto them in an incredibly clever spot. And then ASF gets tossed into the ring and Gringo gets two. ASF fights back on Gringo and Flamita with armdrags, but Flamita powerbombs him for two. The technicos all hit the rudos with superkicks and headscissors to put them on the floor, and we get triple dives to follow. But then Laredo and ASF try missile dropkicks and both miss, allowing the rudos to ROW THE BOAT on them and Flamita to hit a rana on Bandido for two. Flamita trades kicks with Bandido and then follows with a frog splash for two, but Laredo saves. Laredo with the Michinoku driver on Flamita and he goes up with a 450 for two, but Arez saves that. Arez with a backstabber into a Lionsault for two on Laredo, but ASF saves. ASF with a death valley driver into a low dropkick for two, but Gringo saves. Gringo with a drop suplex on ASF for two and Bandido barely saves. They slug it out and Bandido hits Gringo with a tornado DDT for two. ASF goes up and Flamita trips him up, as we set up a DOUBLE TOWER OF DOOM CHICKENFIGHT. And then ASF does a damn destroyer off the stack in the move of the year thus far. Everyone piles onto the floor and then Laredo does a Spanish Fly on Arez, onto the pile. Unfortunately the finish goes wrong as ASF tries something on the top rope on Gringo and slips off, landing on his feet, and Gringo just piledrives him and pins him at 14:12. This was flirting with a MOTYC at times and it was basically an incredibly fun Nitro lucha match, as promised. ****1/2 Hot take, but Bandido is unreal.
Blake Christian v. Lio Rush
Jonathan Gresham is out for presumably COVID reasons, so Lio gets moved from the ladder match to this one. We get a wacky criss cross sequence to start and they trade near-falls, before Blake sends Lio to the floor and spikes him with a tope suicida and then hits him with a tilt a whirl lung blower for two. Blake hits him with a sick kick to the back which is unfortunately lost again due to not having the ring mic done properly. Lio tries to roll into a forearm, but Blake rolls him into a neck submission on the mat and then hits him with shoulders in the corner. Rush comes back with a spear and follows with a falcon arrow for two. Christian with a springboard bulldog and they trade finish attempts before Lio tries a springboard stunner and Christian nails him from behind, hits a Spanish Fly, and follows with a flying splash for two. They fight for a backslide and Lio turns that into a reverse rana, then goes up with a frog splash for two. They head to the apron and Lio teases the german suplex and then tries the powerbomb, but Blake hits him with the Fosbury Flop and right into a tombstone piledriver on Rush on the concrete. Back in, a 450 finishes at 12:34. Very fun match but the crazy kickouts were a bit much. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green experience marital bliss, but then Joey Janela makes himself their enemy with what I presume were doctored photos.
Matt Cardona v. Joey Janela
Cardona uses “Enter Sandman” while chugging beer, does a HHH beer spit, and has a flannel shirt that says “Fuck Mick Foley” on the back. Now that is some next level trolling. Cardona, who is also wearing a t-shirt with a photo of the very “If Cardona Wins We Riot” sign that is hanging in the arena tonight, jumps on Janela with the Rough Ryder for two right away. Matt brings a door into the ring, but Janela hits a death valley driver through it. Cardona retreats to the floor and Joey follows with a dive, but Cardona hits his own and then stops to make out with Chelsea. Back in, Janela finds a chair and beats on Matt for a bit, but then he puts Matt on the chair and tries a senton, missing and landing on the chair. Matt throws his shirt to the crowd, and it gets torn up and thrown back in a funny bit. So then Chelsea comes in and hits Cardona in the nuts, but then Joey goes up and Chelsea hits him as well, before Cardona reveals that he was wearing a cup and thus was immune and they were just lying. A wrestler, being less than truthful? WUT? Cardona with the broski boot on a chair for two. They head to the top and Joey brings him down with a superplex and makes the comeback with a german suplex. But then Joey grabs the Internet Championship, and Mark Sterling makes a cameo and informs him that if he uses the belt he’s disqualified, and then introduces VINCE. Or in this case, Vincent. So this allows Cardona to roll up Janela for two, but Sterling runs in and Cardona accidentally takes him out with the belt. Joey with a death valley driver on the apron and we get a random appearance from Swoggle, who apparently lives under the ring, and he gets beat up by Sam Stackhouse as this thing goes completely off whatever rails it was on. To be fair, I don’t think it was ever really ON the rails. And then Marko Stunt does a run-in and gets beat up and we get a bunch of chairs and doors in the ring and Chelsea does a destroyer on Stunt, which all leads to Cardona hitting a death valley driver on Joey on a chair for two. And then more doors get set up as they take forever elaborately stacking them and Janela piledrives Green. And then we get another ECW tribute with Brian Myers in riot gear ala Rick Rude, as he attacks Janela and Cardona finishes with a Rough Ryder through a door at 19:49. Yes they went TWENTY MINUTES with this nonsense. And then Sean Waltman saves Janela from a further beating, looking pretty good in the process. Unlike this match, which was a boring mess of bad ideas piled on top of each other. -**
Mance Warner joins us to put over the show, but then some kid named Atticus interrupts on behalf of his 440 gang and we get a brawl. But then it’s another ECW tribute as the lights go out and Sabu and Fonzie appear to make the save for the babyfaces. This felt like a time killer.
Allie Katch v. Ruby Soho
They trade rollup attempts to start and Soho traps the arm, so Allie tries a piledriver Ruby slips out of that. Ruby runs her into the corner for two, but Allie hits her with a pair of corner splashes. She follows with a cannonball for two off that. Ruby cradles for two and they slug it out with superkicks before Katch hits a german suplex. Ruby with a Saito suplex and they’re both out. They head to the top and Ruby brings her down with an armdrag and a flatliner for two. Short rana gets two. Riot Kick is reversed into a backslide by Katch, but then another Riot kick gets two. Ruby goes up and misses, allowing Katch to piledrive her for two. They head to the top again and Ruby tries a powerbomb out of the corner but gets nowhere with that. Katch teases a top rope piledriver, but Ruby brings her down with another Riot kick for the pin at 9:34. Crowd boos that one out of the building. A decidedly average match that went way too long for what it was, as Katch didn’t look like anything special and Ruby was Ruby. **
Effy v. Jeff Jarrett
Jeff has a whole Johnny Cash outlaw deal going on here, which is a strange reinvention at this point in his career but, um, it kind of works. Hate to say it. Effy tries paying Jeff off with a $20 that he finds in his tights, but JJ wisely declines that one. Jarrett overpowers him to start, but Effy apparently offers a blowjob and Jarrett isn’t into that idea. So Effy gets some hip gyrations on the ropes to further annoy Jeff, who responds with a clothesline and puts the boots to him. They head to the floor and Jarrett beats on him with his belt, as the crowd notes that Effy likes it. Back in, Jeff continues beating on him with the belt and chokes him out, but that gets Effy all worked up. So Jeff ties him to the corner with the belt and grabs a chair, but Effy escapes and makes a comeback and uses the belt himself. He goes up and misses as Jarrett gets the guitar, but Effy pulls off his fishnets and fights back. Jarrett grabs the guitar and El Kabongs him, and then finishes with the Stroke at 11:18. Jarrett looked good from a cosmetic standpoint but this was a slog that went nowhere. *
GCW World title: Jon Moxley v. Homicide
The crowd gets a “Fuck Bully Ray” chant going to start in a nice touch, and they slug it out. Moxley wins that one and puts him down with a back elbow and knocks him to the floor. They fight out there and back into the ring, where Moxley gives him a neckbreaker on the apron and back in for some SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION and a piledriver for two. Homicide fights back with an exploder to put Mox on the floor, and he follows with a dive. Back in, Homicide brings him down with a cutter for two and teases the Cop Killa, but Moxley flips out of it and fights back with a german suplex. Homicide pops up from that and gets his own suplex. Moxley with a DDT and he throws elbows and turns it into the bulldog choke, but Homicide makes the ropes. Why are there rope breaks in a promotion with no DQs? Moxley brings in a chair into the ring and that backfires on him, as Homicide sends him into it and follows with a lariat for two. Moxley with a rollup for two and hits the Death Rider onto the chairs, for two. Moxley sets up a chair and talks trash, but Homicide rolls him up for two. Moxley with a lariat and another DDT onto the open chair, and that finishes at 11:24. Meh, not much to this one and it didn’t particularly feel like a World title main event. **
GCW World tag team title: The Briscoe Brothers v. ???
As it turns out, the challenge is answered by Matt Tremont and Nick Gage, which the live crowd loves but really means nothing to newer fans ordering the show who were expecting FTR. The Briscoes get sent through the doors right away and they throw stuff at each other. Mark hits the froggy elbow on Gage, through a door, and that gets two. But then Gage hits a chokebreaker on Mark and they win the titles at 5:39. The fuck was that? DUD
And then Gage does a promo in the ring and everyone celebrates as the show just ends at 3 hours sharp. Obviously they ran out of TV time and had to go home RIGHT FUCKING NOW. Perhaps if they hadn’t given 20:00 to Matt Cardona time management wouldn’t have been such an issue?
Anyway, the lucha six-man was off the charts, but the rest was, as they say, not for me. Also the promotion’s buzz was built on the death match stuff and while I don’t want a whole PPV full of it, I would have been fine with SOME of it, and we got nothing aside from a few doors being broken. This was definitely not a show that was conducive to making new fans of the promotion, as there wasn’t really any effort made to explain who the characters were for anyone who wasn’t already a diehard fan, and the matches weren’t really any good. Thumbs down from here, but it was definitely something different and that’s OK. But this wasn’t a game changing show by any means.