Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2
By Thomas Hall on 24th June 2023
Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2
Date: April 6, 2018
Location: Pontchartrain Convention & Civic Center, Kenner, Louisiana
Commentators: Denver Colorado, Emil J
I’ve done parts of this series before so I figured I might as well knock off the rest of them. This show features a match that I’ve always wanted to see as it started one of the strangest comeback stories in wrestling history. Other than that, we’re in for a total mess and that is absolutely by design. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is designed after what looks to be a 16 bit video game, with Joey Janela and Glacier going after Marty Jannetty on the streets….where Jannetty lights Dink on fire to clear the stage. The second stage features Janela and Jannetty shooting at a Barber Shop (which can shoot back). With the shop destroyed, Shawn Michaels pops out of a DeLorean and superkicks Jannetty. That was different.
James Ellsworth is in a toy store and talks about working in WWE before coming here in his return to the independent scene. Tonight he’s ready to fight Matt Riddle, who doesn’t think much of Ellsworth.
Nick Gage music video. Is this just a really long pre-show?
David Starr talks about what wrestling has done for him and tonight, he’s ready for Mike Quackenbush. This is a really long pre-show isn’t it?
Quackenbush is in, and says so to Starr’s face.
Video on the Great Sasuke vs. Joey Janela, the show’s main event.
There’s going to be a Clusterf*** Battle Royal.
We start the series of videos from the beginning again as I guess we’ve got some time to kill before the show starts.
After 24 minutes of the videos looping, we’re ready to go, meaning we get to hear the commentators getting ready for the show and going over the match order.
The opening video is modeled after the WWF Attitude Era intro.
We open with a video on Joey Janela, which is basically a recreation of The Wrestler.
Teddy Hart vs. KTB vs. Tony Deppen vs. Eli Everfly vs. Gringo Loco vs. DJZ
One fall to a finish and DJZ would go on to become Joqauin Wilde in WWE. It’s a brawl to start (duh) with Everfly being sent outside. Deppen clears the ring but gets anklescissored down by Loco. Everfly is back in to snap off a headscissors before he and Loco come to a standoff. Hold on though as DJZ is back with his air horn but gets cleared out again. Hart walks on KTB’s back before pulling him into a sunset flip for two.
A torture rack backbreaker sends Deppen outside and a Project Ciampa hits Everfly. With a helping hand from the referee, Hart moonsaults onto a bunch of people on the floor. KTB dives onto everyone (Hart doesn’t go down) and Everfly hits a dive of his own. Back in and a springboard tornado DDT plants KTB and a super hurricanrana gives Everfly two on Loco. KTB comes off the top to dive onto everyone but Hart, who DDTs KTB down.
A Lionsault misses for KTB and Loco hits a springboard cutter to bring him down again. DJZ is back up and sunset bombs Loco into a moonsault onto KTB before hitting them both with a rolling DDT. Everfly hurricanranas Hart to the floor and takes Deppen up top for a…..super flipping Jay Driller (commentary: “He can’t do that!”) and the pin at 11:06.
Rating: B-. I’m not big on scrambles like this one, but there is something to be said about doing this kind of acrobatics and flips all over the place. It was certainly a fun match and the right way to fire up the crowd to start the show. Everfly’s finisher was completely nutty, making it perfect for a show like this one. Very fun stuff here and believe it or not, the fans loved it.
James Ellsworth vs. Matt Riddle
Ellsworth’s intergender title isn’t on the line (and I’m assuming Riddle’s unidentified title isn’t either). Ellsworth chop blocks him from behind before the bell but Riddle snaps off a gutwrench suplex to drop him as well. Fans: “WHERE’S YOUR CHIN?” Riddle hits a running forearm in the corner and the backsplash makes it worse. Riddle’s running knee just misses….because Ellsworth doesn’t have a chin. A superkick gives Ellsworth one but another is countered into the Bromission to give Riddle the win at 3:38.
Rating: C. Well yeah, what were you expecting? This was always going to be total destruction and it shouldn’t have been anything else. Ellsworth was always a joke and that’s how he was treated here, with Riddle, the indy prodigy, running through him. The missed knee was funny and then Riddle finished him off, as he should have done. That’s oddly logical from a show like this but I’ll take it.
Ellsworth flips off the crowd on the way out in a nice touch.
The ring announcer is ready to introduce the next match and….Virgil interrupts? He calls someone out (the audio isn’t exactly clear), gets no one, and leaves.
PCO vs. Walter
PCO isn’t the monster just yet. Before the match, Walter offers a chance to walk out but PCO gives him a crotch chop and we’re ready to go. They circle each other to start and PCO takes him into the corner for some taps to the chest. Walter works on the arm and gets kicked away without much trouble. PCO knocks him outside and loads up the dive, only to get run over with a shoulder.
The chop off ensues until Walter grabs a slam and sits on his chest. Some choking on the ropes keeps PCO down but he chops his way out of trouble. A kick to the head and short DDT put Walter down and it’s time to head outside. PCO loads up the first table but takes too long and gets dropped down onto the apron. Walter blocks a powerbomb off the apron and sends PCO hard into the steps, but the big chop only hits post.
As he’s a bit off, PCO goes up top and moonsaults down onto Walter and the referee for the big triple knockdown. Granted there was almost no length to the dive so it’s a wonder that he hit the two of them as well as he did. Walter is up first and powerbombs PCO through the table before doing it again (sans table) inside.
The second referee comes in for the two count so PCO gets booted in the face. The chops just wake PCO up though and he opens his own shirt so Walter can chop him again. PCO wins a chop off and the fans are actually on their feet as Walter looks scared. A discus forearm puts Walter on the floor for a suicide dive and a running flip dive takes him down again.
Back in and a super hurricanrana gives PCO two but Walter flips him over with a release German suplex. PCO is right back with a Regal Roll into a split legged moonsault for two (and another standing ovation). Back up and PCO hits a top rope Swanton to finally put Walter away at 18:29.
Rating: B+. Oh yeah this was rather awesome as it was all about two big guys beating each other up and hitting each other really hard. Walter was already a big deal but this would be a nice boost to his career. At the same time, it kicked off one of the most improbably career resurgences as PCO would turn this into an incredible second act to his career. It’s easy to see why too, as this was just hard hitting pain for the sake of beating on each other, with those chops making my skin crawl.
Post match they trade another chop each and shake hands before Walter leaves.
GCW World Title: Penta El Zero M vs. Nick Gage
Gage is defending and swears a lot before the bell. We get a CERO MIEDO vs. MDK chant off until Gage knocks him outside. The dive is cut off with a chair to the head and Penta chairs him again for a bonus. Penta’s chop hits the post though (with commentary pointing out that it’s two matches in a row) but is fine enough to grab some doors. Gage hiptosses him through a door in the corner and grabs a Falcon Arrow for two.
The boot scrape is cut off though and Penta Death Valley Drivers him through another door. A piece of the door over the head rocks Gage again and Penta puts some pieces onto Gage onto a table. The backsplash off the barricade doesn’t put Gage through said table in a nasty crash. Back in and Penta bridges a door over some chairs and Pentagon Drivers him through the door for two. Penta sets up another similar structure but gets powerbombed off the ropes through it instead. The chokebreaker retains Gage’s title at 9:27.
Rating: D+. This felt like a match where the idea was “Gage vs. this guy” and they didn’t have any more thought put into it. Gage didn’t do much of anything here and then retained in the end after Penta had done so much. That didn’t make for an interesting or even fun match from the usual freak show standards, so this was kind of a wreck.
Respect is shown post match. Penta leaves and Gage yells at the fans, who don’t seem to like him. Then he high fives a bunch of fans on the way out so he’s quite an odd duck.
Mike Quackenbush vs. David Starr
Starr does his long introduction and commentary (featuring Walter for this match) will not shut up, saying no one cares what Starr has to say. They fight over arm control to start until Starr gets two off a Thesz press. Back up and they shake hands before Mike climbs the rope and armdrags him into a leglock which he rolls over for what appeared to be a Crossface attempt, sending Starr to the rope.
Mike stomps on the foot and sweeps the leg, setting up some double knees to the ribs. The abdominal stretch goes on and even Walter is impressed by the series of twists it took for Mike to get it on. With that broken up, Starr Death Valley Drivers him into the corner twice in a row, followed by a springboard clothesline to the floor. Starr doesn’t want the countout so he throws Mike back in and gets tossed off the top for his efforts.
A Swanton gives Mike two but his hurricanrana is countered into a powerbomb for two. Starr kicks him in the head for two, which has Walter wanting Mike to win because Starr is “acting like a d***.” A nice tornado DDT sends Starr outside but the big dive is cut off, with Starr driving him into the apron. Back in and Mike grabs a double arm crank but Starr slips out and blasts him with a clothesline for the pin at 11:37.
Rating: B-. This was the technical match of the night so far, with Starr being just enough of a villain to make it a little uneven. What mattered here was getting in something different on the show and they made it work. These two worked well together and you could hear Walter being impressed on commentary so there had to be something to this one.
Commentary: “Walter is it fair to say that the better man won?” Walter: “No.” Starr grabs the mic and puts Mike over before saying how glad he was for being on this show.
Clusterf*** Battle Royal
This is a Royal Rumble with pinfalls, submissions and over the top eliminations, though the entrance intervals are going to be shaky at best. We see some people in the back trying to check into the match, including MJF in a blonde wig disguise. Jimmy Lloyd is in at #1 and Session Moth Martina (she likes beer) is in at #2. Martina dances a lot and gets kissed for her efforts as Orange Cassidy (still just an indy guy and not a phenomenon yet) is in at #3.
Cassidy takes so long to come in that Wheeler Yuta (looking about 17 years old) comes in at #4 and Curt Stallion comes in at #5 for the grapple off. Yuta rolls him up for two and it’s Facade in at #6 to strike away at Stallion. Facade sends him outside and adds a rope walk moonsault onto everyone outside (as no one has been eliminated yet). Back in and a running kick to the head pins Stallion for our first elimination. Swoggle is in at #7 and snaps off some German suplexes.
With Swoggle cleaning house, Grado is in at #8 and he seems immune to German suplexes. Apparently Grado is quite intoxicated and Kikutaro is in at #9 and crotches himself while trying Old School. As some other wrestlers come back in….the Invisible Man is in at #10. House is cleaned and Kikutaro is tossed before Swoggle taps to a Fujiwara armbar. Joe Gacy is in at #11 and slugs it out with Yuta, including the handspring cutter. Bryan Idol is in at #12 and gets to clean some house before Chris Dickinson, in a mask, smoking a cigarette, and coming out to Real American, knocks out Facade.
Gacy is tossed and Yuta is Razor’s Edged out onto the pile (some are still in, some aren’t) at ringside. Dickinson hits Hulk Hogan’s finishing sequence to get rid of Grado and is left alone (I think). Dan Severn is in at #13 and they go with the grappling (after issues at yesterday’s Bloodsport). Alabama Doink (sure) is in at #14 and gets tossed by Severn, who is eliminated by Dickinson. Rickey Shane Page is in at #15 and beats up Dickinson….as well as the still in Lloyd.
With that not working, Marcus Crane comes in at #16 and gets beaten up by Dickinson. Aeroboy (a masked luchador with another masked man apparently named Crazy Boy….who looks like Excalibur) is in at #17 and starts cleaning house, with a Swanton into a double pin getting rid of Dickinson. Rory Gulak (or Drew, according to the rather drunk commentary team) is in at #18 and doesn’t like the idea of the match (with the sign to prove it). Nate Webb is in at #19 and walks through the crowd as Rory beats people up inside.
Everyone gets out of the ring as the fans sing Webb’s song. After taking over the camera, Webb gets inside and plants Gulak with something like a spinning Big Ending for the elimination. Ethan Page is in at #20 so Gulak kicks him in the head. That earns Webb a trip into the corner and it’s MJF (no wig) in at #21.
The masked men go after Page and MJF, with the villains tossing out the luchadors. With them gone, MJF Codebreakers Page into a rollup for the elimination. Martina (hey she’s still in this) comes back in and puts a condom on her face for a Mandible Claw on Page. She also wraps her legs around MJF’s hand for the female version of Joey Ryan’s penis suplex. Then Page rolls her up for the elimination. Cassidy finally gets in for the lazy strikes (the fans approve) and a double chokeslam pus the villains down.
That lets Cassidy go up….and fall off the top so MJF and Page can pin him at the same time. The Invisible Man beats both of them up until Lloyd gives him a piledriver…..which is illegal in Louisiana so Lloyd is eliminated. Page and MJF double team Webb for a double two count so they beat up referee Bryce Remsburg. That results in a beating from Remsburg, who gets sent outside.
Mikey Whipwreck is in at #22 (oh yeah this is a battle royal) and beats the villains up until MJF elbows him in the face. The Whippersnapper (Stunner) sends Page into a spinning faceplant from Webb for the pin and we’re down to….however many are still in this thing. MJF shoves Mikey off the ropes and hits a splash for the pin. A poke to the eye stuns Webb and MJF throws him out….but the Invisible Man rolls MJF up for the win at 39:38.
Rating: D. This right here? It was dumb. I get the idea of having a bunch of people involved and all that jazz but my goodness did this not hold my interest. I’m sure the live crowd (plus a lot of alcohol) really enjoyed it but it was a bunch of indy stars coming in, doing a little something and then moving on. It’s also one of those battle royals where it is virtually impossible to keep track of who is in there and who isn’t as people will stand outside for such long stretches. These things can be fun, but this didn’t have any big surprises or cool moments, leaving it as something that just kept going.
Joey Janela vs. Great Sasuke
Penelope Ford, in a Mardi Gras mask, is here with Janela. Sasuke comes to the ring with what looks like holy water to bless fans. A quick takedown doesn’t get either of them very far so they go to a grappling sequence with Janela twisting the fingers around. Sasuke nips up though and sits in the middle of the ring, which has Janela worried. Back up and Sasuke…apparently hypnotizes Janela and then spins his hand around, causing Janela to flip himself over.
Sasuke puts him in a chair at ringside and loads up a ladder, only to be whipped into it instead. Back up and Sasuke sends him flying off the top and onto the table for a nasty crash. Sasuke brings it back inside and puts Janela on the ladder for a missed Swanton, leaving Sasuke’s heck caught in said ladder. Janela grabs an inflatable alligator to crush Sasuke before loading up six chairs back to back.
With Janela going up top, Sasuke powerbombs him down onto the chairs in one of those STOP DOING THAT bumps. Sasuke hits him in the head with a door and then whips him through another in the corner. They slug it out on the apron and there’s a Death Valley Driver to plant Sasuke (Janela: “F*** YOU JIM CORNETTE!”). With Sasuke in a chair at ringside, Janela misses a top rope flip dive, only hitting the chair instead.
Janela is laid on a table and a big running flip dive drives him through it, which draws in Ford. A dance distracts Sasuke and Janela grabs a figure four. Sasuke gets to the rope, which rightly has commentary asking “IN THIS MATCH?” Janela misses a moonsault and gets laid over another table at ringside, allowing Sasuke to try and put a trashcan over himself and climb up.
This proves rather difficult (as you might have guessed) so he just throws it at Janela instead, setting up a Swanton onto Janela onto the table for the huge crash. Back in and Janela gets two (as Sasuke is mostly dead) but can’t believe the kickout. A Michinoku Driver onto the side of the ladder gives Janela two more, followed by a top rope double stomp onto a chair onto Sasuke for the pin at 25:16.
Rating: D+. To say this just kept going would be an understatement. It turned into little more than a hardcore brawl and that isn’t the most thrilling thing to see. Sasuke did a bunch of flips, but it didn’t exactly feel like a special match. Chop this in half and have some more wrestling and it’s much better, but it didn’t work for the most part, mainly due to the length and feeling like an indy street fight.
Post match Janela puts Sasuke over huge and thanks the fans, talking about how he can’t believe all this happened. Sasuke gets in a quick thank you of his own and they do a quick karaoke version of It’s My Life by Bon Jovi (sure) to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This is a show where it depends on your viewing location. Watching this live in person would have been a blast, though watching it back at home just doesn’t work so well. The Quackenbush vs. Starr and PCO vs. Walter matches are both good (the latter being very good) but the rest of the show is mostly skippable. These shows would get better, but it took some time to get the formula of “fun indy show” down. For now, it isn’t quite working yet, but it could have been a lot worse. Just kind of a not great show that went on too long.
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