By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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GCW “Welcome To Heartbreak” on FITE TV
February 25, 2022 in Los Angeles, California at Ukrainian Cultural Center
Report by Dot Net contributor Chris Vetter
The crowd is perhaps 700-800 strong, and they are hot for the action. I like this building because it has a high ceiling and good lighting. Lenny Leonard was in the booth with a variety of co-anchors over the course of the show…
1. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe defeated Jacob Fatu and Juicy Finau at 10:13. The brawl you would expect, as this went into the crowd. Starboy Charlie, who was injured and sitting in the crowd, hit Fatu and Finau with a crutch. In the ring, Mark nailed his Froggy Bow top-rope elbow drop onto an opponent, through a table set up on chairs, for the pin. After the match, the Briscoes got on the mic and said they wanted their tag titles back, with a rematch against Nick Gage and Matt Tremont (they lost them in less than six minutes in the disappointing NYC show because GCW was running out of PPV time).
2. Blake Christian defeated Nick Wayne at 19:24. Easily the match of the night, as these guys did the expected reversals and high-flying moves. Nick Wayne got the little things, like on a fisherman’s supex, he was up on his tippy-toes to apply leverage; it just looked so believable. Christian won with a spinning DDT. (Seriously, why did WWE cut him? He is under age 30 and tremendous in the ring. He has just been a star everywhere he’s gone since his WWE release.) Incredible action here.
3. Tony Deppen defeated Kevin Blackwood at 11:32. Good stiff action in the ring, and these two have good chemistry. That said, Blackwood hit a stuff piledriver late in the match; in my eyes, that should definitely be a finisher, and if not, Deppen needs to sell it like he’s nearly dead. Instead, he bounced back and won a few minutes later by applying a choke, then flipping over for pressure, until Blackwood tapped out.
5. Mike Bailey defeated Ninja Mack at 14:09. These high-flyers surprised us by brawling into the crowd. A door was set up across two chairs, but they went back into the ring, and we momentarily forgot about it. They brawled back to the floor, and a ridiculously tall ladder is set up in the corner of the building. They climbed up to a ledge (too narrow to even call it a walkway!) that was perhaps 20 or so feet above the ground. They traded stiff kicks to the chest while up there, then Ninja Mack keeled over, performed a flip, and crashed through the table set up between chairs. Dangerous spot, and more than a bit unnecessary. Bailey climbed down, dragged Mack into the ring, and got the pin. These two are great; the spot was a bit much, but will certainly be memorable. Luckily, it appears Mack is okay.
5. AJ Gray defeated ACH at 13:20. Gray is bigger and a brawler. ACH hit his impressive high-flying moves, but Gray just overpowered him in the end with clotheslines for the win. After the match, Gray got on the mic and demanded a match against Jon Moxley in Dallas. Glad to see ACH is still competing, after considering retirement last year. He’s a great high-flyer and performer.
6. Dr. Wagner Jr. defeated Homicide at 11:28. The crowd gave Wagner a huge pop for his entrance. Nick Gage joined the commentary team and dropped an F-bomb in nearly every sentence he spoke. Outside of telling us he was VHS tape-trader, he contributed little on commentary. Wagner dominated the action. Homicide nailed his dive through the ropes to the floor, but Wagner scored the pin with the Wagner Driver.
7. Matthew Justice, Allie Katch, Dark Sheik, and Gringo Loco defeated Grim Reefer, Jordan Oliver, Jimmy Lloyd, and Jack Cartwheel in an eight-person tag at 10:39. The wild, messy match you’d expect, with some great dives but also other spots where you feared someone was going to break their neck. Gringo Loco set up Jack Cartwheel on his shoulders in the corner, and spinned and slammed him down to the mat for the pin. I hate how much offense Katch gets, because it just isn’t believable. She just isn’t muscular or particularly menacing. Gringo Loco and Jack Cartwheel were the real standout talents in this one.
Chris Dickinson came to the ring and spoke about his injury. He challenged Minoru Suzuki to a match at Bloodsport in Dallas. Matt Cardona hit the ring and talked trash to Dickinson. They also agreed to a match.
8. Sean “X-Pac” Waltman and Joey Janela defeated Brian Myers and Matt Cardona (w/Chelsea Green) at 20:02. The heels came out first and got booed heavily. X-Pac got quite the pop. He looked healthy for his first match in three years, but his belly is too big under that tight singlet, even though his legs are still thin. Early in the match, X-Pac hit a plancha to the floor and the crowd chanted “you still got it!” He was good in spots, but appeared to get winded quickly, too.
As expected, Janela worked the bulk of the match against the heels. X-Pac’s first attempt at a Bronco Buster was blocked. He hit an X-Factor faceplant for a believable nearfall. He eventually hit one through a door set up in the ring to pin Myers, so Cardona avoided taking a pinfall.
The heels left after the match. X-Pac got on the mic and talked about this being his last match, or possibly being his last match. Janela gave him a hug. Out of nowhere, Janela nailed a super kick on X-Pac, and the crowd was SHOCKED. No one saw that coming. The show went off the air as we see Janela looking evil while standing in the ring.
Final Thoughts: One of the better GCW shows I’ve seen. No barbaric light tube matches or needlessly bloody barbed wire/hardcore matches. It was no surprise that Blake Christian continues to steal the show. People will leave talking about the Ninja Mack bump and the Joey Janela turn. Give GCW credit, they are doing a good job putting together matches heading toward their super show in Dallas over WrestleMania weekend.