By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “For The Culture 3”
Streamed on FITE TV
April 1, 2022 in Dallas, Texas at Fair Park
Like all the events in the Collective, this is in a large, industrial-looking building, and the crowd is perhaps 400 to 500…
This show took place at 3 p.m. Friday – before Smackdown, the ROH “Supercard of Honor” event, and Impact Wrestling’s “Multiverse of Matches.” It overlapped with the New Japan show.
“For the Culture” is a celebration of Black wrestlers. Suge D, AC Mack, Faye Jackson, and Robert Martyr were on commentary…
1. Tasha Steez defeated Big Swole at 8:03. Swole was in fantastic shape and this was my first time seeing her since she left AEW. Tasha grabbed the mic from the ringside announcer and boasted that she is the Knockouts World Champion. Tasha hit the Three Amigos rolling suplexes at 3:00, and dominated early. Swole hit some European uppercuts to the back and got a nearfall. Swole hit a Blue Thunder Driver for a nearfall at 6:00.
The crowd chanted for Swole. Steelz hit a stunner. Swole nailed a rolling elbow and they were both down. Tasha rolled to the floor before a cover could be made. Swole chased her to the floor; as she got back in the ring, Tasha caught her with another stunner and scored the pin. Decent match. I feel like they have a better match in them, especially if they could work together a few more times. But, a good way to open the show.
Faye Jackson left the booth here, saying she “was summoned.” The other announcers were confused…
2. Michael Oku defeated Keita Murray, Ju Dizz, Trey Shaw, Andino, Carlie Bravo and PB Smooth (w/Faye Jackson) in a seven-man scramble match at 9:50. I only know Oku and Bravo here, so lots of new faces for me. Keita was introduced as “the bisexual king.” Dizz had six or seven nicknames. I don’t know him; he has long dredlocks. Trey Shaw and Bravo are from Cody Rhodes’ Nightmare Factory; Bravo has had several AEW TV matches. Oku came out second-last and wore his Rev Pro title, and it’s immediately clear he was the favorite. I noted this earlier this week; he had a stellar match earlier this year against Will Ospreay in England.
Andino is tall and hit a nice Blue Thunder Driver for a nearfall. Oku hit a hurricanrana at 4:00, showing off his speed. Oku hit the backflip over the top rope to the floor on everyone at 6:00. Everyone brawled in the ring; no tags needed here. Ju Dizz hit a top-rope elbow drop for a nearfall, but Andino pulled him off. PB Smooth, the tallest man in the match. picked up Bravo and tossed him to the floor. Oku applied the half crab on an opponent and got the tapout for the win. This was fast and fun. I wish I had a better handle on who everyone was better so I could have described it better.
3) Shane Taylor and O’Shay Edwards defeated “The Hitmakerz” AJ Francis (f/k/a Top Dolla) and Tehuti Miles (w/B-Fab) at 11:27. This match jumped out at me on the lineup. Taylor and Francis opened against each other with hard slaps. Francis knocked Edwards down with a huge shoulder tackle. Taylor and Edwards held Miles upside down for several seconds, before dropping him to the mat at 4:00. They worked over Tehuti Miles.
Francis hit a second-rope moonsault on both opponents at 9:30. He went for a cover but he wasn’t the legal man. Taylor hit a running knee, then his sit-out piledriver on Miles, to get the pin. Entertaining tag match.
4. Trish Adora defeated MJ Jenkins to retain the Pan-African Championship at 10:51. Adora wrestled a lot last year in Ring of Honor. I wrote this earlier this week, that she has to be the top unsigned women’s wrestler today. Jenkins, who competed in the WWE Mae Young Classic in 2016, jawed at the crowd, making it clear she was the heel.
The announcers agreed that Jenkins is “back to prove a point” after her release from WWE developmental. Jenkins dominated early, and the crowd rallied for Trish. She kept her grounded with a headlock and sleeper, and this was fairly slow early. They picked it up by trading stiff forearms at 7:30. Jenkins hit a swinging body slam for a nearfall. Adora hit a German Suplex with a bridge for a nearfall at 9:30.
Jenkins hit an enzuigiri for a nearfall. Adora hit a sit-out Bubba Bomb, applied a leglock, got a rollup, and scored the pin. Really good build to the final few minutes.
5. AJ Gray defeated Darius Lockhart at 10:26. Gray is coming off a memorable match against Jon Moxley a night earlier, and he got a nice ovation from the GCW faithful, who know his work well. They mat wrestled early on, then they traded hard chops. Lockhart dominated the match, and the crowd rallied for Gray. Lockhart hit a standing powerbomb for a nearfall at 8:00. Gray hit a basement clothesline for a nearfall. He got a rollup out of nowhere for the pin. They hugged after. Fairly basic; not bad, but just there.
6. Mysterious Q defeated JTG, Bryan Keith, and Zenshi in a four-way at 8:07. Early on, this was billed as Bryan Keith vs. Too Cold Scorpio and JTG vs. Rich Swann; I don’t know when Scorpio and Swann canceled. (Note that Swann was in an Impact Wrestling Ultimate X match within an hour or so of this match.) JTG looked great; he is the perfect example of someone leaving WWE and reinventing himself, rather than hold onto his gimmick. I don’t know Mysterious Q, but he is tall, muscular, and wore a mask. We’ve seen a lot of Zenshi in MLW, and he’s a quick, masked high-flyer.
Zenshi unloaded several chops on JTG and they traded some good offense. JTG hit a spinning slam on Zenshi for a nearfall at 5:30. Zenshi hit a coast-to-coast Van Terminator. Mysterous Q climbed the top rope, hit a bulldog on Zenshi as Zenshi was sitting on Keith’s shoulders, and he scored the pin. This was good action that ended way too early.
Weapons were set up in the ring, and the ring announcer warned fans to “grab their shit and move” if the action heads their way.
7. Hoodfoot defeated Billy Dixon in a death match at about 17:00. There were light tubes, glass, and blood. Not for me.
Final Thoughts: A unique show. I’ll give Shane Taylor Promotions vs. Hitmakerz the best match, ahead of the seven-man scramble. The four-way was really good but needed more time. Both women’s matches were solid.
I’ll be blunt: I loved watching Too Cold Scorpio 20-30 years ago, but his GCW matches this year haven’t been good. At all. So, I didn’t mind him being off this show. Swann was missed but his cancellation is understandable. Was Calvin Tankman busy at this time? He could have filled in here, too.
I like how GCW offered a variety of shows over WrestleMania weekend: an all-women’s show, a Black celebration show, the MMA-theme Bloodsport, etc. They also presented a death match show that isn’t my taste, but I’m sure it has fans.