By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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GCW “Paranoid” on FITE TV
April 9, 2022 in Los Angeles, California at Ukrainian Cultural Center
Report by Dot Net contributor Chris Vetter
This is a great venue with high ceilings and good lighting. The last time GCW was here, Ninja Mack leapt off the balcony, and Alex Zayne risked losing his eyesight when a glass shard punctured his eyeball.
Kevin Gill and Josh Barnett are on commentary. The sound is surprisingly poor on commentary, which is not usually an issue for GCW. The ring announcer also was hard to comprehend. The crowd was perhaps 500 to 700.
I have mentioned this before, I hate that the fans in this venue are almost right next to the ring apron. As Joey Janela walked to ringside for the first match, he is brushing right past them.
1. Joey Janela defeated Gringo Loco at 16:49. No pre-match mic work from Janela, which was a bit of a surprise. Janela hit him from behind to start the match. They brawled to the floor at 2:00. Janela charged at him, but Loco nailed a superkick. Gringo Loco hit a moonsault off a large box (speaker?) onto Janela on the floor. They re-entered the ring at 5:00. Janela grounded Loco with mat holds.
Loco hit a huracanrana at 7:30, then a top-rope frogsplash for a nearfall. Loco hit an enzuigiri, then a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall at 10:30. Loco went for a moonsault, but Janela got his knees up. Janela then hit a piledriver for a nearfall. Frustrated, Janela rolled to the floor and got a door and chairs from under the ring, and he set that up in the ring. They fought on the top rope, and Janela gave him a side slam through the table for a believable nearfall at 13:30. Janela then hit a double stomp on a table shard on Loco’s chest.
Janela set up another table. However, Loco placed Janela on the table, and he hit a double-jump moonsault onto Janela, through the table for a believable nearfall at 16:00. Janela hit a second-rope Poison Rana, then an X-Factor faceplant, then a running kick to the face, to score the pin. Really good finishing sequence. The crowd was hot and this was a great choice for an opener.
2. AJ Gray defeated Kevin Blackwood at 10:52. Gray is coming off a good match against Jon Moxley last weekend in Dallas. Almost immediately, they traded stiff forearms and chops, and the crowd is hot for the blows. Gray hit a back suplex for a nearfall at 2:00; Blackwood hit one too. Blackwood went to work on the left arm. Gray hit a brainbuster for a nearfall at 6:00. Black hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall at 8:00.
Gray nailed a top-rope superplex for a nearfall, and the crowd popped for the kick-out. Blackwood hit a second-rope suplex, then a Shining Wizard for a nearfall. Blackwood hit some Kawada kicks. They traded hard slaps to the face, and Gray nailed a decapitating clothesline for the pin. Really good match, and while Blackwood isn’t racking up wins here, he continues to improve.
3. Chris Bey defeated Jack Cartwheel at 13:23. A huge pop for Bey. It’s amazing how quickly he went from Impact jobber to rising star in both Impact and New Japan Strong. Cartwheel did a cartwheel and was acting like a dork, almost begging the crowd to boo him. Bey went for a move in the corner, but Cartwheel did a cartwheel to get out of the way (I hate that name. I love Flip Gordon but I hate that name too!). Just great athleticism early on as they avoided each other’s moves, and Bey showed he can hit a cartwheel, too. They fought to the floor. They fought on the ring apron, and Bey slammed Cartwheel’s back into the ring post at 6:00.
Back in the ring, Bey dominated; he is the larger man in the match, which I’m sure he isn’t used to. Cartwheel nailed a spear for a nearfall at 8:00. Cartwheel went for a moonsault, but Bey caught him with a superkick as he came down. Bey hit a Code Red for a nearfall. Cartwheel hit a snap German suplex. These two have great chemistry. Bey went for a top-rope move, but Carthweel caught him and hit a DVD.
Cartwheel went to the top rope, but Bey hit a drop kick, and Cartwheel crashed to the floor. Moments later, Cartwheel did a handspring-back-flip to the floor on Bey. In the ring, Bey got Cartwheel up for the (Homicide) Cop Killah, nailed the move, and scored the pin. Really good action. Impressive athleticism.
4. Dark Sheik defeated Jimmy Lloyd, Jordan Oliver, B-Boy, Lucas Riley, and Damian Drake in a six-way scramble match at 10:01. Gill got newcomers Drake and Riley confused. Fast action at the bell, and it’s somewhat funny they aren’t calling the action because they aren’t sure who everyone is. Riley wore green pants and Drake wore pink pants, but they both are of similar height and weight with black hair, so easily confused.
Sheik cleared the ring. Drake and Oliver traded stiff forearms at 4:30. Oliver hit a dive on Lloyd. Lloyd hit a Michinoku Driver on Riley for a nearfall. B-Boy nailed a Death Valley Driver on Sheik on the ring apron at 6:30. Ouch. Drake nailed a dive to the floor on several guys. B-Boy hit dropkicks in the corner.
B-Boy blocked Sheik’s low blow attempt, and he applied an arm submission hold, but everyone else made the save. Several guys hit superkicks on B-Boy. This action is rapid-fire. Drake hit a Poison Rana on Lloyd. Dark Sheik hit a Michinoku Driver on Riley to score the pin. Messy, but in a good way.
5. Effy and Allie Katch (Bussy) defeated Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe to win the GCW Tag Titles at 16:11. Ugh, I hate how much every male wrestler has to sell for Katch. Bussy is wildly popular. Effy lewdly gyrated on Mark Briscoe in the corner. Katch tagged in to square off with Jay. She tried a shoulder tackle but he didn’t budge. He seemed hesitant to strike her, so she slapped hm in the face. All four brawled to the floor. The Briscoes set up a double-decker door on the floor. Effy, standing on the ring apron, tossed Mark off the top rope through the two layers of doors set up on the floor at 7:00.
In the ring, Effy hit a DVD move and applied a sleeper, but Jay broke it up with a chairshot to Effy’s head. Jay hit a Rude Awakening neckbreaker on Effy; Effy is bleeding from the forehead after that chairshot. The Briscoes continued their beatdown on Effy. Katch re-entered the ring, but Jay put her on his shoulders and gave her a Death Valley Driver through a table set up in the corner of the ring at 11:00. Katch hit rolling cannonballs in both corners on each Briscoe brother. In an absurd spot, Katch hit a double suplex on both Briscoes.
Jay hit a running boot to Katch in the corner, and she was bleeding too. Bussy went for a Doomsday Device on Jay, but Mark made the save at 14:00. Jay nailed the Jay Driller piledriver on Katch, but the ref was bumped. The Briscoes hit their team neckbreaker on Effy. Suddenly, Mance Warner and the Second Gear Crew hit the ring and beat up the Briscoes. Katch hit a piledriver on one Briscoe into the other Briscoe’s chest. Both Effy and Katch made the cover to score the pin. The crowd was pleased by the title change.
6. Chris Dickinson defeated Masha Slamovich in an intergender match at 11:17. Slamovich jumped him at the start of the match. This is just an absurd size difference, as Dickinson is just a massive man. He hit some stomps and was in control. He just leveled her with a chop at 2:30. Masha went for a Divorce Court armbreaker, but he easily escaped.
Dickinson slammed Masha through a table set up in the corner at 6:00. She fought back with a flurry of punches, but he slammed her to the mat. However, she popped up and was angry. She hit a German Suplex with a bridge for a nearfall at 8:00. They traded rollup attempts. She went back to the Divorce Court armbreaker. He tried to suplex her to the floor, but she escaped, and she dove through the ropes onto him on the floor. In the ring, Dickinson hit a second-rope suplex, then a German Suplex. He hit a delayed brainbuster to score the pin.
7. ACH defeated Nick Wayne at 11:32. ACH is so much thicker. Wayne is so talented at 16 or 17. Wayne hit a huracanrana, then a standing Spanish Fly for a nearfall at 2:30. ACH hit a running punt kick on Wayne as ACH was on the ring apron and Wayne was on the floor. In the ring, ACH hit a dropkick to the face for a nearfall at 5:00. ACH hit a neckbreaker over his knee for a nearfall. I like how ACH is controlling this action.
ACH went for a second punt kick, but this time Wayne caught the leg. Wayne hit a dive through the ropes. Wayne hit a 619, a Dragon Suplex, and a Code Red in the ring at 7:30. ACH went for a German Suplelx but Wayne landed on his feet. ACH hit a brainbuster suplex for a nearfall at 9:30. The crowd was hot. They fought in the corner, and Wayne hit a huracanrana, a running Shooting Star Press, then a stunner for a nearfall. Wayne hit a top-rope moonsault to the floor on ACH at 11:00.
In the ring, Wayne went for a swanton bomb, but ACH got his knees up. ACH then nailed a brainbuster for the pin. Very good match, and I actually thought this was an upset, just because Wayne has been getting such a good push in GCW. I am so glad ACH’s retirement was short, because he adds so much to every show he’s on.
8. Minoru Suzuki defeated Christian Blake at 14:07. Both got huge pops. Suzuki went to work on tying up Blake’s arms. Blake hit a dropkick to the face at 5:00. They brawled to the floor, where Suzuki leveled Blake with stiff forearms. In the ring, Suzuki worked over the elbow, wrist and fingers, and Blake writhed in pain. Suzuki tied up the head with a leg lock.
Blake hit some kicks and chops, but it just irritated Suzuki. Suzuki hit a running kick to the chest at 10:30. They traded stiff forearm shots. Suzuki nailed Blake with a blow that sent Blake to the mat. Blake kept getting up and being knocked back down. Blake applied a Border City Stretch at 12:30, then a springboard 450 Splash for a nearfall.
Suzuki went for the Gotch piledriver, but Blake escaped. Moments later, Suzuki hit the Gotch-style piledriver and scored the pin. Very good match. Suzuki wrestled five or so matches last weekend, has another one Sunday night, and is just a star on this tour. Suzuki got on the mic and said “See you next time, Los Angeles,” which popped the crowd. Then he added, “And f— you!” which got an even bigger pop.
Final Thoughts: You can’t go wrong with a main event like that, and I loved Wayne-ACH and Cartwheel-Bey too. I have asked it repeatedly, but how did WWE make the decision to let Blake go, when factoring in his youth and skill???
I hate the tag title change, absolutely hate it. Not only do I think it is absurd how Allie Katch gets so much offense against men, I think GCW really could benefit by having a name act like the Briscoes as their flagbearers. To have them lose the belts just a week after winning them is just a terrible mistake. The interference of the Second Gear Crew softened the loss for the Briscoes, but I still think it was the wrong decision.
I just don’t understand GCW’s fixation with intergender matches. Seriously, how does a babyface like Dickinson benefit from beating up a girl, who is much smaller than him? All that said, the crowd loved both intergender matches.
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