By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “Find You Again”
Streamed on FITE TV
April 22, 2022 in Hilliard, Ohio at Franklin County Fairgrounds
Dave Prazak and Kevin Gill were on commentary. The attendance is perhaps 300 to 500. This looks like it is in a large pull barn at the fairgrounds. The lights were on, which I prefer. Too often lately, GCW shows have been too dark, particularly when wrestlers leave the ring. The ceiling is a bit low, limiting some high-flying moves.
Nick Gage came to the ring and fired up the crowd. He didn’t say anything storyline related or even mention any of the matches on the show.
1. Blake Christian defeated Dante Leon at 9:34. I have seen Leon maybe four times now and he’s good but not in Blake’s league. He has long green and blue hair today while wearing a tie-dye shirt. Leon hit a springboard flip into a cutter early in the match that popped the crowd, then he dove to the floor on Blake at 1:30. Blake landed an incredible flip dive over the top rope to the floor. They fought in the corner and Leon hit a stunner for a nearfall at 6:00.
Blake hit a frogsplash for a nearfall. Blake went for his double-arm spinning DDT, but Dante escaped it and got a rollup. Leon hit another flip into a cutter for a nearfall at 7:30. Christian got a huracanrana for a nearfall. Dante hit a Tiger Driver sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. Dante missed a top-rope corkscrew press. Blake hit a springboard DDT, then he nailed his double-arm spinning DDT for the pin. Gill shouted that the springboard DDT is Johnny Gargano’s move. Interesting. Really good match.
Blake got on the mic and talked about being “all-heart” and that he didn’t give up when he was told he was too small. He asked the crowd to chant “Johnny Wrestling,” clearly indicated he wants a match against Gargano.
2. Alex Colon defeated Tony Deppen at 13:05. Colon is a hardcore fighter, and Gill said he just came back from a tour in Australia. Prazak agreed this is a mix of styles. The ring announcer said Deppen has made this a match where all weapons are banned, and the crowd booed. They traded basic mat reversals. Colon rolled to the floor at 2:30 and got chairs from under the ring; he slid them into the ring and Deppen immediately tossed them back out. Funny. In the ring, Colon hit a flying shoulder tackle. Deppen nailed a dive through the ropes, and they landed deep into the rows of chairs at 5:00.
Deppen tossed a table at Colon, so I guess weapons are being used after all. They brawled in the crowd. Back in the ring, Deppen threw a chair at Colon’s head. Colon hit a dive to the floor at 8:00. Colon tried to set Deppen down on a table, but it broke immediately and the crowd booed. Colon got another table and set Deppen on it, but Deppen escaped before Colon could do a move. In an awkward move, Colon fell on the ring apron and then to the floor. Deppen got him in the ring and hit a top-rope double stomp to the chest for a nearfall at 10:00.
Deppen set up the table in the corner of the ring. However, Colon whipped Deppen into the table. Colon hit a Shining Wizard for a believable nearfall. Colon hit a Code Red for a nearfall. Deppen nailed a piledriver for a nearfall at 12:00. Deppen hit a powerbomb across two open chairs. Deppen missed a running kick and Colon somehow got a backslide for the pin. Good match for this style, and the winner was in doubt throughout, which added to the enjoyment of this match, as I really wouldn’t have been surprised with a Deppen win, either.
Colon got on the mic and called out John Wayne Murdoch, saying he wants a rematch.
3. Nick Wayne defeated Alex Zayne at 8:17. Zayne wore an eyepatch over the eye that was damaged when a glass shard punctured it earlier this year. He looks like a flamboyant pirate now; I’m a fan of his ring work. Quick reversals at the bell and Wayne nailed a flip dive to the floor. Alex hit a huracanrana on the floor. Zayne nailed a side suplex onto the ring apron. Alex grounded him in the mat with some neck holds. Alex hit a springboard flip dive to the floor at 4:00. He went for a flip back into the ring, but awkwardly came up a bit short. Nick nailed a Poison Rana and they were both down at 6:00.
Nick hit a standing Spanish Fly for a nearfall. Alex hit a German release suplex. Nick reversed a move, got a rollup, and the stunning pin out of nowhere. I love both of these guys but they had a couple awkward exchanges and I know these two have a better match in them. Zayne sold being upset, but then he raised Wayne’s hand.
4. Matthew Justice and Mance Warner defeated Cole Radrick, Billie Starkz, and Calvin Tankman in a handicap match at 16:43. AJ Gray, who was scheduled to team with Justice and Warner, had travel issues and missed the show. Radrick looks like a dorky, young Bob Backlund. He opened against Justice, but Justice is so much taller than him. Starkz tagged in and the crowd popped. Justice kicked and chopped her and the crowd booed. She slapped him in the face. He nailed a forearm that dropped her. I really dislike this intergender action. Mance tagged in, so she hit him with a forearm too.
Tankman entered at 3:30; he’s just a beast, and he stood toe to toe with Mance Warner. Mance and Justice hit chair shots on Tankman on the floor. Starkz and Radrick hit dives to the floor. Everyone was brawling on the floor. Mance whipped a chair right at Starkz head at 7:00, which is just unnecessary. Finally back in the ring, Tankman hit a double clothesline at 10:00. Tankman hit a second-rope crossbody block on both opponents, and they were all down. Radrick got in and hit a springboard-back-stunner on Justice, and Starkz hit a German Suplex on Justice.
Tankman and Mance traded mid-ring blows and the crowd was hot. Tankman hit a sitdown powerbomb on Mance; a door thrown into the ring broke up the pin at 13:30. Mance hit all the opponents with chair shots to the head. Radrick accidentally hit Tankman on a dive to the floor. Justice accidentally hit Mance with a chairshot. Starkz hit Justice with a chair. She hit a Swanton Bomb on Mance, but she missed one on Justice. Mance slammed her through a door, but Starkz kicked out at one and the crowd went nuts. Justice dove to the floor on his opponents while Mance pinned Billie. The crowd loved this, far more than I did.
5. Nate Webb defeated Jimmy Lloyd, Lucky 13, Gringo Loco, Steve Scott, ASF, Yoya In a seven-way scramble at 8:17. The singalong with Wheatus “Teenage Dirtbag” still never gets old. I first saw Webb wrestle live in 2004. I don’t know Lucky 13. He is really short with a good physique. I thought he looked like a young Matt Cross/M-Dogg 20. Steve Scott is the “Selfie superstar” and he’s got a young Tyler Breeze gimmick.
ASF hit a huracanrana on Loco, then he hit a tornado DDT. These two had some really good opening exchanges. Steve Scott tried to take pictures of himself while he was performing moves. Webb and Jimmy Lloyd traded good, fast-paced reversals. ASF hit a springboard corkscrew press to the floor at 4:30. Lucky 13 hit a dive to the floor. Gringo nailed a flip dive to the floor. Scott hit an Asai Moonsault, almost completely going over all his opponents.
In the ring, Scott hit a piledriver on Yoya. Loco hit a top-rope stunner on Lloyd. ASF hit a Canadian Destroyer. Loco hit his top-rope spinning powerbomb on ASF. Webb hit his Soylent Green slam. Webb hit his moonsault, with a chair in his arms, coming down across Lucky 13, for the pin. This was fast-paced and fun, with everyone getting a chance to hit a big splashy move.
*Charles Mason snuck into the ring, holding piano wire, and he choked Webb from behind. I said recently that Mason has a great evil messiah character. The announcers were stunned and wondered why Mason was there, and said there is no history between him and Webb.
6. Effy and Allie Katch defeated Levi Everett and 1 Called Manders to retain the GCW Tag Titles at 13:30. Everett is doing the Amish character gimmick, coming to the ring with a butter churn. I’ve seen him once or twice before. Manders is a cowboy. Manders and Effy opened by trading hard slaps, then they had some homo-erotic humor. Effy got his hands on the butter churn and there was more silly homo-erotic humor.
Katch entered at 5:00 for the first time, and she hit Stinger Splashes on both opponents. Manders spun Katch several times before slamming her to the mat. The challengers worked over Katch. Katch fired up and hit punches on both guys. She hit a double DDT at 10:00. Effy hit a double blockbuster, then a TKO stunner on Everett. Effy got doors and chairs from under the ring. However, Everett slammed Effy through the door set up in the corner of the ring. Everett “churned” the arms of both opponents.
A table was set up in the ring. They had an awful, awkward spot where they fell to the mat, and Effy banged his elbow hard on a chair. Manders slammed Katch through a door in the corner. Everett hit a (terribly looking) top-rope diving headbutt on Katch for a nearfall. Effy re-emerged and hit his opponents with chairshots, then a legdrop across both opponents. Katch hit a piledriver on Everett for the pin. The crowd loved this but the titles were never in danger, and that hurts the match a bit. I hate the intergender action.
7. Alex Shelley defeated Jordan Oliver at 14:20. This was a huge singles match for the vastly improving Oliver. Kevin Gill noted that Shelley used to team with the late Jimmy Rave, and Rave trained Oliver. The crowd is hot at the bell. Oliver is taller and more muscular than Oliver. They traded good mat reversals to open. Oliver hit a Stunner at 3:00. Shelley applied the Border City Stretch in the middle of the ring, and he worked over the left arm.
Oliver fired back with some kicks and an overhead suplex at 6:30, and the crowd rallied for him. Oliver hit a Mafia Kick to the chest for a nearfall. Shelley hit a hard kick to the face, and he nailed an Air Raid Crash for a believable nearfall at 8:30. Oliver went for a move, but Shelley avoided it and applied the Border City Stretch again, and Oliver reached the ropes.
Oliver hit a powerbomb, and he applied a Boston Crab at 10:30. Shelley got a rollup for a believable nearfall. They began trading repeated, hard chops. Shelley dropped Oliver face-first into the turnbuckles. Shelley hit a mid-ring Sliced Bread but Oliver kicked out at 1. Oliver hit a German Suplex. Shelley hit the Shellshock spinning faceplant for a believable nearfall; Shelley immediately went back to the Border CIty Stretch, and this time, Oliver tapped out immediately. Excellent match, and easily best of the night. The crowd chanted “Both these guys!”
Shelley got on the mic and told the crowd that this match was special because of their connection to Jimmy Rave. They hugged.
8. John Wayne Murdoch defeated Joey Janela at 28:18. Janela was cocky as he walked to the ring. Murdoch is another hardcore wrestler with plenty of scars visible on his body. They stood in the ring for a minute and just listened to the loud chants aimed at Janela, who bailed from the ring and did a strut on the floor. In the ring, JWM hit a shoulder tackle and chops at 4:00. JWM hit a flip dive to the floor, and they brawled on the floor. JWM spit a drink in his face.
Back in the ring, Janela applied a Figure Four leg lock at 9:30. They brawled back to the floor, with JWM diving onto Janela in the rows of chairs. Janela applied a single-leg crab in the ring at 13:30. This match has been slow and methodical. In the ring, Janela swung a chair but it bounced off the ropes and smacked himself in the face. Janela hit a Death Valley Driver at 16:00 and they were both down. Janela hit a faceplant but JWM kicked out at 1. JWM hit a half-and-half suplex. Janela hit several hard kicks to the head.
Janela hit a brainbuster at 19:30. JWM hit a Canadian Destroyer/sunset flip bomb. Janela kicked him to the face and they were both down. They fought back to the floor; this match is just meandering with no pacing to it. Janela put him on a table, and he climbed a ladder up onto a landing 15 feet off the ground. Janela dove onto Murdoch, breaking the door, and the crowd chanted “holy shit!” Janela rolled him into the ring and got a nearfall at 24:00.
Murdoch suplexed him onto an open chair for a nearfall. He set up a door in the ring. Murdoch hit a top-rope Canadian Destroyer through the table to get the pin. The crowd loved the finish. Murdoch got on the mic and called out Colon. Colon ran to the ring and they brawled. Other wrestlers came out to separate them.
Final Thoughts: The show clocked in at 3 hours, 15 minutes. Wow, that main event dragged. They could have made that a tight 12 to 16 minute match and it would have been far, far better.
Shelley-Oliver was fantastic and was easily match of the night. Nothing else was close. The seven-way scramble was a blast, Blake Christian delivered as always, and I loved the tease of Blake vs. Gargano. Deppen-Colon topped my expectations. As I noted above, I think the world of Zayne and Wayne, and I know they’ll have a longer, far better rematch down the road.
GCW had another show on Saturday night in Detroit with Alex Shelley vs. Nick Wayne.