By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “Downward Spiral”
Streamed on FITE TV
May 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada at Silver Nugget Casino & Event Center
There were at least four wrestling promotions running in Las Vegas between Friday and Saturday, taking advantage of wrestling fans being in town for AEW Double Or Nothing. Many of these wrestlers appeared on the Pro Wrestling Revolver show earlier in the day.
Kevin Gill was on commentary, with Veda Scott and Emil Jay joining on some of the matches. Crowd is perhaps 500-600.
1. Early Morning Guy Steel defeated Jimmy Lloyd, Marcus Mathers, Matt Vandagriff, Titus Alexander, and The Rotation in a scramble at 10:52. Guy Steel appeared in the Joey Janela Clusterf– match. He wears a cartoonish mask and what is essentially a miner’s outfit with bib overalls, and it’s unclear who that is. Three guys hit superkicks on Guy Steel on the floor. Titus hit a flip dive to the floor, then a Chaos Theory German Suplex in the ring. Mathers hit a Michinoku Driver. Lloyd hit a superkick on Mathers at 3:30.
Steel hit a huracanrana. He went for a springboard move but purposely slipped and crotched himself. Mathers hit a flip dive to the floor. Vandagriff hit a top-rope corkscrew press to the floor. All six brawled o the floor against a wall, far from the ring. Rotation hit a moonsault off a platform down 15 feet onto the other competitors at 7:00. Titus hit a Michinoku Driver. Lloyd hit a sit-out piledriver. Guy Steel hit a Canadian Destroyer on Lloyd, then a 450 splash on Lloyd. Mathers nailed a Poison Rana on Guy Steel. Steel hit a swinging neckbreaker on Mathers for the pin. Fun scramble, and the crowd loves the silliness of Steel.
2. Allie Katch, Sandra Moone, and Billie Starkz defeated Mance Warner, Matthew Justice, and AJ Gray in an intergender six-person tag at 16:15. Moone wrestled at the AEW taping (the match aired Saturday afternoon.) I must add that this match is absurd because the men are all significantly bigger and stronger than their female counterparts. Moone has appeared a lot in the bigger shows in Vegas and California lately. Moone tried a headlock, but Justice just tossed her across the ring. Moone hit a Russian leg sweep on Justice from the second rope at 3:00.
Starkz and Gray entered the ring, and she hit a huracanrana. Mance entered at 4:30 and demanded Billie tag in Allie. Allie and Mance traded chips and forearms, then punches to the face, with Allie knocking Mance to the floor. Billie and Moone tried dives to the floor, but they were both caught. Katch did some silly eye poke spots. Justice got a chair at 8:00 and slammed it on the back of Katch, then Starkz. Doors and chairs were pulled out from under the ring.
In the ring, Starkz hit a huracanrana, sending Gray onto a door set up in the center of the ring. Katch brought a knife into the ring at 11:30. Mance accidentally hit Justice over the head with a chair. Katch cut Mance’s head with the knife, then she cut Justice’s head. I don’t like this at all. It feels like a knife can accidentally cut too deep. Mance slammed Moone against a door, but it didn’t break. Justice hit a Death Valley Driver on Moone through the door in the corner at 14:00. Moone hit a powerbomb on Mance through a door set up in the middle of the ring. Starkz immediately hit a Swanton Bomb on Mance. Katch then hit a piledriver on Mance for the pin.
3. Mike Bailey defeated Chris Bey at 10:55. Veda Scott pointed out Bailey and Bey just had matches a few hours ago. Quick reversals at the bell, then they brawled to the floor at 2:00. In the ring, Bailey applied a half-crab, then he nailed his double knee drop to the chest, then a frogsplash for a nearfall at 4:00. They traded stiff forearm shots. Bailey hit his corkscrew senton splash for a nearfall. Bailey hit his moonsault to the floor. Bey hit a springboard dropkick, then a flip dive to the floor at 7:00.
Bey nailed a DDT on the ring apron. They fought on the top rope, and Bey leaned Bailey backward and hit a double stomp to the chest! Bey went for a top rope move, but Bailey caught him with a superkick. Bailey nailed the spin kick to the head for a nearfall at 10:00. Bey hit a stunner for a nearfall. Bailey hit his second-rope 450 kneedrop to the back to score the pin. Excellent match. I wouldn’t have minded if this had gone longer.
4. Matt Cardona defeated Blake Christian at 7:33. Blake got on the mic and called his opponent “Mid-card-dona.” He again called out Alex Shelley, Kushida, Johnny Gargano and Jon Moxley. He’s done this for a month now. Cardona came out and jawed with the fans on his way to the ring. Cardona got in the ring and hit Blake with a title belt to start the match. Blake fired back with a dropkick and a spear into the corner. Blake hit a running knee, and Cardona bailed to the floor. Blake dove over the turnbuckle and slammed into Cardona on the floor at 2:30.
They fought in the crowd, with Blake nailing a rolling cannonball onto Cardona, with them crashing through several empty chairs. They brawled along the walls, by a bar area. Blake jumped off a platform 10 feet down onto Cardona and the referee at 5:30. Cardona set up for a Pedigree, but Blake hit a back body drop. They got back in the ring. Blake went for a Stomp, but Cardona nailed a low blow, got a quick rollup and the pin. The crowd loudly booed this outcome.
5. Nick Wayne and Jordan Oliver defeated Gringo Loco and ASF at 15:48. Oliver and Loco started with quick reversals and avoiding each other’s big moves, ending with a standoff. ASF and Wayne tagged in at 1:30, with Wayne overpowering the smaller ASF. ASF hit some huracanranas. ASF launched off Loco and hit a senton on Oliver. Cool spot. Lots of quick tags in and out with neither team getting the upper hand. Wayne tied up ASF on the mat at 7:00. Oliver tagged in and tied up ASF with a bow and arrow move.
Gringo made the hot tag at 9:00 and he hit some lucha reversals on his opponents. ASF hit a frogsplash off of Gringo’s shoulders. Loco then hit a swinging move but he slipped off the ropes and landed awkwardly. Oliver jumped off the ropes, but Loco caught him and hit a spinebuster at 12:30. Gringo hit a fallaway stunner on Wayne. ASF hit a Shooting Star Press on Wayne for a believable nearfall. All four fought in the ring. Oliver hit a Jay Driller. Oliver hit a stunner on ASF, and Wayne covered ASF for the pin. Nonstop action throughout this sprint of a match.
6. Effy defeated Kevin Blackwood at 11:12. They opened with mat reversals and Blackwood is stalling a lot. Effy choked him with his leg in the corner. Blackwood avoided a sunset flip and hit a double stomp to the chest. Blackwood hit a belly-to-back suplex at 4:30, some stiff kicks, and he was in charge. Effy hit a nice Northern Lights suplex at 6:00, then he tied up Blackwood’s legs and nailed a Stomp. Blackwood hit an enzuigiri. He hit a double stomp to the chest as Effy was tied upside down in the corner at 8:00.
Blackwood applied a Texas Cloverleaf, and he pressed his knee into Effy’s back. Effy hit a Famouser legdrop for a believable nearfall at 10:00. Blackwood slapped him in the face, but Effy liked it. Blackwood kissed Effy on the lips. Blackwood went for a move, but Effy reversed it into a rollup for the pin. Fun match that topped my expectations. Blackwood needs to start picking up wins, as he’s too talented to keep losing.
7. Dark Sheik defeated Jai Vidal at 8:51. Jai hit some hard chops early on. Sheik hit a top-rope dive to the floor. In the ring, Vidal repeatedly rammed her head into the mat and got a nearfall at 4:00. She punched him in the groin. Sheik hit a German suplex onto an open chair, then a slingshot legdrop. Vidal came back with a piledriver in the ropes. Vidal set up for a Styles Clash but he turned it into a powerbomb for a nearfall at 7:30. Sheik hit a second-rope Michinoku Driver onto open chairs. She then hit another driver onto an open chair in the middle of the ring for the pin. With Sheik becoming a regular in GCW, the winner of this match was never in doubt. They hugged afterward.
8. Johnny Game Changer (a/k/a John Hennigan) defeated Joey Janela at 18:19. The goofy guy, “Dad,” who danced in the ring with him at the conclusion of AEW Dark on Saturday joined Johnny to ringside. I find this guy so annoying, he risks distracting from the match. Standing reversals to open the match. Johnny hit some hard kicks and a flipping senton at 3:00, then a swinging neckbreaker.
Janela rolled to the floor and was annoyed while watching the Dad dance. Janela hit Dad, which to me, turned him babyface. Johnny dove onto Janela. Dad was helped to the back. Janela nailed a piledriver on the ring apron at 5:30. In the ring, Janela hit a Rude Awakening standing neckbreaker for a nearfall. They traded punches. Johnny hit a springboard spin kick for a nearfall, and they were both down at 9:00. In a cool spot, Janela hit a reverse Spanish Fly from the corner to the mat, and he immediately applied a crossface on the mat.
They traded punches, and Janela hit a suplex at 11:00. Janela hit a superkick; Johnny hit a spin kick, and they were both down. Janela hit a Death Valley Driver. Janela hit a German Suplex, then a top-rope double stomp onto a chair over Johnny’s face at 13:30. The Dad returned to the ring with cartoonish boxing gloves on and he hit the referee. Janela gave Dad a Death Valley Driver into a door set up in the corner. Johnny hit Starship Pain/split-legged twisting press for a nearfall at 14:30. They fought in the corner while standing on a door, but it broke, and they fell awkwardly into the turnbuckles. Stupid and dangerous.
Janela performed a German Suplex and he got another chair. Johnny hit Joey in the head, and Joey was bleeding from the forehead. Johnny then hit a top-rope corkscrew press onto Joey, who was lying on a door set up in the ring, for the pin. Good action, but Dad took too much attention away from this match.
* Light tubes were brought down to the ring. Ugh.
9. Cole Radrick and Rina Yamashita defeated Alex Colon and John Wayne Murdoch in a hardcore match at 15:33. Radrick is replacing the injured Drew Parker. Rina is a woman and much shorter than Radrick, and thus, much smaller than her male opponents. There was plenty of blood and broken glass everywhere. Late in the match, Murdoch pulled Colon off a pinfall attempt and they argued. Murdoch pushed Colon to the floor and took a pin attempt. Murdoch attacked Colon (his partner), then dragged Radrick onto Colon, leading to the pin.
Final Thoughts: I will give Bailey-Bey best match, followed by the fun-but-messy tag featuring Jordan Oliver and Nick Wayne. Despite the distractions, I’ll give Johnny-Janela third-best, just ahead of Effy-Blackwood, which topped my expectations. Blake-Cardona was fine, but it was short, and they didn’t mesh as well as I hoped.
This is a typical GCW show. There is really good action, but they mix in some intergender matches and hardcore matches that just don’t interest me. Colon and Murdoch have argued at recent shows, so the finish of that match was obvious before it began. The show clocked in at about three hours.