By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “I Never Liked You”
Streamed on FITE TV
June 19, 2022 in Providence, Rhode Island at Fete Music Hall
The venue appears to be a night club, and it is completely sold out with perhaps 800 to 1,000 spectators. Fans were standing, and they are literally right up next to the ring. This seems dangerous, with no space between the ring and fans.
Dave Prazak and Kevin Gill provided commentary. The hard camera was clearly on the second level of the building, and looked down into the ring. I actually found it to be a distracting angle because I’m not used to that viewpoint.
1. Blake Christian defeated Jordan Oliver at 11:57. I noted this from Saturday’s show that Blake had a haircut and his long ponytail is gone. They immediately traded stiff forearms. Blake nailed a dive through the ropes with fans parting like the Red Sea for them. In the ring, Oliver hit a Mafia Kick for a nearfall at 6:00. Oliver hit a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. Oliver nailed a piledriver on the ring apron, then a second-rope stunner for a believable nearfall at 10:30, and the fans chanted, “This is awesome.”
Christian fired back with a knee strike, a powerbomb and a brainbuster, but Oliver kicked out at 1. Blake hit a jumping Stomp to score the pin. That was an excellent opener; I heard a smattering of boos for the finish, and I think that is partly because they didn’t want this to end already.
2. Allie Katch defeated LuFisto at 9:45. I saw LuFisto noted on her Twitter feed she has lost some weight, and it shows, so good for her. LuFisto hit some hard chops early. LuFisto dominated early. Allie hit some butt splashes in the corner, then a rolling cannonball at 5:30. LuFisto hit her own butt splash and cannonball for a nearfall. They traded more mid-ring strikes. Allie applied a Crossface on the mat, but LuFisto reached the ropes at 9:00. Allie hit a piledriver for a nearfall, then her piledriver while LuFisto’s legs were in the ropes, for the pin.
3. Kevin Blackwood defeated Jack Cartwheel at 13:13. They shook hands at the bell and had an intense lockup. Blackwood now has lime green hair. Jack did some cartwheels to avoid Blackwood’s offense. Blackwood hit a belly-to-back suplex at 3:00. Cartwheel hit a standing moonsault for a nearfall, then a Fisherman’s Buster for a nearfall. However, he missed a Shooting Star Press. Blackwood fired back with a German Suplex for a nearfall at 6:00.
Cartwheel hit a stunner. Blackwood hit a Cameron Grimes Cave-in; Cartwheel hit a Death Valley Driver, and they were both down. They traded blows from the seated position. Blackwood applied a Sharpshooter at 10:00, but Cartwheel escaped. Cartwheel hit a nice Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall. However, he overshot on a top-rope corkscrew press and crashed to the mat. Blackwood hit a high belly-to-back suplex, dumping Cartwheel on his head, at 11:30.
Cartwheel hit his handspring-back-flip to the floor, with the crowd once again parting to give them room to work. However, Cartwheel sold a leg injury upon landing. In the ring, Blackwood immediately applied another Sharpshooter, and he stomped on Cartwheel’s head, until Cartwheel tapped out. Really good match from two up-and-comers.
4. Cole Radrick defeated Ninja Mack at 8:36. Ninja Mack has been competing for NOAH in Japan; I haven’t seen him in perhaps two months. He is wearing a black outfit today instead of his usual red. Radrick patted Mack on his head, making fun of his height. They avoided each other’s offense early. Cole hit a sucker punch at 3:30 and celebrated; Mack responded with a dropkick to the jaw. Mack hit a superkick for a nearfall.
Radrick hit a Lionsault Press for a nearfall. Radrick hit a modified Air Raid Crash for a nearfall at 6:30. In a cool spot, Radrick went for a springboard move, but Mack caught him in mid-air and applied a sleeper hold. Mack hit a corkscrew senton. Radrick went for a German Suplex, but Mack landed on his feet. Mack hit a top-rope twisting 630 Splash, but he made a lazy cover; Radrick hooked the arms, rolled him over, and scored the shocking pin. I know it’s a fluke win, but I wouldn’t have had Radrick go over. They shook hands afterward.
5. Gringo Loco, ASF, and Drago Kid defeated Miedo Extremo, Ciclope, and Kommander at 8;49. Seconds into the match, ASF and Drago Kid hit dives to the floor. Kommander hit a huracanrana in the ring, then a flip dive to the floor. Miedo took his T-shirt off at 3:00 and his mask came off with it, but he kept fighting. Drago and ASF hit Asai moonsaults to the floor. In the ring, Kommander and Gringo Loco traded great lucha reversals. Miedo hit a pop-up powerbomb on ASF. Gringo hit a double jump moonsault, then a flip dive to the floor.
Like a night earlier, Kommander walked the tightrope from one turnbuckle to the other, before hitting a flip dive to the floor, at 6:30. Drago and Miedo had an amazing huracanrana series. ASF hit a Canadian Destroyer. ASF hit a 450 Splash. Gringo hit his spinning powerbomb off the second rope to pin Kommander. That was a FUN sprint.
6. Joey Janela defeated JT Dunn at 15:53. Standing reversals to open. They brawled to the floor. Dunn accidentally chopped a pillar in the building. Janela powerbombed Dunn onto that post, then a powerbomb onto the edge of the ring apron. In the ring, Janela hit a German Suplex at 6:00, then a Fisherman’s Buster for a nearfall. They traded stiff forearm shots, and Janela hit a German Suplex, but Dunn popped to his feet.
Dunn nailed a Poison Rana at 8:30. They traded slaps to the face, then forearms, and both collapsed. Dunn hit a Helluva Kick, then a twisting neckbreaker out of the ropes. Janela hit an Air Raid Crash on the ring apron, and they both fell to the floor. Janela hit a top-rope double stomp to the chest for a nearfall at 11:30. Dunn fired back with a second-rope Death Valley Driver for a nearfall. Dunn peppered him with punches to the face. Janela caught him and hit a package piledriver for a believable nearfall at 13:30.
Janela went to the floor and threw some chairs into the ring. However, Dunn hit a second-rope Tombstone piledriver, through two open chairs, for a believable nearfall. (No one should kick out of that move. No one.) Dunn set up for a roaring elbow, but Janela caught him with a superkick, collapsed on him, and got the pin. Good match.
7. Mance Warner and 1 Called Manders defeated Waves and Curls at 12:15. Waves and Curls are somewhere between Private Party and the Street Profits as far as look and style. Right as I wrote that, they shot a confetti cannon at their opponents. They brawled to the floor, and Manders got suplexed onto an open chair. They continued to brawl on the floor. Manders hit the opponents with a broom. In the ring, Mance and Manders set up wood boards. Waves and Curls hit a Team 3D stunner at 6:00, but Mance made the save.
One of the Waves and Curls guys hit a chokeslam on Manders for a nearfall. Manders and Warner started slamming the cheap wood doors on their opponents. Again, this looks ridiculous because the wood is falling apart in their hands, showing they are cheap props, not a serious weapon. Mance slammed Manders (his opponent) onto a wood door, with the opponents under it. Wave and Curls hit the Hart Foundation team clothesline spot for a believable nearfall at 11:00. Mance “threw chairs with reckless abandon” Prazak said. Manders hit a Bulldog Powerslam on an opponent threw a door set up on chairs to score the pin.
* Mance got on the mic and said “these guys are tough sons of bitches.” The crowd responded by chanting “Waves and Curls.” Mance said he never shakes hands, but he’s willing to share a drink with these guys.
8. Tony Deppen defeated Effy, Jimmy Lloyd, Marcus Mathers and Dustin Waller in a five-way scramble at 8:14. My first time seeing Waller; he is a scrawny Adam Cole. Deppen’s left eye is black after that brawl with Jon Moxley on Saturday. Deppen got on the mic and said he was in a war a night ago, and now “I’ve been demoted to a f’n scramble match with a bunch of scrubs.” He said he’s not competing in the match, he dropped the mic, and left.
Lloyd hit a package piledriver on Effy seconds into the match. Waller hit a standing shooting star press. Mathers hit an impressive flip dive to the floor. Waller dove over the turnbuckle onto everyone. Suddenly, Deppen attacked all four. The announcers agreed that Deppen clearly planned to wrestle, as he was in his ring gear. Everyone brawled back into the ring. Effy hit a spear on Lloyd at 5:00. Mathers and Waller climbed opposite ring corners and hit simultaneous 450 Splashes on different opponents.
Mathers grabbed Effy and kissed him on the mouth, but of course, that didn’t faze Effy. Lloyd hit a superkick on Mathers. Waller hit a top-rope Canadian Destroyer on Mathers. Waller hit a stunner on Lloyd. Deppen nailed a running double knees to Waller’s face and scored the pin. As always, these scrambles are a sprint. Waller made a good impression in a solid debut here. I’ve seen Mathers just a few times this year, but he’s clearly one to watch.
9. Will Ospreay defeated Nick Wayne at 19:01. This is Wayne’s hand-picked ‘dream match,’ a reward after he missed out on a New York show. Like Saturday in Michigan, Ospreay came out with his Rev Pro title. Huge pop for both guys. An intense lockup to start. Ospreay leaned him against the ropes and patted his chest (a la Okada) and patted his head. Wayne hit a huracanrana, and he mockingly patted Will on his head. Funny. Ospreay caught him mid-air and dropped him throat-first on the top rope at 3:00.
Ospreay gave an Irish Whip that made Wayne crash into the corner, to the point the crowd “oohhed!” at the move. Wayne nailed a handspring-back-stunner at 6:00. Wayne hit a spin kick to the head, then a Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall. Ospreay hit a handspring-back-spin kick, then a top-rope clothesline for a nearfall. Ospreay nailed a backbreaker over his knee at 8:30, and they were both down. Ospreay hit a hard Mafia Kick to the face. Wayne nailed a Code Red sunset flip for a nearfall.
Ospreay went for an Asai moonsault, but Wayne cut him off. Wayne then hit a Swanton from the top rope onto Ospreay, who was caught in the ropes, and they crashed to the floor at 11:00. In the ring, Wayne hit a second-rope Poison Rana, but Ospreay somehow landed on his feet, and the crowd went nuts! Wayne hit a Dragon Suplex. Wayne hit a mid-ring Poison Rana for a believable nearfall. Ospreay hit a second-rope sunset flip out of the corner, and they were both down at 13:30. This has been amazing.
They traded forearms from their knees. On their feet, Ospreay caved in Wayne’s chest that knocked the teen to the mat, and the crowd chanted, “F— you, Ospreay!” Wayne hit several hard shots then a superkick, but Ospreay hit his own superkick, then a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 16:30. Wayne hit a huracanrana for a nearfall, then a tornado DDT, then a falling stunner from the second rope for a nearfall, as the fans chanted, “that was three!”
Ospreay nailed a decapitating clothesline. Ospreay got an O’Connor Roll for a nearfall. Wayne went for a top rope move, but Ospreay caught him with a stunner. Ospreay nailed the Hidden Blade roaring elbow to the back of the head, then the spinning faceplant from his shoulders, to score the clean pin. Fantastic match, absolutely fantastic.
* Ospreay helped him to his feet and shook his hand. Ospreay got on the mic and said GCW has some wild fans. Ospreay said he got emotional because Wayne even looks like him, and he joked about how perhaps they are brothers. Wayne got on the mic and told Ospreay he doesn’t know how much this match meant to him. Wayne then proclaimed that GCW is the best indy in the world, as the show came to a close.
Final Thoughts: Wow, what a main event. Every move was spot-on. Ospreay brings it every night. Between this and Jon Moxley vs. Tony Deppen a night earlier, GCW had two fantastic buzz-worthy main events. Yes, some of the buzz around Wayne is because he’s only 16, but if he was doing all these moves at age 23, he would still be highly talked about. I’ll give second-best to the Christian-Oliver opener, with Blackwood-Cartwheel earning third place.
While I hate the fans being so close to the ring, it sure made this event feel like a party or a rock concert. The fans were totally engaged, and this wound up being a much better show than Saturday’s GCW show.
I have come to the realization that Mance Warner is my least favorite wrestler to watch on the indy scene. I cringe watching him take unprotected chairshots to the head, or whip chairs at his opponents’ faces, risking concussions or chipped teeth. I invite him to study up on Chris Nowinski or Chris Benoit, or any of hundreds of former NFL players. Concussions are no joke, and those head shots will start to add up. He’s a good enough wrestler that he can perform in the ring without all those risks.
The show clocked in at three hours.