GCW “Gateway to the Death” results: Vetter’s review of Alex Colon vs. Cole Radrick for the GCW Ultraviolent Title, Davey Richards vs. Joey Janela, Too Cold Scorpio vs. Allie Katch, Nick Wayne vs. Tony Deppen, Delirious vs. Effy, Jordan Oliver vs. Dark Sheik, Gringo Loco vs. Blake Christian 

By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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GCW “Gateway to the Death”
Streamed on FITE TV
July 1, 2022 in Sauget, Illinois at Pop’s NightClub & Concert Venue

Dave Prazak and Kevin Gill provided commentary.

* Nick Gage came to the ring to fire up the crowd. This is a night club and I’ll put the crowd at 400.

1. Blake Christian defeated Gringo Loco at 12:55. Fast reversals to start as they avoided each other’s big moves. Gringo hit a Slop Drop DDT for a nearfall at 3:30. This crowd is hot for this match. Christian hit a second-rope flying forearm, then a flip dive to the floor. In the ring, Blake hit his Moxley-style elbow strikes to the head at 5:30 (Blake has an upcoming singles match against Moxley.) Blake then grabbed Loco’s arms and stomped him in the chest, again channeling Moxley.

Loco hit a standing powerbomb, then a top-rope moonsault for a nearfall. Christian fired back with an enzuigri, and they were both down at 8:00. They each hit a superkick. Blake nailed a standing Sliced Bread #2. Gringo Loco hit a fallaway top-rope stunner. They brawled to the floor and up onto a concert stage. Blake ran and dove off the stage, hitting a crossbody block, at 10:30. In the ring, Blake hit a half-nelson suplex for a nearfall.

They fought on the top rope, where Loco hit a Spanish Fly to the mat, then a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 12:00, and the crowd was HOT. Blake hit a second-rope Poison Rana, then a Rollins-style Stomp to the head to score the pin. Fantastic opener that got the show off in the right direction. They shook hands and hugged.

2. Too Cold Scorpio defeated Allie Katch in an intergender match at 12:54. I hate intergender matches; Scorpio would destroy her if this was a real fight. Scorpio is now 56 and far more round than in his ECW/WCW/WWE runs. We opened with a WWE-style dance-off. (They actually showed a replay of a dance segment. Eye roll.) She tried to tie him up. They traded forearm shots with Katch actually getting the upper hand of the exchange. He hit a series of kicks to the jaw at 5:00.

Scorpio leveled her with a headbutt, then a mule kick to the chest. Scorpio hit a flipping leg drop to the neck for a nearfall at 7:00. Katch hit a basement dropkick to the head, then a crossbody block for a nearfall. Scorpio came back with a belly-to-back suplex, then a second-rope flipping legdrop for a nearfall at 9:30. He hit another flipping leg drop, but she kicked out again.

They traded more forearms. She hit an enziguri for a nearfall at 11:00, then a senton splash for a nearfall. She hit a Stinger Splash and a rolling cannonball in the corner for a nearfall. However, Scorpio hit a top-rope Phoenix Splash, and his foot came down on her face, to score the pin. Katch was immediately bleeding from her mouth and Scorpio got her a towel.

3. Ninja Mack defeated Axton Ray at 13:00. Ray is built like a football player, like (heavier) Walter, or Brutus Creed, and he’s one to keep an eye on. Mack is a lot shorter and lighter than his opponent. An intense lockup to start. Ray hit a Spinebuster-style tackle and overpowered Ninja Mack early, sending Mack to the floor to regroup.

Back in the ring, they avoided each other’s big moves. They went to the floor, where Mack hit a superkick at 6:30. He then hit a handspring-flip dive to the floor, earning a “holy shit!” chant. In the ring, Ray did a moonsault out of the corner to avoid a move, showing of his athleticism. Ray hit a brainbuster at 10:00, then a dive through the ropes. Ray then hit a dive over the top rope. In the ring, Ray hit a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 12:00.

Ray missed a 450 Splash, and Mack immediately hit a spin kick to the head. Mack overshot on a top-rope Phoenix Splash that was clearly meant to be the finish. Mack instead got an inside cradle for the pin. Really good match, and another nice showing for Axton Ray.

4. Nick Wayne defeated Tony Deppen at 15:50. The announcers talked about these two had stellar headliner matches in the northeast. (Wayne vs. Will Ospreay, Deppen vs. Jon Moxley). Standing reversals to open. Wayne hit a huracanrana and shotgun dropkick, so Deppen bailed to the floor. In the ring, Deppen hit a knee strike to the jaw at 4:00, then a double running knees to the face in the corner.

Deppen applied a mid-ring Octopus submission hold, and he tied up Wayne on the mat. Wayne fired back with a handspring-back-cutter and a fisherman’s suplex at 7:30. Deppen hit a knee drop to the back of the head. Wayne hit a Dragon Suplex and a Code Red for a believable nearfall. Deppen hit another rising kneestrike to the jaw, then a running powerbomb out of the corner for a nearfall.

Wayne hit a superkick. Deppen hit a spinning backfist, then a headbutt for a nearfall at 11:00. They traded blows on the ring apron, with Deppen hitting a suplex, and they both tumbled to the floor. Back in the ring they traded slaps from their knees. Deppen hit another kneestrike. Wayne went for a running Shooting Star Press, but Deppen caught him and applied a Triangle Choke. Wayne hit a Spanish Fly, then a flip dive to the floor. Wayne nailed a second-rope fallaway cutter for the pin. Wow, that was really good.

* Nick Gage joined commentary. He”s foul-mouthed, mumbles far too much, and doesn’t add much. But Prazak is so good he keeps the conversation going.

5. Davey Richards defeated Joey Janela at 18:10. Janela had travel issues and missed the GCW show the prior night. Standing reversals to open, and they brawled to the floor at 3:00. In the ring, Richards applied a Fujiwara Armbar, then he stomped on the elbow. Richards hit a belly-to-back suplex and was in charge. They fought on the ropes in a corner, where Richards hit a series of headbutts at 7:30 and a top-rope superplex.

They traded stiff forearm shots mid-ring. Janela nailed a dive through the ropes to the floor. In the ring, Janela hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall at 10:30. Richards hit a  Dragonscrew Legwhip as Janela was in the ropes, but he missed a top-rope double stomp. Richards applied the Trailer Hitch leg lock on the mat, but Janela reached the ropes. They traded hard slaps to the face and Janela hit a German release suplex at 13:30. Richards nailed a decapitating clothesline. Janela hit a brainbuster suplex, and they were both down.

They brawled on the ring apron, where Richards hit a T-Bone Suplex. Richards then nailed his top-rope double stomp to the chest for a believable nearfall. Richards applied an ankle lock, then kicks to the chest and face. Janela got a couple rollups for nearfalls. Richards hit a brainbuster for another believable nearfall at 17:30. “What is it going to take for one of these two to win this match?” Prazak shouted. Richards nailed a hard spin kick to the head and a Gotch-style piledriver for the pin. “What a f—in’ match!” said Nick Gage.

* Richards got on the mic and talked about how this is “our city” and puts over the fans, as well as the young stars in the GCW locker room. We then headed to a 20-minute intermission. I have said this before… Pro Wrestling Revolver airs a match from a prior show during its intermission. Other promotions that take an intermission should take up this idea.

6. Jordan Oliver defeated Dark Sheik at 9:52. They traded armdrags early, and Sheik hit a top-rope dive onto Oliver on the floor. She then hit a top-rope leg drop for a nearfall at 2:00. She hit a German suplex. Oliver hit a baseball slide dropkick through the ropes, then an Asai moonsault, and they were both down on the floor at 5:30. In the ring, Jordan hit his sit-out powerbomb for a believable nearfall. Sheik fired back with a second-rope Rock Bottom to the mat at 8:00.

They fought on the apron, where Sheik hit a Sliced Bread flipping faceplant. In the ring, she hit a Waltman X-Factor faceplant for a nearfall. She went to the top rope, but Oliver jumped up there and nailed a stunner to the mat at 9:30. Oliver nailed a spin kick to the head, then a modified German suplex, and scored the pin. Oliver has improved so much. While I’m not a big fan of Dark Sheik, this match topped my expectations.

7. Effy defeated Delirious at 12:36. Delirious went nuts at the bell and ranted in his gibberish. Effy was showing off a new, trimmed haircut. They took turns talking on the mic and stood toe-to-toe. I was startled how much shorter Delirious is than Effy. Effy went for a kiss, but Delirious headbutted him in a funny exchange. They fought to the floor and had another fun comedy spot with a crowd member. In the ring, Delirious hit a hard clothesline in the corner for a nearfall at 7:00.

Delirious applied a mid-ring sleeperhold. Effy hit a Northern Lights Suplex and a Doink Whoopee Cushion buttdrop. Delirious hit his leaping clothesline  at 9:30 and 10 consecutive Hogan leg drops; Effy rolled to the floor to recover. Effy nailed a Buff Blockbuster out of the corner. Delirious nailed his Panic Attack running knee strike, then his Shadows Over Hell frogsplash to the back for a believable nearfall at 11:30.

They traded hard chops. Effy hit a TKO stunner, applied a Dragon Sleeper, and Delirious tapped out. That was really good. They had fun comedy early, kept the crowd involved, and really turned up the offense at the end. Bravo.

8.  The “Second Gear Crew” of 1 Called Manders, Matthew Justice, and Mance Warner defeated Ciclope, Miedo Extremo, and Jimmy Lloyd in a street fight at 12:34. All six brawled at the bell and onto the floor. Manders got a door from under the ring. Ciclope hit a baseball slide dive onto the door to hurt the SGC guys holding it. However, they slammed the door on Ciclope. I said this a week ago, but I really hate when they start throwing folding chairs at heads. Concussions and chipped teeth are a real concern. We have a split screen so fans can watch two brawls at the same time.

A double-decker door spot was set up on chairs. (These doors are so fake, so cheap, they are bending while lying across the chairs. You couldn’t put anyone on them, or they’d break). Justice climbed to the top of a balcony, but Ciclope hit him from behind, and Justice crashed through the double-decker at 7:00. Ciclope then nailed a cross-body block from the stage, down 15 to 20 feet onto the other five guys.

Suddenly, glass panes were brought to the ring, in the middle of the match. Ciclope and Mance brawled in the ring, with Ciclope hitting a Tombstone Piledriver. Ciclope hit a top-rope move while holding a bundle of light tubes. Manders picked up Miedo Extremo and threw him through the glass pane for a nearfall at 10:30. Everyone was now bleeding. Justice nailed a baseball-swing style chairshot on Ciclope. The SGC guys tossed Ciclope over the top rope and through a door set up on the floor. In the ring, Justice hit a frogsplash onto a chair placed on Lloyd’s chest to score the pin. More violent than it needed to be.

* Another short intermission to clean up the glass in the ring, and set up more light tubes. Yuck.

9. Alex Colon defeated Cole Radrick to retain the GCW Ultraviolent title at 16:02. I said this a day ago, Radrick is this era’s James Ellsworth in that he just doesn’t look like a wrestler, but he has cult-like support. Glass and light tubes. Late in the match, Colon hit a top-rope superplex, but Radrick kicked out. Radrick hit a Lionsault for a nearfall. Colon hit a tombstone piledriver, then a double-arm suplex, dropping Radrick onto the glass, to score the pin. Fans seemed to like it.

Final Thoughts: I didn’t hide my disdain for the Thursday GCW show, which featured five consecutive street fight or death matches, filled with barbed wire, glass panes and light tubes. What a difference from one night to the next. Here, Richards-Janela was tremendous and easily gets best of the night. I’ll give the Blake-Gringo Loco match a narrow second-best, with Deppen-Wayne a strong third-best. That Delirious-Effy match was really, really good, but on this night, was only fourth best. Heck, Mack-Ray was fifth best, but a night ago, that would have been second-best. Just a far better showing, top-to-bottom, for this promotion.

GCW has had some really good intergender matches this year, like Thunder Rosa vs. Tony Deppen, or Mike Bailey vs. Masha Slamovich. This intergender match was not at that caliber. I just don’t find Katch’s offense against men to be believable at all, and Scorpio isn’t able to hide her deficiencies like he could have 20 or 30 years ago.

As per usual for me, GCW shows peak early. The last two matches didn’t do much for me, but the crowd enjoyed the action. Because of two intermissions, this show clocked in at a full three-and-a-half hours.

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