By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “Homecoming Part One”
Streamed on FITE TV
August 13, 2022 in Atlantic City, New Jersey at the Showboat
Dave Prazak and Kevin Gill are on commentary. Veda Scott “tagged in” at times during the show. Crowd is perhaps 500-600.
1. Nick Wayne defeated Starboy Charlie at 10:35. The combined age of these two is 35, the announcers said. Wayne has a significant height and weight advantage. Charlie got a “welcome back!” chant, as he has been out most of this year with an injury. Charlie hit a standing Shooting Star Press for a nearfall. The crowd is hot. Charlie hit an enziguri at 3:00 for a nearfall. Charlie applied a Muta Lock, but Wayne reached the ropes. Wayne came back with a half nelson suplex at 5:30.
Wayne hit a fisherman’s suplex. They traded rollups and Charlie hit a piledriver, then a cradle piledriver, for a believable nearfall at 8:00, and the crowd popped for the kickout. Charlie hit a second-rope superplex. He went for a Phoenix Splash, but Wayne kicked him on the way down. Wayne hit a package piledriver, but Charlie kicked out. Charlie hit a basement dropkick in the corner. Wayne nailed the Cloud Cutter for the pin. That was a blast; these two are only going to get better. “Feast your eyes on the future of the industry,” Gill said.
2. Jordan Oliver defeated Ninja Mack at 14:07. Oliver has a significant size and strength advantage. They traded quick reversals and Oliver bailed to regroup. They traded more reversals with neither man able to hit a big move, ending with a standoff at 3:00. Mack hit a corkscrew press. Oliver hit a snap suplex for a nearfall at 5:30, then he applied a Boston Crab, but Mack reached the ropes. Oliver nailed a superkick, then a cutter from the corner, but Mack responded with a Mafia Kick, and they were both down at 8:30.
Mack hit his handspring flip over the top rope onto Oliver on the floor, then a 630 press in the ring for a nearfall. These guys are talented. Oliver nailed a head capture suplex and a modified package piledriver for a nearfall at 11:00. Oliver nailed a standing powerbomb for a believable nearfall. Oliver went back to a Boston Crab. Mack nailed a German Suplex for a nearfall. Mack nailed several Yes Kicks to the chest. Mack missed a Phoneix Splash, and Oliver immediately hit a Tiger Suplex for a nearfall, a Mafia Kick, then a piledriver for the clean pin. That match was somehow even better than the opener.
3. Gringo Loco defeated Grim Reefer, Jimmy Lloyd, Axton Ray, Joe Lando, Marcus Mathers in a six-way scramble at 9:30. This is Lando’s debut; he is much smaller with short, reddish hair, and Prazak said he wrestles in the UK. Lando hit a double stomp to the chest seconds into the match, then a stunner. Loco hit a nice inverted Samoan Drop, dropping Lando chest first. Axton and Loco traded head-scissors takedowns; if you haven’t seen Axton Ray, he is so thick like a football player, and you just don’t expect this level of athleticism. Lloyd hit a spin kick on Reefer at 3:00.
Mathers hit a flip dive to the floor but was caught; Lando hit a top-rope shooting star press to the floor on everyone, but he came up limping. (Legit injury; he would miss a JCW match later.) Reefer lit a joint and did a flip dive to the floor on everyone. In the ring, Reefer hit a piledriver on Lando. In a fun spot, Loco took Reefer’s joint and tossed it, drawing boos, and Axton stomped on it, drawing even more boos. Mathers hit a moonsault to the floor. Loco hit a flip dive to the floor on everyone at 6:30.
Lando went for a top rope Frankensteiner move on Loco; it didn’t quite land. Mathers hit an impressive 450 on Lloyd. Axton hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly on Mathers. Loco hit a top-rope Spanish Fly on Axton. Loco dumped Axton on his head. Loco and Lando fought on the top rope, with Loco hitting his spinning powerbomb to the mat for the pin. Fun action. Unfortunate that Lando injured his ankle, but Ray could have seriously been injured in the final seconds, so I’m glad he’s ok.
4. Blake Christian defeated Tony Deppen at 23:54. Mat reversals to open. They traded shoulder tackles at 4:00. They did a leapfrog spot where Christian’s head caught Deppen in the eye, and both sold being injured. Deppen couldn’t kip up to his feet. Blake came over to help, but Deppen kicked him in the head, then he kipped up and celebrated at 6:30. Funny. Blake hit a double-jump moonsault press out of the corner. Deppen hit a senton for a nearfall, and he tied him in a mid-ring Octopus.
Blake hit a belly-to-back suplex at 11:00, then a half-nelson suplex, then an impressive RVD-style split-legged moonsault for a nearfall. However, Blake is really selling a wrist injury. Deppen went for a crossface chicken wing but Blake escaped. Blake hit a Fosbury Flop to the floor, but Deppen hit a tombstone piledriver on the floor, then a Hidden Blade forearm in the ring for a believable nearfall at 13:30. Blake hit a Death Valley Driver, and he applied a Sharpshooter, but Deppen reached the ropes.
Blake hit a double stomp to the chest, and they were both down. He went for a springboard move, but Deppen caught him and applied a modified Triangle Choke at 16:00. They traded kneestrikes to the head. They traded forearm shots while on their knees, then from their feet. Blake hit an enzuigiri at 18:00. They traded rollup attempts, and Deppen applied the Rings of Saturn double arm submission hold, but Blake reached the ropes. Blake hit a pump-handle sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 20:30.
Blake hit a springboard 450 splash for a believable nearfall. The crowd began chanting “Fight forever!” Deppen applied a crossface chicken wing on the mat, but Blake escaped and hit a doublestomp to the chest. Blake hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly, then a flip dive to the floor at 23:30. In the ring, Blake missed his Rollins-style stomp. He hooked Deppen’s leg, did a forward roll, and got a pin. Just a fantastic match.
* Blake Christian grabbed the mic. The crowd was surprisingly hostile to him. “This is what Roman Reigns feels like,” he quipped. “What’s this about?” He went and sat on the lap of a male fan in the front row who was chanting “shut the f— up.” He said he was “going to break the fourth wall” for the fans. He mentioned going to WWE and was immediately booed. He said it was worth it to fight Kushida there in his first match. He added: “I’m not leaving GCW. I may not do it as much; I won’t confirm why, but I’m not leaving GCW until someone puts me out.” He then headed to the back.
5. Jay and Mark Briscoe defeated “Los Macizos” Ciclope & Miedo Extremo to win the GCW Tag Team Titles at 14:14. They all shook hands. Mark and Miedo started. Jay and Ciclope entered at 2:30 and immediately traded forearm shots. The Briscoes hit a team shoulder tackle on Ciclope. Miedo hit a double stomp on Mark’s head. Mark smashed a roll of light tubes on Miedo on the floor at 6:00, right in front of the fans. Stupid and dangerous. All four brawled on the floor. Doors were pulled out from under the ring. The Briscoes nailed unprotected chairshots to the head.
In the ring, Miedo hit a handspring-back-double elbows on both Briscoes at 9:00. Ciclope hit a Doomsday flying elbow onto Mark, sending him through a door. A pane of glass was set up in the corner. Jay gave Miedo a backdrop through the glass, with it shattering and going everywhere at 11:30. Jay leapt off a chair and dove over the top rope and to the floor. In the ring, Ciclope hit an elbow drop for a nearfall. Mark nailed a Doomsday Device clothesline for a nearfall.
The Briscoes hit a Doomsday Device on the apron, dropping Ciclope through a door set up on the floor. In the ring, Jay hit the JayDriller piledriver, but Miedo kicked out and the crowd went nuts. Jay hit another JayDriller and pinned Miedo. Miedo’s shoulders weren’t down entirely, and I’m not sure if that was deliberate to give them an “out” for losing.
* The belts were barely in the Briscoes’ hands when Matthew Justice and Mance Warner hit the ring. Mance started to speak, but Ciclope cut him off and said he wanted a rematch. The Briscoes said they will defend them at the Sept. 3 show in Chicago (during AEW All Out weekend.)
6. Cole Radrick defeated Charli Evans in an intergender match to retain the GCW Extreme Title at 12:21. Radrick is the James Ellsworth-meets-Gomer Pyle dork. Evans is much, much smaller than him. They immediately traded forearm shots, which is just absurd because of the size and strength advantage he has. She hit him with a bat covered in thumtacks. Cole hit a senton her as a light tube was on her chest, sending glass everywhere. Radrick tossed chairs in the ring at 4:30. Evans was bleeding from her forehead. She bodyslammed him onto open chairs.
Evans hit a nice fisherman’s suplex for a nearfall at 8:00. He hit an Air Raid Crash, sending her through a table set up in the corner, for a nearfall. He was bleeding from the forehead now, too. She smashed light tubes over his back. In a particularly disgusting spot, he put the light tubes in her mouth and broke it. He hit a Blue Thunder Bomb onto a pile of light tubes to score the pin. Disgusting. Sick. Disturbing. I’ll say more later.
7. John Wayne Murdoch defeated Matt Tremont at 11:46. Glass panes and light tubes were set up in the ring. Ugh. Light tubes and blood everywhere.
8. Rina Yamashita defeated Alex Colon in an intergender hardcore match at 21:18. More glass panes and light tubes set up along the ring ropes. Another bloody match where a larger male makes a smaller woman bleed as he beats her repeatedly. Yay. Rina put him a Camel Clutch move, cranking on his head and mouth as he was lying on a pile of glass shards, and he tapped out.
9. Jon Moxley defeated Effy to retain the GCW Title at 18:08. Effy immediately dropped to his knees, stared at Moxley’s groin, and licked his lips. Moxley didn’t know how to react. Moxley unloaded some chops in the corner. Effy hit a second-rope neckbreaker at 4:30, then he kissed or bit Moxley on the cheek. “Kiss him back!” the crowd chanted. So Moxley did kiss him. Moxley wound up licking up the side of Effy’s face. Funny exchange. They brawled to the floor at 7:00. In the ring, Moxley slammed Effy through a table in the corner. Moxley grabbed a shard from the table and jabbed it in Effy’s forehead, making him bleed.
Prazak pointed out that as popular as Moxley is in GCW, the crowd is behind Effy. Moxley got a cigarette and lit it at 11:00. He was smoking in the ring while putting the boots to Effy. Moxley hit his repeated elbow shots to the side of the head, and he may have burned him with the cigarette (camera was at Moxley’s back.) Effy stomped on Moxley and bit at his nipple, then he speared Moxley through a table in the corner, and they were both down at 14:30.
Effy hit a TKO stunner and applied a sleeper, but Moxley escaped and applied his own sleeper. Moxley got angry and forearmed the referee at 16:00. Allie Katch hopped in the ring and hit a low blow on Moxley. Effy hit the Famouser legdrop, and a new ref made the two-count. Effy avoided the Death Rider double arm DDT and Effy hit a series of punches. Moxley planted a long kiss on Effy”s mouth, which just stunned Effy. Moxley then nailed a headbutt and covered Effy for the pin. Lots of weirdness here. “No one can stop Jon Moxley,” Kevin Gill said.
* Moxley got on the mic and spoke highly of Effy but added he “wants to know where the competition is,” because this is getting too easy for him. Nick Gage came through the curtain, to a massive pop. Gage said this has been the toughest year of his life (tougher than being in prison?) because he hasn’t been healthy and able to wrestle. He said he’d rather die in the ring than take a bullet. He challenged Moxley to a title match. Moxley said Gage couldn’t beat him on his best day, but he agreed… with the stipulation that Gage put his career on the line. Gage didn’t hesitate to agree. So, at a date to be determined it will be title vs. career.
Final Thoughts: The tale of two halves. Once again, GCW had a great, absolutely sensational, first half of a show — those first five matches were excellent — and the Briscoes hardcore brawl wasn’t too violent. Then, they loaded up the second half of the show with garbage matches. I guess GCW knows its audience, which clearly wants something they dont’ see on WWE or AEW TV.
I have written this before but it must be re-stated: Earlier this year, during a GCW hardcore match, a glass shard punctured Alex Zayne’s eyeball. He needed surgery. He could have lost eyesight in that eye. But yet, GCW still allows wrestlers to crack each other over the head with light tubes and glass, and here, they did it within feet of fans on the floor. GCW doesn’t use guardrails to protect fans from wrestlers (and vice versa), but it wouldn’t have mattered here, when glass shards went flying everyone. Stupid. Dangerous. Reckless. A lawsuit waiting to happen.
I won’t apologize for not enjoying watching men beat up women, especially to the point of them bloody and beaten. Just to be clear… GCW could have given us Yamashita vs. Charli Evans, but decided to go with two intergender matches instead. Ok then. (Having a woman win a match doesn’t change the fact he brutalized her throughout.)
Best match goes to Deppen-Christian, just ahead of Oliver-Mack. I’ll give Briscoes-Macizos the slight edge for third best ahead of the opener. I have seen Effy have some excellent singles matches this year, so for me, the title match came in below expectations. GCW held “Homecoming, Night 2” the next night.