By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
We are looking for reports on all WWE, AEW, NXT, Impact Wrestling, MLW, GCW, and other notable live events. If you attend a show, you are encouraged to send a report or even basic results to firstname.lastname@example.org
GCW “Hope 2 Die”
Streamed on FITE TV
August 20, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia at Center Stage
The hard camera shoots down from an upper balcony. We aren’t used to this angle, and it makes the ring look really small. Dave Prazak and John Mosely are on commentary. The crowd is maybe 400-500; the building is NOT full. In a nice change for GCW, there is fencing that separates fans from ringside. This is well lit above the ring with the fans seated in the dark.
* Nick Gage came out to warm up the crowd. He talked about how he will face Jon Moxley in a title vs career match. He thanked the fans for coming out. He said he would either bring the belt home, “or I’m going to f—ing die trying.”
1. Nick Wayne defeated Joe Lando at 11:41. Wayne wrestled in California on Friday; it is insane the frequent flyer miles this 17-year-old is piling up. Lando, the UK high-flyer, had a great match a day ago against Blake Christian. Wayne has the height/weight advantage. They traded offense while fingers locked in a test of strength. They avoided each other’s big moves and had a standoff at 2:30. Lando hit a Falcon Arrow and was in charge early. Wayne tied him up on the mat and worked over the wrist and fingers, then he bit the fingers at 6:30 and earned a “you sick f—!” chant.
Lando hit a German Suplex with a bridge for a nearfall. Wayne hit a fisherman’s suplex for a nearfall at 9:00. Lando nailed a dive through the ropes to the floor, then he hit his Shooting Star elbow drop for a nearfall. In the ring, Wayne hit a superkick. Lando nailed a stunner and his twisting suplex into the corner for a nearfall at 11:00. Lando went for a top-rope Shooting Star Press, but Wayne caught him with a stunner on the way down. Wayne then nailed the Cloud Cutter for the pin. Just an excellent match. Lando had two great showings on consecutive nights against two top U.S. juniors.
2. Billie Starkz defeated B-Boy in an intergender match at 10:26. Starkz, a teenager still in high school, is of average size and height. B-Boy has been wrestling longer than she’s been alive, and he would kill her in a legit fight. She dove through the ropes, but he caught her and patted her on the head. She slapped him in the face, so he picked her up and gave her a Razor’s Edge into the tall fencing at ringside. The crowd chanted “holy shit!” He rolled her in the ring, and she immediately hit some forearms but he no-sold them. He spun her into the corner and unloaded some hard chops on her chest, then he hit a buckle bomb into the corner and a running facelift dropkick at 2:00.
He continued to beat on her and this has been completely one-sided. He applied a Texas Cloverleaf and bent her in half. She hit a headbutt at 4:00, so he clocked her with one back. She hit a dive through the ropes, caught his head, and hit a tornado DDT on the floor. They got in the ring and traded forearm shots, and B-Boy nailed another headbutt. She caught him with a superkick, and she hit a German Suplex with a bridge for a nearfall. She hit a Swanton Bomb on the ring apron. She went for another in the ring, but he got his knees up.
B-Boy hit a Tiger Driver for a believable nearfall at 7:00. She hit a spin kick, and this time, she hit the top-rope Swanton Bomb, for a nearfall. However, he nailed a brainbuster for a believable nearfall at 9:00; that really should have been it. The announcers speculated that B-Boy wanted to put her away but really wasn’t comfortable doing what had to be done. He put her on his shoulders for a Burning Hammer, but she escaped, got a jackknife rollup, and scored the fluke pin. Her victory doesn’t hide the fact he beat the crap out of a younger, smaller, woman for the bulk of the match.
3. Cole Radrick defeated Brett Ison to retain the GCW Extreme tite at 7:09. Ison is bald and thick (not fat), and has tattoos on his arms; I immediately though he’s somewhat like Baron Corbin. Ison was barking at the crowd more than he was paying attention to Radrick. Radrick’s back has the visible scars from his match a night earlier with plenty of light tubes and glass all over the ring. Ison dropped him with a forearm; he’s definitely much bigger than the nerdy-looking Radrick. Ison hit a belly-to-back suplex for a nearfall at 3:00.
Radrick hit an enzuigiri, and they were both down. Ison hit a modified One Winged Angel for a nearfall at 6:00, and that could have been a pin. Radrick hit a springboard cutter and a Falcon Arrow for the pin out of nowhere. That was unexpected. Also worth noting they didn’t use any weapons, and this was the most un-Extreme match you’ll ever see for the Extreme title (which is fine by me.)
4. Blake Christian defeated Masha Slamovich in an intergender match at 12:30. Emil Jay joined Prazak on commentary, and they talked about how the fans have somewhat turned on Blake. Standing switches early and she is pretty much the same height. She hit a hard clothesline and a spinning back fist for a nearfall at 3:00. She was lying on the ropes, and rather than hit a 619, he hit a crossbody block to her back. She hit a baseball slide dropkick that sent him to the floor, and she hit a flip off the apron to the floor on him.
Blake nailed a half-nelson suplex, then a plancha to the floor at 5:00. He hit a springboard forearm in the ring, and he’s letting some of the boos get to him. He hit a snap suplex. Prazak talked about how Blake is used to feeding off the energy of a supportive crowd. Blake dropped her with a dropkick to the face. He tied her up on the mat and slowed it down. She hit a top-rope missile dropkick for a nearfall at 8:30. He leveled her with a forearm, so she got up and slapped his face, then she hit multiple forearm shots and a running Mafia kick. Blake nailed a running knee strike. She tied him upside down along her back and dropped down for a modified tombstone piledriver at 10:30.
Blake nailed a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall, then a springboard 450 Splash for a nearfall, and the crowd was hot for the kickout. He missed the Rollins-style stomp. She picked him up and hit an Air Raid Crash into the corner for a nearfall. Blake immediately hit the Rollins-style stomp on her head for the pin. Entertaining match; he didn’t brutalize her as much as other recent intergender matches in GCW.
5. “Second Gear Crew” Mance Warner and Matthew Justice defeated Everett Connors and Charli Evans in an intergender match at 13:07. Again, Evans is just so much smaller than her male competitors it just isn’t believable. This is already our third intergender match of the show. Connors also is quite scrawny. Mance and Evans started and he let her get the first blow. She hit several; he hit one punch to the jaw that dropped her. Mance got a beer; she kicked him, took the beer, and kicked Justice. Connors hit a flip dive to the floor on everyone. They all brawled on the floor.
Mance threw a chair at Evans’ head. So incredibly unnecessary. Justice got a door from under the ring, and he rammed it into Charli’s gut at 5:00. They brawled up the stairs and into the crowd (seated in risers at Center Stage.) Mance picked up a “fan” and threw him onto several wrestlers below. Charli dove off a ledge onto everyone below at 7:30. They all brawled back into the ring. Evans and Connors threw chairs at the SGC. The SGC slammed Everett through two open chairs at 10:00.
Everett hit a top-rope Spanish Fly on Justice, sending them both crashing through a door. The SGC hit simultaneous Mafia Kicks on Charli. Connors got a Victory Roll for a nearfall. Everett dove off the top rope onto the SGC, but they caught him and slammed him through a door set up in the corner for the pin. An alright brawl; I can do without the chairshots to the head, but at least no one bled.
* Intermission. Coming out of the break, they showed a nice highlight reel from recent GCW shows.
6. Rico Gonzalez defeated Hunter Drake, Sean Campbell, Terry Yaki, Brogan Finley, and Bobby Flaco in a scramble at 10:23. Yaki is a Black man with half of his hair dyed brown. Almost everyone wore GCW T-shirts, and before the bell, this feels like the equivalent of a New Japan Young Lions match. Flaco came to the ring on the tiniest motorcycle I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t doubt if this is the first televised match for most of these guys. Campbell kissed Gonzalez to throw him off. They are trying hard but this is a bit of a mess. Drake hit a nice Dragon Suplex for a nearfall.
Flaco hit a top-rope flip dive onto everyone on the floor at 5:30. Drake hit a Spanish Fly from the top corner to the floor on four guys. Drake is showing some good athleticism. Flaco got on his motorcycle and kicked everyone as he went by. He hit a Poison Rana in the ring. Campbell hit a piledriver for a nearfall. Terry Yaki climbed to the top of the fencing and hit a moonsault onto the other five guys on the floor. In the ring, Rico Gonzalez broke up a pin, jumped on the guy who was down, and scored the pin. OK action. Definitely as green as I’ve seen but it never dragged.
7. Jordan Oliver defeated Anthony Henry at 12:24. Again, Henry is the former NXT wrestler Asher Hale. Oliver is still on my list for most improved of the year; he’s taller than most high-flyers and he’s bulked up too. An intense lockup and mat reversals to open. Henry hit a running punt kick on the ring apron. Oliver dove through the ropes onto Henry at 2:30. In the ring, Henry slammed Oliver’s back on the top turnbuckle and he took control. He hit Yes Kicks to the back and got a nearfall at 5:00. Henry hit a German Suplex and a spin kick to the head for a nearfall.
Oliver hit a big clothesline at 7:30 and an Exploder Suplex, then a standing release powerbomb for a nearfall. Oliver is selling the back injury. They traded rollups. Oliver hit his jumping sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 9:00. Henry hit a belly-to-back suplex for a nearfall. Oliver missed a Cloud Cutter, and Henry hit a Tiger Driver powerbomb for a nearfall, and they were both down at 11:00. This has been really good. Henry hit some more Yes Kicks to the chest. they traded chops. Oliver hit a Helluva Kick, and he nailed the Cloud Cutter out of the corner for the pin. Really entertaining, believable matchup.
* Light tubes were brought to the ring. Ugh. This show has been free of blood. And here comes a barbed-wire covered board.
8. Alex Colon defeated Hunter Freeman at 9:11. I’ve seen Freeman on a couple shows from California, so a bit of a surprise to see him here in Atlanta. He’s really tall and lanky, and I’ve seen him hit an impressive dive over the top rope to the floor, but I’ve otherwise been unimpressed. Colon hit a top-rope Spanish Fly onto a pile of broken light tubes and glass to score the pin.
9. Dark Sheik and “Bussy” Effy and Allie Katch defeated Jimmy Lloyd and “Los Mecizos” Ciclope and Extremo Miedo in an intergender six-person tag at 16:27. Ciclope and Katch started, and they are roughly the same height. They stood toe to toe and traded forearm shots and a double clothesline. Miedo entered at 2:00 and traded quicker offense with Sheik. Effy entered to face Lloyd, and Effy hit a TKO stunner at 4:00. Katch hit a dive from the corner on the five others below. They all brawled on the floor. Effy threw a chair at Lloyd’s head.
Dark Sheik hit a flip dive off a ledge onto everyone below. In the ring, Sheik hit a top-rope spin kick on Ciclope at 10:00. However, Sheik missed a top-rope legdrop. Miedo did the airplane spin with Ciclope hitting a dropkick on Sheik. Katch hit a double suplex on two guys. Absurd. Lloyd hit an Air Raid Crash onto an open chair. Sheik hit a straight punch to Lloyd’s groin. Sheik hit a top-rope legdrop on Lloyd for a nearfall, but his partners made the save. Suddenly there are light tubes in the ring and everyone is beating each other over the head with them. Ugh.
Ciclope and Sheik brawled up into the crowd. They both crashed off the ledge and onto debris below; it was hard to see. In the ring, Miedo hit a 450 Splash for a nearfall. Katch hit a piledriver on Lloyd, and Effy immediately hit his Famasser legdrop on Lloyd for the pin. The light tubes (and blood that comes with being cut by them) was entirely unnecessary. I didn’t like much about this main event. Mance Warner and Matthew Justice and Colon hit the ring and everyone brawled.
Final Thoughts: Certainly not the first time I’ve given best match to the opener of a GCW show, as Lando vs. Nick Wayne easily stole the show. I really enjoyed Jordan Oliver-Anthony Henry and that earns third best. Masha Slamovich had a really good match a couple months ago in GCW against Mike Bailey, and she looks more believable against men than other women. Her match here against Blake earned third best.
I am still unsure if GCW knows what they are doing with Blake Christian. After he hugged Nick Cardona last week, he seemed headed straight toward a hard heel turn. If that is now the plan, he could have easily been a strong heel here against Masha, but he played up being a babyface and got a lot of “Strong Heart!” chants and a good babyface reaction.
Yes, I have a great distaste for intergender matches, but GCW could have given us an awesome B-Boy vs. Blake Christian, and Slamovich vs. Starkz match, instead of multiple, multiple intergender matches.
After seeing Lando this weekend against Blake Christian and Nick Wayne, I realize how disappointing it was Lando missed out of his match against Axton Ray at the midnight Jersey Championship Wrestling show a week ago because of his ankle injury. He’s a talented high-flyer, but is perhaps 5’5,” as he’s clearly shorter than Blake Christian.