Garden State Pro Wrestling “Thy Kingdom Come” results: Vetter’s review of the Garden State Championship tournament, Shot in the Garden gauntlet match, Matt Sydal vs. Titus Alexander vs. Michael Oku in a three-way, Sonny Kiss vs. Kidd Bandit


By Chris Vetter, Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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Garden State Pro Wrestling “Thy Kingdom Come”
Streamed on FITE TV
August 27, 2022 in Monroe, New Jersey at Monroe Sports Center

This venue is a gymnasium, with a curtain dropped to cut the gym in half, with perhaps 250 people in attendance. The lights were on so the ring was well-lit. Alyssa Marino and Veda Scott provided commentary.

1. Baliyan Akki defeated Tony Deppen for the Super Asia Title at 14:29. Deppen just returned from England for a pair of shows with Rev Pro. Akki, an India native, has impressed in recent shows like at North Carolina-based Deadlock Pro, and he has appeared at ringside for AEW with Emi Sakura in recent weeks. This was a really good mat-based match. Akki hit a nice top-rope frogsplash for the pin.

* A video package aired of Titus Alexander. I’ve written this before, but he reminds me of Ethan Page, in hair style and overall looks and mannerisms.

2. Bryan Keith defeated Titus Alexander to advance in a tournament at 6:21. Keith, a Black man in a Mexican baja sweater, is really starting to appear in promotions across the U.S. Titus attacked before the bell, drawing boos. Titus went for a handspring-back-elbow but Keith caught him with a cutter. Nice. Keith hit a nice sit-out powerbomb for the pin. A fine match for the time given.

3. Alan Angels defeated Robert Martyr to advance in a tournament at 8:54. Veda talked about Martyr’s upset victory over Davey Richards at the last show. (In my review, I noted that while they talked up Martyr as a rising star… I just didn’t see it. I saw Richards carry the whole match.) Martyr is of average size and height. Angels wrestled with earrings in… why? It seems like that could be a dangerous, accidental injury. This is a face-face matchup, at least initially. Angels applied a nice Rings of Saturn that Veda called “The Halo Stretch.” Late in the match with the ref out of position, Angels hit a purposeful punt kick to the groin and a clothesline for the pin. The crowd loudly booed the shocking heelish actions of Angels.

4. Starboy Charlie defeated Yoya at 8:58. Yoya, a Cambodian man, is really,. really short. This also is a face-face matchup. Starboy Charlie is a talented teenager; he’s a bit on the scrawny side but there is a lot of potential there. Yoya hit a nice Poison Rana. Starboy Charlie hit a piledriver, then a tombstone piledriver, to score the pin. This was good,, fast-paced action.

5. Sonny Kiss defeated Kidd Bandit at 14:27. An interesting LGBTQ matchup. Bandit has been sharing updates on Twitter about transitioning. Both got a babyface pop. A clock appeared on screen, making me wonder if they are unintentionally telling me we’ll have a time-limit draw. Sonny stalled a lot and dominated the action; the smaller Bandit is great at fighting from underneath. Bandit did a Sister Abigail spinning faceplant for a believable nearfall. Bandit went for a Sliced Bread #2 out of the corner, but Kiss rolled through, got a rollup, and scored the pin. A little bit long but quite watchable.

* Kiss got on the mic and praised Bandit, calling them a “beautiful person” who is on quite a journey. They hugged. A really nice babyface promo, that I’m sure meant a lot to Bandit.

6. Titus Alexander defeated Michael Oku and Matt Sydal in a three-way at 11:15.  Alexander came out looking quite dejected after his loss earlier; GSPW telegraphed his earlier loss by booking him in this three-way as well. Oku is the high-flying British Black man who had a stellar match with Will Ospreay earlier this year. I know Oku wrestled in Dallas over WrestleMania weekend, but I don’t think he’s competed here often. The smaller babyfaces struggled to take down the larger heel in Titus.

Oku hit a stunning standing backflip over the ropes onto Titus on the floor, then a frogsplash on Sydal for a nearfall at 8:30. Oku hit a Lionsault onto both opponents. Oku applied an anklelock on Sydal. As the ref was checking on Sydal to see if he would tap out, Titus hit Oku in the head with an object (I didn’t see what it was), jumped on Oku and pinned him. That was really, really good.

7. “Los Vipers” Arez and Latigo defeated “Dark Generation” Elemental and Bandido at 12:44. Except for Arez, these are all masked luchadors. Just to be clear, this is NOT the well-know ROH Bandido; this luchador is taller and reminds me more of a younger (thinner) La Parka. Arez has competed a lot in MLW and PWG, so I know him the most. Everyone took turns hitting flip dives to the floor, and this is good lucha action. In a cool spot, one of Black Generation ran in and hit a Canadian Destroyer to break up a pin at 8:00. The Los Vipers team made simultaneous covers for pins. Good action. They all posed with the Mexican flag afterward.

8. “The Workhorsemen” JD Drake & Anthony Henry defeated Marcus Mathers & Tre Lemar and “Bussy” Effy & Allie Katch in a three-way tag at 16:07. We’ve seen Lemar a handful of times on AEW TV. Mathers is definitely one to keep an eye on, too. Drake and Henry attacked Bussy on the way to the ring. Effy and Katch immediately returned to the back, making this a regular tag match. Drake and Henry dominated in the ring. Henry gave Mathers a piledriver on the gym floor at 8:30. Effy and Katch returned to the ring at 9:30 to a massive pop, with Katch hitting her rolling cannonball in the corner on the Workhorsemen.

Mathers hit a Swanton Bomb on Katch. Drake nailed some chops that leveled Mathers. Effy hit a top-rope Fameasser legdrop on Drake for a nearfall. Drake hit a spinebuster on Effy, and Henry immediately hit a top-rope double stomp to Effy’s chest for the pin. Solid match. Drake spoke briefly on the mic, saying matches like this is why they are stars on TV.

* A backstage promo with Matt Taven and Mike Benett. They said they will take on the Workhorsemen on Sept. 16.

9. Robert Martyr won a six-person “Shot in the Garden gauntlet” at 17:27. This is an elimination match with uneven intervals of entrance. Dylan McKay came out first. Robert Martyr came out, grabbed the mic, and said he was angry at being screwed over by Alan Angels earlier, and he’s entering the match, so those two started. Steve Scott was #3 at 2:00. Austin Luke entered at #4, and 1 Called Manders entered at #5 at 6:30. Janai Kai entered at #6. She went to square off with Manders, but the others intervened before they could lock up. Manders nailed a lariat to pin McKay at 10:13. Manders hit another clothesline to pin Austin Luke at 11:18, and we’re down to four.

Kai nailed a spin kick to the head to pin Steve Scott at 11:58. Kai and Manders finally were able to lock up. Kai unloaded her series of kicks on first Manders, then on Martyr. She hit a uranage on Manders for a believable nearfall. Manders nailed a decapitating clothesline to pin Kai at 14:25, and the crowd booed. Martyr, who had been lying on the floor, limped back into the ring. Manders hit some clotheslines, but Martyr applied a sleeper for the win. By winning the match, Martyr gets a future title shot, and Veda wondered if he would go after Alan Angels. Martyr got on the mic and made a challenge to Titus Alexander. However, Alexander hit the ring and attacked Martyr from behind.

10. Alan Angels defeated Bryan Keith to win the Garden State Championship tournament at 13:38. The crowd was now loudly booing booing Angels because of that low blow in his prior match. Keith was limping and selling damage done from his prior match. Angels dominated early and paused to pose with the title at ringside. Keith nailed a top-rope superplex at 8:00 but was too injured to make the cover. Angels hit another low blow kick behind the ref’s back, but this time Keith kicked out of a pin attempt.

Angels went back to his Rings of Saturn move, but Keith reached the ropes. Keith hit a Tiger Driver/butterfly powerbomb for a believable nearfall. The ref got bumped. Keith hit a standing powerbomb, then a sit-out powerbomb for a visual pin but we have no ref. Angels hit Keith in the head with the title belt, and he went and woke up the ref. Angels again applied the Rings of Saturn, and the ref called for the bell.

Final Thoughts: A decent show. The heel turn by Angels played out nicely in his first match. The main event was a lot of paint-by-numbers interference. I’ll give best match to the Sydal-Oku-Titus three-way, ahead of the good Deppen-Akki opener. The lucha tag was fun and earned third-best, with the main event getting honorable mention.

The crowd enjoyed the three-way tag team match a lot. I still find it absurd that Allie Katch gets so much offense in. JD Drake continues to look like a beast against smaller male competitors.

I get that GSPW wants its own “stars,” and they sure have pushed the heck out of Robert Martyr in their first two shows. Again, not saying he’s bad… I just don’t see what they are seeing. He’s solid, but he’s not in the “one to watch” or build a promotion around.

The show clocked in at more than three hours.


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