GCW “Hit ‘Em Up” results: Vetter’s review of Nick Gage vs. Lio Rush for the GCW Title, Ciclope and Miedo Extremo vs. Che Cabrera and Bad Dude Tito for the GCW Tag Titles, Taya Valkyrie vs. Allie Katch, Willie Mack vs. Mike Bailey, Blake Christian vs. Flip Gordon, Juicy Finau vs. Starboy Charlie in a cage match

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

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GCW “Hit ‘Em Up”
Streamed on FITE TV
October 29, 2022 in Los Angeles, California at the Ukrainian Cultural Center

This is a nice venue and has been officially been named as the host site for “The Collective” series of wrestling shows held over WrestleMania weekend next spring. The crowd was good, at 600 to 800. As the cameras moved around ringside during the show, it was clear this building is quite packed.

Unfortunately, the marquee cage match has been changed. Somehow, Jacob Fatu was booked for both House of Glory Wrestling in New York and GCW in Los Angeles. So, a tag cage match has been turned into a singles match. The cage was set up as the show starts. It makes sense to do that first and don’t make the fans wait while the cage being erected.

Dave Prazak and Emil Jay provided commentary. They pointed out there is barbed wire on top of the cage. That’s one way to avoid outside interference! There is bad blood between them, as even Starboy Charlie’s mom got involved in the action the last time GCW was here; Charlie covered his mom to protect her from a frogsplash at that prior show.

1. Starboy Charlie defeated Juicy Finau in a steel cage match at 16:13. Finau slammed the cage door into Charlie’s face as Charlie was walking at ringside, and FInau immediately powerbombed Charlie into the side of the cage. The size difference here is massive; Finau might be 400 pounds while teenager Charlie is certainly 175-200 pounds. Finau locked the lock and threw the key into the crowd. Finau stood on Charlie’s back and was in complete control. Charlie fired up and hit several punches, then he chop blocked the back of the knee at 5:30.

Charlie hit a Lionsault. Charlie was bleeding from the forehead, and Finau raked his head against the steel cage. They climbed to the top of the cage, but Prazak reminded us there is barbed wire on top. Finau shoved Charlie to the mat. Charlie hit a top-rope huracanrana, then a shotgun dropkick. Charlie hit a dropkick onto a steel chair over Finau’s head. Charlie climbed over the top of the cage, but Finau caught him and hit a top-rope superplex back into the ring, and they were both down at 12:00. The ring just shook as Finau’s weight hit the mat.

Finau set up for a Samoan Drop but Charlie hit a series of elbow shots to the head to escape. Charlie threw chairs at Finau’s unprotected head (unnecessary!) for a nearfall. Juicy hit a Rikishi Driver. Juicy hit a top-rope frogsplash! “Get the spatula,” Emil said. However, Juicy pulled Charlie up before the pinfall. However, Juicy missed a top-rope moonsault. Charlie climbed over the cage and the crowd booed, so he paused, and climbed to the top. He then nailed a top-of-the-cage frogsplash for the pin. That was fun and booked as best possible to make it believable.

* Short break to tear down the cage.

2. Yamato defeated Jordan Oliver at 15:29. Dragon Gate’s Yamato is getting his opportunities against the best in-ring workers in GCW and that continues here. I wrote this previously, but Yamato’s haircut and facial features are similar to Shinsuke Nakamura. Good standing switches to open. Oliver clutched his left knee, but Yamato just stomped on it a few times, and the crowd booed him loudly. Oliver hit a dropkick for a nearfall at 2:30. Yamato tied up Oliver on the mat and applied a single-leg crab on the damaged knee.

Oliver hit a big clothesline at 8:00 and was fired up. They traded forearm shots. Yamato nailed a brainbuster for a nearfall. Oliver nailed the Mafia Kick at 10:30, and he applied a Boston Crab. Yamato applied an anklelock. Oliver hit his jumping powerbomb for a nearfall at 13:30. Oliver went for a Cloud Cutter but Yamato caught him. They traded more chops. Yamato snapped off a mid-ring Frankensteiner, and he applied a sleeper, then he turned it into a powerbomb for the pin. That was excellent.

3. Blake Christian beat Flip Gordon at 16:50. These are two of my absolute favorites; I still don’t know how it’s possible Gordon hasn’t even appeared on an AEW Dark/Elevation yet, let alone a main show. Flip has grown his beard out again, which helps make him look like a heel. He walked on his hands and showed off. Blake hit a springboard dropkick, then an Arabian Press to the floor, into the rows of seats (that are way to close to the ring) at 4:30. Christian hit a springboard crossbody block into the ring. They went back to the floor, with Flip hitting a corkscrew second-rope press to the floor. He rolled Blake into the ring and got a nearfall at 6:00.

Flip hit a second-rope Blockbuster for a nearfall, then a fisherman’s suplex for a nearfall. Blake hit his handspring-back-spin kick at 9:00, then a Lionsault press for a nearfall. Flip hit a jumping knee to the jaw. Blake hit an enziguri. Flip hit a springboard forearm and they were both down at 10:30. Flip hit a Death Valley Driver out of the corner for a nearfall. Blake hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly for a nearfall. Flip hit a superkick and he put Blake in the Torture Rack and hit a flipping-backward splash, dropping Blake on his stomach. Flip tied him in an STF, with Blake reaching the ropes at 13:00. This is really good.

Flip hit a kick but came up limping. They hit simultaneous clotheslines and were both down. They traded more forearm shots. Flip came off the ropes but Blake caught him with a knee strike. Blake hit a swinging slam for a nearfall. Flip hit a springboard tornado DDT. Blake hit another mid-ring Spanish Fly. He immediately hit a springboard 450 Splash for the pin. “That was one hell of a wrestling match!” Emil Jay said. I concur.

4. “Los Macizos” Ciclope and Miedo Extremo defeated “The Wolf Zaddies” Che Cabrera and Bad Dude Tito to retain the GCW Tag Team Titles at 11:23. Cabrera recently appeared on a New Japan Strong show but this is his GCW debut. Tito has had a really good year with an impressive tour in Japan for NJPW during the G1 Climax; Kevin Kelly has previously compared Tito to Dr. Death Steve Williams and I think that is an apt comparison. They brawled to the floor immediately and we have the split screen to follow the action. Miedo still has the shoulder wrapped. In the ring, the heels worked over Ciclope.

Miedo got in, but the Zaddies worked him over, focusing on that damaged shoulder. Miedo nailed a dive to the floor, while Ciclope hit a tornado DDT on Tito for a nearfall at 5:00. Los Macizos got some doors from under the ring. Several chairs were piled in the middle of the ring. Tito hit a second-rope superplex onto the pile of chairs for a nearfall on Ciclope at 7:00. Los Macizos each hit an unprotected chairshot to the top of the head, but the heels no-sold the blows. That’s just stupid. Tito slammed Miedo through a door in the corner for a nearfall at 8:30. Tito hit a mid-ring spear on Ciclope for a nearfall. Ciclope hit a Doomsday Clothesline on Che through a door for a nearfall. Ciclope then hit a frogsplash on Che for the pin. That was good, and the violence was acceptable.

5. Mike Bailey defeated Willie Mack at 19:43. A handshake at the bell, as they are both babyfaces here, then standing switches so Mack could show off his athleticism despite his size. Bailey tried a shoulder tackle that didn’t budge Mack. Bailey hit a huracanrana and a dropkick at 3:00. Mack hit a running leg lariat that had Bailey heading to the floor to regroup. Mack pushed Bailey onto a lap of a fan, and he hit some hard chops. They brawled over to a permanent stage that is roughly three feet tall. Bailey nailed a running knee from the stage onto Mack at 6:00.

Bailey hit a top-rope missile dropkick in the ring for a nearfall. Bailey nailed a Vader Bomb-style kneedrop to the chest at 8:00. Mack nailed a decapitating clothesline and a flying forearm, then a Hogan legdrop. He hit a running boot in the corner, then a rolling cannonball for a nearfall. Bailey fired back with a series of kicks and his corkscrew senton for a nearfall. Bailey nailed his speedball kicks to the ribs and thighs, Mack fired back with a pop-up forearm shot, then an Exploder Suplex into the corner and they were both down at 12:00.

Mack hit a Samoan Drop and kipped up, then hit his standing moonsault for a nearfall. They traded chops. Mack hit a Thesz Press and punches to the face at 15:30. Bailey hit his moonsault kneedrop and a spin kick to the head for a nearfall. Bailey went for the Tornado Kick in the corner, but Mack caught him and hit a stunner. Mack hit a flip dive to the floor at 17:30. Bailey nailed his corner moonsault to the floor. Bailey went for the Ultimo Weapon kneedrop, but Mack stood up and caught him coming down with a stunner for a nearfall at 19:00. Mack missed a top-rope moonsault. Bailey nailed his Tornado Kick in the corner, then the Ultimo Weapon top-rope moonsault kneedrop for the pin. That was really, really good too.

6. Allie Katch vs. Taya Valkyrie was ruled a no-contest at 10:45. Katch came out dressed in a vampire outfit.  Standing switches and Katch ‘danced’ with her and pulled her in to bite her neck. Funny. Taya hit a running butt splash in the corner. They brawled to the floor, where Taya used a staple gun to attach a dollar bill to Allie’s forehead at 3:00. Yuck. So, Allie grabbed the staple gun and stapled money on Taya. They got in the ring, where Taya hit a Stomp for a nearfall. Allie hit her butt splash and rolling cannonball in the corner for a nearfall at 6:00.

Katch hit a Canadian Destroyer and they were both down. Katch hit her piledriver as Taya was caught in the ropes. Taya hit a running powerbomb for a nearfall, then a spear for a nearfall. They traded more forearm shots. Suddenly, a strange guy came to ringside with a box and he handed it to Katch. She pulled out a letter. She looked concerned and ran from the ring. “Where the hell is she going?” Prazak asked. She entirely left the building. Taya and the referee looked perplexed. In theory, Taya should win here via count-out, but the ref determined this was a no-contest. Taya left the ring and as she was about to walk through the curtain, she was met by John Henningan and her dog. Strange ending, but we have a fun mystery.

7. Hunter Freeman defeated Jimmy Lloyd in a hardcore match at 7:50. The barbed-wire boards were placed all around ringside. I’ve seen Hunter a few times now; he’s really tall and lean and always wears tan pants and black shirt, dressed for a fight. Lloyd hit a Razor’s Edge overhead powerbomb, tossing Hunter over the top rope onto a door set up between two tables. In the ring, Hunter hit a running Bulldog Powerslam into a barbed-wire board set up in the corner for the pin. Not my style of match.

8. “Team GCW” Joey Janela, B-Boy, Kevin Blackwood, and Titus Alexander defeated “Team LA Fight” Jordan Cruz, Rob Shit, Drugs Bunny, and Don Kubrick at 12:12. This apparently is the GCW debut for Kubrick and Drugs Bunny, who wore a dumb rabbit-ears hat and rabbit nose. Cruz is muscular and has recently appeared on New Japan Strong tapings, and I’m impressed with him. Again, Titus reminds me of Ethan Page in both looks and demeanor. Kubrick wore red pants and has a look similar to a young Tyler Black. Team GCW took turns working over Kubrick early on. Titus hit an impressive flip to the floor at 3:30.

Back in the ring, Blackwood and Cruz traded good, stiff offense. Janela entered and hit clotheslines on all the LA Fights guys. Blackwood hit a double stomp off the top turnbuckle onto Cruz’ chest as he was being held by Blackwood’s teammates. This was essentially lucha rules action, as guys flowed in and out of the ring, hitting moves, people rolling to the floor, etc. Cruz nailed a second-rope superplex on Janela at 8:30 for a nearfall. Suddenly all eight guys were brawling in the ring.

The Team GCW guys all hit simultaneous Death Valley Drivers on the ring apron. Bunny threw powder in Janela’s eyes. Titus hit a Poison Rana on Janela. B-Boy hit a brainbuster. B-Boy and Blackwood hit simultaneous forearm shots on Drugs Bunny. Titus nailed a Chaos Theory rolling German Suplex on Bunny for the pin. Messy and chaotic but fun. Drugs Bunny is so indy in a bad way, and he clearly isn’t on the same in-ring level as the other seven in this match.

9. Nick Gage defeated Lio Rush to retain the GCW Title at 27:52. Lio came out first and was low-key, almost heelish. Gage, of course, partied with the crowd on his way to the ring. Early in the match, Gage hit a dropkick that sent Lio Rush to the floor. Lio bounced off the ropes with his misdirection stuff, but Gage caught him with a clothesline at 3:00. Lio dove between the bottom and second rope and barreled onto Gage, then he hit an Asai Moonsault, but the crowd loudly booed Lio, which Prazak acknowledged.

They brawled on the floor in front of the fans. They got in the ring; Gage had a pizza cutter, so Lio got some chairs. Lio slowed down the action with a sleeper on the mat. Lio hit a flying clothesline for a nearfall at 11:30, and he cracked him over the head with shards from a broken door. Gage fired up with a running knee in the corner for a nearfall, then a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall. Gage slammed Lio’s head into a chair propped in the turnbuckles, and Lio collapsed to the floor at 15:00.

Lio was thrown back in the ring, and he was bleeding from his forehead. Gage used the pizza cutter across Lio’s forehead. That’s just gross. Gage bit at the cut on the head. This went on for several minutes, as he gouged Lio in each direction so all fans could see it. Lio fired back with some spin kicks at 21:00, and they were both down. Gage nailed a piledriver. Lio got a rollup for a nearfall. Gage moved and Lio accidentally clotheslined the referee! Lio hit his springboard stunner from the bottom rope, then his impressive frogsplash for a believable nearfall. They traded forearm shots. Gage hit another piledriver for a nearfall. They traded many, many forearm shots, before Gage finally hit a chokeslam for the pin.

Final Thoughts: Blake-Flip was fantastic. I know I am repeating myself, but how is Flip not on TV right now? If not AEW, why not Impact or MLW? I truly don’t get it. Blake Christian continues to have great matches in 2022 with everyone he gets in the ring with.

I hate the “escape the cage” rule used by WWE and most promotions. And no babyface should ever, ever, ever win by escaping the cage. If Charlie had continued to climb down the cage, he would have been viciously booed and seen as a coward. So, I love how he paused for a second, climbed back up, and hit the top-of-cage splash for the pin. That match was just incredibly laid out, and despite the ridiculous size difference, this earns second-best because it was so memorable. A nice payoff to storylines that have gone back for months.

So, Bailey-Mack, as good as it was, comes in third, with a very good Oliver-Yamato match earning honorable mention. As per usual for me, GCW shows fall apart at the end with too many weapon-filled matches. The hardcore match wasn’t that good. The Drugs Bunny gimmick fell flat for me, but I guess they can bring in Grim Reefer and have a few laughs.

I’m sure some people loved the main event, but they somehow stretched 12 minutes of action into nearly 30. Lio Rush is so good but he had to create nearly all the movement in this match. I get that Nick Gage is considered a hardcore icon willing to abuse his body, but he’s fairly immobile now from years of these type of matches, and his ring-work is mediocre at best. This match needed to be tighter with more action.

The show clocked in at a full three-and-a-half hours.


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