By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Jersey Championship Wrestling “BattleBowl”
Replay available via YouTube.com
January 1, 2023 in Atlantic City, New Jersey at The Showboat
This show aired for free on Youtube.com with a 1 p.m. EST start. It is worth reiterating that Game Changer Wrestling wrapped up their prior show about 12 hours earlier. Veda Scott and Jordan Castle provided commentary. The crowd is maybe 150, or roughly a quarter of the crowd from the New Year’s Eve event here.
I remember watching WCW’s BattleBowls, and this is the same concept. Announcer Emil Jay is in the ring and says we are having seven random-draw tag team matches. The 14 winners from the seven matches will then compete in the BattleBowl, with the overall winner receiving the prestigious BattleBowl ring.
We have cameras backstage, with two separate locker rooms. A tumbler is in the ring, and names were “randomly drawn” in the Lethal Lottery. It is immediately clear this isn’t a random draw, as the participants drawn for the first match are standing in front, and the first match has pairs of teammates facing each other.
1. Ellis Taylor and Jay Lyon defeated Midas Black and Charlie Tiger in a qualifying match at 9:21. Lyon and Midas, known as The Mane Event, opened against each other. Ellis and Charlie are teammates in “Young, Dumb and Broke.” Midas wound up spearing his own partner, getting confused mid-match. Taylor hit a top-rope doublestomp on Midas for a nearfall. Tiger accidentally hit Midas! Lyon hit a dive through the ropes. However, Taylor rolled up Midas with his feet on the ropes for leverage to score the cheap pin. Adequate opener.
2. “Wasted Youth” Marcus Mathers and Dylin McKay defeated Kerry Morton and Axton Ray in a qualifying match at 11:02. In a “convenient, luck of the draw,” regular teammates Mathers and McKay will tag. The crowd is all over Kerry Morton again, just like a night ago. Mathers and Morton opened with some good mat reversals. Axton showed off some high-flying for a guy his size. Axton shoved Kerry, as they weren’t on the same page.
Mathers hit a Lionsault on Axton for a nearfall at 7:00, then a Lungblower. Axton hit a German Suplex on Mathers for a nearfall. Mathers hit a Clout Cutter on Morton. WY hit a team superkick on Axton. Dylin hit a Shooting Star Press on Axton, and Mathers immediately hit a Shooting Star Press for the pin. Good match. After the bell, Morton shoved Axton, and Axton responded with a punch that dropped Kerry.
3. Griffin McCoy and Alec Price vs. Gabriel Skye and Austin Luke in a qualifying match at 10:20. I don’t know Skye or Luke. Luke has a thick beard and is fairly scrawny; he is a skinnier Cameron Grimes. Gabriel is short with long, greasy black hair. Seen McCoy a few times now; he’s fairly tall. Price easily has the most GCW/JCW ring time of these four. McCoy and Price worked over the short Skye early on.
Skye and Luke hit moonsaults to the floor at 8:00. In the ring, Luke hit a Nigel-style Tower of London stunner. Griffin hit a half-nelson suplex, but Price made a blind tag, jumped in the ring, and scored the pin on Luke! Griffin obviously wasn’t happy. A good match, but they had too many sequences that were pre-planned, once again making it clear this wasn’t a ‘random draw.’
4. Beast Man and Sam Stackhouse defeated Yoya and Mago in a qualifying match at 8:58. Stackhouse competed a night ago; he might be a legit 500 pounds, but his eye is swollen shut. Beast Man is also 400+ pounds. Yoya is maybe 5’2″ and maybe a third of the size of Stackhouse. Mago is masked and also short. Yoya hit a Poison Rana on Stackhouse. Beast Man hit a running crossbody block on Yoya at 3:30, and he sat down quickly on Yoya’s chest. The size difference here is just startling.
Beast Man hit a rolling cannonball in the corner on Yoya for a nearfall. Beast Man hit a Doink-style Whoopee Cushion on Yoya. Yoya tried for a stunner but couldn’t hit it. Mago tagged in and hit a missile dropkick at 6:30. Mago nailed a dive through the ropes on Stackhouse. In the ring, Yoya nailed a Canadian Destroyer on Stackhouse for a nearfall. Beast Man hit a chokeslam powerbomb on Mago. Stackhouse hit a splash on Yoya, and Beast Man followed with a top-rope Whoopee Cushion to pin Yoya. That was fun, just for the insane size difference.
5. Billy Dixon and CPA defeated Sawyer Wreck and Azriel in a qualifying match at 11:05. Dixon is a black man who dresses like Henry O Godwin in bib overalls. CPA has his button-down shirt and tie. Sawyer again towers over everyone in this match. Sawyer kissed Dixon at the bell, then she rolled him up for a nearfall. Funny. They traded forearm shots. CPA entered the ring, removed his shirt… to reveal another identical shirt underneath. Funny. Azriel choked CPA with his own tie.
Sawyer and CPA traded offense; I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a woman with such a height advantage in an exchange with a man before. Azrael hit a backbreaker over his knee. Dixon made the hot tag at 9:00 and he hit some bionic elbows on Sawyer. CPA asked Sawyer for a kiss; she responded with a chokeslam. Sawyer then chokeslammed her partner, Azriel! She left the ring! Dixon hit a Triple H Pedigree on Azriel for the pin.
6. 1 Called Manders and Bam Sullivan defeated Rob Shit and Jimmy Lloyd in a qualifying match at 7:46. Rob Shit is the aging 1980s rocker with tattoos everywhere. Bam is bald with a goatee. Manders and Lloyd started, with Lloyd hitting an enzuigiri. Rob hit a running knee on Manders in the corner at 3:00, and he applied a sleeper. Rob opted not to tag in Lloyd! Sullivan tagged in and beat up Rob. Manders and Sullivan hit a team back suplex for a nearfall at 6:30. Lloyd hopped in and hit a stunner on Manders. However, Rob accidentally hit Lloyd. We had a few clunky exchanges. Manders hit a bodyslam off the top rope, then a decapitating clothesline to pin Rob Shit.
7. Billie Starkz and Big F’n Vin defeated Janai Kai and Brogan Finlay in a qualifying match at 5:48. Big Vin is on par with Big Damo or WWE’s Ivar in size, and he overpowered Brogan early on. Billie encouraged Vin to beat him up, and the commentators talked about a growing feud between Billie and Brogan. Janai tagged in and hit a series of kicks to Billie’s back. Brogan and Janai hit a snap suplex on Billie at 3:30. Vin scooped up both opponents and hit a side slam on each. Vin hit a fallaway slam on Finlay from the ring apron, over the top rope, into the ring. Cool spot.
Janai hit a Gory Bomb on Billie, and Brogan immediately hit a clothesline on Billie. Vin chokeslammed Brogan. Billie hit a Swanton Bomb on Brogan, with Vin making the cover on Brogan for the pin. That was good, non-stop action.
8. Alec Price won the 14-person BattleBowl match at 9:50. This is a battle royal. Jay Lyon eliminated his partner-for-the show, Ellis Taylor right at the bell, but Lyon also was tossed, and they brawled to the back. Billy Dixon was tossed. We had several quick eliminations. Starkz leapt off the top rope onto her partner, Vin, but Vin caught her in his arms, walked to the ropes, and politely dropped her to the floor. Funny. Beast Man and Stackhouse traded big blows at 3:30, and we’re already down to just six left. Big Vin charged at them, but they flipped him over.
As Beast Man and Stackhouse brawled against the ropes, Alec Price snuck in and flipped them both out! We are down to Manders, Price and CPA. CPA unloaded some chops on Manders but they barely had an effect. Manders charged at CPA but wound up flipping to the floor! I assumed he was winning when we got to three. Price yanked off CPA’s clip-on tie. CPA flipped Price over, but Price managed to hold on and not touch the floor. CPA hit a powerbomb, then a top-rope missile dropkick. He does a comedy version of a 619 that popped the crowd. Price kicked him to the floor and was declared the winner. (CPA did not go over the top rope, so everyone was confused that the match was over.)
Final Thoughts: This was a fun, harmless show, and it was free on Youtube. At about two hours even, it didn’t overstay its welcome, either. I liked the nostalgia of the BattleBowl concept, and most of the finishes were unique, with teammates not getting along, or stealing pins, etc. I bet the average age of the competitors here was low to mid-20s. There are a lot of promising young athletes here. Some of them I’ve only seen in multi-person scramble matches, so this is a good way to let them get more ring time.