GCW “Save Me!” results: Vetter’s review of Nick Wayne and Jordan Oliver vs. Nick Gage and Matt Tremont, Homicide vs. John Wayne Murdoch, Joey Janela and Jimmy Lloyd vs. Matthew Justice and 1 Called Manders in a street fight, Blake Christian vs. Leon Slater, Arez vs. Cole Radrick

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

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GCW “Save Me!”
Replay available via Fite.TV
January 7, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois at Thalia Hall

This is a good-sized concert hall with fans in the second deck, too. I’ll put this crowd at 600-900. Dave Prazak and Emil Jay provided live commentary; Prazak said this venue has hosted a lot of lucha libre shows in the past, but this is a debut for GCW.

Lighting is absolutely terrible at the start of the show. From the hard camera, the wrestlers are in complete shadows. The cameras at ringside are marginally better. NOTE: By mid-way through the first match, it was vastly improved.

1. Cole Radrick defeated Arez at 8:56. Standing reversals at the bell, then they switched to faster reversals. Arez hit a second-rope moonsault to the floor at 3:30. In the ring, Arez hit a spin kick to the head and was in charge. Radrick hit an enzuigiri. Radrick hit a spinning DDT move for a nearfall at 6:30. Arez hit a nice sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. Arez hit a delayed vertical suplex and popped up. Radrick hit a Poison Rana and a springbaord stunner, then a pumphandle sit-out powerbomb for the pin. Decent opener; the more talented wrestler lost.

2. Starboy Charlie defeated ASF at 13:35. ASF is the tiny high-flyer. Charlie is the teenager from California, and both are babyfaces. Charlie hit a flying back elbow for a nearfall. This has to be a rare match for Charlie where he’s the bigger man. Charlie put ASF on his shoulders and dropped him face-first to the mat, then he kicked him in the face. ASF got a backslide for a nearfall at 5:00. Charlie hit a dragon screw leg whip. ASF nailed a tombstone piledriver, and they were both down.

They traded forearm shots while on their knees, then from the standing position, and these were getting vicious. ASF hit an Asai moonsault to the floor, with them both landing in the lap of a fan at ringside. In the ring, ASF hit a rolling Death Valley Driver and got a believable nearfall at 10:00. Charlie hit a running Alabama Slam into the corner and that looked painful.

Charlie took down his straps, but he missed an enzuigiri. ASF applied a submission hold, but Charlie reached the ropes at 12:00. ASF went for a Shooting Star Press, but Charlie got his knees up. Charlie applied a submission hold. He caught ASF with a spin kick to the jaw and scored the pin. Really good match between two good youngsters.

3. “Los Macizos” Ciclope & Extremo Miedo defeated “Bang Bros” Davey Bang & August Matthews to retain the GCW Tag Team titles at 10:53. Miedo and Davey opened, then Ciclope faced August at 1:30. Matthews dove through the ropes and they crashed onto fans; the fans are just way too close to ringside here. Bang then hit a second-rope moonsault onto Ciclope. In the ring, Bang hit an enziguri on Miedo at 4:30, and they hit some quick team moves on Miedo.

Ciclope hit a missile dropkick, then a top-rope doublestomp on the back of Matthews’ head. Miedo hit a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. Miedo and Ciclope got some doors and chairs at 7:00 and set up a door in the corner of the ring. They slammed Davey Bang through a door in the corner. Matthews hit a Poison Rana, and Bang immediately hit a Frankensteiner. Bang speared Miedo through a second door and scored a nearfall at 9:30.

Bang hit a 450 Splash on Miedo, but Ciclope made the save. Ciclope hit a Doomsday Clothesline for a nearfall on Bang. However, Miedo hit a piledriver on Bang onto a folded chair to score the pin. Good match, but the winner was never in doubt.

* A video package aired showing last week’s Royal Rumble, where Masha Slamovich won, last eliminating Blake Christian. Afterward, Christian turned heel, superkicked her in the jaw, put a chair over her head, and kicked the chair. (Masha is at the PWG “Battle of Los Angeles” show tonight and isn’t here.) Blake came out, and Prazak talked about how Blake has been booed heavily in New Jersey throughout most of 2022 but was a fan favorite elsewhere. Blake grabbed a mic, got booed, and he set the mic down without saying a word.

4. Blake Christian defeated Leon Slater at 13:49. Again, Slater is the talented British, Black teenager. Blake hit a shoulder tackle and soaked in the boos. They traded quick reversals ending in a standoff at 2:00. Blake set up for a dive, but Leon kicked him in the face. Slater hit a handspring-back-elbow. Blake nailed his Fosbury Flop to the floor. They brawled up onto a stage away from the ring. Blake bodyslammed him onto the stage at 4:30.

They brawled back to ringside, with Blake in charge. In the ring, Blake hit a back suplex. Slater hit a springboard twisting crossbody block at 7:30. Slater hit a dive over the turnbuckle onto Blake on the floor; in the ring, he scored a nearfall. Blake missed a curbstomp, but he hit a sunset flip powerbomb into the turnbuckles. He hit a stunner for a nearfall at 9:30. Slater fired up and hit some punches, then a Mafia Kick. Blake hit a spear, then a snap German Suplex.

Blake went for a Lionsault Press, but Slater caught him with a kick. Slater hit a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall at 12:30. Blake distracted the ref, hit a mule kick low blow, then a mid-ring Spanish Fly. He set up for a springboard 450, but he gave the crowd the middle finger and hopped back to the mat. Funny. He then a Rollins-style Curbstomp for the cheap pin. He continued to put the boots to Slater after the match! He put his head in an open chair, and hit a running knee to the side of the head, and of course, he was getting heavily booed now.

Joey Janela got in the ring. He said his opponent, Tony Deppen, couldn’t make it to the show. He said he could have the night off, but instead he made an open challenge. Out came 1 Called Manders and Matthew Justice. Prazak wondered if Justice would jump off the balcony, and if they would lose use of the building if he did so. Jimmy Lloyd then hit the ring. They all started brawling on the floor.

5. Joey Janela and Jimmy Lloyd defeated “Second Gear Crew” Matthew Justice and 1 Called Manders in a street fight at 14:12. They began whacking each other over the head with chairs. In the ring, the SGC hit Stinger Splashes. Lloyd and Janela hit a team superplex at 4:30 on Justice. In a neat spot, Manders put Justice on his shoulders, and he slammed him onto both opponents in the corner. The SGC set up a door between two chairs on the floor. Janela hit a Death Valley Driver through the door. Justice then climbed to the second level and hit a frogsplash from the balcony onto Lloyd on a table at 9:00. He is insane.

They all got in the ring and began throwing chairs and pieces of the destroyed doors at each other. This is insane but also messy and a bit dangerous. Manders hit a Bulldog Powerslam on Janela onto a chair for a nearfall. Justice hit a coast-to-coast missile dropkick on Lloyd for a nearfall at 12:00. Lloyd and Janela slammed Manders through two open chairs for a nearfall, but Justice made the save. Lloyd and Janela hit a second-rope Team 3D to pin Justice. A fun brawl, messy at times, but didn’t veer into the disgusting territory (glass, pizza cutters, light tubes) that I hate so much.

6. Alec Price defeated Rocket, Mago, and Robert Anthony in a four-way match at 12:12. I don’t think I’ve seen Rocket; he is a thin Black man, on par in size with Lio Rush. Mago is a masked luchador. Anthony is a Midwest native who has to be wrestling at or close to 20 years, and he’s much taller than everyone else here. Anthony and Price jawed at each other. Prazak said Sawyer Wreck was supposed to be facing Robert Anthony here, so that’s another missing wrestler.

Rocket hit a series of quick kicks on Anthony. Price hit a twisting crossbody block on Rocket. Anthony hit a German Suplex on Price at 4:00. Anthony hit a double second-rope superplex, and Mago followed that up with a monosault onto Price. Mago hit a dive to the floor. Rocket hit a sliding German Suplex on Mago, who was tied in the ropes. Price hit a stunner on Rocket. Mago nailed a dive onto Anthony at 7:30. Price then dove onto all three on the floor. Rocket then hit a flip dive onto all three on the floor.

In the ring, Anthony put Rocket on his shoulders, but then he dumped him over the top rope onto the other two guys. Anthony hit a standing powerbomb on Price at 9:30; he applied a half-crab, but Mago and Rocket hit superkicks on him to break up the hold. Mago hit a handspring-back-spin kick on Price, then a standing Spanish Fly for a nearfall. Rocket hit a Canadian Destroyer on Mago. Rocket hit a corkscrew press, then a moonsault, onto Anthony. Price hit the running Mule Kick to the back of Rocket’s head for the pin. That was a non-stop sprint.

* A nice video package set up the next match, showing the weird feud between Charlie Mason and Allie Katch. Prazak noted that Mason isn’t here in Chicago. It is unclear if this will be 3-on-2, or if Mason has a surprise partner for his team.

7. Parrow and Slade vs. Allie Katch, Dark Sheik, and Effy ended in a draw at 13:40. All five brawled at the bell. Parrow is just massive, and he brawled with both Effy and Katch on the floor. In the ring, Sheik hit a Swanton Bomb. Parrow and Slade beat up Effy. Sheik made the hot tag at 5:30 and hit a missile dropkick. Effy hit a legdrop on Parrow through two open chairs at 8:30. Katch got in and hit Parrow with an enzuiguri. She hit her rolling cannonballs on each opponent, then an X-Factor on Parrow for a nearfall.

Sheik hit a low-blow punch on Parrow. However, Parrow gorilla pressed Sheik to the floor, then hit a double chokeslam on Effy and Katch at 11:00. Effy hit a second-rope Fame-asser legdrop on Parrow for a believable nearfall. However, a masked Black man, dressed entirely in black, hit the ring, and helped Parrow and Slade beat up the babyfaces. He took off his mask, revealing it is Billy Dixon. Prazak wondered why Dixon would align himself with Mason. I don’t care one iota about this storyline or feud, but the crowd was okay with it.

8. Homicide defeated John Wayne Murdoch at 10:50. A nice video package aired to highlight this feud. They began brawling before the bell. Homicide nailed a dive through the ropes, and they brawled on the floor. In the ring, Homicide hit a stunner. Murdoch hit a sit-out powerbomb, then a piledriver for a nearfall at 8:00. Murdoch tied him up on the mat. Murdoch hip-tossed Homicide through a table set up in the corner for a nearfall. Murdoch hit a second-rope Ace Crusher for the pin. A decent brawl and what you’d expect between these two.

9. Matt Tremont and Nick Gage defeated “The East-West Express” Nick Wayne & Jordan Oliver at 20:29. Oliver and Wayne are dressed in identical gear. Last week, Oliver eliminated Wayne in the Royal Rumble, so we’ll see if there is any tension from that. The usual elaborate entrance for GCW champ Gage, and of course, his title isn’t on the line in a tag match. (My prediction is one of the kids pins Gage to earn a title shot.) Wayne and Tremont started, and Tremont must have nearly a 100 pound weight advantage. Oliver tagged in and tied Gage in a head-scissors leg lock. Oliver hit a dropkick on Gage at 4:00, and the youngsters worked over Gage.

Oliver applied a Rings of Saturn-type move on the mat and kept Gage grounded. Oliver accidentally hit Wayne! Oliver slammed Wayne onto Gage for a nearall at 9:00. Tremont finally made the hot tag and he hit a uranage on Wayne at 11:00, then a decapitating clothesline. Tremont clotheslined Oliver to the floor. Tremont dove off the ring apron onto both kids. Gage then dove onto everyone. They began brawling on the floor, going through the crowd.

Back in the ring at 15:00, Gage set up a door in the corner. He traded blows with Wayne. Wayne hit a stunner. Gage hit a Spinebuster on Oliver, then he speared Wayne through the door in the corner. Gage and Oliver traded blows from on their knees. Oliver nailed a Mafia Kick at 17:30 and he was fired up. Oliver hit a snap suplex. Gage unloaded several stiff forearms on Wayne. Gage hit a piledriver for a nearfall. Wayne got a jackknife cover for a nearfall on Gage. Tremont got in and hit a Death Valley Driver on Wayne through a door. Gage then hit a piledriver on Wayne for the pin.

Final Thoughts: A fun show. Considering so many top indy talents are in PWG’s BOLA, they had a good roster here. I love Blake Christian and I’m really high on Leon Slater, and no surprise they had the best match of the show. I’ll go with the main event second, even though I’m disappointed that Wayne and Oliver lost. I saw this as the perfect time for Gage to take a loss and set up a challenger. The ASF-Charlie match earned third-place, just ahead of that non-stop four-way. I came away very impressed with Rocket, who I really don’t think I’ve seen before.

My usual complaints here — the fans are far too close to ringside, and they don’t use guardrails. At least no flying glass or light tube debris. The Effy/Katch/Sheik match wasn’t that good, and that was a really flat finish for what was essentially a no-DQ match. Also, Arez is a superior wrestler and shouldn’t be losing to Radrick. I did assume Radrick would win, just because he is a GCW regular.

Just want to point out that Alec Price, Nick Wayne and Starboy Charlie competed Friday in San Francisco, Calif., for West Coast Pro Wrestling. The travel schedule for top-tier indy talent is just insane. (And of course, we saw Nick Wayne in the front row Wednesday for AEW Dynamite in Seattle.)


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