By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “GCW vs. New South”
Replay available via FITE.TV
January 22, 2023 in Florence, Alabama at Singin’ River Brewing Company
This brewery is a drab-looking building, but the crowd appears to be in the 150 range; the room is so narrow, there is room for only one row on two sides of the ring. Heck, they might even call this a sellout because this room is so small.
We start with Dump Sanders, who I presume is the New South promoter, in the ring. He thanked the crowd for coming and was excited to have GCW here. Nick Gage hit the ring. “The fighting champion” is once again here, but not fighting. Dave Prazak provided live commentary, and he stressed that there is no “bad blood” between the two companies; Carmen Michael, a New South commentator joined him. I don’t normally notice this, but this ring has quite a bit of bounce, and it sags in the middle.
1. Jordan Oliver (GCW) defeated Tyler Franks (NS) at 14:36. My first time seeing Franks; he’s young and shorter and thinner than Oliver. They brawled to the floor at 3:00. In the ring, Franks hit some European Uppercuts, to the point I’m thinking he looks like a shorter Zack Sabre Jr. Oliver fired back with chops, then a side slam at 7:00. Oliver hit a Northern Lights Suplex, then a running knee in the corner. He set up for a Lance Archer-style Blackout, but he wound up tossing him stomach first to the mat.
Franks hit a release German Suplex, then a twisting neckbreaker for a nearfall at 11:00. Oliver set up for the Clout Cutter, but Franks cut him off. Franks hit a hard forearm to the back of the neck. Franks put Oliver on his shoulders and spun him to the mat for a believable nearfall at 13:00. Oliver fired back with a Tiger Suplex and a Mafia Kick, then the sit-out powerbomb for a believable nearfall. Oliver then nailed the Clout Cutter for the pin. I fully expected Oliver to win here, but the youngster Franks brought his ‘A’ game.
2A. Tony Deppen (GCW) vs. Brandon Williams (NS) never started. Williams competed in the eight-man scramble a day ago; he’s of average height and weight in a green singlet. Williams hurt his leg in the scramble, and he’s in a large black boot. Deppen took a shocking loss to Adam Priest on Saturday, so I hope he bounces back here; he got on the mic and questioned Brandon if he really wants to fight. Deppen immediately shoved Williams to the mat, got a chair and set up to ‘Pillmanize’ the ankle. Dump Sanders, the heavyset New South promotor, hopped in the ring to try and separate them, but Deppen pushed him out of the ring. Cabana Man Dan ran in and made the save, so Deppen has a replacement opponent!
2B. Cabana Man Dan (NS) defeated Tony Deppen (GCW) at 11:46. They immediately brawled amongst the fans, and whipped each other into chairs. I noted this a day ago, but with his black hair and beard and short stature, CMD reminds me of Tony Nese. They got back in the ring, and Dan hit some rapid-fire chops in the corner. Deppen hit a senton for a nearfall at 3:00. Dan hit a sunset flip powerbomb out of the corner, then a Code Red for a believable nearfall.
Dan got a backslide for a nearfall. Deppen nailed a Lungblower, then a double stomp to the back. He hit a running knee to the back of the head for a nearfall at 6:00. Deppen hit a series of forearm shots. Dan slapped him in the chest with his flipflop and got a nearfall. Dan went for a Sliced Bread, but Deppen blocked it and hit a piledriver for a believable nearfall. Nice. Deppen set up to Pillmanize Dan’s ankle. Williams returned to the ring, still hobbling, so Deppen attacked him too, and started to pull off the brace! However, Williams hit Deppen in the head with the ankle brace; Dan immediately hit the Sliced Bread to score the pin.
3. Sawyer Wreck (GCW) defeated Donnie Primetime (NS) in an intergender match at 17:05. Primetime also was in the scramble a day ago; he looks a lot like Joey Janela, with his long, curly blond hair, and he was loudly booed. Sawyer is taller than him. He immediately got chairs from under the ring; he stood on one to be taller than her, but she just kicked him off the chair. She rammed the chair into his crotch. He got tied in the Tree of Woe, so she stood on his groin at 3:00, then she whipped a chair at his head as he was still hanging upside down.
They brawled to the floor and she was in charge. Donnie took off his weight belt and whipped her once across her back. She hit a snap suplex on the floor at 5:00. They got back in the ring, and he hit her in the face with a chair. She got the weight belt and she hit him several times with it. Donnie hit a drop-toe-hold, sending her facefirst into a chair at 8:30. He hit a (soft) leg lariat. He went under the ring and got barbecue skewers, and he jabbed them into her head at 11:00, and I don’t like this at all. She was bleeding from the forehead.
She pulled the skewers out of her head, and she jabbed them into his head. She then hit a double-handed chokeslam for a nearfall. She nailed a second-rope superplex for a nearfall at 13:30. Donnie hit a coast-to-coast dropkick, then a package piledriver for a believable nearfall, and the fans chanted, “Fight forever!” Donnie set up a door bridge, and he poured thumbtacks on it. He set up to powerbomb her on it, but she fought it off. She chokeslammed Donnie off the middle rope and through the door bridge for the pin.
4. Kenzie Paige (NS) defeated Billie Starkz (GCW) to retain the New South Women’s Title at 9:19. Prazak immediately explained that because this is for a New South title, no cheating is allowed. (GCW rarely has DQs.) Kenzie is in black with white trim; not the pink she wears in NWA. They traded forearm shots and chops. Kenzie hit a doublestomp to the chest for a nearfall at 2:00. They traded rollup attempts. Billie nailed a dive between the ropes, and they traded chops in front of the fans. In the ring, Billie hit a piledriver for a believable nearfall.
Billie hit a Death Valley Driver into the turnbuckles for a believable nearfall at 6:30. Starks hit a powerbomb off the ropes, then another piledriver. Kenzie nailed a spin kick to the head for a nearfall. Billie put Kenzie on her shoulders and hit a Sugoi Driver/One-winged Angel powerbomb for the pin at 9:07. New champ! However, the female referee saw a chain on the mat — and presumed Billie had used it — and she ordered the match to continue. Kenzie immediately hit Billie with her title belt while the ref was discarding the chain, then Kenzie hit a piledriver for the tainted pin. This was a really, really good women’s match.
5. Steven Michaels, Kevin Ryan, Rolando Freeman Perez, Chris Crunk, Brayden Toon, and Marcus Dylan (NS) defeated Cole Radrick, Jimmy Lloyd, Marcus Mathers, Arez, Gringo Loco, and Yoya (GCW) in a 12-man tag at 14:46. Rolando Freeman has appeared on NWA, but I don’t know any of the other New South team members. In a funny opening, the GCW team tossed Yoya onto their opponents, but they caught him and threw him back. Michaels has a great physique; he traded good offense with Arez. Loco hit a standing powerbomb on Rolando at 3:00.
Dylan was alone in the ring with all the GCW guys, and they all worked to beat him down. Lloyd hit a superkick on Rolando. Gringo hit a top-rope stunner. Yoya hit a flip dive to the floor at 6:30. The referee dove onto 10 guys on the floor and that popped the crowd. Prazak left commentary and hit a second-rope moonsault onto 10 people on the floor! Never seen that before! Prazak immediately returned to the booth and continued calling the match.
The New South guys hit superkicks on Arez. Arez fired back with a double DDT. Gringo hit a top-rope moonsault and Prazak said “way better than mine.” Funny. Yoya and Rolando — the two shortest men in the match — stood nose-to-nose, and they traded forearm shots. Michaels hiptossed Yoya across the ring. Mathers hit a Death Valley Driver on Michaels. We had a tower spot out of the corner. MIchaels nailed a Death Valley Driver on Mathers at 12:30.
Lloyd hit a piledriver. Yoya hit a flipping neckbreaker. Loco hit a piledriver on Rolando. Arez hit a springboard destroyer. A big guy hit a package piledriver on Arez. Michaels hit a spllit-legged moonsault. The Deep South big guy hit a moonsault, then a dive to the floor. Rolando hit a running Mafia Kick on Mathers to score the pin. A fun mess of a match; I never thought I’d see Prazak get involved in a match.
6. “Bussy” Effy and Allie Katch (GCW) defeated “The Carnies” the Gargoyle Kerry Awful and Nick Iggy (DS) at 14:59. Nick has long hair in a ponytail and a cocky attitude; he’s their Adam Cole. Gargoyle wore a Mankind-style mask. Katch put it on and scared Gargoyle. Effy hit a Whoopee Cushion buttdrop. The New South guys dropped Allie throat-first on the top-rope at 5:00 and got a nearfall. The heels worked over Allie in their corner. Allie hit a double suplex and made the hot tag at 9:00.
Effy hit a suplex on Iggy. Iggy hit a Stomp on Katch. Gargoyle applied a Boston Crab on Allie, and Iggy hit a kneedrop to her head; Effy made the save before she could tap out. Gargoyle hit a Jarrett Stroke faceplant. Gargoyle and Allie traded blows, and suddenly everyone was down at 12:30. Effy hit his Fameasser, but a heel manager stopped the ref from making the three-count. The Carnies caused Allie to hit a flip onto Effy and they got a nearfall. Effy hit his Fameasser legdrop on Kerry Awful for the pin. I didn’t like that, but the crowd generally did.
7. Blake Christian (GCW) defeated Hunter Drake (DS) at 15:25. I am really enjoying Blake’s low-key smug heel run; he is absorbing and ignoring the boos, and not lashing out and yelling at him. Hunter is short with long blond hair; Blake is actually bigger than his opponent for the second straight night. Hunter attacked before the bell, and he dove onto Blake on the floor. Hunter hit a second-rope moonsault out of the corner onto the floor. Blake hit a superkick and a spear to the lower back, then a dive between the ropes to the floor at 2:00. They brawled on the floor, and Blake hit a backbreaker over his knee.
In the ring, Blake dropped him back-first on the top turnbuckle at 5:00. Hunter hit a Lungblower and a flipping neckbreaker for a nearfall. Blake nailed a double stomp on Hunter’s back on the ring apron, and he got a nearfall in the ring. Blake hit a spear at 8:30, then a German Suplex. Hunter hit a Poison Rana, and they were both down. In a cool spot, Hunter hit a springboard Code Red for a nearfall. Blake hit another backbreaker over his knee, a short-arm clothesline, and a mid-ring Spanish Fly for a nearfall at 11:00.
Hunter got a small package for a nearfall. They traded superkicks. Blake hit a flying knee to the jaw for a nearfall. Blake got a chair from under the ring. Hunter hit a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. Hunter hit a top-rope Spanish Fly for a believable nearfall at 14:00. Hunter got a chair, but the ref stopped him from using it. Blake hit a low blow, then his Rollins-style Stomp for the pin. Like in prior matches, he put Hunter’s head in the chair and set up to kick it, but Cabana Man Dan made the save. This was a really good match.
8. “Los Macizos” Ciclope and Extremo Miedo (GCW) defeated “Infrared” Tyler Matrix and Logan James (DS) at 13:43. I have seen Infrared several times now in Midwest-based Pro Wrestling Revolver; Matrix has his hair in a bun. Infrared are also tag champs, but neither teams’ belts were on the line. Ciclope hit a double stomp on the top of a head. Infrared grabbed a ladder that was leaning against a wall. Ciclope hit headbutts. Matrix nailed a swanton bomb for a nearfall, but Miedo made the save at 4:00.
Miedo hit a dropkick onto the ladder being held by both Infrared guys. Los Macizos set up a door in the corner, but Matrix slammed Miedo through it. Ciclope spun the ladder and hit his opponents. James and Ciclope fought on the ladder, and Matrix powerbombed them both off the ladder. Matrix hit a Poison Rana. Ciclope whipped a chair at Logan’s head at 8:00. More chairs were thrown into the ring, and Los Macizos set up a double-decker door bridge. Ciclope hit a Canadian Destroyer off the top of the ladder through the double-decker bridge; the ref got pulled from the ring before she could count to three. Logan hit a low blow and got a nearfall on Miedo.
Ciclope hit a Shining Wizard on Logan. Logan hit a curbstomp onto a tag title belt for a believable nearfall on Ciclope. Matrix got flipped out of the ring. Miedo hit a piledriver on Logan for a believable nearfall at 13:30. Ciclope hit a shining wizard to the back of Logan’s head. Logan then hit a sit-out powerbomb for the pin. A wild, crazy match.
Final Thoughts: That was as hot as a crowd that small could be. I’ll go with Blake Christian-Hunter Drake for best match, ahead of the wild tag match main event. I’ll take Oliver-Franks for third-best, but want to acknowledge Kenzie-Billie had a really good match before the Dusty Finish.
The 12-man scramble was really entertaining in a fun, messy way. The muscular Steven Michaels stood out among the six New South guys in that match. I am pretty sure that even Prazak didn’t know the names of all six guys on New South’s team; he wasn’t calling out names, which meant I didn’t get to know their names; I was able to track them down afterwards. GCW generally displays names with on-screen graphics, but they didn’t for the 12-man match.
Worth pointing out that GCW won the series 5-3, with Deppen and Starkz only losing because of cheating. They announced there will be another GCW-New South crossover in June.