GCW “I Can’t Feel My Face”: Vetter’s review of Ciclope and Extremo Miedo vs. John Wayne Murdoch and Reed Bentley, Myron Reed, Nick Wayne, and Jordan Oliver vs. Komander and Gringo Loco in a handicap match, Masha Slamovich vs. Cole Radrick for the GCW Title, Bryan Keith vs. Shigehiro Irie


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

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GCW “I Can’t Feel My Face”
Streamed on FITE.TV
April 15, 2023 in Sauget, Illinois at Pop’s NightClub

Dave Prazak and Emil Jay provided live commentary. The crowd appears to be in the 250 range. (This show started at 8 p.m. CST, showing it is not an ‘all-ages show.’) Prazak said that 30 minutes before bell time, tornado warnings were going off. Also, Arez missed the show, turning a six-man tag into a handicap match.

Nick Gage came to the ring; he’s essentially a cheerleader and special attraction at this point. He got the crowd fired up but really didn’t say anything new or interesting.

1. Blake Christian defeated Dan the Dad at 16:36. Dan replaced Davey Richards, who was initially announced for this slot before his retirement. Dan did his juvenile humor, tripping Blake, and doing his other ‘dad antics.’ Blake was not amused. Dan hit a suplex for a nearfall at 4:30. Blake finally hit a Fosbury Flop dive to the floor and did some crotch chops.  The crowd chanted “micro penis!” at Blake, and Blake teased proving them wrong. He kept Dan tied up on the mat and dominated the offense.

Dan hit a clothesline at 10:30, then a spinebuster for a nearfall. Dan hit a Flatliner as Blake’s feet were on the ropes for a nearfall. Blake hit a back suplex then a springboard 450 Splash for a believable nearfall at 13:00. Prazak noted that Blake has won many matches with that move. Blake went under the ring and got a knife! He cut off the top turnbuckle pad. However, Blake wound up hitting his head on the exposed metal ring. Dan took off his belt and he whipped Blake on his butt.

They traded stiff forearm shots. Blake wrapped the belt around Dan’s neck and choked him with it. Blake then nailed the Rollins-style Stomp to the head for the pin. An entertaining match; Dan’s matches always have the same brand of humor, but I never thought he was going to get the win.

2. Calvin Tankman defeated Shane Mercer at 11:57. Prazak accurately called Mercer one of the strongest pro wrestlers around; I always compare him to Brian Cage. Tankman was listed at 350 pounds and I believe that. They opened with some mat wrestling. Tankman hit a shoulder tackle that sent Mercer to the floor. Tankman teased a dive to the floor, but Mercer hit a jumping kick to cut him off. Shane lifted Tankman off the ground and slammed him back-first into the ring post at 2:00. They traded hard chops on the floor.

In the ring, Shane was still in charge, and they continued to trade more chops. Mercer hit a suplex at 5:00 that popped the crowd and earned a “holy shit!” chant. Tankman countered with a pop-up spinning back fist, and they were both down. Shane tried to pick him up, but Tankman avoided it. Tankman went for a second-rope flying crossbody block, but Shane caught him and flipped him over his head; I know what they wanted to do there, but it didn’t quite land. Mercer hit a vertical suplex for a nearfall at 7:30; that is a BIG man going up for that move!

Tankman hit a backbreaker over his knee and a short-arm clothesline, then a pumphandle sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. I know this is an over-used phrase, but this could be the main event on other indy shows. Tankman climbed the ropes, but Mercer hit an enziguri. Shane set up for Moonsault & Battery, but Tankman fought it off. Tankman hit a second-rope Death Valley Driver for a nearfall at 11:30. Tankman hit a standing powerbomb, then a forearm to the chin for the pin. They ran out of steam at the end but this was a really good big-man matchup. I’d definitely like to see it again.

3. Tony Deppen defeated Shazza McKenzie in an intergender match at 12:30. While I’m not a fan of intergender matches, I like that heel Tony has no issues beating her up. He attacked her from behind and immediately hit several blows. She walked the top rope and hit a huracarana! Very nice. She dove through the ropes, but he caught her and slammed her back on the edge of the ring at 1:30. In the ring, she hit a series of chops. Deppen sneezed on her, and wiped it on her forehead. Yuck. He grabbed her by the hair and hit a knee to the back of her neck at 4:00.

Deppen was in charge, hitting a chop. She hit some Yes Kicks to the chest as Deppen was tied in the ropes, then a kick across his jaw. Shazza hit a top-rope crossbody block for a nearfall. She hit a dive through the ropes. Back in the ring, she went to the top rope but he caught her with an enzuigiri. She hit a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 6:30. Deppen hit a hard kick to the back of the head, then a top-rope doublestomp to her stomach for a believable nearfall.

He hit a hard forearm that dazed her. She hit a Mafia Kick and a Saito Suplex, then a running knee in the corner for a nearfall. She went for her second-rope stunner, but he blocked it. Deppen hit a German Suplex and a Meteora running double knees in the corner, but he only got a one-count at 9:30. They fought on the ring apron, and she hit a tornado DDT onto the apron. In the ring, she hit her stunner for a nearfall, but Deppen got his foot on the ropes. Shazza hit some Yes Kicks to the chest. They traded slaps to the face, then stiff forearm shots. Shazza hit a tornado DDT. Deppen got a rollup with a handful of tights for the cheap pin.

4. Shigehiro Irie defeated Bryan Keith at 11:40. Again, Irie is big and thick, on par with Shingo Takagi or EVIL. This should be really hard-hitting. An intense lockup to open. Irie hit a running crossbody block. They traded forearm shots. Keith hit a Mafia Kick at 3:00. Irie hit a suplex, then a flying crossbody block through the ropes. Irie nailed a rolling cannonball in the corner for a nearfall at 6:30. Keith fired back with an Exploder Suplex, then a second one.

They got up and traded forearm shots, and Keith hit an enzuigiri at 9:00. Keith hit a flipping stunner out of the corner for a nearfall. Keith nailed a Tiger Driver for a nearfall. Irie hit a Whoopee Cushion buttdrop for a nearfall. Keith hit a Saito Suplex. Irie hit a cannonball as Keith was against the ropes. Irie nailed a decapitating clothesline for the pin. Every bit as good and hard-hitting as one could hope for. That could have gone either way, too.

5. Dark Sheik and “Bussy” Allie Katch and Effy defeated Jimmy Lloyd and “Second Gear Crew” 1 Called Manders and Mance Warner at 11:37. Lloyd is replacing the injured Matthew Justice. All six brawled at the bell. Sheik hit a plancha to the floor on Lloyd. Effy and Katch hit butt-bumps on Manders. Lloyd hit a Cradleshock slam on Allie at 3:00. Mance hit a series of punches on Sheik. Sheik hit a tornado DDT on Mance. Manders powerslammed Sheik on the floor, and they all brawled on the floor. Mance (dangerously, recklessly, needlessly) threw a chair at someone’s head at 6:00. That just shouldn’t happen.

Back in the ring, Mance and Allie brawled; the size difference here is absurd. He hit a spinebuster. Lloyd hit a Death Valley Driver on Katch, dropping her through a door set up in the corner, for a believable nearfall at 8:00. Effy hit a double Blockbuster and a Helluva Kick. Lloyd hit a stunner on Effy. Sheik slammed Manders through a door bridge on the floor. Effy and Mance traded mid-ring openhand slaps to the face. Katch powerbombed Mance through a door bridge at 11:00. Effy hit a top-rope legdrop on Lloyd, then Sheik hit a top-rope legdrop on Lloyd for the pin. The crowd liked this more than I did.

* 20-minute intermission. I hit fast-forward. We come back with the very definition of a ‘popcorn match.’

6. “The Bang Bros” Davey Bang and August Matthews defeated KLD and Jake Lander at 11:40. KLD is a rotund man, on par with the Beer City Bruiser, while Lander is really short. The Bang Bros had a great match a night earlier in Chicago, and they worked over Lander early on. KLD entered and actually did a leapfrog (Didn’t see that coming!) and a spinning kick. Lander hit a delayed vertical suplex on Matthews at 3:30. KLD hit a clothesline to the back of Matthews’ head. Landers hit a German Suplex as they kept working over August.

Bang made the hot tag at 6:00 and he beat up Lander. Bang hit a top-rope flying clothesline. The Bang Bros hit a swinging faceplant on Lander. Bang hit a moonsault to the floor while August hit a dive through the ropes at 8:00. Bang went for his team spear, but Lander cut him off with a knee strike. Lander flipped Matthews onto Bang in the corner, and KLD hit a rolling cannonball on both Bang Bros for a believable nearfall at 10:00.

The Bang Bros hit superkicks on KLD. Bang hit a Canadian Destroyer on Lander, then Bang hit his team spear move on Lander, then a dive through the ropes onto KLD on the floor (he pretty much went over his head and barely grazed KLD). August hit a top-rope 450 Splash on Lander for the pin. I came away impressed with the debuting KLD and Lander.

7. Masha Slamovich defeated Cole Radrick to retain the GCW Title at 13:21. Cole is the nerdy guy who I just don’t ‘get’ his popularity, so I’ll be cheering for Masha to beat him up. She hit some quick armdrags and a huracarana. He hit a huracarana. Cole hit a 619 at 2:00. He went to dive through the ropes, but she threw a chair at his head. (I hate that, regardless of gender.) She suplexed him on the floor. They brawled into the crowd and she hit a doublestomp on his chest at 4:00, and she threw several folded chairs on him.

In the ring, she hit a running knee to the face for a nearfall. Cole hit a clothesline to the back of the head for a nearfall. Cole hit a springboard stunner for a nearfall; he tried to suplex her onto two open chairs, but she blocked it. They hit simultaneous spin kicks and both were down. Blake Christian emerged at ringside at 8:30, holding a steel chair. Masha saw him, distracting her, allowing Cole to bodyslam her onto the two chairs for a nearfall. She put Cole on her shoulders and rolled him into a door set up in the corner for a nearfall.

Masha left ringside and went to the back; I thought maybe that was a pin and I missed it. However, she emerged from the back with a glass pane. However, Cole hit the Little Sebastian Curse powerbomb through the glass pane for a nearfall. She fired back with an Air Raid Crash, then a Rollins-style stomp to the head! That’s Blake Christian’s move! She glared at Blake while slapping on a sleeper, and Cole passed out. Decent enough match, and it was a vehicle to move along the far more interesting Blake-Masha feud.

* Blake took off his shirt and got onto the ring apron. However, he pointed at his watch (all in good time!), and headed to the back rather than go fight her.

8. Myron Reed and “East West Express” Nick Wayne & Jordan Oliver defeated Komander and Gringo Loco in a handicap match at 12:13. Travel issues has caused Arez to miss the show. Komander and Jordan traded quick reversals to open. Loco and Reed traded quick reversals and had a standoff. Komander dove through the ropes onto Wayne at 4:00. In the ring, Wayne hit his running Shooting Star Press on Komander. Loco hit a running powerbomb on Reed for a nearfall. Komander and Loco worked over Reed in their corner. Komander hit a double DDT on the EWE at 8:00.

Loco hit a flip dive to the floor. Reed hit a dive over the top rope. Komander hit a double-jump dive off the top rope onto everyone. Komander got a door from under the ring and set up a door bridge on the floor. In the ring, Komander hit a Shooting Star Press while Loco hit a moonsault for simultaneous nearfalls at 11:00. Wayne hit a handspring-back-stunner on Komander. Reed dove over the top rope and hit his stunner on Komander from the ring apron through the door bridge on the floor. Meanwhile in the ring, Wayne and Oliver hit a team Clout Cutter on Loco to pin him. Good match.

* Light tubes were set up around ringside.

9. “The Rejects” John Wayne Murdoch and Reed Bentley defeated “Los Macizos” Ciclope and Extremo Miedo at 13:19. Everyone had a light tube in their hand as the match began, and they all broke them over their own head, which seems pretty dumb to me. Miedo dove through the ropes onto everyone. They brawled on the floor. In the ring, Bentley hit a senton for a nearfall at 3:00. Everyone started to bleed from being jabbed in the head by broken light tubes. This is gross; GCW didn’t have any of these hardcore matches on any of the eight(!) Collective shows I watched from Los Angeles, and I didn’t miss this.

In the ring, Miedo hit a Lionsault press at 6:30. Ciclope and Murdoch tossed light tubes at each other. Miedo hit a high back suplex, and suddenly, everyone was down at 9:30. Reed tossed Ciclope off the ring apron and through a table on the floor. Miedo hit a Canadian Destroyer in the ring. Murdoch hit a Canadian Destroyer on Miedo through a door bridge for the pin. Just not my type of match.

Final Thoughts: A decent show. I’ll go with Mercer-Tankman for best match; I wasn’t kidding when I wrote that it could have main evented many other indy shows. Irie-Keith was really good and I expected Keith to win, and that earned second place. The lucha battle earns third; it was good, but once it became a handicap match, I figured there was no way the team with three guys was losing, so that hampered the match. Shazza-Deppen deserves notice as honorable mention here.

Blake-Dan was fine for a comedy opener, and I really like how Blake and Masha’s storyline moved forward. As per usual, I think GCW shows start strong and tail off at the end as they delve into hardcore matches that don’t work for me. I admittedly don’t care for the violent brawls, tossing chairs, or light tubes.

GCW is right back in action on Sunday in Evansville, Ind., featuring Tankman vs. Bryan Keith, Blake Christian vs. Myron Reed, Deppen vs. Irie, and Oliver and Wayne vs. The Rejects.


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