GCW “Scene of the Crime”: Vetter’s review of Masha Slamovich vs. Sawyer Wreck for the GCW Championship, Joey Janela vs. Komander, Rich Swann vs. Arez, Jordan Oliver vs. Shigehiro Irie for the JCW Title, Blake Christian vs. Alex Zayne, Parrow vs. Sumie Sakai, Tony Deppen vs. Robert Martyr


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

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GCW “Scene of the Crime”
Streamed on FITE.TV
April 22, 2023 in Orlando, Florida at Englewood Center

This event was held in a large gym and the crowd is in the 400-500 range. Dave Prazak and the injured Joey Janela provided commentary. This show is unusually quiet; I really had to turn up the TV volume. In good news, Billie Starkz has been cleared to wrestle after sitting out Friday’s show.

1. Jimmy Lloyd defeated Yoya, Hunter Drake, Mr. Danger, Ty Hill and Yuya Uemera in a six-way scramble at 6:54. I don’t know Ty Hill; he’s a white guy of average size. I saw Mr. Danger for the first time a day ago; he’s a Black man of similar average size. Hunter Drake hit a dive to the floor. In the ring, Lloyd hit a Mafia Kick on Drake. Yoya hit a head-scissors takedown to the floor on Uemera. Mr. Danger hit a dive over the turnbuckle onto everyone one the floor at 3:00.

We had a five-person tower spot out of the corner. Lloyd hit a Shining Wizard on Hill. Danger hit a fisherman’s suplex on Eumera. Drake hit a top-rope Spanish Fly. Yoya hit a Poison Rana on Lloyd. Hill hit a double-jump springboard 450 Splash. In the ring, Hill went for a Shooting Star Press, but Lloyd caught him with a stunner. Lloyd hit a modified One-Winged Angel to score the pin. Decent scramble.

2. Tony Deppen defeated Robert Martyr at 12:57. This is Martyr’s debut in GCW but he’s being heavily pushed in Prestige Wrestling, and I admittedly don’t see ‘it’ in him. He’s just another average-sized kid who has never hit the gym and doesn’t do anything unique or special in the ring. They immediately traded rollup attempts and Deppen went to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring, they traded mat holds and Deppen blew his nose on Martyr at 2:00. Martyr hit an overhead release belly-to-belly suplex. Deppen dropped a knee on the left elbow and worked over the right arm.

They traded some forearm shots. Martyr hit a shotgun dropkick at 6:30, then a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall. Deppen hit a German Suplex and a running knees shot in the corner. Deppen applied a cross-armbreaker, but Martyr reached the ropes. Martyr hit a standing powerbomb, and he applied an STF. Martyr hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall at 10:00. They traded forearm shots while on their knees, then while standing. Deppen hit some open-hand slaps to the face and a running knee strike, but Martyr popped up. Martyr got some rollups for a nearfall. Deppen hit a running knee strike for the pin. Passable match.

3. “Los Macizos” Ciclope and Extremo Miedo defeated “Culture Inc” Eli Knight and Malik Bosede at 9:26. I saw Eli at a prior Warrior Wrestling show; I haven’t seen Bosede before. They are both Black men of average size and height, and Mosede has a short beard. Ciclope hit a running crossbody block on Mosede. Malik hit a dive over the top rope to the floor, and Eli Knight nailed an impressive top-rope moonsault to the floor at 3:00. Miedo went under the ring and got a door, drawing a pop.

Culture Inc. hit a top-rope powerbomb on Ciclope through a door bridge at 7:00, drawing a “holy shit!” chant. Ciclope hit a powerbomb through a door for the pin. That was short but really entertaining. Unfortunately, Janela said Extremo Miedo’s shoulder popped out of socket again. Ouch. Culture Inc. definitely earned future looks here.

4. Arez defeated Rich Swann at 12:27. Janela said this is a first-time-ever singles match. Swann gets the never-ending “All Night Long” intro from Lionel Richie. They traded quick lucha reversals, missed dropkick attempts and had a standoff. They switched to a test of strength. Arez hit a dive to the floor at 3:00, and they brawled on the floor, with Arez hitting some hard chops. In the ring, Swann hit a running penalty kick, then a Rolling Thunder splash for a nearfall at 7:30. Arez hit a moonsault to the floor.

In the ring, Swann nailed the handspring-back-stunner at 10:00, then the second-rope 450 Splash for a believable nearfall. They hit simultaneous clotheslines and were both down. Arez nailed a pumphandle sit-out powerbomb for the pin. That’s a mild upset, but Arez is so good, so it’s great to see him get a big win here.

* Emil Jay replaced Janela on commentary. A day ago, Parrow attacked four guys who won an eight-man tag, including choking out Jimmy Lloyd with his chain.

5. Sumie Sakai defeated Parrow in an intergender match at 10:16. Parrow, best known for his run in NWA last year, is on par with a Viking Raider in size; a quick internet search lists him at 6’4″ and 293 pounds. Sakai is listed at 5’1″ and 119 pounds. There better be one heck of an angle coming out of this and not pretend like she has any shot against him. She tried armdrags that didn’t work. She went for a top-rope crossbody block, but he caught her and hit a fallaway slam into the corner at 1:00. They brawled on the floor and over to the merchandise table.

Parrow charged at her; she moved and he crashed into the wall. They got back in the ring at 4:00. Sumie missed a moonsault. He went up the ropes, but she ran over and hit a low blow, then flipped him to the mat for a one-count. He squished her in the corner. He chokeslammed her HARD onto a folded chair at 7:00 and was loudly booed. Who is this match for? He nailed a sit-out piledriver on the folded chair. He grabbed his Hercules-style chain and wrapped it around her neck and was loudly booed.

GCW doesn’t really have DQs, so Parrow got a chair and hit her over the back. Jimmy Lloyd finally got in the ring and hit Parrow with a chair over the head and upper back. Sumie then hit a Doomsday flying elbow on Parrow for the cheap (Lloyd-assisted) pin. That was uncomfortable to watch. Why did Jimmy Lloyd wait 10 minutes before coming to the ring to assist Sakai?

* A nice video package showing prior matchups between Blake Christian and Alex Zayne, but their last match here was December 2021. Blake holds a 2-1 lead in singles matches. I want to add the first time I saw both men was on a PWG BOLA in non-tournament action. They both went to NXT and were cut together, then both went to GCW, so to me, they are forever linked.

6. Blake Christian defeated Alex Zayne at 20:37. Prazak and Emil talked about how these two have evolved since they last wrestled here. They opened with standing switches. Zayne missed a running Shooting Star Press; they both missed dropkicks and ended in a standoff at 3:00. Zayne hit a suplex while twisting Blake’s nipple at the same time, earning the rare “titty twister!” chant. Blake snapped Alex’s throat over the top rope then hit a spear at 6:00. Blake did the Fosbury Flop to the floor but Zayne caught him, then Blake hit a pumphandle sit-out powerbomb onto a thin mat at ringside! Ouch!

Blake began working over Zayne’s left knee. Zayne hit a short-arm clothesline at 10:00 and they traded forearm shots. Zayne hit his flipping legdrop to the back of the neck for a nearfall. Zayne nailed the Baja Blast swinging faceplant, and they were both down at 11:30. Blake hit a top-rope superplex, a running knees and a springboard 450 Splash for a nearfall. They traded forearm shots while on their knees. Blake hit a handspring-back-spin kick. Zayne fired back with a jumping knee to the jaw. Blake hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly, and they were both down at 14:00. Awesome exchange there.

Zayne caught Blake and hit a standing powerbomb for a nearfall. Blake applied a Figure Four Leglock at 16:00, but Alex eventually reached the bottom rope. Blake rolled under the ring and got scissors; Prazak noted he did this last weekend. He cut loose a turnbuckle pad to expose the metal loop. “We’ve really got to stop leaving scissors under the ring,” Emil said. Funny. Blake hit the Fosbury Flop, with this time both of them crashing into the crowd.

In the ring, Zayne hit his awesome jump-up-into-a-Frankensteiner for a nearfall. (A cool move, and this time, he hit it perfectly.) They fought on the ropes in the corner, but Blake hit a low blow uppercut. Blake stomped Zayne’s head onto the exposed turnbuckle! In the ring, Blake hit his Rollins-style Stomp to the head for the pin. Good match, and I liked the creative stomp on the corner turnbuckle. Blake, who has essentially earned a ‘Money In the Bank’ title shot again pointed at his wrist, indicating it is just a matter of time before he cashes in.

7. Dark Sheik and “Bussy” Effy and Allie Katch defeated Cole Radrick, Billie Starkz, and Brogan Finlay at 13:23. I admittedly am not a fan of a lot of wrestlers in this match, but I’m glad Starkz is healthy to compete. Radrick and Sheik started. Allie and Billie entered and Allie hit a Mafia Kick. Allie hit a headbutt and they were both down at 2:30. Brogan and Effy entered and traded open-hand slaps. Effy tied up Brogan’s arms in the ropes. Effy hit his Whoopee Cushion buttdrop. Sheik entered and hit a splits legdrop for a nearfall at 5:00.

Effy hit a backbreaker over his knee. Billie made the hot tag and brawled with Effy. However, Effy’s team began working Billie over in their corner. Radrick made the hot tag at 8:00 and he hit a stunner on Sheik, then a springboard double stunner. Radrick hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on Sheik for a nearfall. Sheik hit a Frankensteiner on Radrick. Sheik hit a low blow punch on Billie, which of course, she no-sold. Brogan and Billie stomped on Sheik. Effy hit a double Blockbuster at 11:30. Radrick hit a piledriver on Effy for a nearfall, but Effy made the save. Brogan hit a top-rope elbow drop on Katch. Effy hit a Doomsday Legdrop, and Sheik immediately hit a top-rope legdrop to pin Brogan.

8. Jordan Oliver defeated Shigehiro Irie to retain the JCW Title at 20:11. Oliver won the JCW title by winning four matches in one day at the J Cup tournament in early February. Again, Irie is big and thick and reminds me of EVIL or Shingo Takagi, and he’s touring the U.S. this month. Prazak noted that Oliver (a legit 6’2″) has the height advantage, and they had an intense lockup to begin. Oliver hit a plancha to the floor. Irie applied a Figure Four Leglock. Jordan hit some chops and an enzuigiri; Irie fired back with a Pounce at 3:30.

Irie hit a running Stinger Splash in the corner and was in control. Irie hit his crossbody block through the ropes, then a piledriver onto the floor; he rolled Oliver into the ring and hit another piledriver for a nearfall at 7:00. Oliver is selling the head injury like a pro. Jordan hit some forearm shots; Irie hit a diving forearm for a nearfall. Jordan hit a step-up enzuigiri in the corner. Irie went for a frogsplash at 10:00, but Jordan got his knees up to block it. Oliver suplexed Irie into the corner, and they were both down.

They got up and traded forearms and chops. Oliver got a backslide for a nearfall at 12:30. Irie hit a powerbomb and a rolling cannonball in the corner, and he was fired up. He hit a second one! Oliver nailed his sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. Oliver went for a Clout Cutter, but Irie caught him; Emil Jay said it appeared Irie had a Taz-mission on. Irie hit a head-capture suplex and another Stinger Splash. Irie hit a second-rope Samoan Drop for a nearfall at 16:00.

Irie hit his cannonball against the ropes and a decapitating clothesline, but Oliver kicked out at the one-count. Another clothesline got a two-count, and Oliver looked exhausted. Irie leveled Oliver with a forearm. Oliver hit a series of chops. Irie was suddenly cut under his right eye. Oliver hit a second-rope powerbomb for a nearfall, the Acid Kick, and the Clout Cutter for the clean pin. That was really, really good. They shook hands.

9. Masha Slamovich defeated Sawyer Wreck to retain the GCW Title at 13:03. At a legit 6’1″, Sawyer has a significant height advantage. They both pulled out knives and swung them wildly! They set those aside and traded forearm shots. Sawyer hit a sideslam for a nearfall. She hit a clothesline to the back of the head for a nearfall at 4:30. She went under the ring and got a chair, which she jabbed into Masha’s stomach. Sawyer bodyslammed her across an open chair for a nearfall.

Masha nailed a Shining Wizard for a nearfall at 8:00. She got a door from under the ring. Sawyer hit repeated headbutts and she chokeslammed Masha onto an open chair and got a nearfall. Sawyer headed to the back; she returned with a bundle of light tubes, drawing a pop. Masha went under the ring and pulled out a bundle of light tubes. Sawyer hit a Death Valley Driver onto the bundle of light tubes at 12:00. Masha hit an Air Raid Crash through a door bridge in the ring. Masha applied a sleeperhold, and Sawyer passed out. They shook hands and hugged after the match.

* Blake Christian jumped in the ring and took the title belt and stared at it. Prazak wondered when Blake will cash in his title shot. Blake and Masha argued. She jumped on his back and applied a sleeper; he ran backward to slam her back into the corner to escape the hold. Blake bailed to the floor and glared at her as the show came to a close.

Final Thoughts: Two top-tier matches here. I’ll go with Blake-Zayne for best, just ahead of Oliver-Irie, but I wouldn’t argue with anyone who lived Jordan’s match more. The only problem with both matches is the winner was never in doubt. I am on record of saying the biggest mistakes of WWE’s massive NXT cuts were Jonah, Blake Christian and Alex Zayne. Despite already being 36, Zayne has a great look and a talented wrestler. Blake in my eyes is a top five indy talent. Meanwhile, I have repeatedly written that it is just a matter of time before Jordan Oliver is back on national TV with some promotion. I think he’s an obvious fit for the relaunched ROH. Arez got a nice win over Swann to earn third-best of the night.

The main event was fine. It would have been an acceptable match middle of the show, but it was nowhere near the caliber of the top-tier matches of the show. Sawyer is still really green. She’s promising and that size edge will take her far. That said, the similarly tall KiLynn King is a far better well-rounded wrestler.

The six-person match topped my mild expectations. Last weekend, most of these wrestlers were in a similar six-person tag in Evansville, Ind., where the timing was just ‘off’ repeatedly and it fell apart. This is about as good as these six are going to put together this match.

I could write this about every GCW event, but an intergender match should at least have a woman of same height with some muscle mass. Masha and Sawyer can look somewhat believable against a man; Sumie Sakai does not. When a man starts hitting a woman with a weapon, that personally makes me uncomfortable. I also don’t like hardcore matches, and until the main event, this was blood-free, with no pizza cutters, light tubes, glass panes, staple guns, cooking skewers, etc.

I like when indies run in school gyms with the lights on. I’d rather have the whole room lit up than have wrestlers vanish into the shadows when they go to the floor. And in a gym this big, they didn’t have to worry about where to seat everyone.


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