GCW “I Can’t Save You” results: Vetter’s review of Masha Slamovich vs. Mance Warner for the GCW Championship, Alex Shelley vs. Alec Price, Matt Cardona vs. Cole Radrick, Gringo Loco vs. Ninja Mack, Trey Miguel vs. Blake Christian, Jordan Oliver and Nick Wayne vs. Sawyer Wreck and Joey Janela for the GCW Tag Titles


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

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GCW “I Can’t Save You”
Streamed on FITE.TV
May 21, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio at Valley Dale Ballroom

This venue is a ballroom with a second level so fans were spread out. The crowd was maybe 350. This is a very attractive, well-lit building. Dave Prazak provided commentary.

1. Steph De Lander (w/Matt Cardona) defeated Maki Itoh (w/Nick Gage) at 8:57. Cardona is dressed like the Macho King with his glasses and crown, and he has a robe on today, and he jawed at the fans. We lost signal from the building; that is an ominous start. The signal returned in about a minute, with Cardona in the ring, and he apologized for missing his birthday bash last week. They took turns bashing the crowd. Gage and Itoh got mobbed as they hit the ring. Gage challenged Cardona to a death match. The crowd chanted, “Maki’s gonna kill you!” Steph is nearly 6 feet tall and maybe a full foot taller than Maki.

SDL hit a kick to the gut at the bell, and they immediately brawled to the floor. Back in the ring, Itoh hit a bulldog and a series of punches in the corner at 2:00. Itoh got a pizza cutter, but SDL hit her with a Mafia Kick for a nearfall before Itoh could use it. SDL hit a snap suplex for a nearfall at 4:30. SDL dropped her head-first on the top turnbucke, but it had no effect on the hard-headed Itoh. Itoh hit a Kokeshi falling headbutt for a nearfall. Itoh applied a rear-naked choke, but SDL shrugged her off her back. SDL hit a chokeslam for a believable nearfall at 7:00.

Itoh fired back with a DDT, and they were both down. They fought on the ring apron, and Itoh hit another DDT. Itoh hit a tornado DDT off the apron to the floor. Maki got her pizza cutter. Cardona hopped in the ring and distracted Itoh. That momentary distraction allowed De Lander to hit an F5 on Itoh for the pin. They yelled at the crowd as they headed to the back. Really good opener.

2. “The East West Express” Jordan Oliver and Nick Wayne defeated Sawyer Wreck and Joey Janela to retain the GCW Tag Titles at 15:07. Janela wore a T-shirt that read “F— DeSantis.” The EWE retained on Saturday by defeated both the Motor City Machine Guns and Los Macizos in a three-way. I always note this, but Sawyer is a legit 6’1″ and she’s taller than her teammate. Jordan and Joey opened. Sawyer and Nick squared off at 1:30 and she’s taller than him, too. She hit some hard chops and was in charge early. Wayne hit a huracanrana.

Wayne began working over Sawyer’s left arm. She hit a double clothesline at 6:30, but she sold the pain in her left shoulder. Joey tagged in and slammed Nick into Oliver, then he hit a Moonsault Press on both. Joey hit a dive to the floor on Oliver. In the ring, Joey hit a German Suplex on Wayne. Joey hit a double suplex, then a Michinoku Driver on Wayne for a nearfall at 8:30. Oliver hit his twisting side slam on Janela and they were both down.

Sawyer entered and hit a back body drop on Wayne and a kick to the jaw, then a back suplex. The EWE each applied a Fujiwara Armbar at 11:30. Janela put Wayne on his shoulders on the ring apron and he hit a Michinoku Driver to the hard floor. OUCH! In the ring, they all traded blows at 14:00. Oliver hit a Helluva Kick, then a dive to the floor on Sawyer. Meanwhile, Wayne hit a head-scissors takedown into a Fujiwara Armbar on Janela, and Janela tapped out. That was really good.

3. “Los Macizos” Ciclope, Extremo Miedo, and Crazy King defeated Caleb Konley, Chico Suave, and Jimmy Lloyd at 8:45. I saw Crazy King for the first time in a hardcore match a night ago. I think I’ve seen the Chicago-based Suave once. I noted this yesterday, but Konley is really starting to look like a young “Stunning” Steve Austin. They all immediately went to the floor and got chairs and threw them at each other. Konley hit a dive to the floor. Lloyd hit a dive. The shorter Chico hit a flip dive to the floor. Los Macizos hit some chairshots. Lloyd hit a senton at 4:30.

Ciclope hit a top-rope doublestomp on the top of Kaleb’s head. I don’t think we’ve seen a tag; this has definitely been tornado rules. Crazy King and Miedo set up a door bridge in the ring. Suave hit a top-rope flip dive to the floor. Ciclope hit a top-rope Canadian Destroyer on Suave through the door bridge for the pin. A fun fast-paced match; they did a lot in under nine minutes.

4. Blake Christian defeated Trey Miguel at 13:57. This should be awesome. Trey has his Impact X Division title belt. Standing switches to open and Blake applied a headscissorslock. They switched to quicker reversals, and Blake rolled to the floor to regroup at 3:00. They traded more quick reversals in the ring, and Blake hit a plancha to the floor. Trey hit a flip dive over the top rope at 5:30, and they were both down on the floor. In the ring, Blake hit a 619, then his handspring-back-spin kick. Trey fired back with a doublestomp to the chest at 9:00, and they were both down.

Trey hit a series of kicks and a basement dropkick to the head. Blake hit a spear on the ring apron, then he nailed a Fosbury Flop to the floor, with them both crashing onto fans at ringside. In the ring, Blake hit a Lionsault Press, then the springboard 450 splash for a believable nearfall at 11:00. Trey hit a kick to the head in the corner, then a top-rope Meteora kneestrike to the collarbone for a nearfall. Blake hit a spinebuster for a nearfall. Blake grabbed the X Division title, but the referee confiscated it. Blake immediately hit a low blow uppercut, then the Rollins-style stomp for the pin. Good match; exactly what you’d expect from these two athletes.

5. Gringo Loco defeated Ninja Mack at 12:48. Mack missed Saturday’s show in Detroit because of flight issues. So nice to see both of these guys getting opportunities in the new ROH, and the crowd chanted, “Both these guys!” They traded offense while in a knucklelock, and Loco had the early advantage. They traded quick offense and ended in a standoff; Mack doing a ‘superhero landing’ pose. Loco shoved Mack to the floor at 5:00, and they brawled through the crowd.

Back in the ring, Mack hit some blows to the gut. Loco hit a reverse Angle Slam, dropping Mack stomach-first to the mat for a nearfall at 7:30. Mack nailed a Sasake Special, doing several handsprings before flipping to the floor on Loco. So cool. In the ring, Mack hit a springboard 450 Splash for a nearfall. Mack hit a series of kicks for another nearfall. Loco hit a release suplex for a nearfall at 10:00, but he missed a top-rope moonsault. Mack missed a top-rope corkscrew splash and again did a ‘superhero landing’ on one knee.

They fought on the top rope in the corner, and they did a modified Spanish Fly to the mat and were both down; Loco got a nearfall after recovering. Loco hit his second-rope swinging powerbomb for the clean pin. That was every bit as good as I hoped. Mack is so sneaky good and fun to watch.

6. Cole Radrick defeated Matt Cardona at 11:42. Cardona got nose-to-nose in front of several fans as he made his way to the ring. Radrick is the dorky Gomer Pyle nerd who is beloved, but I’ll gladly cheer for Cardona here. Cardona held a title belt over his head. Cardona ordered Radrick to lie down; he did and Cardona made the lazy cover, with Radrick rolling him over and getting a believable nearfall. Cardona rolled to the floor and stalled. Back in the ring, they shook hands, Cole hit some punches, and Cardona again rolled to the floor. Cardona got on the mic and invited Steph De Lander to join him at ringside, which she did.

Radrick dove through the ropes onto both of them at 4:00. Cole jawed at Steph; she also is taller than him. In the ring, Cardona jumped on Cole with some basic stomps, and of course, SDL choked Cole in the ropes. Nick Gage came to ringside at 9:30, bringing the crowd to life. Radrick hit a springboard stunner for a nearfall. Cardona hit a low blow punt kick and the Fame-asser legdrop for a believable nearfall, and the crowd chanted “Always Raddy!” Gage got in the ring. Maki Itoh came out of nowhere and she attacked SDL. Gage hit Cardona with the title belt, and Radrick hit his Little Sebastians Curse powerbomb for the cheap pin. Gage, Radrick and Itoh celebrated together.

7. Alex Shelley defeated Alec Price at 13:02. Both wrestled as babyfaces. These two were both at HOG in New York on Friday and Detroit for GCW on Saturday, now here; I point this out to show the crazy schedule of the top-tier, most in-demand indy talent. Intense lockups to begin and Price slapped him. Shelley was livid and charged at him. Price hit a pop-up dropkick at 4:00. Shelley suplexed Price onto the ring apron, and they brawled on the floor. Shelley hit a drop-toe-hold that sent Price onto steps near a stage at 6:30.

Back in the ring, Shelley hit a basement dropkick to the face as Price was tied in the Tree of Woe for a nearfall. He tied up Price in the ring. Price hit a dive over the top rope onto Shelley. In the ring, Price hit a springboard European Uppercut. Shelley hit a fisherman’s buster for a believable nearfall at 10:00, and he applied the Border City Stretch, but Price reached the ropes. Price hit his running knees in the corner. Price hit a top-rope twisting Blockbuster for a nearfall at 12:00. This has been sneaky good. Shelley nailed the Shellshock swinging faceplant for the pin.

8. Effy, 1 Called Manders, and Rina Yamashita defeated “Team Unsanctioned Pro” The Swinger, Davey Bang, and August Matthews at 11:06. Prazak reiterated that Allie Katch is sick at home; Rina is her replacement. At first glance I thought The Swinger was Dalton Castle, as he has the same style and overall look. Swinger and Manders started, and Swinger is more lewd like Joey Ryan (haven’t mentioned that name in a while!), gyrating against Manders. Effy tagged in and traded some gay humor with Swinger. Jeffrey John hit the ring and wanted into the match. Out of the back came the (injured) Matthew Justice at 4:00! The crowd popped for his unexpected return, so this became an 8-man tag.

Justice hit a flip dive to the floor on several opponents. Manders picked up Effy and did a gorilla press on his partner onto several opponents on the floor! Everyone brawled on the floor. Geoffrey John hit a top-rope corkscrew splash to the floor. In the ring, John hit a stunner on Effy, and Bang hit the Ride The Bus team spear on Effy for a believable nearfall. Rina hopped in the ring and she grabbed the groins of both Bang Bros at 8:30, earning a pop.

Effy hit a top-rope Fameasser legdrop on Bang for a nearfall. John hit a diving forearm on Rina for a nearfall. Manders and Justice got chairs and slammed them on opponents. The Bang Bros hit simultaneous frog splashes but landed on teammate Swinger! Effy hit a double Blockbuster from the apron to the floor on the Bang Bros. Meanwhile, Rina slammed John in the ring, then she hit an Air Raid Crash on Swinger through a door bridge set up in the ring. Justice hit a top-rope frog splash on Swinger for the pin. That was fun and topped all expectations.

9. Masha Slamovich defeated Mance Warner to retain the GCW Title at 16:59. Masha hit a chairshot to the back before the bell. She dove through the ropes on him on the floor. Masha is a great brawler, but Mance is so much taller and thicker. They traded blows on the floor, and Mance hit a chairshot to the back. They brawled over to the merchandise table, far from ringside, and he whipped her onto the table. In the ring, she hit him with a chairshot to the back at 4:00 and she was in charge. Mance was bleeding heavily on his forehead.

Masha went under the ring and got a screwdriver. She jabbed it into the top of his head, then into his mouth, with it pushing against his cheek! That’s just gross. He escaped and whipped a chair at her at 7:00. He got the screwdriver and used it under her finger nails! Gross again. She hit a rolling cannonball into the corner and got a nearfall. Mance speared her into a table set up in the corner for a nearfall. There is now blood everywhere and this is gross and uncomfortable to watch. Mance hit a chokeslam through a door bridge for a believable nearfall at 11:30.

Mance set up another door bridge. They fought on the ropes, and she hit a second-rope superplex through the door bridge for a believable nearfall. They traded forearm shots while on their knees. She hit a spinning back fist. Mance hit a clotheslien to the back of the head at 14:30. She tried to choke him, but Mance hit a chairshot on her. Masha hit a Shining Wizard for a nearfall, and she applied a rear-naked choke; he flipped over and got a nearfall. Mance hit a running knee for a nearfall. The crowd is totally into this. Masha hit a doublestomp to the chest and she applied a sleeperhold in the ropes, with Mance’s feet dangling over the apron. The ref checked on Mance and called for the bell. Not sure if he tapped out.

* Blake Christian again came to ringside; he’s been doing this for weeks. He essentially has a money in the bank title shot. She grabbed a Singapore Cane and taunted him to come in. Blake pointed at his wrist, indicating that it is just a matter of time. He headed to the back while she celebrated in the ring to close the show.

Final Thoughts: I cannot put into words how much better this show was than the hardcore mess on Saturday in Detroit. This room is clean, well-lit, attractive. The ring looked good. A day ago, the room was dark and the ring looked like a hefty bag.

I know they’ve done it before, but I’ll go with Gringo Loco-Ninja Mack for best match, with a strong Shelley-Price match for second place. Shelley is such a good heel, especially in singles action, I was more than a bit surprised he was a babyface here. As good as Trey-Blake was, it only could earn third place here, which speaks highly of this show. Both the opening women’s match and the eight-person brawl were really good, too.

For those who love hardcore, that main event will make you happy. Anyone who has read my reviews knows I don’t like intergender matches, and I also don’t like hardcore matches, especially when both wrestlers are heavily bleeding. That can lead to all sorts of bloodborne issues. So, while I didn’t turn away from the main event, it was pretty ugly for the entire last half of it. But like I said, the crowd loved it, and fans of this style will undoubtedly approve. I applauded GCW’s decision to move the title off the semi-retired, slow-motion Nick Gage and onto Masha, and she has defended the title quite frequently. That said, with her feud with Blake that literally started New Year’s Day, I never once thought that Mance Warner was winning the title here, despite his obvious size and strength advantages.

Check out all GCW shows on Fite+.


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