By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “My Name is GCW”
Streamed on FITE.TV
August 4, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan at Harpos Concert Theatre
GCW always draws well here in this tiny night club, but should do really well with all the fans in town for Summer Slam. I actually dislike shows from this venue because GCW usually loads up with multiple garbage hardcore death matches that don’t work for me. The ring is exceptionally poorly lit tonight; wrestlers can vanish into the corner and on the floor. Dave Prazak and Veda Scott provided commentary, and I consider them the best announce team on the indy scene.
1. Jordan Oliver defeated Jimmy Oliver, Rico Gonzalez, Caleb Konley, Shane Mercer and Adrian Alanis in a scramble match at 9:55. Everyone is already in the ring as the show started. I’ve said this before, but Caleb has really channeled a “Hollywood Blonds Steve Austin” look since he left Impact Wrestling. Mercer immediately hit a military press on Alanis, tossing him to the floor on several people. Oliver hit a dropkick on Konley. Lloyd hit a running neckbreaker on Oliver. Alanis hit a nice belly-to-belly suplex on Oliver, tossing him onto Lloyd.
Gonzalez hit a Lionsault, as Prazak reminded us that Gonzalez has appeared on a handful of GCW shows in the South. Konley applied a Figure Four on Mercer at 3:30, and we got a multi-man submission spot. Alanis dove through the ropes twice. In the ring, Gonzalez hit a top-rope doublestomp. Konley hit a spinning back fist. Mercer and Lloyd traded mid-ring forearm shots, and Mercer hit a German Suplex at 6:30. Oliver hit a moonsault, then a plancha to the floor on Mercer. Konley dove through the ropes onto everyone.
Rico hit a flying doublestomp, seemingly coming out of nowhere (because of the shadows in the corners) on Alanis, earning a “holy shit!” chant. Konley hit a moonsault for a nearfall, but Mercer made the save. Mercer hit the Moonsault and Battery second-rope fallaway slam on Konley for a believable nearfall. Gonzalez hit a top-rope flying kick on Mercer. Oliver hit a face-first Blackout slam on Gonzalez for the pin; Veda called it an “Acid Bomb.” No one does scrambles like GCW!
2. Masha Slamovich defeated Alec Price in an intergender match at 11:27. Prazak reminded us that Masha defeated Price during her title reign earlier this year. The crowd taunted Price at the bell. Masha hit some chops and hair-mares, tossing Price around the ring. Price hit a second-rope diving uppercut at 2:30 and was loudly booed. He bodyslammed her and began jawing at the crowd. (It is great to see how beloved Price is in the northeast indies and hated everywhere else.) Price hit a basement dropkick to her back and tied her up on the mat. They traded forearm shots, and Price hit a running knee in the corner at 5:30.
Masha hit a rolling kick to the jaw for a nearfall. Price hit a top-rope doublestomp to her chest as she was tied in the Tree of Woe at 7:30, then a top-rope coast-to-coast dropkick on her for a nearfall, and he was livid he didn’t get the pin there. Price hit a second-rope flying legdrop for a believable nearfall, and he argued with the ref. Masha nailed a second-rope Air Raid Crash, and they were both down at 10:00. Masha fired up and hit a series of kicks and chops. Price went for the step-up mule kick, but she caught him and hit a powerbomb, then a piledriver for the clean pin. Good match.
3. “Violence is Forever” Kevin Ku and Dominic Garrini defeated “Los Macizos” Ciclope and Miedo Extremo at 9:04. All four immediately brawled at the bell. Miedo hit a dive through the ropes onot ViF. In the ring, ViF worked over Garrini, with Miedo slamming Ciclope onto Garrino for a nearfall at 2:00. All four traded forearm shots. ViF hit stereo German Suplexes; they all hit clotheslines and everyone was down. ViF hit a top-rope doublestomp and Air Raid Crash combo for a nearfall at 5:30. ViF set up a double-decker door bridge, but it collapsed. Funny.. Miedo threw a chair at Ku. Los Macizos hit a Doomsday Superplex on Ku through the door bridge for a nearfall at 8:00. ViF hit the Chasing the Dragon (spin kick and brainbuster combo) on Miedo for the shocking pin over the former three-time champions. Solid match but that finish seemingly came out of nowhere.
4. Komander defeated Joey Janela at 12:00 even. Standing switches and a feeling-out process to begin. Janela hit a German Suplex. Komander hit a satellite headscissors takedown at 3:00. He went to walk the top rope but Janela shoved him hard to the floor. (Why haven’t more wrestlers done that to the Undertaker over the years???) In the ring, Janela was in charge and he kept Komander grounded. Komander hit a second-rope stunner at 6:00, then a top-rope corkscrew dive to the floor on Janela, drawing a huge pop. In the ring, Komander hit a Lungblower move for a nearfall.
Komander hit a top-rope Spanish Fly, and they were both down at 8:30. Komander nailed a springboard Canadian Destroyer for a believable nearfall. Wow! They traded forearm shots. Komander hit a spin kick, then a flip dive over the top rope. However, as soon as they got back in the ring, Janela hit a Death Valley Driver that looked quite dangerous and got a nearfall at 10:30. They fought on the ring apron. Komander walked the top rope, from one turnbuckle to the other, and hit a huracanrana to the floor. In the ring, Komander again walked the top rope and hit a springboard Shooting Star Press for the clean pin. A really good match; Janela was in perfect position to take all of Komander’s offense.
* Parrow hit the ring and hit a sit-out piledriver on Komander, then he beat down Janela with a chain. Sawyer Wreck ran to the ring and she hit Parrow. The ref called for the bell to start our next match!
5. Sawyer Wreck defeated Parrow in an interender match at 14:07. Sawyer hit some unprotected (reckless and dangerous) chairshots on Parrow’s head. They brawled to the floor. Parrow hit a snap suplex onto a pile of folded chairs on the floor at 3:00. In the ring, he hit her across the back with a chair, then he clocked her over the head. (She partially got her wrist up so she didn’t take the full blunt of that blow.) She hit a spinebuster across two open chairs for a nearfall at 6:30. Sawyer grabbed the chain, wrapped it around her fist, and hit several punches, including one to the back of the head. They fought on the ring apron, and there was a door set up on the floor below them.
Sawyer hit a second-rope superplex into the ring at 9:00 and they were both down. They hit simultaneous clotheslines and were both down. She hit another spinebuster for a nearfall. Parrow hit a chokeslam through a door bridge in the ring for a nearfall at 12:00, but she grabbed the ropes. He choked her with a chain and put her over the top rope. The ref tried to intervene, but Parrow shoved the ref across the ring and he was knocked out. Joey Janela ran in and he hit Parrow across the back with a steel chair, then he hit a Death Valley Driver. She then chokeslammed him off the ring apron through the door. (He went down awkwardly butt-first, not across his back. Janela helped roll Parrow back into the ring; Sawyer covered the prone Parrow and scored the pin. OK match and it didn’t get violent but I really do hate those unprotected blows to the head.
* Glass panes were set up in the corners of the ring, and I see some barbed-wire boards on the floor, too. Ugh.
6. “The Rejects” John Wayne Murdoch and Reed Bentley defeated “Second Gear Crew” Mance Warner and 1 Called Manders in a hardcore match at 13:15. The ref wore workman gloves as the match began and they all immediately brawled on the floor. Manders was shoved off a stage and through a door set up on the floor. No surprise, Mance was covered in blood. The Rejects hit a Magic Killer through a glass pane in the ring for a nearfall at 8:00; Reed somehow took more of the blow than Mance did. The Rejects hit a team stuffed piledriver on Mance for a nearfall; I knew it wasn’t enough for the pin because we still have another glass pane to destroy. Mance hit a hard clothesline on Murdoch for a nearfall at 12:00. Murdoch hit a top-rope Canadian Destroyer on Manders through a door bridge for the pin. Bloody, lots of glass, not for me. Fans of this style will love it.
7. Cole Radrick defeated Crazy King in a hardcore match at 10:03. Ugh, more of this garbage. The ring was cleaned up but we have bushels of light tubes everywhere. I’ve seen Crazy King a few times and he’s a masked luchador. Radrick is the James Ellsworth-meets-Gomer Pyle dork who is inexplicably popular, probably because he puts his body on the line in matches like this. They beat each other over the head with light tubes, wash rinse, repeat. Radrick hit an Air Raid Crash onto the pile of light tubes for a nearfall at 5:30. Crazy King suplexed Radrick through a door in the corner at 8:00. Radrick hit a slam onto a pile of light tubes to score the pin. Yuck yuck yuck; both men were bleeding on their backs.
* An extended break to clean up the ring. Luckily I wasn’t watching live so I could zip forward…
8. “Bussy” Allie Katch and Effy defeated Davey Bang and August Matthews at 11:06. Bang and Matthews have dropped “The Bang Bros” as a team name because of a potential lawsuit, I think from an adult film company. The crowd chanted “F— Chicago!” at Bang and Matthews. Matthews and Effy started. Effy hit his Doink-style Whoopee Cushion buttdrops on Bang. Bang worked over Allie. Effy hit a double Blockbuster at 5:30, then some Helluva Kicks. Bang hit a moonsault to the floor while Matthews hit a dive through the ropes onto Allie. Bang and Matthews hit a team doublestomp on Effy for a nearfall. Matthews and Bang went for their “Ride the Bus” team spear, but Prazak called it the “Sears Tower” today. I like the name change. They did a convoluted spot out of the corner where everyone crashed to the mat at 10:00. Allie went for a piledriver, but Bang avoided it. Seconds later, Allie hit the piledriver out of the ropes on Bang. Effy hit a top-rope Doomsday leg lariat on Matthews for the pin. This was awkward at times and the two teams didn’t mesh well.
9) Blake Christian defeated Mike Bailey to retain the GCW Heavyweight Title at 23:26. Veda talked about how Bailey lost a prior title match to Masha Slamovich earlier this year. Bailey beat Blake in the JCW J-Cup tournament in February. Blake hit a springboard dropkick to the back before the bell! Blake immediately took control of the action, and he set up for the Rollins-style Stomp but Bailey avoided it. They traded forearm shots. Bailey hit his Speedball kicks to the ribs at 1:30, then a Mafia Kick and his Triangle Moonsault to the floor. In the ring, Bailey hit a Helluva Kick and a kneedrop to the gut for a nearfall, then some rapid-fire chops in the corner.
Blake set up for a dive to the floor but stopped and gave a crotch chop to the fan at 5:00. Instead, he hit a baseball slide dropkick to the floor, and they brawled at ringside. Blake whipped him into rows of empty chairs. Blake crotched him around the ring post at 7:00 and was loudly booed. In the ring, Blake was in charge. Bailey hit a running kick at 9:00, and they were both down. Bailey hit his running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall. Blake hit a shotgun dropkick, and he mockingly did Randy Orton’s pounding of the mat before going for a stunner, which Bailey blocked. They hit simultaneous roundhouse kicks to the head, and were both down at 11:00.
They got up and traded chops; Blake has a cut on his back and is bleeding a bit. Blake hit a basement dropkick to the back of the head, then a sudden 619 at 13:00. (Most wrestler’s 619 look real slow; this was sharp!) Blake hit a stunner for a nearfall, and the crowd rallied for Bailey. Bailey hit a half-nelson suplex for a nearfall. Blake grabbed his title belt but the ref confiscated it. Blake hit a sideslam for a nearfall at 15:00. Blake went for a mid-ring Spanish Fly but during the flip, he accidentally kicked the ref! Blake immediately grabbed his title belt, but Bailey hit a baseball slide dropkick on him. Blake dove through the ropes onto Bailey at 17:00. Blake climbed up onto the stage, where the hard camera is. Bailey joined him. They traded blows on the stage. (From this vantage point, the ring looks far away and far below.) Bailey hit his moonsault kneedrop on the stage.
Bailey hit a moonsault off the stage onto Blake on the floor at 19:00; Prazak pointed out he did it over a sign that reads “no stage diving.” Funny. In the ring, Bailey missed Ultima Weapon, and Blake hit a jumping kneestrike, then a handspring-back-spin kick, and they were both down. Blake hit the Fosbury Flop to the floor, caught Bailey’s head, and hit a DDT on the floor. In the ring, Blake hit the mid-ring Spanish Fly, but he missed the springboard 450 Splash. Bailey hit a series of kicks, then the Tornado Kick in the corner. Bailey nailed the Ultima Weapon flipping kneedrop for a believable nearfall at 21:30. “It doesn’t get any closer than that, Dave!” Veda said. Bailey set up for the Flamingo Driver but Blake escaped and got a rollup for a nearfall. They traded more chops.
Blake hit a Pele Kick. Bailey hit the Green Tea Plunge (Spanish Fly); he hit a kick that sent Blake falling backward into the ref, and the ref was down again! Blake immediately hit a low blow, then an inverted Death Valley Driver, dropping Bailey stomach-first on the mat. Bailey immediately hit the Rollins-style Stomp for the pin. That was tremendous; you can tell these two are familiar opponents and both are at the top of their game. Blake ordered the ref to put the title belt around his waist, drawing more boos.
* Blake got on the mic and boasted about how good he is. He said he finally was able to say goodnight to the crowd and be the main event of the show. Out of the back came Jeff Hardy to a HUGE pop. He is doing a concert after the wrestling show is over. Hardy got into the ring and stood across from Blake. “This is my f’n show! I’m the mother f’n god! You, Jeff Hardy, can take your ass back there and get ready for your little shit-show,” he said. Jeff took the mic and said, “Wait… who are you? This popped the crowd and angered Blake. Jeff asked him if he’s champion. Blake told him to get out of the ring or “he’s going to delete, delete, delete you!”
Masha Slamovich hopped in the ring and she swung wildly at Blake but missed. Jeff Hardy hit a stunner on Blake, sending him running to the back. Out of the back came Nick Gage, who partied in the crowd. Jeff Hardy and Nick Gage shook hands in the ring. Jeff said he has “screwed up and he thanked people for giving him another chance.” Gage put over Hardy, leading to a “thank you Jeff!” chant.
Final Thoughts: Blake-Bailey easily earns best match, with Komander-Janela coming in second and Price-Masha third. I’d go with the show-opening scramble for honorable mention. The Jeff Hardy post-match stuff was fun and the crowd was totally into it.
Outside of a few minutes, where WWE or AEW run shows doesn’t really matter because the layout of the building is pretty much all the same and the style of matches held in that venue are generally the same. That is most definitely not true for GCW. When in New York, for instance, they never have bloody garbage matches because of state rules. But when they come to these night clubs, they turn up the violence with one hardcore match after another. If you like watching wrestlers whack each other over the head with chairs and light tubes and excessive bloodloss, you’ll like this show a lot more than I did.
GCW is back in action next Friday in Los Angeles. Check out the whole GCW library at Fite+.