By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “No Signal in the Hills 3”
Streamed on FITE.TV
August 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California at Ukrainian Cultural Center
This building was legitimately sold out with perhaps 800 in attendance. Dave Prazak and Jordan Castle provided live commentary.
1. Lil Cholo and “Los Macizos” Ciclope and Miedo Extremo defeated Matt Vandagriff, Bodhi Young Prodigy, and Damian Drake at 6:53. Vandagriff’s team leapt onto the GCW team as they approached the ring, while Emil Jay was doing ring introductions, to kickstart the match! They all compete for Las Vegas-based Future Stars of Wrestling; Bodhi is just 16. All six brawled in the ring, and Bodhi hit a 450 Splash for a nearfall at 4:30. Bodhi got powerbombed over the top rope onto his partners on the floor. Los Macizos hit a Doomsday Device on Vandagriff through a door bridge for the pin. That was fast and fun.
2. Steph De Lander defeated Masha Slamovich, Maki Itoh and Allie Katch in a four-way at 11:42. SDL came out first and she berated the crowd. Everyone attacked SDL to start the match. Allie hit a dive to the floor onto several competitors. In the ring, SDL caught Allie with a superkick for a nearfall at 2:00. Itoh backed Steph into the corner and hit a series of punches and a running Facewash at 4:30, then a tornado DDT for a nearfall. Maki grabbed a pizza cutter, earning a huge pop, and Steph looked terrified. Itoh hit a tornado DDT on Masha.
All four women brawled in the ring. Steph and Allie again acted like they were about to kiss and needed to be separated. (This happened at another recent GCW show.) However, SDL rolled her up for a nearfall at 8:30. Itoh hit a Kokeshi, landing on all three, for a nearfall. However, Maki missed a top-rope diving headbutt. Allie went for a piledriver but Masha blocked it. Instead, Masha hit a piledriver on Allie at 11:00, but as Masha went for the pin, Blake Christian jumped in the ring and attacked her! This is no-DQ so the match kept going. Maki shoved Blake; Blake shoved Itoh. SDL grabbed Maki and hit an F5 for the pin. Masha jumped on Blake’s back and choked him.
* Chris Bey hit the ring, and we’re having our main event now!
3. Blake Christian defeated Chris Bey to retain the GCW Heavyweight Title at 13:02. Bey hit a shotgun dropkick at the bell and some quick offense. He nailed a dive through the ropes in the first minute. Blake accidentally chopped the ring post. Blake hit a spear on the ring apron at 2:30. In the ring, Blake hit a handspring-back-stunner for a nearfall, and he choked Bey with a shirt. Blake hit a running boot to the chest at 4:30. Bey fired back with some kicks and a spinning back fist and a nice-looking brainbuster for a nearfall at 7:00. Blake hit a pair of short-arm clotheslines and a mid-ring Spanish Fly for a nearfall. Blake missed a springboard 450 but landed on his feet, and he immediately hit a superkick. He set up for a Rollins stomp but Bey avoided it.
Blake then nailed the springboard 450 splash for a nearfall at 9:00, and they were both down. Blake rolled to the floor and grabbed a replica belt from a fan. However, in the ring, Bey hit a stunner, then a Homicide-style Cop Killa backslide driver! Bey nailed a top-rope frogsplash for a nearfall at 10:30. (Nice use of replays here, with Prazak marveling at the height on the frogsplash.) Blake hit a handspring-back-spin kick and a 619. Bey hit an OsCutter, but Blake rolled to the floor before Bey could make the cover. Bey went for a dive through the ropes, but Blake hit him in the head with a chair! Blake got in the ring and immediately hit the Rollins-style stomp to the head for the pin. That was reallly good too; my only complaint would be I wanted an even longer match!
4. “The Rejects” John Wayne Murdoch and Reed Bentley defeated Sawyer Wreck and Joey Janela at 14:26. All four brawled at the bell and went to the floor. Janela hit a top-rope Swanton Bomb onto everyone on the floor at 1:30. They all continued to brawl in front of the fans and JWM is already bleeding from his forehead. Bentley is too. Sawyer and Bentley traded blows; she may be tall but it’s hard to believe she could stand toe-to-toe with him in a punch exchange. Sawyer hit a summersault off the ring apron to the floor on everyone at 4:30. They got back in the ring, where Bentley hit a basement dropkick in the corner, and the Rejects beat down Janela.
Janela hit a DDT on Bentley at 6:30. Janela hit a Death Valley Driver on Murdoch, dumping him on Bentley and getting a nearfall. Bentley hit a senton on Janela for a nearfall. Sawyer and Murdoch traded punches. They all traded blows while on their knees, then while standing. The Rejects set up a door bridge. However, Janela and Sawyer hit a team superplex, sending Murdoch onto Bentley, and they both crashed through the door bridge at 11:30 for a nearfall. Janela hit a top-rope doublestomp. Another door was brought into the ring. Murdoch hit a suplex with Sawyer landing on the top of her head! The Rejects then suplexed Sawyer through the door in the corner, but Janela made the save. The Rejects hit a Meltzer Driver piledriver on Janela for a believable nearfall. They then hit a Magic Killer team slam onto several open chairs to pin Janela. Decent brawl.
5. Leon Slater defeated Jack Cartwheel at 11:04. Slater is the talented Black, British teenager; I think he’s 18 now. I always describe him as a taller Lio Rush. Cartwheel is a great high flyer who has been on AEW TV a few times now, but he is several inches shorter. Good standing swiiches to open. Slater hit a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall at 2:00. He hit a running crossbody block for a nearfall. He hit a baseball slide dropkick to the floor. In the ring, Slater stomped on Jack’s head and remained in charge. Cartwheel hit a German Suplex at 5:30 and a handspring elbow strike for a nearfall. Jordan Castle said “Leon Slater traveled 11 hours on an airplane just to be here.” Jack nailed the Sasake Special dive to the floor.
In the ring, Leon hit a stunner and a dropkick in the corner. Jack hit a Dragongscrew Legwhip on Slater, then a rolling Death Valley Driver at 9:30, but he missed a top-rope Phoenix Splash. Slater hit a top-rope twisting suplex, then a top-rope Swanton 450 splash for the pin. That is quite a finisher. “You don’t see that every day!” Prazak said. Castle jokingly asked Prazak, “what were you doing at 18?”
6) Gringo Loco defeated Mance Warner at 11:30. Certainly a class of styles with the luchador taking on the brawler; Prazak used the same phrase seconds after I wrote it. They brawled to the floor inside the first minute, with Mance hitting him with a chairshot across the back, and Mance got a door from under the ring. In the ring, Loco whipped Mance with a belt at 3:00. Loco went under the ring and got som wrenches and pliers used to tighten the ring ropes and he jabbed the pliers into the forehead. Mance is already covered in blood and the fans chanted, “you sick f—!” at Loco. Mance threw a chair at Loco’s head and I absolutely hate that. Prazak and Emil Jay joked about how this was a nice, brand new ring mat and it was getting covered in blood. Mance used the pliers on Loco’s forehead.
Loco suplexed Mance onto an open chair for a nearfall at 7:30. They began hitting each other over the head with tools. Mance hit a running knee to the side of the head for a nearfall. Loco powerbombed Mance through a door in the corner for a believable nearfall at 9:30. Loco missed a moonsault, and Mance began slamming door shards on Loco. Loco hit a top-rope Falcon Arrow, slamming Mance through several open chairs, to score the pin. Loco didn’t bleed. Fans of Mance Warner will like this match.
7. Jordan Oliver defeated Jimmy Lloyd, Jordan Cruz, Brayden Toon, Calibus, Alec Price in a six-way scramble at 13:24. Cruz is muscular and had a handful of New Japan Strong matches. Toon is a New South Wrestling (Alabama) guy and this is an unexpected surprise to see him here. I don’t know Calibus; he’s a luchador in a white mask and a black cape. Price literally wrestled in Massachusetts 24 hours ago for Wrestling Open; my review is posted. Oliver came out last, wearing his tag title belt. Toon hit a running Shooting Star Press on Calibus, which is quite impressive, as I’ll compare Toon to Kevin Owens in size and agility. Cruz hit three German Suplexes on Toon.
Price hit a springboard crossbody block on Lloyd at 2:30. Oliver hit a basement dropkick on Cruz’ knee. Oliver applied a Figure Four on Price, which led to a multi-man submission spot. Price hit a flying legdrop on Calibus. Oliver hit a Helluva Kick on Price. Cruz hit a second-rope superplex on Oliver at 5:30. Lloyd hit a rolling Death Valley Driver and a senton on Cruz. Calibus hit a top-rope inverted 450 to the floor on everyone at 7:00. In the ring, Price hit a tornado DDT on Calibus. Calibus hit a superkick on Price. Toon hit a stunner on Lloyd. Cruz hit a Rock Bottom uranage. Oliver hit a Pedigree on Cruz for a believable nearfall at 10:30. (Everyone was intentionally hitting finishers of well-known WWE guys.)
Oliver came off the ropes but Cruz caught him with a blow to the back, then a neckbreaker over his knee. Toon hit an Air Raid Crash on Toon. Price hit an enzuigiri, then his running knees on Toon. Price hit his springboard blockbuster on Toon. Calibus hit a brainbuster on Price. Lloyd hit a package piledriver on Calibus for a believable nearfall at 12:30. Oliver hit a Helluva Kick on Lloyd, then the Acid Bomb/face-first Blackout slam for the pin on Lloyd. You can say it every show… no one does scrambles like GCW. This was fun and nonstop.
8) Jacob Fatu defeated Effy at 15:31. This crowd was hot before they locked up, and Effy mooned Fatu. Effy jumped on Fatu’s back, but Jacob just shrugged him off. They brawled to the floor, where Fatu whipped Effy into rows of empty chairs at 4:00. Effy dove through the ropes onto Fatu, then he hit a summersault slam off the apron onto Fatu on the floor. In the ring, Fatu hit a Frankensteiner, then a top-rope frogsplash for a nearfall at 6:00. Fatu was now in charge, whipping Effy across the ring. Effy hit a Blockbuster at 8:30 and a Helluva Kick, then he slammed Fatu headfirst to the mat for a nearfall. Effy hit his Doink-style buttsplash to Fatu’s chest for a nearfall.
Effy hit an F5 and he applied a Dragon Sleeper. Effy hit a pop-up powerbomb for a nearfall at 10:30. Fatu hit a handspring-back-splash for a nearfall. Effy hit his running Fameasser legdrop for a nearfall at 12:00. Effy hit a sunset flip powerbomb out of the corner, and they were both down. Fatu nailed a Buckle Bomb and a Superkick, then a pop-up Samoan Drop for a believable nearfall at 14:00. Fatu missed a Best Moonsault Ever double jump moonsault. Effy climbed the ropes but Fatu cut him off. Fatu hit a second-rope twisting uranage for the pin. Good match; when Effy stays away from his raunchy or juvenile humor, he can really go in the ring.
* Fatu grabbed the referee and hit a Samoan Drop! He went under the ring and got a board, which he placed over Effy. However, Mance Warner ran into the ring, still covered in blood (and still in his ring gear) to make the save. Fatu got a chair and hit Mance repeatedly over the back. He stacked Mance and Effy and hit the Best Moonsault Ever onto both of them.
9. Johnny Gamechanger (f/k/a John Hennigan) defeated Nick Gage at 18:35. This might be the single longest pair of ring intros I’ve ever seen, as Emil Jay first gave the laundry list of promotions Johnny has been in, then Gage’s usual lengthy intro. Once again, a clash of styles. They fought over a door, and Gage rammed it into Johnny’s face at 2:30, then Gage hit a second-rope superplex. Gage flipped Johnny into the corner, where Johnny’s head struck the ring post. He fell to the floor, and when he stood up, he was bleeding from the forehead, but this is clearly ‘Hollywood blood.’ Sure enough, Gage found the container of fake blood. Johnny stood on the floor and cleaned off the fake blood.
In the ring, Gage hit a spinebuster at 6:30 and he pulled out a pizza cutter and used it across Johnny’s forehead. He walked to each side of the ring so everyone could see him use the pizza cutter. They fought on the floor, with Gage wildly swinging a kendo stick and narrowly missing the fans. (No guardrails here; someday they’ll be sued for injuring a fan.) Johnny tried a corkscrew move off the top rope onto a door set up on the floor; not sure what he was trying but it didn’t work. (I heard one fan shout “you f**ked up” but the chant didn’t catch on.) In the ring, Johnny dumped a bag of thumbtacks.
Johnny hit a fallaway slam, sending Gage into the thumbtacks. However, Johnny missed a Shooting Star Press and he landed stomach-first on the thumbtacks at 13:00. Ouch! Gage hit a backbreaker over his knee. Johnny hit a Razor’s Edge, running across the ring, and slamming Gage through a door in the corner for a nearfall at 15:00. Johnny set up a door bridge in the ring. However, Gage hit a second-rope piledriver, jumping through the door bridge for a believable nearfall at 17:30. However, Johnny hit Starship Pain/split-legged moonsault out of the corner onto a door shard lying on Gage’s chest to score the pin. Good brawl and the crowd was fully invested in it.
Final Thoughts: As always, your favorite match will be determined by your tastes. I’ll go with Blake-Bey for best, Cartwheel-Slater for second, and the wild scramble for third. This crowd loved the main event, and I’ll give it honorable mention. That said, if I were booking the show, I would have put Gage vs. Mancer and Loco vs. Johnny, but this worked alright and it was certainly a spectacle. As per usual, Johnny had to create all the movement as Gage is fairly immobile at this point of his life after years of hardcore matches. This was a very good top-to-bottom show, especially if you like the violent stuff.
GCW has a show on Saturday in Mexico, but I’m admittedly unfamiliar with many participants in the lineup, and it sounds like it’s got some bloody hardcore matches that don’t interest me.