By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “The Wrld on GCW 2023”
Streamed on FITE+
October 12, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall
I don’t know what Korakuen Hall’s capacity for pro wrestling is, but it was about 80 percent full, with the top rows empty. Quite frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t move fans around so it would be full opposite the hard camera, as their are fans seated much farther away not on camera.
* Emil Jay introduced the show, then he provided commentary with GCW owner Brett Lauderdale.
1. Maki Itoh and “Bussy” Effy and Allie Katch defeated three Kikutaros at 8:22. I’ve seen Kikutaro before; he wears a goofy oversized cartoonish mask. This is the first time I’ve seen more than one of him! So, this should be some light-hearted comedy. Maki’s team did a tug-of-war with a rope so it painfully rubbed against the groins of the Kikutaros. Itoh hit a tornado DDT for a nearfall at 5:00. She got a pizza cutter and used it on one of their faces. Itoh ripped off a mask of one of the Kikutaros and it was Jimmy Lloyd! Effy used the pizza on his head. Another mask was removed and it was a Japanese guy named Kobayashi. The three babyfaces hit a triple Kokeshi falling headbutt to pin the real Kikutaro. Okay comedy.
2. Los Macizos” Ciclope and Miedo Extremo defeated Takashi Sasaki and Toru Segiura in a death match to win the GCW Tag Titles at 8:50. Boards and weapons were placed in the ring. Toru and Takashi beat “East West Express” Jordan Oliver and Nick Wayne to win the title belts two months ago; I think this might be their first title defense. I truly don’t know how Ciclope isn’t hospitalized after being thrown off a high scaffolding last weekend. The Freedoms team worked Ciclope over. Miedo entered and hit an enzuigiri at 4:00. Miedo hit a German Suplex with a high bridge onto a barbed wire board to score the pin! New champions! This marks the start of their fourth reign. This was pretty tame by death match standards; I’m sure they are saving more violent gory stuff for later in the show.
3. John Wayne Murdoch defeated Masahi Takeda, Violento Jack and Toshiyuki Sakuda in a four-way death match at 7:40. Murdoch came to the ring holding a weed whacker. Takeda has light blondish hair. He nearly ripped apart Jack’s mask seconds into the match. Takeda hit an unprotected chairshot across Murdoch’s head; I really hate that. Takeda got some gusset plates and shoved it into his own forehead. Gross. Everyone was quickly bleeding and hitting each other with weapons. Sakuda shoved metal wires through the cheeks of his opponents. Gross, and so stupid because it requires someone to sit there patiently while the wire is shoved through their face. They all fought with wires protruding from their face at 6:00 before they all removed them. Murdoch hit Sakuda with the weed whacker to the chest, then a piledriver for the pin.. Just gross.
* I don’t tune in for the death matches, I tune in for what is coming next. I think this is the fifth time I’ve seen Loco vs. Vikingo, with Vikingo undefeated.
4. El Hijo Del Vikingo defeated Gringo Loco at 15:31. Scarlett Donovan is the ref; it’s awesome she got to make the trek to Japan, too. Vikingo immediately leapt onto Loco’s shoulders and hit a huracanrana. Vikingo dove through the ropes onto Loco. He hit a frogsplash in the ring for a nearfall at 2:00. Lauderdale said this is Vikingo’s Japan debut, as Vikingo tied Loco in a pretzel then slammed him stomach-first to the mat for a nearfall at 4:00. He pushed Gringo against the ropes and slapped him in the face. Loco fired back with an impressive fallaway slam, then a top-rope moonsault for a nearfall at 5:30, and we got a “this is awesome!” chant.
Vikingo hit a springboard dropkick, then his awesome springboard huracanrana to the floor on Loco, and they landed this smoothly and perfectly. Vikingo went into the bleachers, leapt off a railing, and hit another huracanrana to the floor at 7:30, earning a “holy shit!” chant. In the ring, Vikingo hit a springboard twisting splash for a nearfall. “This man continues to defy physics,” Jaye said. Loco nailed his twisting Base Bomb onto the ring apron, and they both collapsed to the floor at 9:00. In the ring, they fought on the top rope, where Loco hit a Spanish Fly to the mat. Vikingo went for a handspring-back-move but Loco caught him and hit a modified piledriver for a nearfall at 10:30.
Vikingo hit a running Shooting Star Press fro the ring apron onto Loco on the floor, and we have another “holy shit!” chant. In the ring, Vikingo hit a top-rope Shooting Star Press for a nearfall at 12:30. Vikingo charged at Loco, but Gringo flipped him, with Vikingo’s head hitting the top turnbuckle. Loco nailed his top-rope gorilla press slam to the mat for a nearfall. Vikingo nailed the top-rope Poison Rana, the running double knees to the chest in the corner, then the top-rope 630 Splash for the pin. They’ve done that three-part finishing sequence several times now (including the AEW show I attended in Chicago) and they have really perfected their spots.
5. Blake Christian defeated Jordan Oliver to retain the GCW Heavyweight Title at 18:42. I’m a huge fan of both men. They charged at each other and hit some quick reversals. They did the spot where both were suplexed to the floor at 1:00 and were down on the thin mat at ringside. Back in the ring, Oliver took control. Blake hit a springboard clothesline and a dropkick, sending Oliver to the floor. Blake nailed the Fosbury Flop to the floor and in inverted DDT onto the thin mat on the floor at 3:30. They traded chops in front of the fans. In the ring, Blake slowed it down with a leglock around Jordan’s neck. He hit a shotgun dropkick into the corner, then a running crossbody block into the corner at 5:30.
They fought on the top rope, where Oliver hit a huracanrana to the mat, and they were both down. Nice. They got up and traded chops. Oliver nailed a top-rope moonsault, and he tied Blake in a Figure Four Leglock at 8:30. Blake hit an enzuigiri and a short-arm clothesline, then a Pele Kick, then a powerslam, then a Lionsault for a nearfall at 10:30. Blake set up for the Stomp but Jordan avoided it. Jordan accidentally nailed an Acid Kick on the referee! Oliver hit an Acid Kick to the back, then one to the chest, then a sit-out powerbomb for a visual pin; a new ref counted the nearfall.
Oliver hit another Acid Kick and a powerbomb for a nearfall at 13:30. The ref got pushed and Blake immediately hit a low blow uppercut. Blake went under the ring and got a chair, and he was booed. Blake got his belt but he hit the ref with it! Blake hit a low blow mule kick. Oliver put Blake in a Boston Crab, and Blake tapped out at 16:00 but both referees are still down! Blake hit Jordan with the belt, then he hit a springboard-back-stunner for a nearfall. They traded rollups. Jordan nailed the Clout Cutter for a believable nearfall at 17:30. Jordan hit a superkick. Blake hit Jordan with a chair, then the Rollins-style Stomp to the head for the pin. A superb match, but no one thought Blake was losing his title here.
6. Jun Kasai defeated Joey Janela in a death match at 12:04. Janela promised to have a memorable, extra-violent death match. That’s not a selling point for me. Light tubes and weapons were set up in the ring. (As I noted, the prior two death matches didn’t have the light tubes, so they are indeed ratcheting up the violence as the show goes on.) Jun was bleeding almost immediately as they whacked each other over the head with light tubes and this is just gross. Kasai hit a piledriver off the ropes onto a weapons board at 10:00. He hit a piledriver for the pin.
7. Rina Yamashita defeated Masha Slamovich to retain the GCW Ultrviolent Title at 19:44. These two are closer in size than I anticipated; I expected Masha to be much taller. They whacked each other with light tubes and Rina was bleeding significantly from her back after a bump to the floor. Masha hit a Trash Compactor piledriver along her back for a nearfall at 9:00. RIna hit a frogsplash onto light tubes on Masha’s stomach for a nearfall. Masha hit a piledriver for another nearfall at 15:30. Masha hit a moonsault for a nearfall. Masha nailed a Sabin-style Cradle Shock slam. Rina hit a Trash Compactor piledriver for a nearfall. Rina hit a Razor’s Edge overhead powerbomb. She hit a second one onto a pile of light tubes for the pin. Gross. The mess of broken glass all over the ring is disgusting.
* The GCW roster hit the ring and posed together with Rina and Masha.
Final Thoughts: If you haven’t seen Loco vs. Vikingo before, tune in and check this out. Oliver vs. Christian was really good too, with the expected cheating antics of Blake so he could retain the title. I’ve made clear my distain for death matches, particularly the use of glass and light tubes. That said, it appears the crowd liked the death matches.