GCW “WrestleCade” results (11/24): Vetter’s review of Joey Janela vs. Mance Warner, Blake Christian vs. Billie Starkz for the GCW Championship, Caleb Konley vs. Richard Holliday, Mike Bailey vs. Matt Cardona

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

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GCW “WrestleCade”
Streamed on FITE+
November 24, 2023 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at Benton Convention Center

The lights are low but the ring is exceptionally well lit for an indy show. The crowd is HUGE, this is anywhere between 600 and 1,999 in this large room. Veda Scott and Dave Prazak provided commentary; their mics are a bit low.

1. Alec Price, Shane Mercer, 1 Called Manders, Cole Radrick, and Charlie Tiger defeated Bobby Flaco, Hunter Drake, Fuego Del Sol, Facade, and Sam Stackhouse at 8:09. Stackhouse is the 350+ pounder. Flaco is the short dork. Stackhouse opened against the powerhouse Mercer. Radrick hit a huracanrana on FDS. The scrawny Drake hit a standing Shooting Star Press. Facade hit a missile dropkick at 3:00. Mercer nailed Moonsault and Battery/second-rope fallaway slam on Facade for a nearfall. FDS hit a Poison Rana on Mercer. The massive Stackhouse peeled off his T-shirt and dove through the ropes onto everyone at 5:30.

Fuego hit a dive to the floor. Facade hit a springboard dive to the floor on everyone. Hunter hit a 450 Splash on Mercer for a nearfall. Mercer put Stackhouse on his shoulders and hit a Death Valley Driver for the pin. Big pop for that finisher. Decent, messy scramble and I mean that as a compliment.

* A video package aired of highlights from the GCW show in Seattle last week.

2. Maki Itoh defeated Kylie Alexa at 5:07. Alexa wrestles as Kylie Paige in NWA. She’s young and fairly talented. I bet neither woman weighs 130 pounds. Shoulder tackles to open with neither going down. Itoh tripped her and hit a Kokeshi falling headbutt. Maki pushed in the corner and hit a series of punches at 3:00, then a Facewash running kick in the corner for a nearfall. Kylie hit a running Bronco Buster as Kylie was against the ropes. (Veda initially thought it was a dropkick but she clearly was planning to come down butt-first on Itoh’s chest.) Itoh hit a DDT on the ring apron, then a top-rope flying DDT for the pin. That wrapped up quickly.

3. Matt Cardona (w/Steph De Lander) defeated Mike Bailey at 14:53. This is a first-time-ever match. SDL got on the mic and said they are sports entertainers, and “there is no one more indy than Mike Bailey.” Matt got on the mic and proclaimed he is the indy god. Cardona rolled to the floor at the bell and stalled. Cardona finally got in and he dropped Mike with a shoulder tackle. Bailey hit his Speedball kicks to the thighs and ribs. Bailey hit a Mafia Kick that sent Matt to the floor at 2:30, and he got on the mic again. He said it isn’t fair that Bailey is wrestling barefoot. He wants to instead have an arm wrestling match, and if Matt loses, he too will go barefoot.

Of course, Matt kicked and stomped on Bailey’s bare foot. Steph punched at the foot as well while ther ref was distracted. Cardona bit a toe, put Matt on his shoulders, and slammed him to the mat at 7:30. Bailey hit a second-rope missile dropkick. He applied an anklelock but Cardona reached the ropes. Cardona hit a running boot to the side of the head. A chair was thrown into the ring; Bailey did the ‘Eddie Spot’ of making a sound and tossing the chair to Matt. Bailey hit a standing moonsault then a buzzsaw kick for a nearfall at 11:00, but SDL pulled the ref from the ring.  Matt hit a low blow on Cardona. Matt and SDL went for a team suplex but Bailey turned it into a double neckbreaker. Bailey then hit an Asai Moonsault to the floor on both.

In the ring, Cardona hit a stunner and he applied an anklelock, but Cardona pulled free, as his boot remained in Mike’s hands. Cardona hit Mike with the boot, then his flying leg lariat for a believable nearfall at 13:30. Bailey now stomped on Matt’s bare feet! Bailey nailed a moonsault kneedrop and a superkick to the jaw. Bailey hit a Tornado Kick in the corner, but Matt avoided the Ultima Weapon. Cardona immediately got a rollup, and SDL help Matt’s feet onto the ropes for leverage, giving Cardona a cheap pin. Good match.

4. Jordan Oliver defeated Masha Slamovich in an intergender match at 15:10. Oliver had his JCW World Title belt. She hit a clothesline that dropped him at 2:00, then a dive through the ropes onto him on the floor. She remained in control as they got in the ring. (He is so much taller, thicker, stronger, I am having a hard time buying into this one.) He finally hit a running knee to the side of the head for a nearfall at 4:30. He nailed a plancha to the floor. He slammed her into the guardrail, then got a nearfall back in the ring. Masha hit a kneestrike and her spinning heel kick to the chin for a nearfall at 8:00. Oliver hit a Dragonscrew Legwhip; he set up for a Figure Four but she blocked it.

They traded superkicks, and he hit his Cleopatra stunner, then the Clout Cutter fadeaway stunner for a nearfall at 10:00, and he got the Figure Four Leglock on, but she reached the ropes. They traded forearm strikes, then they traded rollups, and she hit the Air Raid Crash into the corner, then the Shining Wizard for a nearfall at 12:30. Oliver hit a German Suplex, but she blocked the Acid Kick. She hit a Buzzsaw Kick to the head for a nearfall. Oliver nailed a Helluva Kick in the corner. They fought on the ropes and hie hit a Blue Thunder Bomb, then a running boot to the side of the head, and he again applied a Figure Four, and this time, she tapped out. Good match, despite the size difference. A rare loss for Masha in intergender matches.

5. Santana Jackson defeated Mike Jackson at 7:43. Santana is the Michael Jackson tribute act that makes me ill, and Mike Jackson is the 73-year-old who just shouldn’t be in the ring anymore; I really don’t want to see him break a hip or god forbid, die in the ring. Santana hit some chops then he danced along the top rope at 5:00. Mike then walked the top rope. These guys sure are holding the crowd even though they are barely doing a thing. Santana hit the Moonwalk DDT for the pin. At least it didn’t go too long. I have nothing good to say about this. Even if I didn’t have my objections to a Michael Jackson tribute act… this was just devoid of action.

6) Richard Holliday defeated Caleb Konley at 5:16. This is an unadvertised bonus match. I’ve said this before, but Caleb has the Stone Cold black vest and looks nothing like his Kaleb with a K gimmick in Impact. Holliday clotheslined him to the floor and they brawled at ringside. In the ring, Konley hit a German Suplex and a superkick for a nearfall at 3:00. He hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall. Holliday hit a stunner, and he powerbombed Konley through a door in the corner, then he hit a swinging neckbreaker for the pin. Solid match; the crowd wasn’t too loud for this one.

* Holliday got on the mic and he told the crowd to “shut the hell up” so I guess he’s a heel all of a sudden. He wants to get his hands on Charles Mason (who is a heel.) So… are they actually setting up a heel-heel match?? UGH. Holliday said he gets to kick Mason’s butt next week in Hartford. What a terrible promo; I prefer Holliday as a heel, but when he’s fighting a heel, why do a heel promo?

7. Violent J and “Bussy” Allie Katch and Effy defeated George South, Ricky Morton, and Kerry Morton at 13:11. Veda said it is an eclectic group of wrestlers on hand for this convention, so it’s fine to have a match with so many different styles. Allie and Effy came to the ring wearing ICP-style face makeup. In an unintentionally hilarious spot, Violent J stopped singing for the crowd to sing back a line to him, and you could hear crickets. No one listens to that crap! South, Ricky Morton and VIolent J just shouldn’t be in the ring. Kerry got on the mic and was booed. Kerry made fun of Violent J and his stupid makeup (so he just turned babyface in my eyes.)

Effy and Ricky opened, and the heels worked over Effy in their corner. Kerry hit a low blow on Allie at 4:00, which she no-sold. (Pro wrestling has taught me that women are impervious to pain in the groin.) Ricky entered and worked over Allie. Ricky accidentally punched South at 6:30! Those two began arguing, and South left and headed to the back! Kerry hit an elbow drop to Allie’s back and he stayed focused on working her over, despite this now being a handicap match. “You are not good enough to be in the ring with me!” Kerry shouted at her as he slapped her head, and he was booed.

Violent J entered for the first time at 11:00 and he delivered some awful-looking clotheslines, then an X-Factor faceplant on Kerry. Suddenly some music played! George South returned but he has facepaint on now, too! He entered the ring and hit some punches on the Mortons. So this is now 4-on-2 for the babyfaces. Ricky got a chair to hit Violent J, but J ducked it and Ricky hit Kerry. The babyfaces hit an Atomic Drop and an elbow to Ricky’s head for the pin. Ummmm… not for me.

* A nice, short video package showing the next match. It showed some of the faces of wrestlers who Blake has beaten in his title run.

8. Blake Christian defeated Billie Starkz in an intergender match to retain the GCW World Title at 18:29. Over WrestleMania weekend when GCW was in Los Angeles, Blake won a scramble by STOMPING Billie’s head into the mat to earn a title shot, which he successfully cashed in to win the title. So, there is a bit of a storyline here. This should be the main event. She immediately hit a series of forearm strikes and she might actually be taller than him. He dropped her with a shoulder tackle. She dove through the ropes onto him at 1:00, then she whipped him into the guardrail. She let kids at ringside chop Blake and that popped the crowd. In the ring, she hit a neckbreaker for a nearfall and the crowd was fully behind her.

Blake hit a springboard flying clothesline at 3:30, then a senton, and he began to tear at her face in the ropes. He nailed a half-nelson suplex, easily tossing her around. He hit a spear on the ring apron. He got a door from under the ring. He set up for a dive, but she shoved the door into his face. Moments later, he dove through the ropes, slammed into the door as she held it, pushing her into the guardrail at 7:00. That looked painful for her. Blake tossed her face-first on the ring apron and was just beating her up on the floor. Back in the ring, Blake tied her up in an STF move, and he switched to a crossface.

Billie fired back with a spinning kick to the face and three German Suplexes with a bridge on the last one for a nearfall at 10:00. Billie hit a 619, then a Lethal Injection stunner for a nearfall at 11:30. They traded forearm strikes while on their knees, and Blake hit a thudding headbutt at 13:00 that left them both groggy. They traded forearms on the ring apron, and Blake hit some spin kicks, then a Tombstone piledriver on the ring apron at 15:00. He rolled her in the ring and hit a springboard 450 Splash for a believable nearfall, and the crowd rallied for Billie. She avoided the Stomp. She hit a Superkick and a Gory Bomb, then a top-rope Swanton Bomb for a nearfall.

Blake hit a low blow which she no-sold, so she hit a low blow uppercut. She hit a Trash Compactor piledriver along her back for a nearfall at 17:00. They again fought on the top rope, and he hit a twisting back suplex, then the Rollins-style Stomp to the head for the pin. An entertaining match although the outcome was never in doubt.

* Blake got on the mic. “I don’t usually give props any more… and I’m not going to start tonight!” He attacked Billie in the corner and the crowd loudly booed him. He got another door and set it up in the corner. However, Nick Gage ran to the ring and he speared Blake through the door. Massive pop for Gage. Gage called him a “weak-ass champion” as Blake scampered to the back. Gage then put her over.

9. Joey Janela defeated Mance Warner at 21:30. Veda said this is another first-time-ever matchup, which is a bit shocking considering these two are GCW regulars. (I’m sure they’ve battled in multi-man matches, right?) Hopefully they don’t get too bloody. They immediately traded slaps to the face and forearm strikes. They went to the floor, where Mance tossed a chair at Joey; I HATE that. He slammed a chair across Joey’s back at 2:00. Mance got a tupperware container of weapons and beat up Joey with some ring tools. They got in the ring and Joey tossed a chair. Mance was heavily bleeding at 4:00. Gross. Joey got another door from under the ring. However, Mance speared Joey through the door at 5:30 for a nearfall.

Mance got another door. Janela hit a Sunset Flip powerbomb through a door bridge for a nearfall at 8:30. Mance hit a backbody drop onto a guardrail, then he slammed Joey ont the guardrail, for a nearfall at 11:00. They fought on several open chairs, with Joey hitting a Cradle Shock for a nearfall at 12:30. (Prazak called it a Michinoku Driver but it was more like Sabin’s finisher.) Joey hit a Swanton Bomb off the top rope onto Mance, who was lying on a table on the floor at 14:30, but the table didn’t break! (He did barely graze Mance.) So, Joey did an elbow drop; the table collapsed instead of breaking. Joey whipped Mance into the table but it still wouldn’t break.

They gave up on the table and got back into the ring at 16:30. They fought while standing on a table in the ring; Mance hit a piledriver on the table at 19:30 but it still wouldn’t break. Funny at this point. Joey set up a door bridge, and he hit a second-rope leaping Tombstone piledriver for the pin; Mance’s head was nowhere near the table, as Joey came down on his knees on the door bridge. Just not my style of match.

Final Thoughts: Not a lot that I loved here. I don’t watch wrestling to bash wrestling… but this was definitely an off-night for my preferred styles. This show featured a hardcore match, three intergender matches, a Michael Jackson tribute match… and not anything must-see. I’ll go with Blake-Billie for best match as it was compelling and had the crowd fully into it. I’ll go Bailey-Cardona for second and Masha-Oliver for third. All that said… they could have changed up the lineup to make for more compelling matches. Oliver-Blake is just a better match, as is Masha-Billie. I would have gone that route.

Geez, they are in North Carolina where they could bring in Bojack, Diego Hill and some of the real stars of the area… and instead they use dorks like Bobby Flaco, and aging veterans like George South and Ricky Morton, and whatever Violent J is famous for? Leave those guys at their merchandise tables and not in the ring. This feels like a missed opportunity to not have some GCW stars face some Deadlock Pro stars. If you don’t know what I mean… check out Jay Malachi vs. Alec Price for the DPW title that debuted a week ago. There is some real talent in the NC region that could have been called upon here. This show is available on Fite+.


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