By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “What Is Your Choice?”
Streamed on FITE+
December 3, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York at Roulette Intermedium
I really like this venue, as it’s well lit with a second level. Attendance is maybe 400-600. Another reason I like this venue is N.Y. rules prohibit them from having a lot of their gross ultraviolent matches here. Dave Prazak and Veda Scott provided commentary.
1. “Second Gear Crew” Mance Warner and 1 Called Manders and “Bussy” Allie Katch and Effy defeated Alec Price and Cole Radrick and “Wasted Youth” Marcus Mathers and Dyln McKay at 8:16. Mathers and Mance opened. Price entered and hit a springboard spin kick on Katch. Radrick hit a springboard stunner on Mance at 3:30. Mathers slammed Manders through a door in the corner. Dyln hit a top-rope Shooting Star Press on Manders. Effy hit a Helluva Kick in the corner on Marcus. Effy hit his running leg lariat. Mance hit a running knee on Marcus for the pin. Entertaining, non-stop-action opener.
* A video aired of highlights from Saturday’s GCW show.
2. Masha Slamovich defeated Tracy Williams in an intergender match at 11:38. Quick mat reversals and a standoff to open. Tracy hit a gutwrench suplex. She dove through the ropes onto him at 2:30 and they brawled at ringside. In the ring, Williams hit a butterfly suplex for a nearfall. He hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall at 6:00. He hit a DDT onto the top turnbuckle at 9:30, and he immediately applied an STF on the mat. Mashia fired back with an Air Raid Crash into the corner. He nailed a clothesline for a nearfall at 11:00. Masha nailed a Shining Wizard and the White Knight driver/piledriver for the pin. Entertaining.
3. “Violence is Forever” Kevin Ku and Dominic Garrini defeated “The Mane Event” Midas Black and Jay Lyon to retain the GCW Tag Titles at 8:47. ViF wrestled in Chicago on Saturday for Black Label Pro. Ku and Lyon opened. Dominic hit a backbreaker over his knee at 3:00. Midas entered and hit an enzuigiri and a German Suplex on Garrini, then a Helluva Kick. Lyon hit a Lionsault, and Midas hit a frogsplash. Ku re-entered and hit a superkick on Midas. Lyon hit a standing powerbomb. Garrini hit a rebound lariat on Lyon, and TME got a nearfall on Garrini at 6:00. Garrini hit a back suplex and got a nearfall. TME hit their Grand Finale/team X-Factor faceplant for a nearfall. ViF hit a team slam on Midas. Garrini tossed Midas, with Ku hitting a kneestrike. They nailed the Chasing the Dragon kick-and-brainbuster combo for the pin. Entertaining match, but at no point did I think TME were winning.
* Another video package of highlights from Saturday’s GCW show.
4. Billie Starkz defeated Unagi Sayaka at 12:26. As I noted a day ago, Unagi looks like a blonde Kairi Sane. Standing switches to start and Starkz has a clear height and overall size advantage. Billie hit a dive to the floor onto Unagi at 2:30. Starkz hit some hard forearms on the floor; she threw Unagi into the ring but stopped to jaw at fans in the front row! In the ring, Starkz hit a fisherman’s suplex for a nearfall, then a stiff kick to the spine at 5:00. Billie shoved ref Scarlett Donovan and was booed. She hit a backbreaker over her knee for a nearfall and threw a tantrum at the kickout.
Billie hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall at 9:00 and she again glared at the ref. They fought on the ropes, and Billie hit a second-rope superplex, then a snap suplex for a nearfall at 10:30. Billie repeatedly kicked her in the head. However, Unagi hit a modified DDT with her leg over Billie’s back, then a Bray Wyatt-style “Sister Abigail” swinging faceplant for a believable nearfall. Billie hit a Tombstone Piledriver for a believable nearfall, then the Swanton Bomb for the pin. A very good match.
5. Blake Christian defeated Little Guido to retain the GCW World Title at 7:19. A nice pop for the ECW legend Guido. They immediately traded reversals on the mat with Guido out-wrestling him, so Blake rolled to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring, Blake out-maneuvered Guido, so it was Guido’s turn to leave the ring at 2:30 to regroup. Blake took control in the ring, hitting some punches and keeping Guido grounded. Blake hit a handspring-back-spin kick at 5:30. Guido fired back with a second-rope flying guillotine legdrop for a nearfall. Blake nailed the Rollins-style Stomp to the head for the pin. Good match but surprisingly short, but yet, I’m okay with that. Guido looked good but it didn’t overstay its welcome.
6. Jordan Oliver defeated Gringo Loco to retain the JCW Title at 14:29. I’m really looking forward to this one. Loco was at Wrestling Revolver in suburban Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. Oliver charged at the bell but Loco avoided a Helluva Kick. They had a standoff and the crowd chanted “both these guys!” Oliver hit a springboard dropkick for a nearfall at 2:00. Loco caught Oliver on a dropkick attempt and hit a powerbomb. Oliver hit a hard clothesline at 5:00. He hit a plancha to the floor but sold a lower back injury. In the ring, he set up for the Acid Bomb, but Loco fought it off. Oliver nailed a top-rope Frankensteiner, a moonsault, and a Clout Cutter for a believable nearfall at 7:30, and he was shocked that didn’t get the win.
Oliver came off the ropes but Loco again caught him and hit a powerbomb for a nearfall. Loco missed a corkscrew moonsault; Oliver missed a moonsault. Oliver hit the Cleopatra stunner. They hit simultaneous spin kicks to the head and were both down at 10:00, and this crowd was HOT. They got up and traded chops. Loco hit an enzuigiri. Loco hit a top-rope Vader Bomb-style splash for a nearfall. Oliver set up for the Clout Cutter but Loco blocked it. Loco nailed the Base Bomb/second-rope twisting powerbomb for a nearfall, but Oliver grabbed the ropes at 13:00. They traded rollup attempts. Oliver hit an Acid Kick, but he again couldn’t hit the Acid Bomb. Loco came off the ropes, but Oliver caught him with a stunner! Oliver immediately hit the Acid Kick, then the Acid Bomb, for the clean pin. That was fantastic.
7. Rina Yamashita defeated Tony Deppen in an intergender match at 13:26. Deppen has a significant size advantage; he had travel issues that caused him to miss Saturday’s show. Rina brought a chair to the ring. Deppen stalled and was reluctant to lock up. She set up for a dive but he threw a chair at her head at 2:00; I hate that. She hit some chops on the floor as he was up against a guardrail. In the ring, he hit a brainbuster for a nearfall. He stomped on her left ankle and worked over the leg; he celebrated his offense and was loudly booed. She fired back with some kicks. Deppen hit a brainbuster for a nearfall at 6:00. Deppen tied her in a Texas Cloverleaf and sat down on her lower back at 7:30.
Rina hit a headbutt, then a Death Valley Driver, and they were both down. They traded slaps to the face while on their knees. She went to grab him in the groin but he blocked it at 10:00, so she hit a headbutt and a clothesline. She placed a chair over his groin, and hit it with another chair. She set up for a Razor’s Edge but Deppen fought free at 11:30 and he got a rollup for a nearfall. He threw another chair at her head; I hate that. She picked him up and hit an Air Raid Crash through a door bridge for a believable nearfall at 12:30. She hit a Trash Compactor piledriver along her back for another nearfall. Rina hit a Razor’s Edge overhead powerbomb onto a folded chair for the pin.
* Storyline update: Richard Holliday enlisted long-time MLW teammate Alexander Hammerstone to assist him in his GCW war against Charles Mason.
8. Charles Mason and Parrow defeated Alexander Hammerstone and Richard Holliday at 15:24. Holliday and the massive Parrow opened, but Mason quickly tagged in and worked over Holliday. Hammerstone tagged in at 2:00; Mason looked petrified and he tagged in Parrow. Hammerstone hit a top-rope missile dropkick at 4:00 and he tagged Holliday back in. Richard hit a series of chops on Parrow and he was fired up. Parrow extensively worked over Richard in his corner, and Mason choked Holliday. Holliday speared Parrow through a door in the corner at 8:00.
Hammerstone made the hot tag and he hit a huge backbody drop on Mason. Hammerstone slammed Mason face-first to the mat for a believable nearfall. Hammerstone tossed Mason, and Holliday caught him and hit a stunner! Nice team sequence. Mason hit a Canadian Destroyer on Holliday at 11:00; he pulled off his belt and he went to choke Holliday with it, but Hammerstone made the save. Hammerstone hit an impressive belly-to-belly release suplex on Parrow! Hammerstone hit a sideslam on Parrow, but Parrow rolled to the floor to avoid being pinned.
Hammerstone hit his sideslam on Mason at 13:00, when Holliday suddenly pulled Hammerstone off Mason, so he could continue punching Mason! Holliday choked Mason with the belt, and he shoved the referee! Hammerstone pulled Holliday off Mason and tried to calm him down. Holliday suddenly put the belt around Hammerstone’s throat at 15:00 and he choked out Alexander! Mason jumped on the passed-out Hammerstone and scored the pin. Holliday glared at Mason, as if a zombie. However, Holliday offered a handshake, and Mason accepted it… and they hugged! I certainly didn’t see that coming.
9. Maki Itoh defeated Mike Bailey in an intergender match at 16:11. Itoh, like Violence is Forever, was in the Chicago area a day ago, while Bailey was with Second Gear Crew and Gringo Loco in Iowa…. it truly is amazing the travel schedule for the top-tier indy talent. Bailey has a bandage over his left eyebrow after being split open hard way by Masaaki Mochizuki. They played to the crowd before locking up at 1:30; they traded quick mat reversals and had a standoff. She posed, so he did her silly poses. She hit a Kokeshi falling headbutt while he was posing on the mat! Funny. He hit his Triangle Moonsault to the floor (but barely grazed her coming down.) He applied a Boston Crab on the floor, but then he got angry at the crowd for not cheering him!
Back in the ring, he again applied a Boston Crab at 4:30. He rammed her head into the top turnbuckle; she did it several more times to show off how hard-headed she is. She powerbombed him out of the corner at 7:00. She leapt off the top rope but he caught and powerslammed her, then he hit a running Shooting Star Press. Itoh fired back with a tornado DDT for a nearfall at 8:30. He blocked a Kokeshi. She hit a headbutt; he hit an enzuigiri; she hit a Kokeshi, and they were both down. Bailey hit a chop that dropped her and she ‘burst into tears’ and the crowd booed him at 10:00. But then she repeatedly stomped on his bare toes. Bailey started to ‘cry’ but the crowd didn’t care.
Bailey accidentally chopped ref Dan Perth, who started to cry. This is pretty funny stuff. Bailey hugged Perch. She rolled him up for a nearfall, then she applied a half-crab at 12:00. She switched to a full Boston Crab and the crowd taunted him to tap out. He kicked her head but it hurt his leg (because she has such a hard head!). She hit a tornado DDT for a nearfall at 14:30. He went for his moonsault kneedrop, but she moved, and she hit a DDT for a nearfall. He set up for the Flamingo Driver; she tried to break free but he hit it, but he only got a believable nearfall at 16:00. She immediately rolled him up and got the pin.
* Bob Cardona, Matt Cardona’s father, was seated in the front row, and he was introduced before the main event!
10. Matt Cardona (w/Steph De Lander) defeated Jimmy Lloyd at 9:43. Cardona spoke at length on the mic. Cardona charged at the bell. Lloyd caught him and hit a powerbomb, then he applied a Boston Crab, and Cardona immediately bailed to the floor. Lloyd dove onto him at 0:30. In the ring, Cardona filled his hand with powder, but Lloyd kicked it up into Matt’s face at 3:00. SDL grabbed Lloyd’s ankle, allowing Cardona to hit a Fameasser flying leg lariat. Cardona jabbed a chair into Jimmy’s face and kept him grounded. Lloyd put Cardona through a table in the corner, but SDL pulled the ref from the ring.
Cardona hit another Fameasser. Sawyer Wreck pulled SDL from the ring. Matt pie-faced Sawyer, so she hit him. SDL accidentally hit Matt! Wreck speared SDL through a table at 7:30. Nice sequence. Lloyd caught Matt with a superkick. Cardona accidentally hit ref Dan Perch, and Lloyd immediately hit a piledriver for a visual pin, but we didn’t have a ref!! Bob Cardona got in the ring and (softly) hit Lloyd on the back with a chair. Matt Cardona hit a low blow and another Fameasser for the cheap pin! An entertaining, well-booked mess, and I mean that as a positive.
* Lloyd was forced to shake Matt’s hand, and they all hugged as the show went off the air, although Lloyd was clearly not happy about it.
Final Thoughts: As I noted at the top, this show was free of all the staplers, light tubes, gusset plates, glass panes, and other garbage that mar so many good GCW shows. I would be fine if they only used this building and left the hardcore stuff in the dustbin of history. Loco vs. Oliver was easily best match of the night. GCW 2024 has been carried by five male stars: Bailey, Christian, Price, Loco and Oliver. Pretty much every one of my favorite GCW matches has featured at least one of those stars. So, no surprise that a match between two of those five would produce the best match of the night. While it was all comedy, Bailey-Itoh kept me thoroughly entertained and earns second place. I’ll go with Starkz-Unagi for third, with Masha-Williams for honorable mention.
A week ago, babyface Richard Holliday cut a bizarre heelish promo at Wrestlecade in North Carolina. He turned heel on the crowd and was angry, and it just made no sense. Given him turning on Hammerstone here and aligning with Mason, it is a bit more understandable. Decent storytelling in that one, as well as the main event.
GCW sure loves their intergender matches, and they sure love to put the smaller woman over (women were 4-0 in four separate intergender action here). It’s just not believable. All these females are incredibly talented wrestlers. So why not just have Masha vs. Rina? Or Itoh vs. Allie? But It’s just absurd to pretend Rina could beat Deppen in a match, or Masha could beat Tracy Williams, or Itoh could beat Bailey. Sure, they make it work, but I just feel you could have great matches that are far more believable. Imagine instead Bailey vs. Tracy Williams having a barnburner.
My criticisms are actually quite small. I really enjoyed this show and recommend checking it out.