GCW “Holiday Special 2023” results (12/21): Vetter’s review of a former WWE wrestler’s surprise appearance, Blake Christian vs. Santa Claus for the GCW Title, Mike Santana vs. Alec Price

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

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GCW “Holiday Special 2023”
Streamed on TrillerTV+
December 21, 2023 in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey at the KOC Hall

There were festive lights on the middle ropes on two sides of the ring. The crowd was maybe 300-400. Dave Prazak and Veda Scott provided commentary.

Two matches were changed mid-day. Cole Radrick is sick; he was slated to team with Alec Price against Charles Mason and Richard Holliday. Price will now have a solo match against AEW’s Santana. Also, Jordan Oliver was slated to fight brawler John Wayne Murdoch, but that has been changed to Oliver vs. Brayden Toon. Hopefully everyone else can make it.

1. Gringo Loco defeated Azrieal at 9:56. Azrieal hit a dive through the ropes to the floor in the first minute. In the ring, Azrieal hit a 619 and a senton for a nearfall. He hit a frogsplash for a nearfall at 7:00. Loco fired back with a top-rope Spanish Fly for a nearfall. Azrieal hit a tornado DDT for a nearfall. Loco hit the second-rope Base Bomb/swinging powerbomb for the pin. Good opener.

* A video package aired of highlights from a recent GCW show in Los Angeles. GCW is really doing a good job with these packages of late.

2. Masha Slamovich defeated 1 Called Manders in an intergender match at 10:27. The size difference here is huge. They shoved each other in a friendly manner to open, but then she hit a series of forearm strikes. She hit a dive through the ropes onto him at 6:00. In the ring, Manders hit a Doctor Bomb/gutwrench powerbomb for a nearfall, then a brainbuster for a nearfall. Masha hit a top-rope superplex and a Canadian Destroyer. Manders fired back with a hard clothesline for a nearfall. They traded chops while on their knees. They got to their feet, and Masha hit some spin kicks. Manders hit another hard clothesline for a nearfall. She hit a slam for the pin. Good match; Masha rarely loses here.

* A commercial aired for the Nick Gage Invitational hardcore tournament on Dec. 30. I won’t be watching that one.

* Jordan Castle replaced Veda Scott on commentary. Prazak acknowledged that John Wayne Murdoch is sick, which led to the change to the next match.

3. Jordan Oliver defeated Brayden Toon to retain the JCW Title at 14:32. An intense lockup to open, and Castle talked about how Toon is on the verge of breaking out. (I agree.) They traded chops and Oliver grounded him. Toon hit a dive to the floor at 3:00. Toon hit a running Shooting Star Press on the floor. In the ring, Oliver hit a top-rope superplex for a nearfall at 7:30. Oliver hit a scoop bodyslam for a nearfall. Toon hit an Air Raid Crash for a nearfall at 10:00. Toon hit a superkick.

Oliver hit a huracanrana and a superkick, then a running boot as Toon was against the ropes. He set up for the Clout Cutter but Toon blocked it. Toon hit a standing powerbomb and a flying knee to the back of the head for a nearfall at 12:00 and we got a “This is awesome!” chant. They got up and traded chops. Jordan hit a Poison Rana for a nearfall. Toon dove through the ropes, but Oliver caught his head and hit a stunner onto the hard floor! Ouch! Jordan immediately rolled Toon into the ring, hit the Clout Cutter, and scored the pin.

Griffin McCoy immediately attacked Oliver from behind and hit a Tiger Suplex. Charlie Tiger made the save. Oliver got on the mic and said he will see him at the JCW Battle Bowl next week.

4. Mike Santana defeated Alec Price at 12:03. Again, this match was just announced hours ago due to Cole Radrick’s illness. Yes, this is AEW’s Santana and this is the second time I’ve ever seen him referred to by a full name. Standing switches to open and Santana is visibly thicker but Price might be slightly taller. Price hit a dive to the floor at 3:00. Santana hit an Asai Moonsault to the floor! Price was bleeding under an eye and they brawled on the floor. Santana slammed Price face-first on the ring apron at 5:00. In the ring, Santana hit a backbreaker over his knee for a nearfall. Santana hit the Three Amigos rolling suplexes at 7:00.

Price fired back with a half-nelson suplex for a nearfall. Santana hit a stunner for a nearfall and some clotheslines in the corner. Price hit a superkick and his running kneestrikes in the corner, then his second-rope flying legdrop for a nearfall at 10:00. Price hit his springboard Blockbuster for a nearfall. Price set up for the Surprise Kick but Santana blocked it. Price hit a Rebound Lariat for a nearfall. Santana hit a discus clothesline for a believable nearfall at 11:30, then a Buckle Bomb and a hard rolling cannonball. Santana hit a powerbomb for the clean pin. That was really good. They shook hands after the match.

* So, Richard Holliday and Charles Mason have mystery opponents for the next match due to Cole Radrick’s illness.

5. Richard Holliday and Charles Mason (w/Parrow) defeated Bobby Flaco and Jeffrey John at 7:11. Flaco is the short, bald dork from the Atlanta area. The heels all wore Santa hats but they were loudly booed. Mason wore his red jacket that makes him look like a theater usher. Mason got on the mic and told the kids in the crowd that Santa isn’t real and the reason “there isn’t presents under the tree is your deadbeat father couldn’t afford to buy you anything.” Mason and Flaco opened and Mason beat him up and ripped off his Christmas sweater. They backed John into their corner and worked him over.

John finally hit an enzuigiri and tagged Flaco in at 4:30. Mason immediately hit a backbreaker over his knee, and Mason followed with an Air Raid Crash on Flaco, then a fallaway slam on John. Holliday powerbombed Flaco onto John! Mason pulled out two plastic bags and gave one to Holliday. They went to put them on their opponents heads, but it was blocked. Mason hit a tombstone piledriver while Holliday hit a twisting suxplex. Holliday made a one-foot cover on the chest for the pin.

* Parrow entered the ring and hit a double chokeslam on the babyfaces. Mason and Holliday then put the plastic bags over Flaco and John’s head and choked them out. Holliday got on the mic and said “I don’t know why it took me so long to realize I don’t care what these dumb pieces of shit think about me.”

6. Joey Janela defeated Marcus Mathers at 18:13. Mathers also is in search of that big breakout win; he lost on a recent GCW show to Cole Radrick where he rightfully should have gone over. Veda Scott returned to commentary and replaced Castle. Janela recently missed a show due to vision issues, and he’s wearing dark glasses, and Veda acknowledged this. Standing switches to open. Mathers hit a Northern Lights Suplex at 2:00. He came off the ropes, but Joey caught him with a European Uppercut. Mathers still has scars on his back from a hardcore match 10 days ago, which Prazak talked about here. Mathers tied up the left leg on the mat, then he hit a Black Hole Slam at 5:30.

They traded forearm strikes. Mathers hit a sit-out powerbomb but Janela hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall at 7:30. Janela got a door from under the ring. They briefly fought on the floor. In the ring, Mathers hit a shotgun dropkick and he dove to the floor, but Joey caught Mathers and gave him a rolling Death Valley Driver through the door set up against a wall. He brought Mathers into the ring and hit a piledriver for a believable nearfall at 10:00. Mathers hit a Snapmare Driver for a beievable nearfall. Joey hit a top-rope superplex for a nearfall.

Mathers nailed a brainbuster at 12:30. Janela hit a superkick and his own brainbuster. Mathers hit a Canadian Destroyer but Janela immediately hit a basement dropkick and they were both down. Janela again went under the ring and he made a door bridge on the floor. Mathers hit a flip dive to the floor, sending Janela onto the door bridge, but it didn’t break. In the ring, Mathers hit the top-rope 450 Splash for a believable nearfall; that SHOULD have been it. Janela stood up and has a bloody mouth. They fought on the ring apron and Janela dropped Marcus on his head. In the ring, Joey tossed Marcus through the door set up in the corner for the pin. A really good match but I’d like to see Mathers start getting wins as he’s ready to move to the next tier.

* A person in a hoodie hit the ring and beat up Janela. He took off his hood and it’s AJ FRANCIS (also known as Top Dolla!) The crowd loudly booed him. He got on the mic and said he’s AJ Francis but also known as “Dolla.” He beat up Joey. “What is he better at than me?” he shouted. He told Janela he will see him on Jan. 26 in Florida.

* Another video package, showing that Jimmy Lloyd has joined Matt Cardona’s faction and is now Jimmy Broh-ski. Again, Lloyd is an unwilling participant in this, but he lost a match, and the stipulation was he had to join Death Match Royalty.

7. Mike Bailey defeated Jimmy “Broh-ski” Lloyd at 12:56. The on-screen graphic still says Jimmy Lloyd, so I’m sticking with that. Bailey came to the ring in a Santa outfit that looks like a sack. Lloyd read a statement off his phone, telling fans to shut up and give him respect; it is clearly “written by Matt Cardona” and he “doesn’t believe anything he’s reading off the phone.” Lloyd attacked from behind. Bailey hit his Speedball kicks to the ribs and thighs, then a huracanrana off the apron to the floor, and they brawled at ringside. In the ring, Lloyd choked Bailley on the mat and was booed. Bailey hit a missile dorpkick at 3:00. Bailey nailed a running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall.

Bailey hit an enzuigiri but Lloyd avoided a Tornado Kick in the corner. Lloyd hit a running boot in the corner for a nearfall. Lloyd set up for a package piledriver but Bailey escaped, and Mike hit a moonsault kneedrop for a nearfall at 5:00. They traded forearm strikes. Lloyd accidentally splashed into ref Scarlett Donovan! Lloyd said “I have to!” and he hit a low blow on Bailey. He said “I love you!” and superkicked Bailey. (Channeling HBK!) Lloyd hit a Fame-asser legdrop for a nearfall, then a dive through  the ropes at 8:00. They brawled over to the wall. Lloyd grabbed some gifts from under a tree and hit Bailey with it. Jimmy unwrapped some presents and hit Bailey with whatever was inside.

Bailey hit a Triangle Moonsault to the floor at 10:00. Bailey hit his moonsault kneedrop on the ring apron. Bailey tried to get the Flamingo Driver but Lloyd fought it off. Bailey hit a Frankensteiner. Lloyd hit a piledriver for a nearfall. Lloyd dumped ornaments all over the ring. Bailey hit a superkick. Lloyd hit a bodyslam onto the ornaments! Lloyd missed a moonsault and landed stomach-first on the ornaments. Bailey hit the Flamingo Driver onto the ornaments for the pin! A fun use of ornaments as weapons.

* A video package aired of Mance Warner attacking Effy from behind after they lost a tag match two weeks ago. Effy then came to the ring to Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” with the fans singing along, but Effy looked serious. He said Mance broke his nose, and he called Mance a coward. He talked about the great year he’s had and all the places he’s competed, and made others feel like they can fit in. He said Mance is in Australia right now with that “big-titted idiot” (Steph De Lander!), but Effy will be in the GCW rumble next week. He said he can’t wait to get Mance in the ring to “f— him up.” A tremendous promo by Effy, probably the best I’ve ever heard from him.

8. Blake Christian defeated Santa Claus to retain the GCW Heavyweight Title at 19:27. There were no clues who Santa Claus will be, but Nick Gage was advertised for the show, so it’s probably going to be him. Blake came out to the “Grinch” them and he has a Grinch mask over his groin, which he lewdly grabbed. Veda and Prazak wondered if Santa will be a ‘fighting champion’ if he wins the title. Santa came out second and I have no idea who it is. We have an “elf-e-ree” to call the action. The crowd chanted, “Santa, Santa, Santa f—-n’ Claus!” Santa is certainly taller than Blake. Before they tied up, the crowd chanted “He’s real!” They finally locked up with Santa shoving Blake to the mat.

Santa hit a shoulder tackle that sent Blake to the floor at 2:30, and Santa paused to eat a cookie. Blake took a cookie but he stomped on it. Santa hit a legdrop for a nearfall; he clearly has dark hair and a dark beard under the fake white beard. Blake removed the beard at 5:00, and it is hardcore brawler Big Vin. (I’ve not seen enough of him that I would have known who it was.) Blake got a chair and he struck Santa with it on his leg. In the ring, Blake stomped on Santa’s leg. Santa hit a Stinger Splash and a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 9:00. The crowd sang “Santa Claus is coming to town!” and that fired up Santa. FUNNY. Veda praised the crowd for singing it together.

Blake hit a flying forearm and an enzuigiri. He went for a springboard move but Santa caught him. However, his knee gave out. Blake hit a top-rope crossbody block to the floor at 11:30. In the ring, Blake hit a top-rope elbow drop for a believable nearfall. Blake went for the Stomp, but Santa wouldn’t go down. Santa hit a Sabin-style Cradleshock for a nearfall. Santa went under the ring and found a giant wrapped present (clearly a door!) and he unwrapped it and slid it into the ring. He set up a door bridge in the ring; Veda quipped that sort of work usually falls to elves. Santa chokeslammed Blake through the door bridge for a nearfall at 15:00.

Blake hit a superkick. Vin kicked him in the face. Blake hit a chairshot across the knee. Blake nailed the Springboard 450 Splash for a nearfall. Santa hit a fallaway slam into the ring for a nearfall, but Blake got an arm on the ropes at 18:00. Blake again hit Santa with a chairshot to the leg. Blake ‘Pillmanized’ the ankle! He applied a Figure Four on the damaged ankle! Blake hit a chairshot to the head while Santa was still in the Figure Four. Santa fell backward, knocked out, and the ref made the three-count. Veda told Prazak that she thinks Christmas is canceled.

* Nick Gage hit the ring and was mobbed by the fans. He got in the ring; he and Santa beat up Blake. Blake was able to escape and roll to the floor. Several babyfaces got in the ring with Gage.

Final Thoughts: A fun show. Santana-Price was really good and earns best match. I’ll go with Janela-Mathers for second, and the AJ Francis debut was a fun surprise. Oliver-Toon was very good for third, and a strong intergender match between Masha and Manders earns honorable mention. The main event was fine and the crowd had fun with it. Veda had some great lines on commentary during that match.


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