GCW “Joey Janela’s Spring Break 8” results: Vetter’s review of Blake Christian vs. Joey Janela for the GCW Championship, Nick Gage and Maki Itoh vs. Danhausen and Ram Kaicho

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

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GCW “Joey Janela’s Spring Break 8”
Streamed on TrillerTV+
April 5, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at The Auditorium at Penns Landing Caterers

This building is once again packed with 800-1,000 fans. Dave Prazak and Veda Scott provided commentary.

Minoru Suzuki came out for the opening match. I am watching this AFTER having seen the ROH PPV. I don’t know how close this venue is to where ROH was running, but he had to have had a fairly narrow window to get from here to be a surprise partner in Ring of Honor an hour or so later (which of course, undoubtedly is why he’s in the first match).

1. Rina Yamashita and Masha Slamovich defeated Minoru Suzuki and Masato Tanaka at 13:49. Masha and Rina have a ridiculously high winning percentage in GCW action over the past year. Veda listed off all the matches Masha has already had this weekend, including a brutal 30-minute draw. It goes without saying the men are much bigger and thicker. Rina and Masha seem to be even in height, which I didn’t expect, as I assumed Rina was much shorter. Rina opened with Tanaka; after a few attempts, she knocked him down with a shoulder tackle. Masha and Suzuki entered and traded forearm strikes at 2:00. He let her wear herself out with forearm strikes he barely sold, then he dropped her with just one shot.

All four brawled to the floor, with Minoru trading blows with Rina. Back in the ring, Tanaka hit a bodyslam on Masha at 4:00. Minoru entered and stomped on her, and the men kept her in their corner. Masha finally suplexed MInoru at 7:30. Rina made the hot tag and hit a clothesline in the corner on Minoru. He grabbed her by the hair and was booed! She invited him to hit a forearm strike, and they traded forearm shots. Tanaka hit a hard clothesline in the corner on RIna at 9:30, then a top-rope superplex, but she rolled through and hit her own suplex.

Rina hit a Trash Compactor piledriver along her back. Masha tagged in and hit a Helluva Kick on Tanaka, then her rolling kick to the chin for a nearfall. The women hit a team powerbomb on Minoru for a nearfall at 11:30. Rina got a door from under the ring and slid it in. They tried to put Tanaka through it but he escaped. Masha hit Minoru in the face with a spinning heel kick! Tanaka suplexed Masha onto the door in the corner for a nearfall at 13:00. Masha got a Crucifix Driver out of nowhere to pin Tanaka! Good action.

2. Mike Bailey and “East West Express” Jordan Oliver and Nick Wayne defeated Kerry Morton and “Rock N’ Roll Express” Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson at 9:26. It’s been probably since late spring/early summer 2023 that the EWE were able to team up. Kerry got on the mic and told the crowd to “shut the f— up when I’m talking.” He declared himself the next GCW world champion. Kerry attacked the GCW guys from behind and celebrated. They turned around and beat him up. Bailey hit a running Shooting Star Press; I think he’s now had 6-7 matches since Wednesday. Ricky tagged in and locked up with Wayne, and the crowd was behind Nick. Veda chastised Nick for not shaving.

Kerry, while on the apron, attacked Nick, then he tagged himself in to beat him up; Ricky didn’t seem too happy with his son for doing that. Kerry got a rollup with his feet on the ropes for a nearfall at 4:30. Bailey made the hot tag and hit some hard chops on Kerry. Oliver hit the Cleopatra stunner on Kerry and got a nearfall. Ricky got in and slapped his son across the face at 7:00! However, they then all began hitting Team GCW. Ricky hit the Canadian Destroyer on Nick, which got a nice pop. Ricky dove through the ropes onto the younger guys! I didn’t expect that! Robert grabbed Oliver and tossed him into the ring. (That is literally the only thing Robert has done so far.) Bailey hit an Ultima Weapon on Kerry. The EWE hit a team Clout Cutter on Ricky, with Nick scoring the pin. Yes, Gibson never legally entered the match, which is just fine by me. No surprise that Kerry worked 80% of the match for his team. The Team GCW trio hugged; who knows when they’ll be able to team again.

Lenny Leonard replaced Veda on commentary, and it’s always great to hear him. Jay Church, the English commentator for Dragon Gate, also joined the table.

3. KZY, Yamato, and Dragon Kid defeated Ben-K, Shun Skywalker, and Kota Minoura at 13:50. These guys all are from Japan’s Dragon Gate promotion. Again, KZY has short, bright pink hair. Yamato has dark hair. Yamato and Ben-K opened. KZY entered at 1:30 and faced Kota. Shun and Dragon Kid then tagged in. Great to have Jay Church in the booth as he quickly dropped a lot of information about these guys. Shun’s team began working over Dragon Kid. Ben-K flipped DK around in his arms before hitting a gutwrench suplex at 5:00. Shun hit a suplex on Dragon Kid. Kota hit a backbreaker over his knee and applied a half-crab at 7:00. Dragon Kid finally hit a huracanrana. Yamato entered and battled Ben-K.

Ben-K hit an Exploder Suplex but Yamato popped up at 9:30 and they traded forearm strikes. Yamato hit a STIFF knee that dropped Ben-K. Dragon Kid hit a Super Frankensteiner, taking an opponent off one of his teammates shoulders! Shun monkeyflipped KZY into his partners at 11:30. Shun and KZY traded forearm strikes and Shun hit a snap German Suplex that popped the crowd. Kota hit a spear. Kota hit a jumping knee on Yamato’s chest, then a Falcon Arrow on Dragon Kid for a nearfall at 13:30. Dragon Kid got a Crucifix Driver to pin Kota! That was some great action.

* Veda Scott returned as Lenny Leonard and Jay Church bowed out. We have eight or so ladders set up either in the ring or on the floor, and a brass ring is hanging above the ring. The winner can pick the match of their choosing! (There are so many shows this weekend, I truly have no idea who is in this match.)

4. Cole Radrick won the Brass Ring ladder match at 17:03. Our eight participants (as we start!) are: Cole Radrick, Myron Reed, Arez, Aigle Blanc, Mr. Danger, Leon Slater, Marcus Mathers, and Alec Price. I have compared Mr. Danger to ROH’s Cheeseburger in size, but he’s a daredevil and this match is perfect for him. Leon Slater hadn’t arrived yet to be in a Thursday morning show so I’m glad to see he’s here now. Veda said Mathers has 10 matches lined up for the weekend. Insane. The bell rang and all eight brawled to the floor and around the room. Mr. Danger hit a springboard leg drop, onto a ladder on Reed at 2:00. Slater hit a dive onto several on the floor. Arez hit a one-footed Lionsault on Slater. Aigle leapt off a ladder and hit dropkicks on Price and Radrick.

Price hit his springboard Blockbuster on Aigle at 4:00. Price put a laddeer over his head and spun, knocking several people down, and he got dizzy and fell so everyone was down. “Welcome to the Jungle” hit and the crowd popped because out came Microman! He is entrant No. 9! He carried a mini-ladder and he got in the ring at 5:30. He started to climb but he was well short. He spun the ladder and began hitting everyone in the groin. Mathers kicked Microman and was booed! Microman hit a diving headbutt to Mathers’ groin, then a Vader Bomb at 7:30. Price kicked Microman hard and now he got booed. Microman hit a huracanrana and he bit Price’s butt, then he hit a 619. Price hit a Rebound Lariat. Arez hit a stunner.

Radrick hit an Air Raid Crash into the corner on Arez at 9:00. Mr. Danger climbed the ladder but Mathers lifted it and knocked him off. Mathers hit a 450 Splash. Blanc went for a 450 but all he hit was a ladder! Slater hit his 450 Splash on Blanc at 10:30. Mathers hit a Canadian Destroyer on Slater. Mathers powerbombed Blanc over the top rope and onto everyone else on the floor. Mathers began to climb but Reed cut him off and hit a Flatliner. Price put Reed on his shoulders and slammed him face-first onto a ladder in the corner at 12:30. Price ran up a ladder leaning against the ropes and hit a flip dive onto everyone.

Leon flipped over a ring post onto everyone on the floor; no one did a great job of catching him. Reed hit his stunner over the top rope, grabbing Slater’s head, and they crashed to the floor at 14:00. Danger and Reed climbed a ladder on the floor, and Reed fell backward onto all the opponents. Mr. Danger stood on the very top of the ladder and hit a moonsault onto everyone, rightfully earning a “holy shit!” chant. He got in the ring and started to climb, but Radrick cut him off. Mathers climbed another ladder; Price joined them near the top. Radrick and Danger fought on top; Cole knocked Danger to the mat and he pulled down the brass ring to win the match. It was unclear what happened to Microman as he vanished after hitting all his fun comedy spots.

5. Matt Cardona (w/Steph De Lander, Jimmy Lloyd) defeated Blue Pain at 9:01. Blue Pain is tall and wears a Kane outfit that is blue, not red. I’ve seen him just once before. Cardona and SDL were rolled to the ring in a chariot! He is wearing his Macho King outfit and this just looks cool. SDL got on the mic and said “too bad we’re in the worst city in the U.S.A.” Cardona got on the mic and demanded to be shown respect. He noted that last week, he was at TNA and at AEW. “And this week I should be at WrestleMania, not here in GCW.” Matt said he is “Going to finish his story against Blue Pain.” (Apparently you can’t call him Blue Kane.) BP came out it “snowing” on him, rather than fire.

Cardona rolled to the floor at the bell and he jawed at fans. In the ring, Blue Pain hit a big boot and tried to get a chokeslam, but Matt escaped and rolled to the floor again. Blue Pain gave SDL and Lloyd a double-noggin-knocker. He brawled with Cardona as they went amongst the fans, and up onto a stage. Blue Pain put Lloyd in a wheelchair and pushed him so he slid out and through a table below him at 3:30. Back in the ring, Cardona hit a running boot in the corner; SDL hit one too. SDL got an urn from under the ring! However, Cardona accidentally hit SDL with it, and blue powder went everywhere. Blue Kane hit a side slam on Matt at 6:00.

Blue Pain hit a chokeslam for a nearfall, but SDL yanked the ref from the ring. BP pulled her into the ring by her hair! Matt hit a Radio Silence flying leg lariat. We heard the music for Zack Ryder! A teenager hopped in the ring, dressed as Zack Ryder, started to count a pinfall, but then he gave Matt the middle finger. However, he hit a low blow on Blue Pain! Cardona and the fake Ryder hugged. Blue Pain hit a double chokeslam on them, then a chokeslam on SDL. Lloyd ran into the ring and threw a fireball into Blue Pain’s eyes! Cardona hit another Radio Silence; he and all three of his helpers piled on Blue Pain for the pin. That was entertaining.

6. Amazing Red defeated Gringo Loco at 15:59. Prazak called this a dream match for Loco. Red wore a black top and bottom; it’s been six or so months since I’ve seen him wrestle but I find him almost unrecognizable — he looks nothing like his TNA/early ROH run in the mid-2000s. Standing switches and a feeling-out process early. They picked up the speed with some lucha reversals but neither man really able to connect, and a standoff at 3:00. Red hit a huracanrana, then one to the floor as well. Red hit a dive through the ropes onto Loco. They traded chops as they looped around the ring. Red hit a kick to Loco’s chest as he was seated in a chair at 5:00.

Back in the ring, Red hit a one-footed basement dropkick to the head and was in charge. Loco nailed a standing moonsault for a nearfall, then a sideslam for a nearfall at 7:30. Red hit a head-scissors takedown and a satellite DDT for a nearfall at 9:00. Red nailed a flying, twisting Flatliner for a nearfall. Gringo hit an overhead release suplex into the corner at 11:30. Gringo leapt off the top rope and hit a Canadian Destroyer for a nearfall. Red got a mid-ring huracanrana for a nearfall. They fought on the top rope, where Loco hit a Spanish Fly for a nearfall at 14:00. Red hit a top-rope Poison Rana that popped the crowd! He hit a dropkick into the corner, then a top-rope doublestomp and a frogsplash. Red finally hit the Code Red for the clean pin. That was really good and built nicely.

* A good video package to show the build to the next match. This is one of the better stories GCW has done over the past year.

7. Mance Warner defeated Effy in an ‘I Quit’ match at 21:43. I haven’t seen a truly violent match yet in this building, so let’s see what they are allowed to do. Mance hit some punches early. Effy hit a release German Suplex and several Helluva Kicks and a flying leg lariat at 1:30, then a TKO stunner. Effy hit a spear, and he began tossing wood boards from under the ring into the ring. They went through a board in the corner, and they took turns whacking each other with chairs. Effy hit a Blockbuster at 6:00. Effy hit a Razor’s Edge through a board in the corner, then a piledriver onto a pile of folded chairs. Mance got a belt and he whipped Effy on the back at 9:00, but Effy refused to give up.

Effy got the belt, wrapped it around his fist, and punched Mance, then he whipped Mance’s (shirt-covered) back, but Mance also wouldn’t quit. Effy was slammed through a board but refused to quit. Effy hit a Blockbuster on the ring apron at 12:30. Mance chokeslammed him through a board bridge on the floor. In the ring, they took turns whacking each other over the head with board shards. They got up and traded punches. They each hit a low blow. Mance pulled out a screwdriver and stabbed Effy in the forehead at 17:30.

Mance got zip ties and tied Effy to the top rope, and he whipped a chair at his unprotected head; I really hate that. Effy was already bleeding from his forehead. Mance threw a second chair; Effy refused to submit. Alie Katch got in the ring at 20:30 and she has a drill, but Mance hit her with a chair, too. He began hitting her in the head with the drill and he ordered Effy to quit. Effy quit to save Allie from being cut by the drill. Far more tepid than I expected, which is a good thing. No glass, barbed wire, light tubes, gusset plates, etc.

8. Nick Gage and Maki Itoh defeated Danhausen and Ram Kaicho in a mixed tag match at 12:56. A video package aired showing how this match came together, too. I have never seen Kaicho before; she wears spooky white makeup and is clearly a perfect partner for Danhausen. The men opened but Danhausen said “I want her!” So, Itoh tagged in. He ‘cursed’ her; she gave him a middle finger in return. Danhausen hit a Kokeshi, which made her cry! Seh then hit her own Kokeshi falling headbutt for a nearfall at 2:30. Ram entered; she looks like a spooky doll, and she’s even shorter than Maki. She shook her hair and dust flew out, making Itoh gag. Ram twisted the head on a doll, and Itoh sold pain! So, apparently she is a master of voodoo? The crowd played along, chanting, “you sick f—!” Ram slammed the doll into the mat, which hurt Itoh. This is clearly all silliness.

Itoh stomped on Ram in the corner. Gage entered at 5:00 and knocked Ram down with some forearm strikes. He hit a snap suplex for a nearfall. she hit a DDT on Gage. On the floor, Gage suplexed Danhausen onto a hard chair at 8:00. (These are not folding chairs.) In the ring, Ram threw dust in Gage’s eyes, then she hit a shotgun dropkick that sent him through a board in the corner. Danhausen grabbed a pizza cutter and used it on Maki’s forehead at 10:00, earning a “you sick f—!” chant. Ram then took a turn using the pizza cutter on her forehead. Danhause poured his jar of teeth into her mouth, then kicked her in the face and got a nearfall. Gage speared Danhausen through a door at 12:00. Gage and Itoh hit simultaneous DDTs, then simultaneous Kokeshis for the pin. Good comedy with just a bit of violence.

9. Blake Christian (w/Shane Mercer) defeated Joey Janela (w/Missy Hyatt) to retain the GCW World Title at 33:20. I’m curious if the same Uber driver who brought Minoru Suzuki to ROH then brought Blake Christian back to GCW, because they both appeared on those shows. Janela wore red-and-white striped trunks with blue trim, looking very Brad Armstrong to me. A feeling-out process early with fans chanting “new champ!” Joey knocked him down with a shoulder tackle, and Blake rolled to the floor at 2:00 to regroup. Blake snapped him on the ropes and took control. Joey hit a big back body drop. Blake hit an enzuigiri, then a spear on the apron at 4:00. He set up for a dive to the floor but Joey hit him with a door.

Seconds later, Blake dove through the ropes, sending the door into Joey’s face. In the ring, Blake stood on Joey’s hair while pulling on his arms. He hit a dropkick at 6:00 and crossface blows. Joey fired up and hit a clothesine. They rolled to the floor, with Blake back in charge. Mercer shoved Joey into a ring post, then he slammed Joey back-first into the post. Joey hit some punches. Blake hit an ax kick to the back of the neck, shoving Joey face-first onto the floor at 9:00. Back in the ring, Blake remained in charge. Janela hit a running stunner and they were both down at 11:00. Joey hit some running back elbows and a flying double kneedrop, then a brainbuster for a nearfall.

Blake hit a slingshot into the turnbuckles, then a back suplex. He nailed a springboard European Uppercut for a nearfall at 13:00. They traded punches while on their knees, then while standing. Blake hit a spear. They hit simultaneous clotheslines and were both down. Joey hit a DDT on the ring apron at 15:30. He got a chair and hit Blake on the back. Blake hit a Dragon Suplex on the ring apron. In the ring, Blake was back in charge. Joey hit a backbody drop over the ropes to the floor! Joey hit a top-rope summersault to the floor on Blake at 18:30. In the ring, Joey hit a German Suplex, then a Dragon Suplex. He hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall.

They fell off the corner, so Blake ground Joey’s face in the ropes, then he hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly and a springboard 450, but he made a cocky cover and only got a nearfall at 20:30. Blake hit the Fosbury Flop to the floor. In the ring, he went for a frogsplash but Joey got his knees up. Joey hit a Package Piledriver for a nearfall at 22:30. Blake hit a moonsault press, then a handspring-back-spin kick. Joey hit a standing powerbomb. They traded superkicks and Joey got a nearfall. Joey got a chair and hit some loud shots to the back. Shane grabbed Joey’s ankle to prevent him from hitting a move; Blake immediately hit a spinebuster onto an open chair at 26:00.

Blake nailed a step-up Stomp to the head for a nearfall; that’s his usual finisher, and Christian was in disbelief he didn’t win there. Shane got in the ring, so Missy also got in the ring! Shane picked her up to hit a fallaway slam, but Joey made the save. Shane set up for Moonsault & Battery, but Joey fought free, and he knocked Shane through a door bridge on the floor at 28:30. Joey nailed a top-rope superplex through a board bridge for a believable nearfall. Joey then hit a top-rope doublestomp onto the boards over Blake’s chest to get a nearfall at 30:00, and it was now Joey who was in disbelief he didn’t win there.

Blake hit a DDT and they were both down. They traded slaps to the face and some punches. Blake hit a headbutt. Missy grabbed Blake’s ankle! Blake recovered and hit a superkick. He dragged Missy back into the ring and was booed! Joey hit a rolling forearm to Blake’s back. However, Missy Hyatt intentionally hit Joey in the back of the head with her loaded Gucci bag! The crowd LOUDLY booed this! Blake hit his step-up Stomp to Joey’s head, slamming it onto the Gucci bag, and scored the tainted pin!

Final Thoughts: A very good show, and I have to admit, I thought Blake’s title reign was ending tonight. (Glad I avoided spoilers, as I didn’t watch this live on Friday.) I’ll go with that for best match, ahead of Gringo-Red, with the Brass Ring ladder match third, and Dragon Gate guys for honorable mention. Many positives here…. Kerry Morton is a great old-school heel who is easy to boo, and I’m sure no one minded at all that Robert Gibson never left the ring apron and entered the fray. The Danhausen match was all silliness, which was fine. The Blue Kane, I mean Blue Pain, stuff was fun, and Cardona keeps finding new things for his character, like this chariot to the ring.


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