GCW “Most Notorious” results (5/18): Vetter’s review of Nick Gage vs. Tony Deppen, Jimmy Lloyd vs. Zilla Fatu, Steph De Lander vs. Cheeseburger, Mance Warner vs. Marcus Mathers

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

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GCW “Most Notorious”
Streamed on TrillerTV+
May 18, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Harrah’s Casino

There was a good crowd on hand of perhaps 400-500 fans in attendance, and this is an attractive, well-lit room. Veda Scott and Dave Prazak provided commentary, and Prazak said we have 10 matches lined up.

1. “The Legion of Rot” Hallowicked and Frightmare defeated “The Mane Event” Midas Black and Jay Lyon at 9:24. The LoR are in black with orange trim tonight. Lyon and Hallowicked opened. Midas entered at 1:30 to face Frightmare. Lyon dove through the hoop and ropes to the floor at 3:30. Frightmare hit a flip dive to the floor on TME. In the ring, Frightmare hit a standing moonsault. Midas hit a top-rope axe kick to the back of Frightmare’s head at 6:00. Lyon got the hot tag and hit some clotheslines. He hit a Flatliner for a nearfall.

Hallowicked hit a pop-up kneestrike to Lyon’s stomach. Lyon hit a Lionsault, and Midas applied a Boston Crab on Frightmare. Lyon popped him up and Midas hit a stunner for a nearfall at 8:30. All four traded blows. Hallowicked hit a D’Lo Sky High pop-up powerbomb on Lyon, and Frightmare immediately hit a moonsault kneedrop to Lyon’s chest for the clean pin. Solid match.

2. Matt Makowski defeated “The Mecca” Brian Johnson at 6:21. Makowski is the short, white shoot fighter who fought Charles Dempsey at the Blood Sport event over Mania weekend. Johnson is best known for his run in ROH at the end of the Sinclair era. These two are closer to the same height than I guessed. Matt took him to the mat and hit a forearm strike to the back of the head. Both guys are bald with short beards. Matt kicked out the left arm at 1:00, and he went for a crossarm breaker, but Johnson reached the ropes. They traded chops in the corner.

Matt hit some roundhouse kicks and remained in charge. He hit a butterfly suplex at 4:00, then a running knee for a nearfall. He switched to a Fujiwara Armbar but Johnson reached the ropes. Matt again got a crossarm breaker on. Johnson applied a Boston Crab. Matt got an O’Connor Roll, again slapped on a crossarm breaker, and this time Johnson tapped out! Intense, and Matt was dominant.

3. Brandon Kirk defeated Cole Radrick at 10:07. Radrick has his brass ring around his neck, which gives him a future title shot. Kirk is a death match fighter and he’s in the upcoming death match tournament that is just two weeks away, and he has a clear height advantage. The crowd inexplicably loves the dorky Gomer Pyle clone Radrick. They traded shoulder tackles, and Cole knocked Kirk to the floor at 1:30. Cole dove onto him and they brawled on the floor. Cole charged at Brandon, but Kirk hip-tossed him onto empty chairs at 3:00. Kirk grabbed a chair and hit Cole’s leg; in the ring, Brandon got a nearfall.

Radrick hit a Swanton Bomb for a nearfall at 6:00. He slid a door into the ring. He hit an Air Raid Crash onto an open chair for a nearfall at 7:30. They fought on a door in the corner; it buckled as Kirk hit a piledriver for a nearfall. Kirk threw a chair at Radrick’s unprotected head; I hate that. Radrick went for a springboard stunner, but Brandon caught him. Kirk immediately hit a Psycho Driver/swinging piledriver for the pin. They shook hands afterward.

* A video package that showed some highlights (?) of prior Tournament of Survivals aired. It convinced me I won’t be tuning in for this year’s edition.

4. Davey Bang and August Matthews defeated Grim Reefer and Ruckus at 7:42. All four brawled at the bell, and Reeer hit a slingshot faceplant on Bang. Reefer pulled out a joint, but Jimmy Lloyd ran out and confiscated it, and was booed. Ring announcer Emil Jay said that, under the order of general manager Matt Cardona, cannabis is banned from GCW competition. Matthews worked over Reefer. Bang and Reefer traded chops at 4:00. Ruckus made a hot tag and hit a handspring-back-spin kick. Bang went for Spears Tower, but Ruckus caught Bang’s head and hit a swinging neckbreaker.

Reefer hit a double DDT move off the ropes at 6:30. Ruckus hit his moonsault doublestomp. Bag hit a moonsault while Matthews hit a flip dive to the floor. Bang and Matthews hit team doublestomps on Reefer. Bang hit the Spears Tower on Reefer, then rolled him up for the pin. The crowd booed, not because they dislike Bang and Matthews, but because they hate the new no-marijuana edict.

5. 1 Called Manders defeated Parrow at 6:48. Parrow is bigger, but not by as much as I imagined. They immediately brawled to the floor. In the ring, Parrow shoved Manders shoulder-first into the ring post. Parrow hit a fallaway slam at 2:00. He hit a powerbomb for a nearfall. Manders hit a second-rope superplex at 4:30. They traded mid-ring chops and forearm strikes. Parrow hit a chokeslam for a nearfall. Manders hit a decapitating clothesline for a nearfall. Manders hit another hard clothesline for the pin. That was hard-hitting and didn’t need to be longer than that.

* Intermission. Mance Warner came to the ring and got on the mic, but the crowd chanted profanities at him. He said “Philadelphia, the biggest shithole in the world.” Mance talked about how Marcus Mathers just returned from a tour in Japan. He pointed at Marcus’ father in the crowd and said he was going to cripple Marcus tonight. Marcus is a Philadelphia native and got quite the hometown pop.

6. Mance Warner defeated Marcus Mathers at 11:49. Mance stalled on the floor, then attacked from behind before the bell and he choked Marcus with a shirt. Marcus dove through the ropes; he chopped Mance as fans held Mance’s arms. In the ring, Marcus got in some offense, but Mance shoved the ref into the ropes at 4:00, causing Marcus to fall and be crotched. Mance hit a chokeslam and was booed. He hit some stomps and kept Marcus grounded. Mance got on the mic and said he made a promise to cripple this kid and he’s going to deliver. He pulled out a screwdriver from his boot! Ref Dan Perch tried to stop him, so Mance shoved Perch to the mat at 9:30.

Marcus’ little brother, maybe age 4, hopped in the ring and repeatedly hit Mance and the crowd loved this. Mance raised his arms and teased he was going to hit the kid with the screwdriver! However, Marcus’ dad hit a low blow punt kick! Marcus hit a hard clothesline, then a top-rope 450 Splash for a believable nearfall at 11:00. Mance jabbed Marcus in the forehead with the screwdriver, then hit a DDT for the cheap pin. I am not a big fan of comedy, but I love seeing the young kids get in the ring and attack. Highly watchable match. Mance left, allowing Marcus to celebrate with his dad and little brother in the ring. (Seriously must be about a 16-year age gap between those siblings, as Marcus just turned 21.)

* A backstage video aired. Dave Prazak sat at a table with Effy and Mance Warner on either side of him. They have agreed to no more physicality until their next match. Effy talked about how these two have come up in the business together, and he “blames my brother for leaving me.”

* General manager Matt Cardona, wearing a suit and his right arm in a sling, came to the ring, joined by Steph De Lander and Jimmy Lloyd. (Earlier in the day, Cardona had tweeted his plane was delayed leaving Orlando so I’m glad he made it.) Cardona again claimed “the doctors said I might never wrestle again” and that got some cheers. But he vowed he will be back, and in the interim, he will be the savior of GCW. He said the “Cardona era is already making GCW a better place.” He said there will be no marijuana smoking on his watch. Matt joined commentary, where he acknowledged “I’ve been flying all day.” I’m a bit surprised that SDL isn’t at the TNA taping in Cincinnati.

7. Steph De Lander defeated Cheeseburger in an intergender match at 11:22. SDL is taller, and probably has the weight advantage too. She took his hat and punted it into the crowd. He tried some shoulder tackles but she didn’t budge. He finally dropped her on maybe the sixth attempt. He tied her in a Paradise Lock. Jimmy got in the ring, so Cheeseburger tied him in it, too, and he laid down across their backs, before kicking their butts to free them. Cheeseburger wants a dance-off so we’re doing all comedy. He got ref Scarlette Donovan to do the Bollywood Boyz dance with him.

This looked momentarily like a tag team match, with Scarlette hitting a shove on Jimmy. “This referee is more corrupt than Nick Patrick!” Cardona shouted. Funny, especially if you were watching in that era. SDL hit a backbreaker over her knee on CB at 7:00. CB hit a suplex and they were both down. CB hit a back suplex for a nearfall at 10:00, and he switched to a Rings of Saturn double armbar, but she got a foot on the ropes. SDL pulled Scarlette in front of her, then SDL hit a hard forearm. Jimmy got back into the ring. CB hit the Shotei palm strike on Jimmy. SDL hit a swinging faceplant to pin Cheeseburger. Plenty of comedy but watchable.

* They stomped on CB some more after the bell. Joey Janela ran down to make the save. He got on the mic and berated Cardona. Joey told Matt he wants a championship rematch at Cage of Survival. Cardona said the last time Joey had an opportunity, “he shit the bed,” just like he did in AEW! Cardona said if he can beat his opponent — right now — he will get it!

8. Joey Janela vs. Megan Bayne in an intergender match ended in a no contest at 16:05. Bayne just beat Janela in Beyond Wrestling in March. Like the prior match, Megan has the height advantage, and she shoved him to the mat. They traded chops, and she hip-tossed him across the ring at 2:30. Joey hit a running penalty kick on the ring apron. They traded blows on the ring apron, and Joey hit a Death Valley Driver on the ring fram at 4:00! I the ring, he was now in charge and he hit some chops. She hit a suplex, then a belly-to-belly release suplex at 6:00, then another. She hit a fallaway slam, then a clothesline as he was on his knees.

They traded forearm strikes. She got him on her shoulders, but he escaped and hit a German Suplex. She fired back with a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 9:30. He hit a second-rope release German Suplex, and she rotated and landed stomach first, and they were both down. They got up and traded more forearm strikes, with the crowd behind Megan. She nailed a dive through the ropes at 13:00 and barreled into him! In the ring, she hit some more boots to the chest. She put him on her shoulders, but he somehow turned it into a faceplant or DDT. She hit a Mafia Kick as he was on the apron. She nailed a second-rope deadlift superplex! She again put him on her shoulders and hit an F5 faceplant for a believable nearfall at 15:00.

She missed a top-rope summersault and they were both down. Jimmy Lloyd and Steph De Lander hit the ring, and ref Dan Perch called for the bell at 16:05. Cardona cackled and said this match is a “no contest” so Joey doesn’t get his title match. SDL and Bayne stood toe to toe! SDL tried to walk away but Bayne grabbed her wrist and put SDL on her shoulders; SDL escaped and ran. Joey had beaten up Jimmy Lloyd. Matt turned around and only Joey was in the ring! Matt quickly agreed to give Joey the title shot, but warned him it was his last opportunity. Jimmy Lloyd was still writhing on the mat, and his opponent, Zilla Fatu, emerged from the back!

9. Zilla Fatu defeated Jimmy Lloyd at 6:34. Zilla got in the ring and hit a Bubba Bomb and an elbow drop. They brawled on the floor. In the ring, Jimmy hit him with a title belt, then hit a stunner for a nearfall at 2:30. Jimmy hit a running boot in the corner. Jimmy got a chair and hit an unprotected shot to the head, then he threw the chair at Zilla’s head; I really hate that. Zilla shrugged it off and hit a gutwrench suplex. Zilla hit a top-rope frogsplash onto Jimmy, who was lying on a board bridge on the floor, at 5:00. In the ring, Jimmy hit a leg lariat for a nearfall. Zilla hit a Samoan Drop, then the Samoan Spike to the throat, for the pin.

John Wayne Murdoch jumped in the ring and hit Zilla repeatedly with a chair across the back. This brought out Nick Gage, who beat up Murdoch and sent him running. Gage challenged Murdoch to a tag match next week, and Nick will team with Zilla.

10. Nick Gage defeated Tony Deppen at 14:11. Deppen hit a shotgun dropkick as Emil Jay finished his long intro of Gage. Gage tossed Deppen off the top turnbuckle, onto the ring apron, and they brawled on the floor. Gage charged and crashed into the ring post at 2:00. In the ring, Gage hit a spinebuster and a uranage at 4:30, then his Vader Bomb-style elbow drop. He pulled out a pizza cutter and that got a pop. However, Deppen pulled him face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Deppen hit a Lungblower to the chest. Gage hit a DDT at 6:30. Gage slid some doors into the ring; one buckled as it was set in the corner. (These ones are very cheap tonight!)

Deppen hit a Death Valley Driver onto a door in the corner for a nearfall at 8:30. Gage chokeslammed him across the backs of two open chairs, then bodyslammed Tony for a nearfall. Tony hit a backbody drop and a diving forearm for a nearfall. They traded forearm strikes. Gage speared him through the door in the corner, then a piledriver onto a pile of open and closed chairs for the pin. Hard-hitting and the crowd enjoyed it.

Final Thoughts: Admittedly not my favorite show, as the guys you expect to put in the stellar matches just weren’t here tonight. Blake Christian is in Japan, Mike Bailey and Masha Slamovich were at TNA, and Gringo Loco is in Mexico. But, where are Jordan Oliver, Alec Price, or Jack Cartwheel? This was a solid show — not a bad match here —  but it didn’t have a must-see match, either.

One of the major flaws of intergender matches on display here. Joey had just ran to the ring and cut a babyface promo and chased off the heels. However, the woman inevitably becomes the babyface in an intergender match, and the crowd was quickly cheering for Megan, and booing Joey when he hit a blow. All that said, I enjoyed Joey-Bayne for best match, ahead of the main event. Marcus-Mance takes third, and it feels like GCW is finally ready to give Mathers the push into the next tier.


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