GCW "The Old Me" Review
Welcome to Part Two of our GCW Columbus/Detroit Double Feature weekend! Much like the show itself, let's get RIGHT to the action...
GCW THE OLD ME Live From Detroit, MI
FIVE-WAY SCRAMBLE--TONY DEPPEN DEF. JORDAN OLIVER, STEVE SCOTT, YOYA, BILLIE STARKZ
We get started AEW-style by jumping STRAIGHT into the wrestling. It makes sense, considering what else was on the card--two consecutive deathmatches followed by High Incident--that they would need to conserve time and this one definitely didn't waste any time. Another reliably amazing, insane GCW scramble and this one was particularly bonknanas. Everyone in this match impressed me and has been impressing me every time I've seen them recently but Tony Deppen and Jordan Oliver especially have been making an impression recently and Steve Scott is a new discovery for me coming out of this weekend that I'm very excited about. I definitely need a Tony Deppen vs. Steve Scott match or better yet a tag team ASAP! Also Yoya gets the Ninja Mack Award for the most insanely suicidal spot of the weekend (which is a high bar when you factor in the finish of High Incident), diving off the SPEAKERS and to the floor. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how great Billie Starkz looked and what a great connection she has with the audience. Great stuff all around
ALEX SHELLEY DEF. NICK WAYNE [★★★★¾]
Another absolute banger technical wrestling clinic by Shelley this weekend and I can't help thinking I really need to start watching Impact again. This is sort of a similar dynamic to the Wayne/Zayne match at Find You Again but with even better execution and more layers by Shelley in particular. It starts with Nick Wayne going hold-for-hold with Shelley and then quickening the pace but Shelley still has so much quickness to go move-for-move with Wayne and combined with his veteran instincts, this gives him the ability to control the match much more effectively. The end result is the perfect melding of their styles with both of them combining each other's styles into a lightning-paced, action-packed, athletic AND technical masterclass which Shelley wins with his versatility, the same way he beat Jordan Oliver at Find You Again, a Shellshocked with a kickout that he catches straight into the Border City Stretch. Masterful stuff on all counts.
CHRIS DICKINSON DEF. ACH [★★★★¾]
This was one hell of a match--a combination of hard-hitting stiff strikes and power moves and sick technical wrestling. A sort of cornucopia of pure brutality. I love the opening with both men locking and holding a head scissors on the other and ACH going hold-for-hold with Dickinson until Dickinson takes control EXPLODING with a back elbow. There's a few great strike exchanges with Dickinson clearly having the advantage in that department but ACH not backing down. Also I love ACH's facial expressions of disbelief and Dickinson's facials of intensity. There's a sick spot late in the match of Dragon screw by Dickinson from the apron to the floor that leads to a figure four and ultimately Dickinson wins with a couple gnarly brainbusters and a nasty-looking STF. Amazing, punishing pure wrestling match. Since his return, Dickinson is on a roll and it's so good to have him back. After the match, Dickinson takes the mic and brings ACH back in the ring, calling him "one of the absolute best wrestlers in the world...abnormal man, he is a freak," and making it known that he's down to run it back
BUSSY DEF. GRINGO LOCO & ASF (GCW Tag Team Championships)
This was interesting to watch after seeing Bussy's last two matches which followed sort of a similar formula. This one started with the same comedy spots and gay stuff--Effie's gay-rantula and dick thirst toward Gringo which brings in Allie and ASF and Allie's slow motion ASF mimick "somersault" entrance which was hilarious. I dunno what it was about this match but ASF seemed a little off at first--but the good thing about it was that Bussy took advantage and isolated him, using his shaky start to tell a story, which I love. Eventually ASF started to get into a groove and when he's in a groove, there's no one like him. If you've never seen this kid wrestle, you need to get on that ASAP. I'm definitely going to need ASF vs. Nick Wayne like yesterday. This was a great back and forth match with lots of action and drama and a very killer hot tag by Allie who is another indie wrestler who just has such a preternatural connection with the audience it's really fun to watch. Bussy pick up the win here with a Doomsday Sack Ryder on ASF
JOEY JANELA DEF. BANDIDO [★★★★¾]
I have to say, I've never been particularly impressed with Joey Janela in all the times I've watched him but I'm slowly turning around on him. It doesn't hurt that his heel work in GCW has been excellent and by far the most interested I've been in him--but this is also the most I've enjoyed him in the ring with the possible exception of the Dark Sheik match in SF or his match with Atticus Cogar at Homecoming. Joey comes to the ring visibly limping from an apparently injury he sustained the previous night on his big dive on John Wayne Murdoch. He is also promptly offered another jug of piss. It was all a ruse, however, as Joey suckered Bandido in with his "injury" and then proceeded to very spryly run the ropes. Thankfully, Joey got caught with a flurry of moves by Bandido. This was just a really fun, exciting match full of unbelievable back and forth action from Joey's combination Russian leg sweep meets top rope Spanish fly to Janela's dumb ass yeeting himself into an insane cutter on the apron by Bandido--who, by the way, is one of the best on the fucking planet and I'm just now discovering it. Wow. That German suplex and just everything he does is so fluid and crisp, I need a match between Bandido and Pac like I need air. Of course the sniveling weasel Janela wins the match with a handful of tights and then celebrates his victory by drinking some piss.
MINORU SUZUKI DEF. 2 COLD SCORPIO
This is definitely a dream match I never knew I always wanted and it lived up to the hype. For starters, I absolutely love Emil Jay listing both men's accolades from their careers around the world because it just adds SO much to the Big Fight Feel. The match itself was slow and methodical to start, with both men definitely feeling each other out, very hesitant, not wanting to make the first mistake and give up the advantage. And the first mistake was a great one: Scorpio headbutting Suzuki and almost knocking himself out, which, of course, makes Suzuki all horny for violence, leading to a headbutt battle that Suzuki wins resoundingly, with Scorpio beautifully selling Suzuki's head like a literal bowling ball. Scorpio tried to quicken the pace with some success but Suzuki was able to slow it down and take it to the outside, which gives him the advantage. Suzuki did his grinding technical thing, focusing on Scorpio's arm but eventually Scorpio finally gained momentum, hiting a 450 leg drop for a nearfall, a rainbow splash for another nearfall, then getting into a forearm battle which was, of course, a mistake and Suzuki dropped Scorpio and caught him in the rear naked choke into the Gotch piledriver for the win. Really great match that didn't quite shift into that final gear but still a lot of fun. Scorpio says "best 2 out of 3" after the match and the two shake hands very respectfully.
JOHN WAYNE MURDOCH [c] DEF. HOODFOOT (Ultra Violent Championship)
This was an interesting one. It was a great, bloody fun battle full of light tube madness but it also felt like it served a very specific purpose. Even though it was an awesome match with a lot of cool spots--the bloody Stretch Muffler by JWM was great and holy shit the light tube in the mouth of Hoodfoot was fucking NASTY--but it was relatively short and to the point, ending with JWM suplexing Hoodfoot through a pane of glass. And I think it was short on purpose and here's why: after the match, JWM calls out Colon--who, of course, comes out IMMEDIATELY and JWM leaves, telling Colon to "follow that" because he's up next--and by the way, no one cleaned up any of the glass from the previous match. So this should be fun...
ALEX COLON DEF. JIMMY LLOYD (TNT Extreme Division Championship) [★★★★¾]
This match was an absolute bloodbath of the highest order, a very well-orchestrated, well-thought-out masterpiece of violence. Definitely more fun and more compelling and more creative, probably by design in order to give people the clear sense that Alex Colon topped JWM with his match. So many fantastic moments: Alex Colon's light tube tope suicida; Jimmy Lloyd's DVD through the glass by the stage; Colon's light tube full nelson stunner; Lloyd's light tube full nelson german; Colon RUNNING THROUGH a light tube running lariat and double kneeing the light tube cross into Jimmy Lloyd in the chair. This was violence as high art. Colon picks up the win with a top rope double foot stomp through a pane of glass on top of Jimmy Lloyd and then...well...Alex Colon and JWM definitely said...something to each other that no one watching on Fite got to hear there still is no sound on the video so all I can tell you is that it ended up with JWM challenging Colon to a Cage of Survival match for the Ultra Violent title at Tournament of Survival weekend in June. I don't know what the hell Cage of Survival is but I'm IN, bro...
SGC (Mance Warner & Matthew Justice) VS. THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe)--HIGH INCIDENT SCAFFOLD MATCH: DRAW [★★★★¾]
This was legit one of the scariest things I've seen in wrestling but also one of the most insane and intense matches between two tag teams that have such chemistry that I could watch them do this for pretty much the rest of the year. Just an absolute bloody, chaotic mess in the best way possible. A few awkward moments take away from it just slightly but for the most part it was really top notch stuff and the finish is enough to make you forgive anything, with Jay Briscoe and Matthew Justice jumping off the scaffold through Mancer and Mark on ONE TABLE EACH. Unfortunately, they landed simultaneously (as simultaneously as possible, it's wrestling, give it a rest, nerds) and the match was ruled a draw. I'm sure a lot of people will get all complain-y on the internet about this but I thought it was just about the coolest ending imaginable AND, bonus, it means we get MORE Briscoes vs. SGC matches and who the hell are any of us to complain about such a thing?