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  • Connor Ewens

Let's Review: GCW Double Episode!

Oh boy we have a double episode! Yes I'm sandwiching 2 GCW shows in one because I'm tired and I want to finish my Wrestlemania homework. The analysis will be less in depth for these matches compared to previous, I don't want to take them too seriously because they were both a bit of fun. We have Joey Janela's Spring Break 7, followed by Gringo Loco's WRLD on LUCHA. Some big names at Spring Break like Kota Ibushi, Maki Ito, Nick Gage, Motor City Machine Guns to name a few. Then, WRLD on LUCHA is going to be a spot fest of a show with some fine luchadors like Komander, Black Taurus, Laredo Kid and AAA Mega Champion Hijo Del Vikingo. Let's cap off Wrestlemania weekend reviews GCW style. Let's review.


March 31st 2023- GCW Presents: Joey Janela's Spring Break 7


-Commentary is provided by Dave Prazak, Lenny Leonard & Veda Scott


'Grab the Brass Ring' DLC match; Gringo Loco vs Shane Mercer vs Tony Deppen vs Cole Radrick vs Komander vs Billie Starkz vs Blake Christian vs Alec Price vs Jack Cartwheel

Usually this is a Doors, Ladders & Chairs match with the winner grabbing the brass ring from above. However, because the ceiling is too high up its not possible so it's a DLC scramble match kinda thing. Surely they could have just called this a hardcore scramble or something to avoid confusion. The winner gets a future title opportunity.


Gringo Loco looks like Road Rogg if he did lucha libre. He primarly works for GCW as well as appearances for Mexican promotions and indie shows in US. Shane Mercer is a strong looking fella, again primarily a worker for GCW but as an AEW match on his CV. Tony Deppen is an accomplished dickhead, being a former ROH TV champion and GCW Extreme champion. Cole Radrick, Alec Price, Jack Cartwheel & Billie Starkz are all young and upcoming talent with potential to have bright futures. Blake Christian is signed to AEW and appears for ROH. Komander is am extremely talented luchador, see his match against Hijo Del Vikingo at Supercard of Honor XVI.


A predictably chaotic an exciting match, plenty of spots to fill your boots with. Mercer's moonsault worlds strongest slam was cool. Everyone takes their fair share of nasty looking bumps. Blake Christian gets the win with a stomp to Billie Starkz. The right man won, he's one of the bigger stars in the match even getting his own entrance unlike the rest of them. Confusing match layout and maybe too many wrestlers involved but still a fun outing.


Blake Christian wins via pinfall (14:09)

3/5


Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) vs East West Express (Jordan Oliver & Nick Wayne) for GCW Tag Championships

The Guns are a legendary tag team who won the GCW Tag Championships earlier in the month at GCW Ransom from Los Macizos. The Express are a relatively new team only since 2021, Oliver has a few years experience under his belt but Wayne is only 17 years old.


This was an entertaining tag match, the Guns work as the heels. Sabin opened up a wound on Wayne he had accumulated earlier, so he wears the crimson mask. The guns are in control for most of the match with violent offence that looks like it hurts, probably because it did. Sabin eats a double cutter and we have new champions! Go on lads. Bit of a weak ending just spamming your same move until you finally win like a Mortal Kombat game, but still a very good match and a great moment for the Express.


The East West Express win via pinfall (12:40)

3.5/5


-We have a promo from 20 time & current DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion, Yoshihiko. Yoshihiko is an inflatable sex doll. She cuts a promo about her championship, and wanting to return to GCW. Charles Mason, with Parrow come out and attack the sex doll, telling everyone that this is not real. He has a bloody knife to slit the dolls throat! Yoshihiko's handler defends her, its Jimmy Lloyd. Lloyd is forced to watch it happen, but Yoshihiko fights back against Parrow! Mason makes his escape. Yoshihiko gets 5 stars from me.


Mike Bailey vs El Hijo Del Vikingo

Flippy dippy flip boys, doing flippy dippy flips. Hijo Del Vikingo is the AAA Mega Champion, but this is a non-title match. Mike Bailey is signed to Impact Wrestling making a career out of being the 'speedball'. This actually begins as a wrestling match, before breaking into fast paced moves and dives. They do keep going back to slowing the match down which I appreciate, not just throwing nuts to the wall. A great exchange culminating with a Vikingo victory with his patented 630 senton. Solid match, lack of selling from Vikingo but hey ho, lucha things.


El Hijo Del Vikingo wins via pinfall (17:58)

3.25/5


BUSSY (Allie Katch & Effy) vs Maki Death Kill (Nick Gage & Maki Itoh)

Bussy, yes that is their name, are probably the most sexually charged team I've seen since Edge & Lita's live sex celebration. They come up against GCW's resident hard arse Nick Gage and Tokyo Joshi's resident psycho Maki Itoh. MDK might just bust open this bussy. Sorry. Gage was the GCW World Champion before losing it to Masha Slamovich.


This was slow but it had its entertaining moments. The fans were red hot for MDK. Itoh & Allie have a pose off, Itoh is cuter but Katch is more suggestive. We get a pizza cutter, oh no, being used on the head of Maki Itoh by Bussy. Gage turns the tide and pulls out a special decorative pizza cutter as a gift for Maki, and they proceed to butcher Bussy together. Friendship rules. Double finishers lead to double pins for the MDK win. Not a great match, slow and sloppy at moments because Nick Gage isn't exactly a technical master. However, this still had its enjoyable and particularly gruesome moments. Always nice to see Allie Katch.


Maki Death Kill win via pinfall (16:07)

2.5/5


-Matt Cardona & Steph De Lander attack Itoh & Gage post match, Slamovich is out to interrupt a promo. Gage fights with Cardona out of the arena and we have an impromptu title match.


Masha Slamovich vs Steph De Lander for the GCW World Championship

De Lander was formerly Persia Pirotta in WWE but now performs in Impact Wrestling primarily. Masha also is signed to Impact but makes regular GCW appearances too. This is a short and sweet match with nothing to mental. Cardona comes out to attack Masha but Gage & Itoh are back to aid her victory with a choke. A quick appearance for the champ, I assume to set up a Cardona-Slamovich match down the line.


Masha Slamovich wins via submission (6:26)

2/5


Kota Ibushi vs Joey Janela

This is Ibushi's first standard professional wrestling match since his catastrophic injury and dispute with New Japan. He wrestled at Bloodsport but under Bloodsport rules. Joey Janela was a legend of the indie scene before being one of the first members of the AEW roster. After some hot matches he fell out of favour before eventually his contract expired and he returned to being an indie darling.


They go for a long epic match feel for this one. It starts slow but as the match goes on the moves get bigger, badder and more painful looking. Janela is busted open at one point and he bleeds A LOT. Assuming he bladed, I think he went slightly too deep. There's a spot where Ibushi German suplexes Janela off the apron through a chair stacked door, but it seems a little wonky and both hit real hard. I think Janela slipped. We get another great exchange in ring before Ibushi hits the kamigoye to win.


A very good match and great considering Ibushi has been out for a significant amount of time. I'm looking forward to him building back his confidence and getting himself back to his golden star status.


Kota Ibushi wins via pinfall (24:20)

3.5/5


Overall- 59.2%

Percentages don't matter for these shows really, this was a lot of fun. It flew by and I didn't hate anything that they did. Great to see Ibushi hasn't lost a step. Always nice to see a wrestling veteran like Yoshihiko appear, a future WWE Hall of Famer for sure.


MOTN: Joey Janela vs Kota Ibushi



Moving on, we now jump in time 24 hours to the next show I watched.



April 1st 2023- GCW Presents: Gringo Loco's WRLD on LUCHA


-Commentary by Nick Knowledge & Emil J, who is also the ring announcer


Mago vs Willie Mack vs Shane Mercer vs Jimmy Lloyd vs Bobby Flaco vs Jack Cartwheel

Turns out El Mago from the WWE 2K games, is a real bloody wrestler! I mean I doubt it's the same person but still. Mago has wrestled primarily for Dragon Gate, Vanguardia & AAA in Mexico, appearing for GCW for the first time at the start of the year. Very talented and underrated wrestler Willie Mack doesn't initially strike you as a lucha wrestler but he has had some cracking matches in AAA as well as Lucha Underground. Lloyd has been a part of GCW for the past 6 years and has impressed in various death matches. Little is known about Bobby Flaco, he is a former 2-time ACW Cruiserweight champion, so that's nice.


6-way test of strength, that was fun, but into a dance off, that's not fun. I dunno, I'm just not big on dance-offs in wrestling it makes me cringe a bit. It eventually becomes a wrestling match, some nice moves and Shane Mercer especially looks great in this one. Lloyd & Flaco do precisely nothing in this match, thanks for coming I guess. Mr Cartwheel hits a red arrow to Mago to win. It was okay, dancing wrestlers isn't my cup of tea. Except for Fandango.


Jack Cartwheel wins via pinfall (9:50)

1.75/5


Sexy Star vs Dulce Tormenta

Well here's a controversial character. You may know Sexy Star as a wrestler infamously blacklisted from major promotions like AEW & WWE for her violent assault on Rosemary at ANA'S Triplemania event, injuring her with a shoot armbar. She was stripped and fired from the company, not returning to wrestling for 2 years. She is a good wrestler, but a questionable person. I found little about Dulce, she's appeared on AEW and AAA a couple times.


This is a good match, unpredictably brutal actually. There strikes and moves landed hard, as well as a thumbtack spot from them. Their moves were clean and I enjoyed it. I would like to see these both more on a bigger stage. Dulce could do that, Sexy Star? Hmm, we'll see. One thing though, the referee was dogshit during this match. She counted pinfall attempts that either a) weren't actually pinfall attempts, and b) the shoulders were blatantly not even down properly for a pin. Bloody Norah.


Dulce Tormenta wins via pinfall (12:36)

3/5


Black Taurus, Arez & Latigo vs Aramis, Rey Horus & Komander

Black Taurus is a monster of a luchador, he has put on some brilliant displays outside of Mexico including matches for Impact and PWG. Arez as a few GCW appearances to his name, as well as some matches for PWG & MLW. His paint is cool as fuck, Finn Balor even citing him as an inspiration for his body art. Little is known about Latigo, another luchador with some bangers in PWG earlier this year. Komander has been having a tear of a weekend so far, most notably his performance against Hijo Del Vikingo in ROH. Aramis is a rival of Arez, who have duked it out in various promotions together. He's still young and is expected to be a breakout star for MLW. Rey Horus is a fantastic talent. He was trained by Rey Misterio, the uncle of Rey Mysterio. He was once presented as El Hijo de Rey Misterio, until the actual son of Rey Misterio came back to wrestling and he changed to Rey Horus. He's a former 6-man Tag Champion in ROH, as well as having star making performances for PWG, MLW & New Japan. All of these guys are stars of AAA, obviously.


Trios matches are a speciality in Lucha Libre, so this match is as Lucha as it gets. Insanely paced action showcasing some of the biggest stars in Mexico, but also some of the lesser known talent they have too. Taurus' ability to be a powerhouse as well as a speedy luchador is impressive. All 6-men put on a great display, I was impressed by Aramis & Arez, I'd never seen or heard anything about them prior. Komander secures victory for is team with the tightrope shooting star press.


Komander, Aramis & Rey Horus wins via pinfall (14:07)

3.5/5


Los Macizos (Ciclope & Miedo Extremo) vs La Familia de Tijuana (Damian 666 & Bestia 666)

4 tenured stars in the world of Lucha. Ciclope is a different one to the WCW Ciclope, who's more known these days as Halloween. Los Macizos have shown up in GCW numerous times over the last few years. They are 3 time former GCW Tag Champions, only recently dropping them to the Motor City Machine Guns. They're tied with the most reigns in company history, as well as having the longest reign ever which will probably never be beaten, 1162 days from 2018 until 2021. La Familia de Tijuana is a father and son wombo combo of legendary status. Damian 666 is 61 years, having debuted in 1985. He has competed around the world for nearly 40 years for the likes of FMW, ECW, WCW, CMLL, AAA and WWA. His son, Bestia 666, although starting out in Mexico has bigger splashes in the US. He's appeared for GFW, MLW & is a two-time and current NWA Tag Team Champion with Mecha Wolf 450.


This goes from wrestling into fighting quite quickly, use of chairs, trash cans, doors and kendos throughout. Bestia handles most of the action for his team but Damian holds his own with the occasional move. It's honestly just impressive a 61 year old man can still, to an extent, go. A doomsday device through a door gets victory for Ciclope & Miedo Extremo.


Los Macizos wins via pinfall (12:25)

2.75/5


Negro Casas vs Tony Deppen

We have more geriatric lucha libre, hooray! Tony Deppen we've talked about, he goes up against a legend in Negro Casas. He is 60-fucking-3 years old! He looks like if someone used the scream sucker from Monsters Inc on Jimmy Snuka. Negro Casas debuted in 1979, being a name for CMLL for nearly all of his career only debuting in AAA this year. He has trained wrestlers such as Rocky Romero, Mephisto and TJ Perkins.


This of course isn't a fast paced match, since Casas is more than twice the age of Deppen. Deppen heels it up throughout the match, constantly showing disrespect and often flipping him and the crowd off. This is a standard, run of the mill match with Casas coming out on top with a rolling cradle. Casas cuts a nice promo post match and even has a little sing song. Wholesome content.


Negro Casas wins via pinfall (11:37)

2.5/5


Psycho Clown vs Gringo Loco

Psycho Clown is a huge name in AAA, headlining many big PPV shows including 5 of their flagship shows Triplemania. He made a special appearance for Impact Wrestling, winning their World Cup in 2019 too. Fun fact, he's married to the daughter of Negro Casas, adorable. These two fought for GCW last year and Psycho Clown got the win, so Gringo Loco wanted the rematch here to possibly level the score.


Falls count anywhere rules for this bout. Clown is accompanied by Mini Clown, who I assume is his son. This is the longest, and most brutal match on the card. It quickly devolves into fighting with chairs, taking shots to the head which I'm not used to watching. The Clown is busted open, Gringo tears at the mask to expose the forehead. Gringo has scissors. Innocent me thought "maybe he's trying to cut through his mask" but no, he's stabbing him in the head. He's a very bloody clown now. More weaponry used including ladders, doors and chairs (oh my) until clown turns the tide, and now he has the scissors. Your turn Gringo, stabby stab stab. They're both bloody messes now. There's a big spot near the end as Psycho Clown jump off a big ass ladder through Loco who's on a door. Big ouch. Now cinder blocks enter the match! I haven't seen cinder blocks in wrestling since 1997. The final big spot is a door balance across two chairs with 2 cinder blocks on top, and also thumbtacks. Clown hits a top rope Spanish fly through all of the things, but Loco rolls him up to win! This was good fun, lots of brutal action but it went way to long and at a slow pace. Easily could have been rated higher with 10 minutes shaved off.


Gringo Loco wins via pinfall (23:23)

3/5


Laredo Kid vs El Hijo Del Vikingo

Our main event is non-title action, the AAA Mega Champion Vikingo has had a prolific weekend so far, his name has been circling the wrestling world like wildfire. Laredo Kid is no one to be taken lightly though. He made a name for himself for AAA winning the cruiserweight championship and the trios championship, with a team featuring Vikingo. He stopped being exclusive to AAA and toured the indie circuit before signing and competing for Impact, as well as appearances for AEW & MLW. Seek out his match against Kenny Omega at Triplemania XXVIII. It's very tasty.


These two have a great encounter, I think that Vikingo's ridiculously packed schedule is getting the best of him as he's a beat slower than usual but he's still a fantastic performer. That super spinning uranage from the top rope looks class every time. Laredo Kid more than holds his own, his poisonrana looked smooth as marge. Vikingo hits his forever impressive 630 senton to pick up a W.


El Hijo Del Vikingo wins via pinfall (12:36)

3.5/5


Overall- 57.1%

Like I said earlier, what ratings I give these shows don't matter all that much because the quality of wrestling isn't the main attraction, although there is some good wrestling on the show. It's about having a good time, sure I hate dancing in wrestling more than Vince McMahon hates Christian's face but I'm sure the majority would find it more enjoyable. Its a fun show, maybe a full card of Lucha Libre is too much of the same style for some people.


MOTN: Laredo Kid vs El Hijo Del Vikingo


There we have it. Finally Wrestlemania weekend is wrapped up. Sakura Genesis is next in my sights to watch and review this weekend, potentially NWA 312 if I'm told its worth the effort. Outside of that, part 3 of Ranking & Reviewing ECW PPV's is nearly complete so that should hopefully be posted by the end of the week. Thanks again for reading, hit me up with any comments or requests you may have. Until next time, see ya!

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