Tuesday, July 27, 2021

GCW: Homecoming Weekend - Night One Review - July 24th, 2021

GCW: Homecoming Part 1
July 24th, 2021
Atlantic City, New Jersey

Commentary - Dave Prazak, Kevin Gill, & SHLAK 

I just have to say it right off the jump, hearing Dave Prazak on commentary is SO nostalgic and makes me feel like I’m in the early 2000’s all over again. 

1) Marko Stunt vs. Starboy Charlie 

This is Marko Stunt’s return to GCW as he’s been busy in AEW. I’ve never seen Charlie before, but he & Stunt have a super fun opener here. Just that classic indie spotfest opener style. They space everything out well though and do just enough spots to where you get riled up, but don’t feel like it’s overkill. Definitely down to see more of Starboy and this makes me want some more Marko singles matches in AEW. Crowd was hot for it too! Marko wins and pays respect to Starboy post match. Great way to start the show.

Match rating - ***

2) Tony Deppen vs. Ninja Mack

Okay Ninja Mack is insane and he garners the first “holy shit” chant of the night as a result. I’ve never seen so many back hand springs before a moonsault to the floor LMAO. Tony Deppen is tired of the shit, though and sticks to his signature ground game, locking Mack in an STF immediately after the spot I just detailed. Deppen ate all the spots Mack could throw and still beat his ass. This was just great. I really enjoyed the dynamic between the two and not a minute in this contest was wasted. Love to see it.

Match rating - ***1/4 

3) AJ Gray vs. Nolan Edward

AJ Gray’s entrance alone is worth a watch. He comes out to O LETS DO IT by Waka Flocka and everyone is vibing with him. Then he proceeds to have my favorite match of the show so far with Nolan Edward. It’s only 7 minutes, but it’s a fucking banger. The definition of a high quality sprint. Edward gets some spots in before this turns out to more of AJ’s game as they trade stiff chops and strikes that cause Nolan’s chest to bleed. Nolan does a sick fire up spot and rips his damn mask off and the place comes unglued. Wow. What a fuckin match! 

Match rating - ***1/4

4) 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Grimm Reefer

This was a fun break in the action. Lots of shenanigans with Grimm offering Scorpio a joint only to kick him in the nuts off the distraction. Some good spots thrown in here too, though. Was surprised to see some negative opinions of this on cagematch. NOT EVERY MATCH CAN OR HAS TO BE SOME SORT OF ALL ACTION SERIOUS THING. Scorpio wins and soaks it in with a long celebration with the fans afterwards. This was a blast. 

Match rating - **1/2

5) Drew Parker (c) vs. Alex Colon (c) - BJW Deathmatch / GCW Ultraviolent Title Match 

Aside from Gage/Cardona, this is why I tuned into this show. Parker has just flown in from Japan after becoming only the 3rd American wrestler to win Big Japan’s Deathmatch championship. The fact that he would come over here 24 hours later and compete in another match this fucking crazy after that is a massive statement in itself. Alex Colon is an insane person and he & Drew put each other through hell here. Parker broke out darts and thREW THEM INTO COLONS BACK FOR FUCKSAKE. That’s one thing I have never seen although my deathmatch viewing has been somewhat limited compared to others. This had everything you’d want from light tubes to glass and all the gruesome spots and blood one can handle. Fantastic deathmatch that sees Drew Parker become a double champion and then proceed to invite Alex Colon to come face him in a rematch in Japan! OH LETS GO!!

Match rating - ****

6) Scramble Match - Jordan Oliver vs. Dante Leon vs. Shane Mercer vs. Atticus Cogar vs. Jack Cartwheel vs. Brayden Lee

This was your typical scramble with some crazy spots. The highlight for me was Shane Mercer taking skewers to the head and firing up enough to hit his signature flipping power slam off the second rope. Just bonkers shit. Atticus Cogar also was a standout. His entrance was the opposite of AJ Gray’s as fans crowded him, but with boos and middle fingers in his face the whole way to the ring. And the heat he got is very fitting as he steals the pin to get the victory here. 

Match rating - ***

7) Jimmy Lloyd & G-Raver (c) vs. Second Gear Crew (Mance Warner & Matthew Justice) - GCW World Tag Team Title Match 

Great reactions for everyone here especially Warner & Justice who came out to “Walk” by Pantera. This match unexpectedly features one of the most brutal spots of the night and one that made me squeal. Mance Warner whom is already pouring blood gets his fucking tongue stapled to a door and you can see blood running all down the door as he tries to lift his head up and as he is, they do some sort of move, I can’t even remember, into the door, which snaps the door loose from his tongue. AOUXHHCDUEH. That was crazy, but this just felt like they did stuff for 10 minutes or so. Which was fine because it was a bunch of shit that kept you glued to the screen for the most part. G-Raver & Lloyd’s miscommunication cost them in the end as Justice & Warner win to become the new tag champs! 

Match rating - **3/4

After the match, G-Raver runs down Lloyd as a piece of shit that he never wanted to team with. He brings up their history from 2 years ago in Chicago where Lloyd inflicted a life changing injury on him. Raver challenges Lloyd to a deathmatch grand finale to finally end this shit at 3 Cups Stuffed in Chicago on September - 2 years from the date of their original meeting. Lloyd says he didn’t wanna do this, but since he’s gonna make him - he’ll see Raver in Chicago. 

8) EFFY (w/ Allie Katch) vs. Frontman Jah

This was basically just to fill time. The pre and post match promos are better than the match itself. EFFY submits Jah when all is said and done. EFFY invites him to his Big Gay Brunch on Sept 5 in Chicago, though and JAH KISSES HIM IN RESPONSE!! LETS GO!!! See y’all September 5th! After EFFY leaves, JAH KISSES ALLIE KATCH AS WELL because he’s A PANSEXUAL SOLDIER BY GOD. 

9) Nick Gage (c) vs. Matt Cardona - GCW WORLD TITLE MATCH

This was a spectacle. I can honestly say there hasn’t been an indie storyline this hot since.. Mount Rushmore? Or Steen/Generico? But this feels even hotter than that. This feels reminiscent of ROH vs. CZW war levels of hot and that’s just the truth. GCW in general has a special vibe right now and Nick Gage is a large part of that reason which is what makes this match the perfect culmination to this fantastic show that to me solidifies that GCW is the #1 indie right now and the run they are on is something special.

I haven’t watched an independent wrestling show in full since 2016? Cause that’s right around the time PWG lost me. And now, I've watched the last two GCW shows back to back and I’m hooked. 

Back to this match, though. Cardona’s entrance straight up reminded me of Cena/RVD from One Night Stand 2006. Yes. It’s that epic. Now, the match doesn’t quite hold a candle to that one, but boy is it a fair comparison to have. Cardona has to have security guide him to the ring as everyone is swarming him with boos, middle fingers and various insults. Gage comes out and of course it’s the polar opposite and it is essentially a mosh pit with Gage having to force himself to the ring because everyone is so riled up. Nick Gage is so beloved and it’s insane to watch his entrance unfold. It’s an atmosphere that is unparalleled. 

The bell rings and the whole match carries that atmosphere. It isn’t the cleanest and best worked match by any means, but the vibe that this is a big deal is there. And even more than that, the desire the fans have to see Matt Cardona get absolutely destroyed by Nick Gage is on display from bell to bell so when Gage finally gets his hands on glass & tubes and puts them to Cardona, the electricity is off the charts. 

Cardona, the former Zack Ryder, takes so much punishment here. Even more punishment than I expected him to take. Light tube shots, spears through glass sheets, the whole nine yards. He is pouring blood from his forehead and back and everywhere else. To make matters worse, Gage breaks out the infamous pizza cutter and carves Ryder up like only the King can. 

Cardona manages to fire back and suplex Gage through a sheet of glass off the top rope, only to get the worst of it himself as his shoulder explodes with blood pouring out of it following the maneuver. Before long we get into what some say was a detriment to this match - overbooking. I tend to differ in opinion. This whole thing is more about the drama and story than it is about style and technique. Plus, it's a deathmatch for crying out loud. They tease Chris Jericho coming out considering Nick Gage will be facing him on AEW later this week. THEN the entire 44OH stable comes out and beats down Gage which brings out his former rival Rickey Shane Page.

RSP helps Gage fight off 4OH4 only TO LOW BLOW GAGE. This allows Cardona to pummel Gage with bundles of tubes and hit his finisher for the 1..2..3.. HOLy FUCK. MATT CARDONA JUST BEAT NICK GAGE. MATT CARDONA IS THE GCW WORLD CHAMPION. 

What happens next is the key to explaining how special this match was and is the clip that went viral. The fans begin pelting bottles and trash at Cardona immediately as he poses with his newly won title. He's barely able to soak it in as the ring fills with trash. Cardona scurries through the crowd and out of the building with the GCW Title and holy hell. What a contest and more importantly what a moment.

Match rating - ****

That post match straight up felt like I took a time traveling machine and went back to prime ECW. How did this storyline get so hot? I have no idea, but it fucking rules. GCW is on the run of a lifetime right now. They are the #1 Indie in the world and this is coming from a long time PWG mark. GCW has taken the reigns and developed something completely unique and 100% their own. And I think that's what makes it so special. What an event and what a main event. This entire show is worth your time and if you're like me, you'll be ready for more as soon as it's over. 

Wrestling in 2021 is something else. On a week where Nick Gage showed up on national television in front of 1 million plus fans to challenge Chris Jericho. On a week where CM Punk & Bryan Danielson are rumored to be signing to AEW. This show happens and when we look back in 5, 10, hell even 20 years. This show will be highly regarded as a classic. 

1 comment:

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