Sunday, February 27, 2022

GCW: Welcome to Heartbreak Review - February 25th, 2022

GCW Welcome to Heartbreak
February 25th, 2022
Los Angeles, California

1) The Briscoes vs. Jacob Fatu & Juicy Finau 

This was such a badass opener. The Briscoes truly don’t miss a beat from their prime and hell, you could argue that they are still in their prime. Opening sprints like this are vintage Briscoes and they are always a blast. They use some chairs and a door. There’s plenty of dives, sick spots, & fighting in the crowd. Fatu & Finau even go after Starboy Charlie’s mom for some extra heat and the injured Charlie beats them with his crutches and hits a little dive. A fun time! Briscoes get the victory and grab the mic immediately after the bell. 

Match rating - ***

There’s some mic issues, but basically The Briscoes want their GCW Tag Title rematch against Nick Gage & Matt Tremont. Commentary teases it being at The Collective, I was hoping it would happen in Atlanta, but I’ll be at both so I guess either way works! 

2) Blake Christian vs. Nick Wayne 

This starts slow, but once they get into their run of spots, there’s some good near falls. It’s a nice veteran vs rookie highflying contest with Blake clearly being someone Nick Wayne looked up to over the years. They display their styles and unique maneuvers well and have some crazy exchanges down the stretch. A door spot is almost botched at the end, but they recover and Nick cutters Christian through it before getting put away a few moments later after the cutter wasn’t enough to keep Christian down.

Match rating - ***1/4

3) Kevin Blackwood vs. Tony Deppen 

They wrestle to a stalemate early. This is Kevin Blackwood’s GCW debut and I can’t think of a better first opponent for him than Tony Deppen. They kinda just do all your basic Indy stuff so it doesn’t really do anything for me. I’m talking fighting spirit trading german suplex spots and shit. It’s well executed cause both guys are smooth, but it cause the match to come off more like an exhibition than something I’m invested in. Which is fine. Everything can’t be a drawn out story or brutal competition. In the end, Deppen taps Blackwood out using cattle mutilation.

Match rating - **1/2

4) “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Ninja Mack 

Well.. this was a fucking spectacle. It’s not at all what I anticipated from this. I didn’t expect this to leave the ring that much. I expected a bonkers match with a ton of flying and spots, but these motherfuckers had the most oddly perfect contest possible from them. Calling it a spectacle is really the best description that I can give it because it’s not even a match.. it’s just two of the most unique flyers in the game today playing their gimmicks to the most extreme, culminating in Speedball crane kicking Mack off a 15??? foot ledge through a table. Unbelievable. Mack has a nice hope spot comeback attempt when they get back in the ring before Bailey puts him away with the flamingo driver. Some will love this, some will hate this. I loved it because it showcased what I enjoy so much about both guys as they never follow a formula, but they always fucking deliver. 

Match rating - ***3/4

5) AJ Gray (c) vs. ACH - GCW Extreme Title Match 

I’ve read some reviews that this put the crowd to sleep and I’d beg to differ. Sure, they weren’t going ballistic, but this match was super solid and the crowd seemed to hang with them, even popping for the no sell spots near the end. It was super refreshing to see ACH here, I loved him back in 2014-15 and after kinda being out of the limelight for a few years, he’s returned and is even better than before. I’d love to see him in GCW more often and I’ll definitely be seeking out more of his current work. They have a solid match here that ends with AJ clobbering the shit out of ACH. 

Match rating - ***

After the match, AJ declares his intentions to face Jon Moxley for the GCW Title at Spring Break in Dallas. FUCK YES. 

6) Homicide vs. Dr. Wagner Jr 

Nick Gage joins commentary for this one. This is a match that is just insane to see happening. Two legends from entirely different parts of the wrestling world clashing in a GCW ring. It seems every time they bring Homicide in it’s for a dream match and I’m totally ok with that. This starts strong and they work a slow pace through the first half, which again, is just fine. This is another match I saw some negative reviews on. To me, it was fine until the last half where things seemed to fall apart slightly and they definitely lost the crowd which caused the finish to fall flat. So yeah, very unfortunate, but it was still cool to see this and it atleast it started strong. I’d be game for a rematch for them to rectify how this ended up. Wagner gets the W. 

Match rating - **1/2

7) Second Gear Crew & Friends (Matthew Justice, Allie Katch, Dark Sheik, & Gringo Loco) vs. Team Reefer (Grim Reefer, Jimmy Lloyd, Jordan Oliver & Jack Cartwheel) 

Mother mercy. I love everyone here! Shout out Dark Sheik. Shout out Gringo. Shout out Reefer. So much royalty in one ring. This was just a fucking blast, very similar to the opener except more fun than violence and more people flying around. I loved this a lot. I’m a sucker for these type matches so YEAH. Gringo and Jack Cartwheel had some awesome exchanges here and they finish it off as Gringo nails him with a fucking spinning blue Thunder bomb off the top rope for the victory. YEAH. 

Match rating - ***

Chris Dickinson comes out next. He says he will be ready to compete by WrestleMania weekend and wants Minoru Suzuki for round three at Bloodsport. Dickinson points out Josh Barnett in the crowd and tells him to book it. Barnett agrees seemingly so I guess it’s on?! LETS GO. We can’t be happy too long, though, because out comes THE MAJOR PLAYERS. Matt Cardona followed by Chelsea Green & Brian Myers. They make fun of Dickinson’s injury. Green says “all hail the deathmatch king” lmao. Cardona then “introduces himself” to Dickinson, running down his accolades including him being the current Impact Digital Media champion and NWA World Champion… which is just wild to type out. Cardona tells Dickinson that he put GCW on the map. He says he beat Nick Gage, he beat Effy, and he doesn’t know who the fuck Chris Dickinson is. Dickinson proceeds to go the fuck off on Cardona and says the only reason he’s relevant is because of GCW. Dickinson challenges Cardona to a match at Joey’s Spring Break in Dallas and god damn I am so ready for that after this promo. Something I didn’t think I would ever say. 

8) Joey Janela & Sean “X-Pac” Walkman vs. The Major Players (Matt Cardona & Brian Myers) (w/ Chelsea Green) 

This is about what you’d expect and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Cardona & Myers work over Janela & Waltman. Waltman gets a nice flurry early though which includes a crazy dive into the front row on Myers. After this, things settle in and the faces are worked over by quick tags from Cardona & Myers. A basic formula, but it almost always works. Janela & Waltman start firing off with a comeback and it’s cool. The finish is awesome as Waltman hits an X Factor through a table for the victory. Goood shit. 

Match rating - **3/4 

After the match, X Pac stumbles through a speech. He announces this is his last match which is just.. wild and I can’t quite tell if he’s being for real or not. Out of nowhere, though, Joey Janela turns on him and nails him with a super kick. THE BAD BOY IS BACK FOR REAL. Janela stands over X Pac as the crowd reigns down with boos. After the broadcast ends, the ring fills with trash and bottles as the crowd shows their disgust for Janela’s actions. 

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