Monday, May 30, 2022

GCW: Maniac Review - May 21st, 2022

GCW Maniac
May 21st, 2022
Los Angeles, CA - Ukranian Cultural Center

GCW World Champion: Jon Moxley (since 9/4/21)
GCW World Tag Team Champions: BUSSY (Allie Katch & Effy) (since 4/9/22)
GCW Extreme Champion: AJ Gray (since 1/15/22)
GCW Ultraviolent Champion: John Wayne Murdoch (since 3/31/22)

Commentators - Kevin Gill & Veda Scott

1) Blake Christian vs. Kevin Blackwood 

Blake comes to the ring with a “Chelsea Green loves Blake Christian” sign. Kevin Blackwood pays tribute to the victims of the Buffalo, NY incident last week. Bell rings and we are under way. The feed cuts out for the first 6-8 minutes of this. It cuts back in and we get a pretty awesome final 7-8 minute stretch. Some great exchanges and nearfalls. Blake Christian wins with a curb stomp. Considering the feed went out, take my rating with a grain of salt. 

Match rating - **3/4 

2) Titus Alexander vs. Tony Deppen 

This is a nice surprise. I had no idea this was on the card, but I love both these guys right now so LETS GO. Tony Deppen pokes Alexander in the eyes to begin. Weird to see Alexander not being the heel considering he’s very much the villain in his home promotion West Coast Pro from the little I’ve seen. Alexander follows it up with a trio of insane dives to really get the energy going for this one. This was really such a blast. Deppen really rocks and Alexander was awesome with the explosive babyface fire. Titus definitely made the most of this opportunity and the crowd was behind him the whole way. 

Match rating - ***1/2 

3) “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Masha Slamovich 

Wow. I anticipated this to be good, but I didn’t anticipate it to be quite possibly the best match either of these two has had all year. That’s exactly what it was, though. Beyond the stuff you’d expect like awesome strike exchanges, suplexes and spots. The laser focus of Speedball on the arm/shoulder of Masha and the selling that followed was just phenomenal. This was one of the best GCW matches of the year and well worth going out of your way to see. Just fantastic professional wrestling. Speedball wins with the flamingo driver. Amazing. 

Match rating - ****1/2

4) AJ Gray (c) vs. Jack Cartwheel vs. Ninja Mack vs. Cole Radrick vs. Starboy Charlie vs. Jimmy Lloyd - Scramble Match for the GCW Extreme Championship 

This was just as bonkers as you’d expect. Not in a messy way like some of these scrambles. In a good way. Just absolute chaos. Ninja Mack is back from NOAH, Jack Cartwheel is back from GLEAT, and Starboy Charlie is back from injury to replace an injured John Wayne Murdoch. Cartwheel was probably the biggest star of the match, but truthfully everyone looked awesome. AJ wins after completely destroying Starboy Charlie. 

Match rating - ***1/4

5) Biff Busick vs. Jordan Oliver 

This is the weakest match of the night so far, but it’s still good and that’s saying a lot about the level this show is at. I think this was the best it could be and that they stayed within their means which was nice to see. Busick is great, but I had no interest in him going long with Jordan Oliver. We got the strike exchanges we wanted, some spots on the floor, and all the Super Dragon references.. what more could ya ask for? Oliver kicks out of the curb stomp AND psycho driver and fights back to PIN BIFF BUSICK. Massive victory for Big Breakfast in a fun match. It’s interesting to see this Busick/Dragon stuff making it’s way into Busick’s run in GCW instead of just PWG. 

Match rating - **1/2

6) Dark Sheik vs. Lufisto 

For historic purposes, I’m glad this happened. Especially considering Sheik got the victory over the Hall of Famer Lufisto. As for the match, it probably went a bit long and didn’t quite ever get out of second gear, but it was suffice for what it was. And as said before I’m glad it got to happen. Some chairs and light plunder get involved. Lufisto hits some moves into the corner and Sheik drops her soon after for the win. 

Match rating - **1/4

7) Bandido vs. Nick Wayne 

This match got postponed and is now finally happening which adds to the big feel. They do the run through early where they’re flipping and countering. YOU KNOW. That Rico/Ospreay type shit. This is about what you’d expect and they thankfully don’t go overboard. They hit all the notes and do some cool counters & exchanges that you may not expect. I tried to just relax and enjoy this one because it’s so easy to nitpick this style; but when you just quit being a dick and enjoy shit.. it’s so much more fun. So YEAH. Bandido wins with the 21 Plex. 

Match rating - ***1/4

8) BUSSY (Effy & Allie Katch) (c) vs. Juicy Finau & Toa Liona - GCW World Tag Team Title Match

This was good albeit a little too long. BUSSY took a GREAT beating, especially Allie. Juicy & Liona are such awesome big guy wrestlers. Like.. they always fucking deliver. The hot tag to Effy was great, it just seemed like it took a bit after that to get to where they were going. Lots of quality stuff packed in here though, just some fat that could’ve been trimmed to make it a full on banger. BUSSY retains after SACK RYDER and a piledriver from Effy to Allie on top of Juicy. 

Match rating - **3/4

9) Drew Parker vs. Joey Janela 

This is the infamous match that has made its rounds on Twitter recently. Joey Janela set his own foot on fire. I’m sure you have atleast seen the clip. Things start out pretty basic and I almost thought they were gonna just have a normal match with no plunder. That’s such a funny thought looking back. They do a ton of crazy shit from gusset plates to a staple gun to fire. It’s just fucked, honestly. A great deathmatch with a moment that will be talked about forever. It went a little long, but once things picked up I almost never left the edge of my seat. Parker wins at around 22 minutes. 

Match rating - ***1/4

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