wrestling / TV Reports

Cook’s The WRLD on GCW Review

January 23, 2022 | Posted by Steve Cook
The WRLD On GCW Nick Gage Image Credit: GCW
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Cook’s The WRLD on GCW Review  

Hey kids! Steve Cook here with ya for Game Changer Wrestling’s big debut at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. It’s certainly the biggest non-WrestleMania weekend show in the history of the company, so it seems like the perfect time for somebody like me to check out what GCW is all about.

Just as a warning: There’s a good chance I won’t get everything that happens here, as I don’t know all the characters and the storylines. Fortunately this show is pretty heavy on people I’ve seen before. There might be a thing or two on this show that I don’t know about, and I’ll just say in advance that some of the more hardcore aspects might not be my cup of tea. Nevertheless, I feel it’s important to give promotions I’m not familiar with that are doing big things a chance. It’d be rude to just dismiss groups out of hand as outlaw mud shows, especially when the whole pro wrestling business is a bit of an outlaw mud show to outsiders. Who am I to judge without at least giving something a chance?

Hence, we’re here tonight. Let’s have some fun!

Cook’s The WRLD on GCW Review

Dave Prazak & Kevin Gill are the commentators.

The Kickoff Show featured a battle royal/rumble type gimmick with many names one would remember. Psycho Clown, Thunder Rosa, Lufisto, Nate Webb, B-Boy to name a few. There was also a man with no legs. 911’s kid, Big Vin, got the victory. 911 also appeared to share some PBR with his son. No rating since I was having dinner.

The Kickoff Scramble featured Grim Reefer, Shane Mercer, Dante Leon, Jack Cartwheel, Ninja Mack & Alex Zayne. The veteran Reefer got the duke, and it’s nice to see that his gimmick is more culturally acceptable these days.

Promoter Brett Lauderdale & “Dirty Daddy” Chris Dickinson then addressed the Hammerstein crowd. Dickinson can’t compete tonight due to injury, but promises to be back Spring Break weekend. Lauderdale pays tribute to some wrestlers & fans from GCW’s past that are no longer with us.

Stephen Deangelis addresses the crowd and presents his ring announcing colleague, Emil Jay. We’ll start with the Brass Ring Ladder Match!

The PPV starts with a blurry old school WWE PPV opening warning graphic, then a video with various GCW wrestlers talking about what people told them their weaknesses were. Nick Gage is heavily featured, but not currently booked.

Grab The Brass Ring Ladder Match: PCO vs. G-Raver vs. Tony Deppen vs. Jordan Oliver vs. Jimmy Lloyd vs. Alex Colon vs. AJ Gray: Lio Rush was originally scheduled for this match but peaced out. Nothing new there. Gray, the GCW Extreme Champion, added himself to the match as he was originally scheduled to fight the injured Eddie Kingston. Winner gets a shot at any title at any given time, and as you’d expect things break down early. Deppen is first to go for the ring, and Gray has none of that. Deppen avoids the whip into the ladder, but not the power bomb into the ladder & lariatoooooo. Gray up the ladder, but G-Raver breaks that up. Raver knocks Gray off with the bigger ladder. Raver tosses the smaller ladder off of PCO a couple of times. PCO hits a charging Raver, climbs to the middle rope, Colon lifts Raver up and he & PCO hit the Doomsday Device, with an assist from a ladder. Colon with a cartwheel into a kick on PCO. He sets up a slightly taller ladder so he & PCO can climb up. Oliver dropkicks the ladder, sending both men down. Big Breakfast heads up the ladder, but Lloyd yanks him off. The ladder. Lloyd’s suplex is fought out of, Oliver with some evasive moves, hits a Jimmy Rave-style suplex. Oliver springboards onto folks on the outside even if the ladder doesn’t want to help. Colon & Raver dive onto the floor, then PCO follows with the cannonball. Deppn sets up a springboard, a couple of springs into a 630 onto his opponents. The clump of humanity heads towards the stage, and Gray is there to dive onto them. PCO with a chair to Gray. An old school chair, Gill informs us. PCO heading for the PCsault to the floor, and he hits the aformentioned clump of humanity. PCO back in the ring alone, he gets the ladder ready for climbing. It’s a little short, but Gray breaks it up anyway. Colon in to take a shot. Oliver takes one too. PCO insists on trying to climb. G-Raver now, PCO goozles him to the outside. Deppen in now, and he’s got a taller ladder. He & PCO face off on top of the ladders, Deppen knocks him off. Oliver knocks Deppen off, but Deppen’s still upright and can knee Oliver down. Now it’s Deppen & Oliver on the ladders. Deppen with the snotrocket, but Oliver’s cutter off the ladder proves more effective. PCO & Oliver face off now. PCO chokeslams Oliver off, then decides to set something up with the ladders. PCO with the package piledriver on the ladder, and Oliver should be out of the equation for a little while. Colon with the drop toe hold while PCO has the chair. Colon doublestomps PCO on the chair off the ladder, and heads up. G-Raver stops that. He sets Colon up in a sandwich of chairs & ladders. The ladder falls off to Raver’s dismay, but he sets it back up. Raver could have grabbed the ring, he opts for the dangerous senton instead. Raver then gets killed with an Awesome bomb onto a ladder-table contraption on the outside by Lloyd. Colon is down on the mat, Gray climbs atop the tall ladder, and he crashes and burns onto another ladder on the attempted elbow drop. Colon & Oliver face off on a ladder. Oliver falls off, Colon reaches for the ring, can’t quite get there before Lloyd knocks him off. John Wayne Murdoch attacks Colon on the outside. Gray knocks Lloyd off the ladder and grabs the brass ring.

Winner: AJ Gray (15 minutes via grabbing brass ring)
Match Rating: **

Some good spots, but things really broke down towards the end when people got tired.

Lenny Leonard joins Prazak on commentary for the next match.

Team Bandido (Bandido, Laredo Kid, ASF) vs. Team Gringo (Gringo Loco, Demonic Flamita, Arez): Stephen Deangelis wasn’t sure which team was coming out first, resulting in some confusion. Arez & Laredo Kid start. Some quick covers & moves exchanged as one would expect. Laredo sent outside, so Bandido can enter. Bandido goes for the three amigos, and the “Eddie” chant of course follows. Gringo Loco enters, not the best looking physique in there but the guy can move. ASF sends him over with a headscissors then reverses a power move into an arm drag. Another one sends Gringo outside. Flamita in now. Hits the 619 on ASF, goes up top, flips off the crowd and jumps down. ASF now isolated by the Gringo team. Flamita & Laredo take a big tumble outside. Loco & ASF in there now. Loco watches the battle on the floor, which currently has Bandido & Laredo held in dueling Romero specials. Loco somersaults onto them. ASF jumps onto his opponents, they toss him back in the ring over the top rope. Cover gets 2 for Flamita. ASF with the superkick, arm drag to Loco, Loco sent over with another armdrag. Flamita hits the tiger driver for two. All six men in the ring, the rudos whip the tecnicos into the corners. Tecnicos with superkicks, then around the world headscissors to the rudos. Stereo tope suicidas. Back in the ring, ASF & Laredo miss the dropkicks, and Loco & Arez hit the rowboat. Flamita ranas Bandido in the middle for two in a spot straight out of CHIKARA. Fans are digging it. Bandido & Flamita continue their dispute from Ring of Honor. Flamita off the top with a frog splash gets two due to a Laredo Kid dive from the top. Laredo Michinoku drives Flamita down, goes up top, hits the 450. Arez double stopms to break it up. Big chop to Laredo. Backbreaker and a springboard moonsault get two. ASF breaks it up, hits the DVD & dropkick on Arez for two. Loco tosses ASF around, Bandido breaks up the pinfall. He faces off with Gringo and they exchange chops. Tiltawhirl DDT gets two for Bandido. Flamita breaks it up and flips off the crowd again. ASF in there now. He gets placed up top. Arez placed up top. We got two electric chairs. Bandido & Gringo join in the fun, and now we have the chicken fight! ASF with the destroyer! Powerbombs! Gringo Loco with the C4 on Bandido and everybody is down! ASF tossed over the top into a headscissors on Loco! Flamita goes up, hits the cannonball onto Bandido. Laredo & Arez face off instead of diving. Bandido doesn’t care, he’ll dive. Laredo with Arez…Spanish Fly to the floor and onto the opponents! ASF & Gringo up top, something doesn’t quite go right, but Gringo hits the piledriver for three.

Winners: Team Gringo (15 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: ****

I like my crazy lucha fun, what can I say?

Ian Riccaboni & Kevin Gill commentate the next match.

ROH World Championship Match: Jonathan Gresham vs. Blake Christian: Well, never mind that, as Gresham is not here. Christian still wants a fight, and he wants to prove that he’s the best in the world. There’s one man that’s apparently given him his best matches, and that man will come out now.

Blake Christian vs. Lio Rush: Ah, so that’s where Rush went. Crisis averted! Rush wants a handshake, Christian eventually goes along with it but takes the wrist control. Back & forth, Rush quick off the ropes, Christian as well. Christian eventually gains advantage with a kick to the head, and Rush bails outside. Rush takes a seat in a chair while Christian remains in the ring. Christian happy to wait on Rush to get back in the ring. Rush evades Christian, eventually hits a kick and sends Christian outside. Rush with a handspring kick and then a tope suicida. Christian with one of his own. Some disrespectful kicks from Christian. Christian with a gutbuster for two. Spinal tap kick by Christian, as things have slowed down a bit. Big chop in the corner. Off the ropes, back and forth, Christian works Rush into an Eastern stretch on the mat. Running spearjob in the corner. Christian forward rolls into another one. Christian misses with a third, Rush turns Christian inside out with a spear of his own. Kicks by Rush send Christian down. More rope running, then a short spear by Rush. Rush does the deal, but it only gets two. Rush goes up top, but Christian meets him, reverse headscissors sends Rush down. Top rope forearm shot from Christian to the back of Rush’s head. Reversals, Rush with two kicks, Christian with a running knee to the back of Rush’s head. Spanish fly from Christian, then the springboard 450 gets two. Rush back up, they jockey for position. Rush with the poison rana, then the twisting DDT. Rush up top, hits the big frog splash. Cover gets two. Dueling chants. Rush sets up a German to the floor, Christian blocks that. Rush goes for the powerbomb, Christian blocks that, then hits the Fosbury Flop into a tombstone on the floor! Back in the ring, 450 doublestomp gets the three count!

Winner: Blake Christian (12 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: ***

We get a recap of the saga between Matt Cardona & Joey Janela. Turns out that Chelsea Green was Joey’s before she was Matt’s!

Prazak, Gill & Leonard with the three man booth for the next match.

Matt Cardona with Chelsea Green vs. Joey Janela: I’ve seen some special entrances on PPVs before, but replicating the legendary Sandman entrance in Hammerstein Ballroom takes the cake. Good on ya, Cardona. “Fuck Mick Foley” on the red flannel vest? Good God Almighty, he’s broken in half! Cardona getting every bit of cheap heat he can before this match and it’s a good time. Chelsea introduces us to the Deathmatch King. Matt tells us his parents are here and they shouldn’t boo him. Everybody’s so ungrateful, since the only reason this venue is sold out is them.

Janela has actually been turning down alcoholic beverages and is in the best shape we’ve seen him in months. Bell rings, and Cardona immediately hits the Radio Silence for two. He reaches under the ring for a door! A door! “Fuck Cardona! Woo Woo Woo!” Janela with a forearm, lifts Cardona up and hits the DVD through the door! Chop to the t-shirt of Cardona. Cardona rolls outside, Janela with the tope suicida. Cardona with a flip dive of his own, and some PDA with Chelsea Green. Janela with a clothesline back in the ring. Janela looks under the ring, opts for the chair. Janela smacks Cardona in the back with the chair. Matt placed on the chair as Joey punches away. Joey heads up top, but the cannonball hits nothing but chair. Cardona rips the shirt like he’s Hulk Hogan in 1985. Tosses his shirt into the crowd, and it gets ripped to shreds! It hits Chelsea on the way back to the ring. Meanwhile, Cardona uses the chair on Janela. Chelsea breaks it up, then low blows Cardona? Janela heads up top, and Chelsea crotches him! Sure enough, Cardona had a cup on. STRATIGERY! Chelsea holds the chair in front of Janela’s skull for the running bootski. Only gets two! Cardona goes up top, but Janela meets him there. Superplex city! Janela gets the better of the fisticuffs afterward. Release German suplex and Janela is feeling it. Janela grabs the Internet Championship, but Smart Mark Sterling emerges to yell at Janela and inform him that the belt shot would lead to a disqualification. The fans want him to shut the fuck up, but Sterling refuses. He has a VIP guest, somebody that was influential in Matt’s career. He asks “Vince” to come out, and we get a man in a Vince McMahon mask. No, it’s VINCENT! Soultrain Jones, Virgil, call him what you will. Sterling comes down to hold Janela, but Janela ducks & Sterling eats belt. Cardona’s been busted open, apparently his nose got busted on a shot from Janela. Janela with the DVD on the ring frame. Cardona back in the ring, but Swoggle emerges from under the ring! He posts Janela, but the immense Sam Stackhouse follows Swoggle. Swoggle with palm strikes on the belly, and Stackhouse splashes him in the corner. Those ropes are sturdier than I expect, but Stackhouse misses the second rope moonsault. A blonde Marko Stunt emerges! He tosses a chair into Swoggle’s face and punches away, but Cardona hits the inverted DDT. Janela with the DDT on Cardona. Stunt gets a door from under the ring. He places the door on two chairs with help from the referee and places Swoggle on the door. Cardona got placed on a door contraption on the floor, and Swoggle & Cardona go through the doors. Chelsea waylays Marko with the belt, then hits the Canadian Destroyer. Janela back in the ring, goes for the piledriver but here’s Cardona with the chair to the back. Cardona DVDs Janela onto the chair for a two count. Cardona finds another door under the ring. Some poor house is missing a lot of doors. Janela with a hard chair shot to the back of Cardona’s head. Chelsea with the Singapore cane to Janela. Janela shrugs all that off and snaps the cane over his knee. Janela with the Tommy Dreamer piledriver to Beulah, er, Chelsea. We got a man in a motorcycle helmet to spear Janela through the table. It’s not Edge, it’s Brian Myers! Cardona hits the Ruff Ryder through the door to get the three count!

Winner: Matt Cardona (20 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: **1/2

What a dog & pony show that was. A little too much “extra” going on for my taste, but it worked for the audience.

Now we got some Run DMC DX music, and here comes X-Pac! He clears the ring.

Mance Warner makes his way to the ring! He’s been out of action with a leg injury, like too many indy wrestlers to count lately. He talks about how GCW has the best locker room, commentators, ring crew, security and everybody else in the business. After a speech putting the audience over, Atticus Cogar emerges to rain on everybody’s parade and basically say the opposite of what ol’ Mancer did. Mance & Atticus go at it, but Mance isn’t as ready as he thought. Matthew Justice comes out to attack, but now there’s some 44OH folks to beat these two down. Atticus gets out some skewers, but then the lights go out. What is this, AEW Dynamite? I hear a whistle! It’s Sabu & Bill Alfonso! Sabu clears the ring by throwing chairs. Fonzie does it too! DDT to Greg Iron! Superfly splash by Justice, and Fonzie makes the three count. “Walk” by Pantera plays, and now I’m wondering where the hell RVD is.

We see a video hyping up Allie Katch’s upcoming match with Ruby Soho.

Ruby Soho vs. Allie Katch: Good to see Soho uses the same music on the indies. Code of Honor is adhered to. Shoulderblock by Soho, O’Connor Roll avoided, as is Ruby’s finisher. Soho with the armlock, Katch works out of it and goes for the piledriver, but Soho gets out. Katch with the cartwheel into the dropkick. Katch has her head driven into the turnbuckle by Soho’s knees for two. Soho tries a headscissors, works out of a DVD attempt, Katch uses the knees in the turnbuckle move Soho taught her a minute ago. Some hip attacks in the corner by Katch. Cannonball! Cover gets two. Forearm from Soho. Back & forth, kicks to faces, German suplex by Katch. Soho blocks the kick, hits a backdrop suplex. Katch fights back, but takes too much time going up top. Arm drag by Soho, flatliner gets two. Soho with the Rubycanrana faceplant for two. Backslide from Katch for two, Ruby hits the big kick for only two. Soho can’t believe it. Katch fights back, hits the big piledriver for two! Katch takes Soho up top, sets up the superplex, but Ruby headbutts her way out. She goes for the powerbomb but Katch fights out. Ruby with a strike, now she has the theoretical advantage on the ropes. Katch goes for a piledriver off the second, but Ruby gets out of it, and hits the big kick for three.

Winner: Ruby Soho (10 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: **1/2

The fans wanted a win for Allie Katch there. Ruby’s been there before, she knows the deal.

A video sets up a match pitting Jeff Jarrett against Effy. Yep!

Jeff Jarrett vs. Effy: Jarrett grabs Vladimir by the throat, establishing himself as the heel here. The My World spooky remix theme is pretty solid. So this will be the first Effy match I’ve ever watched. Should be a hoot! Jarrett doesn’t seem as amused as the audience. Effy reaches into his tights and produces a $20. He tells Jarrett to take it and leave. The referee takes it, probably his payoff for the night. Jarrett wins the lockup, tossing Effy down. Effy goes to the arm wringer. Jarrett gets out, Effy evades the shot. Jarrett with the headlock. Effy does the ol’ drop down to his knees in front of Jarrett gimmick. MIND GAMES! Effy with some shots to Jarrett’s mid-section. Effy with the hip gyrations to JJ, then the Tarantula. Jarrett with the sexy clothesline. He whips Effy with his belt like he’s a dog! The fans seem to think Effy likes it, and they’re probably right. Jarrett chokes Effy with the belt and throws him into a ring attendant. Jarrett hits the refere with the belt in the face! Excessive! Back in the ring as the crowd chants “Fuck You Slapnuts”. Jarrett continues to whip Effy like a dog. He goes to the choke, which Effy seems to like. More choking in the corner, and now Jarrett ties Effy to the turnbuckle. I’m guessing Effy likes that too, but am not 100% sure. Jarrett gets the dreaded red chair. He misses in the corner as Effy frees himself. Effy with the pelvic thrusts in the corner, but Jarrett gets out. JJ misses in the corner, Effy hits the big boot and hits a modified Famouser for two. The fans chant about how Effy fucks. Snap mare by Effy with the belt. Effy to the middle rope, misses the blockbuster. Jarrett goes for the guitar, but Effy hits the low blow. Rollup gets two. Effy now has the acoustic equalizer, but opts to remove his fishnets instead. He feeds them to Jarrett. Now it’s time for El Kabong. Nah, Jarrett blocks and hits the guitar shot followed by the Stroke. Three count!

Winner: Jeff Jarrett (11 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: **

I feel like both Jeff Jarrett & Effy are better in theory than in practice. Like, the idea of an old school cowboy versus a flamboyant youngster seems like a lot of fun, but this didn’t do it for me.

GCW World Championship Match: Jon Moxley vs. Homicide: The Notorious 187 comes out to his old school ROH theme, which is greatly appreciated. Moxley listed at 213 here, we’ve seen he’s in better shape than ever after cleaning up. The fans chant “Fuck Bully Ray”, and I concur with that sentiment. Forearm exchange right away. They laugh at each other, you can tell they’re having some fun out there. Punch exchange. Mox with the punch/kick, Cide sends him outside, but Mox right back in and sends Homicide down. Homicide sent outside, Mox goes for the double axehandle but Homicide blocks. Homicide punches away on a seated Moxley, and bites the man’s ear! Moxley shrugs off the tornado DDT attempt and sends Homicide into the ringpost. Neckbreaker on the apron by Moxley. A piledriver back in the ring gets two. Mox delivers some kicks to a seated Homicide, but Cide fights back with some suplexes. Moxley steps outside, so Homicide hits his trademark tope con hilo. Back in the ring, Homicide hits a second rope Ace crusher for two. Cop Killa is blocked and they start trading again. Moxley with the German, Homcide right back up and he hits a German. Moxley wants some more of that. Dueling lariats, Moxley hits the double arm DDT for two. Moxley with the repeated elbows, then the bulldog choke! Homicide goes for the ropes, gets them. A tooth from Homicide is sighted on the canvas. Moxley heads outside, looks under the ring and eventually finds a chair and places it in a corner for later usage. Homicide hits a lariat that gets a near fall. Moxley with a rollup for two, then he starts biting Homicide. Death Rider on the chairs! Only gets two! Moxley sets up a chair, then taunts Homicide to get up. Homicide flips Moxley off. Moxley goes for the DDT, Homicide with the jackknife pin for two. More biting! Moxley with the clothesline, then the Death Rider on the set up chair. That’ll get three.

Winner: Jon Moxley (11 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: ***

They didn’t waste any time out there, that’s for sure. Two solid pros that know what they’re doing. Homicide gets the ring to himself before walking out.

So the Briscoes have issued an open challenge. Will the obvious people answer, or will someone else?

Open Challenge for GCW World Tag Team Championship: The Briscoes vs. Matt Tremont & Nick Gage (w/Dewey Donovan): Love the return of “Gimme Back My Bullets”, the song I would listen to before podcasting with the legendary Larry Csonka. The challenge is answered by a death match king, who immediately starts looking for plunder. The fans seem to think another death match king will come out. The wait builds. It’s Dewey Donovan! The longtime manager of Matt Tremont’s partner, Nick Fucking Gage! Gage asks where his fucking gang is, then the bell rings.

Gage spears Jay right through the door. Tremont Samoan drops Mark, who rolls outside. The Briscoes throw some chairs into the ring like they’re Terry Funk. We got two chairs & two broken doors being used as weapons. The chair fight with Jay & Tremont ends up a draw. Mark & Gage hit each other over the heads with their doors. Gage with a DDT. Dewey climbs the apron and produces the pizza cutter! Jay breaks that up, Dewey’s history with the Briscoes goes back twenty years, when he mismanaged them in CZW. Mark with a flying senton through Tremont and a door. Gage is left in the ring to be beaten senseless by the Briscoes. Froggybow through Gage & the door gets two. Tremont wanders back in the ring to get hit with a chair and exchange punches with Jay. Uranage sends Jay down, but Mark knocks Tremont out of the ring with a chair. Up top, Gage gets Mark and piledrives him through a setup door. Chokebreaker gets a three count! Jay barely missed breaking that up.

Winners: Nick Gage & Matt Tremont (6 minutes via pinfall)
Match Rating: **1/2

Not long enough to go too far, but the spectacle was good. Also feels like the proper way to end a GCW show.

Gage asks where his fucking gang is at and talks about being the realest in the locker room. He got his body, mind & soul right. He got messages every day from the MDK Gang telling him to keep going. GCW is the best promotion in the world, and it’s MDK all fucking day.

The final score: review Average
The 411
I thought the lucha tag was amazing and the easy standout match of the evening. GCW didn't have a complete disaster of an outing, but I think they missed on one key element of a show like this one that drew more fan interest than usual: they didn't do enough to make it "GCW". It didn't come off like something you'd never seen before, or even something that's tremendously different from everything else going on right now. That's kind of what I was expecting/hoping for, maybe one or two things that you wouldn't see on network television. Instead, you got a lot of stuff that you could find on any given show in 2022. Even the Nick Gage match felt like a fairly normal hardcore match that wouldn't be out of place on Dynamite or even Impact Wrestling. Maybe that's to do with the New York state athletic commission, tough to say. You also had the trend of GCW's "originals", the folks that are there every show, putting over the outsiders. That's a tough row to hoe with your regular audience while telling your new audience that your regulars aren't quite on the level of the people they know. Which is ok when it's Ruby Soho, but when it's Jeff Jarrett in 2022? Ehhhhhhh, I dunno about that one. You might be building to something later there, but are people going to want to see it? I don't want to say this was a bad show or anything, but it wasn't the standout type of show you hope for from a promotion like this on a stage like this.

article topics :

The WRLD On GCW, Steve Cook