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Hall’s GCW vs. DDT Review

April 1, 2023 | Posted by Thomas Hall
GCW vs. DDT Image Credit: GCW
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Hall’s GCW vs. DDT Review  

Date: March 31, 2023
Location: Ukranian Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Dave Prazak, Veda Scott

I think the title for this one says it all and that could go in a few different directions. I wasn’t thrilled with the DDT show from earlier in the week and GCW is hit or miss a lot of the time. Shows pitting two promotions against each other can be quite a mess but that’s part of the fun of seeing what they have. Let’s get to it.

Jack Cartwheel/Wasted Youth/Gringo Loco (GCW) vs. Daisuke Sasaki/Kanon/Sanshiro Takagi/Takeshi Masada (DDT)

Wasted Youth is Marcus Mathers/Dyln McKay and this is one fall to a finish. Takagi and Cartwheel start things off and Scott volunteers to be the official cartwheel counter. Cartwheel does a cartwheel and Takagi manages one of his own as I don’t think this is going to be overly serious. It’s already off to Sasaki vs. Mathers with Mathers sending him into the corner and snapmaring him back out.

With that going nowhere, McKay comes in to headlock Masada, who is right back out with a dropkick. McKay is fine enough to come back with a spinning brainbuster for two and everything breaks down. We settle back to Kanon fist dropping onto McKay and it’s back to Takagi to stay on McKay. Some rapid fire chops are enough to get over to Loco for the tag and everything breaks down fast.

Cartwheel hits a big flipping elbow over the top, setting up a big dive to the floor (with a Loco assist). Back in and Kanon chops away at Loco before Sasaki faceplants him down. Takagi is back in for a bunch of Stunners but McKay is there with an enziguri to Masada. Loco adds a moonsault, McKay hits a shooting star press, Mathers puts in a 450 and Cartwheel finishes with a Red Arrow for the pin at 10:39.

Rating: C+ This was a good way to start as you got a nice mixture of the two sides, with GCW getting to showcase themselves a bit. DDT didn’t stand out quite as much, but there is only so much you can do when most of you are in black and getting beaten up in the end. Fun match and they’re on the right path so far.

GCW – 1
DDT – 0

Saki Akai (DDT) vs. Dark Sheik (GCW)

Feeling out process to start as they circle each other until Sheik drops her with a shoulder. Back up and Akai hits a big boot but Sheik kicks her down even harder. A slingshot legdrop into a slingshot hilo keeps Akai down, followed by a splits splash for two. Akai manages to come back with a kick of her own and a high crossbody for two.

Sheik gets her leg swept out so a running knee can give Akai two. They slug it out, including boots to the head, with Akai getting the better of it and knocking her down. Akai grabs the abdominal stretch but Sheik reverses into a small package for the surprise pin to extend the lead at 7:19.

Rating: C. Nice match here as they felt even enough (maybe a slight advantage to Akai) as the good start to the show continues. I’ve seen Akai twice so far and she has done well in both matches, as there is a little something about her that makes you want to keep watching. On the other hand you have Sheik, who seems like she has something going for her and I could go for a few more matches.

GCW – 2
DDT – 0

East West Express (GCW) vs. Moonlight Express (DDT)

That would be Nick Wayne/Jordan Oliver vs. Mao/Mike Bailey. Wayne and Bailey start things off with a standoff so it’s off to Mao to shoulder Oliver (I had been waiting to see him this weekend). A dropkick puts Oliver down so Wayne comes in to help Oliver clear the ring. Naturally that means stereo dives but they try again and get punched out of the air by Bailey and Mao. Back in and Mao hits a springboard knee to keep Oliver in trouble, meaning it’s time to start in on the arm.

Mao rolls him into an abdominal stretch so Wayne makes the save, only to be knocked outside. Bailey moonsaults onto Wayne and Mao moonsaults onto Oliver for two, only to have Oliver blasts Bailey with a clothesline for two. The hot tag brings in Wayne to clean house until Mao drops him hard. Mao literally wiggles his way out of a waistlock but Wayne is back with a handspring Stunner.

It’s back to Oliver to take over on Bailey, including a running boot in the corner and sitout powerbomb for two. Wayne comes back in and gets caught with Bailey’s bouncing kicks. Oliver and Wayne are sent outside and stereo moonsaults from Mao and Bailey (from the same corner, with their arms around each other) drop them again. Wayne is busted open (it’s a bad one too) and it’s a double clothesline into a double hiptoss for two on Bailey.

Mao and Bailey are back with stereo backflip slams (Cameron Grimes does it in NXT) for two each. The Ultimate Weapon hits Oliver but Mao’s 450 hits knees. A tiger suplex gets two with Bailey shoving Wayne into the cover for the save. Wayne is kicked to the floor and the Tornado Driver (something like Aussie Open’s Coriolis) gets a rather close two. Oliver and Bailey trade rollups until a double team middle rope cutter plants Bailey for the pin at 16:20.

Rating: B+. This took its time to get going but I was way into it by the end and they had it rocking. I hadn’t seen these teams together before but you can tell they have the experience and skill to work well together. Heck of a match here and one of the better things I’ve seen so far this weekend.

GCW – 3
DDT – 0

Veda Scott swaps out with someone named Nick Knowledge.

Starboy Charlie (GCW) vs. Kazusada Higuchi (DDT)

The much bigger Higuchi takes him into the corner and gives Charlie a rub of the head before letting him go. Charlie tries to pick up the pace and goes for the leg, setting up a basement dropkick. Higuchi’s chop takes Charlie down and a running splash gets two. The neck crank goes on but doesn’t keep Charlie down long, leaving Higuchi to knock him down again.

A middle rope elbow hits Charlie for two, so he begs Higuchi not to chop him. That makes Higuchi chop him hard enough to put Charlie down but he’s back up with a Thesz press of all things. Charlie gets sat on top, where he manages to slip through Higuchi’s legs and hit a heck of a powerbomb. For some reason Charlie tries to chop it out, even nipping up when Higuchi knocks him down.

Charlie’s chest is blood red and Higuchi blasts him with a clothesline for two. A missed charge sends Higuchi into the post and out to the floor, allowing Charlie to get in a dropkick through the ropes. Back in and a middle rope corkscrew moonsault gets two, allowing Charlie to pull his straps up….and then right back down.

Higuchi has had it with this and grabs a doctor bomb for two, with the kickout just getting on Higuchi’s nerves. The claw slam is countered into a crossface and Charlie even rolls back into the middle. With the rope not working, Higuchi muscles him up for an Oklahoma Stampede. For some reason Charlie flips him off and gets flattened with a running shoulder. Now the claw slam can finish Charlie at 11:40.

Rating: B-. This wasn’t exactly a great match but it told a story and that made it work. You could see Higuchi go from toying with Charlie to having to put in the work to beat him, making this get more interesting as it went on. Charlie didn’t get in a ton of offense but what he did looked effective, which isn’t easy given the size difference. They pulled me in with this one and that isn’t easy to do so nice job.

GCW – 3
DDT – 1

Veda Scott comes back.

Joey Janela (GCW) vs. Yuki Ueno (DDT)

Ueno shoulders away to start but gets taken into the corner. Janela stomps on the fingers and starts in on the arm, including a hammerlock. Ueno fights out and sends him into the corner before tying him in the ropes. A running faceplant on the apron rock Janela, who is fine enough to come back with a Death Valley Driver for two. Janela sends him outside for the suicide dive, followed by the Fujiwara armbar on the bad arm back inside.

That’s broken up as well but Ueno misses a knee. A superkick just makes Ueno snap off a dropkick for two, only to have Janela hit the brainbuster. Janela goes up top but gets caught with a super hurricanrana. That and a flipping Fameasser (as in a Fameasser with the arm trapped and they flip forward until Janela lands on his face) for the pin at 10:24.

Rating: C. Janela still isn’t the best in the ring but there is a weird charisma to him that makes him watchable. At the same time Ueno is someone who feels like he could be a star with some more experience and seasoning. It didn’t make for the best match, but Ueno’s offense was enough to keep it interesting.

GCW – 3
DDT – 2

Tony Deppen/Homicide (GCW) vs. Tetsuya Endo/Jun Akiyama (DDT)

Akiyama and Homicide look at each other a lot to start before it’s time to exchange wristlocks. It’s too early for Akiyama’s exploder so it’s off to Deppen vs. Endo. Deppen gets caught in a headlock and then gets shouldered to the mat. Deppen is back up for a nice looking dropkick and it’s back to Homicide for a running clothesline. Akiyama comes in and goes to the floor with Homicide instead.

The other two go to the floor as well and we have to go split screen for the double brawls. Homicide bends Akiyama’s fingers before heading back inside where Deppen can wrap the arm around the rope. Biting in the corner has Akiyama in more trouble but he comes back with a jumping knee. Endo comes back in to pick up the pace, including a springboard double clothesline.

Homicide manages a shot to take Endo down though and Deppen comes in off the top with a double stomp for two. Endo Boston crabs Deppen with Homicide grabbing a cutter for the save. That leaves Akiyama to come back in for the throws. With Deppen down, Endo adds the Burning (shooting) Star press for the pin at 12:20.

Rating: C+. Nice enough stuff here as you had a unique styles match here. Homicide can wrestle with just about anyone and Deppen has such a punchable face that it is easy to want to see him get beaten up. Akiyama and Endo both did well too, which shouldn’t be a surprise. I’m not with on a lot of Homicide’s stuff but it meshed well here.

GCW – 3
DDT – 3

Second Gear Crew (GCW) vs. Chris Brookes/Shunma Katsumata/Mizuki Watase (DDT)

The Crew is 1 Called Manders/Matthew Justice/Mance Warner and they get jumped from behind during their entrances. The fight starts on the floor and I’m not sure how much tagging you should expect here. Warner chairs Brookes but Brookes throws it at Warner’s already bleeding head. Back in and Manders takes off his boots to hammer away at some heads, only to run into some Legos (while wearing only socks).

Brookes breaks some kind of bin over Justice’s head and it’s Warner coming back in for a bunch of jabs to Brookes’ face. Warner grabs a ladder and does the helicopter spin until a low blow cuts him off. Katsumata puts the ladder around his own neck but gets picked up and speared down in a big crash. The DDT guys get back up and stack the bins together, setting up a top rope backsplash to drive Justice through the bins (they broke well) and into the Legos for two.

Everyone is back up for the strike offs with DDT taking over. Brookes grabs the staple gun and staples the Crew’s heads, only to have them all fight back. Katsumata gets stapled in a variety of places and now it’s time for the door. The PowerPlex through the door gets two so Manders manages to pick up both of his partners at once (geez). The charge misses though and Manders drives both of them through another door in the corner.

DDT all goes up for a triple Van Terminator and a triple near fall. The doors are set up again on the floor and Katsumata dives off a ladder to drive Justice through them. Back in and the Crew starts swinging doors to take over, followed by a chair to Watase’s head. Watase just screams a lot and sends Warner outside. Manders lariats Katsumata and Warner adds a DDT for the pin at 15:19.

Rating: C. This is the kind of hardcore match that you kind of expect from GCW but they didn’t get into the stupid/over the top stuff that gives the place its reputation. The Crew is a team that feels like they could be a constant in GCW as they work well together and have a good look. The DDT guys were fine, but I absolutely didn’t need to see one of them get chaired in the head like that. Cut that stuff out.

GCW – 4
DDT – 3

We run down some upcoming shows while the ring is cleaned up.

Pheromones (DDT) vs. Bussy (DDT)

That would be Danshoku Dino/Yuhi Ino vs. Effy/Allie Katch and I still have nightmares about that one Pheromones match. After a somewhat personal weapons check, we’re ready to go. Allie and Ino start things off but hang on as Ino needs to pose on the middle rope (Effy seems VERY interested). Allie finally kicks Ino in the gut after nearly two minutes of posing but he takes her down and exposes his nipples.

Effy comes in to face Dino and they lock it up, with Allie having to prevent a kiss. With that not working, Effy goes for a waistlock and Dino bends over. Everything breaks down and Effy is rather pleased with the idea of Ino unzipping his singlet. Dino slaps at Effy’s trunks, with Effy sitting on the buckle for easier access. That finally breaks up and a double atomic drop gets two on Ino.

Effy and Ino have a gyrate off until Ino starts to strip. That means only the jockstrap is left and Effy needs a minute. Dino takes his trunks off too and Effy is officially on their team. The Pheromones do their Merry Go Round deal (it involves rubbing various parts of their bodies over someone’s face) to Allie but Effy throws her aside to take her place. Then Effy takes his own trunks down and makes it a three person Merry Go Round.

Effy breaks up the cover so Allie gets caught in a Boston crab/headscissors, meaning her face goes between Ino’s legs. Effy finally throws some forearms and Allie kicks Ino low as this just keeps going. Allie takes down her own trunks and hits some cannonballs in the corner. A Stunner and Pedigree get stereo near falls because THIS JUST KEEPS GOING. Effy takes Ino into the corner for some hip thrusts to the face before putting him in another corner. A Human Centipede ensues, including various referees, which is finally a no contest at 13:38.

Rating: F. Nope.

GCW – 4
DDT – 3

A triple kiss ensues post match.

Ironman Heavymetalweight Title: Yoshihiko (DDT) vs. Cole Radrick (GCW)

Yoshihiko (still a blow up sex doll) is defending. Radrick shakes her hand to start and gets taken down with a headlock takeover. Another headlock takeover cuts Radrick down and an armdrag sends him to the floor. A big flip dive over the top is pulled out of the air though and Yoshihiko is launched into the wall. They go back to ringside where Yoshihiko hits a tornado DDT on the floor and gets two back inside.

Radrick’s powerbomb attempt is countered into a very spinning headscissors for two. A splash in the corner is broken up and Yoshihiko grabs a super hurricanrana to send Radrick outside. The big flip dive drops Radrick again but he’s fine enough to hit an Air Raid Crash into the corner. It’s time for a door because of course it is, plus a bunch of chairs (some of which land on Yoshihiko).

The door is sat on some tables but Radrick takes too much time to go up, allowing Yoshihiko to sit up. There’s the superplex through the table for two but Radrick is back with a running Death Valley Driver through a door in the corner. Yoshihiko’s piledriver gets two and she throws some chairs at his head. Back up and Radrick Death Valley Drivers her onto a chair for the pin at 14:36.

Rating: C. As was the case in the previous Yoshihiko match, this is a different kind of entertainment and the wrestling really isn’t there. This is all about the fans having a good time and I can give the human points for some creativity with some of this stuff. At the very least, it is something different that the fans like. I won’t argue with anyone who thinks it’s idiotic or a waste of time, but given the other stuff on this show, it was brilliant.

GCW – 5
DDT – 4

Post match they shake hands and Yoshihiko kicks him low. A small package gives her the title back.




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The final score: review Average
The 411
This is a tricky one because there is some good stuff on here, but the bad is just so awful that it’s hard to get my head around it. There is a special skill needed to do something that awful and stupid and they managed to pull both of them off here. Other than that and the main event (the ultimate your mileage may vary deal), the rest of the show was up and down, with the tag match being very good but some of the other stuff just being kind of there. I probably won’t be back to DDT anytime soon, but the GCW talent has some potential. Not a great show, but that’s mainly due to a few things rather than the whole.

article topics :

DDT, GCW, Thomas Hall