The Furious Flashbacks: GCW Acid Cup N2
April 9, 2021
We’re in Ybor City, Florida at the Cuban Club and yes, you are reading this correctly. It’s me, it’s me, it’s Arnold fucking Furious. Watching his first wrestling show since summer 2020. I’ve seen one match since then (Naito vs. Ibushi) and I pretty much hated it. So why have I plonked down $13.99 to watch an American Indy show? BECAUSE IT’S WRESTLEMANIA WEEK BABY. Even though I hate wrestling it’s still WrestleMania week and I can’t help myself. I almost got through it but Aqeel tweeted something about watching every show in my honour and here we are.
I’ve had a look at the participants and good news; I know a couple of them. There are like three luchadores in the lineup so I should get my requisite fill of dives anyway. I just need a few big hosses to twat people with lariats and everyone’s a winner.
This is taking place in a parking lot and it’s hot as fuck.
Calvin Tankman vs. Dragon Bane
Slapping hands with fans in a pandemic? Really fucking stupid. Touching your face immediately afterwards? Fuck no. Dragon Bane appears to be a particularly stupid man. His style of wrestling reflects this. He does flips for the sake of it and I want him to die. The Tank Man is even worse, deciding to take a shit rana. Don’t take rana’s for the flippy man! Punch him in the fucking jaw. Then Tankman unleashes some strikes and I take it back. Don’t hit anyone, ever. They have communication issues. It’s horrible to watch. Tankman keeps taking stupid bumps. Bane keeps attempting stupid spots. It’s a terrible match. Tankman has promise but desperately needs someone to tell him what not to do in a match. He kills Bane with the “Tankman Driver” for the win.
Final Rating: *¼
AJ Gray vs. Lee Moriarty
AJ looks like he’s put some bulk on since I last saw him. I’ve heard good things about Lee Moriarty. This is much slower and more technically sound as it’s not two guys doing stupid shit to pop the crowd. Neither man is as good on the mat as they think they are. The striking is ok. Gray’s forearms in particular. They have a story too with Moriarty coming in with bad ribs. Win with an abdominal stretch and you’ve got me on the story! Mortiarty struggles to sell the ribs. When he’s in a hold it’s fine but a bridge on a German suplex? No mate. Moriarty wins with a fluke roll up, which is fine here because he was wrestling defensively. I didn’t hate this.
Final Rating: **½
Arez vs. Cole Radrick
Radrick needs to get less bad gear. This is a counters driven match. With one guy attempting something and it getting blocked or countered. Arez is smooth, mostly, and Radrick has the right idea about what wrestling should be. There are less bad spots apart from the standing switches, which feel slack. Cole seems to alternate between hard-hitting and running miss spots that don’t feel like they’re designed for any purpose other than to miss. There’s nothing more irritating in wrestling than ‘missed’ spots that don’t look like they were ever a move to begin with. Cole is creative but needs to work at a lot of his basics. His movement around the ring, in particular. I also think he oversells while someone is setting up their shit. Maybe that’s just on Arez for being too slow in his own offence because when they transition the other way it looks good. Radrick drops Arez with a powerbomb variant (I was typing, sorry) and this was very ok. Replay shows it was a modified Doctorbomb rolled into from a suplex. Nicely done. Radrick has a lot of potential.
Final Rating: ***
Jordan Oliver vs. Brayden Lee
I’ve seen Jordan Oliver before and I didn’t like him. Brayden Lee lost in the first round but apparently Laredo Kid didn’t make it here in time so they’ve had to switch matches. Oh my, that doesn’t bode well. They, perhaps sensibly, keep it basic. You can tell they’ve not had long to prepare things because Lee goes to throw Oliver back into the ring and he takes it as a bump and Lee rolls back inside the figure things out. Lee likes a dive but doesn’t put anything into them. If you’re doing a dive I want that whole fucking front row wiped out. Likewise Oliver puts some chops in and they’re half-assed. If you live in WALTER’s world then you need to put some effort into those or just not do them. They do a dumb ‘let’s stand on the ropes for a bit’ spot, which doesn’t even have a pay off. It feels like they called this in the ring. It gets to the point where they forget stuff because they’re so focused on the next big spot. Stuff like Irish whips are so, so sloppy. Oliver is too tall to do half the moves he’s attempting. He looks awkward as hell out there. They do a poison rana and that’s a mess. The match rumbles on too long and then Oliver wins with a kick after a bunch of more impressive, but badly executed stuff. (It was Trent Acid’s finish so) This was really bad. Stop watching NXT kids.
Final Rating: *
El Hijo de Canis Lupus vs. Gabriel Skye
This is a bonus non-tournament match. They do a lot of lucha stuff. It’s ok. They try and do more complicated and they muff it a bit. There’s a phantom knee and we get some silly high spots. Canis Lupus ends up saying “fuck it” and wrecks Skye with a couple of knee strikes. The replay reveals the first one actually whiffed but the powerbomb/knee strike finished ruled.
Final Rating: **¼
Calvin Tankman vs. Lee Moriarty
I don’t get Moriarty listening to his headphones. It’s his entrance music! Doesn’t he get hyped up by his own music? This ain’t WWE. You can pick it yourself mate. Tank Man goes after the ribs and this could be good. It’s certainly a much, much superior match from Tank Man. He should be bossing his opponents. There’s a reason Brock Lesnar wasn’t running around taking rana’s off skinny luchadores. Moriarty gets nothing and gets to demonstrate his selling as Tank Man throws him around. Moriarty looks comfortable in the role and occasionally stomping on Tank Man to defend himself. The trouble with it being so one-sided is that Moriarty’s continued kick outs become more unlikely. I want to keep that sense of realism. Moriarty takes Tank Man out with the Princess Bride Sleeper and when Tank Man isn’t unconscious Moriarty elbows the shit out of him to advance. Yes mate!
Final Rating: ***½
Cole Radrick vs. Jordan Oliver
I would love to see Radrick vs. A hurt Morarity so the big question here is; will Jordan Oliver ruin this tournament or just this match? The opening is dumb as hell. An attempt at the Strongstyle; you hit me, I hit you, then we both sell deal. Oliver sandbags Cole on a powerbomb and with every passing minute he’s getting worse. Apparently Oliver watches a lot of tapes but what he needs to do is get good at his existing repertoire and learn what his body can do. He throws so much stuff at the wall. He has an incredible superkick, for example, but it’s just lost in the mess that is everything else. Again it’s Cole that’s doing all the legwork. He’s the one selling the importance of all of Jordan’s holds. A lot of Cole’s moves seem to be needlessly overcomplicated allowing Oliver to counter him.
There’s a moment here that is borderline embarassing. They’re all “come on, everyone stand up” and like four people stand up. It’s too fucking hot lads. Oliver hits the Yakuza Kick and this is over. Oliver channelling Trent Acid is the theme throughout this. I love a lady in the front row getting up and leaving at this point, clearly not wanting to watch another Jordan Oliver match. This was better than the last Oliver match but still sloppy and Jordan won’t get better unless he sorts out his major technical issues. Most of it related to his movement in the ring.
Final Rating: **1/4
Bonus Scramble Match
Ok, this has a bunch of guys I don’t know. I’ve seen Façade, the “Neon Ninja”, before. He was ok from memory. Matt Vandagriff has clearly been the chosen one to pop the boys here with some slick rope work. It’s not all that good. Whenever comms are saying “he got part of it” you know you’ve seen some shit. Anyway, this is a Scramble so you know what you’re getting and most of it is a goddamn mess. The more guys you have the harder it is to put a match together. So ideally if you have a five-way get experienced wrestlers in there. Vandagriff gets exposed. The more I see of it him the worse it gets. Mathers, I didn’t catch his first name, is green as grass. Ken Broadway is the only one who looks consistently good. Everyone else just tries to get all their shit in. Mathers nearly kills one of the other lads with a Tombstone on the apron that ends up being very gentle to protect him. They do a garbage stacker spot on the floor where a bunch of guys come out to catch people. There isn’t even a fucking bump in there lads. Broadway then just wins with a German suplex. This had virtually no structure whatsoever and made zero sense. A complete waste of time.
Final Rating: DUD
Acid Cup #3 Final
Lee Moriarty vs. Jordan Oliver
There are two stories; Moriarty’s injured ribs and Oliver’s Trent Acid appreciation pants. Both guys have wrestled a bunch of matches and it’s hot as hell so they naturally take a slow pace. Oliver does clever stuff here like a bodyscissors to work the ribs and kill time. I can’t help but wonder how Cole Radrick would have approached this. Oliver, clearly tired, starts making sloppy mistakes. His missed shoulder charge into the corner is a bad spot. Oliver at least wins with a Boston Crab, focusing on Moriarty’s injured ribs, but he’s ruined this tournament on his own. Quite the accomplishment. The final was perfectly fine with the rib work but I preferred Moriarty vs. Tankman as it had a better dynamic.
Final Rating: **½
It wasn’t very good. I pretty much expected this as the US Indies have been pillaged by WWE. A lot of the guys here have big potential but will struggle to realise it when surrounded by guys at a similar level. It’s very hard to get better wrestling guys at same level. Look at BritWres before the boom. A bunch of average guys wrestling average guys until the boom and better quality imports changed it.