GCW Effy’s Big Gay Brunch
April 2, 2022
We’re in Dallas, Texas at Fair Park. Hosts are Kevin Gill and Val Capone (great name). I have finally fallen behind schedule because I had a 2 hour block of time to drop this into and the show is 2.5 hours long. We’re here to make Dallas gayer. Tip to Val Capone; don’t talk over ring entrances. 1. People are listening to that. 2. No one can hear you. This isn’t just Val, it’s a lot of commentators. Know when to be quiet.
Jai Vidal vs. Carlos Romo
Jai is from Puerto Rico, Romo from Spain. There’s a strong chance of that clicking nicely.
Romo’s approach is to ground the more explosive Vidal. Whereas Vidal utilises his speed. As with all good matches both guys are strong across the board but deliberately differentiate between each other. The match is summed up nicely by Vidal going for a powerbomb and Carlos countering out into an anklelock using that superior grappling. Romo has a thing for doing super late kick outs and he pulls one out here where he’s doing that ‘dead-eyed, match is over’ face and BANG kick out. Incredible timing. There are a few sequences here that could be faster. The one leading into the near falls is very safe as they go for getting it right, rather than doing something cool and doing the sequence at speed. Vidal finishes with the Power Bottom Bomb and this was a fine opener. ***½
Edith Surreal vs. Max the Impaler
Given their looks this feels like something out of Mad Max. Something I’d love to see is promotions dressing buildings to make an arena match the make-up and wardrobe efforts of the workers. Both these wrestlers have such cool looks but it’s the same building with the same lighting I’ve seen all weekend.
Commentary addresses a lot of ignorance in the modern world about pronouns and attitude towards trans people. I’ve always been a live and let live kinda guy but I struggle with the pronoun deal so I try and refer to people by their name rather than she/her or whatever. Pronoun usage is something that’s changed during my lifetime so it can be a bit of a mental minefield. If I fuck anything up on this show it’s not intentional and I apologise ahead of time. Back in the match this suffers from similar issues to the first match. Where they play it safe and everything is quite slow. Only that’s amplified by it being consistent, rather than during harder spots. I don’t like Max spending ages setting up a door on two chairs at ringside but at least this leads to Max yeeting Edith over the top rope through it and winning on count out. **¾
Kidd Bandit vs. Shay Pursor vs. Rico Gonzalez vs. Kilian McMurphy vs. Sylvio Milano vs. Jordan Blade vs. The Whisper
It’s mad seeing Shay-Fu on Mania weekend. Shay hasn’t wrestled in two years. He is on Twitch though. Check him out. The last time I watched he was doing a 24-hour charity stream and was doing shots of hot sauce.
McMurphy, the angry Irishman (who tries to get an USA chant going), has murderous intent and is suitably vicious as the bad guy. There’s a lot of moving parts here and while some of them, like Kidd Bandit, are good in fits and starts, Jordan Blade is a clear stand out. I’ve never seen Blade wrestle before but based on this, I’d love to see more. This is a fun scramble, and the variety of talent levels is sometimes a boon and sometimes an issue. I love Shay doing the one-inch punch. An effective gimmick can be massive in this kind of match. Kidd Bandit vs. Jordan Blade at the finish is a nice bit. Bandit gets over huge and is promptly choked out.
This was a real mixed bag. A few of the participants will know they could have done better. Certainty a break out moment in time for Kidd Bandit though. Great look, great showing. ***
Billy Dixon vs. Keita Murray
It’s tough to follow a scramble. They opt for a brawl. Any time they attempt a sequence the foot work gets exposed. This is becoming a running theme tonight. This match isn’t great. A highlight is Keita showing Dixon his penis. It way overstays its welcome too. Everything on this show is getting a lot of time whether they need it or not. We finally get into the meat of the match as Keita works the leg, attacks Dixon with a chair and taps him out with a kneebar. They could have skipped a lot of the sloppier high spot work in here and got the point quicker. However, I did love the finish. **
AC Mack & Ashton Starr vs. MSP (Aiden Aggro & The DangerKid)
This is easily the gayest match on the show so far. There’s a lot of dancing and posing. They’re leaning into the gimmick. I must have missed an introductory note as another team joins the match; Brooke Valentine & Devon Monroe and there’s another team to come before we can start going for pins because it’s one fall to a finish. What? Why not just have all the teams in from the start then? The final team is Dillon McQueen and Kenzie Paige.
I feel like the whole opening section of the match is a complete waste of time. The rest of it isn’t much better. There’s a lot of standing around waiting for stuff to happen, including a stupid spot where Kenzie tries to take on everyone else. As MSP get eliminated, I discover it’s NOT one fall to a finish. Maybe announce this? The rules of the match have crippled it from the get-go. I could have lived without this. *
Dark Sheik vs. Parrow
I remember seeing Parrow in AJPW and thinking he was a decent prospect, but he’s not really improved since and has probably regressed. Host Pollo del Mar is out here in Dark Sheik’s corner. Pollo is a drag queen. Parrow is fine when he’s hitting power moves and would be fine throwing around skinny bois or going toe to toe with some other big dude in a brawl. Dark Sheik, despite being talented, is not a good opponent for Parrow. Sheik has to get spots in and Parrow struggles to sell and bump them.
Dark Sheik tries hard to get her shit in and it’s not her fault the match doesn’t work. Sometimes in matchmaking you have to know when something won’t work. Parrow, playing the bad guy, gets to put Pollo de Mar through a table and of course they work in a ref bump. Dark Sheik gets a roll up to avoid a Parrowbomb and Effy runs out himself to count the pin. This was deeply unsatisfying as a match and as a concept. An example of it not mattering how hard people work if the storyline they’re in is a dud. The crowd love it though, because Parrow lost. So, at least there’s that and I guess I may have missed the spirit of the thing (I’m aware there’s a back story between Parrow and Effy but not the deets of it). **¼
The following match was reviewed at 1am while I was waiting for my daughter to free up the bathroom so I could brush my teeth and go to bed. I may have been slightly grumpier than usual. In keeping with the theme of the show, she’s (mostly) lesbian and I’m really proud of her. Apart from when I’m waiting for the bathroom but I think that’s more a dad thing than a gay thing. Anyway, on the show.
Allie Katch vs. Dirty Dango
Allie has done a solid job this Mania weekend of not stinking up the joint. That changes here. She seems to have ideas but the execution is way off. She’s just not very coordinated and is better off sticking to character work. There’s a weird sexual overtone in this match that strongly reminds me of Joey Ryan. It doesn’t help that the actual wrestling in this sucks. The bumping is in slow motion. It’s a wreck of a match. A complete shambles. I’ve heard people criticise Allie as a worker while I’ve been away and it always felt a bit harsh but seeing this match, I can see where the criticism has come from. Dango begs off towards the end and Allie drops him with a piledriver using the ropes as leverage. This was horrendous. As with everything else on the show it seemed to get reactions though so I guess that keeps it out of the negative stars. DUD
Effy vs. Pimpinela Escarlata
“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” is a stone-cold banger and Effy has a great entrance. Pimpinela is an exotico from AAA. I like the act, but I’ve never enjoyed the work. Does that make sense? I prefer her in trios matches where she can tag in, do her bits and tag out. Escarlata eats Effy’s ass for lunch. No wait, brunch, it’s right there in the title! Escarlata’s best work is in strikes and general antics. Effy accidentally big boots the referee and that isn’t a ref bump? It’s a shame because it was quite good. Escarlata rolls Effy up for the pin and that’s it. Shortest match of the night, which is probably for the best. *¼
The overarching sentiment about Effy’s Big Gay Brunch is that representation is important and that professional wrestling doesn’t have to be just one thing. The show looked like an absolute blast to be at. The crowd had a fantastic time and at the end of the day, that’s what really matters not snowflakes. So, ignore the ratings on this one and accept that pro wrestling should be about inclusion and loving your fellow human beings for what they are. It’s taking baby steps towards that but I’d rather be in a crowd where people are actually enjoying themselves than a crowd where everyone is miserable watching **¾ matches any day of the week.