GCW For the Culture 3
April 1, 2022
We’re in Dallas, Texas at Fair Park. Hosts are Faye Jackson, AC Mack and Suge D. Skipping through some other cards from around the same time of day I’m a little sad some of it didn’t make tape. Zicky Dice’s show at Wrestlecon had Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Rich Swann, Lince Dorado vs. Black Taurus and Effy vs. Mike Bailey. Over at MLW Azteca Underground there was a bunch of cool lucha business including Flamita vs. Bandido. GCW keep churning out shows that are televised though and this is show #8 of Mania weekend for me.
Impact Knockouts Championship
Tasha Steelz (c) vs. Big Swole
Tasha recently won the Knockouts strap from Mickie James.
I always liked Swole but thought she needed to iron out some kinks in her game. She hasn’t. It’s a worrying case of Arrested Development. She’s the same wrestler she was four years ago as a rookie and that’s a problem. Tasha has more personality and plays the heel. She’s improved since I last saw her. Comms say a European uppercut is all the way from Germany to Romania. Man, Spain to Ukraine is right there and it’s further and it rhymes. Swole has a good look, but her movement is awkward, and she can’t sell for shit. Steelz gets a cutter and that’s it. This was quite bad, but I can’t blame Tasha Steelz who didn’t have much to work with. Swole still isn’t TV ready and you can see why she’s washed out of WWE and AEW. Just not good enough. *¼
Keita Murray vs. Ju Dizz vs. Trey Shaw vs. Carlie Bravo vs. Andino vs. Michael Oku vs. PB Smooth
Ju Dizz has like 10 nicknames and two of them involve butter.
Oku gets the second last entrance like a star, but PB Smooth is last. He’s enormous. He throws everyone else around for fun. This is really sloppy. There’s a German suplex with a broken bridge and Andino is supposed to break up the fall but there isn’t one so he just stands there looking confused. Keita vs. Oku is good. Poor OJMO gets dumped on his head a few times by different guys. He gets revenge with the lethal half crab for the submission. This was all over the place. Oku was a clear stand out. As they ran through spots his looked better, crisper, more elite. **¼
HitMakerZ vs. Shane Taylor Productions
Some major beef in there. AJ Francis is 6’5”, 330lbs. He bullies O’Shay Edwards and he’s a big dude. Francis was in WWE as Top Dolla (I missed his entire run). They debuted him on Smackdown and then released him immediately. Bizarre behaviour. He’s an ideal WWE guy too. Former athlete (NFL), tall, large, good look. Miles was in that same unit, as Ashante Adonis. It’s easier to see how he got released. He’s fine but he’s small and doesn’t stand out. I missed his whole WWE run too. Also, B-FAB, the woman in their corner. They do a horrible tower of doom spot where Edwards falls on Taylor. Big man Frank pulls out a moonsault press and that gets the crowd all fired up. I can’t believe that’s not the finish. Taylor picks off Miles and finishes with Greetings from Asbury Park. Bonus points for the moonsault but otherwise not a good match. **¼
MJ Jenkins vs. Trish Adora
I always liked MJ Jenkins, but she’s been out injured for nearly two years.
Adora broke out during the pandemic so while I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her wrestle; I don’t remember her. This is for Trish’s Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling World Championship. MJ looks rusty and the match is a struggle at times for her, but they slow it down and let her work her way back in slowly. The match just about creeps past ten minutes but it feels longer because of the pacing. Adora has good fire in her comebacks and carries the match where she has to. Adora pulls out a saucy pinning combination for the duke. This was solid, with obvious issues regarding MJ Jenkins’ ring shape. Nice to see her back though and Adora has a lot of promise. **¾
Darius Lockheart vs. AJ Gray
I’ve met Lockheart. We were at the same table in a Wetherspoons once (I swear I’m not making this up). He was quiet and respectful. He’s the kind of guy who seems to be paying attention to everything. Lockheart is a solid mat wrestler and he manipulates the pace of the match. It takes a brave man to slow things down at WrestleMania weekend but he’s telling stories out here. Lockheart does anti-wrestling things. Like Gray trying to do a chop contest and Lockheart chopping his arm, which is the body part he’d been grinding at. Gray landing those heavy shots is a nice contrast to Darius’ methodical dissections. Darius has this great spot where he hits a running knee and goes to roll Gray over but realises if he does that he rolls him into the ropes so he just stops and looks frustrated with Gray’s landing position. There’s a lot of thought gone into that. I don’t like the finish as Gray hits a massive lariat that doesn’t end the match, but he beats Lockheart with a roll up shortly afterwards. The big bomb spot was more satisfying. This was really good and Lockheart is a thinking man’s wrestler. If he could land his big spots like he does everything else he’s made. Most people are the other way around. I respect it. ***½
Bryan Keith vs. JTG vs. Mysterious Q vs. Zenshi
JTG looks incredible. He’s about a decade removed from his WWE release and he looks like he’s auditioning to go back. Zenshi is incredibly fun but wildly inconsistent. Like he wavers between Will Ospreay and Sabu. Satellite electric chair DDT finishes for Mysterious Q. Yes, that was the wacky as fuck finish. This was a great laugh. None stop action in the semi-main and very rapid at 8 minutes. ***
Billy Dixon vs. Hoodfoot
These two are meaty gentlemen about to do ultraviolent things to each other. Dixon’s look is ‘Wesley Snipes from Demolition Man by way of Kentucky’. The match is basically two dudes hitting each other with plunder. Occasionally someone falls onto plunder. When they try any actual wrestling it’s sloppy as hell. When you’re the only death match on a show it’s a chance to stand out but on the back of watching Death Planet this doesn’t feel as entertaining as anything on that show. It wasn’t even that good of a show! At least Hoodfoot has a killer Backdrop Driver. That should finish. So should a pumphandle through a door and Billy kicks out at ONE! Haha, yes mate! Hoodfoot gets the tap instead with the Border City Stretch. This got really good down the stretch but spent most of its run time being surprisingly uncreative. **½
This was a show of few highs sadly. Some of the matches just weren’t very good and featured talent that probably shouldn’t have been in those spots. It peaked with Gray vs. Lockheart and the four-way spotfest was solid. The main event and Adora-Jenkins had their moments. Otherwise, this is a pretty easy pass. Given that JCW vs. LA Fights was also a weak show that makes Friday 0/2. Next!