GCW Gringo Loco’s the Wrld on Lucha
April 1, 2022
We’re in Dallas, Texas at Fair Park. Hosts are Lenny Leonard and Emil Jay. This ran at the same time as ROH, so I find it hard to believe many people watched it live. They have issues with commentary and the microphones not working. It’s actually quite nice to just soak up the crowd noise without some loud American shouting at me.
Jack Cartwheel vs. Johnny Caballero
Caballero is John Hennigan under yet another different name. Caballero means gentleman in Spanish. Considering he broke a plate over his wife’s head yesterday, I think that’s debateable. Johnny knows his audience and does a cartwheel. “Johnny Cartwheel”. They do some awkward cartwheel spots until Cartwheel cartwheels all the way around the outside of the ring. Smashing the gimmick brother! The match is full of silly gimmickry but Johnny squirting his water pistol thing into the ref’s eyes so he misses a near fall is great.
Considering the talent involved it’s a shame they go for a goofy comedy match. A lot of the actual spots don’t work either. Cartwheel doing a cartwheel off the top to the floor is amazing though. Living the gimmick. Johnny sets up the finish by squirting Cartwheel in the eyes with the water pistol and Starship Pain finishes. This was very hit and miss. **¾
Tony Deppen vs. Psicosis
Psicosis aka Nicho is 50 now and has basically retired.
For those who saw his peak matches back in the mid-late 90s, I wouldn’t get too excited. He’s not been good for a long time. Deppen tries to force the pace but it’s not happening. This is an easy crowd to please and Psicosis ambles through his moves and gets over by giving Deppen a 1.0 Will Smith bitch slap. Deppen is only booked twice this weekend, which is a bit of a contrast to the last Mania weekend I saw him on. It feels like he’s cooled off a bit. Deppen has to do a lot of legwork in this including moving into position for Psicosis attempting a Savage Elbow, which is predictably dreadful. Shining Wizard finishes for Deppen. This was bad but at least Psicosis didn’t completely embarrass himself. *¼
Drago Kid vs. Chris Carter vs. Octagon Jr vs. Aeroboy vs. Golden Dragon vs. Shane Mercer
I predict flippydoos here. Mercer is the only guy who’s not flippity. The opening triple rana spot is really, really sloppy and doesn’t bode well for the rest of the match. There are some awkward bits and pieces so Mercer comes in and murders Carter and that rules. Sometimes you need a big hoss in there to teach all the flippity boys the business. They have a weird reluctance to do anything creative after the early botches and everyone gets their shit in with them cycling participants.
Mercer gets to be a star due to his size advantage whereas everyone else needs to show off. Mercer ends up crushing Carter and Drago Kid with a moonsault slam. This was mostly good with some things not working out. It helps that Mercer killed the finish. ***
Pagano vs. Sadika
Pagano is shit. His timing is terrible. His spots are patchy. Sadika is not the person to carry him either. She has some fun ideas but that’s about it. Pagano runs through a lot of sloppy business. Occasionally hitting something that works or looks cool. He’s extremely unpredictable. I’m not sure his brain works as it should. The suplex off the apron onto the ladder/chairs pile looks brutal. The match suffers a lot from ‘setting stuff up’. It doesn’t help that selling is all over the place. There’s a terrible finish as well where Pagano just bounces back up after being put through a door and hits a Codebreaker with light tubes, which don’t break. This was mostly awful, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. *
Team Laredo (Laredo Kid, Rey Horus & ASF) vs. Team Gringo (Gringo Loco, Abismo Negro Jr & Demonic Flamita)
This has potential to steal the show and I’m glad they chucked a deathmatch on in between this and the scramble. Unfortunately, Gringo Loco has a stinker and telegraphs every spot he’s involved in. The luchadores try to make amends by hitting a bunch of fast-paced lucha sequences. It’s not difficult to wow people with lucha…unless it’s bad. The rudos don’t help by doing a lot of three on one bullshit that completely kills the vibe.
ASF starts doing cool shit by getting his rope attack boosted and then going multi-rotation on all three rudos. The match has the potential to operate at that level and it’s frustrating that they just dip into it now and again. Sometimes their ambition matches my expectations and sometimes everyone is just standing around waiting for a high spot. Gringo Loco plants ASF off the top rope for the win. This was a lot of fun, but it struggled to be consistently great, which is a real shame. At its best this match was MOTY territory, but it was only there for about a minute in total of its 15 minutes run time. ***½
AR Fox vs. Ninja Mack
This could be fun. Ninja Mack is at a size disadvantage. AR Fox gets creative. He does a neat legsweep with both his legs using the ropes and dives over his wife with Mack unable to see him coming. Fox spends most of the match throwing himself at Ninja Mack. AR Fox loves a dive. You’d think he’d leave that for Mack because every time he does it, it makes Mack’s dives look less impressive. Mack doesn’t even get the win. He’s out here making Fox look like a star and Fox beats him with the 450 Splash. A jobber match/showcase for AR Fox rather than a competitive contest unfortunately. Lots of cool stuff in there but it followed a huge clusterfuck trios match so…***
Psycho Clown vs. Dr Wagner Jr
Wagner lost his mask to Psycho Clown back in 2017 only to reveal he was stunningly handsome under there. Who’s the real winner? He’s now 56.
Psycho Clown is a happy-go-lucky scamp. I don’t really like him very much. He does have a cool mask though. Wagner is heel here and gets into a verbal spat with a five-foot-tall female fan at ringside who tells him to “shut the fuck up”. Pwned. Wagner rips off Clown’s mask and chair shots him into a bladejob. This is much more like a WWE Hardcore match, albeit a good one, from their era of bleeding. It’s more chairs and general plunder than the ultraviolence we had earlier.
Psycho Clown feels the need to start his own chants, which is full-on dork behaviour. As the match progresses Wagner’s physical limitations becomes more and more apparent. He looks proper fucked and should probably be hidden away in tags and trios matches.
Wagner has clearly had enough and not long after this he pulls Psycho Clown’s mask off and rolls him up for the win. This felt really long at 20 minutes. Holy shit, was that all? If I had to guess I’d have said 30-35. It wasn’t very good but I preferred it to the Pagano-Sadika match. *¾
I just realised I’m only halfway through WrestleMania weekend. 11/22 shows complete. That’s upsetting. This show wasn’t great. It peaked with some flippity high spots in the midcard. I particularly liked the trios match but not as much as the crowd in attendance. The two deathmatches were poor. A lot of the deathmatch wrestling this weekend has been too basic. Just two dudes hitting each other with plunder. If you’re cherry picking you could probably skip this altogether but the trios, scramble and Fox-Mack matches would make for a decent 40 minutes or so of wrestling. All high spots!