GCW Joey Janela’s Spring Break 6 Part 2: The Greatest Clusterfuck
April 1, 2022
We’re in Dallas, Texas at Fair Park and as we ticked past midnight at the start of the show, we’re into SATURDAY. As WrestleMania is manspread over two nights that means we only have five non-WWE shows to do after this one. Plus Mania x2 and NXT. It’s been a wild ride. The quality of the cards being so middling has not helped me at all, although I appreciate most shows being relatively short. The Janela kicks off at midnight and based on previous incarnations we may be here for some time.
Video Control takes us to Joey Janela, who is smoking and complaining about marks. I appreciate the Janela always having videos mixed in but this is the only one today, sadly. Janela threatens to “inject a lethal dose of poison” channelling Vince McMahon circa 2002.
Matt Cardona vs. Chris Dickinson
Cardona rips up a fans sign that reads “Cardona sucks eggs”. He does look like an egg sucking dog.
Cardona cuts a promo saying he should be in WWE. You got over on YouTube. You should be making videos. To offset Chelsea Green, Dickinson has Missy Hyatt in his corner. The Missy/Chelsea stuff seems designed to give Dickinson an easy night, which is good for him because he had a barnburner versus Ishii just a few hours ago. Cardona’s WWE-esque antics are not really what I go to my Indies for. The pacing is pedestrian but the structure is fine. They build slowly and Dickinson does a decent job of playing the underdog thanks to circumstances. Chelsea full on jumps into the ring, eats a lariat and the Pazuzu Bomb finishes Cardona off. Not really sure what having Missy out here really accomplished. **¾
Opening match + antics surrounding it took up 25 minutes.
Tony Deppen vs. Biff Busick
THROW EM UP! The crowd don’t seem too invested in this but it fucking rules. Great technical stuff in this and Busick’s no selling is great. Deppen does a sensational job of being the wuss in all this. Biff has a had a few shaky matches this weekend. This is more in line for what I want to see from him on the Indies. Him killing Indie dudes with violence.
Busick also does an incredible job of selling the arm when Deppen targets it. I’m watching two dudes who understand professional fucking wrestling here and I love the shit out of it. Deppen reads Busick like a book and catches him out before destroying him with a running knee. This was so good for a 12-minute match. I’m sticking it in the reccs list because you don’t need to do crazy shit to get over. You just need to be real. ****
Jordan Oliver vs. Mike Bailey
Bailey has had a stellar weekend. The US Indies have desperately missed him over the past five years.
Last Mania weekend I got to see a lot of Jordan Oliver and I wasn’t impressed. He looks uncoordinated and his foot work is garbage. I know he’s only young and he is showing signs of improvement but there are still gaping flaws for a guy who’s getting booked everywhere in America. His spot work is fine, but he can’t convincingly run across a ring. You can’t be a good wrestler if your movement is bad. It doesn’t help that he’s in there with Speedball who is effortlessly smooth. Even Bailey’s most convoluted offence feels it has a basis in something real. Bailey takes it and they do some cool spots, but Oliver’s flaws are just too obvious for me to really get into it. At least his spot work is clean. He might get there. **¾
Effy vs. Minoru Suzuki
This is the kind of wacky bullshit I watch Janela shows for. I’m still not sure if Effy is any good or not but he’s over as shit. Everyone is in fine singing voice (IE drunk) so MiSu gets the loudest singalong for Kaze ni nare all weekend.
Effy’s sadism comes out here and he basically wants Suzuki to beat him up. You’d have to pay good money for that usually. He’s getting paid and beaten up by a Japanese legend. Living the dream. There’s a great spot where Effy asks to get one chop and Suzuki ignores it and murders him. Suzuki’s reaction to being chopped is like you reacting to a fly landing on your arm. It’s a very minor inconvenience.
Effy’s mind games don’t work but his unorthodox style occasionally causes Suzuki genuine problems. Effy actually kisses Minoru Suzuki. Like full on the lips. Haha. Suzuki chokes him out, slaps him for it and hits the Gotch Piledriver for the win. He sells the heck out of it too, wiping his mouth on the referee’s shirt. Suzuki gets comedy in ways most people can only dream of. He’s done some brilliant stuff in DDT. Good showing from Effy here. Decent match that worked and popped the crowd. Points for achieving what it set out to and putting Minoru in an interesting match. ***
There are five ways to be eliminated; pinfall, submission, being thrown over the top rope, leaving the building and DEATH. Joey Janela has entered himself in the Clusterfuck in an attempt to destroy it from within. He’s drawn #1. #2 is Buff Bagwell. This is absolutely ideal booking. He comes out to “American Males”, which is very much the best era of Bagwell. Buff is trying to reinvent himself as a woke Twitter guy in a bid to change perception of him as a terrible shithouse. Janela superkicks him out immediately. To be fair Bagwell only has one leg so he can’t exactly wrestle. #3 is George Gatton. In the time it takes me to look him up Janela has eliminated him. This continues for a while with Janela eliminating scrubs. They get progressively closer to causing him problems but it’s quickfire eliminations.
This continues until Juicy Finau and Sam Stackhouse come in. Two units. They do an awkward cuddle on the ropes and Joey throws them both out. Rhett Titus, from ROH, is a surprise entrant and he’s able to exploit Janela on the mat. It’s interesting how Janela gives himself a multitude of different style challenges.
I love this guy trying to get a picture of the Invisible Man as he comes out. “Hey, Rhett, are you sick of all that serious wrestling in ROH? Do you want to come and work an invisible opponent?” Invisible Man throwing Titus out is fantastic. It reminds me of that Invisible Man vs. Invisible Stan match that Bryce Remsberg slayed in.
We enter a new phase after that with Dante Leon vs. Ninja Mack. The match hitting a higher gear with flips and such. Jimmy Lloyd enters, and he doesn’t feel good, so Janela insists they both mask up and social distance. This is all very silly but at 2am and this is the kind of wrestling you need. Ninja Mack hits a Sasuke Special thus eliminating himself and Lloyd pins him to make double sure. I genuinely don’t think Ninja Mack realised he’d eliminated himself. Full on Mil Mascaras in the Royal Rumble. One of the participants is “Early Morning” Guy Steel. Who, or what, is “Early Morning” Guy Steel? He looks like a robot pretending to blend into humanity. Janela rolls him up for the elimination and nobody is any wiser.
The ring fills up a bit after this, which doesn’t usually happen and a lot of the dudes powder to the floor to give up space in the ring. The match had been good up to this point but there is a huge lull here. Deranged being in this makes me happy, although he gets no pop at all because he’s not wrestled anywhere good since 2005. Grim Reefer comes out here with a joint and they all smoke in the ring. Janela happily joining in because he’s no longer under contract to AEW. “Oh fuck, I gotta get outta here”.
They run through some boring stuff and then Janela appears, very stoned, at ringside eating a bag of Cheetos screaming “WHAT’S MY NEXT SPOT?” He follows Nate Webb around while he tours the building to Teenage Dirtbag. Has weed turned Janela babyface?
Janela is having an epic storyline during this match. He goes back heel by superkicking the Invisible Man and dumping him out. Shazza McKenzie, back in the US after spending the pandemic in Australia, returned to American action in March. She wrestled quite a lot this weekend but not on PPV shows. Her entrance leads to female participation and reminds me of the year Janela finished the Clusterfuck by having himself get beaten up by women. One of them is Jazzy Yang, daughter of Jimmy Wang Yang.
LuFisto is the last woman in, and they clear out the fellas. Sadly there seems to be no plan beyond that and the ladies all tumble out until Janela superkicks Shazza to get revenge for the women’s lib finish in Jersey City. Next in is Maven! He’s had like four matches since 2007 but he can still dropkick like a champ. He dropkicks everyone and leaves under his own terms. Maven’s ego leaves approximately ten minutes later.
In after that is Sean Ross Sapp and he demands five dollars from everyone as he’s putting this match behind a paywall. Crowd chants for Meltzer. They offered Meltzer a spot a few years ago and he was scheduled to win. Sapp mouths off for a bit until Josh Barnett is the next entrant. Denise Salcedo nut shots Sapp and throws him out so they have content over on Fightful. Barnett is left standing around with his dick in his hand so he’s joined by Jimmy Wang Yang! Barnett tries to do some lucha and I’m howling at Flying Joshy B. He then teaches Jazzy Yang how to kneebar him and he taps out. Haha. Jimmy Lloyd gets eliminated and I thought he went ages ago. He’s been in this match for like an hour and a half.
I hope there’s a website out there detailing how long people were in this match. SLADE, for example, has been missing in action for a while here and apparently he’s left. Imagine being so bored during a match that you just go home. He has a match in the morning Joey! Can we not hurry this along? Part of Janela’s flaws as a booker is simply not knowing where to draw the line or say no. There’s been some good stuff in this match but there are too many participants and most of them aren’t doing anything. If I was watching live I would definitely have gone to sleep before this point.
Which is a shame because I would have missed Nasty Leroy doing the People’s Elbow and tapping out Kevin Matthews while Janela corpses in the background. Janela gets dumped by Nick Wayne who superkicks him off the apron. Quite the rub. I guess that’s setting up a match.
The final phase is a mess with LA Fights coming in as a group and the Second Gear Crew coming out as a group to clean house with chairs. It’s only cheered up by Jack Cartwheel walking on his hands to avoid elimination like Kofi Kingston before he also gets chair shotted. Neither I, nor Dave Prazak, can actually tell who’s left in this. Second Gear Crew pick off everyone that’s left and that’s the match. Well, that sucked.
The Clusterfuck was well booked in segments. The Janela bit at the start was great, so was the Invisible Man Vs segment but there were a load of dead gang fights bits that went way too long. The women taking over didn’t work. The LA Fights taking over didn’t work and having learned nothing from those two instances they finished with another gang takeover, which didn’t work. The finish was so flat. Nobody gives a fuck. **¼
Seriously, a 90 minute match should at least have some reason for sticking with it. I should have left when SLADE did.
This was a show that worked at times. Like the Clusterfuck some of it was entertaining and well booked. Deppen vs. Biff ruled and Suzuki vs. Effy is the kind of thing I want from a Janela show. I want weirdness, I want nostalgia throwbacks and I want at least one match to properly rock my socks off. I got some of that from this show but when you end with a long Royal Rumble style match it had better deliver because it’s half the show. The fact I gave it **¼ should tell you everything you need to know about Joey Janela’s Spring Break 6 Part 2. Janela does have good ideas and I enjoy his shows but mistakes were made between these two shows. Some of the Clusterfuck was so boring that I can’t imagine I would have stayed awake through it live.