GCW Planet Death
March 31, 2022
We’re in Dallas, Texas at Fair Park. We are still in THURSDAY. How? This started at 11.59pm. It is my final Thursday show and the sixth show from this year’s WrestleMania weekend. It’s taken me a week to get through one single day. Hosts are Kevin Gill and Nick Gage.
Taipei Death Match
SLADE vs. Bam Sullivan
As we’re in a JCVD movie both guys have broken glass glued to their hands. SLADE has had a breakout weekend already thanks to his Bloodsport performance. This is less impressive. It’s just two guys punching each other in the head and blading.
“Yeah, get in there” – Nick Gage is enjoying this on commentary. SLADE chokes Bam out after a bloody opener. *¾
Thumbtack Kickpad & Light Tubes Death Match
Cole Radrick vs. AKIRA
I’ve seen Radrick on previous Mania weekenders and he’s decent. AKIRA I’m not sure if I’ve seen before. My initial impressions are that his movement is green but on the path to good. Once you can confidently move around a wrestling ring everything else clicks. I appreciate both guys trying to wrestle but also utilising the weapons at their disposal as part of the process.
The future of death matches is guys who can technically wrestle really well adding an extra layer of violence into their game. Takeda taught people how this works and Radrick is trying to take that road to the top. Prepare for gnarly back scars young man. The bloodshed in this is sickening. When you can see broken glass open someone up hardway it’s another level of violence and not everyone can watch this kind of thing. Another level of sick is Cole trying to stab AKIRA with a broken tube and AKIRA biting the tube to pieces, chewing it and spitting it into his face. HOLY SHIT mate. These two are deranged. They’re sick in the head. This is the point where this is 100% going on the list of recommended matches for the weekend.
Not everything they attempt works and the tubes don’t always cooperate, but they bust their asses out there. The level of personal desire to steal this show is admirable. They do get a bit silly with the set up late on that just takes the edge off proceedings but compared to the bulk of the match it’s forgivable and they’ve earned a bit of leeway. I guess they felt they needed a big finish as if the bloodshed and violence that preceded it weren’t enough! Cole spikes AKIRA with a DDT variant onto light tubes for the win. This ruled. Great wrestling that just happened to be a death match. ****
Boards of Fuckery Death Match
Sawyer Wreck vs. Brandon Kirk
“Boards of Fuckery”. I’ve never seen Sawyer Wreck before. She’s 6’2” and looks like she takes no shit. Brandon Kirk either loves being abused by a dominant woman, or he’s literally booked this as some sort of torture experience. It’s a bargain for GCW if he’s paid for his own booking.
Pretty sure this should be on Pornhub not Fite TV. As Kirk staples dollar bills to her skull and groin I start to question why. Why am I watching this? Wreck hits a chokeslam on some light tubes, while still having two dollar bills stapled to her head and that’s it. This was bizarre. Kirk rarely put up a fight as if he felt bad he was brutalising a woman but also seemed turned on by it. Very weird match. Didn’t come across well on tape at all. *
Light Tube Bundles Death Match
Neil Diamond Cutter vs. Shane Mercer
“Neil Diamond Cutter”. He’s 5’5” and comes out to “Sweet Caroline”. I’ve seen Shane Mercer before. He was ok, from what I remember. They try for a David vs. Goliath deal and for whatever reason it never really works. I think it’s because Mercer doesn’t dominate like he should. When he does have the upper hand, he can’t seem to do anything interesting. Cutter struggles as well. Ideally you want to get them in and out as quickly as possible, but the run time is long at 12 minutes. It’s made longer by Kevin Gill’s commentary, which is quite dreadful. Gage comes across as an enthusiastic fan who helped to make all this happen. Gill comes across as someone who likes memes. Mercer eventually murders Cutter with a moonsault slam off a ladder into all the glass and whatnot. This had its moments, but I rarely felt the level of investment as during Radrick/AKIRA. Great finish though. **½
Light Tubes Death Match
Hoodfoot vs. Mad Man Pondo
Hoodfoot has risen to prominence during the pandemic. Pondo is in his 50s. I never thought I’d be watching Pondo wrestle in 2022 but here we are.
There is some serious poundage in there. Pondo is so old his offence is punches where he stomps on the mat at the same time. We do one spot and Pondo blades himself in full view of everyone. Hoodfoot gets busted hardway on camera. The jolly pre-match Pondo quickly turns into a complete psychopath, carving Hoodfoot open with what appears to be a shank.
This is one of those matches that’s not subtle in any way but will appease the bloodthirsty with its sickness. Pondo knows his audience. Where death matches really work for me is when it’s still a wrestling match, or story, but just done in a death match setting. This is two big dudes hitting each other in the head with crap. Hoodfoot hits a backdrop driver through a door covered in light tubes for the win and that’s probably the only wrestling move in the match. This was brutal. Your mileage will vary on it depending on your love of bloodshed but for me it was an exercise in brutality but not good wrestling. It reminded me of Japanese death matches from the 90s and not in a good way. *¼
Barbed Wire Doors Match
Jimmy Lloyd vs. Sadika
Jimmy Lloyd going from CZW fan to CZW main eventer to GCW star is the stuff of dreams. He’s not got the ability or the look to be a WWE wrestler but he’s got that heart and soul. I’ve actually seen Sadika wrestle before in Zona 23 (a bizarre Mexican promotion that runs in a junkyard). If you like deathmatch wrestling it’s worth watching at least one of their shows. It’s a spectacle. It’s a shame they couldn’t run a show in Dallas. I would have watched the shit out of it. They did a GCW crossover show down there, and Jimmy was in the main event. This is a real clunker unfortunately. Again, barbwire is a bitch to work with. You have to be very careful and it’s easy to get tangled in. It doesn’t help that Lloyd is supposed to take a header through a door to change the momentum in the match and it doesn’t break so they re-do the spot. They do compensate with a swinging neckbreaker off the apron through another door covered in barbwire. The trouble, again, with barbwire is they sit there afterwards, not selling, but trying to extricate themselves from the wire. Sadika finishes Jimmy off with a twisting top rope splash. This fell a bit flat after a vicious series of violent matches. **
The show peaked early with that great Cole Radrick/AKIRA match. That fucking ruled. The rest of the show was a mixture of matches that were just extreme bloodshed or matches that didn’t quite click. For a sub-two hour show it dragged a bit too. Mainly due to the samey nature of an entire show of death matches. Not one of the best shows of the weekend but you should check out Radrick/AKIRA if you can stomach the sickness.