GCW Take a Picture
January 18, 2020
We’re in Austin, Texas at the Blue Genie. That’s an art gallery right next door to the Brewtorium! Man, I love Austin. The set up looks like shit sadly. It’s a big white box and they don’t even have a ring apron.
Gino Medina vs. Blake Christian
Blake is cool. He’s deliberately started doing Will Ospreay spots to try and drum up interest in a Mania weekend match. He has the athleticism and creativity for that to be a decent match. Medina isn’t quite on that level of athleticism but he is creative. It’s a bit like watching Chris Kanyon wrestle. He’s one of Booker T’s trainees. Blake is only a year in and that makes him even more astonishing. Christian keeps littering the match with Ospreay’s stuff but not so it overwhelms it. The Oscutter, for example, is countered and the Cheeky Nandos has a shotgun dropkick variation to it. He’s nowhere near Ospreay’s level but for a year in he’s extraordinarily good. Christian finishes with his twisting splash called Elia. This kid has a huge future. He has the kind of raw talent that you either have or you don’t.
Final Rating: ***
Andy Dalton vs. Chris Dickinson
Dalton, a journeyman so tenured his nickname is “journey”, goes up against Dickinson here in a hard-hitting second bout. It’s intense but also ugly as sin at times. They are clubberin’, Tony. While the match is untidy it’s certainly violent and that makes amends for the shortcomings. Part of the problem is that Dalton doesn’t feel on Dickinson’s level on the strike exchanges and I don’t buy into him winning. American Indies have this obsession with everything being long on the undercards and this is no exception. They do a bunch of big spots near falls before Dickinson taps Dalton out. They shot for epic here, which felt a little unnecessary in match two but I had a nice time.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Alex Zayne vs. Chris Bey
Zayne has come out of the Indies in a big way already this year. NJPW have got him booked. They try some crazy choreographed shit right off the bat and fuck it up completely. The trouble with choreographing these crazy sequences is that if you get lost it’s a mess. They get it back together but the whole match is just a half second away from collapsing on itself again. The dives are the best part where all the focus is just on one spot and they don’t need to gel or anything, just catch each other. Somehow the match totally flips, as does Zayne, and gets strangely good. I guess they just needed a little time to get over the opening issues. Taco Driver finishes for Zayne and the crowd fucking loved this match. I don’t know if I was watching the same match for the first half, where it literally fell apart, but they pulled it all back together and it was really good by the time it finished.
Final Rating: ***1/4
SHLAK vs. Masada
This is one of those matches where the two guys look like they stumbled out of the mosh pit at a Slayer concert and barge you out of the way at the bar because they’re thirstier than you. SHLAK reads the crowd and decides they want to see him work the body part. Or throw chairs around. Who knows? They have some table issues and decide to tag each other with the remains of it and I’m cackling with glee. Masada has the common sense to put his hands up. SHLAK? Nope. Masada kicks it up a notch by pulling part of the table off and stabbing SHLAK in the head with it. That felt like a nice natural progression! SHLAK trying to do the same is hilarious. He can’t break the door. He can’t figure out how to stab Masada with it. He ends up giving up and trying to force it into Masada’s mouth.
Masada stabs SHLAK in the head some more, with skewers this time, and knees him in the head for the pin. Masada was pretty good here. SHLAK was a warm body to squirt juice all over the place. Some of Masada’s creativity and violence progression was well done.
Final Rating: **1/2
Matthew Justice vs. Jimmy Lloyd
Lloyd is only any good in death matches so they bail immediately and start hucking chairs into the ring.
Commentary making gags about CTE and Alzheimer’s while they bash each other’s heads in makes me very uncomfortable.
Justice, walking rock star, decides to play some air guitar on a chair. This is mostly a walk and brawl and it’s not good. Mainly because the ring is full of chairs so they can’t really wrestle in there. I bet they both regret chucking chairs in there at the start of the match. They still try to wrestle in there and every move is preceded by one of the boys almost falling over a chair. Total pass.
Final Rating: *
Nate Webb vs. Ricky Starks
I love Nate Webb, even if his in ring isn’t great. It’s probably Wheatus isn’t it?
As “Teenage Dirtbag” plays Webb does a full circle of the building, poses on bits of furniture and finally hits the turnbuckle pose as the song finishes. There is a lot of stalling here. Starks does the top rope walk of doom and because he does four ropes the impact is four times more powerful and Webb is lucky to survive. Starks does a chainsaw chair bit that is so ridiculous I find myself chuckling. They make better use of the building than Justice and Lloyd did.
They stop off for a beer. This is truly a masterfully constructed contest. Sadly it’s Lone Star. You’re right by a place that sells its own beer! Soylent Green on a chair puts Starks away and we get Teenage Dirtbag away. This was tremendous pro wrestling. It’s not all about workrate and whatnot.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Rickey Shane Page vs. Mance Warner
RSP is the champion here but this is non-title. He’s been dodging Nick Gage, who was champion for 722 days. Mancer comes after him ahead of the bell. Gage spends most of the match messing with Gage. I’m not entirely convinced he’s an able heel but he seems to be drawing plenty of heat here. RSP isn’t a disaster outside of death matches but it depends on his opponent. These guys seem to have little to no chemistry.
They base the match around basics and a few dreadful spots through doors. Mancer is a better character than a wrestler but his character comes through well here. He’s resilient and fights through everything until RSP uses Gage’s own finisher on him. That’s popular!
Final Rating: **3/4
Nick Fuckin’ Gage vs. Allie Kat
I don’t get the point of this. I guess Allie gets to show off how tough she is but Gage is a mega-babyface. Give him a damn heel to work with instead of a cutesy babyface. He just comes across as mean by throwing chairs at her when all she’s doing is asking for her belly to get scratched. It’s odd. Gage taking a pizza cutter to Allie’s head makes me uncomfortable. It’s not really my idea of a good time.
Gage wants the camera to see this. He makes sure it zooms right in so they can see Allie is really getting fucked up here. Gage yells “fuck you bitch” at Allie’s mom. Just seconds after stabbing her in the fucking head. The aim must surely be to have Allie as the babyface here but just book her against someone else. The ideas are fine but the combination of talents doesn’t work. Gage rubbing broken glass into Allie’s stomach would be an incredible move for an evil heel. Allie gets choked out and that’s it. Swing a miss from GCW creative here. Good performance from both but Gage was clearly wrestling heel and that’s coming off the back of him responding to heel RSP at the last match.
Final Rating: **