home | wrestling | flashback_reviews | other
Fight Club - Houston: GCW vs. LOKO Wrestling
by Samoa Rowe
July 9, 2021
Live from the Premier Sports Arena in Houston, Texas. Don't let the venue's name fool you, it's a total dive in some warehouse (and it's perfect). The room is packed with 150-ish fans who are definitely NOT practicing social distancing.The show starts with GCW/LOKO dueling chants, drowning out commentary.
Joey Janela vs. Dante Leon
The local fans are firmly behind Dante as he runs the ropes and eats a rana. Janela leaps over a leg sweep and kicks the face. Dante sunset flips Janela into a superkick, and they exchange superkicks and double clotheslines. They brawl into the fans, and Leon tries to climb up the walls, but Janela reverses into a BRUTAL apron bomb. Back to the ring, Janela delivers a scoop slam and bow and arrow submission. The fans cheer Dante on as he teases some comeback attempts. Janela misses an overly telegraphed moonsault, but recovers with a sweeping blow to Dante's head. Janela nails a slingshot plancha to ringside, but Dante sprints into a messy corkscrew senton. Dante follows with a running SSP, and rolls Janela into a brainbuster. Dante crashes and burns on a Phoenix Splash. Janela's sitout powerbomb gets 2, and then muscles into a superplex. They stumble to the apron, where Dante hits a flipping senton, earning a "Holy Sh!t" chant. Janela counters with a Tombstone Piledriver for 2. Dante answers with a cutter and gets a nearfall that the live fans liked. They trade forearms to their feet, and Dante takes over with chops, but Janela clotheslines him out. Janela nails a package piledriver onto the ring frame and takes a moment to survey his destruction. Janela hits a flying elbow for only 1. Janela finishes with a DVD at 16:52, missing the crescendo by a few minutes. The fans' fondness for Dante salvage what might have otherwise been a goofy tribute to better matches, **½.
Winner: Joey Janela
Janela tries to talk on the mic, but the fans give him a "Shut the f*ck up" chant. He's trying to put Dante over for losing with dignity.
Mysterious Q vs. Matthew Justice
Justice endears himself to the fans by enjoying a beer, and toasts Q. Eventually, they have to start fighting, and Justice smashes a can over Q's face. Q returns the favor, and they brawl into the fans. Justice hits a leg sweep on the ramp and finds time to fill the ring with doors. He prepares a Sabu chair leap spot, but Q throws a chair into his face. Q leaps off the chair for a spinning senton to ringside. They both go down after a DVD down the ramp. Back to the ring, Justice puts Q through a door and then hits a Coast to Coast leg drop for 2. Q comes back with a door shot and then nails a spinning torture rack sitout powerbomb, but Justice kicks out! Q flips the birds before hitting an enziguri, but Justice pops up for a spear! Q smashes a chair over Justice's head, but he wears it like a scarf and puts Q through a standing chair to win at 11:42! This was a spirited brawl, the stunt bumps were well placed and provided the right drama when needed, ***.
Winner: Matthew Justice
The fans continue to eat up everything and give Q a standing ovation. Are any LOKO guys going to win tonight?
Six Way Scramble:
Low Rider vs. Gringo Loco vs. Aramis vs. ASF vs. Golden Dragon vs. Arez
Time to turn our brains off, because this is sure to be an intentionally crazy stunt show. ASF steals the show early by flying from one opponent to another, but before I'm done typing that sentence, the ring gets cleared out, leaving Golden Dragon to hit a missile dropkick on Low Rider. Dragon hits Aramis with a buckle bomb and low dropkick. Gringo takes a springboard arm drag, and finds Aramis perching on his shoulders and flying into a spinning rana. If I didn't know better, I'd think I was fast-forwarding the video as they sprint through a rapid diving sequence. Dragon and Gringo work together for a bit to pick apart singles opponents while the others rest. Low Rider fights them off, and squares off against Aramis in a high level sequence. The tiny ASF gets his shine by clearing the ring, but Arez trips him up. The match breaks down into another diving sequence. They attempt an elaborate spot where ASF leaps over two guys to hit a rana on another, and it barely connects. All six guys are soon down on the canvas. Arez piles bodies into place, but Gringo powerbombs another body onto him, and hits a splash onto everyone! This is my worst PBP ever, I apologize. The mat looks soaked from sweat as the match breaks down yet again. Arez hits a top rope Spanish Fly onto the others at ringside! Golden Dragon misses a swanton bomb and eats Low Rider's flying Codebreaker and gets pinned at 13:06! Better than average showcase spotfest, my PBP couldn't keep up or do this justice, ***¾.
Winner: Low Rider
Bryan Keith vs. AJ Gray
They treat this like a major showdown by standing nose to nose and then aggressively trade holds. They quickly get sick of each other and start throwing chops. Gray ducks a clothesline, chops the leg, and applauds his own greatness. Gray hits a series of well aimed cutdown chops and then a power slam. They block chair shots at ringside, until Keith hits an improvised suplex off an open chair. Gray exposes some concrete, but Keith reverses with a back body drop! Keith hits a double stomp to the neck. The crowd cycles through many chants while Keith goes on offense. Gray slaps back, Keith's knee seems to buckle, but he recovers to stomp Gray into the buckles. Gray pops up with a possible KO shot. They trade open hand slaps until Keith delivers a stiff enziguri. Gray answers with a clothesline, builds some momentum, and hits a moonsault for 2. Keith answers with a sick neckbreaker onto his knee. Gray maneuvers into a power slam for another 2. They duke it out on the top rope, but then Keith flies into Gray's Boston Crab counter. Keith gets the ropes and delivers a reverse dragon superplex! Keith nails a running boot and sitout powerbomb, but Gray kicks out! Gray hits a decapitation lariat for only 1, so he lights Keith up and hits a second lariat for 2. Gray's 3rd lariat ends it at 18:55. Really cool back and forth power match, with some interesting grappling moments sprinkled throughout, ***¾.
Winner: AJ Gray
Chris Carter vs. Jimmy Lloyd
I have no idea who Carter is, but the local fans LOVE him. That probably means he's really good, but we shall see. He meets Lloyd with a dive, right into a springboard cutter off of the apron. Carter blocks a back drop and hits rapid drive-by attacks. Lloyd cuts him off with End of Days for 2. Lloyd sets up some plunder at ringside for a painful vertical suplex. Lloyd smashes Carter with a weird pad full of tacks and props some doors onto chairs. Carter blocks the stunt bump, but eats an unprotected chair shot for 2. Lloyd blocks a moonsault, but Carter reverses into a DDT. Carter hits a pair of rapid dives, almost landing on some fans. Lloyd blocks a third dive and hits a reverse piledriver onto the floor. Lloyd takes his time setting up a DVD into a ladder for 2. He bridges another door, but Carter cuts him off with a springboard dragon rana. Carter misses a 630 splash, which allows Lloyd to powerbomb him through the doors at ringside! Carter survives and hits Lloyd with a reverse rana that also takes down the ref. They fight through the humidity as they position furniture and climb the ropes. Lloyd hits a top rope Joker Driver through a door to win at 13:10! Absolutely wild stunt show, the clash of styles made this all the more interesting, and the molten hot crowd didn't let them down, ****.
Winner: Jimmy Lloyd
Intermission! Time for everyone to get even more drunk.
Sam Stackhouse vs. Aron Sykes vs. Facade (with Dani Mo)
According to the commentators, Facade met his father for the first time last night, and he's in the house to cheer him on. Facade and Sykes hit the massive Stackhouse with ineffective chops and get knocked over. Facade helps Sykes springboard into a dropkick on Stackhouse. With the big guy down, Sykes and Facade are free to square off until reaching a stalemate. Sykes gains some steam with a low rana. Facade answers with a springboard cutter. Stackhouse returns to clock Facade from behind and follows with a momentous spin heel kick. Stackhouse puts Sykes down with Trouble in Paradise, but his dive attempt is blocked by a forearm smash. Stackhouse looks for a Vader Bomb, but instead eats Sykes' poison rana. Swanton Bomb by Sykes gets a late 2 count. Things slow down a tad as they seem to lose the script. Facade settles for a moonsault on Stackhouse for a cold nearfall. Facade hits a tightrope walk coast to coast for another cold nearfall, they seem to have lost the fans. Facade is determined to salvage this and hits a springboard axe handle to the floor. Dani tries a dive on Stackhouse, but he barely catches her and sits her down. Facade tries another tight rope stunt, but Stackhouse tips him through a bridged door. Stackhouse slams Sykes and hits a brutal moonsault to win at 11:13. This fell off the rails midway through and never recovered, but hopefully Facade's father enjoyed it, *.
Winner: Sam Stackhouse
The fans give Stackhouse a "Please come back" chant, so maybe not all was lost.
Jack Cartwheel vs. Ninja Mack
They explode right out of the gate with a lightning quick feeling out process, featuring more cartwheels and flips than you've probably ever seen. They reach a stalemate, and the fans resume their dueling chants. Cartwheel goes after the wrist, Mack tries a Burning Hammer, Cartwheel, um, cartwheels around until Mack kicks him in the head. They sprint through another rapid exchange, both guys are insanely athletic. Cartwheel delivers mounted turnbuckle punches, and Mack returns the favor. Cartwheel unfortunately botches a standing moonsault and bonks his own noggin. He looks loopy, Mack blocks a monkey flip. They attempt consecutive double flying clotheslines, and it's hard to tell if this is what they planned, or if they're buying time due to a concussion. They restart with some clunky chain wrestling, and Mack tosses Cartwheel for a flying axe handle. Cartwheel tries a moonsault, Mack hits a superkick and throws him into the wall. Mack throws a ninja star and hits the wall. That's wacky. Cartwheel hits an enziguri and leg sweep off of one arm. Mack cartwheels into a dive attempt, but the real Cartwheel swats him away and hits one of his own. Cartwheel handstands on the top rope and hits an elbow drop. They seem to have regained their composure, but the fans still seem taken out of it. Mack leaps into a Spanish Fly and applies a loose crossface to win at 12:19. Rough outing, they started strong, but everything fell apart after Cartwheel's likely concussion, *½.
Winner: Ninja Mack
Effy vs. Gino Medina
It's nice to see a room full of Texans give Effy a warm ovation, but they love hometown hero, Medina, even more. Effy plays along and flips off the fans. They run the ropes, Medina seems to gain the advantage, but Effy flirts to buy some time. Medina pursues and hits a leg sweep and slingshot senton. Effy plants a kiss on the hand and pulls Medina into a roll-up. Effy applies a sexualized version of the Tarantula and then splashes the lower back of Medina. Medina fires off some chops but can't put Effy away. Effy absorbs a hard Irish whip and hits a bicycle kick, but Medina answers with an enziguri. Effy hits a blockbuster for a rope break. Effy rolls into a Dragon Sleeper, Medina powers him into the buckles. Leg lariat by Effy gets 2. Medina hits a series of kicks but Effy saves himself in the ropes. Effy dodges Sole Food, and gains a rope-assisted pinfall at 9:03. Match was alright, with a few little slip-ups along the way, **¼.
GCW World Championship (Death Match):
Nick Gage © vs. Sadika
I almost had to turn this off because my wife was still in the room, and I'm not watching an intergender death match in front of her, but she went to bed. This is shaping up to be pretty dirty, as the ring crew props light tubes and barbed wire doors in the corners. Sadika somersaults into Gage's space, and he flips his middle finger right into her face. Gage immediately smashes a bundle of light tubes over her head, and another across her back. He pulls her by the hair and carves her forehead with a broken tube. I'd be lying if I said this wasn't really uncomfortable to watch. Sadika attempts a desperation spear and goes through the barbed wire door. It's a struggle to remove the barbed wire from Sadika's back, but Gage hits a suplex onto some plunder. Gage rubs a spiked racket into her forehead, so Sadika angrily smashes some light tubes over his skull. She puts some tubes into Gage's shirt and then hits running double knees to the chest! Sadika clears the fans, sets a door on chairs, pours thumb tacks from a pinata, but Gage counters with a spinning neckbreaker off of the stage and through the door! Gage looks like he's emerged from a car wreck while stumbling back to ringside. He viciously tears into Sadika, smashes more tubes, and then tackles her into some seating. Gage maintains a relentless assault, kicks tubes into Sadika's face, and then staples her hair to the canvas. He piles light tubes on a trapped Sadika and hits nasty slingshot senton. Gage pretends to cut her with a pizza cutter, and Sadika retaliates with a power slam onto barbed wire. Sadika hits a corkscrew splash but Gage kicks out! Gage comes back with a superplex. Gage gets a fresh box of light tubes and they take turns smashing them into each other. Sadika ties Gage up with some tubes and nails a horrific missile dropkick, but Gage kicks out! Gage is a bloody mess, but manages a piledriver and wins at 21:27! Well, this was a brutal horror show, but at it's core was also a dramatic contest between a true underdog and a thriving champion. This is not for everyone (and honestly, not my cup of tea either) but this delivered as advertised and got over with the audience, ***½.
Winner and still GCW World Champion: Nick Gage
Final Thoughts: This was a great show up until intermission, and then things went a little haywire. The main event brought the fans' goodwill back and ended on a hot note. I'd cautiously recommend this, as the death match at the end is not for the faint of heart.
Comment about this article on Da' Wrestling Boards!