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GCW: Blood on the Hills- December 17, 2021
by Doc Allen
Live from the Ukrainian Culture Center in Los Angeles, California. The room is packed with fans. Our hosts are Dave Prazak and Kevin Gill.
Six Way Scramble:
Gringo Loco vs. Arez vs. Matt Vandagriff vs. Jack Cartwheel vs. Jimmy Lloyd vs. Ninja Mack
Show opens with everyone gathered in the ring for ring introductions. Gringo and Lloyd both go for clotheslines but their guys duck and take them down with ranas and dropkicks. Cartwheel and Mack both have back handspring dives blocked. Arez and Vandagriff duke it out. Gringo removes Vandagriff and challenges Arez to a lucha fight. The fans applaud their stalemate. Vandagriff interrupts with a sloppy double rana. Vandagriff uses his size to keep Cartwheel on defense, but Jack, um, cartwheels into a stunner. Vandagriff counters a flying Carwheel into a sick Styles Clash! Lloyd save the match and plants Vandagriff into place for a split legged moonsault. Arez trips on the top rope but still manages a springboard rana, followed by a Destroyer. Vandagriff drives his knees into Arez. Vandagriff hits a springboard senton onto the "gang of idiots" at ringside, setting off a consecutive diving sequence that the live fans eat up. Lloyd hits a tombstone on Mack off camera for 2. Cartwheel hits Gringo with a dead lift German. Gringo botches a counter but still manages to powerbomb Cartwheel. Everyone returns to the ring to take turns hitting driveby attacks, and Mack suffers a trilogy of flying attacks. Cartwheel counters Vandagriff into a Spanish Fly off the apron that takes out other wrestlers, and possibly a fan or two. Meanwhile, Mack hits Lloyd with a Poison Rana, and finishes with a standing corkscrew press at 9:53. Fun scramble, better served as the opener than in the post-intermission spot. Vandagriff should have earned more dates. A few botches and execution miscues bring this down a notch, **¾.
Winner: Ninja Mack
Ring announcer Emil Jay chokes up while paying tribute to his good friend, Jimmy Rave, and asks the fans for a 10 Bell Salute. Rest in Peace, Jimmy. Embassy forever!
GCW Tag Team Championship:
The Briscoes © (Jay and Mark) vs. Brody King and PCO
ROH's hiatus might be the best thing to happen to the indies since the rise of reliable streaming and Pro Wrestling Tees. This is on pretty early, do the Briscoes have a plane to catch?The Briscoes boot PCO to the outside, sparking a 2 on 2 brawl. Mark leaps off the apron onto a seated King. PCO hits Jay with a tope and lands with a thud. Mark sets up a launchpad chair, but King interrupts, so Mark throws him onto PCO outside. PCO and King recover to hit Jay with a double chokeslam. PCO asks King to chop his chest because it brings him extra life. Jay dodges their tandem cannonball. Mark throws a chair into Brody's face to little effect, so he throws him through a bridged chair. Mark gets busted open with a chair, PCO takes time to set some chairs up spine to spine. PCO tries double bulldogs, but the Briscoes drop him onto the chairs for a SICKENING back bump! I think Brody might have to chop PCO again. King is bloodied too, stacks the Briscoes for a splash, then slams Mark for 2. PCO is somehow up on his feet and fetches some doors. King paints "DIE" on a door with his own blood, but the Briscoes cut him off. King spears Jay through the bloody door. PCO chokeslams Mark through a standing chair! PCO follows with a glancing cannonball senton onto the apron! The Briscoes come back to life to battle a wounded King. Jay shoves PCO off the top rope and through some ringside doors! J-Driller on Brody, followed by the Froggy Elbow, and the Briscoes retain at 11:40! You know, I'd assumed all these years that ROH basically let the Briscoes do whatever they wanted, but clearly I was mistaken, as this was on another level. This was a BRUTAL affair, and pretty awesome to boot, ***¾.
Winners and still GCW Tag Team Champions: The Briscoes
Emil Jay introduces Denise Salcedo as a guest ring announcer.
Nick Wayne vs. Tony Deppen
Deppen is leaning heel in this one and mocks the fans chanting for him. Wayne is a sophomore in high school, hope no one told the local authorities. They start by running the ropes and trading leap frogs and counters. Wayne teases a dive and they reach a stalemate. Match restarts with Wayne going on offense and hitting a head scissors takedown. Wayne hits a flipping armdrag and clears Deppen, who trips him onto the apron for a knee drop. Deppen picks apart the arm, preventing Wayne from hitting a back handspring attack. Wayne mounts a comeback using his good arm. Standing moonsault by Wayne, but he stops to sell his bad arm. Wayne manages a crucifix bomb, and he then guts out a back handspring dive to outside. Wayne delivers a rolling thunder sunset bomb for a cool 2 count. Sadly, Deppen blocks the Swanton Bomb, but Wayne answers with a chinbreaker. Snap German suplex by Deppen, but Wayne fires back with a modified (botched?) Spanish fly. They slug it out back to their feet and trade stiff kicks. Wayne springboards into Deppen's mean knee lift! Poison rana by Wayne and then a springboard cutter, but Deppen kicks out. Swanton bomb by Wayne, but Deppen kicks out again. Fans chant "FU Tony." Deppen hangs Wayne in the buckles for a brutal double stomp and running knees for only 2. This is getting pretty indie-riffic. Deppen must have heard me, he blows snot into Wayne's face and hits a KO knee strike. Wayne monkey flips his way up into a Destroyer, but Deppen kicks out! That nearfall was more LOL than OMG. Wayne aimlessly flips off the ropes and Deppen puts him in Cattle Mutilation and then hits a Tiger Suplex. Wayne blocks body scissors, but Deppen elbow strikes the neck and hits another knee strike to win at 13:05. This went off the rails for a few minutes, devolving into arbitrarily exchanging silly kick-outs at 2, but the finishing sequence got over the story that the young Wayne really didn't want to lose this one, ***.
Winner: Tony Deppen
Video promo highlighting the feud between Matt Cardona and Effy. Cardona thinks he's the only true superstar in GCW. He brought in his fiance, Chelsea Green, to low blow Effy. Allie Katch thinks that Green is a clown, who gave up the chance to be an outlaw like the GCW crew. Effy wants to make Cardona hate him for doing what he didn't have the balls to do 10 years ago.
Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green vs. BUSSY (Effy and Allie Katch)
Cardona riles up the fans by using the intro to his WWE theme. Even the kids in attendance flip Cardona off, and he returns the favor. Katch starts with a slap to Green's face, and Effy viciously beats Cardona into the corner. Cardona bursts out with a missile dropkick. Cardona and Effy shove the women aside and go down with double clotheslines. Green and Katch put the men in stereo head scissors, which seems to spark some jealousy from Green (lol). Effy and Cardona have an awkward little bump, get rolled up by the women, and Effy hits a senton for 2. Effy pelvic thrusts Cardona in the face, and a jealous Green knocks him out. Cardona clotheslines Allie, and takes time to make out with Chelsea. Things slow down while Effy gets worked over. Effy saves himself with a superplex combo on both Matt and Chelsea! Allie gets the hot tag and cleans house to some big cheers. She mocks the Broski WHOO WHOO WHOO and hits a cannonball for 2. Cardona saves Chelsea from a piledriver by pulling Allie's hair and hitting a DDT! Fans chant "F Zack Ryder!" Cardona pelvic thrusts Allie in the face, but she counters into a Doomsday Device/Powerbomb with help from Effy. Chelsea breaks the cover with a chair! Effy throws a chair into Cardona's face, but Chelsea low blows him. Cardona hits the Rough Ryder and Effy kicks out! Loud "Effy" chant! Allie ducks and Cardona hits Chelsea with the Internet title! Cardona back drops Allie and checks on a bloodied Chelsea. Cardona ducks and Effy clotheslines Chelsea! Cardona takes the BUSSY piledriver and stumbles into Effy's Rough Ryder! Allie piledrives Chelsea on top of Cardona, and BUSSY pin them both at 13:00! Wild, crowd pleasing match, BUSSY come across like big time heroes, and the Cardona's show the right amount of @ss, ***½.
Cardona and Green stumble up and play to the hostile fans. Chelsea has a bloody forehead and Cardona has a black eye. Cardona grabs the mic and takes credit for all of GCW's recent success and he's sick of the disrespect. He "quits" GCW, they can have the Hammerstein Ballroom all to themselves. Cue the "Goodbye" song from the fans.
ROH World Championship (Pure Rules Match):
Jonathan Gresham © vs. AJ Gray
You know, Gresham taking the ROH title on a tour of the indies might not be the worst thing for the belt's prestige. If Gresham can hold on and appear at Supercard of Honor as champion, that might feel like a pretty big deal. Gray has no interest in the Code of Honor. Gresham breaks a wristlock and offers another handshake. Gresham cartwheels out of a headlock, but Gray still won't shake his hand, this time slapping the champ down. Gresham uses the ropes to escape a flurry of punches. Gresham goes to work on the knee. Gray uses his first rope break and knees Gresham in the face. Gray hits a moonsault for 2. Gresham hits an open hand slap, so Gray chops him down. The ref warns Gray to stop using closed fists, and I think Gray got away with multiple shots. Gresham comes back by chopping the knee. Gresham head scissors Gray to outside and nails a somersault senton! Gresham's high crossbody gets 2, so he applies a Figure Four! Gray escapes and uses his size and strength advantage for a slugfest, but Gresham fires off a German. Gray cuts off the champ's flurry with a massive lariat. Gresham blocks a powerbomb and hits a low forearm for 2. Gresham hits a hammerlock German suplex, but Gray burst out for a lariat and powerbomb! Gray hits another lariat for 2. Feels like the Pure stip has flown out the window. Gresham gets the Octopus and repeatedly chops the face to win at 11:13. The Pure stipulations ended up being a distraction, as they basically just wrestled a normal match. Otherwise, the action was lively and well executed, they stayed in second gear to save something for next time, ***.
Winner and still ROH World Champion: Jonathan Gresham
Gresham tries yet again to get a handshake, but Gray fakes him out by pretending to swing at his face. Gresham got totally punked there, so there's enough beef here for a rematch.
Emil Jay introduces Starboy Charlie on crutches. He's working hard to get healthy, but he didn't want to miss this big show.
Alex Zayne vs. Blake Christian
Blake just enjoyed a cup of coffee with WWE, and you have to believe he's on AEW's radar. Zayne is also a victim of the dreaded "budget cuts" and has been back a bit longer. Fans chant "both these guys" at the bell. They start with a hug, and then exchange shoulder blocks. They run the ropes and Christian scores a rana, but Zayne pops up to tease a knee strike. Blake returns the favor, they're clearly having fun. They reach another friendly stalemate, they're very evenly matched, in case you didn't know. They continue in even fashion, Zayne hits a standing corkscrew senton for 2. Zayne goes for a leaping super rana, but Blake reverses into a sunset flip and blasts a KO kick. Black changes directions on a dive and soars through the buckles! They brawl through the fans and into the bar area. Black springboards off a wooden rail! Back to the ring, Zayne hits the running super rana for 2. Zayne misses the 450 splash and Blake nails a clothesline. Power slam by Blake and then a split legged moonsault for 2. Blake misses his 450 attempt, and Zayne serves a shotgun dropkick. Zayne hits his "Crunch Wrap" SSP variation for only 2. Blake counters with a standing Spanish Fly, Zayne barely blocks a springboard 450. They duke it out until Zayne blasts an enziguri. Blake arbitrarily answers with a springboard clothesline. Blake hits a Tiger Driver for 2 and then a rolling elbow for the win at 14:19! I must confess, I was instinctively typing that the rolling elbow was for 2, so they got me with that finish. This was a good athletic display that veered into the indie-riffic territory at times, but you know, sometimes you get that on indie shows and it's okay, ***.
Winner: Blake Christian
Blake grabs a busted mic and has a hard time explaining just how MFing tough he is. He calls his shot at Jonathan Gresham, who has already left the building. Gresham once told him that he was a dope little wrestler, but didn't say he was the best, but they'd wrestle someday when the time was right. Blake can't think of a better time and place than the Hammerstein Ballroom, so he throws out the challenge for the ROH World Championship. Sounds good to me! It looks as though GCW might be using the ROH title as a stand-in while GCW Champion Jon Moxley recovers.
Matthew Justice vs. Jacob Fatu (with Juicy)
Fatu is billed as the "Real Fn Head of the Table." Justice takes some time setting up chairs and drapes a Mance Warner shirt over one. He invites Fatu to take a seat, instead Fatu smashes the shirt from the chair. They trade hard shots and Justice hits a quick springboard dive off the chair. Justice hits more chair shots and warns Juicy to stay back. Juicy steps in as a shield. Fatu swings a chair at the head and Juicy drives Justice into the ring post. Fatu sets a door in the corner, but Justice amusingly stands up for a chair shot. Justice remembers he's supposed to be knocked loopy and adjusts by stumbling around, and Fatu drives him through a bridged chair. Fatu nails a crazy split legged moonsault, but Justice pops up to spear him through the door. Justice follows with a Coast to Coast dropkick, and Juicy pulls Fatu to ringside. Justice dives onto Juicy, Fatu sprints for a dive but takes Juicy down too. Justice spears Fatu off the apron and through a door. Justice hits a flying splash onto the apron but Fatu kicks out. Juicy helps with a TKO on Justice outside. Juicy continues the assault with a diving headbutt in the ring. The ref vanished at some point, so I think the official match might be over. Fatu and Juicy use pieces of doors for a makeshift con-chair–to, and Justice is a bloody mess. Fatu and Juicy leave, and I guess it's over at 12:00. This had some admittedly cool spots, but was a bit of a mess from a narrative standpoint, **.
Starboy Charlie's mother slaps Fatu and Juicy, so Fatu hauls Charlie into the ring! Security fails to stop Fatu from putting a hurting on Charlie's broken leg while his mother is restrained. Justice stops them from doing anything too serious, and they'll fight another day. Or so I think, the Samoans return and resume their attack. Juicy forces Mama Starboy to watch as Fatu hits a diving splash onto Charlie! This is an utterly despicable attack, and I kind of love it. Who says that GCW doesn't do old-school storylines? I liked this angle way more than the match itself.
Video promo hyping the Jordan Oliver vs. Atticus Cogar feud. Oliver is on a mission to prove that he's the best, but suffered some vicious weapons attacks by Cogar, who is the type to thrive on violence.
No Ropes Barbed Wire Match:
Atticus Cogar vs. Jordan Oliver
Might want to send the kids to bed if you haven't yet. Oliver is sporting bandages over his left eye. They aggressively lock up and attempt to shove each other into the wire. Oliver has some size over Cogar and scores some jabs. Fans chant "F Ohio" while Cogar considers attacking Oliver's bad eye. Oliver avoids the wire and hits a German suplex. Cogar flees, Oliver dives over the wire to outside! They brawl into the crowd, Oliver hits a makeshift Pedigree on some non folding chairs. Back to the ring, Cogar sends Oliver into the wire with a shotgun dropkick! Oliver wiggles in agony and gets tossed into the wires again. Cogar forces Oliver to bite the wire and sticks skewers into his mouth. This is getting yucky, as expected. Cogar jabs the skewers into Oliver's bad eye and forehead. Oliver is a bloody mess. Oliver surprises with a low dropkick, but Cogar uses a low blow to maintain control. Cogar sends Oliver head-first into a wired chair. Oliver hulks up and sends Cogar into the wired props. Oliver hits a cutter off the apron and through a wired door! Fans chant "This is awesome." Oliver can't get the pinfall, so he clotheslines the neck for another nearfall. Oliver can't get all 3 Amigos, Cogar hits a rana and discus punch. They trade superkicks, and Cogar gets a tired nearfall. Cogar brings in a door and lighter fluid, but Oliver cuts him off with a sitout powerbomb. Oliver turns his back to pour lighter fluid on the door, and doesn't see Cogar lighting skewers on fire! Cogar blows flames at Oliver, who dodges and the door goes up in flames! Oliver throws Cogar through the fiery door, but COGAR KICKS OUT! That was as dangerous as it was bad-@ss. Oliver sets a glass sheet against a chair, but Cogar cuts him off. Oliver withstands getting bitten and hits a Jimmy Rave swinging neckbreaker for 2. Cogar reverses with a piledriver. Oliver delivers a flurry of punches, Cogar low blows and hits a headlock driver. Cogar hits an Air Raid Crash through the glass! Second headlock driver by Cogar, Oliver kicks out at 1! Smart move, the fans hadn't been responding to the 2 counts. Cogar plants the green skewers into Oliver's forehead and hits a third headlock driver, for a better nearfall. Cogar smashes a chair over Oliver's head and then hits a draping headlock driver onto the wired chair. Cogar finally pins Oliver at 27:54. This was a grueling, brutal match that unfortunately dragged for a long time in the middle, and could have had 5-8 minutes trimmed off. Stil, I'm ashamed to say I marked out for the fire spot, and Cogar's deliberate attack to the head made for a strong finale, ***.
Winner: Atticus Cogar
Final Thoughts: There was a lot to enjoy on this GCW card, which was pretty tame by their standards (only the main event featured any real barbaric elements). GCW has a lot going for them right now as they march towards the Hammerstein Ballroom and are benefiting from many newly available WWE and ROH refugees. I recommend this event to anyone who is curious about GCW, though you will want to stop before the barbed wire match if you're squeamish.
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