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GCW: Good Riddance
by Samoa Rowe
December 31, 2020
Live from The Carousel Room at The Showboat, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Our hosts are Joey Janela and Kevin Gill, and they are here to tell 2020 to f*ck off.
Crazy Tough Enemies (Joshua Bishop and Matthew Justice) vs. Ironbeast (Shane Mercer and KTB)
A brawl breaks out before the bell. The referee insists on order and both teams toss him out. With no referee or rules, they gleefully brawl outside of the ring. Ironbeast hit stereo dives. A new ref arrives but lets Ironbeast double team Justice in the ring. Bishop helps out with a blatant chair shot. Bishop slams his own partner through Justice and a door in the buckles. KTB hits a deadlift German on CTE. KTB no sells numerous door shots and drops CTE with clotheslines. Mercer gets something resembling a hot tag (nice of them to follow the rules) and throws CTE into chair attacks from KTB (nevermind). Ironbeast dishes out more tandem offense and hit a con-chair-to and additional unprotected chair shots for a nearfall. Ironbeast prepare stereo door bumps and NOW the referee decides to restore order, which results in KTB giving him a Spicolli Driver through a door. Bishop spears Ironbeast through a door, and Justice follows with a Van Terminator for only 2. Mercer answers with a moonsault power slam, but trades chair shots with Justice, and they both collapse on their opposite opponents for a double pinfall at about 10:00. The match is called a draw and the fans are none too pleased. This was a fun opener, in part due to intentional disregard for rules and conventions, ***.
They brawl into the lobby, where some non-wrestling tourists are bound to be royally confused.
Treehouse Lee vs. Saieve Al Sabah
Both guys smile as they lock up for some chain wrestling. Janela says they're brothers, but he might already be drunk enough to be making sh!t up. Al Sabah slaps the face and goes for a headlock. Lee counters but runs into a shoulder block. Al Sabah counters with a running Jackhammer, but misses a standing moonsault. Lee's roundhouse kick is blocked, so he returns the slap to the face. Lee hits a series of shoulder thrusts and mule kicks Al Sabah through the ropes. Al Sabah offers a handshake but then cheap shots with a slap, then drives Lee's head into the buckles. Al Sabah's cobra clutch needs a rope break and referee intervention. Lee reverses a second clutch, but Al Sabah hits a back splash for a nice 2 count. Al Sabah applies a modified STF, but Lee counters into a roll-up. Lee kips up but Al Sabah hits a spin kick for 2. Standing moonsault by Al Sabah, but he then misses a second rope moonsault. Al Sabah attempts a powerbomb counter, but Lee reverses into a rana to the floor. They take a breather and sell some injuries. Lee rallies with quick kicks and a sideheadlock takedown. Lee nails a vertical leap to the floor! Al Sabah answers with a spinning neckbreaker, but Lee hits a spinning axe kick and elbow drop for 2. Sweeping powerbomb by Al Sabah gets 2, so he angrily hits a hard Irish whip. Lee headbutts the gut to block a superplex and nails a diving corkscrew headbutt for the win at 15:54! Excellent mat-based warfare, with some timely highspots mixed in, and a spectacular (and scary) finish, ****.
Winner: Treehouse Lee
Elayna Black vs. Atticus Cogar (with Gregory Iron)
Cogar goes right for a waistlock takedown and rolls into a front headlock. Black gets the ropes and goes for a series of pin attempts, and Cogar slaps her heard in the face. Black returns the favor and hits some arm drags. Running hurricanrana by Black and a running knee to the face. Leg drop by Black gets 2. Iron's interference allows Cogar to hit a draping DDT to take control. Black comes back with a rana off the ropes and nails a pump kick for 2. Cogar breaks a full nelson and hits a mean German suplex for 2. Iron helps Cogar set a door up on some chairs at rinside. Cogar returns to the ring where Black counters into a DDT for 2. Black takes some skewers from Cogar and jams them into the head of an interfering Iron. Cogar recovers and puts Black through the door with an Air Raid Crash! They stumble back to the ring, where Black desperately school boys Cogar for 2. Black follows with an Octopus, but Cogar reverses into a Skull Crushing Finale for the win at 10:05. Good match, with Cogar playing the natural bully role to perfection, ***.
Winner: Atticus Cogar
Cogar messes with Black's Tarot cards, which amuses Janela.
Calvin Tankman vs. Lee Moriarity
Moriarity connects with an instant boot to the head, but Tankman fires back with body shots. Tankman swats away a DDT attempt but misses a wild chop to the head, but dodges a potentially fatal axe kick. That stalemate sequence was beautiful. Match restarts with Tankman chopping Moriarity down with a chop. Head scissors takedown by Moriarity gives him some momentum, and he wrenches Tankman's arm over the ropes. Lee hits a series of head kicks but Tankman counters with a huge powerslam onto the apron! Awesome! Tankman follows with a back suplex onto the ring frame. Moriarity's chops have no effect until he hits a dozen in a row, but Tankman throws him into the buckles for 2. Tight chinlock by Tankman, Moriarity breaks by snapping the arm, but Tankman retains control with a slam. Moriarity comes back by targeting the arm and hits an enziguri. Moriarity sweeps the legs and nails a double stomp for a great nearfall. Moriarity blasts Tankman's chest with kicks, but Tankman responds with brutal forearm shots. They trade desperation offense until Tankman's lariat leaves them both down. Tankman then hits a series of head attacks but can't get the pinfall with a diving chop to the head. Moriarity counters into an armbar takedown off the ropes, and transitions into a Rings of Saturn. Tankman passes out at 13:34! Holy sh!t, if you don't know who these guys are now, you will soon, ****¼.
Winner: Lee Moriarity
The crew wipes down the ropes and canvas (for safety) and ironically sets up a barbed wire door and glass door in the buckles (for carnage). You won't catch COVID, but you might get Tetanus.
F*cking Death Match:
1 Called Manders vs. Shlak
They politely trade open hand slaps at the bell. They exchange head butts, shoulder tackles, and forearms, and Manders suddenly sends Shlak crashing through the glass door (which EXPLODES). Shlak sends Manders into the barbed wire door and batters him with the wreckage. Shlak is a bloody mess already, and they mess each other up with light tubes. Shlak batters Manders with a glass door, which shatters over him. I'm not going to lie, this is pretty gross. Manders wacks a door over Shlak's head, which breaks through somewhat comically. Back to the ring, Shlak drapes Manders in the ropes for a light tube assisted leg drop! The fans give the timekeeper hell for prematurely ringing, while the bloody brawl continues. Manders hits a superplex and lariat for 2, and then chokes Shlak with a cowbell bullrope. They turn more light tubes into dust and Shlak wraps a plastic bag around Manders' face. Shlak wins via asphyxiation at 11:12. Well, this isn't my cup of tea, but it doesn't matter because this match accomplished everything it was supposed to, including getting over with the sickos in attendance, **.
Manders might have lost but rings the cowbell to signal that he'll be back to fight another day.
Jordan Oliver vs. ACH
ACH seems to have a chip on his shoulder and intensely trades holds with Oliver. ACH's dropkick is blocked, but so is Oliver's Boston Crab. ACH maneuvers into a penalty kick. They exchange chops at ringside. Oliver trips ACH face first onto the apron. Oliver runs a lap around the ring, only to slip while superkicking ACH in a chair. Back to the ring, ACH nails a hard Irish whip that sends Oliver crashing to ringside. ACH wins a chop exchange and stomps the face. Oliver comes back with a tope suicida, followed by a leaping cutter for 2. ACH surprises with a leaping sunset powerbomb, Oliver saves himself with the ropes. ACH misses a wild frog splash! ACH saves face with a Liger Bomb for 2. Superkick by ACH, but Jordan counters with a stunner and springboard cutter for the win at 11:23! Nice upset victory by Oliver, helped by ACH looking so deadly for long stretches of the match, ***½.
Winner: Jordan Oliver
All Star Scramble:
Effy vs. Mance Warner vs. Cole Radrick vs. Blake Christian vs. Allie Kat vs. Chris Dickinson
Effy strikes first with several thrust kicks, and throws his buddy, Allie, into Christian's kick. Effy tries to make Christian uncomfortable, which backfires. Radrick clears them out and hits a scary low dive on Effy. Allie breaks Cole's pin on Effy but then eats an enziguri. Warner and Dickinson attempt a standoff, but the others break them up. They clear the field and trade stiff shots. The field returns , and Allie and Effy take their turn dominating Radrick. Dickinson goes after Allie with an enziguri, but she repays him with a piledriver. Effy stops her from winning, and they trade shoves. Warner interrupts with a headbutt on Allie, so Effy kicks him in the groin. Christian buckle bombs Effy and knees the face. Dickinson goes after Christian's leg, but Radrick breaks a Figure Four with a moonsault. Christian double stomps Radrick and uppercuts the back of the head. Dickinson catches Christian with a superplex and wins at 9:45. Pretty good spotfest with some little stories, **¾.
Winner: Chris Dickinson
The scramble guys and gal stick around to talk and Effy asks for Nick Gage to join them. They play his music but there's no sign of Gage. They thank the fans and call it a night. A drunk Joey Janela stumbles into the ring to annoy the ring crew as they clean up. He's joined by an Amish looking guy. Janela says he's had more mic time here than he has all year in AEW, because they don't trust him, and then proceeds to prove the point with some off-color jokes that I dare not paraphrase because I don't want Da Site to get restricted by work filters. Let's just say, Janela churns some butter as a metaphor for something else. I guess there's time to fill, as Joey attempts to run the ropes nonstop for 5 minutes. KTB feeds a referee to Joey, and he comically beats him up with intentionally lousy looking offense. This segment dies a slow death as KTB slams the ref and Joey promises to run for another 2 minutes. He only has about 30 seconds left in him, so they take a short break (it's approaching midnight).
Effy and friends return to the ring for the New Year's countdown. 2020 finally ends and it's beautiful to see.
"I Quit" Match:
Jimmy Lloyd vs. G Raver
It's officially January 1st 2021, and just changing the calendar feels cathartic. Bell rings and they throw wild punches, and then Raver lands a scary sliding dive. Raver props a barbed wire door against a chair, but Lloyd blocks a slam, so Raver puts him on it for a double stomp against the arm! Yuck. Lloyd is bloodied but manages to throw Raver across a door. They brawl over to the gimmick table, where Lloyd hits a piledriver that fails to break the table. Back to the ring, Lloyd misses a light tube shot, which seems to explode in his own face, and Raver unloads with punches. Lloyd absorbs some punishment but then drives Raver onto an open chair on the apron. Raver has trouble getting Lloyd to stay still on a bridged door but then puts him through it with a sickening top rope Swanton Bomb! Lloyd refuses to quit. Raver unpacks a handful of tattoo needles, but Lloyd blocks an attack to the head. Instead, Raver drives the needles into Lloyd's thumb and they hang out. This is so gross. Raver hits a draping DDT that knocks most of the needles out of his hand. Lloyd answers by throwing Raver back-first onto a standing chair. Lloyd places a ladder with light tubes taped to the top onto the buckles, but Raver cuts him off with a suplex. Lloyd settles for a package piledriver through a tower of chairs. Raver refuses to quit, and the crowd is too tired to muster much of a response. Lloyd follows with a Razor's Edge to the outside through a propped door! I think the fans are up way past their bedtimes, no one reacted to that insane spot, but it may be due to Raver looking potentially concussed. Janela and Gill put on their funeral voices as Raver crawls past his friends to punch Lloyd in the nether regions and shove him face first into the light tube ladder. Raver's pals set Lloyd up in a barbaric structure of tables, chairs, and glass doors. Raver climbs a ladder, but Lloyd meets him at the top, only to get shoved off for a stunt bump through the glass. Lloyd still won't quit, so Raver zipties him to the ropes for a series of easy chair shots. Raver gets a weedwacker and slices Lloyd's stomach and groin. Raver teases with some lighter fluid, but tosses the bottle away. Instead, Raver fetches a board with scissor taped open and places it on Lloyd's chest. Lloyd quits at 34:09 to avoid having the scissors kicked into his throat. This just kept on going, didn't it? This was a combination of the worst kind of I Quit match with lots of downtime between stunts, and death match stupidity, all compounded by the ridiculously long run time and a beyond exhausted crowd that just wanted the show to end, *.
Winner: G Raver
Final Thoughts: I really enjoy these GCW holiday shows, and this was no exception, but this sure did go downhill in that last hour, between drunk Joey Janela's shtick not getting over and that I Quit fiasco. I don't want to judge the hardcore matches too harshly, because I fully admit that I'm not a fan, but it's one thing when they get over with the crowd and an entirely other thing when the fans watching seem as uninterested as I am. I would still recommend this show on the strength of the first 2 hours, especially the Tankman/Moriarity bout, which gave me flashbacks to the early 00's ROH.
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