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GCW - You Only Die Once
by Samoa Rowe
July 10, 2021
Live from the Irving Arena in Dallas, Texas. The venue is a basketball gymnasium and the place is packed with rowdy fans.
Joey Janela vs. Ninja Mack
Joey has fireworks for his entrance, he looks like he's entering a WWF Warzone video game match. Fans chant "Both these guys" at the bell. They quickly trade holds and Joey dodges a low corkscrew attempt. Instead of shaking hands, Joey throws a forearm smash and cuts off Mack's dive with a clothesline. Janela delivers a torpedo dive into the first two rows. Mack totally no sells and sprints back for a moonsault. Mack misses a chop and hits a support pole, which again doesn't matter, because he then seats by the ramp. Mack cartwheels down the ramp, and right past Janela, who has an appropriate"WTF" look on his face. Mack attempts to block an Irish Whip with a back flip off the wall, slips, but Janela bails him out with a superkick counter in mid-air. Back in the ring, Janela focuses on the back and hits the Three Amigos. Mack escapes a chinlock, but Janela answers with a scoop slam. Joey blocks a sunset flip bomb, but Mack superkicks his ankle. Mack flips into a Phoenix Splash, but then spends too much time showboating, and Joey delivers a super rana. Mack lands on his feet, but Joey hits some palm strikes and then a Spanish Fly for 2. Mack hits a whip into the support pole, and then kicks off the pole to hit a high crossbody. Joey answers with a makeshift leaping Destroyer from the apron! Joey cools off with a beer, giving Mack time to recover. Janela blocks a SSP with his boots, hits a running cannonball, but his DVD is reversed into a Poison Rana! Janela pops up for a lariat and nails a DVD for a 2.999 count. Brainbuster by Janela and a flying elbow,but Mack pulls him into a Crossface. They trade big boots and both kip up for a hockey fight. German suplex by Mack, he blocks Janela's German and hits another. Mack cartwheels all over the place, for reasons I may never know, and Janela takes advantage with a Burning Hammer to win at 16:35! The crowd loved every second of this, I struggled with the blatant (intentional) lack of psychology early and Mack's cartwheeling shtick, **¾.
Winner: Joey Janela
Janela tries to have a nice moment on the mic but gets taken down by Atticus Cogar. Joey flips double birds, so Cogar plants skewers into his forehead.
"World's Best Dad and Movie Owner" Tony Deppen vs. Starboy Charlie
Deppen cannot possibly be the best dad and movie owner, because that means I'm not, and there can only be one. Deppen rejects a handshake and cheapshots instead. Charlie fights from behind, but Deppen has an answer for everything until they reach a stalemate. Deppen sticks his hand into his tights and NOW wants a handshake, but Charlie swats him away with his boot. Charlie scores a flying rana and then Sling Blade. Deppen walks away from a dive, so Charlie swings around the ring post for a messy rana. Charlie misses a head of steam and tumbles into the front row. Deppen lets the fans distract him, and Charlie hits machine gun chops. Deppen hits a vertical suplex for 2. Charlie rallies and sets Deppen up for a Tree of Woe dropkick. Charlie wins a fight on the apron and nails a plancha. Missile dropkick by Charlie gets 2. They trade power moves and amusingly collapse in stereo. Charlie just graduated high school and now he looks poised to beat the ROH TV Champion. That is, until Deppen puts him into an STF. Charlie gets the ropes, but Deppen counters into a Tombstone Piledriver into a Lungblower, and back to the STF. Charlie survives and hits a Penalty Kick to the face, and then locks on a Sharpshooter. Deppen escapes, but Charlie counters into a great tornado DDT. Deppen escapes another Sharpshooter, but sells serious back pain. Deppen catches Charlie with a step up enziguri and TKO. Charlie desperately goes for a springboard press, but Deppen blocks a 450 and pins him at 16:05! HELL of a showing from the young Charlie, Deppen lead him along for a stellar back and forth war of attrition. Keep an eye on these guys, ****.
Winner: Tony Deppen
Bryan Keith vs. Chris Dickinson
They feel each other out with some chain wrestling, neither guy gains the upper hand. They run the ropes and Dickinson scores a back elbow. They test each other with knife edge chops. Keith gets knocked down and attempts a leg sweep, then nails a clothesline. Dickinson loses his temper and stomps Keith out of the ring. Dickinson targets the arm on a beatdown. Keith hits a desperation flurry and takes Chris down with a kick. Keith hits a uranage, but Dickinson answers with a cross armbreaker. Keith escapes and nails a DVD neckbreaker for 2. Dickinson won't go quietly and fires back with a stiff clothesline and DVD. Keith hits an Exploder, but Dickinso pops up for a clothesline, earning some polite applause from a somewhat subdued audience. They trade chops again, and this now feels like it's running long. Keith stacks Dicksinson in a powerbomb for 2. Dickinson responds with a super brainbuster for a cold nearfall, and finishes with the cross armbreaker at 16:33. This started strong and felt like a three star match for the first 10 minutes or so. The crowd was polite but disinterested at the end, **½.
Winner: Chris Dickinson
Jack Cartwheel vs. Dante Leon
Cartwheel looks pretty spry for someone who likely got concussed about 24 hours ago, and lives up to his namesake while entering to a pop. They are determined to have a high level spot-fest and engage in an athletic back and forth exchange, with Leon hitting a standing Spanish Fly for 2. Leon's slingshot senton misses, Cartwheel hits an enziguri and handstands on the apron, only to get knocked out. They brawl into the fans and Cartwheel scores a back handspring dive. Hesitation elbow drop by Cartwheel gets 2, as does a somersault senton. Leon recovers with a wild lariat and they take a breather. Leon hits a monkey flip into a curb stomp. Leon hits a Swanton Bomb onto a standing Cartwheel for only 2. Leon sets a door up on some chairs, but Cartwheel cuts him off with a headlock driver onto the ring frame. Cartwheel then delivers a soaring SSP through the door! Leon reverses a Phoenix Splash into an Ace Cutter and wins at 8:26! They packed a lot of insanity into a short package, and the match was better for it, ***½.
Winner: Dante Leon
Mance Warner vs. 1 Called Manders vs. Matt Justice vs. AJ Gray
Seriously, all these guys posing with fireworks against a black curtain is making me want to turn this off and play some WWF Warzone on my N64. It's not even a good game, it just makes me feel like I'm 14 again. Fortunately, I am a disciplined "journalist" or something, so the recap will continue. Anyways, all 4 guys enjoy a beer together before smashing the cans into eachother's faces. The ring clears for Gray to hit a dive. Gray enjoys another beer and botches a dive when his feet catch the ropes. I want to apologize in advance, but this match proves that Manders and Warner aren't the same person, and I'm having a little trouble telling them apart, but both bold guys with beards take control with weapon shots. Justice takes another drink and leaps off a chair to send some guys off the apron and through a door. Manders capitalizes with a moonsault to outside. Gray thanks Manders with a brainbuster, but Justice ambushes with a spear. Warner tries to pick up the scraps but can't gain a pinfall. There's a 4-way standoff, the fans chant "Hug it out," and the men almost oblige, but Warner cheap shots. The men engage in a slapfest, earning a few chuckles. Justice hits Manders with a splash, Justice breaks the pin, Gray flies in with a diving headbutt. Justice and Warner work together to concoct a ridiculous chairs and doors jenga tower in the ring. Manders cuts them off with chair shots. Justice pours lighter fluid on the tower, and has an amusingly difficult time setting it on fire with camping torches. Meanwhile, Manders and Warner are stuck milking a superplex spot and finally have to hit their spot through the tower despite it not being on flames. Gray brings the fans back with numerous unprotected chair shots on Manders. Gray hits a guillotine leg drop with a chair to finish Manders at 15:52. That failed fire spot absolutely killed what had otherwise been a rocking brawl, **.
Winner: AJ Gray
Gray celebrates by sharing a Whataburger meal with the losers. The fans love burgers and beer enough to forgive them for the embarrassing fire botches.
Jimmy Lloyd vs. Facade (with Dani Mo)
Facade gets a hot start and hits a missile dropkick off of the second rope. Facade looks for a dive to outside, but Lloyd throws a chair into his face. Facade recovers with a springboard dropkick, but seems to be limping. Facade still manages some step up attacks onto the top rope and nails a springboard cutter. Facade leaps off a chair to barely connect with a springboard 450. Dani fills the ring with chairs while the guys take a breather. Facade sets up a collection of chairs, Lloyd attempts a superplex, but Facade puts him through the chairs with a top rope Destroyer, for 2 (lol). Now I feel like I'm playing ECW Hardcore Revolution on the N64. Lloyd takes away Facade's light tubes and hits a Tiger Driller through the glass for 2. Lloyd hits a pair of devastating suplexes for another silly nearfall. Lloyd finishes with a driver through a pile of chairs at 6:40. This was like playing a wrestling game on easy mode and just messing around with weapons and finishers, *½.
Winner: Jimmy Lloyd
"The Mayor of Trash Island" Shlak vs. "Mexico City's Most Violent Woman" Sadika
Oh boy, this could get ugly. Shlak blindsides Sadika before the bell and smashes her into the ring post. Shlak hits many chops, so Sadika kicks him in the groin and throws him into the front row. Sadika hits running double knees into a chair. Sadika sets up some chairs at ringside, but Shlak meets her in the ropes for a flying leg drop. A battle on the apron results in Sadika suplexing Shlak through the chairs! Sadika sets a barbed wire door onto some chairs at ringside. Shlak tries to backdrop her through the plunder, she grabs the ropes to save herself, but then Shlak's spear sends them both crashing through the door. Shlak sets another wired table in a corner and puts Sadika through it with a spear. Sadika no sells but then misses a missile dropkick. Shlak hits a suplex through a standing chair, but Sadika gets a rope break. Shlak readjusts their position and pins her at 9:42. Just ugly nastiness for the sake of ugly nastiness, **.
Shlak storms off, leaving Sadika behind for an ovation from the fans. She cuts a promo in Spanish that lures Shlak back out. He ends up not taking the bait and leaves without further incident.
Effy vs. Allie Katch
These two are tag partners who have recently gotten on each other's nerves, so now they must fight. Effy pulls mascara out of his tights and puts whiskers on his own face, and then invites the former Allie Kat to rub his tummy. Instead, Allie slaps his gut, so he slaps her across the face. She tackles him and they brawl on the canvas. Shoulder block by Effy, but Allie freaks him out with some suggestive mannerisms. Two can play at that game, but Allie recovers with a big leg drop for 2. Effy traps Allie's head between his knees and then applies a Tarantula. Allie answers with a tope suicida. Effy throws her through a few rows of chairs. Effy takes too much time fetching chairs and Allie hits a dive off of the apron. Back senton by Allie gets 2. Allie gets some more shine but can't put Effy away. Effy smashes a door into her and sets it against the middle rope. Allie reverses into a Northern Lights suplex and then puts Effy through the door with a DVD. Effy kicks out! Allie mocks with "I'm sorry, I love you" and hits a piledriver for a great nearfall. Effy breaks a Boston Crab and hits a TKO into a Dragon Sleeper. Allie almost taps, but breaks free with a snapmare, only for Effy to powerbomb her for 2. Effy throws chairs at his alleged friend, and Allie's mother runs in to slap Effy. "Mama Katch" hits a low blow and DDT! Allie's pin attempt gets 2! Effy throws Allie into her own mother, goes for her foot, but pulls off a prosthetic leg! Allie rolls up a confused Effy for 2, but he smashes the boot over her. Effy's Tombstone Piledriver gets 2, partly because he put her head into his tights. Effy looks for a curb stomp through a propped door, but instead Allie puts him through it with a press slam. Effy wins a melee and puts his groin into her face, but Allie reverses into a powerbomb and Boston Crab for the submission win at 18:57! Fun, overbooked match, and Effy got over as a vile enough villain that Allie's win feel cathartic, ***.
Winner: Allie Katch
Allie orders Effy to kiss her boot, and he obliges. Looks like they can move forward as a team after all.
Nick Gage suffered an injury last night and cannot defend the World title.
GCW Ultraviolent Championship (Death Match):
Alex Colon © vs. AJ Gray
Colon meets Gray with a light tube shot over the head. Colon connects with a dive and smashes a tube over his own head. Colon seats Gray and smashes more tubes into his chest. Gray returns fire, and both guys are already bleeding heavily. Colon lunges with a tube, but Gray sacrifices his own body to hit a lariat into the glass. Gray carves up Colon's forehead. They exchange tube shots like it's no big deal. Gray counters with a powerbomb that grazes a door, so he puts him through it with an ugly Razor's Edge. Colon smashes a door against Gray's body and hits a DDT for 2. Gray hits a spinning heel kick into a light tube for a fun nearfall. There must have a been a sale at Home Depot, because Gray smashes another endless round of tubes into Colon, including a trash can lined with them. The fight devolves into parody, as they trade tube shots like Rockem Sockem Robots. Colon hits a top rope Spanish Fly that grazes a trash can, and applies a deep Camel Clutch. Gray survives, and they seem to be running out of ideas as they continue destroying light tubes. Gray hits a superplex through a trash can for only 2. Colon comes back with a uranage and Camel Clutch. Gray saves himself with tube shots to the head. Gray blocks a sunset bomb, but Colon breaks another tube over his back and hits Razor's Edge to win at 15:40. Frustrating match, because they worked hard and suffered serious physical tolls, only for a tedious garbage match that spun it's wheels to fill time, *¾*.
Winner and still GCW Ultraviolent Champion: Alex Colon
Final Thoughts: Like many GCW shows, this was a total mixed bag. I'd give this a mild recommendation if you're the type of wrestling fan who can be forgiving of some indie-riffic indulgences. Deppen vs. Charlie is definitely worth seeing, but you'd be forgiven if you gave this event a pass.
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