Larry Goodman sent this report in:
Great Championship Wrestling’s weekly event in Phenix City, Al featured a rare reunion of Blackout, one of Georgia’s top tag teams over the last decade.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be a very run-of-the-mill show. I?m going to chalk it up as an off night, especially for the booker(s). The GCW roster has far too much talent for this caliber of show to be the norm.
Attendance at the Gr8 Sk8 Plex was 115. GCW is drawing basically the same group of hardcore fans each week, and that’s who this show was geared towards, with scant attention paid to making and retaining new fans. It was a collection of mostly fine matches. The talent worked hard. They give people their money’s worth. But fans lacking familiarity with the storylines were given little reason to care about any of that. No interviews. No mic work. No videos. No burning issues related to any of the championships.
(1) Tex Monroe pinned ?Marvelous? Michael Stevens in 9:58 with Texas Toast. Stevens hit a fireman’s carry gutbuster ala Roderick Strong for a near fall and worked the midsection. He missed a quebrada for the double down. On the comeback, Monroe used a running bulldog for a near fall. Stevens escaped Monroe’s finisher the first time, before Tex made him into toast. Match was OK but didn?t do a whole lot to help Monroe’s cause as top contender for Sal Rinauro’s GCW Interstate Championship. Based on what was presented, it would have required supernatural powers to know he was a contender.
(2) Dany Only beat Mike Cross in 6:33. A change from the advertised card, which had the returning Only challenging Jimmy Rave for the GCW Heavyweight Title. Only has added Joker type face paint to his gimmick. It worked for me. Only took over with a turnbuckle hotshot. Crowd got behind Stevens, but Only cut off his comeback with a grade AA spinebuster and applied a sharpshooter. To set up the finish, Only shoved one of GCW’s kid referees into the ropes to crotch Stevens on the top. That looked weak. Only made a statement with his finisher – an impressive reverse piledriver. If Only is coming back as a regular, he’s off to a good start.
(3) Jimmy Rave & Cru Jones beat Winners? Club (Kyle Matthews & Bobby Moore with Princeton Gainey & J.T. Smooth) in a GCW Tag Team Championship match via DQ at 22:27 when Rinauro & Murder One interfered, Hence, Winners retaining the GCW Tag Team Championship. This was a change in the posted card, which did not include Matthews and listed Moore in a singles. Smooth has been added to the Winners? Club act in the role of Gainey’s caddy, holding his drink and shading him with an umbrella. Solid tag match with great sustained heat. The faces chopped the crap out of Moore. Fans were chanting ?Bobby sucks? while he still getting the short end of the stick. Rave took a bump over the top to start the heat. Winners worked over Rave’s back. They distracted the ref from seeing a legit tag by Jones, and then switching without tagging, and it worked like a charm to add heat. Jones took the hot tag and it was lariat city. Jones gorilla pressed Matthews and dropped him on top of Moore. It broke down to four way action. Rave kicked out a superkick/dropkick combo by Matthews and speared his ass. He was setting up for Ghanarhea when Rinauro and M-1 got him from behind. The ring filled with heels and they were all putting the boots to Rave. Jones started pulling guys out. The babyface save came late, resulting in a dubious moment where Jones was singlehandedly holding four heels at bay. Rave sold the beating huge and needed bigtime help getting back to the locker room.
This was the only story that came across loud and clear ? M-1 and Rinauro running roughshod over the champion. Jones was doing the deal of coming back and working his way up from the bottom. The direction would appear to be a tag match ? Jones & Rave vs. M-1 & Rinuaro, which would is fine if leads to a somebody making a serious title challenge. Rave has been taking on all comers, but none of those comers has had a realistic shot of winning the title.
During the Intermission, Taylor McKnight announced the start time was being moved up to 7pm starting next week. Makes sense with school back in session. 7:30 would be fine, if they actually started on time and didn?t do two intermissions. There was no good reason for this to be a three hour show.
McKnight also revealed that GCW’s first ever fan participation lumberjack strap match would take place on August 20.
(4) Shaun Banks beat Josh Storm in 6:17. Storm stood out in the wrong way. He’s very young and small and unpolished. He was running the ropes taking baby steps. Banks isn?t that big a guy, but he was overpowering Storm at will. A fan called it child abuse. Storm’s comeback was less than stellar. The match came to an abrupt end when Banks planted Storm with a wicked sideslam out of a waistlock. It looked like a finish born of frustration, but a pretty cool move at that.
(5) Johnny Swinger submitted Ron Stalker (with Princeton Gainey & J.T. Smooth) at 9:20 with Sleep Time. Of late, Swinger has been doing an old school deal where he put his opponent out cold with the sleeper, then teases like he’s not going to wake him up. Stalker dominated the match. He though he had Swinger pinned with a superkick, but didn?t see Swinger’s foot on the ropes. The ref did. Stalker complained and it was beddy bye time.
They lost the crowd during this section of the show. I hate to be a second-guessing-asshole-arm-chair booker but?.given that Banks and Swinger have unresolved issues, why was there no interaction between them? Hell, Swinger was still selling the leg injury inflicted by Banks. A tag match with Banks avoiding Swinger like he was infected with H1N1 would have been one way to go ? limit Storm’s role to taking heat. Do a finish with Banks looking on in fear as Stalker lapses into unconsciousness. The other weird thing is that Banks and Jones were attached at the hip as Hot Like Lava. How can they co-exist in GCW without Banks taking a clear stance on Cru’s face turn?
20 minute intermission. It served little purpose other than to give the smoker’s a chance to pollute their lungs. They concession stand was deserted.
(6) Sal Rinauro beat Chip Day to retain the GCW Interstate Championship in 14:48. Day got a great pop coming out, but the heat went downhill from there. These two have serious issues in Rampage Pro Wrestling, where they have been tearing down the house, but the GCW fans would have no way of knowing that. Day hit a double revolution spinning headscissors early. Rinauro did the spit & run spot, but Day was wise to his skullduggery. Rinauro focused his attack on Day’s leg. They traded some pretty cool strikes, then started trading big moves, some good and some not so much. Day hit a reverse huracanrana that liked to have broken somebody’s neck. Rinauro did the rolling koppo kick. Rinauro gave Day a wicked kneebreaker on the apron. Day barely beat the 10 count. Actually, I?m not sure he did. The inexperience of the refs is a problem. Day fired back with forearms. He came off the top with a flying double knee, but Rinauro rolled through into a single leg crab. Day hit that leg trip bomb, if it doesn?t have a name it needs one. Rinauro reeled off a dragon screw, an enzuigiri, and a release german suplex to set up his finisher, the springboard 180 kick, at point known as Pass the Courvoisier. The ref made a ridiculously rushed three count.
(7) J-Rod & Frankie Valentine vs. Blackout (Murder One & Kory Chavis) ended in a double DQ at 19:18. The former GCW tag team champions were busting out the stereo moves and combos on Blackout in the early going. Chavis turned the tide with a swinging sitout facebuster on J-Rod. Blackout unleashed some double team devastation of their own. J-Rod headscissored Chavis to make the tag, and it was dropkicks galore from Frankie, but the advantage was short lived. Blackout hit a backbreaker/basement dropkick combo that M-1 dubbed Two Piece and a Biscuit. Fans were hating Blackout at this point. Not much heat at the start of this match, but it built nicely as the work pulled the crowd into it. Crowd got behind Frankie, who hit a stunner. Both men down. Hot tag. House cleaning by J-Rod. Blackout hit an abbreviated version of the Violator 420 and Valentine saved. The action spilled outside the ring and they brawled to the 10 count. The inconclusive finish completely let the air out. They brawled to the back in dead silence. They came back out for a bit more brawling with the faces in control but the damage was done ? a totally deflating ending to what had been a very good match. Assuming the Blackout reunion was a one time deal (no indication was given as to a return engagement), the former champions going over clean on Chavis was the logical finish. Either that, or the dissension between the Valentine and J-Rod reemerges causing them to lose.
NOTES: Rave and Chavis were headed to Philadelphia for a weekend of ROH tapings right after the show?Miguel Rivera, McKnight’s heel counterpart as commentator/ring announcer is no longer with the company?GCW has a show scheduled for August 29 in Milledgeville, Ga at the Centennial Center Complex featuring Raven vs. Swinger and Rave defending the heavyweight title vs. Murder One?The first episode of the GCW Action Factory TV show has been uploaded to [url=www.gcwaction.com]GCWAction.com[/url]?Swinger appeared on the July 18 NWA Anarchy as Baby Walter, trying out a baby gimmick.