Larry Goodman sent this report in:
Great Championship Wrestling presented their fifth annual War Games show Thursday night, drawing a crowd of 220 to the Gr8 Sk8 Plex in Phenix City, Al. It was bigger crowd than 2008, although the gate was somewhat lower due to ticket prices being reduced since last year.
This year’s War Games was built around the tension between the two heel factions, Merchants of Death and Hot Like Lava, as they attempted to work together against a babyface faction led by former GCW champion J-Rod. The composition of the teams changed several times leading into the show, but the basic idea remained the same.
It was a fun show in an offbeat way. I mean how often do you see a guy win a match he didn’t even know he was in or a War Games where the faces win the coin toss?
Taylor McKnight and co-host ?Mr. New York? Miguel Rivera opened the show. Rivera, who was formerly known as referee Donnie DeMarco, has transformed into McKnight’s counterpart as heel ring announcer/color commentator. With the trench coat and dark glasses Rivera looks like he stepped out of a dopey 60s spy show.
They introduced GCW owner Diane Hewes. She said what started with three partners five year ago, (Jerry Oates and ex-husband Bill Hewes being the others) was down to just herself for the last three years. Hewes said she hoped GCW had added to people’s lives and made them feel something.
?80’s Guy? John Bogie was introduced as somebody who had been with GCW from the beginning. He thanked Hewes, who said she was going for 5 more years. Bobby Moore came out. He said the 80s sucked. That lead to?
(1) John Bogie defeated Bobby Moore via DQ in 2:35 due to the interference of Murder One. Bogie is Bogie. It was about as good as could be expected while it lasted. M-1 came out (with Wicked Nemesis) and started beating on Bogie. He gave Bogie a flapjack onto Moore’s knees. Kareem Abdul Jamar came out of the crowd with a chair to rescue his former partner. Jamar’s save got over great.
(2) Scott Steele beat Dany Only (with Wicked Nemesis) in 6:55. Coming off a fine main event for APW last Friday, this was another impressive performances from Only. Steele has a big league look in a Chris Masters kind of way. Early on, they did a test of strength won clean by the powerhouse babyface with no trickery. How refreshing. Steele dominated Only with power moves. Only escaped from Steele’s finisher and hit a backstabber to take over. Only worked on Steele’s back. He got the sharpshooter. Some fans were calling for tap out. It was interesting that there was audible support for the heel in every match. Steele caught Only on an up and over move and pinned him with a running power slam. Good match to solidify Steele’s push. Postmatch, Steele was at ringside hobnobbing with the fans forever. McKnight said, ?C?mon Scott. We love you, but it’s only a three hour show.?
They showed a video on the big screen of McKnight informing Wicked Nemesis and J.P. Money that the four man manager’s battle royal was still on. They wondered how it could be a battle royal with only the two of them. In the background, Ring Manager Chuck could be seen sweeping the parking lot and minding his own business.
The evening was off to a promising start. Crowd was hyped at this point. However, this is where it took a turn for the worse.
(3) Jimmy Rave beat Kyle Matthews in 21:32. If you thought there was no way these guys could have a bad match, join the club. This was letdown of epic proportions. Rave was doing the Guitar Hero gimmick as a babyface. Trying to anyway. The heel/face distinction was murky to say the least. Technically, the match was fine, but it was slow paced with lots of stalling and never did build up a full head of steam. Rave was off his game – like he was suffering from jet lag or something (he was in Germany for WXW last weekend). They did a cool spot where Matthews had Rave’s arms stretched in a surfboard, so Rave rested his head on the ropes to gain a break, but it was lost on the crowd. The fans never completely abandoned the match, but they definitely got antsy for more action. Why they went so long, I have no earthly clue. At 13 minutes in, Rave took his trademark bump over the top. Matthews rammed Rave’s back into the apron and worked the damaged body part. Rave came back with a shadow lariat. Both down for nine. Rave speared Matthews, who kicked out of the delayed cover. They traded near falls, Rave with the Doppler Effect and Matthews with a stellar corner dropkick. Rave scored the pin with Ghanarhea. Rave offered to shake hands, but Matthews blew him off.
They showed video footage of Cru Jones and Murder One being all chummy and unified and such. This was entertaining stuff. Both of these guys are great on the mic. Jones referred to Rob Adonis as ?peanut brain.? M-1 talked about taunting Adonis with one of the stick masks (a cardboard cut out of Adonis? face with holes for the eyes) brought by legendary GCW fan Matt Tew (see NOTES).
(4) Ring Manager Chuck beat Wicked Nemesis and J.P. Money and Princeton Gainey III in a Manager’s Battle Royal (8 minutes). The wrestling was atrocious, and they went twice as long as necessary. Still, it will go down as one of the most memorable matches in GCW history due to the finish. Chuck had no clue he was participating in the match much less winning it. Nemesis accused Rivera of having ?pig swine.? A bit redundant but he got the idea across. Gainey used hit and run tactics. Munchkin that he is, it made total sense. Money leaned over the ropes to look for Gainey, who came from behind to give him the heave ho at 6 minutes. Gainey used the powder to blind both Nemesis and referee Montess. Gainey tossed Nemesis over for the apparent victory Chuck entered the ring to dutifully sweep up the powder. Gainey left the ring. Montess regained his vision to find Chuck as the only person in the ring and awarded him the match. This came as a complete shockj to Chuck. It got a big pop. McKnight instigated a chant of ?Chuck! Chuck! Chuck!? Nemesis threatened Chuck with bodily harm.
(5) Tex Monroe beat Salvatore Rinauro to retain the GCW Interstate Title in 16:02. Huge pop for Monroe. Having a white meat babyface over to this degree is a positive sign for any indie promotion. The new Interstate belt GCW presented to Monroe looks like crap with that cheesy main plate, and it appears to have no weight to it. Match was designed to elevate Monroe with a big win. It worked pretty well. The intricate counter moves did not look as fluid as they would have liked. Otherwise it was fine. Monroe outclassed Rinauro early on. He did the Texas two step on Rinauro’s back. Rinauro answered with a kick to the head and guillotined Monroe’s throat into the bottom rope. Tex came back with a springboard crossbody for a near fall, but Rinauro cut him off with a swinging neckbreaker and stomped on his sternum. Rinauro ran away from Monroe’s finisher (Texas Toast), but Monroe followed up with a nice flip dive. Monroe used Rinauro’s springboard lariat for a near fall. Rinauro again escaped from Monroe’s finisher and applied a reverse Boston crab. They did some reversal stuff that was just OK. Monroe went up top, but Rinauro stunned him with a rolling koppo kick and superplexed him for a near fall. When Rinauro went for the springboard lariat, Monroe ducked out of the way and got the Texas Toast for the three count. Crowd loved seeing their boy win.
Rivera announced the added stip for the main event: loser of the fall would be BANISHED from GCW FOREVER.
McKnight mistakenly announced the heels as the winner of the coin flip for the War Games and had to correct himself. His instinct for doing the right thing momentarily took over I guess.
(6) Team J-Rod (J-Rod & Frankie Valentine & Rob Adonis & Kareem Abdul Jamar) beat Team Jones (Cru Jones & Murder One & Consequences Creed & Bobby Moore with Wicked Nemesis) in the War Games when J-Rod pinned Jones to end his GCW career (16:49). This match had some weird psychology. The babyfaces had the numbers, beat the heels to a pulp and still ended up down and out at the end. It was the heel side that overcame adversity to triumph even though they officially lost the match. Moore and Jamar were unadvertised participants. Orion Bishop (heel) and Bogie were in the original advertised lineup. Randall Johnson replaced Bishop and then was dropped along with Bogie to make it a 3-on-3. Moore and J-Rod started like it was a regular wrestling match. There was even a stretch of mat wrestling. Good grief. There’s a reason it’s called WAR GAMES. Valentine entered. The faces destroyed Moore with double teams. They almost dropped him on his head with a double hiptoss. M-1 was next. He immediately took shots into the cage and was busted open. J-Rod got M-1 in a camel clutch using the ropes and pounded the cut open. That’s the kind of savagery one expects to see in a War Games. Jamar hit the ring on fire. He speared M-1 into the cage. Jones was next wearing flesh colored trunks. M-1 and Jones took a fork to Valentine’s head and he bled a ton. Jamar and J-Rod also bled – Jamar a little and J-Rod a lot. Still, the babyfaces were killing the heels with the man advantage until taking over 3 against 4 just before Creed entered the cage. Creed had a chain wrapped around his fist, and the other heels had tied Jamar to the ropes. The reason for Creed wanting Jamar so bad was unclear. Gratuitous black-on-black violence I guess. Creed turned on the heels. It was 5 on 3 in favor of the faces and they still couldn?t get the job done. A round of finishers ensued. When the smoke cleared, J-Rod was poised to nail Jones with his finisher only to get blindsided by M-1. But Murder-1 hit the Ether (cutter) on Jones to leave him laying and walked out of the cage. J-Rod had this astonished look on his face as he pinned Jones. Nemesis got on the mic and said a roadblock to the GCW title was now out of the way. Jones found himself surrounded by the babyfaces. He offered to shake hands. None of them would, so he spit in the War Games cup. The double cross worked great so far as the story between Murder and Cru was concerned, but the babyface side came across as such a lame bunch. It’s hard to believe Jones is actually done here. He’s had one hell of a run as the top heel.
NOTES: McKnight announced that a new GCW champion would be crowned next week. Jones was the champion, but the title was held up due to the controversy stemming from his April 30 title defense against J-Rod?Midgets will also be in action when GCW returns on May 14?It appears that Bishop is done here. He hadn?t been on the shows leading into the War Games and was then removed from the lineup?Tew and his cronies in the first row have really been getting under Adonis? skin. A couple of weeks ago, Adonis (the babyface) got so upset with the mocking that he stopped in the middle of a title match to lecture Tew.