GCW’s rise over the last few years has been as fun as it has been astonishing. Not long ago they were a deathmatch promotion, unknown to wrestling fans outside of that niche. Then, they figured out how to capture the minds and attention of a much larger crowd, blending that deathmatch style with comedy, great wrestling and a little bit of magic. It’s been so successful that they’ve been able to take this show on the road, heading to Tokyo’s Shin-Kiba 1st RING for two nights that blended their roster with a few notable Japanese faces.
The Great Sasuke defeated Tony Deppen
Sasuke and Deppen started this match slowly, throwing some light comedy in with their grappling. That was until the fifty-year-old Sasuke went up top and tried to hit a Swanton onto the apron only for Tony to roll out of the way and the mental old bastard to crash and burn. From there, we were away.
It led to a final few minutes packed with action as it became clear these two had saved it all up for the home stretch. They didn’t go all out, it was only the opener, but they did more than enough to convince me that they both woke up feeling it the next day.
Honestly, I don’t think you could call this a great match. It was entertaining towards the end, but the opening was slow, and 2019’s Sasuke is not going to blow you away unless he’s doing stupid (in a good way) spots. However, Deppen deserves credit for keeping things together in-between those spots (you could argue he did a better job than Janela did at the original Spring Break) and it never outstayed its welcome. More importantly, it gave any Japanese fans who were unfamiliar with the product a hint as to what they were about to see.
Verdict: Three Stars
Jimmy Lloyd, G-Raver and Drew Parker defeated Violento Jack and Los Mazisos (Ciclope and Miedo Extremo)
There was no chance that this match was going to start slowly. From the second the bell went this was a wild sprint with bodies flying (and crashing) all over the place. The only surprise was that several people didn’t finish up covered in blood, with Drew Parker being the only one to get properly busted open.
From a performance standpoint, Parker looked good in his role of the small flippy dude, Jimmy Lloyd always stands out and I enjoyed Violento Jack playing the big hoss. Truthfully, you’re not going to call this brilliant wrestling, but if you’re watching a deathmatch involving these six guys and expecting beautiful takedowns, you’re probably watching the wrong show.
To put it simply, this was a shitload of fun, and it delivered exactly what you’d expect it to. For it to be truly great, they’d have had to get that little bit crazier, but that didn’t stop this being entertaining as hell.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
Daisuke Sekimoto defeated Kyle The Beast
Kyle The Beast is still announced as being ‘from the woods’, and I refuse to ever stop laughing at that.
Anyway, HOSS FIGHT! Sekimoto and KTB are two big boys who went out and did big boy things. There were moments of speed, KTB hit a Tope Suicida at one point, but that wasn’t what anyone was watching this for. The best bits were when these monsters of men beat on each other, throwing, clobbering and charging across the ring to collide like two pissed off bulls.
And it was awesome because Sekimoto is great and, judging by this, KTB ain’t too bad either. KTB is not someone I see a lot of, but he didn’t look out of place in there with Daisuke. He matched him blow for blow, and will have done his reputation no harm with this performance.
There were a couple of near falls near the end that got me, a Sit-Out Powerbomb from KTB getting a long two before a thundering Bridging German from Sekimoto got the win. If you love watching big boys scrap, then you’re going to enjoy this.
Verdict: Four Stars
Jun Kasai, Takashi Sasaki and Toshiuyuki Sakuda defeated Eric Ryan and Hate Trash Disaster (Markus Crane and SHLAK)
SHLAK has some incredibly dodgy connections to Nazi groups in his past, and that’s the kind of shit that it’s hard to forgive, so I’m not going to review this. Don’t book Nazis.
Verdict: Punch Nazis
Joey Janela and Invisible Man defeated Kikutaro and Invisible Stan
As I always say with this style of match, you know whether you’re going to like this or not without me telling you what I think; some will hate it, some will love it.
However, despite what some online cunts say, I think these only prove how good the likes of Kikutaro and Janela are. For long portions of this match, they wrestled thin air, and you could nearly always tell exactly what was going on. It was easy to follow the story of the action and, in my mind, that points to two talented performers.
The other key person in a match like this is the ref who is required to sell everything that Invisible Man and Stan do. He did a great job, but I can’t for the life of me find out who he was, so if you know, please comment below.
Finally, we have to pay credit to Invisible Man and Invisible Stan who, despite their genuine blood feud, have continued to do business together. They are incredible wrestlers who risk life and limb whenever they go out there, so all the love in the world to them.
Verdict: Three Stars
After the match, Kikutaro cut a long promo in Japanese before handing the mic over to Joey. As Janela prepared to speak, Kikutaro shot him in the back multiple times, presumably killing him. Not for long, though, The Great Sasuke came out and did some weird stuff which brought Janela back to life. Rather than showing his gratitude, Joey then punched Sasuke in the head. Incredibly, that managed to match the invisible man stuff for surrealness.
Alex Colon defeated Masashi Takeda
These two motherfuckers are insane. Early on, they pulled a couple of knives out from under the ring, the kind of weapon that might get introduced in a wrestling match, but is never going to be used. How naive am I? It didn’t take long for Takeda to be dragging his saw-like blade across Colon’s head, leaving him bloody and, presumably, in quite a bit of pain.
They’re also masters of fucking each other up, from the countless light tubes to the fucking gusset plate to the bottle of wasabi that Takeda poured onto Colon’s open wounds. At one point, there was a cunting cactus in a pot which Takeda had the back of his head driven into after a Double Stomp from the Tree of Woe position; what crazy fucker decides that is a good idea?
By the end, it was impossible to figure out who the blood belonged to as it stained the ring and both men. So, Takeda decided that was the right time to get a board of butcher knives out because why not? He’d regret that when the board was laid on top of him for Colon to come crashing down with a Leg Drop and I’m not sure how these crazy bastards are still alive. What a match!
Verdict: Four And A Half Stars
That was an entertaining show pushed over the edge by a brilliant main event. When you throw in the Japanese audience embracing GCW and seeming to know the names and personas of every wrestler involved, you got something really cool. This company continues to kill it, and I hope they never stop.