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July 2, 2009
â€“ Larry Goodman
My how things have changed at Great Championship Wrestling.
The second annual â€œRed, White & Bruisedâ€� holiday spectacular was one fine show. It wasnâ€™t great, but the potential for
greatness is there like never before. For pure kick ass effort and in ring quality, it was the best GCW show Iâ€™ve seen in Phenix City.
GCW used to be something of a indie version of TNA, a place where guy with big time reputations could pick up a solid pay day, cut
promos, and not necessarily have to work all that hard.
The new booking committee has a different mindset than the old regime. Best as I can tell, the morale of the crew is at all-time high. The
wrestlers are having fun, with the result being a hugely positive influence on the vibe.
The show drew 150 to the Gr8 Sk8 Plex - not good compared to the previous years, but better than what theyâ€™ve been doing lately.
Times are tough all over, and Phenix City is faring worse than average.
(1) Chip Day beat Ruben James in 9:37
Wow. Have these guys come a long way. I doubt they could have had this match a year ago. James has dramatically improved his
physique and power. Good pop for Day. He needs to work on his body, but his ring presence and the intuitive sense of what to do when
has grown dramatically. They put together a fine opener. The first key spots was shoulderbreaker by James. He talked trash as he beat
Dayâ€™s ass. James ripped off Dayâ€™s shoulder brace. One cruel fan called it a training bra. The infamous Matt Tew picked up on it
with â€œChipâ€™s gone wild!â€� James hit an inverted suplex for a near fall. Day was selling agonizing shoulder pain. Day rallied with
a forearm to the mush and started to fly. Day hit a flip dive to the outside and rolled James back in for two count. James cut Day off with a
power slam. Day reversed a move by James with a small package for the pin. Not a whole lot of heat during the match, but the crowd
popped for the finish.
(2) Rob Adonis beat Zero Tolerance via DQ when Colt Derringer interfered at 3:40
ZT is one huge jacked up dude. Heâ€™s been making his presence felt for a while now, leaving hapless victims in his wake, but his first
official match since returning was set up by an attack on Adonis last week. I donâ€™t get Adonis as a face, and the fans in Phenix City
apparently arenâ€™t that hot on the idea either. They matched power. Adonis knocked ZT down with an enzuigiri, and thatâ€™s just
wrong. So much for ZTâ€™s mystique. Adonis got a series of near falls with high impact moves. ZT flattened Adonis with a sidewalk
slam and went to work on his back. Adonis hit a spinebuster and Colt kicked him in the face for the DQ. Derringer left Adonis laying with
his ropes walk leg drop. You had the monster babyface being down by two even bigger heels, so it at least came across right visually.
Next was the Freedom of Speech gimmick where GCW let the fans pick Sal Rinauroâ€™s opponent via voting at GCWAction.com.
Rinauro complained he wasnâ€™t being treated in a champion-like manner. Announcer Taylor McKnight introduced three of the four
contestants (Mr. Jones was absent). McKnight said Mike Kross beat out Tex Monroe 253-252 and Michael Stevens got three votes with a
three vote margin of error. That was funny. McKnight decided to let the fans in the building vote with their cheers. Monroe received the
loudest pop hands down. McKnight decided since this was a democracy, he would make it a fatal four way. Who or what gave him the
authority to do this wasnâ€™t explained. Itâ€™s rasslinâ€™ baby.
(3) Sal Rinauro defeated Tex Monroe and Mike Kross and â€œMarvelousâ€� Michael Stevens in a fatal four-way to retain the GCW
Interstate Title in 6:38
Rinauro played grand manipulator. Stevens ainâ€™t much, but he made a good lackey for Rinauro. Stevens took a beating while
Rinauro watched from the outside. Sal shook the ropes to crotch Monroe and pulled Stevens off of Kross. Monroe caught the heels by
surprise with a springboard plancha. Stevens kept trying to pin Monroe, so Rinauro superkicked his ass. In a precision timing spot, Sal
leapfrogged Kross, who then speared Monroe. The faces dispatched with Rinauro. Monroe hit a double Texas Toast on Kross and
Stevens. Rinauro tossed Monroe out of the ring and stole the pin on Stevens. Referee Lance Turner blew the finish by stopping the count.
Rinauro had to tell him to make a three count. Good story match. The finish put more heat on the main story- Rinauro vs. Monroe. GCW is
robbing the cradle to find referees. Both refs look like high school kid, and thatâ€™s not a good thing for your authority figures.
(4) Johnny Swinger beat Shaun Banks in 9 minutes
Very little heat for match between former allies turned bitter enemies. Banks didnâ€™t do any of his zany stuff, and while that was
appropriate to the situation, this match needed something to make it more entertaining. They badly need to turn Swinger. With Cru Jones
returning as a good guy, theyâ€™re heavy with babyfaces, and Swinger is more effective on the dark side. Swinger was pissed. He did a
number on the elbow of Banks, then bounced his head off the mat a few times. Banks beat Swinger up at ringside and posted him. Mild
chants for Swinger as Banks worked over his back. Swinger hulked up. Fists of fire. Swinger got a sleeper but Banks made the ropes.
Finish was Banks charging into a face bump on the top turnbuckle and Swinger rolling him up with his feet on the ropes. Postmatch,
Banks played sore loser. He racked Swingerâ€™s knee on the post until security intervened.
(5) Kyle Matthews & Bobby Moore (with Princeton Gainey) beat J-Rod & Frankie Valentine to win the GCW Tag Team Championship
Excellent tag match. The heat was strong all the way and it peaked in all the right places. The spots where J-Rod & Valentine had fun with
Mooreâ€™s Amish beard got over well. Their double teaming was smooth. The heels got false heat on J-Rod after Moore hung him out
to dry on a dropkick. J-Rod back flipped his way out of a double top wristlock to make the tag. Matthews powerbombed the hell out of
Valentine to start a serious beating. Quick tags and isolation by the heels. Crowd was right on time with the â€œFrankieâ€� chant.
Moore hit a top rope headbutt, and J-Rod had to make a save. Valentine got his knees up on Matthewsâ€™ Vader Bomb to set up a true
hot tag. It quickly broke down to four-way mayhem. Moore duct taped J-Rod to the rail and snapped the neck (sorta) of an unsuspecting
Valentine off the top rope. Matthews pinned Valentine after a stuff piledriver. Gainey was ecstatic.
(6) Jimmy Rave beat John Kermon to retain the GCW Heavyweight Title in 18:30
Rave is still doing the Guitar Hero gimmick as a babyface, but heâ€™s way more over than he was two months ago. Heâ€™s also
undefeated in GCW. So theyâ€™ve taken a name talent who routinely produces quality matches and given him a winning streak --- a
pretty sure fire formula for success. They made Kermon out to be something special. McKnight linked him with ROH, CZW, NOAH and
New Japan. Technically, Kermon was fine. Problem was the guy is painfully bland as a heel. There was no personality to dislike. Crowd
went wild for a chance to catch one of Raveâ€™s bandanas. A lot of Japanese influences evident here Rave went right to a leglock and
controlled the early going. He used a Nirvana strangle and Kermon reversed it. Rave broke clean. Kermon did not. At 8 minutes in,
Kermon took over with a knee strike off the middle rope. Kermon worked on Raveâ€™s neck. He hit a high angle back suplex for a near
fall. Kermon grabbed Raveâ€™s guitar. Rave cut him off. Rave speared Kermon for a double down. Rave cranked up his comeback,
connecting with a shadow lariat for a close near fall. Kermon busted out a suplex attack for near falls. Rave hit the running knee for a near
fall. Kermon hit a middle rope flatliner for a near fall. The execution was fine, but the heat was just OK because the crowd never saw
Kermon as a serious challenger. It was like they were waiting for Rave to win, which he did with Ghanarhea.
Rave credited Kermon with giving him a hell of a fight. He vowed to take on all comers because the GCW fans deserved the best.
(7) The Lights Out Challenge between Murder-1 and Cru Jones ended with Jones laid out after interference by Sal Rinauro (18
Epic stuff. It was lights out because Jones is not officially employed by GCW (he had to leave town as a result of losing the fall at War
Games where he was double crossed and pinned by M-1). Murder One is in the midst of a career year. He has that edge of danger about
him, and GCW is doing the right thing by letting him get wild and crazy. They went way above and beyond your typical all over the arena
brawl. M-1 met Jones in the entrance way and it was on. M-1 tossed Jones over the rail into the newly installed VIP section and right on
top of Matt Tew. They brawled on the pleather furniture. Jones choked M-1 with the velvet rope, then waffled his back with a chair. M-1 sent
Jones flying over the rail for a wicked bump on the psychedelic carpet covering the skating rink. M-1 took a shot into the wall. Jones
whipped M-1 into a trash barrel. Jones stuck M-1 in the barrel, which was filled with nasty garbage. They worked there way over to the
amusement area. Jones gave M-1 a whack with a gun from one of the arcade machines. Out the front door and Into the parking lot they
went, with the entire crowd spilling outside to follow the action. They brawled across the lot to the back of the Goodwill store next door.
Jones took a bump on a stack of flattened cardboard boxes. M-1 scaled an 8 foot dumpster and decided to try a knee drop. He crashed
and burned on the boxes. Jones took a sick backdrop on the cardboard boxes. They battled towards the building. In a classic spot, Jones
catapulted M-1â€™s head into the bumper of a cherry red Grand Am. The great thing was M-1 was trying to look up this girlâ€™s dress
as he was taking the bump. They made their way back inside the building, and Rinauro came out from under the ring to attack Jones. M-1
gave Jones the Ether (RKO), then a second one on a steel chair. At this point, the crowd got really heated. A few folks at ringside were on
the edge of losing it. M-1 and Rinauro were more than happy to egg them on. This was the kind of spectacle that gets people buzzing. Iâ
€™m on a roll for great matches this week. This one joins the ladder match at RPW on my top 10 list for year.
After some recuperation, time, Jones called for the mic. Jones said he had been robbed twice and wanted a regular match against
Murder without â€œToucan Samâ€�. He asked what he had to do to get reinstated. Fans immediately said call Diane (owner Diane
Hewes). McKnight stepped and said if 250 fans signed a petition at the show next week, then Jones would get the match.
NOTES: The show was taped for DVD release. The commentary by McKnight and Miguel Rivera will have to be added on post production,
because their computer blew just before show timeâ€¦GCW debuted a new set up with the curtain and entrance ramp closer to the ring. It
gives the venue a more intimate, TV studio feel that should work out well for the DVDsâ€¦The plan for the GCW Heavyweight Title is to
bring in more outside challengers to face Rave with more well known ROH names as possibilitiesâ€¦On this date in 2005, Jerry & Ted
Oates teamed up in their hometown of Columbus for the first time in 20 years to defeat David Young & Chris Stevens on a GCW show
that drew 400 people.