April 15, 2010
– Larry Goodman
After an eight month absence, your faithful GWH correspondent finally found his way to the weekly Thursday night Great Championship
Wrestling event in Phenix City, Al to find the company in the midst of a rebuilding process.
GCW lost four their top draws after their show on April Fool’s Day. Shaun Banks was fired. Cru Jones quit in support of his partner. J-Rod
and Frankie Valentine departed as well. To further complicate matters, Banks and Jones were, and at this point still are, the tag team
champions. J-Rod had just defeated Valentine to become the new GCW Interstate Champion.
The loss of starpower has taken a toll. There were 70 in attendance at the Gr8 Sk8 Plex, the smallest GCW crowd I’ve ever been a part of.
My sense was is that the booking, now primarily in the hands of Taylor McKnight, is headed in positive directions. An earnest attempt is
being made to elevate the younger members of the roster, and some of that effort is already paying dividends. GCW is also starting to
bring established talent into the mix. But it’s a process that’s going take time, and they may as well experiment, because there isn’t a
whole lot to lose.
It was an OK show. Lack of depth was an issue due to late cancellations (see NOTES below) and the concentration of stars in the main
event. One very smart thing for a school night was the prompt start time (7:30) and wrapping it up in two hours.
Bull Buchanan made good on the threat he issued last week to hold up the show until he got Butcher in the ring. He said this was for real
and not part of the show. The “fuzzy haired jerk” was nowhere to be found, and Bull was growing more irate by the minute. Drew Adler and
Rick King came out. Bull kneed Adler in the gut and King ran away. GCW Owner Diane Hewes came to ringside. Buchanan threatened to
give her the same as Butcher if she didn’t go to the back. McKnight came out and tried to convince Buchanan that Butcher wasn’t in the
building. Buchanan told McKnight to do whatever to get Butcher out there.
“Swing Time” hit the PA and out came Johnny Swinger looking buffed as usual. He had some funny material. He told Buchanan he could
do his picketing out on I-185 or take a spot in the back – “Just don’t take mine”. Swinger said since John Bogie was still breathing, they
had unfinished business. Lastly, Commissioner Princeton Gainey III came out to put a stop to the whining. He verified that Butcher was
not there and made Swinger vs. Buchanan in a no DQ match.
(1) Johnny Swinger beat Bull Buchanan in a no DQ match due to interference by The Butcher at 8:30
With all the carpeting, the Gr8 Sk8 Plex tends to be quiet building, but you could have heard a pin drop as Buchanan beat Swinger up
back by announcer’s desk. Swinger came back with karate thrusts to the throat, snapped Bull’s throat off the top rope and used a low
blow to take over for the long haul. Swinger then gave referee Miguel Guerrero a major thrashing outside the ring. He used one of metal
bars that locks the barricade sections together to choke Guerrero out. Cool weapon, just no rhyme or reason for Swinger going after the
ref with such ferocity. Buchanan used the bar on Swinger but no ref to count the fall. He hauled Guerrero into the ring, and Swinger kicked
out at one. Buchanan hit the ax kick but Guerrero was still too messed up to make a normal count and Swinger kicked out. Butcher ran in
from the front door and clocked Buchanan with his chain. Guerrero had no choice but to make the three count. Buchanan sold the chain
shot like he unconscious. Unfortunately, the blow didn’t look brutal enough to knock someone out. Nothing wrong with the match, but the
lack of heat was weird.
(2) Kyle Matthews beat Drew Adler in 11:02
Adler is a tall, skinny, Jewish kid with frizzy hair. He got his start with AWN in Fort Valley. Seeing him on the street, no way you would
suspect he was a pro wrestler. Not much hear for this match either. It was back and forth chain wrestling early. It’s been said many times
before, but Matthews has a GREAT dropkick. He worked the back with a back suplex and followed with a Boston Crab. The crowd got
behind Adler some, but in their heart of hearts, they knew he couldn’t beat Matthews on his best day. Adler came back with a high knee
and a running kick the face. It kind of missed to where it looked more like a flying teabag. Adler hit an Air Raid Crash. He tried for
seconds. That rarely works and it didn’t here, as Matthews countered with a Knox Out and finished with the Slurpee Kick.
Postmatch, Matthews informed the fans that they had just seen the best wrestler in the world. Matthew noted that for the second week in
a row, Ron Stalker wasn’t there. The lights went out and some music played. Spine tingling effects they was not.
Hewes announced Buchanan vs. Butcher in a Dog Collar Match for May 6, noting that it would be the first such match in GCW’s 7 year
history. Hewes said Gainey worked for her and would do as she wished or be fired. Hewes declared that Gainey would have to wrestle in
match. That announcement got the first true pop of the night.
(3) Rick “The Kick” King beat Anthony Andrews via submission in 9 minutes
Somebody, anybody, please get Anthony some new gear. That loose belly hanging over zebra tiny pants is so wrong. He’s far from
polished but his wrestling is better than his look. King, out of the WWA4 school in Atlanta, looked nothing like I expected. I have no idea
why, but I pictured a tall guy with a lanky build and dark hair. King is short, thick and balding. He’s got that Energizer bunny presence
going, and he does some nice athletic stuff. King knocked Andrews off the apron with an enzuigiri and followed with a dive. Andrews took
out King’s knee and went for a heel hook. Good struggle spot for King to make the ropes. King’s comeback consisted of a springboard
crossbody and a brainbuster to set up an armbar for the tap out.
(4) Jimmy the Kid & Eric Mayne beat Princeton Gainey III & The Butcher in 1:30
Kid and Mayne got the best entrance pop of the night. Fans were chanting for little Jimmy. They tried to double up on Butcher, but he
mowed the down and tagged Gainey in. Buchanan attacked Butcher with a chain, and they brawled to the back, leaving Gainey all by his
lonesome in the ring. Mayne hit a reverse piledriver on Princeton and Jimmy pinned him. Murder One and Sal Rinauro tried to jump the
winners, but the babyface duo was a step ahead of them and escaped to the outside. Nicely done all the way around.
(5) Murder One & Sal Rinauro & “Marvelous” Michael Stevens beat GCW Heavyweight Champion Scott Steele & GCW Interstate
Champion Mike Kross & their mystery partner the returning Orion Bishop in 16:29
Crowd was hyped for this match. Murder addressed Hewes, who was seated in the VIP section with two semi-distinguished looking
gentlemen. He speculated they were investors and told Miss Diane she was talking to the wrong people. The introduction of Bishop as
the mystery partner got a decent pop. It was striking how much Kross and Stevens have improved. They looked like they belonged in this
match. Stevens so gets it. Just a total natural. He had “Marvamania” emblazoned on tights. He’s small for sure and a deceivingly good
wrestler. I detect a bit of Chris Candido’s spirit in him. Kross has some babyface charisma going. He carries himself with confidence,
and his in ring has gotten a lot more solid. Steele has the size and physique right from the WWE mold. Marv ate a spinebuster slam from
Steele and Bishop’s reverse splash. Rinauro drew Kross’ attention, and Stevens hit a wheelbarrow backcracker to get heat on him.
Kross used a five revolution spinning headscissors on Sal for a hope spot. Murder gave Kross the Dark City mugging on the outside.
Crowd was strong with the Kross chants. Stevens did a nifty reversal on a Kross headscissors into the Walls of Jericho. The comebacks
and cut offs built to a hot tag to Bishop. He took out Rinauro and Kross. Steele made a blind tag and hit a power slam on Murder. Bishop
and Steele rocket launched Kross over the top onto all three members of the Conglomerate. A round robin of big moves ensued ending
with Kross hitting a standing sliced bread on Stevens, only to get rolled up by Rinauro using the tights. The show ended on a high note,
as this was far and away the best match of the night.
NOTES: GCW’s next major event is “GCW: Mega Mayhem” on May 6…Drew Golden handled the ring announcing duties...Kaotic Romeo
and ERA were among a group of wrestlers coming in from Florida that missed the show due to car trouble. They are rescheduled for
April 29. If Romeo and ERA square off in a GCW ring, the fans are in for a treat…Bishop will also be back on April 29. He plans to
alternate Thursday nights between GCW and NWA Main Event in Nashville...J.W. Outlaw from WGCW and UIW was in the house.