June 10, 2010
– Larry Goodman
Great Championship Wrestling entered their June 10 event in Phenix City, Al as a company in transition.
Nick Patrick started one week ago as the new general manager. He’s evaluating the talent and the overall situation before making major
changes. They’re running the same angles for now, and Lord knows, there are plenty of them.
The GCW roster presents Patrick with an interesting challenge. They have solid veterans like Johnny Swinger, Bull Buchanan and Murder
One, along with some excellent prospects (Steele, Nation and Navy Blue) and one guy that’s ready now (Orion Bishop), as well as
several talented undersized wrestlers (Kyle Matthews, Mike Kross, and Michael Stevens).
The other thing is the change in the wrestling landscape. GCW is no longer the only game in town. Competition has arrived in Phenix City
in the form of United Federation of Championship Wrestling. The core of UFCW - Cru Jones, Shaun Banks, J-Rod, Jimmy Rave and
Frankie Valentine – are wrestlers that left GCW under less than ideal circumstances not long ago. They list the promoters of RPW,
SECW, World-1 South as sponsors. UFCW originally announced that they would run head up against GCW on June 24. GCW then
announced that they were bringing in Tommy Dreamer that night. UFCW has now moved their show a day earlier.
The event drew a late-arriving crowd of 90 to the Gr8 Sk8 Plex. I think they may be conditioned to late start times, which was not the case
(1) Vordell Walker beat Corey Hollis via submission in 6:39
Mike Kross sat down in the first row with a ticket in his hand. He was keep people entertained with his smart remarks. Mainly a showcase
for Walker’s power game. Walker looked, well…he looked powerful but as a match, it didn’t really click. Hollis is so inconsistent. Some of
his stuff (the Harley knee and the way he sold the hard whip into the corner) looked great. Other things were off the mark. Hollis tapped to
a horse collar.
Johnny Swinger revealed that the mystery man he had brought in collect the $5000 bounty on GCW Heavyweight Champion Scott Steel
was Omega, a big fat dude under a mask. Omega destroyed some poor guy with sitout powerbomb. Swinger joked that bounty money
was enough to buy Omega a used F150.
(2) Marvelous Michael Stevens (with Prineceton Gainey III) beat Kyle Matthews in 13:32
Stevens has to wear a dress as a consequence of losing the Spin the Wheel match at the Lucky 7 anniversary show. He got a pop
coming out. Matthews did as well but it wasn’t strong. Matthews gets over with his technical wrestling ability at RPW, but he’s too bland for
the Phenix City crowd. Matthews was billed as hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa. What’s up with that? Stevens claimed cheating.
There was something hilarious about a guy in a dress complaining that his beard was being pulled. Matthews did a number on Stevens’
arm. When Matthews took a shoulder bump into the corner, Stevens seized the opening with an arm wringer, then wrapped Matthews’
arm around the post for a good heat spot. Stevens used the dress to his advantage. He also a grounded armlock, bending Matthews
elbow at a sick angle. Stevens said he was working the trapezoid muscle. Matthews’ comeback was stellar – a superkick, the Knox Out
(ala Mike Knox) and a corkscrew slingshot plancha after Stevens bailed. Matthews, however, crashed and burned on a high risk move at
ringside, enabling Stevens to get the pin. Good match that didn’t have much heat. Stevens instinctively makes entertaining choices. He’s
zany and he can wrestle. Matthews sold the arm well, but his colorless style doesn’t generate much sympathy.
(3) Jake Diamond beat Curry Kid in 3:30
Diamond has a formidable Mohawk and not much else to offer at this early stage of development. He looks like the love child of Nasty Boy
Sags and John Belushi. Diamond manhandled Curry Kid, who weighed all of a buck fifty. “Spicy Child” was wearing the red mask with the
goofy little hat on hit like the Christopher Daniels character. Diamond won it with an off-the-shoulder piledriver.
After the match, Diamond heaved Kid over the top rope straight onto the floor. Kid took a brutal looking bump. If you haven’t learned how to
work, I guess you go for the spectacular, but that kind of bump leads to short careers.
(4) AR Fox & Navy Blue defeated Gym Class Heroes (Jimmy the Kid & Eric Mayne) in 10:48
Pretty good pop for the Heroes. They worked on the arm of Fox early then cleared the ring with double teams. Blue got flipped over the top
rope by a double dropkick and landed on his feet. He’s a giant black guy, along the line of Shad Gaspard except taller. He’s green but he
looked to be pretty athletic. Blue was not happy with Fox’s shoddy showing, and started to get heat on Jimmy. Jimmy’s feet were touching
the ceiling on Blue’s hanging vertical suplex. Fox left his feet on a spinning vertical suplex. Also a good athlete. He gets a lot of air under
his flying moves. The problems between Fox and Blue escalated, as Blue inadvertently dropped a headbutt on Fox’s groin. Mayne ran
wild with the hot tag. Tried to anyway. Mayne’s offense looks weak and the heels weren’t doing a great job of feeding him. Finish saw
Blue hit a mammoth uranage on Mayne with Fox coming in to make the pin. Given the experience level of those involved, this was a good
showing by the WWA4 guys. Heroes had a nice run, but it feels like the novelty of their act is fading, and you’re left with two guys that don’t
look much like pro wrestlers.
Blue was hot at Fox for stealing the pin, although it stopped just short of getting physical.
Sin City Mafia confronted ring announcer Drew Golden. JW Outlaw said it was his last chance. Golden refused to back down. Mafia was
about to make mince meat out of Golden, when Randy Harris hit the ring with a chair to make the save. The Southside Trash reunion got
a decent pop. Golden announced that Mafia would have to face Southside Trash in the first round of the tag team tournament on June 19.
(5) Bull Buchanan squashed Big Poppa in 2 minutes
No idea what the jobber’s name was. A fan said she called him Big Poppa and that was good enough for me. Buchanan pinned him with
a stiff lariat.
(6) Ric “The Kick” King beat Sal Rinauro to win the GCW Interstate Title in 16:46
This was a hopeless situation. King is so under as a babyface. It’s not good when fans refer to the babyface Elmer Fudd. And I’ll be
shocked if Rinauro wasn’t dropping the title on his way out, because he was on autopilot. He did nothing to save himself, and Rinauro
wasn’t throwing him any life preservers. Rinauro tried to take away King’s air supply. The action spilled out of the ring. King almost got
counted out. The ref’s count reached 10 before King made it inside, not that many fans care about those details anymore. Rinauro
shrugged of King’s missile dropkick. King made the comeback with a series of knockdown kicks. Kross got up to distract King. Rinauro
caught King with an inside cradle but he kicked out of it. Rinauro tried for a roll up using the tights. King kicked out that as well, and there
was a good ref bump spot. King had Rinauro tapping in a shoulder lock, but the ref was still down. Kross got up on the apron to bait King.
Sal collided with Kross and got pinned by King. I liked the deal with Kross, because he sat in the crowd the entire night to give the angle
legitimacy. The problem is he’s good looking and cool and the fans like him, whereas King came off like a complete douche.
(7) Murder One & Slaughter (with Princeton Gainey III) beat Orion Bishop & Nation (with Wicked Nemesis) via DQ in 10:58
This match made the show. It had the best wrestling, the best story, and the best heat. Crowd was way up for it. They’re into Merchants of
Death returning as babyfaces. The problem with this program is that limited availability of Bishop, Nemesis and Slaughter due to their
commitments at NWA Main Event on alternate Thursdays. Bishop reversed Slaughter with a devastating short arm clothesline. Murder
interfered. Bishop hit an Alabama Slam. Murder tried to interfere again, which lead to a great ring clearing sequence. Nation took the heat.
He got a pop with german suplex hope spot. The guy is built like a tank and the crowd likes his brand of fire. Nation hit a shoulder block
that set up a killer hot tag. Finish saw Slaughter try to use a spare turnbuckle as a weapon. Bishop turned the tables on Slaughter but the
ref caught him for the DQ.
Nemesis challenged Murder and Slaughter to a match on June 24 with the stipulation that Merchants of Death would leave GCW if they
lost, but if they won, Gainey would no longer be the Commissioner or GCW. Apparently, Gainey accepted. Nemesis promised to bring his
cane the next time.
(8) Scott Steele beat Omega (with Johnny Swinger) to retain the GCW Heavyweight Championship in 6:22
Steele is over. Bodies like that don’t grow on trees, and he’s improved greatly in the ring. They tried to do a semblance of a match instead
of a quick extension of the angle. No way should it have taken the champion so long to beat him. Steel is Superman. If he can leap tall
building with a single bound, he’s certainly capable of blowing right through a 350 pound blob. Swinger interfered. Omega got two with a
spinning side slam. Steele planted the big man with a spinebuster slam. Omega missed a splash and Steele speared him for the three
Swinger said that was plan B, but he had lots more plans where that came from. He promised to end Steele’s career. Steele revealed the
identity of Swinger’s opponent on June 24 as being Tommy Dreamer. It got a pop but not even close to the response for the tag match
that preceded it. Some fans were calling for it to be a barbed wire match. I don’t see that happening, but Swinger was teasing something
of an extreme nature.