GCW Joey Janela’s Spring Break
March 30 2017
We’re at the Orlando Events Center, which is the hub of EVOLVE/WWN’s ‘Mania weekend festivities. They’re kicking off in style (after EVOLVE 80, which I suppose is important to some people) with Joey Janela’s Spring Break. I’m up at 5am on a Friday to watch this shit, which shows how fucking hyped I am.
Host in the ring is Larry Legend.
Sami Callihan vs. Kyle the Beast
Kyle the Beast looks like Joe Coffey from a distance. They kick this off with DIVEZ. The audience look suitably well fuelled and we’ve got beach balls and assorted spring break paraphernalia/booze everywhere. Papa Hales is ringside in a dress! Kyle is new to me and given his size he throws in a lot of power stuff. He gets over on the Twitter TL with ease. This is the best thing about ‘Mania weekend; discovering new talent from promotions you wouldn’t normally see. Considering this is the opener they burn through a bunch of big spots, including a Jackhammer. Sami gets a powerbomb out of the corner and goes right into the Stretch Muffler for the tap out. “Don’t know who Kyle the Beast is? Now you fucking do!” Amen Sami. Kyle looked great here and these two put on a strong opener.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Braxton Sutter & Allie vs. Andy Williams & Penelope Ford
Allie, screeching like a harpy, admonishes non-wrestler Andy (who’s in a band) for even being here so he clotheslines her and this turns into a woman-beating competition. This match has relaxed rules and the first weapon is…a door. Sutter takes a manly bump though that, considering it’s off Andy Williams, who’s not a wrestler. He is a big dude.
The women go ahead and put on the bulk of the match, which is fine. Ford gets a handspring double Stunner at one point. Ford gets an assist on a backflip and pins poor Braxton for the win. This was fine for what it was but for a no DQ style match it had only one spot playing up to those stips.
Final Rating: **1/4
Falls Count Anywhere In The Fucking Building
Matt Tremont (c) vs. Eddie Kingston
As Tremont pulls doors out of from under the ring Excalibur calls it a “pathway to Narnia”. Tremont decides to blade early.
This leads to extensive crowd brawling and this feels like one of those old ECW shows that stank but the crowd were into it. Tremont takes a silly bump off the ropes through a table. Tremont hits a DVD through another table though and gets the pin. This match was more about the crowd brawl than anything else. I’m sure it was fun for the live crowd but on video I got nothing from this.
Final Rating: ½*
Joey Janela’s Spring Break Clusterfuck
#1 is Travis Gordon, as was given away when his name accidentally appeared before Eddie Kingston’s entrance. He does flips. #2 is Façade. He does spraypaint. #3 is John Silver. He’s a badass wrestler. He’d probably have benefitted from having an actual match on this show. #4 is Veda Scott. Her tactic is: do some chops and then walk off. #5 is Bryan Idol. He’s got Candy Cartwright in his corner. Façade steals his moment away by hitting a 450 Splash to the floor. #6 is Crazy Boy. I thought the idea behind this match was to take the piss out of matches like this. Instead they just have a match like this. It’s bizarrely unplanned. I’m undecided who the worst wrestler is in this so far. It’s either Bryan Idol or Veda Scott. #7 is Jervis Cottonbelly. I’m familiar with his goofy gimmick but I’ve never actually seen him wrestle. He tickles people.
#8 is the Invisible Man. He shakes things up a bit and each of the boys has a go at wrestling themselves. Façade wins by DDTing himself. #9 is Jimmy Lloyd. This gives us a chance to clear a few guys out. #10 is Arik Cannon. #11 is Glacier. He gets an impressive laser display before dispatching everyone with karate. #12 is Dink the Clown. He’s been “shot in the face with the Simpsons make-up gun” according to Excalibur. That’s probably an accurate call. Dink bites Veda Scott and leaves. #13 is Ethan Page, who typically is taking it seriously. It’s a joke match Ethan! He then gets into it with the Invisible Man to balance it out. Page, in typical spoilsport fashion, pins the Invisible Man. Façade and Jervis botch a Canadian Destroyer. “That was appropriate because it’s a Clusterfuck”. Arik Cannon sets about murdering folks by dropping them on their necks. That is until Glacier boots him in the mush for the pin. With Page vs. Glacier the Mortal Kombat music kicks in. Page then gets a cheeky roll up to win the Clusterfuck. This certainly lived up to the title. It was an absolute mess.
MORTAL KOMBAT!! #JanelasSpringBreak
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) March 31, 2017
Post Match: In typical Clusterfuck fashion after Page has been announced the winner Jimmy Lloyd is still in there. They triple team Lloyd for ages, unable to get a pin. This match has been going on forever at this point. Lloyd fights the odds and gets the pin to actually win the Clusterfuck, which totally lived up to it’s name. One major issue is that I was expecting to be major league entertained by this, and I wasn’t. Mortal Kombat dance-off, dives and Invisible Man aside. In a match that long you need to be constantly amused. Some of these guys didn’t even get themselves over. I was shocked at that.
Final Rating: *
Lio Rush vs. Keith Lee
The small guy vs. big guy gimmick has been done before but these two are new era wrestlers so let’s see how they do with it. Lio dodging Lee’s big strikes and throwing little jabs in between is very cool. When Lio attempts anything else like a tope or a rana it’s just blocked and shut down dead.
Lee’s ability to simply overpower Lio is terrifying. Keith’s kick-out is amazing, sending little Lio flying into the air after a Frogsplash. Rush gets a little joy from strikes but every time he tries a big move he’s murdered. He tries another rana and gets killed with the Spiritbomb. Lio bouncing two feet off the canvas on the impact. As the match progresses Keith gets more and more fatigued at beating up Lio and becomes susceptible to Lio’s moves. In particular a trio of crazy Frogsplashes, with ridiculous height, and Lio gets the pin. This made good logical sense for a while but having Lio go over made no sense to me. When you have that dynamic you can have the little guy throw everything into the match and then lose. Not win. That’s weird. Good match though, the best of the night.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Joey Janela vs. Marty Jannetty
I had forgotten how old Marty is. He had a brief comeback ten years ago where we were shocked at how good he was. We’re now ten years on from that point and he looks…sluggish.
Maybe sluggish is the wrong word. Perhaps ‘wasted’ would be more appropriate. Who books Marty Jannetty to wrestle at 2am. What madness is this? People look to be sobering up too as the show has rumbled on for too long. They’re certainly not prepared to witness Joey working heat on Jannetty. Especially as most of the crowd turned up to support his venture. Janela gets the Sharpshooter, in an attempt to recreate Montreal, and we get five ref bumps in the process. This eventually leads to Earl Hebner making his scheduled appearance, who they couldn’t afford for an entire match.
Joey beats him up and Virgil runs in. Jannetty hits the Canadian Destroyer! It’s another Clusterfuck! Janela gets the superkick for the win, having survived the Rocker Dropper. This was about as good as could be expected and featured a lot of smoke and mirrors. Jannetty, all over the place, considers waffling Joey with a chair while Janela is thanking the fans.
Final Rating: **1/2
Matt Riddle vs. Dan Severn
— Italo Santana (@BulletClubItal) March 31, 2017
David Starr is seconding Riddle.
Severn is accompanied by a bunch of dudes carrying all his belts. I’m begging this to devolve into a shoot. They certainly do the worked shoot style, which Dan, despite his advanced years, has no trouble keeping up with. The Beast looks more fired up than I’ve seen him in years. He’s turned up with his work boots on, intent to take it to Riddle. Severn throwing Germans and Riddle promptly no selling them is delightful. As is Riddle’s escape from the Dragon Sleeper into the elbow strikes and the Bromission gets the submission. Matt Riddle beats Dan Severn! This was legitimately good. Riddle puts over Severn, calling him a “legend” afterwards before he decides to have a little chat with the crowd.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Joey Janela’s Spring Break was never going to be a show that featured heavy snowflakes and the ratings don’t reflect how much fun the show was to watch. The Clusterfuck was perhaps the biggest disappointment of the night, only sporadically delivering on the madness that was promised. The Big Three that followed it were all good, to varying degrees and the opener was really solid too. Part of ‘Mania weekend is variety and I’m very glad I caught this show live. If I’d seen reviews of it I probably wouldn’t have bothered.