GCW 400 Degrees (1.12.19) review

GCW 400 Degrees (1.12.19) review

GCW 400 Degrees


January 12 2019


We’re in Summit, Illinois. The venue is a basketball arena unfortunately so it looks like shit on camera. Dave Prazak and Joey Janela are on commentary. That’s a tag team I can get behind.


Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Jimmy Lloyd

MJF’s attempts to cut a pre-show promo are somewhat ruined by a house mic that isn’t connected to any audio feeds and a building that’s echoey as fuck. So I’m sure he has things to say but I’m not hearing them. MJF is a solid heel and he knows how to draw heat by not doing things. I’m sure one of these days he’ll start hitting those Indie high spots as he’s clearly athletic enough to do so. Jimmy Lloyd throws himself into this like he does anything but he’s not blessed with the same athletic bod. This is one of the rare straight up non-death matches but they still use chairs and doors because GCW is, at its roots, a death match show. MJF knows this and makes a point of not doing any of that shit and at one point hooks a chinlock. You son of a bitch. I’d be quite happy with them just running an old school match up but they switch gears a few times with Lloyd trying to force the pace. The match is blatantly too long and smaller American promotions have major issues with not controlling the length of their shows.


So they’re shooting for epic and I’m already tired. They go clear past 15 minutes and I’m begging for them to just finish. This should have been 10 minutes tops. Ease people into the show for fuck’s sake. MJF ends up rolling Lloyd up with a handful of tights, which could have happened five minutes earlier at least. Some good ideas here but way too much filler. The best part of the match is after the bell when Lloyd puts MJF through the door and then headbutts it repeatedly like some kind of lunatic.

Final Rating: **1/4


Jungle Boy vs. DJ Z


Jungle Boy is a huge prospect and DJ Z is a lot better than your standard Indie guy. He has a good look and an exciting style. Jungle Boy has huge support from the ladies in attendance. It’s about the highest pitched pop I’ve heard in quite some time. Jungle Boy is Luke Perry’s son so he’s heading to pinup icon through a different route. They have a nice little match, which is based on a lot of pre-planned organised sequences. DJ Z does a magnificent job in selling and bumping to get over the Legend of Jungle Boy. His flip bump off the Lungblower is really something. As with the opener it goes too long. There’s a load of matches on this card, not everything has to be long. But I guess these guys want to get the experience under their belt so it makes sense. DJ Z picks up the win in a tidy little contest that almost overstayed its welcome but just about avoided it.

Final Rating: ***1/4


Reed Bentley vs. Matt Tremont

We’re now into the death match segment of the show. There are two here, then three more later.


The American Death Match Look: overweight, beard, bald, t-shirt with no sleeves. Both guys come in with the exact same look.


Pretty soon the look also contains forehead bleeding as they bash each other in the cranium with whatever shit is lying around. There’s a lot of light tube shots. They stumble through some perfunctory wrestling in between graphic spots and Bentley gets thrown through a door for the finish, causing his forehead to bleed even more profusely. I did not enjoy this. Maybe I got spoiled watching Masashi Takeda last year but a bunch of plunder shots before someone falls or gets thrown through something isn’t the kind of match structure I dig anymore.

Final Rating: *3/4


Orin Veidt vs. G-Raver


Well Orin, you certainly fucked up there my friend. Veidt finds himself bleeding from everywhere after that spot and G-Raver just strolls around looking like a cocky prick.


This match has been brutal and there have only been a couple of spots. When your opening spots causing massive blood loss from the one guy you’re basically set for a violent time. G-Raver dies on a DDT through a tube door and holy shit this match is sick. It looks like a war zone. They’re stabbing each other with syringes and good lord it’s sickening.

I kinda love it. They slip on the ropes a lot but I’ll put that down to blood loss. G-Raver picks up the win with a double knees into a pentagram of light tubes. There were a couple of little issues, like the harshest bump being the first one, but they killed each other out there and I respect that.

Final Rating: ****


Intermission: they show Orange Cassidy vs. Kikutaro from The Dynasty show in December. Shenanigans ensue and Cassidy wins via roll up after everyone gets hit in the balls.


Tony Deppen vs. Aeroboy vs. Shane Mercer vs. Isaias Velazquez vs. Bandolero vs. Gringo Loco vs. KTB

Putting seven guys in one match isn’t always the best of ideas but this is fun enough. There’s a mixture of big guys throwing small guys around and small guys jumping onto the big guys. Plus they do a good job of cycling guys in and out so it flows quite well. They try some very overly ambitious spots though and they do not come off. Basically because it’s one big move after another and some of it is insane and it doesn’t come off. But they cycle through spots so fast that nobody notices. Which also means when something does come off it has absolutely no time to breathe. Dave Prazak amuses himself by comparing this madness to ROH doing Special K matches. They try ridiculous things like picking up the bleachers while Deppen is on them and having him dive off. In theory that sounds great but in reality it’s a mess. The mixture of abilities often causes problems. Gringo Loco, for example, looks absolutely great every time out but that’s not reflected with everyone else. As the match continues the moves actually get better as the stretch has been better rehearsed, but even then the execution isn’t perfect. Shane Mercer hits a moonsault slam on KTB for the win. This was basically just a bunch of wacky shit tacked together for my amusement. Was it good? Sometimes. They could have taken a lot of the misfires out of there and it would have been a far superior match. Also if that shoulder walking spot from Bandolero had come off you could tag and extra half a star on there.

Final Rating: ***1/2


Alex Colon vs. Daisuke Masaoka

Masaoka is from FREEDOMS. He was in the Nick Gage Invitational in 2017.


Colon had a match with Masashi Takeda so he’s familiar with the Japanese death match style. The Takeda match got great press but this one will have to go some to out-do the G-Raver/Veidt match from earlier. Masaoka brings this fucking ridiculous thing with him:


Just a bunch of barbeque skewers stuck in polystyrene. The rest of the match is heavy on the light tubes, which is probably carnage enough. There’s many a cut back. The spots don’t connect as cleanly as the big spots from the Veidt match and that makes it feels slightly less important but it’s still good. It’s a pity this didn’t go on first so it couldn’t be living in the shadow of the other match. Not to be outdone Colon throws a load of broken glass over tubes and then gets hit with the Shiranui through it.


You see, the way this works is…I’ll just show you.

After that Colon eats another stack of tubes and Masaoka knees him in the face and they’re both dead but Masaoka who wins. The ref flashes an X immediately as the finish didn’t go according to plan. I don’t know what happened to Masaoka but he’s clearly hurt and leaves holding his knee.

Final Rating: ***3/4


ICW Alternative Championship

Markus Crane (c) vs. Nate Webb

They take ten minutes to set up all the weapons for this and then Nate Webb comes out and does his whole ‘I’m going to cover the entire building in my entrance’ thing. Luckily it’s a small building.


I always liked Nate Webb but I never saw him as a death match guy and I feel uncomfortable watching Crane hit him with plunder. We’re barely a minute in and Webb has bits of glass sticking out of his head. Webb attempts to moonsault with a board and utterly fucks it and they re-do the spot. Sometimes simple is better. Just splash him with it. Or put the board down first. Much like a dragon suplex through a door, which ends up being a knee touching a door and a suplex next to it. Everything looks needlessly dangerous. The finish where Webb struggles like hell to stand on the apron before hitting his finish through a table looks horrifying. It’s so unexpected that it’s actually the finish that it takes a full minute for the timekeeper to ring the bell. Points for trying here but I was scared one of these guys were going to die.

Final Rating: **3/4


GCW Heavyweight Championship

Nick Gage (c) vs. Eric Ryan

Ryan is a bloody mess very quickly thanks to Gage’s love of hitting people with light tubes. Nick Gage has very little regard for his opponent’s wellbeing. David Arquette was nuts for stepping foot in the ring with this man. Another guy who doesn’t give a fuck is the referee who’s out here counting pins with his BARE FUCKING HANDS. He’s the real hardcore icon. The match feels a little less important to begin with but then they start busting out panes of glass. Then the ref is counting his pins on piles of glass bare handed. What a hero. I’m obsessed with him. The finish comes suddenly. Gage hitting a piledriver through a sheet of glass off the top and following up with a powerbomb for the pin.


Final Rating: **1/2



The emphasis on death matches made the show feel oversaturated. So the last two matches were a bit of a chore. The show peaked with a three match run of Raver/Veidt, the 7 man scramble and the Masaoka/Colon match. I really enjoyed all three of those and it felt like the show peaked early.


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