Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3 Part 1
Date: April 5, 2019
Location: White Eagle Hall, Jersey City, New Jersey
Commentators: Denver Colorado, Dave Prazak, Kevin Gill
I mean…why not. Joey Janela is a guy who has blown up on the indy scene in the last few years and I’m not sure if I get the appeal or not. I’ve seen him a few times and while I’ve liked parts of it, other times he just screams indy wrestler to me. Last year’s version of this show got rave reviews so I might as well try both nights of it this year. This is officially under the Game Changer Wrestling banner but it’s Janela’s show. Let’s get to it.
We open with a kid in a living room shouting something that I can’t understand at a camera. This isn’t going to go well is it?
The ring announcer welcomes us to the show.
Joey Janela vs. Marko Stunt
This is Joey’s first match since he destroyed his knee in September and Stunt’s first since November when I believe he broke his leg. Stunt gets a special entrance video where someone calls him, saying Joey wants him on the show. Janela also has Penelope Ford with him and that’s always a good thing. Stunt has a rather awesome entrance to Pat Benetar’s We Belong and you can see how happy he is to be back.
They shake hands and we’re ready to go with the crowd near molten. Joey takes him down and runs the ropes, even as Marko steps to the side and watches him. Marko kicks him in the knee, becoming the closest thing to a heel as you can get around here. Joey hits a running kick of his own and flips Stunt off but it’s his show so it’s more ok. Back up and Marko’s crucifix is reversed into a German suplex and Stunt lays on the back of his head for a bit, looking rather dead.
The fans request and receive even more German suplexes for two, setting up Janela throwing him over the top and into the crowd. Janela thinks the crowd surfing looks fun so he goes out as well for a chop off, all while the fans are holding them up. They head back to the ring with Stunt hitting a running flip dive off the apron. Another suicide dive takes Stunt out again but he’s fine enough to miss a running knee back inside.
Instead Stunt kisses Ford, who Janela forearms in the face by mistake. A double clothesline gives us a double knockdown and the fans are behind Joey again. Joey goes nuts and slaps Stunt down, setting up a superkick and a spinning package piledriver for two. Stunt is placed on top with Joey on the apron…and he stays there as Stunt stands up and hits a hurricanrana driver onto the apron.
Even the fans were asking why he didn’t just move. They slowly get back up and Stunt is busted open. He’s fine enough for a heck of a DDT for two (because DDTs don’t win matches) and head up again, this time being brought down with a super Samoan driver to give Joey two. Joey yells at the referee…and gets small packaged for the pin at 15:38.
Rating: C+. This is a show where the crowd is going to carry the matches WAY further than they deserve on their own merits and that was the case here. This was all about the dives and seeing Stunt take the big bumps and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s reminiscent of ECW in a way: these guys might not be making it to the top level anytime soon, but they’re stars here and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Post match Joey raises Stunt’s hand and Penelope hugs him. She’s rather forgiving.
The ring announcer points out the bars around the arena in information the people there already know.
Here’s Tony Deppen for a chat. I don’t know Deppen but he comes out to We Built This City, which was in the Muppets so I like him already. Deppen yells about being eliminated from the Cluster**** (big battle royal last year) by Mantaur in five seconds. He offers an open challenge to any fan and yells a lot of rather inappropriate things. He goes into the crowd and gets in an argument with a fan….who he kicks in the head. Deppen pulls him into the ring and the bell rings.
Tony Deppen vs. Fan
Deppen takes him into the ring and mocks him a bit before trying a suplex, which is reversed into a sleeper. The fans get behind the Fan, even as he gets driven into the corner a few times for the break. An armdrag sends Deppen down again and the Fan manages a 619. A springboard crossbody gets two and the stunned Deppen is sent outside, with the Fan hitting a flip dive off the top. This is quite the talented Fan.
Back in and the Fan takes a little too much time as Deppen gets in a superplex for two. He didn’t hook a leg so it’s really his fault. The Fan manages a right hand and a tornado DDT into a slingshot 450 for a crazy close two. A splash off the top misses though and Deppen hits a running kick to the head for the pin at 5:25.
Rating: A+. That’s one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen. I know the fans are extra hot for this show but they didn’t need to carry something like this one very far. The Fan (he needs a name and after looking as good as he did out there he’ll have one soon) was awesome for someone pulled out of a chair. This is definitely worth seeing if you get the chance.
Oh and something I forgot to mention: the Fan doesn’t have legs. Read it back with that in mind.
The Fan gets a mega ovation, as I’d certainly think he’s earned.
Jungle Boy vs. A-Kid vs. Australian Suicide vs. Jake Atlas vs. Shane Mercer vs. Slim J
I know most of these guys. Jungle Boy is an AEW guy. Mercer, the biggest guy in the match, gets quintuple superkicked three times to start but he’s still on his feet on the floor. After a series of dives, Atlas walks on his hands to headscissor A-Kid and a running superkick doesn’t slow him down that much. Suicide comes back in as we seem to be firmly in the “you do something and then I’ll do something” formula.
A headscissors puts Atlas on the floor and it’s Slim J coming back in as we get Bill Behrens references. As you can guess, it’s Suicide being sent outside and Jungle Boy comes in for a middle rope legdrop. Mercer gets in and hits a one armed press slam (of course), managing to knock the other people down while still holding Jungle Boy above his head. More superkicks put him down again and it’s Atlas and Kid hitting moonsault to the floor.
The two of them get back inside and double team Suicide, who comes off the top with a corkscrew press. Slim J’s high crossbody gets two on Suicide with Jungle Boy making the save. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker onto Mercer’s knee puts J down but Jungle Boy hits an enziguri to drop Mercer as well. Jungle Boy takes Atlas up top but it’s something like a super swinging Angle Slam for no cover.
A-Kid suplexes Atlas and gets two off a standing moonsault but Mercer is back in with one of the biggest overhead belly to belly suplexes I’ve ever seen. Just because we haven’t seen enough crazy stuff yet, Mercer puts Slim J in a fireman’s carry and WALKS THE TOP ROPE WITH HIM (ok so he was holding Atlas’ hand) for a super AA. Suicide makes a very late save with a shooting star and the fans are very pleased again.
Kid is the first one up with a 619 to Atlas but a high crossbody to Mercer is countered into a super moonsault World’s Strongest Slam. Atlas knees Suicide in the face and hits a top rope cartwheel DDT (seriously) to take him down. Kid goes after Jungle Boy and gets on his back, but Jungle Boy moves to the side and hooks a full nelson with Kid still on his back (think a Backpack Stunner but with them twisted around) for the tap at 10:05.
Rating: B+. Oh yeah I’m seeing why this show gets these kind of reviews. This was one of the craziest spotfests I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t believe some of the things I was seeing. It also helps that most of these guys aren’t very well known so they were able to surprise me with a lot of the spots. It was a blast and the kind of match that makes indy wrestling so much fun over this weekend.
GCW World Title: Nick Gage vs. Shinjiro Otani
Gage is defending and that means it’s time for the fans to treat him like some kind of greatest thing ever. The announcers ensure us that this will NOT just be a freak show and I can’t say I’m convinced. They make it clear that Gage is multi talented as Otani takes him down without much effort. A rope break gets Gage out of a wristlock with the fans sound like they want to kill Otani for hurting their hero. That’s enough wrestling for Gage (less than three minutes) so let’s get a table.
Otani will have none of that and chops Gage down into a half crab. Another rope break saves Gage and the fans again insist that he break it up. An atomic drop and running elbow into the corner have Otani in trouble and Gage hits a Broski Boot. That’s an Otani signature so he suplexes Gage through a table to even things up. Otani shows him how to do the Facewash and some Broski Boots with the kicks knocking Gage’s second down each time. Back up and Gage gets two off a DDT but Otani is right back with a kick to the head and a legsweep for two of his own. Gage grabs a rollup to steal the pin out of nowhere at 9:45.
Rating: D. This was Otani doing a lot of his signature stuff while Gage showed that he can’t do much outside of death match wrestling. I’m not a fan of the guy or his style and while I get that he’s an Otani fan (fair enough), this completely stopped the flow of a very entertaining show so far. The fans there dig him and good for them, but Gage is not my thing.
Post match Gage continues to swear a lot and talks about being a huge Otani fan growing up.
Invisible Man vs. Invisible Stan
It’s EXACTLY what it’s billed as and yes there is a backstory as they’re brothers. Stan is a mega heel and Man is a huge face. Bryce Remsburg (like ANYONE else could be the referee) checks Stan for weapons as the graphics call both guys Invisible Man. Actually hang on a second as Bryce throws on his Janela glasses, apparently allowing him to see both guys. Then how did he check Stan?
There’s a door in the corner as Bryce gets a clean break and it’s a pinfall exchange sequence into a standoff as the fans aren’t sure what to chant. They slug it out with the fans going right along with the BOO/YAY chants and Remsburg being more into it than anything else. A rake to the eyes has Man in trouble and they both demand chairs.
Both guys sit in the middle and slug it out from the chairs (I can’t believe this is somehow working) but hang on because Remsburg has to put on the gloves to check on Man’s cut. He goes to throw up the X but Man shoves him over….and they go to the floor. The camera loses them (How?) and they get all the way onto the balcony for the New Jack dive, with the referees below (in the crowd for some reason) going down in a heap.
They get back in with Stan only getting two and getting in a fight with Remsburg. That means a shot to Remsburg’s head, drawing in Kikutaro to take his place (and glasses of course). Kikutaro pelts a chair at Stan and gives him a DDT with Man getting a VERY delayed two. Remsburg orders Kikutaro out and it’s….I’m not sure how to describe it to give Stan two (these indy moves are so weird sometimes). A spear through the door (well done on the break) finishes Stan at 7:18.
Rating: C. The action was good enough but that dive out of the balcony felt so tacked on. You shouldn’t need a ref bump and a huge spot like that in a seven minute match. The brawling and slugouts were good as you have to sell the hatred between the two, but at least do something a little more logical.
The fans throw money into the ring, which is well deserved.
……I’ve been working too hard haven’t I?
Orange Cassidy vs. Taka Michinoku
It isn’t clear if Cassidy’s Independent Wrestling Title is on the line or not. Taka wants a lockup but that’s harder that it seems as Cassidy doesn’t take his hands out of his pockets. He gets a hand out of each and Cassidy puts them right back in. Both hands are pulled out at the same time but Cassidy puts them right back in at the same time. With nothing else working, Taka puts his hands down his trunks before the shoulder exchange lets Cassidy hit one in slow motion.
Cassidy’s dancing escape gets him out of a waistlock and it’s a dropkick into a nip up, all with the hands still in the pockets. The very light kicks to Taka’s legs make him remove Cassidy’s glasses and the fans know this isn’t going to end well. Now the hands come out of the pockets and Cassidy lightly…..I don’t think I can call those chops. The low superkick to the leg has Cassidy celebrating but Taka pokes him in the eye to take over.
A rollup gives Taka two but he charges into a boot in the corner. Cassidy grabs a twisting rollup and a superkick for two each but Taka rolls away from something on the top. For some reason Cassidy tries his dive with no one there, allowing Taka to grab a quickly broken Crossface. With Taka stunned, it’s a drink of the orange juice…with Taka hitting a superkick and a Michinoku Driver for the pin at 8:23.
Rating: C-. I think I caused myself to lose some interest in this match as I’ve seen Cassidy a few times now and it’s a lot of the same stuff he’s done in each of his matches this weekend. He’s talented and funny, but it’s not the kind of gimmick that you need to be seeing every single week.
Post match Taka takes the glasses and respect is shared.
Here’s Ethan Page to rant about how Janela doesn’t own him and wants to call the show Ethan Page’s Body Guy Extravaganza. As for tonight though, he has a mystery opponent.
Starman vs. Ethan Page
Starman is a masked guy in a pink bodysuit who sneaks in through the crowd and rolls Page up for the pin at 3 seconds. Apparently that was for Page’s soul?
The mask comes off and it’s….freaking VIRGIL??? Page snaps and says that since he now has to agent the Cluster**** tomorrow, we’ll make it the greatest Cluster**** of all time.
The ring announcer thanks the fans and we pause a bit to set up for the deathmatch main event. Since he can’t do it though, here’s Low Life Louie (from ECW) to announce instead. I mean, he doesn’t actually do the announcing yet though as we get a new mat and a bunch of weapons added in first. This eats up several minutes as the announcers chatter about various deathmatch legends.
Masashi Takeda vs. Jimmy Lloyd
Spider Nate Webb is on commentary and there are light tubes all around the ring. Token wrestling sequence to start, which is rather token with A BUNCH OF LIGHT TUBES on the apron. Lloyd misses an enziguri and they trade exchanges of dropping themselves on tubes. Tubes are broken over each other’s heads, followed by gusset plates (pieces of galvanized metal) to the head. Lloyd is busted and another one plate is used to cut open his arm.
Takeda breaks a tube over the arm for two and another goes across the mouth for a Russian legsweep. Lloyd is gushing and breaks more tubs over Takeda’s head. Tubes are dropped onto Takeda for two and another is superkicked into Takeda’s face for two. Takeda dropkicks some tubes into Lloyd’s face….and it’s time for a board covered in open scissors.
The scissors are put onto Lloyd and a running knee drives them in, with Lloyd having to pull a pair out of his chest. Takeda suplexes him for two but gets Razor’s Edged into a board with something unspecified covering it in the corner. Lloyd gets two off a tiger driver before they both no sell suplexes.
A clothesline gives Lloyd two and someone brings him a weed wacker, which Takeda takes away and uses on the arm. Now it’s a door covered with forks which is then covered with tubes. Lloyd gets German suplexed through them, setting up a knee to drive tubes into the chest for one. More tubes are put on Lloyd’s chest and a Swanton gets two. A reverse inverted DDT onto more tubes finishes Lloyd at 9:23.
Rating: N/A. This wasn’t wrestling.
Post match Lloyd asks Takeda to break one more tube over his head so Takeda does it to himself to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. While there are some parts that just are not for me, I’ll give this show a ton of credit for one of the most entertaining and energized shows I’ve ever seen. The crowd was on fire all night and I was getting into a lot of these things, mainly due to how much effort they putting into nearly everything. Normally that’s the case with a bunch of matches that aren’t all that great, but a lot of these were very good with some of the better action I’ve seen all night.
At the same time though, there are still a few things going on that I wasn’t wild on. The deathmatch stuff just isn’t my style and that’s never going to change. Other than that there were some matches that weren’t quite as good as the best on the card, but (wrestling wise at least) nothing is all that bad and it’s a show I’ll almost certainly be watching next year. Well done here and I was very nicely surprised.
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