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Sneer Wrestling Selective 2024: A show by show journey


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Posted (edited)

Greetings all,

I'll make this introduction as brief as possible, because while what I aim to share here is forged out of pain, my intention is to find healing, and have fun through Pro Wrestling, and hopefully, share/create fun for those reading and engaging with this. I want to get to the fun stuff as quickly as I can!

So in quick summary, I'm a long time wrestling fan, nowadays my preference is Japanese Wrestling, but dependent on my mood, I love it all! The more variety the better!!

After a period of consuming as much wrestling as I possibly could, and running a slightly successful Puroresu Twitter account for a time, my life went through some major changes around 2 years ago. It took many twists and turns, causing my wrestling viewing to drop drastically.

Recently, I've had the win of moving into a new home in a new city. Unfortunately, what should've been the happiest time of my life ended up being bittersweet. With a heavy heart, circumstances led to me instigating a break up with my partner. This happened the day after I got the keys to the new homestead. Without getting too personal or deep at this time, the break up wasn't due to a lack of love on either side, quite the opposite. If I was selfish, I never would've let her go. It was just an awful situation, with heartbreaking timing. She helped me through all of the processes of getting this place I now sit and type these words from, it was going to be her place as much as mine, her home away from home. Pictures of us, artwork we picked together to decorate the home, rather than being on display, they sit in draws, unseen. 

She lives 10 minutes away from me, but we are doing no contact. Everywhere in this home, and in this city, I'm surrounded by reminders of her. It's been over a month since the break up now. Some days, I feel like I'm getting stronger, but then a reminder can hit, and I struggle as if we just broke up yesterday.

Right now, I fluctuate between feelings of confusion, care, anger, guilt, confidence, despair. It's a rollercoaster ride of emotions that I wish would stop, or at the very least, calm right down.  

I'm fortunate to have good friends supporting me at this time, but through no ones fault, there's times when I'm on my own in this new home, struggling with my thoughts, and I need a healthy distraction.

Rather than dwell on the negatives, I want to embrace the positives.

I have more time on my hands now. Time to invest into hobbies new and old. One of those hobbies is Professional Wrestling. Through peaks and troughs, it's a life long love that my passion for never dies. Professional Wrestling is a safe love, one that I know will never leave me. 

This year, I want to reconnect with wrestling on a big scale. Returning to promotions I used to watch, and discovering new ones. To anyone reading this, I welcome you along to join me for the ride. Where this ride is going, I don't know! But sometimes it's not about the destination, but the journey itself. If this can be a drama free topic, where we can all unite in what brings us here in the first place, a love for Pro Wrestling, and we can share in show thoughts, pass on recommendations etc., then Job done! 

It's my hope that this can serve as a journal of sorts, as I share my takes on my various wrestling viewing experiences. I like variety, so there will be no rhyme or reason to what I could be watching on any given day. One day, it could be, as it is today, a live show from GCW, another day, it could be a WWF Silver Vision release from 1993. From days present to times long gone, to major mainstream shows to smalltime indy sleaze, I plan to cover it all. I'm also open to any show recommendations!

Right, I hate introductions, so with the above hopefully passing for a decent enough one...let's get on with the fun stuff,

 GCW CAGE OF SURVIVAL 3 (June 2nd, 2024) (The Showboat Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey) (Live viewing)

Watching this live, and I started the stream a minute or so in, to be greeted by the sight of Joey Janela being attacked earlier in the day by some masked men in the backstage area. Does this mean he's out of the Gauntlet of Survival to crown a new GCW World Champion? Time is the great revealer of truth, so let's allow the evening to play out and reveal all! 

Cage of Survival Match: Effy vs. Mance Warner 

We are starting out hot, with the match on the show that's had the biggest amount of build. Mance Warner has shown us another side of his "Southern Psychopath' persona in recent times, becoming quite the heel. As a fan of Ole Mancer going back to his stint in MLW, I've enjoyed seeing this other side of his character. It's safe to say that Warner is hated by the majority of the GCW fanbase, following his betrayal of his old friend Effy, and how he's treated him since.

Effy came out fired up in the opening minutes, clearly using the built up rage within him that formed from being denied the right to have any physical altercations with Mance Warner in recent times to his advantage. Plunder soon came into play, with Effy introducing light tubes to his once friend turned heated rival, quickly creating a mask of crimson on the man who tried to set him on fire recently. As Effy continued to bring the pain in a way that would make Method Man proud, by raking Warner's already bloodied face on the steel of the cage, and gauging at his face with the broken glass of the light tubes, the GCW fans made their approval of these actions clear with chants of "KILL HIM"

Predictably, Mance soon found an opening, and it wasn't long before Effy was drenched in blood too. Well deserved chants of "HOLY SHIT" soon rang out throughout the Showboat, following a suplex to the outside onto a broken panel of the cage, which also had glass panes underneath it. 

As the action returned into the ring, both wrestlers used chairs on one another, and before long, a door was introduced into play. It wouldn't be a GCW show without a door would it? After setting up a door bridge onto two chairs, Effy introduced lighter fluid, only to have his attempt to spray the fluid onto the door bridge denied by Mancer. Within moments, Mance took possession of the lighter fluid to carry out his own evil intentions. Mance lit the door table on fire, and introduced Effy to the flames. Despite this, Effy managed to kick out after two and stay in the match. 

Mance didn't let up on punishing Effy, with more light tube attacks. This led to Effy channeling his inner Hulkster, firing up to make a comeback. We soon got another wild spot, when Effy jumped off a chair to pounce at Mance Warner, who had scaled the cage. Both men then went through a cage panel as it broke, landing on a barbwire web outside of the ring! The high risks only continued, when Effy dropped Mance Warner with a Piledriver onto the web of barbwire!

From the fire+the barbwire bumps, Effy's back looked absolutely shredded by this point in the proceedings. 

After both wrestlers returned to the ring, Effy set up a glass bridge, placing a pane across two chairs, as well as also placing a pane into a ring corner. Effy got a 2.9 after powerbombing Mance through the glass bridge. Mance soon got revenge, spearing Effy through the pane of glass propped in the ring corner. Effy then went into Superman mode, quickly kicking out of Mance's pin attempt, leading to a wild exchange of attacks that both men powered through and shrugged off, before finally collapsing to the canvas in unison. 

After both men recovered, Mance pulled out a screwdriver, a weapon that's become a trademark of his in recent times, as he's used it in attacks on Effy & Effy's friends throughout there rivalry. Mance swung the screwdriver at Effy, only for Effy to dodge the attack, leading to Mance's screwdriver only connecting with a door wedged in the ring corner. As Mance struggled to free his screwdriver from the door, he left himself open to some light tube attacks from Effy. 

By this point, the canvas looked like a crime scene, with pools of blood, broken glass, chairs and door debris all over.

and things were about to get even crazier!

A triple tower was assembled, two layers of doors stacked on chairs, with a layer of glass above them. Of course, this alone wasn't enough, with Mance Warner finding and applying more lighter fluid. 

Mance Warner became a victim of his own design, as Effy scored the win after suplexing Mance Warner from the top turnbuckle through the burning structure. 

Effy was joined in celebration by friends like Allie Katch, Cole Radrick, and 1 Called Manders.

A battle ravaged and defeated Mance Warner tried unsuccessfully to walk to the back on his own, with the GCW faithful shouting "YOU DESERVE IT" in approval of his suffering.

While this didn't feature anything fresh or inventive. It fully served its purpose. This was a violent and bloody war that did its build justice. A satisfying pay off to the storyline, seeing Effy get some well deserved revenge.

7 out of 10 on the Sneer Scale 

We then had a recap video of the prior nights Tournament of Survival 9, which was won by John Wayne Murdoch. My recommendation from that event is Brandon Kirk vs. Shunma Katsumata from the 1st Round. 

Another recap video followed, showing GCW General Manager Matt Cardona's recent attempts to screw over Joey Janela in getting a GCW World Heavyweight Title shot. You don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to suss out that Cardona probably had a hand in the backstage attack of Joey Janela that opened the event. 

"SpeedBall" Mike Bailey vs. Megan Bayne 

I'll confess that other than her appearances on AEW, I'm not overly familiar with Megan Bayne's work. A quick glance of Cagematch Database shows me that she's been keeping busy though, doing quite a bit of work in Stardom. Mike Bailey is the complete opposite though, as I've been watching Mike for years in DDT, Impact Wrestling etc. We always get "Brass Monkey" by the Beastie Boys for Mike's GCW entrances, which I enjoy. Personally though, his best theme will always be the theme he and Mao used while teaming as the Moonlight Express in DDT, "Fly Me To The Moon" by Saw Loser. 

According to our commentary team of Dave Prazak and Veda Scott, this match was only added to the card earlier in the day. I have no idea if there's any storyline reason for these two to be wrestling.

In the opening minutes, Megan Bayne absolutely owned Mike Bailey. Even when Mike rolled outside to get a breather, Megan Bayne followed him out there, punished him with chops, and then walked around the ring while holding him in a suplex position. Mike finally got into the match when he managed to counter the suplex attempt, introduce Megan's head to the steel of the ring post, before resorting to his high flying attacks to keep on the offensive. 

In time, Megan Bayne took back control. This bout did a great job at establishing that Megan Bayne had the size and power advantage, with Mike Bailey needing to resort to his speed and high flying attacks in order to have hope of making the match his own. While Speedball gave us fleeting glimpses of what he could do when in offensive control, he kept getting his attempts to string together long sequences of offense denied, as Megan was having none of it. Mike Bailey always seemed to be on the backfoot in trying to find an answer to Megan Bayne's attacks.

Mike Bailey finally found his most promising wave of momentum in the bout, troubling Megan Bayne with an arm triangle. Unfortunately for Bailey, this attack was countered when Megan Bayne powered him up and dropped him with a powerbomb. 

Mike Bailey had another shot at victory, connecting with a Shooting Star Press, but it wasn't enough. We then got a lovely back and forth of attacks and near falls/submissions between both wrestlers, where I genuinely thought at points that the match was going to end. That ending would eventually come when Megan Bayne kept Mike Bailey down for the count of three following a Tombstone Piledriver.

I loved this, a no nonsense match, where the gender difference didn't mean a thing. Megan Bayne is apparently undefeated in GCW, and she was made to look like an absolute force in this bout. Lovely stuff!

8 out of 10 on the Sneer Scale

We see a video recap of recent events, showcasing GM Matt Cardona's decision to strip Blake Christian of the GCW World Heavyweight Championship, before announcing the Gauntlet of Survival for the vacant Championship, which is our main event tonight. We then see all of Cardona's attempts to stack the deck against Joey Janela, to deny him the chance to get into the Gauntlet and fight for the Championship. Cardona really has it in for Janela!

Yuki Ishikawa & Hideyoshi Kamitani vs. Alec Price and Cole Radrick 

We've got the BJPW duo of Ishikawa and Kamitani, fresh off there prior night competition within the Tournament of Survival, where Ishikawa made it to the Final before falling to John Wayne Murdoch, taking on the GCW regulars of Price and Radrick, aka "The Gahbage Daddies".

Alec Price is the worker I'm most familiar with in this bout. I first discovered Price a few years ago, watching him on IWTV's Wrestling Open out of Worcester, Mass. Watching the rise of the man who became "The Northeast Beast" was a joy, and I'm glad that a few years on his status seems to be rising in promotions like GCW and MLW. 

More doors came into play in this one, doors coated in barbwire. The BJPW duo seemed to want to turn this into a deathmatch style affair, but The Gahbage Daddies quickly cut that attempt off, scoring the win with a variation of the Doomsday Device, just with a jumping stomp to the back of the opponent rather than a clothesline.

Short and sweet!

6 out of 10 on the Sneer Scale 

Dave Prazak and Veda Scott take time to hype up the upcoming GCW shows, giving me time to go and grab some beer. 

I return to see the conclusion of a video package, showing Joey Janela's recent issues with Broski Jimmy, aka Jimmy Lloyd, who's now a follower of Matt Cardona, even coming out to his matches to Cardona's old WWE theme "Radio". Jimmy Lloyd proclaimed that GCW is now in the Matt Cardona era.

Big "F'N" Joe vs. Matt Tremont

Settling in after my beer break, and I see giant light tubes placed in each corner. Matt Tremont rushes through his usual entrance, speeding toward the ring with light tubes in hand. Within moments, glass is flying back and forth, as these two madman deliver what they've become known for.

As commentary legend Larry Rivera used to call it, we get the full on "Violent Crap" in all of its glory. Matt Tremont introduces a fork to the skull of Big Joe, officially handed down to him by Abdullah the Butcher the prior night, when Matt Tremont inducted him into the Deathmatch Hall of Fame.

Big Joe introduced coat hangers, which he shoved into either side of the mouth of Matt Tremont, before pulling. I must admit, I enjoy seeing coat hangers becoming more common place in matches of this nature. 

In an absolutely sick spot, Matt Tremont had a large gusset plate stuck into his bald dome, before having it forcibly removed with a harsh swipe of a steel chair from Big Joe. The instant and rather large flow of crimson that followed from Tremont's skull was quite the repulsive sight. This visual + Beer makes a for a successful distraction from the ex, so that's something.

Mercifully, this comes to a close rather quickly, when Matt Tremont smashes Big Joe through a tube covered door. 

Violence in a short and sweet package!

6.5 out of 10 on the Sneer Scale

We get word about Joey Janela, apparently he's at the hospital following the attack he endured at the outset of the show. The gauntlet of survival for the vacant GCW World Heavyweight Championship is scheduled to be up next.

First, we hear from the GM Matt Cardona, who's accompanied by Broski Jimmy and Steph De Lander. We are promised a historic moment tonight here at GCW, after he brags about his prior accomplishments in the promotion, reminding us that it's three years since he beat Nick Gage for the Championship. Cardona speaks about Joey Janela's attack, insincerely wishing him a speedy recovery. 

Gauntlet Of Survival for the vacant GCW World Heavyweight Title

So the gauntlet starts with two entrants. Eliminations occur via pinfall or submission, and following an elimination, another participant enters. 

The prior nights winner of Tournament of Survival 9, John Wayne Murdoch, is entrant one. Showing wounds of war from the violence of the prior night, The Duke of Hardcore is in for a hard road if he hopes to leave as the GCW World Heavyweight Champion.

"Fantasy" by Mariah Carey signals the arrival of entrant two, Kasey Catel. She rushed out to ringside with a gusset covered bat. Catel and Murdoch have history, including a very violent battle between the two recently.

Sadly for Kasey Catel, John Wayne Murdoch quickly took control of the gusset covered bat, and he wasted no time in walking Catel around each side of the ring, calving up her face to the delight of the GCW faithful, as they chant "OVER HERE" so they can get a better view of the carnage. These fans were all lovingly cheering her on just moments before. Moments later, the fans are once again cheering Catel on. Best not to question the logic!

Poor Kasey's fortunes didn't get better, as she was eliminated via pinfall following a piledriver through...what else? a door!

"Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi kicked in, signalling the arrival of entrant three, The 1 Called Manders!

It should be noted that GM Matt Cardona and co are all present and circling ringside. Sneer Sense is tingling and predicts incoming shenanigans! 

Manders got separated from his senses when John Wayne Murdoch countered an incoming chair shot by punching the chair into his face. I thought Manders was out for the count there and then, but he somehow kicked out!

Sometime later, we get the spot that's becoming common on shows of this type. Two wrestlers placing chairs beside one another, and sitting down to trade strikes. Both Murdoch and Manders soon get bored with trading fists, deciding to call on the chairs they were sat upon to use as weapons. After then quickly getting bored of the chairs, the two of them fight from there knees on the canvas, trading headbutts, and even biting one another.

Manders slammed John Wayne Murdoch through, what else? a door! getting the 1, the 2, but NOT the 3!

Moments later, Manders was eliminated after being dropped head first down on the broken wood. Scoring John Wayne Murdoch the three count, and keeping him in the gauntlet.

Our forth entrant was the big sensation from Mexico who comes in a very small package...Micro Man!

John Wayne Murdoch wasted no time in bringing the punishment to the little guy. First, he threw a chair down onto him, before then using a chair leg to gauge at his eyes. After more chair based punishment, Micro Man not only survived, but he went on to score the shock elimination of John Wayne Murdoch following a small package out of nowhere!

"The Iron Demon" Shane Mercer was entrant five. 

Micro Man didn't fair well at all with Shane Mercer. After threatening to throw Micro Man into the crowd, Mercer took him up top, and dropped him down with a moonsault variation of a Fallaway Slam. This kept Micro Man down for the count of three.

Jordan Oliver then came out to the ring as entrant six. 

Mercer and Oliver decided to mix things up a little here, taking the action to the outside and amongst the crowd. After being slightly distracted by a flickering light in the hallway, I returned to the action to see some nice back and forth with both wrestlers back in the ring.

After a flurry of very impressive offense from Jordan Oliver, Shane Mercer took control back, with a spinning backbreaker. Mercer then took Oliver up top, and dropped him with the same Moonsault Fallaway Slam variation that he put Micro Man out with. Sadly for Mercer, he was then caught off guard by Jordan Oliver, who scored a roll up pinfall. 

Taking his elimination badly, Shane Mercer subjected Jordan Oliver to a vicious attack, leaving Oliver's head split open and bleeding heavily, before taking his leave from the ring. 

Entrant seven was "The Root Of All Evil" Charles Mason. Perhaps the most hated man in GCW? He's certainly up there!

A lovely sequence here, where Charles Mason got caught up in a belt he was choking Jordan with, and as he ducked down to retrieve it, he was super kicked right in the face! Jordan Oliver then went for a springboard cutter off the ropes, only to be met with a jumping counter and placed down on the canvas by Mason, who almost submitted him with a grounded choke, until Oliver somehow made it to the ropes.

Some heated and highly impactful back and forth between Charles Mason and Jordan Oliver here, gaining some well deserved chants of "GCW". These two made me forget the Gauntlet stipulation for awhile, with it feeling like a match within a match. My first exposure to Jordan Oliver was his work in MLW. I wasn't a fan of his in those days, but nowadays, every time I watch GCW and see him, I come away impressed. Either he's improved a great deal, or I'm just seeing something in him that I missed in the MLW days.

A cradle piledriver from Charles Mason puts an end to Jordan Oliver's time in this bout, and a highly entertaining part of the Gauntlet.

Entrant eight is announced, the FINAL entrant... and it's "The Bad Boy" Joey Janela that's introduced...but he's nowhere to be seen!

GM Matt Cardona then entered the ring, and he said that if Joey Janela failed to arrive in 10 seconds, he'd award the GCW World Heavyweight Championship to Charles Mason.

After the count of 10 concluded, we got no Joey Janela...but we got the arrival of NICK GAGE instead!

Cue the pizza cutter, and plenty of bloodshed, as the Deathmatch King calved Charles Mason up, before pinning him, to become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion of GCW!

Or WAS he?

GM Matt Cardona announced that there's one more entrant...and he was stood behind Nick Gage waiting to strike, it was Broski Jimmy Lloyd!

After a cheap shot attack with a chair, Broski Jimmy almost pinned Nick Gage, but ONLY almost, as Gage survived the pin attempt!

A now bloodied Gage continued to fight back, with the GCW faithful cheering him on, as a relentless Jimmy Lloyd subjects him to strikes, chair shots, and..what else? a door!

A Piledriver through the door off the top from Nick Gage looked like certain victory, but GM Matt Cardona pulled the referee out of the ring. Cue interference from Steph De Lander too, and following some attempted comebacks from a determined Nick Gage, the odds were eventually too much. A Ruff Ryder/Radio Silence from Lloyd put Nick Gage down for the count of three!

The man formally known as the Different Boy, the once beloved underdog, is now the GCW World Heavyweight Champion, and he's hated for it.

We got the end of show graphic, and Dave Prazac and Veda Scott thanked us for viewing. It's all over.....or is it?

Cue Joey Janela's music, and the arrival of the bad boy, he's not in hospital after all!

Janela hit a double stomp from the top rope, keeping Broski Jimmy down for the three count. So Joey Janela is the GCW World Heavyweight Champion!

Janela gave the middle finger to a deflated looking GM Matt Cardona, who watched from the outside.

Cue, Cole Radrick, who planned to cash in his brass ring and catch the new Champion off guard. Unfortunately, this plan never gets off the ground, as Radrick was taken out following an attack from Steph De Lander.

So, that's it, right?

NO....out came Mance Warner with a sneak attack on Joey Janela, and he then cashed in his Do or Die opportunity!

Warner dropped Janela with an Implant DDT onto the Championship itself, and this was enough to score the pinfall, making Mance Warner the NEW GCW World Heavyweight Champion!

Ole Mancer celebrated his title victory, with a post match smooch with Steph De Lander, as GM Matt Cardona looked on happy with the result.

And that's truly it! Quite a rollercoaster of a gauntlet match, with plenty of twists and turns. 

Mance Warner as the GCW World Heavyweight Champion is a far fresher option than Nick Gage, and more interesting at this point in time than Joey Janela. You'd have to think that Effy has claim for a title shot too, given his victory over Warner earlier in the night.

A highly entertaining gauntlet match that kept me engaged.

8.5 out of 10 on the Sneer Scale

OVERALL A highly enjoyable show, that concludes a strong weekend for GCW following the prior nights Tournament of Survival 9, which I recommend folks at least check out Brandon Kirk vs. Shunma Katsumata from, if nothing else. I don't watch every GCW show, and I do go through spells where I have considerable breaks in my GCW viewing, but I always enjoy the product when I do check it out. This show hit the sweet spot for me in what I want from a GCW show, the perfect blend between story telling and hardcore violence. 

 

Edited by Elliot Sneer
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Sorry to hear about your situation, @Elliot Sneer. That long post might not have been the best way to go about establishing yourself, and I can tell you that, whilst a lot of us do enjoy long-form reviews, that was a bit dense even for us. But I hope that won't put you off posting again. If it helps you to deal, I say have at it.

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"The Sneer Scale" sounds like a satire of Meltzer's scale. Where matches are rated out of 5, between -5 and 7.

1 hour ago, Vegeta said:

The sneer scale sounds like some sort of register.

I'm going to make one final remark in the vein of "how many times have we read how much you used to love a fap to Stephanie" and then leave it. After all, in a world where you can be anything, be kind.

@Elliot Sneer No judgment here. I started healing my first proper heartbreak by spaffing 2K on a trip to the G1 Climax.

Beavis And Butthead Lol GIF by Paramount+

Heh. "Vein." "Spaffing."

"....... Climax."

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9 minutes ago, air_raid said:

I'm going to make one final remark in the vein of "how many times have we read how much you used to love a fap to Stephanie" and then leave it

Yeah I mention that every post, I'm glad you reminded me, I must have left a memorable mark on you when I said it that one time ;)

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I’m a bit behind on GCW but when I’m caught up I’ll have a read of that. Just getting to the shows that made up the Collective so two months behind but I’ll get there. The Effy vs Mance Warner feud has been great so far, I think they had an I Quit match at Spring Break so I’m looking forward to that. Can already predict the finish, I bet it involves a drill. 

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3 hours ago, Carbomb said:

Sorry to hear about your situation, @Elliot Sneer. That long post might not have been the best way to go about establishing yourself, and I can tell you that, whilst a lot of us do enjoy long-form reviews, that was a bit dense even for us. But I hope that won't put you off posting again. If it helps you to deal, I say have at it.

Yeah I'd echo this. 

We're a bit of a cynical bunch because 95% of the new people on here are returning and getting ready to troll like they're at a billygoat convention and 95% of those are Hulkamania Fan. I hope posting that review blog brings you some joy, and do feel free to reach out if you want to chat.

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