The Wrld on GCW Review: Fun show, with lots of issues
The lineup featuring AEW stars Jon Moxley and Ruby Soho, plus the lure of whoever would answer the open challenge of The Briscoes, got me to pull the trigger on ordering The Wrld on GCW 2022 Sunday night.
Bottom line: it was a fun show, but man, it had issues.
The big issue: time
The show clearly needed to be done by 11 p.m., so by the time we got to the two big matches on the card – the world title match with Moxley and Homicide, and the tag title match with The Briscoes – the show was running up against it.
The Moxley-Homicide match fell flat because it felt rushed, then The Briscoes match with mystery opponents – who turned out to be Matt Tremont and Nick Gage – was over in a flash, maybe five minutes, after a lengthy video package featuring The Briscoes, and time used to sell who the mystery opponents might be.
I know this promotion is built around Gage as its star, but I’m not a fan, don’t care, never will, and the only reason I kept watching was to see if there would be any other surprises, like, maybe, FTR getting involved, either in the finish or after the match.
Gage is mega-over with the GCW core fan base, so ending the show with him winning the tag belts sends that crowd home happy.
It doesn’t make me want to plunk down $24.99 for another GCW pay-per-view.
Another huge issue: production values
The sound for the announce team was in and out all night, and when it was out, it was way out, to a point where you had trouble hearing whatever they were saying.
The hard camera was shooting directly into lights, meaning the main shot was washed out, which you could tell when the director cut to shots from other cameras.
The main show kicked off with a nice package highlighting GCW talents, and there were a couple of other pre-match packages used to sell angles, but by and large, the filler between matches was shots of the crowd and the announcers bantering back and forth.
The announce team didn’t do a good job updating us on adjustments to the card, particularly the medical protocol issue that kept Ring of Honor champ Jonathan Gresham off the card.
Or maybe they did, and we just couldn’t hear them.
Best match: Matt Cardona vs. Joey Janela
To clarify, this was a great pay-per-view pro wrestling match. Lots of run-ins, swerves, the rest.
This was middle of the card, but it was booked like you’d book a main event, with cameos appearances from the likes of “Smart” Mark Sterling, Marko Stunt, Virgil, Swoggle, Brian Myers (in a spot reminiscent of Edge’s run-in in the John Cena-Rob Van Dam WWE vs. ECW match in 2005) and Sean Waltman.
Other best match: Blake Christian vs. Lio Rush
To clarify: this was the best straight-up pro wrestling match of the night.
No run-ins, no shenanigans between the two, just solid mat action.
Biggest waste of time: Grab the Brass Ring Ladder Match
You’re GCW, you’re paying Moxley, Soho and The Briscoes to try to bring in new fans, and you open with 30 minutes committed to a bunch of guys the new fans have never heard of, and one, PCO, they might have heard of, but once they see him, they wonder whatever that buzz was all about.
Way too many obvious cooperation spots with guys doing moonsaults from the top rope to the floor onto the other guys waiting to catch him, with a few nice spots using the ladder mixed in.
The next match, a lucha trios cluster, was thisclose to being the biggest waste of time. Somehow, this one had Bandido and Laredo Kid, and was still a stinker, because of, as in the opener, the glut of obvious cooperation spots.
They could have just put Bandido and Laredo Kid in a singles match and let those two tear the house down.
Final analysis: They got me once
I liked a lot of what I saw. Matt Cardona is so over as a heel with that crowd, and he played into it well, and that match with Janela was really, really good, and should have been a featured match, not mid-card.
The booker didn’t have enough discipline to save plenty of time for the title matches at the end to be able to breathe.
The production values were crap.
Nick Gage is over with the GCW crowd, but asking me to spend $24.99 to gloss him when I thought I was getting Moxley, The Briscoes, maybe an FTR run-in, then not delivering, you got my money once, but you’re not getting it again.
Story by Chris Graham