With all the shows that pop up around WrestleMania weekend, it’s hard for any one to stand out. Don’t get me wrong, many of them are good and there are several shows I’m looking forward to from a variety of different companies, but after a while it can start to feel a little homogenous. What, after all, is the functional difference between Ring of Honor and EVOLVE? Besides the rosters, are those shows really going to feel that different?
Enter Joey Janela, Game Changer Wrestling, and this beautiful trainwreck of an event coming our way on Thursday night.
GCW: Joey Janela’s Spring Break
March 30, 2017
Orlando Events Center
I remember first seeing promo images for this show and immediately I was sold. Tapping into the same nostalgic camp that made Kung Fury an internet sensation, it was immediately clear that this show was going to be unlike any other taking place this weekend. The first match I saw advertised was Matt Riddle vs. Dan Severn and I knew I had to watch this show.
All across the country there are theaters that do midnight screenings of campy movies. It started with Rocky Horror Picture Show and has since expanded to a variety of films that either have some nostalgic value, are classics, or are so bad they’re wonderful (The Room is the ultimate midnight movie, speaking from experience).
Joey Janela’s Spring Break is the WrestleMania weekend wrestling show version of the midnight screening. There will be camp, there will be nostalgia, there will be chaos. Sure, the best match of the weekend definitely isn’t happening here, but this show guarantees something that no one else can: fun. I mean, just look at how they’re promoting Earl Hebner!
Get your grill in, grab your sunglasses and a 40 and let’s dive in!
Sami Callihan vs Kyle The Beast
Wait, come back, I promise, it gets better! Look, this match probably isn’t going blow anyone away, but let’s be honest with what we’re getting here. It’s two big, tough dudes that are going to beat each other silly. I can get down with that. Sami has really impressed me lately going back all the way to his Lucha Underground run, particularly when he brings the intensity. This match should be exactly that, intense, short, and more entertaining than you might expect.
Sami has never worked a show for GCW and Kyle the Beast is their most recent former champion, which probably makes the winner clear. Prediction: Kyle the Beast
Lio Rush vs Keith Lee
See, I told you it would get better! This match should actually be pretty great! Lio Rush and Keith Lee both have been building buzz by being good all over the place (and spurning Ring of Honor). If you just looked at these guys, you’d expect a David and Goliath routine, with Lee being the big man and doing big man things. Anyone who’s seen Lee work, though, knows that he is able to spit in gravity’s face and do some high flying of his own. This will be the best match from a wrestling standpoint on the show and the crowd’s going to love it. Prediction: Lio Rush
Intergender Tag Match
Andy Williams (From “Every Time I Die”) and “The Bad Girl” Penelope Ford vs. TNA’s Braxton Sutter and Allie
When I first saw this match listed, I thought, “Every Time I Die? Like the metal band?”
Turns out, Andy Williams actually is a founding member and guitarist for the band Every Time I Die. So, I fire up the Cagematch.net gimmick and think to myself, “Wow, I didn’t realize he was a wrestler.”
Turns out, Andy Williams is not a wrestler.
Look folks, this isn’t going to be pretty. It could be entertaining if they overbook it and stuff it full of zaniness. Perhaps this is where Earl makes his appearance. Maybe they have something else up their sleeve. If it’s all smoke and mirrors, it could be a fine addition to this show. If they try to have a straight match… yeesh. Prediction: Andy Williams and Penelope Ford
Spring Break Clusterf&%#
Well, this match is certainly named appropriately! You’ve got Veda Scott, Glacier, Dink, an Invisible Man, Ethan Page, Jervis Cottonbelly and more thrown in here for what is sure to be a total mess. Here’s my guilty secret though… I kind of love disasters like these. I have fond memories of the King of Trios tag gauntlets that never end, I dug the Gimmick Battle Royal back at Mania X-7, I’m a sucker for a big dumb comedy rumble.
We don’t even know who all will be in this thing, as the graphic has many silhouettes that are unfilled. (There’s even a silhouette for the Eiffel Tower, so watch out for his big debut.) I’d imagine we’ll get a bunch of surprises here.
According to Veda Scott’s video on GCW’s YouTube channel, competitors in the match can only be eliminated by pinfall or death. If what that means is we’re getting a weird comedy deathmatch battle royal… let’s just say I’m not unenthused. Prediction: Invisible Man
GCW Championship Match
“The Bulldozer” Matt Tremont vs “The War King” Eddie Kingston
We have another match between two big dudes that will clobber each other. This one is for the GCW Championship, which means it’s probably going to get a good amount of time. Unfortunately, I think that means it won’t be as good as Callihan and Kyle the Beast’s match from earlier in the show.
This won’t be the worst match on the show, but I’m not going to be surprised if it’s everyone’s least favorite. I do enjoy Eddie Kingston, but I can’t get too excited for this. That Kingston hasn’t worked for the promotion since 2004 when it was still Jersey Championship Wrestling likely tips the result here, as well. Prediction: Matt Tremont
Matt Riddle vs Dan “The Beast” Severn
This is a booking that is so weird and bizarre it’s brilliant. Sure, Matt Riddle and Dan Severn are both former MMA fighters, but that is about where the similarities lie. I just have no idea what this is going to look like. I’m sure they’ll do some grappling, but Severn is just SO much bigger than Riddle. Riddle spent most of his time at welterweight (170 pounds), with a few Ultimate Fighter bouts at middleweight (185 pounds). Severn was a heavyweight and a relatively large one at that.
It’ll be interesting to see Riddle be so much smaller than his opponent here and how he will be able to deal with that in the ring. We’ve all been high on Riddle’s abilities for over a year now; this will be the test to really see where he’s at. Can he carry an opponent to a good match? We’ll find out Thursday. Prediction: Matt Riddle
Janela’s Dream Match
Joey Janela vs Marty Jannetty
Speaking of carrying opponents, Joey Janela main events the show against Marty Jannetty. At the end of 2016, Janela ran a joke GoFundMe campaign that set this match up. Facebook had reminded him that at the end of 2013 he had posted a list of people he wanted to wrestle in 2014. On that list, the only person he hadn’t faced was Marty Janetty. This Thursday, Joey finally gets his wish.
This is not going to be a good wrestling match, unless Janela’s found a time machine. It will likely be overbooked and wacky and be a Moment™ to remember from this weekend. And, after all, isn’t that what this is all about? Prediction: Joey Janela