Game Changer Wrestling
Joey Janela’s Spring Break 4
October 10, 2020
Marion County Fairgrounds
Indianapolis, IN

Watch: Fite.TV

Joey Janela’s Spring Break has become the most celebrated event of the independent wrestling year. It’s turned into a brand, combining wacky dream matches, wild spectacle and current trends into shows that are unlike anything else. While last year’s lineup prominently featured a plethora of international talent, this year GCW was forced to look inward. Instead, the focus is putting current GCW talent in dream matches against stars that were on the indies not too long ago. On paper, this feels like GCW’s version of a loaded PWG show, with their own twists of course. Adding to the prestige of the show is the voice of Lenny Leonard, who joins Dave Prazak and Kevin Gill on the call.

Immediately, champion Rickey Shane Page’s music hit. GIGANTIC “Fuck Ohio” chants broke out, much louder than anything else from the Collective so far. For those not familiar, Page and his group 44OH have been wreaking havoc over GCW for the past year, stealing the GCW Title and feuding with GCW’s top star, Nick Gage (who is out with an injury sustained in July). Page put out an open challenge and announced that H2O student Marcus Mathers would get the shot, then berated Mathers as soon as he came through the curtain and said he’s not going to actually wrestle him. Then RSP called out son of ECW legend 911, calling him 411, who was swarmed and attacked by Page’s 44OH cronies. Then Danhausen’s music hit, and the real challenger appeared… until 44OH again attacked and dragged Danhausen to the back. FINALLY, AEW star Orange Cassidy appeared, and the challenge was finally accepted.

Orange Cassidy def. Rickey Shane Page

As soon as the bell rang, both men left the ring. Cassidy did some of his trademark spots early including the full roll across the ring and wrestling with his hands in his pockets until he was slowed down by a meddling Gregory Iron. This led to an extended beat down segment by RSP and 44OH. Cassidy mounted a comeback by hitting his famous lazy strikes. At first this bugged me – I understand that it is a routine that the crowd always love, but it initially killed the momentum of the match for me by replacing an actual good comeback. I spoke too soon, though, as RSP countered with a Choke Breaker attempt that Cassidy escaped and immediately followed with a tope to the rest of 44OH on the outside. Orange’s comeback continued, with more dives and near falls, until RSP hit the Choke Breaker for a near fall. RSP tried to use OC’s dreaded orange juice mist, but the attempt backfired, leading to Iron taking the orange mist instead. OC then cradled RSP for the upset win over the current GCW champion.  ***¼ – This was a fun opener with a good crowd. Orange Cassidy’s act didn’t overstay its welcome here, and 44OH all stooged in the right way. A fun start to the show.

Next is an awesome video package building up Matt Tremont’s final GCW match later on. Seek this out.

Iron Beast (Shane Mercer & KTB) def The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz)

Iron Beast began teaming this summer and have been a perfect fit. Mercer and KTB compliment each other well and really give each other some direction and focus in the company after each have floated around a bit over the past few years. Here they meet their biggest test since teaming, Impact’s Rascalz. KTB immediately charged at Xavier, who was too quick. After more high flying double teams, KTB caught Wentz in midair and threw him at Xavier. The most fun thing about IB so far are their double team moves, as listed below:

  1. KTB monkey flipped Xavier into Mercer’s arms, who belly-to-belly suplexed Xavier into a tree of woe’d Wentz in the corner. 
  2. Mercer caught Wentz in mid-handspring, then belly-to-back suplexed him into a waiting KTB, who then hit a powerbomb.
  3. Mercer gorilla press slammed Wentz over KTB’s head onto his opposite shoulder, which led to a gut buster.
  4. Each caught a Rascal on the outside while attempting a flying tope, then threw them into each other.
  5. Mercer caught Xavier in a cross-body attempt, then used KTB’s hands as a launch pad and hit a flipping body slam.

The Rascalz countered this strength with speed and isolation. At one point, Wentz took advantage of this strategy, hitting a head scissors on KTB mid-throw and launching him into a spear of his own opponent, Mercer. Xavier came in on the hot tag and ran rampant. Another time, they isolated KTB and bombarded him with kicks. They hit their signature assisted standing moonsault, but only got a 2. Xavier tried to tope both opponents, but didn’t realize they were holding a door and dove headfirst into it. It didn’t break, causing his head to just bounce off. Finally, KTB got Wentz into a power bomb and threw him into an awaiting Mercer German suplex for the victory. ***¾ – This match was a lot of fun. Iron Beast are emerging as one of the hottest acts in GCW. They immediately stand out as one of the best teams in the U.S. and should be booked everywhere immediately. This match had some sloppy moments at times, but told a fun story of the smaller, quicker team just not having enough to take down the stronger one.

Jonathan Gresham def. Lee Moriarty

This is a complete guess, but I’d have to think that this is the only show so far this year that’s featured ROH, Impact and AEW talent on the same show. Both men shook hands before locking up. They went back and forth with various holds and counters to feel each other out. It was immediately apparent that Moriarty could go toe-to-toe with Gresham. Sometimes guys who aren’t great technicians get sucked into these types of exchanges and it doesn’t look very crisp. That’s not the case here, as everything looks smooth, snug and slick. Moriarty even pulled out some World of Sport-esque counters to Gresham’s techniques. Gresham hit a monkey flip, but Moriarty didn’t even let go of his grip on the wrist, which was a really nifty little spot. Often, Gresham is the flashier grappler in his matches. He does so many cool little holds and transitions, it’s difficult for someone to outclass him. However, Moriarty does a really good job of using similar offense that looks just as good. He’s a natural rival to Gresham. Moriarty jumped to the top rope and double stomped Gresham’s arm, which looked really cool. Gresham relentlessly attacked Moriarty’s arm himself, leading to various exchanges of each trying to get the upper hand neutralizing the arm. Moriarty even used’s Gresham’s kicking armlock move. After a mostly respectful match, the aggression ramped up, with a heated kick exchange towards the other’s injured arm. Gresham finally began hitting running elbows on a sitting Moriarty, but Moriarty kicked out three times in a row, causing the crowd to rise to their feet. Finally, Gresham locked in an octopus hold and elbowed Moriarty in the head, leading to Moriarty tapping out.  ****¼ – This match truly rocked. Moriarty absolutely needs to be on every wrestling fan’s radar. He’s the next great technical wrestling star. He completely gelled with Gresham and didn’t seem out of place at all. This should be the first of many matches between the two. Any fan of the mid-2010s Evolve style needs to see this match.

Afterwards, Gresham invites Moriarty to Ring of Honor.

Team Pazuzu (Chris Dickinson, Santana & Ortiz) def. Blake Christian, Alex Zayne & Jordan Oliver

Proud and Powerful were showered with “EYFBO” chants throughout the match, harkening back to their history in Beyond Wrestling and the northeast indies. The veterans had the edge through the beginning stages of the match, with each getting their chance to control one of their younger opponents. At one point, we again saw a wrestler headscissor their opponent right into a spear for their own partner, this time with Christian into P&P. It didn’t look great in the last match, but I gave it a pass, as sometimes things just don’t go as envisioned. It still looked bad and forced here, though, so I have to encourage wrestlers to get rid of this spot. It just looks awkward and choreographed. Christian worked a large portion on the match in the middle. He’s really a developed a lot this year. Despite the aforementioned wonky spot, he’s gotten more natural in the ring and doesn’t seem like he’s thinking as much while wrestling. His big spots also generally look cleaner. The match progressed to some bigger sequences from the GCW team, including one cool moment that featured a Crunchwrap Supreme by Zayne followed immediately by a springboard 450 by Christian. Eventually, Christian called Dickinson into the ring for a brutal chop battle. Christian actually kept up with the bigger man. Oliver then took over and had his own battle with Dickinson. Christian missed a 450 splash, then Dickenson hit the lariat and Pazuzu Bomb for the win. ***½ – A good 6-man. The GCW team did a good job of sticking with the vets and overall looked good. 

Tony Deppen def. Alex Shelley

This was the only match on the show that was originally on the April card. Alex Shelley’s current role in the indie wrestling landscape is really cool. He’s had a long career and now wants to get the next generation of talent ready to completely take over. I’ve found myself watching him and noticing just how good he is at the little things; reactions, positioning, pacing, everything. He is an easy guy to take for granted because of how long he’s been active, but he’s still at the top of his game. He does a good job of making Deppen look good here. Eventually, Shelley hit a Shellshock into the Border City Stretch, but it wasn’t enough. Shelley again attempts the submission, but Deppen countered with a cradle for the win. ***¼ – A solid match, not too flashy but filled its spot on the card well and had both guys looking good.

Lio Rush def. ACH

Rush made his return after announcing that he was going to retire in July. Surprisingly, this is only the second time these two have wrestled in a singles match despite overlapping in ROH and WWE. Both men have similar styles, so this delivered what you’d expect. In his other GCW matches, ACH fell into the grizzled vet cocky role, but this time he played it more straight. Rush was the question mark here, as his WWE career left a lot of questions as to how motivated he still is and how much he actually wants to wrestle. In this match, though, he was completely focused in and tried to deliver as much as he could. After a lot of back and forth, Rush hit a cool springboard cutter type of move from the bottom rope. The action escalated, leading to a very fast-paced sequence that featured a lot of kicks, dodges and evasions and ended with a Lio double stomp to the back of ACH. Rush went for the same springboard cutter, but this time ACH countered with a kick to the back right into a power bomb for a nearfall. Rush gained the momentum back, hit the Rush Hour followed by a big frog splash and scored the victory. ***¾ – This was exactly the match you’d expect between two of the most polished veterans on the indies right now. Both guys seemed clearly motivated and delivered.

Ricky Morton def. Joey Janela

Janela immediately took down Morton and mocked him by impersonating Morton’s most famous singles opponent, Ric Flair. After Morton got an upper hand, Janela had enough and grabbed a table from the outside and returned to the ring. Becoming increasingly frustrated with Morton’s attacks, Janela returned to the table and set it up right next to the ring. However, this was a mistake, as Morton gained control and piledrove Janela through the table. The damage was only temporary, as Janela recovered and had enough, quickly busting Morton open. Morton brought a door into the ring only for Janela to attempt to launch him through it. Unfortunately, Morton only bounced off. Then, Janela did a splash on a prone, door-covered Morton, but Morton kicked out for a big pop. In more allusions to the famous Flair vs. Morton feud, Janela locked in a Figure four leglock, but it wasn’t enough. Janela hit a superkick but again, not enough. Janela put Morton up on the turnbuckle, but that was a massive mistake, as Morton hit a CANADIAN DESTROYER for a huge pop. Janela again tried for the Figure Four, but Morton flipped it over this time, immediately causing Janela to tap. ***½ -These Janela Spring Break matches are always spectacles. Sometimes they can overstay their welcome or become a bit too ambitious, but this one was not. Morton is limited at his old age, but he still knows how to get the most out of what he’s doing. By the end, the crowd was super behind him and were reacting big to everything, which is all you can ask for.

Nate Webb wins the Clusterfuck

Listen, the purpose of this match is to be long, ridiculous, hard to keep track of, and, well, a clusterfuck, so I’m not going to even try to keep up and list every competitor or elimination. Instead, a list of high – and low – lights.

  • Sugar D dribbled JTG’s head off of the mat like a basketball
  • Starboy Charlie is 17 and looked to have real potential. He then got murdered by a double powerbomb from Violence is Forever
  • Kevin Ku cosplayed Super Dragon, complete with mask, and gave Allie Kat an absolutely sick curbstomp
  • Willow Nightingale threw a chair right at Ku’s head, which looked just as nasty
  • Levi Everett churned butter
  • Cassandro kissed Jimmy Lloyd on the lips
  • A very large man named Juicy Finau gorilla press slammed three men at the same time
  • Calvin Tankman eliminated both members of Violence is Forever at the same time by powerbombing Ku onto Garrini
  • Tankman hit a huge DVD on Juicy, and the ring didn’t break somehow
  • 44OH ran rampant, eliminating a bunch of people, until the Second Gear Crew came out and cleared the ring
  • Parrow repeatedly chokeslammed Solo Darling onto the back of her partner, Willow Nightengale, before eliminating both
  • The Invisible Man mad his epic return, eliminating Levi Everett, almost eliminating Parrow 
  • Marko Stunt eliminated his brother, Logan, who then eliminated Marko 
  • Yoshihiko and the Invisible Man squared off, with Yoshikhiko shockingly eliminating the Invisibile Man.
  • Atticus Cogar used a fireball
  • Nate Webb won after a moonsault Van Terminator onto Atticus Cogar

NR -A lot happened in this match, it was hard to keep track of, and I left out a lot. It was long and a mess, but it’s supposed to be. Your mileage may vary on the Clusterfuck, but I generally enjoy them for the spectacle they are. It’s impossible to rate or recommend, but it was fun enough.

Alex Colon def. Matt Tremont

Matt Tremont is the most important American deathmatch wrestler of the last decade. He brought a real, human element to a deathmatch scene that was a bit stagnant in the beginning of the decade and mixed that with a Dusty Rhodes-esque promo ability. He’s been just as important to the rise of GCW. Tremont’s 10-month-long title reign in 2017 helped establish GCW, and his legendary trilogy with Gage helped GCW rise to the next level. While he’s taken a step back in the company since, he still makes some appearances. Now, he is retiring at the end of October. His last GCW match is against 2-time Tournament of Survival winner Alex Colon. Colon is the current heart of the GCW deathmatch division. He’s the guy called on for big matches, so it’s very appropriate that he gets Tremont’s last match here.

Light tubes lined the ring ropes to start, but it did not take long for both men to rocket the other through them. They take the action to the floor, brawling through the socially distanced crowd. Tremont bodyslammed Colon through a chair. After more brawling, they returned to the ring. Colon started to carve the back of Tremont’s head with a tube. He charged at Tremont, but Tremont counters with a backdrop into a ladder draped on the turnbuckle. Colon hit a tornado DDT, then attacked with knee strikes onto tubes. While the action was happening in the ring, barbed wire tables were set up outside of the ring. Both men went to the apron, but Tremont was able to gain control and Samoan dropped Colon through the doors. Tremont was shredded by barbed wire and needed to be cut out. Still, the fight continued and made its way to the bleachers. More doors were set up right underneath an entranceway, giving Colon the perfect perch to jump off, crushing Tremont through the tables. They crawled back to the ring. Tremont still had some fight left and hit a DVD on Colon through a tube bundle. Colon hit a double stomp onto the top of a trashcan placed over Tremont’s head, but that wasn’t enough. A box of tubes was thrown into the ring, and a Kobashi vs. Sasaki-esque tube battle ensued. Colon finally won the exchange when he smashed a lighttube fan over Tremont’s head, but Tremont still won’t go down. Tremont then begs for Colon to put him out of his misery, spreads his arms and lets Colon smash one last tube fan over his head. Colon wins, and Tremont’s GCW career is over. ***1/2 – A fitting end to Tremont’s GCW career. Not his best match of his career, but they checked all of the boxes, with a memorable ending similar to “I’m sorry, I love you.”

Final Thoughts

Joey Janela’s Spring Break 4 was a very fun show. It was overly long, which is an issue with these Spring Break shows, but luckily the Clusterfuck was towards the end. Every match was at least good, and a few things were great. Also, I want to highlight how great Lenny Leonard was on commentary. He brought a real legitimacy to GCW’s sometimes spotty commentary, and I hope that he comes back. Overall, GCW made the best of a bad year and delivered a Spring Break show that fits well alongside the others, albeit a few months late.

Best match: Lee Moriarty vs. Jonathan Gresham