For the Culture was a fine but uninspired show that underdelivered at certain points despite the presence of talents like AJ Gray, Darius Lockhart, Trish Adora, Bryan Keith, Mysterious Q, and more.

Big Swole looks like a star and has all the personality you could ask for, but she still has the same problem she had in AEW: She works very soft. Steelz looked decent against her. This was roughly an average match.

We then had the legally required GCW scramble. Somehow, Michael Oku, fresh off a Meltzer five-star match, was slotted here. There were some decently impressive spots in this, but like most GCW multi-man matches, it was lacking an overall structure to help make it feel special. I preferred the one from the first night of Joey Janela’s Spring Break.

HitMakerZ and Shane Taylor Promotions was an intriguing match heading in, with it being a fairly rare indy show for the HitMakerZ. O’Shay Edwards and Taylor worked really well and Tehuti Miles sold a lot. There was a lot of work done to make AJ Francis look like an impressive big guy, and he certainly had his moments – I think his highlight was an Asai moonsault of the second rope onto a pile.

Trish Adora shows she’s a very solid worker, and MJ Jenkins showed a lot of charisma while working decently. They put together a solid match that both should be proud of.

There were two matches I was specifically disappointed by – AJ Gray vs. Darius Lockhart, and the Bryan Keith/JTG/Mysterious Q/Zenshi four corners match. The former felt like it didn’t hit top gear despite the talent of the two workers, and there was a really sudden finish that came out of nowhere without any build. The four corners match had some good moves, but didn’t actually feel like it had any structure. When an announcer says “oh, that’s the finish” like he was taken off guard by that being it, it’s not a good sign for how you finished the bout.

I will give praise to Billy Dixon & Hoodfoot now. I typically don’t like death matches, but these two worked an intense bout and made it feel like they were in a fight they wanted to win. The last few minutes in particular were quite good.

Overall, I left this slightly disappointed. There were a couple matches I had higher hopes for than what they delivered; the only match I’d give any particularly strong recommendation to checking out was the main.

Match ratings

Tasha Steelz def. Big Swole *3/4

Michael Oku def. Andino, Carlie Bravo, Ju Dizz, Keita, PB Smooth, & Trey Shaw **3/4

O’Shay Edwards & Shane Taylor def. AJ Francis & Tehuti Miles ***

Trish Adora def. MJ Jenkins ***

AJ Gray def. Darius Lockhart **3/4

Bryan Keith def. JTG, Mysterious Q, & Zenshi ***

Hoodfoot def. Billy Dixon ***3/4

You can follow Fred on Twitter @flagrantrasslin and get more of his writing on Patreon.