Perhaps the weirdest show of WrestleMania weekend came with the wackiest line-up – a late Thursday-night card presented by cult favourite Joey Janela in association with Game Changer Wrestling. Yep, it’s Joey Janela’s Spring Break!
Now, I’ll be honest. I’ve not seen Joey Janela wrestle. Heck, aside from a documentary on him, all I’ve heard is word of mouth… except it’s from mouths I trust, so this should be quite the show. Some previews said that this show may be best experienced under the influence. I’m going in after having been awake for 22 hours straight, so that’ll have to do!
We have a weird open, with footage of Joey Janela being asked about his obsession with wrestling Marty Jannetty, and then we skip ahead to him fundraising with a tin can in the street. He’s licking a teapot (not a euphemism) that he bought with those coins, and now he’s summoned… GENIE SCOTT HALL?! Of course, one of those wishes has Janela asking for a match with Marty Jannetty – and we’re go! Complete with a hard rock rendition of the WCW Monday Nitro theme and a bunch of fans who are nuts… or drunk. Or both!
Sami Callihan vs. KTB (Kyle The Beast)
All action to begin with – a low-pe cuts off KTB, who looks like a Poundland Joe Coffey on first impressions. Kyle returns with a tope of his own… but Callihan returns the favour as we have a bunch of dives to get us going.
Callihan throws a beach ball at KTB, but it doesn’t faze him… some chops do though, including a spittle-laden chop. A big boot knocks KTB through the crowd barriers, but Kyle replies with a big boot as Sami was going to do a lap of honour. KTB takes over with a slingshot senton for a near-fall, but Callihan quickly got back into the groove with a series of boots in the corner, before rolling through a German suplex attempt for a near-fall. An Air Raid Crash follows, but the back and forth sees Callihan have to kick out of a swinging Samoan drop, then go back with some forearms, only to take a spear.
KTB gives us a Jackhammer for a near-fall as he went all Goldberg on us… then did something distinctly un-Goldberg, by being forced down from a superplex attempt, then block a sunset flip powerbomb and instead take a Cheeky Nando’s Big Boot! A powerbomb out of the corner follows for a two-count, but he moves to a Stretch Muffler for the tap-out. Well, this was something… I wouldn’t call it memorable, but it didn’t stink either. **
Something tells me this is going to be a show full of moments rather than good matches!
After the match, Callihan put over Kyle The Beast as someone who’d never had a chance to shine until tonight… then led a chant of “Beast” as he was given his moment in the sun.
Braxton Sutter & Allie vs. Andy Williams & Penelope Ford
Andy Williams has flirted with wrestling before – and he’s had a couple of matches too, aside from his usual gig with Every Time I Die. Allie screeches in the microphone to introduce herself and Braxton, then punks out Andy for invading “her ring”.
Williams dumps Allie on her neck with a clothesline, so Sutter boots Ford… the two lads brawl outside the ring, as a DOOR comes into play, with Sutter’s suplex being reversed, as Williams puts the Impact star through a door. In the ring, Allie and Ford go at it, with a sliding forearm in the corner getting the former Cherry Bomb some two-counts. Ford gets in perhaps the worst Bronco Buster on record before Sutter clotheslines her… Andy Williams comes back in for a chokeslam, but he’s given a low blow by Allie, and a Sliced Bread for a near-fall. The Impact-ers team up to chip Williams in the ropes, then the two women hit a simultaneous facebuster on each other.
Allie lands a superkick on Williams, but Ford comes in with a Stunner, before she Matrix’s out of a clothesline and uses some headscissors to take Sutter into the corner. A double handspring ace crusher follows from Ford, before Williams hits a chokeslam, then assists with a moonsault as Penelope Ford scores the in. Eh, it was what it was… very rough around the edges, but a spectacle nevertheless. *½
Anything Goes for GCW Championship: Eddie Kingston vs. Matt Tremont (c)
That’s Eddie Kingston, not “Do A Flip” Travis Gordon, as the chyron said. Tremont turns this into a falls count anywhere match, and he pulls out a couple of boards in lieu of a table… oh, and another door?! Who went to Home Depot?
Tremont gets thrown into the ringpost, and yes, that’s an excuse for a blade job. The door gets popped up in the corner, whilst those boards are propped up elsewhere as Tremont sprays blood, and also sprays himself into the door in the corner. Yep, it broke.
Kingston grabs a fork to make Tremont bleed some more… he flops across the middle rope for some more forking, then gets taken to the outside where Tremont grabs some wood to try and carve Eddie up with. They go into the crowd, and of course, the cameras struggle to follow this as they tease Tremont being thrown off of an entry way.
They seem to find their way to another table, and I think Kingston suplexes Tremont through it. You can barely see the table through the bodies, but someone’s phone screen has a better view than the cameraman! Tremont brings the fight back to ringside where he has fans cowering as he’s almost decking them with a board. Eventually he props it between the apron and the crowd barrier, then gets sent off the top rope through it… because. Wrestling.
Out of nowhere, that last board gets used as Tremont hits a death valley driver on Kingston, and this is mercifully over. This was all Tremont bleeding and being thrown through stuff, then winning when he hit ONE move. ¼*
Joey Janela’s Spring Break Clusterf**k: Travis Gordon vs. Facade vs. John Silver vs. Veda Scott vs. Bryan Idol vs. Crazy Boy vs. Jervis Cottonbelly vs. Invisible Man vs. Jimmy Lloyd vs. Arik Cannon vs. Glacier vs. Dink vs. Ethan Page
You win by pinfall, submission… OR DEATH. Well, I was saying wrestling needs more squashes “by homicide”. It looks like this is under Rumble rules, with staggered entries? Gordon gets caught in a kip-up loop to avoid non-existent clotheslines, and then we get… John Silver coming out.
“Number One” John Silver throws everyone around the ring, then hits a double suplex as Veda Scott comes in with some chops. Gordon barely connects her with a superkick… Silver makes sure, and now we get Bryan Idol with Candy Cartwright. Sadly, she’s not in this. Facade throws in a springboard 450 to the floor, then his valet Dani throws in a cannonball off the top as DTU’s Crazy Boy comes out next. Random luchadors for the win!
Facade and Crazy Boy work some spots in the ring, with Crazy getting a near-fall from a roll-up. Next up is Jervis Cottonbelly, because why not? He runs into John Silver with a swimming noodle, before he tickles Veda and referee Bryce Remsburg in the belly. The Invisible Man’s up next, and yes, Cottonbelly bumps for him! Hell, everyone does…
Except Silver, who tries to suplex him, but Invisible Man backdrops free. Veda Scott and her busted nose takes a German suplex, before Facade works some boo/yay punches. WHICH THE CROWD PLAY ALONG WITH. I need more alcohol for this… Facade bumps inside out from a clothesline, then takes a DDT as the No Mercy game music signals the arrival of Jimmy Lloyd, who quickly “terminates” Gordon with a pumphandle driver.
Apparently this is elimination now, as Lloyd tries to clothesline Veda, then takes a superkick as busted-up-Veda turns her sights to John Silver. John gives her a brainbuster, before Idol’s forced to kick out of a Ligerbomb. He squeezes Cottonbelly’s arse during a hug… Jervis faints, but he recovers to hit a belly-to-belly for a two-count. Arik Cannon (or is it Bryan Kendrick?) enters with a few cans… Silver has a can, but it just allows him to take a Stunner for the beer spray as he’s eliminated next.
Our next entrant is GLACIER! Everyone feeds him for chops, whilst Crazy Boy takes a boot for the elimination… although it didn’t look like he meant to take a fall there. Oh well. This match is living up to its name. Out next… Dink! Complete with Evil Doink music! Cottonbelly tries to hug Glacier, but in the end Dink ends up stamping on Veda’s foot and then bites her arse. Dink just walks out on the match, and gets eliminated for it, as Veda DDTs Cannon, and now here’s “All Ego” Ethan Page with the Gatekeepers.
Page eliminates Veda with a spinning Dwayne, but the Invisible Man takes All Ego to town! Back and forth chops in the corner lead to a whip across the ring, before Page takes over with a Border Toss onto a pile on the floor. This is… something. I need more alcohol stat! And it’s 630am when I’m writing this part… Page kills the Invisible Man with a slam, and that’s the next man out.
Jimmy Lloyd tries to use a chair on Page, but the tables are turned until Facade hits a rope-walking leg kick. Facade tries for a springboard Destroyer, but it works for an elimination… Facade goes next, courtesy of Cannon, and Cannon’s brainbuster gets rid of Idol too. Glacier eliminates Cannon, but before we can get Glacier vs. Ethan Page, we have… MORTAL KOMBAT DANCE OFF! That distracts Glacier for long enough for Ethan Page to roll him up, and he’s announced the sole survivor. But apparently not, as Lloyd is still in this, in the true spirit of a cluster f**k!
Page tries to kill Lloyd with chairs and bits of broken table, before he’s thrown through some doors, but he kicked out at two as Page summoned his Gatekeepers to do his bidding. “All Ego” destroys Lloyd with o an Iconoclasm through the door… but again Jimmy won’t stay down. Bald Gatekeeper dives onto the other two as Lloyd escapes, then gives Page the belly-to-back piledriver… and Jimmy Lloyd WINS! How the hell do I rate that? It lived up to its name, that’s for sure… it was sloppy as hell and fell apart often. *½
Note – Joey Janela revealed after the show that they tried to get Akeem for this match, but things fell through with the African Dream… It was also at this point that I fell asleep, so we’re watching the on-demand version since WWN’s coverage of PROGRESS bombed big-time.
Lio Rush vs. Keith Lee
Rush is forced to avoid a load of punches early, as this threatened to be a clone of Lee’s match with Ricochet a few hours earlier at EVOLVE.
Lee is blow bridged to the outside, but he catches a dive and ends up powerbombing Lio on the apron. Back inside, Lio’s headscissors get thrown off into a facebuster, before Lee throws him into the turnbuckles and to the floor. Yeah, this isn’t going to hit the heights we saw earlier…
Rush barely beat the count, but he kept taking his shots at the much bigger Lee, with a big boot looking to set up for a Fireman’s carry… only for Rush to get bodied with a one-handed chokeslam for a near-fall. Lee’s caught on the top rope but he catches a corner enziguiri and shoves Rush back down again… only for Lio to pop up and finally score with a death valley driver!
Rush hits a frog splash… but Lee powers him out at the count of one, sending Lio into the air like bread from an overactive toaster. Undeterred, Rush keeps kicking away, but one of those leads to a ref bump – and everyone’s calling for Earl Hebner! Lee drills Rush with a Spirit Bomb, and now Bryce pops up to count a near-fall – to a loud boo as the crowd wanted Earl to do his run-in! Rush again catches Lee on the top rope, but the sunset flip bomb is easily blocked, only for Rush to get that powerbomb out of the corner anyway.
Rush pulls Lee up for some chops, but of course Lee fights back and kills Lio with some of his own. A top rope Spirit Bomb’s countered into a ‘rana by Lio, who then goes up for a trio of Frog Splashes… and that’s enough for the win! That’s two-for-two in Keith Lee matches I’d have picked a different result on, especially given how much Rush was being beaten on… but this was a fine David vs. Goliath outing that ultimately won’t have much bearing in anything down the line. ***¼
Joey Janela vs. Marty Jannetty
Such restraint from Joey to not book himself in the main event of his own show! Janela’s out with a zebra cap a la Shawn Michaels, and my word, Marty has NOT aged well. The last I heard, his ankles were shot, and given how gingerly he was moving to the bottom rope, I can believe that’s still the case.
There’s a lot of boo/yay cheer spots, but we start with Janela cheap-shotting Jannetty, but by this point it’s clear this is a tired crowd. Perhaps they forgot to keep drinking? Janela hits a couple of lap-of-honour big boots into a seated Jannetty, but it’s met with an almost muted silence. The crowd react when Janela takes a hiptoss into the chair though, but Joey recovers back in the ring as he stomps away on Jannetty’s ankle.
Joey calls for a superkick… but down goes the ref! Janela goes for a Sharpshooter, and now we get… not Earl Hebner, as a second ref comes down and gets punched out. A third takes a tombstone, before a fourth gets punched again as Excalibur calls out the fan in a Newcastle shirt. A fifth ref gets piledriven onto another, and NOW we get Earl Hebner! He’s in his TNA ref’s shirt, and they tease the Montreal finish again…
Hebner refuses, and shoves Joey to the mat, so Joey shoves him down. Now another guy comes out, in a nWo-rip-off tee and a lucha mask. Masked man kicks Janela low as the second clusterf**k returns, and oh my god, it’s Virgil! That barely gets a response, and Janela just smashes him to the outside.
What the hell did I just see? Marty Jannetty hitting a Destroyer for a near-fall, that’s what! He takes a big splash from Joey for a near-fall, landing perfectly among a pile of refs, before Joey goes under the ring for some chairs. One of them becomes an impromptu crash pad as Jannetty moves away from a cannonball senton as he was sat on the chair… a Rocker Dropper gets Marty a near-fall, but Janela finally hits a superkick for the win. But they play Marty’s music. Clusterf**k!! All smoke and mirrors, but fun for what it was! **
Matt Riddle vs. Dan Severn
Riddle, who’d had his hair corn-row’d since EVOLVE, was seconded by David Starr. Whilst Severn had his own entourage… one to carry every belt he had won. Unlike Marty, Severn has aged really well, and he trash talks Riddle from the off.
Of course, they take this to the mat immediately, with Riddle getting the ropes as Severn tried for an armbar, before Severn rolled into the ropes as the roles were reversed. “The Beast” grabs a knee bar to force Riddle to reach the ropes, then roll to the floor as the commentary jokingly called for a dive.
When Riddle returned, the pair exchanged chops until Severn threw Riddle to the mat… heck, this is surprisingly all Severn here, as he tried for a Dragon Sleeper, but Riddle collapses to free himself of the hold. A headlock takedown gets Riddle on top, and in search of an armbar, but Severn again gets the ropes to force another rope break.
Severn ducks a kick and follows up with a German suplex… of course, Riddle pops back up, then does it again before dropping Dan with a bridging German for a near-fall. Some more knees soften up Riddle for a Dragon sleeper, but he flips out and elbows Severn before taking him into the Bromission… and there’s the submission. A pretty decent main event, exactly the style you’d expect and not too long. ***½
If you’re a “workrate fan”, this is NOT the show for you. This was a long show that started off with some drunk, rowdy fans… who quickly sobered up. Presumably the bar closed as the long show wore on… That being said, if you like goofy, wacky wrestling with some good matches in there, then it’s well worth your time. Ignore the star ratings and just sit back and bask in the absurdity. You know what you’re getting going in.