From the ashes of NOVA Pro comes the latest GCW outing in the Collective, as Orange Cassidy did something, or whatever…

Originally penned as a NOVA Pro show, that company’s closure left a hole in the Saturday afternoon of the Collective’s schedule. Step forward Orange Cassidy and GCW to fill it with a line-up that kept some of NOVA’s original bookings and promised a lot more wackiness. We open promptly with orange Cassidy coming down to the ring as the crowd were still filing in. They pull a fan from the crowd to ring announce, who looks suspiciously like former CHIKARA announcer Louden Noxious… Denver Colorado and Sarah Shockey are on commentary from the White Eagle Hall in Jersey City.

Swamp Monster Lumberjack Match: Allie Kat vs. Shotzi Blackheart vs. Kris Statlander vs. Saraya Knight
We’ve got Swamp Monsters surrounding the ring, and this is an elimination match too.

Allie Kat opens up asking Saraya to scratch her belly, but instead she gets kicked in the… yeah. There’s kicks for Statlander too, before Shotzi got charged into the corner for a snapare as those Swamp Lumberjacks were doing a horrible job of returning wrestlers to the ring. Instead, they’re there to catch Shotzi as Saraya threw her off the top rope. Statlander comes in to steal a pin, as Saraya struggled to comprehend what was going on. Everyone gangs up on Saraya, charging at her in the corner before a snapmare, a kick, and a pile on led to the first elimination. Saraya punks out the Swamp Monsters on her way out, as Statlander used her extra terrestrial powers to have Allie Kat and Shotzi run into each other.

There’s a Saito suplex from Blackheart who tripped Statlander into the ropes as all three women ended up outside among the useless lumberjacks… who somehow delay Shotzi’s back senton off the apron as they caught her and crowd surf her around the ring. Second time’s the charm as Shotzi dives off the apron into Statlander and Kat, before a stomp in the ring missed. Instead, Statlander gets taken into the corner for a 619, before a back senton off the top landed flush for a near-fall. We’re down to Shotzi and Allie, and there’s a quick clash of heads in the corner. With Shotzi on the apron, she throws forearms, only to get caught in the ropes for a series of claws across the chest before she got headbutted to the outside.

Allie Kat crowdsurfs into the Swamp Monsters on a tope as Shotzi somehow got out of the way… back inside, Shotzi lands a chinbreaker before catching Allie with a body splash in the corner. A DDT out of the corner led to a near-fall as everyone seems to be backing Allie Kat, before another back senton off the top from Shotzi misses, allowing Allie Kat to finish her off with a piledriver. Decent opener, and it’s good to see the lumberjacks had Orange Cassidy’s zest for life too! **½

Good to see Louden Noxious has had his annual dose of caffeine today.

Best Seven of Thirteen Falls: Logan Easton Laroux vs. Chris Brookes
Laroux’s part of the 1 Percenters in the (now deceased) NOVA, “which means he’s a rich racist”, according to DC on commentary. I’m howling.

The crowd here were more than amped to see Brookes, who got himself DQ’d early with a low blow as Laroux went 1-0 up in seconds. Thee crowd want it six more times, but Lykos comes in and does it next, as Laroux takes a 2-0 lead. Brookes pulls one back straight away with an Octopus for the submission, before chops looked to pin Laroux into the corner. Laroux goes for a sunset flip, but Brookes staggers then sits down on him for 2-2… only for Laroux to reverse it for 3-2. 3-3. 4-3. 4-4. 5-4. 5-5. 6-5. 6-6… and then there’s a kick-out as we’re into sudden death!

Laroux plants Brookes in the corner with a dropkick before a brainbuster drew a near-fall. The pair trade Octopus stretches as they looked for the final fall, before Lykos blinded Bryce Remsburg with a second Lykos mask. Brookes tries to low blow Laroux with no ref, but it’s caught as a superkick lands… but nobody can count as Bryce still has the mask on his head. Laroux tries to help, but Lykos comes in… and gets popped up into a low blow before Brookes ate a cutter. Before he did an Eddie Guerrero and faked out a low blow, just as the ref got the mask off. The crowd go along with it, but Bryce doesn’t make the call, so Brookes wins with Death By Roll-up. ALL THE GODDAMNED STARS.

Jansport Backpack Orange Cassidy Invitational Scramble: Jigsaw vs. Sonny Defarge vs. Tony Deppen vs. Jake Atlas vs. Dan Champion vs. Lucky 13 vs. Air Wolf
Winner gets a partially used gift certificate for Friendlys Restaurant. Deppen gets a heroes welcome, despite beating up a man with no legs the night before… in among the entrances, you can hear DC complaining about how long entrances are going as he buries left, right and centre.

Denver Colorado loses his mind as everyone dropkicked Dan Champion out of the ring, as we “settle down” to Jake Atlas and Tony Deppen flipping around. A monster of a chop set up Deppen for a springboard lucha armdrag, before he hit one of his own as we eventually reach a stand-off. Submissions follow as Jigsaw and Air Wolf look for a tap out, while commentary looks at the Jansport catalogue live on air. There’s a sweet dropsault off the apron from Air Wolf, while Lucky 13 hit a moonsault double knees onto Defarge for a near-fall. Ow. A discus knee strike traps 13 in the corner, as does a back body drop, while Dan Champion comes in to break up the cover. He’s mocked (deservedly) on commentary, as he caught 13 on a crossbody before turning it into a suplex/uranage backbreaker that bounced Lucky. Christ almighty!

A TKO bounces Deppen next, while Jigsaw took a suplex… ahead of Atlas leaping into a chokeslam as Champion hosses up. Champion teases a dive, but Atlas and 13 pull him to the outside instead, before Deppen sent himself three rows deep with a nice tope con giro!13 has a corkscrew moonsault off the top next, before Atlas’ springboard cartwheel splash finds its mark. Oh hey, Dan Champion gets a go, and the big guy flew with a crossbody! WOAH. Back inside, Dan blocks an Atlas ‘rana, but Jigsaw broke up a pin from a powerbomb with a double stomp as a senton bomb from 13 broke up Jigsaw’s German suplex. Deppen crushes 13 in the corner with a splash, before a slingshot backcracker back into the ring nearly wins it.

Atlas cracks Deppen with a forearm before he cartwheels into a cutter, leaving Deppen groggy for a LGBDDT (cartwheel DDT off the top rope), but it’s still not enough as Air Wolf breaks it up. Air Wolf throws Atlas with a German suplex, then with a one man Spanish fly, as it was Defarge’s turn to break stuff up. A killer lariat from Defarge splits Wolf around for a near-fall, because Dan Champion’s back to do Dan Champion things. Like laugh at Tony Deppen’s posing, which earns him some chops and a toss into the front row! Jigsaw blocks a second one, as he then proceeded to catch Defarge with a Jig ‘n’ Tonic… and that’s all folks! I love myself a frantic, insane scramble, and this was every bit of that. Jigsaw wins the $16.37 Friendlys gift card, which I’m sure is more prestigious than some titles floating around these days. This was amazing, and you all need to stop and watch it. ****

5 O’Clock Somewhere Last Person Standing Match: Nate Webb vs. Martina
Every thirty seconds, you gotta chug a beer… this is going to be something special. Especially because Nate is chugging beers during his entrance.

Yeah, of course Martina’s got a four-pack, as she’s apparently relocated to the bar. Seems legit. “God help us all, ring the bell”, says Bryce as we start with Martina and Nate clubbing away as if they spilt each other’s pints. We have our first drinking break, and they’re already pissed. There’s a punch from Martina, who again windmills towards Bryce looking for her drink, as it’s like chucking out time now. We’re shouting “drink” more than Father Jack Hackett here, as both of them have another swig before collapsing to the mat.

Webb slips outside as Martina prepped for a dive… but she ends up running for a 30 second slot. Just in time to have another swig, before she again fell flat on her face. That’s a cue for Webb to get some chairs from under the ring, as we end up in a sit-down fight, ending with Webb smashing a can over Martina’s head. Just in time for another drink.

Martina sprays it in Webb’s face before kicking him out of the chair as we had a submission broken up by a beer spray. Somehow Martina finds it in her to land a satellite DDT on Webb, before heading up top for a Seshbreaker that wrecked Webb for a near-fall. DRINK! A full nelson facebuster from Webb dumps Martina, before a superplex was stopped by the need for beer. The move comes off, but instead we end with the pair clocking each other with a clothesline at the same time… landing with an arm on each other as we had a double pin. I’ll drink to that! Another cracker here – not a technical classic, but come on, what did you expect? **½

NOVA Dodgeball Challenge: Veda Scott, Shazza McKenzie, Jeff Cannonball, Daniel Makabe & Sage Phillips vs. Faye Jackson, Wheeler YUTA, Terra Calaway, Arik Royal & Red Eagle
The team captains, Veda Scott and Faye Jackson, picked sides before the match. Of course, MJF wasn’t picked as we had an odd number of wrestlers. So he takes the dodgeballs hostage and throws a tantrum, leaving through an emergency exit.

The crowd boos when they’re told they get a wrestling match. MAGIC. Jeff Cannonball misses a splash as he tried to flatten his wife… luckily, Terra didn’t miss, and now he sits in the corner in a temper. YUTA comes flying into Cannonball as we’re firmly in the Revolving Door mode. There’s another dropkick for Shazza as things go far too quickly to call. Arik Royal spikes Yuta like a basketball, before Makabe’s taken down with a simple armdrag from the blue Red Eagle.

Eventually we came down to the team captains which meant Veda got squashed with a hip attack in the corner. A forearm send Faye outside as Veda uses the ref for a rope walk dive, followed by Red Eagle’s cannonball off the apron, then a Sage Phillips lowpe, a Shazza crossbody… and a huge tope con giro from Arik Royal! Makabe tries to steal the match as he cut off a dive from YUTA with an abdominal stretch, only for Terra Calaway to find a dodgeball and throw it at Makabe, who then got thrown outside. Dodgeball time follows as YUTA threw one, then himself into the pile, as fortunately nobody ducked or dodged any dives.

Jeff Cannonball tees up next, but he crashes off the ropes as Terra capitalises with a crossface as our submissions star, with the blue team eventually winning after Veda tapped out. Yep, another bloody insane match, and we even had a spot of dodgeball as the blue team won. I love me pro wrestling. ***½

Woah, Louden Noxious heels himself by trying to tell the crowd he’s glad we have wrestling and not dodgeball.

Teddy Hart’s Reading Rainbow
Out comes Teddy Hart next, along with Mr. Money, before he ragged on the ring announcer for stealing some of his outfit and “turning it into a scarf”. Teddy recounts how he was booked to read a book, as I just realise he was booked to have a live mic. This can only end well. Orange Cassidy came out to listen as finally Teddy reads the book, and I was fine with this until he threw a cat in the air.

Jonathan Gresham vs Shinjiro Otani
Time for something more serious now, and after a respectful handshake, we got going with Gresham getting tripped into a leg lock ahead of a rope break.

A chop exchange didn’t exactly favour Gresham, but he’s able to leap over and roll Otani down, following up with a punt to the arm and an armdrag as he tried to neutralise Otani’s left arm. They keep it pretty even on the mat, as Otani’s arm remained the focus of Gresham, but he’s taken into the ropes before Otani caught him with a boot and a legsweep. Otani sets up for face-washing boots in the corner on Gresham, before the running boot again wiped out his corner man. He should know better. Eventually Gresham comes back, bouncing off of Otani with a Quebrada before a corner dropkick got a near-fall. Another strike exchange broke out as Otani kept Gresham at arm’s length, before a Dragon suplex flipped Gresham onto his head for another close call.

A spinning powerbomb’s next, and that’s all she wrote! This was fun, but short – I think someone probably over-ran… but in terms of technical wrestling, this was exactly what you expected. More, please! ***¾

1 Minute Time Limit: Chuck Taylor vs. Trent?
The Best Friends come out together for this sixty seconds of excellence. We get going with Chuckie throwing his coat at Trent, who spits on it as the crowd counted along. They shove, bounce off the ropes, and I think this may be a classic. Bounce, bounce, bounce, stretch, stretch, stretch, and the time runs out as they lock up. MOTYC. Easily.

The crowd want five more seconds, and they get it… and after a slight timing botch, Trent rolls up Chuckie for the win! Chuckie gets mad afterwards, but gets some headscissors from the ref for good measure!

Before the main event, a random cast of characters comes out for a conga line, including Mr Brickster, Air Wolf and Marko Stunt. It’s the set-up for the main event, a Christmas Death match, which had BAUBLE BOARDS.

Christmas Death Match for GCW World Championship: Ultramantis Black vs. Nick Gage (c)
There’s a barb wired Christmas tree in this, and we start with Ultramantis charging down Gage with a shoulder charge, before a lucha roll sent UMB into the bauble board.

Another roll took Gage into the lit-up barbed wire tree, before Ultramantis was shotgun dropkicked into a barbed wire door. OW. The rest of the door’s thrown on UMB, who has the barbed wired door smashed into his knee, and the poor bastard’s tied up in the wire too. A low bridge from UMB takes Gage outside, as he’s still dealing with the barbed wire on his legs, before recovering for a cannonball off the apron! Yep, somebody’s drink went flying!

Gage throws a chair at UMB as he was running on the apron, and now the crowd has to scatter as Gage Brookes’d him towards the back of the room. Another chair’s hurled at UMB by the bar, before UMB’s thrown into the other side of the room, where Gage pulls out a barbed wire board from the ring… right by where fans were sitting. UMB has a board smashed into him like Gage was pounding in a nail with his hand. Again, UMB has to fight out of the wire, as he threw something at Gage, before Gage took him back into the ring for a twisting Vader bomb that landed on UMB’s knees. A bulldog comes next as UMB took Gage into a chair, before unplugging that barbed wire tree as a full nelson facebuster sent Gage into it for a near-fall.

Ultramantis finds another box in the corner – and it’s a big box o’ tacks! He ends up getting DDT’d in them for a near-fall, before Gage caught him in the corner with a face washing boot, and another Vader bomb elbow onto the Christmas tree. Some chairs get thrown in as Gage places the bauble board across them… then superplexes UMB through them for another two-count! An O’Connor roll took UMB into tacks, but he shrugs it off as he tries for a Praying Mantis Bomb, only for Gage to land a uranage backbreaker into the tacks for the win. Thankfully not as gory as the deathmatch at Spring Break, but still mightily plunderiffic. ***

Post-match, MJF slides in, still salty about not being picked for dodgeball, and lays out Gage with a chair. He complains about the fans not knowing “real wrestling if it slapped him in the face”, oblivious to Orange Cassidy appearing behind him. But Orange’s sneak attack was just to spray him with orange juice, before Gage dumped MJF with a chokebreaker in the tacks… followed by a Michinoku driver into the pins for good measure from UMB. Well, that sent the crowd home happy.

Say what you will about comedy wrestling, but GCW has found the winning formula… make that, winning formulas now, with this show. This was certainly something, like a fever dream at times, with plenty of fun and happiness up and down the card. Except that one bit that soured some towards the end after the dodgeball. Still, pro wrestling is beautiful, isn’t it?