Striking while the iron’s hot, here’s a look at the much-talked about match out of Seattle’s DEFY as Joey Janela tests out 16-year old prodigy Nick Wayne.
Nick Wayne vs. Joey Janela
A choice that’s a little out of left-field, and one that, truth be told at around half an hour long it’s a match a lot of folks will hand-wave. Nick Wayne is making a big name for himself, having become part of GCW’s roster in recent months, and has had matches against the likes of El Phantasmo, Petey Williams and TJP in recent months. “OG” subscribers to the Figure Four Weekly website will feel old – he’s the son of the late Buddy Wayne…
Oh, and Nick’s just 16, just to make you feel doubly old.
Janela bullies Wayne around early on, but a dropkick gives Nick some breathing space, much to the delight of the Seattle crowd. Joey tries a slap, but gets swarmed into the corner as Janela looked to use Nick’s youthful enthusiasm against him, drawing him in with some big shots before Wayne caught Joey on the outside with a tope… but back inside, Joey’s back on top with more shots, making sure that every time Wayne snuck out, he was quickly on top of him with a single shot to reset things.
Bodyscissors from Janela see him start to wear Wayne down, but Wayne slips free and sends Janela packing with some shots from above, only to get caught out on the floor as Joey continued to stay a step ahead with a suplex. Back inside, Janela again coaxes Wayne into things as a leapfrog sequence is countered into a sitout powerbomb for a near-fall, before Wayne began to turn the tide, tripping an on-rushing Janela into the corner.
A nice slingshot Code Red drives Janela into the mat, before a Fisherman suplex drew a two-count as Wayne picked up the pace, battering Janela with strikes and moves as he went. Again though, Janela baits him in as Wayne took too long on a senton bomb, with Joey getting the knees up as the tide turned. It swings quickly back in Nick’s favour with a Sasuke special into a satellite DDT on the outside, before the fight headed up towards the stage, as Wayne tries to leap in with a knee strike, only for Janela to swat him away in mid-air.
Back in the ring, Janela hits a top rope elbow, only to get rolled up… he’s right back with a superkick, which is answered in kind before Wayne’s handspring was caught… Janela tries a death valley driver, but Wayne countered into a poison ‘rana before he’s spiked with a sit-out Burning hammer. A package piledriver followed, but Wayne’s up at two as Janela looked to put him away on the apron.
Wayne escapes, then surprised Janela off the buckles with a Spanish Fly to the floor, getting an eventual two-count back inside. Janela catches Wayne in the corner with back rakes, as he then looked to set up for a back superplex, but instead… inverted Spanish Fly?! Janela lands with Wayne in a crossface, ending in the ropes… so he drags Wayne back to reapply it, with Nick this time powering out into a Fujiwara armbar, except Janela’s quickly in the ropes.
Once again Janela knocks down Wayne, only to get arm whipped onto his shoulder. Wayne tees up for a punt to the arm, then hits a springboard cutter out of the corner for a delayed two-count as Janela had to be dragged away from the ropes first. Wayne stays on him with an armbar, but Joey gets out and hits a snap death valley driver that Wayne’s right up out of… a second one followed, but Wayne still kicks out, albeit with much less vigour than before.
Oh God, Janela makes a Kurt Cobain reference that the Seattle crowd really didn’t like, as Wayne looked to be spent. Another second wind leads to a hockey fight, with Nick fighting like the Kraken before a forearm from Janela left both men laying. A headbutt in return from Wayne buys time, as did some knees, before another cutter out of the corner’s countered into a ripcord lariat as Janela looked to have tweaked his shoulder. Wayne capitalises by going back to the Fujiwara armbar… and Janela taps!
Take a hot “home” crowd that was staunchly behind their guy, an indy veteran who’s trying to put the local kid in his place, and a 16 year old on the rise… and you had some real magic here – and a match that I’m sure could end up getting repeated around the country. I don’t want to sit here and throw around labels like “the next big thing,” I mean, he’s still just a kid, but with the grounding he’s had in wrestling, there’s a damn good shot that ol’ Nick will be taking headlines in the next decade – and still have a lot remaining in his career to boot.
Result: Nick Wayne submitted Joey Janela in 29:44 (****)