Wrestling Review: GCW Joey Janela’s Spring Break 6, Part 1 (2022)

[As the eyes of the professional wrestling world turned to Dallas, Texas, for Wrestlemania Weekend, various independent promotions came together to put shows in front of larger crowds. This is known as The Collective.]

The event that has quickly become the flagship show for the entire Collective event, Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) once again presents Joey Janela’s Spring Break, in two parts. The main event of night one will see the GCW Ultraviolent Championship defended between bitter rivals, the champion Alex Colon, and his challenger, John Wayne Murdoch. In the semi-main event, arguably a bigger championship defence as Jon Moxley puts his GCW Championship against AJ Gray. Also on the show, Joey Janela and X-Pac will finally come face to face after Janela’s brutal assault from New York, and seven of GCW’s best stars of today and tomorrow face off in a seven-way free for all. Finally, Mickie James makes her GCW debut against Allie Katch; AR Fox and Blake Christian square off, and; the GCW Tag Team Championships are on the line, as incumbent champion Nick Gage, due to an injury to Matt Tremont, enters without a partner to battle Mark and Jay Briscoe, the team of Mance Warner and Matt Justice of the Second Gear Crew.

+ Jon Moxley (c) vs AJ Gray (GCW Championship): the crowd was surprisingly split on this one, which did make some of the sub-par action seem that much more exciting. I’ve talked about my enjoyment of Gray in the past, but this was essentially the definition of a ‘good but never great’ wrestling match. I kept waiting for this to kick into a higher gear, but frankly it just never did, so while the match was never bad, it only scraped by into a positive on that metric.
+ X-Pac vs Joey Janela: I won’t lie and say this was a technical masterpiece, but it had a great story and the crowd was really into the match as a whole. Janela does get a bad wrap from some parts of the wrestling community, but with stories like this one, in a match like this one, and a company like GCW, he really shines. X-Pac looked old, and clearly wasn’t moving his best, but that just made the match better
+ Gringo Loco vs Jimmy Lloyd vs Jordan Oliver vs Alec Price vs Nick Wayne vs Jack Cartwheel vs Ninja Mack: although this was a relatively low stakes affair, this was still great. Wayne, Cartwheel and Mack are all really good, with Cartwheel and Ninja Mack the clear ones to watch (I only omit Wayne because of his age – he will keep getting better than he currently is, to levels I don’t think anyone can accurately guess just yet). The others in the match all played their parts, but this was built around the crazy high spots from these three in particular
+ Mickie James vs Allie Katch (w/ Effy): that was James’ GCW debut, and apparently the first ever women’s match at Spring Break. I really enjoyed this. Mickie James has always been a good wrestler, and Katch is unique enough in presentation and skill set that she more than held her own. I liked this, and the post-match promo was just as much fun

Alex Colon (c) vs John Wayne Murdoch (GCW Ultraviolent Championship): there was some good violence on display before a flat finish. I’m currently still (a week or so after the match) unsure as to whether this ending was planner or not, but at the time I believed it was part of the match. Had it gone longer I’m sure my opinion may be higher, but as it goes this was a dud way to end the show and Moxley/Gray probably should have gone on last
AR Fox (w/ Ayla Fox) vs Blake Christian: I really like these guys, but I am sad to say this was just far too choreographed. In many ways, it reminded me of Ospreay/Ricochet from a few years ago in that as a ‘performance’, it was of course very impressive. But as a professional wrestling match, neither guy had me invested enough to want to see them win
Second Gear Crew (Mance Warner & Matthew Justice) vs The Briscoes (Mark & Jay Briscoe) vs Nick Gage (GCW Tag Team Championships): this was bloody as you’d expect, though mostly from just one person. A mid-match development didn’t really add anything, and frankly I can only say this was disappointing. There was nothing new in this match

Should you watch this event: You absolutely will not go wrong with the James/Katch match, or the seven way scramble, but — and I’m surprised to even write this — I think Janela/X-Pac was my favourite match on the show. This wasn’t the best Spring Break show, but you won’t go wrong with the positives above.

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