By Chris VetterProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “For Culture 3”
Aired on FITE TV
April 1, 2022 in Dallas, Texas at Fair Park
Like all Collective events, it’s in a large, industrial-looking building, and the crowd is maybe 400-500…
That show took place at 3 p.m. Friday — before Smackdown, ROH’s “Supercard of Honor” and Impact Wrestling’s “Multiverse of Matches” event. He was riding the New Japan show.
“For Culture” is a celebration of black wrestlers. Suge D, AC Mack, Faye Jackson and Robert Martyr commented…
1. Tasha Steez defeated Big Swole at 8:03. Swole was in fantastic shape and it was the first time I had seen her since leaving AEW. Tasha grabbed the ringside announcer’s mic and bragged that she was the knockout world champion. Tasha hit the Three Amigos rolling suplexes at 3:00 and dominated early. Swole hit European uppercuts in the back and got a near pinfall. Swole hit a Blue Thunder driver for a near fall at 6:00.
The crowd sang for Swole. Steelz hit a stunner. Swole nailed a rolling elbow and they were both down. Tasha rolled to the ground before a blanket could be made. Swole chased her to the ground; as she came back to the ring, Tasha caught her with another stunner and scored the pin. Decent game. I feel like they have a better match in them, especially if they could work together a few more times. But, a good way to open the show.
Faye Jackson left the stand here, saying she “got called in.” The other advertisers were confused…
2. Michael Oku defeated Keita Murray, Ju Dizz, Trey Shaw, Andino, Carlie Bravo and PB Smooth (with Faye Jackson) in a seven-man scramble match at 9:50. I only know Oku and Bravo here, so lots of new faces for me. Keita was billed as “the bisexual king”. Dizz had six or seven nicknames. I do not know him; he has long dredlocks. Trey Shaw and Bravo are from Cody Rhodes’ Nightmare Factory; Bravo has had several AEW televised matches. Oku came out second to last and wore his Rev Pro title, and it was immediately clear he was the favorite. I noted it earlier this week; he had a stellar game earlier this year against Will Ospreay in England.
Andino is tall and hit a nice Blue Thunder Driver for a near fall. Oku hit a hurricane at 4:00 a.m., showing its speed. Oku hit the backflip over the top rope to the ground on everyone at 6:00. Everyone brawled in the ring; no tags needed here. Ju Dizz elbowed the top rope for a near fall, but Andino pulled it back. PB Smooth, the tallest man in the game. picked up Bravo and threw him to the ground. Oku applied the half-crab on an opponent and got the tapout for the win. It was fast and fun. I wish I had a better idea of who everyone was better at so I could describe them better.
3) Shane Taylor and O’Shay Edwards defeated “The Hitmakerz” AJ Francis (f/k/a Top Dolla) and Tehuti Miles (w/B-Fab) at 11:27. This game jumped out at me on the roster. Taylor and Francis opened up against each other with hard slaps. Francis knocked down Edwards with a massive shoulder tackle. Taylor and Edwards held Miles upside down for several seconds, before dropping him to the mat at 4:00 a.m. They worked on Tehuti Miles.
Francis hit a second-rope moonsault on both opponents at 9:30. He went to get a blanket but he wasn’t the legal man. Taylor hit a running knee, then his piledriver sitting on Miles, to get the pin. Entertaining tag match.
4. Trish Adora defeated MJ Jenkins to retain the Pan African Championship at 10:51. Adora struggled a lot last year in Ring of Honor. I wrote this earlier this week that she has to be the best unsigned female wrestler today. Jenkins, who competed in the WWE Mae Young Classic in 2016, yelled at the crowd, making it clear she was the heel.
The announcers agreed that Jenkins was “back to prove a point” following his release from WWE Development. Jenkins dominated early and the crowd gathered for Trish. She kept it down with a headlock and a sleeper, and it was pretty slow at first. They picked it up trading stiff forearms at 7:30. Jenkins hit a swinging body slam for a near fall. Adora hit a German Suplex with a bridge for a near fall at 9:30.
Jenkins hit an enzuigiri for a near fall. Adora hit a seated Bubba Bomb, applied a leglock, landed a rollup and scored the pin. Very good construction until the last minutes.
5. AJ Gray defeated Darius Lockhart at 10:26. Gray is coming off a memorable match against Jon Moxley a night earlier, and he received a standing ovation from the GCW faithful, who know his work well. They struggled to the mat early on, then they traded hard chops. Lockhart dominated the game and the crowd rallied behind Gray. Lockhart hit a standing powerbomb for a near fall at 8:00 a.m. Gray hit a clothesline in the basement for a near fall. He got a rollup out of nowhere for the pin. They kissed afterwards. Fairly basic; not bad, but right there.
6. Mysterious Q defeated JTG, Bryan Keith and Zenshi in a quadruple at 8:07. At first it was billed as Bryan Keith vs. Too Cold Scorpio and JTG vs. Rich Swann; I don’t know when Scorpio and Swann canceled. (Note that Swann was in an Impact Wrestling Ultimate X match less than an hour after that match.) JTG looked great; he’s the perfect example of someone leaving WWE and reinventing himself, rather than clinging to his gimmick. I don’t know Mysterious Q, but he’s tall, muscular, and wore a mask. We’ve seen a lot of Zenshi in MLW, and he’s a fast, masked thief.
Zenshi unloaded several chops on JTG and they traded a good attack. JTG hit a spinning slam on Zenshi for a near fall at 5:30. Zenshi hit a Van Terminator from coast to coast. Mysterous Q climbed the top rope, hit a bulldog on Zenshi while Zenshi was sitting on Keith’s shoulders, and he scored the pin. It was a good deed that ended far too soon.
Weapons were set up in the ring and the ring announcer warned fans to “get your shit and move” if the action was heading their way.
7. Hoodfoot defeated Billy Dixon in a deathmatch around 5:00 p.m. There were glow tubes, glass and blood. Not for me.
Final Thoughts: A unique show. I’ll give Shane Taylor Promotions vs. Hitmakerz the best game, before the race at seven. The quadruple was really good but needed more time. Both women’s games were solid.
I’ll be blunt: I loved watching Too Cold Scorpio 20-30 years ago, but his GCW matches this year haven’t been good. At all. So, I didn’t mind that he was off that show. Swann missed but his cancellation is understandable. Was Calvin Tankman busy at the time? He could have filled in here too.
I love how GCW offered a variety of shows during WrestleMania weekend: an all-female show, a black celebratory show, MMA themed Bloodsport, etc. They also presented a deathmatch show which is not my taste, but I’m sure it has fans.