WARNING STRONG VIOLENCE AND LANGUAGE AHEAD

Joey Janela may be one of the greatest bookers that have ever lived. The guy has his finger on the pulse of pro-wrestling at all times and somehow manages to put on the biggest shows with some of the biggest surprises. That was more than the case here too. Spring Break 4 boasted some of the biggest dream matches from the current indie scene. We’d see Lee Moriarty take on Jonathan Gresham, The reunion of Team Pazuzu, Alex Shelley vs Tony Deppen, Joey Janela vs Ricky Morton, The Clusterfuck and one finally bloody heartfelt GCW deathmatch for Matt Tremont. Let’s get into this super-sized review for this super-show!

Rickey Shane Page Open Challenge: Orange Cassidy defeated Rickey Shane Page (w/44OH!) via Orange Juice Roll-Up

The show opened with the most hated faction in wrestling, the 44OH! taking the opening spot for themselves. Rickey Shane Page called off the open challenge citing the fact he’d found the perfect opponent. He took the time to ridicule H2O recruit Marcus Mathers and Dominic Truex, then had his goons beatdown Danhausen when he appeared to answer the challenge. When all seemed lost, some familiar music played and the crowd erupted. Orange Cassidy was back and he was coming for RSP. He sauntered to the ring and joined RSP in rolling out of the ring. He wound up RSP with some hands in pockets action, then knocked RSP out of the ring with a dropkick. He went for a dive but Gregory Iron cut him off with a trip. RSP took advantage and beatdown Cassidy. He threw him to the floor for his goons to feed on, then continued to beatdown Cassidy in the corner and launched him with a Suplex Toss. 44OH! set up doors on the outside as he continued the beating. Cassidy finally had enough and peppered RSP slowly with his deadly strikes and dived onto Eddy Only outside. He knocked RSP down again and went to the top rope but got swarmed by 44OH! Cassidy fought back and knocked them through the doors they’d set up. He followed them with a hands in pockets dive and ran into a Chokebreaker for two from RSP. He kicked out and tried to drag himself to the orange juice in the corner. RSP snatched it up and got ready to drink it but Cassidy kicked it into his face, nailed Gregory Iron with a superman punch and rolled-up RSP for the win. Cassidy made the first shock of the night as he beat the GCW World Champion in his own open challenge. Talk about a fun opener, nothing beats seeing someone take out 44OH!

IronBeast (KTB & Shane Mercer) defeated The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) via The Asmodeus Bomb

Next up was some tag team carnage. It would be the hyper-athletic monsters IronBeast taking on the high flying and higher fighting Rascalz. Wentz and Dez would have to fight here if they wanted to best KTB and Mercer. The Rascalz started fast with a combo of shots against KTB and a quick tag into a kick combo and Bronco Buster. They tripped Mercer into KTB and hit the pair with stereo dives. IronBeast responded by catching Wentz and throwing him into Dez, then tying him in the Tree of Woe and launching Dez into him with a monkey flip belly to belly. They went for a door but Dez nailed both Mercer and KTB with kicks and threw in Mercer. Wentz blasted him with a superkick and went for a handspring but Mercer caught him and threw him into a belly to belly powerbomb. IronBest continued to bully Wentz, so Dez came to his rescue. He rocked KTB with an elbow to the back of the head but fell victim to more double-team. Wentz came back with a barrage of chops but he was stopped again with an assisted gutbuster and an X-Plex/Beastsault combo. They continued to bully Wentz but some misdirection saved him and Dez came in hot. He nailed KTB with a double stomp and some heavy strikes but couldn’t get rid of Mercer. The Rascalz ran a train on both guys and made them bail. They went for a dive but IronBeast caught them and threw them into each other. Dez escaped a Doomsday device but got caught into an assisted Moonsault and Battery. Wentz made the save and once again the Rascalz teed-off on KTB. They hit an assisted moonsault on Mercer and Dez went for another dive but IronBeast swatted him out of the air with a door and broke it with his body. They then rushed Wentz and ended him with the Asmodeus Bomb for the win. This was carnage. The Rascalz put up an insanely good fight but they couldn’t find an answer to the raw power of the IronBeast. Another banger of a tag-team match from Collective weekend.

Jonathan Gresham defeated Lee Moriarty via Hammer Blow Hold

That was followed by one of my most anticipated matches of the night. Lee Moriarty, the new technical master and creator of TAIGA STYLE taking on the Foundation, Jonathan Gresham. This was going to be the ultimate chess match. They started with a rapid exchange of technical holds and chain grappling. They fought for the upper-hand as they traded hold for hold and escape attempts. They picked up the pace but Moriarty managed to keep up with Gresham, even getting the better of Gresham with an arm-drag into an arm kick and dropkick. He started targeting the arm, tying Gresham in knots. He continued with arm-breakers and hammerlocking the arm into the turnbuckle. He tried a series of pinfalls but couldn’t keep Gresham down. Gresham finally started to dodge and fired back with an arm kick/arm-drag combo of his own. Gresham started going for Moriarty’s arm and demonstrated some of his exquisite arsenal of arm traps and holds. He started adding in leg holds two, twisting ankles in directions they shouldn’t go in. Gresham tried for a series of pins but couldn’t keep Moriarty down so he launched him with another arm-drag. Moriarty tried to strike back with some wrist-clutch jabs but Gresham just battered his arm with an uppercut. The pace picked up again as Moriarty escaped Gresham’s clutches and started nailing him with kicks.

He blasted Gresham’s arm with a PK and landed a massive double stomp. He followed with another double stomp to the arm and dragged Gresham into a Hammerlock DDT. This led to a reset period where the two stared each other down and locked-up again. Gresham sent Moriarty over the apron and swept his legs out from under him before dropkicking him to the floor. He mobbed Moriarty on the way back in with vicious stomps and tried to wrap him into a pin but only got two. He tried to pry Moriarty into the Cross Armbreaker but couldn’t break his grip. Moriarty shocked him with a snap arm kick and the duo slugged it out as tempers flared. Moriarty rocked Gresham with a series of kicks and locked in Joint Custody. Gresham made the ropes and slugged it out with Moriarty again. Moriarty smashed Gresham with a rolling elbow but Gresham tanked it and dropped Moriarty with an Enzuigiri and snap German. He blasted Moriarty with a trio of Burning Bayonet elbow strikes but still couldn’t keep him down. He then put Moriarty in the Octopus hold that slowly descended into a grounded hammer blow hold. Moriarty couldn’t defend himself and had to tap. This match fucking rocked. It was a technical masterclass oozing intensity and class. Gresham took to the mic to offer Moriarty a spot in ROH when it was over and really put Moriarty over hard. This hopefully means the start of a whole new journey for Moriarty, a man who put matches of this calibre on all weekend.

Team Pazuzu (Chris Dickinson, Santana & Ortiz) defeated Alex Zayne, Blake Christian & Jordan Oliver via Pazuzu Bomb to Christian

After that masterclass in wrestling, It was time for something a bit more brutal. Cue the return of Team Pazuzu. Chris Dickinson, Santana and Ortiz were going to mangle the Next Generation team of Jordan Oliver, Blake Christian and Alex Zayne. Dickinson started by grappling with Christian and the pair traded hamstring kicks. They slugged it out and Dickinson sent Christian flying with a shoulder block. This begun the systematic dismantling of Blake Christian as Team Pazuzu singled him out until he could roll out and tag Oliver. He squared up to Santana and found himself on the receiving end of some horrific chops. He was then bullied by Dickinson and then battered away all of Pazuzu. Ortiz cut him off from a tag and the beatdown continued. He nearly broke free with a corner kick but Ortiz dodged a follow up diving back elbow. Oliver had time to roll to his corner and brought in Zayne. He took the fight to Ortiz but got caught with a running dropkick. He ate a bridging Northern Lights, then caught Santana through the ropes and landed on him with a twisting senton. He dragged Ortiz to his corner and tagged Christian back in.

Christian came out hot but got downed by a forearm and took another round of Pazuzu brutality from Dickinson and co. They kept him trapped and utilised quick tags to mess him up. Fights broke out around the ring but at all points, Christian was kept in the ring and away from his team. His legs and wrist were targeted and Pazuzu went over them with strikes and holds. Dickinson was sadistic in this regard. Every time Christian tried to fight back, he was stopped, hard. He finally had enough and slugged it out with Dickinson and nailed him with a misdirection German. Oliver and Zayne assisted him back to their corner and double-teamed Dickinson into the Crunchwrap Supreme. They dived onto Santana and Ortiz as Christian tried to make the cover. He only got two so he tagged in Zayne who tried to slug it out with Dickinson, then got run over by a lariat. He was hit by a Powerbomb/German combo from Dickinson and Santana but still managed to kick out. They continued to punish Zayne with triple-team combos and looked to end it but Oliver and Christian saved Zayne. He tagged Christian and another fight broke out between him and Dickinson. Oliver came to help and the pair dropped Dickinson with a half and half. Everyone but Christian and Dickinson was wiped out so Christian went top rope but landed on Dickinson’s knees, got flattened by a lariat and ended with the Pazuzu Bomb. This was a long drag-out fight that saw Pazuzu school the new generation in a lesson about pain and tag team wrestling.

Tony Deppen defeated Alex Shelley via Pinfall

Time for the next dream match. Alex Shelley vs Tony Deppen. This was going to rock. Both guys are masters of their craft and honestly, it could go either way. Shelley might be the innovative vet but Deppen is one of the best at adapting and squashing his opponent’s dreams. They locked up and went through a series of technical exchanges. Shelley started off controlling Deppen, then Deppen started working up to a dropkick. Shelley dodged a corner charge into a tornado DDT and started slugging with Deppen on the apron. Deppen won the exchange so Shelley rammed him into the ring-post and dropped him head-first on the apron with another DDT. Back in-ring, Deppen was able to roll Shelley through into a Figure Four and focused on the legs of Shelley. Shelley fired back with a series of knees and avoided a Dragon Screw to land a vicious head kick. Deppen avoided more damage and rolled through the ropes for a choke and hit Shelley with a knee-breaker. He went back to working the knee and ran into a turnbuckle flatliner. They went into a striking war that saw Deppen rain chops on Shelley’s knee, then ate a vicious knee. Shelley murdered Deppen with chops and dropped him with a rope-hung twisting suplex. Deppen refused to stay down and tripped Shelley into the corner. He ran into him with a flying body attack and hit the slingshot codebreaker. He got Shelley into an STF and rocked Shelley with more vicious strikes into a double stomp. Deppen hit a Cheeky Nandos knee, then got pummelled with superkicks and an air raid crash for one. Shelley hit Shell Shock and locked on the Border City Stretch but couldn’t keep Deppen down. Deppen locked on a quick pin attempt and stole the win in front of Shelley’s eyes. He couldn’t believe it and neither could Deppen. This match was exceptional. These two had perfect chemistry and the Gatekeeper of GCW was able to lock the door on one of wrestling’s greatest.

Lio Rush defeated ACH via Dragon’s Call

The dream matches kept on coming as Lio Rush returned to GCW to take on the indie megastar ACH. These two would get fast and flippy if the time was right so this could go anywhere at any pace. They hugged it out, then went into a lock-up. ACH ran rings around him in a technical exchange and went into a war of waist-locks. They traded side headlocks, then ACH started striking and Rush picked up the pace for a head-scissor. He tried for a second on the apron but ACH caught him and tried to dump him. Rush held on and pelted ACH with kicks and a springboard moonsault. Back in-ring, ACH caught Rush out of a crossbody and slammed him into a backbreaker and tossed him away with an exploder. ACH continued targeting the back and pummelled him with stomps until Rush kicked out his leg and kicked him in the chest. He tried to carry on the momentum but ACH caught him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. They slugged and chopped it out, then ACH started choking out Rush in the ropes. Rush was finally able to fight back with a handspring kick and hammered ACH with a series of clotheslines and a handspring elbow. He peppered ACH with strikes and snapped him with the Come Up. He went top rope but ACH kicked out his knee and superkicked him in the face. Rush escaped Buster Call and went for a roll-up. He was launched off and tried to handspring again but ACH caught him into a German. He escaped a Tiger Driver attempt and kicked ACH in the face again. They picked up the pace until ACH swept out Rush’s leg and drilled him with a double stomp. ACH got mad and started smacking Rush around. Rush didn’t appreciate this and powered up off it, hitting another flurry and trading running strikes. He threw ACH to the floor and hit another dive to the outside. ACH avoided a second Come Up and landed the Tiger Driver. They went through a frantic series of trades until Rush shocked ACH with Rush Hour and hit Dragon’s Call to win the match. Holy shit this was good. This was clearly a massive match for the pair and Rush getting the big win made it all the more poignant. The action was amazing and the chemistry undeniable. ACH is still one of the present’s best and Rush keeps making the future look potentially brighter.

Ricky Morton defeated Joey Janela via Inverted Figure Four Leg Lock

Who would have thought I’d be writing about a Ricky Morton match in 2020? Joey Janela personally challenged Morton to a match as a way to put one of his idols out of it. Instead, we got an incredibly physical bout that saw Morton prove he could still go as well as he ever could. Janela started off by cockily overpowering Morton with a headlock and shoulder tackle, then took him over with an arm-drag. Janela avoided a duo of corner chargers, then got caught into a hip toss from Morton. Janela grabbed a table and started hammering Morton with elbows. He trapped Morton in a side-headlock and transitioned into a chin-lock. Morton escaped with a jawbreaker and made Janela bail again. He called Morton out and the pair brawled outside. Morton kicked him in the dick, then got clobbered with a chair. The table was set up so Morton dragged Janela up and put him through it with a piledriver. Janela launched Morton into the ring post and cracked him in the head with another chair. Morton was busted open so Janela squeezed the wound to make the blood pour after a barrage of chops and punches. He attacked Morton with a Clownette head and sauntered back inside. Morton greeted him with a dropkick and broke Janela’s back with a DVD on the apron. Morton grabbed a door and was sent careening off it back-first. Janela dropped him with a brainbuster and hit an elbow drop through the door onto Morton. He savaged Morton with the broken door and locked in a Figure Four. Morton rolled-up Janela and got hit with a superkick in the teeth. He perched Morton on the top rope and turned his back on Morton so Morton nailed him with a destroyer. Janela kicked out his knee and locked on the Figure Four again but Morton reversed the pressure and forced Janela to tap. The Rock N Roll legend was still kicking strong and taught Janela a lesson. It was a shock win but hell, Morton more than earned it. This was excellent fun with a little bit of plunder involved.

The ClusterFuck: Spyder Nate Webb won the Clusterfuck by outlasting everyone else

Right, the Clusterfuck is an hour and a half long. I can’t run all that down without writing a novel so I’m going to take the cliff-notes approach and give you the highlights. Those include Suge D using JTG as a basketball, Violence is Forever going on a rampage, especially Kevin Ku’s Ku’be Stomp, a three-team bar fight between VIF, The Carnies and The Bird and the Bee, the returns of Cassandro and Dustin Thomas, Kerry Morton dropkicking everyone, Juicy Finau getting an opportunity because he put in the work and slamming multiple people at once, Tankman eliminating both members of VIF and the Carnies and Kerry Morton and Kody Lane all in quick succession. Billie Starkz’s GCW debut and putting on a miniature war with Starboy Charlie, 44OH! ruining things as usual until SGC and Elayna Black came to mess them up, The Walmart dudes Lord Adrean and Tahir2x getting a massive pop against SGC, then turning on each other and dazzling the crowd with some exceptional combo offence and a Style’s Clash/Chokeslam combo, the Parrow massacre, The Invisible Man coming back with a vengeance and eliminating a whole host of people, the wrestling return of AIW promotor John Thorne and quick elimination of AIW promotor John Thorne, the Stunt family meltdown, a fan shooting himself in the balls with a confetti cannon as Robert Anthony and Frank the Clown made their entrances, the devastating battle of Yoshihiko and the Invisible Man, the Sharkboy Stunner Fest, Cogar eliminated AJ Gray with a fireball and Spyder Nate Webb getting the hometown win with Soylent Green. The Teenage Dirtbag got his big win. As you can see from the highlights, this was a blast. It went really damn long and burnt the crowd out a lot but as you can see, it featured a lot of moving parts, a lot of madness and some surprising eliminations.

Tremont’s Final GCW Match: Alex Colon (w/Markus Crane) defeated Matt Tremont via Tube Fan Barrage

So, here’s where shit got real for me. I’m the deathmatch editor here so this was automatically on my radar. The fact that it would be Matt Tremont’s final GCW match and that it would be against none other than Alex Colon meant it was going to be pure gold. Both men have given everything to wrestling and they were going to leave it all in and around the ring here. They started with a test of strength that saw Tremont take the advantage, then the pair danced around the glass. Tremont grabbed a tube and missed a swing so Colon broke it on him. Tremont blocked most of it with his arms and the pair threw each other into the rope-attached tubes. Colon cut up Tremont with a broken tube and continued the tube assault outside. Tremont stabbed back and churned Colon’s forehead with a broken tube. They brawled outside, then Colon lobbed a barbed-wire board at Tremont. He tried to smash Tremont into a chair but Tremont hit him with a palm strike and forced him to take a seat. Colon smashed him with a beer and the pair hit duelling chair throws and duelling slugs. Colon pelted him with a chair and chopped him into taking a seat for a massive running elbow. Colon hammered down but Tremont caught him out of a run-up and slammed him through the chair. They wandered towards the bleachers but Colon re-took control and brought the action back to the ring. He hit Tremont with a double stomp and carved him up again. Colon grabbed a ladder and got back-dropped on to it after a trio of palm strikes. He dumped Colon onto a bundle with a Northern Lights and perched Colon on the top. Colon tanked a tube to the head and dumped Tremont onto some bundles with a Tornado DDT and broke another with double knees. They fought on the apron and Tremont sacrificed his own well-being to put Colon through a barbed-wire door set with a Samoan Drop.

Colon pelted him with chairs as more doors were set up in the entranceway. He took Tremont into the bleachers, driving a chair into the throat, hammering and biting him, then Tremont woke up and hit him with a back-breaking Suplex onto the bleacher. They returned to the entranceway and Colon dumped Tremont on a door contraption. He climbed to the railing and hit a massive splash onto Tremont and the doors. He dragged Colon back to the ring and dropped another bundle onto him. He broke that with a double stomp that seemed to power Tremont up. He KO’ed Colon with a lariat and hit the DVD onto more tubes for two. Colon hammered Tremont with a trash can and put it over Tremont’s head. He caved it in with a double stomp and called for tube fans to be brought into the ring. They emptied a box of tubes and rapidly broke them over each other. Glass went everywhere as Colon smashed tube after tube over Tremont. He broke a bundle behind his head and sent glass into Tremont’s eyes and downed him with the first tube fan. Tremont defiantly knelt there and ordered Colon to put him out of his misery with the second. Colon sadly obliged and got the win as Tremont collapsed from the hit. He left on a sombre note leaving the ring to Tremont. He dedicated the match to Danny Havoc and ended it with a G C Fucking W. This was amazing. Talk about top-tier storytelling. This was the main event in every way, the violence solidified a story of defiance and the want to go out on a high note. Tremont gave it his all and forced Colon to end him once and for all. Thank you two for this gem.

So, there you have it, Joey Janela’s Spring Break 4 reviewed for your reading pleasure. I may have accidentally written an essay here trying to cover this monster-sized event but can you really blame me? This show was over four and a half hours long and filled with exceptional wrestling matches. I could go on for even longer about how much fun Gresham/Moriarty, Shelley/Deppen, Morton/Janela, Rush/ACH, and Colon/Tremont were but in reality, you should just watch the show. Take a night out and binge the hell out of this. If you’re a wrestling fan, then there’s something here for you. This was the Collective’s biggest celebration of the clusterfuck that is indie wrestling. The mountain of words should prove that.

All images courtesy of Earl Gardner Photography, HeyyImRob, Wrestling with Unicorns, Lord Adrean Twitter, GCW Twitter