Today we're going to be looking at a staple of the independent scene who despite nearing twenty years in the business is still putting out amazing matches every time I turn around. The Stiff Robo Ginger is a fantastic wrestler who has brought his experience and talent all over the nation, and has appeared on this list a couple times for his matches with other wrestlers. This week though it's all about him, as we look at his career including some amazing feuds and friendships, and then take a look at some of the best matches he's had.
Jay made his debut in 2003, meaning as of writing he's been in the business for 18 years. His first match to be listed on cagematch took place in 2005, and beginning here we have the tale of two Garys. In Gateway Champion Wrestling he was Gary Jay, but in Lethal Wrestling Alliance(now St. Louis Anarchy) he was Gary the Barn Owl. Frankly, I'm mad he's not still the barn owl. I love animal themed names, and barn owls are awesome! Another thing we see early on in Jay's career is his work with Submission Squad. The group was huge in Anarchy Championship Wrestling where at first Jay and Davey Vega fought against them, before ultimately joining. Looking back through Jay's career you see quite a bit of Submission Squad, but of all those members, it's definitely Davey Vega that would be most important in relation to Jay. The first time I ever mentioned Gary Jay in this column was all the way back in the Besties in the World article. Vega partnered with Jay before he ever teamed with Matt Fitchett, and in fact all three men would wrestle each other all the time. Vega, in addition to being a tag partner, would be a rival of Jay. One of their matches actually made the top ten list.
Jay, having wrestled so long, is bound to have many feuds over his career, but for many it's his feud with Warhorse that is the best. Whether Gary Jay vs Warhorse, or Gerald James vs Jake Parnell, they have had eighteen singles matches together. Again, that is only counting singles matches: none of the tag team stuff they were involved in, none of the triple threats or scrambles, just singles. The first was back in February 2017 in IWA Mid-South, and since then they've fought in Glory Pro, BLP, Zero-1, St. Louis Anarchy, Paradigm, Bizarro Lucha, CZW, Evolve, and as of May 2021, Mr. Chainsaw. This feud has including some incredible moments, and spoilers but I included three of their matches on this list. I had to limit myself to just three, because again, that's only one out of six of their matches. It's truly one of the best feuds in independent wrestling history, and I encourage you to watch not just the three here, but all 18. Recently Jay has had tremendous success both as a singles star and as Unsigned and Don't Care with Aaron Williams. This year alone he has wrestled in over 15 different promotions, and shows no signs of slowing down. Without any further ado, lets take a look at some amazing matches of Gary Jay.
#10: Submission Squad vs Bolt Brady, Ricky Starks, Jason Silver, and Jessica James
Given how long the group lasted and how involved Jay was with and against the group, I had to include a Submission Squad match. You have Evan Gelistico, Pierre Abernathy, Davey Vega, and of course, Gary Jay, taking on Jason Silver, Jessica James, and the two who might be a little better know to readers here, Ricky Starks and Bolt Brady. It's a big match, main eventing the show and turning into an all out fight. Jay kicks the match off and really does a great job shining in such a big crowd. Jay has been in many matches like this over the years, whether it's with Submission Squad or on behalf of a company like the Zelo vs Journey show. My favorite little segment in the match though is Bolt Brady vs Davey Vega, as they are almost impossible to keep up with. Jason Silver really impressed me in my first time seeing him, and I want to check out more of SLA and ACW. Submission Squad has so much time and story behind it, and you can really tell how much experience they all have together. It's a great time watching them fight the best team they could put together, but they do ultimately get the win.
#9: Gary Jay vs Erick Stevens
I don't talk about Journey Pro as often as I'd like, but hopefully this match makes up for lost time. First of all, Journey Pro is just a fantastic show to watch and I hope you get a sense of that in this match. Second of all, It's Erick Stevens vs Gary Jay for craps sake of course it's good. As with all good Jay matches this one opens with a nice striking exchange. The crowd knows that Stevens will be retiring sometime soon, and so they really appreciate getting to see this fight. These two are some of the best strikers in the independent scene, and do fantastic. Are you getting sick of me mentioning Jay's triple dives? No? Good, because he does it again here but does four! That fourth one ends in a powerslam from Stevens as Jay learns a strong lesson in moderation. Stevens makes a great opponent for Jay, and you can really tell watching this match the sheer amount of experience that both men have. Jay's chops are like gun shots, and the crowd is absolutely eating them up. Stevens's run in this time period is fantastic, and this is one of my favorite matches from this run. He has no quit in him, and takes some substantial hits including a dropkick to the him. He returns the same ferocity though, and hits a double knee to the chest from a fireman's carry that is just so perfectly executed. Jay ultimately gets the win and it's a match you definitely need to see.
#8: Gary Jay vs Warhorse
The only Gary Jay vs Warhorse match on this list to not be a Last Man Standing match, this I Quit match is a fantastic fight, and actually is only one month before their second Last Man Standing fight at Family Reunion. As seems to be a recurring theme in these matches, both men go flying into rows of chairs, and I am just convinced that booking Gary Jay vs Warhorse means you're not getting your security deposit back. These two spend more time outside the ring than in it, as you honestly should in an I Quit match, and you can't help but watch the carnage. As always when I mention BLP on this list, I have to give credit to Sarah Shockley on commentary for just being the best commentator ever. My personal favorite spot in this match though is just the most Warhorse thing possible as he just yeets a trash can at Gary Jay. Soon after we get one of many examples on this list of Gary Jay's triple dives outside the ring followed shortly by a double stomp. Warhorse ends up using an extension cord to get the upper hand, whipping Gary Jay with it. The match is low on the list because it doesn't technically end with an I Quit as Gary Jay passes out, but that lack of finality is a great reason as to why the feud continues.
#7: Unsigned and Don't Care vs Violence is Forever
For the second week in a row, we have our wrestler of the week teaming with Aaron Williams taking on Violence is Forever, but this time Williams and friend actually win! Garrini and Williams match up perfectly as both men have that technical ability, and they start the match well. There's a great spot where Garrini uses his legs to push Williams into the air in order to get the angle to lock in an arm bar. I love a tag match where the wrestlers are trying to show off their skills and so the match begins with them trying out different match ups to see who's better than each other. Kevin Ku and Jay are both just such deadly strikers, that seeing them face off is truly special. Jay and Williams do a great job at keeping tags consistent back and forth. As we have come to love on this list, Jay hits his triple dives outside the ring but it gets countered by Violence is Forever. Ku hits a nasty stomp on Jay's wrist, and it's easily my favorite spot in the match. Jay and Williams really seem like the underdogs in this match, as they get hit with double team move after double team move throughout. All four men are fantastic in this match, but Ku is really the star in my opinion. I originally had a Ku vs Jay match in mind for this list, but considering how much Ku shines here it actually showcases him better than that singels match. Williams gets a good run late in the match hitting a fantastic DDT/cutter combo. Seriously, this is just a great tag team match that you have to see.
#6: Gary Jay vs Kyle O'Reilly
The first of two 2014 St. Louis Anarchy matches on this list, and it's with one of the current faces of NXT Kyle O'Reilly. The match is a two out of three falls, no DQ, no Countout match, but Jay's minions are banned from ringside. At this point O'Reilly is already incredibly well respected and renowned on the independent scene, and the match has a larger than life feeling. The two trade forearms to open the match and you just know it's going to be a good fight. Literally two minutes into the match O'Reilly makes Jay tap out, and so almost from the beginning, Jay is at a disadvantage in this match. It's a hard fight for Jay to recover from, but after giving it his all, he's able to tie the match at one fall a piece. The important thing to note though, is that Jay pinned O'Reilly, but O'Reilly tapped out Jay. When we go into the final fall neither man is willing to budge, as they spend a solid five attempts trying to suplex each other against one of the building walls, before O'Reilly hits a tornado DDT using the wall in a spot that surely required them to scrub the wall before getting their venue deposit back. O'Reilly then spins Jay around on his shoulders about thirty times in a display that would make Cesaro woozy. When Jay finally gets the rollup victory the crowd is furious, but Jay did it: he beat one of the best. It's a fantastic match and certainly a hidden gem.
#5: Gary Jay vs Aaron Williams
The most recent match on the list(by about 24 hours), Gary Jay has had some wonderful matches in ICW No Holds Barred as of late. Out of all of Jay's matches in the pit and the chains, this one is the best. Fighting not just anyone, but his own tag team partner. This was Williams's debut for the company, and he absolutely showed up ready to fight. If you read this column a lot I'm sure you're getting used to seeing Aaron Williams here, and he's definitely getting his own column soon enough. Early on in the match, Williams throws Jay into just a random section of chairs with seemingly no direction. It's a very brutal spot, and one that endeared him to the parts of the ICW crowd who hadn't seen him, but that being said, this was Indiana: most of them knew Williams. A recurring theme we've seen on Indie Talent Showcase is that sometimes the best fights are between good friends, and this match is just the latest example of that(and not the only one on this list). Another thing we've seen often on this column is ICW No Holds Barred matches that can't really be classified as deathmatches, but are much more accurately considered Hoss Fights. These two break some stuff for sure, but they fight hard enough to be on the same level as gorgeously violent deathmatches. A kick from Gary Jay is just as hard to watch as a lighttube shot, and that's the kind of hard hitting energy I love to see. Despite what I just said, Williams gets busted open, and his face gets covered in the crimson mask. Gary Jay has really become a staple of ICW lately, but this match showed he belongs anywhere on the card, and I wouldn't be shocked to see him get a shot at Murdoch's title.
#4: Gary Jay vs Warhorse
The fact that this list has two Warhorse vs Gary Jay Last Man Standing matches says everything you need to know about this feud. The match begins with a massive forearm exchange and Gary Jay mocks Warhorse's scar, and that was the moment any hope of this match being friendly went out the window. Gary Jay really showcases his strengths throughout this match, flying through the air with the same ease that he punches straight through Warhorse. Just like their first Last Man Standing Match, these two pull out some incredible tactics, like a sort of DDT on the apron from Jay. Warhorse almost immediately after hits a massive release German Suplex on Jay. The match maintains that level of high hitting energy throughout. Late into the match, Jay takes down the entire top rope exposing not one, but four of those ring turnbuckle hooks. If you've seen the injury, especially if you're watching these matches back to back like some of us, your heart almost stops. When Warhorse gets the hook in Jay's mouth and repeats what happened to him the crowd literally goes silent. Every single person knows what that spot can do, and everyone is worried about Jay. Thank God Jay is okay, but it's harrowing to watch. I love when a feud has a signature weapon attached to it, and the turnbuckle hook truly becomes the icon of this feud. Bonus points in this match for the crowd chanting Doorhorse. Although this is the newest of their matches on the list, it isn't the last, as they would have even more including a Casket match after this. Taking nothing away from those later matches, I couldn't just make this list all Warhorse vs Gary Jay right? Right?
#3: Gary Jay vs Jeremy Wyatt
In a sentence I never thought I'd type, here is one of two 60 minute time limit draw title match main events from St. Louis Anarchy for Gary Jay. These two put on a fantastic match that the entire internet was talking about as soon as it happened. The two lock up in a great opening sequence that tells the crowd to expect something special. The thing about this match, is it's not the only sixty minute time limit draw that these two have had. This is the second time they've reached a draw for the Gateway Heritage title, and man if they ever have a third match just set it with no time limit and make the card just the one match. As with many matches on this list, we get the triple dives from Gary Jay, as he's doing everything he can to win. Jay and Wyatt know each other so well, and based on the fact that this is the second match in a row of theirs to go sixty minutes, they are just absolutely desperate to beat the other. Both men just want something definitive, but they are literally destined to fight forever. I'm about ready to call Gary Jay the king of the sixty minute draw after writing this list, as he just always has them so well paced. The match is incredibly hard hitting, as Wyatt gets a warning for closed fist strikes, and both men push the rules of the title match to where you're not sure if the match will end clean or with some kind of disqualification. Once again these two hit a time limit draw, and I for one can't wait to see what they do next.
#2: Gary Jay vs Warhorse
This match is one of those moments that everyone will talk about for a long time, and one that Warhorse himself talks about often. This match is the literal embodiment of "Wanna know how I got these scars?" This is the match where Warhorse got the scar on his lip, and the Youtube video title doesn't lie, viewer discretion is advised. Like seriously, even if you watch deathmatch like myself, this is one of those injuries you can't unsee. When they step into the ring at the beginning of the match the intensity is insane. This is already a Last Man Standing match, and this is BEFORE Warhorse gets scarred. They will go on to have everything from an I Quit match, to a Steel Cage match, to a Casket match, to another Last Man Standing match. The action is fast and furious from the bell, and from the first time Warhorse leaps out of the ring you know it's going to be brutal. I don't want to just talk bout the injury in this match, so to focus on some great spots before it: Gary Jay's three dives out of the ring followed by a tornado DDT and then piling chairs on him is just great. When Warhorse does make it back to his feet he's met with an onslaught of punches leading to him suplexing Jay on the Apron. Warhorse then exposes the wood panels of the ring, thus making the entire match more intense. You can literally see the boards shake during a superplex spot that you know both men would feel for the next week(okay maybe Warhorse had other stuff on his mind.) This is what a last man standing match should feel like, and has the added benefit of making you terrified of any removed turnbuckle spots. I know this list is about Gary Jay, but all props to Warhorse here, as he insisted to Zero1 that they put this match up the very next day, so they put up a rough edit. That's the video I linked, while the full show does have the remaster. Warhorse is one tough beast, and this match shows that as the crowd is trying to tell the ref to stop the match. It's an amazing match that will live in infamy for what happened, but truly seeing as Warhorse is happy to talk about it, I think we should talk about this match for the beautiful violence that it is.
#1: Gary Jay vs Davey Vega
These tag partners turned enemies explode in what is probably their best match together. The one hour time limit stipulation is one of my favorites, because it creates such emotional tension so organically. At first the crowd probably even forgot the match had a one hour time limit because it was listed off with one fall and that it's a singles match. Only when it gets announced thirty minutes have passed that the idea even begins to enter the crowd's mind. Come fourty-five it starts to be a real possibility, and at five minutes left the crowd goes ballistic. It's an amazing formula for building tension, and that is only heightened in this match by a brilliant bit of misdirection. The belt they're fighting for is usually held in two out of three falls matches, but Vega goads Jay into making it one fall. As such, the crowd is expecting a shorter match, and maybe some shenanigans. The match then flips that expectation on its head entirely, and delivers something no one expected. The biggest thing that lets down this match has nothing to do with the wrestlers at all, but rather the camera limitations. The match uses a stationary camera, and so when they run off and fight in the crowd we're left a little loss but when it gets back in the ring Vega is in control. Gary Jay is able to take back over, and the match really stays evenly matched like that for the most part. Even by this point in their careers, Jay and Vega just know each other so well that every move can be reversed, and every reversal feels earned. Some wrestling matches get criticism for breaking realism in terms of how did a wrestler possibly know his opponent would go for that move, but in a match like this it would break realism if they didn't know. They've shared a ring so much that they better know what to expect or they're just stupid. Another thing I really enjoy about this match is how much innovation and interesting attacks and counters you see throughout it. In any hour long match you need something different and exciting, and these two come up with some very cool spots. A personal favorite of mine is a stunner out of the tree of woe because it's just so cool to see. Vega doesn't get enough credit for some of his strength as he's often seen as one half rather than a whole, but man his clotheslines in this match turn Jay inside out. There's a very fun spot partway through the match to give Jay and Vega a short break as a series of run-ins get more and more comical as a wrestler comes to interfere, then another interfering wrestler takes them out, then another interfering wrester takes them out, and another interfering wrestler takes them out, and it's a fantastic moment leading to a massive brawl as team Vega and team Jay go to war. Once Jay and Vega get back into it the match is still brutal; a particular highlight being what I can only call a top rope package brainbuster. About fifty-ish minutes into the match we finally get the most overdue "This is awesome" chant in wrestling history as the crowd begins to realize that a draw is a genuine possibility, and what that means for the title. When we're in the last two minutes they begin doing anything they can, from dueling headbutts to stomps off the top, and at thirty seconds left both men are on the mat. Gary Jay kicks out at two and the bell rings, bringing the fight to an end as both men realize what just happened. They begin to brawl in the crowd but it's too late, the two men just put on an absolute classic.