A Pay-Per-View by GCW
Sometimes there are moments in the life of a wrestling company where you know everything is about to change. Sometimes it’s good, others bad, but I feel like GCW running a sold-out show at the Hammerstein Ballroom was one such moment. While a notable New York venue for all sorts of things, it always holds a special place in the hearts of wrestling fans, especially those that remember ECW fondly. 2,025 people for an independent wrestling show, especially one that does deathmatch wrestling occasionally, is pretty crazy and goes to show that the folks trying to slander the sport and suggest “it’s not popular anymore” are dumb. Anyone with two braincells can see that it’s popular, just not with the same folks that left to watch MMA in the 00s. I feel like anything is possible in wrestling right now.
This is easily the biggest show in the history of GCW, and in many ways this was a “make it or break it” moment for them. Success would easily mean more eyes on the product and a swell in popularity. It seems GCW has been getting a lot of attention as of late, and it’s well deserved, they put on some solid shows. Without further ado, let’s see what happened!
Good news! two great matches are FREE on YouTube, click below:
For anyone wanting to watch this, I would recommend Fite.TV. you can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch it, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far.
- 1P Big Vin won by last eliminating Charles Mason – Pabst Blue Ribbon Kickoff Battle Royal 16:01
- 2P Grim Reefer defeated Alex Zayne, Dante Leon, Shane Mercer, Jack Cartwheel, and Ninja Mack Pabst Blue Ribbon Kickoff Scramble match 7:54
- 3 AJ Gray defeated PCO, Alex Colon, G-Raver, Tony Deppen, Jimmy Lloyd, and Jordan Oliver Grab the Brass Ring Ladder match – Winner will receive a match of their choosing at any time. 16:47
- 4 Team Gringo (Gringo Loco, Arez, and Demonic Flamita) defeated Team Bandido (Bandido, ASF, and Laredo Kid) by pinfall Trios match – This match was held under Lucha Libre rules. 14:09
- 5 Blake Christian defeated Lio Rush by pinfall Singles match 12:34
- 6 Matt Cardona (with Chelsea Green) defeated Joey Janela by pinfall Singles match 19:43
- 7 Second Gear Crew (Mance Warner and Matthew Justice) (with Sabu and Bill Alfonso) defeated 44OH! (Atticus Cogar, Eddy Only, Gregory Iron, and Bobby Beverly) by pinfall 4-on-2 handicap match – Bill Alfonso counted the pinfall for this match.
- 8 Ruby Soho defeated Allie Katch by pinfall Singles match 9:36
- 9 Jeff Jarrett defeated Effy by pinfall Singles match 11:13
- 10 Jon Moxley (c) defeated Homicide by pinfall Singles match for the GCW World Championship 11:14
- 11 Matt Tremont and Nick Gage (with Dewey Donovan) defeated The Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe) (c) by pinfall Tag team open challenge for the GCW Tag Team Championship 5:28
As I’ve stated before, my methodology for this is to avoid giving arbitrary star ratings or anything resembling the typical ratings people give in wrestling reviews. I stopped awarding “grades” to things long ago, after my gig at a videogame site slid into them manipulating scores. I usually go through the show and pull a half-dozen or so things that I thought were significant or that I liked. You might think some of my choices are dumb and that’s okay – we all like different things!
Usually, a pre-show for a wrestling Pay-Per-View is a couple of matches of fluff to drum up some last minute interest in a big show, or run all promo packages as to not clutter the main show up. Game Changer Wrestling – The WRLD on GCW actually had two huge “fan-service” matches on the pre-show – a battle royale full of big surprises, and a scramble match showcasing some of the up-and-coming talent in the company. I was cool to see some of the people in the battle royale, including AEW’s Thunder Rosa and indy legend LuFisto. We got a nice moment where Big Vin celebrated his win with his father, ECW legend 911. In the scramble match, they had guys like Ninja Mack, who may be my favorite guy in GCW right now, pulling some amazing stunts to keep everyone on their toes. They cooled everything down with a tribute to some people that had died in the past few years, and talked about the bumpy road leading up to the show. Overall, solid pre-show all around.
Insane Ladder Match:
After watching this, I’m not certain exactly how G-Raver isn’t dead because oh man he took some bumps! While this seemed kind of sloppy at times, I definitely can’t say it wasn’t exciting. I just hope there weren’t any crazy injuries or anything. Guys like PCO did some amazing spots, and eventually AJ Gray took the win! Yeah, there was some interference, but still a cool moment.
Crazy stuff I’ve never seen:
In the lucha match, I was excited to see some of the luchadores I have grown to love in MLW and ROH (and a couple I’m unfamiliar with) do some crazy stuff I have never seen before. A great example is the above team “double stack” that shows how strong El Gringo Loco and Bandido are. I know some aren’t big lucha fans, but let’s face it stuff like that is VERY impressive.
The Ultimate Indy Heat Magnet:
Matt Cardona has turned himself into one of the best heels in recent memory. Both in NWA and GCW, he basically rolls in and acts like his mere presence on the card is doing the company a favor. When it was time for him to come out, the crowd was excited as the hammering riffs of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” filled the arena. With it being Hammerstein that could have only meant one thing, but sadly Sandman was not in attendance, it was Cardona pissing the fans off yet again. Wearing a shirt that says “F@@@ Mick Foley” and holding a can of PBR, the crowd wanted to murder him. They even had a big banner that said “If Cardona wins we riot!”, which he already had made into a T-Shirt. While not as intense as John Cena at ECW: One Night Stand, the hatred was pretty similar.
With a promo video package that basically laid out the story of this match being one of Allie Katch’s dream matches, it was cool to see how emotional the crowd got, and as a result how emotional she got in return. In one of my earlier GCW reviews, I talked about how Allie really impressed me, and she is easily one of the highlights of any show I’ve seen her on. You can tell Allie is basically one of the pillars of GCW, with how much love she gets from the crowd, almost Tommy Dreamer levels. Having her wrestle the amazing Ruby Soho was a great choice and it was a solid, fun match.
Glad to See Mox Healthy:
Jon Moxley stepped out of wrestling for a few months to take care of his problems with alcohol addiction at the end of 2021. He technically wrestled his first match back in AEW last week, but this one has more oomph to it, seeing that it’s for the GCW World Heavyweight title. Hell of a match against Homicide and glad to see him back!
While it was a cool moment seeing Matt Tremont and Nick Gage win the GCW tag belts, the fact that the match was a super fast “oops we ran out of time” situation was a shame. There were quite a few moments of wasted time in the show, and I really wish some things had been trimmed down. Lessons learned of course, better luck next time!
Aside from the main event being cut short due to PPV runtime issues, this was a great pay-per-view, easily the best GCW show I’ve seen. I think the Cardona vs Janela match could have been trimmed just a bit considering it was by far the longest match on the card aside from the pre-show matches. It was a great match, but I would have rather seen more of the tag match to be honest. Otherwise, the show showcased the highly diverse roster in a great way, didn’t do too much bloody stuff to drive new fans away, and had some real surprises. If you haven’t ever seen GCW, this is easily the best way to check out what they offer. If this becomes their yearly “WrestleMania” I’m all for it!