REVIEW: Game Changer Wrestling – If I Die First (2022)

A Pay-Per-View by GCW

Yesterday’s show in Houston was plagued by travel issues, so I went into this show completely blind on what the card would be. Thankfully, it looks like most everyone was able to make it in, and no big names no-showed! I was most excited to see Psycho Clown and Dr. Wagner Jr. seeing that I’m a big fan of Lucha Libre. Game Changer Wrestling – If I Die First is the second of two back-to-back shows over the weekend, and just from glancing at the card it appears to be the show to see this month. I love how GCW brings in all of these legends when they run shows, it truly does remind me of old school ECW in that regard. None of them appear to be there to take anyone’s spot, and sometimes the brutality of the hardcore matches seems to reinvigorate their career a bit.

Without further ado, here are my thoughts on this show, easily the best wrestling Pay-Per-View since the last GCW show, which I really enjoyed.

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.

The Card:

  • Dante Leon & Ninja Mack defeated Jordan Oliver & Nick Wayne
  • John Wayne Murdoch defeated ASF
  • GCW Extreme Champion AJ Gray defeated Allie Katch to retain his title. 
  • Mike Bailey defeated Jimmy Lloyd
  • Psycho Clown defeated Gringo Loco
  • Atticus Cogar defeated Alex Zayne, Grim Reefer, Deranged, Dark Sheik in a scramble match
  • Blake Christian defeated Laredo Kid
  • Dr. Wagner Jr. defeated Joey Janela

My Thoughts:

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!

Psycho Clown:

This was a hell of a match, and reminded me a LOT of Lucha Underground. Gringo Loco and Psycho Clown really took it to each other here. I’ve never really seen Clown do deathmatch wrestling before, but they both did some absolutely crazy stuff including a balcony dive over a football goalpost into a stack of wooden doors. Gringo Loco tried to rip Clown’s mask off at one point, angering the crowd and getting a verbal lashing by the commentary team.

I’ve never seen so many wooden doors in a wrestling match, and fully assume some Home Depot made it out like a bandit this weekend. After the match we were promised a rematch which I will be more than happy to see after this one. I do like the trend of some of the bloodier matches in GCW becoming their own weird version of the “Code of Honor”, wherein two bloody dudes hug and share a beer no matter what happened during the match. It will be hard to beat this as my Match of the Night.

AJ Gray Showing why he has that belt:

While he was wrestling my girl Allie Katch, I can’t help but be impressed with AJ Gray here. After a few botches in the ladder match at the Hammerstein, Gray was in peak condition in this match and the two beat the hell out of each other. Allie was no slouch either, delivering her now standard barrage of piledrivers to Gray, although he managed to reverse the one that would have put him away. An Emerald Flowsion from the second rope sealed the deal.

More Scrambles than Denny’s

I’m only joking with the title, but GCW does love scramble matches don’t they!? You could honestly call Grim Reefer “Mr. Scramble” and it would fit because I have only ever seen him do these sorts of matches in the short period of time I’ve been keeping up with this company. As always, fun matches all around! Cogar once again gets a big win and infuriates the crowd as a result.

Laredo Kid’s Cape:

I’m kind of joking that I’d do a whole heading for a ring cape, but look at that thing up there! It’s awesome!! The match between Laredo Kid and Blake Christian was pretty awesome, and I’m not surprised because Laredo Kid ALWAYS seems to have great matches. Christian has been doing a lot of tag matches as long as I’ve been watching, so it was cool to see how he handles a singles match. Considering his recent popularity coming from a clip going viral, the sky’s the limit for the guy.

The Main Event:

I’m a big fan of Dr. Wagner Jr. so seeing him wrestle at such a high level still at the age of 56 years old is truly astonishing. I’m still not used to him being mask-less, but he lost that years ago. Wagner and Janela had a hell of a match, and Janela made Wagner look like 100 percent. Bleeding like a stuck pig, Janela took the battle to Wagner – even finding EVEN MORE DOORS and doing a bunch of cool spots. In the end, Wagner managed a win solidifying his status as a living legend in Lucha Libre today.

Conclusion:

Game Changer Wrestling – If I Die First was full of great wrestling and definitely the better of the two shows this weekend. That said, I’d still get the Fite.TV two-pack as getting that second show for almost free is a no-brainer to me. This show was not plagued by last-minute travel problems leading me to believe that Dallas is having less issues than Houston, so it was good to see the card largely unchanged. If you love Lucha Libre and want to watch something vaguely similar to an episode of Lucha Underground minus the theatrics, this show is for you. Having guys like Laredo Kid, Dr Wagner Jr., and Psycho Clown on the show was awesome, and it really cemented this as yet another must-see show from GCW.

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