A Wrestling Pay-Per-View by GCW
It’s honestly a shame that professional wrestling has taken so long to push aside some of its casual racism and treat professional wrestlers of color much better than it has before. Depending on whether one considers Ron Simmons the first ever black world champion or Bearcat Wright who won in Los Angeles some 30 years prior, it would not be until 1998 until The Rock would win the belt and start a slow trickle of recognition for wrestlers that always seem pushed aside in wrestling. That is why shows like Game Changer Wresting – For The Culture are fairly important, because they showcase up-and-coming black wrestlers from around the country all in one place. GCW has done a great job of doing themed shows like this, including one for lucha libre-styled wrestling and a series for LGBTQ wrestlers, something with even worse representation than black wrestling. It really goes to show that as a whole, wrestling fans are eager to shed the yoke of the stereotype of being backwards rednecks cheering on problematic tropes.
This show is a solid mix of wrestlers I have seen, even some that wrestle live in my area, and a number that are completely new to me. There’s a bit of something for everyone here, and in typical GCW fashion, it has that quaint DIY charm that elevates the product as being some sort of underdog product for people usually pushed aside from the major promotions. Let’s see how this stacks up with all the other shows in the GCW 2022 collective.
This show continues my attempt to watch a ton of GCW shows now that they are available on Fite.TV as included in the Fite+ subscription. I’m finally halfway done!
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.
- Tasha Steelz (c) defeated Big Swole to retain the IMPACT Knockouts World Championship
- Michael Oku defeated Carlie Bravo, PB Smooth (w/ Faye Jackson), Keita Murray, Ja’Dizz & Trey Shaw in a Scramble Match
- Shane Taylor Promotions (O’Shay Edwards & Shane Taylor) w/ Reverend Ron Hunt defeated The HitMakerz (AJ Francis & Tehuti Miles) w/ Briana Brandy
- Trish Adora (c) defeated MJ Jenkins to retain the Pan Afrikan World Diaspora World Championship
- AJ Gray defeated Darius Lockhart
- Mysterious Q defeated JTG, Zenshi & Bryan Keith
- Hoodfoot defeated Billy Dixon in a Death Match
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 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!
Glad to see Big Swole:
While I don’t think she was completely innocent in the situation, Big Swole’s departure from All Elite Wrestling was pretty messy, culminating in the media mis-construing her as accusing Tony Khan of racism and Khan retaliating by attacking her on Twitter. I was afraid that she was going to be black-listed, but thankfully she had a spot here on this show. Swole is by no means one of the greatest wrestlers ever, but she has a great character and should get more props for what she does. Tasha Steelz has also improved greatly since her NWA days, and did a great job as the Impact Women’s Champion. This was not too long after her big Ultimate X win, and she carries the belt powerfully here. Solid opening match.
The Biggest Draw of the Night:
Perhaps one of the largest bits of news going into this was that the show would feature the (at the time) former WWE stable Hit Row, now working under the name the HitMakerZ. This version was, of course, minus “Swerve” Strickland (a.k.a. Isiah Scott), who had signed with All Elite Wrestling. They had a match against Shane Taylor Promotions who also found themselves out of work after the shuttering of Ring of Honor just a few months prior. This match really went all out and showed that these guys deserve a solid spot in whatever promotion they find themselves in. With Hit Row back in WWE, I’m hoping that the presumed new ROH show leads to the re-hiring of Shane Taylor Promotions sooner than later.
I’ll have to keep an eye out for MJ Jenkins:
Unless I am mistaken, I have yet to see MJ Jenkins in a match, and that is a shame. After watching this, I can tell she is a solid heel that put on a banger here with Trish Adora for her Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling World Championship. Adora was always awesome in ROH for the relatively short amount of time she was there, and I fully assumed this would be an awesome match just by her being there. The two women played off of each other well, and I’d love to see both pop up in AEW at some point, which I believe Adora has once before.
Despite wearing Hyabusa’s mask, Mysterious Q is pretty awesome, and had a great match in a Texas GCW show earlier in the year I was able to watch. combined with the likes of Zenshi, JTG and Bryan Keith, I knew this would be awesome. This match fills the Ninja Mack void that most GCW shows have, and I’m all for it. I love me some flippy matches, and these guys came up with some cool spots.
The First All-Black Deathmatch:
This match holds the significance of being the first all-black deathmatch ever put on in any wrestling promotion, and it was about as good as one of these can be. Sure, neither Hoodfoot or Billy Dixon are awe-inspiring athletes, and honestly the slow nature of the match probably helped me like it more because these light-tube deathmatches usually get pretty boring for me. This is largely due to the repetition of similar light tube spots and taking a bumps through a table or something being so fast they bleed together. This had a sense of weight to it due to both men selling their bumps, and I was surprised how much I dug it. This was probably one of the last matches that Billy Dixon will have for quite a while, which is a shame. I’ve only seen him in some of the Effy shows GCW puts on, and he seems like a solid babyface. Known as the Vibe Wrestling founder and one of the leaders of the modern LGBTQ pro wrestling movement, Dixon decided to hang it up back in May with a return seeming unlikely. While this match style is usually not for me, This was an interesting and important main event.
Overall, this show was not a classic in any way, but was a solid proof of concept for an all-black wrestling promotion with some pretty solid matches. I was happy to see many wrestlers I knew, and loved hearing Mike Outlaw on commentary along with Suge D. The women’s matches were probably the highlights of the show, but I surprisingly enjoyed the main event more than I expected. As stated before, I am now halfway through these shows now, and will slowly work on more. So, if you like wrestling reviews that are eight months out of date, then step right up to my next installment of “trying to catch up on GCW” coming soon!