WARNING STRONG LANGUAGE AHEAD

Day Two of the Collective opened with a very special event. EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch was a celebration of all the LGBTQ+ talent in wrestling and giving them a platform to shine. For some, this was a new chance to show off their talent to a much wider audience whilst celebrating who they are. On the card we’d see Still Life with Apricots and Pears battle Hoodslam’s Dark Sheik, SGC going to war with the BSB All-stars in 8-man action, The Twink Gauntlet, EFFY vs a mystery opponent, and Sonny Kiss taking on the legendary Cassandro plus multiple other matches. Let’s get into it!

The Sea Stars (Delmi Exo & Ashley Vox) defeated Ashton Starr & A.C Mack via Elevated Tumbleweed Senton to Starr

The first match of the show would be a tag team match. The loudest pro-wrestler A.C. Mack and the too-cool Ashton Starr would take on the happy go lucky yet incredibly dangerous team of the Sea Stars. Exo didn’t start things well by trying to wear and dropping Starr’s glasses before doing an impression of him. They started by trading technical holds and escapes, then went rope running until Exo brought down Starr with a boot. Exo snapped him down with a Russian leg sweep and tagged out to Vox for a snapmare combo. Starr tagged out and Vox started quickly started mixing it up with Mack launching him with a dropkick and Hurricanrana. She fish-hooked Mack and tagged out again into another combo. Mack safely got to his corner and Starr came out striking at Exo. Mack kicked her in the back so Starr was able to floor her with a massive kick and took control of the match. He continued with a Stalling Suplex and tagged Mack in for more pummelling. He landed a massive running fist and smashed her with a head kick, then tagged out again. Starr mocked her trying to make a hot tag and jabbed her back to his corner. They both rain a train on Exo and Mack locked her in a chin-lock. She broke free and slugged it out with Mack on the floor. Mack maintained control and the pair continued to bully Exo. She finally broke free with a senton/dropkick combo and got the much-needed tag to Vox. She hammered down Starr and Mack and spiked Mack with a tornado flatliner. She nailed a double-team codebreaker/senton combo on Mack but Starr saved him from being pinned. They double-teamed Exo but Vox sent Mack flying. Exo and Starr slugged it out. He took the advantage with a nasty kick into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and bridging Northern Lights. Vox made the save there and Exo launched a returning Mack with a fallaway slam. Starr missed an Axe kick so the Sea Stars beat him down and ended him with a massive tumbleweed senton for the win. There was some excellent chemistry between the teams here and after a massive struggle, The Sea Stars got the opening feelgood win. Now, GCW needs more Ashton Starr.

Still Life with Apricots and Pears defeated Dark Sheik via Figure Four Deathlock

Next up was a masterpiece of a match. it not only featured a work of art in Still Life but was also the best pure wrestling match of the show. They started by trading technical holds and showed off their knowledge of catch as catch can. We got a nice rope running segment that ended with Dark Sheik blasting Still Life with a spinning heel kick. Still Life didn’t stay down and took Sheik into the ropes for a springboard dropkick. They locked up Sheik and rolled her through into a pin. Sheik fought out of a bridging armbar and put Still Life in a swinging wheelbarrow hold, then dropped them on their face. Sheik then locked in an arm breaker choke and started hammering Still Life with strikes and kicks. She upped the ante with a slingshot leg drop and rolled back out for a slingshot senton. She continued to bully Still Life with kicks until Still Life woke up and trapped Sheik in a vicious deathlock and clawed at her face. Sheik reversed the pressure and went into a hip-swivelling Muta Lock then rolled through into an elevated leg lock. Sheik threw out more verbal barbs as the crowd tried to will Still Life back to life. She threw some more kick but Still Life dodged, threw Sheik into the ropes, and dropped her with a bulldog. Still, Life bridged into a leg lock but Sheik escaped into a horrific curb stomp. A chop-fest broke out that Sheik stopped with an eye-rake, then nailed a head-scissor drop and top rope spinning heel kick. Sheik went for a cocky pin so Still Life got some breathing room. She railed Still Life with another chop, then nailed a Hurricanrana, Trouble in Paradise, and Boom drop for two. She perched Still Life on the top rope for an Iconoclasm and missed a top-rope leg drop. Still Life went after her knee with a series of stomps and kicks, then nailed a tree of woe senton to Sheik’s knee. They then locked in a figure four deathlock and forced Sheik to tap. This was one for the wrestling purists. Two big characters, one being as evil as possible to make the younger, rookie earn the win. These two are amazing athletes and this match nigh on stole the show for me.

Second Gear Crew (Mance Warner, Matthew Justice, 1 Called Manders & Levi Everett) defeated the BGB All-stars (MV Young, Billy Dixon, O’Shay Edwards & Joshua Wavra) via – SGC Execution to Dixon

From art, came chaos. Two big and rowdy factions were about to clash and it was going to get messy. The Second Gear Crew were going to meet the Big Gay Brunch All-Stars in a match that would spill out everywhere. The BSB rushed the SGC and brawling erupted everywhere. MV and Justice fought into the crowd and MV hammered Justice with a chair, then gave him some pelvic thrusts and a superkick. Elsewhere, Dixon and Mance messed each other up and Everett went after Wavra. Manders and Edwards ended up in the middle of the ring so Edwards dropped Manders with a spinebuster. Mance rushed him and the teams finally restored some order. Dixon caught the eye-poke god and levelled Mance with a bionic elbow into a killswitch. He missed a corner strike though and sent Edwards reeling to the floor. Justice and MV took to the ring and resumed their fight. They went back and forth with brutal chops until Justice hung MV on the ropes. The chairs came out as SGC beatdown MV. A bar fight broke out until MV suplexed Justice onto his chair. Wavra was tagged in and accidentally KO’ed Edwards too, then stomped onto Everett’s fingers. Wavra continued the assault on Everett’s arm and locked in Everett’s butter churn armbar. Everett hammered back and got sent flying with an exploder. Wavra tried to hit Everett in the corner but ended up nailed Edwards again and ran right into a headbutt. Everett went after everyone but Wavra clobbered him with a back elbow.

Edwards got in Wavra’s face and took his turn beating down Everett. He then tossed MV back in and Manders decided to get him some. A door came out and bodies went everywhere again as Justice dived onto everyone. Wavra followed with some assistance from MV and Mance hopped the ropes to eye poke everyone. He celebrated in-ring, then Edwards speared him through a door. Everett dived onto everyone outside and Justice chopped it out with Dixon. MV nailed him with a trio of Germans and a shining wizard but only got two. Everett took him out with fists and a flying headbutt, then Wavra nailed Everett with a brainbuster and Swanton. Mance flattened Wavra with a lariat, then ate a stunner and Thesz press from Dixon. He wanted to tag out to Edwards but Edwards walked off and the SGC executed Dixon with a barrage of finishers for the win. This was anarchy in the best way. Edwards turning his back on his team cost them the match but hey the journey to that breakdown was amazing.

Jamie Senegal (w/Saint Synclair) defeated Allie Kat via Springboard FaceBuster onto Chair

This next match was preceded by a Paris is Bumping style drag act that got gate-crashed by Tony Deppen. He paid the price for this with a chair to the face from one of the group, then another from EFFY and the show went on. The match itself was on my most wanted list as it would see the Punk Rock Kween Jamie Senegal go one on one with Allie Kat. Well, two on one as they came with Saint Synclair. Allie Kat started off nervously asking for Senegal to rub her belly. Senegal looked like she’d play along but stepped on her instead. They traded arm drags and Allie sent Senegal flying with a head-scissor. Senegal looked to make amends and give Allie the belly rub but chose to slap her instead. The two traded ground and pound strikes, then Senegal blasted Allie to the outside and watch as Saint Synclair attacked her. Senegal continued with a corner choke and face wash locked in a chin lock. Allie fought back and booted Senegal in the face, then propelled herself to the top, only to get pushed back down by Synclair. Senegal brought down the boots and hit a massive leg drop. They nailed Allie with more kicks and avoided a laricat to trade headbutts. They then knocked each other down with a spinning heel kick and laricat. They traded palm strikes and Allie nailed her sitting senton in the corner. Synclair tried to interfere again and got caught in a double corner attack and furball. Senegal fought out of the Pussy Piledriver and tripped Allie into the You’re Gay Now rebound German. Allie somehow kicked out so Senegal tried to drag her up but Allie rolled her through into a senton. She went for the laricat but Synclair grabbed her foot and hit her in the face with water. He then slid a chair into the ring as Senegal finished off Allie with a Springboard Facebuster onto it. They continued to berate Allie Kat after the match as Senegal revelled in being an evil Kween. Excellent match that mixed up athleticism and good old-fashioned villainy. I am biased as I’m a massive fan of Jamie Senegal but hey, I can point this and show why now.

The Twink Gauntlet: Devon Monroe outlasted Jimmy Lloyd, Dyln McKay, Jared Edwards, Logan Stunt, Parrow, Tyler Klein, Calvin Couture, Tony Deppen, Juicy Jimmy, Molly McCoy, Sean Henderson, Marcus Mathers, Kit Osbourne, and the unnamed unlimited twinks via Cazadora Roll-up on The Twink Hunter Parrow

After that was the twink gauntlet! A multi-man battle of twinks and one specific twink hunter, Parrow. It would be a long and arduous journey for the winner so let’s break it down step by step:

Jimmy Lloyd defeated Dyln McKay via Murder Driver – Things started with a short bout of flippy shit as McKay used his brief time in the gauntlet to further show off his arsenal of flips. Lloyd tanked all this and ended him with a Tenzan Driver

Jared Evans defeated Jimmy Lloyd & Logan Stunt via Curb Stomp – Next into the gauntlet was Jared Evans. He had a chip on his shoulder and was going to take some scalps in the gauntlet by any means necessary. This started with Lloyd as he bested him with a low blow and curb stomp. He then took on Logan Stunt who went strike happy on Evans. Evans fought back hard and tried to disrespect him, then ended him with a curb stomp too.

The Twink Hunter Massacre: Parrow defeated many many twinks by Raw Power – After that we got an endless stream of twinks trying and failing to best Parrow. Tyler Klein and Calvin Couture fought over who would get pinned, by him and enjoyed a double chokeslam. Tony Deppen joined in the fun and stripped down to watch the fun. He then moved out the way so Juicy Jimmy could come out for some fun. He stuck a rainbow dildo to a ring post and took the fight to Parrow. He lasted longer than anyone so far but Parrow dumped him with a powerbomb. Molly McCoy was next and she brought a hockey stick as an equaliser. She did beat Parrow with it but he stopped her with a powerbomb against a concrete wall. EFFY grew tired of the one-sidedness and sent out an army of unlimited twinks including Sean Henderson, Kit Osbourne, and Marcus Mathers to name a few. None could get the job done until the final twink came out.

Devon Monroe defeated Parrow via Cazadora Roll-Up – Devon Monroe was the last hope for team Twink and he brought all he could against the monster that was Parrow. He had a rough start but the army of twinks caught his fall and willed him to life. Deppen rushed the ring, admitted he liked twinks and gave Parrow a superkick. Monroe rushed the dazed giant with a round-the-world DDT and hammered Parrow with an elbow. Parrow through a couple more fists and ate a springboard jawbreaker. Parrow went for a chokeslam but Monroe reversed it into a roll-up and took the win from the Twink Hunter. Today was a win for the twinks. Parrow ran away upset at his loss and Devon Monroe celebrated his big win. This was a ridiculous but fun gauntlet with a scary as hell twink hunter in Parrow.

Too Hot for TV: Marko Stunt defeated EFFY via Roll-up          

This was originally meant to be EFFY vs Priscilla Kelly but due to a family emergency, EFFY found an interesting replacement. See EFFY is known as wrestling’s daddy. Because of this, he’s been slightly defamatory towards twinks. Now, the ultimate twink was coming for vengeance. That twink, Marko Stunt! He came out with some dubious toys to play with and really indicated this match would be too hot for TV. The first spot of the match was Stunt whipping EFFY in the gut with a multi-ended whip and nailing him with a dropkick and head-scissor. EFFY bailed so Stunt flew like a twink bullet (thanks MV.) EFFYbrained him with a chair and went under the ring to retrieve some candles and a blow torch for some hot wax play. Stunt bit EFFY’s dick and snatched that away, then poured hot wax onto EFFY’s back. EFFY nailed Stunt with a forearm but Stunt tripped him and applied a ball gag to EFFY’s face and gave him a spank. As EFFY scrambled to free himself, Stunt retrieved a very unique weapon. He through a tray with a dildo attached to it but EFFY suplexed him and looked set to curb stomp him onto it. Stunt pushed a button on the tray and the dick squirted lube into EFFY’s eyes. As EFFY was blinded, Stunt brought out a guy in a sex doll costume to fight EFFY. A door was set up and he set the sex doll onto it. He went top rope so Stunt threw him through the door and won the match with a roll-up. The Twink got revenge on wrestling’s Daddy and it was glorious. Ladies and gentlemen, we just had the first dildo deathmatch. A bondage battle? I don’t know what to call it but I loved it.

Cassandro defeated Sonny Kiss via Top Rope Victory Roll

Last but not least, we got the main event. A generational bout between the trailblazing Exotico Cassandro and AEW’s current trail-blazer, Sonny Kiss. This would be a poignant celebration of LGBTQ+ culture in a wrestling match. They locked up and dragged each other around the ring and down to the floor. Kiss took the fight to Cassandro and took him down with a whole host of sweeps and arm drags, then sent him flying to the outside with a dropkick. Cassandro fired back and took Kiss rope walking into a Hurricanrana. Kiss bailed so Cassandro hit with a tope con giro. He went for a second but Kiss cut him off with a kick. Kiss followed up with a split dropkick and a suicide dive to the outside. Cassandro bounced Kiss off the ring and tossed them back inside. He followed inside and ran straight into a lariat. Kiss locked in an abdominal stretch and ran into a lariat from Cassandro. He put Kiss in a body scissor and rolled them through into a posing pin. Kiss retorted by putting Cassandro in the tree of woe and hit a flipping handspring back elbow. Cassandro bailed so Kiss followed and got thrown face-first into a chair. He bounced Kiss off a ring post and threw them to the floor and across the fan seats. Kiss kicked away a chair shot and swatted Cassandro in the back with a chair. The fight returned to the ring where Cassandro took out Kiss with a diving crossbody and got locked in a straight jacket. Kiss rocked Cassandro with an elbow and set him up across the second rope for a cartwheel kick that hit him square in the ribs. Kiss went to the top and missed a split leg drop. Cassandro dropkicked Kiss and nailed a second diving missile dropkick. He perched Kiss on the top and hit a devastating top rope Victory Roll for the win. This ended a beautiful show on an exceptionally high note. It was a competitive match with a lot of emotion and unpredictability. You could tell how much the match meant to Kiss and EFFY was sure to give a heart-warming speech to end it all.

So, there you have it, EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch, reviewed for your reading pleasure. This one was special to me. As a part of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s always nice to feel represented. The wrestlers out there took all the opportunities this show would allow them to enjoy that spotlight, have fun, and most importantly show you how damn good they were. To be blunt, it was a big fuck you, we can do it, to anyone doubting their talents or characters. They put on a riotous show full of hope, joy, and insanely good wrestling whilst having some fun and shocks along the way. What’s not to love?

All images courtesy of Earl Gardner Photography, HeyyImRob, Wrestling With Unicorns, GCW Twitter, EFFY Twitter (through Robert Starkz-Bellamy)