Welcome back to GCW and to the familiar embrace of Atlantic City. There was electricity in the air tonight and a massive feeling of anticipation as GCW prepped one of its biggest shows to date with one of the biggest main events planned. On the card tonight, we’d see the big debut of AKIRA as he joins forces with Alex Colon and G-Raver against the SGC, the return of Lio Rush, Alex Zayne vs Ninja Mack, Matt Cardona vs EFFY and so much more as the show built to the mammoth main event where Nick Gage and Jon Moxley collided for the first time in years. Moxley has the belt Gage holds so sacredly, what would Nick Gage be willing to go through to get it back? Let’s find out.

Alex Zayne defeated Ninja Mack & Lio Rush via Crunchwrap Supreme on Mack

This is how you open a show. Originally, this was meant to be Alex Zayne vs Ninja Mack in what could just be the ultimate battle of the flippy shit. Zayne was enjoying the return streak of a lifetime, picking up exactly where he left off whilst Mack was out here blowing minds and making more gif-able moments than the internet was often prepped for. However, they were in for a shock as Lio Rush was invading their match and making it a triple threat. The M.O.T.H had come to play and that flippy shit quota was about to be blown away. No one was complaining about this card change. The match that followed was nothing short of incredible. Rush got the hot start as he showed he wasn’t missing a step despite retirement and injury, Zayne got the big win and picked his moments to strike and Mack did what Mack did best, fly, innovate and make people gasp in awe and terror. There was no slack in this match as everyone put in 100% to open the show hot. Everyone was clearly having fun with this one as all three guys took part in a one-up battle of physics-defying fun. It was a joy to watch and one of the best examples of an opening match of flying madness mixed with technical and power wrestling innovation. Seriously, every fighter here was on another level. I want another bout between these three as Rush was milliseconds away from saving the match from Zayne.

Chris Dickinson & Starboy Charlie defeated Joey Janela & Marko Stunt via Brainbuster on Stunt

Up next was another test for the newly formed student and mentor team of Chris Dickinson and Starboy Charlie or as they were now dubbed, Team Eye to Eye. They’d done battle with SGC, now they were going against some of GCW’s top stars, Marko Stunt and Joey Janela. This one could go anywhere and be anything as we had a mix of stiff strikers, technical masters, and high-flyers. Dickinson and Charlie had the crowd amped before even getting started as they came out to Eye of the Tiger. It opened with pure wrestling between Stunt and Charlie and escalated to more Slither-based violence as Janela and Dickinson took over. As the match went on, we saw the action ramp up as everyone went into another gear. Stunt was on fire against Dickinson and Janela gave Charlie a lesson in pain. It was an excellent example of pure tag wrestling as Janela and Stunt found control and did everything possible to keep it. Charlie became a one-man war machine and finally made his escape to let Dickinson loose on everyone. The action just kept getting wilder as both teams pulled out all the stops and brought the action to an exciting climax. It got chaotic as the tag rules got laxer and everyone was just out to end things. Both teams looked amazing here and with a win of this magnitude, Charlie and Dickinson are more than ready to deal with Jacob Fatu and Juicy Finau, Janela definitely thought so, commenting on how Dickinson needed to bring Charlie into things right. The pair are definitely seeing Eye to Eye now with this performance.

Jordan Oliver defeated Atticus Cogar via Clout Cutter through Doors

Oh boy. Time for some sweet payback. Shot Caller Atticus Cogar had stomped on Jordan Oliver’s win/loss record and now he wanted to do it again. This was to be their big rematch with Oliver out to even the score and knock Cogar down a peg. Cogar was without his cronies again and gave us another tactical and exciting wrestling match with Oliver. Cogar had brought his skewers but Oliver tried to remove them from play. What followed was another bout of counter wrestling, limb targeting, and nightmarish power moves and strikes. Once again, Cogar seemed to have a game plan and tried to slowly break down Oliver. Doors entered the equation but this gave Oliver the chance to recover as he took so long. Oliver came back hard and made Cogar suffer from a barrage of Suplexes and drops. It was all painful stuff. The pair found themselves evenly matched again with neither fighter able to keep the other down, no matter what they hit. They kept going with everything they had until Oliver brought out the cutters and Cogar hit him in the cock. Despite the low blow, Oliver still wouldn’t quit so Cogar went to use the doors. They fought on the top and Oliver drove Cogar through the doors with a Clout Cutter to take the win. Oliver had reclaimed a win leaving the pair at 1-1. Now, there’ll need to be a rubber match because neither man is going to be happy with a draw and Oliver is not going to stand for Cogar’s false sportsmanship and skewering. This ain’t over. What an interesting fight from an intriguing feud.

Internet Title vs GCW Career: Matt Cardona (w/Chelsea Green) defeated EFFY (w/Allie Katch) via Super Radio Silence

Brett Lauderdale was supposed to make his big announcement next as he talked about GCW setting new attendance records and breaking down barriers when Matt Cardona interrupted before he could make the announcement. He got the usual chorus of boos and chants for the real internet champion EFFY. Cardona dared to tear down Moxley and Mick Foley and tried to take credit for all the attendance records and derail the announcement. EFFY cut Cardona off and we got the title vs career match. BUSSY was fine and Katch had come out to support the Internet Champion. Cardona instantly struck with Radio Silence but couldn’t get a pin and got tied up in the ropes by EFFY. Daddy started beating the hell out of Cardona and Cardona fired back with stiff shots of his own. The animosity was real here as the fight went outside and just got nastier. EFFY was determined to keep the title and started smashing Cardona with a chair. Sadly, he took himself out and Cardona hit a Death Rider on the floor. Cardona kept the sickening violence going with more nasty chair shots and flew into a Vandaminator Dropkick. EFFY refused to die despite the bleeding and brain shots so Cardona choked him out with a headband to EFFY’s pleasure. EFFY launched himself into a comeback but it didn’t last and Cardona was back on the chair shots. He wrecked himself missed a Broski Boot and ate the TKO/Dragon Sleeper. Cardona went Under the Rainbow but it was not enough and Cardona got a shoulder up. Both guys kept giving it everything they had with neither landing the killing blow. The ref was taken out by Cardona and EFFY missed Cardona and nailed Katch with a chair. Cardona hit a flying Tea-Bag and both guys kept working Sans-ref, EFFY getting a six-count with the Sack Ryder. A fan in a Mancer Jacket jumped the match and distracted EFFY and joined Cardona in hitting EFFY in the dick. Cardona won his former title back with Radio Silence and the Mancer fan revealed herself to be Cardona’s partner, Chelsea Green. Fucking hell, this was fun. Cardona and EFFY tore the house down with this match and the inclusion of Green just makes this all the more interesting. Looks like GCW isn’t getting rid of Cardona anytime soon.

Scramble: Jimmy Lloyd defeated ASF, Brayden Lee, Dante Leon, Calvin Tankman, Gringo Loco & Thunder Rosa via Spin-out Piledriver on ASF

Post-intermission, we came back to the staple of GCW, a scramble. Originally billed as ASF, Jimmy Lloyd, Calvin Tankman, Dante Leon, Gringo Loco, and Brayden Lee, a surprise entrant came to play. Thunder Rosa came out and inserted herself into the scramble, making a dangerous match all the deadlier. This was going to get nuts. As expected of a scramble, this went everywhere and sent bodies flying everywhere. As it was another styles clash, everyone tried to go for their signature licks-in. Tankman was the biggest threat in the match so naturally, he became the first target. From there, the usual scramble madness occurred as everyone found new ways to hurt each other. It was a clusterfuck of flipping, kicking, striking, and innovation as everyone forced the spotlight onto themselves. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no one does a scramble like GCW, and man, are they a wild ride to watch. This was another exceptional example of multi-fighter fury and made the most of the people in the ring. Words aren’t going to do this match justice, just watch it. Also, more of La Mera Mera in GCW.

The Second Gear Crew (AJ Gray, Mance Warner & Matthew Justice) defeated AKIRA, G-Raver & Alex Colon via Running Knee to AKIRA

Now, this I’m excited for. AKIRA, the Catch x Death Samurai and one of the brightest hybrid stars on the independent scene was finally making his GCW debut and he wasn’t alone. He’d been drafted in to team with two of the deathmatch elite, Alex Colon and G-Raver against the hurricane of hardcore, the Second Gear Crew. This was going to pure anarchy in the best way. AKIRA was getting a baptism by GCW fire. He made himself right at home with a 3 on 1 fight and found himself smothered under the violence of SGC. He kept slugging back at SGC but the numbers were not on his side and he found himself taking a beating. Raver and Colon let AKIRA take his lumps then came to his aid as the fight flew outside. Bodies continuously fell as SGC kept control over the deathmatch elite, braining AKIRA with a Doomsday Chair. Everyone did what they could to inflict pain and control the odds as Justice worked to keep the plunder coming. AKIRA made his legal escape with a double Koppu Kick and the Elite brought out some smooth teamwork. Colon and Raver started making SGC pay and made the match way more competitive, AKIRA working to form a whole host of double-team combinations. Gray went through a nightmarishly long stint in the Muta Lock and all six men started slugging it out. The final plunder was set up and bodies crashed through doors again as SGC took the win with a running knee strike on AKIRA. It had been pure war out there and both teams showed the hell out. AKIRA got his big debut and made the absolute most of it. He was the underdog out to prove himself and I think he did it amongst the hardcore horror show going on.

Post-match, SGC called out every tag division on the wrestling scene, hollering about how there were no teams anywhere that could beat them anymore. That was cut off by one hell of a team entering the building. Jay and Mark Briscoe had heard enough and challenged SGC because you don’t just write off Dem Boys. They were going to kick some ass and try to take those titles.

Shane Mercer defeated Yoya via Tombstone and Battery

Oh no. This was going to be a rough one. Yoya is an excellent wrestler, a dynamic striker, and a submission expert but he was at a major disadvantage against his opponent, Shane Mercer. The Iron Demon is a walking weapon of mass destruction and has a propensity for throwing around smaller opponents like paper airplanes. I imagine he had similar plans for Yoya. It started off with Yoya using his speed and wits to avoid Mercer’s clutches but it only lasted for a minute and Yoya was hurled into the fourth row over a ring-post. Mercer tried to torture Yoya and launched him around the venue but it wasn’t enough to damped Yoya’s fire and that speed and wits came into play again as Yoya used the environment and gravity to his advantage. He tried to submit Mercer whilst Mercer tried to all-out kill him, inventing new moves just to cause more pain. Both guys were left feeling the effects of their encounter but Yoya took the worst of it as Mercer killed them both off with a top rope Cradle Piledriver. Somehow that didn’t end things as Mercer tweaked his knee and Yoya went after it. Again though, it didn’t do enough to stop Mercer who took Yoya out with a running Moonsault and Battery. Yoya found the ropes and countered another throw into a deadly destroyer. Both guys collapsed from exhaustion and Yoya tried to will himself onto to slay this Goliath with a Brainbuster. Sadly, Mercer got up again and he had to go back to the drawing board. He nearly put Mercer to sleep with a Rear-Naked Choke but Mercer fought through and ended things with a Tombstone and Battery. Holy shit this rocked. Yoya managed to really batter Mercer despite the horrifying flight he took early on. Mercer acknowledged him at the end, as did the crowd as everyone saw how tough he is. Don’t sleep on the Shooterweight.

GCW World Title: Jon Moxley defeated Nick Gage via Glass Pane Death Rider

As the fuckery for the final fight was set up, Brett Lauderdale gave his big announcement. He pointed to the projector screen behind him and showed a video highlighting GCW’s next big achievement, the Hammerstein Ballroom. There was only one GCW and now, they were coming for the Hammerstein Ballroom. The outlaws, the outcasts, those deemed not good enough were coming for one of the biggest venues in NYC in 2022 and you can believe that shit will sell out. GCW never dies it just gets stronger. With that out of the way, Mick Foley, the hardcore legend came out to introduce the main event and present the title whilst the fans went wild for him. Everyone loves Foley and rightly so. Once he was done with the introductions, we got down to business, Moxley vs Gage with him taking a spot on commentary. Gage wasn’t messing about here and instantly broke a bundle over Moxley’s head. He was instantly busted open and retaliated in rapid fashion with a bundle to Gage’s head. They traded elbows and Mox sent Gage flying over the ropes and through a barbed wire and glass door, crashing on his knee. Moxley brought out the pizza cutter and gave Gage the punishment he deals with so many others, revelling in the bloodletting. Mox was having a blast right now amongst the glass. Gage used the buckles to stun Mox and booted more bundles into him with a Baseball Slide. They fought around the outside and Gage brought out the fan interaction chair shots. Moxley flew through the crowd and ate a Spinebuster as the fight returned to the ring. Moxley didn’t let this stand though and dumped Gage into a barbed-wire door with a Money Clip. He cut himself a barbed-wire knuckleduster and kept carving up Gage’s head with it before upping the ante with a barbed-wire Neckbreaker.

They teetered around a decorative glass pane and Gage got revenge with a spear through the pane. He followed up with the Vader’s elbow with a chair and carved up Mox with a broken tube. He got his pizza cutter out and took it to Moxley’s forehead and repeated history by cutting into his mouth and tongue. Mox came back with a Saito and lariat then hit his first low Death Rider for a one-count. Moxley flipped Gage off and sent them both into the tubes with a nasty cutter. They slugged it out on their knees and fought to their feet to trade headbutts. Gage stunned Mox with a DDT and ran a chair into his head before drilling him and the camera with the tube face wash. The Piledriver followed for a two-count. Gage rearranged the furniture and tried for a second rope Piledriver but Mox fought it off and bit into Gage’s face to deliver another Death Rider, taking them both through the glass. Mox took the worst of it but the impact was still enough to get him the three-count. Moxley had just toppled the King in his own turf. This was pure deathmatch violence and I fucking loved it. There was glass galore, wrestling galore and tension galore as two monsters of the ring collided, raking up history as they did so. Foley really added to the commentary and atmosphere too so I thank him for that. What a main event. I’m hoping there’s a rematch down the line because this modern-age take on a decade-old feud is too good to just do once.

All images courtesy of GCW, Earl Gardner Photography, Kayden

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