Happy new year everyone. What better way to start this new year than with another dose of hybrid wrestling and deathmatch violence courtesy of GCW. As per their tradition, GCW was ringing in the new year with a double dose of wrestling chaos. First up, Til Infinity, the New Year’s Eve spectacular. On the card, we’d see Allie Katch vs Charli Evans, Everett Connors vs Atticus Cogar, the PCO open challenge, YDNB vs SGC, Dark Sheik vs Colby Corino and so much more leading to the main event deathmatch extravaganza between G-Raver and AKIRA. Let’s get into the action.

PCO Extreme Title Open Challenge: PCO defeated Matt Tremont via Moonsault

The show opened with a very moving tribute to Markus Crane. He was given a ten-bell salute and a video package was shown of his friends and blood brothers giving their farewells. That left no dry eyes in the house. To boost spirits and get the party started, we opened with the PCO open challenge. Not only was the French-Canadian Frankenstein back, but he’d also brought the GCW Extreme Title back with him. Who was going to answer the monster’s challenge? It was Matt Tremont. He was back and the crowd went wild as Separate Ways hit. These two basked in the crowd’s approval then gave everyone a brilliant little hardcore hoss fight. Both threw heavy hands and embraced the plunder as chairs entered the mix, especially through shots to the head. This was not a match for the faint of heart. PCO gave Tremont all the hell he could muster with his high-risk style and weapons-based warfare. Tremont gave back as good as he got, even as PCO hammered with shots and drove him head-first into the mat. They even battled on how they’d set up the plunder, that plunder often being PCO’s worst enemy. Both of these titans took the inhuman beating and asked for more, breaking chairs like they were made of paper. Even a Door-VD couldn’t stop PCO. In the end, it would be Tremont’s barbed-wire bat and a Moonsault that would see the match end as PCO took the win and retained his title. This was an awesome way to kick off the show. PCO has brought another title into the mix and Matt Tremont was able to make a triumphant return in an excellent little match.

Tony Deppen defeated Cole Radrick via Bridging Wing  

Next up was a change of pace as we had Tony Deppen and Cole Radrick going one-on-one. This would be a rapid-fire war of innovation as both guys know how to change it up for maximum effect. Deppen had his usual mean streak back with him and was unleashing it on Radrick as they tangled around ringside. Despite the damage to his arm at the hands of Deppen, Radrick kept unleashing his creative slams and striking. It was a real battle of wits and wills as these two GCW regulars looked to tear each other apart. Deppen seemed to have entered a whole new level of depravity with his targeted offence and nasty submissions. Radrick always embodies that underdog spirit and wild-heart attitude but Deppen has seriously forced him to work up or get murdered. It made for compelling viewing and gave this match an extra edge. Not only was it technically masterful and innovative as hell but it was another one for the psychology books as Deppen again showed he could snuff out hope, as well as his opponent’s lights whilst Radrick, got a chance to show off just how resilient he could be to the bitter end when his flurry was ended by a rapid Bridging Chicken Wing. Styles clashes make for the best matches and this was no exception.

Jimmy Lloyd defeated Ho Ho Lun via Chair Platform Snowplow

No one knew what to expect for this one. Ho Ho Lun was back in the US and was making his first appearance for GCW. His first foe was going to be the Different Boy of the company, Jimmy F’N Lloyd. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Ho Ho Lun in action so it was going to be intriguing to see what he would do against Lloyd. Once again, it was pure fun as these two sprinted through a competitive little match. Lun tried to start by being cocky but the work of Lucha Lloyd cut that off and he had to wrestle seriously. We saw Lloyd busting out Arabian Moonsaults and Lun bringing out the chairs as he tried to get into the GCW spirit. That bit him in the ass though as Lloyd broke the chair with a piledriver. The chairs returned for a chair platform and Lloyd took the win in fitting fashion with Markus Crane’s Snowplow. It was a pretty decent opening match for Ho Ho Lun and he seemed to be having a blast. It was a good little fight and hopefully, he gets some meatier matches. He’d be a great addition to the scrambles.

Jack Cartwheel defeated Nick Wayne via Corkscrew Shooting Star Press

The flips kept coming as Jack Cartwheel and Nick Wayne took to the ring next. It would be gymnastics taking on wrestling genetics and it was going to blow everyone away. The crowd found themselves torn on who to root for and that problem never went away as both guys kept bringing out their best moves. It started fast and never really slowed down as these two looked to make the most of their time. These two were showing off their ability with a very large dose of showmanship. Nowhere was safe as these two threw themselves around the ring and to the outside on a moment’s notice. They even innovated in the submission game with Wayne forcing Cartwheel into a top rope split. Cartwheel ended up getting revenge as he did the same to Wayne on the mat. It was just a continuous back-and-forth barrage of mind-blowing counters and moves. They both just kept giving each other hell. Cartwheel won the match but both these guys continued to win over the crowd and secure their spotlights in the future of wrestling. This kicked ass.

Atticus Cogar defeated Everett Connors via Skewered Brain Haemorrhage

Time for things to get messy. Everett Connors was about to go one-on-one with the Silver Teeth Satan Atticus Cogar. Connors might have been rocking a teddy bear costume but he was going to be anything but soft and cuddly in this one. Cogar attacked instantly and the match descended into a no holds barred fight of hardcore fuckery and wrestling viciousness. Cogar was also paying tribute to Crane and brought out every trick he could against Connors, even if he started off taking his opponent lightly. Connors fought back and was promptly punished with a chair broken arm and Suplexes. Connors fired up again and double-stomped his way into a trust fall. As things got more hardcore, Cogar flourished and nearly KO’ed Connors with a kicked chair to the head. More chairs broke as Cogar kept doing what he did best and Connors tried to come back from it. Connors definitely came back and dropped Cogar on the chair and his face with a Burning Hammer. The skewers came out and Cogar took the win with the Brain Haemorrhage. Cogar racked up another win and Connors shined through his resilience and rapid-fire offence. Post-match, we saw some humanity from Cogar as he put his Crane band around a bundle and saw it off, praying. He even hugged Connors, before braining him with the bundle. Somehow that was even more fitting a tribute than the first part. Cogar is still an asshole but we saw the veil slip away even if it was just for a moment.

Alex Zayne & Blake Christian defeated Ninja Mack & Dante Leon via 450 Double Stomp on Mack

Well damn, it was time to up the flip ante once again. The gifs would flow as Alex Zayne and Blake Christian were teaming up to take on the new school of flippy shit, Ninja Mack and Dante Leon. There was going to be so much going on in and around the ring, even the camera crew would have a hard time following it. We got a dream showdown between Mack and Christian before going into a dream showdown between Christian and Leon. The same happened with Zayne as he showed who was the boss against Leon. From there, it was just competitive flipping fun as the pair of teams went after each other with a whole barrage of styles. It was unorthodox fun with creativity shining through from everyone involved. There was too much in this one to adequately describe, just watch it. You’ll see exactly what I mean. Zayne and Christian won it this time but I hope somewhere down the line we see a rematch or just more from these four in the same ring. Blake Christian came back hungry and now, he’s ready for gold.

Dark Sheik defeated Colby Corino via Welcome to Die Duo

We go from the innovative to the erm… innovative. That’s right, the creativity wasn’t stopping there as Dark Sheik and Colby Corino had the ring next. These two know how to wrestle multiple styles and were going to use every bit of that against each other here. This started technical and became a battle of back murder as Corino tried to unleash his bevvy of Backbreakers whilst Sheik worked around those and used her signature flair to cause some damage. This match also strayed into the hardcore territory through everyone’s favourite weapon, steel chairs and one ended up leaving Corino with a real headache. Despite that, it became a chess game of clever wrestling, targeted attacks, and outta nowhere offence mixed with nasty streaks of violence. Those Backbreakers really came into play but even then, Corino couldn’t keep Sheik down. They’d both started confident but Corino was the only one to stay cocky throughout, even when he was on the backfoot. Until he got split punched in the dick anyway. Even then, it was still competitive as hell as Sheik and Corino kept the combos coming. In the end, it took Sheik hitting a combo of Welcome to Dies to score the win. This was great fun and again, shows off just how capable both fighters are. This could have gone either way and no one would have been disappointed. Props to Sheik on the big win though, that was an awesome finish.

The Second Gear Crew (AJ Gray, EFFY & Matthew Justice) defeated Young Dumb ‘N Broke (Charlie Tiger, Ellis Taylor & Jordan Oliver w/Griffin McCoy) via Doomsday Sack Ryder on Taylor

Here comes the chaos. It was time for a six-man war as two of GCW’s factions collided in a war that would span the whole venue. It would be YDNB meeting SGC in a no-rules war of attrition as the Young Dumb and Broke met Black Death, the one-man militia, and EFFY for something truly wild. YDNB took the initiative and attacked early and tortured EFFY, trying to keep the match in their realm, not SGC’s. That didn’t last long as EFFY fired off and went full-on Daddy mode. Tiger cut him off with some incredible chair work and an innovative chair splash before getting ambushed by SGC. From there, chaos reigned as SGC worked over YDNB until everything exploded and both teams popped off. The fuckery came out, the lariats came out and everyone took horrific shots at each other. AJ Gray and Charlie Tiger is a singles match that needs to happen after seeing this match and I hope it comes to fruition. Tiger got to be the star of this one before the match was overtaken before pure violence. This rocked and again, had so much going on it’s hard to summarise. If you want a chaotic mix of violence and excellent tag wrestling, this match has you covered. Everyone seemed to enjoy this one and Justice and Gray savoured some PBR post-match.

Scramble Match: Calvin Tankman defeated 1 Called Manders, JJ Garrett, Marcus Mathers, Shane Mercer & Yoya via Tankman Driver on Mathers

Intermission was over so you know what that means. It was scramble time and it was going to be a battle of agile fighters and monsters. It would be Calvin Tankman, Manders, and Mercer representing the heavy hitters as Yoya, JJ Garrett, and Marcus Mathers had to rely on speed, agility, and headlocks to avoid being thrown around. Yoya had even painted an extra target on his back by stealing Deppen’s ring jacket. For want of better words, this was fucking incredible. There was no dead weight in this scramble. It was a mix of monstrous feats of strength from Tankman, Mercer, and Manders and excessive strings of maniacal offence from Mathers, Yoya, and Garrett. It was a continuous barrage of big moments and little fights, culminating in a last stand from Mathers against Tankman. I have really missed seeing Manders and Garrett in GCW and matches like this remind me why. They effortlessly slotted themselves into the fray and left their mark on the match, even if they didn’t walk away the winner.

Allie Katch defeated Charli Evans via Piledriver

Oh, this was going to be good. It would be Violence Artist meets Katch as Katch Can as Charli Evans and Allie Katch collided in the ring. These two are both highly accomplished grapplers and now, they were going to be unleashed on each other for what should be an impactful as hell fight. They opened technically and worked through chain wrestling, submission work, and even bridging battles as they continuously upped the ante of their ring work. It started with lock-ups and became a gruelling strike and kick fest crossed with horrific submissions as the fighters started getting heated. It had started pleasantly but once they got going, niceties were thrown out of the window and both wrestlers went for the kill. Katch was fighting on an injured knee and was still able to muster the resilience to maul Evans with running strikes and fight off more horrific kicks and strikes. Evans went full-on sadist with a barrage of Germans and would have won had Katch not caught her with a Superplex into a Northern Lights Bomb. The fight still didn’t slow down though as Evans fired right back up and kept trying to murder Katch be it through power, striking, or that injured knee. That wasn’t enough either though as Katch kept coming back. Both were able to get off their greatest hits and Katch was able to take the win by hitting the Piledriver after dodging what would have been a fatal lariat. This was exceptional. it was a compelling, technically masterful fight between two exceptional wrestlers. They hugged it out afterward because they knew, they’d pretty much stolen the technical side of the show. Katch is continuously putting on world-class matches and with an opponent like Evans, the magic was always going to be there.

Death: G-Raver defeated AKIRA via Tube Ladder Murder

Last but not least, the main event. We’d seen the rap battle, the new Year SGC/BUSSY celebrations and now, it was time for the gory climax to the proceedings as AKIRA scored his first GCW main event against the resident psycho, G-Raver. Whilst this may have been a change to the initial card, this was still an indie deathmatch dream match and they had all the tools to pull it off. Plus, they had the G.O.A.T Alex Colon on commentary. AKIRA started by showing off his mat wrestling and tried to trap Raver’s arm. Raver struck back by catching a leapfrog and laid into AKIRA with strikes but AKIRA seemed to be firing up off them. Raver went for a quick pin and blasted AKIRA with a dropkick to the head. The first tube of the match was broken in AKIRA’s mouth courtesy of a knee strike and the broken shards were carved into his head. Not to be outdone, AKIRA scared everyone with a good old dose of Kobayashi-style glass chomping and spat a bloody mist towards Raver. He was knocked down with more knees and got hit with more tubes as he was sent to the apron. The fight went to the outside and the pair fought around the fans, Raver taking a chair to the face as AKIRA blocked a Cazadora. They danced around a door and AKIRA launched Raver off the apron through it with an Overhead Belly to Belly. It was AKIRA’s turn to carve up Raver with tubes and suplexed him onto more tubes. Raver kicked out so AKIRA set up a ladder and avoided the Twisting Flatliner with a Tiger Suplex. They threw more bombs and AKIRA was pummelled by more knee strikes, the final with a tube. AKIRA landed the scorpion kick but Raver seemed unphased and hit AKIRA with the twisting flatliner onto the ladder.

AKIRA dodged further death and nailed Raver with another bundle into a Kappu Kick. They both staggered into another gear and teed off on each other with more nasty shots. AKIRA wanted the fight and egged on Raver to fight back, regretting this as Raver blocked an Octopus. AKIRA launched even more heavy elbows and stomps but Raver kept finding his feet. Raver tried for the tube senton but crashed out and AKIRA crashed down on top of him with the Shatter Star Bomb. Raver still kicked out so AKIRA tried to break his ribs with kicks and locked on a swinging sleeper. Raver kicked back and the pair struggled for control of the other. Raver semi-dumped AKIRA on his face and more fuckery was set up, Raver breaking AKIRA and a door with a Meteora for another two. Even more murder implements made their way into play and ended up impacting both guys. This just worked the pair up even more and they teed off again, AKIRA holding his arms behind his back. Raver obliged but even he didn’t do as much damage as AKIRA did to himself with a gusset. This was the energy boost he needed and brought another wave of pain to Raver with tubes, kicks, and a Gonzo bomb onto a bundle. Time was then wasted as a super shitty ladder was set up and a tube ladder was put into position. Raver had recovered in that time and threw AKIRA to his doom through the tube ladder. That ended things and once again, G-Raver had destroyed another challenger. Experience trumped youth but it had left him banged up beyond belief. This was a drawn-out murder that could have probably done with being shorter but AKIRA made it work and took Raver to his limits. Post-match, John Wayne Murdoch tried to hype the crowd up for AKIRA and he didn’t need to the crowd were already well into him. He couldn’t enjoy that moment though as Colon and Murdoch started scrapping as Murdoch couldn’t help himself from starting a fight. Nothing says happy new year like a scrap eh?

All images courtesy of GCW, FREEBIRDS_Shop, HeyyImRob

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