Welcome back to the Collective. It’s Day Two of GCW and co’s manic mashup of shows and styles coming to us live from the site of Mania, Dallas Texas (find Day 1 recap here). After a hot and bloody start yesterday, it was time to bring some new flavours of fight as we opened with the territory turmoil of LA Fights vs JCW, celebrated wrestlers of colour with For the Culture, had our minds blown with aerial excellence in The WRLD on Lucha and closed with an absolute Clusterfuck in Spring Break Part 2. There’s a lot to get through so let’s delay no longer and get into the action.

“LA Fights vs JCW”

Today we were kicking off with a battle of the territories. JCW and LA Fights, both companies under the GCW banner were going to collide in a battle of East Coast vs West Coast superiority. It was a great chance for the young and veteran generations to shine. Let’s see what they got up to.

Super Series of Survival Match: Team JCW (Yoya, Janai Kai, Edith Surreal, Jordan Oliver, Charlie Tiger, Ellis Taylor, Brandon Kirk, Bam Sullivan & SLADE) defeated Team LA Fights (Titus Alexander, Bad Dude Tito, Hunter Freeman, Matt Vandagriff, Damian Drake, Jordan Cruz, Lucas Riley & Ju Dizz) via Brainbuster on Drake: We opened with the biggest match of the show by terms of sheer quantity. It was an 8 on 8 Series of Survival turf war tag. It was 8 of the best from either side and a whole lot of brownie points in it for the winner. What followed was an absolutely ludicrous scramble filled with exceptional talent and a whole lot of ridiculous spots. Team JCW got the big win but I don’t think anyone really lost here. Except for Bam and SLADE who got lost brawling with each other.

Cole Radrick defeated Kevin Blackwood via Crackerjack Bomb: We went from multi-man madness to two people purely beating the hell out of each other. It was the King of Wreck Shit Mountain Cole Radrick repping JCW and the Aesthetic Crippler, Kevin Blackwood repping LA Fights. This was going to get very physical. That it did. Old wounds opened quickly across Radrick’s body leading to a bloody underdog fight up for the Raddy Daddy. Blackwood made Radrick work for his win, torturing him until Radrick was able to make his come back and win. What a battle of attrition.

Jack Cartwheel defeated Alec Price via Corkscrew Shooting Star: The pace was about to go through the roof as the Rocketwheel met the Prize City OG. It was time for Alec Price vs Jack Cartwheel. The pair were going to tear the roof off the building with what they were capable of. This was where LA Fights got themselves back on the board as Cartwheel was able to not only withstand the ferocity of Price but match the aggression and find a way to win. One hell of a match too, Price and Cartwheel are going to be breakouts.

Big Vin defeated Juicy Finau via Sit-Out Powerbomb: Hoss fight! Hoss fight! Hoss fight! It was time for a battle of the big F’N bruisers as the New Era Savage, Juicy Finau collided with Big F’N Vin. This was going to be one of the ones to watch as both big guys have a hell of a lot of anger and agility to unleash. That’s what we got. It was hard-hitting with random bits of shocking agility. Both guys beat the hell out of each other and Vin walked away with the win after one hell of a Powerbomb.

Nick Wayne defeated Marcus Mathers via Rebound Cutter: Time for a battle of the young prodigies. Both of these guys are generational talents and both have been taking the wrestling world by storm. It was going to be a very close one here. Bloody hell, this was a wrestling game of everything you can do, I can do better. These two knew each other well and continuously countered and kicked out of everything the other had until the last moment. This was a drag-out challenge for both of these guys, they were just that evenly matched.

Billie Starkz defeated Sandra Moone via Bridging Dragon Suplex: The women were coming out to fight and what a fight it would be. Lightning in a Bottle Sandra Moone was flying the flag for LA fights and S4TB against the might of the BSB and JCW’s Billie Starkz. Recently, we’d seen the wrath of Bully Starkz, would she resurface here? I’m not sure but she had to dig deep for this one. Sandra Moone was on fire here as she lit up Starkz. It was a very physical, very compelling battle to watch with both fighters bringing out the best in each other.

B-Boy defeated Grim Reefer via Brainbuster: It wouldn’t be a turf war without having two of the most respected veterans of their area on the show. Because of that idea and the arguments between them, we had Grim Reefer repping JCW against B-Boy of LA Fights. These two have a wealth of experience between them and were itching to show it off with some good old’ violence. They damn well delivered too. This was a fight pure and simple. These two wanted to make a statement and utilised everything that has made them so respected and so popular over the years. This was a great display for two guys who’ve busted their asses for their scenes and they made it worth the spotlight.

Dark Sheik defeated Charles Mason via Welcome to Die: What better way to end things than with a horror film come to the wrestling ring? Charles Mason is the terror of JCW. The eater of the poor and all-round psycho wanted the main event of this show and had chosen Dark Sheik, the arguable life and soul of LA Fights and GCW, as his victim. In hindsight, that was probably a massive mistake as Sheik wasn’t afraid to get nasty. She had the fight of her life here as Mason’s sadism reached new heights. He wasn’t happy with just choking, asphyxiating, and dropping Sheik on her head, he incurred the wrath of both LA Fights and JCW by attempting to hang Sheik from the rafters. Everyone turned on Mason as the scores levelled out and Sheik managed to exorcise a demon from the territory. They ended the show on a truce and celebrated the sheer amount of talent both had before ending things with a good old-fashioned brawl. The scores were 4-4 but no one was ending things on a peaceful draw.

GCW: “For the Culture

The next show of the day was always a special one. Whilst servicing as a reminder and celebration of the talent of wrestlers of colour, For the Culture has become a go-to for some of the best matches of the weekend. This one promised more of the same with interesting match-ups and a whole host of new faces joining the fray. Plus, we had the dulcet tones of Suge D and Big Perc plus the attitude of AC Mack on commentary. Let’s see what happened.

Impact World Knockouts Title: Tasha Steelz vs. Big Swole via Counter Cutter: The show opened with a title match. Big Swole was going for more big gold as Tasha Steelz had brought her Flava and the Impact World Knockouts Title with her. We had the ingredients for one hell of an opening contest. Especially as this wasn’t their first dance. What followed was an ultra-aggressive bout with Swole trying to smash Steelz down whilst Steelz channelled all her hatred for the people around her into punishing Swole. It was a vicious match and started things off right.

Scramble: Michael Oku defeated PB Smooth (w/Faye Jackson), Keita Murray, Ju Dizz, Trey Shaw, Carlie Bravo, & Andino via Half Crab on Shaw: Next up was a super-charged international scramble as we got a whole host of talented stars from around the US and the UK. We had indie stars, players, Nightmare Factory alumni, and the O.J.M.O, Michael Oku flying the flag for the UK. The commentators were predicting violence and that’s just what they got. This was great. It was an excellent clash of styles with half the match consisting of everyone either piling on or getting wrecked by PB Smooth and the other half of them all trying to get their shit in. It was all great fun and a great way to further expose Michael Oku to the world.

Shane Taylor Productions (Shane Taylor & O’Shay Edwards w/Ron Hunt) defeated HitMakerZ (AJ Francis & Ashante Adonis w/Briana Brandi) via Spin Cycle on Adonis: Now this was the one that got people’s eyes open. The HitmakerZ were one of the standout acts of the old NXT system. The former Hit Row was making their impact on the indies and they’d been given one hell of a challenge in the Baddest of all time, Shane Taylor Promotions. This was going to get rough. These two factions had a total war. These two groups had their monsters and we had a ring of beef that wanted to kill each other. Francis and Adonis were showing out on the indie stage and Shane Taylor Productions never disappoint in the ring. HitmakerZ lost this time but they were welcomed with open arms and we had the beef that caused this bout squashed as everyone embraced a match well done. This is the type of thing you want to see. Great wrestling, great stories, great business.

Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora World Title: Trish Adora defeated MJ Jenkins via Crucifix-Style Pin Trap: The next match was opened with the singing of the marvellous MJ Jenkins. She was here to show she was a whole lot of women in and out of that ring. The problem was that she was going to have to make that point against one of the top champions in the world, Trish Adora. Very few people have been able to beat Adora, would Jenkins in your face style get it done? Not this time but she pushed Adora to the limit. Jenkins had done her homework and forced the champ to fight her style of match. She had the power and the attitude but Adora got the better of her. Jenkins shouldn’t be slept on, she went toe-to-toe with Adora and had her rocked.

AJ Gray defeated Darius Lockhart via Roll-up: This is how you make me be torn on a match. Darius Lockhart the Revolutionary had one of my favourite matches of the collective last year and now he was getting another high-class match against the booker man, AJ Gray. This was going to be a clash of styles and disciplines but promised to be high-class and MF’N Truth doesn’t have bad matches against good opponents. It was an engrossing one to watch. Gray and Lockhart started cagey and got heated quickly as Gray started throwing out disrespect. That led to a very harsh and heavy back-and-forth contest with Gray winning because he used wrestling instead of lariats.

Mysterious Q defeated Bryan Keith, Zenshi & JTG via Satellite Electric Chair Cutter on Zenshi: Oh, hell yeah. We had Bryan Keith back to claim another bounty and this time he was taking on the Luchadore monster, Mysterious Q. These guys were both standouts of the Texas scene and both have a lot of experience with each other. They know what they’re doing and were going to bring it to GCW. However, they had a third entrant to their match, the Aerial Artist, Zenshi. The insanity just got knocked up a notch. But it didn’t end there, Jay Tha Gawd, JTG was making it a four-way. There was chaos aplenty as Zenshi made sure to show how creative he was, Q hopped in to show off his big man Lucha, Keith showed off that heart and striking and JTG used intelligence and smart timing to leave a mark. Considering this was an impromptu addition, everything flowed really well and led to a lot of fun spots. It was great seeing Q and Zenshi mixing it up in a ring.

Deathmatch: Hoodfoot defeated Billy Dixon via Bloody City Stretch: This show was ending with a nice bit of bloody history. Gray always likes to book history so here he killed two birds with one stone. This was the first-ever all-black deathmatch and it was the booking of a cursed match-up as Billy Dixon met Hoodfoot for an ultraviolent spectacle. These two love to bleed and love to get amongst the glass so this had all the tools to make a bloody masterpiece. Especially with all that bad blood to be shed. Holy shit, this was fucking awesome. Billy Dixon is always a badass when it comes to death and he went above and beyond here to match the brutality we’ve seen from Hoodfoot lately. All that anger, bitterness, and shit-talking led to one of the nastiest blood and guts bouts of the event so far. This was a bloodbath that helped make history. It was worthy of the accolade with two wrestlers more than up to the task and a commentary team adding to the experience as Suge D, AC Mack, and Robert Martyr all tried to navigate the horror they were seeing. It was all wrapped up nicely and made for an absolute killer of a main event. For The Culture had done it again.

GCW: “Gringo Loco’s The WRLD on Lucha

The energy continued with a show full of the style taking GCW to new heights, Lucha-Libre. Since embracing more of the Lucha wrestlers and stables, GCW has been one of the places to go for the technical spectacle and dizzying speed. One of the guys flying that flag the longest, Gringo Loco. Now, he was being rewarded with booking privileges for his own super show. The WRLD on Lucha was here and with it a whole host of high-flying, Lucha Extrema, and multi-man madness. Let’s dive right in.

Johnny Caballero defeated Jack Cartwheel via Starship Pain: We opened with a ride on the Rocketwheel. The King of Cartwheels has been making it big in GCW but now he was being pitted against a world-travelled veteran of the game, Johnny Caballero aka John Morrison. This was going to be one of Cartwheel’s biggest tests to date. Well, this had everything. It started comedically, gave us some cowboy antics then became an all-out balls-to-the-wall daredevil bout. Cartwheel has no fear and threw himself into everything, even if he cheated in the duel. Cartwheel lost but his guts and skill earned the respect of Caballero.

Tony Deppen defeated Psicosis via Shining Wizard: It wouldn’t be a GCW show without the gatekeeper. Deppen is the measuring stick for most wrestlers who come through and now he was getting a reward for his efforts, a fight with a legend. He was going one-on-one with the legendary Psicosis. Normally, Tony Deppen is the salty one in a match but Psicosis came out spitting venom and had no respect for Deppen. In true Deppen style, Tony beat it into his opponent and took a multitude of nasty chops, weight belt whips, and chokes as Psicosis showed no mercy. His ring IQ won the day and he left the show with a big win over a Lucha legend. This was stiff as hell and fun to watch.

Scramble Match: Shane Mercer defeated Golden Dragon, Octagon Jr, Drago Kid, AeroBoy & Chris Carter via Double Moonsault & Battery on Carter and Drago Kid: He comes the anarchy. We had six Luchadores in the ring fighting it out for glory. It would be a whole host of AAA’s finest colliding with Aeroboy, Chris Carter, and the Iron Demon Shane Mercer. There wasn’t going to be a whole lot of flying in this one and I’m not sure all of it was going to be consensual with Mercer around. Well, I don’t think any scrambles are beating this one. It had everything. Again, it was an all systems go roller coaster of technique, flying, striking, and Mercer’s nightmarish strength. This is what the people want to see. There were so many big-name Luchadores here but it was Mercer and his muscle that took the win in insane fashion.

Lucha Extrema Match: Pagano defeated Sadika via Slingshot Codebreaker: Time for the first taste of the extrema. There can’t be a fair without a clown and what better one to send out first than the Juarez Hellraiser, Pagano. He was being thrown into the fire as he took on the ultimate force of destruction, La Reina Extrema, Sadika. This was messy and dangerous as hell and holy fuck did I love it. I am a fan of both fighters here and this was the type of fight only they could deliver. It looked real, it hit harder than anything all day and felt like it could burst into a shoot fight at any moment. It was scruffy as hell but that just adds to the charm of it to me. Plus, the amount of reckless and horrifying spots will set it apart for multiple reasons.

Team Gringo (Gringo Loco, Abismo Negro Jr & Demonic Flamita) defeated Team Laredo (Laredo Kid, ASF & Rey Horus) via Base Bomb on ASF: Remember the last Collective? The Spring Break Lucha 6-man stole the show. This year, Gringo Loco was going to one-up it with even more wild competitors. It would be Team Loco, Gringo Loco, Abismo Negro Jr and Demonic Flamita taking on the tecnicos Team Laredo, Laredo Kid, ASF and Rey Horus. It was going to be the most Ggiffable match of the whole event. Possibly the whole year. I was not wrong. This was a clusterfuck of Rudo shenanigans, Technico excellence, and a whole lot of flying. It was everything you’d expect and more. There was so much packed into the runtime of this one with ASF blowing minds and Flamita and Abismo Negro Jr proving to be the perfect villains to join Loco. It was a wild ride and perfectly encapsulated what everyone loves from the GCW Lucha scene. It was also nice to see Loco score another win over his frenemy ASF.

AR Fox (w/Ayla) defeated Ninja Mack via 450 Splash: Here came the party. AR Fox was making his second appearance of the weekend and he was in for another super Lucha spectacle with someone exploding onto the scene. He’d taken on Blake Christian. Now it was time to tangle with Ninja Kamikaze Mack. What happens when two ridiculously fast and creative wrestlers meet? This. I think they managed to nail what people wanted from a meeting of this magnitude. It’s hard not to see the similarities in style and invention. They went all-out and it paid off. It seemed everyone was entertained here and it made for a great win for Fox.

Grudge Match: Dr. Wagner Jr defeated Psycho Clown via Mask Removal Roll-up: Blood feuds in Lucha Libre always go farther than they would anywhere else in the world. If you hate someone or they’ve wronged you, you hunt them down to the ends of the Earth. That is what we were about to see here. Psycho Clown and Dr. Wagner Jr were about to kill each other. This was two S-Tier talents going to bloody fucking war. What followed was a pure high-stakes Lucha main event. It had the oppressive Rudo beatdown, the babyface fire, copious amounts of technicality, and fan service with a smattering of hardcore moments and a lot of blood. It was the perfect way to end a show like this and brought the Mexico Arena to feel to GCW. Just as Psycho Clown had things under control with Wagner at death’s door, the evil and desperate Wagner tore away Clown’s match to take the win. He didn’t care what the fans thought, he wanted his win back. He wanted Clown to suffer and he got his wish. This was a world-class main event and further elevated an exceptional show. Wagner couldn’t help but end with another challenge. He’d beaten Psycho Clown here, now he was upping the ante. Wagner wanted a Lucha de Apuestas match. It would be mask vs hair and it would be in GCW. If you thought this was violent, buckle the hell up for the next one.

GCW: “Joey Janela’s Spring Break Part 2: The Greatest Clusterfuck

As midnight struck, it was time for the weirdest part of the event. Joey Janela loves nothing more than fantasy booking and Spring Break is the place it all goes down. Part 1 had seen him kill off his friend and multiple title matches. Part 2 was going to have more death, EFFY vs Suzuki, and a whole host of super matches before giving us The Greatest Clusterfuck, the ultimate fever dream where anyone and everyone could appear. It could be even weirder than normal as Janela was injecting it all with a lethal dose of poison, himself. Let’s get into the madness.

Chris Dickinson w/ Missy Hyatt defeated Matt Cardona w/ Chelsea Green via Pazuzu Bomb: The show opened with the grand murder of Matt Cardona. He loves to goad everyone but he’d poked the wrong bear and was about to get eaten alive by Chris Dickinson. You do not piss off the Dirty Daddy and live to tell the tale. Since Cardona was bringing his wife, Chelsea Green along, Dickinson had the legendary Missy Hyatt watching his back. Cardona ran his mouth to open things then we went into a Cardona shenanigans match. Dickinson could have killed Cardona but he kept falling for the tricks the couple had laid out for him. It wasn’t the best thing ever but it did what it needed to do and we got another Cardona murder.

Tony Deppen vs. Biff Busick via KO Knee: Prepare to wince, we were in for a stiff one. Deppen and Busick are two salty, nasty, hard-hitting guys who love nothing more than wrestling and fighting. Now, they were being unleashed on each other and it was going to be amazing. Fucking hell, it was awesome. Two incredible wrestlers just beating the absolute shit out of each other. It wasn’t pretty but it was brutal, heavy and full of passion. They were fired up and beyond happy to be doing what they were doing. Deppen continues to stamp his mark as the best by beating the best. This is what I love to see. I imagine they’re both going to feel this one in the morning.

“Speedball” Mike Bailey defeated Jordan Oliver via Flamingo Driver: In a sad turn of events, PCO was out of Spring Break. That left Bailey without an opponent so Jordan Oliver stepped up to the plate. This was a massive opportunity for Oliver if he could withstand the fury of Bailey. Much like the match before it, this was vicious but in a much different way. Bailey and Oliver just unloaded on each other, making victims of countless ringside chairs in the process. This was definitely the meanest I’ve seen Bailey so far as he was beating Oliver as he owed him money. In fairness, Oliver was hitting back just as hard. Despite being a last-minute switch, this flowed well and felt ridiculously intense. Both guys seemed invincible until the last second when the Flamingo Driver sent Oliver to his doom. What a pleasant surprise.

Minoru Suzuki vs. EFFY via Gotch-Style Piledriver: EFFY is fine. EFFY is always fine and when people step to EFFY, he’ll kick their ass and still be fine. Though, here it was a much different ball game. EFFY was going against the King, Minoru Suzuki. Now, I have every faith in EFFY and I knew this was going to be special but I also had no clue what to expect. This was one hell of a sweet match to watch. EFFY was willing to withstand the chops and elbows to get that kiss from Murder Grandpa. He got his wish but it soon got him killed as Suzuki fired back with the Gotch-Style Piledriver. It was hard not to love this one. Minoru Suzuki is the most sadistic man in wrestling but he’s also one of the most creative and has one of the best senses of humour. EFFY knew exactly what to do and he was sure fine after that kiss.

The Greatest Clusterfuck: SGC defeated Joey Janela, Buff Bagwell, George Gattan, Judd Cassidy, Yoya, Billie Starkz, Juicy Finau, Sam Stackhouse, Rhett Titus, Invisible Man, Dante Leon, Ninja Mack, Jimmy Lloyd, “Early Morning” Guy Steele, Blake Christian, Kevin Blackwood, Hoodfoot, SLADE, Charlie Tiger, Ellis Taylor, Deranged, Grim Reefer, Sandra Moone, Parrow, Big F’N Vin, Spyder Nate Webb, Shazza McKenzie, Janai Kai, Jazzy Yang, Edith Surreal, Dark Sheik, Lu Fisto, Maven, Sean Ross Sapp, Josh Barnett, Nasty Leroy, Jimmy Wang Yang, Alec Price, Cole Radrick, Brandon Kirk, Lord Adrean,   Kevin Matthews, Nick Wayne, B-Boy & Team LA Fights via surviving the clusterfuck: Now for the grand finale of the day, the Clusterfuck. Joey Janela was starting at number one and was determined to kill off his own creation. The problem for him was, there was a whole lot of random shit to follow. As a reminder, you lose the clusterfuck by pinfall, submission, over-the-top-rope, leaving the building, and most importantly by dying. Buff Bagwell was the second entrant. The Based Chad was here to do the Buff stuff. It was all fun and games until killjoy Janela killed off Buff with a superkick. This trend continued as Janela could not be stopped. Anyone who came in got thrown right back out or killed. Nobody, no matter how big or small was stopping him. The tables turned when the Invisible Man entered in better shape than ever and laid into the only person not taken out by Janela, Rhett Titus, forcing the pair to make an alliance against him. It didn’t work and Titus was thrown out. We got awesome moments from Ninja Mack, Dante Leon and so many more as Janela’s massacre slowed down, including a re-enactment of the social distancing match and the sad then mad attempts of Guy Steele. The match just got better and better the more people came into it. Plenty of people were getting their moments and having fun in this ridiculous event. With his AEW contract done, Janela even joined in on the blunt circle with Reefer then immediately got the munchies.

Throughout it all though, no matter who entered, no matter how destructive they were and no matter how out of it he was, Janela kept surviving and eliminating people. The women got a chance to shine without needing to kill Janela, showing that times had changed, and scored a slew of eliminations. The group imploded and they all started eliminating each other. With just Sheik and Yang left, Maven finally entered the fray. Everyone left standing scrambled to see him and promptly got dropkicked. He doled them out and eliminated himself by leaving the building. Sean Ross Sapp came in acting like an asshole, which was hilarious, and tried to put the match behind a paywall and spouted all the BS people love to talk about him. He ran his mouth so Josh Barnett fucking killed him as the next entrant or would have if Denise Salcedo hadn’t gotten there first. Jimmy Wang Yang and Nasty Leroy were the ones to step to Barnett instead, Jazzy Yang joining in for a grappling lesson, getting himself tapped out. People kept entering and people kept leaving with the pace picking up as the list shortened. Alec Price got some high-profile eliminations before getting eliminated in M.A.D with Cole Radrick. We got another GCW appearance for Lord Adrean of the Walmart crew and showed off some new skills on Kirk before falling to Janela. The person to final end Janela’s rampage was Nick Wayne who landed a lethal apron superkick. Team LA Fights was the next big threat until SGC came out to wreck shop. They were the last lot to enter and they started killing everyone with chairs. Everything got frantic and the final lot was whittled down until it was just Mance, Justice, and Gray. They were declared joint winners and ended the Clusterfuck. Janela had failed to kill it off as SGC stood tall and planned to party all night long. This was fun for a while but it definitely dragged at times like most of these do. It was zany, odd, and certainly had some great times but I’m not sure it was the right match to end things. It doesn’t quite have the same magic it used to. However, I can’t complain too much. It rounded out another excellent day of wrestling. Tomorrow is the final day where the friends come to play after brunch, see you there.

All images courtesy of GCW, HeyyImRob, Ash Dabbath, Kayden

Leave a Reply