Game Changer Wrestling
Joey Janela’s LA Confidential
November 16, 2018
The Hi Hat
Los Angeles, California

Watch: fite.tv / Featured Photo by @allelbows

Even though I may have not enjoyed the last Janela show I reviewed, I had nothing better to do tonight so I decided to review this show! Hopefully, it can sufficiently provide the zaniness I enjoy out of independent wrestling. Any show with Nick Gage on it is sufficiently MDK, so therefore, this show should be good. Will the formula stay true? Find out in this review. Whoa, I just rhymed, kinda. MDK.

The Great Sasuke def. DJ Z

And off we go! The venue GCW is running tonight looks really neat. It’s a bar, but it has a unique wood design and it doesn’t come off as minor league at all. This was originally scheduled to be Sasuke vs. Amazing Red, but Red had flight issues leading to him not making it to LA. In his place is DJ Z, who was scheduled to face Marko Stunt. In my eyes, it’s an upgrade for both men. Like his performance at Spring Break, there were moments in this where one could question what the hell Sasuke was doing. Early in the match, Sasuke attempted to flip onto DJ Z on the outside. He first was impeded by a PA speaker, and then he just missed altogether and landed on the apron. You could also hear someone shout at Sasuke “don’t do that!”, and I wonder if that was a fan or a venue worker. I hope it’s the latter. The 2018 version of Sasuke isn’t good, and while it’s nice to see him as a novelty act, the uniquity of him wears off quickly after he slowly and sloppily executes a move for the fifth time. DJ Z, a perpetually underrated worker, did his best here, but it takes two to tango and this match didn’t escalate much farther than the three-star territory. About as good as a Sasuke match can be at this stage of his career. Watch this if you enjoy nostalgia acts and want to see how a high-flier of the past interacts with a high-flier of the present. ***

Tony Deppen def. Jungle Boy

It’s clear that Tony Deppen’s been watching his Sami Callihan tapes, as he began this match with California indie riser Jungle Boy by snot rocketing him. I wish I was making that up. In a way, this almost felt like a match that Sasuke and DJ Z would have had if Sasuke were about twenty years younger. It’s clear that GCW was hoping Jungle Boy would break out here like Marko Stunt did at Lost in New York, and while he maybe didn’t do that here, he should easily gain more opportunities off the back of this performance.

Jungle Boy would benefit from putting on a few pounds, but he has the potential to be a national indie star like some who are tuned into the California independent scene have predicted. Deppen improves everytime I see him, morphing into a more complete wrestler by the day. He’s quickly becoming one of those wrestlers who just looks natural in the ring, which comes with experience. They kicked out of a few too many moves for my taste, but aside from that this was very good. It’ll be very interested to see where the next six months takes both of these men. Watch this if you’re interested in seeing wrestlers you may not have seen before, wrestlers who have the potential to be national independent stars. Jungle Boy got a standing ovation and a please come back chant after the match. ***¾

Brody King def. Hardcore Holly

It almost looked like FITE TV would function correctly for this show, but as usual, we had our prescribed stream outage half-way through this match, and honestly, I’m kind of glad we did as I’m not a huge fan of Brody King and Hardcore Holly is in his 50s. Who knows, maybe it got better while the stream was out. I doubt it, but a man can hope.

Penelope Ford def. Human Tornado

I’ll be honest from the get-go that I’ve never seen Human Tornado before, but I’m aware that he was a regular for PWG in the mid-2000s. He came out to “Mo Bamba” by Sheck Wes, so he’s officially good, even if he were to be shit in the ring. According to the commentary, Penelope Ford is like Wu-Tang Clan in that she ain’t nuthing ta fuck with, which has to be the first time Penelope Ford and Wu-Tang have been mentioned in the same sentence.

Ford keeps on improving as a wrestler, despite her clear strengths and weaknesses. A clear weakness she showed in this match was scream-selling. I’m sorry, but a headlock can’t hurt THAT much. I’ve pieced together that Human Tornado’s gimmick is that he fucks. Good for him. It’s not what I want in my wrestling. This was every intergender trope in the book, and while I’m sure it’ll be great for YouTube views, it doesn’t lead to great matches. It just isn’t for me. On top of that, it doesn’t help that this was excruciatingly long. **

Ethan Page def. D’Lo Brown

The nostalgia train continues with D’Lo Brown! D’Lo is easily the best of the nostalgia acts on this show so far, as he knows how to work his strengths and hide his weaknesses. D’Lo is best at just being a brute who shoulder-blocks and chops people, and he did that here. He even busted out a halfway decent moonsault.

Page is a good opponent for D’Lo, mainly due to his size and his clear enjoyment of working with a guy he most likely watched when he got into wrestling. There was a brief moment where I was sure that these two were doing a Spanish Fly. Imagine how awesome that would’ve been. At the end of the day, this match went right up to the Ethan Page performance cap. This wasn’t anything great, but it was fun regardless, and after seeing Human Tornado and Hardcore Holly back-to-back, fun is all I ask for. Watch this if you want to see a fun match with hard-hitting action with nostalgia mixed in. ***½

Jimmy Lloyd def. Kikutaro, Takeshi Minamino, Delilah Doom, Chase Owens, Facade & Jake Atlas

I’m told by resident Dragon System expert “Iron” Mike Spears that Takeshi Minamino was part of a stable called “Los Salseros Japoneses,” a salsa-dancing heel stable. Neat. This was a lot of action, as is to be expected with a seven-way scramble match. It became painfully obvious very early in this that Chase Owens was leagues above his competition in this match, even if he was just doing Bullet Club comedy shtick. I’d venture to guess that it’s because of his extensive work with New Japan, but when you look at the competition he had, it’s not exactly a murderer’s row of names. Jake Atlas apparently got booked for this show on the day of, and he was fine here, but unfortunately, he had a pretty bad botch early on in this match. Certainly not as impressive as Jungle Boy was earlier. Facade is Facade, and he still looks like shit. Minamino seemed to be pretty good, and while I have no idea why or how Janela managed to book him for this show, I wouldn’t hate to see more from him. I’d like to see less from Jimmy Lloyd, but I’ve come to expect him on these GCW shows nowadays and he’s easily ignorable. Of course, Lloyd then proceeds to win the match after I get done burying him. The finish was incredibly abrupt, as the commentator even missed it at first. Watch this if you enjoy clusterfucks with a bunch of weird dudes, or if you enjoy ex-salsa dancers. In honor of Mike Spears, this gets the gentleman’s three. ***





KTB def. Jacob Fatu

It’s 11:57 PM on a Friday night, and I’m watching KTB wrestle. Make judgments as you wish. As much as I joke about KTB, he’s actually not that bad. GCW knows the right opponents to put him up against, which helps him showcase his ability. I’m not sure what has kept Jacob Fatu from breaking out, but I hope whatever it is… ends because he fucking ruled here. Fatu wrestled like he didn’t give a fuck, which I greatly appreciate. They broke out the plunder with chairs & tables, which also fucking ruled. Something about KTB just makes me want to swear more, having a similar effect on me as the F is for FIP movement did when that was around. Remember that? Never forget. The F is for fuck. I’m not sure what the move Fatu used to win this match was, but it was awesome nevertheless. This went eight minutes, but it felt impactful at every moment, making this the easy match of the night so far. Let’s go! Watch this if you like plunder, the woods, and/or samoans. ****

Eli Everfly def. Marko Stunt

Apparently KTB also makes Larry Legend swear, as Eli Everfly was described as “The Fucking Fly” in his introduction. Good stuff. I’m not entirely sure what this was. It was a lot of cool flips, that much is for sure, but something was lacking in this match. The ideal match you want out of these guys is a sprint, not a match that tries to tell a story and fails. Doing a walk-and-brawl for five minutes completely killed me, as I couldn’t see it, and solely listening to Kevin Gill’s voice for that long is sure to drive any man insane.

It’s now that I want to address the timing issues these Janela shows have. Every match goes too long. Every match. I get wanting to give people a chance to do the match they want to do, but there comes a point where you just murder a crowd, and at this point in the show, the crowd has significantly cooled off from how hot they were at the beginning. If these shows were timed better, they’d be significantly more enjoyable. Everfly won this after the referee tossed out the match due to a loss of control. In actuality, the cause of the finish was Marko Stunt getting injured. I hope he makes a speedy recovery. As for the match, I didn’t enjoy it at all, and this really sapped any remaining enthusiasm I had right out of me. Thankfully, Nick Gage is next. MDK. Watch this if you like flippy disasters, the backs of heads, and… I don’t know, I’m tired. Let’s finish this show off. **

GCW World Heavyweight Championship
Nick Gage © def. David Arquette

This actually had an incredibly sound formula, as it was just Arquette bumping surprisingly well for the king Nick Gage. I must give props to Arquette for wrestling on this show, as it shows that he truly loves independent wrestling. He took Gage’s shots and dished them out himself, and I give him props for that. I would have preferred less crowd-brawling, but I understand that it’s Nick Gage’s style and incredibly over to the live audience. Thankfully they kept that part short and took the plunder to the ring. I love how GCW uses doors as weapons, as it just makes it feel shittier and therefore cooler. Gage speared Arquette through a door in an awesome spot that once again, I have to give credit to Arquette for taking. He’s not holding Nick Gage down at all. Nick Gage then grabbed light tubes.

Luckily for Arquette, Joey Ryan was there to save the day. I don’t know what’s happening anymore. Some guy named Messiah from XPW came out. I’m lost here folks, I’m sorry. However, I love every minute of it. I hate doing play by play for matches I review, but I feel as if I’m not doing it justice if I don’t describe what is happening. Anyways, Arquette bit Gage’s head and then drove him through some light tubes. Gage used a pizza cutter on Arquette. I really hope I didn’t accidentally get some drugs in the Chili’s I ate earlier. However, the end of this was the cherry on top, AS DAVID ARQUETTE STARTED SHOOTING ON NICK GAGE. This was essentially confirmed by Gage’s post-match promo. Arquette shoot threw a chair at Gage, and Gage then put Arquette away. Imagine shooting on Nick Gage, David Arquette is legitimately insane. Legitimately better than any match Daniel Bryan has had this year. MDK for life. The show has been saved. Watch this if you like professional wrestling. What a way to cap off this show. ****½