Game Changer Wrestling
Tournament of Survival 666
June 5, 2021
Carousel Room At Showboat Hotel
Atlantic City, New Jersey

Watch: FITE

Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) is back with Tournament of Survival 666.

GCW has had a tough time navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic. They’ve dealt with injuries, canceled shows, bad shows, apparent super spreader events, and now, apparently, lawsuits. But, they’ve managed to limp to the apparent end of the pandemic finish line. We finally have a full house for Tournament of Survival, GCW’s first packed inside show since early 2020. GCW has had a Rocky time dealing with the pandemic, with Hugh highs but very low lows. Hopefully, the sixth edition of Tournament of Survival, their biggest death match show of the year serves as a much-needed reset.

Opening Round – Fuckery BoardS Death Match
G-Raver def. Effy

THINGS THAT WERE GOOD

  • Effy busted Raver oven with his own pink studded leather jacket
  • G-Raver shoved a light tube in Effy’s romper and flipped him off the ropes right onto his back, smashing the tube right into that romper
  • Effy was flipped into a barbed wire board and completely became intertwined in barbed wire. His back was completely carved up after
  • G-Raver did an assisted uranage onto a rope draped Effy through a light tube door and it looked absolutely bananas.
  • Effy nailed a diving blockbuster from the top onto a light tube door.
  • Raver destroyed Effy with a meteora through a chair.
  • A thumbtack board was set up outside the ring. Effy tried to hit a huge flip off of the apron through G-Raver on the board, but raver moved and Effy completely flipped full forced it through. This looked awesome.

THINGS THAT WERE BAD

  • G-Raver rubbed Effy’s bloody back with salt and vinegar chips. I get that this is a variation of lemon juice and salt that’s been used in other matches, but this didn’t come off that cool.
  • Raver won after a series of… regular meteoras. No weapons for the finish?? A RIPOFF!!!

Should you watch this?

YES! This match rocked! It overstayed its welcome a little, but both guys put in great effort and nothing went wrong. I wasn’t sure if Effy would do well in a deathmatch setting, and he came to the ring in a full romper, which I thought may have been a cop-out, but it wasn’t! He took big bumps through a bunch of weapons and was pretty bloody all over after the romper was ditched. This was a really fun opener and a good start to the show

Opening Round – Bunkhouse Death Match
Atticus Cogar def. Manders

THINGS THAT WERE GOOD

  • Cogar used a longhorn skull to dig into Mander’s skull, smashed it apart and then further used it to dig into the skull.
  • Manders Oklahoma Slammed Cogar thRough a barbed wire web and got completely tangled, including his SEPTUM PIERCING. Gross
  • The finish was Cogar digging neon green skewers into Manders head and sending both men off the top ropes through a double barbed-wire door setup, with the boards stacked with hay bales

THINGS THAT WERE BAD

  • Manders hit Cogar with a bullwhip, but it didn’t have any snap or anything so it just felt lame
  • The ring was filled with hay bales to get the gimmick over (which was interpreted here as basically a cowboy deathmatch) but it didn’t really fit with the deathmatch vibe
  • The match halted a bit after Cogar was tangled up
  • At some point, after he was completely bloody, the crowd completely turned on Manders, booed everything he did, and started “Fuck You Manders” chants. The commentary didn’t know how to react. Neither did the wrestlers.

Should you watch this?

Sure, if you have time. This was a weird match. Cogar is a guy who is being setup to be a major player in GCW. He’s grown into having a real presence and charisma. However, the bunkhouse stip was awkward and there were some momentum stops and starts. Weirdly, the crowd turned on Manders for no reason and cheered Cogar when he won, making the match even weirder.

Opening Round – Towers of Terror Death Match
Nolan Edward def. Orin veidt

THINGS THAT WERE GOOD

  • It looks absolutely incredible when someone gets smashed into a light tube tower set up in the corner and the glass just cascades down
  • Light tube towers also look cool when someone (in this case, Nolan Edward), does a full cannonball through one into their opponent in the corner
  • Edward hit a slam out of a Gory Special right onto knife boards. A GORY Special indeed
  • Orin Veidt threw Edward through a tower with an Assault driver
  • Edward hurled his body through a tower onto Veidt to win

THINGS THAT WERE BAD

  • A tube tower almost fell over onto a pinfall, which actually would have been awesome, but instead, a photographer caught it awkwardly, leading to some confusion and a brief awkward pause.

Should you watch this?

Yes! This was a really fun hybrid deathmatch; they mixed in a lot of regular wrestling with big deathmatch spots. This type of match really drives the genre forward. Veidt is one of the most underappreciated guys on the GCW roster. He is fearless and delivers whenever he is asked. Edward is one of the younger guys on the roster, but he has also shown fearlessness and the ability to deliver. This was a very fun match.

Opening Round – Bundles of Hate Death Match
Alex Colon def. Bam Sullivan

THINGS THAT WERE GOOD

  • Colon (two-time champ, he’s going for the three-peat) started the match by smashing a light tube baseball bat over Sullivan and the crowd went insane. He quickly followed it up with a light tube topé to the outside.
  • Colon was so over that Sullivan got major heat by just taking control of the match
  • Colon tucked a tube in a full Nelson position on Sullivan, slid outside and swept Sullivan off his feet, forcing Sullivan to smash the tubes over his own head. This was very cool.
  • Sullivan hit a nasty tube spine buster
  • Colon sent a tube FLYING into the audience when he smashed a tube over Sullivan’s head
  • Sullivan had a one-count lockout after a top rope tube Spanish fly, then survived a big tube shot. Finally, Colon cradled him for the win.

THINGS THAT WERE BAD

  • I hate Bam Sullivan’s old timey mustache

Should you watch this?

YES!!!!!! Colon has long been the best deathmatch guy on the roster. I think he has finally solidified himself as a GCW superstar. Just being in the ring with anyone rubs off on them. This was Sullivan’s GCW’s debut and he looked great. He was a complete dickhead, refusing to cover Colon, showboating, and was just super irritating. He was great. Afterward, he was completely bleeding buckets. After the pinfall, he attacked Colon after the bell. A completely awesome match.

After the first round, we are on track for a great show. I chose this format because GCW shows can be a mixed bag, but so far, there haven’t been many botches or weirdness to even note, making the “Things That Were Bad” almost obsolete so far.

Ninja Mack def. Calvin Tankman, Starboy Charlie, Jack Cartwheel, Dante Leon, Dyln McKay

THINGS THAT WERE GOOD

  • They did a lot of highflying stuff that looked pretty good
  • Complaints (see below) aside, Jack Cartwheel is pretty impressive. He’s athletic and does some cool things with a gymnastics background. He’s got some potential.

THINGS THAT WERE BAD

  • Jack Cartwheel’s gimmick is literally that he does cartwheels, that sucks
  • Tankman was supposed to take a bump from the apron after being kicked, but instead the guys outside just held his legs as a base until the timing was right, and then he just awkwardly fell off

Should you watch this?

  • Ehhhh. I’ve seen a million of these GCW scrambles. I’m pretty over them at this point: they are always just a lot of unpolished guys overextending themselves. A lot of stuff happens, some of it is sloppy, and none really resonates. This one was fine; nothing went majorly wrong, but some guys (Dante Leon for one) disappeared and barely did anything. If you’ve seen one of these you never need to see another one.

Semi-Final – Gusset Plates Light Tubes Death Match
Atticus Cogar def. G-Raver

THINGS THAT WERE GOOD

  • A gusset plate fence was set up on one side of the ropes. It looked nuts
  • Jimmy Lloyd revealed himself as one of G-Raver’s ghouls and smashed Raver with tubes. The crowd went crazy

THINGS THAT WERE BAD

  • This was probably the weakest match of the tournament

Should you watch this?

  • If you have time. This was fine, but it wasn’t that long and didn’t really get going much. Nothing was really bad, but there wasn’t a lot here. Cogar was the right guy to advance.

Semi-Final – Taipei Panes Of Glass Death Match
Alex Colon def. Nolan Edward

THINGS THAT WERE GOOD

  • Having glass taped to your gloves is a really easy gimmick to get over, it almost always works.
  • The main story of the show was whether Colon can 3-peat. An easy story that the crowd was super invested in.
  • Colon hit a cool hurricanrana through a glass sheet in the corner
  • A Blue Thunder driver is a cool move…. now imagine one from the top rope through two panes of glass. Edward did that
  • The match peaked when Colon sat Edward on the ropes, made him hold a pane of glass, smashed it with a chair, then landed his trademark one-man Spanish fly thRough a tube door. Edward kicked out! Colon smashed more glass, then got Edward in the Camel Clutch for the victory.

THINGS THAT WERE BAD

  • Nothing!

Should you watch this?

  • Yes! Another awesome match here. Edward looked great and was elevated in defeat. Colon has been the star of this show. Going to the finals for the third time in a row is the right move. The crowd is super invested. I liked both guys’ first-round matches slightly more, but that’s only preference.
  • Kit Osbourne came to the ring with some tubes. After saying it was his time, AJ Gray hit the ring with his own tubes, and we have a match.

AJ Gray def. Kit Osbourne

THINGS THAT WERE GOOD

  • It was quick.

THINGS THAT WERE BAD

  • There wasn’t much there.

Should you watch this?

  • Nope. AJ squashed Kit pretty fast after some tube shots. Kit’s back was pretty bloody after, though.

Final – No Canvas 200 Light Tubes Death Match
Alex Colon def. Atticus Cogar

THINGS THAT WERE GOOD

  • Deathmatch legend Sick Nick Mondo brought the trophy to the ring before the match.
  • The ring is lined with tubes, the bare boards of the ring exposed.
  • Colon slammed Cogar through a barbed wire light tube door. The door didn’t break all the way, though, so again Cogar was tangled in wire.
  • The cameraman took a dive when Colon was slammed through a barbed wire board. Then Cogar did a dropkick with a tube door right onto the pile.
  • Colon put Cogar in a light tube cylinder and kicked the shit out of it.
  • Cogar hit an air raid crash through panes of glass draped across a part of the ring where the boards were removed, sending both men right to the floor. This was insane.
  • Another tubed one-man Spanish fly, this time onto exposed boards.
  • COLON HIT A STYLES CLASH THROUGH GLASS FROM THE TOP ROPE… BUT COGAR KICKED OUT AGAIN.
  • We got a weedwhacker
  • Colon got the three-peat after Colon hits a sleeper suplex, a GTS-type kick, and the camel clutch.

THINGS THAT WERE BAD

  • Just once I’d like the mystery bag brought into the ring to not be thumbtacks.

Should you watch this?

  • YES!!!!! This rocked!!!! Sometimes tournament finals don’t deliver; the crowd is burnt out, the wrestlers are tired, they don’t click, and sometimes stuff just goes disastrously wrong. This one, however, delivered. Both guys brought it, there was drama, big kickouts and huge stakes. Blood poured from the skulls of both. Cogar stayed right with Colon in the biggest match of his career. Colon winning the biggest GCW tournament three years in a row is bold, surprising booking that never happens in wrestling. It’s cool to see something different.

Afterward, Colon calls out GCW champ Nick Gage. Let’s go!!! That will rock.

Should you watch this show?

Yes!!! This may have been the best Tournament of Survival ever and is probably up there with any deathmatch tournament you’ve ever seen. The first round was pretty incredible, and the final was the perfect culmination of the show. Watch this immediately if you have any interest in deathmatch wrestling at all.

Like I said in the beginning, GCW has been pretty inconsistent over the past 16 months or so, so much so that I expected this show to be a mixture of good and bad at best (hence the format of this review). This was a great restart and was easily the best overall GCW show since Run Rickey Run last year.

Best match

It’s hard to pick one so I’ll say there’s two:

  • Alex Colon vs Bam Sullivan
  • Alex Colon vs Atticus Cogar