Game Changer Wrestling & Black Label Pro
3 Cups Stuffed
September 3, 2021
Grand Sports Arena
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
2019’s GCW/BLP 2 Cups Stuffed is one of those independent wrestling shows that you vividly remember hunching over your laptop in your messy bedroom for. I remember roommates asking what I was doing in the dark (and promptly waving their hands and leaving once they found out), I remember sprinting to 7-11 during intermission. It’s just that kind of show.
There were some genuinely great matches (the semi-legendary lucha tag, Gage vs. Effy), tasteful doses of nostalgia (Gangrel vs. Orange Cassidy, Jerry Lawler vs. Mance Warner), and not a dull moment to be found. I have such an affinity for that show. When Game Changer and Black Label Pro announced they’d be joining back up for a spiritual sequel, I was cautiously excited. Could they recapture the magic?
Now that the card’s taken shape, it seems GCW and BLP are ready to live up to the lofty expectations 2 Cups Stuffed set. This time around, I have no roommates and a whole goddamned living room to watch it in, so you know I’m fired up. Here are a few marquee matchups to look forward to:
G-Raver vs. Jimmy Lloyd
At the fifth Nick Gage Invitational last year, G-Raver returned from an extended absence to set Jimmy Lloyd on fire. Since then, the two have been entangled in a feud best described as totally batshit. Last New Year’s Eve at GCW’s Good Riddance, they took part in a 34-minute I Quit match. Three months later, at Take Kare, they had a grueling No-Ropes Barbed Wire match that was legitimately one of the best deathmatches of the year. At Ashes to Ashes in May they tied up the trilogy with, and I’m not making this up, a Glass Ceiling Scaffold Match. Here, pal, just look at the gifs:
— Kayden/ケイデン🌸🌺 (@KVR216) May 2, 2021
— Kayden/ケイデン🌸🌺 (@KVR216) May 2, 2021
So that’s it, right? Wrapping up a neat trilogy with one gnarly bow.
Well, it was at 2 Cups Stuffed, atop a ladder, where Lloyd accidentally maimed G-Raver. The injury put him on the shelf for over a year and was the impetus for this feud. The two have a history with this show, it only makes sense to run it back one more time. Since returning, Raver has continued to be an underrated in-ring commodity. All nicknames aside, Lloyd truly is a different boy when he’s up against G-Raver. Even if deathmatch isn’t your thing, this match is a surefire spectacle.
Juventud Guerrera & Super Crazy vs. Gringo Loco & Arez vs. Laredo Kid & ASF vs. Dragon Bane & Hijo de Canis Lupis
At 2 Cups Stuffed the team of Arez, Laredo Kid, and Ophidian squared off against Black Taurus, KTB, and Gringo Loco in a match that’s still recognized today as “that 2 Cups Stuffed lucha match.” Those six men put on a clinic, perfectly executing absurd spots that seemed destined to fall apart 99 out of 100 times. At 3 Cups Stuffed, they’ll try to recreate the magic with a stacked four-way tag match.
There are a lot of familiar faces here, and the nostalgia-squad of Juventud Guerrera and Super Crazy is a lot of fun, but my eyes are on ASF. At the killer GCW/Loko Fight Pro show in Houston in July, ASF just about stole the show in a stacked lucha scramble featuring the likes of Arez and Aramis. This was my first exposure to the guy and I’ve been excited to catch more of him ever since. There’s a good chance he’s the only name in this match you’re not familiar with— I’m confident that will change quickly.
Chris Dickinson vs. Kevin Ku
Dickinson’s been transitioning his attention more and more into well-deserved opportunities from Ring of Honor and New Japan. That’s has reflected in his matches on the indies. His output is still as strong as ever, but the opponents and results look different. In GCW and Beyond he’s taken a backseat, prioritizing putting over up-and-coming names like Matt Makowski and Starboy Charlie. That’s part of why it’s so exciting to see him in a fresh first-time matchup with an established name like Kevin Ku.
Ku’s taken great strides this year showing his value as an entity separate from his Violence is Forever team with Dominic Garrini. He’s always had a great look, and now the matches have consistently caught up. His meeting with Daniel Garcia at IWTV’s Family Reunion practically stole Wrestlemania weekend. He’s maintained that level of quality in bouts with Matt Makowski (IWTV 100), Alec Price, and Kevin Blackwood (both in Limitless). If you’re looking for some star-rating fodder, some real meatheaded chop-and-suplex material, circle this match.
BLP Midwest Title
Alex Shelley vs. Tom Lawlor
After returning from a brief retirement the year prior, Shelley was crushing the year 2020. He reunited with Kushida for a night on NXT television. Then, he reunited the Motor City Machine Guns with Alex Sabin in Impact. He made a habit of handpicking opponents on the indies like Tony Deppen, Lee Moriarty, and Isias Velasquez to have miniature classics with. An Alex Shelley appearance felt like an event.
Then he was gone. By the year’s end, heightened COVID-related restrictions in his other career had put him back on the sidelines. Before departing though, Shelley managed to win Black Label Pro’s Turbo Graps 16 tournament, walking away with the BLP Midwest Title.
Lawlor makes for an intriguing return match on multiple fronts. For starters, his MMA background and mat-wrestling acumen make him a perfect style matchup for Alex Shelley. Beyond that, this is a champion versus champion bout. Tom Lawlor is the reigning NJPW STRONG champ, and a cornerstone of New Japan’s fledgling American branch — not to mention he’s putting out the best work of his career.
BLP Heavyweight Title
Jake Something vs. Effy
In 2021, more than ever, Jake Something somehow always eludes me as someone who watches way too much wrestling. In June, he walked out as a surprise challenger to Daniel Garcia’s Limitless World Title and had a total banger. It was a nice “oh yeah, Jake Something rules” moment for me.
Look, I’m a fan of all facets of Effy but, I’m hoping the meaner, more aggressive Effy shows up. At 2 Cups Stuffed, Effy challenged Nick Gage for the GCW World Title and turned on the goddamned afterburners. That match is still my measuring stick for Nick Gage bouts that have happened since. It’s a link I still dig up for new Nick Gage converts. Effy’s got a standard to uphold in title matches at Cups Stuffed shows!
Elsewhere on the card, Stallion Rogers (FKA Curt Stallion) continues his independent comeback tour in a match with 2 Cold Scorpio. Nick Gage teams with Second Gear Crew members AJ Gray, Mance Warner, and Matthew Justice for a test run before their big War Games match later in the weekend. They’ll take on a team composed of Warhausen and the Powers of Pain (yes, those Powers of Pain). Finally, the evening’s scramble match will include five of the independents’ youngest prospects, along with the young-at-heart “Action” Mike Jackson.