No Canvas 200 Light Tubes Deathmatch
Alex Colon vs Atticus Cogar
Tournament Of Survival 666 Final
June 5, 2021
Carousel Room at Showboat Hotel
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Being a student in high school and watching wrestling has never been an ideal combination.
As I try to balance my social life, wrestling sometimes becomes an afterthought as trying to attend basketball games, make precious memories with friends, and attempt to maintain a 4.0 GPA. I simply do not have time to watch wrestling. As my junior year ended and my senior year approached, I began focusing on other aspects of my social life. I almost gave up on watching wrestling completely until I heard about an amazing match that rekindled my love for the crazy world of pro wrestling—it just so happened that the match involved two men throwing each other through glass and barbed wire.
People look at me with confusion when I mention that I like pro wrestling; they then give me a look of concern when I tell them what style of wrestling I like. No, I don’t watch the over-the-top WWE. I watch guys sacrifice their bodies to throw each other through barbed wire, glass, and thumbtacks. Why do I even like deathmatch wrestling?
I have no idea.
Something about it just captures my attention. When a deathmatch has high stakes, it feels almost like a fight. The two competitors, or more, are trying to escape death while making sure their opponents are too broken to fight.
My first ever deathmatch was the No Ropes Barbed Wire match from Americanrana 2018 between David Starr and Joey Janela. The way those two sold every little toss into the barbed wire added a whole new element to the match. The match further escalated when Starr hit a Russian leg sweep through a barbed wire floor onto the floor. Watching the board become drenched in blood made me recognize that I was witnessing a spectacle. When Starr, drenched in blood after winning via piledriver to Janela on cinder blocks, sat down, reveled in his chaos, and cut an epic promo, I recognized that deathmatch wrestling was the style of wrestling for me. Through Janela’s work, I discovered GCW, which is how I found myself watching TOS666.
The final was a match between Alex Colon—a mainstay of the deathmatch wrestling scene—vs. Atticus Cogar, a wrestler who was rapidly rising up the ranks. I instantly became a fan of Colon after his amazing matches vs Masashi Takeda and Jun Kasai in 2018/2019. Colon is able to use his high-flying style to create chaotic spots through light tubes or glass. The only Cogar matches that I’ve really enjoyed were versus Colon at TOS 5 and 56 Nights. Other than that, he hasn’t really impressed me. As part of the hated stable 44OH!, Cogar knows how to draw heat through his charisma; however, he had never had that marquee match. So the story of the match is set. The veteran looking for his third straight Tournament of Survival championship vs a hated upstart with something to prove.
As Colon walked out wearing a Michael Jordan jersey, I knew we were in for a spectacle. The match begins with neither wrestler able to gain advantage over the other. Cogar breaks tubes over Colon’s head and then starts going for the throat, making it seem like Cogar would do anything to secure a win even if it meant Colon had to die. Cogar mutilates Colon with broken light tubes and skewers before Colon is able to mount a comeback, trapping Cogar in a bundle of tubes and kicking it to the point of breaking. Cogar was engulfed in broken glass and mercury.
Cogar removes some of the ring boards and replaces them with panes of glass. As the two duel with light tubes, since there’s 200 of them, Cogar is able to get the upper hand and connects with an air raid crash through the boards!
Had Cogar been off a few inches, the spot could have gone horribly wrong because he and Colon could have hit the ring’s metal bars. Instead, Cogar hit it perfectly, sending both men into the glassy depths of hell. Somehow both men were able to recover before Colon hit a Spanish fly on a barbed-wire door. To further the pain, Colon stuck a bundle of light tubes to Cogar’s back, meaning Cogar landed on broken glass and barbed wire, a lethal combination. When Cogar hit the headlock driver on the exposed ring boards, Colon somehow kicked out. When Colon hit a styles clash through a pane of glass, Cogar miraculously kicked out. When Cogar drives the weed whacker into Colon’s arm, it doesn’t hurt Colon. The weed whacker gave Colon the energy needed to hit a sleeper suplex on the exposed boards, a hellacious knee, and a camel clutch to secure the win.
Sometimes GCW deathmatches lack drama or stakes. Sometimes it’s just guys hitting each other with light tubes because it’s the style they wrestle. However, this match was not the case. Cogar wanted to prove that he was the future of GCW while Colon was fighting to be the king of GCW. Every move has a purpose whether it be a suplex that shifted the exposed ring boards or a single hit with a bundle of light tubes. It’s about as perfect as a deathmatch can get without one of the competitors actually dying in the ring due to blood loss. It’s definitely the deathmatch of the year and will probably not get the respect it deserves for match of the year, but it rekindled my love for wrestling.
When Colon gave his championship speech, his MJ jersey drenched in blood, I remembered why I love wrestling. It’s a spectacle unlike anything else in the world. The life around me may be constantly changing as I enter college, but wrestling will always be a part of me.