Game Changer Wrestling
The Wrld On GCW
January 23, 2022
Hammerstein Ballroom
New York City, NY

Watch: FITE

Meet Our Reviewers

Jeri Evagood: The magic writing girl of VOW is here once more! Voted #1 most adorable wrestling columnist by the voices that matter the most… her own of course. She is here on this potentially historical and important night for GCW to give her honest takes, her hottest thoughts, and maybe some unnecessary moments of typing in all caps if the situation calls for it. She is excited to see several of the matches tonight, and thinks for better, worse, a little of column A and a little of column B we won’t be forgetting this show. She can be found being cute at @TheJerriest_Jer where she speaks about pro wrestling and other interests. 

Joey O’Doherty: While Joey has watched some GCW in the last few months, this is the first time he’s ordered a show. So kind of a GCW virgin in that respect. His opinions may be poor and dated, but honest. 

Big Vin won the Pabst Blue Ribbon Kickoff Battle Royal

Jeri: This has a clutter of various talents in it. This match had quite the collection of talents I enjoyed, and a few I could do without. Overall though it was a mess with hardly any flow or real syncing between any of the competitors. Clearly a let get as many people not on the main show still earn a payday match, which okay cool, but I wouldn’t have used this as the first thing thrown at people who might still be on the fence to purchase. However, Lufisto AND Thunder Rosa were in this match, and they both rule so that keeps it from being a DUD to me. Then neither end up being the final two (which was my hope) which saddened me. In the end Big Vin would win, which is an acceptable winner. This is a mess to start things, but it gave me Lufisto and Thunder Rosa appearing which I will never complain about. *

Joey: Battle Royals tend to be generally more miss than hit and this was sadly a big miss. It’s nothing short of a mess early on, with the Steve Scott elimination being a standout abysmal set piece. I did enjoy Big Vin’s contribution and I’m growing quite fond of the work of Janai Kai, but nothing was saving this from being a very skippable pre show clusterfuck. 

That said Lusfisto’s appearance was a nice touch and the crowd finally woke up once surprise entrant Thunder Rosa made her entrance. The match picked up from there, but ultimately Thunder Rosa and Lufisto are not miracle workers and the match was still mostly a train wreck, especially when both women got tossed out. Big Vin got the win but I didn’t care. ¾

Pabst Blue Ribbon Six Way Scramble Match
Grim Reefer def. Shane Mercer, Alex Zayne, Dante Leon, Nick Wayne, Jack Cartwheel, Ninja Mack

Jeri: Things that are usually good scrambled? My breakfast eggs (especially when you add cheese). Things that aren’t usually that great scrambled? Wrestling matches (Even if you add cheese). All that said, there is enough talent in here to make this shit work. And for the most part this worked. Everyone got opportunities to shine and showcase themselves. Very rarely did this feel disjointed. There were some nice holy shit spots in this match with everyone working at a nice non-stop pace. I could individually highlight everything people did, but just trust me everyone offered up something. This is the match I would’ve put on as the pre-show opener to entice people over the battle royal. In fact, I would’ve skipped the battle royal completely. This was a lot of fun and better than quite a few GCW scrambles we get. I was very happy with this match and despite my snarky cynicism, I was quite entertained. Excellent work guys, this was the good shit.  ***3/4

Joey: This match rocked, a really fun pre show match that didn’t come up for air once. Alex Zayne, with a look Kid Rock would be proud of, gave us the first big spot of the night right off the bat. From there, it was an utter spot fest from start to finish, with every set piece powering ahead at a breakneck pace. Everyone in this demolition derby of a match impressed, particularly Dante Leon who hit some beautiful corkscrew cutters for fun. It wasn’t as polished as some WWE or AEW multi man spotfests, but it was just as entertaining, if not more so. I really fucking enjoyed this. The ladder match has a tough act to follow. ****

Grab The Brass Ring Ladder Match
AJ Gray def. Jordan Oliver, Jimmy Lloyd, Alex Colon, PCO, Tony Deppen, G-Raver

Jeri: Lio Rush’s absence is noted. AJ Gray is added. I like AJ Gray but he’s no Lio Rush. However, he knows how to be violent, so for this match that is suitable. Slower pace than the previous match, which being this involves ladders maybe for the best. We get some bits of sloppiness sprinkled in, but with this many people and ladders involved I’m not shocked. I always get nervous when PCO goes for his top rope moonsault to the outside, but he hit it quite well in this match thankfully. PCO is always fun, a guilty pleasure we all take part in, and it is fun as hell. Got to be honest though, I wasn’t really feeling this opener. 

They tried, but the pacing, speed and such all felt off. There was ladder placement stupidity, could’ve gotten the brass ring but went for a painful top of the ladder move instead stupidity. I guess what I’m saying is, despite trying to dance around it, this wasn’t good. They put in effort but effort doesn’t always = good. This is the case. This was slow, disjointed, and very disappointing and not a good start to the official show. Not even sure Rush showing up would’ve matter. Hopefully things go up from here. *

Joey:  No Lio Rush and the match surely will struggle to meet my pre match expectations. AJ Gray is added and while he is perfectly fine, he will fail to adequately replace Rush. First time seeing G-Raver, who on first impressions has the look of Aiden English going through a goth phase.  I note an Irish flag in the balconies: us Irish get our heads in everywhere don’t we. 

It was a spotfest, at a much slower pace than the previous scramble and everything about this match seemed off. PCO trying to murder himself never gets old, so much so that I firmly believe he can’t climb that ladder any quicker. Oliver’s looked to have whacked off the ladder on a nasty looking package piledriver.

G-Raver tried his best to kill himself on multiple occasions, while Colon tried his best to assist him with a nasty razor’s edge to the outside. 

The match was always gonna suffer following the super enjoyable scramble, as well as losing Lio Rush through absenteeism, but the sloppiness of the match made sure it was never gonna reach any heights. Too many botches and nonsensical spots gave this match no hope. Rush may have made a shrewd move by opting out of this disaster

Gringo Loco, Demonic Flamita, Arez defeated Bandido, Laredo Kid, ASF

Jeri: This had high potential to rule. This was good Lucha things, this was the Good Lucha shit. I can’t begin to explain everything that happened. But the last match was a flat mountain dew left out in the hot sun. This was a high octane energy drink that woke me the hell up. It was mostly smooth and consistent, the kind of action that was fast but done with a flow that you could follow easily, and there were plenty of “that was clever” spots mixed with “holy shit moments” some overlapping with each other. I never felt bored, never felt it was over done, and never thought it was at the point of being too much and over done. If anything I wanted a bit more, and maybe that’s me being greedy, but holy hell was I lapping this up. All six competitors came to perform with their hearts and put their asses into it, and they succeeded exactly that. I loved every second of this and the match ended with me satisfied and entertained. I can’t ask for much more than that. Thanks guys, you should’ve been the opener and started the show with a rocking banger. On GCW’s Biggest stage, you killed it. ****1/4

Joey: This on paper could be a dark horse to steal the show if all six-men show up. And yes, all six showed up and more. 

I wish the three amigos spot would be sent to the wrestling room 101. The horse is well beaten at this stage. On the flipside, Demonic Flamita is a man after my own heart with his tease and finger to the crowd spot. That’s more like it.

Honestly, this match was a hoot and just about surpassed the scramble from earlier for me. Everyone played their part to make this trios match special, especially my MVP Demonic Flamita who made everything look effortless. A stunning high flying, innovative spotfest that never relented. More please.  ****¼

Blake Christian def. Lio Rush

Jeri: Ahhhhhh, there he is. There’s our Lio Rush, serving as a replacement for Gresham who was unable to attend. I’ll take it. In fact, I’m all for it. I’m glad Lio Rush was on this show afterall! While I’m disappointed we didn’t get a championship match, what we got was an entertaining affair between two opponents who know each other well. I’ll admit, I’ve always been 50/50 on their matches. When they land, I absolutely love them, but when they miss, they miss completely. This, this did not miss. 

They came firing on all cylinders and gave us an entertaining affair I absolutely enjoyed. It’s good seeing Blake Christian back in environments where he can flourish, grow, and perfect his craft even more, and he was able to showcase this match he continues to grow and become the performer he has the potential to be. Rush is high on talent, and if he excels and showcases himself wherever he goes, no matter how long he is there. This was an excellent reminder of what both men are capable of, and I’m glad it got to happen on this show, even if it happened at the expense of losing Gresham. If I had any complaint, I felt it could’ve gone on a bit more, but what we got, that was goooooood. **** 

Joey: Blake vs. Lio, sign me up. A pleasant surprise I must say. Lio must be so thrilled he avoided the earlier car crash ladder debacle. I enjoy the work of Gresham, who doesn’t, but I won’t be shy to admit I’d prefer Lio Rush in this spot. I really enjoy Blake too despite the big Mick Hucknall head on him. Can I squeeze any Simply Red references into this review? 

Well If you don’t know these guys by now, you should know both men rarely underdeliver and this was no different. Blake and Rush worked hard and let everything breathe, even with the match wrestled at a high pace. Blake was on his top game, while Rush shows exactly Why he is rated so highly by so many. Rush took the loss, meaning no winners purse but I doubt money will be too tight to mention for the man of the hour 

I did feel the match ended prematurely but overall it was a bright, fast fairground of a match and worth your time to check out. ****

Matt Cardona def. Joey Janela

Jeri: Matt Cardona in GCW has just freaking worked. I always want to see him get his ass kicked, and I mean that in the best way possible. His Fuck Mick Foley Flannel is a thing of asshole beauty. He mouths off before this match starts and just makes the crowd hate him more, and considering the high level of hate that’s quite a bit of hatred getting piled up. 

As for the actual match, well, like a jot of Janela independent efforts this went on way longer than it needed to. It had cameos from the likes of Mark Sterling, Swoggle, Marko Stunt. I thought the cameos, other than maybe Marko’s, subtracted more than added to the match. Most of what worked in this match was thanks to Cardona being a dick. Then Brian Meyers helped Cardona get the victory and end what was otherwise not that high end of an affair. However, the post-match was kind of nice with Sean Waltman coming out and taking out Meyers and Cardona which was also smart because the crowd was starting to throw garbage in the ring in response to Cardona winning. All that said, this was pretty skippable, but I enjoyed the aftermath quite a bit. **

Joey: Matt Cardona has excelled in GCW, proving that WWE were morons not to at least give him a better opportunity. This feud and its Macho Man-Flair homage and Matt’s Hollywood Hogan-esque promos just works for me. Just like Hogan, I’ve never been a fan of Cardona’s in-ring work so this match may fall flat. Let’s hope not. 

Sandman entrance for Cardona, light beer, Foley flannel and all just works for me. It’s these little things that make Cardona so likeable, in a piece of shit kinda way. He just gets it. He’s not quite at John Cena’s level of hate, but he’s doing a fine job. 

This match was never gonna be a 5 star masterclass but it was an enjoyable load of bollox that I just ate up. From the t-shirt throwing spot, to the low blow cup bit, to all the absurd cameos, this was a nonsensical spectacle that mostly entertained. Sadly, it overstayed its welcome, as do many overindulgent Janela matches do and all the credit it built up was lost. As soon as Soul Train Jones appeared in the Vince mask, it jumped the shark. 

If only Cardona could deliver better matches, he’d be money.

The afters was fun, with Sean Waltman appearing to the sound of Run DMC’s DX theme, the definitive DX theme. Overall it was too much bollox, very little quality.

Ruby Soho def. Allie Katch

Jeri: Of all the people who write and podcast for VOW, I might be the sole person who had interest in this match going in. I’ll bear that. I’m not saying I had the ultra-high expectations, but I love Soho, and I genuinely find Allie Katch enjoyable cause she tries and clearly is loved by the crowd which always helps. Now all that said this match had its pluses and minuses. The work was slow, but it wasn’t sloppy. Not everything looked great, but both wrestlers seemed to at least have a plan and an ability to work with each other. This wasn’t high end wrestling, I won’t even pretend it came close, but I found it enjoyable enough, and I’ll be honest, I might be someone who will be kinder to this match than some.

What can I say, I just felt good watching it. I like dreams come true stories and Allie Katch’s promo package before the match really gave me something to sink my teeth into. This is not a match you’ll go out of your way to seek out, and I don’t blame you, but I don’t think it was a bad affair. There was effort from both competitors and I got the feeling this match legit meant something to Katch and that added bit of emotion did help. All and all, I had fun, and sometimes, I just wanna have fun. *** 

Joey:  Before this match we get a nice little segment with Mance Warner, Bill Alfonso and a masked-up Sabu. If a homicidal, genocidal, suicidal maniac can mask up, so can you.

Ok, so Soho and Allie Katch doesn’t fill me with joy on paper, but the well-produced video package at least gets me a little more hyped than I was before viewing it. As a personality I like Soho, and by all accounts she’s a top human being, but I’m always left underwhelmed when watching her wrestle. I really had hoped this wouldn’t disappoint me. 

The vocal crowd really helped this match early on and made it feel bigger than it was. Both women gave plenty of effort and to be fair, the match was fine. It was slow and pedestrian at times, but they always seemed to at least do enough to keep my attention. At the end of the day though, it was just about a notch above passable. Nice moment at the end with both women embracing and you can see it at least meant a lot to these competitors. **¼

Jeff Jarrett def. Effy

Jeri: Remember, never, never, NEEEVVEEEERRRRRRRR bet against Jeff Jarrett. Never, you will lose, you will lose. I would’ve never guessed that Jeff Jarrett would be in one of the matches I was most anticipating on GCW’s biggest show, but here we are. I love Effy’s entrance by the way, and I’m singing it as I type this. Also, I love Jarrett’s version of his theme for GCW. I imagine that’s what previous TNA performers hear in their sleep when they have nightmares. It’s their equivalent of the siren in Silent Hill.

Um, back on topic, Jarrett looked quite good and in shape, and all and all I thought this turned into a nice bit of sports entertainment. Effy was probably the perfect opponent for him in this match, and they structured things in a way not a lot was done, but what was done worked and fit into the match they wanted to have. This was not a high-end match of course, but they did what they could and got something watchable out of it, and I’m sure there will be some gnashing of teeth at Jarrett winning, but can you REALLY be that surprised and shocked? You really can’t be can you? Screw it, I liked this, and I think both competitors did a good job making it work with what they had so I tip my non-existent hat to them. Nothing special, nothing atrocious, I enjoyed it for what it presented.  ***1/4

Joey: I will fight anyone who hates Jeff Jarrett. The ultimate grifter of modern-day professional wrestling is reinventing himself once more. Repackaging himself as the Last Outlaw, basically Mark Callaway with a guitar, he has been more of a hoot than his cash4gold pyramid scheme. Effy is always good craic at the very least, and while this may be pure crap, I was sure I’d enjoy this no matter how bad it is. 

Jarrett looks great for his age and clearly can rival Sting as the most in-shape legend from the old WCW.  As a match, let’s face it, while it’s a novelty to see Jarrett wrestle again, I suspected this match would disappoint me just as Jarrett disappointed Vince McMahon in 1999. But these 2 guys over-delivered. It was given the right amount of time, didn’t overstay its welcome and both guys laid out a decent match. I won’t go as high as Jeri above, but this was fine and much more enjoyable than the Cardona and Janela affair. **¾

GCW World Championship
Jon Moxley © def. Homicide

Jeri: I’ll never get tired of the Kill Bill Siren starting Homicide’s theme. I’m a Moxley girl and it feels great seeing him in the ring doing what he loves defending his GCW World Championship against Homicide. There’s a “Fuck Bully Ray” chant and never has there been a truer chant ever done. As for the match itself, it felt kind of on the short side of things time wise. I really wish I could’ve had some more minutes of what was presented. What was presented was fine. I don’t mean that as a knock, Homicide has a lot of mileage on him.

Moxley carried and kept the match going while Homicide did his best to keep up and doing his part. What we got was a fine title match that in another time period no doubt would’ve rocked harder and given us a high violence quota. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t dislike it, and I know what I’ll say will draw the ire of some people, but for GCW’s biggest show they needed a better title match. This wasn’t AWFUL, but it wasn’t what they needed for this role. I can’t pretend though, it was okay, but lacking what I think they needed for a Moxley match on their biggest show. Second half of this show has been lacking, even in the matches I do find enjoyment in. ** 3/4

Joey: How great it is to see Mox back wrestling so much since Wednesday. The man is the Arthur Fonzerelli of professional wrestling and he is effortless. Thank God he is back. A ‘Fuck Bully Ray’ chant is music to my ears. 

Mox is looking amazingly healthy. The leaner look suits him and it is clear He worked hard in his absence. His opponent needs no introduction and it’s amazing we are seeing this match in 2022. 

Mox’s energy and physical charisma carried the match, as Homicide did his best to keep up with his younger opponent. The Notorious 187 obviously isn’t the performer he was 15 years ago,  but the match was good for what it was. It was fine, if even a little lackluster. The energy has dropped in the latter half of the show and it’s up to the main event to end this show on a high note. **½

GCW Tag Team Championship
Nick Gage and Matt Tremont def. The Briscoes © 

Jeri: Nick Gage says Trans Rights, so I’ll always be fucking ripping up shit for him. Tremont and Gage death match legends versus the legendary tag team of the Briscoes. Hopefully that would mean shit was about to get wrecked. Shit did get wrecked, but it also didn’t get wrecked for long or enough. This felt rushed, which I’m going to assume was a time issue????? If so, that’s an unfortunate error that should’ve been mapped out better. What we got though was them hitting each other with chairs and tables, putting each other through chairs and tables. Did I mention chairs and tables? That was pretty much this match, chairs and tables being used for abuse.

It was entertaining to me (and the crowd) while it lasted, but unfortunately it didn’t last long enough. I can’t help but think the Janela/Cardona shenanigans could’ve cut some significant time to add a few minutes here and there in other places you know? It is what it is though, and we got what we got.what we got had some bite to it, but it wasn’t enjoyable enough to save what in the end I thought was a disappointment of a show. And I say that for someone who was rooting highly for the quality of this show. I thought they had every chance in the world, just didn’t take enough of them. But they sold out the show, and I’m going to assume they are going to achieve some good buys, so you know, good for them. They got their show, and congrats to them sincerely, I just wish it ended up being a bit better. With that said those in attendance seemed happy, so, you know, in the end they succeeded.  **3/4

Joey: I get that Nick Gage is super over in GCW, I really do, but me personally ….….I’d have preferred FTR. But hell, the people want Gage, give them what they want. They have to cater to their audience I suppose.

As a match, it was a typical hardcore match. Lots of chairs, lots of bodies going through wood, very little of anything else. It was over in a flash and seemed rushed. A very flat finish to a show that was front loaded.

If GCW is the spiritual home of ECW, then this was certainly a throwback to the days of Sandman at November to Remember 95. They sent the crowd home happy, but for me it ended with a whimper than a bang. **½