By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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GCW “Life Goes On”
Streamed on FITE TV
May 1, 2022 in Atlantic City, New Jersey at The Showboat
Game Changer Wrestling ran for the second consecutive night at the Showboat. Dave Prazak was on commentary and was joined by Veda Scott, Emil Jay, and Nick Knowledge over the course of the show.
1. ASF defeated Alec Price at 6:58. Quick reversals early, and ASF hit an Asai moonsault to the floor. In the ring, ASF hit a huracanrana for a nearfall at 5:00. Alec put ASF on his shoulders and rammed him face-first into the top turnbuckle. ASF hit a German Suplex, a Death Valley Driver, then a JayDriller for the pin. Decent action; these guys are raw but improving.
2. Alex Zayne defeated Dante Leon at 8:56. Earlier in the day, Zayne was announced as one of the twenty competitors for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s “Best of the Super Junior’s Tournament,” so a big congratulations to him. They did simultaneous kip-ups early and traded stiff blows. Leon hit a flip out of the corner into a stunner at 2:00, then a dive through the ropes to the floor. Leon did a flip off the ring apron but crashed onto a pile of chairs.
In the ring, Zayne was in charge of the action. Leon hit a Canadian Destroyer for a nearfall at 8:30. However, Zayne hit a pump-handle style Michinoku Driver for the pin. A good match that should have gone longer.
3. Effy and Allie Katch defeated Akira and John Wayne Murdoch to retain the GCW Tag Titles at 11:46. I will reiterate my distaste for intergender matches, but GCW and their fans love them. Both Akira and Murdoch competed in death matches a day earlier. Allie opened against Murdoch, then Effy faced Akira. Effy kissed Murdoch at 3:00 and the crowd popped. Murdoch rolled to the floor, angry and embarrassed. Akira hit a moonsault from the top rope the floor on everyone.
Murdoch gouged Allie with a light tube, then he hit one over her head at 5:00. Effy hit Akira with a table as they brawled on the floor. Allie bled on her back from light tube shots. Effy hit a Rough Rider leg drop on Murdoch, then he hit a Death Valley Driver on Akira through a table set up in the corner at 7:30. Effy hit a top-rope Rough Rider on Murdoch, sending him through a door set up in the ring, for a nearfall.
Allie hit Murdoch with a light tube on his head, then a second-rope superplex, dropping Murdoch onto a pile of light tube glass. Akira broke up a pin attempt ridiculously late. The ref had to stop counting and stall. Allie bumped into Murdoch and Effy as they brawled on the ring apron, sending both men crashing to the floor. Akira hit a Northern Lights Suplex and a double stomp on Allie for a believable nearfall. However, she hit a piledriver on Akira in the ropes, dragged him to the center of the ring, hit another piledriver, and pinned Akira. I disliked this match. Intergender matches are bad enough without introducing weapons like this.
4. Shane Mercer defeated Jimmy Lloyd in a death match at 6:43. There are barbed-wire-covered boards and a weed whacker. Mercer hit a moonsault to score the pin.
5. AJ Gray defeated Axton Ray, Cole Radrich, Gringo Loco, Drago Kid, and Marcus Mathers in a scramble match at 11:54. Radrick and Gray opened while the others stood on the floor. Ray got in and brawled with Gray, and he hit a huracanrana; that is a big man to be doing that move. Gringo and Drago Kid got in the ring and sped it up with some lucha reversals. Loco hit a forward Finlay Roll at 3:00.
Mathers hit a flip dive to the floor on everyone. In the ring, Drago Kid nailed a spin kick to Radrick’s head. In a crazy spot, Drago Kid leapt off the shoulders of Ray, landed on the top rope, then hit a springboard corkscrew press to the floor. Never seen that before. Drago Kid hit a Poison Rana on Mathers at 6:30. The crowd was hot for this flippiness.
Three guys hit consecutive moonsaults on Axton Ray. Radrick hit a Lionsault for a nearfall. Ray hit a Lungblower to Radrick’s chest. Gray and Ray traded hard chops at 8:30. Gray hit a Samoan Drop and a T-Bone suplex on Ray. Loco hit a top-rope Michinoku Driver on Drago Kid for a believable nearfall. Gray and Loco brawled and Gray hit a powerbomb at 10:30. Mathers entered and hit a stunner on Gray. Gray hit a side slam on Loco, then a top-rope leg drop on Mathers for the pin. Fun, messy match with all the flips and dives you’d expect. Both Axton Ray and Marcus Mathers have impressed me.
6. “The SAT” Joel Maximo and Jose Maximo defeated Nick Wayne and Jordan Oliver at 10:29. Wayne wrestled Saturday night in Seattle for Defy Wrestling. Prazak told a story about Wayne’s struggle to get on a plane and make it to New Jersey for this show. The SAT were highly active in the early days of Ring of Honor and are considered the innovators of the Spanish Fly move. All four brawled at the bell. Oliver and Wayne dove to the floor. The SAT nailed the Washing Machine/swinging faceplant on Wayne at 2:30, and the SAT grounded him in a sleeperhold.
Wayne finally fired back with a springboard crossbody block and he tagged in Oliver at 5:30. Oliver hit a missile dropkick. One of the Maximos clotheslined Oliver off the top corner to the mat. All four brawled. Wayne hit a Canadian Destroyer, then a flip dive to the floor at 8:00. Oliver hit a springboard-back-cutter for a believable nearfall, which the crowd booed while thinking that it was over. A Maximo missed a Swanton.
The SAT hit a Spanish Fly on both Oliver AND Wayne from the top corner to pin both of them. Prazak noted he’d never seen the SAT hit the move on two guys at once. Cool spot, fun match, and I have to believe this was a big deal to both Wayne and Oliver. One of the Maximos grabbed the mic and put over Wayne and Oliver. They all hugged. Neat spot.
7. Joey Janela defeated Masha Slamovich in an intergender match at 13:27. Janela came out second and soaked in the boos. While I despise intergender matches, as I write this before the match begins, I could see Janela losing here just because he is teflon right now in this promotion. They immediately traded stiff forearm blows. Janela nailed a headbutt at 2:00 that dropped her. Janela hit two standing powerbombs. Masha fired back with a snap suplex, and they were both down.
Janela nailed a German suplex and a Shining Wizard kneestrike for a nearfall at 4:00. Masha hit a missile dropkick, then she dove through the ropes onto Janela on the floor. They got back in the ring, where Janela hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall at 6:00. They traded slaps. She hit a powerbomb for a nearfall. Masha got a chair and nailed him over the top of the head; I hate unprotected head shots. She suplexed him onto the open chair for a nearfall.
Masha got a door from under the ring. However, Janela slammed her through the door. He then hit a Gotch-style piledriver for a believable nearfall at 9:00. She hit a side suplex for a nearfall. She got Janela on her shoulders, ran across the ring, and rammed him into the door set up in the corner of the ring. Janela nailed a clothesline. Masha applied a sleeper at 12:00; however, Janela walked between the ropes and dropped her on the ring apron.
In the ring, she hit a spin kick and was fired up, but Janela nailed a superkick to score the pin. Certainly watchable, and Masha is far more believable in matches against men than say, Allie Katch or Billie Starkz, because of her size and strength.
* Janela got on the mic and talked about how much he’s learned in the past three years at AEW. However, he said AEW “had no idea what they were getting into when they signed him.” He talked about getting to face Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega. However, after being left off several shows, “my heart wasn’t in AEW, my heart was in GCW.” He ended by proclaiming that “the flowers are blooming for Joey Janela.” Intriguing promo, mixing a lot of truth and storyline.
* Nick Gage replaced Veda Scott in the booth for the final death match of the show.
8. Matt Tremont defeated Brandon Kirk in a death match at 12:59. Lots of light tubes and both men bled heavily. Tremont hit a death valley driver into the pile of shards of glass for the pin.
Final Thoughts: This show was missing some star power compared to Saturday’s event, as Blake Christian, Biff Busick and Mike Bailey flew to California to compete for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Compared to many of the other recent GCW shows, this wasn’t on par with them.
SAT vs. Wayne and Oliver earned best match; not only was it really entertaining, it felt like a special moment to have wrestlers from different generations battle. I’ll give second-best to Leon vs. Zayne, with Janela vs. Masha third. The scrambles are always fun, yet pointless — what does a wrestler get for winning the match?
The show clocked in at just two-and-a-half hours, a little on the short side for this promotion.