GCW “56 Nights” results: Vetter’s review of The Do or Die Rumble, Mad Man Pondo vs. Matt Tremont in a death match, Sawyer Wreck vs. Billie Starkz vs. Maki Itoh vs. Dark Sheik in a four-way, Nick Wayne vs. Leon Slater, Masha Slamovich vs. Cole Radrick

By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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GCW “56 Nights”
Replay available via Fite.TV
January 1, 2023 in Atlantic City, New Jersey at The Showboat

Game Changer Wrestling held their second consecutive show at the Showboat. The crowd was perhaps 300-400, definitely smaller than a night ago. Dave Prazak and Veda Scott provided live commentary again.

1. Masha Slamovich defeated Cole Radrick in an intergender match at 8:27. They are relatively the same height, but I presume Radrick has the weight advantage. Standing switches to start. Masha hit a clothesline for a nearfall. Radrick hit a huracanrana, sending her to the floor. They brawled on the floor, but we lose the signal briefly; when the picture returns, they are still brawling in front of the fans. In the ring, Masha was in control, nailing a kick to the chest for a nearfall at 5:00.

Radrick hit a swinging neckbreaker, and they were both down. Radrick hit an Air Raid Crash move for a nearfall. Radrick hit some Yes Kicks to her chest. She hit a spinning back fist and a spin kick to the head for a nearfall at 7:30. He hit a springboard cutter. Masha nailed a package piledriver to score the clean pin. My reservations about intergender matches aside, this was entertaining.

2. Nick Wayne defeated Leon Slater at 12:42. These two are mirror images of each other; teenagers in similar height and build. Slater is the Black British wrestler, while Wayne has criss-crossed the U.S. for the past year and recently turned 18. An intense lockup and standing switches at the bell. Wayne hit a huracanrana. Slater hit a one-legged dropkick and celebrated. Wayne nailed a dive through the ropes at 2:00. In the ring, Wayne targeted the left leg, and Slater was limping. Wayne hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall at 4:30.

Slater hit a handspring-back-elbow. Wayne nailed a handspring-back-stunner for a nearfall. Slater nailed a flip dive over the turnbuckles to the floor. In the ring, he hit a standing moonsault for a nearfall, then a twisting suplex for a nearfall at 7:00. Wayne has a cut on his cheek that was bleeding. They fought on the ropes and both did a backflip, both landing on their feet in the ring. They traded spin kicks and were both down, and the crowd was on their feet!  Wayne nailed a Dragon Suplex and a Code Red for a nearfall at 11:00.

Wayne went for a Clout Cutter, but Slater caught him and nailed a Blue Thunder Bomb for a believable nearfall. Nice. Slater missed a Swanton Bomb. Wayne hit a superkick. Wayne hit a second-rope stunner and a Clout Cutter and scored the pin. Fantastic. The fans stood at ringside and pounded on the mat in a nice show of support. I feel like these two could be doing this for the next decade. They hugged after the match.

* The winner of the next match will get the #30 slot in a Royal Rumble match later in the show.

3. Blake Christian defeated Tony Deppen, Willie Mack, Jordan Oliver, Joey Janela, and Alec Price in a six-way scramble at 12:44. Wow, this is a loaded match with some of GCW’s best. Blake again got a mixed reaction from the Showboat fans, even though he’s a babyface everywhere else. Everyone fought at the bell and this was chaos. Mack hit a huracanrana on Oliver at 2:00. Mack and Janela traded shoulder tackles. Blake hit a spin kick on Janela, then a Lionsault Press.

Deppen grounded Blake and tried to apply a Crossface Chickenwing, but Blake escaped. Price hit a second-rope legdrop on Blake. Mack nailed a shotgun dropkick on Price at 5:30, then a cannonball in the corner. Deppen hit some open-hand slaps to Mack’s face, which ticked him off. Oliver hit a head-capture suplex and a Helluva Kick on Deppen. Janela hit a German Suplex on Oliver. Janela hit a top-rope moonsault on several opponents at 8:00.

Blake hit a sunset flip on Janela into the turnbuckles. Oliver hit a plancha to the floor. Price dove over the top rope onto several guys. Mack nailed a flip dive onto several guys on the floor. Janela hit a top-rope flip to the floor. Blake nailed his Fosbury Flop to the floor. Blake hit his springboard 450 in the ring on Price, but several guys made the save at 10:00. They were all back in the ring and traded punches. Mack dropped Price with a deafening chop.

All six brawled, and this has been great. Mack nailed a pop-up forearm shot on Blake. Blake fired back with a stunner on Mack, then a mid-ring Spanish Fly! Mack hit a stunner on Oliver. Janela hit a Death Valley Driver on Mack. Price hit a mule kick on Janela. However, Blake hit his Rollins-style step-up curbstomp on Price, then he covered Janela for the pin. That was tremendous. Apparently by being pinned, Janela was eliminated from participating in the Royal Rumble.

* An intriguing video montage aired showing the four competitors in the next match.

4. Maki Itoh defeated Sawyer Wreck, Billie Starkz, and Dark Sheik in a four-way at 8:00 even. Maki got on the mic and shouted, “Where’s my f—ing gang at?,” as she is now “gang-affiliated” with Nick Gage after last night. Sheik hit a German suplex on Wreck. Maki hit a Kokeshi falling headbutt on Sheik. Some awkward, lewd exchanges here from Sheik and the crowd didn’t know how to react. Sawyer rammed Itoh’s head into a turnbuckle but it had no effect.

Itoh went for a Kokeshi on all three, but all three moved. Funny. Itoh began crying, which is just funny. Sawyer’s left arm was bleeding, from cuts sustained a day ago. Itoh nailed a double DDT at 4:30. Itoh applied a double Boston Crab on two opponents, but Sawyer made the save. Sawyer hip-tossed Starkz off the corner and onto Dark Sheik on the floor at 6:30. Sawyer chokeslammed Sheik through a door set up between two chairs in the ring. Billie hit a modified One-Winged Angel on Sawyer. Itoh hit a second-rope DDT to pin Sheik. Solid match.

Nick Gage hit the ring, and Prazak called him the “leader of the MDK gang,” coming to applaud Itoh. She shouted the catchphrase, and they left together, without Gage actually saying a word. They then set up for a hardcore match.

5. Matt Tremont defeated Mad Man Pondo in a death match at 12:48. This was announced as the first GCW death match of 2023. Pondo is so unhealthy and sickly, quite frankly, I fear he could collapse in a ring this year. Tremont tossed Pondo into a garbage can filled with light tubes. He then hit a knee strike onto light tubes placed against Pondo’s head for the pin. Disgusting.

6. Masha Slamovich won The Do Or Die Rumble at 58:59. The winner earns a title shot. Jordan Oliver was #1, and Leon Slater was #2, but he’s limping on the way to the ring. Prazak makes it clear the rules are the same as WWE, with eliminations occurring by being tossed over the top rope and both feet landing on the floor. A count-down clock appeared on-screen with music hitting at exactly 90 seconds, as 1 Called Manders was #3. Tony Deppen drew #4. Everyone took turns chopping Slater; we have some real talent in the ring to start this match. Starboy Charlie was #5, still wearing the awful bib overalls, which Veda Scott immediately talked about. Slater fired up, and began chopping everyone who had attacked him. Deppen got tossed, being the first eliminated.

Marcus Mathers drew #6. Mathers’ partner, Dylin McKay, was #7 at 9:00, and they began working together. Nick Wayne was #8, as all the talented young guys are coming out early; he began working with teammate Oliver. The muscular Shane Mercer (think Brian Cage) was #9, and he quickly tossed McKay, then Mathers. The 400+ pound Sam Stackhouse was #10, and he immediately traded blows with Mercer. Mercer hit a Death Valley Driver on the big man, and that was insane. He then shoved Stackhouse over the top rope; that was the quickest elimination yet, as we reach 15:00.

Yoya, the 5’2″ Cambodian man, entered at #11, but Mercer grabbed him immediately. They traded some offense, but Mercer then and gorilla-pressed him onto five guys who have already been eliminated. Mercer is just a beast. CPA entered at #12. Mercer tried to toss CPA, but CPA escaped the gorilla press. Manders snuck up and tossed Mercer at 19:00. Miedo Extremo, carrying a door, was #13. The masked Mago was #14, and he hit a standing Spanish Fly on Extremo. I am seeing eight people in the ring. Extremo’s partner, Ciclope, was #15 at 23:30, as we reach the mid-point of entrants. Mago got back-dropped out of the ring and crashed through a door at ringside.

Kerry Morton was #16, coming out to a chorus of boos; I think it is funny how the crowd turned on him so quickly. Facade was a surprise entrant at #17; he’s an indy veteran but not a GCW regular, as Veda points out he’s the first entrant to not appear at Saturday’s GCW or Sunday afternoon’s JCW show. Prazak pointed out that Kerry still hadn’t entered the ring. Effy was #18 at 28:00. Effy gave his roses to Kerry, but Kerry hit Effy with the roses, and the crowd loudly booed him. Mance Warner was #19; he also hadn’t been on a show year this weekend. Effy and Kerry were brawling by the merchandise tables. Alec Price was #20, and Prazak noted he won the JCW Battle Bowl a few hours ago.

Billie Starkz was #21 at 33:30, and Veda noted how recently she had wrestled in the four-way. Starkz was quickly eliminated by Mance Warner; Veda said she was in just 10 seconds. Starboy Charlie was tossed. Manders was flipped out. The cameras showed Kerry and Effy still brawling on the floor, with neither having entered the match. Cole Radrick was #22, as Effy also entered the ring. Veda pointed out that Jordan Oliver and Leon Slater (#1 and #2) are still in the match. Allie Katch was #23, and she began hitting butt bumps on everyone. We get a glimpse of Kerry Morton standing next to the hard camera, having still yet to enter the match. I’m getting awful Vince McMahon vibes. Masha Slamovich was #24 at 38:30. I am counting 11 in the ring, plus Kerry on the floor.

Masha tossed Facade. Jimmy Lloyd was #25. Slater was tossed. Effy tossed Kerry Morton into the ring for the first time, then Effy and Lloyd worked together to toss Kerry, just seconds into being in the ring. They crowd taunted him with the “hey hey, goodbye” song. Dark Sheik was #26 at 43:00. Ciclope forcibly kissed Allie Katch. Effy and Allie worked together to eliminate Ciclope. Willie Mack was #27 and he traded forearm shots with Jimmy Lloyd. Mack started hitting stunners on everyone. John Wayne Murdoch was #28 at 47:00, and he brought light tubes with him. Murdoch tossed Katch and was booed. He then tossed Dark Sheik. then Jimmy Lloyd. He cracked a light tube over Masha’s head, and she fell to the floor.

Matt Tremont was #29, and he’s still bleeding from his prior match. Tremont clotheslined Murdoch over the top rope for an elimination. I believe we have nine left. Mack was eliminated after a Wayne superkick. Radrick was tossed by Wayne & Oliver. Blake Christian entered at #30 at 50:30; Veda Scott reminded us that Blake “stole the pin” from Alec Price earlier to earn that spot. Jordan Oliver eliminated teammate Nick Wayne! The crowd reacted in shock! Prazak noted that it was every man for himself. I think we had six left, as Tremont and Mance traded punches. They traded headbutts on the ring apron, and Tremont eliminated Mance. Jordan Oliver hit a Mafia Kick to eliminate Tremont, and the crowd booed Oliver!

So, we were down to just four: Effy, Blake, Oliver and Alec Price. Blake eliminated Effy, making up for losing to Effy a night ago. Blake and Oliver fought on the ring apron. Blake hit a missile dropkick to eliminate Oliver, and the crowd began chanting, “Alec Price!” (Blake just can’t get any love in this building.) Blake hit a running knee and a buckle bomb. Blake tossed Alec over the top rope, but he held on and didn’t touch the floor. Blake did the same thing, somehow holding on. This is high drama, and Blake knocked him to the floor.

Blake celebrated, thinking he had won. However, Masha climbed back in the ring, as she wasn’t eliminated earlier, and the crowd went nuts and were quickly behind her. They traded blows. Blake hit his rolling Death Valley Driver and was loudly booed. He flipped her, but she held on and got back in. She hit a spin kick to knock him off the ring apron to win the match! They shook hands in the ring, but then he gave her a superkick reminiscent of HBK hitting Jannetty! He put a chair over her head and hit a running knee on it. Akira hit the ring, but Blake superkicked him, tossed a chair at his head, and hit another superkick!

Final Thoughts: That might be the best non-WWE Royal Rumble I’ve ever seen. I am not kidding. They set up the Blake turn in the very first match, with him stealing a pin. He got revenge on Effy after losing to him a day earlier. He still eliminated Alec Price, who he stole the win from. Then when he lost, he beat the heck out of the winner.

There were so many other good spots in this Rumble. It was just well laid out. I loved Mercer dominating for a short stretch, including that impressive lifting of Stackhouse. I loved Slater and Oliver being in the match nearly bell-to-bell. I loved Oliver eliminating Wayne, and Nick’s absolute shock that his partner would do that to him. Just a superb Rumble match that really never dragged.

The six-way scramble was great, and earns second-best, and worth reiterating how it set up what we would see later. Feel free to say I’m exaggerating, but watching Wayne vs. Slater made me think of watching a young Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay in PWG just a few years ago. The crowd got to see something special here.

Those top three matches carried a great show. The women’s four-way was just okay; they have a better match in them, and I didn’t care much for the opener or the death match. But wow, the top three matches here were just fantastic.


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