GCW “Emo Fight”: Vetter’s review of Mike Bailey and Mao vs. Ciclope and Extremo Miedo vs. Marcus Mathers and Dyln McKay in a three-way tag, Jimmy Jacobs vs. Kevin Blackwood, Brook Havok vs. Sandra Moone vs. Janai Kai in a three-way, Jimmy Lloyd vs. Starboy Charlie vs. Matt Vandagriff vs. Sonico vs. B-Boy vs. Sawyer Wreck in a six-way scramble


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

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GCW “Emo Fight”
Streamed on FITE.TV
April 1, 2023 in Los Angeles, California at Ukrainian Cultural Center

“The Collective” is a series of 10 wrestling shows, led by Game Changer Wrestling, held over WrestleMania weekend, with all the events at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Most of the shows have a specific theme (there is a lucha show, a show highlighting Black wrestlers, and another featuring the LGBTQ community.) This venue can probably hold 600.

This is a review of “Emo Fight,” which began at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. So, this took place after the ROH “Supercard of Honor” and WWE Smackdown. Despite the late hour, the crowd was perhaps 400. Veda Scott and Jordan Castle provided commentary; they opened by talking about how many matches some of these wrestlers had over the past two days.

“Emo Fight” apparently means our wrestlers are going to wear dark clothing and be brooding. It almost feels like Halloween. For instance, in the first match, Starboy Charlie had dark makeup under his eyes and looked depressed as he channeled his inner Raven as he sat in the corner. B-Boy has eyeliner on. Everyone has theme songs from the early 2000s, too.

1. Matt Vandagriff defeated Starboy Charlie, Sonico, B-Boy, Sawyer Wreck, and Jimmy Lloyd in a six-way scramble at 10:02. Sonico’s mask is purple/pink today. Charlie hit a running Shooting Star Press on Sonico. Everyone is really playing up the silliness of being sad and emo, which is fine because this is fun and different. Sawyer hit a sidewalk slam on Sonico for a nearfall. B-Boy hit a stunner on Lloyd at 3:30. B-Boy squared off against Charlie; he’s been wrestling longer than the Starboy has been alive!

Everyone started brawling on the floor. In the ring, Vandagriff hit a spin kick on B-Boy at 6:30. The action has picked up after the silliness of the gimmicks early on. Lloyd hit a package piledriver on Vandagriff. Charlie hit a Thesz Press and punches. B-Boy nailed a brainbuster on Charlie. Wreck chokeslammed B-Boy. She went to hit a chokeslam on Sonico, but he sprayed mist on her to escape. Sonico dove through the ropes at 9:00. In the ring, he hit a Dragon Suplex on Charlie for a nearfall. Vandagriff hit a powerslam into the turnbuckles on Sonico, then a 450 Splash to pin Sonico. Fun.

* Someone sang a song. I fast-forwarded.

2. Janai Kai defeated Brook Havok and Sandra Moone in three-way at 7:03. Castle says this is her GCW debut; I thought she wrestled on a different show on the last GCW tour out west. Kai also is really amping up this emo mood in her hoodie and overall outfit. Moone and Havok were ready to go, but Kai also was channeling her inner Raven and sat in the corner, still wearing the hoodie. Moone and Havok traded quick rollups right away, then they ran over and stomped on Kai. Kai sat down, refusing to wrestle.

Moone hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on Kai for a nearfall at 4:30. Havok hit a tornado DDT for a nearfall. Kai applied a Dragon Sleeper on Havok, and the ref called for the bell. Kai pulled out a phone and took a picture of her lying on top of the prone Havok. Ok match; it felt like it was just getting rolling when it abruptly ended.

* Another singing performance. This would have been more fun if it was a wrestler singing.

3. Jimmy Jacobs defeated Kevin Blackwood at 15:56. Jacobs came out dressed in his full ‘zombie princess’ outfit. Standing switches to start, and Jacobs stomped on him in the corner. No cartoonish antics in this one; Blackwood hit some hard chops. Jacobs tried for a Dragon Sleeper. Jacobs hit a huracanrana at 2:30. Jacobs clotheslined Kevin to the floor. They brawled on the floor, with Blackwood hitting some hard chops. Jacobs slammed a chair across the back at 5:00.

In the ring, Jacobs set up for a Sliced Bread, but Blackwood avoided it. Blackwood hit a snap suplex and began stomping on the smaller Jacobs. Blackwood nailed a sit-out powerbomb at 7:30. Jacobs hit a Rude Awakening standing neckbreaker. Jacobs again slapped on a front Dragon Sleeper. Blackwood suplexed Jacobs into the corner, then he hit a top-rope doublestomp to the chest for a nearfall at 9:30. Jacobs hit a Clout Cutter, then the Sliced Bread for a believable nearfall. Jacobs immediately slapped on the front Dragon Sleeper again, but Blackwood escaped.

They traded hard chops, and Blackwood hit a superkick. Jacobs hit a spear, and he went for a Sliced Bread, but Blackwood turned it into a tombstone piledriver, and Kevin got a nearfall at 12:00. This has been really, really good. Blackwood went under the ring and got a door, which he set up in the corner. They both teased putting each other through the board. Blackwood hit a top-rope kneedrop across the back of the neck. Blackwood then nailed a Death Valley Driver through the door in the corner for a believable nearfall; I thought that was it.

Blackwood took a door shard and slammed it over the top of Jacobs’ head for a nearfall. They fought on the ropes in the corner. Jacobs leapt off the top rope while holding Blackwood’s neck, as he slapped on the front Dragon Sleeper, and this time, Blackwood tapped out. That was a really, really good match. I want to add that it ended at maybe 1:20 a.m., but you’d have no idea with how hard these two worked.

* Another live singing performance.

4. “Moonlight Express” Mao & Mike Bailey defeated “Los Macizos” Ciclope & Extremo Miedo” and “Wasted Youth” Marcus Mathers & Dyln McKay in a three-way tag match at 8:59. Mathers is holding a lighter and has dark makeup under his eyes. Everyone on this show clearly stocked up their gear at the area Hot Topic store. Los Macizos were thrown to the floor at the bell. WY hit dives through the ropes on Bailey and Mao. Ciclope dove onto all four opponents, then Miedo dove onto all of them at 1:30. Miedo slammed Ciclope onto McKay. Mathers hit a northern lights suplex on Bailey for a nearfall at 4:00.

Ciclope hit a double northern lights suplex on WY, then a spinebuster on McKay. In a cool spot, Bailey and Mao locked arms as they hit a team moonsault off the top rope to the floor on the four opponents at 6:00. McKay hit a spin kick to Bailey’s head. McKay hit his top-rope Shooting Star Press on Mao. Mathers immediately hit his 450 Splash on Mao for a believable nearfall. Los Macizos hit a team slam on Mathers for a believable nearfall. Bailey hit his tornado kick on Mathers. Bailey hit his Ultima Weapon moonsault kneedrop on Mathers for a nearfall. Mao and Bailey hit a team flipping slam on McKay for the pin. That was a fun, non-stop sprint.

Final Thoughts: This was fun and different. When you are having a midnight show on a day where many fans have seen multiple shows and perhaps 20 or more matches… I didn’t mind this. I first saw Jimmy Jacobs wrestle in 2003. I did a road trip with him once from MN to a show in Iowa.  It feels like it’s a treat to see him wrestling today.

Two really good matches to conclude this little four-match show. Blackwood-Jacobs was hard-hitting and stiff but didn’t cross into disgusting hardcore. The three-way tag was a fun high-flying finale.

The most notable thing about the show is it lasted just 1 hour, 38 minutes. But most of the Collective shows were in the 2 hour, 20 minute range, to not overstay their welcome.


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