Originally scheduled to take over Florida in March as part of Wrestlemania Weekend, Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) will instead host The Collective, a series of massive events featuring competitors from across All Elite Wrestling (AEW), Ring of Honor (ROH), Impact Wrestling, Black Label Pro, and many other independent promotions.
Kicking things off is a show from the twisted mind of deathmatch star Jimmy Lloyd, as GCW presents Jimmy Lloyd’s D-Generation F. Featuring some of the best independent talent around today, the main event is a Death Match between two up and coming deathmatch stars, as Atticus Cogar and Colby Corino face off. Colby Corino should have a familiar surname to any long time wrestling fan, and Atticus Cogar has been making a name for himself as an all around jerk of a wrestler on the indepent scene, so the match is sure to be something violent and unmissable. Also on the card, Blake Christian, after a stint on New Japan Strong, will battle the very young up and comer, Starboy Charlie, while the host of the festivities, Jimmy Lloyd, will get in the right with AJ Gray. With appearances from Impact Wrestling’s Ace Austin, Calvin Tankman, Tre Lamar and JJ Barnett, and many more, this show is sure to have something for everyone.
+ Colby Corino vs Atticus Cogar (Death Match): straight up, I am not a fan of deathmatch style wrestling at the best of times, but this was relatively short and more of a grudge match with a story than just ‘blood for the sake of blood’ as some of these companies go for. Corino looked really good as the underdog good guy, while everything about Cogar oozed ‘dickhead’, form his garish ring wear to his style of wrestling. I liked this more than I thought I would
+ Blake Christian vs Starboy Charlie: I really enjoyed Christian on New Japan Strong recently, and this was another fantastic showing from him, thanks in no small part to just how good Stormboy Charlie was. I’ll admit I’m not familiar with Stormboy, but he was really, really good in this match, and definitely one to watch. I’d predict he will be on a strong developmental deal somewhere very soon
+ Ace Austin vs Jordan Oliver: this was another really good match, in the same vein as Lamar/Garrett before them. It was not over the top, and both guys looked really slick. The ending was a lot of fun, too, because they didn’t feel the need to go too crazy with kickouts, submission breaks or fake ending teases
+ Cole Radrick vs Calvin Tankman: holy smokes this Calvin Tankman is a massive star already. This was much more my style of ‘big guy versus small guy’ than the Stunt/Manders match before it
+ JJ Garrett vs Tre Lamar: JJ Garrett looks like the second coming of Scott Steiner. This was a really, really good match. Both guys hit a lot of stuff, but it all looked good and if this was in a stadium show, I truly believe these two would be stars
+ Kung Fu Janela vs Sonico vs Eli Isom vs Brayden Lee vs Elayna Black vs Alex Ocean vs Griffin McCoy (Seven Man Scramble Match): I’ll freely admit I think I only knew three or four of them (Isom, Black and Ocean, and a bit of Janela), but I am certainly going to keep an eye out for the rest over the next several shows. I think Sonico and Brayden Lee, in particular have a huge upside in the future
– Jimmy Lloyd vs AJ Gray: I wanted to like this, and I am not not a fan of Jimmy Lloyd or AJ Gray, but these two just never clicked for me
– 1 Called Manders vs Logan Stunt: oh man, I hate these unprotected chairshots (yes, I know I’m watching GCW). This was a massacre from almost the opening bell, and if you’re into these sort of matches then cool, but it did nothing for me
– Top Flight (Air Wolf & Angel Dorado) vs Smokin’ Budz (Cody Morton & David Morton) vs Young Dumb N Broke (Charlie Tiger & Ellis Taylor) vs Workin’ On Dyin’ (Dyln McKay & Steve Sanders): there was a lot of fun stuff in this match, but there was also a lot of really sloppy, if not outright botched manoeuvres. The Smokin’ Budz and Workin’ On Dyin’ were probably my highlight, but with all eight men working similar styles, it was hard for any one team to stand out too much
> your mileage may vary on commentators swearing and joking around, but overall I really enjoyed this commentary duo of wrestler Tony Deppen and one of my personal favourites, Kevin Gill. They knew when to have fun, and when to put over the action in the ring
Should you watch this event: I was not overly familiar with many of the competitors on this show, but win, lose or draw, I am definitely going to be keeping track of JJ Garrett, Calvin Tankman and Staryboy Charlie, as well as the competitors I have seen before. Overall, this was a lot of fun and well worth watching as part of The Collective.