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.
Game Changer Wrestling presents a celebration of all the black athletes from the world of pro wrestling at GCW For the Culture. Featuring some of the best black wrestlers on the independent scene, the main event will be a first time meeting between AR Fox and 2 Cold Scorpio, while ACH will face the fan favourite of the weekend, Lee Moriarty, in the semi-main event. Impact wrestling’s Trey Miguel and Dezmond Xavier will also be in action in separate singles matches, against JTG and AJ Gray, respectively, while three fantastic tag teams — 40 Acres (PB Smooth & Tre Lamar), Culture SZN (Christian Casanova & Tasha Steelz) and Top Flight (Air Wolf & Angel Dorado) — will meet in a three way tag team dance.
+ 2 Cold Scorpio vs AR Fox: I can’t remember the last time I saw 2 Cold Scorpio in a wrestling ring, but I like Fox and I really wish a major promotion would give him a proper shot. Scorpio had absolutely not lost a step, and was pulling off all his famous movies even as he is well into his 50s. Fox is just great, however, and could do everything Scorpio was doing and more. Before it started, I was thinking that Moriarty/ACH should have been the main event, but dammit, Scorpio/Fox absolutely nailed it and was the right match to go on last
+ ACH vs Lee Moriarty: hell yeah, Lee Moriarty is great. I’ve enjoyed ACH’s return, especially on recent New Japan Strong episodes. This was a fantastic match, and would have not been out of place on any PPV upper card. Moriarty is so, so good, and ACH is (as the commentators were putting over) no longer the rookie that Moriarty is right now, so ACH was able to play the veteran to perfection. I really loved this, and Moriarty is on a great string of matches
+ Dezmond Xavier vs AJ Gray: I am a fan of both these guys, but this was Gray’s match to show his skills. Gray was laying in those King’s Road style lariats and powerbombs like Xavier owed him money, but damn if Xavier isn’t just so quick and smooth in his abilities. This was great
+ Calvin Tankman vs O’Shay Edwards: I’m not familiar with Edwards, but he gave me some real Kimbo Slice vibes. Tankman is just awesome, and as the commentators started screaming about big meaty men slapping meat I knew I was in for my kind of wrestling match. I wasn’t wrong, as these two hit big slams, huge strikes and all over slapped their meat for my enjoyment
+ Top Flight (Air Wolf & Angel Dorado) vs 40 Acres (PB Smooth & Tre Lamar) vs Culture SZN (Christian Casanova & Tasha Steelz): this was nuts. Smooth and Lamar have already had good showings at previous Collective events, and I am now familiar with Top Flight. Casanova and Steelz were both impressive, with Steelz (the only woman in the match) in particular being involved in two of my favourite moments
+ JTG vs Trey Miguel: this was really good. JTG is not often the bigger man in a match, and Trey Miguel is not often such a dickbag, but these men played against type really well and it made for a great match. I really wish this match had started the show instead of the five way below, because the crowd was into this, the names were (arguably) more well known, and the match was better
– Marti Belle vs Willow Nightingale vs Faye Jackson vs Devon Monroe: I imagine many are familiar with Marti Belle from her Impact days, and I knew of Nightingale as well. Jackson was the visual standout, as they was perhaps double the size of her nearest competitor. Overall this was pretty sloppy, but Nightingale and Belle looked good individually
– Trish Adora (c) vs Suge D (Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Championship): I’ve seen a fair bit of Suge D (aka All Elite Wrestling’s “Pineapple Pete”) but I’m not familiar with Adora at all. This match went on for longer than I thought it should have, and to be honest they didn’t so much to make me think Adora ever stood a chance against the much larger Suge D. This didn’t do it for me
– Timmy Lou Retton vs Mike Outlaw vs AC Mack vs Mo Atlas vs Zay Washington: this opening bout did very little for me. All five men were athletic and competent, of course, but the few homages to more well known black wrestlers (The Rock and MVP got some shoutouts, among many more) were the highlight
Should you watch this event: The goal was to set out and highlight the black athletes in the world of pro wrestling, and I think they absolutely succeeded. This show is well worth a watch, especially as Lee Moriarty, O’Shay Edwards, Calvin Tankman, Tre Lamar and two thirds of The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier and Trey Miguel) continue to make a name for themselves.