GCW NYC | Providence Weekend HOT TAKE
"When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. Clean is not enough." —Fran Lebowitz
Yes, we used that quote the first time Game Changer Wrestling invaded New York City, but when something works, you don't screw with it - and that's sort of the mantra of GCW as they stomp back into New York City live on FITE this Saturday June 18th from the intimate confines of the Melrose Ballroom.
After THE WRLD ON GCW rocked the wrestling world with New York City as the epicenter of the quake, it would be the easy way to go right back to the Hammerstein Ballroom with the extra lighting, production and guest stars, seeking to see if lighting can strike twice - but that would be the easy way.
Game Changer Wrestling can be accused of a lot of things, but the one charge the outlaws of GCW will always be found innocent of is doing things the easy way. The easy way might be a quicker route to fame and riches, but it would also be selling out and forgetting the grit and muck that GCW shines most brightly within.
After all, Game Changer Wrestling proudly touts themselves as the last bastions of rebel attitude in professional wrestling, the snarling throwbacks itching for a fight, sneering at the corporate machine that has continuously diluted the sport of professional wrestling over the generations.
It may not make sense to some, but of course, as GCW's denizens would proudly proclaim, YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND. Fittingly, that is the name of Game Changer's return to NYC, since most who first visit The Big Apple are certainly overwhelmed by the fast, hard energy of the Five Boroughs. GCW and NYC, very unique, hard-nosed entities, each with their own detractors, but each who shrug it off, because there's work to be done, so get out of the way.
For GCW, their work is about combat, taking to the squared circle without fear or limitations or even logic. GCW is indeed The Warriors come to life, a fight scene from your favorite gritty 70s film illuminated in that crackling celluloid way that has one foot distinctly planted in the secret fight clubs of old and the other pointed to the future, bridging broken glass and barbed wire to prestigious championships and the smashmouth professional wrestling that doesn't only scream GCW into the dark of night, but pure NYC as well.
It's only fitting that Game Changer Wrestling World Champion Jon Moxley slinks back into New York City this Saturday, defending his title against Tony Deppen. The low key, hard-hitting striking Deppen has willed himself into some of the most historic GCW matches over the course of his career, fighting week by week to earn himself the biggest match of his life this Saturday against the former WWE and AEW Champion Moxley. Since winning the GCW World title from Matt Cardona in 2021, Moxley has left a trail of blood and bones and destruction across the United States and beyond, but in Deppen, he may be facing a kindred spirit, someone who will hit as hard as he is struck and someone who may be as focused on breaking down a body part in that human game of combat chess that is without limitations when the greatest prize in Game Changer Wrestling is at stake. Whether this is yet another successful championship defense or the night Tony Deppen shocks the world and breaks the Internet at the same time will be one of the most dangerous games of chance known to man - and it will all play out live on FITE.
Jack Evans has been one of the most celebrated aerial combatants of this iteration of professional wrestling. From Lucha Libre AAA to Ring of Honor to AEW, Evans has sailed the stratosphere and shown to be one of the most versatile, unique wrestlers in the world. Now, having departed AEW, Evans has declared he's seeking to regain his edge as a fighter and is seeking to take down everyone in his path in order to regain his reputation as one of the most talked about stars in the sky. In his official return to GCW, Evans will do battle with the modern day incarnation of who Evans was when he was first shocking the world with his high-flying, hard hitting performances in Ninja Mack. Having earned his way into the hearts of GCW's faithful, Ninja Mack has grown from an unknown quantity to an international superstar in GCW, Pro Wrestling NOAH and beyond. Now, a literal dream match of super-heroic proportions is set with NYC as the backdrop. For Evans, a win means a chance to leap back into the conversation in the most meaningful way. For Mack, a win is another notch on his belt as he seeks to scale the skyscrapers of victory to continue entrenching himself as one of the stars that define today's independent wrestling world. The future will be determined for each man this Saturday.
While Mack and Evans look to their future, Action Mike Jackson, 72-years young, will make history this Saturday when he wrestles in New York City for the first-time in his legendary career. Jackson, eternally beloved in the Southeast where he reigned as the Alabama Junior Heavyweight Champion for eons, has done it all in the world of professional wrestling, but somehow, has never ventured to the city that never sleeps. The oldest man to make his rookie debut in New York City has never backed down from a fight and has continuously evolved as a fighter, but he'll have his work cut out for him facing the embittered Joey Janela. New Jersey's Bad Boy has been on a streak of spite and destruction in recent months and he'd like nothing more than to smile live on FITE knowing he's ruined the perfect feel good moment of Mike Jackon's NYC debut. Jackson will be a long way from the good old days of Jim Crockett Promotions but if anything is guaranteed in professional wrestling, it's that Jackson can pull a surprise out of anywhere. Janela is a confident, if pissy, fighter, but he's smartly advised to come prepared for the fight of his life, but since when does Janela listen to anyone? Mike Jackson is the rare performer who can make Father Time tap out and run backwards, but can he do the same to The Bad Boy? That riddle will solve itself live on FITE.
Then, as they say, something for the locals. If there is one man who is the strong oak tree rooted in the grounds of New York City who has trained countless students, watching them fly from the nest to achieve their own unique goals over the course of his own legendary career, it is the Notorious 187 Homicide. While he's in the midst of his own career renaissance in 2022, Homicide's protege The Grimm Reefer has found himself finally finding a true home beyond NYC in Game Changer Wrestling. Reefer has taken to the streets and the skies at GCW events all across the country, finding a kinship with the misfit toy fans of Game Changer, because that's what he's been his entire career - the talented misfit toy who was wrongly overlooked. Now, he's found a place to grow his roots and stand tall, but in one of the most interesting twists of fate this year, Reefer finds himself facing his trainer, Homicide, in the very shadows of the LIWF Doghouse, where Homicide broke so many into the business. This is a match that is personal as much as it's business. The student who was once a boy now has to stand as a man to enter combat with the legend that set him off on Reefer's very journey in professional wrestling, a journey that pits them against the other in opposite corners in their hometown.
If there is one woman who has carved her own crimson path of destruction through GCW and beyond in 2022, it is the Russian Dynamo, Masha Slamovich. Fearless and engaging, Masha smashes like The Hulk and she rages like a machine. She returns to NYC to face a most interesting opponent in AEW alum Marko Stunt. Marko, who first rose to prominence in the world of GCW, seeks to achieve victory here in a rare intergender bout where the male competitor steps in the underdog. Indeed, while Stunt's heart is never questioned as a performer, Slamovich has evolved into a force of nature and may be the one fighter on the show who cannot be denied her due. The ripple effects here will be felt for many months to come for the winner and the loser.
Charles Mason, who is seeking to earn his GCW fortune after a news breaking run in JCW and House of Glory, will enter the Melrose Ballroom looking to ascend to the next level at the expense of one of the true GCW Living Legends, Nate Spyder Webb. Webb has endured the wars of IWA Mid-South, CZW, GCW and beyond as he's rightfully earned himself the ability to stand tall and proud as a survivor of all the wars he's immersed his body through. While Mason is younger, Webb has the muscle memory and pure will to fight through wars of attrition. He's a true scrapper who can come at Mason from any angle, high and low, to put a beating on any man. For Mason to achieve his goals this Saturday, he's going to have to pluck Webb out of the sky and trash the world's oldest "Teenage Dirtbag" into oblivion, an act that many have attempted, but few have ever actually accomplished. Will Mason finally get his moment, or will he find himself denied at the hands of Nate Webb? This will be a fight, through and through.
Of course, with all of the different styles and battles spotlighted in the fight club known as Game Changer Wrestling, it's only fitting that lucha libre shine through as well. All three of the Maximos, The SAT, have exploded back into the world of GCW with incredible battles against The Briscoes and more, returning to the world they helped perfect and personify in the early 2000s. Now, the fruits of their labor may have come back to haunt Los Maximos as the best of today's generation of lucha fighters, led by Gringo Loco, who has truly enforced his will over the course of 2022, take to the ring in trios action in NYC. Drago Kid has become one of the most awe-inspiring luchadors today and ASF has burst out of the Lone Star State to capture the imagination of all that have witnessed his fighting passion. With six incredible fighters all honed in the futuristic hybrid lucha style, NYC will be the center ring for a dazzling array of combat expertise like no other for FITE viewers.
Of course, GCW wouldn't be GCW without The Six-Way Scramble match as an insante array of competitors will all battle it out to showcase who they are and prove they are the best. It's John Wayne Murdoch vs. Cole Radrick vs. Jordan Oliver vs. Blake Christian vs. The Prize Alec Price vs. Jack Cartwheel in a match that has the potential to melt minds and stun even the most ardent, obsessive professional wrestling fan. Six men are going to war with zero limitations and an entire city to use as their base of operations to battle from. The entirety of the NYPD would be the underdogs against these warriors in a clash in which only one man can emerge victorious from the battlefield. After all, it's GCW, where everything insane is encouraged!
As they say, New York, New York, it's a hell of a town, but this Saturday, it's going to be a hell for those seeking to fight for their success, their riches and their championship. Some will accomplish those goals, some will fall, but all will travel the bridges and tunnels to The Melrose Ballroom knowing they are willingly immersing themselves into the very flames of Hades itself, seeking to ascend to the heavens by making their battles legendary. NYC has stood silent witness to many great fights and many great fighters, but nothing like GCW in its purest, most revolutionary form.
This Saturday, live on FITE, GCW: You Wouldn't Understand, but if you are still reading this, you do, and we're excited you'll be watching along with us this Saturday from the fight capital of the world this weekend, NYC.
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.