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What it’s like to watch GCW for a fan who doesn’t like deathmatches

Thumbtacks stress me out.

I always assumed I would absolutely hate deathmatches. I can handle some hardcore matches, but thumbtacks are still what stress me out. And deathmatches induce thumbtack-stress times a thousand.

I have seen clips and gifs from GCW over the last few years. I’ve even watched a couple of Joey Janela’s Spring Break shows. A friend of mine loves GCW—and deathmatches—and has sent me things. I’d been following Matt Cardona in GCW via Twitter (he worked them so hard) and was intrigued.

Before watching my first full GCW show, I got to see the “f*cking God of this Sh*t”, Nick F’n Gage live. Familiar with Gage, I was hyped that I would get to see him live at AEW’s Fight for the Fallen. Yes, it would be a Nick Gage match, but it would be toned down for television, right? Not quite. There were pizza cutters and light tubes. The crowd was super in to it. was super into it. It was stressful, but so much fun.

The first full show I watched was Night 1 of GCW Homecoming, although it was a couple of weeks after it’d happened. My sister watched it with me; she is also not a deathmatch fan. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that not every match is a deathmatch or even a hardcore match. There are “normal” matches, much like you’d find on any indie show. We were into it. So much so that I made the comment that I wanted to experience a GCW show live.  After matches featuring Marko Stunt, Ninja Mack, and AJ Gray, it was time for Drew Parker vs. Alex Colon. A match for the BJW Deathmatch Heavyweight championship. OH. We were going to skip it, then watched the promo video for Parker and decided we’d give it a shot.

I was trying to keep the stress at bay and then Parker threw darts at Colon’s back. Darts.

After about two minutes, I conceded that I would still like to experience a GCW show, but will either take a bathroom break or move to the back of the room during the hardcore match. I was trying to keep the stress at bay and then Parker threw darts at Colon’s back. Darts. “WTF am I watching?!” My sister & I verbalized our discomfort, but couldn’t look away. I had my hands over my face, watching through my fingers. Stress levels were high, but he match was really awesome.

Once I got my stress levels under control, Mance Warner had gotten stapled to a table. *stress intensifies*

The rest of the show was pretty tame until the main event. Gage vs. Cardona closed the show. It was fun, exciting, and violent. Stress levels rose again, but I really enjoyed the match. My sister and I were both interested in watching future GCW shows.

Learning via Twitter that Jon Moxley showed up at Art of War Games to face Cardona at was enough to get me to watch the main event. The aforementioned friend had purchased the show and graciously let me use his login to watch. Seeing an AEW contracted wrestler win the championship was really cool to see. Minimal use of light tubes is less stressful than expected.

Mox vs. Gage in GCW? Now, I had to watch Fight Club. I knew a little bit more of what to expect this time around. I was pleasantly surprised to see Thunder Rosa show up to participate in the Seven Way Scramble. This was another fun show with great matches, full of talent I’d either seen already, knew from gifs and clips, or had heard their name.

The next night at GCW Aftermath, it was headlined by Minoru Suzuki vs. Joey Janela; that was a fun match with a lot of chops. The show featured other awesome matches like Allie Katch vs. Mercedes Martinez and Calvin Tankman vs. ASF (who decided to book that? It was crazy!). Suzuki returned the next month at GCW War Ready to face Nick Gage. While the match was violent and featured weapons like buckets and chairs, no light tubes were harmed. Two matches prior featured Mance Warner and Matthew Justice versus the debuting Briscoe Brothers and it was a very bloody affair.

Between watching from afar via tweets, watching matches here and there, and full shows, I’ve come to the conclusion that GCW is special and is on the verge of a very special time in the company’s history. It has been announced that they will hold a show in the Hammerstein freaking Ballroom in January. That speaks volumes to what GCW is doing and the mark they are making in the industry.

I’ve also learned that GCW offers something for everyone. It isn’t just hardcore and deathmatches, though there is plenty of violence to satiate the fans for looking for that. Some of the very best talent in wrestling are featured there. As with many promotions, I’d like to see more women’s matches. Hopefully, that will come sooner rather than later.

Game Changer Wrestling is living up to its name.

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