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February 25, 2022

GCW LA Shot Caller Weekend HOT TAKE

The city of the Angels, Los Angeles.

For some, it's the haven that creates stars that set the stage for the world at large, where fame and glamor influences the world at large. It's the shimmering, radiance of Hollywood, the epicenter of power for the beautiful, the alluring and the talented.

But, the reality is, that's all garbage carefully curated by public relations experts and studio moguls seeking to keep their never-ending treadmill running, not caring who or what is crushed beneath their self-serving needs and lust for power.

What we're here to talk to you about today, my friends, is the true Los Angeles, the home of Skid Row. The glint that shines in the moonlight isn't gold but grime. That's the true heartbeat of Los Angeles, the shadowy underside that must exist in order for the machine that is Los Angeles to keep operating…and it's within that shadow culture that a promotion like Game Changer Wrestling truly thrives.

The narrative of the year thus far is that GCW has been raised on this pedestal, getting to produce polarizing and deeply debated PPV events like the WRLD ON GCW. 2022 is the year GCW leans a little closer to the mainstream, where the mavericks and rebels and hoods get their moment in the sun and get celebrated. It's where GCW graduates to the next level.

But that's just garbage, too.

GCW will always be at home in the darkness, in the slime, in the trenches carved through blood and much and mud, because no matter how much anyone tries to shine GCW up and present it to the masses, the core essence of what made Game Changer Wrestling the knight that stands tall against the dragon of mainstream wrestling is its never-ending pursuit of giving those who were homeless a place to not just exist but thrive outside the system. GCW will always be punk rock, spewing snot and blood, sneering at the world at large. It will always be the DIY world that exists just off to the side of the spotlight, seething in its own violence, beating its chest for the best professional wrestling action and leaping off rooftops to prove their aerial daredevils are the most awe-inspiring.

Through it all, it's seen through the prism of a curled lip and a raised middle finger. Hollywood can claim it stands tall through red carpet premieres, but the true Los Angeles can only be found and can only exist in places where the rampage against the norm never dies, a never-ending Ragnarok seeking to bring down the norms of complacency and replace them with the true independent spirit that forges greatness, those who dare to dream, break glass ceilings and are willing to descend into the madness to achieve their greatest heights.

GCW has come back to Los Angeles, so forget the Richter scale, it's time to carve yet another chapter in the time capsule of professional wrestling in blood and bone, another dark yet shining installment in the continuing GCW assault on everyone who dares doubt the promotion's footprint and enduring legacy.

FITE is proud to present Game Changer Wrestling's return to Los Angeles this Friday February 25th and Saturday February 26th from the Ukrainian Cultural Center, which has risen over the last several years as one of the most intense, intimate destinations anywhere on the West Coast for professional wrestling.

Friday's Welcome to Heartbreak event will be headlined by the official return to the ring of WWE Hall of Famer and long-time trendsetter Sean "X-Pac" Waltman, competing for the first time since 2019 as he walks the aisle alongside GCW's beloved Maverick "The Bad Boy" Joey Janela. Waltman shocked the world when he hit the ring in the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC to save Janela from GCW interloper Matt Cardona and his long-time crony Brian Myers. The former Edgeheads were seeking to break Janela once and for all, shattering the spirit of GCW and its fandom in the process, but never thought that despite the army of allies they enlisted that Waltman would arrive to save the day.

Now, a dream team that was unthinkable even a few months ago, Janela and Waltman, two stars from different generations who have each defied the odds and endeared professional wrestling fans across the globe will team for the first and perhaps only time. While Cardona is coming off the momentum of capturing the NWA World Championship, GCW has never been a place where tradition is revered. Instead, it's simply another target to take down - and Cardona has a never-ending list of targets he's placed on himself with his dismissive antics against GCW, it's competitors and performers. Los Angeles has long been the place where rivalries come to die and this may be that moment for Cardona and Myers, live on FITE.

Welcome to Heartbreak will also see history made when Indie Wrestling Hall of Famer Homicide seeks to rebound after losing his GCW title match against Jon Moxley. Never one to pause, Homicide has, for decades, battled ever-forward and in Los Angeles, his path will intersect for the first time ever against a fellow legend, Dr. Wagner Jr. Since coming to GCW, Wagner has imported his patented brawls and intensity from Mexico but in Homicide, it's a generational battle of two revered, hardcore brawlers who have never, ever backed away from a fight. For FITE fans, these are the moments they argue about - what would happen? What if? After Friday, there will be no more debate, because fantasy manifests itself into the reality of war.

As always, GCW will be the origination point for the best talents in the world pushing the envelope to make their names and stun FITE viewers across the globe, live in the moment. 16-year old Nick Wayne has become renowned as someone who is just too great for someone his age as pundits ponder how amazing he may become as he continues to grow and evolve as a competitor. This Friday, he'll test his mettle against Blake Christian, the world-traveled aerial assault artist who has returned to GCW with a chip on his shoulder to prove to everyone that he's still the measuring stick for all inside and above the ring.

As if that wasn't mind-rattling enough, the mysterious Ninja Mack, who has defied gravity in his quest to earn the respect and love of the GCW faithful will perhaps face his strongest test to date, Speedball Mike Bailey, the celebrated Canadian star who has finally returned to bring his hybrid martial arts prowess back to GCW. In a world where styles clashing never fails to enrapture an audience, Bailey vs. Mack is the latest chapter in GCW unleashing unique, celebrated fights live on FITE.

Saturday evening, Game Changer Wrestling will attempt to survive the Coldest Winter, bringing the bitter fright of mind-bending fights to the world at large, as Los Angeles will again be the origination point for GCW's insane meshing of violence, grappling greatness and high-flying insanity.

GCW is a diverse, inclusive promotion that celebrates all styles, all fans and all performers. The Coldest Winter will be headlined by a red-hot lucha libre encounter as international star Mascara Dorada has shed the skin of sports-entertainment, reverting back to his roots as one of the most celebrated fighters out of Mexico. Saturday evening, he'll battle GCW stalwart Gringo Loco, who has continued to tear a path of destruction through the United States and Mexico alike, finally deciphering the riddle of the Sphinx to find himself landing as the ultimate incarnation of himself, stealing show after show with win after win. Just weeks before GCW returns to Dallas for the 2022 Collective and Gringo Loco celebrates the WRLD on Lucha, he'll face one of Mexico's finest in Dorada, a man who wants nothing more than to carve his own renewed legacy in GCW and beyond.

Game Changer Wrestling will always be the home of unadulterated competition without barriers and this Saturday, Thunder Rosa, one of the most elite wrestlers on the planet will battle Tony Deppen for the first time. Deepen's grizzled physical style has never shown a merciful side but neither has Thunder Rosa, who has clawed and fought her way across events large and small to escape the Underground and land in the mainstream. Unlike others who have found themselves diluted through that process, Rosa instead has remained entrenched in her roots and is never one afraid to bring the fight. Two truly different, renowned fighters find their careers intersecting this Saturday live on FITE in Los Angeles.

Saturday will also see the continuation of two stars that believe they can fly, because they've clocked the incredible amount of time they've played astronaut in the stratosphere, attempting to touch the heavens before they bring hell careening down on their opponents, as Blake Christian battles Speedball Mike Bailey. As things heat up heading to the Collective, each competitor desperately needs some big wins coming out of Los Angeles. One one man can walk out the victor, with all the spoils and the pride that comes with it. FITE fans will witness the changing of career trajectories live as they happen this weekend, with Bailey, Christian and countless other Game Changer Wrestling combatants.

GCW returns to Los Angeles, shining a spotlight on the chaos theory of professional wrestling, yet again, as only Game Changers can, live on FITE.

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.