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February 13, 2023

GCW Middle of the Night HOT TAKE

Los Angeles, it's a hell of a city. Las Vegas, it's Sin City.

While New York City gets the credit for being the center of the universe, New Orleans holds the crown for the party city and Paris is considered the destination for artists and love, it's perhaps Los Angeles and Las Vegas that equally contain the perfect recipe for glamor and grime.

Los Angeles has all the red carpet premieres one can ever hope to gawk at but just around the corner from those high society events, a small stroll off Sunset Boulevard is the darker side of the Moon. From Skid Row to The Voyager Motor Inn, there are parts of Los Angeles that are best avoided even on the brightest of days.

One hardly has to touch down at Harry Reid International Airport to see they are equal distance from the seductive nature of the Vegas strip and the darkness hidden beneath the Neon lights that blink their siren signals across the landscape. For every winner, for every story that stays in Vegas, there are a multitude of broken hearts and sad sack stories that formed the foundation that the winners dance upon in perhaps the city that defines the duality of man, the Jekyll and Hyde of our true nature, more than any other.

However, if there's one entity that shines brightest in the blackest of nights, it is Game Changer Wrestling. Relishing in its progressive, anti-authoritan greatness, GCW exudes the best in professional wrestling's evolution as much as it stands tall and proud as a throwback to the days where fighting was at its best in the underground clubs that saw battles dash through the audience as they dissected the cigar smoke that hung in the heavy air with and sweat and blood.

Indeed, GCW is timeless, because it at once pushes the boundaries of combat sports forward while resurrecting the grittiness of time long gone. GCW can be everywhere, but it shines brightest when crossing the threshold between legal and criminal, sparking that darkest, innate desire to fight, to compete, to excel.

That spark ignites this weekend, starting this Friday February 17th when GCW teams with VXS live from Vegas on FITE+ as the stars descend upon Sin City to celebrate Jimmy Lloyd's 25th Birthday! Indeed, Jimmy Lloyd is All Grown Up!

Whether it be Do or Die Rumbles, steel cage matches or Death Matches around the world, New Jersey's "Different Boy" will be lauded for the intense heart and all-out mayhem he has brought to Game Changer Wrestling over the years with his hardcore contributions to the world of professional wrestling.

In honor of his fearless insanity, what better way to showcase Lloyd's bravery than by headlining with Effy taking on Lloyd himself in a Death Match! Forget the birthday candles, light tubes and weaponry will brighten the skies and paint the night crimson as Effy, another of GCW's core competitors, takes to the ring to bring the fight to Lloyd. Will Jimmy ring celebrate the night with a victory or will Effy have his hand raised with a big win? Cut the cake alongside FITE and discover for yourself!

As if that big main event isn't enough chaos to kick off GCW's weekend, Jimmy LLoyd's All Grown Up will also feature an extremely unique encounter as Speedball Mike Bailey returns to battle luchador Mideo Extremo in a battle that is sure to push the boundaries of athletic insanity. All Grown Up is also slated to see Ciclope vs. Matthew Justice, Dark Sheik vs. Santana Jackson and Arez & Komander vs. The East West Express in titanic bouts that will celebrate all the insanity and mayhem that Jimmy Lloyd has left behind in his personal path of destruction around the globe!

If the Vegas hangover isn't too much, the bloodletting continues on Saturday February 18th when returns to Los Angeles, igniting the insanity once again from the infamous Ukrainian Cultural Center, featuring the following main events:

Nick Gage vs. Mike Bailey:

If there is ever a match that truly showcases the uniqueness of Game Changer Wrestling, it has to be the celebrated master of Murder Death Kill, the legendary Nick Gage, without whom GCW would never have existed taking on the martial arts hybrid fighter Speedball Mike Bailey. Two very different fighters who not only represent different fighting styles but two completely paths of life experiences.

Gage rose out of the swamps of New Jersey and the streets of South Philadelphia to popularize the very lifeblood of death match wrestling, one of the toughest individuals to ever step inside the ring. Mike Bailey is a very regimented fighter, who trains endlessly in his karate dojo in pursuit of ascending into the ultimate fight form while carrying out his life's pursuit of being the most decorated fighter in the world. Over the last year, Bailey has created an incredible body of work in his worldwide touring, winning hard fought victories and championships galore. But, he has never faced anyone like Nick Gage.

Mike Tyson once famously stated that everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face. But not even Mike Tyson has suffered a hard right at the hands of Nick Gage. For Mike Bailey to survive, much less thrive with a victory, he will have to solve the enigma that is Nick Gage - strategize a way to defeat someone who's own strategy is that he just runs roughshod into battle, leaving the entire combat environment torn asunder.

This sort of demented, askew battle can only happen on a GCW event and only in the Middle of the Night, live for FITE+ subscribers!

Willie Mack vs. Blake Christian:

The West Coast is Willie Mack's domain, having grown from the fan seen taking the bus to Pro Wrestling Guerrilla events to one of their most beloved personalities of all time. His journey in professional wrestling has taken him to international acclaim, but he has never forgotten the Cali fans who supported him across the length of his journey. No matter where he's gone, when Willie Mack returns to Los Angeles, he is home - and it will be this visit back to home that will see Mack, a true Generational talent, take on a member of the next generation he helped inspire.

Blake Christian is a GCW original, who first made his starpower known at Game Changer Wrestling events before being given national and international opportunities across The United States and Japan. Now back competing regularly, Christian has taken all the lessons his own worldwide life experiences have brought him, seeking to break the stratosphere in his pursuit of becoming the top wrestler in all of GCW. A win over Willie Mack in his hometown would be a massive boon to Christian's career. But a win over Mack is not an easy achievement as he's one of the most stunning, multi-faceted competitors to ever grace the ring.

This unique dream match will set the stage for 2023 in GCW and beyond for each of these acclaimed athletes. Their fortune will be told live from Los Angeles this Saturday.

Lio Rush vs. Komander:

Lio Rush has lived the roller coaster life in professional wrestling, but in recent months, he has been firing full steam ahead on all cylinders with incredible success Stateside and with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Rush has had a near-perfect record of late until falling this past weekend to Joey Janela in the second round of the JCW Jersey J-Cup. Now Rush intends to return to the ring and soar above it in pursuit of immediately rebounding with another massive international win in Los Angeles at GCW's Middle of the Night.

To score that win and help erase the blemish on his win/loss record, Rush will have to defeat the sensational luchador known as Komander. The pride of joy of Reynosa, Mexico, Komander has integrated himself into the hearts and souls of the GCW faithful with his awe-inspiring high flying offense, topped with an amazing corkscrew-infused shooting star press. .

Like Rush, Komander is seeking to avenge a loss in the Jersey J-Cup over the weekend, having fallen to Speedball Mike Bailey in the second round. A major victory in Los Angeles will help the lucha star rise above and beyond, back on the path to championship glory. Komander's lucha style can shock and awe from any position, at any moment, from any altitude, bringing a do or die intensity that very few can match, but Rush is no ordinary competitor. There are few as athletically gifted as he, creating a unique situation where even the best Vegas Oddsmakers would be conflicted over who truly has the ultimate advantage.

The reality is that when you have two stellar fighters in their prime such as Rush and Komander, it will be the competitor who makes the first mistake that will leave them primed for defeat - and with two athletes that go so full on out inside the ring, it will be a futuristic fight that promises the winner will be one of the ultimate threats to GCW's Champions as 2023 rolls on.

Matt Cardona vs. Nick Wayne:

Matt Cardona is obsessed with using Game Changer Wrestling for his own clout chasing, using any means to his ends. Having found himself unable to recapture the NWA Worlds Championship or the Impact Wrestling Digital Media title, Cardona arrives in Los Angeles seeking to make an example out of the beloved up and comer Nick Wayne, wanting a big win that allows him to throw off his recent misfortunes by stomping them into someone else.

The third-generation 17 year old superstar has dazzled Game Changer Wrestling fans with ring skills that are beyond mature for someone so young. If there is someone who already represents what the next evolution of professional wrestling, much less GCW itself, will be, it is Nick Wayne - and it is that hope for the future that Matt Cardona seeks to stomp out with a Broski Boot and Radio Silence, twisting that hope like a perverted balloon animal that he can pop with glee.

Nick Wayne represents all the majesty and magic of GCW. Matt Cardona represents the corporate might that seeks to rip its soul apart. This Saturday for FITE+ subscribers, the beginning of GCW's next chapter will be written before everyone's eyes. Whether Cardona or Wayne become that ultimate author remains to be seen.

The Bollywood Boyz vs. Los Macizos:

History will be made this Saturday when former GFW, ECCW and DEFY Tag Team Champions The Bollywood Boyz, Gurv Sihra and Harv Sihra, will invade Game Changer Wrestling for the first time, seeking the best competition in the world to prove that they remain the tag team that steals the spotlight from all others in professional wrestling.

The former WWE stars will test their mettle by diving right into the deepest end of the GCW tag team pool, battling GCW World Tag Team Champions Los Macizos, Ciclope and Miedo Extremo. One hell of welcome party for The Bollywood Boyz, this will be no easy night for the Canadian stars as the reigning and defending Champions have decimated arenas across the country in recent months. Over the last several years, Los Macizos have become renowned as one of most fierce, fighting tag teams ever seen in GCW rings. The Sihras will have to use all of their stereo, synchronized double-team maneuvers as well as all of their aerial offense to attempt to hold the rampaging Tag Team Champions at bay.

The one asset that Los Macizos holds over their challengers this Saturday on FITE+ is the sheer aggression Miedo and Ciclope bring to the ring, apex predators seeking destruction as much as victory. While The Bollywood Boyz have conquered many realms of professional wrestling, they will need to fight as they have never done before to show they can hang in the grimy, chaotic world of Game Changer Wrestling this Saturday in the City of Angels.

As if all this isn't enough, one of GCW's most popular tandems, Allie Katch and Effy, will return to FITE+ this Saturday, bringing Bussy in all its glory back to action. GCW has also promised a top notch lucha libre six man trios bout that will cascade down upon the audience with high-flying maneuvers galore, delivered at hyperspeed as only GCW can.

This weekend, GCW's Middle of the Night weekend streams live this Friday and Saturday evenings for all FITE+ subscribers, bringing everyone into the center of the maelstrom that is Game Changer Wrestling, the most dangerous combat sports promotion in the world!

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.