WrestleMania weekend is over. No longer is it a struggle trying to understand what shows you want to watch and what food you want to have with these shows. Most importantly figuring out how you’re going to stay awake.
The Collective ran by Game Changer Wrestling had 12 shows, or 96 matches over three days. Wrestlers from across the world and the United States came to Fair Park in Dallas, Texas to fight amongst themselves as the eyes were all on them. Because of those 12 shows, you may not have watched all of them. I’m here to help you out with some matches from each show you should check out, and why you should check them out.
Glory Pro – Cemetery Gates 11AM CST 3/31
This is the show that kicked off The Collective. And while the entire card top to bottom is worth a watch, here are some matches you should check out:
Allie Katch vs. Laynie Luck – Submissions match This was a great showcase of Allie’s growth as a serious performer/wrestler working as the heel in this match. Laynie is no joke either, as getting the time in Ring of Honor has really helped her grow as a performer as well. These two put on a special match here and the crowd was into both ladies. Some fun spots in here as well. A must watch for any women’s wrestling fan, and most importantly a fan of the two.
Dan The Dad vs. Kody Lane – Loser Leaves the Neighborhood This was a fun, lighthearted match that really grew because Dan didn’t like how Kody was trying to take over the neighborhood. This was a good brawl around the room at The Collective and really brought out the comedy and different spots that we’ve started to enjoy from Dan. He’s really taken his own with this character and took it to another level here.
GCW – Bloodsport 8 3PM CST 3/31
A staple event on the GCW calendar, Josh Barnett brought in another Bloodsport event to the Collective. This was, from top to bottom, a very strong Bloodsport show, which saw familiar faces, new faces and everything in between.
Ninja Mack vs. Yoya This was an interesting choice to have Ninja Mack in here. How would he do in a more grounded environment? Apparently, a great job. Yoya has been in some past at Bloodsport, but I don’t think he expected to get knocked out by that stiff kick from Ninja Mack. This match had it all and was my personal match of the night for this show.
Jon Moxley vs. Biff Busick I was excited for this match the second it was announced and it didn’t disappoint. The strikes were brutal, blood was shed and both got a little loopy. This match was just a very good example of the type of action to expect at a show like this, and neither of them disappointed as they brought it. Just an excellent piece of wrestling.
GCW – Joey Janela’s Spring Break 6 Pt. 1 8PM CST 3/31
Again, great to see this show here, as this is the show that helped get GCW on the map and some attention, and the first night brought in some interesting matchups, headlined by Alex Colon and John Wayne Murdoch for the GCW Ultraviolent Championship. Let’s talk quick about the matches to watch:
AR Fox vs. Blake Christian A clash of similar styles in this match here, and it didn’t disappoint. Really glad to see Blake Christian find his legs under him, as he had himself a weekend here during WrestleMania weekend, as he was the first to be in a New Japan, Impact, Ring of Honor and GCW ring all in one day. This was just a staple of the time of crazy matchups we can expect at Spring Break.
Joey Janela vs. Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman I know this might seem surprising, but this match was a good example of the character work we’ve been seeing from Janela since his return to the independent scene. This is the kind of match where he does a good job at selling and putting the babyface over in this match, helping the crowd get behind Waltman's win. Granted, Joey got the last laugh, but this was awesome to see.
GCW – Planet Death 11:59PM CST 3/31
Last year, this show debuted and was produced by the former GCW Ultraviolent champion, Alex Colon. This year was a good example of the GCW Deathmatch division as it gave casuals, and those interested in the style, a crash course.
AKIRA vs. Cole Radrick Radrick has had a deathmatch renaissance of sorts lately, and GCW is to blame for him become the ghoul he is again. Since stepping up against Orin Veidt back in February during an Atlantic City weekend, he’s been beloved by the Game Changer fans yet again. AKIRA showed up and showed out here, and there were some unique spots with some of the weaponry used in this match.
Sawyer Wreck vs. Brandon Kirk I want to see more Sawyer Wreck, and while we’re at it, more Brandon Kirk in GCW as they both have a role in the Deathmatch division that cannot be ignored. These two worked super well with one another and most importantly, made the crowd hate Brandon, but fall in love with Sawyer. The image of her with the two one-dollar bills on her head will be a moment from this year’s Collective.
And that was just day one of The Collective. Be on the lookout of what to watch for on days two and three in the coming days. If you're interested in watching any of these shows, FITE still has the package up and available for purchase, which you can find here.