As I sit here watching Nick Gage Invitational 3 (Still the best NGI tournament to date as of this writing), I look at the field that is the NGI 6 and think that the field put together this year may be the best field ever put together for a NGI tournament since the night that was NGI 3 in Villa Park, Illinois. In 2021, as the pandemic nears its end, as Game Changer Wrestling has garnered the most attention in its years as a promotion, the 6th edition of the Nick Gage Invitation truly has put together an eclectic roster that includes GCW deathmatch mainstays, potential new stars and of course international talent that has made waves across the world of deathmatch wrestling. The reason I mention NGI 3 is because it was the night that crowned the “Crazy Kid” Mashashi Takeda as the NGI champion in what was already an incredible year for Takeda holding both the Big Japan Wrestling deathmatch championship and the King of FREEDOMS championship. Now Takeda returns to Chicago in search of his 2nd NGI crown and he doesn’t come alone as he holds the GCW Ultraviolent Championship belt after defeating Drew Parker at BJW less than a month ago in a surefire classic. As Takeda makes his return to the states, with the UV belt in hand, the question will become the following: Will Takeda defend the belt throughout his entire run of the NGI? Will he make it through the NGI still with the Ultraviolent Belt? Is there anyone who can stop his run and become the 4th Ultraviolent champion? A lot of questions and answers will not be available until the 6th edition of the NGI comes to an end. Now let us look at the filed and matchups that will be the NGI 6.
Akira Vs Alex Colon
The first of the first-round matches that were announced. This one is truly one that is as high stakes as possible without a belt on the line. The story with these two really has written itself over the span of 2 years. Akira was just a young aspiring wrestler when he first met Alex Colon at GCW’s monumental show "They Said it Couldn’t Be Done" at the showboat in Atlantic City in 2019, when Colon faced off with Japanese Deathmatch legend Jun Kasai. Akira was there to watch the show and had friends on the show itself. As Akira has said on numerous occasions, that match with Colon vs Kasai was the starting point for his deathmatch wrestling aspirations. Now 2 years later, Akira and Alex Colon have faced offa couple time with Colon having the edge face to face with 2 wins to Akira's 1 win. Now the turf may be different but both men seem to know each other through 3 matches. Akira faces what is the biggest opportunity of his career and under the bright lights of GCW and no tougher test in only his 2nd match with the promotion than against a man who he looked up to in the profession of deathmatch wrestling. This is sure to be hard hitting and intense and the 3-time Tournament of Survival champion in Alex Colon is sure game to bring young Akira into the GCW spotlight with this match.
Atticus Cogar vs Rina Yamashita
Atticus Cogar is no stranger to GCW deathmatch tournaments. Coming off the loss in the finals to Alex Colon and not being able to spoil the repeat still must be on the mind of Cogar and this newfound motivation as a lone wolf away from his 44OH! cohorts has made him a formidable competitor in this tournament as well. The question that lies with Atticus is can he finally win a tournament and cement his place as the top of the GCW deathmatch division? He is near the cusp of greatness with GCW and maybe this tournament is his shot but first he must get past the debuting and unpredictable Rina Yamashita. Rina is making her very first trip to the United States and brings 8 years of in-ring experience but at most 2 years of deathmatch experience and the winner of the FREEDOMS “Newcomer of the Year”. She has earned the respect of Japan’s deathmatch stars such as Kasai and fellow NGI entrant Takeda. Yamashita truly is the tournament's wild card as no one knows what to expect from her. That can be a good thing as most American deathmatch wrestlers and fans alike do not know what to expect from her style and for her opponents this is something where unpredictability is a factor. One thing that is for sure is that you know Atticus will use his trusty green skewers to pull out a victory.
Eric Ryan vs Masashi Takeda
“Itsu Demo. Anytime and Anywhere." Those were the words Eric Ryan uttered when he won his 2nd straight IWA Mid-South King of the Deathmatch and challenged the “Crazy Kid” to a match. Who would have thought the location of their match would be under the very illustrious canvas of GCW and with the GCW Ultraviolent Belt on the line. This truly may be the pinnacle of Eric's career as he heads into this matchup with Takeda as a made man. Also the intrigue of potentially seeing Eric Ryan become the GCW UV Champion and take the belt from Takeda Round 1 makes this match a must watch. This truly could be the match of the night as this has been one in the making for a while. Takeda's resume truly is that of an all-timer. Having won both the BJW deathmatch title and the King of Freedoms belt and holding them simultaneously is something we may never see again. Now holding the GCW Ultraviolent belt, he brings it back to the States as a fighting champion and all eyes will be on him to see what he brings. The deathmatch world has their eyes set on Eric Ryan vs Masahshi Takeda and the stakes are at an all time high with this 1st round matchup.
Kit Osbourne vs Mystery Opponent
On October 17th, Nick Gage personally announced Kit Osbourne as an entrant to NGI. Most fans knew that Kit was on the shelf from an ankle injury since this summer. This announcement was a shock to many as fans thought he would be out for the remainder of 2021. For Kit, this is an opportunity to show why he was picked for this tournament. As of this writing, he is facing a mystery opponent. Unfortunately, last year’s champion Mance Warner sustained an ankle injury which sidelines him for this year's tournament and all best wishes in his recovery. But with the NGI vast on the horizon, there are multitude of names that could be inserted into the tournament. Some of those names could be Neil Diamond Cutter who will be debuting for GCW the night before in Detroit. Or you could bring in a very new face in Chicago’s own in the form of HoodFoot who has made few deathmatch appearances and has impressed fans all around the country. There are a lot of ways that this last entrant could go, and we will not know until their music hits what their impact on the tournament will be.
There you have it folks. That is the preview of the 1st round matchups of the Nick Gage Invitational 6. This is sure to be an unpredictable tournament that will be sure to wow fans at Summit Park district all the way to viewers on Fite TV. Game Changer wrestling has never minced on the ultraviolence and this tournament will be a testament to the year they have had that is 2021 while still staying true to their roots from the days of the very first NGI. Be sure to tune in to see how it all unfolds.