Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) has two annual tournaments – Tournament of Survival every summer, and then their fall classic, the Nick Gage Invitational. This Saturday night will see the fourth annual Nick Gage Invitational (NGI4), and the format is changing to make this ultraviolent showcase even more violent. This year the 12 competitors are grouped into opening round triple threat matches, and there are two non-tournament match-ups as well. The entire NGI4 is airing live on Fite.tv on Saturday at 8pm local time in Chicago and 9pm EST.
NGI4 Opening Round Matches
Mance Warner vs. Matt Tremont vs. SHLAK
An explosive opening round match-up, featuring three of the best deathmatch wrestlers of the year. Mance Warner has gained some mainstream attention as a regular with Major League Wrestling (MLW), but his roots are in the hard-hitting style of the American Hardcore. A former Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) World Champion, he honed his craft in IWA Mid South before exploding last year. Another former CZW World Champion (and GCW World Champion) is “The Bulldozer” Matt Tremont. Tremont has already won one hardcore tournament this year, Crimson Cup III, and made the finals in two others – Insane Championship Wrestling (Milwaukee’s ICW, not Scotland’s) Insane 8 and On Point Wrestling‘s Survival of the Sickest 4. The winner of the NGI2, Tremont is ready to show he’s capable of adding another tournament victory to his resume. SHLAK is an insane monster is takes more pleasure in dishing out pain than actually gathering wins or losses. He made the finals of this year’s Tournament of Survival 4, but this year he’ll be shooting to take the entire NGI4.
Markus Crane vs. Alex Colon vs. Eric Ryan
Markus Crane made the finals last year but failed to knock off eventual winner Masashi Takeda, so he’ll be looking to show that last year was no fluke – this time he’s gunning to win the whole thing. Alex Colon is coming off winning this year’s Tournament of Survival 4 and has emerged as one of GCW’s hardest soldiers – he’s been in many of GCW’s best match-ups this year. He also won this year’s Texas Death Match Massacre, a joint tournament from Inspire Pro and Heavy Metal Wrestling in San Antonio last month. Eric Ryan has been in plenty of tournaments, but hasn’t been able to win any in recent years – but that doesn’t negate this man’s toughness and willing to push himself through the pain for some big matches in 2019. Another of GCW’s 2019 MVPS, Ryan just may be due.
Kody Rice vs. Nick Gage vs. Matthew Justice
Wisconsin’s Kody Rice is a freelancer who has earned his stripes around the country in IWA Mid South, Freelance Wrestling, AAW, GCW, Hardcore Hustle Organization (H2O) and many more. This is his most high profile hardcore tournament to date for him and he’ll be looking for a good showing. Unfortunately, he’s in the grouping with the King of American Hardcore and the tournament’s namesake, Nick F**king Gage himself. The GCW World Champion, surprisingly, has never won an NGI, although he’s made the finals the past two years. But he’s no stranger to these kinds of tournaments – he’s the 2018 winner of IWA Mid South King of the Death Matches and Tournament of Survival 2 in 2017. The third man in this opening round triple threat is a man who has been making a violent name for himself in the Midwest with Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) in reigning 2x AIW Intense Champion Matthew Justice. Justice is a tough competitor, who actually made his GCW debut this year at Tournament of Survival 4, and he’ll be looking to show just how tough he is in his first NGI.
Jimmy Lloyd vs. Yuko Miyamoto vs. Orin Veidt
“The Different Boy” Jimmy Lloyd has had a banner year with GCW, emerging as the Prince of Hardcore and one of GCW’s most dependable workers. He was a finalist in this year’s Tournament of Survival 4 and proved his durability by winning CZW’s Tournament of Death 17 last year. Orin Veidt has been another of GCW’s breakout stars in 2019 after working various indies around the US and Canada since 2015. Arguably one of the favorites in this year’s NGI4 is Big Japan Wrestling‘s Yuko Miyamoto. A 2x BJW Deathmatch Champion, as well as 2x DDT Pro Extreme Champion, Miyamoto has been an innovator of the deathmatch style for over 15 years, including working with Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS.
Alex Zayne vs. Blake Christian vs. Gringo Loco vs. Jake Lander
On Thursday night at the opening of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG)‘s Battle of Los Angeles, Alex Zayne and Blake Christian were opponents in a tag match that also featured GCW regulars Joey Janela and Tony Deppen that got a standing ovation from the PWG faithful and chants of “G-C-W!”. Alex Zayne and Blake Christian have emerged as two more GCW discoveries that are now taking the pro wrestling world by storm, much like GCW did last year with Marko Stunt and Jungle Boy. They’re part of a four way non-tournament match that is guaranteed to be an exciting and athletic contest, as the two are joined by Chicago’s own lucha legend, Gringo Loco (who has become a regular with MLW as well). The fourth competitor is another young man from the Midwest having a stellar 2019 in Jake Lander, who is making his GCW debut. He’s currently one half of the Black Label Pro Tag Team Champions, Blood Diamond, with Tre Lemar, and one of the Midwest’s stars to watch in 2020. This could be the show-stealer.
Marko Stunt vs. Tracy Smothers
Marko Stunt has had a meteoric rise in the pro wrestling world since he went viral from his GCW debut last year at Joey Janela’s Lost in New York. His days on the indie circuit are winding down as he prepares to go full time with All Elite Wrestling, but he’s still got a few dates left with GCW, including a non-tournament match-up on Saturday against a legend in Tracy Smothers. Smothers has been wrestling since 1983, having worked for Continental Wrestling Association (CWA), Mid South and NJPW in the 1980s and WCW and WWF in the 1990s, before reinventing himself in ECW in the late 90s as part of the Full Blooded Italians (FBI). For much of the past two decades, he’s been an elder statesment in IWA Mid South, where the 53-year old continues to reak havoc and chaos.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Catch GCW NGI4 live on Fite.tv this Saturday.