Game Changer Wrestling - Nick Gage Invitational Review by Robert Trail

Warren, New Jersey
Saturday, September 5th, 2015

The town of Warren, New Jersey is literally about 35 miles west of New York City, so I planned to get there as early as I could. I was a little worried about finding the place. However, I ended up being one of the first fans there.

The ring was set up in a parking lot next to an American Legion. I talked to some of the workers, and some of the fans. Everyone was super cool, and the whole feel of the show was that we were all family. It was kinda like a cross between people you see at TOD and people that are at IWA shows. It was great to see so many awesome people there!

The two biggest people I didn't see around were Danny Havoc and Nick Gage himself. As the show time got closer, I started hearing some rumors that I hoped weren't true about Gage. I didn't spread these rumors because no one knew for sure if they were true or not. I hoped they weren't. Larry Legend was there and worked as the ring announcer (still the best in the business, hands down!) and he announced that the show was being pushed back by 30 minutes. During this time, I saw Danny Havoc pull up in a car, jump out with his gear and run to the back. Still no sign of Gage, though. The show got pushed back another 15 minutes. I started to really wonder what was going on.

They opened the show by bringing out all the guys who were to be in the tournament. Everyone came out except for Gage. Matt Tremont got on the mic and welcomed everyone to the show. He then announced "I'm afraid that I have to the bearer of bad news." At that point, I knew the rumors I had heard about Gage were true. Tremont said that Gage wasn't there because he had some problems with his parole just the night before. This really put a damper on the overall feel of the show, that's for sure. As the tournament participants left, Nate Hatred and Dewey Donovan stayed in the ring. This lead to the first match.

Nate Hatred (w/ Dewey Donovan) vs. "Lowlife" Louie Ramos
(Fans Bring the Weapons)

Ramos was originally there to be a guest ref for another match. I suppose he was an obvious replacement for Gage. However, Louie hasn't wrestled in a while because he retired not too long ago. So, this match was a total squash. Louie bled a whole bunch, but all I can really remember during the actual match was Hatred hitting him with a guitar that was loaded with Legos, and then clotheslining his head off before pinning him. That was it, really.

Jeff Cannonball (w/ Brandon Kirk) vs. Kyle the Beast
(Ultraviolent Tables)

The "Ultraviolent Tables" were actually two doors. One had barbed wire on it and the other one with light tubes. This was my first time seeing either of these guys and I gotta say, I was impressed. Cannonball is a sick dude who's obviously willing to do crazy things, and Kyle is a very agile guy for his size. The two of them worked rather well against each other.

Once the doors came into play, things got crazier...mostly because those damn doors did not break! Even with the size of Cannonball and Kyle (each of whom are 250 pounds at the very least), they couldn't break the doors for anything. Finally, Cannonball set one of the doors between some chairs on the outside and tried to set it on fire, but it wouldn't light. He dropped Kyle through it with a sickening thud, and pinned him for the win. Not the best match ever, but still a strong showing by both guys.

Danny Havoc vs. Matt Tremont
(Log Cabin Light Tubes)

This contest featured a unique gimmick. It was a wooden frame with holes drilled in each side, so light tubes could fit through them. When both guys were fighting on the outside, one of them moved the contraption near the ring. They teased going to go through it. Someone in the crowd yelled, "MY LIGHT SABER HOLDER!!" I thought that was rather funny! Havoc ended up going through it.

The rest of the match was pretty much what you would expect (and have seen) the two of them do to each other. It wasn't bad, but it was just what you would expect, really. They went back and forth, and in the end, Havoc hooked Tremont for a quick pin and the win.

As a side note, apparently Tremont just recently had surgery to repair a torn bicep. He had his arm heavily taped up. I'm guessing that was a big factor into why he went out in the first round.

Corporal Robinson vs. Masada
(Panes of Glass and Cinder Blocks)

This is where the show really started to take off. This match was just plain brutal! The panes of glass were smaller (and looked to be a little thicker) than the usual ones. They had them leaned and taped against the bottom ropes. Also, there were two sets of cinder blocks with panes set between them.

Right off the bat, Masada challenged Corporal to punch him. Corporal did, and Masada damn near went down. They fought back and forth, and then, Corporal went to DDT Masada onto one of the glass panes. When he dropped him, Masada's head hit the glass hard, but it didn't break. When Masada came up, he was pouring blood. Corporal then rolled him over, and Masada was on all fours. Corporal placed the glass on his back, and looked around for a chair. Instead, he grabbed one of the cinder blocks, and dropped it onto Masada's back. It was sick!!! The blood was absolutely flowing from Masada's head, and everyone was yelling to get towels.

They then brawled into the crowd. I ran over to get a close look. I heard Masada say "I can't see shit!" as he was trying to wipe all the blood out of his eyes. I had never seen Masada bleed like that before.

When they got back into the ring, they used more of the panes on each other. Masada looked to be getting weak from the loss of blood. Corporal hit a Boot Camp onto him through one of the glass panes. During all of this, too, Corporal tried to set his hand on fire to hit Masada. Again, it wouldn't light. There seemed to be some issues with lighting anything on fire that night.

After hitting Masada with a boot scrape (blood was flying on that move!), Corporal poured an entire bottle of lighter fluid on one of the glass panes that was on the other cinder blocks. He was able to light it. The flames flared upwards. He picked up Masada, dropped him onto it, and tried to pin him, but Masada's ass was literally on fire! All the guys around the ring jumped in with water buckets, pushed Robinson out of the way, and poured water all over Masada to put him out.

They kept fighting, and then, Masada set the remaining panes of glass on fire. He tried to give Corporal a Death Valley Driver through it, but he was so weak that he dropped Corporal. He literally missed the whole set up. Masada picked him up again, and dropped him through the glass and fire, and pinned him. Masada could barely stand up from all the blood loss. Insane, sick match!

Joey Janela vs. Drew Blood vs. Joe Gacy vs. Archadia

I had never seen Archadia and Janela before. Archadia really didn't seem to do all that much, but Janela was very impressive. He kinda reminds me of a younger, shorter, and more agile version of Stevie Richards.

This was a hardcore match, and there were weapons used. Blood had a toilet seat with some very long nails attached to the top of it, which never really got used. So much was happening so fast, that I couldn't keep up with it all. At one point, they were all four fighting on the outside, and Janela did a flip off the top rope onto all three of them.

Later on, Janela pulled out the door with barbed wire on it from under the ring. He brought it into the ring and Drew superplexed him onto it. They ended up brawling into the crowd again, and went over by the truck. I couldn't make my way over there, so I'm not sure what happened, but it seemed as though they had Drew set up on a table and Janela climbed to the top of the truck and did an elbow drop onto Drew and pinned him.

It wasn't a great match, but I gotta say that I was very impressed with Janela and hope to see a lot more of him soon.

Jeff Cannonball (w/ Brandon Kirk) vs. Danny Havoc
(Barbed Wire Madness)

Nothing of real note happened in this match. The biggest thing was Kirk kept getting involved, and Lauderdale ended up sending him to the back. The match continued, but Kirk came back. Him and Cannonball attacked Havoc.

Everyone started chanting "WIFEBEATER!" and next thing you knew, his music started playing. Out he came with a weed whacker, accompanied by Jessie Drive and Big Mac Smack. Drive took out Kirk, and Beater attacked Cannonball.

Havoc grabbed Cannonball from behind as Beater started up the weed whacker. He then hit Cannonball with it and Havoc pinned him. Mac Smack got on the mic and cut a huge promo.

Nothing much of a match, but a nice nostalgic moment, for sure. And as a side note, Wifebeater was in amazing shape, probably even better than when he was in CZW.

Nate Hatred (w/ Dewey Donovan) vs. Masada
(Complete Carnage) [Or something like that. Larry Legend said that one of them had to literally die...whatever!]

I guess they just didn't have any kind of gimmick for this match, but honestly, it didn't matter because it was a pure "old school vs. new school" deathmatch. These two guys beat the living shit out of each other! Quickly, Hatred opened up the cut on Masada's head, and he was pouring blood all over again. Masada did the same thing to Hatred, and he was pouring just as much (if not more) as Masada.

They brawled into the crowd and went over by the outdoor bar area. Both of them went back and forth, punching each other, and hitting one another with anything they could get their hands on. Masada locked Hatred in several submission holds, but Hatred worked his way out. Both guys were pouring blood all over the place.

Masada got out the wooden skewers, and pounded a bunch of them into Hatred's head. At this point, there was so much blood pouring out of Hatred's cranium that it was getting into his hair, and it looked as though his skin was peeling off. With the skewers in his head and the blood pouring, Hatred started laughing and no-sold the whole situation, as if he liked having steaks stuck in his head. I thought, "Now that's a new way to sell the skewers!"

Hatred began to get up with the skewers still intact. Masada kept kicking him in the head, but Nate would keep getting back up. It was a very nasty visual, that's for sure. Masada then got Hatred locked into another submission hold, and Hatred passed out. Honestly, if someone told me I'd be seeing a match with Nate Hatred like that in 2015, I would have never believed them! What a sick, insane match!

After that, they took an intermission to set up the no-rope barbed wire for the finals. During this time, it was getting a little late and it was downright cold out there. The temperature dropped to like 60 degrees! Also, while they were setting it up, Danny Demonto got in the ring and started talking shit about DJ Hyde (there were a lot of "Fuck you, DJ!" chants throughout the night!) and ended up challenging him to a match. Good luck with that, Danny! John Wayne Murdoch never got his match with DJ!

Masada vs. Danny Havoc
(No-Rope Barbed Wire deathmatch)

At this point, after going through two of the most insane matches I've ever seen, Masada seemed as though his tank was empty. With that being said, there were some cool moments in this contest. They did some good brawling around the ring. Once they got back in the squared circle, Masada did the one spot where he flipped himself into the wire. He seemed to hurt his leg really bad. He then quickly pinned Havoc with a fast move after dropping him into some wire. Kind of an anti-climactic win, really.

All in all, it was a fun show. The best two matches were Masada vs. Corporal Robinson, and Masada vs. Nate Hatred. Of those two, I'm not sure which was the best, because they were both really insane! Obviously, this whole show would have been much, much better if Nick Gage would have been there. However, as it was, I left feeling as though I had seen something special. It was a fun night, that's for sure!