Heading into Game Changer Wrestling’s (GCW) loaded event in Detroit, Michigan, the promotion’s top heel Matt Cardona took to Twitter in disparagement of the city: a “B town,” he negatively asserted. Cardona’s maligning continued on the microphone, but instead of responses online, his verbal slandering was met with Detroit’s raucous and frenetic crowd of wrestling fans.
On January 14, the long-established Harpos Concert Theatre was packed for GCW’s Most Notorious. The energy levels were unbelievably high — and because of a laxed smoking policy, so was the audience itself. But through the misty, darkened complexion of Harpos’ atmospheric venue, the emanated passion was palpable.
Cardona, alongside wife Chelsea Green, basked through the jeers and middle fingers; a perfectly aesthetic “Detroit vs. Cardona” sign was unfortunately shredded. But assuming the position of hometown hero was Detroit’s own “Man Beast” Rhino, who dominated his formulaic matchup of crowd brawling, weapons, and shenanigans; it evidently always works. Green took the obligatory table Gore, allowing Cardona to capitalize for victory as the self-proclaimed new ECW Television Champion.
Despite the demoralizing loss, Most Notorious was contrarily a gratifying celebration of Detroit. GCW owner Brett Lauderdale stacked the card with hometown wrestlers like Leon Ruffin, Jimmy Jacobs, Alex Shelley, and of course “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash. Attention was gravitated towards the 6’10” legend as he nostalgically mentioned Greektown Casino, Tiger Stadium, and other Motown attributes in his conversational speech.
Honorary Michigander Sabu was ringside for Matthew Justice versus Atticus Cogar, a match that enthusiastically disregarded Harpos’ “no stage diving” policy. The crowd brawling was close quarters, and the competitors’ attacks were snug. Following multiple unprotected chair shots, people were certain that Justice was concussed; his uncomposed post-match love letter to Sabu was a little telling.
However, voluntary bodily harm is signature GCW, and the night’s main event between “Hoodfoot” Mo Atlas and Alex Colon for the Ultraviolent Championship exemplified it. Dozens of light tubes were smashed and weaponized, provoking an uncomfortable amount of blood loss from Atlas specifically. After Colon’s sickening usage of iodized salt in the wounds, a final light tube explosion concluded the war. Deathmatch wrestling is rightfully a polarizing topic, but live and in-person, something about projectile glass and bloody high spots brings out an animalistic pleasure.
GCW, in whole, characterizes itself by unapologetically pushing boundaries, which isn’t solely tied to extreme deathmatches. The nonsensical-but-fun opening Scramble, intergender match between Tony Deppen and Dark Sheik, and legends showcase of 2 Cold Scorpio and Ricky Morton were all on-brand with GCW’s expression of diversity in wrestling. Going against the grain has brought Lauderdale’s promotion “to the dance,” and experiencing the rebellious, underground movement live in Detroit was exhilarating.
- Scramble Match: Gringo Loco defeated JJ Garrett, Dante Leon, Ninja Mack, Jimmy Lloyd, “Spyder” Nate Webb, and Alex Zayne
- Jordan Oliver defeated Leon Ruff
- Alex Shelley defeated Jimmy Jacobs
- Matt Cardona defeated Rhino
- Tony Deppen defeated Dark Sheik
- Atticus Cogar defeated Matthew Justice
- BUSSY defeated 2 Cold Scorpio and Ricky Morton
- GCW Ultraviolent Championship Match: Alex Colon defeated “Hoodfoot” Mo Atlas
TOP PHOTO: Matt Cardona salutes the crowd. Photo by Brad McFarlin
BRAD MCFARLIN’S PHOTO GALLERY