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X-Pac, Sabu, and Vince? were the centerpiece surprises of The WRLD on GCW

Game Changer Wrestling put on the biggest show in company history last night (Jan. 23) in Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom: The WRLD on GCW.

It featured a last minute change to the card, an overstuffed Joey Janela/Matt Cardona match, unexpected losses for two indie faves, and a rushed ending after the surprise return of a GCW icon.

Newly announced free agent Lio Rush was scheduled to be on the show, but in the “Grab The Brass Ring” ladder match. That opened the show with G-Raver in Rush’s place. Lio showed up later in Jonathan Gresham’s place (Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp reported the ROH World champ was held out as a “safety precaution”). AJ Gray — who was supposed to face Eddie Kingston at Hammerstein until Kingston was injured — won the ladder match, and Gresham’s planned opponent Blake Christian beat Rush.

Then it got weird.

Matt Cardona vs. Joey Janela saw the former Zack Ryder’s WWE troll character in full bloom. He entered like Sandman as fans held up One Night Stand ‘06 homage signs...

... and a shot at Mick Foley...

Before the match was over, Chelsea Green (who Janela & Cardona were kind of feuding over) showed up to screw over Joey (using the protective cup swerve Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa & Chelsea Green used two years ago in NXT). Before it was over, Swoggle, Marko Stunt, Brian Myers and Virgil showed up. The Meat Sauce Man used his WCW name to tease the biggest Forbidden Door appearance of all-time, complete with Mr. Mr. McMahon’s theme music...

After Cardona picked up the win thanks to Myers spearing Joey through a table a la Edge at One Night Stand, the fans did what they said they would do. But when the former Edgeheads tried to continue the beatdown on Janela, he was saved by the recently cleared Sean “X-Pac” Waltman for a spot that quelled the riot. Waltman appearing with D-X’s Run DMC theme certainly didn’t hurt...

GCW stayed weird from there, with somewhat mixed results. A returning Mance Warner was rescued by Sabu & Bill Alfonso in a segment that kept the Second Gear Crew/44OH! rivalry going.

The air was somewhat sucked out of the room after that, as indie faves BUSSY lost consecutive matches. First, Ruby Soho beat Allie Katch in a face vs. face match. Then Jeff Jarrett pinned EFFY with a guitar shot and the Stroke.

The two main events followed, but both were somewhat rushed — probably because the event aired on traditional PPV, meaning it had a hard 11pm ET cut-off. If the “Fuck Bully Ray” chant and pop for the surprise Tag title challengers were any indication, the live audience seemed to get back on-board for Jon Moxley retaining the GCW World championship over Homicide, and Nick Gage & Matt Tremont beating The Briscoes for the Tag belts.

Gage, perhaps the star most identified with the promotion (at least pre-Cardona), had teased beef with GCW. But he closed the event with a promo and shared the ring with the roster.

Full results from Hammerstein:

- Nick Gage & Matt Tremont def. The Briscoes to win the GCW Tag Team championship

- Jon Moxley def. Homicide to retain the GCW World title

- Jeff Jarrett def. Effy

- Ruby Soho def. Allie Katch

- Sabu & Bill Alfonso aid Matthew Justice against Atticus Cogar & 44OH!

- Matt Cardona def. Joey Janela

- Blake Christian def. Lio Rush

- Gringo Loco, Demonic Flamita & Arez def. Bandido, Laredo Kid & ASF

- AJ Gray def. PCO, Tony Deppen, Alex Colon, Jimmy Lloyd, G-Raver & Jordan Oliver to win the Grab the Brass Ring ladder match

- Chris Dickinson announced he’ll return from injury at GCW Spring Break

- Grim Reefer def. Alex Zayne, Dante Leon, Jack Cartwheel, Ninja Mack, and Shane Mercer in a 6-way scramble match (Kickoff Show)

- Big Vin won the PBR Battle Royal (Kickoff Show)

The WRLD on GCW was a fun show, but one that I’m not sure lived up to the promise of changing the game. We’ll see if wrestling fans who may have been checking out the promotion for the first time as a result of the Hammerstein hype stick around for more.

Did you watch the show? If so, what did you think?