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The Collective 2022 Review

The Best of the Best of 12 Jam-Packed Wrestling Shows Known as The Collective.

Credit: GCW

WrestleMania Weekend is Thanksgiving and Christmas and Valentine’s Day all wrapped up into one delicious meal for us crazy collection of maniacs also called wrestling fans to devour. This year, Dallas, Texas hosted a wide range of professional wrestling events, including The Collective. The Collective is basically the Megazord of wrestling as the Power Rangers of Glory Pro, GCW, Mission Pro, Unsanctioned Pro and Black Label Pro all combined for 12 awesome showcases live on FITE TV. If you missed out on the unbelievable action, here are some of the highlights of The Collective. 

Biff Busick and Jon Moxley Engage In Bloody Combat 

Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport is known for its bloody violence, and this year’s event did not disappoint. Some of the top names in worldwide wrestling competed in brutal action, in which victory could only be achieved by submission or referee stoppage after a knockout or technical knockout. Independent competitors like Masha Slamovich, an unmasked Ninja Mack and Timothy Thatcher showed their toughness in solid contests. Even the multi-monikered Johnny Hennigan (or Johnny Bloodsport as the crowd chanted) got in on the action. 

The highlight of the event was the insane and bloody fight between Biff Busick and Jon Moxley, representing Blackpool Combat Club. Both Busick and Mox did BCC mates William Regal and Bryan Danielson proud, as they utilized a number of Danielson-like submissions and dished out a whole lot of violence. The crowd was full of bloodlust and glee during this contest, and their two gladiators did not disappoint. Biff has received a hero’s welcome since returning to the independent scene after five years in WWE, and this match showcased that he could hang with the best of the best. Mox was surely at his during this fight, delivering huge blows all match long, ending with a fantastic running knee to earn the knockout victory. 

The Briscoe Brothers Reclaim The GCW Tag Team Championship

Joey Janela’s Spring Break 6 Part 1 started off with a huge tag team match and title change. Dem Boyz were able to beat Second Gear Crew’s Mance Warner and Matthew Justice and the defending champion Nick Gage and his replacement partner Slade to win the GCW tag belts for the second time. The fans went crazy for Gage, who was delivered a pizza cutter by his impromptu partner Slade. The two Second Gear Crew members took the majority of damage during the contest, including Warner eating a staple to the tongue on a door from Gage. Mark and Jay were eventually able to hit a Doomsday Device on Slade and walk into their ROH dream match against FTR with some extra gold. 

X-Pac Comes Up Just Short Against The Bad Boy Joey Janela 

The legendary X-Pac made his singles return against his former friend and tag partner, Joey Janela. The Bad Boy hosted the entire Spring Break event but was jeered by the usually adoring GCW crowd due to his previous antics against Pac and his allegiance with Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green. The match itself was a lot of fun, as Sean Waltman turned back the clock and showed out. It looked like X was going to pick up a huge victory after hitting a massive air-raid X-Factor through a table, but it was not to be. The talented duo traded big move after even bigger move until Janela stooped to utilizing a low-blow. This allowed The Bad Boy to connect with a devastating superkick for the win. 

Jon Moxley Retains GCW Championship Against AJ Gray, Continues To Be The Man

After his aforementioned war with Biff Busick, Jon Moxley continued his badass streak by putting on a wild match with AJ Gray for the GCW World Championship. True to GCW style, this match featured tables, ladders and chairs, as well as light tubes and a lot of stuff wrapped in barb wire. Gray was more than game for his opportunity to capture the GCW Championship and came close on several occasions. The two heavyweight monsters gave one another spectacular shot after spectacular shot in a violent bout that any wrestling fan is sure to love. 

Hoodfoot Mo Atlas and Bill Dixon Tear The House Down For The Culture 

Billy Dixon knows how to make a memorable entrance, as the lovable big man came out to Prince’s “Purple Rain” before a deathmatch. The same can be said for Hoodfoot, as the rising star entered to another classic tune in Future’s “March Madness.” After enjoying the music and J-Rose’s hype ring introduction, the crowd settled in for the first all-black deathmatch in GCW history. 

Atlas was able to draw the first light tube and first blood, but it was far from the last during this brutal fight. Other weapons used in this match included: gusset plates, a barbed wire wrapped two-by-four, and the classic GCW door. The two big men brutalized one another the entire contest and talked crap while doing so. Hoodfoot’s entire back was covered with embedded glass after a pop-up spine-buster, which caused Dixon to shimmy with glee. This just angered Hoodfoot, who emptied the clip of light tubes over his rival’s head, which earned a pair of middle fingers that Stone Cold would be proud of. Hoodfoot was eventually able to submit Dixon for a memorable end of For The Culture. 

Long Live ¡Lucha Libre! 

Gringo Loco’s The Wrld on Lucha may have been my favorite event of The Collective, as each match featured the insane athleticism that has made the lucha libre style so popular. The opening match of Gringo’s showcase featured two world-class high-flyers in Jack Cartwheel and Johnny Caballero. This variant of Johnny came complete with cowboy hat and drip sticks, which were used many times in the contest. The aptly named Cartwheel impressed the audience with a no-hands cartwheel off the top rope that connected with Caballero on the outside. Not to be outdone, the legend Caballero hit a seated Starship Pain for the win. 

GCW is famous for its scramble matches, and this lucha scramble may be one of the most memorable in the promotion’s history. The five quick-as-hiccup high-flyers (Golden Dragon, Chris Carter, Drago Kid Aeroboy, and Octogan Jr.) matched with the powerhouse of Shane Mercer made for a terrific combination and truly non-stop action. Mercer was able to hit a double Moonsault and Battery while holding Carter and Drago in his arms like loaves of bread to pick up the win. (Mercer also hit Moonsault and Battery off a giant ladder to Neil Diamond Cutter during Planet Death and it just needs to be mentioned.) 

GCW is also known for their hardcore matches, and the lucha extrema match between Pagano and Sadika lived up to the level set by mainstays like Nick Gage and Alex Colon. The contest focused more on unbelievable spots instead of the torturous violence of deathmatches and was quite the show. At the end of an absolute war, Pagano’s bloodied back matched his red-dyed hair in victory. 

The man of the hour, Gringo Loco, then appeared to lead his trio team of Abismo Negro, Demonic Flamita, and himself against ASF, Rey Horus and their captain, Laredo Kid. The six world-class luchadores put on a clinic in the style, including ASF’s viral springboard that caught the attention of Chris Jericho. After a spirited showing by each athlete, Loco was able to lead his team to a win. The fans appreciated the match so much that they threw money into the ring to celebrate. This appreciative gesture of lucha tradition is mainly celebrated in Mexico, so the fact that it occurred for this match shows its merit. 

If you know who AR Fox and Ninja Mack are, you can expect the precision and beauty of the many wonderful leaping maneuvers that were executed during their exhilarating match. If you don’t know who AR Fox and Ninja Mack are, seek out this match and educate yourself. 

In the main event, a historic feud was renewed as Psycho Clown took on Dr. Wagner Jr. in a battle of icons. Wagner ripped his rival’s mask from his face early in the contest, setting the tone for the hatred-fueled action that followed. The broom-related violence in this one alone was enough to give chills. Psycho rode the momentum of the crowd, but the sadistic Doctor resorted to a low-class move by completely removing Psycho’s mask in order to pick up a grudge match win. After the match, Wagner challenged his everlasting foe to a Hair vs. Mask match during a future GCW show. 

Effy Fights Minoru Suzuki, Hosts Brunch, Continues To Be Fine 

Effy likes it, and Minoru Suzuki was more than willing to dish it. The Murder Grandpa gave Daddy a lesson in violence that neither will soon forget. Suzuki supplied massive chop after chop, making Effy’s chest match the color of his name stitched on his trunks. Not able to match Suzuki in chops, Effy relied on his mouth by biting the new ROH World Television’s nipples and planting a smooch right on his lips. Minoru responded with a Gotch Pile Driver and a victory. 

After his wild night, Effy woke up and performed the best next-day cure that exists: brunch. Hosted by the fabulous team of J-Rose, Val Capone, Kevin Gill, Pollo Del Mar, and of course Effy himself, Dallas’ Big Gay Bruch was a smashing success. The event was full of love, representation and something we can all agree on: consensual violence. The six-person International Scramble was a uniquely awesome collection of wrestlers of all types from all over the world and was won by The Submission Specialist Jordan Blade. Other highlights included: Bill Dixon having another tremendous hardcore match with Keita Murray, Parrow and Dark Sheik trying to murder one another, and Dirty Dango and Allie Katch’s sultry spectacle. 

Trish Adora vs. Thunder Rosa & Holidead vs. Lufisto Deliver Certified Bangers 

Simply put, four of the most important and best female wrestlers in the world represented everything that is good about professional wrestling in these historic contests. 

First, the matriarch of Mission Pro and AEW Champion Thunder Rosa met the Pan Afrikan World Diaspora World Champion Trish Adora for a first-time match. The fine arts of scientific wrestling, lucha libre and straight-up brawling were all displayed in this one. The Texas crowd cheered for their favorite child Thunder, but also could see and appreciate the skill of Adora. Rosa was able to gain control with a stunner and began to deliver her trademark running knees and sliding dropkick. Tough as they come, Adora fought back with everything she had and was able to put on the Cattle Mutilation hold on her opponent. After trading pin attempt after pin attempt, La Mera Mera was finally able to gain victory after a somewhat controversial ending. Hopefully, we will be treated to a rematch in the near future. 

In the main event, Holidead put up her Mission Pro Championship against the legendary Lufisto in a no disqualification match. The two incredibly strong women gave one another their best shots over and over in a truly hardcore matchup. Holidead relied on her famously strong thighs to hit devastating leg drops, but Lufisto persevered, giving as good as she got. The two used a bevvy of chair shots to brutal effect and did so to the audience’s delight. The champ was able to end the thrilling contest with an across the ring spine buster through a door. Mission Pro put on a terrific display of women’s wrestling and one heck of a show. 

Cole Radrick and Speedball Mike Bailey Steal the Show and Maybe the Weekend 

Two of my favorite independent wrestlers and two of the busiest competitors of the entire WrestleMania weekend clashed for the Unsanctioned Pro Heavyweight Championship at Unsanctioned: Mulligan in the late stage of The Collective. Despite competing in intense contests all weekend, both men were ready to put on an amazing exhibition. Radrick was able to match the striking power and combat knowledge of the veteran Bailey, as the two warriors battled for the belt. The quickness and cardio level of both wrestlers is astounding and were the spotlight of this 16-minute banger. Bailey is known for his ability to weaponize lower extremities, and he fired off a number of devastating kicks and knees to the champion Radrick. The young Cole, affectionately known as Raddy Daddy, was somehow able to absorb the punishment and kicked out of Bailey’s best shots. After an unbelievable sequence by both men to finish the match, Radrick was able to hit a Crackerjack Bomb for a win that left the crowd on their feet cheering with clear admiration. 

Other Highlights

Allie Katch vs. Laynie Luck Submission Match @ Glory Pro: Cemetery Gates 

Winner: Allie Katch

Two of the best up and coming women on the independent scene showcased some seriously impressive submission skills in their home state of Texas.  

Allie also faced Mickie James at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 6 Part 1 later in the night, but a kiss and DDT from the legend were able to put Allie away. 

Warhorse vs. Josh Alexander @ Glory Pro: Cemetery Gates 

Winner: Josh Alexander 

Warhorse was more than game against one of the best technical wrestlers in the world, but the Walking Weapon’s arsenal was too powerful for the rock-n-roll wrestler. 

Jordan Oliver vs. Jimmy Lloyd vs. Nick Wayne vs. Gringo Loco vs. Alec Price vs. Jack Cartwheel vs. Ninja Mack @ Joey Janela’s Spring Break 6 Part 1 

Winner: Nick Wayne 

If you love young, athletic wrestlers flying around the inside and outside of the ring, this is the match for you. Pure spot-fest magic. Nick Wayne did a gosh dang 630 splash to the outside, and it ruled. 

All of these participants are mainstays of GCW and are the leaders of a new rising generation of independent wrestlers. It is truly exciting to imagine the future of the industry with many matches by all of those who gave such a thrill in this scramble and in matches all weekend long. 

Cole Radrick vs. Akira @ GCW: Planet Death 

Winner: Cole Radrick 

Hosted by the real King of the Deathmatch Nick Gage, Planet Death ended night one of The Collective with unbridled violence. One of the best fights of the night was between young competitors Cole Radrick and Akira. The two monsters bled profusely in a match full of light tubes as well as impressive wrestling technique. At one point Akira chomped on a light tube and spit the shards into Radrick’s face. Enough said. 

Cole Radrick vs. Kevin Blackwood @ LA Fights vs. JCW 

Winner: Cole Radrick 

The two fabulously intense athletes battled for brand supremacy in a showcase of potential future superstars. After competing in his deathmatch the night before, a bloodied Radrick was able to withstand the aesthetic crippler Blackwood and pick up a win for Team JCW over LA Fights. 

Overall, the two promotions tied 4-4, and the event featured some of the best in-ring work of the entire Collective. The future of wrestling especially showed out at this event, as matches between Jack Cartwheel vs. Alec Price, the “battle of the teen titans” Marcus Mathers vs. Nick Wayne, and Billie Starkz vs. Sandra Moone were all excellent. Not to be outdone by the youngsters, veterans Grim Reefer and B-Boy also put on a fun and physical contest in the semi-main event. In the main event, Dark Sheik was able to escape from attempted murder by Charles Manson, and end the show with an overall tie between the brands. Everyone wins, except Charles Mason. 

Bryan Keith vs. Mysterious Q vs. Zenshi vs. JTG Four-Way Match @ For The Culture 3 

Winner: Mysterious Q 

Starting with Zenshi hitting an above-the-ropes 619, this four-way was an insane display of athleticism and wrestling knowledge. The masked Zenshi was a shining star in this contest, displaying a dazzling display of aerial attacks all over the ring. Mysterious Q was able to hit an assisted Q-Cutter with unknown help from his rival Bryan Keith on Zenshi for the win. 

Tony Deppen vs. Biff Busick @ Joey Janela’s Spring Break 6 Part 2 

Winner: Tony Deppen

The Gatekeeper of GCW was as tough and sturdy as he had to be against the forceful attack of Biff Busick. Tony Deppen may not be the most well known or beloved wrestler in the world, but he certainly is one of the best. This match is a must-watch for anyone that enjoys sharp-minded and physical wrestling. 

Deppen’s match with the legendary Psicosis at Gringo Loco’s The Wrld on Lucha served as further proof that Deppen is a world-class competitor. Deppen was able to secure a nice victory in his battle with the influential luchador. A big weekend and two massive wins for the criminally underrated Deppen. 

Jai Vidal vs. Carlos Romo @ Effy’s Big Gay Brunch Dallas

Winner: Jai Vidal 

Effy’s Big Gay Brunch started with an absolute banger between these two competitors. Vidal is a hot up-and-comer in the independent scene and showed out very well against the Spanish vet Romo. 

Masha Slamovich vs. Lindsay Snow @ Mission Pro Wrestling: Bangerz Only 

Winner: Lindsay Snow

Just one of the multiple amazing matches on this women-only (and JP Harlow) card. Masha is one of the best up and coming talents in the world, and supplied plenty of high-octane offense in this extremely physical match. Snow was able to secure an impressive victory after hitting a Muscle Buster at the end. 

The Hex & Laynie Luck vs. The Renegade Twins & Jazmine Allure @ Mission Pro Wrestling: Bangerz Only 

Winners: The Renegade Twins & Jazmine Allure  

Two of the best tag teams in the world pairing with two rising stars was the equation for a wildly entertaining match. There were a number of brilliantly executed combination maneuvers in this contest, and fans are certainly clamoring for a Hex vs. Renegade Twins tag team match. 

Speedball Mike Bailey & Davey Richards vs. The Workhorsemen @ Black Label Pro: Norm 

Winners: The Workhorsemen 

Two of the most prolific single wrestlers and one of the most dominant teams in the independent scene combined for a physical affair at Black Label Pro: Norm. Just hours, but technically a different day, after his aforementioned bout with Cole Radrick, Bailey was once again a standout. The connection and experience of JD Drake and Anthony Henry was the difference in this one, as The Workhorsemen were able to pick up the win. 

Alex Zayne vs. Blake Christian vs. Anthony Greene vs. Black Taurus @ Black Label Pro: Norm 

Winner: Anthony Greene 

These four extremely fun competitors competed in a wonderful event. What a foursome, and what a way to help close The Collective. All four wrestlers have long shown an ability to create magic in the ring and were able to do so once again. The silky-smooth action was a treat to watch. In the end, Anthony Greene was the winner.

If you missed out on The Collective, the complete 12-event bundle is still available via FITE TV, featuring all of these terrific matches plus so much more!

Written by Joel Kananen

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