As we covered recently on PWDownunder, Melbourne’s Renegades of Wrestling and the US-based Game Changer Wrestling are co-promoting a three city Australian tour next month, with shows in Sydney on 25 August, Melbourne on 26 August and Brisbane on 27 August.
To date, GCW has announced the following talent:
el Hijo del Vikingo
You’d need to be living under a rock to be unfamiliar with Vikingo. Rated 8 in last year’s PWI 500, Vikingo has been AAA Mega Champion for over 18 months, he recently conquered Kenny Omega at TripleMania, and he’s appearing part-time for AEW. He has also visited Australia twice in the last 12 months with BCW, having two incredible matches against Adam Brooks and Mick Moretti.
Vikingo doesn’t know how to take it easy, that Moretti match in BCW can’t even be viewed anywhere. He just shows up and shows out, and we’re enormously privileged to get to see him again.
I won’t explain their name, but if you’re over 18 then feel free to look it up in Urban Dictionary!
Effy is one of the most popular names on the US indies, he runs his own “Wrestling is Gay” brand, and he hosts the Effy’s Big Gay Branch shows, which are critically acclaimed for how they treat and elevate LGBTQIA+ performers. This will be his second Australian tour this year after earlier working with World Series Wrestling.
Allie Katch will be embarking on her first wrestling tour of Australia, and will hopefully end up continuing her feud with Steph de Lander. The Bussy vs Cardona/SdL feud, which is bleeding into the Cardona/SdL vs Maki Death Kill feud, is some of GCW’s best work this year.
Together BUSSY are one-time GCW tag team champs, beating the Briscoe Brothers before losing the titles to Los Macizos around three months later.
Janela is a mainstay of GCW, with his involvement with the company pre-dating its 2015 sale and name change. Those who were watching the early days of AEW would also be very familiar with Janela after his Lights Out matches with Moxley and then Omega were two of the highlights of AEW’s early days. Janela’s AEW career also saw him compete with Jericho, the Young Bucks, the Lucha Brothers and Dark Order.
Janela is a semi-regular to Australia with WSW, and this will be his second visit down under in 2023.
Having spent almost ten years wrestling with DDT Pro and Tokyo Joshi Pro, Maki worked a couple of AEW matches in 2021 involving Britt Baker, Riho and Thunder Rosa. She then worked a couple of GCW matches in 2022… and “The Cutest in the World” got wild over immediately. Her cuteness combined with her savagery makes her very easy to love I think.
This will be Maki’s first tour of Australia, and she might just be the most over of all GCW talent when she gets here. I can’t wait to see her!
Gringo Loco is another mainstay of GCW, having worked with the company for over 5 years. In all that time though, he’s never been better and more over than he is in 2023. Working an American-style of lucha libre, he’s had regular matches with Vikingo and Komander, he’s worked with Bandido and Mike Bailey, and he just recently lost a GCW title opportunity against Blake Christian in a really great match.
He’s another one embarking on his first tour down under – and I promise you, you don’t want to sleep on him as a slightly husky white guy. He’s as good as any US luchador working in 2023.
One of the wrestling tragedies of the pandemic, Charli was working across Europe, Japan and the US pre-2020 before she moved back to Australia. Since then she’s embarked on a number of overseas tours, and has become a GCW regular on those tours. In 2021 Charli reached the 2nd round of GCW’s Nick Gave Invitational, in 2022 she worked a handful of matches including an incredible match against Sawyer Wreck, and in the last week she appeared on GCW’s Japanese tour.
Charli is incredible, and would arguably be a massive star in GCW if she were located in the US and able to perform there regularly. Watch for her to star on this tour.
Charli’s real-life partner was an indy star pre- and post-pandemic, working regularly with GCW and a host of other promotions. Then, in wrestling’s greatest real-life babyface turn, he gave it away for love during the pandemic and relocated to Australia. Most recently we’ve seen him in PWA and DMDU, but this will hopefully be a great opportunity to remind GCW audiences how good he is.
To date, the announced Renegades of Wrestling talent is as follows:
Adelaide’s Rat Daddy is inaugural Renegades’ champion, winning the title tournament and subsequently defending it against Matt Hayter and Caveman Ugg.
Melbourne prodigy and PWDownunder favourite Aysha is Renegades’ Womens champion after defeating inaugural champ Shazza Mckenzie, and subsequently defending it against Delta.
As a big, muscular crazy man, I love that Gore is on this tour, and I think he adds a lot to it. The reigning DMDU Heavyweight Champion of about 15 months, I can’t wait to see who they pit him against.
Australian wrestling legend (and Gore’s brother) Krackerjak was announced for the tour last week, which is amazing – he fits the GCW hardcore style like a hand into a glove. I’m stoked that he’s getting an opportunity to do what he does best in front of an international crowd.
“The Aspirationalist” Lochie Hendricks
Hendricks is still in the early days of his gimmick change from “Loverboy” to “Aspirationalist.” I’m not entirely sure how that gimmick fits into a GCW environment, but Lochie is so damn good I’m sure it’ll be great.
Pro Wrestling League and Wide Bay Pro Wrestling mainstay Outback Adam is the first of the Queensland contingent to be announced for the tour, in what is the biggest opportunity of his career. Whether he works Sydney or Melbourne is unclear, but he’s already had a really exciting match announced for Brisbane.
Charli Evans vs Maki Itoh – Sydney Roundhouse, Friday 25 August
The match I immediately thought of and wanted to see when the tour was announced, this match between two of the best deathmatch wrestlers in the world is going to be incredible. While I’m a personally a little heartbroken that this is happening in Sydney rather than Melbourne, both women will be prepared to gouge each other’s eyes out if required, I think this is going to be one of the highlights of the tour.
el Hijo del Vikingo vs Gringo Loco – Sydney Roundhouse, Friday 25 August
While not embroiled in a “feud” as such, Vikingo vs Gringo Loco are two match elements that GCW has revisited quite a bit over the last year, in one-on-one matches and in multi-man matches. If this is an example of GCW providing us a “true” GCW representation on each show I think that’ll be really fun.
Aysha vs Maki Itoh – Melbourne Pavillion, Saturday 26 August
Our women’s champion, who has been perfecting the art of heeling it up and involving weapons, gets the biggest opportunity of her career against “The Cutest in the World”. For me, this is what I hope the tour will be largely about – incredible local talent getting amazing opportunities against some of GCW’s top stars. While I would’ve loved Charli vs Maki in Melbourne, I’m hyped for this!
Joey Janela vs Outback Adam – Eaton Hills Hotel, Brisbane, Sunday 27 August
One of the faces of GCW takes on one of the faces of the Queensland wrestling resurgence. The early phases of Outback Adam’s career were heavily impacted by the pandemic, but over the past couple of years he’s come on in leaps and bounds, and this will be an amazing opportunity for him.
How do I watch these shows?
Links to ticket purchases are available at https://lnkfi.re/gcwvsrow
While broadcast details have not been announced yet, we do know that GCW and Renegades of Wrestling both stream their shows on Fite+ – there’s also a Fite logo on the poster.
However, we also know that Renegades of Wrestling don’t stream their shows live, and GCW’s recent shows in Japan weren’t streamed live – so we can probably assume that broadcasts may be delayed by a few days, possibly up to a week.