Hot on the heels of two Spring Breaks, Game Changer Wrestling went to the Big Apple as Joey Janela was Lost in New York… but found himself for a cracker of a show!

We’re watching this on-delay via, but there’s now other means of getting this show on-demand on a per-show basis. With Danny Havoc and a rotating series of guests on commentary, the show’s coming to us from the Melrose Ballroom in Queens, and once we start with what I presume is 2006 Maxwell Jacob Friedman crying as he listens to Wheatus, we jump to the present day with shots of MJF in NYC, eating ice cream while waiting for his Uber. Of course, he gets triggered a lot by Teenage Dirtbag, which leads to… Wheatus playing live for Nate Webb’s entrance. Because wrestling in 2018!

Nate Webb vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
After a MJF promo, branding Wheatus as a one-hit wonder… and Friedman calls himself the CZW World champion. I’m surprised he’s doing this after the supposed “pick a side” deal earlier in the year.

Webb starts by punching out Friedman, then catching him out the outside with a tope con giro, before MJF uses Wheatus’ Brendan B. Brown as a human shield on the stage. It doesn’t work, as Brown’s attacked as the match heads back to the ring, where Friedman stayed on top of Webb, taking him up top for a superplex… but Webb escaped and mounted a comeback. A spinning TKO from Webb leaves MJF in the ropes, before he followed up with a headscissors/Destroyer combo for a near-fall. MJF comes back with a Fujiwara armbar, before he shoves Webb into the referee… allowing MJF to grab a chair from under the ring. Webb points at him, which just stops Friedman in his tracks, as he instead pulls an Eddie Guerrero… except the referee’s still down.

So Webb does the same thing, right as the ref gets back up, which led to some comedy as they argued behind the ref’s back while playing dead. MJF tried to use the chair, and again bumps the ref into the corner as MJF takes advantage this time, kicking Webb low before Wheatus made the save! Yes… you read that right, Wheatus make the save, with Brendan Brown DDTing MJF onto a chair… but since Brown’s not a wrestler, the DDT wasn’t quite as effective as MJF kicks out. Webb looks to finish off MJF himself with a chair-moonsault… but MJF gets his feet up to block it, and that’s enough for the pin. Hey, that’s a cool finish; guy tries for a chair-assisted move off the top, gets the chair kicked into him, and it’s too much too soon. Not much to write home about, but a solid opener. ***

It’s a good job that “Lost In New York” is really in New York, because save for Wheatus, there’s not really been the same kind of wackiness that we saw for the Spring Breaks. Okay, now we get some more opening credits after the Wheatus/MJF skit, featuring Spiderman, the Muppets, and clips from just about every movie that’s ever been set in NYC.

We then open with an open challenge from KTB – remember him? Last time we saw him he was flirting on the undercards of EVOLVE shows before disappearing. He’s gotten rid of the Renegade-like facepaint, which is an improvement. The open challenge is taken by, shall we say, a small fan, who wears a t-shirt saying “I support midget violence.” He introduces himself as Marco – and my God, there’s a size difference.

KTB vs. Marco Stunt
So after trying to verbally fight back against the bully, Marco backflips away from KTB before hitting a rewind ‘rana off the top rope!

There’s a tiltawhirl into a lungblower as Marco grabbed everyone’s attention, and sent KTB outside for a freaking Dragonrana off the apron, then a tope con giro into the back of KTB, who quickly responds with a death valley driver on the floor. Back in the ring, KTB reverts to type, hurling Marco across the ring, but Stunt manages to avoid a squash before he goes all Marius al-Ani on us with a sunset flip and a kip-up… before he’s squashed with a huge German suplex.

There’s a MASSIVE back body drop to Marco, who came down with snow on him after being sent so high, and he’s taken to the sky again as KTB threatens an avalanche Falcon arrow… only for Stunt to turn it into a ‘rana, before he slipped on a springboard, crashing into KTB on the way down. Marco does manage a standing moonsault, but he’s caught and tossed away, before catching a high-angle lungblower after standing on KTB’s shoulders. He goes airborne again with a cannonball to the outside, before another flying ‘rana’s caught and turned into powerbombs, with a Ligerbomb somehow only getting a near-fall.

Another comeback from Marco sees him spike KTB with a short ‘rana, before a 450 splash almost puts Kyle away. The escapologist Stunt tried to powerbomb KTB out of the corner, but he’s pulled back up and into a freaking moonsault fallaway slam off the middle rope… and that’s the win for KTB. Well then! I was not expecting them to find such a gem here… but while KTB was overshadowed by Marco here, you can’t help but get the feeling that Marco’ll only be “flavour of the month.” Enjoy this while it lasts, because you can only get the shock factor for so long! ****

Next up is Stokely Hathaway and Wheeler YUTA for the hell of it. Stoke runs his mouth, introducing YUTA as his bodyguard. Hopefully he’s more effective than Dominic Garrini was in EVOLVE. We’ve got EVOLVE-levels of reverb here as Stokely fires Larry Legend as ring announcer… which prompts the playing of some Metallica. Enter Sandman. I think you can guess what happened next… especially since Stokely and YUTA just stayed in the ring like dummies.

Sandman. Beer. Canes. Much pain for Stokely, before Wheeler mugged Stokely’s wallet and gave some to the Sandman. Thanks for coming. Never change, Sandman.

More video now, of a graffiti artist stocking up on spray paint before getting to work on doing the show logo.

Teddy Hart vs. Chris Dickinson
It feels weird to say that Teddy’s having a “renaissance” but he’s found himself thrust back into the spotlight lately for MLW, and against Chris Dickinson you’ve got quite a recipe here. For what, I’m not so sure…

Teddy dedicated the match to Jim Neidhart, saying he didn’t go to the funeral so he could be here, instantly babyfacing himself. Chris Dickinson one-ups it by asking Teddy to do a “tribute moonsault” for Owen Hart, which of course Teddy does… only to land into an enziguiri as Dickinson played Teddy at his own game. They head outside as Dickinson went to his brawling game, before he piledrove Teddy onto the ring apron for the first move of the match. Sold beautifully by Teddy, whose eyes rolled back into his head, which meant he probably didn’t see a suplex on the floor coming. A stalling suplex is escaped by Hart, who posts Dickinson, hits a suplex of his own, only for the Dirty Daddy to come right back with a superkick as they both bounced back quickly.

Back in the ring, Dickinson gets a two-count… so they go back outside as Teddy gets choked and battered around ringside again, as the match became more of a strike battle than anything else. There’s a brutal clothesline from Dickinson that sent Teddy flipping off the apron… into some mats that commentary tried to tell us didn’t exist. It’s an illusion! Dickinson looks to follow up with a suplex on the apron, but he loses his footing as Hart’s dumped onto the edge of the ring ribs-first, before repeating it again, this time while standing on the floor. Teddy must hate his ribs, especially as Dickinson teases the Bad Bones suplex from the apron to the floor, only for Teddy to counter into a Stundog Millionaire, then into a Bliss Buster as he used the ropes for momentum.

A flying DDT keeps Dickinson down, before a springboard moonsault drew a near-fall, as he then slows things down with a bear hug. Dickinson tries to escape, so Teddy counters into a hammerlock DDT for another two-count, before an Arabian moonsault saw Hart land in Dickinson’s knees… and the comeback’s on by way of more strikes. A superkick to the gut has Hart reeling, as did a gutbuster onto the turnbuckles.

Teddy thought he’d hit back with a top rope ‘rana, but Dickinson rolls through and puts on a Sharpshooter to troll us all, only for Teddy to make it to the ropes. Hart’s powerbomb only gets a near-fall as he lands it right by the ropes, and we’re still throwing the big guns as Dickinson’s avalanche German suplex looked to put Teddy away… but instead Teddy fluffs a leap over in the corner and eventually wangles his way into a Code Red for a near-fall. A Destroyers next, and that’s all! Well, this was classic Teddy Hart – spectacular, but with the hit-rate you’d expect when you’re swinging for the fences. Some stuff landed, others didn’t, but it was a fun watch. **¾

So, Nick Gage was meant to wrestle Meng/Haku on this show… but with Haku attending Jim Neidhart’s funeral, we needed a replacement. Gage comes out for his match, andhis presentation in GCW seems to be that he’s got a mad scientist-like cheerleader. I thought PCO has that sewn up?

Still, the aura of Nick Gage is undeniable, especially when he’s in his element, tearing off a CZW shirt he’d worn to the ring, before the lights went out. ECW fans will know where this is going… particularly since only the house lights were out, and not the bar lights, which meant we could see shadows moving.

GCW Heavyweight Championship: Sabu vs. Nick Gage (c)
Well, first the Sandman, now Sabu. Nice surprises are nice.

The crowd were hot for this one, and we start with the pair slugging it out, which led to Sabu scoring a surprise rebound clothesline as he took the champion off his feet. Gage is right back with a Flatliner and some headbutts, before we spill outside as Sabu goes hunting for hardware. Chairs get thrown into Gage, who responds by whipping Sabu into the guard rails… but we’re quickly back in the ring as Sabu rolled back the years, landing a step-up clothesline off a chair into Gage in the corner. A second one misses as Gage smashes into him with elbows and boots, before an attempt to leap onto Sabu just ended with a chair being thrown onto him. We’ve more chair-based offence out of Sabu, who then heads out for a door to turn into a makeshift table, which he puts Gage through with a top rope legdrop. Just like the old days, except with doors, not tables…

Sabu’s back out for another door, but he ends up slipping in the ropes as he looked for another legdrop, allowing Gage to catch him with a piledriver off the middle ropes, putting Sabu through the door for the win. Given his age and injuries, Sabu was shockingly good here, but this will certainly be a “your mileage will vary” match. If you liked ECW Sabu, you’d love this. **¾

During interval we see footage from Joey Janela’s last Spring Break, including him piledriving a fan in Bourbon Street… oh, and a bunch of adverts from the 80s. It was certainly different, but a lot better than WWN’s incessant plugs during their intermission.

Grab The Brass Ring Ladder Match: Jimmy Lloyd vs. Eli Everfly vs. Gringo Loco vs. Tony Deppen vs. G-Raver vs. Orange Cassidy
Look, this one went almost half an hour, so I’m going to try and hand-wave this and recap this as best I can without explaining every single bump.

Well, we started with comedy as Orange Cassidy just tried to reach for the brass ring, before he tries standing on a ladder… to no avail. Someone’s being LITERAL, and we have our first ladder bump as Gringo Loco just prods Orange off of it. Ba-dum-tish! Eli Everfly tried to flip around Gringo, and succeeded at first before we started to shift into ladder play, with Tony Deppen dropkicking one into Gringo and Jimmy Lloyd.

Deppen’s laid onto a ladder bridge that he had to prop up in the ropes, but G-Raver’s stopped as Orange Cassidy has a lie down on another ladder. Not to worry, Raver just stomps on him before a back senton knocked Deppen off the other ladder, allowing Raver to try and climb for the ring. Jimmy Lloyd stops him, as does Gringo Loco, as we’re shown the referees who are having to keep the ladders steady. Orange finally gets out of his ladder bed as he realises he needs to climb one to get the win… and after climbing over everyone he touches the ring… then climbs down on the other side, thinking he’s won.

We continue as Gringo dumped Lloyd with a Sky High powerbomb, before Deppen took a Gory Bomb into a ladder bridge as we’re into a Parade of Moves, featuring G-Raver clashing his head on a ladder as he fell following an enziguiri from Eli Everfly. Raver’s back with a full nelson bomb off the ladder, before his next ladder climb’s met by Jimmy Lloyd… only for Jimmy to get knocked off.

More ladder climbing ends with Gringo Loco catching Lloyd with a cutter, before he dished one to Deppen after leaping off the top rope. Good grief! Some duelling ladder climbs follow, leading to Everfly’s ‘rana off of one ladder to take Loco off another, taking both men outside as we’re into some dives. Everfly’s Asai DDT’s turned into a tombstone by Deppen, who then press-slammed Eli into the crowd as the body count started to rise. Deppen’s name was added to the list as Raver hit a rope-hung neckbreaker to dump him onto the side of a ladder, before Orange Cassidy rose from the dead to accidentally stop a dive by Raver… and hit a corkscrew Asai moonsault into the pile instead as the dives continued… and then ended when G-Raver was tombstoned onto the apron by Lloyd, who keeps up the violence by lawn-darting Everfly into a door.

Cassidy and Lloyd trade barbs in the ring, before Orange hits a Superman punch ahead of a teased Destroyer onto a ladder… and somehow it worked, in slow motion, only for Lloyd to pop up and boot him away. The door’s back in the ring as Lloyd turns it into a makeshift table, but instead it’s Gringo Loco who makes use of it, superplexing Tony Deppen through the wood. Out of nowhere, G-Raver opted to hit a tope con giro into the crowd.

With the ring empty Jimmy Lloyd decided not to climb, but instead set up another door table, this time using it to dump Everfly with a One Winged Angel off a ladder. Christ on a bike, that looked nasty… and it’s not the finish either, as Jimmy Lloyd and Orange Cassidy exchange orange sprays on the ladder, before Lloyd hit what I could only describe as an awkward Blackheart Buster off the top of the ladder while using it as a proxy for a knee. OW. Fortunately that is the finish as Lloyd races up the ladder and grabs the brass ring – meaning he can book his own match at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3 next year. That ladder match felt a little on the long side, and could have done with being a little more compact… but it was enjoyable for what it was. ***

Penelope Ford vs. Ethan Page
Not sure what GCW’s up to, flashing up a football agent’s Twitter handle instead of Ethan Page’s. This was the “battle for a man’s soul” as built up on Twitter in the days beforehand… build that I’ve not seen, so this to me is a straight-up intergender match. Page mocks Penelope Ford’s headlock as he shrugs her off, then again as Ford went for a wristlock. A bodyslam from “All Ego”’s easily shrugged off, as Ford heads to the outside and leaps into the Canadian with a flying ‘rana that takes him to the outside for a dive that turned into a DDT on the mats.

Back inside, Penelope just leaps into a tiltawhirl backbreaker that looked like it destroyed her… but she’s back to her feet to try and fight back, before she backflipped into the ropes as she got away from Page, eventually catching him with a Stunner for a near-fall. Page tries to go up top next, but he’s caught with a handspring back elbow before Ford’s attempt at a top rope ‘rana ends with a slam off the top rope, as a senton bomb somehow only drew a near-fall.

Not to worry, Ford ‘ranas out of a powerbomb for another two, before a roundhouse kick and a massive powerbomb ragdolled Penelope… for another near-fall! Page follows in with submissions, eventually getting the win with a modified STF as Penelope tapped. This felt massively rushed, and almost veered into the uncomfortable side of intergender wrestling, but for a five minute match, it was what it was. *½

We get a mini-movie next to build up the semi-main event, as Joey Janela continues to tick off his list of matches against folks he tape-traded to see… these videos are insanely good, and are a lot better than any indy should be putting out.

Joey Janela vs. Jinsei Shinzaki
…or if you were big into mid 90s WWF, Hakushi.

This match was all about the novelty value, although saying that, the 51 year old is still fairly active for Michinoku Pro, and has wrestled this year in matches against the likes of Bob Backlund (seriously) and the Great Sasuke. We started off fairly tentatively, with Shinzaki taking Janela into the ropes, before they jockeyed for position on the mat. Back-and-forth shoulder tackles and a series of feinted thrust kicks eventually put Shinzaki ahead, only for Janela to bounce back with a diving European uppercut as he looked to keep his foe restrained with a wristlock.

It doesn’t work as Shinzaki escapes and grabs a hammerlock, grounding Janela in the process as he tried to wear down the Bad Boy with a modified STF. A nerve hold’s elbowed out of by Janela, but he can’t avoid another thrust kick as he’s right back on the mat, ahead of a Vader bomb attempt… but Janela gets his knees up and turns it right back around. They’re taken outside as Janela looked to brawl around the suddenly-crowded ringside area… but when they made it back inside, Shinzaki grabs an arm and takes Janela for a rope walk, ending with a chop to the head! That’s what the crowd came to see!

Janela hits back straight away with a superkick for a near-fall, but Shinzaki goes right back to his bag of tricks with a shoulder block off the top for another two-count, before he rolled Janela into a Japanese strangle hold, pulling Joey in half until we got a rope break. Some shots and a Stunner allowed Janela to spike Shinzaki with a death valley driver, but that’s not enough, nor was a double stomp off the top, before a superplex effort was instead countered into an avalanche chokeslam by Shinzaki for the win. It was a little out-of-nowhere, but let’s be honest, we were all here just to see Shinzaki wrestle, and not for “how good the match was”, so this delivered in spades. ***½

PCO vs. Matt Riddle
Well, this is going to be a weird trivia question in the future: who was Matt Riddle’s last opponent before he appeared on NXT Takeover? I bet when Riddle debuted in 2015, the former Quebecer Pierre was NOT the guy you’d have guessed.

We spoke earlier about career resurgences… well, PCO is in the midst of an Indian summer in his career, largely sparked by his outing at Joey Janela’s Spring Break earlier this year against WALTER. Oh, and a series of bonkers videos on Twitter, which usually involve him being electrocuted back to life like he were Frankenstein’s monster. We start with chops between the two, which almost seemed like perpetual motion as the pair just kept going at each other, with PCO smiling while he took the punishment. Riddle edges ahead with a flurry to take PCO into the corner as they go back-and-forth with those, all while one guy in the crowd yelled at Riddle “he’s not human!”

Riddle finally took down PCO with an Exploder into the corner, before a series of kicks to the chest ended when PCO goozled Riddle, strangling the life out of him, ahead of an eventual powerbomb. PCO head up top for the cannonball senton, catching Riddle for a near-fall, before he’s caught up top a second time, only for Riddle to knock him down, sending him awkwardly to the floor via the side of the apron. Some more kicks from Riddle leave PCO on his knees, but back in the ring PCO is able to surprise him with a Michinoku Driver for a two-count. Jesus Christ, Nick Gage being the analytical play-by-play guy is an unexpected charm here, as he dissected moves here, including a sweet Dragon screw from PCO to take down Riddle.

Another trip to the top rope ends with Riddle pulling down PCO for a Bro to Sleep, then a German suplex for a near-fall… but PCO’s able to hit back and catch Riddle in a backslide… only for him to roll through and waffle him with a powerbomb, then a Tiger knee for another two-count as PCO was able to snatch the ropes. Riddle runs into a back elbow before he catches PCO in the corner for a tombstone, but again PCO’s kicking out at two before he got the knees up to block a back senton off the top rope. Riddle tries to squeeze the life out of PCO with a rear naked choke, but it’s countered when PCO climbs the ropes… only to get dumped with a release German superplex that left both men down and out in the ring! Cue dramatic/spooky music, as PCO’s mad scientist Destro comes to the ring with a car battery, which he used to shock PCO back to life!

Revitalised, PCO’s unstoppable, shrugging off a barrage of palm strikes from Riddle before hitting a chokeslam and the world’s damndest moonsault for the win! More spectacle than anything else, this was memorable outing to bring Lost in New York – and Matt Riddle’s true indy career – to a close. ***½

While lacking the utter wackiness that the Spring Break shows brought us, Lost in New York was a hell of a card that viewed on its own delivered. Despite being three hours long, it flew by, with the only match that “didn’t work” being kept short… the only negative of this show was that, yet again, while it was a GCW show, it didn’t really do much that’d make you want to latch onto the promotion outside of the Janela shows. Still, in its own bubble, this was a fantastic card – and well worth the purchase, be it on or via Smart Mark Video.