The Collective 2024 Recap

Unforgettable matches, moments, and memories were created at The Collective 2024.

The Collective 2024 was the biggest gathering of professional wrestling of the year. Unforgettable matches, moments, and memories were created all weekend long. The efforts of GCW, JCW DEFY, DDT, TJPW, and PROGRESS all deserve to be celebrated, and this article is an appreciation letter to everyone that made it possible. Let’s get to it. 

Moonlight Express (Speedball Mike Bailey & MAO) and CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) Start The Collective 2024 with a Bang at DEFY Wrestling: Can’t Deny It 

CCK vs. Moonlight Express title card



If you think wrestling should be full of fun spots and ridiculously sick moves, as I do, this is the match for you. Four athletes who know how to entertain the crowd were highly successful in that regard, as Moonlight Express and CCK began The Collective 2024 with some terrific energy. 

The match began with some friendly back-and-forth hijinks, including Lykos kissing Bailey’s foot, but with competitors of this skill level in the ring together, that did not last long. Speedball and MAO hit a double moonsault to the outside in the first true HOLY SHIT-chant-worthy moment of The Collective 2024. The unison that Moonlight Express was able to achieve throughout this match was nothing short of breathtaking. Lykos and Brookes also showcased their tag chemistry with a bevy of wonderful double-team maneuvers. The wonderful also turned gross, as CCK delivered a nasty double wet-willy to Bailey while Speedball was trapped in a Boston Crab hold from Brookes.

The agility possessed by all four athletes in this match made it a true thrill ride, and the crowd clearly had a blast throughout. Near the end of the match, the two teams ran through a sequence with all four men in the ring that needed to be seen to be believed. Inside the ring, outside the ring—I was hooting and hollering from my living room watching. After many attempts, Kid Lykos was able to deliver his Brainbuster to Bailey. This was the beginning of the end, as Brookes and Lykos finished off Speedball with a Backback Stunner into a Blockbuster, finishing an exhibition in tag competition. Thank you DEFY Wrestling for booking this truly awesome bonanza.

Shayna Baszler and Masha Slamovich Battle for the Title of Baddest Woman on the Planet at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport X 

Shayna Baszler vs. Masha Slamovich title card

Two of the most badass wrestlers in the world put it all on the line in this special attraction match. Slamovich has long been one of my favorite wrestlers, and to see her in a prominent position like this was something special. The crowd was mostly in support of the former GCW Champion, especially in the end.

Baszler relied on her mat-based technique to ground Slamovich, who seemed to realize that she would need to knock out the Queen of Spades to attain victory. Masha was able to deliver a good amount of strikes and showcased some impressive grappling in her own right. A series of suplexes by Slamovich gave Shayna a scare, but that just seemed to wake up the monster in Baszler. After escaping a chokehold by Slamovich, Baszler unleashed a devastating barrage of stomps to Masha’s head, leading to a referee stoppage. This was electric and ended with the crowd screaming “FUCK YOU SHAYNA.” What a Bloodsport.



Baszler was not the only WWE representative at Bloodsport, as rising NXT prospect Charlie Dempsey was able to defeat Matt Makowski, an impressive accomplishment for William Regal’s son.

Also worth a watch were fights between indie darlings Nic Nemeth vs. Mike Bailey, The Astronauts tag team member Fuminori Abe vs. Takuya Nomura, and a battle of NJPW monsters Minoru Suzuki vs. Royce Isaacs. Overall, Bloodsport X was an entertaining show full of interesting no-rope fights.

MAO Defends the DDT Universal Championship Against Billie Starkz at DDT Goes Philadelphia 

Mao vs. Billie Starkz title card

Before her big ROH Television Championship match against Queen Aminata, Billie Starkz looked to gather some extra gold against the DDT Universal Champion MAO. Big day one of The Collective 2024 for MAO, who is an international star worthy of more and more recognition. This match was basically MAO trying to break Billie Starkz’s neck in half, and it was pretty spectacular. 

Before the violence really got going, we had a bit of fun. MAO pulled out a little Orange Cassidy hands-in-pockets action to start, but then took the disrespectful mind games to another level by flipping Billie and the crowd a whole flock of birds. Unfazed, Starkz responded with a flurry of kicks and suplexes, trademarks of her still-evolving move-set. The champion MAO responded with some stiff kicks of his own, a stalemate that could only be solved in one way: a heck ton of chairs. The ring was littered with steel, which Starkz took advantage of, Sugoi-Driving MAO head-first onto the decor from the top rope. Not to be outdone, MAO responded with a top-rope avalanche Michinoku Driver into the chairs, which was utterly terrifying and stunning, and also somehow only received a two-count. Starkz was then thrown through a door, lawn dart-style, which only resulted in a one count. Never count out the toughness of Billie Starkz.

The Real Graps on Twitter: “MAO launches Billie Starkz head first through the table.#DDTPhilly / Twitter”

MAO launches Billie Starkz head first through the table.#DDTPhilly

Starkz nearly captured the gold with a set of gorgeous pin attempts, but it was not quite to be. After a double-pin decision by referee Dan Perch, there was only one way to end such a brutal title bout: Rock, Paper, Scissors. After two thrilling ties, MAO’s scissors cut Billie’s paper, and the champion was able to retain his belt. Bless DDT, because variety is the spice of life. 

DDT’s uniquely awesome brand of professional wrestling also included such crowd-pleasers as Dan The Dad vs. Chiitan, and Yoshihiko vs. Kazuki Hirata, things that only exist in the beautiful chaos of this sport. If you’re unaware of the majestic beauty of Chiitan and Yoshihiko, do yourself a favor and educate yourself. The DDT show also featured a terrific Konosuke Takeshita match, as the AEW phenom took on Shunma Katsumata, in which Takeshita essentially became violence personified, and the two fighters smashed one another without fear or discretion. 

Jordan Oliver and Aigle Blanc Blow Minds at GCW & JCW vs. The World 

Jordan Oliver vs. Aigle Blanc title card

Fresh off a world tour, the East Coast Ace Jordan Oliver made his explosive return to GCW/JCW, much to the delight of his fan base. The French flyer Aigle Blanc was a revelation to The Collective 2024 crowd, as The White Eagle delighted fans with a variety of dives and leaps throughout the contest. 

There was almost no downtime in this match, as both men were looking to impress the crowd early and often. The way both athletes exploded off the ropes was truly a sight to behold. The masked Blanc was cat-like in his ability to land on his feet to avoid several of Oliver’s suplex attempts. Blanc was also able to counter Oliver’s Clout Cutter by delivering a suplex to the Young Dumb n Broke leader. These counters were expertly executed and created a sense of mystery as to what Oliver and Blanc would pull out next. Oliver was able to hit his signature cutter, but it was only good enough for a two-count.

Blanc continued to subvert the former JCW champ, including a devastating counter that resulted in Oliver crashing face-first into the turnbuckle from his position standing on the top rope. Blanc then followed that up with a sort of cutter to the outside that flipped Oliver all the way around and crashing to the floor. We need whoever is the French version of Excalibur because I do not have the wrestling vocabulary to name all of the insane things Aigle Blanc did in this match. It was fantastic. 

Oliver did possess the strength advantage, which he used to chop Blanc’s chest bloody, as well as dropping Aigle straight on his dome onto the venue’s non-heavily padded floor. 

Throughout the match, Blanc’s use of various head scissor takeovers was a gorgeous display. He was able to hit them from a variety of angles and locations. There were a lot of repeated moves by both wrestlers, but they were used in a way that added to and built the match. It was all very impressive and created a fervent crowd. 

 Finally, after 17 minutes of pure wrestling insanity, Oliver nailed a second Clout Cutter and avalanche Acid Bomb to secure a GCW/JCW win. C’est tres magnifique. 

Kid Lykos and Man Like Dereiss Battle for the Progress Men’s World Championship at Progress Wrestling Chapter 166: Freedom Walks Again 

Kid Lykos vs. Man Like Dereiss title card

This weekend was my introduction to Kid Lykos, and I have become a big fan. After several matches with tag partner Chris Brookes, Lykos took to the main event to battle the 0121’s Man Like Dereiss. The ensuing battle of the Brits was a true thriller, full of big move after big move. 

This match was fast and furious from moment one, as the two friends-turned-competitors looked to prove their superiority. It was extremely difficult to figure out which athlete was the superior high-flyer, as both took to the sky early and often. That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t plenty of physicality, and both wrestlers broke out excellent strikes and slams in their championship effort. As both men flew around the ring, the drama of the match grew and grew, but a stalemate was the result through most of the contest. Dereiss nailed Lykos with a terrific cutter, which was almost enough for a double countout, as both men had nearly emptied their impressive tanks. Fortunately for the fans, both athletes still had more to go, fueled by the rich prize on the line. 

The Lyrical Dragon was able to hit an awesome combo: an Electric chair German waistlock suplex, followed by a hard dropkick to the corner, followed by a perfect Blue Thunder Bomb. All of this would be enough to end most, but the champ somehow withstood and kept on. 

Thrilling action continued as Lykos was able to get a two count with his signature Brainbuster, which he used to gather Dereiss into a picture-perfect Octopus hold, which Man Like was somehow able to power out of. Two ring-rattling powerbombs and a 450 Splash nearly resulted in a new champ crowning, but the match still endured into English Channel-type deep waters.


beth ₊˚.⋆☾⋆⁺₊✧ on Twitter: “this moment… he was so closeeee😮 #ProgressUSA #GCWCollective @DEREISS_ @KidLykos @ThisIs_Progress / Twitter”

this moment… he was so closeeee😮 #ProgressUSA #GCWCollective @DEREISS_ @KidLykos @ThisIs_Progress

Finally, Lykos was able to secure the title defense with a match-ending Swanton Bomb. This match was one of the most high-paced and explosive of the weekend. If you are interested in the British wrestling scene, this match, and the whole PROGRESS event, is a great place to start.

Effy and Mance Warner Go to War at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 8 

The breakup of former Second Gear Crew members Effy and Mance Warner has been one of the most interesting and unfortunate stories in all of professional wrestling, and it all came to a head in this I Quit Match.

Effy was able to gain the early advantage, but everyone knew that it was going to take something super-duper extreme and messed up to get either man the win.

Effy was the first to get extreme, introducing a bunch of doors and chairs into the ring. The first to introduce was the first to go through, as Mance planted Effy through the wood by way of a swinging DDT. Effy quickly returned the favor by yeeting Mancer through his own door.

Rob on Twitter: “.@EFFYlives powerbombs Mancer through a door!#JJSB8 @GCWrestling_▶️ / Twitter”

@EFFYlives powerbombs Mancer through a door!#JJSB8 @GCWrestling_▶️

The next step of viciousness was introduced by Warner, who stole referee Dan Perch’s belt and began lashing Effy’s back. Effy would gain control of the belt soon after and doled out his own lashes. This back-and-forth was brutal and made for a punishing contest. Another brutal spot saw Mance choke-slamming Effy through a door that was raised only inches above the ground outside the ring. That one looked painful. Effy took that pain and fueled his anger, smashing a door remnant into tiny pieces over Warner’s head. Effy was the first to bleed, as Warner repeatedly stabbed Effy’s forehead with his trusty screwdriver. The hatred between two former buddies made it seem that neither man would ever quit. 

Eventually, Mance would zip-tie Effy to the ropes, allowing the Southern Psychopath to torture the Bussy member. Speaking of Bussy, Allie Katch would come to the ring wielding an electric drill, hoping to save her tag team partner. Allie’s act of friendship would be Effy’s breaking point, as Mance took and turned the drill onto Katch, and Effy was forced to quit to save his family. The drama of this match was an all-timer, as was the violence. I can’t imagine Effy will take the actions of Warner lying down, and another brutal fight will be going down in the near future. I’m not sure what it will take to finally settle this deeply personal blood feud. 

Team Dolla and Team Myron Showcase Their Best at For the Culture 5

GCW For The Culture title card

Both teams in this 10-man match featured a wide variety of wrestler types: big men, high-flyers, and technical specialists. This range of skills was showcased in the match, which was an excellent way to start For the Culture, one of The Collective’s most popular events. 

On the other side, Myron Reed led his team, comprised of Calvin Tankman, Darian Bengston, Devon Monroe, and Ruckus. 

The Young Goat Myron Reed had his team ready from the jump, likely due to his experience in multi-person matches with the Rascalz. The leaders of each team started the match, and Reed set an aggressive tone with a slap right to Francis’s face. From there, the action was hot and heavy, serving up what was to come throughout the rest of the event.

This collection of ten athletes is some of the best wrestlers from all across America, and to see them share the ring to open this celebration of black wrestlers was a legacy-type moment. Some of my favorite combinations within the match included Tankman and Broner, Monroe and Yaki, and the anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better dives to the outside section of the bout. 

A possible MVP of this match was Mr. Danger. Danger has quickly become a GCW favorite, as his fearless risk-taking and athletic ability are such a joy to watch. Truthfully, that could be said about all of the competitors in this contest, who looked to outdo the rest at every possibility, which was a whole lot of fun to enjoy as a viewer. Even Francis got into the high-flying festivities. The end of this match was basically cool move after cool move as one wrestler rolled into the ring one after the next.

Tripping Balls on Twitter: “NO NO NO NO NO NO @TheBadReed #GCWFTC / Twitter”


Finally, Captain Reed and the legend Ruckus were able to put down Yaki long enough for a three count. This was a perfect opener for one of the most exciting and entertaining shows of the weekend.

Dark Sheik and Sonny Kiss Shine at Effy’s Big Gay Brunch 9 

Dark Sheik vs. Sonny Kiss title card

There is a lot of talk of aura in professional wrestling, and two wrestlers who possess an abundance of it are Sonny Kiss and Dark Sheik. The two icons of the industry got all of their rightfully deserved flowers in the main event of Effy’s Big Gay Brunch at The Collective 2024. There was obviously a good amount of respect between Kiss and Sheik, but that did not mean that the two did not give it all they had in pursuit of victory. 

This match was poetry in motion, as these two athletes had counter after counter ready for one another. Sheik vs. Kiss was hot, it was physical, it was tantalizing, and it was everything a professional wrestling can and should be. The uproarious Big Gay Brunch crowd was there in support of both wrestlers, gasping and chanting (the crowd had great chants all brunch long), a perfect complement for this match. 

At one point, Sheik hit a lungblower with her belt wrapped around Sonny’s neck. This brought the match into a new gear, promoting Kiss to deliver a series of big kicks and an extended military press drop. This awesome display of strength was enough for a two-count. 

RydeenBomb on Twitter: “#EFFYBGB9 @SonnyKissXO / Twitter”


Sheik was able to get the winning decision after an awesome move that I’m unaware of the name of, but it was legit cool. I was super into this match, one of the highlights of the weekend. 

It’s rare for two wrestlers to have a mother-off in the ring to this degree, but it happened and a lot of people watched it. If you are one of those people who did not watch it, expand your mind and experience Sonny Kiss vs. Dark Sheik.

Miyu Yamashita, Shoko Nakajima & Yunki Aino versus Masha Slamovich, Rina Yamashita & Maki Itoh Dazzles the Crowd at GCW vs. TJPW 

Six woman tag match title card for GCW vs. TPJW

Three true champions of GCW banded together to take on the TPJW trio of Miyu Yamashita, Shoko Nakajima, and Yunki Aino in an intriguing international showdown. 

Itoh, who is a stalwart of the TJPW promotion, did not side with her company workers, instead aligning with Masha Slamovich and Rina Yamashita. Yamashita and Slamovich are two of the most violent members of the GCW roster, a style Itoh has adopted in her time with Nick Gage.

The Real Graps on Twitter: “Maki Itoh wins the Chicken Fight!#GCWvsTJPW / Twitter”

Maki Itoh wins the Chicken Fight!#GCWvsTJPW

A kaiju-like chicken fight broke out in the early stages of the match, as Nakajima and Itoh stood tall on the top of their respective teammates’ shoulders and battled in the middle of the ring. Later in the match, Shoko Nakajima, who is nicknamed the Big Kaiju, brought out a full bag of kaiju figures, a step further than the tacks and legos that sometimes enter the ring. Rina then found her favorite figure, and she and Shoko began to batter one another with the toys. It was very cool. 

Then came that battle of the Yamashitas, a matchup I have wanted for some time. Miyu, after clearing the ring of the kaiju figures, battered Rina with a flurry of trademark kicks. The Pink Striker then went to battle with Russian Dynamite, and the pair went to war. Miyu and Masha are two of the most dangerous wrestlers in the world, and it seemed like they wanted to prove to each other and everyone watching who was the baddest on the block. Their exchange was terrific, as each was able to connect with roundhouse kicks to the head at the same time. 

Things then got extreme, as Team GCW laid Aino out on a door bridge, and Rina and Masha used their partner Maki as a weapon, slamming Itoh through Aino and the wood. Itoh and Aino would end up as the final pair in the ring, and a Maki Cloverleaf hold on Aino was enough for a submission win. This was a good showcase of some of the world-class women wrestlers anywhere around. 

Violence is Forever Defend Their GCW Tag Titles Inside a Punjabi Prison Against Bollywood Boyz and South Pacific Savages and Los Macizos at Joey Janela’s Spring Break: Clusterf*ck Forever 

Pardon my language, but this shit was absolutely f****d, in the best way possible. 

The Bollywood Boyz made the challenge and gave Big Vin instructions on how to build the unique Punjabi Prison structure, which can be described as a steel cage with bamboo stalks as the columns and rows of the structure, held together with duct tape. It was an interesting design, and plenty dangerous. The Bollywood Boyz seemed to suffer the most from their own creation, as Harv Sihra was busted open early and streamed blood for the rest of the brutal match. 

Fatu and Finau certainly lived up to their Savage monikers, which fit right in with the extreme style of Los Macizos. The four men in those two teams were the driving force behind much of the more destructive moments of the match, including a sickening amount of bamboo and chair shots. Miedo brought out a buzzsaw that was used to build the prison and terrorized the members of VIF with it.

Zilla was dominant in the match, sending Ciclope through a stack of tables on the outside, and nailing Miedo with a leaping Samoan Spike. With Macizos incapacitated and Bollywood Boyz losing copious amounts of blood, the match came down between Violence is Forever and the South Pacific Savages inside the prison. A war of chair shots and devastating moves followed. Finau both gave and received some of the most ridiculous head shots I’ve seen in wrestling. This whole thing was hard to watch at times, but you also couldn’t look away.

The Real Graps on Twitter: “Kevin Ku.#JJSB8 / Twitter”

Kevin Ku.#JJSB8

Ku finally ended this madness with a big leap from the top of the prison, smashing Finau through an assortment of materials. That was good enough for the champs to retain their titles, aiding their claim of being the best independent tag team in all of wrestling. This match, and Janela’s Clusterf**k that followed, was the perfect weird after-party for all of the madness and beauty that was The Collective 2024. 

Written by Joel Kananen

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