Circle 6 Wrestling had one of the best years any promotion could have had in 2023. They delivered during their block party weekend event during WrestleMania LA weekend. From having multiple shows throughout the year in other cities, along with one of their fixtures in BarRoom Blitz, which is by far one of the more creative and fresh presentations of professional wrestling to date. To having Circle 6 alums all over the industry, former champion Zachary Wentz in Impact, to having Vinnie Massaro, another former champion wrestling in Japan’s promotion NOAH. To sending Casanova Valentine to Japan to bring his violence to the rising sun.

With all those accolades being stated, the biggest event in the short history of the promotion came this past Saturday December 30th, when Circle 6 brought back one of the most influential deathmatch and independent wrestling tournaments to the Don Quixote in Los Angeles, CA where it hosted King of the Deathmatch (KOTDM). They are plenty of industry-defining tournaments in the independent scene, from Progress Wrestling’s Super Strong Sixteen, AAW‘s Jim Lyland Memorial, WXW‘s 16 Carat Gold tournament, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla‘s Battle of Los Angeles. However, to the deathmatch and hardcore fans, when you think of your tournament the most rewarding and sought after tournament to win is King of the Deathmatch.

Circle 6’s bloodiest event in history

KOTDM started in 1997 and has had its fair share of legendary winners from the deathmatch circle of wrestling. From past winners like Necro Butcher, Mad Man Mondo, Masada, Drake Younger, Matt Tremont, Eric Ryan, to name a few. This year’s marked the first time in tournament history that it was held in Los Angeles. The 12 entrants this year came from all over the world, as the tournament had representatives from Japan and Mexico. The first-round matchups were as follows: Pagano vs Dr. Redacted (Ultraviolent casket) Atticus Cogar vs Journey Fatu (Barbed Wire bundles), AJ Gray vs Otis Cogar (Blunt Force Trauma), Dale Patricks vs Nate Webb (Tables, Ladders, Tubes), Bobby Beverly vs MAO (Ultraviolent Baptism), and Adam Priest vs Orin Veidt (Dog Collar Deathmatch).

While this night was to crown a new king, the reigning king of Circle 6, the current Circle 6 World Champion Matthew Justice had his own fun when he defended the championship against Homicide in a hardcore match which saw Justice fly off the balcony in the venue onto and through Homicide in another fantastic showing from Justice. From here, we went into the three semifinal matches, where were AJ Gray vs Dale Patricks (Tai Pei Deathmatch), Bobby Beverly vs Orin Veidt (Tokyo Towers Deathmatch), and Atticus Cogar vs Pagano (Pane Killer Deathmatch).

The first round of matches from Circle 6’s KOTDM 2023

Throughout the year, you could argue that Circle 6 had their own workhorses who delivered in every show they were featured on and helped carry the promotion to new heights. Matthew Justice came in and blew the roof off the promotion with his love for jumping off anything and everything. He would go on and capture the championship from Vinnie Massaro, while also having one of the standout matches of the year against Bobby Beverly from WrestleMania weekend. Along with Justice, you had Atticus Cogar, AJ Gray, and the aforementioned Bobby Beverly being the men who pushed this promotion to new heights. Cogar, the first champion in company history; Gray, one of the best signees from this year for the promotion; and Beverly, the man who has been one half of every fantastic deathmatch the company has produced, from his match with Justice to his Ultraviolent Kumite against Akira.

What better way to celebrate the year of Circle 6 than to have the finals of their iteration of KOTDM feature three of their four more promising and deserving stars. The finals of KOTDM 2023 featured Bobby Beverly vs AJ Gray vs Atticus Cogar in the House of Doom 3D Deathmatch. In a finals match that delivered from the opening bell to the final seconds, all three men showed why this tournament is the go-to when it comes to deathmatch wrestling. The buckets of blood all these men spilled, the broken glass, light tubes, and barbed wire ripping flesh. There was no better way to cap off the tournament, but to crown the man who has had the best deathmatches this year in Bobby Beverly being crowned winner. It was the fitting end to what was a historic run of performances for the Bev.

The Bev celebrating his KOTDM tournament win

I know this date had plenty of options when it came to wrestling, however this tournament and what the entrants put themselves through and spots each entrant endured shows you exactly why Circle 6 is not going anywhere anytime soon. They truly are the industry ruler when it comes to Deathmatch wrestling.

With 2024 now officially here, and Circle 6 not showing signs of any speed bumps or slowing down, the sky is the limit for this promotion. You just imagine if this is how they ended 2023 what they could have up their sleeves for 2024.

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