Changing The Game: How GCW Is Living Up To Their Name

On January 23, 2022 the wrestling world will witness a historic event, as Game Changer Wrestling will broadcast The Wrld On GCW live from the legendary Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The eyes of the wrestling world will be on the promotion too, as not only will this be GCW’s first show broadcast on televised pay-per-view through a cable provider, but it is the largest wrestling attendance ever sold for the fabled ballroom.

Since taking over the company in 2015, GCW owner Brett Lauderdale has been working endlessly for the company to live up to it’s namesake. Their shows continue to up the ante and deliver one of the best live experiences in all of wrestling. Their Bloodsport series in partnership with Josh Barnett (and previously Matt Riddle) perfectly pairs the hard-hitting brutality of MMA with pro wrestling, while Joey Janela’s Spring Break caters to the chaotic and unpredictable. Effy’s Big Gay Brunch shows have provided wrestling’s wealth of LGBTQ+ talent with a spotlight to shine under. It’s these semi-regular events combined with GCW’s consistent weekly/bi-weekly shows that have kept them on the map through a global pandemic, and most notably got them to a point where they sold out the Hammerstein Ballroom before announcing a single match for the card. Lauderdale discussed the sell out crowd and the vision of doing a show at the Hammerstein in a recent interview with DAZN.

I’m an optimist, but it’s a lot of tickets to sell, a lot of these tickets are expensive, and it’s in the middle of New York City. I got to be honest with you; I wasn’t so sure. I obviously thought we had a chance and that we could do it. But, I felt like it was going to take a lot.

Brett Lauderdale in DAZN

The realist in me says, ‘I don’t know. Probably not. It seems pretty far-fetched’. There’s no other way to put it than that. This is a big deal this weekend. But also, the other part of me says, ‘Yes, I did think this was possible. I’ve always been confident and who GCW is and what we stand for.

Brett Lauderdale in DAZN

This is all possible through the vision and drive of Brett Lauderdale, but the shows still need great wrestlers – something GCW has delivered in spades. They have routinely brought in notable veteran names and some of the brightest young stars to match up with their own mainstay talents like Tony Deppen, Alex Colon, G Raver and Jimmy Lloyd. Sunday’s card is a perfect example of this formula at it’s peak. A promising young talent like ASF teaming with veterans in Bandido and Laredo Kid, a ladder match featuring well-traveled veterans, young stars, and some of GCW’s original outlaws Tony Deppen, Alex Colon and Jimmy Lloyd, and a main event title match featuring a legend in Homicide taking on GCW Champion (and one of the biggest names in all of wrestling) Jon Moxley.

In only a handful of years we have seen GCW grow from some of the smallest independent shows to selling out one of wrestling’s most iconic buildings in under 48 hours. What is it that GCW does differently that has allowed for such growth? Brett Lauderdale commented on key moments that brought a lot of attention to the company: Spring Break Two, the first Bloodsport, Homecoming 2021 with Nick Gage v. Matt Cardona.

There’s been several times where I’ve felt like this is a breakthrough. Like going back to Spring Break Two, even the first Bloodsport with Matt Riddle…Matt Cardona and Nick Gage, that match alone brought a lot of new eyes on us.

– Brett Lauderdale in DAZN

Something Brett added toward the end of the interview struck me the most, however, and needs to be addressed as a critical element in how GCW stands out.

“I think the key for GCW is that we take advantage of every opportunity we get.”

– Brett Lauderdale in DAZN

GCW has a proven track record of capitalizing on their opportunities. They survived a pandemic that killed many independent promotions by taking the opportunity to do outdoor shows. They booked one of their biggest shows of 2021 on the same night as a stacked UFC card and then trended higher than it on social media. On Sunday they will have their biggest opportunity of all. The eyes of the world will be on GCW. It’s time to show them what they’ve been missing out on.

GCW’s The Wrld On GCW starts at 8pm EST on PPV and Fite TV. The pre-show matches kick off on GCW’s YouTube channel at 7pm EST.

Bodyslam will have you covered with results from the show following it’s conclusion and join us over on Bodyslam.net’s YouTube channel where we will be breaking down all the action with a LIVE post-show podcast!

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