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CHANGER WRESTLING'S BRETT LAUDERDALE ON PROMOTING
JON MOXLEY BEFORE AEW RETURN, GCW SELLING OUT IN NE
a new player in the pro wrestling landscape.
two most notable professional wrestling companies
globally are World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and
All Elite Wrestling.
there's an alternative making plenty of noise in the
wrestling landscape, Game Changer Wrestling. The promotion
brings a mixture of traditional wrestling for the
purist, but you'll also see high-flying and hardcore
puts on their most significant event to date on Sunday
when they present The Wrld on GCW from the sold-out
Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City (8 p.m. ET,
FITE.TV, cable/satellite PPV).
show is headlined by former AEW Heavyweight champion
Jon Moxley defending his GCW Heavyweight title against
on the show, Matt Cardona battles Joey Janela and
Jeff Jarrett takes on Effy.
the historical event, GCW owner Brett Lauderdale sat
down with DAZN News to preview the show, whether he
thought the company would be where it's at, the breakthrough
moment of GCW, and the decision to announce Moxley
before he returned to AEW on Wednesday.
note: This interview has been edited for length and
When you started Game Changer Wrestling, did you think
something like this would eventually happen to where
youd sell out the Hammerstein Ballroom in New
Lauderdale: I have a two-part answer for that. 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, (the) kind of
the vision, the spirit, and the attitude of GCW. I've
always thought this was possible. But it doesn't make
it any less significant or make us any less nervous
or excited as this weekend approaches.
When did it feel for you that you thought nationally
that you guys were on the map? Was it the second spring
break in New Orleans, or when Nick Gage had a special
on Dark Side of the Ring, or when Nick was on AEW
Theres 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.
Those were moments where we broke through another
layer that expanded outside our bubble.
year later, Jersey City was big. Yes, Dark Side of
the Ring was huge. That was another bubble that was
burst. Matt Cardona and Nick Gage, that match alone
brought a lot of new eyes on us. So there's been so
many times where it's multiple breakthroughs, where
it was like, we may have thought, like, Alright,
we've reached just about everybody we can reach in
this world. And then it's like, oh, wait, here we
time something new pops up, we get these opportunities.
I think the key for GCW is that we take advantage
of every opportunity we get.
How did you become, more or less, the Vince McMahon,
the Tony Khan of GCW?
The simplest answer to this is, I've been good friends
with Nick Gage for 15 years now. When Nick was locked
in prison, I maintained our relationship. I used to
visit him on a weekly or monthly basis. We always
talked about wrestling and the things that he wanted
to do when he got out of prison. And one of the things
that we had always talked about for years when I would
visit him was (that) we should do our own deathmatch
tournament when you come out. The Nick Gage Invitational,
that was our idea that we came up with while sitting
in the visitation rooms in Trenton State Prison. So
when the time finally came that he got out, I was
like, So we're going to do this? All right,
who can help us? Who can help us do this?
at the time, I didn't have a company, and Nick had
nothing. We just looked into the Rolodex of some people
we know that have a wrestling ring or an infrastructure
already in place. That was the people who at the time
were involved with
Changer Wrestling and JCW (Jersey Championship Wrestling).
We just borrowed their name for a day, and borrowing
their name for a day turned into what it is now.
Did it surprise you that the show sold out in less
than two days?
Absolutely. Joey Janella told me this thing's going
to sell out quick. Other people on our team are like,
Dude, this is gonna sell out. 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. We were going to have to go hard on this to
the day of the show, and hopefully we'll sell it out.
But to see that it happened so quickly, I mean, 24
hours in, we were pretty much down to the last 100
or 200 tickets. We pulled up the ticket map, and we
were literally watching them disappear and counting.
I'm like, Alright, we're down to like, 60. Now
we're down to 50. We're down to 40. We're down to
30 . Then it gets to eight, six, four, and then
they all disappear. It's like, Are they gone?
Is it going to pop back up?
20 minutes elapsed, and it's like, I'm pretty
sure that the last ticket is gone. We're sold
out. Once it was clear that it was sold out,
it was crazy. Like, wow, we really did it, and that
took like 36 hours. I was pleasantly surprised, proud,
and excited for all of us, everybody.
I think it's a testament to your company in the fact
that you sold this out without announcing Jon Moxley,
Jarrett-Effy, Allie-Ruby, Janela, and Cardona. You
sold it out without even announcing those four matches.
A lot of people keep bringing that up. That is a testament
to the work that our company has put in for years
now and to the level of credibility that we've built
with our fans.
at this point trust GCW. They know that they're going
to get their money's worth no matter what. They trust
that they're going to get something that's exciting,
unpredictable, chaotic, fun, and entertaining. They
know that they're going to get everything we have
with every show. We don't have B shows. We don't have
B towns. We dont have house shows. Every show
we do, we put everything on the line. It's not just
a saying or something we promise. We've built this
credibility over the last four or five years. People
don't necessarily need to see a lineup in advance.
They know that this Hammerstein Ballroom show is going
to be a good deal. I don't think there's anybody that
could possibly think that we would come to Hammerstein
Ballroom with anything less than our best. That's
something we're proud of.
I want to talk about your headliner, Jon Moxley, who
faces Homicide. There was a lot of talk surrounding
Jon since you guys announced that he would be headlining
the show. Many people were shocked because Jon hadnt
appeared yet on Dynamite. What was the decision to
promote him before he even reappeared for AEW?
Obviously, a lot that went into that, and probably
parts of it that I probably can't talk about, or I
shouldn't talk about, just out of respect to all parties.
But I think the bottom line here is that Mox wants
to be here. He wanted and wants to be a part of this
show. He is the GCW champion, and he cares about GCW.
So, you know, I think he's in a position where he's
earned the ability to do a lot of the things that
he wants to do, obviously. AEW most definitely respects
that, and they respect Mox. It was unusual circumstances
that put it all in this position. It's just one of
those things. You got to call it on the fly. Of course,
we defer to Mox, and we defer to AEW. He's contracted
to AEW. He's not contracted to GCW, so certain things
have to happen for it to happen. Mox wanted to be
here, and here he is.
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should move to any other night, get away from us' - Chris Jericho slams WWE with
a bold statement - 4th September 2020
lost! There's nothing wrong with conceiting defeat and moving to a different night."
Chris Jericho had a lot more to say.
are rumors about WWE possibly moving NXT to a different night.
Dynamite and NXT have aired on different days for the past few weeks. As expected,
the results have been quite positive for both companies. Both shows have drawn
huge numbers without any competition, and there is also talk about NXT possibly
moving out from the Wednesday slot. Chris Jericho, who has always been on the
offensive when it comes to AEW's ratings victories over WWE, has sent another
bold message to the WWE.
a recent appearance on the Busted
Open radio show, the Demo God addressed the rumors of WWE contemplating a
change of day for NXT.
Jericho said that he wasn't surprised that the WWE was planning on retreating
from the Wednesday Night Wars. The AEW Superstar sent a direct message to his
former employers that they should move to another night. Chris Jericho felt that
WWE had a great program, and their spiteful tactic of going up against AEW was
only hurting NXT's ratings.
Jericho says WWE should just conceit defeat
Jericho declared that AEW isn't going anywhere and that Dynamite would continue
to beat NXT. Jericho felt that WWE retreating is the right move from a business
standpoint. 'Le Champion' isn't bothered about NXT breaching the 800k or 900k
barriers as he and AEW are focussed on getting over the 1 million mark. He also
spoke about the importance of the 18-49 demographic.
Jericho said that the WWE lost, and there is nothing wrong for them to conceit
defeat. The former AEW World Champion concluded by proclaiming that no one can
stop All Elite Wrestling.
Chris Jericho's full statement on the rumors of WWE moving to another night and
the ongoing ratings war:
again, it was never a war for me. This is a war that was thrust upon us by a company
that is very petty and very spiteful, and we know the reason why NXT was moved
to Wednesday nights. To mess with us. We get it. We pay attention to what we are
doing. We don't care what they're doing, and we have no interest in it. If you
watch us, you get the ratings, where we beat them week after week. We beat them
in the demos where people think it's jokes. The only thing that matters is the
TV networks and advertisers that listed the 18-49 demo. Look it up. We win every
week. They should retreat. They should move to any other night. Get away from
us! You guys got a great program, and it's good; why would you want to sacrifice
your own ratings just to be spiteful and petty to go head to head with AEW? We're
not going anywhere and put on anything you want - we'll continue to beat you.
It is a retreat, but it's also the right move from a business standpoint. Get
your head out of your rear end and just worry about your product the same way
we worry about ours. If they move to Tuesday, smart move. That way, you guys can
get your 850 thousand, 900 thousand. Whatever! Get 10 million viewers. Congratulations!
Let us do our thing, and we'll get over a million. I think it's a smart move business-wise
on theirs. They lost! There's nothing wrong with conceiting defeat, moving to
a different night, and worrying about your show and not worrying about going head
to head with AEW because you can't stop us." H/t WrestlingInc
Chris Jericho is just doing his job of putting over AEW, many fans would argue
that both shows airing on different nights would be the right decision as they
can watch both shows. The ratings and viewership figures from the past few weeks
have proven that putting out shows on separate days could be ideal for moving
don't forget to check out the latest interview from Sportskeeda in which our very
own Gary Cassidy caught up with Chris Jericho. The legendary star discussed a
plethora of topics, including the possibility of Brock Lesnar coming to AEW, the
origins of his nickname, Jon Moxley, Orange Cassidy, and much more.
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