The GCW Invasion of CZW: “We are GCW. And We Don’t Give a F**k.”

Photo: Brett Lauderdale

A lot came out of last Saturday’s CZW Cage of Death XIX that made news, most notably the impromptu match between NWA World Heavyweight Champion Tim Storm and Nick Aldis that resulted in Aldis walking away as the new NWA World Champion. But one of the most intense moments of the night was when former 4x CZW World Heavyweight Champion Nick Gage returned to CZW for the first time since 2015 alongside Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) co-owner Brett Lauderdale and invaded the ring (and cage) following the actual Cage of Death match. Many assumed it was an angle for a potential CZW vs. GCW storyline (Gage now works for GCW) but as the drama in the ring unfolded, many began to wonder if this was as planned as they’d first thought. Lauderdale spoke to WrestleZone a few days later and revealed his side of the story and it definitely seems to be the “shoot” that Gage implied it was before his mic was shut off in the ring.

Directly after current CZW World Champion Rickey Shane Page defended his title in the main event Cage of Death match against Joe Gacy and Shane Strickland, Gage and Lauderdale entered the cage, with Gage grabbing a mic and pronouncing “This is a shoot…” before CZW officials turned off his mic. This resulted in a stand off with lots of shoving before the two simply walked back out, amidst a small GCW and Nick F**king Gage chant from the audience. Nick Gage’s last match in CZW was back at CZW New Heights against Drew Gulak on July 11, 2015.

According to Lauderdale in his interview with WrestleZone, the invasion angle was originally a real idea, proposed from a CZW producer to Lauderdale himself. Current CZW co-owner DJ Hyde, who has owned CZW since 2009, apparently has some interest but after taking the idea to the rest of CZW management, including Maven Bentley, the idea was shot down.

“I got a call from the producer at about 11pm when the cage was being set up for the main event at CZW. He suggested we “just do it”. I of course asked him “what about DJ?” and his response was something to the effect of “we will figure that all out later”. I hung up, and discussed it with Nick (Gage). At that point, it all came clear. The last 2 years of weirdness, shadyness and outright disrespect hit both of us with a wave of clarity and we both came to the same theory… f*ck him.” Brett Lauderdale, WrestleZone interview, December 11, 2017

Lauderdale also went on to discuss GCW’s current relationship with CZW, saying “it’s no secret that there has been plenty of animosity on alot of different levels for some time now” and they finally decided to make a statement on behalf of old school CZW fans who had long been disenfranchised from the product due to DJ Hyde’s restructuring of the company. “I don’t know if the intent was to “embarrass” CZW,” Lauderdale told WrestleZone. “The intent was more just to say ‘Yo, we are GCW. And we don’t give a fuck.’ If you want to follow a real company that respects its fans, stays true to the foundation it was built on, stays true to it’s fans, and will NEVER sell you out… start paying attention.”

Lauderdale also stated that Hyde and CZW management also put ultimatums on CZW talent that they couldn’t work GCW and continue to be booked with CZW, although not all CZW talent seems to be heeding any of those warnings. Current GCW Heavyweight Champion Matt Tremont is a CZW staple and former CZW World Champion and he’s facing Nick Gage on December 16 at GCW Read to Die.

Photo: GCW

At the end of the day, whether the animosity between CZW and it’s violent nemesis GCW get ironed out and an angle indeed comes from this altercation, Lauderdale is confident that the statement was received. “The goal was accomplished. We did something that has never been done before, and we did it with ease,” he told WrestleZone. “All in the face of those who have attempted to hurt us and hold us down. Sounds corny, but at the end of the day that’s how it breaks down.”


Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.


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