10 things wrestling fans should know about GCW

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Every few years another wrestling promotion is the talk of the indie scene, and these days it’s New Jersey-based Game Changer Wrestling. In recent years, GCW has garnered a lot of press thanks to their deathmatch-focused product and bookings of high-profile wrestling stars, giving the company a bit of a reminder of the glory days of ECW In the 1990s.

RELATED: Game Changer Wrestling: The 10 Best Moments in GCW History

Given the buzz it’s generated lately, fans might be curious about GCW, so let’s go through what fans need to know, including its origins, some moments that’ve made the promotion notorious over the past few years, and some of its joint shows and sub-promotions.

10 Started as Jersey Championship Wrestling


Jersey Championship Wrestling's Jersey J Cup

GCW’s origins date back to 1999 when indie wrestler Ricky O started the Jersey Championship Wrestling promotion. In those early days, JCW boasted talent like Low Ki, Reckless Youth, Homicide, Jay Lethal and even CM Punk on a few occasions. One of his great claims to fame was his annual junior heavyweight-focused Jersey J-Cup tournament – inspired by the Japanese version – later renamed the Chris Candido Memorial J-Cup Tournament. However, Ricky O sold the company to another promotion in 2004, only to regain it in 2013 and resume promoting shows under the JCW banner.


9 Bought from Brett Lauderdale


Brett Lauderdale by GCW

Jersey Championship Wrestling’s revival would only take a few years as the company was bought by Combat Zone Wrestling referee Brett Lauderdale and Ricky O’s indie wrestler Danny Demanto in 2015. The goal of the purchase was to create a promotion to host the Nick Gage Invitational, a deathmatch tournament that would mark Gage’s comeback after a stint in prison. After the JCW acquisition, the promotion was rebranded as Game Changer Wrestling, with the first show being the tournament.

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8th Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport


Josh Barnett's Bloodsport: Jon Moxley vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.

However, GCW does not only offer deathmatches. Staying true to the classic ECW ethos, the action features a variety of styles, some with their own umbrellas to thrive under. For example, since 2018 they have held an annual event called the Shoot-Style Competition. blood sportsof which there were seven shows and counting.

RELATED: 10 games you didn’t know happened at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport

Originally named Matt Riddle’s Bloodsportformer UFC champion and wrestler Josh Barnett became the main force behind it blood sports after that first trip. Since then, blood sports has brought in notable talent like Jon Moxley, Minoru Suzuki and even Dan “The Beast” Severn.

7 The place of rebirth of PCO


PCO vs. Walter (Joey Janela's Spring Break 2, 4/6/2018)

Fans may be familiar with the career resurgence of PCO, the former Pierre Carl Ouellet (and WWE’s Jean-Pierre LaFitte), who reinvented himself into a Frankenstein-esque character and took the indie scene by storm before joining Ring of Honor and now Impact switched to wrestling. But his reinvention was bolstered by an appearance in GCW, where he competed – and defeated!! — WALTER by Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2 in 2018. Fans got wind of the new and improved PCO, and suddenly the then 50-year-old became a hot commodity on the indie scene.


6 Revitalized Jersey Championship Wrestling


GCW's Jersey Championship Wrestling logo

Instead of ditching the Jersey Championship Wrestling brand, GCW found a new use for their old initials. In March 2021, Game Changer Wrestling announced that it had bought the actual JCW brand and tape library from Ricky O and will revitalize the promotion as a platform for young aspiring players, functioning like an NXT for GCW. Since its first show in May 2021, the revived JCW has hosted a host of GCW stars as well as lesser-known talent.

5 Where David Arquette had a deathmatch


Nick Gage nearly kills David Arquette (Joey Janela's LA Confidential, 11/16/2018)

In 2018, actor David Arquette returned to the world of pro wrestling in earnest, motivated by a desire to make amends for his time at WCW, where he became a world champion, and has appeared throughout the indie scene. In November of that year, his travels took him to GCW where he challenged Nick Gage for the GCW World Title Joey Janela’s LA Confidential. As fans would expect, the fight got so intense that Arquette had to rush to the hospital after some light tubes cut his throat open.


4 Debuting at the Hammerstein Ballroom in 2022


The Wrld on GCW at the Hammerstein Ballroom

At 2021 Fight Club: Mox vs. Gage, GCW dropped a bombshell via a special video: that the promotion would be running a pay-per-view from New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center for the first time ever. This venue has special value as it was the site of many major ECW shows in the early 2000s.

RELATED: ECW: 10 Things Fans Should Know About the Hammerstein Ballroom

the shipment in question, The world on GCWtook place on 01/23/2022 and featured a Battle Royal, a title match between Jon Moxley and Homicide, and the surprise team of Nick Gage and Matt Tremont that dethroned the Briscoe Brothers as GCW Tag Team Champions.


3 The collective


Collective Weekend by GCW

WrestleMania Weekends are always a special time, and not just for WWE. No matter which city is the host ‘Mania There’s a plethora of indie promotions happening this year running shows across the city this weekend, and GCW is no exception. GCW tends to host a whole host of shows under the The Collective moniker that doesn’t just include the above blood sportsbut also Joey Janela’s spring break (see below), the LGBTIQA+ issue Effy’s big gay brunchall in black For the cultureand countless others.

2 LA fights


GCW LA Fights logo

Since the aforesaid Joey Janela’s LA Confidential In 2018, GCW hosted fairly successful shows in Los Angeles, performing in the city several times a year and making the city a second home for the promotion. In November 2021, GCW a third party Brand, LA Fights, which not only showcases GCW talent but also wrestlers from the Southern California indie wrestling scene such as Jack Cartwheel, B-Boy and Delilah Doom. The idea of ​​competition between brands on opposite ends of the country hasn’t been lost on GCW either, as they actually run one LA fights JCW Show as part of The Collective for 2022.


1 Joey Janela’s spring break


GCW: Joey Janela and Penelope Ford at Joey Janela's Spring Break

Arguably the most anticipated – and possibly entertaining – tradition GCW has so far is Joey Janela’s spring break, which also takes place as part of The Collective. Organized by The Bad Boy himself, JJSB features left-field matchups with pro wrestling legends, hilarious comedy wrestling, and the signature Clusterf— Battle Royal, which uses Royal Rumble-style staggered performances and lots of ridiculous spectacle. There were some big matches that night too, as at the 2021 edition, Nick Gage dethroned Rickey Shane Page to become the new GCW World Champion.


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