GCW owner Brett Lauderdale was on today’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily. On the podcast, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman asked Lauderdale about WWE NXT star Cora Jade (fka Elayna Black) being pulled from her match against AEW star Joey Janela that was scheduled for this weekend’s big GCW Fight Forever event.
“That was a match, and it was cleared. I would love to say, ‘Oh, the evil WWE stepped in and screwed us and whatever,’ but I don’t think that was necessarily the case,” Lauderdale said. “I think that as far as Elayna Black (aka new WWE NXT signee Cora Jade) goes, there was a certain timeline they had on when she was going to report and she would start becoming a part of their product, and I think what happened was her timeline kind of got sped up.
“And I think that at one point, WWE gave her the permission and then once it got sped up, they kind of decided it was time to roll it back, and I think once the match was announced, probably, this is just my guess, somebody within the organization said, ‘Hey, we need you now.’ So can’t do it. That’s what happened. It was announced and then 20 minutes later, we were asked to un-announce it.”
Hausman then joked with Lauderdale about how quick Janela was to promote the match following the announcement Black had signed with WWE, under the new name of Cora Jade.
“Joey’s always going to be a troublemaker. There was no secret f**k you’s going on. Joey’s an opportunist, and it was a big match that we had agreed to. And it became bigger once it was announced that she signed, and I think he was just trying to hype it up.”
Jade was an emerging star on the indie scene, and it surprised some that she signed with a big company so soon. Lauderdale praised Jade’s talent and noted that the landscape has changed over the past year or so.
“I would say it was pretty quick for her, but she’s really talented, and from my understanding, she was invited to a tryout and she killed it,” Lauderdale stated. “If they invite you down there and you are everything that they’re looking for and you deliver, they’re going to sign you. As we’ve seen over the last year or 18 months, all the old rules of who gets signed and when they get signed and how they get signed, they’ve all been thrown out the window.
“Now anybody can be signed on any given day, and if you impress the right person, doesn’t matter if it’s your first day wrestling or you’ve been wrestling for 20 years, if they want you, they’re going to sign you, but props to her. She’s worked hard, and she’s very passionate about it. Right now, she is where she wants to be. So I’m excited for her.”
Hausman asked Lauderdale if he is worried about the indie talent pipeline drying up with so many top talents being picked up while the indies are also struggling with the pandemic. Lauderdale said right now he isn’t, and he noted that the talent pool is very deep and is filled with people that just haven’t had the opportunity on a large platform yet.
“I’m not worried about the pipeline of talent drying up, at least not right this minute,” Lauderdale admitted. “We’ve seen new stars pop up every month, and I think really what we’re learning is that the talent pool was way deeper than we thought it was. There was all these people who were this good this whole time, and there were so many names that with a lot of these people we’re seeing now just hadn’t had the opportunity yet on bigger platforms. I’m not worried at this moment anyways.
“If they decide to sign another 500 people next month, maybe I’ll be worried, but there’s a lot of young and talented people out there that are working hard and getting better every day, and I think they are going to continue to refill this pipeline, at least in the immediate future. I know personally. I still have a list of people that I would love to be able to work with and we just still don’t have room for them. I’m excited in that respect.”
Lauderdale’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here. You can find the full interview in both video and audio form below: