GCW owner Brett Lauderdale was on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Lauderdale discussed GCW’s hot rise over these past few years, and discussed their top storylines this past summer with Matt Cardona coming into GCW and defeating Nick Gage for the GCW World Title. Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman asked Lauderdale if he expected the success GCW found with their “guest star”.
“A ‘guest star’, ugh, that makes me cringe. I am not surprised because Matt Cardona is, in this wrestling world, a superstar, to borrow the term from the WWE, but he is,” Lauderdale pointed out. “Outside of this independent wrestling bubble, Matt Cardona is very well known. He was on WWE television for over a decade, and he’s done some big things.
“And aside from his WWE life, he has that entire podcast and wrestling action figure fanbase as well. He’s big in multiple bubbles that are not our bubble, so bringing him in, it’s not surprising to me that putting all of those worlds together was a big deal. And he’s a good performer and he’s a smart performer. So no, I’m not surprised that it’s been successful, and I’m glad that we’ve been able to work together to make it as big a deal as it’s been.”
Cardona recently saved his GCW career and regained the Internet Title after defeating Effy with help from his fiancé Chelsea Green. Cardona’s introduction to GCW came out of nowhere, and Lauderdale revealed whether or not he knew Cardona before his GCW debut.
“I think we may have met or something, but I couldn’t tell you where or when,” Lauderdale admitted. “This is definitely the first time we ever worked together, and it’s definitely been interesting.”
When Cardona won the GCW World Title, the fans immediately threw empty plastic bottles and various other objects in the ring as a bloodied Cardona celebrated his win. Cardona fled the ring and ran away with the title as the fans booed him out of the building. Lauderdale commented on the response of the fans after Cardona’s win.
“Well, in GCW, Nick Gage is king, he’s God, he’s all of those things, and Nick Gage fans, it’s not a fandom, it’s a lifestyle. When you’re MDK, you’re MDK all f**king day,” Lauderdale pointed out. “We don’t really take kindly to outsiders, especially guys like Matt Cardona coming in, and not just beating Nick but beating him for the GCW title. That’s a pretty big deal. I don’t think for the MDK folks, that’s something we celebrate.”
Cardona would go on to lose the title to current GCW World Champion Jon Moxley in quick fashion. Hausman noted that there were sharp objects like pizza cutters thrown in the ring as well, and Lauderdale responded to the concerns of a fatal accident that could have occurred that night.
“Surely we don’t want to see anybody get hurt, but it was a very authentic reaction. And I think, as far as I’m concerned, I almost look at that reaction as the ultimate show of respect,” Lauderdale said. “Maybe I’m crazy here, but you’re saying throwing pizza cutters. I think there was maybe one. We’re talking about plastic water bottles and the such. These are things that, I guess, if you were to get hit right in the face, it would probably hurt, but otherwise, it’s not going to do a lot of damage.
“But to get people to care enough to do that and then for people to care enough to do that, it says something about the performer and the performance. There’s a lot of ways people can react when something they ‘don’t like’ happens, but to get them invested enough to react in that way, like I said, I think it’s almost the ultimate show of respect. Throwing sharp objects is not encouraged, but other than that, I think we kind of trust our fans to react authentically with some common sense involved.”
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