Indie Spotlight: Why GCW’s For The Culture is important for wrestling

Jordan Myles Adam Cole WWE NXT
Jordan Myles Adam Cole WWE NXT /

GCW: For The Culture show was supposed to take place during Mania weekend. It’s been rescheduled for Friday, October 9.

2020 screwed up a lot of plans, especially for independent wrestling. The biggest week of the year is “Mania Week” where indy promotions piggyback off of WrestleMania weekend to hold shows. Some wrestlers will wrestle multiple shows during this period, some even on the same date.

One of the most buzzed about shows was GCW: For The Culture. The show is the brainchild of AJ Gray. The show is to give a platform to Black wrestlers on the independent scene. Just because the card is full of some of the best Black talent, doesn’t mean that the show is only for Black fans (as some people have wrongly assumed). After all, wrestling is for everyone.*

(*everyone except racists, homophobes, sex pests, enablers, abusers, ableists and misogynists)

For The Culture is scheduled to take place on October 9 at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN. It is part of a larger event, GCW: The Collective, which will feature 12 shows over the second weekend of the month.

The card features a who’s who of some of the best indy talent. As of right now, this is the current card:

Top Flight vs. 40 Acres vs. Culture Szn

2 Cold Scorpio vs. AR Fox

AJ Gray vs. Dezmond Xavier

ACH vs. Lee Moriarty 

Calvin Tankman vs. Jon Davis

JTG vs. Trey Miguel

Trish Adora vs. Suge D for the Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Championship

Marti Belle vs. Willow Nightingale vs. Faye Jackson vs. Devon Monroe

That card is stacked from top to bottom. There may be some names that you don’t know yet, but you will. For The Culture (and The Collective) is giving a platform for so many indy wrestlers, especially in a time where exposure has shrunk due to less shows taking place. People having less or no disposable income to subscribe to networks or buy shows affects exposure even more.

For The Culture is celebrating Blackness. Wrestling hasn’t always been a place where that can happen, even in this day and age. This show is an opportunity for fans to see not only Black wrestlers, but Black wrestlers who are also marginalized by their gender, sexual identity and body size. There is so much diversity that will take place on this show.

Another reason the For The Culture is important is because it is showcasing the Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Championship. This championship belongs to F1ght Club Pro Wrestling, a company that believes that “Every1 from every walk of life, creed, color, gender or sexuality should be able to enjoy professional wrestling.” Back in February, Trish Adora became the inaugural PAWDWC champion when she defeated seven other competitors in a tournament to crown its champion.

The wrestling industry needs shows like For The Culture. It needs shows that are creative, features talent that aren’t getting opportunities elsewhere and matches that you can’t see anywhere else. This industry needs shows that come from talent that isn’t from the white patriarchy that it was built on.

It needs to be turned on its head. It desperately needs a breath of fresh air in stories that are told in new ways. It needs people who represent and look like the global culture. In order to stay relevant and keep up with the current world, it must be open to a new way of doing things from new voices and minds.

Next. AJ Gray is everything indy wrestling needs. dark

You can support For The Culture by purchasing the show two ways: as part of The Collective bundle or the show on its own. Using social media to discuss the show and share gifs and videos is also a good way to spread the word about talent and what wrestling can be and look like.