6 Amazing reasons to watch GCW: wrestling's cool eccentric uncle

Everyone has heard about GCW, but have you ever experienced it? Here are six reasons to give it a chance.
Vans Warped Tour 25th Anniversary - Atlantic City, NJ
Vans Warped Tour 25th Anniversary - Atlantic City, NJ / Corey Perrine/GettyImages

Before I get started praising the accomplishments of GCW, I want to add this note. GCW is not for kids. It is diametrically opposed to the PG-era of wrestling. With death matches, blood, drug use, and frequent F-bombs, I can only recommend it for the older wrestling generation.

6. GCW's impressive history

Ricky Otazu started Jersey Championship Wrestling in 1999. It's first event was the J-Cup tournament, which featured prominent indie wrestlers. Between 2004 and 2014, the company stayed dormant under National Stars Wrestling. It wouldn't become GCW (Game Changer Wrestling) until 2015 when Brett Lauderdale and Danny Demanto bought the rights and changed the name.

The company blew up and started touring all over the US. Eventually, they ventured out in Europe, Mexico, and Japan. GCW started producing events that got the attention of the wrestling world, leading up to GCW airing their first traditional PPV at the sold out Hammerstein Ballroom: The Wrld on GCW in 2022.

The roster is by invitation only in GCW, but in 2022 they offered their one and only contract to Nick Gage. Since its return in 2015, GCW is marked by death matches, MMA, and pretty much any kind of match the creative team can think of.

5. Crossovers

Forget Forbidden Door. GCW's main staple is seeking other wrestling companies to do shows with. They have invited DDT, WxW, Renegades of Wrestling, Future Stars of Wrestling, Horror Slam Wrestling, Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling, Freedoms, International Wrestling Syndicate, Black Label Pro and many others.

The premise of their crossover shows is to pit their most popular wrestlers against their guest's. Stories of betrayal and pride help with the hype between these rivalries. It's a great way to learn about other indie wrestlers.

4. The Champions

GCW scouts the best indie talent to grace their shows, discovering wrestlers that have moved on to greatness. Their world champions are varied and colorful choices including: Mance Warner, Crowbar, Joey Janela, Jon Moxley, Nick Gage, Blake Christian, and Masha Slamovich. Other titles include the JCW World Championship, Ultraviolent Championship, The Extreme Championship, and the Tag Team Championship.

GCW has made a handful of wrestlers household names. Matt Cardona, Tony Deppen, Nick Wayne, Joey Janela, and One Called Manders have been thrust into the spotlight from their work here. AEW has kept an eye on their talent.

3. Bizarre Matches

GCW is known for violent deathmatches, but they are so creative when it comes to other stipulations. They made the 72-Man Battle Royale, Best 7 out of 13 falls, Invisible man matches, chair, table, and coffin matches, 1-minute iron man match, and the social distancing rules match. They can easily change from a weapons match to a submission style match to fit their out-of-the-box thinking.

2. Events

Nothing is more memorable than GCW's colorfully named events. They host staple events like Effy's Big Gay Brunch, Josh Barnett's Blood Sport, Joey Janela's Spring Break, and GCW Homecoming. It is not unheard of to see three events in a month called: I Can't Feel My Face, No Sleep, or Don't Tell Me What to Do. These events are loosely based on lyrics in songs, and they make the viewer curious about the event.

1. The Fans

GCW may be small, but they make it up in fan volume. Fans get rowdy, make inside jokes, sing songs, and follow whatever ridiculous thing a wrestler is doing in the ring. Fans hold no grudge when a muscle bound wrestler jumps into the audience and tackles half of them. It's a part of the experience. And because GCW is a midsized touring company they come to cities that WWE won't go near.

But even if you can't see them in person, you can catch every event on Triller +.

Check out GCW's 2024 tour here.