nick gage
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Brett Lauderdale: Nick Gage Has Plenty Of Value Outside of The Ring, He’s A Non-Traditional Coach

Even after Nick Gage retires from the ring, GCW owner Brett Lauderdale is confident that there are plenty of ways he’ll be valuable to the company.

Gage battled GCW World Champion Jon Moxley in a Title vs. Career Match at GCW Fight Club Night Two on October 8 and emerged victorious, so his career continued.

Speaking on The Business of the Business podcast, Lauderdale discussed Gage’s title win and noted that, for a while, he wasn’t sure whether the Fight Club match would be the veteran’s last. He stated that Gage needed some time to recover from some injuries, and he focused on training in order to get into shape for the championship bout.

“That was big. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if this was the end of the road for Nick or not,” Lauderdale said. “I know it sounds crazy to hear me say that, but I knew, yeah. I mean it was big implications, and I was right there with it, not sure for most of the way, not sure what was gonna happen. It was significant, and it was cool in that I think it gave Nick motivation to make sure that he was at the top of his game or as close to the top of his game as he could get. He was coming off some pretty tough nagging injuries, and he needed some time to kind of prepare.

“He put himself through, as he called it, boot camp for almost five months preparing for this match. So it was cool to see Nick really get into the zone and really prepare for the match as if it could be his last. Like I said, he wasn’t even sure it could be his last. He wanted to make sure that he was gonna be prepared, and it was fun watching him prepare.

Lauderdale pointed out that, while Gage ultimately defeated Moxley, there will come a day when he’ll have to retire, and he stated that it’s important to appreciate him while he’s still active. The GCW owner made it clear that he tries to do that every time Gage has a match.

“Everything was on the table, and it makes sense because we like to think that Nick is indestructible, and sometimes he doesn’t seem human, but he is very human,” Lauderdale. “Doing what he’s done for 20-plus years does take a real toll on the body, and eventually there will come a day where he can’t do this anymore. So we’re fortunate to find out a couple weeks ago was not that day, but at the same time, we know that that day will come sooner than later.

“So it’s important I think for all of us to enjoy seeing Nick wrestle while we still can, and we’re kind of lucky to see each match we get, we’re lucky. I try to remind myself of that, too. Every match that he has, we try to make it a big deal.

When asked whether Gage will have a backstage role once he retires, Lauderdale described how Gage has plenty of value as a locker room leader and a “non-traditional coach” given the way he can motivate talent. Lauderdale also pointed to Gage’s abilities as an ambassador and a merchandise-seller. He called Gage the “Hulj Hogan of the indies”, as fans will be buying his shirts as long as he’s around.

“Nick is valuable in ways that are more than just being in the ring,” Lauderdale said. “He’s a locker room leader, and he’s like a non-traditional coach in a lot of ways. He’s not gonna be a producer in the sense that he’s gonna help people put together their matches from start to finish, but he will go and help you get prepared for your matches. He will fire you up and he will motivate you in ways that sometimes are even more valuable than the role of a producer. A lot of guys just love that about him. He’s literally a difference-maker in the locker room. Aside from that, he is the face of the company, outside of even wrestling. He’s an ambassador in a lot of ways. He can go months without actually wrestling on a show, but just being there, it’s a big deal.

“He’ll cut the promo that opens the show and fires people up. Then a lot of the time, when we go off the air, he’ll come back out and close the night and thank everybody for coming, which people love. It’s one of those things that, it’s really fun to watch him do that. You get to see a really genuine side of him when he does that when we’re off the air and seeing how fans eat it up and he interacts with them. It’s just cool to see. But yeah, Nick has value beyond an active wrestler and financially, bottom line speaking, he will always be good at selling merchandise, whether he’s wrestling or not. He’s like Hulk Hogan of the indies in that people are gonna be buying MDK shirts from here to eternity, as long as he’s around.”

If you use any quotes from this podcast, please credit the original source and link back to WrestleZone for the transcription.

RELATED: DDT Pro-Wrestling Announced For The Collective 2023