Nick Gage
Photo Credit: Game Changer Wrestling

Exclusive: GCW Co-Owner Brett Lauderdale Alleges Real Heat w/ CZW; Backstory On Controversial Cage Of Death Invasion w/ Nick Gage

Exclusive: GCW Co-Owner Brett Lauderdale Tells Crazy Story Behind Controversial Nick Gage-CZW Incident
Photo Credit: Brett Lauderdale

(Note: WrestleZone reached out to Combat Zone Wrestling’s DJ Hyde regarding this exclusive and he declined to comment.)

This past weekend popular independent pro wrestler Nick Gage made a surprise appearance following the main event of Combat Zone Wrestling’s Cage of Death .

Gage was wearing a Game Changer Wrestling t-shirt and was accompanied by GCW Co-Owner Brett Lauderdale.

Many fans have speculated about whether the incident was a part of the show or if Gage and Lauderdale had genuinely crashed CZW’s biggest annual event.

WrestleZone reached out to GCW Co-Owner Brett Lauderdale for more information on what transpired and you can find his response below.

Related: Sami Callihan On Impact Wrestling Getting Attention, His Relationship With oVe, CZW, What Makes Him Different

On what the relationship was like between GCW and CZW before Saturday night’s incident:
BL: The relationship between GCW and CZW has been “whatever”. We all know each other, and we have all been “professional” in shared settings for the last couple years. However, it’s no secret that there has been plenty of animosity on alot of different levels for some time now. Simply put, CZW has a history of incompetent business, and at times very shady tactics towards their competitors which have been talked about but never truly revealed. He (DJ) has gone to great lengths to hurt GCW’s business, including things like telling performers who appear on both companies that they can no longer appear on GCW shows (they ignore him for the most part), all the way up to calling immigration and attempting to make it difficult for our international performers to enter the country despite them possessing all of the legal documents required to do so. 
DJ Hyde has always been a joke in wrestling. He is respected by few, including his peers. After a while, those shady tactics have just become commonplace and accepted as “DJ being DJ”. I could go into details but I’d be talking about it for days. 
On what compelled he and Nick Gage to make an appearance at CZW’s Cage Of Death on Saturday night:
BL: Here’s the 100% truth about what happened this past weekend. There had been some talk during the previous week between me and one of the CZW producers (the one responsible for all the awesome vignettes, and the actual watchable segments on CZW shows) about doing an “invasion angle” at Cage of Death. It started on Monday, and eventually he took it to DJ on Wednesday or Thursday. I made it clear that if we were going to do this properly, I needed a heads up so I could get all our pieces in places and arrange travel for guys like Markus Crane, the Rejects, and maybe a couple others. 
On Thursday night, I was told DJ Hyde was “interested” but he wanted to discuss it with some of the other people on his team. Apparently, everyone else on his team didn’t like it, and shot it down. I saw DJ Hyde on Friday night at the H2O show in Williamstown, NJ and he said nothing to me the whole night. As he was leaving, I pulled him aside and I said “are we doing this tomorrow?”. He looked at me and laughed, and said “No”. At that point, It was officially off. 
Fast forward to Saturday night. I got a call from the producer at about 11pm when the cage was being set up for the main event at CZW. He suggested we “just do it”. I of course asked him “what about DJ?” and his response was something to the effect of “we will figure that all out later”. I hung up, and discussed it with Nick (Gage). At that point, it all came clear. The last 2 years of weirdness, shadyness and outright disrespect hit both of us with a wave of clarity and we both came to the same theory… f*ck him. 
GCW has built a reputation on being outlaws. We have become known for saying “fuck it, let’s do it our way.” GCW just may be the last real outlaws in professional wrestling. How many chances like this would we have to go out and make a major statement, right or wrong, on our competitors biggest stage? Will people be mad? Maybe. Will the fans like it? Probably. Most importantly, will the GCW fans love it? Of course. Will DJ and his yes men have a problem with it? Probably. But fuck them. He had it coming. 
On how he and Nick Gage were able to get through the front door and past security into the building:
BL: We just walked through the front door, and walked right past security. Most likely they just weren’t paying attention. There is a lot of incompetence in that place, so it’s no surprise we walked right in like we owned the place.
On how they were able to get past security and into the cage:
BL: Same way we walked through the front door, we walked into the cage. I’m assuming most of the personnel near the cage assumed it was part of an angle and if we had made it that far, they should just let us go the rest of the way.
On if their intent was to embarrass CZW:
BL: I don’t know if the intent was to “embarrass” CZW. The intent was more just to say “Yo, we are GCW. And we don’t give a fuck. If you want to follow a real company that respects its fans, stays true to the foundation it was built on, stays true to it’s fans, and will NEVER sell you out… start paying attention.
On if any legitimate blows were thrown in the melee involving the CZW crew, Gage and Lauderdale:
BL: Somehow, there were no blows thrown in the cage. Realistically, RSP and Shane Strickland were probably convinced it was a “work” and the looks on their faces said that. Same goes for many of the other wrestlers who ended up in the ring. The look you saw from DJ and his security crew was very real though. Nick and I were definitely expecting something to happen. We left all our belongings in the car and thought for sure someone would swing. But, they didn’t.
On if police were called and if there will be any legal ramifications for their actions:
BL: Police were called, but we were long gone by the time they arrived. I’m not sure what they were called for though.
On if they accomplished what they hoped to accomplish or if they wish they had done something differently:
BL: The goal was accomplished. We did something that has never been done before, and we did it with ease. All in the face of those who have attempted to hurt us and hold us down. Sounds corny, but at the end of the day that’s how it breaks down.
On if this is now building to some kind of formal, in-ring confrontation between GCW and CZW:
BL: You would think it would lead to something more, but this is CZW we are talking about it here. DJ’s CZW has over a decade of history that says they drop the ball on every opportunity that falls into their lap. I was told through an intermediary that DJ Hyde was upset, but that he would call me in a week when he returns from Disney Land (no that’s not a joke).
At this stage however, I’m not sure it will go any further. GCW really doesn’t have anything to gain from working with CZW going forward. We made our point. Time will tell if something will get worked out but as of the time I am writing this, it’s over and done with.
Let me also say GCW returns this Saturday to Game Changer World in Howell, NJ. The main event is Matt Tremont vs Nick Gage for the 3rd and final time for the GCW Championship. Follow us on Twitter for more information @GCWrestling_