GCW has been instrumental in many careers, especially that of Effy.
To pull back the curtain, the first time I met Effy was the weekend of Starrcast in Chicago. Briefly before he got on an elevator, a friend of mine called out his name and referenced the fact that he was facing Nick Gage. Effy looked at both of us and said "I'm gonna fuckin' die."
Effy explained to Fightful "I think it’s time to expand on this day a little bit because this is interesting and it’s a very Effy story. Which is, going back to Joey Janela’s Spring Break in New York, I kinda put the onus on Brett, and he was like, ‘Oh, man. You know, this is working out, people are really into you.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, Brett. Do it again.’ So, he did it in Tennessee and gave me Orange Cassidy and it was over like gangbusters. I remember Joey coming up to him after and he was like, ‘This Effy guy, you gotta just keep booking him.’ Brett was like, ‘I was watching. I was watching.’ So, he was like, ‘Let’s just pull the trigger. Let’s put him against Nick Gage.’"
The match, set for the same weekend as AEW's All Out 2019, was the only thing Effy had scheduled. Well, that was until he ran into Starrcast promoter Conrad Thompson.
"So, I knew I’d be there that Starrcast weekend, but I, at that point, didn’t have anything else booked. Then, Rise hit me up for Sunday and they were like, ‘Do you want to come in and do the Sunday Rise show?’ I went, ‘Perfect. This looks like I’m a part of Starrcast now.’ So, then I started texting with one of the people who helps out with Starrcast hotels and was like, ‘Hey, if you’re working with any of the promotions, let ‘em know so we can work out a hotel thing.’ So, he got me in on the Starrcast hotel and then because of that, Conrad thought I was booked for Starrcast. Conrad just thought I was already booked for it and hit me up and was like, ‘Hey, are you doing your signing this day or are you doing it on another day?’ I was like, ‘Oh, whatever time you have open, I’ll be doing my signing.’ I ended up sneaking in there and having a signing. I was like, ‘Nobody’s gonna pay for this signing,’ and like thirty people came and paid for the signing. I was like, ‘Hold up. Did I just figure this out and it was successful for everyone?’ So, at that point, I was still living in Florida. So, I’d been up since, I think, one in the morning to catch a flight in Orlando. From Tallahassee, I drove to Orlando, I caught the flight, got to Chicago. I had to be there for an early interview with Ethan Page. So, I needed to land in Chicago by 10 AM. So, by the time I fought Nick Gage that night, I’d already been up for twenty five or twenty six hours or whatever."
The experience was a whirlwind for Effy, who was seeing his profile rise quickly. Unfortunately, he was missing an integral part of his get-up for one of the biggest matches of his career.
"It’s 1:30 in the morning and I look in my bag after everything that whole day of just like, ‘Oh, crap. I accidentally infiltrated the entire industry her real quick.’ I open my bag and I go, ‘Man, I’ve really done well for myself so far. I don’t have knee pads,’ and in my head I go, ‘I can ask somebody for their knee pads to ruin or I can just go out here and be as crazy as I’ve been all day and go, ‘It’s work out the way it’s supposed to.[‘’] My ass went out there and had a death match with no knee pads on against Nick Gage because of my attitude in my head at that point, which is like, ‘You’ve gotten this far. What’s the worst that could happen? There’s only hundreds of people in here ready to watch you go through glass.’ That mentality just set me up to have such a fun time and I think losing my mind that night has helped me out tremendously. Of course, Nick is a scary guy to go up against, but once you see him and understand him a little more, what a swell fella. To say that you’ve become better friends with someone after they’ve hit you in a face with a beer bottle is crazy, but, it worked out," Effy said.
You can see our full interview with Effy at the top of the page, and follow him on Twitch at this link. You can see GCW's Fight Forever on their channel and on Fightful January 29. Donate to wrestlers who have had their bookings impacted by COVID-19 at this link.