Brett Lauderdale, the head promoter for Game Changer Wrestling (GCW), recently spoke with Fightful to discuss the company’s recent Collective Weekend, and the positive COVID-19 cases that came from it. Highlights are below.
On running the upcoming Last Resort event following positive COVID-19 cases from The Collective weekend:
“In hindsight, this was probably not my best decision when it comes to scheduling. I have discussed it with my partners and my team. If I could do it again, I probably would have changed the date of this show. I did discuss possibilities earlier in the week, the pros and cons of continuing with this date, our options, and the move that makes the most sense. We met in the middle. What it came down to was, how could we do this show in the safest manner possible that’s not being blatantly dangerous. I took feedback from my team and the outside, there were guidelines laid out and if everyone can follow along, it’s not unreasonable and not anything different that we’ve done any other weekend or any other company is doing. We’ve implemented some of those things and we’re going to move forward following the safest guidelines we can follow.”
How he shifted to having a smaller staff and crew to avoid another outbreak:
“It’s a smaller crew in wrestlers and staff. One of the things we’ve done is no one traveled to California this week without a negative COVID test. Everyone participated in that. Most people have gotten two tests and most got them in the latter part of the week. Some of the other things we’re doing is dramatically cutting back on the personnel in the locker room. I’ve stressed, ‘unless you are in the ring, you are expected to be wearing a mask.’ There’s going to be no physical interaction between wrestlers and fans this week. This has been our policy the whole time, but we’re going to be on top of it extra tomorrow. No high-fiving, probably no pictures.”
Explains why he didn’t just cancel the event:
“We laid out a whole bunch of factors; who is going to be there? where are they coming from? From a fan standpoint, 99% of these people are locals who were not at The Collective. These are people who haven’t gone anywhere or done anything in many months. They’re not people who were in Indiana last week and are bringing it here, untested. I cannot regulate fans health and behavior. I did explore other options. Could we push the show back or move it? When we weighed them all, it was determined that if we could do this, this, and this, the risk is no greater than what we’ve already done. At the end of the day, with the added level of testing, the risk appears to be no great than any other show we’ve promoted or any other company has promoted. There is a lot of repeat talent, but as I said earlier, they’ve all been tested at least once since The Collective. Many have been tested twice.”