Game Changer Wrestling has done a wonderful job over the past few years marketing individual shows around their top talent. It started with Joey Janela’s Spring Break, and continued on with Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport and, of course, Effy’s Big Gay Brunch. Effy, with his outspoken persona, has become a beacon for the LGBTQ community, pushing for inclusion while presenting over-the-top pro wrestling shows.
It hasn’t always been easy for Effy, however. Early in his career, the flamboyant indie star was faced with harassment and bad advice from promoters, like Gabe Sapolsky, who told him to tone down what he was doing. Undaunted, he has pressed on and carved out one of the most unique niches in the business but he hopes it doesn’t stay a niche forever.
In a Haus of Wrestling exclusive interview, now available on the Haus of Wrestling podcast feed, Effy opened up about how he feels all pro wrestlers, not just the LGBTQ ones, need to be speaking up for themselves more and taking control of their careers. Even if it means changing the way promoters have traditionally done business.
“I don’t like Hulk Hogan but one thing Hulk Hogan has that I want is people were scared to piss him off because they recognized what economic value he had,” he began. “I don’t work for promoters. Promoters work for me, you are paying me to make a bet that you can make more money off of me than you’re paying me. That’s the business I’m in. And for you to say I have to act a certain way to get there, it just dilutes every bit of what this industry is supposed to be.
“It stops people from being their true selves, it keeps people in a very functional system of how matches work. It keeps you listening to mid-carders who didn’t make enough money to retire, but are now going to tell you how to get over on TV. And the fact that we don’t speak more as wrestlers, it gives them more power, and we have to take that power away.
“I’m not saying people shouldn’t sign to NXT or sign somewhere or go somewhere but I want them to have the objective large view of things that isn’t emotionally tied to, ‘You better listen to me, or I’m going to make sure you’re f-cked because that is not the way to do business.’ And in our business, unfortunately, you fall in this category, and I don’t mean it negatively, I am the primary. I say I as a larger I. The wrestlers in the ring are the primary.
“If there are no wrestlers willing to risk their lives to entertain people, I don’t care who’s on camera, I don’t care who’s on commentary. I don’t care who’s doing interviews, I don’t care who’s producing, I don’t care who’s interviewing, I don’t care who’s media, I don’t care about any of the other stuff. Without the primary, you cease to function, and if we’re not going to start getting a little respect back, then you’re going to lose the primary eventually because the primary is going to figure out we can do most of the shit on our own.
“Do you want to be useful and help the business and help the primary continue to function and feel safe and feel comfortable? Or do you want to try to lie to the primary, and when it comes time that they figure out their actual self worth they’re going to send you to the f-cking sidelines instead of keeping you close because you were beneficial without being necessary.”
If you use any quotes from this article please give a h/t to Haus of Wrestling for the transcription and link back