Independent wrestler AJ Gray recently spoke with Wrestling INC.’s WINCLY podcast. Gray is helping run Game Changer Wrestling’s upcoming For The Culture event. The event will be a show featuring the best and brightest people of color in wrestling today.
Gray talked about his own experience in wrestling crowds, and how he wanted to put on a WrestleMania weekend show for his community:
Transcriptions via Ross Kelly at Wrestling INC.
“I’m hoping to give people of color the biggest platform we’ve ever had on a wrestling stage. The POC, whether they be wrestling fans or wrestlers themselves, have something to go to. There’s many times an ethnic wrestling fan will feel left out in an indie crowd because they’re not mixed and are predominantly white. That’s not a negative and I appreciate all fans, but it’s not comfortable for a lot of people to be in situations like that. So, I want to give them something to look for.”
The event was put in the spotlight, when WWE’s Jordan Myles spoke out against the company, after a racist t-shirt design was released on, and then pulled from WWE’s online shop. The incident united wrestlers and wrestling fans alike in calling for better representation in the industry. Gray spoke the shirt, and how it made him reflect on his own experiences with racism.
“People think racism is getting better but in some communities racism is the exact same and it doesn’t seem like it’s changing much at all. When I saw that [shirt], it made me speechless. I couldn’t gather words to talk about it and I still have hard times putting that into words.”
Gray went on to clarify that he didn’t name For The Culture after the hashtag that Jordan Myles used to protest his treatment in WWE. The For The Culture hashtag has been a prominent part of the black community online,
“I had named the show days prior and had the graphics on my phone waiting to announce it. It was supposed to be announced on that Friday but we just didn’t get around to it. So, the show had already been named For The Culture way before the situation with Jordan Myles happened.”
Gray still has nobody confirmed for the show, outside of himself, and he promises “the most colorful show” of 2020.
“I’m not gonna confirm or deny anyone’s gonna be there outside of myself as I haven’t put the show together yet. I can’t tell you who’s gonna be there or who’s not gonna be there. But I can tell you it’s gonna be one of the most colorful shows and has the potential to be one of the best shows the entire weekend if not all of 2020.”
GCW For The Culture will be a part of the GCW Collective. A collection of independent shows that will take place during WrestleMania weekend.