Dark Sheik is part of EFFY's Big Gay Brunch 9 at WrestleMania Week in Philadelphia. | Franny Crocker

The success of “EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch” shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.

What started during a special The Collective weekend in Oct. 2020 as a tool to elevate LGBTQ names in pro wrestling on the Game Changer Wrestling stage is now an international phenomenon with multiple events throughout the year.

It remains a fixture of GCW’s WrestleMania Week festival of pro wrestling, but it has broken through that designation. Last year saw four different “Big Gay Brunch” events in Los Angeles, Chicago, North Carolina and Liverpool in the U.K., each displaying the talents of out LGBTQ wrestlers from its respective region, alongside internationally known figures.

This year, as WrestleMania Week descends upon Philadelphia, the “Big Gay Brunch” will be in full swing yet again, already having one 2024 event in Tampa under its belt.

The card for Saturday’s “Big Gay Brunch 9” is littered with a who’s who of queer wrestling: 2023 QWI 200 #1 Max The Impaler, Dark Sheik, Allie Katch, Billy Dixon, Parrow, Sonny Kiss, Devon Monroe and Pollo Del Mar. It also features many breakthrough names from the community, including Don’t Die Miles, Karam, Ron Bass Jr., Keita, Monomoth, Rico Gonzalez and Aaron Rourke.

And, of course, the show’s namesake, EFFY, is poised to turn in another stellar outing.

In a recent conversation on the LGBT In The Ring podcast, EFFY described “Big Gay Brunch 9” as “a big party” for the LGBTQ pro wrestling scene. One big blowout event to cap off the busiest calendar year for both EFFY and the “Big Gay Brunch.”

EFFY expressed how the stresses of balancing the construction of five “Big Gay Brunch” events with the responsibilities of his own pro wrestling career have caused him to reevaluate how thin he spreads himself.

“This is my fifth in a calendar year … and that on top of wrestling 140 to 150 matches and going to three or four continents. It’s a lot at once,” he said. “The idea of continuing this cycle of [having] brunches every two or three months is a little bit overwhelming to me.”

While stressing that he isn’t “going away” and “EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch” isn’t going anywhere either, it is clear that EFFY, as fine as his new tattoo says he is, needs to find the correct balance for himself and his longevity. Hence why Saturday’s event feels like a monumental send off to an amazing year for queer pro wrestling as pro wrestling enters an era of likely fewer “Big Gay Brunch” events throughout the year.

“It’s not a going away party per se, but it is a party of, like, I don’t know how many more parties there will be over the course of this year,” EFFY said. “I would like to at least give people the chance of ‘Hey, this is a big one. Let’s chill for a second. Let’s make sure everything is actually fine and then we can jump back into doing more.”

There is at least one more “Big Gay Brunch” on the books for this year over in the U.K. where EFFY will team again with TNT Extreme Wrestling for the second “Big Gay Brunch U.K.” event, but the slate for mimosas and graps is malleable beyond that.

The added importance of what Saturday’s event represents, knowing that some form of scaling back is on the horizon, makes that morning’s energy feel that much more palpable heading into pro wrestling’s biggest week.

It feels like one of many culminations of what inspired EFFY heading into the first one nearly four years ago.

“I’m addicted to sort of poking the bubble,” he said. “I sort of want to see if reality is able to be changed or altered by my existence, and I think at this point, I’ve said this and some people kind of shudder a little bit because it sounds very egotistical, but I can look across the entire landscape of pro wrestling and say that without me existing it would look different.

“I’m not saying someone else would have stepped up. I’m not saying someone else wouldn’t have created the same thing. There was a need for us to put a highlight back on LGBTQ wrestlers, non-binary wrestlers, people who don’t fit in the mold,” he continued. “ I’m looking at everything. The wrestling business looks a lot different than it did before I started doing these things and that’s awesome.”

The party gets underway when “EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 9” emanates from Penns Landing Caterers in Philadelphia on Saturday, April 6, at 11AM ET. You can get tickets here. The event will also stream live on TrillerTV.