Wrestling should make wrestling fans happy. That’s a pretty basic mantra. I mean, that’s why we spend our time watching it and paying for the array of subscription services available. We watch it for those big moments that get us off the edges of our seats, those moments that make us scream at the top of our lungs. Sometimes though, it’s the smaller moments that give fans just as much joy.
There was no screaming from me this week, but I was beaming from ear to ear when Andrew Everett pinned Eli Drake to secure the Impact tag titles for him and DJZ.
They aren’t an established team, bound by years on the Indies together. They’re just two young guys bound by their equally difficult paths to the top in Impact Wrestling.
For DJZ, it’s been far from easy. From his debut in 2011, he looked like a real talent, even if a little green. He showed glimpses of his talents in the fatal four-ways he contested at Destination X in 2011 and Genesis in 2012, but there always seemed to be things hanging over him. There was obviously the Jesse Sorensen injury, then there was his bladder tumour in 2013. The poor man never seemed to get a break.
Even when those things seemed to fade into his rear-view mirro, a lack of direction and personality on screen seemed to be holding a back. The fact Z isn’t a talker seemingly meant he took a backseat to many other roster members who could but had nowhere near his talent level. He was stuck with the BroMans in a role that got him spotlight but also saw him relegated to little more than a warm body. Even the two X-Division title reigns never had the spark that I felt his abilities deserved.
Things had seemed on the way up during 2016 and early 2017, as he put on top performances against Lashley, Trevor Lee and Eddie Edwards. And then came that fateful match with Laredo Kid last April. A bad landing on a 450 splash left Z pain-stricken and severely injured. This wasn’t a band-aid and rest type of injury though. Phrases like ‘you might have to retire’ and ‘using a colostomy bag’ were floated around for a man just entering his 30s. There were some dark days and the injury definitely took its toll on him, but he made his way back. Stellar AAW appearances and a variety of other indie appearances followed but as far as Impact was concerned, he was persona non grata. In the year that he was gone from the company, nagging doubts crept into my mind. Would they really cut him? Would they let go of one of their best bell-to-bell talents? In the end they didn’t, and now he’s one half of your tag team champions. Good things come to those who wait I guess; both for Z and for me as a fan.
As for Everett, it’s always felt like Impact didn’t know what to do with him. He debuted in 2015 and then was absent for six months, having a strange on and off relationship with Trevor Lee and Shane Helms when he did return. He went from heel to face and back again more times than I care to remember and he never seemed to show his obviously immense talents. I had no idea whether Don Callis and Scott D’Amore would find a place for ‘The Skywalker’ in their vision for Impact, but I hoped they would. Everett was sent to NOAH for a tour, where he had a fun match-up with Taiji Ishimori and some entertaining tag team appearances. That obviously did the trick as he’s back, he’s found a friend and found himself some gold.
Both men now seem to have an identity and a direction. All they need now is a more consistent platform to prove what they can do. All we need is for DJZ to get a platform to do what he’s been doing in AAW, do what he’s been doing anywhere that’ll book him and that’s prove that he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world. And for Everett, well, that lad was born to fly.
Z and E’s victory might seem small in the grand scheme of things and it might amount to little more than footnote in Impact history. I don’t really care. However this story pans out, I know that it brought a smile to my face and brightened up my week. In my book that’s all wrestling should be about.
The Week in Review
- Josh Mathews was much better on commentary this week, although it’d be hard to be worse than his macabre showing last time out. That said, I want the Golden Announcer back.
- I wasn’t too hot on Tessa Blanchard’s Impact in-ring debut (it was fine, solid but unspectacular), but the post-match angle with Madison Rayne was a good step. I think Madison will be a good foil for Tessa, who already has the presentation and gimmick element nailed.
- Su Yung’s funeral for Rosemary was certainly something. I’m not sure what, but it was certainly something. Interesting to see how Rosemary makes her way out of that one, that’s for sure.
- The skits involving KM and Fallah Bahh have been superb. They have been consistently entertaining and are a much better use of Bahh than him continually losing. That said, I do have my reservations. I sincerely hope that they are not going for the big-man-is-sex-obsessed angle, because it’s never good. Bahh deserves more than that, for he is the self-appointed leader of Fat Kids around the world.
- They did a good job of building up the shows for the next two weeks on this episode. In two weeks at the special Under Pressure episode we get Pentagon/Aries for the world title, Allie/Su Yung for the Knockouts title and Rayne/Blanchard. Before that though, we will see LAX vs The Cult of Lee, OvE vs Drago & Aerostar, Moose against Kongo Kong and Matt Sydal defending the X-Division title against El Hijo del Fantasma. Announcing the line-up does half the promo work for you.
- I was interested we got a clean finish in the Eddie Edwards/Sami Callihan match. With everything in mind right now, all roads seem to point to an unsanctioned match of some kind at Slammiversary, something I’m all in on.
Well, until next time…