Joe Hendry makes things better. He can wrestle, he can sing…
As a firm supporter of the British wrestling scene, and in particular the much maligned Scottish portion of the country (there is good talent there, it’s just booked terribly and concentrated in one poor promotion), it really pleased me that Joe Hendry is now signed with Impact Wrestling.
The Prestigious One, for those of you who don’t know, made his professional wrestling debut back in 2013 and has achieved most notoriety for his appearances in ICW and WCPW/Defiant Wrestling. His stint in ICW was considerably longer, although his only taste of gold was a brief tag title run with Davey Blaze, whereas he had a long, if disappointing, heavyweight title reign in Defiant.
Hendry shot to prominence with his innovative, theatrical entrances. The customised theme songs for his opponents, usually parodies of well-known songs like ‘Boom Boom Boom’ by the Venga Boys or ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ by Shania Twain, made him a star in ICW and subsequently saw him get opportunities further afield. He will also be a part of the new ITV WOS wrestling show, which begins in just under two weeks.
For the moment, it appears that Hendry’s first feud will be with the recently re-signed Eli Drake. That’s a great pairing as it will allow Hendry to show off his charisma and presumably produce a great entrance, whilst it will also give Drake something to sink his teeth into.
Beyond that it seems likely he’ll be battling Grado for the affections of Katarina, something the commentary have already started to play upon. It’s not a feud I’d choose, and it seems like the obvious route to go for, but it would be one that would give Hendry some firm character definition.
In the long-term though, that’s where Hendry’s future shines bright. To my reckoning, Joe Hendry is the natural successor to EC3. Like EC3 he’s not the most dynamic in-ring worker, he won’t blow anyone away with his matches, but he has the same charisma and fan interaction to cement him at the top of the card for some time to come.
The similarities don’t end there. Hendry’s entrance songs, even as a heel, are much like EC3’s mic work. They are so infectiously entertaining that he’ll be cheered eventually to the point that they have a red-hot babyface as well as a dastardly heel, giving them a booking flexibility that is always important. The flexibility that allowed EC3 to reinvent himself several times in his tenure with the company.
As the likes of Adam Cole, EC3 and Bobby Roode have proved over the years, not every top star needs to be a work-rate machine, and the odd individual who thrives on character is essential. Hendry would thrive in feuds with the likes of Austin Aries and Brian Cage, and as he’s only five years into his in-ring career, it’s fair to assume that his in-ring will continue to improve, especially with greater exposure to better opponents.
Likewise, Hendry’s qualification for the Commonwealth Games seems to have given him more motivation and he looks in better shape than he has been in a while.
In sum, I think Hendry is a phenomenal acquisition for Impact. He brings charisma in shedloads and is a personality they can market hugely. Add him into the mix with the rest of the talent Don Callis and Scott D’Amore are beginning to assemble, and things are continuing to look up for the company.
Look out for his in-ring debut next week, presumably against Eli Drake, as then you will all be able to see that Joe Hendry really does make things better. Impact Wrestling has been crying out for some big personalities for a while now, and Hendry has it in spades.
The Week in Review
- Viewership was down this week, but at 284,000 it is still an improvement on the figures for much of the last two months.
- DeAngelo Williams made his return to Impact this week, being used in a segment to get Austin Aries and Moose some more mainstream exposure. Just seeing him back in the ring made me think what might have been had he decided to stick around after Slammiversary last year.
- Shotzi Blackheart made her Impact debut this week, losing against Allie. I have no idea what her gimmick was supposed to be, and her repeated shouts of ‘Who’s your Daddy?’ freaked me out a bit, but her in-ring was solid and she’d be a solid addition to the women’s division.
- The six-man main event of this week’s show was brilliant. I was slightly annoyed they burned through several of Pentagon’s finishers in a mission to make Sami look strong, but the match was really fun and one of the best OvE bouts since they joined the company.
- Next week is the go-home show for Slammiversary, featuring Hendry’s in-ring debut, Sami Callihan in action and a confrontation between Moose and Austin Aries. My column next week will be the most detailed Slammiversary preview you’ll find anywhere on the internet, so check it out.
Well, until next time…