The rise of AEW at the start of 2019, along with WWE’s continued expansion into Europe, has generated the first genuine professional wrestling ‘contract season’ in quite some time and now Impact Wrestling is getting in on the action.
Over the last week, it was announced that Rosemary, Fallah Bahh (my guy!) and Sami Callihan have joined Eddie Edwards in signing new contracts with the company, whilst it was also revealed that Madison Rayne will be making her return to the Knockouts division.
The biggest story, however, is the new talent Impact have begun to add to their roster. Ace Austin is one such talent, and he’ll make his official debut next week, but the name I wanted to focus on this week was Josh Alexander, who was awarded a three-year deal with the promotion by Scott D’Amore a week or so ago.
Apologies for the language in the video. After watching @Walking_Weapon develop and mature over the years, I got a little emotional being able to be the one to sign him to an @IMPACTWRESTLING Contract@milanmiracle @DestinyWrestle @BCWwrestling @CyrusOverHuge @realjoshmathews pic.twitter.com/KJtVkeMzIh
— Scott D'Amore (@ScottDAmore) February 24, 2019
AEW’s growth and the big American promotions fighting over the top talent means that Impact not only needs to keep the elite talent it currently has like Brian Cage, Eli Drake, Eddie Edwards and Moose, but also invest in talent who are not at the red-hot level right now but that they can develop into major company stars.
Alexander fits the bill perfectly.
The 31-year-old Canadian has been a professional since 2005/2006 and has been a mainstay of the Canadian scene, winning titles with C4 Wrestling and Alpha-1. He has also made appearances for PWG, AAW and Ring of Honor, where he had a really fun singles match with Michael Elgin back in 2015.
However, it has been far from plain sailing for the man known as the ‘Walking Weapon’ in recent years. He broke his neck a couple of years back and got fairly out of shape, only to then suffer consistent visa issues which prevented him from working much in the United States. He has used that as motivation however, continuing to bust his ass to make a name for himself across Canada.
Alexander wrestled a few times for Impact last year, appearing on Xplosion against Killer Kross and Matt Sydal, as well as taking on Trevor Lee and Sami Callihan on the Twitch and One Night Only specials. The battles with Callihan were tremendous, especially their steel cage match which saw Alexander get pretty badly busted open.
Sporting his distinctive wrestling head guard, a product of Alexander having to have his ear removed and reconstructed following a match with ACH in 2013, Alexander has the ability, presence and backstory to be a major star for Impact.
On the promotion’s most recent Press Pass podcast, Alexander spoke about being a family man, someone who felt like wrestling was the only thing they were really any good at. You take that, his broken neck and visa issues into account, weaving in his Walking Weapon character that is prepared to wrestle anyone and everyone, and you have a bonafide babyface star you can push to the top.
It will be interesting to see how Alexander is used in Impact. He’ll be making his main roster debut at the next set of tapings in Windsor and with the next PPV, Rebellion, set to take place in Toronto at the end of April, it’s almost certain he’ll be featured on that card. To my mind, a singles push is almost inevitability with them having him tied down for three years right off the bat. However, in order to establish himself with the Impact fans, it’s likely he’ll have to go back to the path that got him over with many in the first place.
That path would be his tag team with Ethan Page, the Monster Mafia. Page is currently in the midst of a losing rut in Impact and the arrival of his best buddy and long-time tag team partner across the world would be the best story to get both men over. Likewise, with the Lucha Brothers likely on their way out of the promotion after Rebellion, Monster Mafia would be a major addition and driver for the tag division throughout the remainder of 2019 and perhaps beyond.
With every announcement of a signing or release at the moment, it’s very easy to get excited. Josh Alexander, however, is someone genuinely worth getting excited about in Impact Wrestling. A hard-worker with a tremendous backstory, I think we’re looking at the arrival of someone who’s going to be at the top of the card for a long time to come.
The Week in Review
- This week’s episode felt a lot like filler, focusing on developing current stories for bigger payoffs in the coming weeks. Still, it was enjoyable and viewing figures on Twitch continue to improve.
- Someone in the crowd shouted ‘Why are you still wrestling?’ when Tommy Dreamer came out. I concur good sir, I concur.
- I am probably in the minority but I really enjoyed this week’s match between Reno Scum and Fallah Bahh & KM. It was nice to see Reno Scum back in the company and I thought it allowed Bahh and KM to show more fire than they have to date as a team.
- Tessa Blanchard’s vicious streak continued this week as she defeated Delilah Doom in an entertaining follow-up to last week’s segment.
- Zachary Wentz is now just going as Wentz. Cool. His match with Ethan Page was good fun and advanced Page’s story a little further which was good.
- The tag team main event between Kross & Moose against Cage & Impact was good fun. I thought the ‘injury’ story they did with Impact was fun and Cage looked valiant in defeat. Johnny is turning heel and I’m loving it. Moose’s outfit, as always, was the highlight.
- Next week we’ve got the debut of Ace Austin, the Lucha Brothers against the Rascalz and Scarlett Bordeaux announcing who’ll she be facing in her in-ring debut.
Well, until next time…