After Alberto El Patron was stripped of the Global Force championship as a result of a domestic dispute with Paige at an Orlando airport, it really stumbled the “fresh start” that the promotion had under the new ownership of Anthem. Despite being cleared legally, Alberto still remains suspended and it appears as though he could be finished with the company. An unfortunate set of circumstances led to his dismissal, but as I wrote previously, the face of a promotion has extra responsibilities, and if that athlete can’t avoid TMZ headlines, management needs to make the right PR move.
During the most recent TV tapings, Eli Drake won a battle royal to claim the GFW title. There were also debuts, returns, and a departure. Low Ki, the dynamic athlete that helped get Ring Of Honor off the ground in 2002 with a series of incredible matches, left Global Force again. According to The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, the former X Division champion initially agreed to a contract, but didn’t approve of the storylines planned for him. Reportedly, he wanted to be involved in the world title picture instead of typecast in the X Division. On the surface, this might sound unbelievable, but all things considered, Low Ki underachieved for the majority of his career. And, not for a lack of talent, as he’s undoubtedly one of the most skilled athletes of his generation, but rather the complete opposite. With the tremendous talent that he has, Low Ki should be a major star, but his notorious reputation as being difficult to work with limited his success. The fact that Low Ki had a dispute with nearly every major promotion he worked for speaks volumes about his perception of himself, but still doesn’t take away from the incredible ability that he has inside the squared circle. At 37, I’d guess his brief four month run on Impact will probably be his last month TV stint in the United States, which is disappointing because as I said, he should’ve been way more established than he was, but he seems to believe his own hype.
Just a few weeks ago, perhaps even more surprising than Low Ki’s return earlier this year, was Jim Cornette’s appearance in the Impact Zone as an authority figure. The legendary outspoken former manager of the Midnight Express was quite critical of nearly everything in modern wrestling, calling Anthem’s acquisition of TNA, “too little, too late” after the purchase was made. Unfortunately, similar to Low Ki, Cornette seemed to have a dispute with nearly every place he worked in recent years. The infamous slap to a trainee Santino Marella in 2005 led to his exit from WWE’s developmental program. He left Total Nonstop Action because of the incompetence of the regime that ran the promotion at the time and his hatred for Vince Russo in 2009. He left Ring Of Honor under less than good circumstances in 2012 before he took nearly a year away from the sport he followed his entire life. He resurfaced with a podcast and social media platform, which enhanced his status as one of the most polarizing figures in the industry. While he often made intriguing points and provided some of the most interesting historical discussion in the genre, there were also many ridiculous comments that left even those that respect him shaking their heads.
Still, the Louisville Slugger’s return shouldn’t be all that surprising. Obviously, anything can happen in the wrestling business so despite any negative comments previously, the nature of the industry allows critics to return. Also, with Jeff Jarrett back as the creative “force” under the Anthem banner, it makes sense that a former Memphis mainstay would appear on television again. Jeff’s grandmother, Christine Jarrett, who worked at the original Memphis wrestling office in the 1950s, was one of the people responsible for Cornette’s introduction into the wrestling business. At 14, he began as a photographer and since he wasn’t old enough to drive, his mother that he later referenced in some of his debut promos drove him to the events. Mrs. Cornette and Christine Jarrett became friends so there are generations of history between the two families.
Don’t get me wrong, I respect everything that Jim Cornette accomplished and he’s unquestionable one of the most knowledge minds in the sport, but it just seems like an odd decision to bring him back to TV, especially when there are hours of audio and video footage that criticize the company. According to comments he made on his podcast after the segment aired, Cornette didn’t sign anything long term. As a verbal figure, he will be an asset, but all things considered, you must wonder if the conclusion of this run will be similar to his previous wrestling stints of the past 15 years?
It was nice to see that Petey Williams did a run-in at the GFW tapings. One of the TNA originals, Petey was a solid in-ring performer that consistently delivered quality matches, even if he wasn’t necessarily going to be a main eventer. It was disappointing that he became so well known for the Canadian Destroyer that most of his other work was overlooked. A victim of TNA’s often illogical booking, he had various stints in the company, and on the independent scene before he retired from professional wrestling to take a better job outside of the industry. An athlete the caliber of Petey should be able to make a living in pro wrestling so it was extremely disappointing to hear that he left the sport because it wasn’t a realistic financial option for him. Hopefully, this GFW debut is a fresh start for him and he will be a solid addition to the X Division.
Taya Valkyrie, the Canadian athlete that made a name for herself in AAA in Mexico and on Lucha Underground in the United States, was trained by the underrated legend Lance Storm. Taya also did some WWE extra work at various times and was offered a contract at one point, but didn’t get a chance to sign a deal. If anything, Taya deserves this opportunity and could add depth to the Knockouts division.
John Morrison, known as Johnny Impact made his Global Force Wrestling debut. Truthfully, it’s surprising that the real-life John Hennigan hasn’t worked for Impact until now, but it’s possible it was simply a matter of the right amount of money since Dixie Carter couldn’t pay to keep the company afloat previously. Regardless, Anthem has the cash, and Johnny Impact signed a deal. Despite the tacky name, Hennigan could use GFW to reestablish himself on TV in the United States and the deal could be beneficial for the company as well. Hennigan presents himself as a star, which gives GFW some needed star power. Although, it remains to be seen if the recent additions will actually boost the company.