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Thread: Eli Drake thread

  1. #1
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    Eli Drake thread

    I remember when I was fed up to the back teeth with what was still TNA wrestling, and I couldn't find a lot to like about the product, and one of the few things that offered me any kind of optimism was a young fella called Eli Drake. Yes, he was a million miles away from the finished article, but I can remember thinking even at that early stage that he offered some sort of promise that few others, even more established stars on the card, were giving to the company at that point in time. He seemed to me to have the potential to develop some kind of starpower.

    I'm not surprised, then, after the madcap few years for the company and the talent that have found their way out the door, that when I finally caught a GFW show again Eli Drake was the GFW Champion. It always felt like more a question of 'when' rather than 'if'. But I've got no real idea on how he is getting on, because I've seen maybe two shows this year. So, thoughts on Eli Drake as GFW Champion?

  2. #2
    The Brain
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    Haven't checked him out since winning the title but I agree, he's one of the best options the company has right now. Driven, charismatic, good on the mic, genuinely over... the only thing he was really missing was the ring work, which was not terrible but pretty basic. Then again, he's probably better at drumming up buzz than just about anyone else on the roster now, except maybe EC3, who is in a similar vein (and probably more polished). If they had invested in Eli Drake as soon as they switched over, I probably would have stuck it out a little longer. Infinitely better choice than Del Rio, that's for sure.

  3. #3
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    I don't understand why anyone would run with Del Rio at this point. The man defies all logic. He's not bad in he ring. He's not bad on the mic. But for whatever reason he sucks the life out of pretty much any situation he is involved in. You'd be hard pushed to name someone I'd give him TV time ahead of, to be honest.

    I do look at the other alternatives and they're either guys who are perhaps over exposed from previous days or who don't really inspire for other reasons. So it's Drake or a path we've been before.

    I do think EC3 is more polished, for sure. But I will say this. While I don't think he is as good now, I think that Drake's potential upside could be even higher than Ethan's. I don't know that there is any evidence that he will make it to that level, but if he does I think he'll be the bigger deal of the two. The only thing really working against him in that is they are the same age, so you wonder if he'll have the time to deliver on that potential - he's probably only got another 3-4 years in which he can realistically improve left.

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    Holy shit, did not realize Drake was in his mid 30s. Good for him for exploding like he has at this point in his career. One thing he has in his favor is he's never worked a really intense schedule as far as I can tell, so his body may hold up longer than others. It's not like his style is incredibly athletic or anything, in fact it's pretty basic but if he can keep delivering in promos and on raw charisma, he could stick it out longer than some others.

  5. #5
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    There's a lot to be said for being a bit of a throwback in the current environment, too. Might be an efficient way to actually stand out a bit.

  6. #6
    The Brain
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    I mean, that's the entire shtick of the Revival and people love them, right? Although they are throwbacks in an entirely different way, but I think the point still stands. Drake is the guy who draws you in with promos and charisma, and that alone can carry a long way.

  7. #7
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    Holy shit, just noticed that he's actually only a couple of months away from being the longest reigning TNA/GFW/Impact champion since the awesome Bobby Roode run in 2011/2012.

    Bobby Roode 256 days (2011-12)
    AJ Styles 211 days (2009-10)

    are the only two to hold it for more than 200 days, but of the more recent champions...

    Lashley (175)
    Jeff Hardy (147)
    Kurt Angle (145)
    Bully Ray (130)
    Magnus (128)
    Lashley (113)
    Roode (111)
    Eli Drake (110)


    So he'll pass some of those guys this week. He'll pass most of them by the middle of January if he's still champion. And if he could hold onto the strap until May, he'd be the longest reigning champion in history. That last one seems a bit of a stretch to be honest, but at this point the Lashley reign of 175 days looks very vulnerable. Early February isn't that far away.

    I know they are high on him but I didn't realise they were quite this high on him until you see that they've gotten behind him more than the previous regime got behind almost anyone.



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  8. #8
    The Brain
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    I dunno Pete, that's a lot of guys still ahead of him, and to get to that top level he's got to hold it a LOT longer. I'd say they're invested in him in about the same level as their other hot champs of the past several years. If he's still holding the belt at the next Slammiversary, then we'll have something to marvel over.

  9. #9
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    If he's champion at Slammiversary then he'll be the longest reigning champion ever. On New Year's Day if he's still champion he will be right up by Angle, so most are right near him now.

    I don't think he's a marvel but he's way further up than I thought, is all, and he is hard on the heels of most. Just interesting that they're quietly letting him get there.



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  10. #10
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    well besides Johnny Impact, i don't think they have other challengers to take the title off him. I'm rarely impressed by a title reign unless they defend it often and against credible people. With Impact being a taped tv company, you can't have champions losing titles every taping.

    I'm not saying they aren't high on him..they are but when you don't have worthy competition, its hard to just lose the title.

  11. #11
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    That does have to be factored in, definitely, though EC3 would count as someone who could take the title anytime they want to change it up.



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  12. #12
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    Apparently Drake will be making a championship address on the next Impact, which based on the last few times I've seen him might be worth tuning in for on it's own.



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  13. #13
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    Wonder where Drake goes without the title. I think that they have to make something of him losing it either by trying to bounce back or a little character niche.

  14. #14
    The Brain
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    I think he's talented enough that it won't be a problem, though you have to wonder if he's now eyeing another possible NXT run as well. He brings nearly everything that EC3 does to the table and they made a big deal of signing him, and I think it would potentially be a good fit for him right now.

  15. #15
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    I think EC3 is a better talent and NXT doesn't need to be signing MORE guys to fill the same tired midcard heel role but maybe Drake could bring something else.

  16. #16
    The Brain
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    I also think EC3 is a better talent, but WWE is all about signing everyone on the planet right now, so it could happen regardless. Honestly I wouldn't even be mad, as Impact seems like more of a sinking ship than ever and WWE is the best fit for someone with Drake's strengths.

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