wrestling / Columns

ZeeWI: The Officially Unofficial GFW Grand Championship Rankings (Week 7)

September 14, 2017 | Posted by Dino Zee
GFW Grand Championship

A new week brings us to a new set of rankings for the toughest title in all of Global Force Wrestling, the Grand Championship! This week sees little movement in the rankings, but that’s not to say nothing happened!

What did happen, however, was a bit of miscommunication that saw the ZeeWI staff assume that Hijo de Fantasma would receive his championship match against Grand Champion Ethan Carter, III during last week’s Impact. Of course, that was simply our misunderstanding, and it will be Fantasma vs. Carter on this week’s show, for all the marbles!

However, with last week’s edition seeing more focus on the Tag, X, and Knockouts divisions – along with a GFW Global Title match, there just wasn’t enough time for big time moves in the Grand Championship rankings. This could all look to change after Thursday night, of course.

Let’s get to it! But first, please do remember…

In ranking the contenders, the following scientific criteria shall be considered:

1. Wins / Losses in recent outings
2. Crowd Response / Interest
3. Momentum Meter (Green, Yellow, Red)
4. Megamove

As Global Force Wrestling can, at times, be the Wild West, it is always difficult to try and instill some order, and that’s understood. Still, the second most important championship needs to have a clear path for those who hope to win it, and I intend to provide it.

For this, the introductory week, we will cover only the Champion and Top 3 Contenders. Should reader response and/or GFW circumstances demand it, we will expand them.
On to the rankings! (Writer’s Note: Don’t forget – if it hasn’t aired, it isn’t official!)

Champion: Ethan Carter, III
Last Week: Champion

He is not too far away from competing against what could be one of his most difficult challenges to date. Sure, Carter has long boasted about the list of Hall of Famers he has defeated, but the more astute fan recognizes that most of those wins were acquired under less than honorable circumstances. And while he has shown that he’s still not above accepting a questionable victory, he has also grown by leaps and bounds when compared to the guy that was stealing victories from Sting.

Carter knows that in Hijo de Fantasma, he faces someone he’s not yet wrestled in the company, and faces a man who has really been on fire since showing up. A win here for the champion will definitely help legitimize a reign that, over a month old, hasn’t seen Carter do much of anything.

On the other hand, a loss here would be devastating. Should Carter lose the belt in his first defense, he will absolutely plummet down the rankings, and who knows how long it will be before he gets another crack at the belt? I mean, hell, look at Moose for the perfect comparison, and Moose had successful defenses under his belt!

This columnist expects EC3 to walk out as champion once Impact has concluded, but make no mistake: this is a big match for Carter, and he’s all in. A loss here is going to destroy all the momentum he’s built back up for himself after wandering aimlessly through the majority of the summer.

#1 Contender: El Hijo de Fantasma
Last Week: #2 Contender

For the first time in the history of these rankings, someone besides Moose or EC3 takes one of the top two spots, as we felt that Hijo de Fantasma deserved the #1 spot. He’s the one actually competing for the title, and while Moose still deserves a rematch, he hasn’t shown any desire to actually get it.

Fantasma will look to utterly confuse Carter with his mastery of lucha libre, throwing things from all angles at the champion. He needs to use his superior speed and stamina to keep things in perpetual motion, because if he gives Carter any opportunity to slow the match down, that could prove to be his undoing.

We know that the challenger has an incredible aerial assault, as well as some very powerful strikes, but this columnist thinks that Fantasma would be smart to target something of an old injury, and go after EC3’s arm. It was only a couple years ago that Carter’s bicep was shredded, and it took him quite a while to fully heal. A healthy array of arm drags could slowly chip away at the once ruined limb, and could cause a real panic inside the champion, who would grow increasingly desperate to survive.

This is an incredible opportunity so early into his GFW run, and Hijo de Fantasma knows that he has to make the best of it. If he can pull off the win, the world is his. But if he falls short? It’s just a simple walk to the back of the line while everyone tells you “good try!”

#2 Contender: Moose
Last Week: #1 Contender

With each passing week, the ZeeWI staff grows increasingly weary with Moose and his complete lack of passion.

The man was robbed of the Grand Championship, and since then, has done everything but demand his rematch. He’ll hang out with EC3 backstage, he’ll ask for a spot in the Gauntlet for the Gold, he’ll even head to Mexico to take part in a battle royal. But ask for his rightful title shot? No way.

And you know what? After some thought, it seems pretty obvious why.

Moose can’t handle losing. He doesn’t like the pressure of it all, and he doesn’t like having to realize that someone beat him. That’s why he can hang out in gauntlets and battle royals – even if he doesn’t win, it’s not like he was actually defeated. It’s a lot easier to handle getting tossed over the top rope than to, say, deal with getting pinned or giving up.

It appears that Moose has been completely shaken after the EC3 debacle, and he’s not done anything to right the wrong. This is astounding when you consider that, immediately after he lost his belt, nearly everyone was of the opinion that Moose was the victim of a horrendous judging decision by Bruce Prichard. No one considered Moose the beaten man. No one but Moose, perhaps, judging by his actions (or lack thereof) since then.

The man his going to have to realize that losing goes with winning, and it happens to everyone. If he can’t, then he may have chosen the wrong profession. Either way, if this lack of hunger persists, then it’s only a matter of time before Moose disappears from the rankings completely.

#3 Contender: Low Ki
Last Week: #3 Contender

Low Ki holds tight at #3 due to general lack of activity, but also due to his being named in a #1 Contender’s match for the GFW Title against Johnny Impact. Unlike Moose, Low Ki decided that he wasn’t going to just lay down after GFW Management took away his championship opportunity. He went straight to Jim Cornette and basically threatened incredible violence if the wrong wasn’t made right.

Ki also found some fire last week, reminding Johnny that this wasn’t any other place for which he’s worked prior, and that this was, in fact, Low Ki’s house. For the first time in a long time, Low Ki is the full world beater many of us have known him to be. A win over Johnny puts him right back where he wants to be.

But even a loss – as long as it’s competitive – will see his stock stay relatively high, leaving him in the perfect position to attempt to win the Grand Championship. Hell, if Low Ki were to beat Johnny and win the GFW Title, yours truly could still see him attempt to capture the Grand Championship as well, to fully solidify not only the stranglehold of gold that LAX is attempting, but to simply prove that he is the one with all of the power. Low Ki loves himself some power.

The good thing here is that, unlike his opponent, Low Ki has accomplished many, many things in the company, and one loss is not going to break him. Whereas Johnny Impact needs to prove he belongs, Low Ki is simply looking to earn some gold. Ki knows this, and knows that this match will not break him. That’s got to be a good feeling.

#4 Contender: Eddie Edwards
Last Week: #4 Contender

Eddie Edwards holds tight in the #4 spot, simply due to who he is. The man is always a top contender, and has come within an angel’s breath of winning the Grand Championship before. He may not have been active last week, but as mentioned earlier, nearly nobody in the “division” was, so that wasn’t going to hurt him too badly.

Challenging the winner of EC3/Fantasma would be an excellent move for the former TNA World Champion, and would provide Edwards with not only another championship opportunity, but would also give the GFW fans a chance to see an incredible matchup, regardless of who the champion is.

Eddie’s definitely been paying a bit more attention to the GFW Global Title scene, especially since he was the last man eliminated in the Gauntlet for the Gold, but if more and more challengers keep coming out of the woodwork, Edwards would be smart to take the less direct route to another chance at the Global Title – as the Grand Champion looking to settle the argument about which champion is better.

The surest thing we can say about Eddie at this point is that he needs to stay away from helping others fight their battles. He’s too high up the ladder to settle for tag matches and being the nice guy. He’s already done this, and it ended up with he and his wife being involved in a violent feud.

Of course, while this columnist thinks the lesson he should have learned from the breakup of the Wolves is that Eddie needs to be his own man, perhaps having his “brother” turn on him like that made Eddie learn that he should never try to spread his wings again. And that, if true, would be the saddest lesson ever learned.

#5 Contender: Johnny Impact
Last Week: Unranked

Just edging out Colby Covington this week for the #5 spot is Johnny Impact, who is doing everything he can to live up to his name while in GFW. He wants title shots, he’s picking fights with LAX… there’s nothing that can stop Johnny from rising to the top!

Well, maybe Low Ki, but we’ll find that out soon enough!

Like Low Ki, Johnny Impact is in a spot where losing out on a GFW Title shot isn’t exactly the end. Unlike Low Ki, Impact will have to work just a little bit harder to keep himself in the limelight, as “showing up” isn’t enough anymore.

Should Impact fall short against Ki, there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t consider challenging the Grand Champion, as whoever holds the belt would make for quite the matchup.

In Hijo de Fantasma, Impact would face off with someone that, due to Lucha Underground, he’s more than a tad familiar. On top of that, the matches would be highly athletic and competitive, which would only help the stock of the championship itself.

If it’s EC3, then Impact has the chance to make his mark against THE MAN of the company. A word of warning, though – many have tried to knock EC3 off his perch as their initial statement, and many have failed miserably in doing so. Impact has all the confidence in the world – and with good reason – but underestimating someone like Ethan Carter would be a huge mistake.

Before we get there, though, we’ll have to see if he’s first going to make the mistake of underestimating Low Ki. If Impact walks out victorious, then maybe he’s truly reached the point where his skill can overcome anything, even taking an opponent lightly.

Further GFW Musings

Welcome back, DJ Z.

There’s really nothing else to be said here, but allow me to indulge myself here.

DJ Z is a wrestler I’ve long been a fan of, for a variety of reasons. The first time I saw “Shiima Xion” wrestle, I knew TNA had found a very fun talent. He would of course change his moniker to “Zema Ion,” where he’d eventually win the X Division championship. He’d then form a friendship with Robbie E and Jessie Godderz – the BroMans – where he worked as their personal DJ, eventually rolling with the name DJ Z.

It was during this time that Z would prove to be more than simply a high flying wrestler on a roster full of them. He was able to display his comedic chops, and show that he could easily exist in the background while still bringing the entertainment.

As all things in wrestling do, the team would eventually fall apart, with Z looking to once again be his own man. He succeeded in that mission, once again capturing the X Division championship, while also captaining the idea of Team X Gold, which allowed the X Division to shine on its own in a series of enthralling six man tags.

DJ Z was the driving force of the X Division the last few years, and things seemed to really be looking up for the man.

And then, he was severely injured while wrestling in Mexico. He didn’t get the best immediate care, and things nearly took a terrible turn for the worst. Luckily, the fight he shows on TV doesn’t even come close to matching the fight he has within himself, and the man started to heal. He persevered. He rebounded completely.

At TripleMania XXV, DJ Z (along with Andrew Everett) returned to wrestling. Even better, he faced his demons and returned to the place he was injured. And he looked fantastic.

TripleMania XXV will always be two things to me, and they hit on opposite ends of the spectrum: the sheer pain and sadness I felt watching Dr. Wagner Jr unmask is something I can’t describe. I’m too old to have reacted the way I did, but I basically joined in with the rest of the men, women and children in the arena as a few tears welled up. That was definitely a rough point.

Luckily, on the other side, I got some tears of joy at seeing DJ Z return, and looking as great as he ever has. His GFW return is imminent, and this columnist fully expects him to pick up where he left off.

Welcome back, DJ Z. We really missed you.