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wrestling / Columns

ZeeWI: Moose vs. Drake

June 14, 2018 | Posted by Dino Zee
Impact Wrestling Drake vs Moose

This week on Impact, two of Impact’s biggest superstars will engage in a clash of wills, with the winner earning the opportunity to challenge Austin Aries at Slammiversary for the World Championship. The two have had a simmering rivalry over the last couple of months, and with both seemingly reaching their peak at the same time, we here in the ZeeWI offices thought it’d be the right move to break this match down!

In the interest of fairness, this columnist should probably admit to being a huge fan of E_Li_Drake, while Moose has found himself on the wrong end of some cutting, cutting commentary in these pages before. I see Drake as someone willing to do anything and everything to be considered the very best, while Moose has seemed disinterested and squandered some of his best opportunities to be the “Mr. Impact Wrestling” that he demands others call him.

That said, this will be a fair and impartial look at what to expect when these two lock horns in the hopes of earning a chance at unseating the Banana Champion himself!

The last time these two did battle, it was Drake that took home the win after hooking Moose up with a ticket for the Gravy Train. In that contest, he also took home Moose’s Feast or Fired briefcase which contained a guaranteed shot at the World Championship whenever desired. It was an insane risk for Moose to take in the first place, as he had exactly what he wanted, and allowed greed and pride to cloud his judgment. Drake was the one that wanted, and Moose accepting the “briefcase for briefcase” challenge was yet another bad decision in a long line of them.

In that match, Moose seemed overconfident, clearly underestimating his former World Champion opposition. Moose has, from day one in Impact, seemed to operate under the belief that his pure athleticism makes him better than anyone else on the roster, and there’s nobody, even on their best day, that can beat him.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with confidence. You should think you can beat everyone. But you should also, somewhere inside, also understand that your opponent has that same self-belief. And you should respect that they’re just as hungry as you. Moose consistently seems to disrespect his opponents, and the idea that he wouldn’t be prepared for something like Drake using a weapon when the referee wasn’t paying attention shows just how unprepared Moose was. And so, fittingly, the wrestling gods saw to it that he lost his guaranteed opportunity at a World Title match.

That was two months ago. Has Moose learned anything? Does Drake simply have his number?

Motivation

For Moose, the man claiming to be the face of the company, this match is everything and that cannot be stressed enough. Should he fall to Drake, then he is, at the very best, the #3 man in the company, and that’s being generous.

On top of proving that he’s better than Drake and avenging that loss a couple months ago, Moose will finally have a chance to shut the mouth of Aries, something he has clearly hoped to do for a while now. It was Moose who walked out on Aries as he addressed the Impact roster, and it was Aries who bristled at the idea of someone who does not hold the World Championship calling himself “Mr. Impact Wrestling.”

In two matches, Moose can shut two of the loudest mouths in the company, and prove his superiority to them where it matters most, in the ring. By beating Drake, he will erase his most glaring blemish on his recent record, and will own a victory over a well regarded former champion. He will leave no doubt as to who deserves to be considered the #1 Contender, and he’ll be able to head into Slammiversary with (presumably) no distractions.

Oddly enough, I think that the match with Drake is actually the bigger hump for him to get over. He has to prove he can beat Drake. If he can do that, he may be considered the favorite against Aries. But first, he has to show that he can put it all together against Impact’s very best all around talent.

Meanwhile, for Drake, the situation is reversed. This match with Moose is simply the means to an end. He’s beaten Moose already. He hasn’t beaten Aries, and that’s the match he’s after. In other sports, this is what we’d call a “trap” match. Drake needs to stay 100% focused on the task at hand, and cannot afford to look past Moose.

Moose may lack killer instinct on occasion, but he’s not one to let any mistakes slide, either. If Drake has his head in the clouds thinking about how sweet it’ll be to hold the belt again, he’ll most assuredly end up counting the lights.

And where Moose could be seen as the favorite in a match with Aries, Drake will enter Slammiversary as the decided underdog, even if he beats Moose! That’s what happens when the current champion has multiple victories over you in recent months.

Like I said, the stakes for both men are basically opposites of each other. This is the match for Moose; for Drake, it’s the match to get to the match that he most desires. Both run the risk of losing focus, but for very different reasons. It’s literally a battle between Moose’s arrogance and Drake’s obsession. If Moose finally understands what Drake is capable of and takes this challenge seriously, he’ll be fine. Likewise, if Drake can keep Aries and how he lost the Impact title out of his head, he’ll be able to bring his very best to Moose.

Crazy as it sounds, I have to give the edge to Moose here. He hasn’t proven anything yet, but carries himself like he has. This is his match to make the statement. I think he wants it a *tad* bit more than Drake wants to reign as champion again.

Extracurriculars

This is another area where I think Moose has the edge, and it’s really not close. Moose has been on a pretty even path lately, simply picking his spots to talk trash to Austin Aries, win a match here and there, and make sure that he stays relevant. He hasn’t picked fights with people he doesn’t need to fight, and he hasn’t stuck his nose into weird business. It’s all been about getting to the top of the company, to this point.

Drake, on the other hand, has been all over the map. A change in partners, a Tag Title run, losing a World Championship match, losing the Tag Team Titles, splitting up with the new partner, wrestling against the now ex-partner, and now here we are, with Drake taking a deep breath and deciding he wants another crack at the gold.

At some point, when is it too much? The man hasn’t had time to rest, to take stock in everything going on, and to formulate a real plan. This isn’t the Drake we usually know.

This isn’t a calculating man, using every possible advantage at his disposal. The E_Li_Drake that appeared on Fact of Life to list his Top 5 Dummies is clearly grasping at straws. Sure, on the surface, he managed to get himself back into the World Title picture. And he did it with a guy that he’s already tricked before, so he knew going back to the well would most likely be beneficial.

However, if you dig a little deeper, you see someone who is panicking a bit. He’s lost to Aries multiple times. He lost to Pentagon. His briefcases are gone. He has no backup. He’s lashing out at anyone and everyone, and hoping that it’ll all fall into place.

Meanwhile, Moose has only one goal: The World Title. Drake has overloaded his system with trying to prove everything to everyone, and he’s just screaming into the wind.

The Call

Look, I’m just as surprised as you are, but I think that Moose has started to put it together, and seems to have at least attempted to shore up the holes in his game. I also think that he’s catching Drake at the most perfect moment in time, and that his distracted opponent is going to overlook the challenge he has in front of him.

Moose wants Austin Aries, and he’s going to do whatever it takes to get to him. Unfortunately for this columnist, that means that Drake’s coming up short, and he’s going to have to figure out a different path back to the top.

This Thursday night, Moose gets the win and punches his ticket to Slammiversary.