wrestling / Columns

ZeeWI: The Officially Unofficial Grand Championship Rankings (Week 8)

September 21, 2017 | Posted by Dino Zee
GFW Grand Championship

Before we get underway, we at ZeeWI wanted to extend our love and condolences to the family, friends, and fans of the Greatest of All Time, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

My personal favorite Heenan moments were at WrestleMania VIII – his call of the Savage/Flair match, as well as his Arriba McIntyre joke as El Matador, Tito Santana, made his way to the ring. But all the words just don’t seem to do justice to his legacy.

Rest In Power, Brain

A new week brings us to a new set of rankings for the toughest title in all of Global Force Impact Wrestling, the Grand Championship! Last week, fans were treated to an incredible matchup between champion Ethan Carter, III and #1 Contender, El Hijo de Fantasma. The two battled back and forth, going tooth and nail, leaving it all in the ring, but after 9 grueling minutes of incredible action, the judges would decide that EC3 was the winner, albeit by split decision.

We also learned that Hijo de Fantasma doesn’t play, as he brought along some help after the match was over, and nearly got into an altercation with judge Hector Guerrero!

Johnny Impact, ranked last week, was victorious over Low Ki in a #1 Contender’s match, but will not be ranked this week as the ZeeWI staff felt that he would be focused in on the Heavyweight Championship for the time being.

Guys like Garza Jr and Grado also picked up wins – but were they enough to crack the rankings?

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 Impact 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.

To that end, we will break down the Top 5 in the Grand Championship Division, and hope to show the of Global Force Impact Wrestlers exactly where they stand!!!

On to the rankings! (Writer’s Note: Don’t forget – if it hasn’t aired, it isn’t official!)

Grand Champion: Ethan Carter, III (EC3)
Last Week: Champion

EC3 made it count this last week, successfully defending his Grand Championship against Hijo de Fantasma. However, it wasn’t all roses, as the victory was in the form of a Split Decision, meaning that Carter didn’t make all three judges believe he won, which has to leave a bad taste in his mouth.

Even worse, Carter would be attacked by not only an angry Fantasma, but a debuting Pagano as well. One has to wonder if there are potentially even more AAA wrestlers looking to make their way to Impact and, if so, if they’re also going to align with Hijo de Fantasma. If that’s the case, then what once looked like a wide-open division for EC3 to conquer could potentially be littered with people looking to take him out.

Carter may have thought that Moose was the one to worry about, but in an instant, everything changed, and he now apparently has to deal with an angry Fantasma, and a certifiably insane grappler in Pagano.

While the night didn’t end so well for the man, he remains the champion, and his win was definitely – in the eyes of this columnist – deserved. Beating someone as good as Fantasma, even in a contest as close as theirs, shows exactly where EC3 is on the pecking order, and that it’s not just hype when he proclaims that he’s the best guy here, the best guy there, the best guy everywhere.

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

Though he came up short last week, Hijo de Fantasma maintains his grip on the coveted #1 Contender spot this week on the strength of his impressive showing against EC3, as well as the events of the after party.

First things first, the fact remains that, in the eyes of one judge, Hijo de Fantasma should be recognized as the Grand Champion. In the eyes of one judge, he defeated EC3. While yours truly may not necessarily agree with the decision, I also don’t consider it something egregious. The match was close – neither man backed up, both had moments of brilliance, and both had moments of struggle – and when it was time to read the results, you could sense that the decision was one that took a lot of thought. Neither man dominated the match, but in the end, it was EC3 who convinced two of the three judges that he had done more.

Fantasma should be commended on the effort he put forth against one of the very best the company has on the roster. That he was seen as the victor by one of the judges absolutely holds water in these rankings.

Incredibly enough, that wasn’t all the man had planned. As mentioned, he would nearly fight Hector Guerrero before attacking EC3, which led to Pagano running out for the assist. Just like that, Fantasma went from someone trying to find his way in the company to someone making an absolute statement. From what we’ve seen out of this man in other promotions, EC3 would do well to keep both eyes on the #1 Contender, because Hijo de Fantasma is a dangerous, dangerous man.

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

Eddie Edwards moves up two slots this week thanks to others falling out, but also due to his own actions in the aftermath of the EC3/Fantasma encounter. While Fantasma and Pagano attacked EC3, no one came out to help. No one, of course, except for Eddie Edwards.

Taking that stand may put the man in danger, but Mr. AIP knows that weirder things have happened than someone earning a shot at a title because the champion is thankful for an assist. Luckily for Eddie, he is a lot more than a well-timed assist, and more than deserving for an opportunity at the belt he’s come so close to winning before.

Of course, there’s always the chance that Eddie will get wrapped up into a bigger feud with either Pagano or Fantasma (if not both), which could end up distracting him from the bigger goal of winning some gold, not unlike what happened with Tommy Rich in the Buzz Sawyer feud all those years ago.

However, if Eddie can keep the focus, dispatch of the threats, and keep on winning, he could easily find himself standing across the ring from the Grand Champion, with the title on the line, and the fans chanting his name. All in all, his moment of selfless heroism may end up benefitting himself the most! And best of all, Edwards knows he can beat anybody. That includes EC3.

#3 Contender: Moose
Last Week: #2 Contender

The fall continues for Moose.

Last week, we called Moose out for doing anything but try to win back the Grand Championship he wrongly lost, and said that if he couldn’t figure out the path to redemption, he’d disappear from these rankings sooner than expected.

And then he went and demanded an altercation with Lashley for some reason, which led to the entire American Top Team faction interjecting itself, and with Moose laid out on the canvas while a group of guys that we won’t presumably see for a while celebrated over him.

We know there was some unsettled issue from the TripleMania XXV battle royal, but Moose really picked a bad spot here. Lashley said he was already out the door, so there was nothing here for Moose to actually gain, outside of some bragging rights. The stupid move, of course, was trusting that it would only be he and Lashley fighting, as if the ATT goons hadn’t already displayed some disgusting tactics over the past few weeks.

The evidence is growing. Moose lacks a killer instinct, and seems all-too-eager to throw himself headfirst into the worst possible situation. One has to wonder if Moose will even be seen this week, or if he’ll be too injured to compete.

It’s been a rough, long fall for the former Grand Champion.

#4 Contender: Pagano
Last Week: Unranked

What a way to make a debut!

Pagano wasted no time with the company in making a statement, giving the assist to Hijo de Fantasma in a beatdown of EC3, until Eddie Edwards intervened. But you… you already knew that, because we already talked about it above.

Still, while not this columnist’s favorite wrestler, Pagano is not someone to take lightly. The man has a thirst for hardcore wrestling that we haven’t seen on a main stage in a while, and has no problem dishing out heaping helpings of pain. Also, you may not have heard this, but the man main evented TripleMania XXIV, so that’s something.

What plays biggest in Pagano’s favor, for now at least, is the unfamiliarity the rest of the roster has with him. They haven’t had time to study his moves and tendencies, to learn his weaknesses, or anything like that. Instead, all they know (much like all we know) is the reputation, and that’s still a scary thing to face.

Pagano is someone who isn’t afraid to lose, and his constant appearances in Luchas de Apuestas (mask vs. mask, mask vs. hair, etc. etc.), despite a less than stellar record in said contests, is proof of it. And at the end of the day, there is very rarely a more terrifying wrestler than the type that loves to hurt people, and doesn’t care if, along the way, he is injured as well. And if that guy has nothing to lose? Even worse.

These traits were on full display as Pagano jumped right into the fire and attacked one of the goliaths of the promotion. He could have easily opted for an easy introduction match, or cut some interview warning of what was to come, but instead, he chose to make his mark in the best way possible – by assaulting one of the very best around.

Impact Wrestling has a new problem on its hands, and it’s up to everyone to figure out the solution to the Pagano puzzle.

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

Low Ki fought hard, but in the end, he was unable to secure the win against Johnny Impact in his match to determine a #1 Contender for the Heavyweight Championship. Low Ki would miss an attempt at Warrior’s Way, which gave Impact the opportunity to hit Starship Pain and get the win.

While Johnny now looks towards a shot at E_Li_Drake, Low Ki faces a far more uncertain future. He had his chance – it was earned, and it was a fair match – and he came out the loser. He can’t continue to harp on the situation that kept him from challenging Alberto El Patrón for the belt anymore. He can’t blame anyone for holding him back, and he can’t proclaim that Johnny Impact hasn’t earned anything.

So, where does Low Ki go from here? Longtime fans know that he isn’t one to stay in a certain place for too long, and with his chances at gold seemingly gone for the time being, is it possible that Low Ki will once again hit the road in search of something better?

It’s not out of the question, but until that actually happens, he still has to be considered a dangerous man in the company, one who is absolutely capable of winning any match he’s in. And if that match happens to be for the Impact Grand Championship, then this columnist would not be betting against Low Ki.

Still, just like Moose, Low Ki has found himself in an absolute “must-win” situation, and he needs to fix things fast.

What about you guys? Agree with the rankings? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!!!

Further GFW Impact Musings…

In this life, you have to take care of the ones that are taking care of you. If you don’t, even if it’s not immediate, you may find yourself without them.

This past Thursday, Braxton Sutter may have finally received his first lesson on this idea.

After weeks of displaying a crummy attitude to Allie, along with threatening Garza Jr. the week before for daring to check on Allie following an attack by Taryn Terrell, Sutter found himself on the losing end against Garza. During the match, Allie had been in harm’s way when the action went outside, and Sutter only seemed to care about himself, while Garza displayed some concern for Allie’s well-being.

When the match was over, Allie still tried to do right, checking on Sutter. Braxton, obviously fed-up from the BS of losing to Garza, instead greeted Allie with some harsh words, basically scolding her in front of everyone, as he has tended to do these last few weeks.

This time, however, Allie seemed to have enough. When Braxton tried to take her by the hand and lead her out of the ring, she pulled her hand from his and held his ground. “Don’t let him do that!” could be heard from the fans, as the Impact Zone had clearly grown tired of Saxton’s actions recently. After some more talking, Braxton was able to get Allie to go with him, and the two would head backstage, still discussing what happened.

Is it possible that Sutter finally realized that Allie isn’t going to continue to take his crap? Did Braxton finally realize that he’s taking all of his frustrations out on the wrong person? Allie seemed to get through to Braxton, if only temporarily, and maybe that gave him the moment of clear-thought that he so desperately needs.

Sutter needs to recognize that the only reason he hasn’t had the success he wants lately is because of himself. He’s become distracted, and seems to want to convince himself that Allie is the cause of all of his woes, despite the fact that together, the two achieved more than they ever could apart.

Allie needed Braxton to help her break away from Maria, Laurel Van Ness, and Sienna. Braxton needed Allie to tell him he was good enough to compete with the very best in the company. To make him believe the words she said. And both filled that role to perfection.

Sutter’s long-known distaste for BS will, hopefully, help him realize that he’s the one that’s been in the wrong. He needs to cut the crap, and either cut Allie loose, or be the man he said he was when they first met.

Braxton’s wide-eyed routine may have worn thin when he first got here, but this malcontent who blames everyone but himself is even worse. And if he keeps it up, he will literally have no one left to blame, but the knit-cap wearing guy staring back at him in the mirror.