wrestling / Columns

ZeeWI: The Officially Unofficial Impact Wresting Grand Championship Rankings (13th Edition)

December 14, 2017 | Posted by Dino Zee
EC3 Ethan Carter III GFW Impact Wrestling Grand Championship

After a two-month break, the rankings for the toughest title in all of Impact Wrestling, the Grand Championship, are back!! After much discussion amongst the staff, we have decided to make this a monthly feature, as having weekly rankings just didn’t allow for much time or movement. We feel that visiting these rankings once a month will allow for more tomfoolery, chicanery, and shenanigans to take place, and allow for a fairer list.

Since our last rankings, we’ve seen Ethan Carter continue to reign as the champion, but he’s absolutely had his moments of weakness. Is it possible that it’s all coming down around him? Or is it just a testament to the strong roster that Impact Wrestling provides? Time, it appears, will truly tell.

So, who came out on top in that tag encounter, and did that result shake up the rankings? Did Trevor Lee manage to hold on to his #5 spot last week, or did his team’s defeat in six man tag action cost him an appearance this week?

When the action is this hot and heavy, you know that something’s gotta give. So, who’s in? Who’s out?

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 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 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)
Ranking on 10/19/17: Champion

Carter managed to escape the feud with the AAA Invaders with the Grand Championship around his waist, which was no small feat whatsoever. Despite weeks of attacks and challenges, he was able to turn Fantasma, Texano, and Pagano away, and finally defeated them in the big six man tag at Bound For Glory. Of course, credit to James Storm and Eddie Edwards for their role in the win, as well.

Since then, EC3 has been back to his usual charming self. He’s taken to calling out Matt Sydal for supposedly being a “choke artist”, and takes glee in watching Sydal come up short. However, this columnist was a bit confused at Carter’s reaction after his recent Grand Championship defense against Sydal ended in a draw. Obviously EC3 is more than happy to remain the champion, but if he’s mocking Sydal for not winning the match, shouldn’t that same shame fall on EC3? I mean, he failed to beat someone who, according to EC3 himself, can’t win the big one. That’s not a good look if you’re trying to espouse how great you are.

Regardless, he remains the champion, and with his other successful defense over Fallah Bahh some weeks back, Carter has definitely made this division his. It’s up to everyone else to catch up to the best guy here, the best guy there, and the best guy everywhere.

#1 Contender: Matt Sydal
Ranking on 10/19/17: Unranked

Matt Sydal jumps to the top of the list on the strength of his performance against EC3 last week, and it’s really as simple as that. While he didn’t get the win, he also didn’t lose, and that’s a pretty impressive achievement on its own.

Sydal has, as noted above, been dogged by Carter recently for an assumed inability to succeed in the biggest matches, and even earning a draw with the champ did little to quiet that chatter. It feels unfair that he’s in a position of “Beat one of the very best on the roster, or you’re a choke artist,” but them’s the breaks in Impact. Sydal wants to be more than a great X Division wrestler, and that means taking on the big hosses on the roster.

One would have to assume that Reborn will get another crack at EC3 soon, and he’s going to have to bring all of his tricks to get the job done. It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. An incredible 2018 awaits him. He just has to win the big one.

#2 Contender: Fallah Bahh
Ranking on 10/19/17: Unranked

One month ago, Fallah Bahh turned what seemed like a random match into a possible springboard to his own stardom. No one really thought that Bahh was actually going to beat EC3 – no one willing to put money on it, at least – but that didn’t seem to really throw him off his game.

With a slow and steady build of momentum, Bahh started winning the fans on his side, and was more than holding his own with EC3. One small mistake – taking his eye off his opponent – would end up costing him the match, with EC3 suckering Bahh into thinking he was out of it enough to attempt a Banzai Drop. Carter would take advantage of the break in the action by rising to his feet, slamming his challenger to the mat from the turnbuckle and, with his feet in the ropes, get a rollup for the win.

Yes, Bahh lost. But he hasn’t forgotten how close he came to scoring the huge upset. He knows he can do it. It was just one small mistake.

That desire to get to EC3 may have been the reason we saw a draw in last week’s contest between Carter and Sydal. It was Fallah Bahh, inexplicably given a role as one of the three judges, who cast the deciding 10/10 score. There are three questions, and presumably one has “yes” as its answer:

1 – Did he really believe that the final round was a draw?

2 – Did he score it a draw to make sure Sydal didn’t lose?

3 – Did he score it a draw to make sure EC3 kept his belt?

We have to assume that he didn’t speak to the other judges, and so proving that he scored the final round the way he did knowing it would lead to a draw is a hard charge to prove. But we don’t know. We don’t know why he went with the 10/10 score. But we do know that he’s managed to keep himself in the picture for a major championship in Impact Wrestling.

That’s a big step up from tagging with Bokara.

#3 Contender: James Storm
Ranking on 10/19/17: #3 Contender

While he came up short in an embarrassing tag team loss with Moose against Lashley and Dan Lambert, James Storm keeps his spot based on the strength of the rest of what he’s done. Helping EC3 fend off the AAA contingent, Storm also posted his own win over Texano two weeks ago in a big Battle of the Cowboys.

There’s no doubt that the tag loss was bad, but Storm’s been lucky enough to have some good singles outings that kept that one match from torpedoing the whole thing.

Of course, there have been whispers that The Cowboy may be looking to leave the Impact Ranch and find work somewhere new, but until he’s actually gone, it’d be a disservice not to keep him in the position that he’s earned.

The history is there with EC3. He’s a proven competitor that’s held nearly every title that Impact has to offer, with the Grand Championship being a glaring exception. If Storm can get his opportunity before (and if) he leaves, then he might end up taking quite the wonderful parting gift with him.

#4 Contender: Trevor Lee
Ranking on 10/19/17: Unranked

Trevor Lee has been dominant as the X Division Champion, that really cannot be denied. He and his Cult of Lee disciple Caleb Konley have made life miserable for all X Division competitors, but have recently focused on Taiji Ishimori.

Lee’s insistence on tormenting Ishimori is understandable: he’s one of the very best in the world, and if Lee can prove his superiority, then that says quite a bit about his skill. However, his reliance on 2 on 1 attacks have led to Dezmond Xavier joining the fray to assist the man he defeated to win the Super X Cup. This has to motivate Lee – the chance to beat one of the best in the world, and the guy that’s beaten Ishimori in Impact?

The X Division Champion certainly has his plate full. At the same time, one has to wonder if Lee, perhaps, has his eyes on a bigger prize. He’s proven himself to be one of the best the division has seen, and Lee has always struck me as someone who likes to challenge himself.

Why not step out of the comfort zone, and challenge for the Grand Championship? Hell, Konley can still reign as the X Division champion, giving the Cult all the power it could imagine.

It’s speculation, sure… but it feels sensical. Bigger things are ahead for Trevor Lee. Call it a hunch.

#5 Contender: Dan Lambert
Ranking on 10/19/17: Unranked

The undefeated Lambert has been an incredible revelation in recent weeks. With a vast knowledge of the sport, and a collection of memorabilia that’d make any fan blush, Lambert was written off as just another big mouth.

That mindset has to have come to an end following this past week, where Lambert pinned James Storm in the middle of the ring during his tag match with Lashley against Storm and Moose. Sure, naysayers may point out that it was Lashley that did roughly 99% of the heavy lifting, even hitting the spear that led directly to the pin. I’d just hope that those completionists also remember that it was Lambert who got the actual pin that secured the actual win.

With Lashley clearly a “World Title or Bust” type, it’d behoove Lambert to try and use his win as a chance at competing for the Grand Championship. With his knowledge of grappling, he could end up being a very tough out, indeed!

If I’m being honest – and I am – I’d really just like to see EC3 hit Lambert with the 1 Percenter.

Further Impact Musings…

A couple weeks back, we broke down the Knockouts Championship Tournament, and ended up leaning with a final of Allie vs. Laurel Van Ness, with Allie being the pick to win it all. I also promised to walk it back if I was wrong.

Shocker! I was wrong. While Van Ness held up her end of the bargain, Allie would fall short in her quest, though she did fight valiantly. In the end, however, Allie would fall victim to Rosemary’s Red Wedding, leaving us with a presumed final of Rosemary vs. Laurel Van Ness.

A few things here:

1 – Allie failing to earn the title shot was sad. She’s had a rough year, with literally anyone she’s trusted or depended on leaving her high and dry. She finally gets the blessing of Gail Kim, finally believes in herself, and she still loses. It wasn’t even dirty or someone else’s fault; she was just beaten by a better competitor. Still, Allie put on one of her best performances, and it’s clear she’s only going to get better as her confidence grows.

2 – In the revamped final, the new prediction is Laurel Van Ness walking out with the belt. I feel that she’s entirely more desperate than Rosemary to get the job done, as she also had the year from hell, at least as far as her personal life is concerned. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rosemary win by any stretch, but as of now, that’s not the call.

3 – If I can break the fourth wall here, I know this is all taped a long time ago. I don’t care. I’ll never cover what you read, but I will cover what has aired.

A Rosemary vs. Van Ness match is definitely intriguing, regardless of what the prediction is. Two of Impact’s strongest personalities will clash with it all on the line. Even better, there’s no boyfriends or retiring legends to take all the shine away from the competitors.