wrestling / Columns

ZWI: Cage Chooses Option C

November 29, 2018 | Posted by Dino Zee
Brian Cage Matt Sydal Impact wrestling Slammiversary

Once Brian Cage had defeated Sami Callihan, it seemed that he had something he wanted to do. Grabbing the microphone, Cage would let the Impact faithful know that, come January 6, at Impact’s Homecoming pay per view event, he would be invoking Option C with his X Division Championship, and would challenge Johnny Impact for the World Heavyweight Championship!

While slightly unexpected, the move couldn’t really be fairly listed as a surprise. Since joining Impact, Cage was focused on one thing – total domination over the X Division. He spent the first few months working through the roster to earn a shot at then-champion Matt Sydal. After defeating Sydal at Slammiversary XVI, Sydal was a defending champion, taking out top contenders like Rich Swann, Fenix, and then Callihan.

After all that, there really wasn’t anything left for Cage to be challenged by, unless he was looking to set the mark for longest reign or something. But the point had been proven – Brian Cage was the very best in the X Division.

That he would eventually set his sights on the World Heavyweight Championship was also not very surprising. Most wrestlers tend to want to be known as the very best in the world, and Cage is clearly no different. However, he does have a bit of an edge as it pertains to the current champion, Johnny Impact.

It was about two and a half years ago, under the dim lights of The Temple, that the two did battle for Dario Cueto’s Lucha Underground. They had other encounters as well, and usually ended with Johnny – then going by Johnny Mundo – using some underhanded tactics, or help from Taya, or both – to get the win.

On this night, however, Cage would show that he was the better man. Trapped in a steel cage, Johnny would use his usual tricks to stay alive. At the end of it all, it was a Drill Claw onto a steel chair that gave Cage the big win. Cage knows that, at his most treacherous, Johnny Impact is still somebody that he can defeat. Almost with ease.

And right now, Johnny Impact is not at his most treacherous. In fact, he’s been playing it pretty clean lately. After a bitter feud with Austin Aries saw Johnny emerge as the victor, he’s been feeling himself lately, and probably feels a bit untouchable. But that’s always been our Johnny – so very aware of the skills he possesses, and not afraid to talk about them.

One wonders if Cage sees Johnny as someone at the peak of his powers, as the ultimate test… or if he sees a man that’s now grown comfortable, coasting on his accomplishments, and now truly aware of the shark that’s been swimming under the water’s surface this entire time. It’s tough to think of Cage as opportunistic – his physical gifts make him the favorite in nearly every encounter – but this is also a man who once drew extra power from a mysterious gauntlet, so it’s not like he’s above the occasional shortcut to easier glory.

Regardless of the why, the fact remains that two of Impact Wrestling’s very best are on a collision course for their first big event of 2019. Some of us may wonder why E_Li_Drake isn’t back in the mix yet, but he seems to be doing just fine beating up legends and hosting the most entertaining Turkey Trot in all of wrestling, so it’s not all bad for him.

It’s not all bad for us, either. For once, there’s no level of sneakiness going on. These are two of the best, with more than enough time to run a proper training camp, with respect obvious and the highest prize in the land on the line.

In what has been a weird year for the promotion as it dealt with a constant malcontent champion in Austin Aries, to have such an easy-to-promote match between two well-regarded competitors is a good starting point. They won’t have to worry about interference, or someone leaving in a huff, or any of the other distractions that have hovered over every main event like a dark cloud. Fans know that Johnny Impact is going to bring it, and Cage is on the biggest upswing of his career. To do anything but show up in the best version we’ve ever seen would only be selling himself short.

So while we’re still well over a month away, I’m greatly anticipating Homecoming. I’m greatly anticipating this high-octane contest between two stellar competitors. I’m happy that Cage decided to take advantage of Option C, instead of sitting tight like Sonjay Dutt did last year. There’s nothing wrong with being satisfied, but there’s also nothing wrong with challenging yourself.

Oh, yeah… and there’s always the return of that Ultimate X match that was slightly popular. That’s kinda neat, right?

The Bay Area Indie Report Debuts!

This week, ZWI introduces its newest team member, DS Martin. DS will be working as our Bay Area (and possibly greater California / West Coast) independent reporter. While I and the rest of the team will continue your coverage of Impact Wrestling, WWE, and more, DS will be the one covering the indie scene with his thoughtful, in-depth reporting. Welcome aboard, DS, and here’s the first Bay Area Indie Report!

Big news in the Bay Area as for the first time in 545 days, there is a new All Pro Wrestling Universal Heavyweight Champion. Jeff Cobb had been on a terror in the months leading into the match, having won the PWG Battle of Los Angeles tournament, the PWG Heavyweight Title, and the Ring of Honor Television Title. However, the Samoan Werewolf Fatu, son of the legendary Tonga Kid put on perhaps the best performance of his career and dethroned the champion, winning the APW Universal Heavyweight Title for the first time. Rumor has it that contractual obligations to Ring of Honor will keep Cobb from invoking his rematch clause, but the belt is in good hands being held by the powerful Samoan.

In tag team news, Adam Thornstowe of Reno Scum revealed on social media that he tore a bicep during a match for The Crash in Mexico. He has since had surgery and is on the road to recovery, but it’s unsure exactly how long this latest injury will keep him out. Some readers may recall a similar injury all but ending Reno Scum’s time in Impact Wrestling. What does this most recent surgery mean for the future of Scum and the APW Tag Team titles that they hold?

The 11th annual Young Lion’s Cup tournament was held recently. Founded by APW and hosted by Gold Rush Pro Wrestling, it is open to any wrestler with less than two years of experience. This year’s tournament featured 16 competitors from all along the West Coast. After a night of impressive performances from several competitors, the last man standing was Derek Slade, 1/2 of the tag team known as the Bad Boys. Led by their mentor the Bad Boy Boyce LeGrande and inspired by their manager Lucian D. Light, Slade and his partner Dominic Teixeira have been terrorizing both Gold Rush Pro Wrestling and Phoenix Pro Wrestling with their numbers games. Both men have shown great potential in the ring, and with the experience of LeGrande and the walking distraction that is Lucian D. Light, they’re a pair to watch out for.

article topics :

Cage, Impact Wrestling, Dino Zee