By Ryan K. Boman, Editor in Chief
Eli Drake is no dummy.
He knows exactly what he’s facing as he defends the Global championship against Johnny Impact at Bound for Glory on November 5th. He also knows that his journey doesn’t get any easier from there.
“I’m all about results, and the biggest result of my hard work right now, is having this title,” Drake said in an exclusive interview with TheGorillaPosition.com as he was on hand with Bobby Lashley at Crust and Crate Pizza in Ottawa.
The pair were in town a couple weeks ahead of Impact’s big yearly event, as part of a press conference for the debut of the newly-christened IMPACT pizza.
“I’ve finally gotten this opportunity, to be ‘the guy’, so to speak – with a company. It’s something that I’m definitely not going to take for granted.”
The reigning Impact champion is also fully aware of the talent on the company’s current roster. With a big turnover and a lot of changes happening during the course of 2017, Drake emerged from the fallout with the gold. Now, he’s left facing a group of heavyweights who are in their mid-30’s, experienced, and hungry to take his place.
“When you look at the list of names and realize what great athletes we have here in Impact, the talent is undeniable,” he observed. “It’s just a matter of perseverance and kind of erasing the ghosts of TNA’s past, so to speak.”
From Johnny Impact to Braxton Sutter, all the way to EC3 and even Drake’s partner, Chris Adonis, the roster is stocked with performers who may maybe missed out on a chance elsewhere, but have now settled in for a shot in Impact.
Drake captured the vacated Global Heavyweight title during a gauntlet match at Destination X on August 17th, after Alberto el Patron had been stripped of the belt. It was the first world championship of his career. And although he’s happy with the overall results, in hindsight, he wishes the situation had been different for both him and his company.
“I’m very big on circumstances and details; I kind of have in my mind how I vision things going, and that really wasn’t how I saw it happening; I got to be honest,” he said. “I had my opinions on how things could have gone. A lot of that is out of my control. Some of it is even out of the company’s control. But, overall I’m glad how thing turned out in the long run, and I’m happy to be the guy holding this belt.”
At 34, Drake fits the same bill as many of his contemporaries in Impact. After breaking into the industry in 2003 with The Heartland Wrestling Association wrestling as Shaun Ricker, he would appear in many organizations before emerging in TNA in 2015 as incomparable Eli Drake.
While he will have plenty of worthy challengers lined up, his first order of business will still be to defend the title against the explosive Johnny Impact at BFG 2017. It’s a challenge that the very perceptive champion is facing with eyes wide open.
“You saw a couple weeks ago at Victory Road, we had a hell of a match; I think the chemistry is there,” he said, adding that the addition of the veteran has been a huge boost for the company. “Anytime you can bring in someone who has a proven track record and draws a lot of eyes to your product, that’s always a good thing.”
“At the same time, I think it’s my job to steer the company in a certain direction and make sure we aren’t just automatically handing titles to people who are just coming in the door here at Impact. And I think, as you’ve seen, I’m doing a pretty good job of doing that.”
“So, in my mind, I’m walking in with Eli Drake as the champion, and walking out with Eli Drake as champion.”
After his planned victory in Ottawa on November 5th, Drake says he has a pretty good idea about his immediate agenda that night, as well as his long-term future.
“I’m going to find a tenderella up here in Ottawa and we’re going to have a good time and party up here in Canada,” he laughed, before quickly re-focusing. “Seriously… my thing has been to always be ready. Whether it’s with training, or just different ideas or different verbiage. Whatever seems to work.”
“From there, we’ll see what happens. Because it’s really up to me. At the end of the day, the only guy that matters is the guy in the mirror.”
Information for attending Impact Wrestling and Bound for Glory in Ottawa:
Sunday, November 5 through Friday, November 10- Six Consecutive Nights of Televised Impact Wrestling action at the Aberdeen Pavilion in Ottawa
All Showtimes Are 7:30 p.m
Tickets for each show are on-sale now at www.tdplace.ca or the TD Place Box Office steps from the Aberdeen Pavilion.
Sunday, November 5 – BOUND FOR GLORY TELEVISED LIVE ON PPV – TICKETS START AT $20
Monday, November 6 through Friday, November 10- IMPACT WRESTLING will be taping their live television shows from Ottawa.
Tickets for the Monday through Friday live events are $30 for floor reserved seating and only $15 for GA seating.-Multi-Date Combo Offers are available- get your discount deals on Pick 3 event packages (you select the dates) and Six-Night Packages
These combo date packages are available via tdplace.ca or via the TV Place Box Office
If fans are interested in unique fan experience premium packages with several opportunities to meet select Impact Wrestling talent and attend VIP events, they can purchase them exclusively at ShopImpact.com