Global Force Wrestling (formerly TNA Impact Wrestling) announced today that current GFW World Heavyweight Champion Alberto El Patron has been stripped of his title due to their internal investigation into the domestic abuse allegations from last month.
GFW has concluded its internal consideration of the events surrounding the suspension of Alberto El Patron. While it is apparent that initial reports unfairly characterized El Patron’s involvement in the incident in the Orlando airport, we are nonetheless disappointed with the manner in which he dealt with this situation; we expect more decorum from all on the GFW roster, especially the World Champion.
We have communicated with El Patron our decision to strip him of his championship title. No decision has been taken as to the date on which he will be reinstated to the roster, the conditions of which are a private matter between the company and El Patron.
With that being said, GFW now has a situation where they have to rewrite their main event storylines heading into Bound For Glory in November. This week (August 17 to 22), they will be taping all of the episodes of Impact Wrestling leading up to Bound For Glory, which will allow them to redirect the story with new combatants to crown the new GFW World Champion.
With that in mind, here’s a look at 10 names that could be in the hunt as GFW looks to solidify not only their new World Champion, but the face of the company as they head towards 2018.
Lashley is a 4x Impact World Champion, and the man who most recently lost the championship to Alberto El Patron. While GFW has immense faith in Lashley as their main event star, they have a tough decision of going the easy route and simply resetting the storylines with Lashley on the top again, or going into new territory. While Lashley has been a loyal employee during the past few years as the company’s top guy, it may be wiser to branch off into new waters with a new face.
Moose has improved exponentially in GFW since arriving from Ring of Honor last year, where his popularity not only followed him but grew. He’s become an international presence through other indie bookings and carried the Impact Grand Championship like a superstar. With the Grand Championship still confusing the bulk of the audience, it might just be the time to move Moose on to the biggest title in the company rather than stay in a feud for it’s secondary title.
It’s been reported today that John Morrison (along with his fiance, Taya Valkyrie) are going to be part of the next tapings as they get ready for their GFW television debuts. With Morrison likely not returning to AAA (and possibly Lucha Underground), it would be an ideal situation for all involved if the charismatic and popular former WWE Superstar took over the mantle as the face of Impact Wrestling. And what better way than if the GFW World Championship got Booned?
ETHAN CARTER III
A former 2x Impact World Champion, EC3 lost a lot of his superstar steam when he turned face last year. As an arrogant and cruel heel, EC3 was arguably one of the best heels in the game today, but the fans didn’t rally around him as much as a face. He’s returned to his dastardly self serving ways of late and winning his 3rd World title would be the icing on the cake for 2017 being the year that EC3 returns to greatness.
With his former tag team partner and adversary Davey Richards retiring from GFW, Eddie Edwards is now stranded without a storyline. The former Impact World Champion’s title run earlier this year is still fresh in fans’ minds, so inserting him back into the chase isn’t entirely out of the question. Fan reception was luke warm on his win, so they may be looking for a bigger name or emerging star to put the title on, but either way, expect Edwards to rejoin the hunt soon.
“COWBOY” JAMES STORM
One of the last of the TNA Originals, James Storm is a former Impact World Champion, but his only reign was a brief one – after beating Kurt Angle in October of 2011, he lost the belt to Bobby Roode only eight days later. It wasn’t long before he was relegated back to the tag team division he was more known for and never seriously challenged for the World title again. While he may not have much of a longer second reign, GFW has more heels that could go after the title and rewarding Storm’s loyalty with a second World title run, even if it’s transitional, would be a nice nostalgic nod to TNA’s earlier and more exciting beginnings.
Eli Drake has developed into one of GFW’s most interesting characters, with his solid ring work and exceptional promos. Drake has had limited success in GFW so far, despite becoming an internet favourite, and he’s currently battling Moose over the Impact Grand Championship. If Moose doesn’t drop the Grand Championship to get the World title for himself, a potential match against Moose in the finals at Bound For Glory to win the World title could be a natural extension of an existing storyline and help push Eli Drake to the next level.
Despite being the veteran member of Konnan’s new LAX, Homicide has hardly had much spotlight since returning to the company. Ortiz and Santana have been busy defending the GFW World Tag Team titles and the group itself has been more obsessed with taking out El Patron than giving the individual members their own storylines. With the tag belts already in LAX’s possession, pushing Homicide as the top singles star of the group and getting the belt that their former prey was holding before he was stripped would feed in well with the story already in place and set up a potential showdown once El Patron’s suspension is lifted.
He’s one of the newcomers in GFW since Anthem took over, but Kongo Kong has held multiple titles in the indies as a singles star. His work alongside Laurel Van Ness has helped establish him as a bonafide monster on the GFW roster, akin to such legends as Kamala, One Man Gang and King Kong Bundy, and a push towards the World title would only solidify the angle they’ve been pushing for. And being such a wildly unpredictable beast would leave it open to challengers both heel and face.
Well, he’s not in the WWE anymore and he left TNA because of problems with the Dixie Carter regime, not Anthem or Jeff Jarrett. Aries is a former Impact World Champion himself and a surprise return to the company to reclaim his throne at the top of the roster isn’t exactly fantasy booking. With GFW’s schedule, he could still devote much of his time to promoting his new book.
Who do you think will become GFW’s World Heavyweight Champion? Let us know in the comments below!