Eli Drake is finally on top of the Mountain. Last week, he defeated 19 other guys in a Gauntlet for the Gold match to become the GFW Champion. A long-awaited accomplishment for The Namer fo Dummies who’s been in the business for 14 years but had to wait 10 years to get a contract with a major company. All this time he was himself, and never forget to stay so, and it paid off. During a recent conference call alongside his friend and acolyte Chris Adonis, he told us his feelings on being a Champion, on his path and on the future of GFW.
When he was held the GFW title last week, it seemed like Eli Drake was dreaming. He finally earned his first-ever World Championship after a grueling match. “That was one heck of a beat. And I’m going to give a little bit of credit to Eddie Edwards because he started right there where I was and he made all the way to the end. But he didn’t end up where I was, he didn’t end up with the Global Championship. Doing all that long, from coast-to-coast, coming with that title, defying all odds, defying everything that everybody would come out of there, there’s nothing better than raising that title up. When you get that feeling, there’s nothing like it.”
This new position in the company is also for him very important as far as GFW Impact Wresting is still in a rebuilding process. “The craziest thing in this business is that you never know. So a lot of the things that come up, a lot of things that happened, a lot of that stuff, it is just that you fly by the seat of your pants. And I’m so excited to be in the position I am right now, excited to be able to prepare this company into the future. It’s where I’m looked to as opposed to take me into the past and expect us to go into the future. So I dig it, I love it and I’m ready for this challenge because they’re gonna throw everything they can at me and I’m just gonna keep on taking it. And I’m asking for more quite frankly.”
Being able to be the flagship of GFW rebuilding is something both Eli Drake and Chris Adonis are excited about. “I would say that as far as where we’ve been, where we’ve come from, where we’re going to, we’re certainly in some stage of rebuilding. But I think this is definitely a huge step as far as, again looking ahead to the future, taking homegrown stars and putting the focus on them and it’s still good to bring in people who’ve been in other places, it’s a great addition but I think a lot of time would be to focus on homegrown stars. I think that does us a great service, that helps to move us into the future and then you work on all those parts either. I think that’s going to draw a greater audience, to draw more familiar faces as they see in another product. It’s now also turn those people onto faces that they’ve never seen. Everybody’s got a place, everybody’s got a job as far as in this whole system that is GFW. It is a rebuilding process but I think there’s a lot of light in the end of the tunnel from everything I’m seeing.”
Drake added: “You got all those guys who are super hungry. Hungry to make this product better, make GFW to be bigger than it has ever been, bigger than anybody could ever imagine. We just want to be recognized for the great art and work that we’re putting on. I think we’re doing amazing things and that challenge, making that platform grow, is huge. It gives a lot of hunger, a lot of drive to the guys and the girls who are there. That’s my philosophy, that velocity carries a lot of talents there.”
For Adonis, who worked for WWE and all over the world, the feeling is the same: “I’m apart of a group, not specifically Eli and I but a whole roster, a whole team. It’s very exciting to be part of a promotion that has such room for growth and we went through reboot. What I see right now is an organization that’s coming together, that trimmed a lot of the fat. With everything that happened in the last year, we had a change in management, in the whole Cabinet. With the people we have running the office now and the talent we have to work with, everybody basically are getting off on the right direction. This is exciting to see what we can do in the future, how we can propel Impact wrestling and really make it a good alternative to any other wrestling programs out there. And not even to mention just some of the exciting things we’re doing beyond just our GFW talents, just our cross-promotional talents with beginning guards like Garza Jr., guys from Mexico or Japan. To see a lot of unique and different match-up that you wouldn’t necessarily get to see anywhere else. I think we’re building momentum now, we’re now out of the worst of the reboot and right now everything is in the right direction.”
D&A, as Drake and Adonis loves to dub themselves, are more than partners in the ring, they are friends who have the same goals, the same drive to wrestle for the best. Adonis’ answer is telling all: “When I see a guy like Eli, he is a homegrown talent, although he’s been in wrestling for a long time, he is a homegrown talent in GFW, formerly TNA. Obviously, he’s worked his ass off. I’ve seen this guy ascend, and we’ve even had conversations before I had showed up to Impact Wrestling about where he was at… quite frankly, I didn’t realize how much we had in common until we actually met and I showed up in Impact Wrestling. I thought he was a much different guy than he was, but I realized real quick that this guy’s just like me. And then, me being a new talent to GFW, I was looking around the landscape seeing who exactly it is I could align myself with, someone who is like-minded to myself. I proud to stand there next to him, knowing how much he’s been through to get there.”
As far as the future is concerned, both men are really confident, even if a newcomer suddenly tried to get the spotlight Drake finally was just about to grab. His name is Johnny Impact. And obviously D&A they don’t like him… “He looks like a star, a rock star, and a lot of people say that there are some wrestlers who are more style than substance, and I think that could be Johnny Impact. With me, simplicity is the key – what you see is what you get, and the substance is there. I don’t need the whole lot of flashy style, flashy moves, flashy wardrobe, I come in there, I give you what you’re gonna see, I give you what you’re looking for and at the end of the day I get the job done as you see because I hold the GFW title.” As the Champion Drake is ready for any challenge, whatever, whenever, wherever. He wants to create the opportunities and the circumstances. If it’s going for the GFW Tag Team or the IMPACT Grand Championship belts, wrestling in Japan, UK or Mexico, no problem, the duo is ready. Like Adonis stated, “the more goes, the better on ourselves. Any gold on us looks good, so we’re game.”
Drake is right now on the Top of the Mountain, with Adonis by his side, and he’s decided to stay on the top of GFW Impact Wrestling for a very long time, because “everybody needs a little bit of Eli Drake”. Of course, as The Namer of Dummies, Eli Drake didn’t forget to give us his current Top 5 of Dummies… Here it is:
#5: The whole American Top Team because they’re trying to steal his spotlight
#4: Bruce Prichard because he wanted to hold the guys down
#2: Jim Cornette
#1: Johnny Impact because the guy is just knocking on the door and suddenly thought he could be the Champ on Night One.