16 December 2014

Eric Young: The Most Underappreciated Man in Pro Wrestling

Disclaimer: As I search for a more TNA centric topic about the company to write about, I figured I could write some POV's on the TNA talent. First with James Storm and now I will be moving on to Eric Young, a man who has won me over these past 15 months or so after his character "found his brains again".

Eric Makes Every Gimmick He Is Given Work And He Can Wrestle Too

     One of the biggest compliments I can give a wrestler is that he or she has the ability to take whatever is given to them and make it work (It's also a reason why I hold it against wrestlers who only work hard when they are given worthwhile to do). Now that doesn't mean they take the gimmick and make it amazing but they take the gimmick and make it watchable or even something that can be considered good. Whenever I watch WWE and see Cody Rhodes go full bore into the nutty StarDust character, I always make the comment "God bless Cody Rhodes" and that is because he is taking this gimmick creative put on him and he is doing his darnedest to make the gimmick work. With Eric Young, he has taken everything TNA creative has thrown at him and has made it work. From the frightened little man child scared of his own pyro, to the paranoid man terrified of being fired to the point he changed where he was from to parts unknown so TNA couldn't FedEx him a pink slip to the Super Eric character to a hostile foreigner trying to take over the world with World Elite to being a Fonzie lookalike (That is what I called his babyface run in 2010 when working with "The Band") to losing his marbles and wrestling in his underwear repeatedly to marrying ODB to being a mad scientist to being just a regular guy who is a little kooky Eric Young. That previous sentence had 8 different incarnations and through it all, Eric Young has gotten the crowd reactions the gimmick was presented as.

      Eric Young has been a constant on TNA TV since TNA got to Spike TV in 2005 and while the words Eric Young and World Champion never really went together (Outside of maybe his heel run in 2009 with World Elite), Eric Young found himself with the World Title in 2014. He rode a one night hot streak where he laid it all on the line and as lady luck would have it, unseated Magnus to become World Champion. No one outside of TNA fans wanted to give EY his due because others concocted a conspiracy to state that TNA didn't reward EY, they just decided to rip off WWE yet again with the Daniel Bryan situation. (Like they did earlier with Willow because Willow was a Bray Wyatt character. Yeah that was said by folks and they meant it too) Ironically TNA booked Young a billion times better then WWE booked Bryan as champion but that doesn't matter because TNA "ripped off" WWE for the trillionth time or something. He took on all comers, he had kickass match after kickass match and he brought clean finishes back to World Title matches after all the shady finishes in World title matches when Magnus and Bully Ray were World Champion. Eric Young was given the chance to stand tall and soak in the cheers in front of a good sized Dallas crowd at Slammiversary 2014 after defeating two of the best wrestlers in TNA: Bobby Lashley and Austin Aries.

      The Eric Young World Champion Magic Carpet Ride ended four days after that as an ego maniacal MVP did everything possible to make sure EY didn't have that championship anymore. As we have seen with so many others in TNA and elsewhere, a wrestler goes plummeting back down the card to the point that even suggesting that they could become a two time world champion is downright laughable (See Miz, The or for the sake of bringing TNA into it: Sabin, Chris). In Eric's case (like he has done so often in his career) though, he has maintained his level on the card just below the world champion and he has continued to have kickass matches. With his best buddy (both in kayfabe and most likely real life as well) as the current world champion, Eric Young could very well find himself as the number 1 contender for the World Championship again. In another bit of good fortune (Or a Karma reward for EY being such a good soldier for TNA for the past decade), TNA is moving its flagship show to a channel under the Discovery umbrella which has developed, produced and aired a couple of Eric Young shows these past few years to the point TNA fans joke that Eric Young is Mr. Discovery.

     In the middle of 2013: if you had said Eric Young can be a two time world champion by the middle of 2015, I would've told you that you are nuts. However when you make this statement at the end of 2014, that doesn't seem all that farfetched to anyone that has watched TNA in 2014. That's quite the meteoric rise for a guy no one really talks about when talking about the best performers in wrestling today let alone just TNA to the point he is taken for granted by wrestling fans. EY truly is the most underappreciated man in pro wrestling today.

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