15 November 2016

A Champion We Can All Be Proud Of

Eddie Edwards was born on December 30th in Boston Massachusetts and he made his pro debut in the sport of professional wrestling in 2002. He was trained by pro wrestling legend, Killer Kowalski. Since his debut, Eddie Edwards has wrestled for various promotions around the world in order to make a name for himself. Promotions such as MWF, ROH, PWG, Beyond Wrestling, Pro Wrestling NOAH, Chikara, TNA, and many more.

Just a little background on his career earlier in the independent scene, in 2003, Eddie would win a tournament to crown the very first MWF Television Champion. He would go on to hold the title for over two years, until losing it to Tommaso Ciampa. Early on in his career, in 2005, Eddie made his first tour of Japan by competing for Pro Wrestling NOAH for about a month. During this first tour all of Eddie’s matches took place in the earlier part of the card, he also lost the majority of his matches during this tour. In 2006, Eddie would return to NOAH for two more tours that year. During his tour in 2006, Eddie would pick up his first pinfall in Japan to get Doug Williams and himself a win over Shuhei Taniguchi and Yoshinari Ogawa. For the next 7 years Edwards would come back to NOAH on and off, in some years he toured Japan with NOAH twice. As time progressed, Edwards would improve and pick up impressive wins over some more notable names like Kenta Kobashi.

Before his TNA career, Eddie Edwards was most notably known for his time in Ring Of Honor (ROH). Eddie made his ROH debut in 2006 against former TNA star, Austin Aries. However, Eddie would not get used in a bigger way in ROH until 2008 when he joined Sweet and Sour inc. Overtime, there were a variety of members in this group, but Eddie Edwards teamed with guys like Chris Hero and Adam Pearce during the time he spent as a member of the faction.

In late 2008, Eddie Edwards would form a tag team with a fellow “Sweet and Sour Inc” member, Davey Richards. Their team would be called The American Wolves and they would go on to reach high levels of success all over the world together. In early 2009, The American Wolves finally won the ROH Tag Team Titles by defeating El Generico (Sami Zayn) and Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens) on ROH on HDNet episode 11 in a tag team table match. They would go on to hold the titles for well over 200 days defeating some of ROH’s top talents/teams along the way. During their reign, The American Wolves would produce highly entertaining matches like their match against Tyler Black (Seth Rollins)/Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) at ROH on HDNet episode 15. After a very good run, The American Wolves eventually lost the titles to the Briscoe Brothers in late 2009, but they would see gold again in the future.

2010 would mark the beginning of Eddie Edwards advancement and focus on his singles career in ROH. In early 2010 ROH introduced the TV Title tournament to crown the first ever ROH TV Champion. Eddie Edwards would make make it to the finals of this tournament where he would meet Davey Richards to crown the champion. In an intense battle, Eddie defeated Davey by submission to become ROH’s first ever TV Champion. During his reign, Eddie would defend the title against talents such as Colt Cabana, Petey Williams, and Kenny King proving he was on the same page as some of the best talents ROH had to offer. Eddie’s TV title reign would go on for over 9 months before he lost the title to Christopher Daniels. Thankfully, Eddie would not go long without any gold around his waist. On March 19, 2011 Eddie Edwards defeated Roderick Strong to become the ROH World Champion. When he won the World Title he also became ROH’s first Triple Crown Champion. Eddie Edwards defended the ROH World title against Christopher Daniels, Chris Hero, and Roderick Strong. On June 26th, 2011 in the same state he won the title, Eddie would lose the world title to Davey Richards.

Luckily, for all The Wolves fans, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards would reunite at ROH’s Final Battle 2012 where they defeated reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish). On August 3rd, 2013 The American Wolves defeated The Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov) to become two time ROH Tag Team Champions. Sadly, their reign was stopped short by reDRagon when they lost the belts to them two weeks after winning them. The team would go on to have a few more matches for ROH. At ROH’s Final Battle 2013 Eddie Edwards wrestled his farewell match for the company when he teamed with BJ Whitmer to defeat Roderick Strong and Jay Lethal.

After TNA management hinted at some new arrivals, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards made their TNA debuts at Genesis on January 16th, 2014 in a backstage segment. They made their in-ring debuts on February 13th by teaming with Samoa Joe to defeat The Bromans and DJZ. The Wolves would claim their first form of TNA gold by winning the TNA Tag Team Titles at a house show on February 23rd, when they defeated The Bromans. Unfortunately, The Wolves would lose the titles a week later at the TNA ONO Global Impact Japan PPV that also included Wrestle-1 talents. They faced Team 246 and The Bromans, The Bromans would get the win when Jessie Godderz pinned Kaz Hayashi. The Wolves would get their redemption in April at Sacrifice when they defeated The Bromans and DJZ to regain the tag titles in a 3 on 2 handicap tag match. This match was fun to watch and gave us some good in ring action. I do not think TV did this match it’s justice because I was in the crowd for this event and this match was really good, plus the crowd was enthusiastic about this match from start to finish. During this reign, we got the classic best of three series between The Wolves, The Hardys, and Team 3D. This series gave us four matches, in the final match The Wolves came out on top in Full Metal Mayhem. Every single one of these matches gave fans something to look forward to and instantly revitalized the tag team division in TNA. Not to mention, it also allowed The Wolves to show off their top tier wrestling skills with a mixture of some crazy spots and in the end they were put in a more prominent position. On November 12th, The Wolves lost the titles to James Storm and Abyss after Storm cashed in his feast or fired tag team title shot briefcase. The Wolves would become three time tag team champions when they defeated The Revolution on Impact on March 6th 2015. In a tragic series of events, The Wolves had to give the titles up on April 3rd due to an Ankle injury Eddie suffered during a ONO match against Davey Richards.

When Eddie was free and cleared, he returned to offer a challenge with Davey Richards to take on the Dirty Heels in a best of 5 series for the TNA tag team titles. The series went to match five which was a 30 minute tag team iron man match. The Wolves won the match and picked up their fourth TNA tag title reign when Eddie got a quick pin on Bobby Roode seconds before the time limit ran out. This was yet another historic series for TNA’s tag team division and both teams put on a wrestling clinic for each of the matches in this series. This reign lasted just over 2 months before they lost the titles to Trevor Lee and Brian Myers during the TNA Vs GFW angle, but they regained the titles the next week. After a solid title reign that lasted nearly six months, Beer Money would defeat The Wolves in London for the titles. This would make it so The Wolves officially tied with Beer Money for the most TNA tag team title reigns in history with five title reigns for each team.

Due to an ACL injury, Davey Richards has had to stay out of action and will return in 2017. This has forced Eddie to pursue a singles career in TNA for the time being. Many had no idea what to expect and some thought he would become irrelevant without Davey. Eddie set out to prove that that was not the case. Eddie Edwards would win his first singles title in TNA at Slammiversary 2016 when he defeated Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and DJZ in a highly exciting four way match for the TNA X-Division title. For some reason, Eddie only held the title for just over a week before losing it to Mike Bennett. Thankfully, in no time, Eddie would regain the X-Division title by winning an Ultimate X match consisting of champion at the time, Mike Bennett, Trevor Lee, Mark Andrews, Andrew Everett, DJZ, Braxton Sutter, and Rockstar Spud. Just over two weeks later, Eddie lost the title to Lashley in a winner take all steel cage match for both the TNA World Heavyweight title and the TNA X-Division title. The steel cage match was a show stealer and made both men look strong in the end of it all. Eddie would then move on to compete in a tournament to crown the first ever Impact Grand Champion. Eddie would end up replacing Drew Galloway to take on Aron Rex at BFG to crown the first champion. It was a good match overall, but Aron Rex won via split decision.

On the October 6th edition of Impact, Lashley got to pick who he would defend his title against that night. Lashley picked Eddie Edwards because he wanted to pick the “easiest” opponent out of the options that he had (EC3, Moose, or Eddie Edwards). The fans were definitely behind Eddie as the underdog, but Lashley shrugged every notion from the fans off with a sense of arrogance and dominance. Right from the starting bell the match was filled with a sense of intensity and aggression. In no time, both men went after each other trading chops, elbows, and various reversals. Shortly after, Lashley got the upper hand and dominated for the first half of the match showcasing his strength through various moves. Eddie ended up gaining some momentum when Lashley spent too much time mocking Edwards. After this, the match seemed to be getting closer to equal because Eddie Edwards started to get some moves in on the dominant champion, but Lashley ended that quickly by regaining control. In what appeared to be a potential turning point in the match, Eddie went for his suicide dives. He hit the first two, but Lashley ducked out of the way from the last one, sending Eddie smashing face first into the guardrail. Once this happened, the outcome seemed inevitable as Lashley threw Eddie back into the ring and got ready to hit the spear. Suddenly, as Lashley ran toward Eddie, Eddie ran toward Lashley and dodged the spear by hitting him with a Boston Knee Party. 1..2..3. Eddie Edwards became the NEW TNA World champion! By winning the TNA World title, Eddie Edwards became a TNA triple crown champion, but he also made history by becoming the FIRST and the ONLY wrestler to be both an ROH and TNA triple crown champion. This match was off the charts and yet another highly entertaining match that Eddie helped create. Wolves fans around the world howled as Eddie achieved his dream of becoming world champion.

I am not going to lie, I have seen a decent amount of fans hate on the booking of that match and how Eddie became TNA World champion. “It could have been better by having him win a few matches before giving him another shot at the title”. Sure, I get that point of view, but the fact remains Eddie Edwards has helped boost the excitement factor in TNA this year and has taken part in some vital moments for the company. From killing it with Davey earlier in the year, to winning the X-Division title twice, creating an epic cage match with Lashley, Creating fun matches during the Impact Grand title tournament, to putting on a hell of a match at BFG to crown the first Impact Grand Champion, and then winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Eddie deserved this and for anyone that has doubted him or called his win a fluke, he has easily proved that to be wrong with his title defenses. His match with Cody was a solid display of wrestling as an art form. Everyone seemed to love that match and it is easily understandable. If you have yet to see it do yourself a favor and find a way to watch it. In addition, Eddie then defended the title against Lashley in yet another classic match up, these two clearly work well together. Lastly, this past week Eddie defended against Eli Drake. Eli Drake was super impressive in this match and I think wrestling a guy like Eddie helped bring the best out of him in-ring wise. If this is any indicator as to how future world title matches are going to be while Eddie is champ, then I am unbiased when I say, I am truly excited for the future and to watch it all unfold. As a huge supporter of Eddie I am super proud of him for all that he has accomplished this year and for the matches he has put on that keep us all wanting more. Simply put, Eddie defines hard work and embodies what it means to never give up.

In closing, I would just like to say thank you to all the TNA talent because they give us 100% during every set of tapings. Guys like Eddie Edwards are the wrestlers Impact needs to showcase often and push in a big way because they are the ones making fans tune in no matter how negative the backstage rumors may be, weekly. I hope you all enjoyed this article, but more importantly I hope you are all excited for the future of TNA.

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