On Tuesday I discussed who I felt Global Force Wrestling should target for their first GFW roster. On Wednesday, they made some announcements on the first names. None of my guys made it but there is still plenty of time. Time to look at who was announced at the press conference and how good of a pick-up they are for Global Force Wrestling.
P.J. Black (Justin Gabriel)
It didn’t take a lot of time for Gabriel to find a new home. Now known as P.J. Black, the high flyer was released by WWE in January. Black didn’t wait too long to find a new wrestling home. One of the first promising prospects from the WWE’s Florida development system, as Justin Gabriel he went from NXT’s talent show to Nexus to being lost in the shuffle. In the ring he’s incredibly talented and being a good looking babyface with a South African background, Black is the perfect face for a company trying to be global. At 34 he isn’t too old to kick into a second gear in Global Force Wrestling.
GRADE: A. No complaints here. A very good signing.
Chris “The Adonis” Mortetsky
There are few guys I pushed hard for to get a new push in the WWE as much as the former Chris Masters. I used to talk about how the WWE should have him win the Royal Rumble out of nowhere, shocking everyone and making it feel like anyone could win again. His run would be up against a dominant heel champion who would beat him but give him respect in the ring. Funny enough, that’s basically what Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar was. Fantasy booking aside, “The Adonis” still looks good and can still work. He’s actually younger than P.J. Black by two years and hasn’t worked in TNA or ROH so he’d still feel unique to GFW.
GRADE: B. Hopefully he doesn’t just work “The Masterpiece” gimmick, but a name like “The Adonis” gives off the vibe.
Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson from the Bullet Club
I guess this is what the New Japan Pro Wrestling partnership brings. Gallows and Anderson of the Bullet Club are a great heavyweight tag team that looks impressive and has a lot of charisma. Anderson has been one of those guys North Americans have been salivating at seeing return from Japan while Doc has always been a big man with big potential. It’s good to have a Bullet Club presence in Global Force Wrestling.
GRADE: B. Would be better if they were announced with AJ Styles.
Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Hoyt of KILLER ELITE SQUAD
The next part of the NJPW relationships includes two more monster sized gaijins in a tag team. Smith and Hoyt might feel a little redundant with Anderson and Gallows there but they will likely work different sides of the ring. Davey is starting to turn into unrealized potential but he’s still an excellent worker. Hoyt has already lived through being unrealized potential and has at least shaken off any chance of his career being ruined as the second coming of Erik Watts. That said, both guys might be tired of constant New Japan touring and Global Force is a good place to be. I’d also like to see Davey Boy go back into singles competition.
GRADE: B-. Would have liked to see a tag team contrast with the Bullet Club instead of being just another heavy tag.
In my article, I suggested GFW to steal Roderick Strong from Ring of Honor. There were talks of Strong going to Global Force. I didn’t expect them to pick up Quinn Ojinnaka, better known as MOOSE from ROH. Moose quickly let people know he wasn’t leaving ROH:
Calm down……I’m still loyal to @ringofhonor. Look forward to introducing MooseNation to GFW.
— Quinn Moose Ojinnaka (@MooseNation69) May 6, 2015
Good for Moose to clear up the air. Working both promotions will be good for his development. Not much else to say about Moose. He looks impressive, could be a bluechip prospect but hasn’t shown me much else.
GRADE: C. A good example of the potential future in Global Force but there are better names out there.
Fresh off his run in TNA Wrestling, it looks like the protégé of The Great Muta is going to stay a little longer. I saw Sanada in person at a BCW wrestling show in Windsor and he’s much bigger than I think the camera gives him credit for. He’s a surprising addition since GFW has a deal with New Japan Pro Wrestling and Sanada is the product of WRESTLE-1. I don’t think Sanada is there yet but if he continues developing, he could be one of the biggest Japanese stars in North America. I just have my doubts he’s a long term roster player in Global Force.
GRADE: B-. A good, not great, available name.
Better known as Rosita from TNA Wrestling, Trinidad is only 24 years old and was last seen in a tryout with the WWE last year. She appeared on the documentary “Children of 9/11” due to losing her father in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Since her time in TNA (she returned for their Knockouts Knockdown 3 event), she has worked in AAA and Family Wrestling Entertainment. While extremely beautiful, she hasn’t set the women’s wrestling world on fire with her skills in the ring. If she can show just enough improvement to work a 10 minute match with anyone, she’ll be an amazing face for the company.
GRADE: C+. If she was a better wrestler, this would be a B+.
The daughter of Barbarian of the Faces of Fear, Tapa is a part of the great Samoan wrestling family and took part in the TNA Gut Check. Despite an eventual debut and working for several months in TNA, the company eventually decided she didn’t have enough experience to be on the roster. Tapa has since been working in Ohio Valley Wrestling to gain that experience. While having impressive size, her run in TNA left a lot to be desired. She still isn’t showing the raw brutality of her father and as being one of the two names for Global Force Wrestling’s women roster, she doesn’t have the “wow” factor a Kong, Havoc or Beth Phoenix would have. Hopefully OVW has been good for her in the ring because the women’s division in Global Force is now desperate for a mechanic to carry these girls.
GRADE: C. There are better women out there but she has pedigree and potential.
Chael Sonnen as analyst and commentator
Here’s the biggest surprise of the announcement. Former MMA fighter Chael Sonnen, who has been working for ESPN as an MMA analyst, comes in to Global Force Wrestling for his “expert” analysis. It’s unknown how much he will be doing as of yet. Sonnen is a former amateur wrestler and was one of the most charismatic men in UFC history. He admitted at one point to be getting privately trained by Stone Cold Steve Austin at his ranch. With his history with failed drug tests, it’s difficult to say if he’ll be entering the ring at 38. As an analysis and personality, Sonnen could be great for Global Force Wrestling. He might be considered too tainted for WWE which leaves him in a perfect situation for GFW to develop him as a must see character. Unlike a lot of former MMA guys who go into wrestling, Sonnen could actually attract MMA fans who loved his gift of the gab.
GRADE: A. Sonnen is a lightning rod who can attract an audience GFW wasn’t going to get.
Global Force Wrestling Roster Verdict
While I handed out some Bs and As, the truth is that this roster reveal gets a C rating from me. They needed a surprise on their first press conference. I’m sure we will get some surprises at tapings and see some independent names we’ve never seen before, or a major star we have seen before, but the biggest issue with this roster is what I’ve seen repeated by others. So far, the biggest star in Global Force Wrestling is still Jeff Jarrett. If they go into tapings with that running through the minds of potential fans, they turn a lot of people away.
I just needed one name. It didn’t even have to be a Goldberg or a Dave Batista. Lucha Underground had Johnny “Mundo” Morrison as their one big name before getting Alberto El Patron. Nobody on the Global Force roster is on Johnny’s level. They needed someone to make people not say, “Your biggest star is Jeff Jarrett”. They flopped that. They now have a couple weeks before tapings to make up for it. At the very least, they have a good midcard roster in the making and a potential male and female face of the company in P.J. Black and Thea Trinidad. There’s potentially a good roster, but there needs to still be a reason to watch other than Chael Sonnen saying crazy things.