After the initial round of announcements on the Global Force Wrestling roster, we now have a better picture of who will be working those first tapings for an upcoming television show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
My biggest complaint with the initial announcements were the lack of a single main event star, someone who could stop people claiming that Jeff Jarrett was the biggest name in the company. Time to see if the new announcements slotted would make a difference.
There was initially one name announced for the roster in Scott Hall but after his recent incident, it seems like he has been removed from the roster. He did have a replacement, which I’ll get to later.
The Big Names
Boy, I like this one. Benjamin is 39 and has spent a significant amount of his time in New Japan Pro Wrestling after a stint in Ring of Honor, but he can certainly still go in the ring and brings a fantastic mix of athleticism and veteran wrestling intelligence. Benjamin has always been a guy who felt poorly utilized simply because he didn’t have great mic skills. He can step up immediately in Global Force Wrestling as a top guy that WWE fans would know.
GRADE: A+. Benjamin still has a few years in the tank and can step up as a top guy.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Hacksaw is a great veteran from the 80s to bring out for a quick pop. He’s a recognizable name. I believe he’s still in wrestling shape but I doubt he’ll do much more than lift a 2 x 4 and “HOOOOO!” so I think he’s best in an ambassador role for GFW.
GRADE: B. Depends on how they use him.
Few wrestling legends have utilized the Internet better than Cornette with his frequent appearances on podcasts and shoot DVDs. Everyone loves to hear Cornette rant. He’s still a smart mind in the business and it’s great to see him come out by Jarrett. He has some huge heat it seems with a certain tag team I’ll get to next, so it’ll be curious to see how they play that out on TV (unless the heat is real, in which case it’s best to keep them separated). Keep a leash on James E. and you have a fantastic old school wrestling mind.
GRADE: A-. Still has the ability to be a commentator or manager, great mind in the back.
The Young Bucks
It doesn’t get bigger on the independent scene than The Young Bucks, who are also a Bullet Club mainstay and New Japan alumni. Their heat with Jim Cornette should be interesting going forward. Bucks are great for getting the crowd excited and selling the product on Twitter. With recent talk of them looking to settle somewhere and stop the non-stop touring, it’s good for Global Force to get them now.
In who seems to be Scott Hall’s replacement, Steiner is an honest to goodness bigger name than Jeff Jarrett. Steiner can also still wrestle despite his age and still looks amazing. Most importantly, he’s one of the biggest heels in the business when he wants to be. Scotty will fit great in Global Force, which might be the only home he could have anymore.
I considered making Sabin one of the big names. Afterall, he is a former World champion (in TNA) unlike Shelton Benjamin. But Sabin had one of the weakest title reigns of the past five years and went right back to the midcard when it was over. Better known for his work in the Motor City Machine Guns (Shelley has since moved to a new partner), Sabin is still an effective wrestler and at least has some name value. It’ll be interesting to see Sabin back with Scott D’Amore.
A road agent and talent scout for Global Force, Dutt can still go. I remember him at an Alpha-1 Wrestling show in Hamilton, Ontario dispensing some great advice to the young cats there. Like Sabin he’s a good veteran for the high flyers and should fit well into the roster.
George T. Murdoch
This one shocks me. Murdoch, formerly Brodus Clay in WWE, is still working for TNA as Ethan Carter III’s bodyguard Tyrus. Either he’s going to be leaving TNA soon or they gave him a special position of being in both companies at once. Murdoch is a big, unique looking individual, resembling King Hippo from Punch Out! I hope he shows something more in Global Force than he has in WWE or TNA.
GRADE: C+, good guy to scoop from TNA but has always been more potential than delivery.
The Hot Shots
Remember The Hot Shots? Cassidy Riley and Chase Stevens? Once upon a time over a decade ago, they were the young southern tag team that TNA was building up and being managed by the late Chris Candido. Today both men are now veterans in their 30s. They didn’t do the trick for me back then and were way too whitemeat and uninteresting. Hopefully they learned something since because I don’t see them as anything other than warm bodies.
While better known for his work in CHIKARA, Jigsaw worked for a brief time in TNA as Rubix. I always felt he was very athletic but never saw any wrestling matches that really impressed me beyond some big spots. Has a good independent following I guess.
Better known for his work in ROH, Jimmy Rave was a part of the Rock and Rave Infection with Lance Hoyt. It’ll be interesting to see if they let Davey Boy Smith Jr. be a singles guy and put those two together instead of running the Killer Elite Squad. If not, I don’t see much use in Jimmy Rave in GFW.
The Best (and Rest) of the Indies
Good ol’ Cliff has made a big name for himself after his less then inspired WWE run with his stories and comedy on Colt Cabana’s podcast. He was also a part of S.C.U.M. in Ring of Honor and is a very entertaining, manic kind of wrestler. I could see Global Force pushing him up the card just for his hard work and veteran experience.
GRADE: B-. All depends on if he can turn his Internet following into something I want to watch in the ring.
If you watch Botchamania or any of the big independents like PWG and EVOLVE, chances are you know Chuck Taylor. Incredibly charismatic but a little on the small side, Chuckie T has always made his name through his attitude. I think he’s going to be great for Global Force Wrestling as a mouth piece, but I have my doubts on how believable he’ll be due to his lack of size.
Where’s Trent? Global Force Wrestling it seems. Despite a blink and you’ll miss it run in TNA, Trent is better known for his work in WWE as a part of the New York Connection that included Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, along with Caylen Croft as the Dude Busters. Once released by the WWE, Baretta hit the ground running with his independent career and has been working non-stop on the indies since 2013. He has recently been working with Rocky Romero as Roppongi Vice, which I thought had a ton of potential, and would rather see Rocky with Trent in Global Force than just singles competitor Trent Baretta.
GRADE: C+, would be a B if he came with Rocky Romero.
Better known as Alter Boy Luke for those who remember when he was skinny in XPW, Luke Hawx has been a guy who has been considered to have a ton of potential. Tommy Dreamer put him over big in his time with House of Hardcore and he has always seemed prime to break out into WWE or TNA. It hasn’t happened, and one must wonder why. Hopefully we see good stuff from him in Global Force because he sure feels like roster padding.
New Heavenly Bodies
In a gimmick that partially offends LWOS writer Adam Contant, the New Heavenly Bodies I first heard about in Booker T’s wrestling promotion in Texas. I really don’t know much else about them but I hope they got permission for the gimmick. They have big boots to fill.
GRADE: D+. Mildly curious to see how they work.
A mainstay in Ohio Valley Wrestling, GFW seems to be the first break for this former WWE developmental talent who is only 29 years old. When not wrestling, he’s been making a name for himself in stunt work, which is great for him. He’s either a diamond in the rough waiting to get a big break and national exposure or just another former WWE developmental worker that never made it.
GRADE: D until I see more.
It was very odd to me that with the relationship between Global Force and New Japan, we were only seeing New Japan gaijins make the jump over. Watanabe was trained in New Japan but spends more of his time on Canadian and American independents. His time in the U.S. might be good to help him stick out more than someone coming straight from Strong Style.
You want to be global, you’re going to need some talent from across the pond. Everett is a very young wrestler who worked in ROH’s Top Prospect tournament. I don’t know too much else about him, but if he wants to make an impact, he has a lot of great veteran high flyers to work against. A bit higher than other unknowns due to youth and look.
Global Force Wrestling Roster Verdict
I’m a bit more confident in the roster with the additions of Steiner, Benjamin and the Young Bucks. Of course, I also get a “First year of TNA” vibe with Steiner in Scott Hall’s position (literally!) and Benjamin in Ken Shamrock’s position, but that’s not a bad thing. What they don’t have that TNA had back then were the likes of AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels in the ranks but a more veteran style X/Cruiserweight division isn’t a bad thing. There’s a lot of heavyweights on the roster which I like, since other independents have a tendency to shy from the big men. Where the roster flops completely is that they didn’t build much more after signing Lei’D Tapa and Thea Trinidad. Where are the other wrestlers? Why not sign Cheerleader Melissa, Courtney Rush, Candice LeRae, Jennifer Blake, anyone else? It just blows my mind. You can’t build a division with Tapa and Trinidad. If Karen Jarrett is supposed to be in the mix, just shut it down. No, no, no. I’ll give the final roster a B- grade.
Global Force Wrestling solved the problem that Jeff Jarrett was the biggest name. Now they have a bigger problem to solve: how do you run TV tapings without a television contract?