Match Point is an on-going series at Last Word on Pro Wrestling, where we look at intriguing matchups in indie wrestling and beyond. They may be dream matches, first-time matchups, or hotly anticipated rematches. Today’s edition focuses on a true clash of titans in the industry as for the first-time-ever James Ellsworth will take on Duane “Gillberg” Gill for The International Wrestling Cartel’s High Stakes Championship.
Forget about John Cena vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, or AJ Styles vs Shawn Michaels, or Seth Rollins vs Kenny Omega, because the dream match to end all dream matches is happening on March 17th at International Wrestling Cartel (IWC) Seventeen. DUH!
This is not a drill! It's happening! The dream match that you never knew you wanted, but now are certain you NEED! On March 17th, 2018, two wrestling icons collide in one epic encounter! IWC presents Gillberg v. Ellsworth!!!
— IWC Wrestling (@IWCwrestling) February 27, 2018
20+ Years in the Making
Everyone wants their Wrestlemania moment and that was no different for Gillberg, who developed somewhat of a cult following after his appearances as Goldberg‘s doppelganger during the Monday Night Wars. So much so that when Gillberg made his triumphant return as part of The Festival of Friendship segment on Raw, the 58-year-old father of two, created a hashtag: #GillbergWrestleMania, and talked about his dream opponent for the show of shows.
— James Ellsworth (@realellsworth) August 27, 2016
“I’d love to wrestle James Ellsworth at WrestleMania,” Gillberg told Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso. “My prediction for that match would be pain for Ellsworth…I want my WrestleMania moment. People on social media have already put together pictures of Ellsworth and me in front of the WrestleMania banner, and it looks so real. That would be my childhood dream.”
Well, Wrestlemania 33 came and went and Gillberg vs Ellsworth sadly didn’t make the card. Hopes of the dream match seemed to be shattered for the two Maryland natives, whose careers are more interconnected than just their WWE personas would suggest. Gillberg went to junior high and high school with Ellsworth’s mother and worked as a carpenter for the Board of Education in Maryland. One of his jobs took him to Ellsworth’s elementary school where the young boy asked Gillberg about being a famous wrestler and if he was, why he was changing light bulbs in the school.
“I got off the ladder and knelt down, put my hand on his shoulder, looked him in the eye and said, ‘Well son, one day you’ll understand.’ James called me up not too long ago and said, ‘Now I understand.’”
Of the Highest Stakes
When Ellsworth hit the indies, it seemed likely that one day the dream match of jobbers would become a reality and fortunately, fans didn’t have to wait long.
In a match that in some ways mirrored his first and to that point only title victory, when he successfully defeated Christian for the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship thanks to the J.O.B. Squad, Gillberg found himself an unlikely champion once again. With the help of Jimmy Vegas, Gillberg defeated Bulk Nasty to win the IWC High Stakes Championship. His title celebration didn’t last long however as Ellsworth appeared on a ringside screen to announce that he would be challenging the legendary jobber to put a rest to the comparisons once and for all (challenge happens at the 4:06 mark of the video).
This is going to be fun.
An Ellsworth/Gillberg match was already intriguing enough but to add a belt to it, just makes it even better. And while this match may be incredibly gimmicky, it’s one that wrestling fans will watch. After all, it’s one that many have been waiting several years to come to fruition.
Gillberg vs James Ellsworth. They say this is the ultimate showdown of jobbers but both Ellsworth and Gillberg are so much more than that. In their own ways, both created characters that are not soon to be forgotten in WWE lore. After all, how many people can say they have a winning record against the one-and-only AJ Styles or pulled down the first-ever Women’s Money in the Bank briefcase? Or how many people can say they had one of the greatest and still-talked about Attitude Era angles and literally went on to make a career out of it? History remembers and both Ellsworth and Gillberg have their names etched in WWE’s history books.
Therefore this is not a battle of jobbers. It’s a battle of legends. Don’t miss it.