The Yin and Yang of Maria Manic & Eli Drake

There were two shocking moments on Friday night’s Ring of Honor pay per view, Best in the World. During the pre-show, Eli Drake interrupted a segment for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) between NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis and former IMPACT World Champion “Cowboy” James Storm. With a frenzied hype people assuming Drake, recently a free agent was heading to ROH. But then Drake revealed he had in fact signed with the NWA. On the main card, following a women’s match that featured Allure‘s Angelina Love & Mandy Leon defeating Women of Honor World Champion Kelly Klein and Jenny Rose, Maria Manic made her ROH debut. The Allure smartly pulled back, but the security that came to wrangle Manic in didn’t get off so lucky. Manic savagely brutalized the all-male security staff, with an intensity rarely seen in men, let alone women.

Earlier this week, Eli Drake appeared on the Chris Van Vliet YouTube show and explained in detail about his release from IMPACT Wrestling earlier this week. He confirmed reports (as he had done previously on other podcasts) that part of it had to do with his reluctance to do an intergender match against Tessa Blanchard. He was worried it would “damage his brand” if he lost to Tessa in one of his last matches and didn’t feel they were believable representations of pro wrestling. That storyline has since moved on to Sami Callihan, who has embraced it.

Maria Manic is an indie star who has been toiling in the trenches of some hardcore promotions, such as Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) where she continued her training under hardcore legend “Bulldozer” Matt Tremont. Soon she was also working for MCW Pro, Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW), International Wrestling Cartel (IWC), Tremont’s H20 Wrestling and NOVA Pro, amongst others. In 2017, Maria Manic began to become a serious threat on the indie scene, continuing to leave carcasses and blood donors in CZW, as well as expanding to working with Beyond Wrestling, Queens of Combat (QOC), Freelance Wrestling and Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU). She also formed the tag team Ruthless Ambition alongside “The Bad Girl” Penelope Ford.

It’s almost like the fates are playing a rib, as at an event called Best in the World, Eli Drake made his debut on the pre-show, while the other new signee, Maria Manic, debuted on the main card, with one of the most realistic intergender interactions on a major PPV in ages. Manic 1, Eli 0.

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