On Friday, IMPACT Wrestling announced the release of some retro T-Shirts, one of which was for the fabled Team Canada stable that run amok in TNA from 2004 through 2006 and saw the launch of such stars like Bobby Roode, Petey Williams, and Eric Young. But with IMPACT now taping regularly in Canada, perhaps its time for IMPACT Wrestling to build a new Team Canada, one who could potentially be a cross-crowd reactionary troop like the Hart Foundation was in WWE in 1997 – booed in the United States but adored in their home and native land, Canada.
A retro TEAM CANADA t-shirt is available NOW at @PWTees!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 15, 2020
TEAM CANADA: THE ORIGINALS
While several past original members are simply not available – Roode works for WWE, Jack Evans in AEW, Johnny Devine has been more of a trainer of late, and Teddy Hart isn’t likely to get hired anytime soon – there are a few left that could become more like senior members or trainers in the group, to tie the legacy together.
Petey Williams (2004-2006)
While Petey Williams works primarily in a producer role backstage with IMPACT Wrestling, he stills competes in the ring many times throughout the year (and usually at the Canadian tapings). Williams is a 2x IMPACT X-Division Champion who brings years of experience to the squad. He already comes out to the Canadian national anthem as his entrance music and it wouldn’t be hard to see him turn heel in the US complaining about the abundant overuse of his Canadian Destroyer as anything but a finisher.
Eric Young (2004-2006)
Eric Young is currently a free agent after being released by WWE during last month’s Black Wednesday. Eric Young has been name-dropped on recent episodes of IMPACT Wrestling, so a return to the company isn’t out of the question. Young has excelled in every role he’s had in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling and is one of the most decorated men of the 2000s in the company. A former TNA World Heavyweight Champion, EY is also a 5x Tag Team Champion (twice with Roode in Team Canada) as well as a former TNA Global Champion, TNA Television Champion, and King of the Mountain Champion.
Tyson Dux (2006)
Since joining Team Canada in its final year, Tyson Dux has gone on to compete in Ring of Honor, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and in WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic, while becoming one of the most respected veterans in the Canadian (and American) indie scenes. A technical shooter who has faced some of the biggest names in the game could be a crucial mentor to a new crop of Canadian stars on a rebooted Team Canada – and who can still go in the ring to show them how it’s done.
A1 replaced Johnny Devine in 2004 and worked with TNA until 2007. The Enforcer of Team Canada, he took a long sabbatical from pro wrestling. In 2015, he returned to the Canadian indies looking better than ever and even appeared on a few IMPACT specials in 2018. If they don’t find another Enforcer in the younger stars, A1 could have a role in the group as well.
“Coach” Scott D’Amore (2004-2006)
Scott D’Amore has traded his tracksuit for a corporate suit and is now one of the Executive Vice Presidents with IMPACT Wrestling, so he may not be looking to join an active angle as anything but his present authority figure cameos. But a known corporate team member turning on his company because his home country has been “neglected” could be a way to bring the original Coach back into duty.
TEAM CANADA: THE NORTH
The current and longest-reigning tag team champions in IMPACT history, The North, are proud Canadians and TNA history buffs. It’s a no-brainer that Ethan Page and Josh Alexander would add instant title credibility to the squad out the gate, and become the group’s primary tag team unit. Since the COVID-19 restrictions, The North has been Canada-bound, defending the IMPACT World Tag Team titles against some of Canada’s “best”, but now instead of beating Canada’s teams, they’d be helping show off the country’s in-ring superiority.
TEAM CANADA: THE NEW BLOOD
For any faction to grow into the future, they will also need a shot of new blood injected into the squad to grow under the learning tree of any of the originals. Here’s a look at a few options that could flourish or help a new Team Canada while representing the ol’ Maple Leaf.
A new Team Canada will need a fresh face to enter into battle for the X-Division Championship and Aiden Prince could be that face. Prince has been a hidden talent on the Canadian indies for years, and longtime viewers of IMPACT Wrestling have probably seen him wrestle for the company multiple times in the past few years on IMPACT! Wrestling, IMPACT X-Plosion, and several IMPACT specials on Twitch. He’s already appeared in multiple #1 Contenders matches for the X-Division title, including one challenge against Jake Crist last August. In June of 2017, he faced Austin Aries for his IMPACT World title on IMPACT television. An innovative high flyer, working with a veteran unit could be just the amplification his career needs.
TNA didn’t even have the Knockouts Division yet when the last Team Canada competed, but now that it’s hotter than ever, having a young Knockout on the team would only give the squad more opportunities for gold. Alexia Nicole is another rising Canadian indie star who has appeared for IMPACT in the past at Canadian tapings as well. She’s also worked for Ring of Honor & NJPW during their Canadian tour in 2018 and made appeared in the first season of Beyond Wrestling‘s Uncharted Territory last year.
Artemis Spencer has been a veteran of Canada’s West Coast indie scene with Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW) where he’s a 2x ECCW Champion and 3x ECCW Canadian Champion. He broke out in the US Pacific Northwest in 2018, when he captured the DEFY Championship and also competed in the 2019 Battle of Los Angeles with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) and 2019 Super Strong Style 16 with PROGRESS Wrestling in England. The 17-year veteran is just finding his groove and an international platform with IMPACT Wrestling would be the next step in his career.
Another Canadian indie standout, with the likes of Smash Wrestling, Border City Wrestling (BCW), and Superkick’D, Brent Banks is a multi-faceted grappler who can fly with the best of them, while also possessing uncanny power. The Canadian veteran had just broken out internationally in the past year with debuts with PROGRESS Wrestling, Preston City Wrestling (PCW), Southside Wrestling Entertainment (SWE), Defiant Wrestling, and ATTACK! Pro Wrestling in the UK as well as Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw) before the pandemic hit.
British Columbia’s “Wrestling Genius” Daniel Makabe has spent much of the past decade in the Pacific Northwest with Seattle’s 3-2-1 BATTLE! as well as DEFY Wrestling, Without A Cause (WAC), DOA, and his hometown ECCW. The technical grappler really broke out last year, debuting with Game Changer Wrestling (GCW), Black Label Pro, Beyond Wrestling, and Freelance Wrestling, as well as competing with wXw in Germany and PCW in England. This past March, he won the wXw shoot-style AMBITION 12 tournament.
Originally trained by Lance Storm at his Storm Wrestling Academy in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Gisele Shaw debuted in the Canadian indies in 2015. In 2018, she joined Women of Wrestling (WOW) as Azteca (renamed Reyna Reyes the following season) and appeared on three IMPACT specials. In 2019, she headed to the UK indie scene, where she exploded with companies like Revolution Pro (RevPro), Pro Wrestling EVE, PROGRESS Wrestling, ATTACK! Pro Wrestling, Fight Club: PRO, and Ireland’s Over the Top (OTT) Wrestling. Although she debuted with REINA in Japan in 2016, she would debut with DDT Pro‘s sister joshi company Tokyo Joshi Pro (TJP) in the summer of 2019 as well. With an international presence and years of experience under her belt now, she could return home to see Knockouts gold for the squad.
John E. Bravo
Every stable needs a runaway mouth and if “Coach” D’Amore doesn’t return, John E. Bravo could be just the man to take over. Behind the scenes, Bravo is actually one of the top trainers at D’Amore’s esteemed Can-Am Wrestling School (where most of the original Team Canada trained at), so he’s a legitimate wrestling coach. And he’s shown in the past year alongside Johnny Impact (John Morrison) and Taya Valkyrie, that he’s willing to go the extra mile for his allies. Now granted, Bravo is an American and not Canadian. But Team Canada has had Americans in the group before that had allegiances to Canadians through wrestling (Jack Evans), and it wouldn’t be the first time an American switched allegiance from the US to Canadian in pro wrestling (looking at YOU, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan).
Another potential recruit in the young blood category is “Diamond Tiger” Kobe Durst. The 24-year old from Toronto is a protege of Ethan Page and has been a regular with Page’s Alpha-1 promotion out of Hamilton since 2015. He’s a 3x Alpha-1 Alpha Male Champion who has been one of Canada’s top indie prospects for years. He broke into the US indies in 2016, but it’s just been the past two years that he’s really seen his stock explode with such promotions as GCW, Black Label Pro, Freelance Wrestling, Beyond Wrestling, and Glory Pro, capturing BLP Heavyweight Championship for 225-days. If The North are part of Team Canada, Page could easily introduce his protege to the world.
If A1 doesn’t return as The Enforcer, “Big Mike” could provide the muscle needed as well as give the stable a bonafide main event contender for the IMPACT Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship. The Toronto-native is a former Ring of Honor World Champion and is a former IWGP Intercontinental and NEVER Openweight Champion in NJPW. He could be their biggest star yet.
Every team needs a little bit of unruly right? If Eric Young doesn’t return, they could fill that wildside aspect by adding Calgary’s “Ravenous” Randy Myers. A near 20-year veteran, he was trained by the Hart Family and worked in Stampede Wrestling in the early 2000s. Since 2007, he’s worked with ECCW, where he’s a former ECCW Champion, and in 2017 broke into the US Pacific Northwest with DEFY Wrestling, where he’s flourished. This past February, he defeated Schaff to win the DEFY Championship.
“Speedball” Mike Bailey
Montreal’s “Speedball” Mike Bailey has been one of the top indie prospects in the world, let alone Canada, competing in the Canadians as well as breaking into the US with the likes of PWG, Beyond Wrestling, EVOLVE Wrestling, and CZW. In 2016, he was caught working the US without a visit and is banned from the US until March of 2021, which saw him head to Europe and work throughout the UK with RevPro, Defiant Wrestling, PCW, OTT, and more, as well as wXw in Germany and DDT Pro in Japan. Signing with a major company like IMPACT Wrestling could alleviate those visa issues, and he could finally get the national television exposure he deserves as part of a new Team Canada.
Although he hails from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, it was in the Ontario indie scene that Tarik really flourished, primarily his work the past few years with Smash Wrestling. One of the most complete and gifted stars on the Canadian indie scene right now, he held the Smash Championship for 280-days from 2018 until the summer of 2019. He debuted with wXw in Germany this past March.
Well, if John E. Bravo did end up the mouth that roared for Team Canada, it would only make sense that his current employer, BC’s Taya Valkyrie, joined the fold. The Canadian lucha star would add instant a Knockouts Championship contender and starpower to boot.
Who would you like to see in a new rebooted Team Canada? Let us know in the comments below!
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