by: Stuart Dunham
On February 25th 2012, Ground Breaking Wrestling ended its eighth anniversary celebration with a bang. It wasn't’t fireworks and streamers that resounded loudly through the Hanover armory, however. No, it was a chair cracking against the skull of the number one contender to the GBW title, CORE, given by Ryan Slater.
After the main event had ended and CORE’s hand was raised in victory over Tyler Veritas; Joe Gacy, Alex Colon, and Derek Frazier rushed the ring and attacked the GBW icon. Greg Excellent and Simon Ryme would attempt to come to CORE’s rescue, but suffered the same fate at the hands of the three men calling themselves the “Elite.” The ring was soon cleared after Ryan Slater rushed in with a steel chair in his hands. It was only moments later that Slater exposed his true intentions and drove the chair into the bodies of Excellent and Ryme before swinging it at the head of CORE. With the three GBW icons motionless in the ring, Slater and the other Elite posed over their fallen prey mockingly. Slater told shouting fans that he and the Elite 4 were only doing “what was best for GBW.” Slater came to the ring that night in the guise of a hero, and in his own mind, the Elite 4 walked out of 8 Years Strong as saviors.
In a video soon posted on GBWrestling.com, the Elite 4 explained their actions at 8 YEARS STRONG . They claim that they will raise hell in GBW, with the goal of weeding out those who don’t belong and prove that they are better than the originals. The first question raised by these men’s statements is: where has all of this animosity come from? In the cases of Gacy, Colon, and Slater, their anger and angst may be traced to simply being over-looked.
Gacy made a strong impression upon his entrance in the company, with "The Chainsaw" winning the Breaker title from Simon Ryme in September of 2009. However, his title reign was relatively uneventful, and upon losing the title to current BREAKER Champion: Alexander James, in October of 2010, he has floundered in the mid card; with only brief sparks that were soon forgotten, that is, if he was booked to appear at all.
Alex Colon has been lobbying for what seems an eternity for a BREAKER title shot against Alexander James, repeatedly attacking the BREAKER Champion in order to send a message. However, his messages have gone unheeded as he has yet to receive any championship match. Colon has come up victorious in a number of bouts, most notably scoring a fall on CORE to qualify for the 2011 BATTLE of HANOVER, but he always seems to be an afterthought to both GBW management and fans alike.
And then there is Ryan Slater. In his appearances in GBW, Slater’s win/loss record has proven less than stellar. Despite this, Slater has been given the opportunity to wrestle for the BREAKER title on more than one occasion, and was even granted a slot in 2011 BATTLE of HANOVER, although losing in the first round to Eric Enders. Even with victories over industry veterans like Adam Flash, Slater seems unable to get the job done when something bigger is riding on the line. This has given an impression to the GBW faithful that Ryan Slater is a choke artist. It is conceivable that this label and the number of high profile losses have pushed Slater to the boiling point. The anger and intensity that he expressed as he decimated the three biggest stars of GBW showed us all a new side of Ryan Slater. Slater has the most to prove out of each of these men, and the way he carried himself as 8 YEARS STRONG came to a close proved that he is ready to step up and make his mark on GBW.
But what about Derek Frazier, the veteran of the Elite 4? What are his intentions with this new stable of fighters? Long standing GBW fans will remember that this is not the first time that Derek Frazier has been part of a group with the goal to snuff out GBW. Back in 2005, Frazier and small band of men from Maryland’s Eastern Wrestling Alliance that included the members of The Varsity as well as the current GBW WORLD Champion, Jimmy Starz, invaded GBW and tried to wrestle the reigns of the company away from Vice President Debbie Bouche. The team from EWA was ultimately unsuccessful and were forced to disband after losing to Team GBW in an eight man tag that included current stars Greg Excellent and Eric Enders (then known as The Fan). Frazier would go on to find great success in GBW, becoming a two time BREAKER Champion as well as a GBW WORLD Champion before injuries sidelined him for years. Since his return late last year, Frazier has been successful in most of his bouts, but he hasn't’t been able to reach the level of his original run with the company. It seems that Frazier has never forgotten the failure of his first attempt to “raise hell” in GBW and this time around he is part of a stronger and more experienced team of renegades intent on taking the spotlight away from GBW’s founding fathers.
There has been no official response from the three men left lying by the Elite 4 or from GBW management, but one can only imagine that this issue will be on the burner and getting hotter come March 24th at Kneel Before Zod. As the lines are drawn, it will be interesting to see what side the rest of the men in the GBW locker room will be on. Will more GBW staples like the current TAG TEAM Champions: Ian Cross and Eric Enders, become targets of the Elite 4? Who will the current GBW WORLD Champion: Jimmy Starz (who has fought against many of the same things the Elite 4 fight now), side with? Even more importantly, who will the GBW fans – some of whom may welcome new blood in the GBW spotlight -- side with? One thing is for sure, if the hungry and motivated Elite 4 are able to realize the goals they have set, then GBW will shortly become an anarchist’s dream.
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