Let me talk to ya, dummies!
Former Impact World Champion Eli Drake made a surprise appearance at this Friday night’s ROH Best in the World pay-per-view, filling in for Colt Cabana as the tag team partner of NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis.
The two fought valiantly, defending the honor of the National Wrestling Alliance against The Briscoes in a wild brawl that ultimately ended in an unexpected referee stoppage, with Mr. Drake fighting through the crowd and mixing it up with another surprise appearance – none other than “The Cowboy” James Storm!
Following the match, the NWA announced the following:
“We are proud to announce the signing of this man to the National Wrestling Alliance…. ELI DRAKE!”
We are proud to announce the signing of this man to the National Wrestling Alliance… ELI DRAKE! pic.twitter.com/HwyLgN6vxb
— NWA (@nwa) June 29, 2019
Drake, 36, has been wrestling for around 17 years and actually worked some of his very first matches for the NWA Wildside promotion in Georgia. He spent his early years working with the Heartland promotion in Ohio, and later for Mach One in California, where he won the NWA Heritage Tag Team Championships twice with Brian Cage.
In 2013 Drake signed a developmental deal with WWE and got as far as being a jobber to guys like Mason Ryan and Mojo Rawley during dark matches and NXT Live events, but ended up leaving the company due to issues with former head trainer Bill DeMott.
He finally got his first run on television after signing with Impact Wrestling in 2015, and was immediately put into a short-lived group with Drew McIntyre and Tanga Loa. Drake got his first shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship a year after debuting, losing to McIntyre, but won the TNA King of the Mountain Championship just two days later.
In August 2017, Drake won a 20-man gauntlet match for the vacant Impact Wrestling World Championship to win the title for the very first time. He would hold the belt through the end of the year scoring victories against Matt Sydal, Johnny Impact and Alberto el Patron, before dropping it to Austin Aries.
In 2018 he won the Impact World Tag Team Championships with Scott Steiner, and worked a program with various hardcore stars, leading to a Monster’s Ball with Abyss at Impact Homecoming. In early June, Drake announced on Twitter that he was a free agent.