Eli Drake Talks TNA Impact Wrestling, the Rock, Paul Bearer and More

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2016

Photo Credit: ImpactWrestling.com

TNA Impact Wrestling star Eli Drake has made a major splash since joining the company in 2015, and he has made sure to capitalize on his opportunity to shine on television.

Drake is one of the brightest stars found on Impact Wrestling every Tuesday night on Pop TV, and in the short time he has been with TNA, he has given some of the most entertaining promos in the company on a weekly basis.

At 33 years old, Drake already has almost 14 years of experience in the business and is using all he has learned to become a great heel character for Impact Wrestling. Now that TNA is giving him the chance to shine, wrestling fans will remember his name.

Drake spoke with Ring Rust Radio in a recent interview about his time with Impact Wrestling and the show’s jump to Pop TV, his interactions with The Rock on the set of the reality series The Hero, his time with Paul Bearer as his manager (known then as Percy Pringle) and so much more.

Since February 2015, Drake has been a big part of the TNA roster and one of the most entertaining personalities in wrestling. From his interactions with Drew Galloway to his battles against Grado, Drake has been gold on the microphone in every segment.

When asked about what his time in Impact Wrestling and how the locker room has adjusted to the shift from Destination America to Pop TV, Drake spoke candidly about the situation:

I think for the most part, it’s business as usual. At the same time, I think there is kind of a newfound positivity in a sense. Not to say that it wasn’t there before, but I think it’s just grown. There is a level of camaraderie where everybody is just having fun with what we’re doing, and at the same time, I think we’re putting on pretty good show.

What separates Drake from the roster in TNA is his ability to talk. As the one of the best dispensers of promos in the company, he has already found himself tasked with carry entire programs based on his ability to run down his opponents.

Drake was also able to test his mic skills against one of the best ever in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson when the two men interacted on the popular reality TV series The Hero. The experience was memorable for Drake, who spoke about what it meant to him:

That was just an awesome and crazy experience. I didn’t necessarily get anything directly as far as career pointers or anything like that, but we had very good chemistry back and forth, on and off camera. We would kind of shoot jabs at each other. Like he asked if I ever got to the finale what I would do, and he hit me with the "It doesn’t matter!" which was crazy for me. That was something that I watched in high school and now he was hitting me with it. It was great because there were some times where I would have the open forum to spout what I was feeling and thinking at the war room table. I remember one time when I was done, one of the guys who was part of the Rock’s crew pulled me aside afterward and said, “That was an incredible promo.” He had heard the first couple of seconds of it and thought that I was rocking it. I thought that was great and his guys are putting me over.

The Rock wasn’t the only WWE legend to have a profound interest in his career, as Drake was also mentored for a time by Hall of Famer Paul Bearer, known then as Percy Pringle (real name: William Moody). With Moody's bounty of experience in the business, Drake credits him for taking the time to teach him about the industry:

Now you’re talking about four years of that guy walking me to the ring in Championship Wrestling in Hollywood and a couple other small promotions on the West Coast. He had just an immense wealth of knowledge that came with him. Great stories, funny stories and goofy antics. It was really fun just to have him around and he was more than willing to talk to the guys, give advice and things like that. He was beyond willing, he was thankful. I remember one time I was venting some frustrations in trying to figure out what I wanted to do or where to go, and he gave me his own insight on it. Afterwards, he was so grateful for the fact that I sought him out for advice. That’s just something unspeakable to his character. I can’t even describe, it was incredible.

Drake may be new to many wrestling fans, but he has plenty of seasoning from a long career on the independent scene. With his work in TNA, though, he is proving that he should have found his way to a major television show sooner.

The time waiting on the sidelines has created a drive in Drake that will help catapult him to the top of the card for Impact Wrestling, and his combination of in-ring prowess and ability to cut an amazing promo makes him a valuable commodity moving forward for TNA.

Now that Drake has the opportunity to shine and is delivering every chance he gets, it’s just a matter of time before the shot-callers at Impact Wrestling book him at the top of the card where he belongs.

For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player above (some language NSFW).