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‘Da Pope’ Is Set To Hunt For Gold In Ohio

Elijah Burke to face off against Jessie Godderz

Sometimes, it’s better to wait and have patience, rather than speak and prove yourself a fool. On June 17th, I wrote an article noting that OVW National Champion ‘Mr Pectacular’ Jessie Godderz had been rather quiet on OVW TV lately, and listing who I wanted to see become the next challenger to Godderz’s title.

Lo and behold, if that evening’s edition of OVW TV didn’t just confirm who Godderz’s next challenger would be, but announced that it would be someone I hadn’t even considered; a former OVW alumnus who has gone on to have success elsewhere and is currently the NWA TV Champion, ‘Da Pope’ Elijah Burke!

Now, as a fan of both OVW and the NWA, I’m very excited about this match. Not least because we’re not looking at periphery figures or wrestlers at the bottom of the card. These are two of each promotion’s major stars, making this a real Clash of the Champions. Both men can go in the ring as well, so it really promises to be a highlight of OVW’s upcoming Chained Carnage special on June 26th.

Of course, it raises several questions. Who approached who and why has not been disclosed. While it might be easy to speculate that this could be the sign of a partnership between the NWA and OVW, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a relationship there at all per se. ‘Da Pope’ could be doing OVW a favour, being former talent for the yellow and black company, although the fact that both companies have recently made deals with Fite TV to air their content is an interesting if coincidental one.

Pope may have even taken it upon himself, as the TV Champion for the recently returned NWA, to help spread the word for the company and send himself on a little crusade, much like the ‘Aldis Crusade’ of 2018 when NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis travelled all across America and Britain defending the Ten Pounds of Gold and bring more eyes to its home promotion.

Having said that, while Aldis’ NWA title defences in other companies have often been filmed and added to streaming services or YouTube, it’s also true that his actual televised defences, outside of All In, were for companies that the NWA had active working relationships with Ring of Honor and Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. That’s before we get to the United Wrestling Network’s Prime Time Live series of shows and the NWA Women’s Championship being defended in AEW. So there is a precedent to suggest a working relationship with other companies when the NWA allows their titles to be defended on televised programming.

Whatever may be the case, the Pope-Godderz match on June 26th is sure to be a great one and will surely bring that big fight feel on the night.

Bring it on.

Written by Chris Flackett

Wrestling obsessed since '91. Lived through the Monday Night Wars and is still here to tell the tale. Major fan of Strong Style, technical and Super Jr. Wrestling, as well as big versatile hosses smacking the hell out of each other. Lives in Manchester, England.

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