Since 2004 Eric Young has made quite the IMPACT on the world of professional wrestling. He has arguably proven himself to be one of the most adaptable stars in the business today. In my debut article here for Sports Obsessive, I am here to show you just why, Eric Young is one of the most under appreciated character-driven wrestlers in today’s industry.
Starting off in 2004 with his debut for TNA as part of the staple faction Team Canada, under the tutelage of coach Scott D’amore, Eric Young would find himself as one of the rising stars in the company. It would only be a matter of time before he found himself as NWA Tag Team champion along with fellow Team Canada member and good friend Robert “Bobby” Roode. Playing the role of the bad guy seemed to come naturally to him and is a role he appeared to thrive in.
That is however until 2006 when Jim Cornette came on board with TNA as the new authority figure who liked to throw a wrench in the works for the “bad guys”, because after announcing that someone will be fired, Young started to become paranoid that it would be him. This led to Young changing his demeanor, holding up “Don’t Fire Eric Young” signs in the crowd causing fans to chant “Don’t Fire Eric” along with him. Young would also do everything in his power to prevent his fellow Team Canada members from breaking any rules during matches. The writing was in the sand as Team Canada would be forced to disband.
Leading to that years Victory Road, which would really be the catalyst for change in the career of Eric Young. Going from the bad guy who would do anything to get the victory for his Teammates in Team Canada, to fighting for job security as his former friend and partner Robert Roode would gain control of his contract. “Don’t Fire Eric” would ring out through the Impact Zone on a weekly basis, proving once again that Young has natural ability and charisma to go from being one of the most despised wrestlers as part of Team Canada, to being one of the most backed by the fans. Young would end up keeping his job after defeating Larry Zbyszko in a loser gets fired match.
Once again however this would lead to yet another change of persona for Young, after feuding with Impact’s resident Cowboy James Storm and becoming TNA World Beer Drinking Champion. In February 2008, Young would lose the Beer Drinking championship and enter in to a feud with Rellik (That’s Killer spelled backwards), which would turn in to a tag team feud putting Young and Kazarian together as a team. At Destination X, Kazarian and Young would team up to defeat Rellik and Black Reign, although technically Eric Young wasn’t involved in the decision as this would be the night Super Eric debuted.
Young and Kazarian would go on to become Tag Team Champions, but due to Young not admitting that he is in fact Super Eric, the two were stripped of the titles. After failing to regain the championships, Young had a brief gimmick in which he would take to the streets in search of Elvis. The gimmick would be put on the back burner after Slammiversary when Awesome Kong would attack an Elvis impersonator. Soon however AJ Styles & Samoa Joe would create the faction known as The Front Line, in which a group of young wrestlers would take it to the Main Event Mafia to protect the future of young stars in TNA.
Young would become part of this group and really come into his own, no longer scared of Pyro and showing leadership skills. On November 13 2008, Eric Young would defeat Sheik Abdul Bashir to become X Division champion. At that years Final Resolution Young would once again defeat Bashir but with help from the referee, leading to Cornette stripping Young of the championship which he would fail to win back.
In 2009 Eric Young began to show some frustration after a series of losses, and signified these frustrations by attacking Jeff Jarrett after losing a King of the Mountain qualifier. This would eventually lead to a new look and new demeanour from Young. Now leader of the World Elite faction, at Bound For Glory 2009 Young would win his second singles title by pinning Kevin Nash in a three way dance to become TNA Legends Champion, which he would rename the Global championship. He would eventually lose the championship to Rob Terry at a house show in Cardiff, Wales.
Young would go on to be the only person to hold the former King of the Mountain Championship in all four of it’s incarnations. He is also a former Knockouts tag team champion, former NXT, NWA, TNA tag team champion and a former two time Impact World Champion. With each new stage in his career he has managed to win championships and be a highlight of every show and promotion he’s been a part of.
Not many people can say they’ve accomplished what he’s accomplished and the way he finds a way to reinvent himself and keep his characters relevant is an amazing achievement. Right now in Impact Wrestling he is the leader of one of the most popular factions in the company today in Violent by Design, with this group he has raised the profile of Cody Deaner, shown the world how much of a big Hoss Joe Doering is and has shown that Rhino is still the war machine.
In this article the aim was to highlight the fantastic career Eric Young has had and is continuing to have, as well as make the point that he can adapt to any creative situation and make it successful. Eric Young is a guaranteed Hall of Famer and with the career he’s had so far, he is more than deserving.
Thank you for reading.