As we were talking to Eddie Edwards last week during a media conference, the wrestler was on the road to recovery. During the recent session of tapings in Orlando, he was hit in the face with a baseball bat by Sami Callihan. But his mind was great. “I had a small fracture around my eye, small fracture on the right side of my nose, and a couple cuts, and a pretty sweet black eye. As of now the pain has gone, it’s a good thing, and my vision is just about back to 100%. It could have been worse.” Even if it was an accident, Eddie Edwards can’t wait to be back in the ring to take care of Callihan and oVe. “My focus is to get my hands on Sami and oVe and try to get a little revenge, get some payback. That’s definitely in the works for me.”

The tapings of change

Many changes happened during the last session of tapings. People came, people left. The ring changed too. As his contract is coming to an end this year, many thought Eddie Edwards would follow the steps of EC3 and Lashley. But Edwards was clear about his situation with IMPACT Wrestling: “Impact Wrestling has been my home for the last few years and it will continue to be my home for the foreseeable future.” Working in a 4-sided ring was nothing new to him as, like he quoted, everywhere else for the most part he works in a 4-sided ring. Austin Aries is back and for Edwards, it’s nothing but positive. “Aries was a huge part of Impact Wrestling just a few years ago. He’s elevated his game. To be able to come back with the new crop of wrestlers and superstars in Impact Wrestling again, it gives us some unique match-ups. He’s a true professional. He is one of the best in the game right now, as far as on the mic and in the ring. He’s someone special. It’s nice to have him back. Back home as we say, in Impact Wrestling.”

Edwards defeated Lashley to become the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. He wrestled him in the Hardy compound at Total Non Stop Deletion. Seeing him leave IMPACT reminded him how great a wrestler and a man he can be. “Lashley is the man, he’s a great guy outside the ring and obviously an unbelievable talent and a freak of nature in the ring. I always felt that we had good chemistry and he would bring the best out of me like I would do my best to bring the best out of him. I said this before but I would wrestle Lashley any day of the week every day of the week. I wanted to be a part of Total Non Stop Deletion. Because it’s such a cool thing, a different thing in professional wrestling. When I got word that we were going to be doing a match there, I was pumped about it. As far as bucket list thing in professional wrestling, I can honestly say that wrestling on a volcano, that wasn’t on my bucket list. But, now that I’ve done it I’m very happy that it can be on my bucket list. Because I never thought I’d be getting blown up on a volcano while fighting Bobby Lashley. I really enjoy every of our matches.”

On August 26, 2017, Edwards defeated Katsuhiko Nakajima to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship

A Worldwide Champion

2017 was a great year for Eddie Edwards as he became the first gaijin (non-Japanese wrestler) to win Pro Wrestling NOAH GHC Heavyweight Championship. Dooes he want to come back to NOAH this year? “Winning the GHC championship was always one of my goals as a professional wrestler. Unfortunately, I lost that title. I have a lot of friends over there as well. I’m keeping my options open. I’m just looking forward to getting back over.” This title chance was made possible by IMPACT Wrestling multiple partnerships with wrestling companies around the world. Something Edwards is fully aware of. “Partnerships open up the door to endless possibilities, match-ups you thought you’d never see. If it wasn’t for the work relationship, for us and wrestling, I probably wouldn’t have got the chance to become the GHC Champion. That’s what we have these working relations, it just opens up doors and provides opportunity.”

Eddie Edwards is one of the very few wrestlers in the business to have held a Championship in 3 different continents, Asia, America and Europe. In 2011 he became Fight Club: PRO Championship and has been to witness the evolution of the business as he’s been wrestling in the UK for 10 years. “It’s pretty amazing to see what’s going on in the UK see it right now. Independent wrestling is just on fire and it’s a real cool thing to say it’s a seed. 2008 was the first time I got over, see how it was back then with ups and downs. But see how it is now, the game’s just elevated. Right now you can find a good show to go almost any day of the week. There’s a lot of talent over there right now and I think it’s going to be breaking out very shortly hopefully internationally. I love going to UK, especially right now, because the crowd is so hot.”

Wherever he wrestled, like in Canada at Bound for Glory, Eddie Edwards is focused on one thing, giving the fans what they want. “As far as getting to work for a new crowd, that’s always a great thing for any company to expand the brand by now. For us in the ring, we’re going to go out, do for ourselves, that never changes. But to be able to apply our trade in front of people who may not have seen us live, it’s just a new chance to bring new fans in. So there is a sense of pressure to show these people what we can do and what we can accomplish to try to get them on board.”

The American Wolves, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards

From The Wolves to the top

Eddie Edwards made his debut with IMPACT as a member of The Wolves. With Davey Richards, they became 5-time TNA World Tag Team Champions. They worked together like one against each other, a situation Edwards enjoyed to be involved in. “Coming into Impact Wrestling as part of the Wolves with Davey Richards, that’s what we wanted to do. But I think one of the strong points for us as a team was at any point you could break us apart or we could go singles and we would still had success. That’s a very unique thing you don’t see with a lot of tag teams.”

Richards left IMPACT last year to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor, leaving his friend being able to fulfill his own dream as a single competitor. Eddie Edwards wants to be IMPACT World Champion again. As a veteran who’s worked all around the world for more than 15 years, Edwards is fully aware that if he wants to last, he has to stay on top of his game. “You have to refine everything, the style in the ring but obviously you have to rehab and be preventative. It’s all about taking care of your body the best you can. Obviously, some things are unavoidable like getting hit in the face with a baseball bat but, other than that, you do your best to take care of yourself and be smart because I don’t plan on finishing up anytime soon so the longer I can do this, the better. So I just continue to do the same thing, I worry about my stuff in the ring, trying to represent myself to the best of my abilities.”

The example of his trainer Killer Kowalski seems to be one of the keys of his longevity. “One of the most important things Killer taught me was everything had to be real there. There’s no pulling any there, there’s no half-that. You had to be either all in or you’re out. I’ve carried out that thing with me throughout my career. I remember he was always there, first person there, last one to leave and that’s a mentality that I tried to apply to myself.” With this example in mind, Eddie Edwards will probably spend many more years in the Impact Zone proving to all the wrestlers he’s not only here to play, but here to stay.

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...