Hey everyone, I’m Sam and this is my first article for One Stop Wrestling. I’m thankful for this first subject, Ace Austin. Hopefully he and I will grow and continue to get better together. I’m looking forward to checking in on Ace Austin from time to time. Can’t wait.
Ace Austin may be the most unknown 24-year-old champion at a major promotion. He definitely shouldn’t be. I have to honestly say, until someone told me about Tessa Blanchard’s run I never watched Impact Wrestling. I gave up keeping up with them. Since then, I think I have missed one or two shows only, so I’ve gotten to watch Ace Austin grow. He is currently the Impact Wrestling X-Division Champion. The questions I have are: is he ready for the Impact Wrestling World Championship or will he jump to a bigger promotion? Should he? Is he ready for any of it?
Austin James Highly began his wrestling career by attending the Wild Samoan Pro-Wrestling Training Center in 2014. Next, he attended the Combat Zone Wrestling Dojo, then wrestled for CZW. Austin began developing his character while competing all over North America. This included my home area with me not even knowing about him, but I do remember him. His energy and passion were obvious even then. Some of the bigger promotions then requested him to work shows: World Xtreme Wrestling in Florida, Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore, Mexico’s Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide and MLW.
In 2019, Impact Wrestling signed Ace Austin and they started introducing the character that would be Ace Austin through videos. He started out with an undefeated streak, and soon received a #1 contender’s X-Division match against Johnny Impact (now WWE’s John Morrison). Austin lost, but quickly rebounded at the 2019 Rebellion PPV in a 6-man match.
Impact Wrestling decided Ace Austin needed big feuds to solidify his character, and his place at Impact Wrestling. Ace Austin began his first big feud with Eddie Edwards over his wife, Alisha, which led to him winning his first X-Division Championship at the 2019 Bound for Glory PPV.
Austin was then handed a golden opportunity to feud with Tessa Blanchard, where he stated that he grew a lot with his stories in the ring. In my opinion, both Austin and Blanchard put on great matches using their quickness and power against each other. This led up to a Champion vs Champion match in which Tessa was victorious, receiving a chance at Austin’s X-Division Championship. Of course, Ace Austin kept his championship after Taya Valkyrie (WWE NXT’s new Franky Monet) attacked Tessa. Eventually, Ace Austin went on to lose his title to Willie Mack.
Thorn in His Side
Impact Wrestling has decided who should be teaching Ace Austin the ropes. On TV, TJP has been the thorn in Austin’s side. TJP is the person who stopped his undefeated streak, and their feud has continued on-and-off for around two-and-a-half years. In my opinion, TJP is one of greatest wrestlers around; wrestling everywhere from Impact Wrestling, MLW, New Japan Strong, Warrior Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling. He has the experience and knowledge that I hope Austin is soaking in. Look for this feud to continue for a couple more years!
Being A Tag Team
Ace Austin realized with Impact Wrestling that he had a hole in his knowledge: tag team wrestling. So he went on to work as part of a tag team with Madman Fulton, who had recently been in a faction with the Crist brothers. Austin said in a Sports Illustrated interview: “Austin wanted to be real with his work and learning.” Most (including me) thought that Fulton would merely be the muscle behind Austin, but no; Austin truly became a student of tag team wrestling, learning techniques and the psychology of it all and this has been impressive to watch.
Later in the Sports Illustrated interview, Austin talks about being compared to AJ Styles. He believes that since Styles is the best, then it is obvious he should be compared to him, since he is the best now.
Questions For the Future
Is Ace Austin ready for making a real run at the Impact Wrestling World Championship? I think yes – but not immediately. Maybe starting at Slammiversary after dropping his title. He could attack the Champion – whoever it may be, especially if it is Rich Swann or Kenny Omega. Ace Austin can keep up with both now and has enough technique to make it real. Now, should he go over? I guess that depends on the story-line they decide to tell. I would love for Moose to come back and Austin take him on with the championship. Austin loves to play mind games and I can definitely see him rocking everything that EC3 gave Moose with his Control Your Narrative story-line.
Should Austin jump to WWE or AEW when his contract is over? I sure hope not. He has a lot of people currently in Impact Wrestling that can tell him what WWE is really like. Austin would only need to sit down with TJP. Some things are worth more than money including your character, story-line, and time on TV. As for AEW, sure he would fit in there very well, but why leave and get lost among all the other young talent over there? Especially with the partnership they have with AEW already. I definitely see him one day taking on Jungle Boy and Sammy Guevara, but he has proven you can learn and become a star in Impact Wrestling, plus still wrestle in independent promotions when you want.
What do you think about Ace Austin? What else can he do to convince you how good he is? Should he go after the Impact Wrestling Championship or leave for WWE or AEW? Tell me why! You can talk to me by commenting here, or write to me at ProWrestlingOT@gmail.com. Don’t forget to listen to my podcast ‘Pro Wrestling Overtime’ and hit me up on Twitter @ProOvertime. I’ll talk to you soon and see you down the road.
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