To promote Thursday’s Destination X special on Pop TV, Global Force Wrestling had three competitors from its X Division on a conference call last week: Sonjay Dutt, the current champion; Trevor Lee, who stole the title belt from Dutt; and Low-Ki, who worked in the very first ever X Division bout. Naturally, some fireworks ensued.
Most of the pipe bombs came from Lee.
“It’s funny that you call Sonjay the champion because I’m looking at the title right now,” he jabbed after the introductions. Then, as the call wrapped up, he further debased Dutt, whom he is facing in a Ladder Match with the X Division title at stake.
“After Destination X I’ll be a three-time X Division champion. I’ve been a tag team champion. I’m am the youngest almost Grand Slam champion of the company. I don’t care about Sonjay or LowKi — those guys have had their time. They’re great guys, I’m sure, but now is Trevor Lee’s time, and that’s all you need to worry about,” he said. “Boy, can I not wait for Destination X to grab that title off the ladder, and not have to worry about Sonjay Dutt always trying to viciously attack me for absolutely no reason. It’s going to be great.”
Dutt was a little more honourable in his responses. “Who knows what’s going to happen, but I’m going to climb up there, I’m going to take that belt and be done with Trevor Lee for good,” said the champ. The match will be the “culmination of the shenanigans that Trevor Lee has pulled the last few weeks. … I don’t even think of this as an X Division title shot. I think it’s a match where I’m going to climb the ladder and get my belt back.”
Earlier in the call, Dutt reflected on his busy year. He had been a free agent of sorts, and when Jeff Jarrett reclaimed power in Impact Wrestling out of the ashes of TNA, he was given a chance to return to the company that had been so good to him in the past. A WWE offer was apparently on the table, and Dutt said it was a tough decision.
“A lot of factors played into that, a lot of it has to do with that I’m 35, I’ve got a wife, I’ve got two kids, and a family that I put first, before my decisions in life. A big part of the decision-making process was what was best for them,” explained Dutt, who has children that are six years old and eight months old. “I slept on it a long time.”
With GFW, the 35-year-old was given a role behind the scenes too, as an agent. “It’s the first time I’ve done it,” said Dutt, admitting that it is tough juggling his job in front of the camera with the one on the other side, a part of the GFW team aiming for fresh ideas, fresh talent, and fresh new concepts. “It doesn’t leave me much time in the day, I’ll tell you that.”
For the longest time, Dutt was considered the greatest X Division competitor to never actually win the X Division championship. That changed on May 30 during GFW’s tapings in Mumbai, India. Of Indian descent himself, Dutt considers it a major moment in many ways, and perhaps a further foothold into the growing Indian wrestling scene.
“Our plans were solidified early in the year. We knew we were going to India, we knew a road map of where we wanted to go. We knew that I’m Indian, so it kind of fell into place there,” said Dutt, who beat Low-Ki for the title. “That audience is the real deal.”
While he was asked about WWE putting its title belt on Jinder Mahal, an Indo-Canadian, Dutt deftly avoided any comparison, instead reminding people that he’d been to India for TNA first in 2005, and then was a key player in 2012’s Ring Ka King promotion in India (as were Mahal’s lackeys, Sunil and Samir Singh, then known as the Bollywood Boyz).
“It’s one thing to boast things, but it’s another thing to actually go over there, shake their hands, perform in front of them, and make that connection with them. It’s no secret, it’s got over a billion people, one of the largest middle-class economies in the world. The middle class has more disposable income than ever before in that country,” said Dutt. “But as far as this race to India, I think it’s something that we here as a company have been trying slowly but surely to do.”
With their match set in stone, Lee and Dutt made for good copy on the conference call, but it was the veteran Low-Ki who perhaps had the most to say. At the time of the call, he was scheduled to challenge Alberto El Patron for the Unified GFW World championship; since then, El Patron has been stripped of the title, so Low-Ki’s actually bout at Destination X is in question, and Bruce Prichard is going to make a “monumental” announcement about the title at the show.
But his confidence is certainly not.
The 37-year-old Low-Ki was on the very first Total Nonstop Action Wrestling show on June 19, 2002, in a six-man tag team match alongside A.J. Styles and Jerry Lynn against the Flying Elvises. It was the forerunner of the X Division, and he’s won the X Division title five times in the ensuing years, as he came and went from the promotion. Currently, he is a part of the Latin American Exchange faction, run by his original trainer, Homicide.
He reflected on the importance of the division on both the company and wrestling in general.
“The X Division has carried heavy influence in what you see currently on television in all majors companies, and there’s a reason for it. It wasn’t based off of size, it was based off of style, and in order to get noticed, styles is what makes matches,” said Low-Ki. “Many of the performers that you see in 205 — I shouldn’t say many, because there’s more there now than there were at the beginning, but there’s a handful of them that were former X Division wrestlers. So the identity that 205 is trying to create for them has the heavy influence of the X Division written all over it. There is no comparison. The X Division is a unique identity.”
Former X Division champions AJ Styles and Samoa Joe are now featured players in WWE.
“It’s great to see guys like that get that type of opportunity, and get that kind of stage to showcase their talent,” said Dutt.
Low-Ki expanded on Dutt’s comments. “It’s deserving because I know how hard each of those men work. I’ve been in the ring and have experienced their competitive levels first hand, and can attest to the work ethic that they have in order to be in those positions, but also maintain those positions. These are world-class performers, I’ve been in the ring with them and can attest to that. For them to have the spots of which they have now, it’s because of their hard work. It’s not because of a fluke, it’s not because of some weird happening — they’ve earned that positioning, as they had when they were with us.”
It circles back to the X Division every time, believes Low-Ki, even if GFW is trying to (re)establish itself as a force on the wrestling scene. “The understanding of the X Division is that this is the identity of our company, and it has been for quite some time, from the beginning, and this is what set us apart from everyone else. However, this is a growing stage, because for the most part, this is where you see young, unknown competitors cut their teeth in the pros and elevate themselves on a worldwide scale.”
“It’s a very important time to be in the X Division because it’s now a new era of Global Force, moving into a new era of professional wrestling,” concluded Low-Ki.
SONJAY DUTT STORIES
- March 29, 2018: Future uncertain for Sonjay Dutt
- June 1, 2011: Tigerfest draws Dutt back
- June 28, 2010: Minority Mat Report: Discrimination of South Asians has lessened through the years
- June 9, 2005: Sonjay Dutt a Cup playa
LOW KI / KAVAL STORIES
- May 15, 2020: Intensity, professionalism defines MLW star Low Ki
- Jan. 2, 2011: Kaval vows ‘I won’t be forgotten’
- July 20, 2004: Low-Ki indeed low key
TREVOR LEE / CAMERON GRIMES STORIES