With the WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic currently happening, it is somewhat funny to acknowledge that one of the world’s best light heavyweights is not in it. Yet, that’s exactly what TNA’s DJ Z has quietly turned himself into.
The wrestler formerly known as Zema Ion has become a wonderful delight to consume whenever TNA is airing one of its shows. Really, the 29 year old has gone from a green risk-taker to a polished and refined talent who has no issues carrying matches on his back as if the company’s fate depended on it — which it might.
It is hard to pinpoint the exact date when DJ Z became this next-level type of performer, as he has had several successful pushes in TNA before, but it became evident toward the end of the ill-fated BroMans gimmick that he was above playing the role of sidekick.
Over the last several weeks, he has gotten even better. It is appearing as if we are nearing his actual in-ring peak.
There are still some issues with DJ Z, however. His gimmick, which really isn’t even a gimmick at this point, can use some changing. DJ Z is just a weird name for a person to have. Originally used due to the BroMans angle — as he was their personal DJ (har har har) — it is too, well, dumb to be attached to a wrestler as gifted as him. Going back to Zema Ion seems logical, so too would to go to using his real life name of Michael Paris.
Honestly, what TNA should do is take a page out of the WWE’s book. In what can be a semi-shoot of the WWE’s CWC, which has been awesome I might add, TNA can regularly tout DJ Z as the actual best cruiserweight in the world. It can point to his history in promotions such as Desastre Total Ultraviolento and AAA in a way to help build up a lore behind him.
In a way, as the WWE has done for the talent who has wrestled on its CWC, TNA should be building the DJ Z brand as being more a world renown wrestler — though, yes, he’s not as renowned in reality — who is the type of high-flyer people should really be clamoring for.
It should be done in such a way, to such an absurd point, that it results in people discussing how he’s better than X-amount of wrestlers in the CWC.
This would do a few things. One of which being a thing TNA loves to do.
It would make for quality, semi-shoot promos on the WWE (TNA loves this).
It elevates DJ Z to being a must-see talent (even if the reality is more complex).
In theory, it would help elevate the X-Division again.
DJ Z can, in a perfect world, become the face of TNA.
For those unaware of DJ Z, he is by no means a perfect talent. It is definitely hard to tell how great he truly is. While I’ve spent a solid amount of time looking at old footage of him, then some recent matches, TNA’s style of wrestling — the often no-selling of moves in the attempt to get off even more moves — is sometimes hard to swallow and enjoy.
Still, as far as actual athleticism and skill set, there are few on the planet who are as breathtaking to watch perform as DJ Z.
The very best aspect of DJ Z is that he has shown the ability to adept to several styles. While he is currently trotting about TNA as a high-flying face, previous incarnations of his work have shown him be a more technical wrestler while a heel, and there are even times when he will abandon his athleticism outright, instead focusing on being a straight heel who will use eye-pokes, back rakes, and a billion other tactics that look more like heel Ric Flair in the ring than a light heavyweight.
Nevertheless, DJ Z isn’t perfect, nor is he the very best cruiserweight in the world. However, quietly, he has quickly become one of the best in that category of wrestler in the entire planet. Even better, he is only beginning to crack the surface of his talents.
If you haven’t — and yes, I know, TNA — you might want to watch the next airing of a TNA programming, because however good I think he is, he will only be better the next time out.