With stints in WWE, NWA and currently with Impact, Eli Drake has seen a lot in his 15 years in this industry. He is very cognizant of the landscape of pro wrestling and knows that competition only pushes everyone to be better.
Drake spoke with Wrestling Inc. about the current wrestling landscape and how this competitive nature only leads to better content being put out.
"The business is always evolving and you've gotta evolve with the business in a reasonable way," said Drake. "A lot of people try to evolve in unreasonable ways and I don't agree with them. But you must evolve and be better than the same guy next to you, at the same time being able to work with the guy next to you.
"It's an interesting dynamic and if you look at the landscape of wrestling, things are really starting to pick up and it's about to turn into a different ballgame, I think."
"Yea, I've been here for the past four years now," stated Drake. "They've taken care of me and I've enjoyed my time here for sure."
Drake just wrapped up an appearance at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas which is geared to hunting and outdoors enthusiasts. He discussed the reception that Impact Wrestling received from what may be a different audience than they're accustomed to being around.
"We had some pretty good traffic while we were there," said Drake. "A lot of people were excited to see us and it was definitely a different show. I've been here for [Mr.] Olympia. I've never been here for the SHOT Show until today. It was definitely cool.
"In a certain sense, I can definitely see how it works out for us. There's a built-in audience in a way, but at the same time, we're sort of the sore thumb of the channel which makes us stand out.
"'What's this show doing on my channel? Oh, wait this is kinda interesting – I'm gonna stick around for this.'"
While at SHOT Show, Drake and Taya Valkyrie ran into someone else who is quite familiar in wrestling circles.
"It's really funny. I was just telling Taya about a photo that was posted of me earlier to Instagram," said Drake. "I was like, 'Man, my eyes look so tired. I look like 1991 Undertaker when he had the makeup under his eyes.'
"Not 10 seconds later, I turn around and [Undertaker's] right there," said Drake. "He was like, 'I didn't know they were gonna have wrestlers here' and he came over and introduced himself. Then we took a picture and he went on his way."
The full interview with Drake will be available on Thursday's edition of our WINCLY podcast. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc Audio on iTunes to get our latest podcasts as soon as they are released.