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#MustWatchMonday (9/26/16): Another Filipino Wrestler Making an IMPACT




TJP's win in the Cruiserweight Classic has helped increase Filipino interest in the WWE and wrestling in general. Perkins however, is not the only Filipino prominent in wrestling.

Zema Ion, currently going by DJZ, is a TNA-contracted wrestler who has been with the company for the last five years. His career as a wrestler started in 2003, with him going by the name Shiima Xion and dubbing himself the "first Filipino male model of wrestling." Before landing in TNA, he wrestled around the world, working in promotions such as DDT in Japan, AAA in Mexico and various other smaller companies. (Fun fact: In Mexico, DJZ wrestled El Generico, now known as who may or may not be related to the WWE's Sami Zayn.)


In 2011, DJZ debuted for TNA under the name Zema Ion, and is a staple for the promotion's X-Division, which is basically TNA's equivalent of a Cruiserweight division. One of his first matches featured him going up against Jack Evans, Austin Aries, and Low Ki for a shot at a TNA contract.


After several attempts during his first year to win the X-Division championship, he finally did it in 2012's edition of Destination X, beating out Sonjay Dutt, Kenny King, and Mason Andrews in an Ultimate X match. Briefly, an Ultimate X match is much like a ladder match in that the championship belt is suspended over the ring, and the competitors race to bring it down first and win the title. What makes it different however is that instead of climbing a ladder to get to the belt, you have to climb up the turnbuckle and get to the middle of the ring by traversing a rope. While he used nefarious means to win the championship, Zema Ion ultimately won this match, and became the first Filipino to win a championship in TNA.


Just short of a hundred days later though, Zema Ion would lose the championship to Rob Van Dam. He would then fail in multiple attempts to win back the title, until he got injured, went away for a short while and came back as the DJ of BroMans. He stayed with them until they broke up when Jessie Godderz attacked Robbie E. Going back to singles competition, DJZ did reasonably well for himself, getting into a few X-Division championship matches, and making it to the quarterfinals of the TNA World Title series. His time would come again, though, when Bobby Lashley was forced to vacate the X-Division championship, and an Ultimate X gauntlet match was held to see who would become the new champion. DJZ would go up against Mandrews, Andrew Everett, Trevor Lee, Rockstar Spud, and Braxton Sutter for the gold (match starts at 23 minutes).



Typical of an X-Division match, there is constant movement and the wrestlers go at a blistering pace. The match starts out with just DJZ and Trevor Lee in the ring; and one by one, Andrew Everett, Mandrews, Braxton Sutter, and Rockstar Spud proceed to enter the ring and join the action. The match is filled with flips and the wrestlers constantly sabotaging the others' attempts at climbing up for the belt. Eventually, Rockstar Spud takes out Braxton Sutter with a chair, and Everett and Lee climb towards the belt together. Being in the same stable, their initial goal was just to bring the belt home to Gregory Helms. However, they couldn't decide who would hold the belt, and fought over it over the ring until DJZ came flying out of nowhere to grab the title from them and win his second X-Division championship. It's one of the better Ultimate X matches out there, and now, a Filipino is a champion in both TNA and WWE.
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Brandon Sy is a PhD student in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics currently based in Sydney. Since he wasn't allowed to watch wrestling as a kid, he's been overcompensating ever since. Despite being a huge fan of Japanese wrestling, he still holds a soft spot in his heart for WWE's Kane. He's good for recommending matches from pretty much anywhere, whether it be Japan, Europe, the US or Mexico. He'd be ecstatic if you watched Dragon Gate though.

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