A few weeks ago I spoke about this feud in detail and how it fascinating to see how Impact has kept up every detail of this feud. The easiest way to keep people interested in something that had been going on for a while is adding more depth and layers to a feud. The biggest issue with adding layers or exposition is that the layers and depth have to make sense and fit together or fans and in some cases talent will loose interest in a feud. In reality not every story can be milked for months or years at a time and others can. The best way in my opinion to figure that out is drawing out a plan and adding to it as you go.
In my opinion, there is a difference between being typecast and being fit to have a specific role and do it better then anyone else. Very few people fit the role of an evil, sinister, un-trusting person like James Mitchell who has always fit that role better from the start of his career almost thirty years ago. At this point Rosemary maybe fitting the role of an underdog as she is trying to help Suzie remember, but that help is coming at the expense of her matches and distracting her from the action. Think about this Rosemary gets to show a side of herself that she hadn't in the past using a vulnerable side to help Suzie. Suzie is showing an innocent side which is the polar opposite of where she was before this story began nearly two years ago.
After a little more than a year as adversaries Rosemary and Su Yang have had the longest consistent feud in current wrestling. At one point I wasn't a fan of this angle cause it wasn't my cup of tea and just was too far over the top for me. However, looking at this now and seeing the continuity and the amount of small details they have stuck to it gives the angle a different feel and something that should be praised. It isn't always easy to keep everyone on television and the interest levels high on feuds when the talent isn't always prominently featured on television like these women.
In my opinion, this seems a little on par with a Paul Heyman esque bridging story/feud which is one of the main reasons that I have taken to wrestling so much. I know every feud can't be a two year novel like this one, but the small details and continuity should be the real take away from this feud. Sometimes our wrestling companies think if they forgot a small detail then the fans won't remember either. Segments like this makes Impact seem unique and different then the other wrestling promotions. I still am not really a fan of this feud, because of how far off it is from the normal. After this segment this feud does have my attention and I'm interested in seeing where things go from here.
We are less than a month away from January 12 and "Hard To Kill!" Impact has made sure that this week the intensity level moved just a little closer to a 100. The only thing that would've changed things is if the police actually did have to break-up the street fight between Sami Callahan & Tessa Blanchard I know that's crazy, but think about how it would've looked if it did happen. The PPV continues to fill in match wise with more anticipation being added to upcoming matches. For me I am looking forward to Ken Shamrock vs Madman Fulton as this is an interesting dynamic as it could reestablish Fulton as a very dangerous man.
As far as takeaways from this episode I do think it gave enough to bring the viewers back to at least see what is going on next week for Christmas Eve, but this should be something they look at as challenge as opposed to something to avoid as this how to build upward momentum. One other point I would make is that Rob Van Dam needs to keep taking steps forward as a heel and slowly cut away the moves that made him RVD integrating a new move-set. In my opinion, the only way the heel turn or change of attitude for RVD will work is by changing his personality to being someone who doesn't believe he needs to take risks anymore and has given enough to wrestling. Other than that another solid show for Impact as they move to 2020 and a new year.
As I've mentioned in the past I don't mind the feud between Tessa Blanchard and Sami Callahan as long as Impact keeps it on the ground. For years I've heard about Tessa Blanchard more about her lineage then anything else. Being a third generation superstar she was bound get some attention from the outset, but once you get passed her lineage you see just how extremely gifted she is and that she belongs here. Wrestling has been making strides in the last few years outside of WWE with Tessa being a part of the first women's match in China.
In no uncertain terms Tessa has almost perfected her gimmick since her arrival in Impact and even though there have been some missteps and mistakes, but that happens to everyone and it's about how you get back up. This video might've been from July and the very beginning of her move to the men's division, but this perfectly shows how far she's come. For those who think that she might've had it easy think about having the shadow of your grandfather, father, and step-father (Magnum TA) hanging over you as you make strides and build your own career. I can guarantee it hasn't been easy, but she has earned every single thing that has been given to her since the very start of her career and still has a bright future.
Hard to Kill is approaching very quickly and slowly but surely the card is coming together nicely for Impact's first PPV of 2020. I know that I have my own opinions on wrestling and what I like see and in some cases this episode of Impact gave that to me and other cases it really didn't. The real question is did the positives outweigh the negatives and the answer is yes. I've said it before and will keep saying it until the feud is over between Callahan and Blanchard, but as long as Impact doesn't jump the shark of believablity then I don't have an issues with it. I have a tough time believing that Tessa can work a competitive match with Madman Fulton, but flipping the coin someone could say the same about Rey Mysterio against Brock Lesnar, Strowman, and a host of others. I'll also give Impact a pass, because of the ending of the show and making Fulton more of a monster then they ever have before.
In no uncertain terms Fulton tried to destroy Ken Shamrock to the point of making it seem like Callahan couldn't control him anymore. Imagine how dangerous Madman Fulton could be if Callahan lost control of his monster. As for other points on the show I always love an underdog story and Rich Swann's win gave that to us and now I'm curious what happens at "Hard to Kill" on January 12. I'm liking the new RVD, but he needs to stop doing the the Five Star Frog Splash to really embrace the turn. Maybe a fake retirement where instead Rob retiring he retires the frog splash. I would also think letting him and Tommy brawl where Rob bloodies Tommy like we haven't seen in years to get some real heat on the new Rob Van Dam. Either way my interest is still on a high for Impact as we wrap up 2019.
After last week's episode of Impact Wrestling I wasn't sure what to expect this week, guess last week was indeed a special for the holiday. Things are shaping up nicely for the first PPV of the new year for Impact Wrestling. As I've mentioned I have no issues with Sami vs Tessa as long as they keep it simple and don't try and make it crazier then it needs to be. As long as I can suspend disbelief while I'm watching wrestling and get lost in a moment then I'm fine with what is going on, when I can't there is a problem. If I can't get lost in the wrestling then I look for moments that I can do that with to provide me with the type of wrestling I'm looking for most. Tessa should be treated as an equal of Sami Callahan, because it was her choice to make the move to the men's division and fight the guys so she should be thought of as an equal not someone that is different then Sami or someone who can't handle being with the guys. Hearing Josh & Don make a big deal out of Tessa getting beaten up makes it harder to believe that she belongs there in my opinion they need to tone it down and treat her more like someone who belongs and can take lickin and keep on ticking.
The other part of the show that caught my attention is Impact finally revisiting the heel turn of Rob Van Dam and seeing where we go from here. Rob hasn't been a heel in almost twenty years and it was in a way the only thing that could've given his career a breath of fresh air. Now if they play on the twos history together and mention that the roles are reversed now it could make for an interesting dynamic as the two veterans are set to meet on January 12. The best thing I can say is sometimes a show is a hit or a miss, but I've seen more episodes of Impact Wrestling this year then I have from AEW and they are second to WWE only by a little bit. Heading into 2020 I'll make one suggestion and that is wrestling has never been this healthy in my lifetime and we as fans should enjoy every second of it including giving Impact Wrestling another chance to impress you.
In a way this I'm sure was Impact Wrestling way to try an attract an audience to the product during the holiday week. This reminded me of WWE's Southpaw Regional Wrestling where some stars in the company were able to show their entertaining side. Even though Impact did pull out all the stops as far as making this seem like an old school wrestling show, but it kinda felt like a bit of a joke at times. In my opinion, they could've done this type of "throwback" event and still continued storylines to keep building up their current feuds. For a new viewer watching this show it would be a little puzzling seeing talent that you know but not with the name that normally had I'm not saying fans are stupid I'm just saying that you can do this type of thing, but differently.
For once I didn't really see anything thing worth writing home about or putting over, because other than Willie Mack winning the main event against OVE this really was nothing more than a show to help alleviate the holiday pressure. Normally during holidays everyone has a ratings drop, but they never do anything to try and solve it or catch fans off guard to get their attention. In that case I can applaud Impact Wrestling for doing something unique, but at the same time if they toned it down a bit and continued building to "Hard to Kill" I feel like I would've liked this show a little bit more.
Another edition of Impact Wrestling on AXS TV is in the books and we look to "Hard to Kill" in January 2020. One thing I will point out is that I'm not sure that Ace Austin and Eddie Edwards are finished, but might at least be completed right now. Either way though Ace Austin has become one the top prospects in the wrestling world at this point the only problem is only a limited audience are aware of Austin. The best way to feed into Austin's rising momentum by trying to elevate another up and coming talent like they have in Trey Miguel.
In world of wrestling where the women's divisions are normally looked at as afterthoughts to a point it is very pleasant and refreshing to see Impact Wrestling focus attention on not just building a feud for the division but actually spend time on character development as well. First off Taya seems like she is afraid of Jordynne Grace who has been looking like an unstoppable force since returning a few months ago. I will say what I have kept saying Tessa vs Sami has been a touch and go feud which is expected as this is the first feud of it's kind. "Hard to Kill" is shaping up to be a very interesting show when it comes around.
One of the hottest signings for WWE in the peak of the attitude era was Kurt Angle. Angle would shoot to super stardom in short order after debuting in late 1999 winning his first World Title in October 2000 after defeating The Rock with help from Rikishi. After seven years under contract with WWE in a shock that would go almost viral if it happened today Angle would be let out of his contract after rejecting a rehab stint. In September 2006 at the end of the No Surrender event it was reveled that Kurt Angle was coming to TNA wrestling. In a moment still talked about Angle would debut on the October 19th edition of Impact confronting the undefeated Samoa Joe sparking a dream match situation and Angle's first feud in his new company.
In my opinion, this show was at the peak of NWA-TNA and the depth of the roster staring a number of top future stars like Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, AJ Styles, James Storm, Jay Lethal, and others. Overall this shows the age old story of not knowing what the future will hold for some talent or who will walk through that door at any given time. Nobody could've expected that Jay Lethal would become one of the best wrestlers not under contract with WWE and the leader for Ring of Honor or the fact that a number these stars would end up with WWE.
TNA Genesis 2006
B. G. James & Kip James Def. (Pin) Johnny Devine & Kazarian & Maverick Matt Handicap Tag
Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens Def. (Pin) Jay Lethal & Sonjay Dutt
Christopher Daniels Def. (Pin) Chris Sabin NWA X-Division Title
Lance Hoyt & Ron Killings Def. (Pin) Alex Shelley & Austin Starr Commentator: Kevin Nash
Christian Cage Def. (Pin) A.J. Styles
Hernandez & Homicide Def. (Pin) Chris Harris & James Storm NWA Tag Team Titles
Abyss Def. (DQ) Sting NWA World Heavyweight Title
Kurt Angle Def. (Sub) Samoa Joe
I think that moving to Canada and running smaller arenas was the smartest decision that Impact Wrestling could've ever made as it allowed them to refocus and start over finally rebuilding their image. At this point Impact will be building to their return to PPV on January 12 called "Hard to Kill." I for one don't know how much of a fan I am of Tessa being wrapped in a feud for the World Title partially due to how the announcers react every time she gets hit by Sami or someone else. If you want her to wrestle men then don't make a federal case of her being beaten up by a guy, because it is going to happen when she is in the ring with a man.
I have never noticed how excessively talented Daga is and how it helps Impact having fresh talent that they find bringing them to the world instead of having another company do it first. Daga was a fantastic find for Impact Wrestling. Speaking of a great find Josh Alexander and Ethan Page collectively known as The North are one of the best tag team Impact has had in recent memory. At one point Impact had one of if not the best tag team divisions in wrestling and for years they have been trying to find that stability once again and with The North they have the heel side of coin stabilized and can turn to pretty much and faces to work against them, because they're over and fans hate them which makes it easier to find challengers for them, because the fans always want them to loose.
The one stop shop for all things TNA Wrestling. At first you may not agree, but every now & again you might be surprised.