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.
Following the day switch with Impact we move the weekly Impact spot up a few days to Wednesday. For years Impact has struggled to find it's way from the darkness and find there place in thew world of wrestling. At one point they were the upstart promotion, they were the minor league promotion lost in a very long identity crisis with fitting into a profession ran by WWE. Now they have found some stable ground and all it took was stepping back and taking things in a little different direction. The move to Canada was the best decision Impact Wrestling has ever made.
As for this week I'm interested to see where the feud with Tessa & OVE goes from here especially if it leads to another singles match with Tessa and Sami. Seeing Rich Swann pin Sami Callahan is a great sight, because I've known how talented Rich is and I'm excited that he is finally getting a real chance to show what he can do. Another takeaway is that the Desi Hit Squad are among the best athletes in all of wrestling and the presence that Gama Singh has brings a lot to the table. Last note is the fact that Impact gave Referee Cameron the shot to get in the ring and ref is something that the company should be praise, because it makes us seem all the more like we are the same and the differences are from blinders not based in reality.
I remember A1 from my early days of watching Impact Wrestling and specifically Team Canada with Petey Williams, Bobby Roode, Scott D'Amore, Johnny Devine, and Eric Young. I always enjoyed when Impact would sort of pull back the doors and let us into the secret life of the wrestlers as it allowed us to get more invested in the talent. Hearing how A1's perspective has changed and how he use to view wrestling to how he views it today is interesting and one of those lessons that you never know how your perspective on something will change.
Even though A1 wasn't a major star back in the day and some fans may not remember him it is fair to say that he was one of the stars that was moved from the spotlight once WWE alumni's started joining TNA. In Team Canada A1 had a role similar to Kevin Nash when Kevin debuted in WWE the main difference is Kevin thrived in the spotlight and A1 never really wanted it.
In the promotions debut edition of Impact Wrestling on AXS TV we were treated to a Steel Cage match for the Impact World Championship. After the incredible ending last week that set up the rematch from Bound For Glory for the World Title. Seeing that Ken Shamrock is sticking around this way he can have one more much deserved final run in a company. Having the returning Joey Ryan feud with Ken Shamrock is a very interesting choice and could make for a very different dynamic.
To not talk a little bit about the Main Event title match and possibly the blow off to one of the most intense feuds in recent years. Brian Cage was a reliable champion but it's time to cash in on the heat that Callahan has been able to get together in recent months. Callahan has earned his chance on top of the mountain, but I am unsure Tessa Blanchard is a good choice for Sami's first challenger unless he will run her out of the company if the rumors are actually true and Tessa is leaving when her contract is up. Either way my interest level in Impact is still at a high and I am looking forward to see what is planned for the remainder of 2019.
As of this week Impact Wrestling has seemingly made the move to Tuesday and we can reflect on Bound For Glory a little bit. It seemed like this show really was one that flew under the radar even though it was probably better then most other PPV from the bigger company's, but at this point not as many people are watching the promotion as they use to. One of the top moments was Brian Cage finally finding some form of satisfaction against the evil Sami Callahan. I was also surprised to see Ace Austin come away with the X-Division title after all the build centering around Tessa Blanchard and her pursuit for gold.
As far as this weeks episode Moose has become more comfortable talking then he was when he first turned heel last year. I want to also note how good the new studio looks for Impact even though it didn't look that bad the first time around it looks a bit more up scale. To not mention the segment with Sami Callahan and Brian Cage. Sami is insane and showed just how insane and desperate he is to get in Cage's head playing lots of head games to keep his name in the head of the World Champion. I didn't expect the heat to rise up from how tense things were heading into Bound for Glory.
The build has been spot on for Bound For Glory and now with Bound for Glory in the rear view mirror we take the go home show into account and than step back to the biggest event of Impact's calendar year. Impact has always been the only promotion I know of to do gauntlet matches instead of battle royals that is before WWE started realizing the benefits of a gauntlet match. It is could be a great way for Impact to set themselves up for some new feuds after Bound for Glory.
I forgot how dominate Michael Elgin could be and he looked like a dangerous monster heading into his match at Bound For Glory which is what was needed. As for Jake Crist the champion looked great heading into the biggest defense of his title reign so far. Over the last few weeks I have dished a lot of praise for Impact as there build felt well paced and on track adding meaning and upping insensity when needed as the show drew closer. I will be looking at Bound for Glory and hope it lived up to the expectations as they get set for the rest of 2019.
We are now only one more show away from the biggest event of the calendar year for Impact Wrestling and with expectations in place the go home show needs to put a final bow on everything set for the event. Callahan stepped up the rivalry between him and World Champion Brian Cage after hitting Melissa Santos with a bottle during her weeding to Cage a few weeks ago. They topped it this week by hand cuffing Cage to the ropes and hitting a pile driver on Melissa Santos raising the intensity of the feud even more then it did before and I'm loving it. It is extremely rare in modern wrestling for a promotion to play off raw emotion like they're doing here and I'm enjoy how different the build for this feud has been.
With Bound For Glory on October 20 the minor feuds are coming together with another spot filled in the multi man X-Division match. After Ace Austin cheated to defeat Eddie Edwards adding another layer to his feud with Eddie and a place to go after Bound For Glory ends and continue their rivalry. Also Tessa's never ending feud with OVE continued as her quest to become X-Division champion reaches it's final leg with next week being the go home show before Bound For Glory.
A week from today is Bound for Glory and the big steps don't end there for Impact Wrestling with a special recap on AXS TV on Tuesday, October 22nd, called "This is Impact" and it will recap Bound for the Glory. The following on October 29 it will be the night when Impact Wrestling moves to AXS TV capping one of the biggest months in modern wrestling on a high note.
With Bound for Glory right around the corner in about two and half weeks on October 20. This weeks episode was another building block episode for Impact not really focusing on one feud more than other ones. It is still odd seeing Ken Shamrock on a wrestling program again after almost two decades away from a major wrestling company. The only criticism is that neither Shamrock or Moose are the best at talking and even though there is tension in the feud I feel like having a fight would've been better off then having them talk.
As far as the other moments I like that they have chosen to let Tessa Blanchard challenge for the X-Division championship. It is possible that they could hold off Tessa's possible win saving the likely title victory for a one on one match but on the biggest PPV of the year is an ideal position. Brian Cage and Sami Callahan continue to raise the intensity of their ever developing rivalry going into their title match at Bound For Glory. At this point I am becoming more of a fan of Impact Wrestling, but they just need to stay focus and build for the biggest show of the year.
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