Recently, I sat down and watched an episode of Impact Wrestling and I have to say I was extremely impressed by the show. Based on just the opening with them outlining the recent events between Sami Callihan and Don Callis. In my opinion this feud is very much an old school angle with a mixture of a bit of new school. It seems like Sami has suddenly become a bit of a character that Impact feels like they can build the company around and it started with a "shoot" angle. For those who don't know I don't think I will be spoiling it but will be including a video below, but I will admit that as a WWE fan this is nothing that I would expect from them. This is exactly what I've wanted from Impact for the longest time because as Bill Watts use to say "You can't out Vince McMahon Vince McMahon and if you try you will fail."
The main point of this article is actually to praise Impact and also point out how good Josh Matthews was on commentary during the show. Now don't get me wrong I have always been a heavy critic of Josh and that he is one of the main reasons I never watched but now that he actually focuses on the competition and not getting himself over it's better. I am aware that this could likely be tied back to those in charge and the ever present power struggle within Impact Wrestling but now that stability has arrived with Don & Scott it seems like the company is finally in a good place.
Overall this is unlike anything I have seen in a very long time and this is actually something that I know numerous old school bookers wanted to do. The one thing that they use to try and do is include things at house shows like what you see in the video below. The main reason for this is because seeing things like happen at house shows could boost interest for fans to attend the house shows.
According to a news report from Cultaholic that Impact Wrestling has made an offer to a former WWE superstar. Now I just want to make this a point that at this point this wrestler doesn't have a contract to my knowledge with the company, but could in the near future. Recently, James Ellsworth was a part of a co promoted show with Impact and a local promotion which brings up the question if this could've been a "tryout" for Ellsworth. I know that some might be hoping that James doesn't end up with the company because it would be a wasted signing and make the company seem second rate.
However, I do think that James Ellsworth moving to Impact would help the company as it would offer them a replacement for Rockstar Spud. During his time Spud did spend sometime as a wrestler the run would end with him as a personality rather than a wrestler. I do think that this will be exactly what Ellsworth will do for the company and that is one of the reasons that he would benefit the company basically being a little bit of comedy relief. Since the change in management to Don Callis & D'Amore they have seemingly found a fair bit of momentum and that they have finally found some footing to work with.
Overall though the question does come about if a new face will come aboard the company in the near future or not. But the one thing I think that it is clear new management has a new way of doing things as opposed to how the former management group ran things. I think I mentioned this in a previous post that the company is now feeling more like a smaller company and not trying to force themselves into looking like a poor mans major company. Basically I think that the company has found footing and that the move to Canada has also done nothing but help them in starting over.
Since Anthem Sports took over Impact Wrestling from Dixie Carter the company has had a number of growing pains including bringing on a burned out Jeff Jarrett. However, since the arrival of both Scott D'Amore & Don Callis in the company it seems like they have continued to change for the better. Following the titled event called Redemption it seems like the company is set on a new course with Pentagon Jr. leading the charge for the company. It seems at this point though that finally the company has found their way to stability and a clear plan for the future.
I've said this before and will say it again that even after all the stuff that I've said in the past about this company and all the jokes that I have made I have always said that I want what's best for the company. I am very happy that they have gotten so close to a stable frame for the company with them moving from the ideology of a major company or one on an island of their own. But now one of the main things that Anthem has changed about the company is openness to working with other promotions. I would like to point out that even though it could've been either Don or Scott's idea but either way it had to be approved by the parent company.
Believe me I will be the first to point out how bad working agreements in the past looking at New Japan and Wrestle 1 as examples of their past failures. Then with the success of now past events like Redemption and the co-promoted event over WrestleMania weekend with Lucha Underground. Seeing Pentagon as World Champion is a totally different direction from where company was going back two years ago when Dixie was still in charge. I know that we can say all this negative about Dixie but she did do what it took to keep the company open even if she did hold them back. But now it's time for them gain redemption and with Anthem, D'Amore and Callis leading the company I feel like it is finally time for the company to move forward and grow.
Over the weekend Impact Wrestling held what some are calling an extremely successful PPV called Redemption. Looking at this show with fresh eyes it does seem like the company is going for a new start and finally could be headed in a new direction. It is clear that the new owners have needed time to work through a lot of the past issues that have plagued this company, and even though they have "relaunched" multiple time at this point if this show is an indication it does seem like the company is on the right foot. However, one thing that is sticking out about this past weekends event is a somewhat surprising debut of a new female talent for the company.
Now most fans know that the WWE never seems to be content as far as talent is concerned and is always on the look out for a new star even if their roster is filled to the brim. In many ways that was the case now with rumors all over about the WWE's interest in second generation star Tessa Blanchard. For those who don't know Tessa was a stand out member of the Mae Young Classic last year and has been on the companies radar since the tournament last year. As you could probably guess at this point though Tessa hasn't signed with the WWE and has instead signed with Impact Wrestling debuting with the company over the weekend.
One thing that has now come into question what this means for her possible move to the WWE joining boyfriend Ricochet. If I had to guess I would think that at least for now this means Tessa will remain on the companies radar and will instead enjoy her first taste of national exposure with Impact Wrestling instead of WWE. For years I have wanted Impact to build their own stars from the ground up like they did when the company first began and this is a perfect example of exactly what I've always wanted them to do.
As always wrestling gives us both great memories and memories we try and forget, but with the amount of moments worth remembering that have happened we are bound to forget some. The same could be said about some talent that were very much underrated during their career or never at the top of a company during a run this unfortunately makes it easier for fans to forget certain talent. Also sometimes we encounter those that deserve to be remembered and acknowledged. I would like to wish a very big Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating their special day today and especially to the one featured below.
At one point Impact Wrestling would have one PPV a month and the company even had their own big four events. One of their big four events was Lockdown which was a specialty show where they held every match inside the Six Sides of Steel. Though at this point the company formerly known as TNA may not have monthly PPV's anymore and have One Night Only events tapped months ahead of time. The reason to pull this event out of the archives is because this became the most bought TNA Wrestling Pay-Per View event in history.
The main event of the show was one of the best built up matches in not just TNA history, but in the last decade. At the time the company built the match up using a non wrestling approach and taking a more UFC approach to building the match. Honestly, I hated this concept due to the overuse of a gimmick match that could sell tickets if not used too often. This card does seemingly look like a one match card and in many cases it was, but Lethal Lockdown was a great concept that never really disappointed. Overall, this PPV was the peak of the old regime and how high the TNA potential was at this point and time.
Jay Lethal (c) def. Consequences Creed, Curry Man, Johnny Devine, Shark Boy, Sonjay Dutt10:25Six Sides of Steel: Xscape (6-way)TNA X-Division Title
Roxxi Laveaux def. Angelina Love, Christy Hemme, Jacqueline, Rhaka Khan, Salinas, Traci Brooks, Velvet Sky Queen of the Cage (8-way)
B. G. James def. (pin) Kip James Six Sides of Steel
Kaz & Super Eric def. Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin, Hernandez & Homicide, Petey Williams & Scott Steiner, Jimmy Rave & Lance Hoyt, Black Reign & Rellik "Cuffed in the Cage" (6-way tag)
Gail Kim & O. D. B. def. (pin) Awesome Kong & Raisha Saeed
Booker T. & Sharmell def. (pin) Payton Banks & Robert Roode
Christian Cage & Kevin Nash & Matt Morgan & Rhino & Sting def. (pin) A.J. Styles & Brother Devon & Brother Ray & James Storm & Tomko "Lethal Lockdown"
Samoa Joe def. (pin) Kurt Angle (c) Six Sides of Steel TNA World Heavyweight
A lot has changed in recent months since the official relaunch of Impact Wrestling we have seen a number of new faces show up in the company. One of those names is Brian Cage who has seen his stock reach an intense high since the advent of Lucha Underground. Cage has also shown his crazy power and skills in the ring in various independent companies. However, Brian has never really found himself in the presence of a national audience before and that is exactly what now makes his stay in Impact all the more special. This is also what I've been saying that Impact should be doing for the last few years as paying attention to unestablished names & giving them a home is the best way to make new talent.
Recently a former Impact World Champion found a new home in NXT and based on rumors it seems like Lashley could be following suit to the company further south. The comparison between Lashley and Cage is very clear as they both seem to be very similar in the ring with one of the only differences the age between the two. I do think that this could be one of Bobby's last appearances in Impact, but I do think that the finish of this match does open the door for a rematch. The one thing that I have to question is I don't think that Cage has the same charisma that Lashley found as a member of Impact that he didn't have in WWE.
On the latest episode of Impact we saw the Feast or Fired briefcase winners open their cases to reveal that Moose would posse the World Title case and that meant Ethan Carter would posse the Fired case. Even though the former EC3 had given his notice ahead of time this was still a very shocking bit of news as to how highly touted he has always been in the company from the time he debuted to now. The most interesting part of all this is that the folks in Impact were able to do with Ethan what the WWE wasn't able to do and that's make the man once named Derrick a star. Though at this point Carter has been seen on WWE television already specifically during the NXT Takeover: Philadelphia Event.
There is no doubt that over years Impact Wrestling has really only handful of people that they have been able to build from the ground up. From names like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Abyss, and many more, but it might be hard to believe that EC3 is also on that list as he had a pretty great within the walls of Impact Wrestling. It is also funny that during his run with the company Ethan was a part of TNA, Impact Wrestling, Global Force Wrestling, and Impact Wrestling again.
Overall, though Ethan Carter did what Drew Galloway was able to do but to a higher degree to the place he held in Impact Wrestling. Ethan left the WWE as an unproven prospect and now is heading back one of the top wrestlers in the business and a proven commodity to boot at this point in his career. Either way though it will be pretty crazy to see Carter's name on the marquee for not just NXT events, but also for PPV's knowing how his career started and this would really be brining things full circle.
On the most recent episode of Impact Wrestling we saw Matt Sydal introduce his new manager of sorts in lead announcer Josh Matthews. I have to be honest that I haven't watched Impact for a few months due to the announcing situation. I haven't seen the show since before both Jeremy Borash and Pope D'Angelo left the company. The fact that they focused more on the announcers arguing and not as much on the actual talent. However, after the change in management things seem to have toned down and focus has more switched back to the talent.
One thing I noticed in the promo Sydal did is that he never really found his charisma and or an ability to really talk very well. For this reason I thought the idea that giving Sydal a manager was a great idea to help give him not just a charisma boost, but also a heat magnet. Now with Josh being named as his manager it begs the question if this means he will be out of the announce position and will be replaced. Josh is very much easily hated and would make a very good manager especially for a talent like Sydal who is seemingly being pushed. In my opinion, moving Josh from the booth would be a great idea to prevent him from being overexposed and giving him the chance to be a manager. The other reason I think Josh should be moved from the booth is because he shouldn't be focused on as an announcer, but being a manager is different.
This hashtag once was used to develop the booking change of the WWE women's division. Though it might be a little different due to the difference in chances that one party has gotten over the years from fans to only be disappointed. I think that Jim Cornette said it best "If fans focused as much on the TV program as they do on the negative press then this company would have rating highs" or something like that. Which is true that if fans cared less about the negative press and focused more on the actual TV show then it would be better for all. However, like I mentioned in an older post that with the new management it seems like that company might be in a better place now then ever before.
Now I am not trying to say that the company is picture perfect but I do think that the company could deserve another chance. Over the years they have made a lot of mistakes over the years and have taken just as many steps back as they have steps forward which makes it hard to give them chance after chance. But fact is this might be the first time they are actually on the right track and though I have had my reasons to not watch I'm tempted to give them another shot. Fact is that the WWE isn't for everyone as there form of wrestling isn't the only type but is the most prominent due to the amount of exposure the company has.
This does make it difficult for other companies to get attention as a lot of fans get to the point where they think that the WWE is the only game in town; which couldn't be further from the truth. The company isn't alone there are alternatives out there you just have to give them a chance and sometimes you have to find them.
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