One thing that I enjoy doing as the year comes to a close is looking back at the previous year and wondering is a company better off now or 12 months ago. To say it has been a rough year for Impact Wrestling would be an understatement, but they keep powering on. Though year has been another tough year on the long list of those type of years recently they still are a company. In late 2016 then TNA Wrestling was purchased by Anthem Sports & Entertainment from Dixie Carter to keep the company in business. Since then a lot has changed and below are some of those changes that have happened:
- Jeff Jarrett was brought back in control of the company & finally got Global Force Wrestling on television.
- TNA Wrestling finally change their name to Impact Wrestling but then would change it to GFW following the unification of TNA & GFW titles.
- Following the departure of Jeff Jarrett the company officially changed their name back to Impact Wrestling and has done away with GFW.
I could continue but I think it's clear that management problems haven't stopped even with Dixie now as minority owner instead of the leader. The other big story this year for the company has been talent leaving for greener pastures like Drew Galloway & The Hardy's. At the time I was happy that both Galloway & The Hardy's would get another run in WWE but at the same time their loss was huge for Impact Wrestling.
Overall, I think that company just needs a string good luck where they have zero negative press & can start building up positive press for the company as it may get fans intrigued at least. The other thing is that I hope stability isn't too far away for the company as I think getting the company stable again would help very much.
As we look back again at past Hall of Fame inductees and we spread things out from the WWE bubble and find another Hall of Fame. This is the reason I chose to head over to Impact Wrestling and look back at the person they chose to induct a year ago. Since Impact Wrestling decided to make their division for the women there have been few constants over the years, but one person always seems to be involved and that is Gail Kim. In 2004, Gail made her WWE debut and though it was a bumpy she found her in TNA first with America's Most Wanted and then in the Knockouts Division.
Through the years Gail has proven just how good she is and how much of a mistake it was for the WWE to misuse her especially now that they actually care about women's wrestling. However, at this point it seems more likely that Gail will continue to help rebuild the Impact Wrestling division over heading to the WWE. To list of the achievements Gail Kim has mounted over the years which included her holding a record seven Knockout Championship reigns, & over all the reigns she has held the title for over 700 days.
If Impact Wrestling wants to also mesh the Knockouts into the Hall of Fame like they should then there is no better person to let be the first induction other than Gail Kim. The reason for this is that if you look at one thing that Impact announcers always mentioned was they would talk about the "founding fathers" of the X-Division & one phrase ROH would also use that. Gail is no doubt a founding member of the Knockouts Division and should be always remembered as someone who laid the ground work for Women or Knockouts in TNA.
With all the negative discussion surrounding Impact Wrestling recently and over the last few months I thought it'd be nice to focus on a positive. Over the years sometimes Impact Wrestling has been lucky enough to strike gold with a feud. The tag team known as Beer Money Inc was one of the best tag teams in the world between the years 2008-2011. Then when the company to split the team they went in a different when normal as they actually had James Storm win the World title. Roode would then cheat to win the World Title from Storm a few weeks later, and a feud between the partners would become a feud for two years.
Storm has always been a tremendous brawler especially if he has chemistry with his opponent. Both Storm and Roode would carry then TNA for the coming few years as one of the better feuds in years for the company. This feud was also the first real time that either Storm or Roode were able to show off what they can do in a singles career.
In recent years Impact Wrestling has gone through a good amount of roster turnover with a lot of wrestlers leaving the company for "greener pastures" elsewhere. There is really no denying that some of the roster changes were do in part to mismanagement of the company. However, in some cases it was also a mutual parting of ways for both the talent and the company. Unfortunately, though for Impact Wrestling talent heading for the door has become something of a normal site to see for the company.
Recently, news broke that company veteran James Storm had finished his time with the company and will be leaving the company once again. James has been a staple of Impact Wrestling on and off since 2002 when the company first debuted. His run started as a member of America's Most Wanted and with Chris Harris they really lead the then TNA tag team division in the early days. Though James has become a household name for the company he has really become known as more of a Tag team wrestler over a singles competitor. But really James would be a big signing for the WWE if they would look to sign James Storm.
Surprisingly, another well known star has chosen to mutually part ways with Impact Wrestling after a very interesting run with the company. The talent in question is the man formerly known as Rockstar Spud. For those who don't know Spud actually found his way into Impact Wrestling through British Boot Camp which was basically TNA's answer to Tough Enough. Interestingly enough Spud actually had a very lengthy and successful run with the company compared to the run that WWE Tough Enough winners have. Though I don't really pay attention to Impact Wrestling I do find Spud very entertaining & he is a special talent that if used correct he could find himself anywhere on the card. However, much like a lot of comedic wrestlers there comes a time when they need to walk away and that is exactly what happened for Spud as he realized it was time to leave.
Rumors have been moving around the wrestling world the last few months with management in Impact Wrestling. For those who may not know the background of the story Jeff was sent home a few months ago at this point leaving more questions than answers. Even though at this point we still don't have all the answers we can ask a whole mess of questions about what happened. Recently the news came down that Jeff Jarrett had officially been removed from his position within the company and is no longer associated with the brand. Now I only know limited details about the situation but I do hope the best for Jarrett as the wrestling world would be extremely different without him.
However, what this means for GFW I really don't know what the future holds for the company without the founder of Global Force. I'm not sure if this means that without Jeff the company would go back to being Impact Wrestling then the question would be what happens with the championships.
Honestly to pick which side I am on as far as the future of Impact Wrestling I would say that the best thing that Anthem could do for Impact is to shut down the company for a few months. This way they can cut back the negative press that the company had been wrapped up into and maybe get back on the right track. I know that some fans would know that this would likely never happen due to Anthem not wanting to loose the programming in that TV slot. But I do have a solution for that as they have the entire Impact Wrestling achieves which would give them programming while Impact is on hiatus. At this point stability is just what is needed for the company and is still possible if they play their cards right.
Since the summer of last year few things have been more front and center than the many issues plaguing TNA/Impact/Global Force Wrestling. As you can see the number one problem for the company has been figuring out what the companies name would be, because within around a year and a half we have seen this company change names four different times. Problems have not stopped there with issues with management and consistent roster turnover.
However, tomorrow Impact Wrestling will be holding one of their biggest events of the year Bound For Glory and this show has a tremendous amount potential. The potential behind this show is something that could allow Impact Wrestling to build upon and move a step closer to stability and a break from bad news. I will agree with Jim Cornette in that if fans were able to leave the negatives alone and focus more on what is going in the ring rather than what is happening in the back.
I hope that they can use Bound For Glory on November 5, 2017 as a building block for 2018 and the future. Typically when Impact Wrestling has had their back against the wall they often pull out all the stops and give fans something to get excited about. Looking at the card for tomorrow I will admit that it seems like it's a solid show on paper, but we don't know how good it will be until it comes. I would think that I am most looking forward to Johnny Impact vs Eli Drake for the Global Championship as these two are very gifted talents that have never really been given the main spotlight.
In the beginning there was one thing that made TNA feel different and it wasn't the arena or the announcers. The main thing that made TNA feel different was the new talent and fresh faces that the company had. One the places on the roster that they had a lot of fresh talent was in the newly created X-Division. Names like AJ Styles, Elix Skipper, Chris Daniels, and others would dazzle fans with their extreme talents.
When I first started watching TNA one of the first guys to catch my attention was "Primetime" Elix Skipper. Skipper had all the tools to be something special and I don't know if there was something he couldn't do in the ring. Unfortunately for Elix he really couldn't put it all together enough to really string together some decent success as a singles competitor and achieved a lot more in different tag teams. Enjoy!
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