Over the years Impact Wrestling has gone threw a number of changes over the years with a lot of their roster changing. From AJ Styles to Bobby Roode to James Storm to Christopher Daniels to even Jeff Jarrett have all left the company but one "founding father" has remained with the company threw it all. The one man that has remained loyal to Impact Wrestling during all the ups and downs is the "Monster" Abyss. At one point or another I think every Impact star has thought about greener pastures being somewhere else and I'm sure Abyss has had the thought enter his mind, but it never really deterred him from staying. The one rumor that is out there is that Abyss had been offered a few years ago to jump to the WWE and fight The Undertaker at WrestleMania, but turned down the offer in favor of remaining loyal to Impact.
Though some might look at his decision as dumb because he turned down likely the biggest payday of his career to stay in the company known for uncertainty. I think in many ways it was sort of noble that he chose to stay instead of taking the money, because it is also clear that there was more to his decision to stay. The other side of his decision I think was okay I go and fight Undertaker, but what happens after that am I just going to be fed to Taker and forgotten about. In my opinion I think that this logic not only played a part in his decision to stay, but may have encouraged him to remain with Impact Wrestling for the time being.
It is funny though how fast time can go when you think about it because Abyss has been a part of Impact Wrestling since day one and is still with the company. For those who don't know Abyss was actually an entry in the Gauntlet for The Gold Battle Royal which was held on the first ever TNA show in June 2002; which means unlike some fellow "founding fathers" Abyss has actually been there since the start. Though I don't watch often I do believe that as of now Abyss has dialed back his time in the ring likely due to a mixture of his age and past injuries catching up to him. Overall though there is no doubt in my mind that Abyss is extremely deserving of the honor to be inducted into the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame. Even though the company might've not inducted anyone last year that doesn't change the fact that they have an inductee this year and it is someone who has given his all for the company. With that being said I would like to extend my deepest congratulations to the "Monster" Abyss for this extreme honor as Impact Wrestling's next Hall of Famer.
To be up front I will admit that I got this idea from What Culture Wrestling as they had a good video about this subject recently. Recently Impact has seen rebirth as the new management team in place has really attempted to change the perception of the company. In the past I think that everyone knows the amount of bad headlines or worrisome headlines that Impact saw during the last couple of years. However, a number of positive headlines have come to light recently especially since the company moved to the "Great White North." I know in the past I have praised Impact for various reasons including some reasons like long term planning for the company and that is something really have done.
Overall though one of the main reasons that I have started to watch Impact again when I can is because I know the flow of the shows will keep with each other. With that I mean it is clear that the company has a long term plan for a lot of talent which is a breath of fresh air from where they once were in the past. Also this booking style is something you really don't see with the WWE as they don't normally have a long term plan in place for any talent which is a big shift from how Vince use to book.
In my opinion though one of the best things a company can do is choose to map out a plan for the future so they can Segway easier between feuds with talent instead of having some layoff time. The reason that you want to have the quick move without much down time is because it is the best way to keep talent hot if you have them consistently on TV in important angles and feuds then the perception of the talent will be viewed as such. Looking at talent like Eddie Edwards, Austin Aries, or Sami Callahan who are really among the hottest talent in wrestling this because of the consistent booking and it being easy to see that these guys are the most important talent in the company.
Clearly though heading into Bound For Glory next month we have seen the development of certain feuds including Johnny Impact & Austin Aries for the Impact World Championship. Right now the card isn't full at all but all of the matches on the show so far excluding Impact & Aries has been building for at least the last 4-6 months. I also think it's fair to say that Eddie Edwards will likely be fighting Moose in some form at the event after the blow up the former friends had a few weeks back. I would also point to this feud as another example of the companies renewed focus on long term booking. In a long winded way I am explaining that Impact Wrestling actually cares about booking now and it really shows on a week to week basis how much they care about planning for the long term.
Strong booking will make you invest in not just the wrestler that your watching, but also pay more attention to the company. For me the booking that brought me back to Impact Wrestling has been the booking of Eddie Edwards and Sami Callahan. Since his arrival in the company there is no doubt that Sami Callahan has been the strongest heel in the company and one of the craziest unique talents in all of wrestling. But I do think that nobody has been able to touch Eddie Edwards as I don't think anyone really thought that Edwards had this type of gimmick in him. This does speak to the amount of talent and potential that Eddie has and how fortunate it is that he can help lead the way for Impact Wrestling with other gifted talents.
Looking at the last few months or almost a year at this point it is clear that from the time that Don Callis & Scott D'Amore got the book they sat down and worked out a long term plan for certain talent. We've seen this come to be with Sami Callahan and Austin Aries. The one I want to focus on is Eddie Edwards though as this past weeks edition of Impact saw that overarching story take another step forward. For those who haven't been watching following the conclusion of his feud with Tommy Dreamer, Eddie moved on to the World Champion Austin Aries.
However, thus far Eddie has had barrier after barrier placed in front of him to make his climb back to the top even harder. Austin Aries found an insurance policy with Killer Kross and now Moose has turned on his former friend. Honestly I think Moose is better as a heel over a face because I never saw him as a person who needs to pander and I saw him as someone who uses his raw talent do the talking. Seeing him turn on Eddie though and then having Eddie's wife get involved and teasing an altercation was put over very well by the announcers. I am loving this broadcast team by the way I mean I have taken plenty of shots at Josh Matthews, but now getting to see him when the chains are off it is awesome to see the amount of talent he has and how good he can is when he's allowed to be.
Overall I don't think it'd be fair to compare this feud to any other because of the gimmicks involved and the fact that it might compare to other feuds from the past but it is different enough to be given it's fare shot. Also with the mixture of talent in this feud both proven and unproven makes it a very different type of story and really is sort of the embodiment of the new Impact Wrestling. I will be keeping my eyes on this feud and all things Impact Wrestling as they continue to build momentum and my interest in the company continues to increase. Take a look at some other top moments from the most recent edition of Impact Wrestling featured below:
Recently news broke that Jeff Jarrett has filed a lawsuit against Anthem Sports and Entertainment who is the parent company of Impact Wrestling. Now the according to some research Jarrett filed suit due to Global Wrestling Federation's part in the Global Wrestling Network and the Amped name being used on the service apparently. I don't know much about the Global Wrestling Network or anything like that because I don't have the service, so I will not be commenting on that subject. Looking at the situation though I think both parties could be to blame, but I will not be placing blame on either party since I am unaware of important aspects of the story.
At this point you might be wondering exactly why I have chosen to write about this based on my lack of knowledge on this subject. Well the easy answer is that I wanted to take a different approach with this story and look at it from the eyes of Impact Wrestling. Everyone knows Impact's past with poor news headlines being as common for the company as a tv taping. Things have begun to change though with more positive articles being written about the company in recent months and the overall perception changing.
However, in my opinion this is a step back for them as it is just another bad headline and one of the main issues of having a parent company. In my opinion Jeff shouldn't be hurting the company and should've tried to figure another way to settle this issue in the quietest way possible anything bad being written about Impact. This issue will not effect the programming for Impact and that it shouldn't reflect poorly on them, because for once it is nothing that they did and it should still be all about letting them continue to build momentum and move in the positive direction they had been heading. Good Luck Anthem!
On the surface it is something that sticks out just because of Anthony Carelli being on Impact Wrestling after spending so many years with the WWE. The other part that sticks out is that Dustin Cameron fought Austin Aries in a World Title match which would lead most to wonder who is Dustin Cameron. Until I got some context I wondered the same thing like I might have missed something or that Eddie Edwards was having an identity crisis.
However, now seeing Austin Aries confront the former Santino Marella is strange like I mentioned but this also gives fans an interesting opportunity to see something totally different from other companies. This is exactly the type of thing that this company needs to do to reinvent themselves. One thing that I have continued to mention is that once Impact stopped trying to be a second to WWE and focused more on being their own company it helped them tremendously. This change in perception started when they moved to the "Great white North" which is also actually what opened the door for this to happen as Carelli's school is in Canada.
Overall some critics might look at this as Impact being second rate using Carelli like this or whatever odd idea that "hater" think up but the one thing I would say is that I am proud of Impact. As they have been really trying to earn the fans respect back and change the perception of that the company had which I think they are doing a fantastic job. Let the praise continue!!
Though this company has been extremely guilty of letting veterans remain on top for too long in the past they have changed. Right now they have youngsters in the main event and some have yet to even reach their full potential. However, even though they have changed that doesn't mean that they still don't have veterans, because it is possible to employ a veteran without having them main event. One name that comes to mind is Tommy Dreamer and his inclusion in the Edwards vs Callihan feud which has seemingly shifted to Dreamer vs Edwards. In my opinion Tommy was playing the role of mentor or friend to Eddie in the feud and now they have gone a different way with it because nobody turned heel, but instead there is a lot of resentment from Eddie to Tommy.
I have been watching wrestling for almost twenty years and Tommy Dreamer has been a big part of that as I have watched a good portion of his career. I don't remember the last time I saw Tommy cut such an impassioned promo like the one featured below. Overall though I want to offer some praise to Impact because they are showing that when you book a veteran right they could be an important part of the show. This being the opposite to the way the WWE books veterans namely Goldust, Mark Henry, Big Show, R-Truth as they make them look unimportant and that fans shouldn't care about them. It makes me happy to be able to say that Impact is doing something not only different then WWE, but something better then the WWE.
One of the biggest events in Impact's calendar has come and gone; all that's left now is to discuss what went on and see where we go from here. First of all this will be a little different then when I do this type of article for WWE events, because this was my first Impact PPV in a long time. I will point out now that for what it's worth this was one of the better PPV's I have seen in a while comparing it of course to the recent WWE events. Looking at all the action every match lived up expectations and some even defied expectations, because you didn't really know what to expect. As I mentioned in the predictions I have been watching Eddie Edwards for a long time at this point and didn't really know that he had in him what we have been seeing which is a credit to both the company and Eddie for showing just how good he can be.
The two matches I wanted to focus on were the 5150 Street fight and the Mask vs Hair match. Let's go in order and talk about the street fight first and all I have to say is WOW! I didn't expect that match to be as well put together as it was and part of me thought that the OGz might've won, but I am glad that they didn't and continued the feud another way. In my opinion Santana and Ortiz are two of the main success stories as the company continues to bring itself back from the dark ages. This might be a stretch but my guess in the New Japan section seemed to have panned out so I'll try again by saying that after this match I think LAX showed enough to be leaders of Impact's continued growth and movement toward stability.
Looking at the company as a whole there have been four names tied to the change in perception within Impact Wrestling and that has been the feud between Eddie Edwards and Sami Callahan which then included Tommy Dreamer & Pentagon Jr. This feud has really given glimpse into how important long term booking is to Scott and Don the only unanswered question is has this long term story arch found it's end. I don't think there is a question that after the show stealing performance that Pentagon and Sami put together the side feud is likely over between these two. I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but as I mentioned before I don't remember the last time I heard an international star get the reactions that Pentagon has been getting on Impact. I think they chose the right winner and that both men have come out of this looking great.
Flipping the coin I don't think that Impact Wrestling has ever seen someone like Sami Callahan who I think enjoys showing people just how evil he can be. Also I think that Sami can be compared to Juice Robinson based on the fact lack of success both men had with WWE and the opportunity they are getting to succeed with different companies. Overall I think that giving Impact another shot due to my dissatisfaction with the WWE has been a good decision as I don't think there has ever been a better time to be a fan of this company. For years I have been preaching the idea that we should all want to see Impact succeed as it would provide the wrestlers another stable place for them to work. I will admit that I have made jokes and not spoken very highly of the company, but now at least under the management of Don Callis, Scott D'Amore, and Anthem Sports they are giving us a reason to not just pay attention, but also to enjoy.
In my opinion the best decision they've made so far is to not try and be a distant second to Vince and instead to be their own company. Though management has to undo a lot of bad that has been done the name and identity of the product in recent years I think that if this show is any indication the future might actually be bright for Impact Wrestling.
Johnny Impact vs Ishimori vs Fenix vs Rich Swann
This is a thrown together match but it will still be a very good match as there is too much talent in this match for it not to have a chance to stela the show. I will keep this prediction short though as there really isn't much to it other than it being used to get these guys on the show. The winner of this one is a tough choice as all of them could use the win, but I think some might need it more. I'll pick Johnny Impact to get the win.
Tessa Blanchard vs Allie
This has been an interesting feud between these two knockouts which is interesting because I am not use to different types of feuds between women. Tessa & Allie have been really showing why Impact Wrestling will be a step ahead of other companies when it comes to how they book the knockouts division. Based on the way I think they will go later in the card I think that Tessa will get the win.
Impact Wrestling X-Division Championship Match:
(c) Matt Sydal vs Brian Cage
From the start the company has done wonders building up Brian Cage as a talent like we have never seen before in the company. For the Matt Sydal it has been interesting to see him in a positive position and maybe in a better position then he was in the WWE. Since I first saw Cage in the ring I've always thought he was a monster and it is incredible to think that he is able to work in the X-Division, but that is one of the major reasons this man is such a scary athlete, because he looks like Strowman and moves like Styles. I don't think that the company would go any other direction then keep the momentum flowing with Cage. For that reason Brian Cage gets the win tonight.
5150 Street Fight:
The OGz (Homicide & Hernandez w/ King) vs LAX (Santana & Ortiz w/ Konnan)
I will admit that I was shocked when Homicide and Hernandez jumped LAX, because after his last run in the company I never thought that Hernandez would be back and I didn't even know Homicide was still active. Either way though this really brings a different look to this feud then what I expected because of the built in history that exists between all the members of the feud. Honestly I've never been a big fan of Konnan, but the promo he cut a few weeks ago showed a side of him I don't think I've ever seen. I've see him show such passion and raw emotion in a promo and it was a very pleasant sight to see. Overall though I figure that the OGz aren't here for the long term and that makes this decision easier. I am going with LAX getting the win and K-Dog getting his revenge on King.
Impact Knockouts Championship Match:
(c) Su Yang vs Madison Rayne
With this run Madison is making a case for herself to be a future hall of famer if Impact continues the concept or if they chose to discontinue it. Either way though Rayne is on course to go down as one of the greatest knockouts in history. Yang on the other had is showing that she has a lot of potential and really would've been a great Sister Abigail. Then again its better her being her because she is unlike any other women in wrestling right now and in my opinion better then anything women in WWE just based on the fact that she is different. This feud has been a very interesting and unique feud to say the least which has drummed interest not to an all time high but higher then it's been for the other company. Though Su Yan has been a good champion I think the feud has been heading this way and Madison will get the win.
Mask vs Hair
Pentagon Jr. vs Sami Callahan
Sami Callahan is the hottest heel in wrestling right now and I will defend him up against anyone else, I feel like Sami has finally gotten the chance to find his footing. I have also never seen an international star get the reactions that Pentagon has been getting on Impact this match has all the makings to steal the show. Fact is these two are the most over stars in the company in one way or the other and I'm sure we will be seeing both Fenix and the rest of OVE in this which will make things all the more interesting. For anyone who doesn't know the importance of masks in lucha libre and that is one of the reasons this match is tough to predict. I think that at this point Sami can afford the fall but it would be too much for Pentagon. With that being said Pentagon gets the win tonight.
House of Hardcore Rules Match:
Tommy Dreamer vs Eddie Edwards
This is the most heated rivalry this company has seen maybe ever and it incredible to think that Eddie has been a part of this feud and the one with Sami as both hit highs on the intensity scale. Now I've been watching both Eddie & Tommy for years at this point and I have to say this is the most interested I have ever been in both men. Dreamer hasn't been in an feud like this or showed the intensity he has in this feud in probably almost a decade. In all honesty I didn't think that Eddie had this type of run in him as he never really showed this type of mean streak. However, this makes the new Impact stick out even more because we can expect the unexpected with talent. Even though I would like to see Tommy win just to keep the mental breakdown angle going on Eddie's side. I think it might be academic though that Eddie Edwards will get the win in this one.
Impact World Championship Match:
(c) Austin Aries vs Moose
The "Belt Collector" has had an incredible run since his return to the company and it really shows how much his attitude has changed in the last few years. I've always been a fan of Aries since his time in Ring of Honor and there was a time when I thought he was one of the best and in my opinion his shown flashes his old self in the build to this match. Now flipping the coin though I've said this a lot I have actually watched Moose from the start and it is crazy to think that Moose has come this far. Moose's career has been newsworthy from the start because every major company was interested in him and he chose Impact for a reason. This is the match that his entire run has built too and I think the hard work pays off tomorrow with Moose leaving Slammiversary with the gold.
Going back in the archives of Impact Wrestling you can find some bright spots from the company's past with a number of incredible talent. Seeing AJ Styles and Kurt Angle in the ring together was always a treat, because they never had a bad match with each other and the chemistry they have together was amazing. I think that even to this day if Kurt and AJ got back in the ring together the chemistry would still be there as these two are just that good.
Though some fans might look at the roster that Impact has now and think they don't have that household name anymore or as deep a roster as they did. However, I would disagree on both accounts because once Impact started looking at themselves as an independent company and not second to WWE they figured out what was needed to be different. The best way they could differentiate themselves was to give guys like Moose, Austin Aries, Sami Callahan, Eddie Edwards, and others an opportunity to lead the company. Now that the countdown has hit the single digits we see how much the company has changed in recent months.
The one characteristic most wrestling fans have is curiosity and though in most cases it is tied to dream matches and what it would be like if such and such was in a different company. However, for me it's normally centered around if a company has improved their tv programming or not and if it's worth checking out. Over the years I have seen Impact go thru a ton of phases and growing pain, I remember when Impact first started on Spike. For some reason though I always allow Impact to get another chance and a clean slate even if they always end up losing me for one reason or another.
Recently I have fallen back to giving Impact Wrestling another chance to keep me interested and I don't know what is about this time but they seem to be doing something right. Leaving the feud between Callahan and Edwards aside I've grown to have at least a bit of intrigue in other feuds going on within the company. For example the developing feud between Konnan and Eddie Kingston over LAX. Seeing Konnan talk with such passion and vigor is something that has been missing from Impact and honestly from Konnan; because seeing him care as much as he does makes you care a little bit more. This allows for emotional investment in not just the feud but the company as well because it makes you more interested to see what else is going on.
Overall though the biggest factor with this feud that ties everything together was the shock and surprise I felt when Homicide and Hernandez ascended from the crowd to attack Santana and Ortiz. As Don Callis said it best on commentary "I thought he was blackballed" directing the statement at Hernandez from his last run in Impact Wrestling. Maybe though it's time for the mantra to switch from one company to another and it be "Anything Can Happen in Impact Wrestling!" Never though I'd say that!
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