Honestly I have been watching Impact Wrestling for about a year or so at this point on a weekly basis, but I have never heard Tessa speak. In my opinion, Tessa does have some charisma, and it might be that she isn't use to getting promo time or in long drawn out segments. Now that they have gotten Tessa to the goal they need to start to develop a character and reasons why she did something or is acting a certain way instead of just going through the motions. I feel like that's the only thing that is missing from her segments as they are leaning on Sami Callahan a little to much and eventually they will have to move on from that feud.
I would like to point out how unique it is that Impact chose to actually run an episode of Impact down in Mexico City. It is stuff like that which makes them stick out from the other companies, because other than AEW nobody really does programming from obscure locations. As far as Austin & Taya appearing to confront the champion it something I don't have an issue with, but at the same time it felt they had a bit more depth and confidence then the World champion. It is for this reason that either Tessa needs a manager or just a bit more promo time to develop a character and get a little more confidence.
At the tail end of last year I was thinking up some new series ideas to change things up as we approach year five of the website. I knew that I wanted to focus on gimmicks and redo's, but I didn't know which would be the best way to handle Rob Van Dam. To explain at Bound For Glory last year Rob Van Dam turned heel for the first time in almost twenty years and the first time in Impact Wrestling. Soon after turning on Rhyno at Bound For Glory his current girlfriend Katie Forbes joined him as his manager.
For the most part all RVD and Katie Forbes have done is acted like two horny teenagers just kissing each other every chance they get. I understand that Rob likely wanted his girlfriend alongside him to help keep him sane on the road again more often. Rob has not been a heel in almost twenty years and never caught a whiff of the other side in that time. In my opinion, the heel turn could've been done a lot better with the turn giving Rob more of a reason to turn then just making out with his girlfriend.
Rob Van Dam has put his body on the line for years going back to his days in ECW and now at 45 years old it might be time for him to slow down to prolong his career a little. Changing his move set would've been the first thing I would've changed but I would've done it done it slow. For example I'd have Rob go up for the frog splash and then change his mind waving off the fans. I'd have him go for van terminator and then drop off the ropes and wave them off again. In the weeks Rob would start adding new moves to his arsenal and leaning more on karate instead of high flying.
This would build to a promo where Rob denounces his old self saying "I put my body on the line for the twenty five years for what? To get risk life altering injuries, to give a half whited moron who couldn't do half things I can do a chance to dream. Katie and I discussed it and it's time I start thinking about the only person that matters me." He'd finish by saying "For twenty years I've put you people first and it's gotten me nothing and helped me nowhere that changes now." Tommy Dreamer then pops up and points the finger at Katie for Rob's change of attitude and this enrages Rob who attacks Tommy and bloodies him badly. Setting up his first big match as a heel and raises the blame for people to hate Katie and gives her a character as well as it gives Rob a reason why he turned heel again.
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.
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