To change things up a bit we are looking at some of the most random returns in the history of Impact's yearly anniversary event. I remember back in the day when Christian made his return to the company as his appearance came about after Impact allowed WWE to borrow Ric Flair for the Hall of Fame that year. It was random seeing Christian, but seeing the older returns especially Animal made me remember those moments a little clearer. Also it put on display just how many years that Impact Wrestling has been in business, can't believe it's been 17 years.
I am very happy for everyone that is a part of Impact Wrestling that they will be celebrating another year in business very soon. It's just surprising or maybe testament to those who have been in charge that they cared so much about the company that they wouldn't let it not survive. In my opinion, people not giving up on Impact is the reason that Impact has made it this far and stuck around this long, because they still do have their loyalists. Even though the old faces are gone the new faces have seemingly brought a sense of stability back to Impact Wrestling.
As the countdown continues to the seventeenth anniversary event for Impact Wrestling it's time to look back at some of the great moments and memories of the last few years so far. Over the years one of the Impact's biggest yearly events has produced not only some of the best matches, but has also produced some of the most talked about moments in the history of the company. Even though in my opinion, the King of the Mountain concept was unique enough and usually was one of the better matches on the card and even though things do change in wrestling I think this is something that could've been brought back.
However, we aren't going to be looking at a King of the Mountain match at least this time around, but will be looking at one of the top modern feuds in the companies history. Following their departure from Ring of Honor it was one of the most talk about topics in wrestling at the time where Eddie and Davey would end up. Even though they would have a short tenure in NXT they would end up with Impact Wrestling and would become the leaders of the tag team division.
Looking back it was clear at the time that more than likely the reason for this was because Davey decided that he was going to be retiring soon and wanted to feud with Eddie before he hung it up. This was a very intense, quick brawl but it didn't disappoint at all. This was also the first time that I saw Alisha Edwards compete and I was impressed by how good she was knowing she doesn't have a ton of experience in the ring. Either way this was one of the few bright spots of a very tough time for the company and something we can look back at fondly.
This is something has become a tradition for a number of the biggest events that come through the calendar year. At first this was just a WWE thing I would do ahead of Wrestlemania, but then I thought this series was something that could work for other companies as well. For those who may have forgotten Slammiversary is the anniversary celebration for the promotion as they look back at the last now seventeen years of history. Even though through the years Impact Wrestling has really cut away most of the their PPV's two of the events that have stuck around was Bound For Glory and Slammiversary for legitimate reasons, but still.
In a trip back in time we can see just how much things have changed in last twelve years for Eric Young and Robert Roode. It is insane knowing that both these guys have come so far in the last few years with both men in the WWE at this point right now. If my memory serves I believe this feud took place soon after Team Canada had came apart with both Robert & Eric were being given a slight push. At the time TNA was really looking for stability and some new talent to bring up from within as they didn't really have the money to bring in top talent. Though both men would eventually find their way to the top of the card this was the very beginning of their push.
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. For once we have found two former TNA wrestling alumni who got their big breaks in the promotion at one point or another.
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.
Over the years since the end of Extreme Championship Wrestling we have since a number of reunion shows designed to try and give the one time rebel of wrestling a proper send off. Thinking about it one aspect that has never been properly thought of is feuds among talent that never fought in ECW. At this point that ship has sail with only a handful of ECW alumni still active it would be easier to see one more match and extremely difficult for one more feud. Speaking of one more match that's what we got from Tommy Dreamer & Rob Van Dam at 2300 Street Arena.
Years ago I thought wrestling would never be able to call the former ECW Arena home again, but of course wrestling found it's back to the old stomping ground of ECW. Over the years Impact has even held some events at the arena, but this recent edition of Impact was their first time taping their television show at the arena. Even though the arena looks different atmosphere looks the same with Dreamer & RVD getting the chance to walk down the isle they walked down so many times in the past for one last match. In my opinion these two went above and beyond what was expected, tapped into some old favorites and really showed why they are two legends of the ring.
Overall though I think it would be best for me to allow the action to speak for itself and just let you take a look at the final meeting between two legends of wrestling. This edition of Impact Wrestling was for lack of a better word or phrase "One of a Kind."
Starting in 2002 the company then known as NWA-TNA the foundation of the company was set by some familiar faces like Jeff Jarrett, Ken Shamrock, Raven, Sting, and others. However, had a plentiful of future stars like James Storm, Chris Harris, Christopher Daniels, and of course AJ Styles. It is incredible to see the ups and downs that these talents have had over the last decade and a half especially one name in particular and he's "Phenomenal." It didn't take Styles long to capture his first championship becoming the first ever Impact X-Division Champion, the first NWA-TNA World Tag Champions, former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, TNA Television Champion, TNA Tag Team Champion and TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
It is truly fair to say that AJ Styles had done absolutely everything possible while he was a member of the Impact Wrestling roster. After becoming NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion he became the first triple crown champion in the company after winning TNA Legends Championship (Later known as the Television Championship) he became the first Grand Slam champion in the company. In my opinion, it was the feud with the Main Event Mafia that really put on display how important AJ Styles was to the company & that he was TNA's version of John Cena.
I do think that eventually AJ Styles will enter the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame, because much like the WWE side the Hall of Fame wouldn't be complete without Styles. In my opinion, Styles was sort of the Ric Flair of TNA, because he could have a good match with anyone and kept getting pushed down aside when ex-WWE talent would join the company; the same way Flair did in WCW during the Monday Night War. Overall though very few wrestlers can touch the amount of success that AJ Styles had as a member of the Impact Wrestling roster.
After seeing this as a titled Youtube video on the WWE channel I thought it would be interesting to take it but use it for other company's outside of WWE. Admittedly I have let the other sections of the site suffer in favor of the more common places to place articles, but hopefully this series like with series of the the past it will give some new content to the under used sections. For those who may not be aware I love having the chance to take a trip in the wrestling time machine back in time to highlight the past.
Over the years Impact Wrestling has had some tough years especially within the 2009-2013 period. This coming off the height of their hottest period specifically Lockdown 2008 being the most bought PPV in the history of Impact Wrestling. At one point or another Impact has had an incredibly deep roster with so many future, present, and past stars coming trough the company at some points. With names like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, James Storm, Magnus, Jeff Hardy, Sting, and others entering the Impact Zone this series will have a lot of different names to turn to over time.
Overall I will not just be looking through the annals of Impact history, but I will also be looking to New Japan, Ring of Honor, and NWA to attempt to really get the most out of this series. The reality is this will give me a chance to explore the past of former talent & all of their accomplishments like I use to do with the "Scouting Report" series back in the day.
One of my recent consistent criticisms of the WWE has been the fact that lack a long term plan for any aspect of their programming. Since the arrival of Don Callis and Scott D'Amore we have seen a massive change in the creative direction of the company as they have shown a heavy reliance on having longer term plans for top talent specifically which helps keep momentum high and allows there to be a flow between feuds for talent. Also if one person is heavily featured for 6 months to a year it isn't a big deal if they disappear for a little while, because this allows the company to focus on other talent.
From his days in the WWE it was clear that Johnny has always been comfortable as a heel then as baby face, because he comes off as a cookie cutter good guy. But as heel I feel like Johnny comes as a more natural and is a more effective heel. Overall story lines that include crooked referees are always tougher to do because everyone compares it to the "Montreal Screwjob," but comparing this to other crooked ref angles I think they did a great job making this seem different and getting more proper heat on Johnny & Taya as well as making people want to see Brian Cage win the title even more.
It is pretty rare that I actually bring this series to a specific section, but I figured it'd be a nice change of pace for the series. 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.
These two are very different talent and had two very different careers while they worked in this great business. 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.
Starting out as a radio broadcaster hosting a show called "Wrestling Insiders" where he would interview wrestlers Jesse Ventura, Jim Cornette, and Sting. It was his work on the show that netted him a job with World Championship Wrestling. Mike Tenay's first announcing job with WCW was as one of the many announcers to work the legendary When Worlds Collide event specifically working with Chris Crusie during the Guerrero/Barr vs Hijo Del Santo/Octagon contest. To start Mike would mostly be seen on the B-Shows like WCW Worldwide and Saturday Night and would occasionally be a guest announcer during luchadore matches on PPV.
Tenay would move up to Monday Nitro and would be able to fully put on display his vast knowledge of the wrestling business, wrestling history, and maneuvers getting the nickname of the "Professor" from his knowledge. Following the debut of Thunder after seeing the announce team pull double duties the company chose to switch things up. Tenay would become the lead announcer of WCW Thunder alongside of Larry Zbyzsko after the change. The change would be short lived though as the company would bring Tony Schiavone back to Thunder in December.
Following the closure of WCW in 2001, it was a while before we saw Mike Tenay back in the booth for a wrestling program. Upon the arrival of NWA-TNA it wasn't long before Mike would join the booth to become the lead announcer for the company. To start Mike would click with color commentator Don West who he would partner with for years until he was replaced by Tazz. The one constant through the years even with all the ups and downs that TNA has gone through over the years until he was relieved of his duties and moved back into a different role with the company.
When Impact made the change from Spike to Destination America they would give the company a fresh voice in the announce booth with Josh Matthews taking over the lead announce duties. In 2016 while appearing on the Ross Report Mike would announce that he quietly departed TNA Wrestling and is currently retired from professional wrestling. One interesting and fitting note is that Mike Tenay serves on the board of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.
The one stop shop for all things TNA Wrestling. At first you may not agree, but every now & again you might be surprised.