At this point nothing really surprises me anymore with Impact Wrestling, because I have thought so many times that the company was done but every time they find there way back. This is not to say that I have ever hope that the company go away it's just that I have gotten tired of all the bad news centered around the promotion. It is for this reason that I was very happy with how 2018 turned out with the year being really the first year that very little bad was reported about the promotion. However, one thing that changed for Impact is that 2018 was the promotions last year on POP TV which has been their home for programming since they moved from Destination America.
Now it is possible that the promotion that always finds a new way to amaze the fans has done it again finding a new home on the Pursuit Network. For those wondering the Pursuit Network is the most widely distributed outdoor network and one of the fastest growing channels in history. Anyone wondering how Impact ended up on a network that largely airs hunting and fishing programming well Anthem Sports and Entertainment owns a large stake in the channel.
Overall though according to one source, this new deal with Pursuit Channel is financially better for the company than the one they had with POP. The promotion seems very happy with the change as they are now given a little bit of extra room due to them not having the financial obligations that they did with POP TV. In a way this is a gain for the company even if Pursuit is a smaller channel it does seem to be a better deal overall for the promotion.
Recently there has been an amazing amount of news not just about major American companies, but with Wrestle Kingdom 13 happening earlier this weekend. Every New Japan has the first major event of the new year and for the first time Impact Wrestling will have the next major event of the year. For the first time in a very long time Impact will be returning to the arena they called home for the first three years of their existence. The Fairgrounds in Nashville was the arena once called the "TNA Asylum" once they moved to the Impact Zone that became their new home where they held every show.
Trying something new Impact Wrestling will be heading home for the first time in a very long time. I do like the idea of such a unique event, and this really is unique partially due to the fact that they now don't do shows in this area as much anymore. Now don't get me wrong there is no comparing Wrestle Kingdom and this event, but this does have a similar concept as Wrestle Kingdom as this could be exactly what Impact needs to set a positive foundation for 2019.
Looking at the card there is little doubt in my opinion that Impact Wrestling has done a lot of good building to this event. In my opinion I still that Johnny Impact is better off on the chase then being the "Face of Impact," but that doesn't mean that he doesn't belong as a World Champion. With matches like LAX vs Lucha Brothers and the assumed blow-off of the heated rivalry between Eddie Edwards & Moose in a Falls Count Anywhere match they should steal the show. If things go right at this event then I believe that this could really get Impact on the right track for the new year which is especially important after the massive All Elite Wrestling announcement.
One thing that has been a point of interest this year in the world of wrestling is if Impact Wrestling could begin to build momentum in the right direction now that they have stability in the office. Since December of last year we have seen Don Callis & Scott D'Amore running things and they have really given Impact Wrestling a stable long term picture. This was also the first year with Impact Wrestling located in Canada instead of the United States like it had been in years prior. With those two things in place some much needed stability had been found by Impact Wrestling.
As far as the company's overall direction it has been very refreshing to see the company having a long term direction for the top talent. Names like Eddie Edwards, Johnny Mundo, LAX, and Lucha Bros have really been busy during the entire with consistent feuds and momentum building from start to finish. I have really enjoyed the Lucha Bros, Eddie Edwards, and LAX all throughout the year with these men getting into the primes of their careers.
In my opinion, Impact Wrestling has finally rebuilt their roster to the point where they have extremely capable talent to help carry the company. I will admit that I still believe Johnny Mundo will drop the Impact Wrestling World Title very early on in 2019 maybe even at Impact Wrestling Homecoming in January to Brian Cage. To make a bold prediction for the upcoming new year I will take a guess saying that both Eddie Edwards and Brian Cage will taste World Championship gold in 2019.
As the build continues to Impact Wrestling Homecoming the card seems to be getting better by the week with two new matches being added to the card. In my opinion other than the LAX vs OGz grudge match this upcoming event could be better then Bound For Glory. I did sit down to watch the most recent edition of Impact and have few take away from the current Impact Wrestling product. For me one thing hasn't changed and that is I like wrestling on my wrestling (sorry WWE) and that is something Impact Wrestling has gotten a lot better at providing. With long over arching story lines and a once again deep roster filled with incredibly talented performers things are finally looking up for Impact Wrestling.
I know in the past I have pretty much solely focused on Eddie Edwards as his transition to a lunatic has been something I never really expected to see, but in this edition we will focus on two wrestlers Johnny Impact & LAX. First of all both are at the top of there careers right now holding the Impact World & Tag Team titles respectively. However, in my book one is showing room for growth while the other is showing that the ceiling might have been hit. Before elaborating I do believe that there could be a more in depth article coming in the future on this subject, but for this let's keep it short.
I think that Johny Impact formerly John Morrison has proven the WWE wrong that he could lead a company, but maybe they were right with the idea that the company wasn't WWE. I don't think that Johnny is a bad champion or the wrong selection to be Impact World Champion it's just I don't see him as a long term champion. It is really for that reason that I think the WWE were right for never letting him be WWE Champion, but also wrong as Johnny has proven to be a very reliable in ring competitor. I guess I just think that Johnny is better at chasing the title than actually being the champion in my opinion.
As for the tag team champions the work that LAX has been doing for most of the year has been fantastic. In my opinion Impact should consider themselves lucky to have found Santana & Ortiz when they did and that they have such chemistry with Konnan it's like they are the perfect match. Starting with there feud against the OGz and now likely heading into a very interesting feud with the Lucha Bros the momentum doesn't seem to be slowing down for the youngsters and it is very fun to watch. I have been saying for years that Impact needs to find there own talent and build from scratch and they are doing exactly that with Santana and Ortiz which is awesome to see. I think that if Impact Wrestling keeps this up they could have a better tag team division then the WWE and even if they aren't in competition anymore they could once again find themselves being a serviceable alternative to the company in Connecticut.
As I mentioned about a week ago Impact Wrestling are currently negotiating a new TV deal and are likely moving off POP TV for a new station in early 2019. It is very interesting to see how different the negotiating period has been compared to when they left Spike TV a few years ago. Now based on reports it seems like POP and Impact Wrestling have a great relationship as POP is allowing Impact to remain on the station until early 2019 as I mentioned earlier.
Currently, Impact is in talks with SyFy, TruTV, and WGN for a television deal after their current contract expires. According to a recent edition of the PWTorch Livecast one thing that drove a wedge between Impact & Pop is the wrestling company's desire to return to a prime-time slot and Pop's unwillingness to give them the spot. It seems like Impact will likely head to whichever station will give them a prime-time slot and it would be interesting to see SyFy land the company knowing their history with the WWE. Also an interesting note if Impact does end up on the SyFy network it would be the first time that the WWE & Impact are on stations owned by the same company. Though it might not seem like a big deal I feel like it would be interesting having both Impact & WWE on channels owned by NBC Universal.
In my opinion, I think any of these three channels or maybe a mystery one could be in the running for Impact. Specifically though I'd go for either WGN America or SyFy due to their past history with having wrestling programming on the network. In hindsight though I think SyFy or TruTV would help Impact more as they are more nationally known stations on television. Overall 2019 promises to be another interesting year for wrestling and this is just adding fuel to the fire.
At one point I remember when this was a "major" news story every other day when the company was leaving Spike TV a few years ago. Luckily this time around it is not as much of a questionable situation and if anything it is total opposite situation. Following the companies stay on Destination America which is where they headed after Spike TV they moved to another channel and that was POP TV aka the former TV guide network. Prior to POP picking up Impact Wrestling they had given television time to Vegas Independent wrestling company Paragon Pro-Wrestling. Now in reality during there time on POP we saw Impact almost hit it's end when Dixie Carter finally sold the promotion.
The last two years have been full of ups and downs for the company with the promotion having seemingly found stability and a foundation to rebuild the promotion. At this point it has been an extremely long amount of time since we last saw a negative story about the promotion which was common place at one point. As far as where they stand with POP television at the point and though the relationship seems in a good place it doesn't seem like the company will resign.
Overall Impact Wrestling still has television in both the UK and Canada, but as of early 2019 they will loose television in the United States. The latest news points to Impact & POP coming to a short term extension to keep the promotion on the channel until late winter or early spring, but after that is uncertain. For those who may not follow Impact the company recently was moved to a different time slot and has seen a drop in viewers because of it. Looking at the possible places for Impact to move that is one thing I am unsure of due to nobody reporting anything about possible new homes. However, if I had to guess the Fight Network might be a possible spot considering it is also owned by Anthem Sports & held an ownership interest in Impact at one point.
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.
Some feuds never end and others need a little help to continue as a way to allow fans a break from seeing the old stuff. One problem in wrestling is when a feud has been going for a while fans get tired of the same match and sometimes a feud just needs a punch in the air. In some cases a breath of fresh air can be enough to keep a feud going for months at a time even the company plays there cards right. After months of a developing blood feud between the original LAX faction of Homicide & Hernandez with King (Eddie Kingston) against the reinvented LAX faction with Santana, Ortiz, and Konnan. Now the feud really kicked off when it was reveled that Kingston was the one behind the attack of Konnan and we then saw the shocking returns of both Homicide & Hernandez.
Following the blow-off of the feud at Bound for Glory though the blood feud came to an end with LAX moving one way and the OGz going another way. Though the "bosses" told both teams to stay away from each other but they didn't mention friends or protégées. This now opened the door for an interesting feud between the OGz and Pentagon/Fenix who were mentored and heavily influenced by Konnan since very early on in their careers. At this point I don't know if these two teams will revisit the feud they had at one point, but if they did it will likely be in a couple of months. If they did revisit this feud though after the OGz & Los Lucha Brothers feud there will be another layer on a feud that already had deep roots to begin with.
Overall this is one of the many ways that Impact Wrestling has improved the outlook of their product this year as they have shifted focus to pay more attention the wrestling. Comparing the WWE & Impact Wrestling it is incredible the differences between the companies with one focusing more on week to week & the other actually having long term overarching stories. Take a guess which one Impact falls under, fact is Don Callis, Anthem, and Scott D'Amore are slowly turning Impact into a stable wrestling company again and it is amazing to watch them do it.
The past has been tough for Impact Wrestling with a lot of questionable decision lying the long history of the company that always found a way to get past the bad. However, things began to change when Anthem Sports purchased the company they brought stability to the company which was much needed. Now I do remember the early days of Anthem and the issues with the Hardy Brothers. Once things calmed down though and they were allowed to focus on improving Impact Wrestling as opposed to the non sense they had been dealing with they hit the ground running.
I will go out on a limb and say that this year has been the best year for Impact Wrestling since around 2007 or 2008. Even though I know I have been super critical of this company over the years, but I am very happy that they have found some stability. In my opinion though Don Callis shows in one promo exactly why Impact is in a better position now then they have been in a long time. Take a look!!
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.
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