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.
One of the hottest signings for WWE in the peak of the attitude era was Kurt Angle. Angle would shoot to super stardom in short order after debuting in late 1999 winning his first World Title in October 2000 after defeating The Rock with help from Rikishi. After seven years under contract with WWE in a shock that would go almost viral if it happened today Angle would be let out of his contract after rejecting a rehab stint. In September 2006 at the end of the No Surrender event it was reveled that Kurt Angle was coming to TNA wrestling. In a moment still talked about Angle would debut on the October 19th edition of Impact confronting the undefeated Samoa Joe sparking a dream match situation and Angle's first feud in his new company.
In my opinion, this show was at the peak of NWA-TNA and the depth of the roster staring a number of top future stars like Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, AJ Styles, James Storm, Jay Lethal, and others. Overall this shows the age old story of not knowing what the future will hold for some talent or who will walk through that door at any given time. Nobody could've expected that Jay Lethal would become one of the best wrestlers not under contract with WWE and the leader for Ring of Honor or the fact that a number these stars would end up with WWE.
TNA Genesis 2006
B. G. James & Kip James Def. (Pin) Johnny Devine & Kazarian & Maverick Matt Handicap Tag
Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens Def. (Pin) Jay Lethal & Sonjay Dutt
Christopher Daniels Def. (Pin) Chris Sabin NWA X-Division Title
Lance Hoyt & Ron Killings Def. (Pin) Alex Shelley & Austin Starr Commentator: Kevin Nash
Christian Cage Def. (Pin) A.J. Styles
Hernandez & Homicide Def. (Pin) Chris Harris & James Storm NWA Tag Team Titles
Abyss Def. (DQ) Sting NWA World Heavyweight Title
Kurt Angle Def. (Sub) Samoa Joe
I think that moving to Canada and running smaller arenas was the smartest decision that Impact Wrestling could've ever made as it allowed them to refocus and start over finally rebuilding their image. At this point Impact will be building to their return to PPV on January 12 called "Hard to Kill." I for one don't know how much of a fan I am of Tessa being wrapped in a feud for the World Title partially due to how the announcers react every time she gets hit by Sami or someone else. If you want her to wrestle men then don't make a federal case of her being beaten up by a guy, because it is going to happen when she is in the ring with a man.
I have never noticed how excessively talented Daga is and how it helps Impact having fresh talent that they find bringing them to the world instead of having another company do it first. Daga was a fantastic find for Impact Wrestling. Speaking of a great find Josh Alexander and Ethan Page collectively known as The North are one of the best tag team Impact has had in recent memory. At one point Impact had one of if not the best tag team divisions in wrestling and for years they have been trying to find that stability once again and with The North they have the heel side of coin stabilized and can turn to pretty much and faces to work against them, because they're over and fans hate them which makes it easier to find challengers for them, because the fans always want them to loose.
Following the day switch with Impact we move the weekly Impact spot up a few days to Wednesday. For years Impact has struggled to find it's way from the darkness and find there place in thew world of wrestling. At one point they were the upstart promotion, they were the minor league promotion lost in a very long identity crisis with fitting into a profession ran by WWE. Now they have found some stable ground and all it took was stepping back and taking things in a little different direction. The move to Canada was the best decision Impact Wrestling has ever made.
As for this week I'm interested to see where the feud with Tessa & OVE goes from here especially if it leads to another singles match with Tessa and Sami. Seeing Rich Swann pin Sami Callahan is a great sight, because I've known how talented Rich is and I'm excited that he is finally getting a real chance to show what he can do. Another takeaway is that the Desi Hit Squad are among the best athletes in all of wrestling and the presence that Gama Singh has brings a lot to the table. Last note is the fact that Impact gave Referee Cameron the shot to get in the ring and ref is something that the company should be praise, because it makes us seem all the more like we are the same and the differences are from blinders not based in reality.
I remember A1 from my early days of watching Impact Wrestling and specifically Team Canada with Petey Williams, Bobby Roode, Scott D'Amore, Johnny Devine, and Eric Young. I always enjoyed when Impact would sort of pull back the doors and let us into the secret life of the wrestlers as it allowed us to get more invested in the talent. Hearing how A1's perspective has changed and how he use to view wrestling to how he views it today is interesting and one of those lessons that you never know how your perspective on something will change.
Even though A1 wasn't a major star back in the day and some fans may not remember him it is fair to say that he was one of the stars that was moved from the spotlight once WWE alumni's started joining TNA. In Team Canada A1 had a role similar to Kevin Nash when Kevin debuted in WWE the main difference is Kevin thrived in the spotlight and A1 never really wanted it.
In the promotions debut edition of Impact Wrestling on AXS TV we were treated to a Steel Cage match for the Impact World Championship. After the incredible ending last week that set up the rematch from Bound For Glory for the World Title. Seeing that Ken Shamrock is sticking around this way he can have one more much deserved final run in a company. Having the returning Joey Ryan feud with Ken Shamrock is a very interesting choice and could make for a very different dynamic.
To not talk a little bit about the Main Event title match and possibly the blow off to one of the most intense feuds in recent years. Brian Cage was a reliable champion but it's time to cash in on the heat that Callahan has been able to get together in recent months. Callahan has earned his chance on top of the mountain, but I am unsure Tessa Blanchard is a good choice for Sami's first challenger unless he will run her out of the company if the rumors are actually true and Tessa is leaving when her contract is up. Either way my interest level in Impact is still at a high and I am looking forward to see what is planned for the remainder of 2019.
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