Powell’s Impact Wrestling Hit List: Johnny Impact, Brian Cage, and Killer Kross, Scarlett Bordeaux and Scott Steiner, Sami Callihan vs. Willie Mack, Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix vs. Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Impact Wrestling Hits

Johnny Impact, Brian Cage, and Killer Kross: The opening segment was strong followup to the Homecoming main event and post match angle. It was encouraging to hear the live crowd rally behind Cage as much as they did. Is the plan is to turn Impact heel? The fans chose Cage over Impact and couldn’t have cared less about Taya Valkyrie’s storyline injuries. The same crowd rallied behind Impact in his entertaining main event with Kross. Impact showed good intensity during that match and it was good to see him work like a guy who was out for revenge rather than work a standard match. The interference of Moose at the end of the match gave Kross a non-title win over the champion and established Moose as another obstacle for the Impact Champion.

Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix vs. Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz: I was surprised to see this match given away without any build or without anything at stake. At the same time, it made for a quality opening match and the idea seemed to be that Xavier and Wentz would gain something in defeat by earning the respect of Pentagon and Fenix.

Rich Swann promo: Swann did a terrific job of incorporating the history of the X Division Championship and the venue while delivering his first promo since winning the title. Sami Callihan offering him a spot in OVE was an interesting twist and I remain intrigued to see where the unique dynamic between them is going.

Sami Callihan vs. Willie Mack: A strong match that followed Swann attempting to keep them apart. This was the best match of the night and I like that it ended in a clean pinfall when they easily could have had the Crists interfere or taken another easy way out. I also liked the tease that came a short time later with LAX and OVE crossing paths. The company has done a good job of staying away from the feud after the teams called a ceasefire and more than enough time has passed if they want to resurrect that feud.

Tessa Blanchard vs. Cali Collins: A simple and effective showcase win for Blanchard after she dropped the Knockouts Championship at the pay-per-view. The Eat Defeat finisher was a nice touch if they are working toward a Blanchard vs. Gail Kim match.

Impact Wrestling Misses

Audio mix: It was difficult to hear the broadcast team of Josh Mathews and Don Callis, especially if there was entrance music or the crowd was chanting or cheering loudly. I don’t know if it was as simple as a bad sound mix (or even my stereo setup, though it sounded fine for Homecoming), but it made for a poor experience. I checked with John Moore, who watched the show on Twitch, and he said that Callis’s mic was all over the place, but it doesn’t seem like things were as bad on that end. I watched on Pursuit and it was a chore just to make out what the duo was saying throughout the show.

Scarlett Bordeaux and the Desi Hit Squad: Here’s hoping they have something big in mind for the reveal of Bordeaux’s talent search and it’s something more modern than Scott Steiner. The tease of Scarlett stripping felt trashy and out of place in 2019. Steiner was a fun surprise for the live crowd, but Bordeaux needs to be part of something meaningful that will take advantage of her rising star without making the show feel like it’s from a different era. Impact can’t be satisfied being on Pursuit and Twitch. They should be focused on presenting a product that will be attractive to other networks rather than looking like a promotion that is out of touch and behind the times.

Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Brian Fritz discussing the formation of All Elite Wrestling and their launch rally.




The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ODB discussing the fire that destroyed her food truck, the fundraising drive to help her buy a new truck, her appearance on the latest Impact Wrestling television show, Triple H telling her to go to TNA, and much more...


Readers Comments (21)

  1. “The tease of Scarlett stripping felt trashy and out of place in 2019.”

    I get that it’s one issue when you parade every woman on the roster out there in her bra and panties, with no storyline reason, just for the sake of doing it. Aren’t you taking it a bit too far the other way, however, when you say something that totally fits the Scarlett character is trashy and out of place in 2019, Jason? That feels like outrage purely for the sake of outrage. I had zero issue with it.

    • Agreed. It wasn’t a 4 Diva gravy match. Like other elements, if it’s used sparingly, and in the right situation, I’m fine with it. Don’t hot shame her, Jason. You must be a 5.

    • I’m not the least bit outraged. I just think it’s a foolish business decision. Big difference.

      • Yep, I knew it…..he’s a 5

        • @Ozzman_79 Ha!

          @Powell I may have taken your reaction to be a bit stronger than it was, but “trashy” is a pretty strong label. It perfectly fit the character. She’s supposed to be using her looks to get ahead. I’d agree with your point had it been Tessa, or Rosemary, that they had scripted to do that. As for the business aspect of it, Impact used something to their advantage that WWE can’t; because WWE has a toy company to cater to. That’s fairly smart, because Impact, if it’s to grow, will likely do so by being a niche company. I prefer Impact to WWE because the stories generally lean more adult.

          • Enjoy what you enjoy. And it’s not that I don’t enjoy seeing an attractive woman in lingerie, but I can’t imagine Impact is thrilled to be on Pursuit. They need a better television deal. And in 2019, this doesn’t strike me as the right approach to take in terms of making yourself attractive to bigger networks. I’m all for her being a Diva in a modern woman’s world, but not when I feel angles like this could hurt the company in other ways. Some things just aren’t worth it whether they mesh with our personal tastes or not.

      • A foolish business decision that got the most hits. Just because you don’t care for it doesn’t mean it can’t bs successful. Wrestling today is less talk more matches and viewership has been way down.

  2. Out of place in 2019? Ugh go to Disneyland already! What in the world wrong with some raunchy wrestling and in 2019 Pornhub exists! I enjoyed Scarlett’s segment and as an adult male i want to see more edgy content.

    • I agree. WWE covers the “PG” market. ROH/NJPW cover the “pure athletic” market. Who caters to the wrestling fans who want an edgier/story product? And should they change everything just to cater to one network in one country? Cable and satellite providers are bleeding subscribers every year, and Impact is available in many, less “conversative,” countries then the USA. Does one outdated media platform in one country really make or break something?

      • I would argue that Lucha Underground appeals to the edgier/story product. LU and NXT are doing a better job with overall storytelling and NJPW is very efficient in having their in-ring tell stories. Impact has been all over the place for a long time. They’re better than they were in 2017, but 2016 had Impact telling better and more intelligent stories.

        Impact looks like they’re trying to take a jack-of-all-trades approach while not serving any real audience. Because their major programs involve Lucha Underground wrestlers, I can’t help but feel like I’m watching a watered-down and low budget version of Lucha Underground. LU’s folly was not staying under budget which is why they’re also looking for a new TV deal, but I’m hearing that LU has big plans for their Season 5 if all things fall into place.

    • If Pornhub wants to pay they a lucrative television programming fee that rock on! Until that happens, I’m going to take the realistic approach to this. You’ve defended damn near everything this company has ever done and yet they continue to play to fewer viewers and on smaller networks. At some point I’d think you’d come to the conclusion that cheerleading just isn’t the answer.

      • Jason,
        is there any US company besides WWE doing better? Don’t say ROH, because it seems they have no tv overage in most major American cities, and they still have a one hour show. So, who is doing better? Could the problem not be Impact but pro wrestling on the whole?

        • ROH is making money so they are doing better. They are given a budget by Sinclair and they apparently exceed that budget. MLW gets whatever they get from beIN Sports. I’m not trying to rain on any fan’s parade, but let me turn that around by asking if there’s a national company that is doing worse. From Spike to DA to Pop and now to Pursuit. It’s circling downward. My hope is that this is a placeholder deal and they have something better in the works, but it’s not looking good when Pop doesn’t want you. I sincerely hope that Impact thrives. I’ll just never be a person who heaps praise on any company as if it’s my hometown team.

          • Jason,
            You really dont think between social media (youtube alone pays Impact anywhere from 200k to 1.5 mill according to Socialblade) Twitch subs (15k would get Impact 900k a year, after Twitch takes a cut) Twitch sponsorship, live shows, merch, and tv ..you REALLY think they don;t make money. ROH averages just over 600 people to a show. The wrestling bubble is strong, I know, but rarely factual.
            Now I know it cots a lot to run a company, but really, with the way they have downsized, the money they have incoming, and the literal word of their owner, its hard to not believe they are now making a small profit

          • Okay, last comment on this for this thread. If some of you guys want to think Impact is kicking ass despite airing on Pursuit, then more power to you. We don’t know what MLW is being paid by beIN Sports. My point is basically that because it’s their first TV deal, it’s a sign of growth for them. Meanwhile, Impact is dwindling downward as far as their television relationships are concerned. Is Impact making more money than MLW? Possibly, but we don’t know. It all depends on what beIN is paying and how much investors have put into MLW. As for ROH, again, it’s a different setup because they get a $12-13 million budget from SBG. But they and NJPW have sold out MSG. I believe they did 6,000 during WM weekend if memory serves. And the HonorClub streaming service is said to be approaching 10,000 subscribers, which is a nice source of fairly new revenue on top of the fact that they were profitable prior to the launch of their streaming service. So obviously ROH is doing some good things. And if even they are averaging 600 per show as you wrote, then they are making a profit on those shows or they wouldn’t be doing them (just Impact stopped touring in the past because their shows were money losers).

            Meanwhile, you are ignoring the part about Anthem buying a company that was severely in debt and hanging on by a thread. So hopefully they are making some money these days, but I have a very hard time believing they’ve made enough to erase their initial losses. They owed or still owe Aroluxe money and everyone I’ve spoken with assumes that’s why we saw their ads during Impact. It wasn’t a case of Aroluxe paying Pop for the ad space. Impact was still paying off Billy Corgan recently and I’m not sure how far they have to go on that. It’s encouraging that they are making payments to Corgan and presumably others, but again the point is that if they are making some money today, a lot of it is still being used to pay off debt. We don’t know if MLW is turning a true profit, but there’s no reason to think ROH is not.

            And hopefully Impact will pay off its debt, find a new television partner, and thrive. I always laugh at how a subjective Hit List that often has more Hits than Misses still leads to cheerleaders taking issue with nearly any Miss, which somehow leads to all of this. This isn’t politics and I wish everyone would stop spinning and just admit that Pursuit is far from a strong network partner and that this isn’t an ideal situation for the company to be in. Can they turn a negative into a positive? Hopefully, but there are some cheerleader types who would claim Impact is thriving even if they were running on public access.

          • Is there a national company doing worse? Are you kidding? Most of them that arent wwe. MLW for example, whom I like, the CHANEL itself only averages 7k a month viewership, their Youtube presence is much smaller than Impacts, thus less money, and zero streaming money, ROH is not even available in most us cities

      • Why is obvious to me that ratings don’t matter to Impact wrestling but yet it’s not obvious to you? Secondly i’m a wrestling fan and my only job as a wrestling fan is try to find enjoyment in what i’m watching, my job as fan isn’t to worry about things that more experienced and qualified people are paid to worry about.

        I enjoyed the show and i can watch it that’s all i care to worry about!

        • Ratings and viewership don’t matter? Tell that to advertisers and potential network homes. Yes, they matter. There are other metrics, but those metrics clearly matter.

          Funny, when I watch the Vikings, I don’t just look for something to be a fan about if they get blown out 35-0. As a fan, I want them to fix the problems, not tell me everything is great because we didn’t lose by six touchdowns. There’s a difference between being a regular fan and being a homer fan.

          • Well i’m sorry a woman showing her undrewear isn’t something i think needs to be fixed! Hell i can see women in their underwear on primetime network television. But leave it to you to make it out the be all and end it all to larger tv deal. Silly!

          • Advertisers? I just subscribed to Impact wrestling twitch channel at impact’s encouragement to skip the advertisements. lol, like i said i’ll worry about enjoying the show, you can worry potential network homes.

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