Perkins’ Blog: Did last week’s Impact Wrestling television show make an impact on a lapsed viewer?

By Nick Perkins, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@WesternRebel)

I haven’t watched Impact since long before they even stopped calling themselves TNA. I have somewhat remained caught up on the happenings in the company, thanks to the coverage from Dot Net and various Twitter posts but I can honestly say I haven’t watched an actual episode of Impact for five or more years. Probably more.

I’m glad Impact exists, as it gives more wrestlers and behind the scenes people jobs. I fully support it for that reason. I’ve just never had the time, nor the desire, to add yet another wrestling show to my viewing habits. That has nothing to do with the quality of the show, nor the talent involved. There just hasn’t been anything from the company that has grabbed my attention.

That all changed when Kenny Omega won the AEW Championship with the help of Don Callis, and then told the viewing audience to tune in Tuesday (the night on which Impact airs). This was a huge moment for professional wrestling. It may not compare to Shane McMahon appearing on the final edition of WCW Nitro, or even Lex Luger appearing on the first edition of WCW Nitro, but it’s the same idea. And the repercussions are deliciously intriguing. Those within AEW said they wanted to change the world. If they are able to bring every other major wrestling company together to work with one another, that is exactly what they will be doing.

But this article isn’t about AEW. It’s about Impact. I decided, because of Omega’s appearance, to watch Impact for the very first time in many years. I know a little bit about the stories happening, but I’m far from an expert. One may even call me a casual fan of Impact. So I decided to watch it and write down my thoughts as I have them. So if you, like me, haven’t watched the lil’ wrestling company that could for a while, come with me and we’ll be in a world of pure imagination.

This. Is. Impact.

  • First up is a Viewer Discretion is Advised graphic. I always relate those to Law & Order SVU episodes that my mom used to fall asleep watching. Because nothing brings on sweet dreams like sexually violent crimes, I guess.
  • Well, that didn’t take long. The very first person we see on this edition of Impact is Kenny Omega, as it recaps Winter is Coming from the week before.
  • Was Don Callis a good guy or a bad guy in Impact before this newest development?
  • Even though I’ve never watched Impact, it is weird seeing AEW highlights on the show itself. Some would say surreal.
  • I enjoy where they went with the story, but the Omega/Moxley/Callis/Microphone thing was pretty overbooked and convoluted.
  • Is that Josh Matthews? Awww. I remember little Josh Matthews from the very first season of WWE Tough Enough. I always liked the kid.
  • First match is Josh Alexander, with Ethan Page taking on…THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS!
  • MCMG was my favorite tag team in TNA back in the day and I would LOVE to see them take on teams in AEW. The first time I ever actually heard of The Young Bucks was when they were known as Generation Me in TNA, feuding with Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley. I would absolutely love a rematch between those two teams.
  • I like Josh Alexander wearing amateur wrestling headgear.
  • Alexander definitely gives me Cesaro-esque vibes.
  • I have considered downloading the Impact Plus app, simply to watch old school TNA stuff. I think people forget how innovative and important TNA actually was, from 2002-2012ish. Men like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode, and more probably wouldn’t be in WWE today if it weren’t for TNA. Hopefully, one day, Total Nonstop Action gets the recognition and respect that it deserves.
  • The announcers are spending the majority of this match talking about Omega and Callis, which makes sense I suppose, but I do wish they would tell me a bit more about the wrestlers I’m currently watching first.
  • Say what you will about the ThunderDome, but crowd noise, even if it’s canned, really does make a difference in a wrestling show.
  • I do know who Ethan Page is and, if you’re not already, you should follow him on Twitter. He’s hilarious.
  • Page and Alexander are The North. I just put this together. Many people on Twitter have been begging for dream matches between The North and various AEW teams. I could definitely see them as a tremendous team, I just haven’t watched an actual match featuring them yet. But I want to.l
  • I’m 13 minutes into the show, and between watching the match between members of The North and Motor City Machine Guns, and hearing about The Good Brothers (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson), I can already tell that Impact has a better tag division than WWE.
  • Josh Alexander and Ethan Page are yelling at each other. Do they not like each other? Are they about to break up? Dang, just when I discovered them too.
  • Yep, they’re mad at each other. Sabin gets the win in an underwhelming but still entertaining match.
  • And now they’re recapping the Omega story once again.
  • Wasn’t Josh Matthews a heel for a while? Did he wrestle? Is he a good guy again? He reminds me quite a bit of Michael Cole actually. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult yet.
  • I don’t like his suit.
  • Moose looks like a badass. Speaking of badasses, RIP to Tiny Lister (AKA Zeus).
  • Forgive me, but I don’t know who the other man speaking to Moose is. The guy strikes me as a Kofi Kingston-lite with tattoos.
  • Tony Khan appears on Impact, along with Tony Schiavone.
  • By all accounts, Khan is a super great guy and every time I’ve listened to the guy, I’ve been intrigued. The guy just gets it.
  • That being said, he came off like a total dork in this promo. At the risk of sounding like my father, he needs to get a haircut and put a suit on.
  • I do like the old school feel of these promos, though. Very NWA-y, which is ironic because Impact came from TNA which came from NWA.
  • I’m glad that Khan said he could have put a stop to Omega appearing on this show, but that he thought it was a good business decision. He’s not insulting the intelligence of the typical wrestling fan (which is a bit of any oxymoronic phrase, itself…jokes! Jokes!).
  • In actuality, this was an effective promo that made good use already of the cross-branded stuff.
  • It is funny that AEW used the time to try and get viewers to check out Dynamite, however. It makes sense, but I have to believe that most people watching Impact not only know about AEW, but are actually watching Impact because of AEW.
  • Tony Khan has charisma. So hopefully, if he ever becomes more of an onscreen character (and he will…they all do), hopefully he plays more of the richest guy in the room type stuff and less of the just happy to be here dork that he was for the majority of this promo.
  • He just asked Tony Schiavone if he should buy Impact, lol. I can’t tell if he’s trying to be aloof and ostentatious or not, but I laughed.
  • Brian Myers! The former Curt Hawkins now calls himself “the most professional wrestler,” which is funny.
  • I love Myers and Matt Cardona because they affirmed to me that it’s okay to be in your 30’s and still have an action figure collection.
  • Theirs is a lot better than mine though.
  • TJP! He was great in WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic and then he was annoying AF during the rest of his WWE run. Hopefully he’s faring better in Impact.
  • TJP kind of looks like the coked up “bro” that tries to fight you at the bar but is too drunk to actually throw a punch.
  • TJP does have a pretty great last name though, if I do say so myself.
  • Madison Rayne dunking on Josh Matthews and asking if he’s the one that continues to ask for “videos” of her is pretty funny.
  • I forgot just how hard it is to get into a match if there’s not a crowd making noise and reacting. The match itself was good, but would have been so much better with a crowd response.
  • Josh Matthews: “TJP with an escape…it’s like that movie Now You See Me. Or Now You See Me 2. It’s a movie about magicians.” LOL. First rule of comedy – if you have to explain the joke, it doesn’t work. Still, I laughed.
  • Myers gets the win, which means he’s already having a better career in Impact than he did in WWE.
  • Who are these two camo-wearing goofballs? It’s my fault, not theirs, but anytime I see a wrestler (or just anyone in general, really) wearing camo, I automatically assume they’re rednecks. So I hate them already.
  • I think the team is supposed to be babyfaces though, so that’s a fun dichotomy.
  • Were these the same dudes that were in NXT for a while with Jaxson Ryker or whomever?
  • I forget what the X Division Champion’s name is, but he’s real annoying. Gives off serious Miz vibes. Is that a good comparison?
  • I miss the very first X Division Championship. That belt was so cool and was the catalyst for countless incredible matches. Sigh. 2002-2007 TNA was so great.
  • Heyyy! Eric Young is back in Impact. I’ve never been a huge fan of him as a wrestler, but his work ethic is great and he definitely could have been utilized better in WWE.
  • I like his tag team partner/manager. He’s definitely a throwback, in the vein of Barry Windham or Blackjack Bradshaw.
  • F—ing Cody Deaner! That’s who the camo dude was. I remember this guy. He had a thing with ODB if memory serves me correctly. I hated him then, too.
  • So Eric Young, the prototypical underdog, is the heel in this feud with the bearded, camo MAGA guys? Cool.
  • At least Deaner didn’t win.
  • I really like Joe Doring though. Definitely a 2020 Stan Hansen.
  • Rhino makes the save. I like Rhino. But he was the ECW Champion in 2001. Is he a main character in Impact still?
  • Speaking of ECW champions, Tommy Dreamer and his faithful kendo stick are still featured acts in Impact too.
  • Now Dreamer is talking to two very big boys. I would like to see them wrestle.
  • I don’t know who the not-as-big boy talking to Dreamer is. I assume his name is Carter. But he just had the line of the night/decade as far as I’m concerned: “You mean to tell me that I can walk away and win my freedom from attempted murder if I win a wrestling match?”
  • Gold.
  • Scott D’amore is looking pretty good! His suit is way better than Josh Matthews’.
  • Please don’t let Tommy Dreamer be the first Impact feud with Kenny Omega. I like the guy, but no way should he be a focal point of this story.
  • I really do like how Impact breaks the fourth wall. It’s well written and clever.
  • Jordyyne Grace is really cool. Follower her on Twitter too.
  • Emma is in Impact?? Definitely did not know this. Is she featured regularly? Has she had any classic matches I should check out? Let me know in the comments.
  • Sami Callahan seems interesting. I know he was an Indy standout. I’m pretty sure he appeared in NXT for a cup of coffee, right? I wasn’t impressed with him in that setting, but he seems like he could be pretty great in Impact.
  • Oh, Eddie Edwards. How has he not been in WWE or AEW yet? I was a HUGE fan of Edwards and his former partner, Davey Richards, when they were The American Wolves in Ring of Honor. They were my favorite tag team in ROH and I always hoped they’d end up in WWE. I think they actually did for, like, a minute in NXT. But everything I read about Edwards in Impact didn’t really compel me to follow his career anymore.
  • Yep, I don’t like bearded, corn row’d, crazy guy Eddie Edwards. I miss clean-shaven, nice boy Eddie Edwards. I actually met Edwards during WrestleMania 27 weekend. We took a picture together and spoke for about 10 minutes about his career, Ring of Honor, and where he hoped to go. He was super kind to me so, even though I don’t like his character at the moment, I really enjoy Edwards as a person and hope he gets a shot in AEW. The dude is extremely talented.
  • Whatever happened to Davey Richards? Isn’t he a firefighter now? Man, The Wolves in AEW would be so amazing.
  • Chris Bey is the Kofi knockoff. But judging by his entrance and ring attire, he’s more like a cross between Kofi Kingston and the Velveteen Dream, both of whom I enjoy very much. So maybe Bey will become BAE.
  • The old TNA Championship looks a lot better than the current Impact Championship.
  • Moose looks really cool. I like him a lot. Let’s see what he can do in the ring.
  • Rich Swann looks like he’s really come into his own since leaving WWE. Good for him for becoming the world Champion.
  • Willie Mack is fabulous. He’s like Shaft, but bigger.
  • It shouldn’t be a huge deal, but I think it’s pretty awesome that four African American wrestlers, one of whom is the champion of the company, are main eventing this episode. When was the last time that happened in WWE? Or even AEW, for that matter?
  • I could watch Swann and Bey wrestle for ten hours straight.
  • I can’t get over Moose. Isn’t he what Apollo Crews was supposed to be in WWE? The dude is a monster and I am here for it.
  • Moose no-selling a stunner probably didn’t make Steve Austin happy, though.
  • Moose countering a twisting huracanrana into a powerbomb was beautiful.
  • This is a really good match, definitely the best of the night. I’m into all four of these guys which, hopefully, was the point of showcasing them tonight.
  • Give me Moose vs Brian Cage ASAP, please and thank you.
  • AXS TV is kind of an awesome network it seems like. I’m currently watching a preview for various Stephen King Horror movies that will air later in the week.
  • I know it’s part of the story, but Don Callis calling Kenny Omega the real world champion on the show in which he is the owner (or president, or manager, or whatever), is kind of strange.
  • That being said, gimme Rich Swann vs Kenny Omega, like, yesterday.
  • Goodness, I’ve missed douchebag heel Kenny Omega.
  • Omega calling Jon Moxley “Ambrose.” Bahaha.
  • Kenny Omega wants to collect all of the championships across the world and, if that’s where this story is going, it’s genius. It really is a game-changer in the world of professional wrestling. I’m not going to say that this could be what finally overtakes WWE, but I’m not saying it couldn’t be, either. All I’m saying is, if I were Vince McMahon, I would kick my company into overdrive. This could very well be the beginning of a whole new world of professional wrestling.

And so, I watched my first episode of Impact and I was impressed. I do wish they would have done more to establish their own characters and stories and champions now that they probably had a lot of new viewers, but that’s okay. I’m definitely more interested in Impact than I was a week ago, and not only because of the AEW crossover. Rich Swann, Moose, Chris Bey and Willie Mack are great. I was really hoping to see Ken Shamrock, as I haven’t seen him in a wrestling ring since what feels like 1998. But that’s okay. Maybe that’s just another reason to tune in next week. I’m not saying I will, but I very well may.

And, with that, hypothetical reader, goodbye and goodnight.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. “Wasn’t Josh Matthews a heel for a while? Did he wrestle? Is he a good guy again? He reminds me quite a bit of Michael Cole actually. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult yet.”

    I think you would get a pretty unanimous answer from wrestling fans on that one.

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