Call me crazy but Impact Wrestling has found their way back into the conversation as must see professional wrestling again. Their history reads like a bad bi polar relationship you had when you were in college. From Dixie Carter to the six sided ring to splitting up The Young Bucks with no story to tell. Many view Impact Wresting as the biggest missed opportunity, maybe, in the history of professional wrestling.
Impact has had just about every big name possible on their roster at some point in the past ten years from Hulk Hogan to AJ Styles. Impact not only had the women’s revolution before the WWE, they also had the X Division before 205 Live. In 2018 their product continues to stay relevant, from the Sami Callahan/Eddie Edwards story to the news breaking today that Impact Wrestling will be on board the Cruise of Jericho. Impact’s stock continues to rise. WWE is still the king and will never, EVER (in a Chris Jericho voice) be passed by, but Impact has once again set themselves up to give Ring of Honor and New Japan a run for their money.
It takes five majors factors for a wrestling promotion to not only succeed, but to last long enough to know the WWE is going to take your top talent eventually. (Note:These don’t apply to NJPW because they don’t have a women’s division)
Strong Women’s Division
Tessa Blanchard and Allie lead a strong division that featured a casket match this past week between Allie and Su Young. Blanchard was reportedly on her way to NXT by Dave Meltzer but ended up in the other part of Florida where she will thrive as their top talent. With the likes of Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie waiting in the wings the Knockout Division is second to none.
Larger Than Life Star
Professional wrestling at the core is about the big tough guy that you wouldn’t dare to trash talk in the street or at the arena and nothing depicts that idea like Brian Cage. Cage’s size is not only larger than life but he can move in the ring with the best of them. This past week he and Dezmond Xavier had a hell of a match. Cage easily can fit into the role of the big bad good guy or that tough jerk that people will love to boo. Short answer, he’s money for Impact long term.
A Top Star That Isn’t American
Pentagón Jr. or Penta El Zero M has the makeup and just about everything the WWE would want in their top Latino star. Luckily for Impact, he’s with them and just about every other top promotion on the planet. Penta has the in ring skill set to keep the internet fans and kids alike coming back for more.
Strong Secondary Division
The X Division has a very proud 16 year history for Impact. Guys like AJ Styles and Rob Van Dam have held the title. Today the 2nd most prestigious championship is held by the insanely talented Matt Sydal. Along with Dezmond Xavier, Jimmy Jacobs, DJZ and Trevor Lee, Impact has all the pieces they need to make fans of 205 Live hop on the Impact train and never jump off.
Reliable Top Star/Guys to Feud With
Austin Aries leaving the WWE after a non memorable and injury plagued run was a blessing in disguise. Aries has done just about everything in wrestling so going to NXT and eventually Raw just made sense. Unfortunately, things just didn’t work out but since then Aries has climbed the independent mountain again. As Impact World Champion Aries can be the center piece to a very solid roster and management team. Austin shouldn’t get too comfortable on the top because the likes of Eli Drake, Moose, Sami Callahan and Johnny Impact will be gunning for that title.
Impact’s next moment to shine is here. Just get these guys to shine and no one will care that they allow Scott Steiner to cut a promo in 2018. Until next time, leave a comment, tel a friend, follow me on Twitter @CamDougharty and let’s talk wrestling.