While Slammiversary was the biggest and most talked about Impact event in years, I had to miss it due to my annual family camping trip. I certainly hope next year that Impact tries their best to work around my schedule. Anyways….
Overall Thoughts: B+
Even though I watched the show a week late and had most of it spoiled, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The lack of a crowd really hurt the show and I hope they add some type of crowd by Bound for Glory. COuld you imagine the pops for the surprises? The Motor City Machine Guns return was a great surprise to kick off the show and their match with the Rascals was really good. Three new champions were crowned, Eric Young and Rich Swann returned, the Good Brothers debut was awesome, loved the EC3 promo at the end, and the main event delivered. The only negatives, which took my grade from an A to the B+ range, was the awful Knockouts Gauntlet match and the production snafus. Now on to my star ratings….
Impact World Title Match: Eddie Edwards vs Trey Miguel vs Ace Austin vs Rich Swann vs Eric Young
This match was great, tons of action and multiple stories playing out. While I thought they put Rich Swann in a bad spot by making him the let down surprise, the not having a crowd kind of helped it. Adding Eric Young and making it a 5-Way was a nice touch. Some people saw that as a negative, which I dont understand, Im all about giving the audience more than what they asked for. Everyone looked great and Ace Austin really stood out here, kid is gona be a star. Eddie winning was the right call, despite the fact that I thought whoever the mystery man was should win it. Eddie as champ adds some much needed stability to the main event scene.
Knockouts Title Match: Jordynne Grace vs Deonna Purazzo
This was absolutely fantastic. Vey hard hitting New Japan strong style match that told a great story. Im a Dave Meltzer fan but I have no clue what he was watching to only rate this 2.5 stars. These two worked well together, lots of submission attempts and escapes. Purazzo worked the arm setting up her finish the entire match and ultimately got the submission win. Purazzo will be a great champ here.
Tag Team Title Match: The North vs Sami Callihan and Ken Shamrock
This match was really hurt by not having a crowd, as Shamrock is limited in what he can do but the crowds make up for dead spots. The North and Callihan looked great though and I really liked the finish.
X-Dision Title Match: Willie Match vs Chris Bey
Chris Bey is going to be a big star one day. He keeps getting better. These two looked great, lots of fun spots. One day these guys will have to do it again in front of a crowd and be given a bit more time.
TNA Heavyweight Title Match: Moose vs Tommy Dreamer
I hated the matchmaking and placement of this match but Dreamer can come through in hardcore-style matches. Moose comes off like such a star and this match, despite being pretty good, was a waste of Moose. This is coming from a big fan of the original ECW.
Knockouts Gauntlet Match
This was WCW 2000 bad. I like John E. Bravo, I really do, but fuck were his cameos annoying. Bad comedy in wrestling is made 10X worse when the crowd isnt there to react to it. Plus, Impact has done such a great job of building their Knockouts division as a pillar of strength for the company but they made it take a few steps back with this awful match. The only positive is tht Kylie Rae won
The Rascals vs Motor Cty Machine Guns
How fun was this? I think I enjoyed it even more because I absolutely called it. It was so cool to see the Guns again and they will likely stick around a while. Alex Shelley in particular looked fantastic and I could see him step up to the main event scene when this MCMG run is over.
Free Agent Signing Spree
The new faces on Impact TV really made it seem like the company is having another resurgence and are rebooting yet again. When the free agency period began, I thought if they grabbed EC3, Eric Young, and the Good Brothers it would be considered a huge success. Well they went way above and beyond those expectations. In fact one could argue that they brought in too many at once. I like Heath and Myers, but they could have held off a bit on those guys.
Despite EC3, Eric Young, Heath (Last Name Redacted), Brian Meyers, Alex Shelley. and The Good Brothers being brought in for the last set of tapings, the only confirmed signings are the Good Brothers. It appears that everyone else is on a per date deal which could be playing with fire. I would expect most, if not all the newcomers to stick around through Bound for Glory, but once more companies begin to run again they could lose some of those guys.
Even though there are so many fresh faces on TV, theres still more to come. Heres some names I could see popping in soon, and a couple I dont.
Bully Ray continues to tease coming in. It only makes sense considering they were teasing an Aces & Eights return. If he does come in I could see him aliging with Ace Austin, Fulton, & Reno Scum to form the new Aces & Eights.
Mike & Maria Bennett did not show up at the last set of tapings and were actually featured on a recent ROH affiliated podcast. I had them earmarked for ROH when they were released and once ROH returns I could see them ending up there.
Kurt Angle rumors are still out there, he was not at the latest tapings but theres still plenty of time and another set of tapings between now and Bound for Glory. I started the rumor back in April of an Angle vs Shamrock match at BFG and sure enough Josh Matthews brought up the possibility during Slammiversary. That name drop wasnt for no reason…..
David Bixenspan, who is a good reporter but for whatever reason he seems to really like to stick it to Impact, has a bit of egg on his face as he reported back in January that AXS finally began to subscribe to Neilsen ratings, however Impact had yet to appear on the Showbuzz top 150 inferring that their ratings would be really freaking bad.
Turns out thats not the case at all, according to a report by PWTorch’s Wade Keller Impact averaged 174K viewers per episode during January-March. There was a bt of a dip in April once the pandemic hit as their weekly average dropped to 147K. The Slammiversary hype has led to an increase as the go-home episode aveaged 156K and last weeks episode average 163K. For context, Impact on Pop TV, who is available in twice the amount of homes, was getting in and around 100K viewers during their final few months on the station, often falling well below that mark, and while on Pursuit they were averaging around 12K.
Mitch Metcalf, who publishes the Showbuzz Top 150 ratings, has claimed that he doesnt get AXS TV ratings. Not sure what that means but Bix is on the case and has reached out for comment. If it is as simple as AXS sending them to showbuzz, they really ought to just send them. Impact drew a 0.05 in the 18-49 demo which would have placed them at about 103rd in the rankings.
This is really good news for Impact believe it or not. AXS is in roughly a third of the homes as WWE and AEW and if all things were equal, it is reasonable to believe they could get around 450-500K viewers and would conceivably be ranked in the top 50. AXS is a growing channel and Impact, who is far and away their highest rated show, is a big part of that growth, Once the channel gets in to more homes Impact wil be back in in competition.
The Future is Bright…
Really dig the new intro, look, and feel of the show. Impact spoke about breaking all social media records during Slamm weekend, how that translates to money will be interesting. PPV buys have yet to be released despite FITE being able to provide numbers instantly.
One of my big takeaways from the last couple weeks, is that Ace Austin, Trey Miguel, and Chris Bey are all gonna be big stars for Impact. This is no secret, but watching Slammiversary and last weeks espisode really cemented this for me. Im excited to see where the Austin/Fulton – Good Brothers fed goes. Trey Miguel is coming in to his own as a promo and him and Eddie will tear it down this week. Chris Bey is oozing with charisma and is getting more comfortable.
Wrestlehouse…..Yup, not for me. Probably wont see me talk about it much.
I’ll try to make “The Impact Report” a regular thing going forward. Follow me on Twitter @Combatrepublic or my personal account @GetUpMike