2020 is a good year for IMPACT. While they were thrown into a series of chaos mostly due to the pandemic which resulted in cancellation of promising events such as: Lockdown, Rebellion and TNA: No Place like Home. Furthermore, controversial personalities such as Tessa Blanchard, Michael Elgin, Joey Ryan and others complicated situations for the company this year. However, IMPACT managed to turn all these setbacks into a massive advantage. Black Wednesday (A day in Wrestling History, where WWE released roughly 25-30 wrestlers) was an opportunity that was presented to IMPACT which created a buzz for Slammiversary and the preceding weeks before that, not seen since the Spike TV era of TNA and the potential AEW-IMPACT partnership that threw IMPACT further into the spotlight.
An incredible year for IMPACT and here are my top 10 matches of 2020.
10. THE NORTH VS THE RASCALZ (SACRIFICE 2020)
The match itself was good and spot on as two excellent tag teams locked horns at Sacrifice. The North (Ethan Page and Josh Alexander) squared off against the Rascalz, (Trey and Wentz) with the North coming out on top prolonging their year long title reign. Funny enough, Dezmond was not available for the match with Trey taking his spot in one of the many bouts against the North. The most painful situation about these two tag teams is the fact they did not square off on a ppv; I firmly believe a match was scheduled for the two teams at Rebellion till the pandemic hit which led to the cancellation of the event. Should the match have taken place between these two teams, we would’ve expected a top level performance from everyone involved. However the bout between both teams at Sacrifice was really good and not really talked about. I would advise everyone to please take the time to view this match on IMPACT Plus.
9. RICH SWANN VS CHRIS BEY (FINAL RESOLUTION 2020)
Swann and Bey gave IMPACT fans a classic banger of match at Final Resolution with Swann retaining his title. This match was an excellent match between two rising stars of the IMPACT roster. Rich Swann had an excellent 2019, came off a series of bangers against the likes of Johnny Impact, Sami Callihan and Michael Elgin till he got injured beginning of the year at Bash at the Brewery. His return was significant as he won the IMPACT world title and still delivered in some quality matches which are included in my top 10. This match delivered on so many levels that showcased the in-ring prowess from these two. It was a special night for Chris Bey, who was featured the same night on NJPW Super Cup where he equally delivered and made it to the semi-final of the Super Cup.
8. THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS VS THE NORTH (IMPACT, JULY 21ST)
When the Motor City Machine Guns returned at Slammiversary, it was one of the moments that propelled Slammiversary to generate a much needed buzz that has not been received since the Spike TV era of TNA. The bout between these two was really good. It was so good, that I personally would not sanctioned this match on free tv. There are certain matches that do not deserve to be viewed for free. Folks had to pay to see this match on PPV. It was a really good match with the Motor City Machine Guns winning their 2nd Impact tag titles. It was a match that needed a longer feud to firmly establish The North and have fans look back at the rivalry between the two teams. Had both teams had a feud that continued till Bound For Glory, Wrestling fans in the future will look back at this feud between these teams in the same caliber as the MCMG vs Beer Money and MCMG vs GenerationMe feuds of 2010. The match was really good and could’ve set the tone for an interesting feud between the teams.
7. DEONNA PURAZZO VS JORDYNNE GRACE (EMERGENCE PT.2 2020)
When Deonna Purrazzo left WWE, I personally believed she was AEW bound. To me it seemed like the logical choice. AEW has the resources, infrastructure and her personal friends were there. It made sense for her to join. I never thought I would see her banner on an episode of IMPACT, signaling her intent at joining the famed Knockouts division. It also made sense she joined IMPACT, as the AEWs women division was still in its infancy at the time. Nevertheless, since she joined, she has delivered in quality matches. In addition to her highly technical in-ring prowess, her level of class and charisma is on another level against any promotion out there. The first knockout Ironman match in IMPACT history is one that will continue to live in the minds of IMPACT fans. Her match against another juggernaut in Jordynne Grace was a buzz worthy moment among wrestling fans and kept in her line with some of the Knockout greats. This match delivered with Deonna Purrazzo narrowly retaining her knockouts title with 5 seconds to spare.
6. RICH SWANN VS ERIC YOUNG (BOUND FOR GLORY 2020)
The conclusion to such an epic storyline. I give credit to IMPACT on how this storyline was crafted. It literally came out of nothing and told a story that made Rich Swann the ‘ ultimate underdog’ and Eric Young an ‘unrepentant villain’. Rich Swann having come off a career ending injury unexpectedly returned to Slammiversary in the five way elimination bout against Eddie Edwards, Eric Young, Ace Austin and Trey Miguel in a match where Eric Young physically assaulted the injured leg of Rich Swann. The weeks that followed culminated in a series of trials and tribulations for Rich Swann as he faced a series of attacks from Eric Young, early retirements, mental trauma etc and then finally triumphed against Eric Young in a classic match. This storyline was well executed from start to finish. My favorite storyline of 2020, as Rich Swann was finally propelled to the main event scene after a magnificent 2019, and Eric Young delivered a masterful performance as a heel and on his promos. This match delivered a solid case for both stars as the men to lead IMPACT forward in 2021.
5. EDDIE EDWARDS VS ERIC YOUNG VS RICH SWANN VS ACE AUSTIN VS TREY MIGUEL (SLAMMIVERSARY 2020)
Not typically a big fan of multi-man matches on PPV. My reason for that stems from the fact that usually single matches tell a much bigger solid story on a PPV than a bunch of men thrown in match that fans will have to pay for. However, ithe interesting thing about this match, was not just the delivery of the match, but the story that it told in the months to come. The 3 month long rivalry of Eric Young, Rich Swann and Eddie Edwards were told in this very match beginning with the physical assault of Rich Swann’s leg from Eric Young stemming from his elimination. With Eddie Edwards coming out on top, it created a short term, solid storyline between Eddie Edwards and Eric Young with Eddie looking to avenge Rich Swann’s beating. This match was the culmination of that storyline and the delivery and finishing of the match between Eddie Edwards and Ace Austin was excellent and its made Ace Austin to feel strong at the end. Highlight reels were created from this match with Trey Miguel’S ‘under the rope Canadian Destroyer’ earning rave reviews from wrestlers and fans alike. It was an excellent conclusion to the most talked about event of the year from IMPACT.
4. TJP VS VIKINGO (IMPACT, FEBRUARY 4TH)
The one wrestler in IMPACT that doesn’t get much attention for his in-ring prowess that he truly deserves is TJP. He is another excellent wrestler in IMPACT that delivers quality matches and this match, even though it is to talked about like the rest, was a very good match that truly delivered with TJP coming out on top. It gave Vikingo a much needed attention from wrestling fans who have been on IMPACT’s case on not signing him. If IMPACT can pull off Vikingo, I will no doubt believe he will bring out quality matches for IMPACT in the immediate feature. Expect to see some bangers against the rest of the division.
EDDIE EDWARDS VS ERIC YOUNG (TURNING POINT 2020)
The wrestling world truly doesn’t give the likes of Eddie Edwards credit for how much of an all-rounder performer he really is. Eddie Edwards is IMPACT’s Tanahashi as he reminds me a lot of Hiroshi Tanahashi. Their underlying love for their respective promotions and how much they guided their promotions during their respective dark eras. Eddie Edwards and Eric Young locked horns at the aftermath of Slammiversary in a rematch at Turning Point. This match was a top level performance from both competitors in the conclusion of the short tern feud between them. I will advise fans who are tuning into IMPACT for the first time or in a long time to watch the rivalry between the two on IMPACT Plus. I believe IMPACT Plus should create a rivalry content for their subscription service to have fans understand the rivalry between these two.
2. EDDIE EDWARDS VS MICHAEL ELGIN (HARD TO KILL 2020)
These two have roughly 8-10 matches between them, (all solid matches btw) but this match at Hard To Kill was such a classic. It was the Japanese strong style match that we all love that manifested at Hard To Kill. With all the negative transgressions that Elgin committed in the past, his matches in IMPACT where spectacular and this bout against Eddie Edwards was the best in-ring match of 2020 for IMPACT. The hard-hitting, technical prowess that ensued in this match is a testament to how much an allrounder Eddie Edwards truly is and my ultimate wish for him in 2021 is to have a PPV match against Kenny Omega. That match should really main event Slammiversary. The best talents of both promotions to square off in the ring in possibly one of the biggest ppvs in IMPACT is the ultimate dream match of mine.
- TESSA BLANCHARD VS SAMI CALLIHAN (HARD TO KILL 2020)
Regardless of what the wrestling world thinks of Tessa Blanchard, She was IMPACTs biggest star in 2019 and her feud with Sami Callihan was the biggest storyline in 2019. It was an incredible story between the two that once again told the story between the underdog in Tessa Blanchard and an inconceivable heel in Sami Callihan. Tessa who at the time, was caught in a controversial saga with a series of racist and bullying allegations from her past did not deter her from delivering a banger against Sami and having her become the first knockout World Champion in IMPACT History. The long term storyline, often questionable at times, was very solid with an epic conclusion to their rivalry at Hard To Kill finalized. I primarily give credit to Sami Callihan, who is a very underrated wrestler in the current wrestling landscape. Every buzzworthy moment or match that happened in IMPACT from 2018-2019 all came from Callihan. He really had a very slow 2020, but I expect him to pick up from where he left off in 2021. IMPACT should invest more in Sami Callihan going forward, as he has been a cornerstone for IMPACT along with Eddie Edwards and Moose.
In the future, I will draft up the Top 10 TNA matches of 2005 and 2012 as both years were equally my favorite years in IMPACT History.