How refreshing was it to see a fairly hot crowd in Windsor that displayed a collective passion for Impact Wrestling? It doesn’t have to be a massive venue to be effective but you can tell a distinct difference in the product when the passion comes pouring out of the live audience. I try my best to not let the actual people in the crowd affect my enjoyment of the show, but I admit that enduring the last few months of episodes hailing from the Impact Zone has made me more jaded towards the company taping at Universal Studios Orlando than possibly ever before. When you’ve been watching TNA/Impact since 2006 religiously, that is saying A LOT. So, with the IZ in the rear view mirror, we are all ready to witness some energetic and enthusiastic Canadian Impact Wrestling fans cheering and chanting and booing. You know, ones that actually paid money to attend the shows and are invested in the product. The point of this column is not to bash the Orlando Impact Zone fans. The wrestlers and performers are what really matter in the end, not the spectators. Fans will come and go, but the show must go on regardless. This piece is about celebrating an upcoming (and currently airing) period of time where Impact Wrestling will be bringing you their product from the Great White North. It’s also about the bright future of Impact due to a select group of awesome Canadians. Between the Windsor episodes that we’re getting now and the July and August Toronto shows, with Slammiversary and more Impact tapings to come, it’s a very exciting time to be following this Canadian revolution. I’d guess that they’ll be shooting more TV content in cities across Canada to close out 2018 but that hasn’t been officially announced yet. Here at DPW, we don’t like to assume things and put false reports out there, so until Impact Wrestling announces something themselves, it’s really just speculation. If they do have to go back to the Impact Zone eventually, please make it sometime in 2019. It would be wonderful to let us see a 6 month (or more) stretch of time with the product emanating primarily from Canada. We recently did a Twitter poll on this exact scenario where Impact would tape the remainder of their TV episodes in Canada throughout 2018 and two thirds of the voters agreed that they wanted to see that happen.
A really cool part of the Toronto shows for those of you that frequent the site here is that DiscussPW will have some of our regulars there in person. Yes, there is a strong Canadian influence here too, if you weren’t aware of that already. So, for me, that adds an enhanced level of excitement. For those of us that comment here and contribute to this community, it should generate a sense of pride that we will be represented at the biggest Impact Wrestling events of the year to date. In fact, the owner of DiscussPW, TDM (That Damn Mark) will be attending the July TV tapings at the Rebel Complex, barring some unforeseen circumstance. Will there be a DiscussPW sign popping up on your screen? Maybe there will be a DPW t-shirt that catches your eye in the crowd? Maybe TDM will end up getting on camera? Who knows?! Whatever happens for Impact Wrestling at those Toronto shows figures to be leaps and bounds better than anything that the Impact Zone has provided to this point in the last couple of years. The Rebel Complex comes across as a very unique and spectacular place to tape pro wrestling. I imagine that the crowds will be hot, especially on the heels of a huge pay-per-view with marquee matchups and possible big surprises in store. Our spoilers discussion will be off the charts during that week for those of you that enjoy reading them during the taping blocks. Of course we’ll also be watching Slammiversary together LIVE here at DPW. So stay tuned for all of that as we bring you Impact coverage like we never have before!
As Impact ventures into Canada, think about all of the Canadian influence that this promotion has. There are the Canadian wrestlers on the current main roster like Petey Williams, Allie, Rosemary and Taya. The Desi Hit Squad has connections with Canada. The great Gail Kim is still with the company in a backstage role. Also, there are other talents who are used part-time or on other GWN, Twitch and One Night Only shows that aren’t on all of the main Impact tapings like KC Spinelli, Stone Rockwell and other new and/or returning talents that might be considered semi spoiler-ish that I won’t mention here. Impact has worked closely with Canadian wrestling promotions in 2018. I haven’t read spoilers for the Windsor episodes but I have seen a few things out there that pop up on Twitter occasionally. Let’s just say that there are some interesting developments in store for Slammiversary. We have talked a lot on the Spark the Discussion podcast regarding our admiration for the Canadian ownership and management teams. Ed Nordholm has been doing a tremendous job from all indications out there, especially regarding the Hardy Boyz content deal with WWE using Impact footage and advertising the Global Wrestling Network. I could write an entire column about the work that Don Callis has done with bridging the gap of working with other wrestling promotions. In my opinion, he’s also been the best color commentator in the history of the company. Don West brought a lot of energy and boisterousness to the table, but Callis is unparalleled with his intelligent and savvy work on commentary. Scott D’Amore often gets overlooked and taken for granted amongst the fans and wrestling media. Scott is a huge part of this resurgence that Impact is currently experiencing. The other name that rarely gets reported on or talked about is Leonard Asper, who is the CEO and founder of Anthem Sports and Entertainment. Chris Jericho (another famous Canadian) personally reached out to Asper to recommend that Scott and Don be hired as executive vice presidents of Impact. I feel like all levels of the company, from ownership to the wrestlers to the agents and writers and creative team to the increased social media presence and the new and/or invigorated revenue streams (GWN, Twitch, YouTube, etc.)…… it’s all working together in ways that we’ve never seen before. They are on the path to greatness, I am absolutely convinced of that.
It’s becoming more apparent all the time that Impact Wrestling is bound and determined to form and maintain working relationships with other big wrestling promotions. There are also several indy promotions that have partnered up with Impact. I mean, look at this tweet, for example, that Impact put out recently:
In 2018 we’ve collaborated in some way with @WWE, @LuchaElRey, @luchalibreaaa, @noah_ghc, @nwa, @RISEdtwa, @bcwonline, @DestinyWrestle, @HouseofHardcore, @PWRevolver, @BTWrestlingCA, @WSWWrestlingAUS and so many more!
2018 is wild and we’re building the bridge to the future!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 26, 2018
Being willing and able to work with all of these promotions is a winning philosophy. Lucha Underground has been a fantastic partner so far and I assume that they will continue to be so moving forward. The notion that Ring Of Honor and possibly New Japan Pro-Wrestling could have deals with Impact Wrestling in the future (or maybe they do in some form or fashion already) is impressive and somewhat mind-blowing. What’s the common denominator here? Don Callis. He seems to have his hands in everything now. Austin Aries, you know, the Impact World Champion, and Madison Rayne, who’s in the KnockOuts Title match at Slammiversary, already appear on ROH programming.
Not buying in yet? Watch this gem:
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) June 30, 2018
Ishimori a.k.a. Bone Soldier, one of the best young talents in the world and a former X-Division Champion, works for both NJPW and Impact. Impact Wrestling will have talent representation at the upcoming, much hyped “All In” event and surprise, surprise… Don Callis on their color commentary. Another happening that is also at the crux of all of this cross promotional madness is The Jericho Cruise (setting sail Oct. 27th to the 31st). Again, I’m speculating here but it seems like Chris and Impact are gravitating closer and closer to each other all the time. Would he be willing to come to Impact Wrestling? It seems crazy in some ways and maybe I’m being too much of a homer here. However, you have to admit that if it was going to happen that the timing is lining up for it to be more possible than ever before. There are a lot of factors pointing towards Jericho doing business with the company at some point in 2018. My theory is that Impact could shoot some type of angle with Jericho and Sami Callihan on the cruise. Bound For Glory (I assume still exists) has seemingly been moved back to November if we go off of the 2017 date. So that means that they could have a feud between Callihan and Jericho build up from the cruise and pre-BFG Impact tapings with the premiere match taking place at Bound For Glory. I have no idea if Sami would even be his opponent or if Jericho would come to Impact at all. It would be a game changer if this happened in some capacity with Jericho coming in.
That’s it for this time. Let me know what you guys think in the comment section below. Am I completely insane for thinking that these promotion partnerships will continue to evolve and grow? Or do you agree with me on some of my theories? Do you think Jericho could realistically have a short run in Impact? By the way, my next column coming up in July will be all about Killer Kross. An official endorsement for this badass wrestler is in the works. That will be fun to look at his body of work leading into Slammiversary. Until then…peace, love and pro wrestling. Namaste.