Whisper this quietly, but Impact Wrestling are having a very good 2019.
Although behind the scenes troubles are never ending, on screen Impact have been putting out great episodes of television. Their PPV’s have been very good too, with Homecoming in January in particular a very good show. They had their latest PPV, Slammiversary XVII last night. Here are five things we learned from Impact’s last PPV.
1. The X Division is still Impact’s greatest creation
For all the crap Impact gets, one of the few things it consistently does well is its X Division which, in my opinion, is currently on a level with the Cruiserweight division in WWE. Many of Impact’s greatest matches have come from the X Division, and last night was no exception, with the two X Division matches among the matches of the night.
What they do well is have a great blend of styles. Take the opening match for example. It contained the savvy veteran TJP, who’s been wrestling for over 20 years. It also had Willie Mack, who’s maybe the most underrated wrestler in Impact. For a man his size, he’s incredibly agile, and powerful too. It also had Jake Crist and Trey Miguel, who blend high flying offence with occasional unbelievable power moves. Put these four together, and you had a fantastic 10-minute sprint, which had fans in the arena chanting Impact’s name throughout.
Then you had the X Division title match between Rich Swann and Johnny Impact. Both veterans of the business, they had a great match against each other, having the crowd gasping throughout. In Swann, they have a worthy champion, but crucially, he has four or five people below him who are all worthy challengers, and who could steal the show if given the chance.
2. The Rascalz might be the best Tag Team in Impact now
If rumours are to be believed, then LAX might be finished with Impact. They reportedly have big offers from elsewhere and will be signing with a major company soon. If true, this does leave a big hole to fill in Impact’s tag division. Thankfully, the Rascalz might just be the team to fill it.
Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz, along with Trey Miguel, put in star-making performances at Slammiversary. Their easy-going nature, along with their jaw-dropping abilities between the ropes, make them insanely likeable, and it showed last night in the triple threat tag match, with the crowd firmly behind Xavier and Wentz throughout.
Wentz and Xavier are already Tag Team Champions in PWG, so people already know how good they are. But to be the best part of a triple threat tag match containing the best tag team in the world in LAX, and one of the most underrated in The North, proves just how good The Rascalz already are. Add that to the fact that they have the best tag team finisher in wrestling today, and although they didn’t pick up the win, they are the team that shone brightest.
3. Killer Kross will be a megastar very soon
One of the best things Impact do is give wrestlers the chance to be on TV and PPV before WWE, NJPW or AEW sign them to full time deals. This allows them to mould their characters so that they’re good enough for TV and PPV. It worked for AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Bobby Roode and so many others. The latest one they have is Killer Kross, who is destined to move on to bigger and better things very soon.
Everything about him screams star. He’s tall, jacked and got a menacing look. Add that to the fact that he can also cut a fantastic promo and is a great wrestler, and you’ve got a guy who’s gonna become huge sooner rather than later.
Although he lost in a downright war with Eddie Edwards, it was Kross who came out of that looking like the bigger star. After all, Kenny had to sacrifice Kenneth 2.0 (A Kendo Stick) in order to win the First Blood match. Kross had been asking him to do that for weeks, so although he lost the physical battle, he surely won the mental side.
He’s bound to accept an offer from a bigger promotion soon, he’s too good not to. Sooner rather than later, everyone will be able to see just how good Killer Kross is.
4. The women steal the show
For all the praise WWE gets for its Women’s Revolution, people forget that Impact has been putting out tremendous women’s wrestling matches for years now, yet Impact hasn’t received half the credit that WWE has.
Look at last night. Not only did Tessa Blanchard main event the PPV (more of which in a minute), but Taya Valkyrie, Jessicka Havok, Su Yung and Rosemary put on a fantastic Monsters Ball match. It was completely unlike anything you’d see in WWE, and it was amazing to watch.
The Monsters Ball is a weird stipulation at the best of times. When it first started, the wrestlers were:
‘Locked in a room for 24 hours without food, water or light. This is intended to induce extreme feelings of aggression in the competitors.’
They obviously didn’t do this to people, but the point is that it’s already an insane match. Add three people who are known for being crazy inside the ring, and Taya Valkyrie, and this could have been a disaster. Thankfully, it turned out to be an amazing match, in which all four women looked like stars throughout.
They used multiple weapons, including thumbtacks, which led to the best finish of the night – Havok Tombstone’d Su Yung from the second rope onto some thumbtacks, only for Taya to steal the pinfall and retain the title. It was smart, and it was brilliant too.
Impact currently have a great looking women’s division at the minute. There’s these four, there’s Kiera Hogan, Madison Rayne, Jordynne Grace and Tessa Blanchard. Speaking of Tessa Blanchard…
5. Intergender Wrestling is amazing, and you all need to accept this
Last night, Impact made history by promoting the first Intergender main event in American PPV history, when Tessa Blanchard took on Sami Callihan. Despite Blanchard being one of the best wrestlers on the planet right now and Sami being one of the most recognisable, people still wouldn’t take this seriously at first because some wrestling fans are idiots who genuinely believed that Blanchard couldn’t hang with Callihan between the ropes. However, these people were in the minority by the end of the night, because these two had an amazing match which got plaudits from everyone.
The fact that some people still won’t accept Intergender wrestling as a thing is just stupid. People can believe that an undead man can fight his ‘heavily burned’ brother, or a woman giving birth to a hand, but they can’t believe that a woman, someone who’s trained for years, can keep up with a male wrestler? That’s idiotic.
If done correctly, intergender wrestling can be amazing. It shows everyone just how good both wrestlers are without making it into a big deal that a man is fighting a woman.
Look at the WWE and independent Stars that have had great intergender matches. People like Candice LeRae, Jordynne Grace, Joey Ryan and countless others have had fantastic matches with people of the opposite sex, purely because they took it seriously and didn’t treat it as a joke.
What Tessa and Sami proved last night is that major promotions should do more intergender matches, because people want to see them, wrestlers want to do them, and they can inspire more women to start wrestling training. Tessa may have lost, but she may have inspired a whole new generation of wrestlers.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Bannister007. Thanks for reading!