Fresh off last weekend’s Impact Plus special Turning Point, the centrepiece of Impact Wrestling this week was the promotion saying goodbye to Trey Miguel, Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz.
Wentz and Dez squared off with Trey and Rich Swann in the main event, and after the match they all had a moment in the ring, with the three members of The Rascalz leaving their jackets on the top rope.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) November 18, 2020
The incredibly pointed way in which Impact said goodbye to the trio can be taken in two ways. You’re either of the camp that thinks it’s important to see a wrestling company pay tribute to those on their way out and acknowledge their contributions. Alternatively, you think it’s a bizarre way to go about it and that they should just quietly disappear. I’m not entirely sure where I sit on that spectrum but I’d lean towards the former, especially in a promotion like Impact that has tried to promote that collective, family appeal in recent times. They also have form for it, after giving LAX a similar send-off last year.
When the promotion announced that The Rascalz were leaving, I was struck by an overwhelming sense that Impact had dropped the ball with them. That’s an overused expression in the wrestling community and it speaks to the fundamentally subjective nature of the business and the way we consume it. Much of our commentary is driven by what we want to see rather than what we are seeing, and that’s a product of everyone liking different things. There’ll always be people that you’d have pushed or you’d never have touched that promotions have done the opposite with.
Yet, I’m certain that Impact has missed an opportunity with these guys. This week’s main event may have been a little choreographed (that style is always going to appeal to me) but I challenge anyone to watch that and tell me that Dez and Wentz weren’t capable of carrying the promotion’s tag division at some point over the last two years. Incredibly athletic, with great chemistry and promo abilities, they’re everything I think you could want at your disposal.
That’s not to say that they haven’t had opportunities. Dez has been with the promotion longest, starting out in the middle of 2017 and winning the Super X Cup off the bat. He got two title opportunities by January 2018 but soon after that, there was a hiatus until Trey and Wentz arrived.
They were half of a highly enjoyable six-man tag at Rebellion in 2019 against Moose & The North, Dez and Wentz were one third of an all too brief tag title match at Slammiversary XVII, they got title challenges on several of Impact’s monthly specials and they welcomed The Motor City Machine Guns back to the promotion at Slammiversary this year. Trey Miguel got some shine this year, challenging for the X Division title at Hard to Kill in January and then being part of the five-way match for the vacant World title at Slammiversary.
I wrote earlier this year when I thought they’d arrived but that was a premature premonition. However, none of them ever had that true shop window moment. Wherever they land I know they’ll achieve great things as they’ve got all the talent in the world but it’s a case of what could have been.
Looking at the Impact roster now, the person I’m concerned will end up in the same boat is Jake Something. He might be rough around the edges and perhaps not the best promo but he’s an athlete, a proper hoss and he’s got main event potential. Yet he’s never really moved up from lower card fodder, teaming alongside Cody Deaner. Compared to The Rascalz that’s much more of a waste, but there’s time for him.
Next week, Impact will continue the same as it has when other names have left. The Rascalz left their mark on the promotion, but one has to wonder whether that mark should have been bigger.
The Week in Review
- I will not stand for Johnny Swinger being framed for shooting John E. Bravo. He brought up Dino Bravo for goodness’ sake!
- Havok and Nevaeh progressed to the second round of the Knockouts Tag Team Title tournament, as Tenille Dashwood continued her gimmick of being the worst tag partner in the company. I’m excited about Killer Kelly being in the tournament and Jordynne Grace’s mystery partner. My prediction for the tournament final is Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz against Grace & TBA.
- Joe Doering looks incredible. Looking forward to see how he fares in a match.
Well, until next time…