What’s that thing people say about the best-laid plans?
My initial plan for this week’s column got derailed by a lack of time. Then the other thing that I wanted to write about yesterday got jettisoned because I didn’t feel happy that there was enough substance there. Then Dynamite happened and there was only one thing for me to talk about.
Tuesdays are the new Wednesdays! https://t.co/hGkDmkDOMS
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 3, 2020
The closing segment of Dynamite, and the announcement that Kenny Omega and Don Callis would be on Impact this coming Tuesday was the talk of the wrestling world.
On the face of it, this is a very cool development. Collaborations are always interesting because they help to produce different and often unique outcomes, be that in terms of angles, storylines or matches. This collaboration, between the second and arguably third-biggest promotions in the US and on the surface a total surprise, has the potential to be great.
Purely as a fan, this development excites me. Wrestling, like any other serial, should be interesting and exciting. It should suck you in week after week and make you want more. A fresh development like this, with a lot of possibilities on the horizon heading into the New Year, is more than interesting.
For Impact, this is a much-needed shot in the arm. While Slammiversary was good and the marketing campaign around it did the job of drawing eyeballs in, they feel like they’ve really lacked momentum coming off Bound for Glory. With contracts ending, talent leaving and the general staccato nature of this part of the year with Thanksgiving and Christmas it’s somewhat to be expected but I’ve felt over the last few weeks the show needs a lot more energy.
This link-up between the promotions will bring a lot more eyes to Impact and probably help them do their best number in years.
I've gotten a hold of weekly Impact Wrestling viewership on AXS TV.
Little was previously known about Impact viewership. It doesn't get reported on Showbuzzdaily. Some data has been reported by PWTorch. I've previously tweeted monthly data. pic.twitter.com/RiW4lUqwcO
— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) October 3, 2020
It’s also a development that appears to have galvanized talent on both sides, with tweets about ‘dream matches’ and so on. For Impact’s roster, this is a massive shop window for them, allowing many of them to get exposure on a hitherto unexplored level.
The benefit is clear for AEW too, certainly in the short-term. Last night’s show felt like a massive deal and the closing angle continues that buzz and then some.
While details on this relationship are still very unclear, if there is something more long-term in place, especially in regards to talent sharing, AEW’s Women’s division would get a massive bump if they worked alongside Impact, who’ve amassed a very strong Knockouts division over the course of 2020.
I personally can’t wait to see how all of this plays out. However, there is also still a fair portion of skepticism on my part. Every partnership like this between two promotions requires a junior partner. It requires one team to be the B-side and take more losses. Over a short period of time, it works if booked perfectly but longer-term it poses problems.
Still, in a year that’s been an absolute sucker, we have to take the positives. AEW has done a good job with their budding partnership with the NWA and that gives me confidence for how this setup with Impact will pan out.
I wasn’t old enough to remember the WWF/WCW invasion angle from the early 21st century and I’ve never seen any of the ROH/CZW stuff (recommendations welcome). The idea of an invasion angle and cross-promotional collaboration excites me though and it’s certainly a noteworthy end to 2020 for both AEW and Impact Wrestling.
The Week in Review
- For what I said above earlier, this week’s Impact was actually the best in a while. Everything was really snug and well-paced and the wrestling was good.
- I’m delighted to see Chris Bey get the World title shot at Final Resolution, even if the booking irritates me coming into it – he’s lost two singles matches in a row, including the one of this show that led to the closing angle with Rich Swann.
- I wish that Matt Striker was on commentary more regularly, like last week. He’s such an improvement on Josh Mathews.
- It’s been good seeing Killer Kelly in Impact over the last couple of weeks and she’s someone I’d love to bring them in on a more regular basis.
See you next time…