It’s been 4 years since I last watched Impact Wrestling (Then known as TNA). In fact, it’s nearly 4 years to the day, as the last Impact PPV I can remember watching is Slammiversary from June 2nd 2013, main-evented by Bully Ray facing off against “The Icon” Sting.
However, I have now decided to go back to the product and watch the upcoming PPV, Slammiversary XV. Now I know, enjoying Impact Wrestling isn’t the most popular opinion in the IWC right now, but having no prior experience of what the product has been/has become over the past 4 years and having no prior expectations of what the show can provide. I feel as though now is the time to go back to the product. Also, I’m not afraid to admit it, but I used to enjoy watching TNA. Sure it wasn;t the best thing on the planet, but neither was WWE, particularly around the 2009/10 era when I first found myself getting into TNA (Even going as far as to go back and watch TNA PPV’s from years gone).
So why have I decided to go back to Impact Wrestling after so long, and why do I think you should too? Well, the bottom line of my thinking comes down to the fact that I think that competition can only be a good thing for WWE. You’d be foolish to deny that WWE is going through somewhat of a slump at the moment, sure they seem to have picked things up again in the last couple of weeks, but the long-term picture of the WWE scene right now is that they only pick up the writing around the time of the Big Four PPVs. A severe lack of competition has led to the WWE becoming complacent when a Big Four PPV isn’t around the corner. To the extent that every PPV which isn’t a Big Four is almost treated as though they are network specials, with often very little effort put into them to make them special.
The issues in WWE spread further than the PPVs though, the TV ratings are suffering and WWE seem more concerned with short term fixes (see giving away a MITB match for free) rather than taking a step back, re-evaluating their product and making the drastic changes that are needed to make them feel fresh again.
I admit that from what I hear Impact Wrestling is currently not much more than a “WWE-lite”, but that’s why I think it’s so important to come back to the product at this PPV. Having listened to two fantastic interviews conducted by Simon Miller, one with Impact wrestler Moose and one with the main man himself Jeff Jarrett, it seems as though everyone involved with the company are truly treating this as the reset button. It may be the final chance we grant Impact Wrestling to change their product enough to differentiate themselves from the WWE, because God knows they’ve had enough chances to do it already, but I believe that we need to give them that chance.
Coming in at this stage I must admit is partially selfish, as I have only heard bad things about the Borash/Matthews feud and I’m hoping that the feud is one of the things that are tied up and finished with this PPV. Similarly, I’m hoping that Impact takes this chance to end the GFW side of things and move forward as one consistent and singular brand.
Lastly, I think the card is strong enough to warrant a return to the product. Bobby Lashley vs. Alberto El Patron has the star power and ability to be a strong main event, with the winner being a worthy face of the company going forward into the new branding (I personally want this to be Bobby Lashley). EC3 and James Storm are both fantastic performers from what I have seen (Or heard in regards to EC3), so the strap match between the two should be fun. The Full Metal Mayhem match has the potential to be a show-stealer if done correctly, and then perhaps the match I most excited about, my return to the X-Division a 2 out of 3 falls match between Sonjay Dutt and Low Ki for the X-Division Championship. It’s rare that you see such a strong card on one PPV, particulalry in WWE where you rarely see a card like this, even at one of the Big Four PPVs.
So does this mean I’m going to start watching Impact Wrestling exclusively? Not at all. Does it even mean that I will carry on watching Impact beyond Slammiversary? Not if they don’t do enough to win me over, no. I’ve simply decided to give the company one final shot in the hopes that they can see a return to form, and even if it’s in the smallest of ways, push the WWE to be better. Wrestling will benefit from a reborn Impact Wrestling, but we as the fans are the only ones who can make that happen.
Fingers crossed Impact take advantage of this PPV.
But that’s just one Mark’s opinion. Let me know what you think by finding me on social media @MitchKAdams