clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Looking Forward: An Impact 2018 Wish List

With 2017 coming to a close, we’ve taken our look back at Impact Wrestling this last year. We looked at the year as a whole, what we liked about the televised product, and the grades we gave each episode.

Now with 2017 pretty much behind us, the final thing I’d like to do is look forward to 2018. And specifically, as a fan, I’d like to put forward some things, both big and small, I’d like to see with the promotion this upcoming year.

Let’s get right to it:


One of Impact’s biggest problems last year was constant change. After Anthem purchased the company, there were many different people who ran through management and consulting positions. Because of the continuous flux, they never gave any one vision time to grow, both creatively and as a whole.

The promotion will be starting under new guidance this year. While Ed Nordholm is still the president, Don Callis and Scott D’Amore have been brought on to really run both the business and oversee the creative aspects of Impact. It’s a fresher vision that even got the endorsement of Chris Jericho, who called and gave a recommendation for his fellow Canadians.

Whatever their vision may be, it will need time to germinate. I’d like to see them get a chance at the helm for the entire year. I don’t want to read a press release in 3 months that Impact has parted ways with Callis and D’Amore.

A Clear Identity

Because of all the shift last year, Impact hasn’t gotten a chance to create an identity under their new ownership. When I tune into other promotions, I know what I’m getting. When I watch Ring of Honor, I know I’m going to see very high work rate matches, some where I may have to suspend my disbelief more than usual. When I put on New Japan, I know it’s going to have a big onus on the in ring action where wins and losses are extremely important. Even though it’s more wrestling/telenovela hybrid, Lucha Underground is a great example of carving out a very unique identity.

But when it comes to Impact, I’m not really sure who they are.

That’s going to be up to Callis and D’Amore. Do they want to focus on their international aspect, with their relationships with Pro Wrestling Noah and Triple A? Towards the latter portion of last year, they started airing matches taped at indie promotions. Scott D’Amore owns Border City Wrestling, one of the promotions that had been featured, so that’s a possibility.

Whatever it is, it need to be Impact’s own image. Pro wrestling is such a broad art form that it can take up so many different styles. Impact will need to find their own niche if they want to give people a reason to put them back on their wrestling line-up.

A Consistent Roster

This is somewhat piggybacking off my first point, but I wanted to give it a bit more focus. The Impact roster was ever changing this year as management teams changed. The initial shift was to be expected, but throughout the year, that continued. We really never knew who to think of when thinking of Impact.

When Scott D’Amore and Don Callis were on Talk Is Jericho discussing their vision, one of the things they touched on was how they aren’t going to own characters. Meaning a character like Rosemary can be Rosemary wherever she goes. She owns it. Not Impact. D’Amore spoke about how that will be mutually beneficial, helping the talent develop their characters while getting the promotion exposure when those wrestlers are elsewhere. They also made it sound like they are getting away from exclusive contracts. This idea confused Jericho a bit, who thought there need to be some wrestlers who are Impact wrestlers..

Y2J is right. There have to at least be a handful of wrestlers you think of when you think Impact and where Impact is where you need to go to see them. Right now, it’s really just EC3, Rosemary, and Eli Drake that I think of as characters that I need to watch the promotion to see on TV. Alberto El Patron could become a fixture. Johnny Impact can be as well, though he’s also a Triple A and Lucha Underground wrestler so Impact isn’t the only place you can go for your John Morrison fix.

Some Buzzworthy Angles

Now I’m going to get more into the creative aspect. And the one thing that would be very beneficial to Impact is a big angle. Something that gets people talking on social media that gets people talking about the promotion in a positive way.

Last year, they had nothing that fit that bill. Most news about Impact were negative such as their public feud with the Hardys, Alberto El Patron’s suspension, and rumors of them being out of money. There were never any exciting wrestling storylines that people talked about. The last time Impact had people talking in a positive light was back in 2016 with the Broken Hardys and the Final Deletion.

If they want to get more eyes on their product, they need to get their attention. It shouldn’t be flash for the sake of flash, but they should do something that let’s fans know there’s a reason to check out Impact.

Make a Decision Regarding the Grand Championship

Much of what Billy Corgan did in 2016 with Impact was positive, but the Grand Championship he introduced never found its place.

This is a title that’s defended in a three round bout. Either competitor can win at any time by pin or submission. But if they don’t, it will go down to the judges, who grade each round on a number of factors. The matches themselves do a good enough job altering the psychology to fit the stipulation, but they’ve never found a place for the title in the promotion overall.

There’s no specific division or type of wrestler that competes for this belt. It’s just whoever wants to try. And they never established what type of wrestler or which style can have the advantage in the match. The title could work, but it needs more care. Or they can go in the other direction and scrap it. Right now, it still feels out of place.

A Stronger Tag Division

One positive for Impact last year was replenishing certain rosters, such as their Knockouts division and their X Division. One that didn’t benefit from a division rebuild was their tag division.

In fact, the last 6 months, the tag scene has been a single feud between oVe (Jake and Dave Crist) and LAX. Don’t get me wrong. Both those teams are very talented. But tag wrestling is an important part of a show and they need a deeper division.

These are some things I’m hoping to see from the promotion next year. How about you? Anything you’d like to see? Sound off below.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats