I’m not here to preach doom and gloom for Impact Wrestling. It seems like they’re — at the very least — surviving right now. I’m here to say that it sucks that even though I want to watch Impact, I’m ready to admit it won’t happen (at least with any regularity).
Yes, even though my Friday night’s open — which should trouble me on levels beyond wrestling — I wouldn’t bet on myself watching Impact. And here’s why.
I can’t pursue them on Pursuit
For years, I was able to count myself lucky enough to watch Impact, as I somehow had Destination America, as well as POP! in my cable channel packages. Now, that streak of good fortune is over, as I don’t have the Pursuit network, which still sounds made up.
That means I can’t DVR the show, which means I’d have to bend my life to watch the (at least) fourth wrestling show I’ve watched in a given week live.
Twitch ain’t it, chief
But Henry, the Impact faithful say, what about Twitch! Impact streams there too!
Well, then here’s a question: do you really think 10pm to midnight is a great timeslot for anything? That requires people surrender one of the two non-work nights they have per week — or worse, leaving a shindig early.
Fortunately, Impact is aware of its issues, and is adding a 6pm Monday Twitch rebroadcast.
Even the Friday-only broadcast could have been acceptable, though, if shows archived instantly. But for whatever reason (likely their deal with Pursuit), Impact episodes take a whole 10 days to go up for legal streaming on the GWN app.
Impact’s also stating episodes will be “available to everyone on demand on Global Wrestling Network every Tuesday.” — and I look forward to finding out if that refers to the previous week’s episode, or just keeping the previous 10 day delay.
And even when I randomly watch ...
On top of that, Twitch is the thing I’m lucky enough to watch on my PS4, where it’s still grainy and looks bad. When IndependentWrestling.TV streams can look crisp, and even Evolve has its good days, Impact’s Twitch is just not enough.
And the time I watched Impact, its commercial breaks were filled with awkward banter between Josh Matthews and Don Callis, recorded live on their webcams in the former’s darkened living room and the latter’s hotel room in Japan (reminding you that an important NJPW show was around the corner).
I’m sorry, I bet these guys are decent people, but that’s a weak way to kill time. So bad I wished they were playing old Impact clips, which I’ve learned to value.
And even when I attended Bound For Glory...
So, I went to Impact’s Bound for Glory PPV, and I even kinda liked it at the time. The more and more I think about that PPV, though, the worse a taste it leaves in my mouth.
LAX vs OGz was more reckless than anything. Giving a big slot on the card to dudes who are past their prime (I wonder if the O in OGz stands for ‘outdated’). By now, practically everyone has seen an amazing LAX match, and I don’t know who would name this match as the one to remember.
And looking at this show, you can only see one important moment: Eli Drake getting squashed by Abyss, which started his crusade against hardcore wrestling, and inspired his “lawsuit” against the company. Now, look at the rest of the card:
- Rich Swann and Willie Mack defeated Matt Sydal and Ethan Page
- Tessa Blanchard (c) defeated Taya Valkyrie
- Eddie Edwards and Tommy Dreamer defeated Moose and Killer Kross
- Ohio Versus Everything (Dave Crist, Jake Crist and Sami Callihan) defeated Brian Cage, Fénix and Pentagón Jr.
- Johnny Impact (with Taya Valkyrie) defeated Austin Aries (c) (with Killer Kross and Moose)
The only thing that mattered in any of that mess was Aries popping back up after the finish of the main event, to no-sell the loss. At the time, it felt like that could mean something, that it could lead to something interesting. Now? It just reeks of Aries being unprofessional. Though, it feels like he’s teasing going back.
Why this sucks
There are a crap ton of wrestlers who I want to support who work for Impact. From LAX (one of the best tag teams today) to Brian Cage to Taya Valkyrie and her husband Johnny Promotionname, to the aforementioned Ethan Page (who I really wish wrestled near me in NYC more often, as he did back when he was in EVOLVE) and even Sami Callihan, who I used to dislike and have grown to respect.
Hell, even Scarlett Bordeaux is doing something interesting on Impact, operating with a lot more agency than you might think. Other faves of mine, such as Jordynne Grace and Fenix, are also there, though Grace taking a backseat to the rest confuses me.
I’m happy that Josh Alexander has signed to Impact, so he and Page may get the chance to reunite as Monster Mafia. Rosemary re-signing to Impact is probably good for her, as that’s a paycheck.
Bait and switch news bits don’t help
Twice, recently, Impact teased news of returning big names. The first turned out to be Rob Van Dam wrestling at a ‘Mania week show of theirs, which ... sorry but yawn. The second turned out to be the aforementioned news of Rosemary signing on for two more years, which felt weird since... nobody thinks she’s gone.
So, please, Impact, come on
I wrote this to try and air my grievances with the hope that someone with some power would see how much the recent changes have annoyed Impact’s existing audiences. I don’t know Impact’s audience numbers and can’t expect they’re great by any means, but the company needs to change things up to avoid them getting any worse.