Hi everyone! Today, I would like to list and explain fifteen recent changes since the start of 2017. Dixie Carter’s Impact Wrestling went through a rough time in 2016 and eventually taken over by Anthem Sports. Carter was reduced to an advisory role/minority owner, while Anthem wasted no time changing backstage personnel, logos, and scheduling. I’ll highlight key changes in the creative team and product, but I won’t go into The Broken Hardys as it’s been going on a while and cannot be considered “recent”. Don’t shake your head like that!
1. Cody & Brandi Rhodes Deal.
It started back at Bound For Glory, but the reason I’m including it is because Cody’s scheduled to return after working with ROH and New Japan. Seems Cody’s able to work for any company and keen to encourage cross-promotional talent. While he’s been away, his wife Brandi Rhodes continues to work in the Knockouts Division with Moose having her back.
2. Don West Is Back!
Ok, he was never the best commentator of all time (unlike Josh Mathews), but he is an exceptional salesman with deals so great you can’t help but hand over your hard earned cash. He’s back, but they don’t have him on TV yet. Regardless, his sales are back and better than ever!
3. Andrew Everett Kicked Out Of The Helms Dynasty.
Everett was seen as the weak link of the group, so he cut a promo saying he picked up the pieces over and over again. Trevor Lee attacked him and broke up the team. Everett is either going to get a repackage, or is out of contract.
4. Silly Segments Rubbing Off On Braxton Sutter & Mike Bennett.
Not sure if anyone saw the train wreck that was Braxton’s stag do, but it reeked of “broken” creative going above & beyond to give these guys much-needed character. It was amusing for the wrong reasons.
5. Speaking Of “Broken” Influence…
Aron! …. REEEEEXXXXXX! What I’m not liking is it’s too much too soon. A good example is what they did with Matt Hardy, they introduced his broken character and let it evolve over several months. With Rexx it was a sudden change and hard to absorb. Rockstar Spud went from jobbing out to Maxel Hardy/Swoggle, to quitting the company, to playing whoever he is now in a matter of two weeks! It needs more planning if it’s ever going to work.
6. Jeff Jarrett Returns!
Jarrett is back in control but has higher-ups, which means he’s got suits to answer to if anything goes wrong. I think all he wants is to get serious work done behind the scenes and make the future of wrestling great. In a recent interview he said never say never, but he isn’t looking to put himself back on television. He knows he’s past it and the young guys need the spotlight, and without Dixie Carter making bad business decisions .. he’s got the potential to make the show as good as it was over a decade ago.
7. Davey Richards Goes Full Heel With Chairs, Handcuffs, And Kissing.
Angelina Love’s been in Davey’s ear planting seeds of jealousy and doubt for his friend Eddie Edwards. The feud escalated last week with Davey and Angelina handcuffing Eddie’s wife Alisha Edwards to the ring while Davey beat Eddie with a chair. Davey and Angelina hovered over Eddie’s body as they kissed; which was brutal, yet kinda cool. I’m digging it, and how personal it got in a short time. As long as it escalates heavy I’ll be happy.
8. Scott D’Amore Returns!
The former Team Canada manager is back in Impact as a creative writer. He was another guy let go a few years ago despite being good for the company. He last worked there in 2010, around the time Hogan & company came on board. His best work on television was managing Team Canada; some of its members included current NXT stars Eric Young & Bobby Roode.
9. Impact Wrestling & Pro Wrestling NOAH Partnership.
Remember when I said they needed cross-promotion with ROH and potentially New Japan? Well, it seems they went in a different direction. For those unaware, Pro Wrestling NOAH is where Japanese legend Mistuharu Misawa and NXT star Hideo Itami (KENTA) got noticed, and is a rival promotion to New Japan. Expect to see talent we’ve never seen before in this promising deal.
10. Dutch Mantell AKA Zeb Colter Returns!
Dutch was responsible for bringing Awesome Kong to TNA, and making the Knockouts Division worthy of the business. You could say he was responsible for the “women’s revolution”. With him back in creative, he could lend a hand to Madison Rayne and the Knockouts.
11. Brooke Returns!
The Knockouts Division lacked workers, so luckily Brooke returned last week with a new lease on life. She could be a challenger for Rosemary’s title down the road after dealing with Sienna and Maria.
12. Tyrus Messes With Eli Drake And Pays For It.
So I never understood why Tyrus screwed Eli in the first place, seen as Eli paid him to do a job? Either way, Eli didn’t like it so took matters into his own hands. He explained his actions to a camera closeup to his face backstage .. and by god, it’s Steve Austin all over again.
Remember when Kevin Owens and Brock Lesnar had closeups on Raw? Well .. Impact did it last week with Eli. Not saying they’re related, but it seems funny how the industry has suddenly remembered how great these promos can be. We saw two closeups on Raw mere days after Impact did it .. coincidence? Eli hit it out of the park .. and that is a fact of life.
13. A Fighter Challenged Lashley For The World Title .. And Did It Right!
I am not a UFC fan so zero clue who Josh Barnett is or was. He made a believer of me with one promo. He put a lot of effort into making it believable, so I don’t mind if he gets a shot as it’s something different and we’ll see Lashley with a different kind of opponent. He’s going to win of course, but I don’t mind giving Barnett a shot unlike other fighters who failed to connect with the wrestling audience. Hopefully it leads somewhere fun.
14. Allie Went From Turning To Maria .. To Still Being Hired And Pushed Around.
This is a light nitpick of a potential oversight. Allie turned on Maria some time ago as she got tired of being pushed around. She turned to Braxton to train her, but now it seems like she never left her job and is again being pushed around by Maria, Laurel Van Ness and Sienna while Van Ness forces Sutter to marry her? And why is Braxton allowing her and Mike Bennett to push him around? I think the writers got confused with where the story is. Don’t worry Allie .. you won’t be pathetic forever.