Hi folks! Hope all is well where you are. Today, let’s look at the new relationship between AEW & Impact Wrestling. Could their collaboration lead to a super show? What would a match card look like? And so you know, this isn’t an attempt to fantasy book on my part. I’ll be looking at logical pairings which I believe will sell, but are not necessarily what I am dreaming of. Some have already been teased, while others may be what makes sense from my perspective. Before we begin with the Women’s & Knockouts divisions, let’s take note of the National Wrestling Alliance’s part in this.
NWA Talent Crossover
President Billy Corgan will 100% refuse to work with Impact Wrestling. Why? Because he firmly believes they screwed him out of a deal to acquire it back in 2016. While unconfirmed, it was reported he loaned money to Impact and they agreed to pay it back. The accumulated debts were moved on to Anthem Sports when Dixie Carter agreed to sell up to them over him. And since, Corgan has been vocal in his disdain for Impact Wrestling management by sharing how he would never work with them.
Corgan on leaving TNA: Yeah, it was kind of a situation where it was so — I really hope someday somebody writes a book about that company. Because it would make a case study in sociopathic behavior and bad business. Which, you know, and certainly my head should be examined for trying to buy the company.
Corgan on doing business with Impact: “We consider ourselves a free agent in the market. We’re available to work with anyone from All Elite Wrestling to Championship Wrestling from Hollywood to Ring of Honor. The only prohibition is Impact. We won’t do business with them. Of course, we’ll do business with WWE. We feel like an early UFC or Bellator. We’re in the market and can do whatever we want to do. We have the champions right here.
With the company loaning AEW the NWA Women’s Championship, along with Thunder Rosa, it will be interesting to see if this partnership continues. AEW officials would have to be delicate in the way they handle a cross-promotion event featuring NWA & Impact talent, because Billy Corgan will be furious if any of his talent or championships are used to put over the Impact roster in any form.
Women’s vs. Knockouts
Now, if there is one thing Impact Wrestling has over others, it’s a healthy women’s division in the form of Knockouts. In AEW however, a recent piece of mine pointed out how they have under delivered with their talent. Only Britt Baker has had decent character development all year, and management had to turn to the NWA for Serena Deeb (who is now signed) and Thunder Rosa to give Hikaru Shida someone to work with. They have been unlucky with absences due to COVID and injuries, while Impact has spent the past few years maintaining a healthy group of wrestlers with plenty of character.
So let’s take Thunder Rosa out of the equation. Who could Hikaru Shida face? Well, it makes sense we would get a champion vs. champion match. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Hikaru Shida would give them both further credibility, but it’s not the only match we should be treated too. Impact has Rosemary, Taya Valkyrie, Su Yung, Kiera Hogan, Tasha Steelz, Tenille Dashwood and Jordynne Grace who would easily make the jump. While it makes sense from a gimmick perspective, I don’t think Abadon is on the same level as a Rosemary or a Su Yung. I’d like to see Nyla Rose and Britt Baker in a tag match with the new Knockouts Tag Team Champions.
I also think Diamante & Ivelisse would work well with Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz (Kiera & Diamante are together as a couple). There is one reunion I would love to see though… Allie & Rosemary! They were best friends (and still are great friends behind closed doors) in Impact, and it was Rosemary who christened her “The Bunny”. At the end of her time there, Allie was ‘killed off’ on Impact TV, so it would come as a real shock to the Rosemary character to know she is still alive. Outside of this… I’m struggling to see anything else they could do.
Men’s Midcard Encounters
Next up is looking at mid-carders from both promotions to see if anything lines up. I’m not sure if AEW would be interested in booking the X-Division Champion Rohit Raju, because he is quite new to being taken seriously. Darby Allin would have a wide range of challengers for his TV title though! Ace Austin, Eddie Edwards, Eric Young, Brian Myers (aka Curt Hawkins), Rhino, Willie Mack and TJP are all guys who would benefit and wouldn’t mind putting Darby over; I’m leaning more toward Eric Young. I don’t think Moose would be suited for Darby though, because I think the faux TNA World Champion would have more fun with a different challenger.
So who could Moose defend his TNA title against? What about a former TNA Original like Christopher Daniels or Frankie Kazarian? There’s also Matt Hardy (he was TNA World Champion under “The Icon” gimmick), who I know would have a great feud with him. Moose would have to be victorious though, because he’s billed as a monster at the moment. But it all depends on what happens between him and Rich Swann. Impact has been teasing a title vs. title match between Moose and the Impact World Champion for a while, which could culminate at the Hard To Kill PPV. Would Impact sport a double champion? Or will the TNA title go back on display? And what about Kenny Omega? Could he face Rich Swann as the Undisputed Impact World Champion? That seems like a logical route, but remains to be seen.
No matter what anyone says, legends of the business will always have their place. And Impact Wrestling has a couple of its own. First, there is Tommy Dreamer, who we know is super passionate and generous in helping the next generation. On this week’s Impact, he expressed worry about the AEW partnership affecting his co-workers in a way he has seen before. Could preferential treatment toward AEW lead to many of the Impact roster wanting to end it? Perhaps Dreamer could lead an “invasion” of Impact wrestlers on to Dynamite? Could see we “All Out” warfare? How about Cody Rhodes leading a team of AEW guys against Dreamer’s invaders? I’m sure it would go down a treat. Just be sure to stick them in a steel cage structure of some sort. War Games? Or something new? I’d like to see something fresh.
And then there’s new Impact Hall of Famer (endorsed by The Rock) Ken Shamrock. Sure, he’s not as mobile as he once was, but would AEW have a spot for him? And who would be the perfect guy for Ken to work with? I can only assume it would be someone like Dustin Rhodes, a reliable veteran who would work a good match out of him with little risk. Or he could be involved in what Sami Callihan is up too, considering they are running around as “The Most Dangerous Tag Team”.
Tag Team Turmoil
This is where it gets exciting because the combinations are endless. FTR and The North have already teased a first-time outing, along with The Young Bucks renewing their rivalry with the Motor City Machine Guns. But then you’ve also got the Impact tag team champions The Good Brothers. Doc Gallows is out with an injury at the moment, but when he returns they could have a pop at any of AEW’s tag teams. How about former Impact Tag Champions like The Lucha Brothers? Or Santana & Ortiz? Either of those would give The Good Brothers a hell of a match.
Jurassic Express, Private Party, Dark Order, SCU, Butcher & The Blade, Best Friends and TheHybrid2 all have a chance to face Impact teams like Ace Austin & Madman Fulton, XXXL, Rhino & Heath (Slater) and The Deaners. How do you decide which team would represent AEW? Honestly, we are spoilt for choice here. I could reel off another six teams easily, but I think I already mentioned those who deserve it the most. Let me know which combinations you would like to see in the comments?
Main Event Draw
As we saw on Impact, it seems like Kenny Omega could face off against Rich Swann soon. Could it be title vs. title? That would be unprecedented. Imagine if an AEW guy is the Impact World Champion? I don’t know how I would feel about that, considering I have been a TNA/Impact fan for well over a decade. But alone, having title vs. title would be massive and fans would flock to see what transpires in a history making contest. But what about another marquee match? Is there a chance for another main event worthy fight?
There is a possibility, and it’s called “The Draw” Sami Callihan. He often states how he has carried the company on his back for the past few years. And I cannot disagree with his sentiment. I would say he (at least til Eric Young returned) is the best talker in the company and when given the right direction, generates the most buzz. They already have the ingredients for a feud after he called out Chris Jericho a couple of years ago.
Callihan uses a baseball bat and has done for years. Who took it upon himself to get his own bat? Jericho. But who makes stars with his bat? Callihan does… even if by accident. His feud with Eddie Edwards helped to put Impact Wrestling back on the map after years of suffering. I think it would be great for both Jericho & Callihan to get in to a program, as self-proclaimed “draws” of their promotions. Here is what Callihan had to say a couple of years ago:
Sami Callihan Threatens to Invade the Chris Jericho Cruise
“I don’t care who I offend, I will show up anywhere… bat in hand, and I will create a ruckus. I don’t care if it’s in the woods, I don’t care if it’s in the woods, I don’t care if it’s fans trying to fight me at the arena. Hell, I don’t care if it’s “All In”, I don’t care if it’s the Chris Jericho cruise. A cruise I never even got booked on… which is bullshit. What are you guys, afraid? Chris Jericho are you just afraid of Sami Callihan? Ring of Honor, are you afraid of making money with The Draw Sami Callihan?! That is my question.
I am sick of being disrespected. Because I AM The Draw! And there is not one person that will tell me differently. The way I’m looking at it right now, the only bigger bitches than Impact Wrestling management is Ring of Honor and Chris Jericho. So here’s the thing, I might just have to get my baseball bat and show up on this cruise. Because I do what I want… when I want.
After the video went public, Sami Callihan was invited to the Chris Jericho cruise in October 2018. He didn’t get what he wanted though, instead facing and beating Marty Scurrl in an “Anything Goes Anywhere on the Ship” match.
And there we have it! I think an AEW vs. Impact crossover event would go over really well if they work it the right way. But it has to be a slow build and freedom is essential. Crossovers happening on Dynamite and Impact will take us down a road to an event like nothing we have seen before. I don’t think Anthem will sell Impact to AEW, but both promotions will benefit from working together.
For Impact, it’s about getting more attention from the mainstream media after years doing really good things… but not getting noticed for most of it. For AEW, it’s about showing the world they are the antithesis of WWE. Rather than deploying a huge shield around their castle, AEW is about opening the gates to the professional wrestling business. And what better way to prove they are up for helping out than by getting in to bed with other promotions? Sometimes more than one at a time? What about NWA? ROH? New Japan? The sky is the limit.
And this is what wrestling has needed for 20 years. Collaboration in the pro wrestling business is the only way anyone will ever get anywhere near sports-entertainment. It’s exciting for everyone. Whether you follow WWE, AEW, Impact, or a bit of everything, the benefits of competition has already been seen. The course of history is changing before our eyes with AEW & Impact… and I love it! Please let me know what you think of recent events, and if you think this partnership will be a success. Thank you for reading.