Impact Wrestling is producing good shows in 2018, and Slammiversary XVI showed everyone what they’re capable of. WWE’s signed many talents away in the past few years, so the revolving door for new signees is likely to continue. Luckily for Impact, they reached out to other promotions who were receptive in sharing their talents. Impact went one further by allowing broadcasts of other promotions to feature on their weekly episodes. They have created a platform for the talent to be seen by more fans around the world, and in doing so, the landscape has changed rapidly in a short time.
There’s many new faces on Impact if you haven’t watched for a while, but today I’d like to focus on the very latest signees. I’d like to look in to what brought them here, as well as what makes them special enough to be on TV, at a time when Impact already has many fresh faces to get over. Whether they rise to the top or not, will depend on their work ethic and the ability to get over quickly.
Desi Hit Squad – Gama Singh, Rohit Raju, Vikas Kumar, Gursinder Singh & Bhupinder Singh
We’ve seen Rohit Raju lately having good showings in the X-Division, but aside from manager Gama, the potential of the rest remains unknown. Much like LAX, sometimes a stable needs a strong leader, and Gama Singh has qualities which are sure to help this young Indian team.
Gama was originally trained by Stu Hart, Carlos Colon and Bill Persack. He is also the uncle of former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal. By the 70’s he was wrestling for Stu in Stampede Wrestling as Great Gama, and he achieved much success as one of its top heels. He won tag titles, and even defeated Dynamite Kid for the Mid-Heavyweight title. His biggest success though, was his six reigns as British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Champion, where he defeated the likes of Davey Boy Smith, Bruce Hart, The Cobra, Johnny Smith, Owen Hart, and Chris Benoit.
Arguably though, his biggest success was leading the Karachi Vice stable in the late-80’s, which proved to be a popular attraction for Stampede Wrestling. Due to the era and how far Gama was willing to go for heat, he’d often receive racist threats and people swearing at him on the streets. Even after Stampede was bought by the WWF and revived by Bruce Hart, Gama remained one of their top heels til the 90’s. In the mid-80’s, Gama worked for WWF in undercard matches at house shows as Vince McMahon needed an Indian wrestler to work in the Middle East. He got a couple of wins on television, but nothing more came of it.
We don’t need to delve deeper in to this group, as it’s clear Gama Singh is a strong leader who will take much of the credit. He’s got a lot of work to do, to get back to being an attraction like he was decades ago. Impact Wrestling are willing to give him the platform, and as they’re not shy in touring India, I’m sure he’ll be a good selling point once his squad is doing exactly what he needs them to do.
“The Prestigious One” Joe Hendry
Honestly I ain’t seen much of him, but his latest song on Eli Drake was magical. He’s known for his ring entrances and parodies of famous songs to mock his opponents. And if I was a fan of boy band-esque songs? I’d be a fan. He’s Scottish, but that doesn’t lose him any charm. He’s in a weird love triangle with Katarina and Grado (which the latter is oblivious to) which is likely to end with someone getting their heart broken. I wouldn’t be surprised if it leads to an eventual heel turn, with Katarina managing him like she did for her “brother” Paul Burchill back in the day. He’s got the character to get over, but I’ve yet to see him in action long enough to judge.
I know he’s been in ICW for years, and ROH in the past year when he unsuccessfully challenged Silas Young for the TV title. He’s more than he seems though, as only two years ago he started competing in Amateur wrestling. As a result of his success, he will enter in to this years Commonwealth Games in Australia representing Team Scotland. He’s been doing videos for the WhatCulture wrestling & MMA channels, as well as a former musician signed to the Sony Music label. Also sporting a Master’s Degree in business and marketing, it seems Hendry is multi-talented & educated. Is there anything he can’t do? We’ll have to wait and see.
She’s been around a while now, going a little under the radar as she gained experience. Since 2012 she’s called herself a wrestler, and if you ever watched OVW then, or Ring Of Honor since, you’ll know her as one-half of the Hoopla Hotties. She and Valerie Malone often accompanied Matt Taven to ringside, and sometimes interfered in his matches. She likes to wrestle, but came up short more often than not. After the breakup of the House of Truth, she became an announcer sharing duties with Bobby Cruise. She had a short-lived career in WWE as one of Adam Rose’s rosebuds, which she was part of at least fifteen times. She also lost to Nia Jax in a squash match on Raw, Boxing Day 2016.
The Knockouts have never been afraid to show their sexy side, which Scarlett I’m sure will be very willing to be a part of. I also think she’s going to improve massively as a wrestler, as she’ll have some good role models. She cites Bull Nakano, Hamada, Awesome Kong, Maryse, Gail Kim and Lita as her favourite wrestlers, which isn’t a bad list to aspire too! I’m sure Gail Kim will help her with anything she needs to be a regular in the Knockouts Division. She’s got the experience, and she’s got the look, all she needs is to hone her wrestling craft. Once that’s done, all other pieces of the puzzle will fall in to place.
The scary thing about this guy? Not much is known about him. He showed up in the indies in 2014 and got his first big break working for Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling and Lucha Underground in 2015. Kross also had a one-off on WWE TV, when he worked with Darren Young in a losing effort to The Ascension on Raw. He spent some time in Mexico working for AAA in 2017. And then recently, he was revealed as the “Mystery X Attacker”, where he posed as a security guard arresting Petey Williams, only to reveal himself before mercilessly beating his victim down.
His demeanour as Killer Kross is as disturbing as the tattooed artwork on his back. He’s got a long road ahead, but I feel like management are really behind this character. It will be interesting to see how psychotically dark Kross can be. His finisher is a bit dumb, it’s just a form of chokehold which knocks his opponent out almost instantly. I’d like to see more finishing moves from him, as knocking your opponent out each time is a bit of an anti-climax. There’s a lot more to add to this character yet, so I wouldn’t judge him too soon. What do you think? Is he a future World Champion? Or is he a flop?
And the same questions go to the rest I’ve featured today. Are they future stars in the making? Or do you see nothing in them? Are there other talents on Impact who you think are more deserving or airtime? Will Impact be able to squeeze everyone in? Only time will tell I guess, and in saying that .. I realise it’s time for me to bring this to a close. I like seeing new talents as it’s a sign the business is looking to the future, and it’s always cool when you can look back and say “I remember when they debuted .. and look how awesome they are now”.
It’s like .. remembering when I first heard “My Name Is” by Eminem (I was a teenager, gimme a break). My friends told me it was crap and he was nothing but a one-hit wonder .. til Slim Shady came out and they jumped on the bandwagon. Sometimes you look (or listen) at an individual performing and you know in your gut they’ll be something special one day. I’m not saying any of these talents are going to be as big as Eminem .. but what I am saying is, it’s acceptable to believe in the potential of others, even when there’s many doubters .. as one day you’ll know you was right to believe.
So thanks for reading everyone! I appreciate you taking time out of your day to read my stuff .. even when it’s not my best work. I’m human, I do my best given the subject and my frame of mind, and I’ll keep working hard to improve for all of you. Cheers.