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Thread: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

  1. #21
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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    I know you've already posted a show and I'll get to that, but just wanted to say it's awesome to see you back doing this booking stuff. If I remember correctly, your WWE thread may have been one of the first BTB's I read from this place, and I'm still here, so, uh, good job I guess.

    Genuinely excited to see where this goes, and even just reading the prologue, a lot of stuff seems to be heading in the right direction. I can't even begin to explain how I pleased I am that you've written off Shamrock as well.

    Good luck with this, and I'll be back with some feedback for your first show at some point.








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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    Oh hello there Ed, happy to see you're back in the booking game and intrigued to see where this goes. Good luck <3



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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    I said I’d be back for Impact and I meant it, damn it! So starting off, I’ll quickly touch on the back and forth between Callis and Matthews here. I just thought you nailed the chemistry between the two which a lot of people always struggle to do with any commentators. That was really well done, and the tease of Callis potentially signing some people gets me excited.

    I love the idea of opening up with the returning Rockstar Spud. Really gives the first show back that big show feel. The emotion and the wiping away of tears was all lovey dovey and vomit, but the fans would have eaten it up. Enjoyed Spud getting real and being open and vulnerable about his struggles, no better way to get the fans behind him. Especially considering some of them probably had similar situations to deal with. The interruption from Callihan was unexpected but I liked it. If we had forgotten, this definitely reminded us how much of a scum bag Sami is. It makes sense for him to not want anybody else to get a title shot, and the attack afterwards was a perfect feud starter for these two. When you mentioned the shots to the eyebrow, I marked out because I knew that meant a blade job was coming. On his first night back, I maybe would have liked Spud to at least try and land a couple of shots back, but I think you were going for how unexpected this was. Either way, a really fun opening to the show, written well, and you’ve got a readymade feud waiting for you.

    I’m all about Willie Mack so seeing him get fourteen minutes to do his thing and get the win is something I can get behind. Great start to the in ring action.

    The North’s delayed celebration next week should be full of antics. They’re my favourite thing about Impact so really looking forward to seeing how you book them here.

    I swear Tommy Dreamer looks like a pissed off Julian from Trailer Park Boys in that pic… Anyway, Dreamer’s always losing to Elgin, and Elgin using that Apron Powerbomb to seemingly take out another competitor is awesome. I’m happy for him to just slaughter people and put them out of action until somebody steps up to the plate. Sounds like a fun angle to me.

    A pretty good Hero promo to announce that he’s coming to Impact. Another good get, imo. The ‘wrestling genius’ gimmick works well for him, although lol at the digs at Ric Flair. Enjoyed those. Much like with some of the guys I’ve mentioned above already, looking forward to seeing what you do with Hero. Safe to say he feels like a big deal right now.

    Not much to say about the women’s stuff at this point. Grace is awesome so happy for here to get the win, and the aftermath with the attack, followed by the save from Rae sets things up for a tag match in the future… Or at least that what it seems like. Either way, this is some booking 101 type stuff, which is completely fine and not at all an insult.

    I’m all for repackaging Jake and starting off with a squash and explaining what’s going on works. The promo was fine although LOL at Jake “Something” being his “real” name, that’s awful. I do like the change of attitude though, and the mentioning of a union and stuff is pretty outside of the box. It’s awesome though. The whole nothing to something line at the end was a little cheesy for my liking, but without knowing too much about Jake, I can get behind this.

    Lol at an all animal affair. Rhino’s a solid name to give Moose a good main event, but obviously it’s not time for Moose to lose yet. Loving the unofficial title thing with Moose by the way, I think that’s awesome.

    Tessa returning is a nice moment and the back and forth with Moose was pretty good. The old “prove who the real champ is” angle works well here. I am interested to see how Tessa deals with the power of Moose, going to be really interesting to see how this intergender stuff develops. Either way, a fine end to the show.

    A really good return show, mate. Great to see you back in the section and you’re off to a cracking start. Looking forward to seeing that show #2.








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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    First of all, thanks so much for the warm welcome back to the section. I'm glad so many are interested in the project I've picked. I think the most noticable thing to me reading these reviews is that everyone has their own different bunch of favourite wrestlers which is going to make it quite challenging to please everyone, particular those Undead Realm fans

    There's six episode to go until my first Pay-Per-View and it probably won't be until then where it gets to my vision of Impact because I am keen to not drop every storyline and character arc that's been going on this year IRL. I'm also trying my best to get these characters down and introduce them to people who haven't been watching Impact recently.

    Just to touch on some specific points people raised:


    • Yes that was me writing out Tommy Dreamer. I cannot stand ECW nostalgia in the modern era, it was 20 years ago and often times it doesn't help to put anyone over but themselves and Impact should be focusing on building up their own talent (which is their biggest strength) than keep giving air time to these veterans. I also personally have never enjoyed Dreamer, so rather like Shamrock, he's done as a wrestler in this project. Rhino and RVD I have a bit more use for so I'm not spoiling future angles of apron powerbombs to them.



    • Probably the bomb of the episode was using the name Jake Something. Now just to clear that up for people who don't know, that's what Cousin Jake is called on the indies and is what I'm used to calling him over the last few years. When I started watching Impact again I was stunned they have this guy on their roster and their use for him is a jobber secondary member of a pretend redneck tag team because I think he's a good heavyweight talent. I want to do more with him, and I wanted to change his gimmick away from that unauthentic role he currently has, but maybe in hindsight I could of used a different surname. I don't think I'll be using that catchphrase going forward though, it's going to get even cheesier if he's using that to close out every promo. Oh and yeah Wolfy that music came on my spotify discover playlist the other week and I really dug it as a potential hoss entrance music.



    • Deco spotted my writing gaff. Saying fans were seated apart but then Drake was slapping hands with fans in the front row wasn't an intended contradiction. I had written those lines on different days and I never picked it up on the proof reads. After a couple of episodes I think I'll stop bringing up the pandemic as much as I did on this episode, but it makes sense for it to have been mentioned so much on the first episode everyone can come back on. I also wanted to not go down the WWE route of not saying 'special circumstances' and just address this issue like normal people would



    • I sure am glad I pushed to get this episode out before NXT gave Drake a contract. If I hadn't I'd of been tempted to just scrap everything I had for him and debut a different WWE wrestler in his place, but I think he cuts such believable, babyface promos that I wanted to keep him around.



    • There could also be a big angle going down on this week's Impact because they are hyping that they are making an announcement about Tessa and the world title, possibly stripping her of it because she missed another taping. So again, timing is on my side.



    • Wolfy if I was really going down the Mauro route I'd of said - 'MOOSE AND RHINO HITTING EACH OTHER IN THIS ALL ANIMAL AFFAIR HARDER THAN ANIMAL HITS HIS DRUMKIT, BUT IS MOOSE A MUPPET FOR STILL BELIEVING HE'S A WORLD CHAMPION DON-ZO CALLIS'


    Episode 2 is about halfway written so hopefully it doesn't take me too long to finish up. There seems to be some anticipation for the North in this thread so I hope I do them justice!

  5. #25
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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    All good with me dude! I figured you was writing out Dreamer as I know you're not keen on the constant 'ECW' reunion that iMPACT seems to throw out seemingly every year in real life and I'm totally in agreement. RVD & Rhino still having a use and a place in your roster is a good choice though; I like both and they can be used to put people over pretty well.

    Don't even worry about the gaff mate, totally fine. I actually really liked how you addressed the Pandemic and made it all feel real.

    Excited for the 2nd episode! I'll be reading for sure :D

  6. #26
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    Impact Wrestling Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    T H R O U G H
    T H E
    L O O K I N G
    G L A S S

    It's great having you back Ed and looking at the responses you've achieved already, it appears I'm not the only one. I love that you're giving us moder-day Impact, this I can really get behind as I feel that after so many false-starts, the company has accepted who it is now and really focused on doing something different. I also appreciate that you are acknowledinging the pandemic in a tasteful way, I hope to see this referenced as things start to improve - I'll ignore the minor contradiction as it's plain to see this was not intentional. Without sounding shady one of the benefits of Impact having smaller crowds is that it probably wouldn't seem too odd for the viewer to see a spread out audience.

    I also like that you've mentioned your continuing current arcs before jumping straight in with the changes, I think that's a smart decision as it can turn me off as a reader to see so much change before a show has even aired.

    One thing I wouldn't mind being changed is Josh Matthews, I know others appreciated that banter between Callis and him in this episode. I just think Matthews' Cole-lite approach is more harmful to the product and doesn't given me the impact I need it my play-by-play (pun not intended). That has nothing to do with the way that you use him, that's just an personal opinion.

    I know that you were skeptical about having Spud back on the roster but honestly, this feels natural to me. Spud was way more popular in Impact than he was in WWE (in my opinion), Impact could do the goofy stuff with him but also give him moments of glory that they're only just starting to try now in real-life. I also feel that the segment does seem realistic to what Spud would say on his first night back. Good choice to use Sami, he might not be everyone's cup of tea but he's arguably one of the top heels you have and it just suits his character to play the gatekeeper and almost keep the 'TNA' out of Impact. Nice use of the headbutt, I always think a headbutt comes across far more cowardly and sadistic than a forearm which suits Calliahn here.

    You know I love the aesthetics and your aesthetics are giving me life! Kudos Natty for the inspiration.

    I think you've learned from the comments that no one knows who Chris Bey is, I've seen his name float around but I think he's one of those names you read in the spoiler tapings and never seen anything else of - no segment, no character-building etc. It makes clear sense to have Mack go over as the champion but I'm thinking having such a competitive match against a relative unknown either means you're re-investing in the X-Division, have plans to build on Bey's blank canvas - or both!

    The North have been champions for a year!? That's insane, I do think Impact has been trying with a tag division but at the moment it's just so many singles thrown together, I think this is one aspect you could easily overturn, especially with such talented champions. Having read the whole show, it feels like the production is very old-school NXT - having some of your roster on one week and the next week, the other half, rather than having the same people. I could be wrong but I do like this as it means that we don't get bored of the same faces each week and allows more time to develop those who need it. Again, that might be me making assumptions though....

    I know that nobody needs Dreamer in 2020, I feel like his role is just to come back now and then for an extreme rules match or to emphasise some sort of agreement between Impact and House of Hardcore, I'm fine with it in that capacity but not with Dreamer as a talent. I also think it serves Elgin well to be the one to do it, Elgin came in with a lot of fire but he's always missed the chance to take the gold, so this helps keep some momentum. The mention of Shamrock going out the same way also gives the impression that he won't me returning - I'm not mad at that either - he served his purpose and came for the Hall of Fame, that's all it needed to be.

    I do think the Hero segment could've waited a week, it does still feel exciting, especially as he showed 1% of what he could do during his entire Ohno career, however I think the spotlight being on Spud really overshadows a mid-episode vignette. I also agree that it could've been condensed and a lot of what was said would've made more sense to me broken into smaller segments to tease the debut. One week talking about him not getting opportunities, one talking about the places he's wrestled, all relating back to him being the best wrestler in the world/a wrestling genuis. Otherwise it feels like another released talent taling about being underutilised.

    The pandemic hasn't given Jordynne the best of starts as a champion but I hope you can keep her momentum going, this is obviously a good way to start. One concern I have, which isn't you per se but the way Tasha Steelz is dealt with. In real life, she's come in as a new talent lost and aligned with Kiera Hogan, then in your version she's lost her second match. I get that this then can trigger Kiera, who I assume will be the main foe of Grace but it's just something to be careful of, Steelz already feels on the backfoot. I don't know if you're going to do Xplosion or a B-Show but she could benefit with some AEW Dark-style jobber wins. It makes sense to bring Kyle Rae in, she's competing to be top babyface in the Knockouts division, I hope Grace saying she's ok isn't a hint at a turn, I'd rather if these two were to feud then it just be that they're both competitive and respectful faces.

    Did I know that Jake Something was Cousin Jake initially? No. Did I know that was his indie name? No. Was I made at it? Not at all. I think given that he isn't doing much in reality, you can justify a quick character change. The name doesn't set the world on fire but what you did with the segment is make it clear that he's not called Jake 'Something' because he's an afterthought but because he is a 'focal point. Small gripe, I would rather see you name the jobbers, only because it may serve you well down the line to build characters from them. This for me is already you're stamp on the project and I'm excited to see what you do with him.

    I do think with Spud, Ohno and Something, there's a lot of references to management and other companies. I would just be careful of referencing the man behind the curtain too often as it to me, it can feel a bit shooty and smarky. I think with Ohno and Spud it does make sense because Impact does love a bit of shade, I don't think Jake needed to talk about being repressed or could've done so without breaking kayfabe too much.

    I remember the days where Rhino was something of a big player in TNA, so it makes sense to have him take on Moose and I do feel that unlike WWE, Impact do a lot better job at acknowleding Rhino's legacy and making him feel credible. I think that Moose has been doing some really good work for quite a while now and it's good to see him take the brass ring so to speak and fill the void - even if it's a bit of an oddball decision to refer to TNA again. Of course Moose was always going to win but this is definitely more credible than some of this other matches in reali life.

    Tessa is such a hard topic for me, I think that the pandemic has distracted from some of her real life controversies but I also think that Impact did an amazing job building her up prior to all of that and with everything going on and some of her matches after winning the belt, it just feels like they don't know what to do with her and to a certain degree are just trying to count along the days to say she held the belt for 'x' amount of time without doing anything. It's good to see her back and I'm intrigued to see what you can do to keep her momentum. I think you're in a bit of a tightrope because if you take the belt off of her too soon it undermines the whole build for her but then you need to keep things fresh and interesting with any main event feud. I think she looked good here. Tessa is a great talent but at this point, I think she has to be handled like dynamite because one wrong move could mean that the belt goes down with her.

    Overall an amazing first effort, I can't wait to see this evolve. I think you've laid some excellent groundwork, you've given us investable arcs and some eye-catching work. I would like to see how you develop the Tag Team division and personally, see the KO featured more as the division has gone from strength to strength but I also love that these shows are compact and not drawn out - they say what they need to say and nothing feels pointless. Good luck Ed! Long may you continue....



    Last edited by Looking Glass; 06-07-2020 at 02:50 PM.



  7. #27
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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    I really liked the first Impact! I really don’t mind Jake Something’s name, but that may be because I’m a big fan of his Black Label Pro matches so it’s how I first saw him. Sami/Spud could be a great hardcore type match for BFG as a way to bring Spud into an underdog actual wrestling role as opposed to the chicken shit heel/manager he was for the majority of his TNA career. I’m curious if you’ll make Impact titles intergender overall, bc Jordynne Grace would be really fun in the X Division imo. Overall, very excited to see where you go with this thread and - PUSH ACE AUSTIN!

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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    Elgin looked strong. Despite my personal feelings on him, I'll let this play out and hopefully someone uses him as a stepping stone. Moose vs Tessa for the Impact World title. I'm wondering if on a regular show will the title change hands or some sort of shenanigans will take place. Calihan being a bastard and beating up Spud on his return to impact is great. I think Chris Bey will put the X-Division on his back sooner rather than later. He's an amazing talent. All in all, really good first show. I can't wait to see where you go with this project.

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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    First off, I really liked the intro page a lot. I haven’t been following Impact on a weekly basis since at least 2016/17, but I still follow along somewhat by reading the results. I’m digging these graphics on the intro page, too. Really came out nicely.

    Onto the show! I will preface this by saying that while I’m not deeply following Impact, I’m hoping that this thread proves to be another avenue where your influence into other companies besides WWE rubs off on me. In the past, I’ve ended up becoming a huge fan of Walter and Thatcher just from seeing your posts in various threads about them before they were even signed to NXT. Who knows, maybe I’ll turn into a huge Sami Callihan or Chris Bey fan after reading a few episodes of your BTB

    Starting right off with Spud was a solid opening. It makes sense seeing that he was a bit of a big deal in TNA a couple years back. Callihan coming out and basically beating the shit out of him was a great way to not only get heat on Callihan, but also some remorse for Spud. His big return and night back gets spoiled by arguably the biggest heat magnet at the moment. Maybe Spud’s buddy who was also released (EC3) returns next week to get revenge on Callihan?

    I mentioned Bey above because I read this through earlier before dropping by while I had some free time. I then watched some videos on him and I really like what I see. Same goes for Willie Mack- I am a big fan of his work. 14 minutes for an opening match felt like a breeze with this summary I should mention here that I’m glad you’re going the summarized match way because I can’t imagine what writing full length matches for a 2 hour show would do to someone. I’m just about ready to throw my laptop out the window after writing full PPV matches, so kudos to you for lightening the load for not only yourself, but to us as readers.

    Elgin comes off as a bad ass here. I know he only dismantled Tommy Dreamer which isn’t saying much in 2020, but he was booked very strong in this match. Sending Dreamer out on a stretcher really hammers the point home that Elgin is dangerous, but from the comment that he did the same thing to Ken Shamrock, it seems as if he’s only been beating up on 50 year olds at the moment.

    Love Chris Hero. Loved him since he used my shoulder to hop over the barricade at an ROH show in 2006 Possibly Elgin’s foil in the future? If so, great spot to put this vignette and great foreshadowing. If not, still pumped to see Hero in Impact and I really think you could still strap the rocket onto him and make him the face of the company. Personally, I’m hoping you don’t just use him as a gatekeeper for the young guns.

    Grace seems to be the face of the Women’s Division right now, and with Hogan and Rae coming out, everything looks pretty solid at the moment. The small bit of Grace not thanking Rae for the assist on camera might be planting the seeds for something down the line?

    Not too familiar with Jake Something, but if he’s getting a squash match followed by an interview, you obviously have plans for him. I guess he will be a name to follow over the coming shows.

    Moose and Rhino reads as it should- an all animal affair! Moose has the look, and from reading, also has the skills on the mic. It’s kind of hard for me to take Tessa seriously making a threat to a man that’s probably double her size, so it will be fun to see how you book this big story down the road. Being a fan of mostly WCW and WWE all of my life, I still don’t quite know what to think of Inter-Gender matches. Saw a couple at various GCW shows, they have grown on me, but I’m still on the fence about them. However, anything can be turned into gold in the BTB world if you book it right, so I’m all for Tessa in an underdog type spot taking down Moose.

    Overall, that was a really fun first show. It was a breeze to get through, so even though you haven’t been at this in quite a while, you seamlessly transitioned right back into things, in my opinion. Mostly looking forward to Elgin’s continued dominance, Hero’s debut, plus the inevitable Moose/Tessa showdown. Great work man, excited for the next episode!

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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic




    ImpactWrestling.com Announcement:


    Impact Wrestling management fully supports the brave victims #SpeakingOut about the sexual abuse and harassment suffered within the wrestling industry.

    Several individuals named are members of the Impact roster and we believe their victims. In working with these individuals, we have put our own staff and fans at risk and for that we sincerely apologies for not acting sooner.

    As of today Michael Elgin, Joey Ryan and Dave Crist have had their contracts with Impact Wrestling terminated and will no longer be featured on any more tapings of Impact. We will also be conducting our own investigations into past allegations against other members of roster and will take appropriate action in an effort to make our work environment safer for talent and fans. There is a obvious and urgent need for change in our operations, and the wrestling industry at large needs to evolve beyond the alpha male culture that has hurt so many in the past.

    Once again, Impact Wrestling apologies unreservedly and we will update you on the measures we will be taking.

    Impact Wrestling Management.

    -----

    Authors Note: So yeah there were some pretty serious spanners thrown into the works of this BTB and I wanted to take the time out to see what other names were involved and to not rush any decisions on my plans. I have no problem with other writers using talent named in the June speaking out movement, but as it's still so raw and disgusting I can't find any enjoyment in writing their parts atm and if there's no enjoyment then I see no point in even doing this. Dave Crist wasn't going to have much of a role in the project so he was cut no problem, but Joey Ryan was going to be used in some capacity in the tag team division (particularly one segment of the next show that had to be rewritten) and Michael Elgin was going to be a top level guy in the company so that one has required a big rethink.

    Tessa Blanchard for the moment is staying because she's a separate issue in that she isn't involved in the Speaking Out accusations and her issue is more lack of professionalism, her contract running out and falling out with Impact management. Obviously though she is far from a saint so you can take it as a given she's involved in the further investigations Impact management is going to do behind the scenes. For me, it would of just messed up way too much to write out Tessa at the same time to the point where I would of just scrapped the project so my decision is to push on with her.

    This doesn't solve the problematic roster Impact Wrestling has (because there's some guys I haven't mentioned that are far from squeaky clean), but it's a step in the right direction.

    Episode 2 will hopefully be up later today.

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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    Impact Wrestling on AXS - September 8th 2020
    Episode 002 - Plans Change

    Location - Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, Las Vegas Nevada
    Commentary: Josh Matthews and Don Callis

    Josh Matthews and Don Callis open up tonight's show in a buoyant mood because of the monster main event they have in store for the fans. Finally, all the confusion will be over and Impact Wrestling will be back on track because there will only be one World Champion when they go off the air tonight, but will it be Tessa Blanchard or Moose? Not only that, but tonight we'll see the debut of the 'Wrestling Genius' Chris Hero, as well as knockouts action when Taya Valkyrie and Susie meet in the ring tonight. Don stares a hole in Josh and asks why he hates his motherland of Canada so much, because he forgot to mention tonight's big draw - The North's record title reign celebration~! Josh is less impressed because they are celebrating a milestone months too late, why don't they crack open some Easter Eggs while they're at it he asks. As if by magic The North's bone rattling entrance music plays and Don Callis punches the air at their arrival.


    It appears as if we're kicking off the show with The North's anniversary celebration, as 'All Ego' Ethan Page and the 'Walking Weapon' Josh Alexander appear on the top of the entrance ramp with their world tag titles over their shoulders. The smugness of Page basking in the boos from the crowd and the stern face of Alexander are an immediate reminder of how different their personalities are, but sometimes opposites attract and these two have an unmatched chemistry together in the ring as has been proven in the tag team division this past 18 months. Ethan Page is handing out paper party blowers to the front row of the audience and tells them to 'lighten up, it's a party'. As they enter the ring, we can now see that the ring has been dressed for the occasion with a Canadian style red and white canvas, a couple of tables with a black cloth over some obscured items, and balloons tied to each corner of the ring. They are getting less than a warm reception.

    Ethan Page - awwwwwwwww did you miss us?

    A couple of fans in the arena have thrown the party blowers back into the ring, aiming them at Ethan's head.

    Ethan Page - Hey...HEY.....These party blowers were 20 for $2, do not waste them. Statistically a lot of you in this building will be unemployed now thanks to COVID-19 and $2 can be the difference between a hot meal and another night down the soup kitchen, so show some damn respect and compassion for your fellow man and don't waste our gifts. You could even wrap these up for your children's birthday for a recession appropriate gift idea.

    blistering boos from the crowd and Page just grins.

    Ethan Page - I can honestly say I missed you as much as I miss a herpes rash on my upper lip, but what I did miss having this live microphone in my hand and a camera pointing straight at me so I could talk directly to the world every week and tell them how great we are.

    Josh nods in agreement.

    Ethan Page - And believe me I have a lot of catching up to do in that regard, so why don't pigs take a load off, sit down in your chairs and give your trotters a rest while I run down some facts

    More boos.

    Ethan Page - While to some people it felt like time had frozen and the world had come to a standstill, the clock was still running on our tag team title reign. The longest reigning Impact Tag Champions in HISTORY. For fourteen months now no team has beaten us, they haven't even come close to beating us. The North have reigned supreme!

    Ethan basks in the heat he's getting, but his team mate doesn't seem to be joining in the festivities.

    Josh Alexander - Ethan, you had your fun during Quarantine with all the joke title defences you set up so that we couldn't be stripped of the titles due to inactivity, but we're back now, and as proud as I am for our success. I'm not really in the partying mood. I've been dying for some proper competition the last few months, and now we're back, that's all I'm interested in.

    Ethan Page - Josh man, I love ya, but lighten up a smidge.....you're being kind of a party pooper. I mean if you can't celebrate a year as tag team champions, when can you celebrate? We deserve THIS....we deserve our night of recognition. But hey........I'm not surprised, I expected this reaction from you, after all that's what great tag team partners do, they're so close their chemistry is off the charts and can communicate without talking. I knew you wouldn't be in the mood for this, you're too modest and straight laced. I'll admit it I'm guilty of wanting this attention and limelight, and believe me I'm not going to stop gloating anytime soon, but I thought I'd prepare a little surprise for you that'll have you warming up to this celebration in no time.

    Josh is at least entertaining the idea of hearing Ethan out.

    Ethan Page - We won our titles on July 5th 2019, and I was planning a big fireworks extravaganza for us on July 4th 2020 to celebrate our 365 days as tag champions. OBVIOUSLY that couldn't and didn't happen, and according to the fire Marshall I can't let off fireworks in this arena either. But the next best thing to that might be a little controlled bonfire.

    Josh still doesn't look impressed as a stage hand helps bring a trash can into the ring for Ethan.

    Ethan Page - But not just any bonfire, a bonfire from the magnificent mind of All Ego Ethan Page - a bonfire that symbolises our path of destruction this past year and how we're on the hottest of hot streaks this company has ever seen. And how are we going to do that? Well.....we're not using any old material here, we're not using wood chops or firelighters or twigs and sticks.

    Josh, like a lot of us, is begging Ethan to get on with it.

    Ethan Page - we're using these

    Ethan then whips off the cloth that was covering up the table next to them and it's revealed a lot of memorabilia. It seems to be a little lost on the audience, but not Josh Alexander is is starting to laugh and nod in approval.

    Josh Alexander - Ok......ok Ethan........you are full of surprises, I didn't expect to like your big treat here, but it's brilliant. Tell the people what we've got here?

    Ethan Page - Well some nerds like to collect magazines or toy figurines of their favourite wrestlers, but what I like to collect is something a bit more meaningful, I like to collect souvenirs of my achievements, so what we've got here is a memento of every opponent we've beaten in our reign to go on our bonfire as our kindling. Starting with this, Santana and Ortiz' LAX headbands, the team we defeated to become champions back on July 5th 2019.

    Ethan spins the headband around his head and throws it into the trash can.

    Ethan Page - we got Willie Mack's afro comb..........Reno Scum's leather jackets........an old EV 2.0 shirt for those old Extreme granddads ...........

    Ethan Page is throwing these one by one into a garbage can. He picks up a kendo stick off the table and snaps it in two and throws it in the can.

    Ethan Page
    - Eddie Edward's trusty stick........literally speaking, I'm not bringing his wife into this........


    He might have to pay for that comment when he gets back to the locker room.

    Josh Alexander - Hey, A Giv'er baseball cap to represent the entire Deaner clan we beat down. Nice.

    Ethan Page
    - oh look at this beauty.


    Ethan holds up a Philippines flag,

    Ethan Page - How about when we beat TJP and Fallah Bahh? What a couple of losers.

    Ethan pretends to blow his nose on the flag and throws it into the trash can. Josh Matthews is declaring that these two men are going too far and Impact Wrestling does not accept their employees insulting an entire country.

    Ethan Page - Man that trash can filled up pretty quickly huh? But then again we were champions for OVER A YEAR! Oh man, I think we're all set here, Josh would you like to do the honours?

    Ethan Page pulls out a BBQ style fire lighter from his pocket and hands it to Josh who flicks it on and marvels at the flame. But before a lawsuit can be filed....


    Dez and Wentz from the Rascalz are here, and are heading down to the ring after a few Rascalz waves to the crowd. Don Callis seems to breath a sigh of relief that the prospect of flag burning might be prevented now.

    Wentz - Listen guys, we love a good burn, but not this kind.

    Wentz laughs at his own joke. Ahhhhh Stoner comedy.

    Dez - Yeah, have you boys ever been to a bonfire before? because burning things in a trash can makes you look like two homeless bums trying keep warm on the streets, ya'll don't look like champs with this lame ass celebration.

    Wentz - But hey man, whatever floats your boat. We all enjoy different things in life, maybe the thrill of seeing fire is what puts a smile on your boys' faces.

    Wentz with his free hand goes up to Josh Alexander and pushes up the corners of his lips to make him smile, before immediately having his hand swotted away. Ethan pulls Josh back slightly to avoid a fight, mouthing away from the mic 'I'm dressed to party, not fight Josh'

    Dez - Chill bro chill, he's only playing. Seriously though, congratulations on your reign, it's historic, but ah...I notice there's no Rascalz merchandise in this trash can.

    Wentz - Yeah our jackets are on our backs, not in here, what is it? too expensive for ya to buy?

    Dez - No it's not the price dawg, it's the continuity, see they can't add us to their collection, because they've never beaten us two for the tag titles before

    Wentz - ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    Wentz' eyes go wide while Page gets agitated.

    Ethan Page - Cute very cute guys. Ok sure, we've never beaten you before but there's still time, we're still champions and that's not going to change for a long long time, so if you want to get a real high and face the power of the North one of these days, maybe win some matches for a change and you'll get yourselves a title shot. And...AND.....when we beat you we won't just burn your jackets, we'll burn your damn clubhouse to the ground.


    Just when it looked like something was going to start between Rascalz and The North - XXXL, the team of Acey Romero and Larry D are here and they want in on the fun.

    Acey Romero - Listen Rascalz you weren't the only ones to notice something about this little celebration

    Ethan yells LITTLE?

    Acey Romero - We also weren't included in The North's collection of teams they've beaten for the tag team titles. In fact, unlike different incarnations of The Rascalz, we're yet to have our shot at the champs. You may be athletic but we've got size!

    Larry D - Yeah!

    Acey Romero - Big Size!

    Larry D - Yeah!

    Acey Romero - Triple XL Size!

    Larry D - Yeah!!! And we don't just have an appetite for food, we've got an appetite for gold and quite frankly we're sick of waiting around for our opportunity at The North so maybe it's about damn time we forced the issue

    BAM Larry D nails Wentz with his killer right hand punch, his finishing move. Wentz is out of it as Dez bravely tries to fight both members of XXXL at the same time. The North decide to take it outside the ring, getting out of dodge in case Larry and Acey turn their attention to them. Dez manages to fire off a couple of shots and runs to the ropes for momentum....BUT ACEY KILLS HIM WITH A WICKED POUNCE. In a flash the XXXL boys have caused carnage and stand tall to bring this segment to a close.

    The camera pans back around to the commentary booth where Josh Matthews says the challengers keep coming for The North and XXXL seem to have made the biggest claim as the team to watch out for, but Don seems a little preoccupied, checking his cell phone during the broadcast. Josh probes Don for what's so important it can't wait until after their lead in to the next match, Don says he doesn't work 9 til 5, the wheels of business are always turning and he's in contact with the hottest free agent in wrestling. Someone's Don's always liked and respected and with the recent departures he has a bit more leeway for negotiations. He doesn't want to count his chickens but he's invited them to the arena tonight to get a feel for what Impact Wrestling is like and what it could do for their career. Josh says he can tell his partner is going to remained tight lipped on this one so we better hand back down to ringside for our first match of the evening.





    TREY VS JOHNNY SWINGER

    Johnny Swinger begins this one with some comedy as he tells Trey he wouldn't of lasted a 5 minutes back in the 90s brother with his flip-flopping moves and his lost puppy dog expressions - the ladies want to watch stone cold stallions daddy. Maybe the old Trey would of indulged Swinger in some shtick, but ever since the #1 contenders tournament this Rascal has been more focused and serious in his matches. Swinger at 44 would of probably struggled against anyone, but the lightning quick movements of Trey were too quick for him to handle brother. Swinger, knowing he's outmatched, dives into his bag of old school tricks to feign a handshake and tell Trey that he was wrong, he would do good business in the 90s and he'd of killed it in New York, he's the total package daddy - but when he tries to turn the handshake into an eye rake with his spare hand, Trey was one step ahead and transitioned into a twisted cutter move at 3:59 to finish the match.

    ---

    Backstage Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace is standing by for an interview with Gia Miller (writers note: who this week I've discovered is Ace Austin's girlfriend IRL).

    Gia Miller - Jordynne, your first night back on Impact last week and you came away with a victory over Tasha Steelz, but after the match things didn't quite go your way with an attack from Kiera Hogan - is this indicative of what it's like to be the Knockout's Champion, always with a target on your back?

    Jordynne Grace - Well I think it's certainly indicative of Keira and Tasha and their character to be cowards rather than face me in a fair fight. But you're right about one thing, I've definitely got to watch my back here in Impact Wrestling, we've got a competitive Knockout's division, arguably the best in the world - lets face it a woman holds the World Championship here it's so competitive - and everyone without exception is gunning after my title.

    A very smiley Kylie Rae enters the camera shot, interrupting the interview.

    Jordynne Grace - See what I mean?

    Kylie Rae - Hi Jordynne!

    she's very excitable.

    Kylie Rae - You know, I agree, that was really unfair of Tasha and Kiera to attack you like that last week. And when I see something unfair, it just makes me really, really, REALLY mad and I had to do something about it and help you out. I'll always have your back Jordynne because we're friends.

    Jordynne doesn't seem so sure.

    Jordynne Grace - Listen Kylie, Imma need you to take a step back here. While your help was 'nice', I don't really need help, I'm Big Momma Pump, I'm big enough to fight my own battles

    Kylie Rae - but...but...but

    Jordynne Grace - And we are not friends, we've shared a couple 'heys and hows it going' in the locker room, but that's about the same level of friendship as I have with the old man at the dele counter at Walmart.

    Other supermarkets stores are available

    Jordynne Grace - I'm not in this business to make friends, and that's the way I intend to keep it. Everyone else thinks you're this innocent, butter wouldn't melt, wouldn't hurt a fly, sweetheart..........maybe you are, maybe you're not, but if I want to stay top of my game as Knockout's Champion.....I can't afford to take the risk to find out for sure.

    Jordynne leaves the interview and the camera focuses in on Kylie who looks crestfallen with her bottom lip trembling. A quick commercial break and then it's back to the action~!

    ---





    TAYA VALKYRIE w/JOHN E.BRAVO AND ROSEMARY VS SUSIE

    This doesn't seem entirely fair, Taya coming to the ring with two members of her entourage while the sweet-natured Susie is on her own. To bring you up to speed, Rosemary was brought into the fold in 2019 to help Taya keep her KO's title run going by preparing Taya for the grimy underbelly of wrestling that awaited her in monsters ball against the likes of Havok and ironically Su Yung. In 2020 though, things haven't been going so well for Taya, she lost her KO's title after over a year long reign and now her abused manager John E. Bravo has been shown to have some doubts as to how happy he is being pushed around by Taya, while Rosemary seems to be playing a crafty game flirting with John E while playing friends with Taya. Back from a long absence, Taya is bound to be determined to get back to winning ways and move closer to regaining her title. Susie on the other side of the ring is the innocent alter ego of 'The Zombie Bride' Su Yung who pretends to be a doll like little girl but as she's 30 she comes across more like bait to catch out predators online.

    Oh as for this match? It starts off pretty back and forth in early exchanges, until Taya takes control and doesn't seem likely to give it back. There's some character work at the start of the match where Susie tells Taya she's a bad person, and Taya says she's damn right. While the match is going on, Taya at no point is aware that Rosemary keeps flirting with John E, at one point he reacts like his ass has just been pinched. At 5:15, Taya floats into a Road to Valhalla to pick up the win. John E and Rosemary celebrate with Taya at the end of the match, but all does not seem well with this trio. Dysfunctional is the word.

    ---

    We cut backstage to where former wrestler turned interviewer Jimmy Jacobs is standing by with Eddie Edwards, his first appearance in 4 months

    Jimmy Jacobs - Eddie great to see you back here in Impact Wrestling, you requested this time to speak, what's on your mind buddy.

    Eddie Edwards - Yeah it's been a while right? Things have been in a bit of limbo recently, but we're getting back to normality, back to the way things used to be, after tonight we'll only have one world champion around here and Jimmy on the subject of things going back to the way they used to be - do you remember who the #1 contender for the World title was before the virus hit?

    Jimmy smiles.

    Jimmy Jacobs - That would be you Eddie

    Eddie Edwards - Exactly, gold star for you for remembering. At Redemption I was all set for my world title shot with Tessa Blanchard but I couldn't make the show, and the other man with a claim of being in the same boat as me doesn't work here anymore, so the way I see whatever goes down tonight in the main event - I am the rightful #1 contender and it's my intention to challenge the winner to a match at Bound For Glory.

    ??? - woah woah woah lets get something clear Eddie

    The brash Ace Austin walks into shot.

    Ace Austin - First of all you were JOINT #1 contender. So really that's like #2 contender when you think about.

    Eddie Edwards is shaking his head.

    Ace Austin - And if you ask me, if you didn't show up to your title match, that means you didn't want it badly enough. If I don't show up to a job interview I can't expect a company to still keep the position open for me 4 months later. This company has moved on Eddie, if you stand still, you get left behind and right now you're behind me in the line for an Impact World title shot.

    Eddie laughs

    Eddie Edwards - Is that so Ace?

    Ace Austin
    - It is so, and if you can't see that, maybe if you watch my match later tonight you'll be enlightened. Cause I'm the true #1 contender around here.

    Ace leaves the camera shot.

    Eddie Edwards - That kid is an asshole

    Jimmy nods in agreement.

    ---








    CHRIS HERO Vs CRAZZY STEVE

    Hero comes out to that classic hit entrance music 'Chris is Awesome' and I have to contain myself from writing out the entire lyrics I love that theme so much. While he comes to ring wearing his XL jersey, there's no body shaming in this promotion as he takes it off before the match to wrestle shirtless. His opponent is a fairly recent returnee to Impact, Crazzy Steve, who found his biggest success teaming with Abyss as part of the Decay, but he's on his lonesome these days with only his cymbal playing monkey toy for company.

    There's no craziness on the part of the booking team here as this ends up being a pretty dominant outing on Hero's debut. The self appointed Wrestling Genius backs up his boastful interview last week with a tour de force of a performance, controlling Steve for a matter of minutes with a bunch of holds and wearing him down with heavy strikes and boots. When Hero rolled out the ripcord rolling elbow at 4:26, it was all over. A not-so sympathetic Don Callis comments that the KO blow might knock some sanity into Crazzy Steve.

    ---

    The camera suddenly glitches out and the ICU logo flashes up on the screen - we unexpectedly cut to Sami Callihan's hacker hideout/crows nest/whatever room he keeps his nerdy computers in. He's dressed entirely in black and has his sunglasses on.

    Sami Callihan - As you can tell, I'm not in Las Vegas tonight. My surroundings aren't quite as flashy and loud and vulgar are they?

    Sami takes a breath.

    Sami Callihan - And the reason I'm in Vegas tonight is not my own choice, it's because I am an unwelcome man. Given my actions last week I have been issued a two week suspension without pay. Perhaps that's Don Callis' way of a little poetic justice - have a few weeks in the tiny shoes of Rockstar Spud and learn what it's like to go without a wage unexpectedly in this business.

    Sami starts wagging his finger.

    Sami Callihan - But of course that's not really the same is it Spud? When Stamford lets you go, you get 3 months of pay as part of your release, you get time to plan your finances, you get time to find other employment opportunities and you make so much money beforehand you can give yourself a paid vacation without even feeling the pinch. And the reason I know all this is because I TOO have lost my job up there. Maybe that chapter of my career has all been forgotten about because I didn't release a video of me crying like a little girl because (mocking crying voice put on) because I wuv my job and I wuv my fwends and I'm never gonna see them again boo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoooooooo

    Sami chuckles to himself

    Sami Callihan - Or maybe it's been forgotten about because I wasn't so desperate for a job and had some respect for myself that I didn't then proceed to keep working for the company that fired my ass because I was already booked for a few matches and continuity is sooooo important. Where's your backbone Spud? If I was in your position I'd of told them to go f*** themselves for treating me like a replaceable cog in a machine.

    Sami looks down at the ground after that last sentence.

    Sami Callihan - But.....I don't know.....maybe the real reason that part of my life is forgotten about was because I was an unwelcome man there as well, and I didn't get a fair chance to be the superstar I could of been. I didn't fit the mould for them, I wasn't a yes man, perhaps 'The Draw' was too untameable for them.

    Sami now looks back up to the camera.

    Sami Callihan - And when I see the opportunities they gave you for years and see you making your f***ing debut that easy on day 1 with the company makes me sick to my stomach. You don't have 1% of my talent Spud, but because you prostitute yourself out to make a senile old man laugh you get your big salary, and your years on TV, and your fancy apartment and your surgically enhanced wife that probably would of left you by now if you couldn't land another gig on TV......I'm sure she'll be on Impact soon enough using you to make her famous again.

    Sami starts rubbing two of his fingers together back and forth.

    Sami Callihan - I got the world's smallest violin playing just for you and your big dreams being over Spud - because you have overachieved in this business and you're so full of greed and delusion that you can't see that.

    Sami then starts rubbing his forehead.

    Sami Callihan - When I headbutted you right on your eyebrow last week and 'The Draw' drew your blood, that was me snapping you back into reality that playtime is over and giving you just a little taster of what life has for store for you now. This ain't the old Impact Wrestling you're used to, I've changed the game here the last 3 years.

    Sami smiles to himself.

    Sami Callihan - So when you heal up......If you do decide to come back to Impact Wrestling, you wipe away those crocodile tears and man the F up because at Impact Wrestling, we fight to get our way.....we don't cry and beg like you do.

    The feed suddenly cuts back to ringside where it's time for our next match.

    ---







    ACE AUSTIN VS SUICIDE

    This match comes off a little bit like a match booked to fool online wrestling reporters who have claimed Ace Austin has been playing the role of Suicide in recent months on Impact. As you'd expect, the brash, purple haired magician of Impact makes light work of the masked superstar, and he rolls forward literally and figuratively with The Fold to end this match at 3:02. Don Callis predicts a very bright future for the 23 year old who he thinks can beat Tessa's record to became the youngest ever Impact World Champion.

    ---

    Just before a commercial break, we see Moose and Tessa Blanchard walking down two different corridors with the screen cut right down the middle to show both 'champions' at the same time. The Impact World Championship match is next~!

    Waaaaaaaaaaait a minute, wait a minute. David Penzer was standing by to give the introductions to our main event, when the fans are going crazy for someone coming down the aisle

    Spoiler:





    The man formerly known as Rusev is in the arena!! Don Callis identifies him as Miroslav. Callis stresses that nothing is signed yet, but Miroslav is his guest for the evening and he wanted to get the best seat in the house for our big main event tonight. Some of the fans are doing Rusev Day chants as Miroslav hops the rails to get a seat in the front row, so I think the name change is going to take a while to get used to. As he always does in his Total Divas appearances, Miroslav appears to be very warm and friendly with those around him - no sign of bad guy foreigner gimmicks here if this appearance is anything to go by.









    Impact Wrestling World Championship
    TESSA BLANCHARD (c) Vs MOOSE

    They do their best to make this match feel more important than anything on Impact for a few months, with David Penzer doing a longer form ring introduction once both competitors are in the ring and an announcement that with an agreement with AXS, Impact will stay on the air until a finish tonight. We are reminded of the set up to this match that Tessa offered this title shot under the stipulation that if Moose accepts, he has to give up the TNA World title he claimed ownership of for months. To symbolise that, Moose literally hands the TNA title over to the referee in charge for this one, but not without one last kiss, perhaps for good luck or to say goodbye.

    It's hard to escape the elephant in the room here - Moose is much larger than Tessa. Tessa's billed height is 5 foot 5 inches, while Moose stands an exact foot taller at 6'5", and the opening moments of the contest are Moose trying to almost bully Tessa around the ring. They lock up a few times and he either manages to throw her back down to the mat, or power her backwards into the ropes with ease. He takes the time to do his own Moose chant before flexing his muscles and yelling out 'I'm the real world champion'.

    While not as diabolical as Sami Callihan has been in the ring with Tessa, this is definitely a dominant opening to the contest by Moose who is going beyond what's necessary to prove himself. For instance, when Moose had Tessa backed into the corner and the referee counted up to 5 to insist he back away, Moose only did so after a boot to the gut which had Tessa doubled over, gasping for air. Cheap little tricks like that put all the sympathy onto Tessa, leaving fans with no decision to make on who to cheer for, there's no lingering concerns over her past here, they want to see her comeback and win this one.

    And comeback she did when her opening arrives once Moose misses his step up crossbody out of the corner. Firstly she fires up with some forearm shots that she had to improvise and jump up into to land them on Moose's jaw that had him slip out of the ring to recover from after the 5th one. The offence didn't stop there as Tessa shot out of the ring with a suicide dive.......immediately followed it up with the 2nd suicide dive..........but on the 3rd one she gets caught and Moose lifts her up and drops her onto the security barrier. These dives coincidentally happened right by the barrier that Miroslav was sitting behind and Moose fires an ice cold stare at him as he grabs Tessa by the hair and rolls her back into the ring. That leads into the heat sequence of the match where Moose keeps kicking and punching Tessa in the gut and trying his hand at some submissions to stretch her out a little, but as this isn't his forte it's the weakest section of the match.

    Later Tessa tries to wear out the big man by jumping on top of him with a sleeper, he tries to shake her off initially but he can't and drops to a knee (nothing political). He finds the energy to get back onto his feet to try and dislodge her again, but Tessa improvises and lands a bit of a makeshift hammerlock DDT but it's a little clunky looking. It gets a good nearfall and Tessa decides to pull out the big guns, climbing the top rope looking to come down with magnum..........

    BUT MOOSE CATCHES HER IN MIDAIR......He tries to position her into a powerbomb position.......there's a bit of a struggle.......Tessa floats over into a sunset flip pin......1.......2........Moose kicks out. They get back up to their feet, Tessa charges at Moose, but he lifts her up into a pop up lariat for a 2 count.

    The action continues at a quicker pace down the home stretch, where Tessa attempts to climb the ropes again looking for Magnum only for Moose to grab her and bring her crashing down with the Go To Hell (bit like D'Lo's Lo Down but from a bigger height) for a really convincing nearfall. Later on, Moose throws Tessa up into the ropes so she ricochets off them a little bit as he builds up some speed for his spear...........but she dodges and runs the ropes herself to build up momentum.......tilt-a-whirl DDT connects, using her lucha knowledge to good effect. Moose looks a little out of it and as Tessa climbs the ropes he finally comes to...............MAGNUM CONNECTS........FINALLY...........and it's enough to pick up the win at 16:46 Tessa Blanchard retains the Impact World Championship - The TNA World Championship is no more~!

    Tessa celebrates with her title, although it's not the most animated of celebrations to sell the exhaustion of being taken to her limit. After having her hand raised by the referee, she doesn't overstay her welcome and walks up the ramp.

    As Moose comes to, he kicks out at the bottom rope in frustration that he came up short in a match that on paper he should of won, but matches aren't fought on paper, they're fought in the ring and Tessa got the better of him tonight. His TNA World Championship dream is over and Josh Matthews declares it'll be interesting to see where Moose goes next in his career because surely he's got the taste for gold now and this won't be his last shot at being Impact World Champion. As he leaves the ring he comes face to face with Miroslav on the outside of the ring, separated by the security barrier. Moose yells at Miroslav that Impact doesn't need him, there's enough people here having handouts. Miroslav rubs salt in the wounds by miming crying, antagonising Moose after his defeat. Moose pushes Miroslav, who laughs and then pushes back even harder. Moose goes to take a swing at Miroslav, but a couple of security had correctly read the situation and intervened to get a few bodies in the way. However, Miroslav hops the rails and leaps at Moose with a running punch causing all the security members and Moose to topple over like bowling pins. Miroslav manages to land a few mounted punches before security drags him off Moose's body as more guards arrive on the scene to keep these two men apart. A chaotic end to Impact as Don Callis exclaims he thinks Miroslav has made his decision to join Impact!

  12. #32
    Fire Walk with Me

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    Impact Wrestling Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    T H R O U G H
    T H E
    L O O K I N G
    G L A S S

    The North celebrations
    I really enjoyed this, I think the North are such an unsung tag team despite this record-length reign. I like that you used this segment not only to put over the success of the North but to use it as a launchpad for the tag team division, which I said previously was one of the weaker aspects of Impact at the moment. I loved the visuals of having these trophies for each tag team they've defeated - I loved the line about the trusty stick!

    The Rascalz make sense, I think it's only a matter of time before they become champions, I also liked the line about enjoying a 'burn'. XXXL was out of the blue but I enjoyed it! They kinda got thrown together on Impact with no backstory and before you know it, they were a tag team so I think you've done a really good job in actually introducing us to them. Ethan Page particularly really shines in this segment and I think he's a future star, though I am still keen to see the North continue in this project. A nice little brawl at the end, which does some favours for XXXL establishing their dominance while the North make a run for it.
    ★★★★
    Trey vs. Johnny Swinger I like that you mention Trey has matured since being in the contenders tournament, I do like The Rascalz as a trio but it makes sense to keep Trey as a separate, I'm interested as to whether this will lead to some sort of turn as Wentz and Dez do not show any signs of toning down at the moment. Swinger is used as Swinger should be used, a relatively short match that does what it needs to do in order to continue Trey's build. ★★
    Kyle Rae confronts Jordynne Grace I'm unsure whether you've building Kylie Rae as so much of a face that other faces feel more like tweeners or if Jordynne is supposed to hinting at a heel turn here. I think after such a long heel reign with Taya, it makes more sense to have Jordynne as this tweener/legitimate athlete and I do quite like having Kylie has his polarising face, that some may love and others may find annoying (Bayley). ★★★
    Taya Valkyrie vs. Susie I'm interested to see what the plan is with Rosemary and Taya, I find it quite baffling in real life with the whole John E. Bravo situation. Taya winning makes sense, it saves her some face after losing the belt and puts her back in contention. I like the character nods, although I don't get a complete sense that you have plans for Susie (which I feel is the case in real life). I hope there's some pay-off to this, I think they've gone down an unusual route in real-life which you're now having to pick up from and I know that you said that real-life has sewn seeds that you'd rather see through than drop but Rosemary seems a bit lost and Crazzy Steve doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot right now....
    ★★
    Eddie Edwards interview You pointing out how long it had been makes Edwards feel really important and I do think he's an asset, I think Eddie needs to be taken back to where he was rather than Tommy Dreamer-lite, which again is the real life issue rather than your booking. I loved Jacobs having some flair and reminding him that he was the number one contender. I think after this many years with Impact, Eddie should feel like he belongs on top rather than having to be rebuilt. It also creates a nice flow, whatever happens in the main event, Eddie is next in line.

    Ace Austin interrupting is....interesting....Edwards has been inactive and his last big feud was Ace, so it's nice on one hand to see history being acknowledge but on the other hand, do we need to see these two together again?I guess that it's a nice way to build contention for the title rather than Edwards calling shot-gun, so I think as a short-term deal it works.
    ★★★
    Chris Hero vs. Crazzy Steve Hero's debut makes sense here, I would not have had it any way. Steve is a character I think could benefit your project, especially with the recent rise in popularity for cinematic wrestling matches. Callis' quip about knocking sanity into Steve was funny, I'm intrigued where Hero is going to go here. ★★
    ICU w/ Sami Callihan As I mentioned before, I think Callihan is one of your biggest stars on Impact and I love the chalk and cheese element of feuding him with Spud. I liked the visuals and expletives just adds to this rogue character and makes everything feel edgier and unexpected. Also without getting too deep, I think Callihan represents this troll-like keyboard warrior and it feels reflective of some of the IWC at times. I think whether this was intentional or not, it adds an interesting element to the feud. ★★★★
    Ace Austin vs. Suicide A nice contrast between the old-school and the new-breed here, of course Ace Austin was always going to win. I am perplexed why Suicide was brought back in real-life as it just seems that he's being used for his name but given his real life accomplishments, it can be damaging just to be enhancement talent at this stage. That doesn't mean that I disagree with the decision at all, I kind of wish this happened before the segment with Edwards earlier or that something happened post-match, even if it was Austin laying claim to being the true #1 contender, it just felt that the match ended.
    A wild Miroslav appears I had to re-read this to try and make sense, initially it felt a little awkward but this was being aired before commercial and interrupted the split-screen for the main event. Initially I felt it was a little 'womp-womp' but the candid nature actually would be really interesting, again as I said with Callihan's segment, you give a vibe of things just happening on the fly and create a real buzz. I'm excited to see what is going to happen with Miro - I also enjoy that he's not coming in with the tired gimmicks he's had before. ★★★★
    Tessa Blanchard vs. Moose - Impact World Championship So, the matches so far on the show have all felt a little bit safe, however rather than seeing that as a negative, I think the fact that you invested so much time in the main event really adds to the importance of it. I also appreciate that the title is being defended on a regular episode as opposed to just being saved for PPV. Moose has really capitalized on the absence of a champion and I think he's definitely put himself in the upper-echelons of the roster - am I sad that he lost? Somewhat because I think he's really grabbing the brass knuckles and would hate to see his fire diminish, however I'm also really intrigued that you had Tessa retain and went against real-life. I'm glad that Tessa is going to have more of a reign, I'd rather her go out fighting than through the backdoors.

    In terms of your writing, I loved the comparisons of height etc, to really make Tessa feel out of her depth as the defending champion. I love the fact that the finish was clean and there's no shenanigans to try and mansplain why Tessa retained. Miro coming in at the end was completely out of left-field, even though he's literally just been on-screen, I did not see him coming after Moose, so that gives me a sense of relief in terms of him fading away. Did it overshadow Tessa's moment? Somewhat, but I also think it's an exciting buzz that keeps Moose relevant without making Tessa's win feel any less important.
    ★★★★
    Highlights - Miroslav's debut and the main event

    - The North's tag team title anniversary

    - Sami Callihan's ICU segment
    Lowlights - The number of short matches
    Overall... On the whole, another strong episode, it does feel a lot more transitional than the first episode but you continue your storylines nicely. What I believe the episode lacks in wrestling content (bar the main event), the segments more than make up for. There's still characters I feel that could have more direction, even if it's a minor beat rather than a feud/storyline but the people you are focusing on are thriving.

    I do think a B-show would be fun just to explore some of the lesser used characters and I do think the Knockouts are gasping for air outside of Tessa Blanchard, Kylie Rae and Jordynne Grace at the moment. However, I understand that the shows are more compact and not everyone can shine at once, these things take time and I'm happy to wait and see what you do next.




  13. #33
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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    Dropping some quick thoughts on this second episode of Impact.

    Got enjoyment reading through your opening with the tag team division. I wonder if XXXL is just a replacement to Joey Ryan in the tag team division, but you made them look real good here. Looking Glass hit on it that there's no real story or reason to the team. However, I think this was a nice way to show them off and establish them as some threats. And the overall promos were a good read. Seems like The North will be getting the love they deserve in this. Thank god.

    The Grace and Rae segment didn't really hit for me. Maybe I read Jordynne wrong IRL but this didn't just come off as her to me. I do think this little shift that I'm getting can be a big part to watch overall, and someone on a bodybuilding status versus a Bayley like Kylie Rae might be great top feud for the women.

    That Sami promo was some excellent stuff. Some of the stuff around the area of Stamford part didn't really hit, I personally would drop that and just get into Spud sitting around for 90 days and just getting paid. I particularly liked the call back to Callihan being in NXT and who he is now while making Impact a brand new place in the last three years. Thought his character was captured really well and this is was a very strong sense of who Callihan is.

    I got excited that Calis would make a comment that Hero hit Steve so hard that he brought back his full eye sight. Oh well. No issues with this one, I think Chris Hero is going to be a fun build through this thread especially if you go the route in what he was doing at NXT UK. Now have him knockout Low Ki. Or Aries.

    Will drop in here that I liked the little hints of someone showing up at the beginning of the show and Miroslav not being signed. Just scouting and seeing if he's going to have a home in Impact.

    I think the main event is the most important match you did here which is at it should be. Really felt like the other matches were just kind of there - not that it's a bad thing in this re-building phase it should be expected. Happy with Tessa coming away as the winner tonight. I think she is still the focus point of Impact here and someone needs to be properly brought up before her reign can just end. (Ace Austin.) I also don't mind a bit of an overshadow in that ending between Miroslav and Moose. I think Miro will be a good pick up and replacement for someone like Elgin, he and Moose will be a nice power feud I think.

    Overall, really liking what you have here Ed. Don't keep me waiting so long for Episode 3!
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  14. #34
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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    Being the big fan of Impact that I am (or at least was before the pandemic started), I have to say it's great to see some of these characters that I really love, and the company that I find super interested, getting some representation from a BTB writer here. It's just a bonus that it's someone I'm such a fan of that is writing it. From an overall perspective, I gotta give your credit on capturing the essence of Impact Wrestling. Your writing and booking of the shows thus far has been spot on. The little details such as the quips that Callis makes and the way the show flows puts this over the top for me.

    Very happy to see North are back in action and headed towards their next story. I love The Rascalz, I do not so much love XXXL. In fact, I remember the segment where they hired Larry D and I just didn't get it. But I can't blame you for the personnel choices Impact have made. I trust that you're going to put Larry D and Acey to the best use possible, and maybe through your writing, I will come around to the duo. But for now, and in the immediate future, I'm rooting for The North's dominance to continue. Ethan Page is the more charismatic of the two, but I've always thought Josh Alexander was very slept on. He's a hell of a wrestler, and can be intimidating as anyone. Just throwing it out there, for if and when you decide to split The North - I'll be pulling for a big Alexander push.

    Kylie Rae is the future face of the Knockout's Division, I believe. Your depiction of here in this short interaction was pretty much spot on. I have to add that Jordynne is awesome herself. Between the two of them, as well as Taya, Kiera, Havok and Deonna, that division is in damn good shape and there's no shortage of great matches and rivalries for your to create. I do like the portrayal of Jordynne here too. It would be unnatural for her to be buddy buddy with Kylie, and despite the fact that they're both faces, Jordynne is someone with some edge, and considering she knows she has a target on her back, her giving Kylie the cold shoulder is the right move. Jordynne has technically had the belt for a decent while now, but considering the circumstances, it still feels like she just won it. I don't know how you're going to go about booking her vs. Kylie, if that's what you're headed towards, because it would be surprising to see Jordynne drop the belt already, but Kylie is a great talent in her own right and you'd have to be pretty creative to have Kylie lose but still remain a top contender somehow. I can foresee a situation where they trade the belt back and forth a couple times, tbh.

    I was a huge fan of Eddie and Ace's feud irl. It really made Ace a star in my eyes. Both guys are now squarely in the main event picture, so I'm all for giving them another short little feud to determine who the real top dog is. I enjoyed Eddie's dialogue in the interview not being all "zany". As LG said, and I think most fans would agree, the Tommy Dreamer tribute gimmick needs to go if Eddie is going to be looked at as one of the top guys again. Having said that, I see Ace coming out on top by hook or by crook. Now that Elgin is out of the picture, I see Ace as the next world champion.

    Happy to see Hero in action. Excited to see the development of him in Impact. Obviously I know you're a pretty big fan of the guy, so I'm assuming you've spent plenty of time mapping out how his run here is going to go down.

    Great Callihan promo. This feud with Spud is gonna be incredible, if these first two weeks are any indication.

    The debut of Miroslav was pretty well done. You went a more subtle route than what we typically get, especially in BTBs if we're being honest. To be totally honest, I like Rusev pretty well, but I've said ever since his release that I just don't know if his success and fan support will translate outside of WWE. Will he be able to escape "Rusev Day"? Will he ever be able to duplicate that level of hype? And honestly my biggest question is what will his character be? He's a really funny and charming guy in real life, and I think the stuff he was doing against Bobby Lashley is honestly a window into the type of stuff he'll be doing wherever he ends up next. But just being a comedic sort of free spirited guy isn't something with much depth so what's his "deal" going to be? I'm happy you've brought him in, because I am very interested to see your take on him. He wouldn't have been one of my first choices to be brought on, but given the void you have to fill now with all the firings, I feel like his hiring is very justified.

    This week's main event was monumental and I think you did a justice with a pretty lengthy write-up. Somewhat of a standard match, though, but I'm not really complaining or anything. It went how I expected and even despite the recent real life events concerning Tessa, I was never in much doubt that she was gonna win here. I would say my favorite bit of the match was Moose hitting Tessa with the Go To Hell, just because the mental image of Moose damn near throwing Tessa through the roof with that move is hilarious. Moose being Miroslav's first feud sounds just fine to me.

    Good show once more, Ed. Things are still kicking into gear but already you've got a handful of feuds taking shape that really have my interest. Like I said in the first paragraph, I really appreciate the knowledge of the product that you are displaying in your write-ups, and it's nice to have a current day Impact BTB going here. I look forward to what comes next!
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  15. #35
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    Re: Impact Wrestling 2020 - After The Pandemic

    I love The North and I’ll probably state that most weeks so I definitely enjoyed the opening to the program. Page running the celebration and even having some poppers is pretty damn fantastic, funny, over the top, kind of douchy heel stuff is always entertaining. The promo itself was pretty good as well, I love the fact that you’re playing on the different personality types between Page and Alexander but how it still kind of works. The bonfire was a great idea as well. The interruption from the two teams was fine to begin to tee up some challengers for the champs, but there’s definitely work to be done here to make somebody feel like a threat to The North. They are the stars here, and so they should be, a really great start to the show.

    Just putting in a note here so you know that I read commentary even If I don’t write it lol. Intrigued by who the free agent is, a nice teaser here for sure, although I wonder if the tease could be done in a different way so that the live audience would be hooked as well.

    I actually really enjoy Swinger in this role. It’s stupid but he literally gets a laugh out of me, so I’m all for him sticking around and jobbing. Perfect use of him here and a nice win for Trey to continue to show off his more serious side. Solid stuff.

    A nice follow up on last week with the Jordynne/Rae stuff. Not entirely sure where it’s heading at this point and what reaction Rae will have to this, but I enjoyed it.

    LMAO at Susie being bait to catch predators online. That shit made me laugh. Taya going over Susie here is probably the right choice, and you ticked all the boxes by continuing the stuff with Rosemary and Bravo. No dramas.

    Eddie Edwards claims to being the number one contender actually makes a fair bit of sense, but in a really unfair kind of way, Ace’s job interview analogy was pretty great as well. The back and forth between these two was fine, although I do hope we aren’t moving in the direction of these two feuding, feels like it has been done enough IRL, imo. A nice segment to build some intrigue around the World Title scenario though.

    Yeah, so it makes complete sense for Chris Hero to dominate in his first match back on Impact. Not much else to say really.

    Damn son that Callihan promo cut deep. I really liked the personal nature in which he went at Spud, but even more so, I enjoyed the comparison between the two. Sami mad at Spud being painted as the victim when he’s seemingly okay due to 3 months’ pay and what is nice. The shot at Spud’s wife was a nice inclusion as well. After last week’s attack, this was a nice way to get even more heat between the two. Really well written for mine.

    Ace beating Suicide is pretty obvious considering their roles in the company. Just a win to get Ace on TV really, no complaints.

    MIROSLAV~! Holy shit. Epic free agent appearance, always been a fan of the guy. Looking forward to when he eventually signs (surely he does, right?)

    Enjoy the extra write up for the main event and addressing the issues Tessa would have with size and strength. Tessa fought well though and in the end won a pretty solid main event. I thought the match was okay, still a little hard to imagine Tessa beating somebody the size of Moose, but this was written pretty well.

    I think the more important thing to take out of this is the Moose/Miroslav stuff. A fun ending and Moose is definitely a big enough name in Impact to have ‘Slav make a big splash with his first feud.

    So happy you’ve managed to reshuffle the deck because much like the first show, this was a hit for me. Very good stuff all around, beginning to kick start some angles and what not, and really not stepping a foot wrong.








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