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Ricky Jackson

Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

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I don't watch, but I see a lot of people posting in the old TNA thread do and seem quite into it. So maybe it's at last time for a new thread? I'll change the title (we can do that now right?) as the quality warrants 

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It's been a while since I've seen a majority of people genuinely psyched about a TNA/Impact PPV like they are for Slammiversary this Sunday. And rightfully so. People thought Don Callis & Scott D'Amore were crazy to undertake such a task to turn around the company as bad as it was when they got rid of Dixie Carter. But they are on the right track.

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As I've said many times, that thread was started to entertain a specific question, not be a catch-all thread for TNA (now Impact) talk. It became that because of aversion to starting new topics, which no one should have. I've asked people to start something new but no one has. Glad someone did, but I'm assuming that's the goal here. 

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It surpasses 1983 Memphis, 1984 Mid South, 1989 NWA, 1990 EMLL and early 1992 WCW so it’s defintely up there. I would rate it above those and just below 1990-91 ICW/IWCCW (heel Tony Atlas era), 1993 IWF (Longriders aka Smoking Guns era), 1994 GWF (Baboose the Witch Doctor era) and 1995 AWF (Nailz and Warlord era)

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The title of the thread is of course supposed to be a spoof on the TNA thread, I couldn't resist, but otherwise my intention was to create a catch-all Impact thread 

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So Impact just put on the best show they've done in a long time, maybe ever. Slammiversary blew away anything WWE has done this year by a large margin, which seems an amazing and unlikely thing to happen...yet here we are.

 OGz vs LAX was a great crazy brawl, Penta vs Callahan was such an AAA apuesta match all that was missing was Hugo at ringside, and I didn't think Aries and Moose could possibly deliver after all that yet they did. 

 

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Great show. Felt different & fresh. A lot like how NXT feels for their TakeOver shows. Felt more "extreme" than Extreme Rules did. Didn't feel like a WWE ripoff product anymore. Some good gimmicks, good matches & good stipulations. That's all you can really ask from a show, right?

There wasn't any Match of the Year candidates on the show but it was entertaining from beginning to end & I never felt like I wanted to skip/fast forward anything. 

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This was a good show from start to finish. Everyone worked hard and the stakes were clear. Every match had some sort of story and purpose. The past few months of Impact have been enjoyable and solid. With Slammiversary 2018, Impact has finally moved past the LOLTNA era. A lot of good happened post Hogan, but it took Dixie being knocked down to 5% and Jarrett being booted outright. I was worried about 5150, HOH, and the mask vs. hair match all featuring the same spots and being a bit too identical. That was not the case and its really a complicated to the entire team to ensure the crowd didn't get tired of the violence by the second or third match.

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My favorite part of the Penta-Sami match was after a blinded Penta mistakenly put the ref in his arm breaker spot and when the fans chanted "you fucked up" Don Callis just deadpanned "he sure did". 

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From top to bottom, this was more enjoyable than any main roster WWE show this year. Only the Rumble comes close.

There are still some issues on the production end that could use some ironing out - a few graphics flubs, and the lighting was way too bright from some camera angles - but nothing major enough to detract from an otherwise awesome event.

Their video packages, in terms of direction and presentation, were miles better than anything WWE is doing on their monthly big shows. While WWE is hung up on cutesy word play for whatever name or theme their pay-per-view happens to carry that month, here Impact was hard at work making their stories, their conflicts, and their characters mean something.

Whether it was drawing parallels between the careers of Dreamer & Edwards or putting over the prestige of their championship, it was highlighted and celebrated in these video packages. WWE's video packages used to be king when it came to that stuff, but now they're all these generic, meandering messes that ultimately serve up no clear message of any kind. It's all just puns, buzzwords, and wrestlers striking poses.

I love that the card built & built. I love that the matches were designed to be different. I love that everything wasn't just so same/same all the way through. I love that the matches served their purpose - from a hot, action-packed opener to a brief hardcore brawl to a hate-filled war to a championship prizefight, etc. Each match achieved its own unique set of goals. It wasn't just a series of matches, all trying to reach 5-star status (and looking and functioning exactly the same along the way).

Not every little thing was a winner though. I cringe anytime Eddie Edwards trances out or mentions "murder", because it's silly. And Tommy Dreamer's bleeped "motherfucks" are such tired relics from another era. And Moose is a guy that still shouldn't be doing live interviews very often. Nothing wrong with knowing the guy's weak points and concealing them via documented video packages & sound bytes.

But, with all that being said, this show was just a metric ton of fun. One of my favorites this year, for sure. It's rare that I can actually sit down & enjoy a full wrestling show from start to finish anymore, without cherry picking or jumping around. But this one was a blast.

It's crazy, considering how far down they'd fallen just a year or so ago. But Callis & D'Amore get all the credit and then some for correcting the course thus far. I'm stoked to see each small measure of success they find, and I only hope things continue to improve and trend up for them from here.

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Impact has been a really solid, if at times fairly unremarkable (an improvement on the car crash of the previous regime(s) of course) weekly TV show for much of the year, but hopefully Slammiversary - which seems to be getting almost universal critical praise from those that have seen it - is the start of the promotion really starting to kick it in a creatively different direction to being WWE Lite. I've enjoyed a lot of the aspects of the promotion the last few months and been watching Impact far more regularly than WWE programming.

I wish I could remember where I read it on Twitter, so apologies to whoever I'm taking this from without due credit, but someone highlighted (as SomethingSavage does above) that while WWE is all corporate buzzwords and people having endless matches with each other just to... earn the exact same match again or matches that exist simply for people to gain 'momentum' Impact feels like a promotion where people genuinely hate one another and then go into the ring to settle it. I could live without every show relying quite so heavily on weapons and brawling, but as has been pointed out, when you have such a bland show as Extreme Rules purporting to me 'extreme', a level of violence and intensity with really personal grudges and stories is very refreshing.    

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Callis' commentary was especially enjoyable here, too. His reactions to devastating finishes & big spots were tremendous. Made everything feel giant-sized and much more emphatic. Really dug the way he acted disgusted and appalled by Callihan also. Seriously helped put that whole act over the top.

Josh Matthews wasn't as awful as usual, but I'm forever hesitant to heave any praise his way - because he always goes right back to being terrible again. On this night, Callis gets the credit for carrying Josh to a passable performance.

Callis' calls during the 5150 street fight were great as well. He focused on treating it like a turf war & mentioned gang culture. He wasn't referencing Tweets or whateverthefuck like a hashtag moron.

And that really brings me back full circle to what I enjoyed so much about the overall presentation. Every angle, every feud, every bout was treated as if it mattered & meant something. There was an actual sense of progression. Every issue felt like it was pressing forward - not running endlessly in place. They leaned into the characters & their conflicts.

A lot of times, WWE actively runs away from the premise of payoffs - because they're obligated to keep these issues going on to create rematches of rematches, just for the sake of filling time. You're rarely ever allowed to get excited about anything, because it's inevitable that they're going to beat you over the head with at least a dozen rematches anyway. It sucks all anticipation and suspense out of their product, and that's what makes great pro wrestling resonate.

This card was also enhanced, because it had plenty of quality finishes also. Sydal getting hung up in the ropes, Konnan smuggling in the thumbtacks, Pentagon (and Fenix) finally cornering Callihan, and Aries' BRUTAL barrage of head shots on Moose were all pretty fucking fantastic to be honest. Good, strong, definitive finishes for the most part.

It was a satisfying show. It felt like you actually saw something after the show was over. You weren't left feeling like everything would be automatically undone by next week. Good stuff.

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Sydal getting hung up in the ropes

Good lord, this. I guess it got forgotten since apparently Sydal didn't break his neck, but holy crap that was a scary moment. 

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I would also add that Su Yung has one of the all-around greatest gimmicks going right now. It offers absolutely awesome visuals, with plenty of extra parts & extensions to play off. Super creepy, visually stunning stuff.

Her actual match wasn't much, but it stood out on the sheer strength of her gimmick. Plus we got a great (and entirely different) match from Allie & Tessa earlier on the card, so all's good.

I tried avoiding spoilers for as long as I could, but I caved and scoped out some of the stuff they've got coming up. I'm definitely on board & optimistic for the next month's worth of shows. I still wish they'd stop with the TV tapings in bulk, but at least they're scaling back a bit now - and that's a step in the right direction.

I've also listened to Callis on various podcasts & interviews recently, and the guy's got a great sense of what he wants to do & where he wants to take things. It's amazing what they've been able to do with the company (and its image) since only January, so I feel like they've seriously earned the goodwill & the credit to go along with that.

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Yeah, I’m all in on Su Yung. It feels like a gimmick that WWE would love for their Women’s Division since it would give them ample opportunity to flex their “production” muscle

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Between doing commentary work in red hot NJ and the revitalization of iMPACT, who would have thought Don Callis would be the talk of the wrestling business in 2018 ? Funny how things work out in ways no one could envision. I've got that Slammiversary show on the side, can't wait to watch it (the fact they got LU talent only helps getting me interested about it).

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Watching this weeks show, and I literally lol'ed at Scarlett Bordeaux doing a Steph-like "activist for women's rights" gimmick with the twist of her goal being to end hot-shaming. 

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On 7/28/2018 at 1:35 AM, sek69 said:

Watching this weeks show, and I literally lol'ed at Scarlett Bordeaux doing a Steph-like "activist for women's rights" gimmick with the twist of her goal being to end hot-shaming. 

Yeah, that's an absolutely awesome gimmick. It's the Eva Marie gimmick as written by someone intelligent.

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Yup. Instantly thought of Eva Marie when I saw it. Really looks like everything her gimmick intended to be.

Their Knockouts division is absolute fucking fiyah right now. Good wrestlers, great gimmicks, defined characters, and conflicts that feel like they are about something.

Any of their women could be champion & it wouldn't feel out of place or disappointing. Everyone seems to serve a purpose and have some sort of direction. It's great.

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