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Ricky Jackson

Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

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2 hours ago, SomethingSavage said:

How was Edwards/Moose? I only ask because Eddie has often turned in some of his all-time finest showings against bigger guys, and I'm wondering how the Moose turn has worked out so far. I haven't seen much of the TV with him being featured in any significant capacity.

It went less than a minute before Killer Kross interfered and they turned it into Moose/Kross vs. Eddie/Dreamer which is a fine tornado tag brawl. Moose has been pretty hilarious in his heel work and outlandish outfits as of late.

2 hours ago, fakeplastictrees said:

And then in the last year or so, something clicked and he got out of his decade long Randy Orton charisma phase and kicked it into another gear. I enjoyed his work with Dreamer earlier this year and I totally buy expressionless and stupid hair Edwards as a psychopath. Eddie is the guy you don't want to walk into your 711 if you have to work the nightshift.

Agreed, I really liked his 2016 work against Lashley but his character stuff this year has been on another level.

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I usually try to avoid spoilers from their bulk taping sessions, but I skimmed ahead to see if it was worth sticking around with the possibility of this shooty shoot Russo stuff clogging the main event scene.

I won't say much, other than the idea of a possible OGz-Lucha Bros. feud seems to be on the horizon, and I am absolutely on board & on time for THAT my doods.

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Aries wasn't at the tapings, but Dave seemed certain all the talk about him being done with the company was just furthering the shooty-shoot-shoot storyline. So at least for the span of the next set of shows any mention would be limited to backstage stuff. 

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Finally got a chance to catch Bound For Glory, and I'm glad I did. Slammiversary still stands as my favorite wrestling show this year (no kidding), from start to finish. The presentation, the finishes, the rivalries, and just everything in general was handled really well there. It was fun & totally fulfilling as a standalone show.

This wasn't on that same level, but it wasn't too far below. I'd rank it over any 4 or 5 hour slog WWE has put out this calendar year, for sure. This didn't have the same dips or lows that those things so frequently offer. It was closer to the same spirit of Slammiversary and All In, both of which packed more celebratory feels & fan service appeal.

I really dug the Knockouts Title match. Tessa is feeling herself right now, and she's a fucking treat as the heel wrestling champion. Her interview was on point, and she already sounds like everything they want Charlotte to one day become.

The match itself had a shaky start with the rope running spots, but it quickly found a groove and really got going from there. Solid strikes, a tight Buzzsaw DDT (which probably should have been the finish), and plenty to enjoy in this one. Wouldn't mind a series between these two, to be honest.

Money Moose is fucking aces as a character. The gaudy gear is so much greatness. It's too bad he's so awkward on the mic - like he's got a mouthful of peanut butter at times - because, otherwise, this would be outstanding all around. It's cool to see Moose relishing the role though, as I was worried about how he'd handle himself after the turn.

Did Eddie Edwards inherit Tommy Dreamer's "melted candle" upper body? Because he was looking fairly soft. I mean, I don't need him to be a body guy or anything, but it seemed very noticeable. I appreciate the synergy between the look and the character work, but yeah. It's an upper body business, brutha.

The Concrete Jungle Death Match was sheer spectacle. I like the way this was worked - from the bumps to the approach the announcers took. The whole situation was treated as something fearsome & dangerous. I dug all that.

Ortiz took that first flat back bump, and that just opened the floodgates. It's a minor miracle nobody fucked up their knee or ankle with those sliding boards. But it all pulled together to make this thing unique & special. My eyes never left the screen.

Kingston took a gnarly dive to the outside & cracked his face against the guardrail. And Hernandez was bleeding about a minute into the match. So plenty to enjoy here, too.

Konnan being the difference maker felt like a bit of a misstep to me though. We just saw this same outcome at Slammiversary, and now again Konnan's making the save for his boys here. I appreciate the decision from a storytelling standpoint, but it just feels weird to have the coach constantly bail out the featured players on the field. It works once, but it doesn't need to be done repeatedly.

Eli Drake walks & talks like a top guy. I've enjoyed his work going all the way back to his Natural Selection days with Brian Cage. And yeah. He's never been pegged as a darling or cracked anybody's "Most Underrated" list, but it's amazing to me his NXT deal didn't translate to something for him on the big stage.

Anyway, I'm glad he got a spotlight here. The interaction with Ellsworth was fun enough (and only offered a glimpse of how good Drake can be on the mic), but I guess the main purpose was to give Abyss a nice nod. I could bitch & moan about that, but it is what it is. I want better for Drake, but I won't exactly fault anyone for giving Abyss his gold watch moment here.

That Allie segment was... Uhh, a thing. I guess? I don't know. I've enjoyed Allie immensely as a character, and her journey has been really rewarding to follow. But this was just shit. I get what they were going for, but no. Just no. This terrible trend of D-movie, deliberately cheap-looking vignettes needs to stop.

I blame Matt Hardy for getting this goofy shit over. Truth be told, it was overrated & exaggerated even then. But it was fresh & wacky & fun & DIFFERENT. For a moment in time, it was something different.

But wrestling is the ugly girl that gets complimented on one thing & then proceeds to wear that same thing everyday for the rest of the year. And so we're stuck with this sort of stuff until way, wayyy past its expiration date.

The six-man tag was wild. It was all fireworks. Just an endless sequence of spot after spot. And that's not a big knock against it, because it had its place on the card. It wasn't a great match or anything you'll remember after the show has ended. But it was exciting and a solid addition to the rest of the card that surrounded it.

I will say - if you're going to beat a guy but want to keep him protected, then that finish was a good way to do it. Cage came across as an absolute beast, but Callihan still looked like a relentless killer.

Callis was especially good here as well - calling the Crists mindless mongrels and jackals. Fitting description that sticks with you.

And then there's that main event. I won't even lie. I loved this match.

The beginning was tremendous. I'm not a grapple fuck guy by any means, but the struggle & the urgency in that opening segment was some SUPREME shit. These dudes were in a dogfight. Some of those slaps were live rounds, with both guys losing their balance at different times. I mean, yeah. They were working. But they were working as snug as possible, and I loved it.

Gotta give Morrison some props. That moonsault between the apron and the guardrail was fantastic & such a cool way to play with the tight space there. It was some RVD '98 style shit - in that it looked amazing and slicker than owl shit - yet he seemed to pull it off effortlessly.

Aries' performance was excellent also. His promo earlier in the show summed up the situation seamlessly. The buildup itself was awesome in its simplicity - the Twitter war opening the door for a TMZ tie-in, and the NJPW-inspired brawl at the HOF press conference. I never once got the impression that they crossed any lines into Russo shoot territory there.

And Aries arrogant, despicable heel game was in full flex throughout the match, which made things even better. I especially loved the work towards the finish. Whereas the crowd was split and could have been rooting for Aries at the end, he made sure to double down by FLATTENING Taya (unnecessarily & out of nowhere!). Top that with his general demeanor and swagger about it. By that point, I was itching to see Johnny get some payback. I bought in, and so the finish - with Johnny going over - was all the more satisfying.

At that point, this BFG main event was pitch perfect. The build, the action, and the finish all delivered. No, nothing about it was MOTY or six stars. But it never felt like it was desperately reaching to achieve that either. It was comfortably good, which (to me) can often be way better than desperately great. Give me this over finisher spam or critic pandering any day of the week.

The post-match stuff is where things went sideways for me. Sad to say it, because the show was truly a truckload of fun up until that point. Aries' temper tantrum would have been fine, and it would have gotten the same point across. But the way he just stood up and shook off the finish as if it never happened? Gross. Get the fuck out with that noise.

Overall, I'd still recommend the show. It's worth the watch. The last minute or so is a real WTF misfire, and it's a shame it detracted from Johnny's big moment a bit. But this was way more good than bad.

If you're on the fence about going back and giving this a shot (like I was, initially), then don't be discouraged by all the criticism of the main event finish. It takes nothing away from the 2+ hours of other good stuff on the show. I've seen Russo era WCW shoot worked shit, and THIS is not THAT.

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Great review, SS.

Drake was a real stand-out around the Winter of '16. He was involved in a really fun feud with EC3 where the loser couldn't speak for a certain amount of time. It was actually a refreshing stipulation and one that the company actually upheld. It's a pity that Matt Hardy became such a focal point because the likes of Lashley, EC3, McIntyre, Edwards, Trevor Lee, Decay, Allie etc. were a joy to watch.

I don't have the attention span for PPVs anymore, so I still need to sit down and watch Morrison/Aries, but the one thing that stood out to me was the commentary. By no means was it the greatest commentary ever, but it was refreshing to hear two guys just sell the product and the wrestlers. I'm so tired of the WWE style where the guys are made to report the action, like they're participating on an ESPN magazine show.

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20 hours ago, Big Pete said:

Great review, SS.

Drake was a real stand-out around the Winter of '16. He was involved in a really fun feud with EC3 where the loser couldn't speak for a certain amount of time. It was actually a refreshing stipulation and one that the company actually upheld. It's a pity that Matt Hardy became such a focal point because the likes of Lashley, EC3, McIntyre, Edwards, Trevor Lee, Decay, Allie etc. were a joy to watch.

I don't have the attention span for PPVs anymore, so I still need to sit down and watch Morrison/Aries, but the one thing that stood out to me was the commentary. By no means was it the greatest commentary ever, but it was refreshing to hear two guys just sell the product and the wrestlers. I'm so tired of the WWE style where the guys are made to report the action, like they're participating on an ESPN magazine show.

Agreed on all 3 points. Thought that period of 2016 was one of Impact's peaks, Lashley was on fire having great matches with everybody, and they were firing on all cylinders. Really digging the Josh/Callis commentary as of late. I find Josh rather underrated as once they got past the over the top Josh/JB feud portion, I think he has been real solid with Borash, Sonjay, and now Callis.

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Josh has shown significant, noticeable improvement in his game since just Slammiversary. He's light years better than he was back when it was him & Pope at the booth, for sure.

I credit some of that to Callis, who has been exceptional with Impact. The further he's kept away from Bullet Club and his insider terms, the better. Nobody calls attention to peril, risk, and danger in pro wrestling like Callis in 2018. It's perhaps his finest attribute.

I'm always hesitant to heap too much praise on Josh though, because he still harbors some irritating tendencies. The hushed serious voice he must've learned under the tutelage of Cole & Vince is the dirt worst. It comes off as a creepy mouth-breather dialing up a sex hotline more than it ever conveys any actual sense of dread or mourning. It's bizarre and off-putting.

But the combo has been clicking lately. I feel like Callis has dragged Josh up a few notches, so no major complaints from me. I've certainly heard far, far worse.

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I don't follow Impact all that much but I enjoyed Slammiversary so I thought I'd give this one a watch

If TNA has had one positive constant it’s how well done their video packages have always been. They know how to tell an intriguing story in 3 minutes. Opening video package no exception.

I like the venue. Everyone being right on top of each other gives it a real intimate vibe it feels like you're there watching it live.

Rich Swann and Willie Mack vs Matt Sydal and Ethan Page I thought was a really good opening contest. The crowd was hot for it. It was fun they hit a lot of movez, I would have liked if Swann sold his arm a little more after the heel time worked it over for half the match but whatever.

So with the Johnny Impact-Austin Aries stuff I don't know if they worked themselves into a shoot or shot themselves into a work but Aries does come off as a jerk who takes himself too seriously.

The Ellsworth stuff was what it was. Crowd shitted on it cuz they gave their hopes up that Jericho was actually gonna show up. He didn't. Ellsworth was a nice surprise he's great on the mic he truly is. Dude knows the role, he's great at it. Drake is great on the mic too. Match wasn't much but didn't have to be. The Abyss stuff I found to be a fun surprise, It may have better suited them to have Abyss come out and no Ellsworth based on the crowd reaction but hey maybe they weren't confident Abyss could work a match or maybe Abyss didn't want to work a full match. Fun to see Abyss chokeslam Drake through a table though. 

The Knockouts Championship between Tessa and Taya was really good I thought. It was nonstop action (total nonstop action if you ask me) from the bell but they still took time to sell and tell a tory. I thought Tessa's little meltdown at the end there after the Buzzsaw DDT when Taya kicked out and Tessa was just so certain it was over. I like those little holes in Tessa's cocky demeanor, maybe she isn't as sure of herself as she likes us to believe. But of course after Tessa won she was right back to being her normal cocky self rapping along to her theme while grabbing the belt out of the refs hands.

I didn't mind Eddie Edwards vs Moose bleeding into Eddie and Tommy Dreamer vs Moose and Killer Kross. I do like that style of booking where the heels outnumbered the face bet him down get the match thrown out then another face makes the save and we got ourselves a tag match boys! I did mind the camera crew missing that Outside dive Eddie hit as Tommy was making the challenge to Moose and Kross. who ever in this thread was talking about the camera missing shit throughout the show, boy did they. and it's a small layout how do you miss anything? there's a camera on everything at all times. Match was cool though. Tommy baby birding water into Eddies mouth for Eddie to spit it in Moose face was gross. But the rest of the match really fun, they beat the shit out of each other. The crowd was chanting LowKi at Kross cuz he does kinda look like a teller LowKi during his last New Japan run doing that Hitman gimmick, I found that chant funny. Jylan Ware of the New York Giants shoved Moose at ringside and the camera missed that too. I was expecting this to be a bloodbath with tons of plunder it wasn't. I was more than ok with the hard hitting physical brawl that it was though.

I was surprised by the lack of blood in the Eddie and Tommy vs Moose and Kross match. I thought for sure there'd be blood in the OVE vs Lucha Bros and Cage match. That match happened and there was no blood. I remember Slammiversary having more blood. Tons of movez in the match. Some really cool moves like Fenix hitting a double stomp on Callahan as Pentagon had him positioned for a package piledriver or Jake Crist coming off the top rope and hitting a cutter on Fenix who was on Pentagons shoulders. but there wasn't in much in terms of in ring psychology or storytelling. There's merit in guys hitting cool moves on each other, but to me thats what this match was. Liked it though.

Worked shoot or not I really fucking like Aries' promo. It came off really good. Aries was pissed off and cut one hell of a promo. There's some truth in what he was saying Impact wasn't doing to well at the beginning of this year when Aries showed back up. Aries did put in alot of time, along with many others to get Impact turned around. I do think him flipping Morrison shit for taking time off to get married and be on Survivor was a little too much. There's life outside of wrestling Austin you might want to try it.

I don't if this makes me a snob or not but I didn't think the trios match was anything to write home about. Sure there was some cool moves like the Lucha Bros hitting that double stomp piledriver combo moves on Callihan or Jake Crist hitting a cutter on Fenix who was standing on Pentagon's shoulders. For me these match was a ton of cool moves but match didn't really make me feel anything other than oh that was a cool move. 

I really liked the Concrete Jungle Death Match. LAX vs OG'z is one of my favorite things in Impact over the summer/fall from what little I've seen. I like the cinematic short films, I like how they've been telling the story like a movie, I really do. Some don't like it but different strokes for different folks. The match was a little sloppy, they kept slipping on the boards. It could have went very wrong at any moment. I can't believe they bumped on those boards. I mean there's a vague difference between those boards and canvas but Jeez Louise that Superplex Hernandez took was fucking bonkers dude. I also think it was a really good idea not to use Konnan until the finish, he was limping out to the ring, it would have made me nervous if he was out there for the entire chaos. He didn't really need to do anything more than swing around his slapjack (ha!).

Aries vs Morrison, I liked the match. I did. I don't know how I felt about Aries "no selling" the finish and flipping everyone off and leaving, if it's a work its dumb if it's a shoot he's dumb. The actual match I thought was really good. It was a fight, an actual fight, they were trying to sink in submission holds and there was aton of ground work and strikes it looked like Pro Wrestling Shoot fighting in a really good way. Plus there was enough flips and dips to make it exciting. Going off what I said about the trios match, where i didn't feel anything other than oh cool moves this match made you feel. I felt as if there was bad blood (which no way there isn't, these two don't like each other) but they kept it professional. They were both fighting for the championship, they both are passionate and wanted the same thing. When I first heard of this match I was like oh brother two ex wwe guys fighting for the championship typical TNA. but this didn't feel like that it felt like two guys fighting for the top championship of their respected promotion and nothing else matters to them.

All in all a cool show with some tight shit throughout.

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On 10/22/2018 at 12:03 AM, SomethingSavage said:

Slammiversary still stands as my favorite wrestling show this year (no kidding), from start to finish. The presentation, the finishes, the rivalries, and just everything in general was handled really well there. It was fun & totally fulfilling as a standalone show.

I finally got around to watch it, as I want to settle in something current I enjoy for next year hopefully, and damn, this was a great show from start to finish like you said. It's fun to see the LU guys in other settings, and to me they really shined here. Say what you want about Callihan, but he's one hell of a disgusting brawling heel, he's bringing it everywhere I've seen him and his match with Penta here was the best match that never happened in LU. But really, enjoyed pretty much everything here. I had seen Tessa Blanchard before and damn, she's so good. She also really looks like her father (for a young woman I mean), which is both cool and disturbing somewhat. I'm on to current, fun iMPACT, I deserve it after watching the 00's of TNA. ;) 

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I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on BFG when you get around to it. The show is different yet similar, with its own unique vibe & distinctly cool setting. It doesn't quite hit the high notes that Slammiversary reached (in my opinion), but it strives for several of them - and it doesn't fall too far off the mark.

There's no need for me to rephrase my review all over again here, but yeah. I dug it. And I'm actually eagerly awaiting their Homecoming show at Nashville in January. I'm seriously hoping they continue this streak of delivering satisfying results at their big shows.

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Given that TNA/Impact footage has shown up on the WWE Network several times now in exchange for a plug for their streaming service, it's perhaps not as dramatic news as might be the case, but I was still suitably intrigued to see something today that noted that on the next two EVOLVE cards there will be matches in which you will get WWE contracted talent taking on what I presume is Impact contracted talent with the Street Profits against LAX. Pretty interesting to see how much interaction there will be - one match looks to be a 4 way tag match so you could keep them largely apart, but less chance of that in the 6 man tag they are also scheduled one. As many have said, wrestling in 2018 continues to be pretty strange, but thought it was worth noting in the context of the news about NXT UK guys not being able to work outside of WWE affiliated promotions, but here you have an instance of WWE guys vs Impact guys.  

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Yeah, that's also something that popped in my mind when I saw this, especially when it was announced a few hours after the news of NXT UK talent unable to work with talent affiliated to other major promotions (including Impact). I'm curious to see how EVOLVE will have this play out.

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I wonder if ROH or NWA/Corgan made a bid if Antem would sell?

I wonder if Pop would be willing to extend the deal if another promotion got involved. ROH and NWA even with how obscure the channel is could benefit really well from two hours of weekly television on a  nationally broadcasted cable network.

Also there's really good talent that could bulk up both rosters.

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Well, if the rumors of All Elite Wrestling come to fruition, this should be something to consider between those promotions. ROH will lose some serious star power with The Elite moving on. If you have access to the Impact roster and vice versa, this could only be beneficial to both promotions. But it's all up to Sinclair Broadcasting Group and Anthem to show the will to do that.

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If I was Tony Khan and was serious about All Elite Wrestling and had the money behind me. I might consider buying out Impact so I could get their roster and their TV timeslot. I'd always make a go at buying MLW and bringing in Court Bauer to oversee the whole production and to have that roster too.

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I realize ROH has the more considerable reach and resources, but I'd rather see Court or Corgan acquire Impact - if a choice *had* to be made to go that way.

Personally, I'm loving the direction under Don Callis. It's just such a shame that the upswing in quality isn't being reflected in ratings or in any real monetary measurement for them. Because things have vastly improved over 2018.

ROH is the shits. There are some minor things to enjoy here & there, but they're every bit as bad as 2017 TNA in terms of quality - if not worse. It just functions & feels like such a wasteland. Nothing happening, pretty much ever.

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Yeah, other than The Elite stuff, I've been less interested in ROH lately. I'm planning on switching to MLW full-time starting in 2019

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Impact has the FAR superior roster when compared to ROH. Hell, I'd take MLW's roster over ROH's squad.

Of those discussed, only Corgan's NWA has a less viable roster than ROH - and that's really only because he's got like three regular guys.

Ultimately, I guess that's what aggravates me about ROH. They have no excuse for being so, so uninteresting and unappealing at this point. But their approach to talent acquisition, handling of talent, booking of talent, and on & on across the board is the absolute drizzling shits. It's baffling.

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1 hour ago, Web Conn said:

If I was Tony Khan and was serious about All Elite Wrestling and had the money behind me. I might consider buying out Impact so I could get their roster and their TV timeslot. I'd always make a go at buying MLW and bringing in Court Bauer to oversee the whole production and to have that roster too.

 

Problem is Impact is at the end of their deal, and based on the fact they got punted to 10 PM it looks like Pop is not interested in renewing them. The Observer pretty much stated they are in the same spot they were at the end of the Destination America deal where Pop will let them stay until they land a new deal as to not kneecap them, but it's pretty much the end of the road with them.

Not to mention even if it was still a prime slot, they aren't making any money off the deal so it would be a sunk cost right off the bat. 

 

What I don't understand is seeing as how it seems like everyone wants to throw money at any and all B level MMA or boxing group they can find, why can't any non WWE wrestling groups get a sniff from anyone? Surely a promotion that has had some history of being able to run a show like Impact/ROH/MLW/whoever would be a better potential return on investment than some of these bumfights-ass MMA groups people are pouring money into.

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In Canada they changed Impact's time slot earlier this fall on Game TV from 8 PM to like 12:30 AM Eastern which seems strange since I thought Impact was owned by a Canadian company now.

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Yeah, Anthem is Canadian. I don't know exactly what's the link between GameTV and Anthem but on Fight Network, it's at 10 PM just like on Pop.

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ROH roster is fine. As of now the company has Jay Lethal , Dalton Castle , The 5 Elite members. the Briscoes , Matt Taven , Silas Young , Flip Gordon , So Cal Uncensored , Best Friends , Chris Sabin ,  Jonathan Gresham , TK O'Ryan ,  Jeff Cobb and random  NJPW/CMLL  talent.

 

 Sure they are set to lose the Elite , Silas Young and I am sure a few  others will hit the bricks . However they do have Cobb , Mark Haskins  and Brodie King  . Zack Sabre is working a double shot.. I am sure that Tracy Williams , Luchasaurus  , Colin Delaney and others will join the fold. Super Smash Brothers ,  Davey Vega , Matt Fitchett , Curt Stallion , Jay Freddie  to named have gotten looks in recent times.  The talent level will be just fine. 

 

The issue  remains the booking. I know there is  a ROH booking committee , but a mid card comedy  wrestler remains the driving force behind the in ring product. Nothing personal against Hunter , but all bookers run their course. That the is nature of the business . Past time for a creative change.

 

I agree that an Impact / ROH program would draw money . Eddie Edwards , Matt Sydal  and Moose would be welcomed back. While John Hennigan , Tessa Blanchard , Brian Cage , Sami Callihan , LAX , Eli Drake and Killer Kross would all draw money in an invasion type program.

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