Saturday, December 19, 2020

IMPACT Wrestling (Dec. 8th, 2020): Kenny

So, for those who missed the Winter Is Coming edition of AEW Dynamite earlier this month, Kenny Omega defeated Jon Moxley with help from Impact Wrestling executive Don Callis to win the AEW World title. He and Callis then ran out of the arena and mentioned that they were going to announce their intentions on Impact. And this is the episode where AEW World Champion Kenny Omega makes his TNA Impact Wrestling debut.

Impact Wrestling, to their credit for lack of a better word, posted the entire episode up on Youtube for free for all to see... but they also uploaded the individual clips that people would want to see on their Youtube channel as well, so everyone can watch that one Kenny segment immediately instead of sitting through an episode of an empty arena edition of Impact. I even said as much in my Dynamite musings for the Dec. 9th edition:

"So... the Impact show is something that I just breezed through for the most part. An empty studio show with a bunch of stuff happening and no effort to get potential new viewers familiar with any of the characters since this was their most watched show in ages. There's a pretty good Sami Calihan promo hyping his rivalry with Eddie Edwards over that errant baseball bat hit across the face from yesteryear - I'm amazed I actually remember that angle - and there's a neat bit where the reigning Impact World champion is refused entry to the parking lot... yes, the reigning world champion of your company was shut out by a portly security officer, which is a hell of a first impression for new viewers... but other than that, the only notable bits were the two AEW segments. The first being a paid ad with the two Tonys and the second being the awesome interview between Josh Matthews and the Don Callis/Kenny Omega team... and since those segments are online, it renders the whole episode pointless if you're just tuning in for the AEW stuff."

So suffice it to say that it was not a glowing endorsement of the Impact Wrestling product and truth be told, revisiting Impact for the umpteenth time after failed attempts to suck me in didn't exactly sit well with me. Not to mention that the prospect of another empty arena show, which I've had more than my fair fill.

Regardless, I did give the show another watch and what strikes is the commentary team's gushing over this big thing involving Kenny Omega and Don Callis, which is funny in retrospect because that one piece has almost nothing to do with anything on the actual program. Honestly, in hindsight, that was a segment that could've aired on Dynamite, just with someone else instead of Josh Matthews. In fact, the Dynamite appearance the next night basically blew through those points again, but to an audience that was actually watching. So while having the reigning world champion of the second biggest wrestling promotion on your television show might seem like a big deal, it means very little until he's actively interacting with your talent and if these pre-tapes are the extent of Kenny's involvement, then I don't see what Impact or AEW has to gain from this arrangement.

It also doesn't help that on this very important edition of Impact Wrestling that may have gotten a boost in viewership thanks to the AE-Rub, the wrestling show that they did put out wasn't the most compelling show there. There was a really good match between Josh Alexander and Chris Sabin that opened the show, but then they followed that with a Curt Hawkins match that - bless him, I'm sure he's a nice guy, but this match with TJP almost cured my insomnia. The only other match that stood out as any good was the main event; the tag match between Chris Bey and Moose beats Willie Mack and Rich Swann. I thought that was good stuff and all four guys were really good. Everything else in between wasn't anywhere close to that level of quality or notability and it's a damned shame.

In any event, not the strongest first impression for anyone coming to see Kenny in another promotion. Maybe things will pick up as this goes on, but right now, I'm not entirely sold on Impact and don't see myself following this show on a weekly basis. We'll try this again in a few weeks. Later.

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