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THE NEW ERA OF IMPACT, CALLIS ON COMMENTARY, CONTRACTS COMING UP AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2018-02-02 10:00:00

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I saw you got some angry responses to your piece on the state of Impact Wrestling on Twitter.  It seemed like a lot of these people were, well, unable to grasp what you were trying to say.  Does that drive you as crazy as it did me?

Not at all.  Fan is short for fanatic. Sometimes, that’s truth in advertising.  None of the responses fazed me in the least.  I’ve written pieces that people love and some that people have legitimately hated.    That’s the nature of the game.   My brother is a die-hard New York Mets fan and every year, he tears his hair out over their performance as the baseball season goes on, but he'll defend his team to the end to anyone else.   I saw the response yesterday as the same.  These were fans who wanted to take their anger out on me and were upset I wasn't pushing last night as if it was Wrestlemania III.

Now, it’s unfortunate that some reading the article couldn’t see it for what it was, a reminder that as far as the company has fallen, it’s not fair to even compare it to what it used to be.  You must look at it for what it is, just a TV show now.  Anything else and you are doing a disservice to yourself and the company.  If someone wants to stick their head in the mud and assume the worst because the article wasn’t masturbatory for their company of choice, well, that’s on them, not me.  I thought most (not all) of the responses were just reacting to what they thought the article was instead of actually reading and responding to what was written, but, you can’t teach common sense or reading comprehension.

That said, what did you think of the new era of Impact?

I watched the show this morning and thought it was solid.  If you, as a viewer, can forget that some of the talents on the show are lame duck talents on their way out, it was a damn good effort.    They did a respectable job building the tease of Austin Aries’ return.  KM looked the best he has looked for the promotion.  The tag match with Alberto and friends was entertaining.  Eli Drake is great on the mic.  LAX continues to be an entertaining act.  It wasn't terrible. There was a lot to enjoy about the episode, but that doesn’t mean they have saved the ship from going down and I don't think anyone in charge would claim that they have.  There’s many, many months, if not years of work to be done, but last night was a solid two hours if you wanted to watch a logically booked pro wrestling show.  They just need to do it again and again and again until the garden starts growing over all that scorched Earth.  It's going to be a long, long marathon for all involved.  I sincerely hope they can do it.

With all the talents who have left, who are the names we should be keeping an eye on in terms of potential departures?

Eddie Edwards’ deal is up this month, but he has stated he is staying.  Alberto el Patron’s deal is up in April around the time of the next TV tapings, so you have to wonder what the future holds for him, especially since Vince McMahon has always loved him.  Eli Drake’s deal is coming up in the next few months as well.  Konnan is paid a good salary for someone who’s not in the ring wrestling, which given the state of the company, makes me think of him as well – but I say that not knowing his contractual obligations and I am just speculating here, given the company’s attempts to cut costs.  Given the others’ placement on TV, those are the names that I would be paying most attention to. 

How does John Hennigan and Brian Cage’s Impact appearances factor into the return of Lucha Underground?

It doesn’t.  I know that in the case of Hennigan, his deal includes an agreement that he would be made available to Lucha Underground on their taping dates.  I would assume Cage, if he has a signed deal, has had similar assurances made.

Don Callis said a few weeks ago he wasn’t going to be on TV, but you reported he was going to be an announcer.  Which is it?  With Borash gone, who do you use as the lead announcer?

Don said he wasn't going to be a heel authority figure.  The original plan was for Callis to replace Josh Mathews on the announce team.   The most natural idea would be to import Kevin Kelly to recreate his chemistry with Callis on the New Japan announcing team.

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