With the newest WWE survey asking fans if they want to see new Impact Wrestling content on the WWE Network, and branding issues with the GFW name stemming from Jeff Jarrett’s dismissal, once again the rumor mill is churning about the ‘demise’ of Impact Wrestling.
As a long-term fan of the product, stemming all the way back to the first weekly PPV, even I now feel like it’s time to put the Anthem Owl back in his cage and walk away. Or sell to the WWE. It would be a sad day, but in death comes new life and in this article, discuss the top five things that I’d like to see or not see WWE bring to Impact Wrestling in its Network re-birth.
5. No more MMA crossovers
Tito Ortiz, Rampage Jackson, Josh Barnett, King Mo and American Top Team. All MMA stars who have come into Impact with fanfare, have been given title shots and main event spots or were hyped up as big deals from the get go at the very least. In the case of oh, none of them, has it ever worked out for the best of the product. With WWE being the one with the purse strings and control if Impact ended up on the Network they would finally be able to put this trope to rest. I can’t see whoever runs it under McMahon having the same nerd boner for crossover MMA stars, or at least, we can hope.
4. The Return of Bobby Lashley to WWE
One MMA star who should be welcomed back with open arms is former ECW Champion, former TNA World Champion Bobby Lashley. When Lashley was last in the WWE and when he was originally in TNA he was still wet around the gills, and as hard as he was pushed people saw through the illusion. Now Lashley is a well-rounded athlete who not only can hold his own in the ring but has carved a niche on the mic that works for him. The WWE platform could once again rocket Walking Armageddon to stardom and if talent sharing is a thing? Matches with Braun, Reigns and Cesaro are musts.
3. The World X and Super X Cups as Network Specials
With the success of the UK tournament, Cruiserweight and Mae Young Classics and the massive love that the World and Super X Cups have gotten over the years it’s only logical to bring both with Impact to the Network as specials. The global wrestling scene right now is bigger than ever and something like this would only serve to continue to build relationships in countries that WWE isn’t necessarily as strong as they’d like to be. With the potential of teams from Mexico, Canada, Japan and the UK clashing for supremacy and bringing the Ultimate X to the Network, I think it’s a no brainer that the X Division gets some tournament love.
2. No Pritchard, No Cornette, No Dutch Mantel
I respect history, I respect the things that the aforementioned men have done in the industry but the reason that Impact Wrestling is in the sorry state it’s in is because it failed to move on from history. The potential for growth and evolution was hindered by the old ideas of wrestling that the people in the back were born from. Every time someone was about to break through, every time the winds of change were blowing we ended up straight back to the status quo. An Impact Wrestling with fresh creative minds backstage and no hard link to the old ways of professional wrestling could very well continue to break ground in the professional wrestling world and finally pull away from the constant fear of death that always befalls it.
1. The return of the Broken Universe
Okay there it is, I’ve addressed the elephant in the room. It’s obvious the most original thing that has come out of Impact Wrestling in recent years is Broken Matt, Brother Nero and the cavalcade of crazies involved in the Broken Universe. With the Hardy Boys back in the WWE enjoying a nostalgia run, picking up Impact Wrestling and putting it on the Network could not only do wonders for the company but on a personal level finally give Matt that credibility in the WWE to step out as a legendary singles competitor in his own right. Plus, who doesn’t want to see where the story of King Maxel, Senior Benjamin, Rebecca and The Brothers Hardy goes next.
So there we have it, my rundown of the main five do’s and don’ts for if the WWE finally go get their hands on Impact Wrestling. What do you think? Is there anything I’ve missed and what are your personal musts for a WWE owned Impact Wrestling? Let me know on Twitter @ChatChatterson and thank you for reading!
Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this opinion editorial are that of the author’s, and do not necessarily reflect those of RingScoops as a whole.