Conceptually, the WrestleCon annual Impact event is one of the more intriguing of the year. In 2018, it was Impact Wrestling vs Lucha Underground. In 2019, many promotions came together for United We Stand. This year, TNA Wrestling was supposed to return for "No Place Like Home." The execution for the past events never matched my expectations, however I was looking forward to this year's show.
Unfortunately, following the unprecedented global health crisis, we may never get the Fite.TV portion of the TNA concept many of us were looking forward to. Whether it is postponed or cancelled altogether is a question for another day.
What originally was to serve as a preview of sorts for the PPV was the "TNA on AXS" one-hour special. It was supposed to be a teaser of bigger things yet to come. Sadly, it become the show that took us down memory lane.
I want to acknowledge that one of the more enjoyable things about the main Impact product for me is Moose's storyline where he faces the ghosts of TNA's past. His run-ins with Chris Sabin, Petey Williams, Kid Kash, Chase Stevens and Suicide are direct stories. I have enjoyed how simple the storytelling has been. I haven't enjoyed Moose as much as I have recently.
A TNA fan's ideal TNA Reunion show will look completely different from what we got this week. 80% of the "TNA Originals" are locked in with other companies. Names like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Eric Young, Bobby Roode and Abyss currently work for WWE. Jay Lethal, Bully Ray and the Beautiful People are under ROH contracts. Awesome Kong, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian work for All Elite Wrestling. Even names like James Storm, Low Ki and Homicide are currently working for other promotions like NWA or MLW. To get a TNA show on the level of ECW's One Night Stand event would have required so many entities to put their own interests aside. It wasn't something that was going to happen and potentially will never happen.
In today's wrestling landscape, it is easier to wrestle with reality if your expectations were low. Impact owns the intellectual property of the TNA brand. They have the opportunity to translate a show like this into Impact Plus subscribers. The realities are that we might get a soft-TNA flavor to this show.
First of all, the TNA graphics and video packages including using the "Change Me" intro song was incredible. You can tell the difference for how vibrant the production values are. It is something Impact should look at improving in the future.
The main purpose of this show was to build to the PPV that wouldn't end up happening. There was going to be something bigger this Friday that won't actually happen.
Hernandez vs Chase Stevens and the tag team match featuring Johnny Swinger and Kid Kash against Suicide and Manik were solid TV matches. Hernandez, Stevens, Kash and Suicide are names that I think could stick around and add to the Impact product. The Suicide character with his updated look and vast potential is definitely someone who could stick around.
The other match was the main event featuring Madman Fulton and Rhino. I think Fulton could be a player for the company with a slight change in direction. Rhino is a good player but is nowhere near the top of his game. The aftermath of the match between Dreamer and Raven was interesting. I also really appreciated the huge brawl at the end.
Dave Penzer and D'Amore did well on commentary. I will always know Penzer as the familiar ring announcer. I would continue to bring him in for major events.
I got a kick out of the wrestlers trying to explain the King of the Mountain rules. Its nice that Impact is having some fun with it. It is also kinda sad that a lot of the wrestlers didn't know the rules. Anyone who is a long-time TNA fan pretty much knows the rules to King of the Mountain despite how convoluted they are. We learned however that both Chris Harris and Hernandez were scheduled to compete in the KOTM Match this Friday.
The Knockouts Tribute video was good. The Knockouts Division is one area that TNA really impacted the business. The women's revolution began with the Knockouts. Along with introducing the modern-style of wrestling, they also gave a platform to some of today's biggest and brightest names. The video was effective in setting the stage for the Knockouts Gauntlet Match that would have taken place at "No Place Like Home." I was interested to see what current and former Knockouts would have appeared.
It was nice seeing Raven making an appearance. He looked pretty good on this show. Sometimes he comes across as trying to be smarter than he actually is but on this show, he was pretty interesting. One of the matches at the PPV was Raven's Clockwork Orange House of Fun Match. It was scheduled to be Sabu vs Rhino vs Fulton in a match I wasn't really looking forward to.
We also know that there was scheduled to be an Ultimate X Match where Ace Austin, Suicide, Manik and Willie Mack were four of the competitors. The PPV seemingly was a way to continue Austin's feud with Mack.
Scott Steiner was hilarious in his promo. His references to his famous TNA segment were excellent. I also like how they tied the current Joey Ryan story in with his segment. This was supposed to build to a 4-Way Tag Team Extravaganza that featured Steiner teaming with Petey Williams and with Chase Stevens and Shark Boy teaming. We didn't learn who the other teams were.
I imagine we will probably look back and wonder what would have come out of Friday's PPV. I imagine it would have been good fun and brought on some nice nostalgia. At least for one hour, we got a nice TNA buzz.