This is Impact is a column that explores the history of Impact Wrestling in a magnified way. We will look at concepts, scenarios and other elements from their archives.
I have been an advocate for embracing your history. Impact Wrestling (formerly TNA) has been around since 2002 and has over a decade of strong and poor ideas. Whether it be match types, tournaments or other concepts, there is a lot to pull from. I don't believe the current regime utilizes their history enough. Currently, they only really use Ultimate X or versions of a Street Fight.
One match I would love to see return is a classic: Gauntlet for the Gold. Basically, it is Impact's version of the Royal Rumble Match. Competitors must eliminate their opponents by tossing them over the top rope and both feet must touch the floor. In this version however, the final two remaining participants battle it out where pinfall or submission decides their fate.
The match has seen a few different versions throughout the years. The most notable alternate version is a tag team gauntlet match called Triple Chance Battle Royal. There was also an Ultimate X Gauntlet Match and a Six Sides of Steel Gauntlet Match.
The first ever Gauntlet for the Gold Match was used to determine the first ever NWA World Champion. It was notable for Toby Keith suplexing Jeff Jarrett in the middle of the ring. Ken Shamrock would be the one to outlast his opponents and eventually pin Malice to become the World Champion.
Who could forget 2005 when the War Machine, Rhino (just off his victory at Monster's Ball) would win his Gauntlet for the Gold Match to face Jeff Jarrett for the World Championship. Originally, it was set to be Jarrett vs Nash but Rhino was a solid substitute, shocking the audience by Goring his way to gold.
The first ever Knockouts Championship Match happened two years later at Bound for Glory 2007. The monumental moment saw names like Angelina Love, Roxxi Laveaux, Velvet Sky, ODB and Awesome Kong all compete. The Hall of Famer, Gail Kim was the one who came out in the end as the KO Champion.
In 2008, TNA held four Gauntlet Matches in the same night. All four divisions were represented as we saw a Knockouts Gauntlet Match, a Tag Team Gauntlet Match, an X Division Gauntlet Match and a heavyweight Gauntlet Match.
For a few years, Bound for Glory was home to the Bound for Gold Gauntlet Match. The winner would receive a future World Title shot of their choosing. The first Bound for Gold winner was Tyrus. The second was the Namer of Dummies, Eli Drake.
The last Gauntlet for the Gold Match was have seen in TNA was in 2017 when Alberto El Patron was stripped of the World Title. The vacant title was on the line. Johnny Impact made his debut in this match but it came down to Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake. Despite Management's protests, Drake came out on top to begin an interesting World Title reign.
I think the Gauntlet for the Gold Match is an epic gimmick that could elevate stars. MLW has the Battle Riot, Lucha Underground had the Aztec Warfare, AEW has the Casino Battle Royale and WWE has the Royal Rumble. All are important matches. I would hope that Impact embraces their version on an annual basis.