Can We Talk…Impact?

When podcaster Sam Roberts was on Colt Cabana’s art of Wrestling, episode 371, they mentioned something that I had been thinking about for quite some time. It struck a chord […]

When podcaster Sam Roberts was on Colt Cabana’s art of Wrestling, episode 371, they mentioned something that I had been thinking about for quite some time. It struck a chord with me. They made fun of people who don’t watch wrestling, yet are quick to criticize it. More importantly, they mentioned those who throw undue hate on Impact without having ever watched it.

‘TNA sucks!’

‘Well, have you watched it?’

‘No. It just sucks.’

The idea that TNA, Impact, GFW or whatever you want to refer to it as is an inferior product has probably been around for as long as it has existed. It hints at an attitude among the internet wrestling community that, if it is not WWE, then it must be bad. To be more precise I believe that the sentiment is; If people don’t talk about it, then it must be inferior.

The stigma that has followed Impact is one that Ring of Honor seems to have avoided. I would claim that this is due to their working relationship with New Japan and talents like The Young Bucks and Cody who keep them relevant.

I oftentimes hear podcasters, just as recently as the hosts of Wrestling Inc., who claim that they want Impact to succeed in order for there to be a number two promotion, an alternative. Yet they do very little to promote the company. Countless hours are spent on discussing WWE and its product on various podcasts. That is, of course, understandable because of the hours of programming on hand. The podcasts that cover Impact tend to be run by fans who see no wrong with whatever the company produces. Others seem dedicated to tear it down.

The problem of ignoring Impact from the wrestling community is only one of the issues. The second one is that Impact is seldom given the props that it rightly deserves. When people complain about how the cruiserweights are used in the WWE they could easily compare it to how Impact has used them over the years. Why was the Super X Cup all but ignored? The same might be said about the Knockouts Division. When discussing the women’s revolution and vilifying how the female wrestlers are used on the grandest stage, why isn’t a comparison made with the Impact ladies? Have we already forgotten how Roxxi Laveaux had her bleeding head shaved after a brutal ladder match following the 2008 Knockouts Makeover Battle Royal?

There are many things that have been problematic for Impact. Sometimes it feels like people tire of the product simply because of the rumors, the turnover in talent, how they have used wrestlers and the poor publicity. These are all valid points. Impact is a promotion that has been plagued with bad decisions on a rocky road and so may feel they don’t want to give it a second or third chance. There public squabbles with the Hardys, or Billy Corgan and lately the issues concerning Jeff Jarrett. Yet WWE makes all the same mistakes, sometimes act even worse.

People might complain about poor booking decisions, the use of talent, but they watch it anyway. WWE knows this and therefore refuse to change. Impact has at least tried to listen to fans, and that is a double-edged sword. If we really want Impact to be the number two promotion. If we want it to compete with WWE, then we need to start talking about it in a different way. We need to talk about it. The storylines, and action in the ring is good. Often better than WWE offers and we need to acknowledge it. I would liken it to complaining about a store closing that you never visited. Of course, it closed.

Sometimes I wonder why people follow Impact on social media if all they want to do is comment that they suck. Had they been watching the product they might not be so quick to judge. Why not change our tune instead? Why not give Bound for Glory a chance in a couple of weeks and then give constructive feedback, have a civil conversation. Maybe then someone will give it a chance and watch it too.

-C. Marry Hultman