#TheWrestlingArtisan The Face of a Company (@stoughe)

In the world of wrestling, the personality of a performer is usually what decides whether they are successful or not. Sure, and indy performer can have success based on their […]

In the world of wrestling, the personality of a performer is usually what decides whether they are successful or not. Sure, and indy performer can have success based on their skills, but to grab that casual audience is necessary. Only the most charismatic may then be elevated to the outward face of a wrestling company. With several top performers having left Impact Wrestling one might ask; Who is in line to become the face of Impact?

On this week’s Wrestling Guild podcast, my podcast partner, Nick E. Anderson, and I discussed Jeremy Borash leaving for WWE. It was also the topic of my latest editorial here. I claimed then, that JB was the unequivocal face of TNA/GFW/Impact, being the one who had been with the company the longest. Such a conversation would undoubtedly move over to a discussion about who would replace the man. Mostly who would take over all the tasks he was in charge of. Lately, I have also been thinking of who would then become the face of the company.

The role as the face of a promotion is maybe not one that every performer wants but takes on with pride. It is the wrestler that first comes to everyone’s mind when the name of the company is mentioned. In the 80s it was without a doubt Hulk Hogan, later The Ultimate Warrior was supposed to take that role, without success. During the 90s it was Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock and today it is John Cena, even if Vince is looking for it to be Roman Reigns after him. In my opinion, when it is all said and done, it will most likely be The Undertaker who is synonymous with WWE. He is easily the most identifiable wrestler internationally due to his longevity. Most young people outside the UK or US are not aware that Dwayne Johnson even wrestled, and with Cena doing more outside the ring he is destined to go the same way. Today Hogan is thought of as a general entertainer, but Undertaker will probably always be known as a wrestler.

For smaller promotions like Impact or Ring of Honor, it might be more difficult to have a performer with such career stamina. Both of the aforementioned companies have great turnover, even if ROH has less these days, and it makes it harder to have a staple. One might argue that the announce team of Mike Tenay and Don West more easily could take that role, as their distinctive voices calling the actions could be the first thing one thinks of. Ring of Honor, on the other hand, have always had an ensemble cast of faces, The Brisco Brothers, CM Punk, Colt Cabana and so on. The biggest single names; Brian Danielson or Roderick Strong are now more thought of as WWE guys. When people around the company talk they usually mention that the champ is the face of the company. Once upon a time that might have been true. Hogan had the World Title for an insanely long time and he was the face, but in the climate of modern time that is rarely true. Jinder Mahal, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owen or AJ Styles are not considered as such. Not even Brock Lesnar has that kind of star power that he can be considered the face of the company, he barely defends the title these days. By the same token, one can say that TNA stars like Abyss, Bully Ray or Chris Sabin were never the face of the company. AJ Styles and Kurt Angle were for a brief period, but that was more because the viewers believed it to be so. EC3 should have been, but with the viewership so low during his title reign and poor management that time passed by unnoticed. It was the same with Lashley or Edwards, both viable candidates for the face of the company.

Eli Drake is the one who has both the look and charisma to pull it off. They have tried to push him as well, sending him all around the world to defend the Global title. I think that it has worked in some small way. At least those within the wrestling community have identified him as such. Now he is not in possession of it anymore, so the position is up for grabs. It could be Austin Aries, he also has all the tools that it takes to take on the role and also the mainstream attention due to his time in WWE. The Impact numbers are also on the rise and that could also benefit him.

When all is said and done it is difficult to predict who can take the role of The Face of Impact Wrestling. The big names like Johnny Impact, Alberto El Patron who have come in recently are too identifiable with other promotions and we have yet to see the rise of a star the caliber of AJ Styles. If they are able to keep Moose around, he may very well be the one. Maybe Impact need to look at the NWA who are building their promotion around their champ, currently Nick Aldiss, or maybe they don’t need a face, who knows?

C. Marry Hultman

C. Marry Hultman is the face of W.A.R.G, a website that promotes popular culture values in all aspects of our world. You may find it at stoughe.wordpress.com and listen to The Wrestling Guild podcast at the following link: