The Moose era begins
New IMPACT World Heavyweight Champion Moose kicked off his title reign with a bang this week. Moose opened IMPACT! on AXS TV calling out every world champion in every company. His remarks have gone viral with fans of all companies taking offense to the audacity that a heel champion would dare speak ill of their beloved favorites. Moose has definitely pushed some buttons and is doing a great job of bringing some life to the title.
While I did not agree with Moose cashing in his Call Your Shot trophy moments after Josh Alexander won the title from Christian Cage, fact is it may end up working. The angle was designed to create a top heel in Moose and a top babyface in Alexander. IMPACT had neither a top heel nor babyface all year as it seemed everyone was treading water while they were being set up to make the AEW stars look better.
Moose looks the part, is an awesome promo, and his in ring work has improved greatly. He is the total package now and has been ready for this position for two years. IMPACT intentionally pissed off their audience by not giving them what they wanted with the Alexander reign, and that is only good if it translates to business. Time will tell if business metrics (ratings, ticket sales, pay-per-views, app subscriptions etc.) improve over this, but the execution of the beginning of the Moose era this week was very good.
"It doesn't matter how elite you are, it doesn't matter what tribe you're chief to, it doesn't matter if you're the boss, the man…hell you can add a new day to the week – I'm still the greatest champion in all of professional wrestling." #IMPACTonAXSTV @TheMooseNation pic.twitter.com/YCeeFj6K00
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 29, 2021
IMPACT! on AXS TV review
The Bound for Glory fall out episode featured two strong matches and several angles setting up where the company will be headed leading to Turning Point in November. The show was very strong overall with a fantastic opening segment setting the table for the Moose era. Much of the night was chaotic with six different backstage or match ending brawl and angles. Some of the brawls may have been overkill but I understand exactly why they took place and they worked for me. We also got to see the debut of Minoru Suzuki and IMPACT was the final stop of his amazing US tour before he headed back to Japan, as he confronted Josh Alexander.
- Moose promo: This was a strong promo to begin an important title reign for the company. He hit every point and established himself as the companies top heel. There were four separate acts to the opening segment featuring Moose, with three of the four being hits. The promo itself was fantastic.
- Josh Alexander-Minoru Suzuki brawl: Alexander interrupted Moose’s promo with a German suplex. After Moose ran scared Suzuki came out to confront Josh and the two had an awesome brawl. So great seeing Suzuki in IMPACT.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 29, 2021
- Trey Miguel vs. Rocky Romero: Very good match that really should have been the main event. Miguel won and Maclin hit the ring to attack.
- Chris Sabin vs. Ace Austin: Good match despite the interference from Fulton. Really did not need to be the main event though.
- Johnny Swinger–The Demon: I have no idea why the Demon is still on my television, but Swinger confronting him for ruining his year (which he thinks is 1993) did made me laugh. The post-Swinger’s Palace era is also beginning.
- Eddie Edwards confronting Moose: The execution of the confrontation was fine but it just should have never happened. I understand that Moose and Eddie still have unresolved issues, but Alexander should have confronted him first. In fact, the Eddie confrontation might as well not happened because no one remembered it after Moose’s awesome promo followed by Alexander’s confrontation and then the debut of Suzuki. They just tried to fit way too much in to one segment.
- Good Brothers-FinJuice segment: The Good Brothers while on hiatus from AEW are totally phoning in their IMPACT performances. Their match at Bound for Glory was not good and their promo tonight lacked any passion or energy. Just checking boxes. Juice Robinson who is actually a really good promo was not at his best here either. The tag division could use some new life.
- The overall production: The lighting and audio since the move to Sam’s has been abysmal. They had a packed crowd the whole weekend but you could not see or hear them. Not sure what they are trying to hide in the darkness but it can’t be that bad. The audio is easily fixable as even sound technicians with limited experience could figure out how to mic a crowd. The IInspiration’s television debut would have been more effective had they not been in a room filled with shadows making them look like horror villains. All around poor effort by the production staff.
- According to Fightful Select, IMPACT reached out to Adam Scherr, Jonah Rock, and Windham about appearing at Bound for Glory but could not close the deals. Windham was not interested at all and is seemingly headed to Hollywood. Scherr was actually in town and it was reported that he was going to be there but the deal fell through. Rock was actually booked for the show but was unbooked once management realized they overbooked their show.
- Don Callis is back working for the company. No word yet on what his duties are. He was backstage at Bound for Glory and the subsequent tapings and was not at AEW this week. Dave Meltzer is reporting that he will be back in AEW soon.
- In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Dave Meltzer stated “Cage dropping the title at BFG was the end of the story that started last December. That was the plan since the spring. Door is open to do more but nothing planned for short-term”. This contradicts the Ringside News report that the relationship has ended.
- IMPACT’s Hard to Kill pay-per-view will take place in Dallas, Texas on January 8. The venue has not been announced but I suspect that it will either be Gilley’s Night Club or the Bomb Factory, which are two venues they have booked before.
- Petey Williams is backstage at Smackdown trying out as a producer according to Mike Johnson.
- Ring of Honor is releasing all their contracted talent and will be taking an indefinite hiatus. Terrible news for pro wrestling. From their roster I could see Jonathan Gresham, Shane Taylor, Jay Lethal, and EC3 all coming in to IMPACT at some point. If the company really wanted to make a splash they would bring in Ian Ricaboni and totally upgrade their announce team.
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