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Brace for IMPACT: Jonathan Gresham returning to IMPACT, crossover with NWA & more

Jonathan Gresham, ROH champion

Jonathan Gresham returning to IMPACT

Jonathan Gresham is returning to IMPACT Wrestling television soon. The current ROH champion worked the television tapings this past weekend in Philadelphia. Gresham had not been seen since being written off via backstage attack seemingly at the hands of Eddie Edwards prior to No Surrender in February. Without getting in to spoilers, it makes sense that Gresham would be Edwards’ opponent at Rebellion.

Will Gresham still be the ROH champion by then? He defends his title at Supercard of Honor on April 1 against Bandido. How will this all work with Tony Khan now being the owner of ROH remains to be seen.

I think the biggest question is will Gresham be headed to Khan’s ROH, come to IMPACT full time, or remain a free agent? In my opinion, Gresham is the type of talent that IMPACT should be aggressively pursuing.

IMPACT! on AXS TV review

Unfortunately for those who chose not to prioritize IMPACT this week (see ratings below), they missed one of the best episodes of the year.

I have said that multiple times already this year, which tells you all you need to know about IMPACT in 2022, especially considering how brutally honest I was in 2021.

The show kicked off with an incredible match featuring the returning Motor City Machine Guns taking on Jay White and Chris Bey. Josh Alexander and Matt Taven then delivered an awesome main event, that I think we could be seeing again on a major event later this year.

HITS:

  • Motor City Machine Guns defeat The Bullet Club: One hell of a way to kick off the show. The Guns never seem to get old and are just as good, if not better, then they were a decade ago. Jay White and Chris also looked great. MCGM narrowly got the victory in a clever finish and we will be seeing the match again very soon.

  • Purazzo retains both titles over Lady Frost and Gisele Shaw: Very good match with all three shining in specific moments. Unfortunately, Purazzo may be out of opponents soon for these challenges. Hope they get her invested with an actual feud very soon.
  • JONAH and PCO brawl: I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved the this segment. It was hokey, silly, outrageous, and perfect for pro wrestling.

  • Swinger’s Dungeon: Johnny Swinger is back in his element with an ad for his Swinger’s Dungeon wrestling school. He hit the line of the century: “Wanna learn how to be a wretler like the legendary Gorgeous George, or her boyfriend, the Macho Man?”

  • Josh Alexander and Matt Taven tear it down: What a great main event. I’m so happy Alexander is re-signed and we can continue to get these matches. Matt Taven, if he ends up signing here and the company gets behind him, could be a main event player.

  • Moose visits Josh Alexander’s family: This segment was uncomfortable for some, but Moose is a great heel and was tremendous as he delivered the signed Rebellion contract to Josh Alexander’s wife Jade and son Jett. He didn’t lay hands on anyone or even say anything mean, but was great as a calm yet psychotic villain. Jade and Jett were also great.

MISSES:

  • Ghujjar vs. Larry D: The match wasn’t bad, it was just about five minutes too long. I get that they want to build Ghujjar, and they may have something with him, but it really should have been kept very short. No one knows or cares about him yet, and he doesn’t yet have the charisma needed to carry a long television match.

NEWS:

  • Mickey James and Chelsea Green are headed for a showdown in both NWA and IMPACT. James attacked Green when Green interfered during last night’s NWA title match between their husbands, Matt Cardona and Nick Aldis. Certain things happened during the IMPACT tapings that leads me to believe there could be some synergy between the two companies leading me to think we might be getting a mixed tag match.
  • Speaking of NWA, Cardona retained his title during the aforementioned match with Aldis.
  • According to Fightful, Hernandez is also gone from the company. He hasn’t been with them since November.
  • Rhino told The Angle Podcast that his dream “Forbidden Door” opponent would be Kevin Owens
  • The Briscoes and Alex Shelley will be appearing on GCW’s show in Detroit on April 23, which means they will not be at Rebellion.

Notes from the Philadelphia tapings (spoilers):

  • Former ECW stars the FBI, Little Guido and Tony Mamaluke worked some matches.
  • NJPW’s Rocky Romero was also there.
  • The MCGM’s vs. Chris Bey and Jay White rematch was said to have been very good.
  • W. Morrissey has a very deep promo that should get people talking.
  • The crowd was much bigger than what the ticket sales showed and much better than their shows in 2019. They were also very in to most of the matches.
  • GCW owner Brett Lauderdale was backstage

*Special shoutout to Pat Crouthamel for the info.


Ratings:

The February 3 episode of IMPACT! on AXS TV averaged 68,000 viewers with a 0.02 demo, down from last weeks 94,000/0.03. This is their lowest number of the year by far and their second lowest all time. The number is almost half of the viewership totaled on March 3 (131,000).

New Japan on AXS TV averaged 45,000 viewers with a 0.01 demo. This was also their lowest rating of the year.


IMPACT Ratings 2022

Date Total Viewership Demo Notes
Mar-17 68,000 0.02 Josh Alexander vs Matt Taven
Mar-10 94,000 0.03 Sacrifice fallout
Mar-3 131,000 0.04 Sacrifice Go-home; #133 on Showbuzz
Feb-25 111,000 0.03 No Surrender fallout; #141 on Showbuzz
Feb-17 109,000 0.03 Bullet Club vs VBD; #131 on Showbuzz
Feb-10 117,000 0.03 W. Morrissey vs Brian Myers; #145 on Showbuzz
Feb-3 114,000 0.02 Bullet Club vs IMPACT
Jan-27 182,000 0.05 #104 on Showbuzz; PCO vs Chris Sabin
Jan-20 126,000 0.03 Josh Alexander vs Charlie Haas; #147 on Showbuzz
Jan-13  111,000 0.03 Deonna Purazzo vs Rok-C. #144 on Showbuzz
Jan-6 104,000 0.02 Hard to Kill “go-home”

Brace for IMPACT, hosted by JD Oliva and myself, is part of the Fight Game Media Network free feed. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Spotify as well as find it wherever you listen to podcasts.

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