Last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling, main evented by a brutal match up between Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan, drew in 365,000 viewers. This can only be seen as good news by Impact’s Senior Executive Team of Ed Nordholm, Scott D’Amore and Don Callis as it marks the fourth highest watched episode of Impact Wrestling since the company moved to PopTV in 2016.
It’s also well above the 2017 average of 277,000 viewers, which saw a lot of starts and stops under Anthem’s first full year of ownership of the previously troubled brand. Not only was last night’s episode the highest watched episode of 2018 so far, it beat all but one episode of 2017 as well. Only July 13, 2017’s episode, which featured Moose defending his Impact Grand Championship against Pro Wrestling NOAH‘s Naomichi Marufuji and main evented by Alberto El Patron & Bobby Lashley against LAX.
Going back to 2016, the year of the Broken Hardys‘ dominance on the scene and Billy Corgan’s run during their first year on PopTV, last night’s episode beat out every episode for viewers except for two: the July 5, 2016 episode which featured Final Deletion (which drew 410,000) and September 22, 2016’s episode, which featured the Impact debut of Cody Rhodes, which drew 377,000 viewers.
So far in 2018, under the new Senior Executive Committee, Impact has been averaging 304,000 viewers, up over 25,000 viewers from last year. The upswing in viewership shows fans are starting to buy into the new philosophy of pushing more of the younger stars, either homegrown or newly signed indie stars, rather than simply relying on recently released WWE stars like past regimes had relied upon. The new alliances have also helped, as stars from AAA and Pro Wrestling NOAH are fitting in comfortably into current storylines.
Arguably Impact’s most popular star, former Knockout Champion Rosemary, recently spoke to Sportskeeda in an interview and had this to say of the new change in creative direction and management: “To anyone who’s concerned about it, these past tapings that we just did in January, were possibly the most positive feeling in the sense that it felt very fresh and it felt like we had a direction, which I can honestly say was the first time in a year.
This new direction under Scott D’Amore and Don Callis…I know that Impact and TNA have constantly, through the years, asked fans to give them a chance. As a personal feeling, I honestly believe that if you were going to give Impact another chance, now’s the time.
I felt the difference backstage in one taping block. And I think there’s really something there, going forward. And I’m excited about it. So, I hope other people can feel excited about it as well.”