On Sunday night, Last Word on Sports own Brian Ronovech had a chance to go to the IMPACT TV tapings Vegas, Nevada this past weekend in support of local talent on display at Sam’s Town Live. Here’s his live report.
It’s exciting to see wrestlers you cover on a daily, or weekly basis getting a chance to show their stuff on the big stage. Full disclosure I hadn’t watched much IMPACT and had never been to a live event. I always found myself disappointed when I watched it before, but oh how times have changed. I’m not going to spoil anything, but IMPACT Wrestling has certainly regained my interest and my trust.
The roster is very strong, and if you need 6-8 top stars to be a top company then this group has it. IMPACT World Champions Johnny IMPACT and Taya Valkyrie (Knockouts), Tessa Blanchard, LAX, Lucha Bros, Brian Cage, Eli Drake, Eddie Edwards, and Kevin Kross. Quick note, Cage, Drake, and Kross are all former Future Stars of Wrestling Champions…Coincidence? Just saying.
IMPACT Wrestling Stars Light up Las Vegas
As great as these stars have done to rejuvenate the brand it’s the middle part of the card that are competing like top stars and pushing them over IMPACT over the top. Wrestlers like Jordynne Grace, The Rascalz (Zachary Wentz, Trey Miguel, Dezmond Xavier), Rich Swann (IMPACT X Division Champ), Sami Callihan, and Ace Austin have brought quality depth and a major challenge to those sitting at the top.
Swann impresses me so much when he goes to the wrestling ring and just gets down to business. He is more than capable of mixing it up and I think an angry Rich Swann is a very focused and difficult man to beat. This feud with Sami Callihan has been terrific for his confidence, and he could be in for a low key career year.
Speaking of the Death Machine Callihan. He’s a mean nasty dude and anyone he fights better bring their lunch pail because it’s gonna be a long one. Callihan may not be graceful or fluid, but when he’s on the card I want to see it. A brawl with Sami will make you sick, squirm, squeamish, and ultimately satisfied. He always gives 100% and I’ve never seen him mail it in.
“Thick Momma Pump” Jordynne Grace may be the strongest woman in wrestling. There isn’t a power move she can’t execute with devastating precision. She has great footwork and stays low decreasing strike targets. What is my favorite part about Jordynne is that she wants to be the best wrestler in the world, and she works very hard at it. She has the strength, athleticism, and intelligence to be a major threat to every title she comes within reach of. Future Knockouts Champ. Period.
The Rascalz are awesome. They’re fun, entertaining, and very talented. Wentz and Xavier are one of the best tag teams in pro wrestling and are a major reason IMPACT may have the best tag division in the sport right now. This duo is a threat to any tag title in the world. Trey Miguel has been a solid addition to this team. He’s a quality young wrestler who doesn’t have to do the heavy lifting for the group and can continue to develop and improve.
Ace Austin also has a bright future ahead. His work in the ring looks effortless, and he’s already been a Champion elsewhere. The young man from Atlantic City has the skillset, look, and confidence to go a long way. Austin certainly brings a nearly unbeatable hand to every match. His offensive game is sleek and crisp with great attention to detail. Despite little knowledge of his weekend opponents he seemed to have a keen sense of where they were going, and always had a quality counter strategy. There are several good matchups for Austin as he continues to climb the IMPACT rankings.
Their move to Twitch has brought some of their library online and I found myself watching some great TNA matches with Kurt Angle, Sting, and AJ Styles. I did love the six-sided ring though. One thing that is working out for IMPACT is there hasn’t been focus on them. While the attention has been placed on other high profile promotions IMPACT has been able to sign and develop some strong young talent. While many pundits wrote off the company IMPACT was able to go underground and get better. Good on ya IMPACT. Good on ya.