wrestling / Columns

Looking at Recent Impact Tapings Spoilers & Changes

January 12, 2018 | Posted by Dino Zee
Scott D'Amore Impact Wrestling

While I’m not usually one to talk about spoilers, sometimes you just come across the information, and you can’t exactly pretend that you didn’t see it. That’d be a bit silly, wouldn’t it? Well, I managed to come across two spoilers from the recent Impact tapings, and I figured I’d address both of them.

So, this week, we put ZeeWI on the back burner, and give you more of a straight up take on things.

After being off TV for a few weeks, and then returning last week with some taped matches, Impact finally returned to the arena this week, and if the two bits of news I heard about, one thing is for sure: Impact is looking to continue to make moves after a 2017 that seemed promising, then faltered, before finally finding the right place as the year ended.

Four Sides Once More

Man, who are the fans going to scream at now, without Bischoff or Hogan to blame for Impact going back to the traditional (in the US, at least) 4 sided ring?

Eight year old references aside (and holy crap to that), one of the first things to come out from the tapings was that, yes, Six Sides is no more. Now, I didn’t go reading every newspiece I could find on the subject, because I really don’t think it’s necessary.

In my opinion, your feelings on a wrestling ring are entirely your own, and they’re totally valid, but that doesn’t make them factual. So, reading that “4 sides is gonna strip Impact of its identity!” or “6 sides is the stupidest thing in wrestling!” wasn’t what I needed to see. I’m one of those weirdos who happens to like both rings, with no ill-will towards either.

I always felt that the six-sided ring was perfect for then-TNA. Sure, they didn’t start with the ring, but once they made the switch, I thought it was the right type of ring for the more athletically-based matches that their wrestlers were able to execute.

It also allowed for more angles of attack, which again played in perfectly for the high flying X Division, but also benefitted guys like a Monty Brown, whose Pounce just seemed more brutal in the six sided ring than it did in a four sided one (again, in my opinion, at least).

Finally, I dug seeing an American promotion rolling with what is usually a “lucha libre” ring. I just thought it was cool at the time, and as noted above, I felt it worked just fine for what the company was putting out there.

Of course, when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff joined the company in 2010, one of the first things that happened was the ditching of the six-sided ring, and a return to the four-sided one, which gave us this great moment:

Needless to say, the fans weren’t excited. However, I’ve always wondered how much of that reaction was based on the actual switch of the ring, and how much of it was based on hating the moves the “outsiders” (not Hall and Nash) were making to their beloved show. That isn’t to say that I believe it was ONLY because of Hogan or Bischoff’s involvement, I’d just like to see how many people were honestly that mad about losing the ring, because that’s quite a thing about which to get worked up.

Without such obvious lightning rods on which to focus (and, perhaps, with a slightly less rabid fanbase nowadays), will the fans again react so angrily to the switch? Will they accept it? Will they even really pay it any attention at all? These, clearly, all remain to be seen.

I will say, however, that I understand the move. With Impact working more closely with other smaller promotions, there’s something to be said about consistency. If the ring of my home promotion differs from the ring of every other promotion for which I’ll wrestle, that might not be the best thing.

For my money, this really shouldn’t be too big of a deal. I mean, it’s just the ring, right? If the wrestlers are fine with it, we should be, too. Sure, it’s okay to hold on to nostalgia, or to have your preferences, but at the end of the day, I’d like to think that Impact switching the ring, this time, won’t be an issue.

The Return of the Greatest Man to Ever Live

The other, slightly bigger news, was that at the recent tapings, Austin Aries returned to Impact! There’s more to that, sure, but I’m not looking to multiple episodes here, and I’m sure that if you wanted to know the rest, you probably already do.

Either way, this has to be seen as a good move by Impact. Sure, there are those that will fall into the usual “He’s not a draw!” or “He’ll just walk out again soon!” type of commentary on this situation, and there’s not really much we can do about that. However, what we can do, is give Aries his due, and say that in him, Impact gained a top level wrestler who can perform in any spot on the card.

On top of that, he returns after a run with WWE that didn’t go so well, which may be a great way to let him blow off some steam. And really, what true-blue Impact fan doesn’t love hearing some trash talk about how stupidly WWE is run by a former employee?

Aries knows that this is his time to prove that he’s all he’s ever said he is. He wants to get the taste of that WWE stint out of his mouth. He wants to prove that he’s not just some cruiserweight gatekeeper.

While I’m not the absolute biggest Aries fan in the world, I can absolutely admit that he deserves the chance to show that he’s more than what we saw in WWE. Those of us that have watched him for years already know that to be true, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are still plenty of fans who need to have this beaten into their heads.

Aries is a solid, solid performer, in my opinion. Perhaps he has a high opinion of himself, but there’s no way this Bret Hart fan would ever hold that against a wrestler. In fact, I believe that every wrestler should believe they are the greatest thing going today, even if it isn’t true. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. Aries’ best attribute is his self-belief, and how he can make others buy into it.

It’s just a matter of what he’s looking to do while he’s back in Impact, and what Impact looks to get from him while they have him. Based on the initial reports, this doesn’t seem like a quick visit with an old friend. If Aries is truly back for “good” (whatever that means in the world of professional wrestling), then it can only be considered a big win for a company that has lost a decent amount of its roster, and could definitely use a few anchors.

And, make no mistake, Austin Aries is definitely a performer I’d consider an “anchor.”

As always, time will tell with how it works out. But for the hot take quick reaction, I only see getting Aries back as a good thing. That doesn’t mean everything associated with his return is (or will be) good, but I’m at least willing to see what he and Impact Wrestling have planned for the long term.

article topics :

Impact, Dino Zee