I have a few notes to throw out to you guys. I've been getting my fill of ALL kinds of wrestling in the past few weeks; from podcasts from E&C and Bruce Prichard to a healthy dose of Lucha Underground to Impact and I've had some time to marinate in the good stuff and cough out the bad and I've come to a few conclusions I'd like to share.
1. I LOVE the look of the Lucha Underground product on camera and the way the product is shot. I have no clue why no one has caught on to this from the top two brands in the world today, but the sooner Impact can drop in on that vibe and take it up a few notches, the better. I LOVE the energy of a dimly lit warehouse and all the backstage work being done in a more over the top mafia style way and the characters to boot. Which leads me to....
2. LAX....Konnan, this one's for you. I LOVE the way the LAX vignettes are being shot as well, with the mob gathered, making plans to sabotage character or characters alike. Seriously, this IS an example of Impact seeing and capitalizing on the look of Lucha's backstage work.
3. If Impact has 5 stars in the roster right now, their names are Eli Drake, Sienna, EC3, Low Ki, and Chris Adonis. With the perfect standouts in every division being represented and an added bonus of giving Low Ki a voice to speak with, and a dangerous sounding one at that, I couldn't be happier for the company moving forward. HOWEVER, this leads me into a couple of things I'd like to see for the future of the company moving forward.....
1. I have jumped on Impact's back about this in the past, but in the recent week or so, I could not believe more that Impact left gold on the table when they didn't sign Ivelisse Valez when they had the chance. Her work as a heel in Lucha has been FIRE personified. Seriously. And on that note, there are a few other soon to be free agents that Impact MUST make plays for if they have any prayers of making the next tier up on the road to success.
2. Impact lost virtually their entire Knockouts Division in about 2 and a half years. Velvet Sky, Jade, Taryn Tarrell, Gail Kim, even Angelina Love in any meaningful role and, though Rosemary and Sienna are on a tear right now, two Knockouts does not a division make. Impact HAS to rebuild that division into something of prominence or they risk becoming irrelevant in the eyes of the people they are trying to attract.
3. Stability at the announce table is paramount here and as much as it CAN be a selling point, here and now are not the time and place to have strife at the table. There must be a cohesiveness at this point in their journey, regardless of what kind of itch Josh Matthews might or might not have to jump back into the ring as he did on Tough Enough.
To summarize, I've been grooving on a lot of things that have been done in Impact, but until some of the wrinkles have been ironed out and have been put to rest, Impact is going to stay in second place in every category and in every measurable way.