Being “great” at anything is easier said than done. Even when you know exactly what you need to achieve greatness, it can be difficult to truly put everything together. So, I realize how much pressure I’m putting on IMPACT Wrestling when I say that their upcoming pay-per-view card this weekend, Bound for Glory, needs to be great.
The company is reaching a key point in their existence under Anthem. While their in-ring product has undeniably improved this year, the same can’t be said to its ratings, which are down considerably from a year ago. Things got so bad that POP and the company are moving its weekly television time slot in an attempt to help the ratings, which is rarely viewed as a positive move.
If the television ratings have shown us anything it’s that simply being good isn’t enough for IMPACT Wrestling at the moment. The company formerly known as TNA has burned so much good will over the years, and it’s difficult to gain that back quickly even with a branding change. Scott D’Amore, Don Callis, and company truly have made good on their word to change the show for the better, but when lapsed viewers have heard this multiple times over the past decade it makes it hard to believe what you’re hearing.
Making things even more complicated is that wrestling fans have so many options at their disposal. With NJPW, WWE, Lucha Underground, AAA, CMLL, PROGRESS, NXT, and many other shows at your disposal, who really has time for yet another product unless they truly love the show. That’s the problem with IMPACT right now. While those that watch it week to week are generally entertained, few are walking away saying that it’s the best wrestling they’re watching every week.
IMPACT Wrestling’s last pay-per-view, Slammiversary XVI, was a very fun card and it left a positive impression on anyone who wrote it. However, it wasn’t one without issues. The women’s championship match was lackluster, there was some shockingly poor selling during some of the more violent matches, and none of the bouts truly felt like a classic. It was the definition of a good, yet not great, showing.
Sadly, IMPACT is in a position where they can’t continue to just deliver a good product. If they are to really turn things around, they’ll have to deliver something great on the biggest stage that they have. That’s why Bound for Glory will need to be great if they’re hoping to truly reenergize the product going forward into 2019. The company has made major strides this year in terms of quality, but momentum has been fading in many other ways.
Thankfully for the company, the show has a solid chance of delivering a blockbuster show like they need. Austin Aries and Johnny Impact are both talented enough to put on an incredible ending match, and the booking has been solid enough that the stories told should wind up leaving fans feeling happy as they leave the building or turn off their stream at the end of the night. If IMPACT fires on every cylinder, they can truly start a new chapter in the company’s rocky history.
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