PWInsider is doing a lot to calm the fans down today. Mike Johnson, who I respect beyond belief, is reporting that the deal with Pursuit Channel isn’t an exclusive deal. It’s being reported that the this is being done to take a breather and get IMPACT on another network while Pop TV continues to reshuffle their schedule and lineups.
IMPACT Wrestling has a deal with Pursuit regardless of what happens with their primary IMPACT series. It’s being framed in a context that IMPACT will eventually lands a new network, and that when that happens Pursuit will get Xplosion or another IMPACT Wrestling based show to replace the IMPACT flagship product.
The deal with Pop TV and IMPACT allowed the promotion to stay on the network into 2019 as previously reported, but IMPACT wanted stability as they continue looking for a new permanent home. Pop TV is apparently reshuffling a lot on their network and IMPACT was in a situation where they could potentially be moved again. That said, the relationship between the network and promotion is still healthy, it’s just now concluded.
Johnson continues to report that while internally this is a win, because apparently it was a nice deal all things considered, wrestlers and execs weren’t buying it. While this may be a modest pay day for the promotion, it does nothing to help expand eyes on the product. This may force the promotion to do a secondary measure to appease fans who are losing access to IMPACT, as Pursuit is a significantly smaller network from both Pop TV and Destination America, the network they were on prior.
Johnson concludes his report by saying that IMPACT Wrestling is continuing to figure out a way to expand the reach of the show, through the internet. While Twitch and YouTube remain an option, no plan is currently in place. Which hurts even more is the revelation that IMPACT had a multi-million dollar deal from Pop TV when they ended their relationship. If the deal with Pursuit isn’t for at least three million a year, this is officially a disaster.
According to Johnson;
Impact will debut on Pursuit HD on 1/11 with material filmed on 1/7/19 at the Nashville Fairgrounds Arena aka the TNA Asylum, coming out of the 1/6/19 Homecoming PPV.
As far as how I feel, I’m disappointed. With the success of 2018 and the improvement in all facets of the product, fans were hoping for a better deal and deserve a better deal. If it’s true, that there’s still hope of a bigger network deal coming, then fine. However if this is it for the forceable future, I have to wonder why they didn’t just stream the show exclusively on Twitch, YouTube or via their Global Wrestling Network.
Paige tweeted out earlier today that the Becky Lynch, Asuka title re-match for Royal Rumble is reportedly off. No word yet as to why, but it’s the WWE so it could be as wild as Vince McMahon not thinking red-heads have souls.
Soooo I tried to make one last match before my time as #SDLive GM came to end…but unfortunately @BeckyLynchWWE vs. @WWEAsuka for the Smackdown Women’s Championship is NOT official for #RoyalRumble. #Oops
— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) December 21, 2018
Speaking of the WWE, The McMahon’s returning to TV has ended two major angles. The first is the obvious Shane McMahon heel turn, that was built around the second Saudi Arabian show. The other is the angle that would of seen Alexa Bliss become the new G.M. of RAW while she continues to heel from her concussions and post-concussion symptoms.
Congrats go out to both Jordynne Grace and Jonathan Gresham, as well as Lio Rush and his wife. Grace and Gresham are officially engaged, and Rush just married his wife this week. Congrats to all. Except me. (*silently sings All By Myself*)
In WWE’s attempt to diversify their shows, they’ve apparently gone ahead and convinced the USA Network to air a 30 minute special called Fashion Files: Cold Case Unit. It’ll star Tyler Breeze (which explains his sudden return to TV) and Fandango. The synopsis reads;
It’s do-or-pie for detectives Tyler Breeze and Fandango, as ‘The Fashion Police’ close in on Kevin Owens’ mysterious Pie Face Perpetrator!
While I can’t confirm this, I can surmise that this is being used as a pilot of sorts for a Fashion Files series. This falls in line with the WWE wanting to do more Woken Matt Hardy crap on the Network as well. The WWE Network originally launched with a few original series, most them were not renewed. So this may be the WWE’s response to more original programming for their network.
The show is not alone though as three other WWE shows will air next week. They are;
Botch Club with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows: Gallows and Anderson watch acrobatic attempts gone awry, and take a deep dive into the circumstances behind the infamous Titus Worldslide. (*Don’t expect this one to be picked up, as Anderson/Gallows are rumored to be going back to New Japan*)
Xavier’s Arcade Challenge: Xavier Woods takes his love of retro gaming to the finest “Bar / Arcades” in the country and challenges the WWE Universe in one-on-one competition.
WWE Kitchen Smackdown: Dana Brooke, Alicia Fox and Curtis Axel compete in a cookoff for guest judges Enes Kanter, Noelle Foley and Mark Henry, hosted by Bo Dallas.
Finally, Bar Wrestling reenacted a famous Simpsons moment, where Bart and Lisa fought one another. With today’s news on IMPACT, this was needed.
— Bar Wrestling (@BarWrestling) December 20, 2018