The December 2nd “Winter is Coming” episode of AEW Dynamite ended with Kenny Omega pinning Jon Moxley, becoming the new All Elite Wrestling World Champion. The match ended in controversy as IMPACT Wrestling Executive Vice President Don Callis assisted Omega by distracting referee Paul Turner, allowing Omega to hit Moxley with a microphone and set up for the victory. While Callis and Omega ran out of the building, Callis told Alex Marvez that fans would get answers this Tuesday on IMPACT Wrestling. The news came as a shock to many wrestling fans.
If this is a long-term relationship between the two promotions, it could be a game-changer. The wrestling industry has seen successful partnerships in the past with Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling teaming up. WWE had a working relationship with NXT and Evolve before the latter was purchased by WWE earlier this year. What could this mean for the two promotions? Let’s look at a few possible outcomes from this partnership.
If this is a long-term relationship between the two promotions, some dream matches could be in the works. Both promotions have some depth in the roster that would mesh well with each other. High-flyers such as Ace Austin and Rich Swann would complement Angelico and Darby Allin. Women’s Champions Deonna Purazzo and Hikaru Shida are great in-ring technicians, capable of putting on an entertaining match. Big men Moose and Lance Archer would put on a hard-hitting match. A few notable AEW talents were recently signed from IMPACT such as The Lucha Brothers, Allie, Brian Cage, and Proud and Powerful. Fans could see these talents return to IMPACT with fresh feuds courtesy of the AEW roster.
Wednesday Night Wars
Although dream matches are one implication of this partnership, this could also affect the Wednesday Night Wars. WWE and AEW go head to head in the 8 PM EST time slot every Wednesday night. AEW tends to come out the victor in terms of viewership, but NXT has picked up a victory from time to time. Will the partnership with IMPACT build on that lead? It certainly adds a new dimension to the rivalry. Fans of AEW may be introduced to new talents that are staples of IMPACT. Wrestlers such as Sami Callihan, Moose, Chris Bey, Willie Mack, and the MCMG have a lot to offer to AEW fans.
Conversely, fans that watch IMPACT will be exposed to AEW staples such as “Hangman” Adam Page, Kenny Omega, and Jungle Boy. The crossover viewership may build on AEW’s constant lead in the ratings, but could it also turn away fans? IMPACT has worked hard to shake its iffy reputation in the industry. Will some fans see this alignment as a step backward for AEW? Time will tell how this shakes out for both promotions and the Wednesday Night Wars.
Furthering a Trend
Partnerships in the pro wrestling industry are not a new trend by any means. New Japan Pro Wrestling has had a partnership with Ring of Honor since 2014. This allowed talent to appear at shows put on by the other promotion. ECW and the WWF teamed up in the ’90s during the heat of the Monday Night Wars to get a leg up against WCW. If this partnership between AEW and IMPACT is successful, the trend could trickle into the independent scene. Partnerships in the pro wrestling world have seen success before; this could add to that trend.
The WCW invasion angle garnered a mixed reaction from wrestling fans. WWE replicated and adjusted the angle through brand extension rivalries. SmackDown, RAW, and even NXT talents invaded opposing shows around Survivor Series to hype the show. Kenny Omega announced his appearance for this Tuesday on IMPACT, but others may not announce theirs. An invasion angle of one promotion to the other could build a story towards dream matchups between the two rosters.
These are just a few examples of what may be in store for this partnership between AEW and IMPACT. What do you want to see from this partnership? What are some of your dream matches between the two promotions?
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch IMPACT Wrestling on Tuesday nights on AXS TV and Twitch.TV as well as all the time on IMPACT Plus.
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