Thursday, January 26, 2017

The inaugural Impact Wrestling Top 10

I have written several unique Top 10 lists in the last couple years of producing The Wrestling Weekday. But somehow Impact Wrestling has always escaped my coverage. Considering the year end Top 10 featured a long time Impact star now in WWE at #2 and an actual Impact star at #1, it seems the time is ripe to feature the first ever list of Impact talents!

Image credit: Impact Wrestling. 
  1. Ethan Carter III: While it currently feels like EC3 is treading water a bit at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, he is cemented as a perennial main eventer on the Impact roster. He could still make huge moves in the year ahead, especially if the company decides to play off the loss of his storyline aunt from the roster. 
  2. Drew Galloway: I am not a fan of Galloway as a heel. He made one of the best faces the company had to offer, while as a heel he feels like just another bad dude in a sea of bad dudes. But he has definitely made waves since his in ring return and looks to have a solid run as Grand Champion. 
  3. Decay: After Total Nonstop Deletion, Abyss and Crazzy Steve are in a bit of a random space, but they continue to be one of the best units on Impact Wrestling, even if it seems unlikely they will challenge for the tag titles much this year. 
  4. Davey Richards: Davey's path upon his return seems clear. After a short uniting of the Wolves for a few weeks, he will take a heel turn against his former partner. Hopefully, Impact uses Angelina Love as his mouthpiece during his heel run, because while Davey can go in the ring, he is still one of the worst talkers on the Impact roster.
  5. Jade: If Impact is smart, they will start to build a major part of their promotion around Jade. The perennial #1 contender to the Knockouts title, the former Mia Yim has to be on WWE's radar now. She has the potential to be a game changer in the world of women's professional wrestling and Impact would be wise to market on that. 
  6. Moose: Unlike Mike Bennett, Moose was smart to make the jump from ROH to Impact. Impact not only gets him in front of more eyes, but it also helps him develop more attention on his career as it continues to grow. He might still have a future in WWE, but with a more solid place on Impact, he can develop the same kind of following that has helped names like Styles, Roode and Samoa Joe in WWE.
  7. Eddie Edwards: He finished 2016 as TNA World Heavyweight Champion, but his obvious impending feud with Davey makes the continuation of his reign seem unlikely, especially with Lashley after him this week. But Eddie has cemented himself as a growing star for the company, and arguably far more valuable than Davey.
  8. Lashley: It seems likely Lashley will win the title just a few hours after this posts. Outside the #1 pick, no one on this list did as good a job as reinventing themselves in 2016 as Donald Trump's former wrestling buddy. His dominant work week in and out on Impact Wrestling builds upon his goal of making professional wrestling seem credible and he does a great job of that even when he's warring with Eddie Edwards at the Hardy compound. I never thought I'd say it, but I've became a big fan of this man in the last year. 
  9. Rosemary: The Knockouts Champion is easily one of the most over talents on Impact television. With a compelling character, a unique in ring style and a propensity to do things in the ring to make a true impact, the former Courtney Rush is a figure a company could be built around. Along with Jade, she makes a strong case for Impact to double down on the Knockouts side of the roster. 
  10. The Broken Hardys: Broken Matt Hardy was the top wrestler of 2016 as chosen by the readers of The Wrestling Weekday and the staff of the ESO-PRO podcast. But Brother Nero did his own reinvention in the second half of the year and even freed from his obsolescence, he still is in a much better place in his career in 2017. No tag team is as in demand in 2017 as the Hardys. The twenty year veterans look to make a huge mark with international matches that will likely be rebroadcast on Impact Wrestling broadcasts, even as they continue to push the boundaries of storytelling in the year ahead. 

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