We are just weeks into the new year and already it has proven to be quite a newsworthy time for Impact Wrestling; from Mickie James being announced to enter the Women's Royal Rumble as the Knockouts World Champion to an invasion of ROH stars showing up on TV to new stars appearing on screen and so much more.
While the year is still relatively new and a lot more can happen between now and June (the time Impact turns 20 years old), today I want to go over eight predictions that I have for the former TNA Wrestling in the year 2022.
These predictions will be completely subjective and of my own opinion, so if have any predictions for Impact's future in 2022, be sure to leave your thoughts down below.
8. Josh Alexander Re-Signs
Okay, let's start off with a few easy ones to kick off this list and we start by talking about the future of Josh Alexander when it comes to Impact.
Josh Alexander has certainly done almost everything one could do in Impact Wrestling; His been hated and liked by the fans in equal regard, his become a champion in three different divisions and his proven himself to be pound-for-pound one of the best athletes in modern day Impact Wrestling which is really saying something.
However, while fans are enjoying the ride that is Alexander's current push as a nonsense babyface who's determined to get his world title back, something that has been lost in the shuffle is Josh's current contract status.
According to an article by Metro News, Josh Alexander's contract is set to expire in February of this year and considering the WWE is still seen as the Mecca of pro wrestling and other companies like MLW and AEW on the rise it's easy to believe that Josh could go and sign with any one of those promotions especially if the money is right, but what if he decides to stay with Impact.
With how Impact has positioned Josh as one of their top babyfaces and the fact his made numerous appearances in New Japan as part of the Impact roster (something he had always wanted to do), it's not too crazy to think that 'The Walking Weapon' could re-sign with Impact for another 2-3 years and continue on being a star in the promotion at a time when the company is getting a lot of positive news.
As mentioned before, it all comes down to the money and with February (the month where his contract expires) quickly approaching, will just have to see if this prediction ends up comes to fruition.
7. New & Returning Stars Get Signed
This one seems pretty obvious, every year stars from the past and present end up showcasing their talents on Impact as the previous two years have shown, but perhaps 2022 can be an especially great year for the company when it comes to signing free agents.
With WWE getting rid of their wrestlers like it was a yard sale and AEW filled to brim with recently released WWE stars on their roster, now would seem like a good time for Impact to continue on getting those stars who will draw great attention to the promotion.
Whether it's stars that Impact has worked with before like Mia Yim aka Jade or Taya Valkyrie or even new stars like Alex Windsor, Shane Strickland, The Besties In The World or any AEW stars whose contracts will be up soon, Impact can take those wrestlers and give them the opportunity to succeed both in and outside of the ring.
6. The Return of Knockouts Knockdown
After the success that was last year's Knockouts Knockdown, it is very possible that the company would attempt to do another all-female exclusive pay per view show, not to mention that the Knockouts have consistently been one of the best things about Impact for years.
Of course, the format for how the next Knockouts Knockdown event goes down can occur one of two ways: 1. Keep the tournament idea around with the winner either getting a shot at the Knockouts singles or tag team titles or 2. Having different themes for the event.
When it comes the latter point, Impact could make Knockouts Knockdown feel unique by having the event be a hardcore themed show with every match having some kind of stipulation or the company could also go for something like a past vs. present themed event where the Knockouts from the past return to take on the females of the present with the final match being a multi woman elimination match with the current stars getting over as a 'Passing of the Torch' so to speak.
Again, I have no doubt that Impact will probably do another Knockouts Knockdown event but will the theme of that show change or will it remain the same.
5. The Future of the Digital Media Championship
Right, so now we've reached the part of this list where the predictions going forward has a 50/50 chance of actually happening but, when it comes to professional wrestling you never know.
The DMC or Digital Media Championship has been booked decently enough; Sure, Jordynne Grace has proven herself to be a fighting champion (when she's actually allowed to defend it) and she certainly is using social media well to promote herself and the title on places like Twitter.
However, issue is that the belt hasn't felt all that important in the last several weeks I mean when Jordynne took part in the first female Ultimate X match at Hard To Kill, they didn't mention in the tagline that featured her name that she was the Digital Media Champion...which is pretty telling.
My hope in 2022 is that the company will make the DMC feel like a 'must have' championship and whether it's due to long-term booking that happens exclusively on social media or another tournament that occurs on tv or pay per view...I and many Impact fans want the belt to feel important to the company and the people fighting for it.
Hopefully, Jordynne's title defense against Lady Frost will be the first step in that direction.
4. A Bigger Importance on Tag Team Wrestling
Impact's current tag team division is certain filled with good to great tag teams like Rich Swann & Willie Mack, Heath & Rhino, The Good Brothers, Decay, Ace & Fulton, VBD and NJPW's FinJuice.
The thing is though is that the division has felt really stagnant for months now with not much of real interest going on in terms of stakes or interesting storytelling which is unfortunate because there was a time that Impact's tag division was one of the hottest things within the company next to the Knockouts and X Division.
The Good Brothers being champions also don't help as the former WWE stars basically are doing the same stuff they would usually do even if they weren't the Impact tag champions which makes most of the stuff they do feel 'by the numbers' or "same old, same old"...Now, this isn't to say that it's all of the Good Brother's fault far from it...it's just the booking could be a little bit more interesting.
In terms of Impact's tag team, I am predicting that 2022 will be the year that the division begins to feel special once again; Things like signing new independent tag teams or putting the belts on a different team and letting have a good run is something I'm hoping for, plus Anderson and Gallows could lose the belts and spend most of the year fighting in NJPW only to come back after so much has changed within the tag division...just a thought.
3. A Co-Promoted ROH/Impact Event
From Johnathan Gresham and Rok-C defending their titles to ROH commentators and announcers showing up on Impact and even a few former stars sneak attacking the wrestlers on TV...It is clear that Ring of Honor or at least some of their wrestlers and staff are working with Impact Wrestling and it certainly has felt very interesting.
While it's unclear where the whole ROH stars invading Impact thing is going to go, one I can hope for is that this leads to a major pay per view that's co promoted by both Impact and a resurrected Ring of Honor.
Many and I included have predicted that the question mark on the logo for this year's Rebellion PPV may have something to do with ROH considering that Ring of Honor will be returning in April and Rebellion will be around that time, but my prediction is that this whole thing wouldn't just be a small ragtag group of ROH stars invading but some new and old names from Ring of Honor's past attacking the Impact locker room leading to a pay per view where fans can get to see ROH vs. Impact in a survivor series style of battle for brand supremacy.
The possibility of this happening is 50/50 but if it can just imagine the amount of holy s##t moments we would get, and it would be the Forbidden Door invasion angle many fans wanted to see with Impact and AEW but now with ROH, plus the dream matches that would occur at this co-promoted event would be amazing...and speaking of events that would be perfect for a wrestling invasion angle.
2. The Return of Lockdown
As mentioned, the possibilities of a full on ROH vs Impact storyline would need an event large enough to contain all of that craziness, all of that action...and what better event then Lockdown.
The last time Impact attempted to have a Lockdown event it was cancelled due to the whole Covid-19 thing and the show never happened, but now that fans are being allowed to attend shows the time would be now to have a Lockdown PPV and what a time it would be for the show to make a return.
The idea of Ring of Honor stars taking on Impact stars in a number of first time ever dream matches is already great but imagine them taking place on a show that is all about violence, carnage and a stipulation match like Lethal Lockdown in which five members of ROH take on five members of Impact Wrestling inside a steel cage filled with weapons...Now that would be an amazing match for what would be a tremendous show.
1. Simulcasting on a Bigger Channel
So out of all of the entries on this list, this one might not happen let alone happen in 2022, but bear with me.
Some Impact fans are hoping that the company will make the leap and air it's weekly content on a much bigger channel with hopes of viewership numbers and media attention increasing. Other Impact fans meanwhile, think that the company should continue make their current network, AXS TV more viable to TV stations both in and outside of the U.S.
Well to both of those counts, why not try a third opinion: air Impact on a bigger channel while also simulcasting on AXS TV. This would allow Impact to get more eyes of the product, but they could also direct fans to watch AXS TV or their YouTube channel in case of technical issues on the bigger networks end.
Again, the likelihood of this occurring is slim but considering this company has managed to outlast the original ECW and WCW and the fact is going to officially be around for 20 years...anything is possible.
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