Finally, after a year that has seen more twist and turns then a rollercoaster both in real life and the wrestling world, we can all breath a sigh of relief that it's almost over and hope that the next year will be much more better for everyone.
Impact Wrestling itself has also experienced their own highs and lows this year including moments that have helped to define the year for the company thru a tremendous amount of change, departures and comebacks alike.
So today I'll go over the Top 10 Impact Wrestling Moments in 2020...both good and bad.
Jackson Shogun Wins Gut Check
The Return of TNA
The North Become The Longest Reigning Tag Champs In Impact Wrestling
Taya Valkyrie Becoming The Longest Reigning Knockouts Champion
RVD and Company Get Impact Banned on Twitch For A Few Weeks
John E. Bravo Gets Shot
Rich Swann Wins The Impact World Championship
Joe Doering's Surprise Return and Attack
10. Anything Involving Johnny Swinger
While Impact Wrestling is known for its impressive action and storylines, they can also do comedy better than any other company in wrestling today and the one person who seems to be included in these funny moments is none other then Johnny Swinger.
Coming back to Impact Wrestling in 2019, Johnny Swinger would get involved in matches with names like Petey Williams, Ken Shamrock and even he wrestled Mike Jackson in match that made the 70 year old seasoned wrestler one of the many highlights of the show.
Eventually, Swinger would get into a multi month feud/storyline with Willie Mack as part of a makeshift tag team known as "The Mack and Pack Connection" even though the team existed only in the out of touch kayfabe mind of the guy referred to as "The Swing Man".
Swinger's feud with Mack would include Swinger teaming with old team tag partner Glenn Gilbertti and even dressing up as former X Division Champion Suicide at one point in the feud.
Soon relative newcomer, Chris Bey would also get involved but Bey would use Swinger as a way to get a shot at the X Division title which he did and became the new champion after beating Mack at Slammiversary but not before the Swing Man discovered that he was being used by Chris Bey and broke up the makeshift alliance they once had.
By late July, Swinger along with various other wrestlers on the Impact Wrestling roster would be a part of the weekly satirical reality show segments called "Wrestle House" where the Swing Man once again shined as a comedic foil to names like Crazzy Steve and John E. Bravo getting involved in other funny segments on Impact for the rest of the year.
9. Jessicka Havok "Kills" Father James Mitchell
The Undead Realm Storyline that engulfed much of the Knockouts Division went on from October 2018-March of 2020 and it's safe to say that the storyline got wrapped up in outrageous if not cinematic fashion.
On the March 24th 2020 edition of Impact, Su Yung went into the Undead Realm where Father James Mitchell and his monster, Jessicka Havok were waiting for her inside a macabre looking dungeon room. What results is a fight involving background music, weapons, a few wrestling moves and the involvement of an indie wrestler known as "Beast The Butcher" before Su "slashes" his throat open.
Realizing that Su was about to have the upper hand in the fight, James Mitchell attempts to stop the fight and tells Su that she was the one who should be at his side and not Havok who he calls a disgrace before turning on the both of them and teleporting square in the middle of dessert...because why the f### not.
Soon afterwards, Rosemary (another supernatural character in her own right) shows up and makes a deal to transport the two knockouts back to the dungeon before joining their hands together with the Demon Assassin in a scene that vaguely looks similar to pose done by The Shield in the WWE.
Once they returned, Father Mitchell tries to talk his way off the situation but after it looks like Havok may of saved Mitchell by taking a blade away from Su, the former knockouts champion turns around and stabs Mitchell in his black heart and "killing him" in the process.
In the final moments of the show, James Mitchell is seen in an area that resembles heaven where he sees images of cats and the Monster Abyss with a black bag in his hands...again because why the f### not.
The segments were used to not only end the feud between Havok and Su but to also write off James Mitchell from Impact as one of his family members was suffering from cancer and needed some time away, fortunately things seem to be better and the Sinister Minister would make his return to the company later that year.
I think it's safe to say this whole segment can best be described by Father Mitchell's final words in the episode "Who Booked This S###?"
8. Su Yung Returns
Speaking of Su Yung and her feud with Jessicka Havok, the Undead Bride makes it once again on this list.
On the September 20th 2019 edition of Impact, Su Yung and Havok went one-on-one in a no disqualification match but it's what happened after the match that is the most important; Following the match the two ladies fought all the way up a flight of stairs when Havok grabbed a rope and tied it around Su's neck before hanging her and "killing" her. It's revealed later in the show that Su was taken to hospital and despite it looking like she was presumed dead, she would reappear in a completely different form.
Weeks after this, a woman in all white clothing would be seen skulking about the place and calling herself "Susie" and as it turns she is the alter ego of Su Yung.
This led to Rosemary trying to find ways to bring the old demonic side of Su Yung back but she was met with resistance in the form of Father James Mitchell and Havok.
On the February 4th 2020 edition of Impact, Rosemary got a match with Susie and just like Su's match with Havok back in September the match itself wasn't important.
In first few minutes, Rosemary would dare Susie to hit her until she slapped her with a bloody glove and soon after it's been introduced to the match, Susie puts on the glove and lets out a bloodcurdling scream before attack Rosemary and sending the fight all the way into the back.
Ironically, the same place where Su Yung was hanged in 2019 is the same place where the fight between Rosemary and Susie would end up at...and you can probably see what comes next.
After making their way to the top of the stairway, Rosemary uses some rope and attempts to "kill" Susie with it but instead it results in the return of the Undead Bride, Su Yung much to the Demon Assassin's delight and the horror of everyone else.
Of course this wouldn't be the last time Su would make an unexpected but dramatic return to Impact as she returned at Bound For Glory later this year (for reasons that I'll explain later) where she defeated "The Virtuosa" Deonna Purrazzo for the Knockouts Championship.
7. The Returns And Debuts At Slammiversary
One of the more hyped events to occur in all of pro wrestling this year would have to Slammiversary 2020, an event that saw Impact gain a lot of media attention thanks in large part to the rumored returns and debuts surrounding the show.
The event kicked off when Dez and Wentz of The Rascalz issued an open challenge which was answered by a returning Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin of the Motor City Machine Guns. The return and the match itself helped to make Slammiversary become one of the most trending topics on social media.
On the subject of social media, Impact's Twitter and YouTube pages where exploding with likes, retweets and views after the confirmation that Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows of The Good Brothers had signed with Impact Wrestling and managed to make their presence known when they came to the rescue following the end of the main event world title bout.
The show also featured the debut of everyone's favorite job seeking, red haired wrestler Heath who made quite a first impression on future X Division Champion, Rohit Raju before spending the rest of 2020 on Impact paling around with his buddy, Rhino and desperately trying week after week to get a spot on the Impact roster.... the guy has got kids you know.
But just as the show was about to end, a video appeared on the screen revealing former World Champion, EC3 throwing a glass against the wall before staring directly into the camera looking to control his narrative moving forward.
While Slammiversary had a whole lot of great action, the hype around who would appear was one of the biggest selling points of this event and it's safe to say that Impact delivered.
6. The Rock Appears At Ken Shamrock's Hall Of Fame Induction
On the March 17th edition of Impact when it was revealed that Ken Shamrock would be the next inductee into the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame until Sami Callihan ruined the moment by throwing a fireball into Ken's face but more on the issues with Sami and Shamrock a little later.
On the night of Bound For Glory, Ken Shamrock accepted his award and gave a heartfelt speech soon afterwards however, before all of that a few familiar faces from Shamrock's past emerged via Skype and Zoom; Names like Bret Hart, Mick Foley, Bas Ruten and Chael Sonnen appeared on screen and congratulated Ken for his accomplishments in pro wrestling and MMA but the best or should I say the most electrifying guest was saved for last.
Movie A-lister and former WWE Superstar, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson appeared on screen and gave his best wishes and congrats to his former rival from the WWF/E after Shamrock sent out a few tweets to The Rock asking him to send a video for the special occasion a few weeks in advance to which The Rock was more than happy to comply.
While Ken Shamrock still appears and even wrestles for Impact, his accomplishment in his wrestling career were finally given it's due not only by Impact Wrestling but by his peers especially the great one.
Ken Shamrock's Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony:
5. The End of oVe
Since their debut in Impact Wrestling back in 2017, Ohio versus Everything also known as oVe were one of the most popular groups in the recent Impact history but by 2020 the beginning of the end came for oVe and the circumstances surrounding it is something else.
Following Tessa Blanchard's title win in the early part of the year (more on that later), oVe was desperately trying to recover from months of embarrassment at the hands of Tessa and a never ending losing streak that has severely ruined their standings in the company, however by April Sami Callihan was already starting to branch out on his own with his 'ICU' hacker gimmick during his feud with Ken Shamrock but many weren't too sure if he was still apart of oVe.
This was revealed at Rebellion night one during the Callihan vs. Shamrock match where Madman Fulton as well as Jake and Dave Crist attacked Shamrock on Callihan's behalf until Sami turned on his team in a shocking turn of events.
Problems escalated further when Fulton left the group after losing a match to a returning Crazzy Steve and he screamed to both of the Crist Brothers "I...Quit!!". Fulton wouldn't resurface until a few weeks later where he would align himself with former X Division Champion, Ace Austin.
The final nail in the coffin came when Joseph P. Ryan (aka Joey Ryan) defeated Crazzy Steve in a match and following the bout he instructed Jake to attack and betray his brother and join his group "Cancel Culture" if he was serious about fixing his career. Jake complied and attacked his brother and joined Cancel Culture but the story doesn't end here.
In the late part of June, the #Speaking Out Movement revealed names of wrestlers or wrestling personalities accused of sexual misconduct with some of those names including Dave Crist and Joey Ryan; As a result, both Joey and Dave were fired the company meaning that not only was the whole cancel culture thing scrapped but so was the chance of seeing a reunion between the original members of oVe, leaving Jake Crist with nothing to do on Impact television for the rest of the year
4. The Rascalz Leave Impact
By the final months of 2020, there were concerns about the futures of a lot of stars on the Impact Wrestling roster as their contracts were coming to an end by the start of the next year and many wondered if they would re-sign.
While names like Ethan Page, Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie as still up in the air in regards to their contract status within the company, there have been a couple of wrestlers who have already left case in point: The Rascalz.
The trio of Dezmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz and Trey Miguel were a group of high flying athletes who are best known for the backstage segments involving them joking around and enjoying a special kind of vegetable.
The group debut in late 2018 and went on to feud with names like The North, LAX, Ace Austin and Moose while also "winning" the tag team titles on an episode of Impact until the decision was reserved because one the Rascalz who got the three count was kayfabe drunk and wasn't even in the match to begin with; Despite this, they became one of the most popular acts within the company's tag team and X Division.
In mid November, it was revealed that all three of Rascalz would be leaving Impact, so as a final goodbye all three members would be involved in an impressive tag team main event with Rich Swann teaming with Trey to take on Dez and Wentz. Both Swann and Trey came out victorious which led to everyone more specifically the Rascalz to start crying as the realization of this this being their last match on Impact began to set in.
All three members draped their jackets on the ring ropes before leaving the ring and giving a fond farewell to company that helped to make them a star...and then they and Rich Swann were attacked by Sami Callihan and Ken Shamrock to help build up a world title match that would happen the very next week.
But for Impact Wrestling fans this wouldn't be the only heartbreaking departure to occur this year.
3. Kylie Rae Retires From Pro Wrestling
Seeing a popular wrestler leaving a promotion is one thing but what happens when a wrestler leaves in the prime of their career due to outside forces, well we don't need to speculate as there's recent of example of that in the story of 'Smiley' Kylie Rae.
After leaving All Elite Wrestling and shocking fans months later by appearing at Bound For Glory in 2019, the future for Kylie Rae was unknown to mainstream audiences until an episode of Impact on March 31st when after picking up a victory in a previous match, Kylie announced that she had signed a long term deal with Impact Wrestling.
Kylie would wrestle names like Taya Valkyrie, Rosemary, Kimber Lee, Kiera Hogan, Tasha Steelz while also forming a friendship with Susie; After winning a number contender's match at Slammiversary, Smiley Kylie was set to challenge for the Knockouts Championship but unfortunately, reality would pump the brakes on those plans.
On the night of Bound For Glory 2020, Kylie Rae was set to challenge Deonna Purrazzo for the Knockouts Championship but she was a no show at the event which led to former Knockouts champion, Su Yung to return and take Kylie's spot in the match; While the match between Su and Deonna was great some fans felt as if they were mislead by Impact with the promise of Kylie vs. Deonna but instead got something else.
Any fans who were upset or concerned about Kylie Rae not showing up at BFG finally got their answer when on November 2nd it was announced by Kylie Rae on her patreon page that she would be stepping away from Impact and professional wrestling as a whole due to concerns involving her mental health.
As tough as it maybe to see one of Impact's newest signees leave so soon and so sudden, the fact of the matter is that a person's health whether physical or mental is way more important than anything involving wrestling and I think I speak for wrestling fans the world over when I say that she will be missed and hopefully she will come back to wrestling in the future.
2. Tessa Blanchard Wins The Impact World Championship
Whether you liked or disliked the idea of Tessa Blanchard being Impact Wrestling's World Champion, you can't deny that it most certainly was a memorable moment to say the least.
After months of feuding with Sami Callihan and oVe back in the summer of 2019, Tessa was looking to make history at that year's Bound For Glory when she and a couple of other wrestlers competed in a ladder match for the X Division champion sadly for Tessa she came up short and so did Sami after failing to win the world title from Brian Cage in the main event of Bound For Glory.
A few weeks later, Sami would fulfill his destiny and become the new Impact Wrestling World Champion after defeating Brian Cage in a steel cage match in the very first Impact episode on AXS TV. Sami didn't have enough time to celebrate as Tessa would come the ring to stare down Sami ensuring the the feud between those two was far from over and their biggest battle would take place at the very first Impact pay per view of 2020 'Hard To Kill'.
In a hard fought and very emotional main event match, Tessa would defy the odds and became the very first woman to win the Impact Wrestling World Championship and the second woman to win a major title in a U.S. promotion which was taken seriously (the first was Chyna and the Intercontinental Championship back in 1999).
However, problems regarding the Tessa Blanchard: World Champion experiment began almost immediately as some fans couldn't stomach the idea of a woman being world champion for a major wrestling promotion and things certainly weren't helped when former Knockouts Champion Sienna (Allysin Kay) responded to a tweet made by Tessa which led to allegations of bullying and racism leveled at the third generation star less than 24 hours before her career defining world title match with Sami.
While the blow back over these allegations were not pretty, Tessa was able to have (if I'm being honest) a good reign as world champion despite everything but sadly another problem would emerge but this time it would affect both Tessa and the future of the Impact World Title.
On June 25th 2020, Tessa Blanchard was stripped of the world title before getting terminated and then fired from Impact just days before her contract was set to expire with the alleged stories surrounding her unexpected exit ranging from things like Tessa not doing promo work for the previously mentioned Slammiversary event to not being able to return to Mexico for her wedding with fellow Impact wrestler, Daga or according to other sources rumors of "being offered better deals elsewhere".
Whatever the truth lies, the fact still remains that the Tessa World Champion experiment started off good but Tessa's departure and the alleged baggage she carried during her reign completely ruined all the good will and effort the company made into making this possible, resulting in a promising title reign ending in the most anticlimactic and disappointing way possible.
But at least we got to see Eddie Edwards become world champion once again at Slammiversary later that year as a result...so at least there's some sliver lining.
1. All Elite Wrestling Invades Impact
I've mentioned things like wrestlers being kayfabe murdered and later resurrected, wrestlers debuting and returning to Impact, The Rock "appearing" at Ken Shamrock's Hall of Fame Induction and the first ever female world champion in a major wrestling promotion so how on God's green earth can you possible be able to grab more headlines and get much more bigger than that...Why forming a partnership with one of the newest wrestling company's in the United States and have some cross promotion that's how.
On a special edition of AEW Dynamite which also featured the return of Sting on TNT since the end of WCW, Kenny Omega took on Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship, the match itself was impressive but the ending to this match is all that anyone has been talking about.
After Impact Wrestling Executive and commentary for AEW on this night, Don Callis interjected himself into the match he was knocked down by Moxley who slid a microphone into the ring which Omega used to help him beat down Moxley and become the new AEW champion; Immediately after the match both Omega and Callis ran out of the building to car nearby but not before telling a backstage interviewer in the area that next Tuesday on Impact on AXS TV, Callis and Omega would explain their actions...Holy Crossover!
On the December 12th edition of Impact hype surrounding this show was real as the in-ring action didn't disappoint from the Impact wrestlers but perhaps the biggest talking point was the expected and unexpected guests on the show.
In the first half of the show, Tony Schiavone and President of AEW Tony Khan were seen in a pre-taped video that had a look and style similar to wrestling shows from the 1980's; During this video both of the Tony's hyped up the this week's episode of AEW Dynamite while also throwing some shade at Impact whether it was Schiavone's blink and you miss it appearance in TNA back in 2002 or Tony Khan making referencing the idea of "Buying Impact".
In the final few moments of the episode commentator, Josh Matthews appeared on a tour bus which was the stage for an inter-promotional interview involving Josh, Don Callis and the new AEW Champion Omega.
In the interview, Callis and Omega removed Moxley's name plate off the belt and replaced it with Omega's while at the same time they mention that the ideas for this master plan was in the works for years. Omega also mentions how his won titles all over the world including the AEW title and he hints if not flat out mentions that his looking to get some more gold around his waist courtesy of Impact Wrestling before the champ and the jackal walk out of the interview.
While it's not entirely clear what happens next in this partnership between Impact and All Elite Wrestling, what is known is that this has become one of the biggest partnerships in modern professional wrestling history not to mention it gave Impact Wrestling a viewership number of 56.5k (which is roughly 60k) on their Twitch channel and led to Impact being the one of the most trending topics on Twitter and that's' just for Impact you can only imagine how this deal will positively affect AEW.
Compared to the possibilities this partnership might bring to both companies and the wrestling world going forward it's not hard to see why AEW invading Impact is the number one best Impact Wrestling moment in 2020.
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