Impact Wrestling: A Microcosm; Storm vs. Roode

Nick Paglino

Impact WrestlingImpact Wrestling has a formula. It’s just a losing formula.

But Impact definitely has a certain way of doing things: Emphasize those PERCEIVED to be most famous, then allow them to suck the life and heat out of all those adjacent. We see Hogan do it. We see Bischoff do it.

Now we’re seeing Karen Jarrett-Angle-Buczkowski-Gildon do it.

Impact has a decent female crew, upgraded significantly by the return of Gail Kim. Velvet Sky has that “it” factor, Brooke Tessmacher has the ass, Traci Brooks has the jugs…there’s some potential there.

But Impact’s Knockouts are all at the beck and call of Karen Jarrett-Angle-Buczkowski-Gildon and her screechy voice. She makes Vickie Guerrero sound like Mel Torme.

Everything the Knockouts do is designed to get Karen over. She is the primary focus. She sucks the life and heat out of all those adjacent.

Not sure why Jarrett-Angle-Buczkowski-Gildon is PERCEIVED to be most famous. Notorious, maybe. The only thing she’s good at (in the public eye, anyway) is adultery. Used to give one hell of a lap dance. But outside a champagne room, Jarrett-Angle-Buczkowski-Gildon can’t draw a dime.

But Jarrett-Angle-Buczkowski-Gildon is at the top of the Knockouts’ food chain. The chosen one. No one can be bigger. No one can be better. Potential gets wasted. It’s the Impact way. It should be the company’s motto. On their crest.

WCW was often not as good as it should have been. But WCW could come up with something that proved useful. Take the early days of the cruiserweight division. It provided fast-moving, entertaining programming. It was a valuable component. It filled a solid segment or two.

Impact has zero valuable components. Zip. Subpar promotions have often had, say, a good tag-team division as its saving grace. Impact has zilch, and most of its possibilities are scuttled via the formula above.


Oh, crap! I missed it! I blinked!

Bobby Roode’s turn on James Storm and subsequent championship win was EXTREMELY well-done. You felt REAL EMOTION.

But they burned through eight months’ booking in a few weeks. So now what? Instead of doing a slow burn using the blueprint provided by the split of the MegaPowers, Impact’s creative element will keep Roode and Storm feuding using forced, artificial methods. When it fails – and it will – blame won’t go to the creative element. It will go to Roode and Storm.

Which was the idea all along. They’re not ready, brother. It’s so transparent, I wish Velvet Sky was wearing it.

The paced, deliberate split of Beer Money could have been one of the all-time highlights of Impact. Roode and Storm had such great chemistry as a tag team. Watching that logically and systematically dissolve would have provided weekly intrigue.

But all that pales next to a Hulkamania revival and watching Garrett Bischoff pretend to be Erik Watts.

Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA (105.9). Check out his web page at Contact Mark by emailing FOLLOW MARK ON TWITTER: @MARKMADDENX.

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