I recently had the opportunity to interview Johnny Impact ahead of this weekend’s IMPACT Wrestling TV tapings at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Johnny lost the IMPACT World Championship to Brian Cage this past Sunday at Rebellion, but he says his priority is getting back his title as soon as Cage is cleared. Johnny commented on Cage’s back injuries, saying a Machine on the mend does give him an advantage going into an eventual rematch.
“What’s next for Johnny Impact? The first thing on my agenda is getting back my IMPACT World Championship back from that meathead Machine Brian Cage. I don’t think it will be that difficult; I’ve beaten him plenty of times before, and now I just need to make sure he’s medically cleared to get into the ring. Honestly—hopefully—he’s not 100% because the Machine is a formidable opponent and a half-strength Machine would be easier to beat than a full-strength Machine, but either way, that’s my plan.”
It’s believed that Cage was hurt after the pair hit a Spanish Fly off of the stage, and Johnny said it wasn’t immediately known how severe Cage’s injuries were, but he could see something was wrong as the match continued. Johnny said he expected that to work in his favor, but said it ultimately it didn’t work out and called Cage a formidable opponent.
The conclusion of the match saw a face new to IMPACT fans in Michael Elgin, a former Ring Of Honor World Champion who had recently been featured in Japan. Johnny said while he’s not completely familiar with the ‘Unbreakable’ one, he does know about Elgin’s reputation and accomplishments in wrestling, and praised his abilities as “a blend of an in-ring technician and a power guy.” Impact said he’s still expecting some unpredictability from Elgin, but said he looks forward to seeing things play out, and judging how Elgin made his debut, he might have to learn to fall in line in the championship picture:
“He’s got a reputation in the business, and I think he’s going to be a good addition to the IMPACT roster as long as he knows his role. Coming out after the match, capitalizing on what I did to Brian Cage, it makes me think he needs to learn where the line starts for the championship. If he knows his role and figures that out, it’ll be great to have him, if not, he’s going to end up waking up in Slamtown.”
One of Johnny’s biggest accomplishments outside of the ring was his feature film Boone The Bounty Hunter, released in 2017. (Available on Amazon, Google Play and other digital retailers) The film’s popularity has created some buzz for a potential sequel, which Impact says is a possibility, but he’s not jumping right into it, citing lessons learned from the first film’s production as reason to carefully plan things out:
“If anyone that follows me on social media is aware, I am a fan of Boone. [laughs] I would like nothing more than to have a Boone 2. Boone 1 took a lot of resources, a lot of time and money. Boone 2, I’ve got a couple of ideas for the script. I haven’t written the script completely. I’ve got outlines written, beat sheets and one thing that I’ve learned from Boone 1 is that it’s a good thing to know what the budget of the movie is before you write the script. The first version of Boone that I wrote probably would have cost $20 million, and I spent a couple of years making it cheaper and cheaper. Before I actually take the time to write Boone 2, I think getting an idea of a production budget is important, but that’s high on my list of priorities right now.
Johnny also gave some details about another short film project that he expects to debut this year called The Iron Sheik Massacre. Johnny explained the premise, saying the short sees a cats including Killer Kross, PJ Black, Super Panda and the legendary Iron Sheik providing the voice for the titular doll:
“In the meantime, on our honeymoon, Taya and I wrote a horror/comedy short called ‘The Iron Sheik Massacre’. It’s about an Iron Sheik doll that gets struck by lightning, and becomes sentient and kills a house full of disrespect new school wrestlers because they’re shitting on old school wrestling, including [The Iron Sheik]. This is another one of those projects where the idea was contained, but it’s par for the course with a lot of things that I do it’s blown up into a bigger and much more time-consuming thing. I’m hoping that it’s going to be done and the end of the year, maybe around Halloween. It’s a really fun, bizarre, crazy thing where it will probably run around 20 minutes when it’s all said and done.”
Stay tuned for more of our interview where Johnny talks about Lucha Underground’s influence, having Don Callis believe in him throughout his career, Tommy Dreamer’s role as a mentor and much more.
IMPACT Wrestling is at the 2300 Arena on Friday and Saturday night; tickets are available for each night here: