I recently had the opportunity to interview Johnny Impact ahead of IMPACT Wrestling TV tapings at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Johnny is still involved in the World Championship picture, but he also has a shot at the X Division Championship due to winning the Ultimate X match at United We Stand.
Johnny said he’s focused on getting his title back from new champion Brian Cage, but would entertain a run in the X Division and compete for both titles simultaneously.
“As they say in entertainment, it’s good to have a lot of irons in the fire. The Ultimate X match at United We Stand was a special night for me. Ultimate X is one of those original IMPACT creations that I’ve been aware of for a really long time, and it was cool to be there and be part of it.
With regards to the X Division versus the World Championship, every former champion in the business is entitled to a rematch. There’s a rematch clause at IMPACT Wrestling, and that’s first on my agenda—regaining the World Championship. I also have the number one contendership to the X Division title, so simultaneously going for that, yeah, it’s not a bad idea.”
Philadelphia is known for many things—being a blue collar town, cheesesteaks, the birthplace of ‘extreme’ and more. Johnny was featured on advertisements for the tapings doing the iconic ‘Rocky’ pose on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum Of Art, and I asked what it meant to him to recreate such an American staple.
“Representing Rocky… me and Rocky have got a lot in common. Rocky to me—especially in high school wrestling when I was growing up, I was constantly running and training to the soundtrack of Rocky. Feeling inspired by that movie is not something that’s just my thing. A lot of athletes, everybody in general, can be inspired by Rocky.
Being compared to Rocky is awesome, and hopefully people watching IMPACT Wrestling can be inspired by watching me the same way that I was inspired by Rocky. The idea that this is Philly, the city where he was training and running with Mickey, is cool. Wrestling fans are kinda nerdy, and wrestlers are also pretty nerdy. I love me some movies, I love me some wrestling, and Rocky is something that affected my life. I’d imagine while we’re here that Taya and I will go find the Rocky stairs and run up them at some point.”
Rocky’s America, I’m definitely America. I’m so America that I just like to say ‘Merica sometimes. Boone [The Bounty Hunter] is super America, Slamtown is in the USA.”
Johnny Impact On Possibly Competing In Two Divisions Simultaneously, Representing 'Rocky'