If the year 2017 blew people’s minds with the explosion of independent wrestling to it’s biggest heights in history, 2018 is going to blow people’s minds with the sheer amount of positive collaboration between various groups.
The groundwork for this was laid last year when Impact Wrestling’s Ed Nordholm, in part looking to acquire as much content as possible for other Anthem platforms including the Global Wrestling Network service, sought to form alliances between Impact and other promotions. A strong alliance between the former TNA and Mexico’s AAA and Japan’s Pro Wrestling NOAH was formed, in part to have their own answer to the alliance between Ring of Honor, Mexico’s CMLL and Japan’s NJPW. In terms of the lucha world, things were even more interesting as Impact formed an alliance with The Crash Lucha Libre (where Impact star Konnan was in charge of creative at the time) even prior to striking theirs with AAA. It seemed as if Nordholm and then head of creative Jeff Jarrett were finally getting sworn enemies to get along at least when Impact was involved. Crash’s Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid appeared on Impact and the company even recorded matches at a live Crash show where The Hardy Boys (then Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Champions on an Expediiiiition of Gold) would become Crash Tag Team Champions. Impact would, in fact, take part in a number of Crash tapings. Meanwhile, three key AAA luchadores who also happened to be part of the Lucha Underground television series – Texano Jr., El Hijo del Fantasma and Drago – and would appear at tapings during 2017.
As the scope of Lucha Underground’s focus started to shift away from ever really taking the product on the road and seemingly limiting their original plans to develop a full time business even with a traditional seasonal television series, nearly all of the show’s talent was given their blessing to work wherever else they wanted as long as Lucha Underground remained their priority (not just in spirit, but contractually as well). Sami Callihan, who is on LU as Jeremiah Crane, debuted in Impact using his own name. Johnny Mundo debuted on Impact as Johnny Impact. Lucha Underground’s Taya debuted using her full name Taya Valkyrie. Brian Cage, who’s nickname “The Machine” on Lucha Underground was absent but his trademark size and agility were not, was the most recent to debut. The spirit of collaboration was high! The only pesky little thing in the way was Impact’s desire to bring in Penta Zero M and Rey Fenix and AAA/LU’s desire to block them from doing so. But then, even that changed! (For a more detailed analysis of this and what changed, click here).
Over WrestleMania weekend, Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground presented the first ever event of battles between the two companies on an event aptly titled Impact vs. Lucha Underground. (For a complete review of the event click here). The main event was scheduled to be Pentagon Dark (representing LU) teaming with Alberto El Patron (representing Impact) vs. Fenix (representing LU) & Austin Aries (representing Impact – and their current world champion). When Patron did not make it to the event, the bout was turned into a three-way non-title match of Austin Aries vs. Penta vs. Fenix. In a very surprising ending, Pentagon pinned Fenix to win the match. The following day, it was announced that the main event for the next Impact Wrestling Pay Per View would be a rematch with the title on the line. Pentagon and Fenix were finally making their long anticipated Impact Wrestling debuts.
Now, as we head into Sunday, the Redemption card features quite a number of AAA and Impact Wrestling talents up and down the card including
PLUS the main event for the Impact World Title with those long anticipated debuts of Pentagon and Fenix – no matter what you want to call them – facing each other and champion Austin Aries.
The modern era of pro wrestling has certainly never seen quite as much friendly collaboration as 2018 is seeing. We reached out to Impact Wrestling Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore and General Director of both AAA and Lucha Underground parent company LLFMV Dorian Roldan for their thoughts heading into Sunday.
“Having Pentagon and Fenix join the Impact roster is a game changer. They are quite possibly 1 & 2 in the conversation about who is the most talked about talent in wrestling today. Our Redemption main event is the perfect example of the great things that can happen with two companies like Impact and Lucha Underground put politics beside and work together.” said D’Amore
“The future of the wrestling industry will be full of unexpected collaborations,” offered up Roldan. “This is the first of many surprises we have in the following months. And we know that the luchadores of Lucha Underground will play a big role in the PPV of IMPACT on Sunday.”
Impact Wrestling provided details on how to order the PPV for which tickets to attend live are also still available:
IMPACT Wrestling returns to pay-per-view this Sunday, April 22 for Redemption, emanating from the IMPACT Zone in Orlando, Fla. The three-hour event kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET and will be available globally on cable, satellite and digital pay-per-view, including DISH, DirecTV, iN Demand, Vubiquity, Rogers, Bell, Shaw and the FITE.tv live streaming app for a suggested retail price of $39.95.
For the first time ever, Redemption will be available exclusively in the U.K. for subscribers of the Global Wrestling Network (GWN) digital multi-platform app. A premium subscription is priced at US$7.99 with a 30-day free trial available for new members. Redemption will premiere exclusively on GWN in the U.K. on Wednesday, April 25 ahead of next week’s IMPACT! broadcast and will be available any time thereafter on-demand for subscribers.
The stacked line-up for Redemption includes:
-Austin Aries defends the IMPACT World Championship against Pentagon Jr. and Fenix in a triple threat rematch
-Matt Sydal defends the IMPACT X-Division Championship against Petey Williams
-Allie defends the IMPACT Knockouts Championship against Su Yung -LAX
(Santana & Ortiz) defends the IMPACT Tag Team Championship against Eli Drake and Scott Steiner
-Eddie Edwards, Moose & Tommy Dreamer face Sami Callihan & oVe (Dave Crist and Jake Crist) in the first-ever “House of Hardcore” match
-Brian Cage vs. Taiji Ishimori vs. Dezmond Xavier vs. El Hijo del Fantasma vs. DJZ vs. Trevor Lee in a six-way match
-Aerostar takes on Drago in an exclusive match presented by IMPACT Wrestling partner promotion Lucha Underground
VIP packages for Redemption are available at ShopIMPACT.Com. The IMPACT Zone will also play host to four days of television tapings for the flagship weekly show IMPACT! from April 23 to April 26.
And we will see you here on LuchaCentral.com this Sunday night for live coverage at 8 PM ET/5PM PT/7PM Mexico City.