SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following interview highlights from Johnny Impact’s interview on Interactive Wrestling Radio were supplied to PWTorch by the program’s producer…
Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Geust: Johnny Impact
Your Host: James Walsh
We caught up with Johnny Impact as he toured Philadelphia in promotion of Friday night’s Impact Wrestling TV tapings from the 2300 Arena formerly known as the ECW Arena. We discuss his recent title loss to Brian Cage at Rebellion, his first Ultimate X Match, Rob Van Dam’s arrival back at Impact, the growth of Impact Wrestling in 2019, and even compare the Lucha Underground Temple to the ECW Arena. Lots of gems here on a busy media day for the Mayor of Slam Town!
Impact plays the 2300 Arena, the former ECW Arena, in South Philadelphia, Pa. tonight and this weekend. For tickets, visit www.ImpactWrestling.com!
To download this MP3 or listen via YouTube, visit www.WrestlingEpicenter.com!
•On life as the former Impact Wrestling champion: “Yes I am. Ouch. It still stings to hear “former” Impact champion.”
•On the Rebellion pay-per-view as a whole: “A lot of positives. Everyone that watched it thought it was a great event with the exception of one thing. That is that meat-head Brian Cage walked out with my title. That doesn’t sit too well with Johnny Impact!”
•On if he knew Brian Cage was injured after the Spanish Fly spot: “I was pretty aware. I guess you can’t take the championship from Johnny Impact without leaving something. So, Brian lost the use of his back, spinal fluid, and the realignment of his vertebrates. I was surprised. I didn’t expect that. But, I guess machines do break. That is part of what a machine is, what a human is, what a wrestler is… Nobody is above injury. In the moment, it was shocking for me. In the moment, I started thinking how I could change my strategy. I tried a couple of things. It ended up going not exactly how I thought it was going to go. ”
•On his thoughts on his first ever Ultimate X match at United We Stand: “Absolutely. Ultimate X is an Impact original. For me to be a part of it was really cool because it is something, for a long time, I’ve really wanted to do. The creative possibilities in that type of a match are really through the roof. I ended up walking away as X Division #1 contender!”
•On if the X Division or World Title appeals more to him more right now: “Oh, I’ve got to get my World Title back. That’s got to be the first plan. You’re right. Every world champion is entitled to a remach. That’s how pro wrestling works. There is a rematch clause. So, that’s got to be #1!”
•On the 2300 Arena (ECW Arena) being compared to Lucha Underground’s Temple: “I’ve worked there once before with House of Hardcore (ECW Arena) but I think Friday night will show why I compared it to the Temple. It is a building that has a lot of tradition and nostalgia but also has always had an electric group of wrestling fans that pur energy into the night. For all those reasons… The energy, the nostalgia. I’m expecting this weekend’s TV tapings to be some of the best Impact Wrestling TV tapings to date.”
•On the stars of Lucha Underground becoming even bigger stars in Impact Wrestling: “As I said when we spoke to promote Lucha Underground Season 2 (back in 2016), I believe the stars of Lucha Underground are some of the best in the world. The formula for a successful professional wrestling promotion is not rocket science. Get the best talent that you can get. Give them guidelines. But then, get out of the talent’s way! Nobody knows how to be Fenix, Pentagon, or Willie Mack better than Fenix, Pentagon, or Willie Mack! And, there are some great OG Impact Wrestling talent… Moose, Eddie Edwards, people like that. The cool thing about Impact Wrestling right now is melting pot of talent from different backgrounds… Rich Swann, Ethan Page, the Deaners. (laughs) Killer Kross. All these talents with different backgrounds, from different countries, with different styles in the ring running into each other is, I think, what is really cool about Impact right now!”
•On Rob Van Dam coming to Impact Wrestling: “Rob is someone who, even before I really started wrestling, I was a huge fan of. Since the day that I met him, I’ve alwayshad a lot of respect for him in the ring and out of the ring. I would love nothing more than to take him to Slam Town! Mixed tag with me and Taya against him and Katie Forbes… Just me and him. I think eventually, in the world of Impact Wrestling, with a mouth like mine and a mouth like his, eventually… Impact isn’t that big of a place. He’ll get what he asks for. And, hopefully, I’ll get what I ask for too.”
•On the positive culture change of the perception of Impact Wrestling: “Absolutely. I’ve been here for maybe not quite 2 years. I’ve noticed it in my tenure here. ANd, watching old clips of Impact until now, I definitely agree with Gail (Kim). The response we’re getting at live events and also from the critics online and also from those watching on Twitch and Pursuit has become substantially more positive. I think there is a chicken and an egg like circumstance as far as which came first – The positivity in the locker room or the positive response from the fans. It all effects everything. The positivity of the locker room, the positivity and the energy of the office. And, across the board, everything is rising which is a very cool thing to be a part of.”
•On using the term “Smart Mark” to anger the crowd: “Yeah! (laughs) Between you and me and everyone listening, I’m also a smart mark! It is an interesting time because… Between 5 and 20 years ago, the word “mark” wasn’t realy being used. To use that term to those who are that or maybe don’t consider themselves that because of the negativity associated with that is fun! Wrestling is about finding things and calling them out, basing what we’re doing on truth. And, when you have a truth, perverting it in a way to suit your agenda. (laughs) Throwing the term “smart mark” out there is taking something that is truth but swerving it into something that maybe it is not exactly. But, hopefully it makes people feel the way I want them to feel. (laughs)”