Making An Impact Pt. 1
Love them or hate them, it's hard to argue with the success of Impact, Inc. But after their apparent demise at the end of 2011, it appeared that this once great faction of Oklahoma independent wrestling was a thing of the past. Like a phoenix, the past few months has seen Impact, Inc. ressurected and at the forefront of not just one but now two wrestling federations.
After taking over IZW as commissioner, Brandon Bishop reformed Impact, Inc., bringing together IZW Champion Aaron Neil, IZW Impact Division Champion Jordan Jacobs and putting Kevin Morgan & MSWA Mid-South Tag Team Champion Damon Windsor together as Big Business, which allowed them to take control of the IZW Tag Team titles as well. Add to that the "Queen of IZW", Venus, and it appeared that Bishop's ressurected Impact, Inc. would run unchallenged every Saturday night in Lawton.
But once month ago, the original leader of Impact, Inc., Johnny Z, made what might be the most shocking announcement of the year. Instead of sitting back and watching as Bishop ran his company into the ground, Z reached out to friends such as Jermaine Johnson, Double D and The Old School Suckas, Randy Price & Gary Tool. Together with Erica, this grouping became the Johnny Z approved version of Impact, Inc. And thus, the biggest factional war since nWo Black & White vs. nWo Hollywood began to play itself out in IZW.
Both Johnny Z & Brandon Bishop knew they were on a short time schedule as the two teams are scheduled to face each other in the Impact Chamber on July 21st. But the intervening weeks certainly showed that each team was determined to have the upper hand psychologically in dealing with the others. This past week, members of each team faced off against each other in a variety of matches and confrontations and the results seem to show that one team of Impact, Inc. certainly appears to be stronger than the other.
The show started with Johnny Z hosting his talk show segment, "Catching Some Z's" in the ring. Normally this segment appears on the IZW TV show, but for the first time, it was held live in the Impact Arena. And John's first guest was none other than Brandon Bishop. John made it very clear that he was going to play mind games with Bishop as, with every question he asked Bishop, he never actually allowed Bishop to answer. And Bishop grew more and more frustrated as questions came at him such as "How does it feel to be an extreme douchebag?" and "What will it be like when Jermaine Johnson beats Aaron Neil for the IZW Title?" As soon as Bishop was allowed to take the microphone, he said that he didn't actually come back to run a wrestling company. He just missed John's sense of humour. Over the past month, he noticed that John and his Impact, Inc. members liked to attack 5-on-1 style. So he had a demonstration for John. And at that point, Bishop's Impact, Inc. members came to the ring. 5 of them, 1 of John. Bishop points out that they have all the titles, which means they're "winning at life", as their t-shirts say. But Bishop wondered if they still needed to teach John a lesson, so all of Impact, Inc. began to back John into a corner of the ring.
At that moment, Johnny Z's Impact, Inc., burst in the front door, each with leather straps in their hand. For a brief moment, the 5-on-5 attack lasted, then Bishop's Impact, Inc. cleared out of the ring and ran for safer ground. But it wasn't the last confrontation between members of these two groups for the night.
The opening contest saw Gary Tool face off against IZW Tag Team Champion Kevin Morgan, 1-on-1. Tool used his experience and craftiness to overcome the immense size disadvantage he had against Morgan and pick up a victory with a Sunset Flip.
In what has to be considered one of the most out-of-control matches of this year, Johnny Z, Double D & Jermaine Johnson took on Brandon Bishop, Aaron Neil & Jordan Jacobs in a 6-man tag team match. This match quickly spilled outside the ring and into the fans as Johnny Z and Brandon Bishop fought all over the arena. John threw Bishop into a wash basin, hip tossed him into some chairs and destroyed the door to the "Snackdown" concession area by using Bishop's head as a battering ram. Johnson & Jacobs battled up onto the stage and D & Neil continued to fight at ringside. Jacobs soon became a man alone as both Neil and Bishop wanted nothing more to do with the match and would only sit and watch as Jacobs took a D-Facer, and ES2 and a Big Boot before getting pinned. 2 matches and 2 wins for Johnny Z's Impact, Inc.
The main event saw Damon Windsor face Randy Price in a Lumberjack Strap Match. Again, all members of both Impact, Inc. teams were present, but confined to opposite sides of the ring. Price took some shots early in the match when he was thrown out on the wrong side by Windsor and then Windsor used distraction of the referee to allow the other Impact, Inc. members to get some undeserved shots in. Windsor finally felt the lick of leather on his body as he was unceremoniously dumped onto Johnny Z's team side a couple of times. And that's when things began to break completely down as both teams of Impact, Inc. began to battle on the outside. Price lowbridged Windsor into the group, then dove off the top rope onto them. Windsor and Price then rolled back into the ring and Gary Tool handed Price a chair, which Price used on Windsor twice before making the pin, giving Johnny Z's Impact, Inc. a clean sweep.
Yet even then, it wasn't really over. As ring announcer Dwayne Fields attempted to close the show, Aaron Neil came back out and said that the fans had been told there would be an IZW Title match this night (something that was cancelled by Brandon Bishop) and he intended to deliver that match in a 2-out-of-3 Falls format. Jermaine Johnson arrived and the match began. Neil took the first fall and Johnson evened it up to 1 apiece in the second. Before the third fall could go very long, members of Bishop's Impact, Inc. arrived as well as Bobby Starr. Jordan Jacobs again suffered severe physical abuse as did Bobby Starr with both men being tossed up and collapsing on the mat at the hands of all of Johnny Z's Impact, Inc. members.
Never let it be said that Johnny Z isn't prepared and doesn't have surprises for the people he is facing in the ring. With pride and authourity on the line in the Impact Chamber, Johnny knows that it's important to have the mental upper hand.
And for all the surprises that John unleashed on Brandon Bishop Saturday night, the surprises he had in store the next day were even more impressive, as will be seen in part two tomorrow.