- The partnership between AEW and Impact Wrestling involved talent exchanges, with wrestlers appearing on each other’s shows and defending titles.
- Kenny Omega played a significant role in the partnership, pursuing the Impact Wrestling World Title and defending it against various opponents.
- AEW and Impact Wrestling also collaborated to crown the undisputed ROH Women’s World Champion, with Mercedes Martinez defeating Deonna Purrazzo in the main event.
In 2020, Kenny Omega battled Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship at the Winter Is Coming Dynamite special. This match saw Omega turn heel and win the title thanks to the aid of Don Callis. When asked about what had just happened, Callis said all would be revealed on Impact Wrestling later that week. This was the beginning of AEW and Impact Wrestling’s partnership with one another. The partnership proved to be one of AEW’s most important as it was pivotal in not only the story of Omega as the “Belt Collector ”, but it also was involved in a number of other stories across both programs. While the relationship between the two promotions has since ended, Tony Khan has said that there is some hope for the future.
Talent Was Exchanged Between AEW And Impact Wrestling
The AEW and Impact Wrestling partnership worked similarly to the other partnerships that both had previously and currently been involved in. Talents made appearances on programming for companies. For instance, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows (who have both since returned to WWE) made countless appearances with The Elite. At the time, they were also the Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Champions and even defended those titles on AEW television against The Dark Order. On the other side of the coin, Thunder Rosa made an appearance in Impact Wrestling at Slammiversary 2021 when she was revealed to be Deonna Purrazzo’s opponent for the Knockouts Championship.
Kenny Omega Heads To Impact Wrestling
The most significant part of the relationship between AEW and Impact Wrestling involved Kenny Omega. At the time, Omega had turned heel and was in the midst of becoming the “Belt Collector.” One of the titles that he pursued during was the Impact Wrestling World Title. This culminated with a match against Rich Swann at Rebellion 2021, with both the AEW and Impact World Titles on the line. Omega won the title and held onto it for about four months. During this time, he defended the title against Moose and Sami Callihan. In addition, Omega also faced other Impact Wrestling names such as Chris Sabin, Eddie Edwards, and Willie Mack.
On the inaugural episode of AEW Rampage, Omega defended the Impact World Title against Christian Cage. It was Cage’s first world title win since his return back to being a full time active competitor. Cage held the title for a couple of months, defeating Brian Myers and Ace Austin. In addition, he faced and teamed with numerous other Impact Wrestling talents. He ultimately lost the title at Bound For Glory 2021 when he was defeated by Josh Alexander. Following this match, it was reported that the relationship between Impact Wrestling and AEW had ended. On Wrestling Observer Live (h/t WrestleTalk), Tony Khan had stated that he was open to working with the company again in the future.
AEW And Impact Wrestling Talent Battle For The ROH Women’s World Title
In April 2022, AEW and Impact Wrestling found themselves working together once again. At the time, Khan had purchased ROH. However, Deonna Purrazzo, who was at the time the official ROH Women’s World Champion, was signed to Impact Wrestling. Mercedes Martinez was the interim ROH Women’s World Champion. So, the two companies worked together in order to crown an undisputed champion on Dynamite. In the end, Martinez defeated Purrazzo in her first and only AEW appearance thus far.
This match was also the main event of the show. Purrazzo commented on this experience with Universal Wrestling Podcast (h/t WrestleTalk) and said, “We didn’t know what the card looked like or where we were gonna be. It’s funny because Mercedes and I were like ‘We might be the main event, we’re the biggest thing on the advertisement’. But gosh, I don’t wanna be in that spot, that’s a lot of pressure. Then, at like 5 O’Clock they’re like ‘You guys are the main event’. A lot of pressure.” She further added, “There’s so many faucets to this that we have to get right because we’re the main event, but I think it turned out really really great. I think that I got to put my best foot forward and IMPACT’s best foot forward.”
Since then, AEW and Impact Wrestling have not worked with one another. However, anything can happen in the business of professional wrestling. AEW has continued to grow more and more with each year. Impact Wrestling has continued to gain momentum and is even rebranding back to their original name of TNA Wrestling. Both these companies have tremendously talented and incredible rosters of talent that fans would certainly love to see step into the ring with each other.