As some may know by now, Allie’s time with Impact Wrestling has come to a close. Her contract has wrapped up and will be heading to AEW; possibly returning to her Cherry Bomb persona.
From the looks of it, the folks at Impact Wrestling may not be expecting Allie to ever return to their company. Usually, when a wrestler leaves a promotion, they may run an angle explaining why they’re leaving. More often than not, they lose some kind of “Loser Leaves Town” match, or they quit Batista style.
Impact Wrestling? They literally killed Allie off.
Of course, in the wacky world of wrestling, even this doesn’t ensure Allie will never be back in Impact again. Let’s not forget that Rosemary was “killed off” once upon a time ago. Burned and buried alive, in fact. However, this article isn’t about whether or not an Impact return could ever be in Allie’s cards in the future. This article is meant to address the general reaction to Impact showcasing a murder on live television. Well, not live television, just live on Twitch. Which in itself is a pre-taped simulcast. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.
The general reaction to the segment – judging by replies on YouTube and Twitter – seem to be comprised into two sections: long time fans of Impact Wrestling who have followed the Allie/Rosemary storyline for quite some time and people who likely haven’t watched in a while. Actual fans of Impact seem to love the segment for the most part – some even claiming to get misty eyed at Allie’s exit from the show – while outsiders think this is dumb.
Many critics against the decision to actually kill off Allie are against it seemingly because it destroys the suspension of disbelief – mostly because Allie’s alive in real life – or because they believe theatrical stuff like this doesn’t belong in wrestling. It’s perfectly acceptable to pass this off as simply not your thing, but it would be a disservice to wrestling itself to act like a segment like this doesn’t fit perfectly in line with everything wrestling is about.
Over the top, extravagant storylines like this are par for the course in wrestling. This isn’t anything new either. We’ve seen over the top stuff like this before in Impact; the Broken Hardys Final Deletion Saga is a prime example.
Stuff like this echoes the sort of storylines that have become a staple of Lucha Underground. The show is not only notorious for soap opera-esque storylines, but for killing off its wrestlers. One of those wrestlers actually made a cameo during last night’s Allie murder segment; Vibora, who we last saw on Lucha Underground suffering a decapitation. Good times, man. Good times.
Sure, these segments can be silly, but they’re not bad simply because they’re silly. If it’s up your alley, you’ll love it. Plus, it fits perfectly in line with the tone Impact has been going for these past couple years. Whereas a segment like this may seem out of place in WWE because the company likes to blend reality with storylines, Impact has always been a proud amalgamation of pop culture presented in the most elaborate, ludicrous manner.
Impact Wrestling has happily crafted an action packed, Buffy-inspired Undead realm storyline. In the same vain, Impact has gleefully featured The Rascalz in a self aware roundtable segment backstage inspired by That 70’s Show every other week since their debut. Impact has proven that they are more than happy to throw reality out of the window in favor of something ridiculously bonkers for the sake of pure fun. There’s nothing wrong with that either.
There isn’t a wrong way to approach wrestling. There are wrong and bad approaches to storylines, but wrestling should never be just one thing. All wrestling doesn’t have to be reality-based nor should it always just be over the top. That’s what makes it such an engrossing, inclusive art form. Yes, that’s right, an art form.
Wrestling is an art form. A lost art, perhaps, but an art nonetheless. I’d go a step further by saying that in the dying days of classic theater play production, professional wrestling is the last form of live performance art. As a sub-genre of theater, wrestling is one of the few alternatives that can warrant a sell out crowd to an event to see performers don extravagant costumes, play even more extravagant characters and engage with the audience in acting out some visual storytelling. Wrestling can even be more engaging than classic theater considering how wrestling demands audience participation and audience interaction.
Even Jordynne Grace agrees that wrestling is an art and it’s hard to argue with how a performer feels about their own craft.
Before you write this segment off as “dumb” or just plain “bad,” consider two things:
1.) It’s not bad as you think.
2.) It’s just not your thing. Different strokes for different folks.
Judging from the overwhelmingly positive responses and replies from long time fans who have followed this storyline for quite some time, this segment’s a rousing success. If it works for the people, then it just works.
If you love it, kudos. If you don’t, that’s okay. There’s plenty of art out there to indulge. Find the art from the squared circle that speaks to you and indulge in it unapologetically.