Sonjay Dutt celebrates his Impact Wrestling X Division Championship victory this week.
FYI: My interview with Sonjay Dutt will be on this week’s episode of Wrestling with Ruben. Make sure to tune in for that, it’s a good one!
IMPACT Wrestling Taps MLB/NHL Announcer Robert Flores For Slammiversary
Don West Comes Back For Color Commentary Duties
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NASHVILLE (June 13, 2017) — IMPACT Wrestling is dipping into the high-profile sports world for a little broadcasting help at Slammiversary 15, a pay-per-view extravaganza on July 2 in Orlando, Florida.
IMPACT has signed Robert Flores to be the lead announcer for Slammiversary, to work alongside longtime IMPACT color commentator Don West, who is making a one-night return behind the microphone.
IMPACT faced an announcing dilemma for Slammiversary as broadcasters Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash are wrestling in a tag-team match as the animosity between the two has boiled over in recent weeks. Borash and Joseph Park will team up against Mathews and “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner, one of the most powerful and feared wrestlers of all time.
Flores is a studio host appearing across MLB Network’s programming, including MLB Network’s Emmy Award-winning daily studio show, MLB Tonight. In addition to MLB Network, Flores is a studio host for NHL Network and contributes across MLB Advanced Media’s digital properties, including MLB.com and Sports On Earth.
Flores joined MLB Network and NHL Network in 2016 from ESPN, where he most recently anchored SportsCenter, ABC’s college football studio updates and ESPN2’s Fantasy Football Now. Flores joined ESPN in 2005 as an ESPNews anchor and later contributed to a variety of studio shows, including Baseball Tonight, NBA Fastbreak and Friday Night Fights.
Flores is a lifelong pro wrestling fan.
“I’m excited to have a part in this year’s Slammiversary and grateful to Jeff Jarrett for this unique opportunity,” Flores said.
Flores said the match that he’s most excited to announce is for the X-Division Championship. “I’m a fan of high-flyers,” Flores said.
A Texas native, Flores earned his bachelor’s degree in radio and television from the University of Houston in 1992. Flores attended J. Frank Dobie High School in Houston and is a member of their JFD Hall of Fame. His wrestling roots are engrained in his Houston childhood.
“To play a role in Slammiversary alongside Don West is really cool,” Flores said. “Slammiversary is an event 15-years in the making, and the best always separate themselves on the biggest stages – be it the in the wrestling ring or the World Series.
“I can’t wait to see what the IMPACT Wrestling stars do on July 2nd at Slammiversary.”
Don West broke onto the broadcasting scene in the 1990s on the Shop At Home Network. He was the popular, loud, energetic, abrasive salesman, pitching countless products on late-night television – and he even was in a parody video (portrayed by actor Will Ferrell) during a segment of Saturday Night Live.
West spent about 10 years as a color commentator for IMPACT Wrestling, dating back to the company’s first-ever event on June 19, 2002.
“I am so excited to be a part of IMPACT again and to be a part of the great Slammiversary weekend,” West said. “As an avid sports and baseball fan, it will be a great honor to work next to Robert Flores as I have admired his professionalism for years. When Jeff Jarrett asked me to do this, I had only one response, ‘YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!’”
“It will be great to see and hear Don West back on an IMPACT Wrestling broadcast; no one brings more energy and excitement to a broadcast than Don,” said Jeff Jarrett, the Chief Creative Officer for IMPACT Wrestling. “Having a broadcaster on Slammiversary at the level that Robert Flores has achieved is unbelievable. We are so excited to have RoFlo in the IMPACT family – and broadcast booth.”
About IMPACT Wrestling
IMPACT Wrestling specializes in television properties, events, products, merchandise and music, as well as the management and promotion of professional wrestlers. The roster features such greats as EC3, Bobby Lashley, Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards, James Storm, the high-flying X-Division, Gail Kim and the lovely and lethal Knockouts. Its highly successful flagship, IMPACT WRESTLING, broadcasts in more than 120 countries around the world, including Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Pop (a joint venture of CBS Corporation and Lionsgate) in the United States, and on Fight Network and GameTV in Canada.
Impact Wrestling sent out this statement in remembrance of the tragic Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.
As the world remembers the tragedy at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, IMPACT Wrestling stands alongside the survivors and honors the 49 victims of the shooting on this, the 1-year mark.
For most of the past 15 years, IMPACT Wrestling has called Orlando its home arena, filming TV shows at Universal Studios Florida. Therefore, the Pulse Nightclub tragedy also brings extra meaning to all of the IMPACT wrestlers, referees, production crew and front-office staff.
We know there will be tears on Monday; we’re crying too, but standing strong for all.
On the next Monday that IMPACT Wrestling is in Orlando, which will be July 3rd, the company will have a special ceremony to honor all of those impacted by this tragedy, which directly impacted the LGBTQ, the LatinX and other communities of color.
IMPACT Wrestling remembers the victims and those impacted by the Pulse Nightclub tragedy.
Commentary: This is a classy thing to do for Impact and the Orlando community. We all stand united with Orlando as we remember this tragic event.
Impact Wrestling had a viewing party scheduled in Manchester. Due to the events earlier this week, Impact’s UK Twitter sent the following statement:
Due to the horrific terrorist attack yesterday, so close to where Friday’s fan event was scheduled, we feel a party is not appropriate. Ticket holders have been emailed. Full refund are being provided and alternative plans made so they can still meet Jeff Jarrett and JB. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Manchester and the whole of the UK.
Impact Wrestling had a rough week 1 last week, but this week they have something to brag about. Viewership for the March 9. 2017 episode was 292,000. On the March 16. 2017, the viewership was up to 344,000.
Commentary: It’s good to see that last week’s episodes drew enough interest to bring a sizable viewership back to the product. I am in the middle of trying to watch it, but Alberto El Patron seems to be moving the needle a little bit. I just hope that they stop whatever they have planned for Josh Mathews/Jeremy Borash and focus on the in ring product.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment purchased a majority share in TNA Wrestling. With the new buy out, Dixie Carter is no longer directly involved in the company and Jarrett is now taking on “key management roles”. We are not sure if this will be a long term deal or just part of creative transition.
“We are thrilled to have acquired TNA IMPACT Wrestling,” said Ed Nordholm, Executive Vice President of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., the parent of Fight Network. “As we grow Anthem’s linear, digital and mobile platforms globally, top tier content with global appeal is key to that success and this acquisition is a perfect strategic addition to our portfolio. IMPACT has been a dominant wrestling brand around the world for more than a decade and we are confident that Anthem can leverage its assets and strategic partnerships to take IMPACT Wrestling to even greater heights.”