IMPACT is making Omega vs. Swann feel as momentous as possible

TOKYO,JAPAN - JANUARY 4: Kenny Omega enters during the Wrestle Kingdom 13 at Tokyo Dome on January 04, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)
TOKYO,JAPAN - JANUARY 4: Kenny Omega enters during the Wrestle Kingdom 13 at Tokyo Dome on January 04, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images) /

This past Thursday, IMPACT Wrestling dedicated the last 10 minutes of its broadcast to hyping up the Kenny Omega vs. Rich Swann double championship match scheduled for the April 26 Rebellion pay-per-view with a press conference, where the All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and IMPACT World Champions fielded questions from pro wrestling and combat sports media members.

Even though IMPACT only aired roughly a fourth of this staged media call (the full version is available on Youtube), the footage that made the cut did more than enough to emphasize how important this match was to the participants and the promotions involved.

This feels like one of the biggest matches IMPACT has ever scheduled, and given what’s at stake at Rebellion, that’s how we should feel.

IMPACT Wrestling deserves praise for making Kenny Omega vs. Rich Swann feel special.

While there are aspects of this champion vs. champion match that are a little too artificial — specifically, having Swann carry around the TNA World Heavyweight Championship belt even though it hasn’t been sanctioned in years — IMPACT (and AEW) has kept things simple, promoting this match as a clash between two of the best pro wrestlers in the world.

The press conference furthered this traditional story well while also further establishing Omega as an arrogant, overconfident jerk and Swann as the earnest, affable foil to “The Best Bout Machine”. It also outlined the ramifications for both IMPACT and AEW as it pertained to championship representation. But most importantly, it touched on the barely underlying consequence that’s also on the line: Omega and Swann’s respective legacies, at least within the context of the story.

Not only are both men fighting to add another world title to their CVs, but they are also wrestling to cement their place in wrestling history, with Omega looking to cast an even longer shadow over the areas of the pro wrestling landscape not owned by Vince McMahon and Swann — the decided underdog in this match — embodying IMPACT’s best hope of repelling that challenge.

With those lofty goals, however, comes the crushing fallout that accompanies a loss. How would Omega look if, after all the boasting and saying that Swann was a footnote in history, he came up short against Swann? What would it mean for Swann if he crumbled under pressure that comes with carrying the weight of an entire company on his 200-pound back?

Add in a nifty side story of Swann getting the better of Omega in their scarce physical encounters (without a sneak attack preceding it) and the looming danger of Omega’s signature One Winged Angel maneuver, and you have one of the most compelling pro wrestling matches of 2021.

Seriously, you don’t bring in Mauro Ranallo to call the match and do a pair of “Keys to Victory” videos on each wrestler (both of these were very good, by the way) if this wasn’t something special.

Of course, Tony Khan and Scott D’Amore noting that an AEW and IMPACT referee will be present for the match raise unnecessary red flags for a non-finish (as did Khan explicitly saying that every AEW match has ended with a definitive winner and a loser, though it made sense for him to say it).

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Hopefully, those fears will turn out to be unwarranted and it’s a case of me watching too much WWE because this match deserves a finish that’s as outstanding as everything that has led these wrestlers and these promotions to this point.