Ahead of their monumental Hard To Kill pay-per-view where AEW World Champion Kenny Omega competes in the main event, IMPACT Wrestling have confirmed a huge shake-up that sees WWE legend D’Lo Brown join their commentary team.
D’Lo Brown will join former Lucha Underground commentator Matt Striker, with Striker taking on the role of play-by-play and former WWE European Champion D’Lo Brown on colour commentary. The pairing will also will be the announce team for the flagship weekly TV show, Impact – which airs on FreeSports every Wednesday at 10pm in the UK, less than 24 hours after its US premiere on AXS TV.
The huge shake-up also sees long-term commentator Josh Mathews promoted to senior producer of the weekly TV show, while Knockouts legend Madison Rayne will address her future in the wrestling business at Hard To Kill.
IMPACT confirms Matt Striker & D’Lo Brown will be the company’s new commentary team starting at Hard To Kill.
Josh Mathews has been promoted to Senior Producer, while Madison Rayne will discuss her future in wrestling at Hard To Kill.
— Gary Cassidy (@WrestlingGary) January 13, 2021
In a press release issued by IMPACT, Josh Mathews opened up about the switch.
“My play-by-play career has spanned nearly 20 years – from WrestleMania to Bound For Glory to incredible moments from IMPACT Wrestling on AXS TV. Producing will allow me to have a bigger role in the overall production of our weekly show, PPVs and IMPACT+ Specials. This transition has been a great process, Matt and D’Lo are bringing a fresh energy and are ready to go. It was a special year in 2020, and both Madison Rayne and I will always be grateful for the opportunity and look forward to these exciting changes.”
Former WWE Intercontinental Champion D’Lo Brown also opened up on being “humbled” at joining the commentary team.
“I’m very excited to join the IMPACT Wrestling broadcast booth and I know working again alongside Matt Striker will be a lot of fun,” Brown said. “I believe in IMPACT Wrestling, with its amazing roster of skilled Superstars and Knockouts – and can’t wait to have the best seat in the house to call all the action.”
“I’m humbled to follow the IMPACT broadcasting path of Don West and Mike Tenay, and most recently Don Callis, Madison Rayne and certainly Josh Mathews. I’m beyond grateful for this opportunity. I know there are big shoes to fill, but Striker and I will do our best.”
Meanwhile, Matt Striker said the opportunity is not lost on him to return to wrestling.
“I’ve always loved professional wrestling. It is a love that unites so many people. Pro wrestling is a sport and I want to be mindful to call it as such. I’ve learned and grown so much since I began, and I thank the fans – and the critics – for that. It is not lost on me the opportunity that is before me – I can once again lend my voice to the sport that I love. In doing so, I’m poised to describe, analyze, and witness the most advanced athletes the sport has ever seen. I am excited, nervous, thankful, and humbled. I cannot wait to get out there. You will always be able hear the fan in me.”
Striker and Brown will be ringside for the Hard To Kill pay-per-view, featuring one of the most-anticipated main event matches ever. AEW World Champion Kenny Omega joins forces with IMPACT Tag Team Champions, The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson), to face the reigning IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann and the Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley). Other matches on the card include Deonna Purrazzo vs Taya Valkyrie for the Knockouts Championship, and a three-way battle for the X-Division Championship of Rohit Raju vs. Chris Bey vs. reigning champion Manik among others.
Fans in the UK & Ireland can catch IMPACT! every Wednesday on FreeSports at 10pm.
Ahead of the pay-per-view, Inside The Ropes spoke exclusively with two-time IMPACT World Champion Eric Young. You can ready that interview here.