IMPACT Wrestling confirmed today that a new broadcast team will start on Saturday, January 16, at the Hard To Kill pay-per-view, which will originate from Nashville, Tennessee. Matt Striker will be IMPACT’s new play-by-play announcer, while D’Lo Brown will handle colour commentary duties. The two also will be the announce team for the flagship weekly TV show, Impact!, airing every Tuesday from 8 PM ET (1 AM GMT), on AXS TV.
Josh Mathews, meanwhile, has been promoted to Senior Producer for the weekly TV show and all pay-per-views, and he also signed a new, multi-year contract with the company. Madison Rayne, a 5-time Knockouts Champion who provided colour commentary for most of 2020, will discuss her wrestling future this weekend at Hard To Kill.
“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,” Mathews said. “Producing will allow me to have a bigger role in the overall production of our weekly show, PPVs and IMPACT Plus Specials.
“This transition has been a great process, Matt and D’Lo are bringing 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.”
Striker, a former high school teacher, transitioned from wrestler to wrestling broadcaster for the WWE and Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide. He is a past winner of the Best Television Announcer Award, presented annually by the Wrestling Observer.
“I’ve always loved professional wrestling. It is a love that unites so many people,” Striker said. “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 to hear the fan in me.”
Brown had an illustrious in-ring career with multiple singles and tag-team championships in numerous promotions worldwide, including the WWF European Championship (4 times), the WWF Intercontinental Championship and the NWA World Tag Team Championship (with Gran Apolo).
“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.”
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). Deonna Purrazzo puts the Knockouts Championship on the line at Hard To Kill against Taya Valkyrie, while a three-way battle for the X-Division Championship pits Rohit Raju vs. Chris Bey vs. reigning Champion Manik.
Hard To Kill will be available on Pay-Per-View in North America on Saturday, January 16 at 8 pm ET (1 AM GMT) on InDemand, DISH, DirecTV, Vubiquity, Rogers, Bell, Shaw, Sasktel. It will be available around the world digitally via FITE TV (pre-order NOW) and on Premier Sports in the UK.
The live broadcast of Hard To Kill on Fite TV will feature commentary feeds in French, German and Spanish in addition to the English broadcast. Providing Spanish-language coverage is the team of IMPACT mainstays Héctor “Moody Jack” Meléndez and pro-wrestling legend Konnan; while seasoned broadcasting veteran Christian Bruns, editor-in-chief of Germany’s top wrestling magazine Power-Wrestling and versatile sports journalist Marcus Holzer, co-host of the German wrestling podcast Ringside, provide German commentary. Renowned Canadian superstars Jean-Fred Clément and Marc Blondin partner to deliver content in French.
All pics, screencaps and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling, AXS TV and Basil Mahmud