3/23 Powell’s Impact Wrestling TV Review: Mystery woman reveal, Moose defends the Grand Championship, LAX followup

By Jason Powell

Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped in February in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios

Impact opened with a graphic acknowledging the death of Jan Ross, who died tragically in an accident earlier this week… The opening montage aired… Josh Mathews, “Pope” D’Angelo Dinero, and Jeremy Borash were on commentary…

1. Davey Richards (w/Angelina Love) vs. Suicide. Richards took a couple of arm drags to start. Suicide threw a nice dropkick and covered Richards for an early two count. Richards tossed Suicide to the floor and then ran him into the barricade. Richards kissed his wife on the floor before rolling Suicide back inside the ring.

Richards kicked Suicide repeatedly, then kissed his wife again. Suicide came back with a springboard missile dropkick and followed up with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Suicide performed a rolling senton and then performed a springboard moonsault for another two count. Richards came back and put Suicide away with a kick to the side of the head…

Davey Richards defeated Suicide in 6:00.

Powell’s POV: A nice opening match with Suicide performing some nice acrobatics and Richards showing good intensity. The over the top making out with Love is a good turnoff in a heelish way.

The broadcast team checked in at ringside. Borash was on the phone again and teased the arrival of the mystery woman. He said Mathews wouldn’t be happy about it. Mathews wasn’t happy about Borash not offering more details…

An LAX video aired. The group was playing cards and drinking beers at an undisclosed location. Konnan spoke about Tijuana. He said the “Impact crackers” came across the border and tried to take his belts. He said he wants the tag titles and said the two new members will win them and defend them wherever they want…

Powell’s POV: A good video that felt inspired by Lucha Underground. The setting was cool and this was a good way to reestablish what LAX is all about beyond just the usual match or promo.

[Q2] [C] Backstage interviewer McKenzie Mitchell found Laurel Van Ness, who was still wearing her wedding dress and acted belliggerant. Sienna entered the picture and told Van Ness that she shouldn’t hate her or Maria. She said she should hate Allie, who took everything away. Sienna told Van Ness to take a shower. Van Ness sang “The sun will come out tomorrow” and started sobbing again…

2. Idris Abraham, Fallah Bahh and Mario Bokara vs. Mahabali Shera, Garza Jr., and Laredo Kid. The broadcast team joked that Rockstar Spud, who was doing the ring announcing, was earning his paycheck pronouncing the names of these wrestlers. Abraham ran the ropes until he stopped in his tracks when Garza held up his hand. Garza removed his tearaway pants, which drew cheers from some women in the crowd.

The massive Bahh performed a running cross body block on Kid, then slammed Bokara onto him. Shera ended up performing a Sky High on Bahh. In the end, Shera performed the Sky High on Bokara for the win…

Mahabali Shera, Garza Jr., and Laredo Kid beat Idris Abraham, Fallah Bahh and Mario Bokara in 5:25.

A limo arrived backstage… [C]

Powell’s POV: Bahh stands out visually as a 400-pounder who is going for a Yokozuna style look. It was odd to see him be taken off his feet and even thrown around on night one. Shera reintroduced his silly dance. Ugh. Garza and Kid are impressive.

Powell’s POV: Bahh stands out visually as a 400-pounder who is going for a Yokozuna style look. It was odd to see him be taken off his feet and even thrown around on night one. Shera reintroduced his silly dance. Ugh. Garza and Kid are impressive.

[Q3] Another shot aired of the limo backstage…

3. Abyss and Crazzy Steve (w/Rosemary) vs. Reno Scum. Adam Thornstowe and Steve started. The big men Abyss and Luster the Legend checked in. Luster got the better of the exchange. Abyss and Steve ended up isolating Thornstowe. Luster took a hot tag and worked over Steve, then threw a clumsy elbow at Abyss and fell down. Luster performed a shoulder block off the second rope and then went to the floor. Luster threw Abyss toward the steps.

In the ring, Rosemary tried to spray mist at Thronstowe, but he moved and she sprayed Steve instead. Luster tossed Rosemary onto Abyss at ringside. Luster arched the back of Steve and then Thornstowe leapt over his partner’s back and double stomped the back of Steve’s head, which led to the pin…

Reno Scum defeated Decay in 7:10.

Powell’s POV: I realize creative is trying to get over the new talent, but I wouldn’t have done it at the expense of the strong Decay act. Reno Scum don’t do much for me, whereas Decay was a really strong act at one point.

[Q4] Moose vs. Eli Drake was hyped for later in the show… Footage aired of Bruce Prichard interviewing Lashley. The interview will air later… [C] A “Fury Will Be Unleashed” video teased the arrival of what appears to be a large woman(?) on April 6…

Eli Drake and Tyrus came to the ring for the Grand Championship match. They cut backstage to the limo. Cody and Brandi Rhodes emerged from the limo. Cody, who was wearing a Bullet Club sweatshirt, told his wife he wasn’t going to do anything, then walked away from her. Cody grabbed a chair and struck Moose from behind near the entrance area. They came into the studio and Cody put him down with CrossRhodes on the entrance ramp. An unhappy Brandi came out and stood by Cody, who mugged with the Grand Championship belt. Trainers checked on Moose and helped him to the back…

The broadcast team spoke. Mathews thought Cody and Brandi were the only people in the limo. Borash said “she” was in the limo and would be out in just a few moments… [C]

Powell’s POV: Another good angle involving Cody, Brandi, and Moose. They have done a consistently nice job of building this up as a showdown match. Meanwhile, Drake felt like a fast rising star under old management. So far he’s been cast as just another guy, which is a real shame.

[Q5] LAX made their entrance. Borash said the new male members joining Konnan and Homicide are Ortiz and Santana, and the female is Diamante. Konnan said they were there for the tag titles. He said his past with the “Impact Mafia” has been contentious. He said it won’t be decided in the tribunals, as LAX is taking it street style. DCC made their entrance…

4. Sananta and Ortiz (w/Konnan, Homicide, Diamante) vs. James Storm and Bram (w/Kingston). LAX worked over Bram heading into the break. [C] Coming out of the break. Mathews said LAX dominated. Storm came back with a clothesline and tagged in Bram, but the referee didn’t see it. Rinse and repeat again with the ref missing the tag. Bram eventually took a hot tag and powerbombed Ortiz. Storm tagged himself in and worked over both opponents. Storm got a two count off a neckbreaker.

Storm caught Santana with the Codebreaker (lung blower) and set up for his superkick, but he was distracted briefly. The two LAX members performed a reverse double suplex on Storm and pinned him.

[Q6] After LAX left, Storm blamed Kingston for the ref distractions. Kingston shoved him. Storm shoved him back. Bram shoved Storm. Storm told Bram that he is the Cowboy and he’s the one who started this. Fans chanted Cowboy, and Storm left the ring alone…

Sananta and Ortiz beat James Storm and Bram in 11:05.

Prichard interviewed Lashley and said most people don’t know about his amateur background. Lashley discussed it and said he spent three and a half years at the Olympic training center. Prichard asked how this makes him the best athlete in the world. Lashley said he separated himself. They aired a teaser for the continuation of the interview…

Powell’s POV: LAX defeating the crumbling DCC faction was logical. It’s obvious that DCC are breaking up soon and it looks like Storm is going back into Cowboy mode. Here’s hoping they have a plan for Bram, who has been wasted throughout his run with the company. I’m not sure what we are supposed to take from the Lashley interview just yet. So far, he comes off like a nice guy. It seems odd that they are acting like most viewers are not aware of Lashley’s background when it’s been discussed so many times over the years. It’s actually Prichard who needs to be reintroduced. Even if you know Prichard’s background, it still feels odd that he’s all over the show without a real explanation for his role in the company is.

DJZ was featured in a “Make Impact Great” video. He said the company has always been ahead of the curve. He said they are taking something great and making it greater and it’s a great time to give it a chance…

Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell announced Moose vs. Cody for the Grand Championship for next week’s television show. She interviewed Braxton Sutter and Allie about Sienna threatening them last week. Sutter said Allie is the best thing that has ever happened to him. He said he had to watch her be treated like garbage. He said he wouldn’t let Maria, Laurel, and Sienna phase them…

5. Rebel vs. ODB. Rebel attacked ODB before the bell and controlled the opening minute. ODB avoided Rebel going for a move off the top rope. ODB took a swig from her flask and then worked over Rebel with clotheslines. Rebel rolled up ODB and held the tights for a two count. Rebel threw an embarrassing slap at referee Earl Hebner, who put on her hat and kissed her. Hebner strutted around the ring and the fans cheered.

[Q7] Hebner also took a swig from ODB’s flask. He spit it out. ODB sprayed her mouth and then kissed Hebner, who did the Flair flop. ODB performed a TKO for the win… [C]

ODB beat Rebel in 3:55.

Powell’s POV: The referee forcing a kiss on the heel was odd, but the live crowd got a kick out of his antics and had fun with the match. Rebel is still very green, but her look and entrance left me feeling like she could click as a babyface.

More of Prichard’s interview with Lashley aired. He recalled avoiding a gunshot at a bank and destroying his knee when he hit the ground. He said he was left wondering what’s next following surgery. He said he went from thinking he was going to the Olympics to having a thief take it all away from him…

Powell’s POV: A sad story and a lot of smiles. Are they turning Lashley babyface again? Alberto El Patron seems to be the top babyface, so maybe I’m reading it wrong. If so, then I have no idea what they are going for with this sit-down interview. Quite frankly, the athletically arrogant and superior Lashley is better than nice guy Lashley.

6. Impact Wrestling Champion Lashley vs. Jake Holmes in a non-title match. Lashley dominated Holmes. He could have pinned him once and picked him up instead. Lashley speared Holmes and pinned him…

Lashley defeated Jake Holmes in 2:00.

The broadcast team hyped that “she” will appear after the break. A graphic questioned “who is she?”… [C]

Powell’s POV: Heel Mathews was gushing over Lashley. Plus, Lashley could have pinned Holmes and picked him up. The good news is he is a heel. The bad news is that I have no clue what they want viewers to take away from the Prichard interview.

[Q8] [C] Jeremy Borash stood in the ring with a microphone and said it took a lot of people to get the company to this point. He said he wanted to introduce someone who was integral in getting them to the point. Borash introduced Karen Jarrett. They cut to Josh Mathews, who didn’t look pleased. Karen stopped and signed an autograph as she walked to the ring. She also stopped to kiss two young boys.

The live crowd chanted “welcome back” briefly. They also chanted her name. Borash welcomed her back. Karen hugged Borash. The “welcome back” chant fired up again. Borash asked for her thoughts on everything going on. Karen said her family started the company. She said they put their hard work, sweat, and tears into the company.

Karen said the last three years have been very difficult. She said there were times when it was incredibly humbling and there were a lot of changes that happened in their life. She said the old Karen would have came out and given everyone all of the answers to the questions that everyone has, but she’s going to take the high road. She said she is looking forward to the future and to the changes. The fans chanted “Fire Josh.”

Karen said she will put that on her list of changes. Fans chanted, “Thank you, Karen.” She said she didn’t expect this response. She said there’s energy backstage and with the production crew. Karen thanked the fans. She said they were there for the good times in the beginning.

EC3’s music interrupted Karen’s promo. EC3 said Karen is right in that they have the best fans in the world. EC3 said he’s friends with a lot of the fans. EC3 said it wasn’t just about the fans. He said the whole team rules. EC3 entered the ring and said the most important part is the locker room.

EC3 said he’s like a locker room leader. He said the new guys who don’t introduce themselves will get to it. EC3 brought up the “make Impact great” slogan and said he feels like he already did when he beat legends, shaved heads, and became a world champion, and the only original star the company created. “Karen, your top man is reporting for duty,” he said. She clapped.

EC3 said that with all the fans, they will make Impact great. “But I’m not doing it for your last name,” he said. “I’m going to do it for mine.” Karen backed up as EC3 looked intense. Josh Mathews called for them to stop from a house mic at the broadcast table. Mathews said he had something to say.

Mathews entered the ring and said, “So the evil tyrant queen has returned.” Mathews said the first move Karen made was to put the JV squad with the All Star at the broadcast table. Mathews brought up Bruce Prichard joining the company. Mathews said he thought Prichard was dead. He said Dutch Mantell is 267 years old. Mathews said Borash has been a stooge for 25 years. He told the fans who come for free because they can’t afford a ticket to shut up.

Mathews said his problem is with Karen. Mathews said his wife is a five-time champion who has forgotten more about wrestling than Karen will ever know. Mathews said it’s only a matter of time before the Jarrett family is gone from Impact Wrestling forever. Karen slapped Mathews. Off mic, she told him not to bring up her family again. Pope said on commentary that he wasn’t sure if Josh would be with them next week…

Powell’s POV: I never would have guessed that the live crowd would be so pleased to see Karen Jarrett. A nice reaction? Sure, but they treated her like a returning mega star. Mathews getting involved was odd. He’s toned down his heel antics on commentary to a far more tolerable level, so it actually felt strange when he stood up and confronted her. Is there a reason why Josh dislikes the Jarrett family so much? Do viewers really care? The best part about this was EC3, who is clearly turning heel. I will have more to say in members’ audio on Friday, and John Moore will be by with his Impact Wrestling Hit List on Friday as well. Thanks for watching along with me.


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