By John Moore
Impact Wrestling Hits
LAX vs. Laredo Kid and Garza Jr. vs. Decay vs. Reno Scum: A really fun tag team match that showcased the revamped Impact Tag Team Division. This was a multi-team match, but unlike those boring X Division spot-fests, the isolation to two wrestlers at a time allowed each team to showcase what they are good at. I have written about the new LAX guys not being well defined, but they got to wipe away some of that unknown this week, especially Santana, who stands out out of the two newcomers. Laredo and Garza continue to bring an awesome lucha libre repertoire. Decay have really well defined characters. Reno Scum are weak at this point, but at least they’ve won more matches than DCC. If they weren’t going to go with Decay as tag team champs, LAX are the perfect choice to be champs because they have Homicide and Konnan providing the coolness and ethos, while the two new guys have fresh matchups with everyone, babyface or heel.
James Storm and EC3: Good segment between two of Impact’s best talkers. On one side, it looks like they’re building towards an EC3 heel turn because he was essentially talking about going back to his roots. I hope him talking about his last name doesn’t include the return of Impact “advisor” Dixie Carter – ain’t nobody got time for that. On the other side, Storm didn’t cut the best of his promos but he is still a master at controlling the crowd as a babyface. Storm in cowboy mode seemingly marks the end of that gawd awful DCC faction.
Andrew Everett vs. DJ Z: The match started off a bit choreographed with the flips, and Everett looks like a local independent wrestler due to his look and gear, but after the first third of the match it got really good. What made it even better was that we got a one-on-one X Division match. Hopefully Impact has figured out that homogenous multi persons are a complete waste of time. At least when WWE does the multi-person thing, it means something and they don’t push it out there every single week for the title. Everett continues to gain crowd support and Zema is always good in the ring. The post-match thing was fine too as it keeps the Everett vs. Lee feud alive which might have been the single best story built from the January tapings.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Karen Jarrett and Sienna: This was a really confusing segment and I think Jeff Jarrett and the creative crew are sorely overestimating the appeal of Karen Jarrett. I know she cut like one good babyface promo when Jeff was inducted in the TNA Hall of Fame, but nothing she says has any credibility. She talks like she’s been a big figure in pro wrestling for years yet she’s best known as the wife of Kurt Angle and now Jeff Jarrett. Sienna was the only person that made sense in that segment and even she wasn’t so great. I’m not sure why they are inserting Karen into the Braxton Sutter and Allie story, but it’s totally not needed.
Moose vs. Cody Rhodes for the Grand Championship: While this feud has been really good and the interactions between Moose, Cody, and Brandi have been well played, the Miss comes from the match format of the Grand Championship. Billy Corgan and Dave Lagana really had a vision to try to make this appeal to more of an MMA audience. Give it to Jarrett and the old TNA Creative crew, this must make them salivate with all of the overbooked contrived finishes that could come from it. First off, you have the announcers pointing out that the judges only really grade the split decisions the same way as if they are ignoring the match overall. You also have Cody and Moose working in staggered segments as opposed to one fluid match. Then they had to find a way to innovate the old tired ref bump. In this match we had actually had a judge bump. TNA! TNA! TNA! Ugh…
KM: He ends up in the Miss column because it seems like he’s put in a position to fail. This reminds me of how they debuted Jessie Godderz as Victoria’s boyfriend. It also reminds me of the time WWE made Eric Escobar Vickie Guerrero’s boyfriend. Both of those gimmicks set up the male to fail. His name is also a Miss. I’m guessing they don’t want to have multiple wrestlers with the last name of Mathews on the roster, but “KM” is a hilariously bad name. He’s KM!
Authority Figures: I’ll give this a separate Miss. Impact has at least four authority figures that aren’t fully defined, yet they are clearly positioned as authority in the promos of the wrestlers. They shift week-to-week on their match booking ability. They have this vague goal of making Impact great. Not to mention, we have multiple authority figures with that being connected to their main event storyline, which is written around the announce table. This also screams vintage TNA.
Rosemary’s “Knockouts Burial”: Well, there was one positive in that Impact got to showcase that they have an actual women’s division with actual players. A lot of this just didn’t do much for me. It didn’t start off on a good note with Jeremy Borash saying that Rosemary is one of the most dominant knockouts “in history” with her five month run of actually wrestling women’s matches. First of all, you could only really say Gail Kim or Awesome Kong in that sentence with a straight face. Secondly, didn’t Rosemary only really beat Jade? She didn’t even wrestle Gail Kim because Gail Kim was hyped up as injured by Maria. Rosemary delivered her promo fine but the content just wasn’t quite there. Then it just became too much with all of the random Knockouts just walking out. It also looks like somehow they are trying to put Karen Jarrett to replace Maria as “leader of the Knockouts” because they like authority figures? (Note: In 2016, Gail Kim actually defeated Maria to do away with that position, but they are playing it up like Maria was still the leader).