By Jason Powell
Impact Wrestling Hits
LAX vs. Decay in a street fight for the Impact Tag Titles: Farewell to the Decay gimmick. It’s a shame for Impact that Crazzy Steve is leaving, but at least his departure explains why the creative team has been booking him and Abyss to lose. The match was a good, chaotic brawl, and new LAX continues to shine, now having beaten Decay in a glorified version of their Monster’s Ball match. The only negative was that the presentation of the match left a lot to be desired in that we never heard from either team beforehand. Steve will be missed and I remain impressed that the previous creative regime was able to repackage a babyface clown and the overexposed Abyss character into being a strong and meaningful tag team.
EC3 and James Storm: Bleached asses and glory holes? While that may sound like an old school TNA pay-per-view name, they were actually EC3 promo references. That aside, both wrestlers and creative are doing a good job of establishing their feud. It’s not an easy task considering that both men turned with Storm coming out of the heel DCC faction and EC3 doing a slow heel turn. The EC3 turn was especially challenging in that they really don’t have another high end babyface that he could have turned on to launch his heel run.
Matt Sydal vs. Trevor Lee: A nice match and a good debut for Sydal, who is a quality addition to the X Division. The only negative is that the talented Lee was pinned clean yet again. Lee is the best heel in the division, so why not build to Sydal vs. Lee rather than give it away without any story? Lee strikes me as one of those guys who will go on to bigger things someday and Impact Wrestling creative will look back and regret not doing more with him.
Moose vs. Davey Richards for the Grand Championship: Pretty much everything involving Richards or Eddie Edwards is an Impact highlight these days. It’s a shame that the company didn’t get everything they could have out of the NFL players appearing at ringside with Moose. More on that in the Misses section.
“VOW” Wilcox and Mayweather vs. Mario Bokara and Fallah Bah: While It is odd to see Crimson return as Mayweather in a tag team act when the company could use single wrestlers, I could see the patriotic tag team act getting over. The company mentioned previously that Mayweather was previously known as Crimson, but it would have been nice to hear him address the reason behind his name change in the promo that he cut.
Christina Von Eerie vs. Ava Storie: The Hit goes more for the idea of Von Eerie returning to the women’s division than anything. Just how many GFW wrestlers are going to use the silly “Oi” call?
Kongo Kong vs. Matt Sigmond: A simple squash match, which is what Kong should be doing at this point.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Lack of buzz over Deangelo Williams and Gary Barnidge: Impact Wrestling featured appearances two quality NFL players, yet the only notable mainstream attention I caught going into the show was a TMZ story. Do a quick news search for each player and it’s shocking to see how little attention this received. Their appearances were treated like such a non-factor before the show that I honestly forgot they were going to appear on this episode. It’s not as if this would have been a game changer for the company had this been promoted better, but it was still a missed opportunity for some easy publicity.
Swoggle and Rockstar Spud: Heel Josh Mathews thought it was great that Swoggle was harassing Spud. So does that mean Swoggle is the heel? I didn’t think so until Swoggle attacked Spud with a hammer, and then heel Josh acted bothered by Swoggle’s actions. I assume the idea was that even Josh was shocked by Swoggle’s actions, but it’s more confusing than it’s worth. Even so, this was a better week for the broadcast team. They settled in and mostly called the show once they got through the show’s opening segment.
KM at the restaurant: The scene was an upgrade over the embarrassing set used for the Braxton Sutter and Laurel Van Ness date, but this still felt low budget and bush league. It was hard not to laugh at the background noise audio track remaining the same as KM started yelling at the waiter, as if everything else in the make believe restaurant would just continue on as if nothing was happening. By the way, I miss the days when Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantell took the time to explain why cameras were present in moments like this one.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Todd Martin on his background, attending pro wrestling events in Japan, the NJPW G1 Tournament, why lucha libre companies haven't been as successful as NJPW in the United States, AEW optimism, covering pro wrestling and MMA, and more (68:57)...