By Jason Powell
Impact Wrestling Hits
Magnus vs. Alberto El Patron for the GFW Championship: El Patron had a very good match with Eli Drake last week and followed it up with another strong match with Magnus. The clean finish with the babyface going over and winning a title (albeit one that no one cares about) made for a feel good end to the show. Here’s hoping that creative has a plan for Magnus to bounce back. His return to television has been flat thus far even though he’s talented enough to belong in the main event mix.
James Storm and EC3: The EC3 cowboy skit was more comical and cutesy than heat inducing, but the things picked up once Storm came out. EC3 got major heat with the vicious strap shots he delivered to Storm, who took one hell of a beating. This increased the intensity of the feud in a major way and I’m already looking forward to hearing Storm’s next promo.
Caleb Konley vs. Dezmond Xavier vs. Andrew Everett vs. Matt Sydal: The Hit is for match quality alone. The idea of Impact booking yet another random multi-person X Division match is frustrating. They need to build up the individual personalities of the X Division wrestlers, not throw them out with the idea of wowing the crowd with high spots. There are some talented individuals in the X Division and it’s a shame that the creative team doesn’t seem willing to support them with good character development.
Angelina Love vs. Alisha Edwards: A match designed to put heat on the heel couple to keep the best program in Impact going. The finish was surprisingly violent with Love hitting Alisha with repeated punches with a chain that was wrapped around her fist.
KM: There’s still no explanation for why the cameras are present for his bullying moments. Let’s face it, wrestling fans have been conditioned to see that as the norm, but I was hopeful that Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantell would be old school enough to change that. I’m not a fan of all the Biff Tannen references. The tip of the cap to the “Back To The Future” character was fun at first, but having him do it weekly takes me out of the moment. All of that said, the skits continue to be effective in establishing KM as a prick bully heel and he plays the part well.
Garza and Laredo Kid vs. Hakim Zane and Idris Abraham: A spotlight win for the impressive team of Garza and Kid. It was also nice to hear from the duo in a backstage interview for a change. If Impact is going to have regular access to Garza and Kid, then hopefully the plan is to build to a program between them and LAX. Do we really need qualifying matches for the GFW Tag Title tournament? Scratch that. Do we really need a GFW Tag Title tournament?
Impact Wrestling Misses
LAX funeral for Decay: The funeral portion was fine and the LAX members wearing what appeared to be Day of the Dead face paint was a cool look. The rest of the angle with the flag waving planted fan caused the coolest act in the company being positioned as foreign menace heels. I believe Konnan is talented enough on the mic that he could frame this in a way that won’t make it a complete turnoff, but the fear is that the creative regime will continue to take their usual simplistic approach.
Laurel Van Ness vs. Ava Storie: The debutante version of Van Ness had real potential. The new Courtney Love on her worst day version of the character is over the top in a way that feels low budget and hokey. Granted, I felt the same way about the Broken Matt Hardy character the first time I saw it. The Broken character obviously clicked eventually due to Matt Hardy’s creativity, whereas the Van Ness character has been very one dimensional thus far.
Dutch Mantell discusses the X Division: This left me with mixed feelings. Mantell said 80 percent of his social media followers told him the way to make Impact great was to focus on the X Division. His response to this was booking a three-way Ultimate X match. I’m sure the Ultimate X match will make for good television, but I can’t emphasize enough that the key to the success of X Division being successful is character development, not multi-person spot fests.
Moose vs. Marshe Rockett: A title match that was just thrown out there with no hype or build. It was so bad that even Josh Mathews put D’Angelo Dinero on the spot by asking him what Rockett had done to earn the title shot. I felt bad for Pope in that there was no defense for it, so he ended up saying that Rockett “picked up a couple of wins over some impressive athletes.” Um, sure. Why not simply dedicate 30 seconds of time to have Moose say he’ll face all comers and then have Rockett step up?