By Jason Powell
Impact Wrestling Hits
Rosemary vs. Taya Valkyrie: A minor Hit. It’s still nice to see women headlining television shows. It’s even nicer that it’s positioned as the norm in Impact Wrestling and not something the company spends time patting themselves on the back for doing. The match was decent and I was surprised to see a clean finish. The right woman went over in that it’s wise to put heat on the heel. Unfortunately, they gave Rosemary the last laugh by having her spray mist in the face of Valkyrie before issuing the Bound For Glory challenge. Here’s hoping they put some heat on Valkyrie between now and then.
Johnny Impact vs. Chris Adonis: Another minor Hit for a solid show opening match. They set it up by having Adonis attack Impact following a recent match, plus it makes sense for Impact to beat Masters given that he is Eli Drake’s sidekick. Speaking of Drake, the post match angle with Drake attempting to sneak attack Impact only to be pantsed and whipped before Adonis saved him continued the build to the Bound For Glory main event. One can only assume that Garza Jr. saving Impact will lead to a tag team match next week. Meanwhile, Drake’s nearly nude tribute to Ric Flair was cute, but are they ever going to do something to make him feel like a strong champion?
Dezmond Xavier vs. Andrew Everett: A minor Hit for a showcase win for Xavier, who finally returned to television last week after following his Super X Cup win with an odd absence from Impact Wrestling television. The idea of Lee as a cult leader who has brainwashed Everett and Caleb Konley is awful given that nothing we’ve seen from Lee’s character would indicate that he has these qualities. Impact has a good three-man group on their hands with Lee, Everett, and Konley, but the story of their partnership and the complete focus on Lee needs some work. Lee is great and I’m happy he’s finally being positioned prominently, but why position Everett and Konley as his brainwashed underlings when they could make all three wrestlers feel important? Why make Lee come across like a wannabe Bray Wyatt?
Joseph Park and Grado: Sure, it’s absurd to think that Park made a fortune off of Grado in just the few weeks that he’s been in charge of his career. There are plenty of holes in their story, but the silly and unique charm of both men makes up for it. The cameo by Jim Mitchell in Grado’s car was a pleasant surprise. Is it wrong that I’m looking forward to Grado vs. Abyss in a Monster’s Ball match as much as any on the Bound For Glory card?
Dan Lambert promo: I hate the feud between Moose and American Top Team. I hate the fact that the ATT fighters are still nameless on Impact Wrestling television. I hate seeing Lambert all over television and fear that it’s only happening because company officials have their eyes on his wallet. Despite all of these weekly complaints, Dan F’n Lambert cut the best promo of the night and it wasn’t even close. He was brash, obnoxious, and made me want to see someone shut him up. Well done. It didn’t change my feeling on the ATT vs. Impact Wrestling feud that still bores me to tears, but Lambert delivered a quality heel promo.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Overall show: There were some minor Hits, but this felt like a horribly low budget show with the footage spliced in from Mexico that felt random and even contradictory to storylines. Impact is building to the company’s biggest event of the year, yet they are failing to make the event feel prestigious or the matches feel important. It’s easy to find some small positives as I did in the Hits section, but the product is in a terrible place.
James Storm vs. El Texano Jr. vs. El Hijo Del Fantasma vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Ethan Carter III: Perhaps this match made more sense within the AAA storylines, but it was an embarrassing mess on Impact Wrestling television in that it contradicted with their recent storylines. Most notably, Storm and Texano, who have been feuding on Impact television, suddenly formed an alliance late in the match. They tried to make this all work with the post-match promo, but the whole thing was just plain awful. And while it certainly seems like Impact has run out of first-run material and are desperate for content, there is a way to frame the footage from other promotions as special and not something they just cut to without much build.
OVE vs. Black Diamond and Black Danger for the Impact Wrestling Tag Titles: Another case of poor presentation. The story of Konnan forcing them to defend the tag titles in The Crash promotion was decent, but the complete lack of information about their opponents combined with the edited match footage made this feel more like filler than anything. I got a kick out of Josh Mathews saying OVE should stop trying to interact with the fans in Mexico because they are considered the villains. They should apply this to their matches north of the Mexican border as well. Even though they are babyfaces, they come off as desperate by trying to get the disinterested Impact Zone crowds to chant along. By the way, the Konnan directed beatdown of OVE fell victim to bad placement in that it came moments after the bigger beatdown by the MMA guys on Moose and others.
Taryn Terrell out of Bound For Glory: I’m not sure what the real reason is for her absence (Canadian border related?), but the explanation that she was too injured to wrestle because Gail Kim slapped her was laugh out loud absurd.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features former ROH TV Champion Shane Taylor discussing how his background prepared him for the world today, his run with Keith Lee, why Kofi Kingston's WWE Championship win was so meaningful, and much more...