By Jason Powell
Impact Wrestling Hits
Eli Drake and LAX vs. Johnny Impact and OVE: A good match involving the players in the major men’s title matches at Bound For Glory. Impact winning the match heading into the pay-per-view as the challenger to the Impact Wrestling Championship was the right call. It was an even better call to put some heat on the champion and put the babyface in the revenge seeking position via the post match angle. Drake hitting his finisher on the exposed boards and then talking smack to Impact was well done. The broadcast team of Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews has been much better since they stopped bickering with one another, but Borash has some work to do in these situations. He needs to improve at acting outraged by the actions of the heels and coming off as seeming concerned for the babyfaces when certain situations call for it.
Gail Kim interviewed by Jeremy Borash: Good hype with the focus being on Bound For Glory being the 10-year anniversary of the Knockouts Division as well as Sunday being Kim’s last match at a Bound For Glory event. The promotion has been a revolving door of talent lately, and Kim is one of the few members of the active roster who has been around long enough to help create a sense of nostalgia for the company’s biggest annual show. Well done.
Rosemary and Allie vs. Sienna and KC Spinelli: Unlike some of the other footage we’ve seen from Impact’s partner promotions, this match actually played into the current storylines to some extent. Granted, most Impact viewers were unfamiliar with Spinelli, but the key was Allie scoring a clean pin over the Knockouts Champion heading into the three-way title match on Sunday. Yet while the match is getting a Hit, I must question the logic of opening the show with a match filmed at another promotion’s event given how low last week’s viewership numbers were when the company went heavy on non-Impact Zone matches.
Trevor Lee vs. Dezmond Xavier vs. Garza Jr vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Petey Williams vs. Matt Sydal: A Hit for match quality, but I’m not a fan of booking a non-title version of the exact same six-way that is advertised for the pay-per-view. It’s kinda like holding a meaningless exhibition game featuring the World Series teams in between games six and seven.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Overall show: This is the end of the most embarrassing stretch of television in company history. There were some well produced video packages showcasing the BGF matches, but Impact clearly ran out of first-run footage from their last round of tapings. The alternative is that someone actually thought it was a good idea to air mostly random match footage from various promotions with inferior production values involving wrestlers who most viewers are not familiar with all leading up to the biggest event of the company’s year. The best reason I can find for ordering Bound For Glory beyond the fact that the crew will work hard is that it’s the beginning of a new era of creative. Things can only get better. After all, if this recent stretch of television isn’t rock bottom then I shudder to imagine what will be.
Moose and Okabayashi vs. Nakajima and Kitamiya: It comes off as lazy and low rent that Impact couldn’t even be bothered to run a graphic listing the names of the international talents appearing on their show for the first time. Moose was the only person in this match who is actually advertised for BFG and he wasn’t even involved in the finish. The match quality was good, but it hardly matters when it’s presented so poorly. On the bright side, the AWA fan in me enjoyed seeing Mitsuhiro Kitamiya play a walking tribute to Mr. Saito. Can they find a Jesse Venture clone to create the Far East-West Connection 2.0?
Dan Lambert promo: This was conflicting in that Lambert’s promo was obnoxious enough to put heat on him, but very little has been done to put heat on Lashley and King Mo. The match better have tipped off Sunday’s match outcome. TNA/Impact has done a lot of crazy things over the years, but surely even they cannot have someone stand in the middle of their ring and label pro wrestlers as shitty fighters and then turn around and have it proven true on their biggest pay-per-view of the year. “Super Fan” Dan with the deep pockets is a surprisingly decent talker, but here’s hoping that Sunday is the last we see of this awful feud.