By Jason Powell
Impact Wrestling Hits
Johnny Impact and Alberto El Patron brawl: A good backstage brawl that spilled into the area in front of the crowd. Impact showed the type of intensity you’d expect to see for a guy who had his big event title match ruined. Impact using his parkour to get to the balcony area that Alberto was in was a cool touch. The security guards and wrestlers intervening and all waving off Impact before his big dive was pretty cheesy, but this was a good segment and I like that they put heat on El Patron at the end. As bad as the El Patron promo was at Bound For Glory, it felt like we should have heard more from him on this show than we did to help make things easier to follow for the Impact viewers who did not see Bound For Glory.
El Drake opening promo: A quality heel braggadocious promo following a tainted title match victory at Bound For Glory. Petey Williams reacting to Drake’s anti-Canadian insult was textbook stuff and set the stage for a title match next week. By the way, I realize the company is in a tough spot because they idiotically changed their name and titles to Global Force Wrestling without actually acquiring the name, but they don’t have to double down on the stupidity by doing closeups of the title with the tacky looking Impact logo sticker covering up the main logo. Worse yet, they actually zoomed in on the GFW logo on the side plate.
Matt Sydal vs. Sonjay Dutt: No one can accuse Sonjay of using his increased creative power to push himself to the moon given that he didn’t win at Bound For Glory and he lost clean to Sydal in this match. This was a solid match and it was good to see the company go right back to featuring X Division singles matches after booking six-way matches on the BFG go-home show and on the actual BFG card. The involvement of Jimmy Jacobs is compelling and he got a better reaction on Impact than he did at the pay-per-view. The EC3 post match angle with Sydal felt forced in that there was no real reason for EC3’s character to come out to insult Sydal.
Eddie Edwards vs. El Hijo Del Fantasma for the GHC Championship: The match of the night gets a Hit for quality. The only negative is the decision of the company to go with back to back matches involving babyfaces who had no beef with one another. This was the first show after BFG and it should have felt like a hot episode that set up new programs while continuing unresolved storylines from the pay-per-view. Instead, the first 70 minutes of the show featured two good, yet seemingly random matches involving wrestlers who have no storyline beef with one another.
OVE and Sami Callihan vs. Phil Atlas, Marcus Burke, and Ray Steele: A quality squash match that showcased OVE and new addition Callihan well. I guess it was a double turn with OVE and LAX at the pay-per-view. We didn’t learn this because of an OVE promo or because the broadcast offered any clue, but rather because LAX did the run-in afterward and ran off OVE and Callihan. Josh Mathews mentioned an interview he conducted with OVE and Callihan for the website, but hopefully we will actually hear from them on the television show to get a better feel for what their heel personas are all about.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Allie vs. KC Spinelli: Forget the match quality. This was the first show from the new taping and Impact was right back to airing a match taped at another promotion’s event. This approach was sad yet understandable when they appeared to run out of first-run material heading into BFG, but it’s a real head-scratcher now that they just taped a new batch of television shows this week. And if this is the new norm, then the company has to start telling stories that lead up to these matches. There’s a way to make the matches feel meaningful and important and not like they are just filling time.
Overall show: A minor Miss. The Hit count doesn’t tell the full story. While it was hard to find much wrong with most of the segments that aired and this would have been a solid edition most nights, this just didn’t feel like a hot post pay-per-view show. Most of the matches were random. In fact, the Drake promo, OVE/LAX, and the big brawl between Impact and El Patron are the only segments that felt fitting for a post pay-per-view show. I expected a hot show that would set the course coming out out of the pay-per-view. Instead, it was a pretty standard edition that didn’t leave me feeling excited to see what’s next. I also couldn’t help but feel for the Impact viewers who did not see the pay-per-view and now have no clue why OVE are apparently heels or why Alberto is back as a heel.