By Jason Powell
Impact Wrestling Hits
Johnny Impact vs. Alberto El Patron: A solid brawl that fit the tone of their current feud. Eli Drake’s involvement sets up an obvious Triple Threat match for the championship, though perhaps it could end up being a four-way since Petey Williams ran out to save Impact from a post match attack by Drake and Chris Adonis.
Taiji Ishimori vs. Hakim Zane: A nice cruiserweight match with the Global Forged winner performing well with the talented Ishimori. Impact has to know that the majority of their audience didn’t follow the Global Forged series once it went online. They really need to establish a persona for Zane. The post match angle with Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley attacking Ishimori is clearly leading to Lee vs. Ishimori for the X Division Title, which could be great if they are given enough time.
Laurel Van Ness vs. KC Spinelli vs. Madison Rayne in a Knockouts Title match qualifier: A decent three-way. Sure, there were a few clunky moments and I have no idea what Spinelli has done in Impact to earn a spot in the tournament, but the match was at least entertaining. More on the tournament format later.
James Storm vs. El Texano Jr.: A nice match even though the feud between the two feels like it never got out of first gear. The post match attack by American Top Team does very little for me, but the hook of Dan Lambert getting in the ring and potentially get his ass kicked next week is a good one. I also got a kick out of the bandaged and neck brace wearing fighter get cocky before eating a superkick.
Park Park and Park commercial: Silly, ridiculous, has very little to do with pro wrestling, and yet all kinds of good, dumb fun.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Knockouts Title series format: I enjoyed the actual match, but the format of having a pair of three-way match qualifiers to set up a singles match for the vacant Knockouts Championship feels like a missed opportunity. It would have been cool to see the company build an entire episode around a one night, eight woman tournament. It would have made the division feel more important and it’s even possible it would have delivered a better rating than usual. At this point, why wouldn’t they try it? What does Impact have to lose by going with a theme edition? Instead, we’re getting a few matches that will air over multiple weeks.
Sami Callihan vs. Randy Meyers from the Defy event: If Impact is going to air matches from their partner promotions, then why not work with these promotions so that the matches they end up airing fit with the current storylines? There’s no reason they can’t tell stories that set up these matches so that they don’t come off as complete low budget filler.
Matt Sydal vs. Tyson Dux: Dux is quickly becoming a glorified enhancement wrestler despite the company billing him as a hot free agent. The match felt flat since Sydal’s persona in Impact is essentially that he’s reborn and little else, and Dux hasn’t been given a chance to establish his own persona. Meanwhile, EC3 sat in on commentary because his character seems obsessed with Sydal for reasons that have never been explained.
Johnny Impact promo: A lifeless promo with Impact apparently trying to sound intense yet coming off as completely uninspired. Does anyone other than Johnny Impact think his Slam Town references are cool?