By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
LAX vs. OVE in a barbed wire match: The strategy of dedicating the show to push viewers to watch a match on Twitch TV was questionable, but the actual match delivered. I’m not big on this style of match, but they advertised it as being “too hot for TV.” And while that felt sleazy for anyone who remembers being bombarded with nonstop television advertisements for Girls Gone Wild videos back in the day, it was important that the match live up to that billing and it succeeded.
Taiji Ishimori vs. Dezmond Xavier for the X Division Title: A good title match to open the show. It would be nice to know a little more about both wrestlers. It might be a little difficult with Ishimori if he doesn’t speak English, but we’ve been seeing Xavier on and off since the X Cup tournament and it still doesn’t feel like we know much about his character. Even so, it was good to see a high quality singles match for the X Division Championship.
Kongo Kong vs. Chandler Park: A squash win for Kong as they continue to build toward a match between him and Joseph Park/Abyss. Impact still needs to get around to addressing who Jimmy Jacobs is for fans who didn’t follow him in Ring of Honor or on the indies.
Rosemary vs. KC Spinelli: A simple showcase win for Rosemary. She delivered a well received promo after the match before being attacked by Hania, who made an impression that was decent at best. If nothing else, the feud with Hania should keep Rosemary busy while Allie chases Laurel Van Ness for the Knockouts Title.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Video packages: There were some quality videos, including the LAX/OVE video package that recapped the feud well. I was even going to give that video package a Hit. Unfortunately, they apparently had a lot of time to fill since they aired another LAX/OVE video package later in the show. They actually followed up the second video package with another video package for next week’s Triple Threat main event. The amount of time dedicated to video packages rather than first run matches and traditional promos was a huge turnoff. And while I’m all for Impact the company using other platforms, the idea to close the show with ring entrances for a match that viewers had to find online was good for directing fans to Twitch, but not so good when it comes to pleasing fans who simply want to be entertained by a two-hour Impact Wrestling television show.
Global Wrestling Network flashback match: Replaying the Eddie Edwards vs. Aron Rex match that determined the first Impact Wrestling Grand Champion made me want to turn the channel more than order the streaming service. This felt completely random and I have no idea why they picked a match that showed a guy who no longer works for the company beating one of their regulars. This also followed the LAX/OVE video package that I enjoyed, but going from a long recap video into a flashback match is really pushing the limits of viewers.
Eli Drake vs. Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Impact for the Impact Wrestling Global Championship: The presentation continues to be flawed. Before the match, they showed promos from El Patron and Drake that were turned into a video package and had needless music playing as they spoke. The low budget footage from the partner promotions is an ongoing problem, but it is what it is. How about treating these matches like the Impact crew is throwing it to the building. I’d go so far as to use a separate broadcast team and act like they are at the venue even if the other team is simply calling the footage from the Impact studio. It would shake up the broadcast and give the matches an added sense of urgency rather than coming off as filler footage that the usual broadcast team is voicing over. As for the actual match, this was a complete waste of time. A Triple Threat match that ends due to outside interference involving a bunch of people the average fan isn’t familiar with was lousy. I guess the No DQ in Triple Threat rules don’t apply in Impact Wrestling (or Border City Wrestling).
NEW: Help support Prowrestling.net when you shop Amazon by starting your online Amazon shopping at Prowrestling.net/amazon. You are not charged extra, but we receive a small and very helpful commission on everything you purchase. Thanks for thinking of us every time you shop at Amazon.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...