By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Johnny Impact and Moose vs. Alberto El Patron and EC3: A minor Hit for a tag match that featured some star power and resulted in Moose getting a meaningful win. In fact, it was surprising to see El Patron take the pin rather than EC3, who is out of the company after popping up on NXT Takeover over the weekend. Perhaps there’s a storyline reason why they had El Patron take the loss instead.
Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley: Hawaiian shirt Thursdays need to go, but it was a good night for the duo. Lee spoke more in the backstage segment than he has during an entire month’s worth of of Impact shows combined. The cult leader gimmick or whatever the previous regime was going for never clicked. It seemed like there was still some element of that here and they were still a little too goofy, but it also seemed like Lee was looser and perhaps being himself rather than trying to force out bad lines for a bad character. The attack on LAX was a little on the soft side, but I like the idea of an LAX vs. Lee and Konley feud as it gives the LAX and OVE feud a breather. Impact officials just have to know that those Hawaiian make Lee and Konley look like low budget scrubs.
Laurel Van Ness vs. Kiera Hogan: A decent television match. Van Ness did a better job of staying in character here than she did in her longer match with Allie. Hogan getting the win off the Allie distraction was surprising. It will be interesting to see if they have plans for Hogan or if this is all about Van Ness and Allie. We should learn more next week since they are going with a rematch.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Eli Drake vs. Austin Aries for the Impact Global Championship: I get that the new regime wanted to make a splash on night one. Heck, I spent the night waiting for something new. And while going with Aries as champion is not a bad choice, I question the decision of booking the title change on his first night back. There’s something cheap about the title change occurring in impromptu style with both men dressed in street clothes. They could have done the same angle minus the title change and it would have been acceptable and would have built to a match between the two. Drake is a talented guy and the previous regime mistakenly booked him as a pest heel. I was hoping the new regime would right that wrong by giving him in-ring credibility by having him score some clean wins as champion.
Matt Sydal vs. Fallah Bahh: A decent match with Sydal beating his sumo sized opponent. Still, this felt a little routine and forgettable for the first match of the new era. Really, outside of the four-sided ring returning and Austin Aries, this felt like a typical edition of Impact.
Lashley vs. KM: A minor miss for a routine match. It seemed like they were trying to make KM seem more competitive with Lashley, which is logical given that Lashley is leaving and KM is presumably sticking around. Unfortunately, the crowd was flat and didn’t seem all that fired up about Lashley being a babyface. In fact, the crowd seemed rather flat throughout most of the show, which is odd considering it was the first night of the tapings and the first time that Impact had been back in Orlando in several months.
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