By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Join me for live coverage of the Impact Wrestling Redemption pay-per-view as the show airs on Sunday at 7CT/8ET. Dot Net Members will also hear my exclusive audio review after the show.
Impact Wrestling Hits
Hype for the new Redemption main event: Alberto El Patron put the company in a bad position by no-showing the Impact Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground event, which led to their agreement being terminated. It must be noted that Impact management put themselves in a bad position by ignoring all the red flags before signing El Patron. Still, the company was in a bad spot with only two weeks of television left to establish a new main event involving two wrestlers who haven’t appeared on the Impact Wrestling television show. They scrambled and did what they could to promote the new main event and made a solid effort to bring viewers up to speed on Pentagon Jr. and Fenix. It’s still not an ideal situation and perhaps they would have been better off going with just one of those wrestlers and dedicating time to building him up as a strong threat rather trying to establish both at once. On the bright side, there’s no doubt in my mind that the new pay-per-view main event will top whatever Austin Aries would have been able to get out of El Patron at this point.
LAX footage: A simple and effective clip that framed the unpredictability of Scott Steiner well heading into his latest appearance for the company. Santana and Ortiz showed just the right amount of concern over Steiner without coming off as being truly fearful of him.
Johnny Impact vs. Kongo Kong: A minor Hit for the attempt to get Kong over as a true monster. Kong looks the part, but there are too many instances when he comes off as just another big guy doing the usual big man moves. The use of blood helped, but Kong needs to come off as being completely out of control. He needs to be more crazed and menacing through his facial expressions and go beyond his usual blank stare. The idea should be that he’s an uncontrollable monster, but Jimmy Jacobs smiling and always seeming to be in control of him works against that. It would be more effective if even Jacobs seemed shocked by Kong’s actions and struggled to keep him in line.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Su Yung and Braxton Sutter vs. Kiera Hogan and Fallah Bahh: It was odd seeing Yung sell anything in this match heading into her title match on Sunday. It feels like she should still be in all out domination mode heading into Sunday, but she sold for Hogan for the majority of their time in the ring before capitalizing on Hogan being distracted by Sutter. Yung had been dominant to this point so why have her show any hint of vulnerability on the go-home show before her title match? The post match scene with Allie dominating Yung in a pull apart brawl didn’t help in that regard either, though it did show that Allie is no longer fearful of her opponent.
Brian Cage vs. KM: KM issuing an open challenge and openly admitting that he wanted enhancement talent to accept was mildly comical. That said, I wish the company would give up on the Biff Tannen routine and position KM as more of a serious character since he’s a regular and they need wrestlers who matter more than mid-card comedy figures. The segment served as another dominant win for Cage, but this could have meant more if KM had been booked differently in the past. We’ve seen Cage beat Lashley twice and it didn’t seem to win over the Impact Zone. I blame the flat crowds for some of that, but I don’t get the sense that Cage has really made a connection with viewers either because they don’t know who he is or what his goals are at this point. Hopefully the company has a plan in place to help him connect with fans at the next set of television tapings.
GWN Flashback: On the go-home show for the Redemption pay-per-view, the company inexplicably wasted eight minutes on a random flashback match involving two wrestlers who are no longer with the company fighting to a crappy finish. I praised the company for making an effort to establish Pentagon Jr. and Fenix heading into Sunday, but imagine if this time had been dedicated to telling more of their stories. Or perhaps Impact could have let viewers who don’t watch Lucha Underground know why they should be excited about Drago and Aerostar. These flashback matches need to serve a purpose. How about adding some captions that offer something new and informative and actually sell viewers on the streaming service?