By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Pentagon Jr. and El Hijo Del Fantasma vs. Austin Aries and Matt Sydal: The best match of the night. Josh Mathews noted on commentary that momentum was on the line given that Pentagon vs. Aries for the Impact World Championship is set for the Under Pressure themed show in two weeks, and Fantasma became the No. 1 contender to Sydal’s X Division Title last week. Three of the four characters are still lacking in development. The brief promo from Pentagon and Fantasma with the odd chocolate theme wasn’t enough, and I don’t even want to know more about Sydal’s dorky persona. Even so, this was a well worked main event.
Eddie Edwards vs. Sami Callihan in a Street Fight: It’s rare that I feel positive about the matches that air from independent venues. As absurdly flawed as the logic was last week that set the stage for this match happening outside the Impact Zone, at least it felt like there was a reason for cutting to a different location. The hardcore style doesn’t work for me when it’s hardcore just for the sake of being hardcore. That’s not the case with his program. Edwards vs. Callihan has been cemented as a blood feud and therefore the hardcore style is fitting. Josh Mathews asked the interesting question of when does Eddie become the villain as he attacked Callihan after the match. The story is that Tommy Dreamer is trying to get Edwards to pull back, so it will be interesting to see if Dreamer is successful or if they are working toward a double turn with Edwards and Callihan. The only real negative is that Edwards has to work on his facials. The repeated open mouth look he gave while choking Callihan with the bat afterward looked forced and corny. Otherwise, this was a good chapter in the best feud that Impact has going.
Tessa Blanchard vs. Kiera Hogan: Here’s hoping that this is the first match of a long rivalry between the two. Blanchard plays the entitled and superior athlete well. Meanwhile, Hogan is a likable and scrappy newcomer. They feel like natural foils and while Blanchard is clearly moving on to do something with Madison Rayne, it feels like the feud with Hogan is something they can revisit. It would be fun to see them take the approach of Hogan showing progress by slowly getting closer and closer to beating Blanchard so that once she finally does it someday it really means something.
Kongo Kong vs. Grado: The oddball Grado and Katarina pairing continues to be a guilty pleasure and I’m genuinely curious to see where it goes. The match was brief and provided some lighthearted Grado comedy and a big hope spot before Kong destroyed him. The post match attack was interesting in that Katarina ran off and left Grado for dead, and then Moose came out for the save to keep his feud with Kong alive. By the way, the best comedy on the show this week was the brief Fallah Bahh makeover clip with KM.
Su Yung’s funeral for Rosemary: They still haven’t bothered to tell viewers whether Rosemary is actually dead. Anyway, the thing I liked about the funeral video is that there was nothing about it that can’t be viewed as Yung playing mind games. I can rationalize moments such as Yung spitting fire as a parlor trick or even production work the character arranged to give her a psychological advantage. I enjoy the Rosemary and Yung acts and the key for me is that this feud stays grounded in reality despite the over the top nature of both characters.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Eli Drake and Scott Steiner vs. DJZ and Andrew Everett for the Impact Tag Titles: A Hit from a match quality standpoint and a Miss through no fault of the wrestlers. The problem with the match is that the team of Z&E had their first televised standard tag team match together just last week and yet somehow they not only managed to get a title shot a week later but they actually won the tag titles. I realize there’s a shortage of tag teams in Impact Wrestling, but this feels ridiculously rushed. At the very least, why not shoot an angle with Drake and Steiner getting cocky and grant the duo a tag title shot to at least set the table in a more logical manner?
Brian Cage vs. Facade: To their credit, Impact officials are at least trying to explain these Cage independent matches airing weekly by claiming that he’s on a world tour. And while that excuse does make them feel less random, the heavily edited matches against random opponents just don’t make for good television.
Josh Mathews flying solo on commentary: Don Callis has now missed as many Impact Wrestling televisions shows as he’s called since being named the color commentator. One week was bad enough, but two weeks of Mathews flying solo is awful. That’s not even a knock on Mathews, who was put in the tough spot of calling the show on his own aside from when his wife joined him to call the Knockouts match.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features guest Eli Drake talking about signing with the NWA, his departure from Impact Wrestling, rejecting an intergender match with Tessa Blanchard, his WWE developmental run, and much more...