By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
LAX clubhouse videos: It was great to see Diamante back for the first time since she blew out her knee. She ended up playing a key role by establishing that viewers should be leery of Eddie Kingston’s motivations with LAX. The Santana and Ortiz characters seem oblivious to whatever Kingston is up to, but it was established that Diamante sees through him. This is a compelling storyline and Kingston and Diamante delivered good performances. The actual match with LAX beating Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley was fine and served as another step toward LAX getting their mojo back after their recent losing streak.
DJ Z and Andrew Everett vs. Drago and Aerostar for the Impact Tag Titles: A franticly paced match with all sorts of crazy dives. It’s not my favorite style, but it got the show off to a good, high energy start and served as a good title defense for the new tag team champions.
Matt Sydal: The “third eye” nonsense really defines him down. That said, Sydal did a really nice job while trying to talk Brian Cage into giving up his X Division Title shot. It was a fairly basic promo, but Sydal delivered it with poise and confidence. He has improved as a talker and hopefully he and the company will find the right persona for him because the spiritual act just screams mid-card. I’m still not crazy about the idea of Cage pursuing the X Division Title and yet I am looking forward to seeing him work with Sydal next week.
Tessa Blanchard attacks Kiera Hogan: A good bounce back segment for Blanchard, who destroyed Hogan a week after taking a surprise loss to Madison Rayne. It was difficult to understand the motivation of Hogan in this segment. She interrupted Blanchard to tell her that she didn’t live up to the hype. What did she think was going to happen after she insulted Blanchard? Anyway, I still like the long term potential of a Blanchard and Hogan feud so at least this segment added to their story even if the short term focus is on Blanchard vs. Rayne.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan fight in the woods: Edwards and Callihan turned the negative that was the baseball bat to the head spot into a positive by using it to launch a bloodbath feud. It was an intense rivalry that felt grittier than the rest of the product. Somewhere along the line, they killed any sense of realism by making Edwards out to be ridiculously over the top in his pursuit of vengeance. He openly discusses his desire to murder Callihan and OVE, ignores the sane please of his wife, and his character stopped being likable as a result. The woods fight was clearly inspired by the success the company had with the Broken Universe. And while they wisely didn’t attempt to take the comedic approach that the Hardys did, there was still a campy vibe to this that runs counter to the gritty realness that I enjoyed early on in the feud. If this leads to more attention and more viewers then so be it. Either way, there was something unique and special about the Broken Universe, and Impact attempting to take a similar path with Edwards and Callihan just pales in comparison.
Moose: Eli Drake was right to put him at the top of his Dummy List. The Moose character is absolutely the dumbest wrestler on the planet. He walks into situations where he’s outnumbered and gets his ass kicked on a regular basis. He committed vandalism and theft at an MMA training facility while being filmed. He lost his Feast or Fired contract for a shot at the Impact World Championship to Drake because he also wanted a shot at the tag titles even though he doesn’t compete in the tag division. And this week he looked to the crowd and tried to get his Moose chant going, which allowed Drake to regroup, low blow him, and leave him lying. Moose is booked atrociously. And now the broadcast team is telling us that Moose has been on a roll lately. You know, just like Seth Rollins has been on a roll on WWE television. The difference is that Raw viewers have seen Rollins work a slew of high quality matches in recent months, whereas the Moose character’s follies stand out more than any of his recent matches. At least they told viewers that Moose was on a roll. What’s the storyline logic behind Drake getting a spot in the No. 1 contenders match? Was it his win over Scott Steiner last week? Was it his seven-minute loss to Pentagon Jr. in a title match last month? Will Pentagon at least get a rematch before Slammiversary?
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features referee Rob Page discussing the difficulty of reffing tag matches in the modern era, making three counts if a wrestler's shoulders are down even if it wasn't the planned finish, the growth of F1rst Wrestling, and more...