By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
LAX Civil War: The story of Konnan’s disappearance was hard to follow at times, but the payoff to the angle was terrific. The return of Homicide and Hernandez as the original LAX to feud with the new version of Santana and Ortiz was really well done and is an especially fun treat for longtime Impact viewers. This was the hottest close to an Impact show in a long time. In fact, this was also the best edition of Impact under the current creative regime.
Fenix vs. Rich Swann: The hottest match on an Impact Wrestling television show recent memory. The bulk of the credit goes to the wrestlers for doing a great job, but the live crowd in Windsor deserves a tip of the hat because there’s no telling whether the majority of the Impact Zone fans in Orlando would have sat on their hands for the same match. I was surprised to see Fenix go over because Swann is new to the company and we don’t seem to see Fenix on a consistent basis. No complaints regarding the outcome, though, as Fenix is ridiculously talented and should be featured prominently. The post match angle with Sami Callihan dressing up like Pentagon Jr. and attacking Fenix was great in that the live crowd really believed it was Pentagon before Callihan unmasked.
Austin Aries video package: A strong counter to last week’s feature on Moose. Aries came off great as the ultra confident heel champion. Aries is a good promo, but he really shined in the sit-down setting.
Killer Kross vs. Fallah Bahh: I cringed a bit when Bahh was introduced as Kross’s opponent if only because of the mismatch in styles with Bahh being a comedy guy and Kross being the new super villain. It worked out nicely, though, and the key moment was Kross performing an impressive Saito suplex on the big man. I also appreciate that Don Callis made some attempt to make sense of the storyline that Kross attacked several people backstage only to be signed by the company as a wrestler. Granted, it wasn’t a good excuse (how could it be?) and Callis also felt the need to tell us that a guy named Killer has never actually killed anyone, but at least there was some attempt made to fill the logic gap.
Brian Cage vs. Kongo Kong: A good display of Cage’s strength as he performed some impressive moves on the big man. Cage also came off like a real star for perhaps the first time ever on Impact. The company has pushed him consistently since he arrived and he’s had several good outings, but the Impact Zone crowd never rallied behind him like the Windsor crowd did. It will be interesting to see what the company does to rebuild Kong following this lopsided loss. They really need to make him feel like an uncontrollable monster, but more on that later.
Tommy Dreamer promo: Dreamer facing Eddie Edwards at Slammiversary doesn’t do much for me, but Dreamer’s bloody backstage promo was strong and intense.
Katarina vs. Rebel: The match gets a minor Hit simply for the gray-haired man in the front row dancing excitedly to Grado’s theme song. This may seem crazy, but I think you’ll agree with the Hit if you go to the one hour and 31 minute mark of the show and see this man let loose in a truly laugh out loud moment. The post match scene with Joe Hendry showing up and talking about how he goes “way back” with Katarina was also a fun development. You had to assume from the start that the relationship with Katarina would not end well for poor Grado, and it looks like we’re about to see that storyline start to play out.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Madison Rayne and Allie vs. Su Yung and an Undead Bridesmaid: We’ve seen a ridiculous number of ref bumps in this company’s history, and this one may have been the worst one yet. The referee pretended to be blinded for what felt like an eternity as Tessa Blanchard interfered and fought right in front of him. The same referee miraculously recovered and showed no signs of even a minor eye irritation afterward.
Kongo Kong backstage: The latest Jimmy Jacobs princess promo was forgettable, but it wasn’t really a Hit or a Miss. The thing that actually stood out was Kong walking over to the new backstage interviewer and sniffing her. If they want Kong to come off as a monster, then they need to treat him like a monster. The new interviewer looked slightly uncomfortable when she should have been directed to act terrified. Growing up, I always believed late AWA on-air personality Larry Nelson was truly petrified of the monster heels and that helped make them feel dangerous and unpredictable. Kong has a good look and can do some impressive things for a big man, but the company’s presentation of him is holding him back.
I’m glad to hear that Impact will be taping in Vegas for November. Someone should burn down the Impact Zone and salt the grounds so nothing can ever grow there again.
It’s amazing what adding a little enthusiasm from the crowd can do for a solid program.