By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Join me for live coverage of Impact Wrestling Slammiversary on Sunday night. Dot Net Members will hear my exclusive audio review after the show. Join us on our ad-free website and access over a decade of audio content via PWMembership.net.
Impact Wrestling Hits
Austin Aries and Moose in the closing segment: An effective final push for the Impact World Championship at match at Slammiversary. The segment made Moose look strong as Aries showed a look of fear for his challenger. The overall build to the main event was strong. Aries carried the load with his top notch heel mic work and the company did a good job of creating a sports-like vibe with the Moose training videos. The match didn’t do much for me when it was first announced, but the build made me look forward to the Slammiversary main event.
Killer Kross vs. Petey Williams: A good showcase win for Kross. Just about the time I started to worry that he was selling a little too much, he more than made up for it by dominating Williams as the match went on. The highlight was Kross bowing down and telling Williams to attempt his Canadian Destroyer finisher on him only to use his strength to block the move with ease. The broadcast team did also did a nice job of putting over Kross as being a dangerous sociopath. Kross is off to a strong start and appears to have a real upside.
Joe Hendry vs. Eli Drake: A good night for Hendry, though I’m surprised they didn’t save his showcase for the first show after Slammiversary since he’s not advertised for the pay-per-view. Even so, Hendry’s singing and videos were good fun, and I continue to enjoy watching the interactions between him and Katarina. This week it was noticeable that she continued to put her hands on him while they were with Grado backstage. Katarina has done a nice job of being subtle in those situations rather than falling into the usual pro wrestling trap of doing the over the top foreshadowing, which we ended up seeing from Grado after the match. Drake losing clean was a surprise, though I suspect that things will pick up for him at the next tapings now that he’s now signed a long term deal with the company.
Eddie Edwards promo: The crazed Edwards character has been a turnoff for me at times, but one of the positives is that it seems to have brought him out of his shell. Edwards has always been a talented wrestler who struggled with promos. I don’t know if he could have played this part two years ago, but he seems much more comfortable on the mic these days. The live crowd also made the segment work by chanting for Tommy Dreamer.
Sami Callihan vs. Greg Osborne: A simple showcase match for Callihan heading into his hair vs. mask match with Pentagon Jr. On a side note, why didn’t Impact book a less predictable Edwards vs. Sami Callihan in a hair vs. hair match for Slammiversary rather than rushing the mask vs. hair match?
Scarlet Bordeaux: It’s encouraging to see the company dedicate time and attention to making the debuting talent feel important. They did a good job with Killer Kross and now they’ve generated some interest in Bordeaux.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Allie and Kiera Hogan vs. Shotzi Blackheart and Tessa Blanchard: A minor Miss. This would have been fine as a time filling Knockouts tag match on a typical week. Tessa walking out on Shotzi didn’t sell me on seeing Tessa vs. Allie on Sunday. It’s not like Allie was up and waiting to get her hands on Blanchard when Tessa opted to walk out. Rather, Allie was also down and weary and Tessa still chose to abandon her partner. In fact, it came off like they were setting up Tessa vs. Shotzi more than Tessa vs. Allie in some ways.
Madison Rayne video: A well produced video that attained the creepy vibe the producer(s) set out for. I’m just not a fan of supernatural approach the company has taken. If that’s something you enjoy then this video probably worked for you.
The Desi Hit Squad vs. Fallah Bahh and KM: A minor Miss for a match that seemingly had nothing to do with Slammiversary. There was nothing really wrong with the match and the teams are properly positioned in an undercard program. Rohit Raju continues to impress even if I’m not sold on the overall Desi Hit Squad act at this early stage of their run.