By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
LAX and OGz street fight: A Lucha Underground inspired cinematic street fight and a damn good one at that. The brawling was intense and entertaining. LAX got their title belts back and appear to have won their war with The OGz and King. Here’s hoping this isn’t actually the end of the line. This saga has been highly entertaining and it feels like they can still get more out of it since we haven’t seen The OGz even win a match yet. Furthermore, there’s nothing else happening in the tag team division aside from going back to LAX vs. OVE again.
Sami Callihan vs. Fenix: A very good match. I was concerned that Fenix would be slaughtered in a fall guy role with the company being more concerned with setting up the next Callihan vs. Pentagon Jr. match. And once the match turned out to be competitive, I just assumed that Callihan would defeat the younger brother of Pentagon in a way that made Fenix look strong in defeat. Instead, they gave Fenix his first meaningful win in Impact at the expense of one of their top heels. This was a pay-per-view quality match and it’s worth going out of your way to see if you didn’t watch Impact this week. The buzz is that Fenix and Pentagon Jr. are WWE bound. On the off chance that isn’t the case, then Impact has to do more with Fenix going forward.
The Smoke Show: Good sports entertainment fun. Scarlett Bordeaux working her magic on KM to the point that he referred to her as a female Buddha was great. The campy shot of KM sticking his tongue out while waiting for a kiss was cornball fun. And Scarlett responding to Fallah Bahh’s “Bahh” line with a slap and telling him that was disgusting was the perfect close. The KM and Bahh chemistry is fantastic and this segment was strong enough that I honestly wonder if it can be topped on future editions of the talkshow.
Su Yung vs. Allie in a non-title match: A well worked match. The cheap finish with Tessa Blanchard interfering sets up the Triple Threat title match that was advertised going into the television tapings earlier this week.
Austin Aries, Killer Kross, and Eddie Edwards: More of an in the middle for a segment that left me with mixed feelings. Aries continued his streak of strong mic work. Kross’s explanation promo was simply more than I wanted to hear from the character I envisioned him playing. In fact, the pairing with Aries doesn’t mesh with the sociopathic loner vibe that was initially created. That said, their run together is just getting started and just because creative has a different vision for the Kross character doesn’t mean it won’t work. The crowd got behind Edwards for a change, but it felt like the crowd knew exactly what was going to happen and never got invested in the idea of Edwards getting his hands on Aries.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Eli Drake vs. Joe Hendry: Grado inadvertently costing Hendry the match was probably a necessary chapter in their ongoing story with Katarina, but it just wasn’t a very exciting one. I continue to wonder if Katarina will end up with Drake since I’m not sure why else he would be involved in this. The Cult of Lee continues to be one of the dumbest gimmicks in wrestling. Cult leaders have more than one follower, and this is the third Impact creative team to waste the talents of Lee.
Jimmy Jacobs: How can such a talented guy have such a flat act? He’s had months of promo time to establish his persona and the live crowd still greeted his entrance with near silence. There’s nothing shocking about a man dubbing himself a princess in 2018. In fact, effeminate characters such as Dalton Castle and Velveteen Dream have gotten over huge as babyfaces. I liked the parkour stunts that Johnny Impact performed and the overall segment was actually Hit worthy, but it’s frustrating that Jacobs is still trying to make this channel change inspiring persona work despite the fact that the Zombie Princess schtick went nowhere in ROH.