By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Willie Mac vs. Rich Swann: A good, competitive match to open the show. There were plenty of believable near falls and the live crowd was hot for the match. I was a bit disappointed to see Swann go over. After all, Mack is new to Impact and a win over a guy with WWE exposure would have been a good way to establish him. At the same time, I don’t know whether Mack has any type of long term commitment to the company or if this was a necessary part of a story being told between the two.
Tessa Blanchard vs. Taya Valkyrie for the Knockouts Title: This is a rare example of a cheap finish that I actually liked. Blanchard was struggling when she shoved the ref toward Valkyrie. When that didn’t work, she punched the referee in the face, took the DQ, and walked away with her championship. Obviously, this sets up the need for a rematch and makes Valkyrie seem like a thread to Blanchard.
Pentagon Jr. vs. Homicide: A minor Hit for a decent yet forgettable match. I like that the heels got heat afterward, but it follows the OGz formula in that they always seem to lose matches to credible opponents and get most of their heat in beatdown angles.
LAX vs. Matt Sydal and Ethan Page: A well worked match. Insert my weekly pitch for scrapping the limiting “third eye” Sydal persona here. Seriously, please let this loss be the thing that causes Sydal’s character to snap. I wouldn’t bring it up every week if I didn’t think he could be a high level player without the sappy gimmick.
New Desi Hit Squad: A minor Hit for Rohit Raju and his new partner Raj Singh. Raju was more animated and energetic than usual during their spotlight match and he needs to keep that up going forward. Will they ever pull the plug on Gama Singh’s flat introductions? His skit with Scarlett Bordeaux was lame, but at least Gama showed a little personality even if it was the same horny male bit that every guy does in her presence.
Impact Wrestling Misses
OVE in Ohio: The footage from the independent show looked super low budget. I enjoyed the cult-like vibe that the Ohio crowd created while supporting Sami Callihan and the Crists in a clip from a past show, but it just didn’t click this time around enough to justify this airing. Hopefully next week’s segment with Cage in Ohio will be strong enough to justify this approach.
Allie and Kiera Hogan Two talented wrestlers who are playing roles in creative’s bad B-movie stunt booking. The company clearly hoped this would catch on like the Broken Universe did. How much longer will they continue down this path when there’s no indication that it’s actually working?
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest John Canton.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Frank Zarrillo discussing his film "The Wrestler: A QT Marshall Story", which includes appearances by Matt Riddle, Damian Priest, Gerald Brisco, Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, and many more, the involvement of Marshall's wife and mother, and much more. Stick around after the interview for Powell's audio review of Wednesday's AEW Dynamite television show...