By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Opening segment with Brian Cage, Johnny Impact, Killer Kross, and Moose: Cage interrupted a KM match when he went on a rampage and destroyed everyone. I was concerned that Cage might come off poorly by roughing up the popular KM and Fallah Bahh, but it worked out fine. The logic behind Cage’s rampage was sound in that he was promised the first title shot, which ended up going to Killer Kross. Cage shined in this segment and I like that Josh Mathews didn’t endorse his actions on commentary, as it made Cage feel more anti authority. Meanwhile, the Killer Kross and Moose alliance was back in full force and they are now both playing interesting parts in the Impact vs. Cage feud.
Brian Cage vs. Moose: A good match between the powerhouses of the company. I’m surprised they didn’t save this with the goal of making it feel like major showdown match at a later date. I was also surprised to see a clean finish rather than saving a decisive outcome for a more high profile encounter. Even so, it was entertaining and it continued to build momentum for Cage, which seems to be the business that Impact is wisely in right now.
Tessa Blanchard snaps: A good unhinged promo followed by a violent attack by Blanchard on a production staffer and Gail Kim. This was very well done. The only negative is that it led to Blanchard being suspended, which left me wondering if she’s off the tapings in Mexico City.
Rich Swann vs. Trey Miguel in a non-title match: A good spot fest. They said Miguel hadn’t earned a title match to explain why the title wasn’t on the line. With the champion going over, it felt like a missed opportunity to make Swann look like a fighting champion by having him insist that he defend his championship. By the way, the broadcast team once again told viewers the X Division is about no limits. This has been the explanation from every creative regime in this company’s history and it still doesn’t make any sense to anyone but creative team members. Answer this one, guys. What limits exist in the heavyweight division that don’t exist in the X Division?
Eddie Edwards vs. Ethan Page: A minor Hit. The highlight was listening to Eli Drake on commentary and his exchanges with Don Callis and Josh Mathews. Drake was a mix of serious and comical and he held my interest throughout the match. I would say that Page is in an awkward place without spiritual guru Matt Sydal available to wrestle at these tapings, but the third eye nonsense did even less for Page than it does for Sydal, so he’s better off being his own man. Edwards was the Miss of the match in that his modern day Tommy Dreamer gimmick just isn’t clicking with me. Oddly enough, Drake mocking Edwards for becoming the new Dreamer makes heel Drake sound like the voice of reason.
Jordynne Grace vs. Dark Allie: The minor Hit is all about the strong power move finisher that Grace performed before pinning Allie clean. The post match scene with Rosemary was fine, though I can’t wait for Dark Allie to become Allie again with the hope that the company will finally move on from the hocus pocus silliness.
Impact Wrestling Misses
LAX vs. Jake Crist and Dave Crist in a non-title match: A minor Miss. The match quality was a Hit and I was entertained by it, but I question the logic of going back to this match after the lengthy truce between the teams just to deliver a fairly brief match that concluded with a decisive win for LAX. It just didn’t feel like the type of meaningful match that it should have been given the history between the teams. The company shouldn’t have gone back to this match until they were ready to have a full fledged feud between LAX and OVE over the tag titles. The real focus was on Santana and Ortiz offering Pentagon Jr. and Fenix another match in the post match segment. As such, it felt like LAX could have beaten any team to get to that same post match angle.
Global Wrestling Network match of the week: When a company starts airing ten minutes of random classic material, you have to ask yourself whether the company actually needs a two-hour weekly television show. Are they filling time? Does management think footage of a young CM Punk is more compelling than a lot of their current talent? Are they right in some cases?
The Rascalz smoke circle: Bad comedy and a laugh track are never a good combination. These guys are a blast to watch in the ring, but the “That ’70s Show” smoke circle makes them look low rent and uncool. Really, a fart joke? Oddly enough, there’s a guy in Stamford, Connecticut who would probably laugh out loud if he saw this.
Scarlett Bordeaux: More of an in the middle than a Miss, though the letdown factor of Bordeaux naming herself as her talent search winner was the deciding factor when it came to which section this would fall in. She is a star and the company should be able to generate interest in her first match on Impact or pay-per-view if they do it right. The question is whether they have a plan to keep her feeling special or if she’ll quickly become just another Knockout.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and WOW head writer and lead voice Stephen Dickey discussing his career and the launch of the weekly WOW television series that airs Fridays at 8CT/9ET on AXS TV.