By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Johnny Impact vs. Brian Cage vs. Killer Kross vs. Moose for the Impact World Championship: A good four-way main event. I like the way Kross and Moose worked together briefly before Kross took the every man for himself approach. It will be interesting to see if they are back on the same page coming out of this program or if this will be the end of their alliance. Kross has quickly become one of my favorites to watch in Impact, and I wouldn’t rule out an eventual strong babyface run for him somewhere down the road in this era of the antihero. Johnny completely botched his finisher, but it was an otherwise strong match and Don Callis did a nice job of pointing out how close Cage came to winning the championship.
Tessa Blanchard vs. Taya Valkyrie in a street fight for the Knockouts Championship: A strong brawl between the top two women in Impact. They made the most of the street fight stipulation and had the crowd with them from bell to bell by working with an intensity that fit the match type and the overall tone of the feud. Very well done.
Sami Callihan and Rich Swann: A minor Hit. The beatdown by Callihan was well done. The angle fell a bit short by simply being hyped as a segment where Callihan would tell all about his history with Swann. I was hoping for a bit more heel logic rationalization from Callihan rather than a simple demand that Swann join OVE. Fortunately, the brawl and Callihan’s piledriver on the stage were enough to make up for the minor disappointment of the verbal portion.
Aerostar, Psycho Clown, Puma King, and El Hijo Del Vikingo vs. Sami Callihan, Fallah Bahh, Eli Drake, and Eddie Edwards for the World Cup: I liked the small touch of having the AAA team enter together, which was acknowledged by Josh Mathews on commentary. It actually brought back memories of when the New England Patriots opted to make their entrance as a team rather than having the starters introduced prior to their Super Bowl upset over the St. Louis Rams back in 2002 (yes, the Patriots were once underdogs, even 14-point underdogs in this case). Anyway, I didn’t care about the World Cup coming into the match and I still don’t coming out of it, but it turned out to be a quality elimination match. I don’t pretend to follow the booking in Mexico, but I would have given the talented Vikingo a boost by having him win the match for his team ahead of the guy in the bad clown mask. It’s also too bad that Impact didn’t just let the AAA team go over clean since the Cup has no value, but they went political by giving their team an out for losing by having Drake hit Edwards with a kendo stick.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Willie Mack vs. Ethan Page: There was nothing wrong with the match aside from that it felt a little out of place on a pay-per-view style show. This event was billed as Uncaged and most of the show felt pay-per-view worthy. The show opened hot with the Knockouts match and then faded into GWN Flashback mode before this match aired and then they went with the Sami Callihan promo. The match quality was Hit worthy, but this along with the Flashback segment, and even the Callihan promo felt like regular Impact segments on an otherwise good pay-per-view style show.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom with Jason Powell and guest Mick Karch discussing the AWA Appreciation event on February 23, Paul Heyman’s role in helping Mick land a longtime hosting position, his friendship with Nick Bockwinkel, Billy Robinson slapping a fan on live television, and much more.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Colt Cabana on his role in ROH, the state of the independent wrestling scene, the future of his podcast, the ROH Global Wars tour, the new ROH television format, Starrcast III, and much more...