By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Tessa Blanchard vs. Jordynne Grace to become No. 1 contender to the Knockouts Championship: One of the better Knockouts matches to air on Impact this year. It was nice to see Grace score a clean pin over Blanchard, who always seems to get her heat back no matter how many loses she takes. It’s especially good to see Grace involved in something meaningful again after her detour into the Undead Realm nonsense. Tessa can always be counted on for a great irrational meltdown and her attack on the timekeeper was no exception. Gail Kim making the save and then roughing up Blanchard was really well done as they continue the good, long-term build to what feels like an inevitable match between the two. A top notch segment all around.
Brian Cage, Johnny Impact, Taya Valkyrie, and Killer Kross: It’s rare that an angle of its kind that didn’t leave the babyface looking like a dope. Cage wasn’t gullible. Rather, he showed no interest in helping Impact until Killer Kross teased getting physical with Valkyrie. The storyline build to the Impact and Valkyrie turn has been very well written and executed, and now the table is set the way it should be with Impact and Valkyrie as heel champions, and Cage as the top babyface who is now in revenge mode.
Rich Swann, Willie Mack, and Tommy Dreamer vs. Sami Callihan, Jake Crist, and Dave Crist: A fun opening six-man tag team match. Dreamer was especially fun in that he followed up big dives by Swann and Mack with his own dives a couple of times, which the live crowd ate up. I could have done without Dreamer eating Callihan’s spit, but this was fun otherwise and I liked seeing the heels go over in the end.
Eli Drake and Eddie Edwards vs. Desi Hit Squad: The predictability of the outcome worked against the match, but it was still well worked and entertaining. The storyline focus was understandably on Drake and Edwards, but I continue to believe the DHS duo could be built up to be more meaningful than their current positioning as a glorified enhancement team.
Glenn Gilbertti vs. Kikutaro: A minor Hit. It was logical for Disco to go over given that he has the upcoming match with Scarlett Bordeaux, whereas Kikutaro doesn’t play a regular role in Impact. By the way, aside from some gray in the facial hair, has Disco aged? The guy looks great for 51.
Fallah Bahh and KM vs. Reno Scum: A minor Hit for the regulars beating a team that is presumably only in for the Vegas tapings.
Impact Wrestling Misses
The Rascalz smoke circle: Not even the highly entertaining Moose could make this worth watching. Doesn’t anyone in Impact see the problem with the cool, young faction doing a cable access version of a gag from a sitcom that ended its run in 2006?
Rosemary and Dark Allie: Will the Undead Realm nonsense ever end?
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Fulvio Cecere discussing the 350 Days documentary that included interviews with over 70 pro wrestling legends including Bret Hart, Ted DiBiase, Wendi Richter, Greg Valentine, and Bill Eadie, why pre-ordering the documentary is so helpful, a nugget regarding Fulvio’s run as Lt. Thorne on Battlestar Galactica, and much more.