By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Rich Swann vs. Sami Callihan for the X Division Championship: A good main event as the feud between Swann and Callihan has finally reached the match phase. They have done a pretty good job of making the feud seem personal (Callihan has now explained his version of the events three times). Hopefully they can find a way to make the X Division Title feel like an equally important part of their feud. Swann and Callihan have spent so much time talking about their history that the X Division Title has taken a backseat. The arrival of Sawyer Fulton as the newest member of OVE was well done and is fun in that it combine’s pieces of Callihan’s Impact and MLW factions.
Moose vs. Trey Miguel: A strong show opening match and the most entertaining match of the night. As much as I dislike the smoke circle segments, last week’s segment somehow brought out a more serious and violent side of Moose in this match. Now if only we could get the same from The Rascalz. Impact needs to create stars. And while there’s a role for lovable mid-card comedy figures, the three Rascalz members are simply better than that and creative should be working toward making them meaningful players rather than a comedy trio that seems more concerned with getting stoned than winning matches.
Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake vs. KM and Fallah Bahh: A minor Hit as the company continues to build up Edwards and Drake as a duo. The drama over Drake wanting Edwards to ditch the hardcore style isn’t really doing much for me. Yet while I still believe Drake should be slotted in something more meaningful and the Crazy Eddie character has run its course, at least it feels like creative has a plan in mind for both men.
Ace Austin vs. Damian Hyde: A much better showcase match for Austin than his more competitive debut match.
Willie Mack vs. Ethan Page: A solid television match between two wrestlers who need more attention and character development from creative.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Johnny Impact and Taya Valkyrie: Johnny needed to hit a home run and he delivered a single at best in his first promo since turning heel. His explanation had some decent heel logic, but he came off like a guy trying to remember his lines more than heartfelt. It also felt like this would have been a spot to have Josh Mathews go at Impact for going to great lengths to avoid facing Brian Cage in a singles match. The Valkyrie promo to set up her match with Jordynne Grace was brief and solid, which is understandable due to more of the focus understandably being on Impact’s turn. I have more confidence in Valkyrie making her heel turn work on the mic than I do Impact. The husband and wife duo making out at the end was the most effective heel moment in the segment.
Jim Mitchell and Rosemary: I enjoy the work of both performers, but the threat of the Undead Realm returning made this an instant Miss. I wish they would pull Mitchell from this nonsense, tweak his character, and have him serve as the mouthpiece for Johnny Impact.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Eric Bischoff discussing whether there are similarities in Vince McMahon’s WWE booking and Verne Gagne’s booking of the AWA during its dying days, a network shakeup that could potentially be an issue for All Elite Wrestling, Eric’s upcoming shows with Tony Schiavone and Conrad Thompson in Chicago and New York, and much more.
It would’ve been a nice touch if Taya had attacked Josh during the interview with a cheap shot and a beatdown. This could’ve setup the returning Madison Rayne taking on Taya in defense of her hubby.