By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
LAX and Lucha Brothers: The show got off to a strong start with the latest physicality between LAX and tag champions Pentagon Jr. and Fenix. The brawl was solid and effective in terms of maintaining the intensity of the feud without overexposing the feud by giving away another match prematurely. The announcement of the Full Metal Mayhem match at Rebellion for nearly a month away feels right in terms of the length of time between their matches, and it’s a major hook for that event, as this could be a match of the year contender.
Glenn Gilbertti vs. Scarlett Bordeaux: I’m normally not big on intergender wrestling. And before fans of the genre email me 10,000 words detailing why it’s acceptable, I’ll save you the time by acknowledging that there is a place in pro wrestling and that there is an audience for it. It’s just not for me personally. In this case, Gilbertti playing a modern day Bobby Riggs made it work. It was easy to laugh at his over the top misogynistic comments throughout the build, and not to be bothered by him manhandling Bordeaux at points during the match because, in the end, you can always count on Disco to be the butt of the joke.
Tessa Blanchard and Gail Kim: A strong heel promo from Blanchard set the stage for Kim to announce her return to the ring. They told a good story to set this up with Blanchard antagonizing Kim repeatedly to the point that it felt logical for Kim to come out of retirement to face her tormenter.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Jordynne Grace for the Knockouts Championship: A solid match. Valkyrie struck me as being more effective as a heel than she was as a babyface. Johnny Impact running out to check on his wife was a nice touch that drew good heat from the live crowd. Valkyrie taking the count-out loss while selling an injury wasn’t the most satisfying finish, but it was logical at this early stage in the feud and it further cemented Valkyrie as a heel. The post match angle with Impact hiding behind his wife once Brian Cage came out was nicely done, and Killer Kross attacking Cage from behind continues to point toward an alliance between Impact and Kross without officially acknowledging it.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Undead Realm: It’s not so bad it’s good. And it’s certainly not innovative. I’m convinced that it turns off more pro wrestling fans than it brings in. The Hardys struck gold with the Broken Universe. And when something so unique hits, it spawns imposters. WWE swung and missed with New Day visiting the Wyatt Family compound. Even the Woken Universe lacked the original charm and the Hardys have moved on (at least for now). And yet Impact is still trying and failing to recreate the magic with low budget madness. Let me guess, this does well on Youtube? So would video footage of the creative team setting themselves on fire, but I certainly don’t recommend that, nor do I think it would lead to more people watching the show on a weekly basis. Please let this be the end of this stunt booking madness.
Brian Cage vs. Killer Kross: The match was fine, but the referee counting the three count even though Cage clearly kicked out was silly. I know where this is going and I can’t say that it does anything for me on paper. That said, we’ll see how it goes as the storyline plays out.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest PCO, who discusses the ROH and NJPW G1 Supercard event that will be held on April 6 at MSG, taking crazy bumps at age 51, what he still wants to accomplish in pro wrestling, and much more.