By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Michael Elgin vs. Pentagon Jr. vs. Johnny Impact for an Impact World Championship shot: I liked the call of putting over Elgin in his debut match. He attacked Brian Cage moments after he won the Impact World Championship and is taking credit for putting him on the shelf, and it makes sense to heat up Elgin as much as possible to build to an eventual match between the two. It would have sent the wrong message to have Elgin come up short in his debut match, even if he didn’t factor into the pin. Johnny Impact alluded to his rematch clause, so they can always put him first in line if they want to delay going to Cage vs. Elgin. I was surprised to see Impact take the pin if only because of the rumblings that Pentagon Jr. and Fenix are going to become All Elite Wrestling regulars. Johnny’s botch late in the match was rough and awkward, but it wasn’t enough to ruin an otherwise entertaining match.
Rob Van Dam and Ethan Page: This was RVD’s Impact homecoming and the live crowd was happy to see him. And while RVD gives the show an added dose of star power, I actually came away more excited by Page finally getting some real mic time. Page has been spinning his wheels since arriving in Impact and being cast as Matt Sydal’s lackey. The gimmick didn’t fit his All Ego persona in any way and I never quite understood what they were going for. This segment was a big step in the right direction. And while I like The North tag team and can see them being eventual rivals for LAX, I continue to wonder if Page and partner Josh Alexander will eventually contribute more as singles wrestlers in Impact.
Ace Austin vs. Petey Williams: A minor Hit for a solid match with Austin continuing to get his heel persona over while beating Captain Canada in Toronto. We’ve seen a lot of Austin on Impact and MLW Fusion and he turned heel at basically the same time in both companies, but we don’t really hear much from him on either company’s television shows. Here’s hoping that changes, as he needs mic time to truly develop his persona.
Taya Valkyrie and Melissa Santos: Valkyrie has thrived since turning heel and her arrogant performances backstage were no exception. Santos has been an excellent addition as a backstage interviewer. Her disgusted facial expressions in response to Valkyrie were perfect. You can tell that Santos understands the wrestling business and isn’t just a pretty face who was hired despite having no pro wrestling knowledge.
Fenix vs. Eddie Edwards: The Crazy Eddie persona continues to be uninspiring and his obsession with a kendo stick he’s named Kenny is an eye roller. Still, I enjoyed the match, mostly because I find myself enjoying nearly everything that Killer Kross is involved with. So as silly as Eddie being distracted by the potential loss of his kendo stick was, the fact that it was Kross playing mind games with him was enough to make up for it.
Tully Blanchard and Tessa Blanchard: It’s always nice to see a true legend appear. With Tessa apparently shifting into a babyface role, I am surprised that they didn’t have Tully play a part in that character shift by encouraging his daughter to learn from his mistakes and do things the right way, perhaps even for the legacy of her grandfather. It would have provided a good cause for Tessa’s character shift, which felt rather abrupt at Rebellion.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Rosemary vs. Kiera Hogan: The in-ring action was fine aside from some slow motion punches from Rosemary at one point. Speaking of punches, the Undead Bridesmaids punching Rosemary after the match was original GLOW level awful to the point that even Don Callis felt the need to address how light they were. But the problem continues to be the cornball Undead Realm campiness that just won’t go away. Impact has made real improvements overall, but they just won’t pull the plug on this embarrassing drivel.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Court Bauer discussing MLW’s future, pay-per-view possibilities, whether MLW talent could appear on the AAA event at MSG, Salina de la Renta serving as the executive producer for the latest MLW Fusion television show, and more.