By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Fallah Bahh, and Tommy Dreamer vs. Sami Callihan, Jake Crist, Dave Crist, and Madman Fulton in an OVE Rules match: Dreamer delivered a strong promo earlier in the show that helped make his team feel like a unit rather than a bunch of singles wrestlers just thrown together for the night. Ultimately, they made the right call in putting over OVE in their own match. Callihan needed the win after coming up short in his match with Swann at Rebellion. The company still needs to make the X Division Championship feel more important. Swann is a good champion, but it felt like an afterthought during the build to his match with Callihan.
LAX vs. Moose and Josh Alexander: A quality tag team opening match. LAX never disappoints, and I’m looking forward to their eventual feud with The North duo of Alexander and Ethan Page. That said, Moose was not a weak link in this match by any means. He is especially good when he can perform his power moves on smaller opponents and he did a nice job of keeping up with the rapid fire pace of the match. Alexander took the pin, but he was protected because it was preceded by miscommunication between him and Moose that led to LAX’s finishing sequence.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Madison Rayne in a non-title match: An ordinary match, but I liked the booking. Valkyrie refuses to defend her title more than once during the 30-day period, so it was logical to have Rayne beat her in a non-title match. The only negative of the segment is that the audio mix was off (or at least it was through my stereo) and it was tough to make out what Tessa Blanchard was saying on commentary.
Jordynne Grace vs. Alexia Nicole: Grace getting a dominant win coming off her pay-per-view loss to Taya Valkyrie was perfectly logical. But she really could have used a promo to frame the loss and deliver her mission statement going forward. John Moore praised Grace’s in match facial expressions during his weekly live review. And while I agree that she did a good job during the match, I wasn’t sure what she was going for during her ring entrance where she looked more bewildered than confident.
Desi Hit Squad vs. Cody Deaner and Jake Deaner vs. Aiden Prince and Brent Banks vs. Dez and Wentz: More of an in the middle than a true Hit or Miss. There was nothing really wrong with the actual match and it was nice to see the DHS get a rare win. Ultimately, though, it came off like a time filling spot fest. And while they didn’t take the loss, I would have kept Dez and Wentz out of the match since they weren’t winning. Then again, I’d also keep them away from the bad smoke circle segments with the obnoxious laugh tracks, but the company’s creative team hasn’t shown much willingness to scrap any of their bad ideas (see the Undead Realm).
Impact Wrestling Misses
Rob Van Dam promo: I’ll have what he’s having.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Justin Credible discussing his sobriety, what triggered his PTSD, filming the Credible documentary, returning to the ring, his thoughts on WWE, AEW, the NWA Crockett Cup, and more.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...