By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Johnny Impact and Michael Elgin vs. Rich Swann and Willie Mack: A strong television main event that gave Swann and Mack a win while still protecting the heels. Elgin walking out on Johnny played into their previous issues while also giving Johnny and out for taking the pin. The spot that set up Elgin’s departure was a little slow to develop, but it was one of the only real flaws of what was a good, action packed main event.
Killer Kross vs. Eddie Edwards in a street fight: The main event featured the ECW legends, but this was a classic ECW Arena brawl. Both guys worked hard and the live crowd ate up the hardcore style match. Sandman showing up at the end was a nice surprise for the live crowd. And while it’s nice to see him again, it was actually disappointing to see the match end due to outside interference. As great as Edwards is in the ring, the Crazy Eddie persona does nothing for me. Tommy Dreamer passed the torch, er, kendo stick to him previously, and now the company is doubling down by having Sandman do the same. It feels like they are going all in on this character at a time when I wish they would scrap it in favor of Edwards going back to his more realistic personal. Meanwhile, Kross has shown diversity in terms of the types of matches he can work (go out of your way to see his match with Davey Boy Smith Jr. at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport from WrestleMania weekend), he shines on the mic, and plays his character to perfection. Kross strikes me as a future world champion in Impact and/or elsewhere.
Rob Van Dam, Sabu, and Tommy Dreamer vs. Moose, Josh Alexander, and Ethan Page: The ECW nostalgia continued during the two nights of tapings the company held at 2300 Arena (a/k/a ECW Arena). A case can be made for trying to use Sabu or Dreamer to make one the heels, but it’s also early in RVD’s return to the company, so it was fine to have him score the clean pin for his team. That said, one can only hope that there’s a plan in place to build up Alexander and Page as a strong tag team given that they seem like the most likely duo to enter a program with LAX over the tag titles. By the way, Sabu continues to be an absolute freak and it’s insane to see the moves he’s able to pull off at age 54, especially given what he’s put his body through over the years.
Brian Cage promo: Cage came off well while providing a quick medical update and then flipped the switch into building up his return match with Michael Elgin. It was good to hear from the champion given that he was forced to miss three nights of tapings following his title win at Rebellion.
Glenn Gilbertti vs. Tessa Blanchard: Disco continues to be an entertaining heel who garners a ton of heat for his chauvinistic comments only to be put in his place once the bell rings. The company wasted no time in having Blanchard destroy him and thus it will be interesting to see if she moves on to something else or if Disco does something to get his heat back to prolong the feud.
The Deaners vs. Desi Hit Squad: More of an in the middle than a Hit or a Miss. DHS lose to damn near everyone so no one really gains anything by beating them. The Deaners are undercard comedy so this is all harmless even though I wish the company would overhaul the DHS gimmick and give them an actual chance to get over.
Impact Wrestling Misses
James Mitchell, Rosemary, and Su Yung: Three good performers saddled with the impossible task of making the Undead Realm nonsense work. I wish someone from the Impact creative team would explain what purpose they feel this actually serves.
Smoke effect: The bad smoke effect used during the smoke circle segments and with LAX on this show is just plain terrible. The smoke looks so fake that it just ruins the segments and made both teams look inauthentic. Seriously, drop $30 at Walmart for a smoke machine or just give RVD access to the set a couple of minutes before the promo shoot.
OVE promo: Why does Sami Callihan suddenly care about what’s happening in the Knockouts Division? I suspect they are working toward a Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard match in addition to next week’s tag match involving Scarlett Bordeaux, but it felt like there should have been an angle of some kind that led to them crossing paths rather than Callihan bringing up the Knockouts out of nowhere.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Alexander Hammerstone, who discusses his background, how the underdog story has been overplayed in pro wrestling, the Dynasty faction, facing Brian Pillman Jr., and more.