By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Taya Valkyrie vs. Rosemary in a non-title match: Valkyrie is a really fun heel and one of my favorite wrestlers to watch in Impact lately, but it felt like she should have been more fearful of the Rosemary character. Perhaps she didn’t take that approach because she had to act fearful of Jessicka Havok, Jim Mitchell, and Su Yung afterward. The return of Havok was solid in that she dominated Rosemary and then roughed up the Knockouts Champion. I just hope she doesn’t get caught up in the Undead Realm nonsense. Meanwhile, I like the work of the Josh Mathews and Don Callis broadcast team, but I didn’t care for the way they both seemed to endorse the idea of Valkyrie refusing to defend the Knockouts Title more than once every 30 days. It’s one thing for heel commentator Callis to defend it, but it was odd that Mathews seemed okay with it given that Valkyrie hiding behind the 30-day rule is meant to draw heat.
Madman Fulton squash match: An effective squash match win for Fulton over a pair of enhancement wrestlers. I continue to like the way that Sami Callihan controls Fulton through violence. It works in the moment and is sure to lead to Fulton rebelling on the OVE leader somewhere down the road.
The Crist Brothers vs. Fallah Bahh and Scarlett Bordeaux: The match was put together nicely with Bahh working the majority of it before Bordeaux eventually performed a few fun spots, which got big reactions from the live crowd. I’m not big on intergender wrestling, but this match was a lot of fun and it was good to see the Crist brothers go over in the end. The post match angle with Tessa Blanchard was also well done and it made her look far more impressive than it made the Crists look bad.
Jordynne Grace vs. Kiera Hogan: A good match between two of the Undead Realm survivors. Hogan did a nice job in her new heel persona, and Grace shined with her power moves.
Ace Austin vs. Cousin Jake Deaner: The right wrestler went over. It’s possible that Cousin Jake will eventually become more than a mid-card comedy tag wrestler, but we’re not there yet. As such, it was logical to put over the wrestler with more of an immediate upside in the talented Austin. The distraction finish caused by Desi Hit Squad continues their mid-card feud with the Deaners, which is fine, but I’m looking forward to seeing Austin in real program now that he’s racked up some singles wins.
Impact Wrestling Misses
LAX vs. The Rascalz for the Impact Tag Titles: A Hit for match quality, but a Miss overall due to the oddball match finish. Had Dez or Wentz scored a pin that was overturned once the original referee recovered and disqualified LAX for spitting alcohol in his face, then The Rascalz would have been sympathetic figures. Instead, Trey Miguel, who wasn’t in the match, performed the finishing move and scored the pin for his team, so there’s no reason to feel any pity for The Rascalz since they didn’t actually deserve to win. Here’s hoping that the presentation going into the rematch is stronger. I guess the idea was that LAX wasn’t taking the match as seriously as they should have given their pre-match clubhouse scene, but we also saw the challengers clowning around in a smoke circle earlier in the show. I’m more than ready for the Rascalz characters to essentially grow up and abandon the That ’70s Show parody skits in favor of being presented as serious contenders.
Pursuit Channel issues: Pursuit Channel aired commercials rather than the main event of Impact a couple weeks ago, and they somehow topped that debacle by airing the wrong episode of Impact on Friday night. And if this is truly all on Pursuit then I feel bad for Impact officials, but they should have done a better job of making it up to fans by making the show available for free on Youtube or another free platform. Instead, they ran the show on the Impact Plus streaming service, which requires users to signup for access. Worse yet, when I tried to watch the show on Impact Plus, it was listed as unavailable in my region until today. I’m sure they have contractual rules that they have to live by, but when Impact’s parent company owns a significant portion of the television network that seems to be dropping the ball, one has to believe that network officials would sign off on Impact making the show available on a different platform. For that matter, what in the world is on Pursuit that is so important that it can’t be bumped for a special airing of the television show that was supposed to air on Friday night?
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Glenn “Disco Inferno” Gilbertti, who discusses how being a good heel doesn’t stop outside the ring, a trait that big name wrestlers have in common, his male chauvinist persona, why he didn’t work for WWE after the WCW sale, and more.