By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Join me for live coverage of Impact Wrestling Slammiversary as the show airs tonight on pay-per-view television and FITE.TV.
Impact Wrestling Hits
Dez vs. Trey vs. Wentz: A fun spot-fest between friends as the Rascalz fought it out to determine which two members of their Rascalz faction will challenge The North in the three-way tag with LAX for the tag titles at Slammiversary. I suspect it will be business as usual going forward with the dopey (pun intended) Rascalz, but I suppose one can’t rule out Trey Miguel’s character being upset over being the odd man out.
Tessa Blanchard and Sami Callihan: I’m down on the idea of having the production team add a musical score to something that should feel gritty and impromptu. Yet while I’m not a big fan of intergender wrestling, there’s no denying that Blanchard vs. Callihan feels like a unique attraction for Slammiversary.
TJP vs. Ace Austin: A good athletic opener that resulted in Austin taking his second loss in Impact, which was also his second loss to TJP. This was a longer and better match than their first encounter. The two wins have served as a nice reintroduction for TJP. I just hope there’s a plan in place for Austin’s character to bounce back.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Rich Swann and Willie Mack vs. Johnny Impact and John E Bravo: I suspect Bravo’s involvement was more fun for the folks backstage than it was for viewers. The company just hasn’t done enough to put heat on Bravo to get viewers excited about seeing the babyfaces get their hands on him. So while the match was fine and the babyfaces got the expected win, it just didn’t pack much of a punch. Swann vs. Impact should be a good match tonight, but there wasn’t anything about this tag match that made me look forward to the the X Division Title match more than I was going into the television show.
Kiera Hogan vs. Madison Rayne: A solid match. I was surprised to see Hogan win if only because Rayne has been so booked to win so many matches since she returned to the company. But Hogan beating Rayne was not presented as a big enough deal. Rather, the focus was on friction between Hogan and Jordyne Grace, who was on commentary for the match. Impact built up some equity in Rayne by giving her so many wins, but they didn’t get anything out of her taking this rare loss. This also felt like a match that didn’t need to air on the go-home show since none of the players are advertised for Slammiversary.
Laredo Kid vs. Rohit Raju: A solid match with a surprising outcome. As part of the Desi Hit Squad, Raju loses to damn near everyone. And I’m all for Impact doing more with the underutilized Raju in the X Division, but it’s hard to believe that’s in the works when they also aired a silly backstage video that was designed to further the mid-card comedy feud between DHS and the Deaners. So if they don’t have anything in mind for Raju as a singles wrestler then I would argue that they should have had someone who does factor into the X Division plans to score a win over Kid. This match also felt very random for the Slammiversary go-home show. We saw Kid vs. Raju, and Hogan vs. Rayne on the go-home show, yet we didn’t get anything new from Slammiversary headliners Brian Cage and Michael Elgin outside of video packages? Strange.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast With Jason Powell featuring a Dot Net Weekly combo show co-hosted by Jake Barnett with a discussion of WWE’s first week of television following the creative shakeup, MLW announcing its first pay-per-view event, and much 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...