By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Sami Callihan vs. Tommy Dreamer in a No DQ match: Callihan went over clean and even got the better of Tessa Blanchard afterward. We’ve seen better from Callihan and Dreamer, but this wasn’t bad. The post match angle with Jake Crist saving Callihan, who then piledrove Blanchard, was well done. I got a kick out of the final shot of a smiling Callihan reaching out to touch the X Division Title belt only to have Crist yank it away. My suspicion continues to be that the eventual plan is for Blanchard to beat Crist or perhaps even Callihan to win the X Division Title.
Jake Crist vs. Rich Swann for the X Division Title: The growing confidence and ego of the Jake Crist character continues to be entertaining and I assume that’s the point of having him beat Swann without any help from OVE. Swann continues to be frustrating in that he’s very talented and yet there’s no depth to his character. We learned a little about his background during the feud with Sami Callihan, but none of it really stuck. Win or lose, viewers have learned to assume that Swann will show up smiling and dancing the next time they see him.
Taya Valkyrie: A good promo with Valkyrie boasting about approaching the record for longest Knockouts Championship reign. She did a nice job of teasing a match with Tenille Dashwood without mentioning her by name. Thus, it served as a nice tease for next week and it won’t be a case of bait and switch since the match was never actually announced.
Trey Miguel vs. Willie Mack: A minor Hit for a fine match that didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose beyond filling television time. Perhaps something will occur coming out of the match that will say otherwise.
Jessicka Havok vs. Alisha Edwards: A solid squash win for Havok. I don’t miss the Undead Realm nonsense, but Havok is missing James Mitchell as a mouthpiece. If Havok isn’t going to cut promos, then someone needs to explain her character’s motivations. I still have no clue whether fans are supposed to be cheering for Havok or Su Yung in their feud.
Overall Show: A minor Hit. The lopsided Hit count doesn’t tell the full story, as this show just wasn’t as good as some of Impact’s recent shows. It was a solid and yet forgettable week. On a side note, Impact made the Championship Wrestling From Hollywood studio look dark and blue. I realize this fits the typical look that Impact, but I strongly prefer the regular look of the studio.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Michael Elgin vs. Rhino: A slow, plodding brawl with a double count-out finish that set the table for a falls count anywhere rematch. The pull apart after the match got over more than the actual match. I wish the company would have done more to build up Rhino before moving him into this feud with Elgin. Rhino was an undercard wrestler throughout most of his WWE run and it sends the wrong message that he enters Impact and immediately goes toe to toe with the guy who hospitalized the Impact World Champion and took him to the limit in a pay-per-view main event.
The North vs. Reno Scum for the Impact Tag Titles: A minor Miss. The story was that The North issued an open challenge to any West Coast team, so that’s why this was a title match. I still don’t get the Reno Scum act. They have talent, but they look like two guys in dire need of a gimmick and cosmetic overhaul. The North winning clean was logical given the strong effort the company has made to boost their in-ring credibility in recent weeks.
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...