By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
The North vs. LAX in an Impact Wrestling Tag Titles vs. Careers match: This was the end of the road for Santana and Ortiz in Impact Wrestling. And while it’s too bad for Impact that they debuted in AEW before this match aired, many Impact viewers likely knew their days were numbered. And what a run it was. I remember feeling skeptical when Impact reintroduced LAX featuring Konnan and a pair of independent wrestlers, but the trio clicked from the start and this was a rare case of a sequel being better than an original. Santana and Ortiz always delivered and were the anchors of a tag division that was small in numbers at times, yet consistently delivered the company’s best matches. The duo did the good business on the way out the door by putting over the new champions multiple times. Santana and Ortiz had a phenomenal run with Impact and here’s wishing them the very best going forward.
Brian Cage and Melissa Santos: The logic of Impact giving Cage more time between title reigns was clunky, but the marriage proposal was surprising and kind of fun. I can get past Cage and Santos already being married in real life (see Randy Savage and Elizabeth). I can’t say I’m crazy about Santos becoming an on-air character. I really like her as a backstage interviewer and I hope this doesn’t cause significant changes to what she does in that role. At the same time, while I won’t spoil anything from the Vegas tapings, I will say that this was a necessary step to get to where the storyline is going. I also liked that it humanized Cage. Sure, he’s the pro wrestling terminator, but it’s the human moments that will help him bond with fans.
OVE promos: The sound quality of the latest promo was rough, but I genuinely look forward to seeing the weekly dynamic between Sami Callihan and his crew. Oh, and I now think of Madman Fulton whenever I indulge in a couple of chicken sliders at Arby’s. They have the meat… for sandwiches.
Moose vs. Fallah Bahh: A decisive win for Moose. And while I’ve enjoyed Bahh’s competitive matches with bigger names, it was perfectly logical for Moose to go over strong heading into his feud with Ken Shamrock.
Johnny Swinger: The company’s love for former ECW wrestlers continues with the addition of Swinger playing an out of touch ’80s wrestler gimmick. I got a kick out of this. Is the character inspired by the great Corba Kai series on Youtube?
Impact Wrestling Misses
Jessicka Havok vs. Su Yung: A well worked match, but the minor Miss is because I still have no clue which wrestler they want fans to root for. I suspect it’s Yung, but I’m not even sure why or what she’s done to endear herself to fans. Hopefully Jim Mitchell will be able to convey what the creative team is going for.
TJP vs. Golden Magic: A channel changer. The match was well worked and that’s enough for some viewers, but it was too random in that it featured a fairly recent return in TJP facing a wrestler I don’t remember seeing on Impact before. In other words, the match came off like filler regardless of the efforts of both wrestlers. By the way, why is TJP a babyface when he has natural heel qualities and is much more interesting in that role?
Rob Van Dam vs. Madman Fulton: I agree with John Moore, who wrote in his weekly review that the match should not have happened because Fulton should be presented as a monster, not a guy who needs to be saved by a DQ finish from being beaten by Van Dam. Feed that man a few beef and cheddars and let him go crazy on undercard and enhancement wrestlers.
Ace Austin and Alisha Edwards: There have been some entertaining moments such as the dick in a box homage and even last week’s staged beach brawl. But I can’t get past the obvious flaw that all of his antics are exposed on the weekly television show and yet somehow Alisha is oblivious. And before the great defenders of all things Impact point out that other promotions take a similar approach, please note that it irritates me whenever and wherever it happens.
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...