By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Tessa Blanchard and Daga vs. Jake Crist and Madman Fulton: A minor Hit for a solid match with Blanchard beating the X Division Championship heading into the five-way ladder match that both will a part of at Bound For Glory. It was interesting to hear the pre-match exchange with Blanchard and Daga agreeing to team in this match, yet also making it clear they will be adversaries at the pay-per-view. I thought they might be playing into their real life relationship by basically teaming together in the five-way, so it was nice to get clarification.
Eddie Edwards vs. Ace Austin in a qualifier for the X Division Title match at Bound For Glory: You still have to turn off your brain to enjoy the storyline of Austin trying to sleep with Alisha Edwards. After all, the guy his now wearing an “I Just Banged Your Wife” t-shirt, which makes it impossible to come up with excuses for Alisha being oblivious to his antics. Austin continues to be entertaining and they’ve found a role for the Reno Scum tag team as his hired guns. Unfortunately, babyface Eddie Edwards continues to feel wasted in his crazy man gimmick. It’s so bad that I would be rooting for Austin to steal Eddie’s wife, but the Alisha character comes off so angry that I wouldn’t wish her on anybody.
Mahabali Shera, Rohit Raju, and Raj Singh vs. The Rascalz: Mixed feelings. It’s sad to see The Rascalz spin their wheels in Impact, but I like the idea of giving the Indian trio scoring a meaningful win. The presentation of Desi Hit Squad still leaves something to be desired. Gama Singh showed more fire than usual while introducing his team, but it’s just not his thing and I wish they would transition him into a more of a silent guru role and let the three wrestlers speak for themselves.
Jordynne Grace vs. Katie Forbes: A soft Hit. Forbes doing her twerking stripper-like bit feels out of place in 2019. Perhaps there’s a way to tone it down and make it more along the lines of her being Diva in a modern woman’s world similar to what the company originally seemed to have in mind for Scarlett Bordeaux. The no nonsense Grace beating the flamboyant Forbes was the right move. And if nothing else Forbes is a heel, so this isn’t as strange as when TNA presented Brooke Tessmacher as an athletic babyface and had her walk onto the stage and bend over and show off her ass at the beginning of each ring entrance. That said, if Forbes is a heel, is it wise to acknowledge that she’s dating Rob Van Dam?
Impact Wrestling Misses
Sami Callihan performs a piledriver on Melissa Santos: It’s one thing to show intergender matches, but it felt uncomfortable seeing Callihan perform a piledriver on a female non-wrestler. I’m not going to tell anyone who enjoyed the heat spot that they are wrong for liking it, but it just wasn’t for me.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Jessika Havok for the Impact Knockouts Championship:A Hit worthy match as far as the in-ring work goes, but it left me even more confused as to whether they want fans to cheer or boo Havok. She seems to be a heel in that she’s aligned with Jim Mitchell and they work for “him” and yet her latest matches have been against heels Taya Valkyrie and Su Yung. Havok even beat up John E Bravo after this match. Meanwhile, Tenille Dashwood was flat on commentary and didn’t do anything to raise her stock with fans going into her title match at Bound For Glory.
Moose vs. Stephan Bonnar: This looked better on paper than it played out. It was logical to feature Moose in a match against a known MMA fighter heading into his Bound For Glory match with Ken Shamrock. Unfortunately, the match was rough and I came away surprised that they didn’t give Moose a clean win. I was even more surprised that they felt the need to have Ken Shamrock rough up Moose afterward. It felt like they would have been better off saving any physicality between the two for pay-per-view. Despite this hiccup, Impact has done a very good job of making Moose vs. Shamrock feel like a big match.
Pursuit Channel: One more week of Impact on this godforsaken network that is apparently incapable of properly listing its own programming. Last week’s show was listed as starting 30 minutes before it actually did on my DirecTV guide, and this week’s show was listed as starting 20 minutes before it actually did. This is the same network that once aired the wrong episode of Impact and also played 20 minutes of ads in place of an Impact main event. File this in the “you can’t make it up” department. I just tried to look ahead to see what time Friday’s show will air and the entire listing for upcoming Pursuit programming is listed as “to be announced”.