By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Brian Cage vs. Michael Elgin vs. Rich Swann vs. Moose vs. Tessa Blanchard vs. Daga in a gauntlet match for a shot at the Impact World Championship: A mixed bag. My concern going into the match was that too many people would be damaged by taking losses and only the winner would gain something. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case whatsoever. Swann came out of this looking like a star for lasting so long and taking as much punishment as he did. I hope Impact creative has a good plan to build on this once they get through next week’s ode to Southpaw Regional Wrestling episode. Blanchard pinning Cage should have been her big moment, but Swann was so good that he was actually the star of the match. And Blanchard beating Cage was just too much for me. Before you fill up my email with angry claims that I’m being sexist, know that it’s not because of the male/female dynamic. I’ve noted in the past that intergender wrestling doesn’t do much for me, but I’ve enjoyed what Impact has done with Blanchard and her OVE foils thus far. I just have a hard time believing that jacked Cage would struggle to beat Blanchard in a real fight. I don’t think it will be as tough for me to suspend disbelief when Brock Lesnar faces Rey Mysterio on Sunday because Mysterio is famous for his quickness and can take the stick and move approach, whereas this was more of a straight forward battle that Blanchard won. I’m fine with the apparent end game of Blanchard becoming the first Impact World Champion, but I would have kept her away from Cage.
Jordynne Grace vs. Taya Valkyrie and John E Bravo in a handicap match: Good dumb fun with Grace destroying Valkyrie’s manservant without actually getting to do much damage to the Knockouts Champion. In other words, this was a good way to make viewers want to see Grace get her title shot.
The Rascalz vs. Reno Scum vs. : The usual good athleticism from The Racsalz throughout the match followed by a good beatdown angle involving Ace Austin. Whether it’s Trey’s Mom or whoever is next in line, someone needs to hook up with Austin or this will become repetitive.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Ken Shamrock and Johnny Swinger: The Swinger character continues to be fun comedy relief. I’m not sold on the idea of the entire roster getting in on the act on next week’s Throwback Throwdown, but we’ll see how it goes. Swinger’s match was fine. The post match angle with Shamrock attacking him for dropping a deuce in his bag felt flat. I don’t understand how Impact officials saw how good Shamrock was during the build to Bound For Glory and even during his match with Moose and somehow decided to follow up by having Shamrock work a Joey Ryan dick match and enter into a comedy feud with Swinger.