By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Tessa Blanchard vs. Taya Valkyrie for the Impact World Championship: We’ve seen better outings from these two, but this was still a pretty good match. Josh Mathews was all about framing this as a historic match because it was the first time that two women faced one another for the Impact World Title. It’s a logical approach and yet it just doesn’t seem like the company has gotten much out of having Blanchard become the first woman to hold the top singles championship.
The North vs. TJP and Fallah Bahh in a non-title match: A good opener that should finally lead to an actual tag title match. TJP and Bahh have now beaten The North in two singles matches and a non-title tag match. There’s still not much personality chemistry between TJP and Bahh, but they worked well in the ring together and the tag title match should be strong if this match is any indication.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Overall show: Impact has taken a step back since moving to AXS TV. The losses of Brian Cage, LAX, Pentagon Jr., Rey Fenix, and even the temporary loss of Sami Callihan have definitely taken their toll. But creative doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to shake things up. I like what they’ve done with Ace Austin, but that’s not enough. There is some good, young talent on the roster that feels like it’s in a holding pattern. Most notably, Trey Miguel, Dezmond Xavier, and Zachary Wentz all feel like they have upside to be more than mid-card big spot wrestlers, but the company doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to spotlight them. Miguel had a mini push that resulted in him losing to Austin. The company can’t bring back the names they lost, but they should be doing more to replace them with new stars.
Moose vs. Petey Williams: The match was fine, but Moose continues to be slotted in an underwhelming position despite being given some meaningful pay-per-view wins. Every time it seems like he’s building momentum, he gets placed in something that feels below where he should be on the card. This month, Moose is playing the part of the anti-TNA heel. Perhaps there will turn out to be a good reason why, but in the moment it feels like a role that could have been assigned to any heel on the roster.
Gut Check segment: The teasers for the Impact Plus show should make viewers feel like they might be seeing the company’s next star. Instead, the wrestlers have been made to look bad at the expense of John E Bravo being showcased as a hard ass trainer. Nothing I’ve seen thus far has left me feeling like I need to see this series on Impact Plus. And why are they showing viewers hard ass Bravo while also having him play Taya Valkyrie’s goofball manservant on the same show?
Su Yung vs Jessicka Havok in a No DQ match: A hardcore match between two characters that no longer work for me due to their involvement in the lousy Undead Realm saga. The return of Yung’s coffin and the strange Rosemary promo seem to suggest that another trip to the actual Undead Realm is nearing. Will this ever end?
Joey Ryan vs. Acey Romero: The Joey Ryan dick match continues to lose its charm the more it’s featured on television. And perhaps Ryan and the creative forces have come to the same conclusion given the way he opted against performing the dick flip. Yet while they may be doing the right thing by turning Ryan heel, the match still featured the greatest hits, which did nothing for me, though it was likely a necessary step to get to where they are going next.
Johnny Swinger and Glenn Gilbertti vs. Cody Deaner and Cousin Jake: A minor Miss for a match that lacked the comedy charm that we’ve seen from Swinger and Disco Inferno separately.