By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Ken Shamrock named to the Impact Hall of Fame: It started as a classy closing segment that included footage courtesy of WWE, which was a nice surprise. It then turned into an angle with Sami Callihan throwing a fireball at the face of Shamrock and revealing himself as the hacker. I never understood what NXT was trying to do with Callihan’s hacker persona Solomon Crowe, so hopefully this version makes a lot more sense.
“The North” Josh Alexander and Ethan Page vs. TJP and Fallah Bahh for the Impact Tag Titles: A quality tag title match. The spot with the referee not seeing Page tap to TJP’s submission hold was fine, though I understand the frustration that John Moore expressed in his review given the company’s long history of going overboard with ref bumps. In this case, it protected the challengers and set up the need for a rematch.
Daga vs. Jake Crist: A Hit for a well worked match. Daga still hasn’t clicked as a personality, and while a good match is a good match, it’s not like beating Crist means anything right now. He’s a former X Division Champion and he really shined during his reign, but he’s been demoted to a henchman role in OVE since he dropped the title. The jury is still out as to whether Daga will catch on, but we’ve seen that Crist can work as a singles wrestler and hopefully the creative forces get him back on track soon.
Chris Bey vs. Damien Drake: A good squash match showcase win for Bey in what was a re-debut for the company. Impact is ignoring the fact that Bey lost some matches on their television show in the past and instead claimed this match as his debut. While honesty is the best policy, the average viewer won’t know the difference and those who do will accept it if Bey gets over.
Kiera Hogan vs. Lacey Ryan: A solid match. Hogan shined despite losing as often as she won on the WOW television show, and she’s also been impressive in Impact. The frenemy routine with Madison Rayne hasn’t led to anything. It feels like Hogan should be a featured babyface rather than a mid-card heel.
Impact Wrestling Misses
The Real Housewives of Slam Town: There were some good comedic moments during this spoof, but they completely lost me with the cheese ball special effect as Rosemary “sucked the soul” of Taya Valkyrie’s friend. Ultimately, I’m just not a fan of anything related to the ridiculous Undead Realm (the Su Yung and Jim Mitchell segment included).
“Cancel Culture” Joseph P Ryan and Rob Van Dam vs. The Deaners: A mixed bag and I’m tempted to give it a Hit for the company realizing that the Joey Ryan dick matches lose their charm quickly when featured on a weekly television series. But Ryan came off like he was playing a character rather than something that felt genuine. Worse yet, the tag act feels undercard and if that’s the case then it’s hard to see how the company will get any value out of RVD if he’s still commanding as much money as he was when he returned to Impact.