By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Ace Austin vs. Wentz to become No. 1 contender to the Impact World Championship: I’m not sure why a straight forward tournament without a bunch of changes isn’t enough for WWE or Impact these days, but I still enjoyed the match despite the fact that Wentz was a last second replacement for Trey Miguel. It was cool to see Wentz get a chance to show that he can be more than a Michael Kelso impersonator. He showed really good fire when he confronted Austin and tried to avenge the attack that left Miguel lying backstage. This was a strong match between two of Impact’s brighter young stars, and the right guy won the tournament.
Dez and Wentz vs. TJ Perkins and Fallah Bahh to become No. 1 contenders to the Impact Tag Titles: A very good tag match with the right team going over. The Rascalz trio has been wasted for too long and hopefully this episode was a step toward the trio being portrayed as serious wrestlers rather than a mid-card comedy act. Give them their full names back, do away with the smoke circles, and showcase all three wrestlers as rising stars.
Kylie Rae and Susie Yung vs. Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz: A well worked match involving a pair of new tag teams. It was nice to see Hogan and Steelz go over. They have the potential to be a good tag team if they get more time in the ring together, though I still feel Impact is missing the boat by not featuring Hogan as a top babyface singles wrestler.
Locker Room Talk: A fun segment with Johnny Swinger doing the majority of the talking for Chris Bey, who did a good job of conveying through his facial expressions that he’s just humoring Swinger and perhaps counting on his outside interference to help him win the X Division Championship.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Joseph P Ryan vs. Crazzy Steve: The match was fine. The Cancel Culture name is about the only thing I’ve enjoyed about the act thus far. Ryan still comes off like a guy playing a character rather than being an extension of himself. I was legitimately surprised to see Jake Crist turn on his brother in order to prove himself to Ryan, but I can’t say that I’m excited about the talented Jake joining what feels like an ice cold gimmick.
Rohit Raju vs. Chase Stevens: A minor Miss for a match that featured a rarely featured TNA original and a guy who loses far more than he wins. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to see Roju pick up a rare win and hopefully they can get both guys over, but they are not there yet. The post match bit with Rhino showing up and spearing Raju felt random, but Josh Mathews indicated that there’s more to the story, so we’ll see where it goes.