By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Eric Young vs. Willie Mack: Impact opened hot with the Rich Swann video followed by Mack trying to avenge his friend by brawling with Young. I was actually surprised to see this lead to the opening match of the night, as it seemed like the better approach would have been to use the brawl to entice viewers to stick around for a main event match between the two. Even so, Young fighting Mack was the logical followup to last week’s angle and they produced a strong match. Young’s return to Impact has been excellent thus far.
Eddie Edwards vs. Brian Myers for the Impact World Championship: Another good open challenge. Impact continues to deliver quality challengers for Edwards. It’s fair to question whether they would be better off advertising some of these matches in advance, but there’s also something to be said for the current approach of establishing a good list of open challengers with the hope that viewers will feel compelled to watch every week to find out who will step up next. There should be exceptions, such as when Eric Young or EC3 challenge for the title, as those matches should have a proper build and seem more likely to draw viewers than the open challenge approach.
Jordynne Grace vs. Kimber Lee: A quality match. It felt like they could have done more to play on the tease that Lee was trying to take out Grace with the goal of taking her title match at Emergence. Lee worked a straight forward style and it made for a good match, but it didn’t really fit the story.
Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz vs. Havok and Nevaeh in a no-DQ match: Another battle involving these four women and I’m still clueless when it comes to which team the company wants fans to pull for. The teams work hard and have solid matches, but the feud doesn’t work for me without a rooting interest or tag titles. Speaking of the latter, Madison Rayne continued to speak about how strong the Knockouts tag division is, so it seems like they are building toward reintroducing tag titles, which is definitely a positive.
The Good Brothers, Ace Austin, and Madman Fulton: As much as I would prefer to see Austin as the Impact World Champion and the fresh face of the brand, the build to the first match between these teams has gone well.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Sami Callihan, Rob Van Dam, and Katie Forbes: Callihan magically teleported onto the Locker Room Talk set. Need I say more?
Wrestle House: Larry D is under Rosemary’s love spell. Need I say more? Fine, I will. Impact is at its best when they deliver a straight forward, logical pro wrestling product. But their ongoing obsession with teleporting and other magical powers continue to be major turnoffs. Fortunately, they have found a better balance in terms of limiting how often they cut to Wrestle House than they did on the gimmick’s debut episode.