By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Eric Young attacks Rich Swann: A brief and yet awesome segment. Young’s attack totally caught me off guard, as I figured this was going to be a basic good news update on Swann’s rehab work heading into Bound For Glory. Instead, Young appeared wearing a medical mask and scrubs and then violently attacked the bad ankle of Swann again. So just moments after Swann was deemed ready for the show, he’s back in underdog mode due to the latest attack by Young.
Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin vs. Ace Austin and Madman Fulton in a non-title match: An entertaining team match even though the tag titles were not on the line. They did a nice job of foreshadowing by having Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson inform the Guns that they would be keeping them safe in advance of the tag title match at Bound For Glory, which led to the Good Brothers fighting off The North’s interference attempt. Austin and Fulton work well together. Fulton has been elevated since joining Austin. But I do question why Austin was moved into a tag team when he felt like a breakout singles star and a potential world champion going into the Slammiversary pay-per-view.
X Division Champion Rohit Raju vs. Jordynne Grace: They got me with the swerve of Grace winning the title. I actually wasn’t happy about it, because it feels like the creative forces can still have a lot more fun with Raju playing the cowardly champion role. Raju is really letting loose on the mic and playing this part to perfection. The post match angle with Scott D’Amore booking Raju in a six-way title defense at Bound For Glory was fine, but I’ll be hoping that Raju finds a way to sneak out with the title.
Heath, Rhino, and Scott D’Amore: I’m not really sure why a camera crew would be allowed to shoot contract negotiations, but this was a good segment that may have moved Heath into something original. D’Amore balking at Heath’s contract demands led to Heath getting upset with Rhino for encouraging him to come to Impact. I can’t say that I’m amped up to see Heath vs. Rhino if that’s where this is going, but it would be nice to see Heath do something in Impact that doesn’t feel like something he already did in WWE.
Dez and Wentz vs. Larry D and Acey Romero: The pre-match attack by D and Romero was fun, particularly when they stretched Dez by pulling on his arms and legs. Ultimately, though, the right team went over and hopefully the team of Dez and Wentz can put a series of wins together and move up the card where they belong.
Tommy Dreamer vs. Brian Myers: The feud between Myers and his mentor has been better than I anticipated. Dreamer can always be counted on to elevate his opponents. Myers has already won two of the three matches, and he lost this match by DQ for hitting Dreamer with a kendo stick.
Impact Wrestling Misses
EC3’s funeral for the TNA Championship: He dropped the belt over the side of what appeared to be a bridge was uneventful. Destroy that title belt. Use weapons, fire, explosives. Put that damn thing out of its misery.
Ken Shamrock and Sami Callihan: So Shamrock is an easily manipulated rage monster?
The Deaners vs. Johnny Swinger and Crazzy Steve: I typically get a kick out of Swinger comedy, but this match didn’t do much for me. At least they kept it short.
Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz vs. Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary: The in-ring work was fine, but all these women’s tag team matches feel pointless without women’s tag titles. While I assume they are coming soon, I wonder why they are burning through so many women’s tag team matches before the belts are introduced.