By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Karl Anderson vs. Chris Sabin: A strong main event match. The finish with Anderson holding the tights while Kenny Omega and Don Callis were shown applauding was nicely done. The show closing angle that set up the six-man tag main event between Omega, Anderson, and Doc Gallows vs. Rich Swann and the Motor City Machine Guns at Genesis was brief and effective. That match looks really fun on paper and one has to assume that it will be one of Impact’s most purchased events in years.
Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone: I’m not really sure why Khan wants AEW to be the heels in Impact Wrestling, but I do get a kick out of the jabs at AXS-TV. Good for Anthem officials for having a sense of humor when it comes to Khan and Schiavone taking shots at their network.
Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary vs. Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz in a Knockouts Tag Title Tournament semifinal match: As much as I enjoy the dynamic between Valkyrie and Rosemary, it was a pleasant surprise to see Hogan and Steelz get the win. Valkyrie’s future with the company is in question with her deal coming up soon. Furthermore, she and Rosemary are already made women in Impact, whereas Hogan and Steelz could be elevated if they go on to win the tag titles.
Moose and Willie Mack: Mack showed good fire in attempting to get to Moose during their pull apart brawl. Moose getting the cheap shot in and then working over security put heat on him. The TNA Title belt adds nothing to the Moose act. In fact, it actually takes away from it because it makes him look like a delusional goofball. Can we get to the unification match?
Eric Young and Cody Deaner: Young baptizing Deaner “in the holy water of change” was an unexpected development. Deaner has been a solid mid-card comedy act for Impact, but hopefully this change means he’s getting a fresh start. And here’s hoping that Young has enough holy water to include Cousin Jake, who desperately needs a new name and gimmick overhaul.
X Division Champion Manik vs. Chris Bey (w/Rohit Raju) in a non-title match The Manik character never got over the first time around, so I can’t say TJP bringing it back does much for me. It works for the storyline though, as TJP couldn’t get a title shot and had to resort to working under the hood in order to win the title. I just hope the Manik gimmick won’t overstay its welcome. The drama involving Bey and Rohit Raju was fun and made this segment work. Raju doesn’t get as much attention as some of his co-workers in Impact, but he’s really made the most of the push that the company gave him late in 2020.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Brian Myers vs. Josh Alexander: The emergence of Karate Man as the alter ego of Ethan Page felt like sports entertainment silliness. I haven’t seen much of the character via Page’s social media, but I know that people enjoy it. Page is a talented guy so perhaps this will grow on me. We’ll see where it goes.
Tenille Dashwood vs. Alisha Edwards: A soft Miss for a flat opening match. Dashwood’s character feels generic and uninspired. She is talented, so hopefully she can figure out what’s missing. Is it as simple as her character is so self-absorbed that she seems more concerned with Instagram than winning matches and championships? Meanwhile, we learned after the match that Sami Callihan is still a hacker, and Impact’s hacker special effects are actually getting worse.