By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Impact World Champion Rich Swann vs. Karl Anderson in a non-title match: A good television main event that served as a teaser for the big six-man tag team main event of Saturday’s Hard To Kill pay-per-view. I’m surprised that Impact didn’t find a way to use all of the Kenny Omega bus segments to build up to Swann vs. Anderson as an Impact World Championship match instead of this being a non-title match. Granted, Anderson is a tag wrestler, but surely they could have come up with a way to make it work in the storyline, especially since Swann went over clean. The brawl afterward was fine and I’m genuinely looking forward to the pay-per-view main event.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Kimber Lee: A logical match with Valkyrie challenging Deonna Purrazzo for the Knockouts Title at Hard To Kill. I was surprised to see Valkyrie lose the match because challengers almost always win their matches heading into pay-per-view title matches, but I’m not complaining about Impact breaking away from the predictable formula, especially since Valkyrie was protected.
Moose vs. Matthew Palmer: Moose avenged his distraction finish loss in last week’s three-minute challenge with a dominant win over Palmer this week. Here’s hoping that Moose’s push will become more consistent, as he seems to drift between badass and delusional oddball.
Chris Bey and Rohit Raju vs. Manik and Suicide: A solid match that provided the final push for the Triple Threat match for the X Division Championship on Saturday.
Deaner vs. Tommy Dreamer: Deaner lost his first name as part of his gimmick overhaul, which continues to be a pleasant surprise. As much as I like the new Eric Young stable, I hope there’s a plan to make Joe Doering more than just a henchman.
Rosemary vs. Tenille Dashwood: The involvement of Kaleb and Crazzy Steve in the match set up the newly announced mixed tag match for Saturday. Rosemary and Steve teaming up is a fun Decay reunion (minus Abyss).
Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone: More smarmy fun from the AEW duo. I continue to give Impact Wrestling and Anthem credit for allowing themselves to be the butt of repeated jokes no matter how close to home they hit.
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne: This was the end of the road for the husband and wife broadcast team, as Impact announced this morning that Matt Striker and D-Lo Brown will be taking over at Saturday’s Hard To Kill pay-per-view. I must admit that I was disappointed when Rayne replaced Don Callis on color commentary even though it was obviously an understandable switch due to the pandemic. As much as I still feel Callis is a top notch color commentator, Rayne really raised her game and did a good job while also displaying good on-air chemistry with Mathews. The duo called the show from their home rather than doing it in person, which allowed them to be more timely with their commentary. Hopefully there is a plan in place for Striker and Brown to be just as current.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz vs. Jessika Havok and Nevaeh contract signing: Are Hogan and Steelz the heels because they run their mouths? We never saw a real turn for Havok and Nevaeh, so I’m still not sure which team Impact creative wants viewers to root for. I continue to hope that Impact will eventually give Hogan a strong babyface push as a singles wrestler one of these days.