By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
“The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. James Storm and Chris Sabin for the Impact Tag Titles: It was fun while it lasted. The DQ finish was underwhelming in the moment, but it was a logical way to add Storm and Sabin to the tag title match at No Surrender.
Trey Miguel, Willie Mack, Josh Alexander, and Suicide vs. Ace Austin, Chris Bey, Shawn Daivari, and Blake Christian: A strong spot fest style opening match that previews the new Triple Threat concept match that will debut at Saturday’s No Surrender event. Miguel was the right person to go over since he’s just returning to Impact and flying solo after Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz signed with WWE. The post match promo from Sami Callihan was another step in establishing his fresh feud with Miguel.
Tommy Dreamer birthday videos: A fun combination of sincere and comical birthday wishes. Chris Jericho and MJF were the best of the bunch. I loved the way they both laughed at Dreamer’s chances of winning the Impact World Championship at No Surrender. The birthday greetings made for fun television and created the right vibe for Dreamer challenging for the title on his 50th birthday.
Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone: I’m not a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, but the Jags’ pimp sweater that “The Forbidden Door” wore during this segment was fantastic. More good fun.
Cousin Jake and Violence By Design: So Cousin Jake is now Jake Something. Meh. Still, it’s an upgrade over being named Cousin Jake, and hopefully this change and feuding with VBD will give him a chance to shine.
ODB vs. Kimber Lee: ODB hasn’t worked much in recent years, but this match was just like old times. Lee is a quality role player for Impact in that she can be counted on for consistent in-ring performances against a variety of opponents.
Kiera Hogan vs. Nevaeh: A well worked match that helped establish Hogan and Tasha Steelz as the heels in this never ending feud. At some point, we need to learn more about the Havok and Nevaeh characters. Havok’s in-ring power and longevity have helped her stand out, but the creative forces have yet to establish who Nevaeh is and what makes her tick.
Black Taurus vs. Kaleb with a K: A soft Hit for a simple showcase of Taurus’s in-ring dominance. I’ve never been a big fan of the bull mask, but he seems like a decent replacement for Abyss in the Decay act.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Rich Swann and Tommy Dreamer contract signing for the Impact World Championship match at No Surrender: The angle did more to build up the eventual Swann vs. Moose showdown match than the No Surrender main event. Dreamer’s promo was strong, but it’s just so hard to view him as a real threat to take the title. It feels like more of a celebration of Dreamer than a meaningful title match, and that’s fine and even well earned. But I just didn’t come out of this segment feeling like I need to see this main event. On a side note, I like that Impact has added some crowd noise in post production. The production team has done a nice job of sprinkling it in during matches, but they went completely overboard during the contract signing. Less is more.
Deonna Purrazzo: A Miss probably isn’t fair because I do enjoy Purrazzo’s work. But I’m putting her in this section so that I can point out that I miss the Purrazzo that we saw early in Impact Wrestling. She arrived as an ultra confident heel who had no problem going face to face with the mighty Jordynne Grace. That confidence grabbed the attention of viewers and forced them to take notice. These days, Purrazzo is cast as more of a standard opportunistic heel. She’s still doing good work, but that original version of her Impact persona was money.