By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jordynne Grace vs. Kiera Hogan in a non-title match: I continue to wish that Purrazzo would get back to being the strong and confident heel that she was prior to winning the Knockouts Title. Even so, it was good to see a Knockouts match in the main event. The match served its purpose in terms of building up the Knockouts Tag Title match, and the post match seemed to set up ODB as Purrazzo’s next challenger for the Knockouts Championship.
Ace Austin vs. Chris Bey vs. Black Taurus to become No. 1 contender to the X Division Title: A well worked opening match with the right guy going over in Austin. Bey took the loss, yet was protected by Madman Fulton’s outside interference. My only complaint is that the X Cup that Austin carries around looks so low budget that any self respecting fantasy football league would balk at using it as a trophy. Again, though, the match was entertaining and Austin and Bey are two of the wrestlers that the company can build around depending on how long they are locked in contractually.
Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, Juice Robinson, and Dave Finlay vs. Luster the Legend, Adam Thornstowe, Larry D, and Acey Romero: The match spotlighted the tension between the Good Brothers and FinJuice teams as they continue the build to their tag title match. Robinson and Finlay are nice gets from NJPW, but I’m still waiting for them to deliver a mission statement type of promo or even one that helps them connect with fans who don’t follow their work in Japan.
Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone: The usual fun of alternate universe Khan heeling it up before they went into plug mode for AEW Dynamite and AEW Revolution. Bratty heel Khan continues to be a fun weekly hook for Impact.
Tenille Dashwood vs. Havok: This could have used some distance from the opening match since both matches had cheap finishes. But it was a solid outing for Dashwood, and it feels like Impact is finally trying to establish Havok and Nevaeh as babyfaces after months of ambiguity.
Sami Callihan at Trey Miguel’s school: Callihan is a fantastic heel when he’s not doing the silly teleporting hacker gimmick. Impact viewers didn’t know any of the people at the school and yet the story of Callihan attacking Miguel’s trainer and then recruiting one of the students was easy to follow.
Violent By Design: Eric Young punishing an obedient Deaner for his loss to Jake Something by having Joe Doering attack him was effective in terms of showing the cult-like dynamic of the faction. Young did great work as the leader of the Sanity faction, but I like that VBD feels different, thanks in part to Young’s calm demeanor. Young still snaps at times, but that calmness he displays at most times makes his persona even more unsettling than the crazed character he portrayed in NXT.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Swinger’s Palace: The only good thing about these skits is the new Swinger’s Palace t-shirt. These skits are harmless compared to the Undead Realm and some of Impact’s other sports entertainment silliness, but it’s still hard to see what purpose they actually serve.
Bryan Myers vs. Eddie Edwards with Matt Cardona as special referee: A Hit for match quality, but the build to the apparent feud between Myers and Cardona just isn’t working for me. Myers reinvented himself when he came to Impact and was able to wash away bad memories of his Curt Hawkins losing streak days. Cardona showing up with his usual look and setting up a feud with his former tag partner feels counterproductive.