By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
James Storm vs. Eric Young: Impact did a nice job with the 1,000th match stipulation. A case can be made that they could have done even more by saving it for an Impact Plus show and giving Storm a title shot given that Tommy Dreamer got one for his birthday, but there’s nothing wrong with using it as a television hook. The surprise appearance of Chris Harris was a cool surprise that really put this over the top, and Storm delivered a great Bob Ryder tribute promo. The actual match was well worked, though obviously it’s a shame that Young suffered a torn ACL. Here’s wishing him the best in his recovery.
Tony Khan: After a couple weeks of forgettable Tony & Tony segments, we got a fun one this week with Khan delivering an obnoxious heel rant. I hope Khan avoids becoming a heel character on his own television show for all the obvious reasons, but I continue to enjoy what feels like his version of Vince McMahon playing a heel in the old Memphis territory.
Impact Tag Team Champions Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz vs. Havok and Nevaeh in a non-title match: A solid match with the surprise post match angle that saw Nevaeh turn on Havok. There was a bit of foreshadowing last week when Tenille Dashwood tried to recruit Nevaeh to be her tag partner, so it’s not like it just came out of nowhere. It feels like we’ve seen a hundred matches between these teams, so I’m all for something fresh involving Havok and Nevaeh.
Ace Austin and Madman Fulton vs. TJP and Josh Alexander: A good tag match with the X Division Champion and his muscle going over. It was interesting to see TJP and Alexander having issues. Here’s hoping that Impact has joined MLW in figuring out that TJP is a natural heel.
Brian Myers vs. Suicide: A solid spotlight win for Myers, who has done a nice job of reinventing himself since leaving WWE. Now if only his longtime tag team partner Matt Cardona would do the same. Will Impact ever pull the plug on the Suicide character? The name and his gun to the head hand gesture have always been turnoffs and whatever TNA nostalgia vibes the company thinks they are getting from the character are not worth it.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Kenny Omega and Don Callis visit Swinger’s Palace: It wasn’t all bad, as I got a kick out of the soft Callis and Swinger handshake. But it was silly to think that the odds for the Omega vs. Rich Swann match would be even, and it’s even more ridiculous that Callis would convince Swinger to make Omega the favorite before placing a big bet. In general, I would keep Omega away from the Impact comedy crew. On the flip side, I did enjoy the backstage segment with Callis, Rich Swann, and Willie Mack.
Jazz puts her career on the line: I’m fine with the title vs. career match that they established for the Hardcore Justice special, but the path to it was clunky. Dreamer spoke of the Ultimate Jeopardy matches from ECW and offered Jazz a title shot in exchange for her putting something on the line. It’s bad enough that Dreamer, who is booking the show, is as a friend of Jazz and didn’t just give her the match, but then she immediately blurted out that she would put her career on the line. In fairness, it’s not like she has a full head of hair to bargain with, but I digress. There was a better way to get to this match that could have put heat on Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo for insisting that Jazz put her career on the line. Instead, it came off like Jazz just volunteered to give up her career for no good reason.
Sami Callihan vs. Larry D: While I’m all for boosting the in-ring credibility of Team XXXL, it felt too abrupt for D to go toe-to-toe with Callihan in a lengthy match. His green gear was also an eyesore and looked like something he had made for the Lawrence character. On a positive note, Callihan inviting Trey Miguel to be his tag team partner next week was an interesting development. Impact is typically a logically booked promotion aside from their penchant for having a sports entertainment saga, but they need more unexpected twists like this to keep viewers on their toes.