By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Battle Royal for a shot at the Impact World Championship: This was better than a basic battle royal where nothing really matters until the end. The creative forces clearly put some thought into the key eliminations. I’d like to say that Brian Myers winning was a big surprise, but it was a spoiler that I couldn’t avoid coming out of the tapings. Nevertheless, it was clearly a surprise to the live crowd and for good reason. The Myers win certainly points to a Christian Cage win over Kenny Omega for the Impact Championship on tonight’s AEW Rampage debut.
Jay White and Chris Bey vs. Juice Robinson and David Finlay: The in-ring highlight of the show. That said, White’s early run in Impact has left something to be desired. They teased viewers right out of the gate by having White confront Kenny Omega at the Slammiversary pay-per-view. White quickly moved on from that to teaming with Bey and promoting his own NJPW Resurgence match with Finlay. Hopefully things heat up again after the NJPW show because while it’s still cool to see White in Impact, he isn’t being booked to be the main event player that he should be in any promotion.
Christian Cage promo: Impact did a really good job of consistently pushing the Cage vs. Kenny Omega match or the Impact World Championship that will open tonight’s AEW Rampage. Cage’s backstage interview with Alex Marvez was a good, no nonsense promo that sold his matches with Omega, laid out his goals, and promoted his return to Impact next week (even if the broadcast team later told us that the winner of tonight’s title match would appear next week).
X Division Champion Josh Alexander vs. Shawn Daivari: Alexander continued his streak of quality matches with a good spotlight win over Daivari. Jake Something watching from the stage and then picking up the title belt afterward did an effective job of setting the stage for his upcoming title match with Alexander, which should be a lot of fun.
Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans: I really like the new dynamic with Steelz moving on from the schtick that she and Kiera Hogan did together for a more straight forward approach now that their partnership has ended. For a second there, I thought they might be pushing Steelz as a singles act with Evans playing her muscle, but then Steelz referred to the Knockouts Tag Titles as “her titles.” As such, I assume that the duo will be positioned as a tag team and will end up feuding with Rosemary and Havok.
Taylor Wilde vs. Tenille Dashwood: A well worked match with a true surprise in Madison Rayne showing up at the end to attack Wilde. Rayne previously indicated that she was moving on to life outside of pro wrestling, so I was surprised to see her back so soon. Dashwood just hasn’t clicked as a personality, so hopefully the duo will form an alliance and Rayne can handle most of the promo work.
Matt Cardona vs. John Skyler: Sure, it was a distraction finish, but Skyler pinning Cardona was the most surprised I’ve been by anything that’s happened on Impact’s television show in recent months (the battle royal finish would have topped it had I been able to avoid that spoiler). I hope it’s not as simple as Cardona getting his win back. Skyler is a talented guy who just hasn’t caught on consistently with a major promotion.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Su Yung and Kimber Lee: A telepathic remote control? Alexa Bliss using supernatural hypnosis on WWE television is idiotic. Impact doing something so similar looks like a cheap knockoff of something idiotic. Why can’t just one of pro wrestling’s dark heel characters be framed as a master manipulator rather than a campy supernatural being?