By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Christian Cage promo: A good promo from Cage on his first night back on Impact television. Cage did a terrific job of retiring the TNA Championship in a classy manner and hopefully that’s the last we see of that belt. The brief angle with Brian Myers and Sam Beale was what it needed to be. Myers’ jabs at the TNA days were fun, particularly when he brought up the brown bag specials. And while I’m sure Cage and Myers will have a quality match together, no one expects a title to change during Cage’s first defense, and Emergence feels lost in the shuffle during a ridiculously busy pro wrestling weekend. Speaking of which, why did Impact and ROH book their shows during such a crowded weekend?
Doc Gallows vs. Joe Doering: A solid hoss fight with a stage collapse spot that initially seemed like it was done to avoid having a clean finish. However, both men made it back to the ring where Doering hit the first big blow and then went over. I enjoy the Violent By Design faction, but it’s hard not to feel like Doering has been somewhat wasted by working mostly tag team matches. Here’s hoping that Doering winning this match was a step toward establishing him as a force in the singles division rather than setting up more tag title matches involving both men.
Opening segment: The unique opening segment was an attention grabber. The W Morrissey and Eddie Edwards brawl was solid and continues their feud, and having Sami Callihan save Edwards was an interesting touch that should put him in the crosshairs of Morrissey.
Chris Sabin and Sami Callihan vs. Ace Austin and Moose: An entertaining match involving the four men who will meet in a four-way on tonight’s Emergence show to determine a new No. 1 contender to the Impact World Championship. I like the way that Callihan is playing to the crowd and showing some babyface tendencies while still maintaining the ruthlessness and unpredictability of his character. Callihan’s piledriver on Sabin after their win worked on that level while also creating an issue between them heading into tonight’s four-way.
Melina vs. Brandi Lauren: A quick two-minute win for Melina. As much as I’d like to see Impact do more with Lauren, Impact was wise to showcase Melina in this brief match. It feels like less is more with Melina in the ring and she came out of this looking pretty good. Oddly, it was Deonna Purrazzo who looked rough in the post match angle with some slow, light shots she threw while Melina was tied up. Nevertheless, they successfully set up a last minute mixed tag match for tonight’s Emergence show with Trey Miguel teaming with Melina to face Purrazzo and Matthew Rehwoldt.
Jake Something vs. Kaleb Konley in a no-DQ match: A spotlight win for Something heading into his X Division Title match with Josh Alexander, which looks really good on paper.
Matt Cardona vs. Shera: A soft Hit for a solid television match. They did a good job of working in Chelsea Green by having her prevent Rohit Raju from getting involved. Raju continues to drift between serious wrestler and comedy heel, and I hope they settle in on serious wrestler soon.
Impact Wrestling Misses
None: Much like the Miss-free NXT show from earlier this week, Impact wasn’t a red hot show, but it was a good, logically booked episode. It helped that this was the first show coming out of the latest television tapings. Christian Cage appearing less a week after winning the Impact World Championship on AEW Rampage made the show feel timely. Likewise, the video packages that recapped Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson appearing at the NJPW Resurgence show and Deonna Purrazzo winning gold at AAA’s Triplemania added to that vibe.