By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory Hits
Christian Cage vs. Josh Alexander for the Impact World Championship: More often than not, pro wrestling companies build up big show main events to have as much mystery regarding the outcome as possible. And then there are times when they all but tell you the outcome in advance. The build to this match was all about Bound For Glory being Alexander’s crowning moment. It worked. And then…
Moose cashes in the Call Your Shot trophy and wins the Impact World Championship: We went from a predictable (in the best way possible) main event into a truly shocking moment. The post match scene with Christian Cage handing the title to Alexander and hugging him followed by Alexander celebrating with his family was great. And it made it all the more surprising when Moose cashed in the Call Your Shot trophy. It doesn’t feel like this was shocking just for the sake of being shocking. Rather, Alexander looks more sympathetic than ever even though Moose didn’t actually do anything illegal. I’m already interested in their showdown match, and I don’t think I’d be nearly as excited about it had they stuck with Alexander as champion and he was defending against Moose. All of that said, I just hope that Moose winning the title has nothing to do with reports of the former Braun Strowman coming to Impact. I’m all for the title change if the focus is going to be on Moose and Alexander, but I’d hate to see Impact push Alexander aside for Strowman. There’s a place for Strowman. It’s just that Impact put a lot of work into building up Alexander and he made the most of the push, so it would be a shame to see him shoved aside.
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mickie James for the Knockouts Championship: A good match with a surprising outcome. I thought this would be another feather in the cap for Purrazzo rather than a title change. Ultimately, I like the move and it actually made the match for me. It felt like a big show outcome with the feel good ending. Plus, they can always circle back to Purrazzo avenging the loss and regaining the championship at some point.
Trey Miguel vs. Steve Maclin vs. El Phantasmo for the vacant X Division Title: A really good X Division style spot fest. Maclin was the base, but he also got in on the high spots at one point. Maclin’s power moves looked great against the smaller, acrobatic opponents. I just hope that Maclin avoided injury when Miguel landed on his knees in a wild spot. While I could have done without the athletic cup spot late in the match, it was encouraging to see Miguel get the win after his character seemed to fade into the background for a few months. Miguel beating Phantasmo rather than Maclin was a good call in that Phantasmo isn’t full-time with Impact, and it should lead to Miguel vs. Maclin at some point.
Heath and Rhino vs. Joe Doering and Deaner: The mystery of whether Rhino would show up and work with Heath was predictable and that’s okay in this case. The story was easy to follow and had a satisfying conclusion. My only real complaint is is that Impact isn’t doing more with Doering.
Rosemary and Havok vs. “The IInspiration” Cassie Lee and Jessica McKay for the Knockouts Tag Titles. This was far from the typical X Division spot fest that we tend to get on Impact pay-per-views. As John Moore noted in his live review, it wasn’t always pretty. But it was cool to see the former IIconics debut, and their tag title win establishes them as being more than the comedy act they were in WWE.
Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory Misses
Call Your Shot gauntlet battle royal: The middle portion of the match really dragged. The surprises were mild, yet fun. The MVP was Rohit Raju, whose heel antics carried the early portion of the match. If a new fan watched this match, it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t remember Raju, who always makes a strong impression. I get that Impact features intergender matches, but the women in the match weren’t given much to do. I’d rather see two separate CYS matches, even if it meant that one had to be on a different show. The finish of the show gives Impact a chance to make CYS feel bigger going forward.
Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Chris Bey and Hikuleo vs. Juice Robinson and David Finlay in a Triple Threat for the Impact Tag Titles: The match was well worked. But Impact’s men’s tag team division feels ice cold. Gallows and Anderson clicked as babyfaces in Impact, but their heel run with Kenny Omega in Impact and with The Elite in AEW made them feel like lackeys. The match wasn’t made official until the go-home show. It seemed to be by design given that they could have set up the match at any point during their last television tapings, but it felt thrown together and unimportant.
Venue arrangement: Don’t get me wrong, it was really nice to see Impact run somewhere other than Skyway Studios. But is there a reason that Impact and Ring of Honor always point the hard camera at the stage whenever they run Sam’s Town Live? It’s an honest question because I don’t know if there is a legitimate reason or if it’s just a preference. If they have a choice, they should really consider going with the hard camera shot that shows off the live crowd rather than the stage. The current approach makes the shows look small and low budget.