Powell’s Impact Wrestling Hit List: Mickie James’ State of the Knockouts Address, Chris Sabin vs. PCO, Chris Bey vs. Jake Something, Jonah vs. Johnny Swinger, The IInspiration vs. Madison Rayne and Kaleb, W Morrissey vs. The Learning Tree

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Impact Wrestling Hits

Jake Something vs. Chris Bey: A really good match that is worth going out of your way to see if you didn’t watch this episode. The post match angle with Jay White, Tama Tonga, and Tanga Loa attacking Something gave the Impact version of Bullet Club a major boost. Impact’s Bullet Club felt really flat coming into the show, but the involvement of the faction’s major players made the group feel strong and relevant again. The only negative is that while this felt like a big win for Something, the spotlight was taken off of him and shifted to his attackers within seconds. Here’s hoping that this was the first step toward giving Something a more consistent push.

Mickie James’ State of the Knockouts Address: I had some reservations about this segment. The idea of the babyface champion holding court and speaking about the state of the division while the other Knockouts stood at ringside could have made James come off as preachy and self-important. But that wasn’t the case. James spoke favorably about various Knockouts, including her nemesis Deonna Purrazzo, who also got a chance to speak before she walked out on the speech. Tasha Steelz stepping up with a mic and brawling with James was another step toward making Steelz a major player within the division. This was a good and well-timed segment heading into James appearing in the WWE Royal Rumble match.

Chris Sabin vs. PCO: An entertaining main event that continued the storyline of Honor No More invading Impact. PCO feels fresh again with new opponents to work with in Impact, and I don’t miss the bit where he malfunctions from the later portion of his ROH run. If Impact creative really wants to make Honor No More feel like a threat, they should have some Impact heels and babyfaces put their differences aside and unite to face the faction rather than going with the usual babyface team. As it stands, the faction feels like a small problem that only a handful of babyfaces are concerned with.

W Morrissey vs. The Learning Tree: It looks like the plan is to turn Morrissey babyface by simply booking him against heels. It should work, but I really hope he delivers a promo to explain the shift from not wanting anyone on his side to embracing the cheers of the fans. The actual match was Morrissey dominance. The post match angle made Moose and Brian Myers look smart for luring Morrissey into a situation where he was ridiculously outnumbered. I wonder if the story will be that Morrissey eventually accepts the idea that even he needs help sometimes.

Jonah vs. Johnny Swinger: Poor Swing Man. This was an all out squash (as it should have been). The most interesting aspect of the match was that Dan Lambert was shown watching in the crowd. While I could be reading too much into it, it came off like he was scouting Jonah. That could be a fun pairing in Impact and/or AEW.

“The IInspiration” Jessie McKay and Cassie Lee vs. Madison Rayne and Kaleb: The IInspiration duo have their act down and were clearly over with the live crowd. I wasn’t sure what to make of them when they first arrived in terms of whether they were babyfaces or heels, but they definitely came off as the babyfaces in this match and it’s the most effective they have been in Impact thus far.

Impact Wrestling Misses

None: Impact continues to play it straight and I’m all for it. They’ve eliminated the silly sports entertainment elements that were always a big turnoff for this viewer. There’s a place for some light undercard comedy like Johnny Swinger provides, but themes such as the Undead Realm, Wrestle House, and even Swinger’s Palace were just too much for me. I was tempted to give production a Miss for the dark look of the show, but it’s unclear whether they took that approach to hide empty seats. If so, they actually did a hell of a job, because it was hard to get a feel for just how many people attended these tapings. Either way, Impact has been really strong coming out of the Hard To Kill pay-per-view and here’s hoping they stay the course, and thumbs up to the broadcast team of Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt.


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