By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Jay White, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Chris Bey vs. Ace Austin, Madman Fulton, Speedball Bailey, and Jake Something: The match gets a Hit for match quality and entertainment, but the presentation left a lot to be desired. We need to hear from White, Tonga, and Loa. Why are they in Impact? What are their goals? Are they another invading faction similar to Honor No More? If not, what makes them different?
Jordynne Grace vs. Matt Cardona for the Impact Digital Media Championship: There are few things I care less about in pro wrestling than the Digital Media Championship (the WWE 24/7 Championship and every six-man tag team championship created after the glory days of World Class Championship Wrestling come to mind). The Hit is for Cardona finally turning heel in Impact. He’s been killing it as a heel in other promotions, but Impact was late to the party for some reason. This should be fun.
ROH Champion Jonathan Gresham vs. Steve Maclin in a non-title match: The finish was similar to the one used for the Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins match at the Royal Rumble, but it worked in this case because it was a television match and therefore didn’t feel like a huge letdown. Rather, they told a good story, and the post match angle with Maclin attacking Gresham until the Honor No More faction showed up was an interesting development. Perhaps the best part of all of this was when Gresham and Josh Alexander crossed paths on the stage. While it’s possible that they will end up teaming together, I’d love to see a match between the two of them at some point.
Josh Alexander vs. Vincent: A good television match that made Alexander look strong for fighting off the Honor No More interference and still getting a clean win. The post match angle with Kenny King showing up and hitting his Royal Flush finisher on Alexander was a solid introduction for him as the latest member of the HNM faction. But are we ever going to see Alexander challenge for the Impact World Championship that he won at Bound For Glory and lost to Moose just seconds later?
Jonah vs. Crazzy Steve: A simple showcase win for Jonah followed by a quick angle that teased a future match with Black Taurus. Jonah has bounced back nicely from his pay-per-view loss to Josh Alexander. Impact has played it well by having him plow through his opponents since then.
Footage of Mickie James in the Royal Rumble match: Inserting the Rumble match footage was a great touch that made this taped show feel very timely. James discussing her loss in a promo and being interrupted by Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans effectively showcased the next Knockouts Title match. The involvement of Chelsea Green as Mickie’s friend is a lot more interesting now that her husband turned heel.
Masha Slammovich vs. Kaci Lennox: This 43-second squash match was a great way to further establish Slammovich as a badass heel.
Impact Wrestling Misses
W Morrissey and Moose brawl: The brawl was actually intense and fine, but why does Impact production always feel the need to add a bad musical score to segments that are filmed away from the taping venue? Worse yet, it sounds like they employ the Johnny Swinger of production because they always seem to use shitty synth music that sounds like it’s straight out of a Michael Mann movie from 1986.
Bhupinder Gujjar vs. John Skyler: A flat and forgettable showcase win for Gujjar. This felt like channel changing material and it couldn’t have happened at a worse time, as they played the Royal Rumble footage right after this match.