By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
W Morrissey promo: The babyface promo that’s been missing and so much more. Impact played this perfectly by having Morrissey deliver the promo in which he embraced the cheers from the fans while doing it in the venue that was once host to him hitting rock bottom. Morrissey was understandably emotional and the crowd was warm and supportive. It turned into a typical wrestling angle once Brian Myers showed up and heeled on his moment. But it was a good angle that got easy heat for Myers. And as much as I wanted Myers and Matt Cardona to stay away from one another early in their Impact runs, their reunion was well timed now that both men are heels and Cardona no longer feels like he’s the same old babyface Zack Ryder with a different name.
Jonah vs. PCO II: Although the second battle of the big men wasn’t as hot as the first match, it was still a fun television main event. I sincerely worry about PCO quality of life after wrestling, but he is an absolute freak of nature (and I mean that as a compliment) for being able to do the things he does in a ring at age 54. Jonah going over was the right move, especially with his match with Tomohiro Ishii coming up at Rebellion.
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Willow Nightingale for the ROH Women’s Championship: A decent match with Purrazzo beating one of the women who competed for the Interim ROH Women’s Championship that was needlessly introduced at the ROH Supercard of Honor event. Ideally, the Impact viewing audience would have been properly introduced to Willow before this match. I’m surprised that Willow hasn’t signed an exclusive deal yet, and she’d be a nice addition to the Knockouts roster.
ROH Champion Jonathan Gresham vs. Rocky Romero in a non-title match: The quality match one would expect from these two pros. There was no mystery regarding the outcome and yet the well worked match held my interest from bell to bell.
Alex Shelley vs. Steve Maclin: A solid television match. There’s no shame in being booked to lose to Shelley, but I’m baffled in general by the number of losses that Maclin has taken in Impact. It’s a testament to him that those losses haven’t done significant damage, but he should be one of the featured players in the company rather than losing as often as he wins.
Josh Alexander and Moose video package: Good production work with Alexander walking viewers through the hoops he’s had to jump through in order to get his rematch with Moose, who had his own video package and countered with his character’s perspective on many of the same things that Alexander discussed. The Alexander contract dispute may have been a blessing in that the long build has made their Impact World Championship match feel like a major showdown.
Bullet Club and Honor No More: So Bullet Club were babyfaces this week? There’s a little too much flip flopping with that group, but I did enjoy the verbal battle between the two factions. While it was logical to spotlight Eddie Edwards as the face of Honor No More coming off his big heel turn, it’s encouraging to see Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, and Maria Kanellis getting more time time. On a side note, I like PCO and I like Honor No More, but I’m not sure that I care for PCO being in Honor No More. He just strikes me as a guy who is better off doing his own thing.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Building arrangement: There were multiple camera shots throughout the night that showed off the good sized crowd that was in attendance. I just wish we saw more of that crowd via the main hard camera shot. Impact is in ROH mode in that they always have their stage opposite the hard camera. I get this approach when shows are sparsely attended or when they were in the Nashville studio, but when the company knows they’ve sold a good number of tickets, it would be nice if they had an alternate floor plan that allowed them to go with a different arrangement to show off the crowd and make the product look more big time. Aside from that gripe, this was another strong episode from Impact. It’s a shame that AXS isn’t more accessible for a lot of fans because Impact is a consistently entertaining, well-booked show.