By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Moose and Josh Alexander build: The go-home segment heading into the Impact World Championship match at Rebellion was well done. Really, though, this Hit is for the tremendous job that Impact has done throughout the six-month build to the match. I assume that Alexander’s contract dispute caused them to stretch things out, but they handled it extremely well by having Alexander jump through a series of hoops before finally getting his title shot. Too much credit is given in some circles for long term booking that consists of wrestlers having a feud and then taking a long break with both sides completely moving on to different things, and then eventually working their way back to a rematch. In this case, Impact always kept the Moose vs. Alexander showdown match fresh in the minds of viewers regardless of who each wrestler was working with. This is a true example of excellent long term booking and I am looking forward to watching the culmination of it on Saturday night.
Trey Miguel and Laredo Kid vs. Ace Austin and Mike Bailey: A good match with an interesting choice for a finish. Miguel is defending the X Division Championship against Austin and Bailey at Rebellion, so why not have Laredo Kid take the loss in this match? Sure, it may have felt predictable, but it seems better than having Austin take yet another loss. Between losing the match and then being taken out by Bailey’s post match kick, I came out of this wondering if this the idea is that the damage will be erased when Austin wins the X Division Championship on Saturday.
“The Bullet Club” Jay White, Chris Bey, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson vs. “Honor No More” Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Kenny King, and Vincent: I was surprised to see a clean finish. I thought they might put over Honor No More with interference from Eddie Edwards since the faction has taken several losses already. Nevertheless, this was a well worked match and the crowd rallied behind the Bullet Club team despite the group seeming to be drift back and forth between being babyfaces and heels in Impact.
Matt Cardona vs. Guido Maritato for the Digital Media Championship: Just when I thought there was no nostalgia left to squeeze out of ECW, Guido and Tony Mamaluke popped up on Impact television. It was a fun throwback involving two wrestlers who haven’t been featured in a million ECW nostalgia segments over the years. The match was laid out nicely with Guido put up a good fight before putting over the Impact regular. The post match angle was a little messy with W Morrissey having to wait for Chelsea Green to low blow him. More than anything, I’m happy to see Cardona bringing his heel act to Impact and doing away with his Zack Ryder babyface routine. Now if only Impact officials would throw in the towel on the Digital Media Championship.
Eric Young and Deaner vs. Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus in a non-title match: A decent opener. The outcome was predictable and Impact just hasn’t sold me on the get everyone on the show, eight-team elimination match that will take place at Rebellion. The feud between the Motor City Machine Guns and the team of Jay White and Chris Bey may not need the Impact Tag Titles, but the Impact Tag Titles would benefit from being the prize of that feud.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Mahabali Shera vs. Gabriel Rodriguez: The latest return of Shera to Impact was quick and painless, as he squashed Rodriguez in 25 seconds. Even so, it’s tough to be excited about his upcoming feud with Bhupinder Gujjar. If noting else, Impact seems to be the only company that tries to connect with Indian fans by booking Indian babyface characters.
PCO video: So Vincent is the new Destro? I don’t mind the Frankenstein routine even though I continue to feel that PCO works better as a babyface and should split away from Honor No More. But Impact’s ongoing obsession with adding musical scores continues to be a turnoff. How’s this for a compromise? Frame any segment that includes a musical score as a video produced by the talent involved that was then handed off to Impact officials to air on the show. Impact is producing a good, logical pro wrestling product 99 percent of the time. I’d love to see them go all the way by cleaning up the other one percent.
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Taya Valkyrie build: On paper, this looks like Purrazzo’s biggest match since her feud with Mickie James. Unfortunately, the television build just hasn’t made it feel as big as it should.
Join me for my live review of Impact Wrestling Rebellion as the show airs Saturday night on pay-per-view.