By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Frankie Kazarian promo: I’m still not a fan of the decision to end Mike Bailey’s X Division Title reign when there were other ways to get to Kazarian challenging for the Impact World Championship. That said, Kazarian cut a strong promo while explaining why he’s opted to exercise Option C. The backstage segment between Alexander and Kazarian established a bit of tension between the two, which is sure to grow heading into their title match.
Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer vs. Juice Robinson and Chris Bey: The story of Bey’s originally scheduled tag team partner Ace Austin being laid out was a good way to continue the mystery of whether Bully Ray is shooting straight or up to his old ways. I’m sure some fans will take issue with Robinson losing to Bully Ray, but it’s a perfectly logical move given that Robinson isn’t an Impact regular, and Bully Ray is in the Impact World Championship storyline.
Matt Taven and Mike Bennett vs. Heath and Rhino for the Impact Tag Titles: I can’t say that Heath and Rhino being tag team champions in 2022 does much for me, especially since there was no real build to the duo winning the belts. Of course, Rhino was sidelined due to injury and so there wasn’t much the company could do. But the title change does give a bit of closure to Heath stalking Honor No More, and obviously they had to get the titles off of Taven and Bennett, who have already moved on to AEW since their Impact deals expired. As such, the post match angle with PCO putting the nail in the coffin of Honor No More needed to happen and was done well.
Taylor Wilde vs. Mia Yim: Another logical outcome given that this was Yim’s final appearance under her old contract. Mickie James beat Yim at Bound For Glory, and now Wilde has a win over Yim, so the post match angle with James indicating that she wants to face Wilde in her Last Rodeo series came together nicely.
Joe Hendry vs. Jason Hotch: A solid introduction to the Hendry character with a nice assist from a supportive live crowd. It’s also worth nothing that Hotch did a nice job during the backstage segment that set up the match. Hotch has a good look, he seemed comfortable in front of the camera, and hopefully we’ll see more of him in Impact going forward.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Rich Swann vs. Eric Young: A Hit from a match quality standpoint, but both characters feel flat. In Swann’s case, it’s simply because he’s cast as a mid-card act. What’s the last compelling storyline or feud that Swann was in? Meanwhile, Young was given a series of cult leader vignettes just to show up and lose by rollup? Why didn’t he just destroy another wrestler?