By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Masha Slamovich promo: I wonder how many fans are surprised the first time they discover that Slamovich speaks Russian and that part of her act isn’t just a gimmick. The subtitle approach is great, and offering “death” as her prediction for her Last Woman Standing match with Jordynne Grace was a fantastic way to close the promo.
Eric Young vs. Sami Callihan in a Death Machine’s Double Jeopardy Match: An over the top bloody brawl. This style of match won’t be for everyone, but it was well done for its style. It was refreshing to see Callihan go over clean rather than lose due to a bunch of outside interference from the Violent By Design cultists. The post match scene with the other VBD members standing over the fallen and bloody Young made for an intriguing close to the show.
Ace Austin and Chris Bey vs. “Motor City Machine Guns” Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin vs. “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis vs. Raj Singh and Shera: An enjoyable four-way tag team match that surprisingly didn’t end with Singh or Shera taking the pin. Rather, Austin and Bey were given a win after hitting their finishers on Fletcher. With speculation that Matt Cardona could be heading to WWE with his wife Chelsea Green, there could be an opening for the top heel tag team spot that was created when Matt Taven and Mike Bennett left for AEW. I wonder if Austin and Bey will end up sliding into that role.
Rich Swann vs. Laredo Kid: A fine match involving two wrestlers who aren’t getting much love from the creative forces. Kid has more important things to worry about after undergoing emergency surgery recently, so here’s wishing him the best. But when is the last time that Swann has been involved in a meaningful program? I continue to be baffled by how wasted the former Impact World Champion has been despite the company being so well booked overall.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Tasha Steelz: I was surprised to see a clean finish because both wrestlers needed wins, but I’m not complaining. Steelz has shown the ability to get her heat back, and I’ve been down on how uninspired Valkyrie’s return to the company has been thus far. Valkyrie replaced the advertised Jessicka in the match. It will be interesting to see if Valkyrie or Rosemary eventually turn on the party girl.
Steve Maclin vs. Tommy Dreamer in an Old School Rules match: A crowd-pleasing hardcore match that followed the usual formula of Dreamer showing heart before taking the loss. The post match angle was nicely done. Bully Ray saved Dreamer from an attack by Maclin, only to be attacked by Moose. Josh Alexander making the save was an interesting development, and they continued to play up the strong mystery of whether Bully is sincere or up to his old heel ways.
Impact Wrestling Misses
None: A good show from start to finish. Not every match on the show built to Over Drive, but there was still plenty of quality hype for tonight’s Impact Plus special, including a good contract signing segment with Josh Alexander and Frankie Kazarian. Impact continues to produce one of the most consistently well booked weekly pro wrestling shows. There is room for improvement when it comes to creating new male stars, but the show continues to be well paced and entertaining. AXS TV keeps Impact alive and yet it also stunts its growth. If Impact can’t find a better home, then hopefully Anthem will do something to make their network more accessible.