By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Don West video package: A classy video tribute that celebrated what West brought to Impact. I’m guessing that the company had to do some editing to this episode to fit this in because the show felt a little choppy, but it was absolutely worth it.
Bully Ray and Scott D’Amore: It’s about time that someone in Impact Wrestling finally had the balls to stand up to the almighty Scott D’Amore character. I’m only half joking. D’Amore is a good on-air performer and I give him a ton of credit for his work as a booker, but there have been times when his character should have shown some level of intimidation for the heels rather than acting like the most fearless man in the company. Yes, he’s the boss, but some heel characters should be too rebellious to have any respect for his on-air position of power. Nevertheless, they got it right in this case by having Bully Ray destroy him, especially since they’ve done a good job of establishing the friendship between D’Amore and Impact World Champion Josh Alexander over the years.
Mickie James video package: The Last Rodeo gimmick led to a lot of predictable wins for James. But now that we’ve reached the final stage, the title versus career match with Jorydnne Grace at Hard To Kill feels like like a big showdown. The video package that recapped James’ career in Impact played into this nicely and made it feel like there’s a chance that we are nearing the end of Mickie’s in-ring career. I don’t think it will be the end for James, but the important thing is that the company took the right step to make it feel like it could be.
Matt Cardona vs. Chris Sabin: A good match with Sabin going over clean. That actually surprised me because it went against the usual formula of having a challenger beat one of the tag team champions heading into a title match, but it was given that they are having a four-way tag team match at Hard To Kill.
Black Taurus vs. Anthony Greene: The match felt random with this being Greene’s Impact debut match, but the wrestlers came through with a strong outing. Greene got a good amount of offense during the match and was then attacked and spray painted by Trey Miguel afterward. It was hard to tell if this was done so that Greene’s character can seek revenge or if this was a one-off appearance.
Jonathan Gresham vs. Ernest R. Anthony: A quick showcase win for Gresham, who recently signed with the company.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Masha Slamovich vs. Taylor Wilde: A well worked match. I just wasn’t a fan of seeing Slamovich booked in a long, competitive match let alone in a loss. Slamovich was booked to be so dominant heading into Bound For Glory and now she’s losing clean to Wilde, whose new gimmick remains undefined. Wilde dressed in all black and made a hand sign. Is there more to the gimmick? I’ll give it a chance, but it felt like they could have had Wilde beat someone else in a showcase match to avoid having Slamovich take a needless loss.
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