By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Trey Miguel vs. Crazzy Steve in a Monster’s Ball for the X Division Title: As much as I roll my eyes at the idea that Monster’s Ball participants are locked in a dark room with no food and water for 24 hours, I would have pissed myself if Miguel or Steve had emerged from the room and immediately declared that they want to play for the Green Bay Packers. No luck. Silly pre-match ritual (and the overdone thumbtacks spots) aside, both wrestlers worked really hard and took some wild bumps to make this match work. I never bought into Steve winning the X Division Title, but this was still really good for its style. Now if only we could learn about why Steve is who he is. This match was a reminder that Steve is a talented wrestler, but it really feels like this was the peak for him as a singles wrestler unless he and the writers add some layers to his character.
Josh Alexander, Rich Swann, and Steve Maclin segment: Swann taking offense to Alexander saying he knew Swann didn’t have it in him to intentionally kick him the week before was really well delivered. Swann is great when he turns up the intensity. I’d love to see more of this Swann minus the tired goggles and dancing entrance routine. It’s more than time to shake things up. Anyway, Maclin interrupting to state that he would win the No Surrender four-way to become No. 1 contender and his brawl with Swann was well done. I hope Maclin’s character was speaking the truth about becoming No. 1 contender because he’s very good and it’s hard to be excited about the other three possibilities.
Impact Tag Team Champions “Motor City Machine Guns” Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin vs. Jonathan Gresham and Mike Bailey in a non-title match: The strong match that one would expect from these teams. There’s no indication that Gresham and Bailey will be a regular team, so it was logical for the champions to go over clean. I applaud Impact for taking that approach rather than booking outside interference to protect both babyface teams.
Frankie Kazarian and Yuya Uemora vs. Deaner and Callihan: A match that was good enough to land in the Hit section despite the crappy Design initiation finish. At this point, I have no idea why Callihan’s character would want to join the mid-card faction or why he would spend so much time infiltrating it. In other words, it’s hard to imagine this story having a satisfying payoff that will justify all of the television time that it’s been given.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer compete in Beat the Clock Challenge matches: They kept the matches brief, but I just couldn’t muster up any interest two Beat the Clock Challenge matches when the prize was that the winner will get to speak first when the wrestlers meet in a verbal segment at No Surrender. Did anyone actually care which man would speak first?
Allysin Kay vs. Taya Valkyrie: A solid match with Kay going over the night before she and Marti Belle challenge Valkyrie and Jessicka for the Knockouts Tag Team Titles. The match was fine and one of the challengers winning before the tag title match made sense, but I really could have done without pro wrestling’s latest lazy distraction finish. On a side note, I continue to hope that Valkyrie ends up back in the singles mix while Jessicka and Rosemary move forward as a tag team. Valkyrie’s previous run in Impact was great and I don’t feel like the company is taking full advantage of having her back in the fold.
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