By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Zachary Wentz vs. Chris Sabin: The match looked great on paper and lived up to my high expectations. The Rascalz just won the Impact Tag Team Titles, so Wentz can absorb the loss. On a side note, I also enjoyed the backstage segment with various teams approaching Santino Marella in hopes of getting a title match. It was effective in terms of showcasing the impressive depth of the men’s tag team division.
Crazzy Steve vs. Mike Bailey: The rebirth of Steve continued with a new mask and a violent in-ring approach. It’s logical that the clinically blind character would target the eyes of his opponents. I also like that it was immediately made clear that he and Black Taurus are no longer aligned. There’s room for Steve followers if Impact wants to go in that direction, but he and Taurus were framed as a mid-card team for so long that it’s best to separate them in order to give Steve a fresh start.
Sanada, Jake Something, and Frankie Kazarian vs. Moose, Brian Myers, and Eddie Edwards: I wish I could say that it felt special to have the IWGP Heavyweight Champion on the show. Unfortunately, Impact didn’t really set the table for Sanada, he feels like a weak champion, and he didn’t even bring the title belt with him. Putting that aside, this was a good six-man tag main event. Something getting the pin for his team was a mild and welcome surprise.
Tommy Dreamer and Kenny King: Well, that escalated quickly. I didn’t expect to see Dreamer on the show, let alone offering to put his career on the line for a shot at the awful Digital Media Championship. But the segment clicked. Dreamer did a great job of explaining his frustration with King and his own personal issues that have made this a tough year for him. I couldn’t care less about the Digital Media Championship no matter who holds it, but the added hook of Dreamer’s career being at stake makes the match a lot more interesting.
Bully Ray and PCO: Their feud took an unexpected twist when Bully Ray told PCO that he did terrible things to him in an attempt to kill the monster PCO because he cares about Carl, the man behind PCO. It was laugh out loud funny when Bully said that he set PCO on fire because he cares about him (not to mention that he also poured battery acid in his mouth), but I did come out of this curious to see where things go from here. I’m guessing it’s not going to change much about their current dynamic given that they are advertised as facing one another in a singles match at the Turning Point event.
Eric Young vs. Kon: A quality match that got the live crowd invested. Kon worked the immovable big man style while Young did a great of working around him. I’m anxious to see Young wrap up his program with The Design and it looks like they have no intention of stretching things out given how clean and decisive Young’s win was.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Knockouts Battle Royal: A standard battle royal with the old trick of a pest heel hiding at ringside and then returning to win at the end. But the cameras clearly showed Alisha Edwards sticking her head out from underneath the ring when Jessicka was eliminated, forcing the broadcast team had to play dumb. It’s also hard to be excited about Alisha getting a title shot when she lost far more than she has won in Impact.
Lighting: This is not the first time that Impact has run the Rebel Entertainment Complex. In fact, there was a time when it felt like an upgrade over the studio and other venues they ran. But Impact has run a lot of different places since those days and now the venue just looks dark and shadowy. While it actually looks like a cool place with some of the lighting effects they have, the company really needs to find a way to make the ring brighter to improve the overall look if they plan to return.