By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Chris Sabin vs. Alan Angels for the X Division Title: A strong opening match. Angels won the Ultimate X match at Impact 1000 and the company wasted no time in having him go for the X Division Title on this episode. A couple more weeks of gloating for Angels would have been helpful, but he looked good in defeat and the creative follow-up will be important for him. The post match video teasing that Kenta will challenge Sabin at Bound For Glory was solid.
Mike Bailey vs. Jonathan Gresham: A good match. It didn’t get enough time to be great, which is a shame because I could watch these two wrestle all day. But I like the finish of the typically honorable Gresham holding the tights to steal the win. This adds a new wrinkle to the program and I’m looking forward to seeing how Gresham plays the role of being a hypocritical heel.
Knockouts Champ Trinity vs. Gisele Shaw in a non-title match: The match felt a little out of place as the main event without the title being on the line, but they had a good match and the company continues to do a nice job of showcasing Trinity as a star. Plus, the post match angle with Mickie James saving Trinity and then announcing that she’s challenging her for the championship at Bound For Glory felt right being slotted in the closing moments of the show.
Rhino vs. Jack Price: I must confess that I’ve never understood the appeal of a wrestler named Rhino who gores people, but it’s still working after all these years. The live crowd was hot for everything he did. The post match angle with Steve Maclin was fine. It feels like a big step back for Maclin to go from holding the Impact World Championship to feuding with Rhino, but they should have another good brawl.
Heath and Tommy Dreamer vs. Kenny King and Sheldon Jean in a Memphis Street Fight: A crowd pleasing brawl. Let’s face it, tables are always good for an easy pop. The post match angle with Crazzy Steve attacking Dreamer was simple and effective. I just hope that the (meh) Digital Media Championship isn’t the peak for the new Steve character.
IPWF returning: And it’s airing on AXS-TV! Why am I so excited that the ridiculous throwback promotion is coming back? Because that means I’ll be taking a break from Impact Wrestling when that episode airs. Yes, this is an extremely selfish Hit for a concept that is a complete Miss in my book.
Impact Wrestling Misses
JOYA: If Yuya Uemura goes back to Japan and becomes a star, will fans look back and wonder what the hell Impact creative was thinking with this silly song and dance schtick? Only time will tell, but some of us are already asking that question. The match that Uemura and Joe Hendry had with The Rascalz made for good television due to the high stakes. But it did beg the question that if Santino Marella was able to give Uemura chance to keep his job after getting the “fired” briefcase, why can’t he restart a match after the Rascalz used their usual lame spray paint finish? I love the team of Trey Miguel and Zachary Wentz, but that spray paint finish is awful in AEW and I can’t believe it’s found its way to Impact.
Deaner says The Design is rebuilt: Let this bad faction that became a two-man alliance go already. This is dying such a long and painful death that it’s making the tired Frankie Kazarian vs. Eddie Edwards feud feel exciting and new in comparison.