By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Note: John Moore’s review of Impact Wrestling is delayed this week, but it should be available later today or on Saturday.
Impact Wrestling Hits
Chris Bey and Ace Austin vs. John Skyler and Jai Vidal in a fans’ revenge match: Skyler took the majority of the beating from the strap swinging fans, but poor Vidal appeared to take one lash to the face. As much as I pity the heels involved in these matches, I’d by lying if I said this spectacle from the company’s TNA roots didn’t hold my attention. But I can’t believe Impact didn’t bring back fan’s revenge match star Brian Fritz. I’m guessing his appearance fee was too high.
Tommy Dreamer and Crazzy Steve: Dreamer did a nice job of establishing a friendship with Steve that viewers never saw by telling the story of the time he let the legally blind Steve drive a car for the first time. Steve played his part really well by getting emotional as Dreamer told the story, and by then stabbing him in the back with a fork once they embraced. Okay, the stabbing was pretty campy, but they seem hellbent on getting over the fork as Steve’s weapon of choice. The new Steve character is really compelling, though I still think his character should take issue with being called “Crazzy Steve” because crazy people don’t think they are crazy.
Tasha Steelz vs. Killer Kelly: The usual formula with a future challenger pinning one of the tag team champions. But the match was solid and the interference by Deonna Purrazzo actually helped make her and Steelz feel more united as opposed to being just another bad finish.
Jake Something, Dirty Dango, Champagne Singh, Eric Young, and Jorydnne Grace vs. Bully Ray, Brian Myers, Shera, KiLynn King, and Jody Threat in a ten-person tag match: Kudos to the production team for making what seemed to be a rough finishing move look passable with a camera cut. Something’s team won, so now they will meet in a five-way next week to determine the first and 20th entrants in the Call Your Show battle royal at Bound For Glory. While I prefer the entrant numbers for Royal Rumble style matches being a mystery, this is a pretty creative way to put focus on the Call Your Shot match while also giving meaning to a pair of television matches.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Josh Alexander vs. Kon: It’s rare that Impact runs a channel changing main event, but that’s what this felt like. The Design duo is ice cold. I don’t care how big Kon is or that he worked for WWE, he felt out of place in a main event television match. There had to be a better way to get to Alexander accidentally hitting Alex Shelley than going with Kon in the main event. None of this is meant to suggest that there’s not a place for Kon in Impact, it’s just that he doesn’t belong in a competitive main event with the guy who is challenging for the Impact World Championship at Bound For Glory. The post match angle with a frustrated Shelley performing his finisher on Alexander was well done and drew boos from the live crowd. I came away wondering if they want Shelley to have a heelish edge going into the title match or if they weren’t anticipating that reaction since Alexander hit him first.
Moose vs. Bhupinder Gujjar: It continues to feel like Moose has done everything there is to do in Impact. He was in dire need of a change in scenery, but he ended up re-signing a long term deal with Impact, presumably due to a lack of interest elsewhere due to a red flag from his past. I’m not sure what they can do to breathe new life into the act, but it’s hard to be excited about him holding the Feast or Fired contract for a shot at the Impact World Championship. That said, Steve Maclin threatening to take it from him makes no sense whatsoever.
The Rascalz spray paint the Impact Tag Team Title belts: The Outcasts using spray paint in AEW is awful. CM Punk spray painting the AEW World Championship with an X didn’t do much for me. Regardless of how others feel about it, both of these things happened first on a show watched by more viewers (and, yes, I’m well aware of the NWO using spray paint back in the day). Trey Miguel and Zachary Wentz are great, but I’m baffled by their ongoing use of something so weak that makes them look like copycats.