SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Jade vs. Rosemary: I hope Impact can work something out with Jade, as it felt like she was finally starting to click as a character. However, if this was her farewell, then it was a pretty good way to go out. I’ll take a solid 12 minute women’s match to start off a night of wrestling over a meandering 20 minute promo any day. Also, Rosemary once again going over (relatively) clean is encouraging to see, and hopefully they push her as the most dominant women’s champion in the business. As long as she doesn’t lose every other televised match like Charlotte and Bayley, it shouldn’t be too lofty of a booking goal.
Cody and Moose: I’m almost always a sucker for the pull-apart brawl in professional wrestling. Too often promoters give us so much physicality between two wrestlers, that by the time they have their big singles match it doesn’t feel special. Cody and Moose did get in some shots on each other, but the spectacle created with all the security guards getting beaten up made for a solid next chapter in their feud.
Barnett vs. Lashley: I may be in the minority here, but I enjoyed this match quite a bit. Now, the build to it was absolutely terrible. We got a crappy video featuring bad ’80s style music to highlight Barnett… which consisted of him kicking at the air backstage. However, the showdown itself was distinct from anything else we’d seen on Impact in some time. The MMA-style match they worked had a nice dose of realism to it, and Barnett was protected in defeat as it appears he got his shoulders up. I have no idea if the new creative team wants to extend this feud, but I don’t think it would be a bad diversion for Lashley for a bit. Or, hey, can The Pope or Matthews and put Barnett in on commentary! That’s fine too.
Trevor Lee vs. Andrew Everett: These days a one-on-one X Division match going 7 minutes sadly feels like a pretty lengthy amount of time. Everett continues to impress with his work, and Lee still feels like a star in the making. Give these two 15 minutes, and let’s see what they can really do.
So Long Hardys: On the PWTorch Livecast – Impact Post Show, Mike McMahon and I discussed the possibility that the Hardys leaving may not be such a bad thing. If this latest skit was any indication of what we’d see over the course of the next year from them, then the loss really isn’t that great. Their latest travel felt like a third-rate “best of” segment. Senor Benjamin tased someone, they shot fireworks, animals were talked to, and the brothers beat up guys we’d never seen before. However, it’s a shame they didn’t get to say goodbye in their own way. That’s where the miss comes in. There’s been so many hours of TV devoted to them, and now it’s over without any sort of resolution. Still, it really might not be so great to see this act every week in the TNA environment had they stayed on. It’s almost like The Undertaker for me already. It’s fun to see for a bit, but I don’t need to see the act every episode. From a pure storytelling standpoint, losing Maria may be the bigger loss, as so many hours were devoted to her feud with Allie and now… nothing.
Josh’s Heel Persona: Let’s just go ahead and give Josh three misses in a row in this prestigious space! The last two weeks I picked out specific lines of Josh that were terrible, whereas last night he was flat-out terrible throughout. Seriously Josh, there are other ways to be a heel than to constantly talk about how great you are! All he did during the show was “I’m the greatest play-by-play announcer of all time, everyone loves me, I’m also incredibly tough, oh yeah, I should announce MMA, I’m better than Jim Ross, I was a really tough wrestler, Jeremy Borash is dumb, I sure am good at my job, aren’t I?” He laid it on so thick that it became obnoxious 30 minutes into the show (or far less). I don’t know how much of this I can handle in the new era. Someone needs to tone him down… or show him the door. That second option seems more appealing.
Godderz vs. Storm: It should NOT take three men to beat Jesse Godderz. This feud is simply awful. Mr. Pectacular ran through the first two members of the DCC, but it took a combined effort to stop him from pinning James Storm. I just don’t see what management sees in Jesse. I’ve seen many worse wrestlers over the years, but I’ve also seen many who were far more exciting. He’s a turkey sandwich you make at home for lunch, but you don’t have any mayo, lettuce or tomatoes to put on it. There are more interesting things to have for lunch, and more interesting wrestlers to push! I’d be fine with the next Goldberg-like act running through the DCC, but Godderz? Actually, it’s probably time for the new creative team to just put the group out of their misery.
No Wolves Update: The names of “Eddie Edwards” and “Davey Richards” were once again not mentioned on the show until the final 30 seconds. However, that was just in a random video featuring wrestlers who were going to be on next week. Imagine on SmackDown next week if no one said “Bray Wyatt” or “Randy Orton” or “burnt corpse.” Just another bizarre oversight by creative. I’m glad this latest era is over, as it was basically one huge, uninspired mess. Let’s hope Jarrett and Mantell can deliver a more consistent product.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: IMPACT HITS & MISSES: The Wedding, Josh Mathews decline, Cody’s turn, John Barnett’s in-ring debut, Hardys latest trip