SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The Announce Team: Okay, if this had been any other week on Impact it wouldn’t have received a hit. But last week’s non-stop arguing between Jeremy Borash and Josh Matthews was the most painful, obnoxious night of announcing I’d ever heard. I’m still waiting on their apology! This week…they were fine. Actually, they may have even been bad, but the fact that they weren’t shouting and threatening to beat each other up was a huge improvement. Impact’s new era went from terrible to at least watchable with that single change alone.
Match Lengths: We really only got three matches on Impact, but all of them crossed the 10 minute mark and were given time to tell a story. This is another big improvement over last week. Even though Laredo Kid and Garza Jr. didn’t set the world on fire (though they were still pretty good), it was nice to see them at least get an opportunity to deliver, unlike Rachael Ellering and Reno Scum who were only given two minute matches in their debuts.
Alberto El Patron vs. EC III: Solid stuff here. Patron had a great night all-around. He displayed the type of passion in his show opening promo that was badly lacking during his babyface WWE run. Not that he had much to work with at that time, but Impact is already using him better than his old employer. His match with EC III played out well, and it was satisfying to see the worked-over arm paid off in the end. Carter has an out, because he stopped himself from attacking with a chair, but he may come to regret it. That leaves a nice hook for next week. Also, EC III venting his frustration backstage because of his loss was really well done. Showing that matches actually matter to the wrestlers is strangely not used anywhere near enough.
Cody’s Mic Work: Say what you want about Impact in the grand scheme, but much like Patron, Cody is simply more entertaining now than he was in WWE during his last few years there. I like the heel/face dynamic he has going with Brandi Rhodes, and offering Kayci Queen $45, which was $20 more than she was going to get, was the line of the week. If Cody signs with the company for the long-term, he could easily move into a main event role in the near future.
Sienna and Laurel Van Ness: As great as Maria was on Impact in 2016, Sienna and Laurel Van Ness have done a good job of covering up for her absence so far. Sienna showed confidence on the mic that she hasn’t displayed on TV yet, and Van Ness still wearing a wedding dress and eating cake cracked me up. Maybe it’s just a guilty pleasure.
L.A.X. Returns: The best stable TNA ever created has reformed. Hopefully Konnan and management get along this time around, and the group can stick around for awhile. Basically, just put Konnan on the mic, and let him do his thing. He seems passionate about L.A.X., and they can help revitalize the tag division in no time. Also great to see Homicide return with some fresh faces added into the mix. Let’s just leave Hector Guerrero out this time around.
Suicide Returns: What the… how… how is this possible? We KNOW who Suicide is. It’s Manik/T.J. Perkins. He unmasked himself years ago! It’s bizarre how they’re going to overlook that reveal and pretend it’s someone new. Also, it’s weird to bring the act back, give him a pretty cool video (for Impact standards), and then have him lose in his first match. As good as he may end up being, I’ll never get over the fact that he came from a video game.
L.A.X. Announcement: As the show was going off the air, Josh Matthews claimed that no one could have guessed L.A.X. would return. Actually, anyone who looked at Impact’s YouTube channel over the past few days knew. Not only did they announce it, but they gave them a two minute long video to hype it. Not a huge miss in itself, but Impact needs to get their social media/storyline strategy worked out for future shows.
Noah Video: On one hand, I liked the production effort they put into this. This new era really does look a lot better than the last one. However, showing James Storm out of his DCC clothes, and being a friendly guy willing to talk about how excited he is to go to Japan was dumb. I hate how WWE incorporates heels into their charity videos, and so, I must give this a big thumbs down as well. Just don’t show him! It’s easy! They actively went out of their way to put footage of Storm into that video, which then actively makes their own narrative worse. I’ll never get it.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: IMPACT HITS & MISSES 3/9: “Unpleasant. Irritating. Completely awful” announcing, but the video and production values were up