SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The Openings Match: A minor hit here. On one hand, it’s almost comical how Impact keeps going back to the same well of throwing three to six X Division competitors out in a match every week. It’s going to happen next week too! However, Caleb Konley vs. Matt Sydal vs. Andrew Everett vs. Dezmond Xavier was on the higher end of their random spot fests. While Everett got a much-needed win, Xavier shouldn’t be taking the pin considering the announcers said he’s one of the future stars of the business just a couple weeks ago.
KM’s Pizza Party: KM is playing a role similar to Ryback’s bully act from a few years ago, but he’s doing a much better job of it. When he first showed up on TV, he seemed like nothing more than a bland backup for Sienna. They’ve done a nice job in giving him something fun to do these past few weeks by having him harass random people for no good reason. Also, the pizza delivery guy’s acting deserves a hit of its own.
EC III’s Belt Attack: Wow. That looked painful. EC III came out and cut a goofy, singing promo, and ended up violently beating James Storm with his belt. You just wanted him to stop! It was the type of angle that that can appeal to fans looking for more “mature” content, yet didn’t cross the line. Watching Braun Strowman tip over an ambulance is more funny than heat generating, but a prolonged belt whipping actually accomplishes the job of wanting to see Storm get his revenge. Really well done.
Kong and Van Ness: I’m not sure how others are feeling about Laurel Van Ness, but I find her to be one of the most entertaining acts in wrestling at the moment. Before she was a generic, tough-talking heel. Now she’s super psychotic and is gleefully throwing herself into the role. She still has mascara and lipstick all over her face, which means water somehow hasn’t touched her in months. It’s ridiculous, but all kinds of great. Hopefully, her pairing with Kongo Kong continues for some time.
Magnus vs. El Patron: Another satisfying main event for Impact. However, Alberto El Patron winning the GFW Title feels like when The Rock won the WCW Heavyweight Championship. It’s something he had nothing to do with. If they were going to do a GFW/Impact unification angle, then why not go with Magnus vs. Bobby Lashley at Slammiversary? Magnus had an actual history with them. Patron didn’t appear for a single show. If they didn’t want Magnus/Lashley, then just don’t involve the GFW Title in the first place.
Jeremy Borash: Once again, Josh Mathews was thankfully more “not very good” as opposed to “amazingly awful.” However, Jeremy Borash looks like a goof for going to the shows and handing out signs to a bunch of fans. I mean, legally, he did assault a man. Even though he was provoked he threw the first punch. Accept your fate, J.B.! They just shouldn’t have written the story to play out this way…or really, written the the story at all.
The GFW Tag Tournament: Why does a show called “Impact Wrestling” that already has “Impact Tag Titles” need GFW ones as well? The belts are essentially dead at the moment since The Bollywood Boyz have them. Unsurprisingly, that fact has never been mentioned. But can’t we just keep it that way? The belts will likely only live until Slammiversary anyway, so bringing them back for six weeks just feels silly.
Garza Jr.’s Pants Fascination: Impact needs to be careful with Garza Jr., otherwise he’s going to end up as a heel in no time. He’s a good looking dude who rips his pants off to get cheers from women, but he does it at ridiculous times. I legitimately laughed out loud when he tore them off during his match, then turned around right into one of his opponents kneeing him in the face. With his cockiness, he completely deserved it!
Ava Storie Switches Sides: When Ava Storie debuted last month she was a babyface. A couple weeks ago she was a heel. Now she’s back to being a face. What will she be next week?
Decay’s Funeral: Initially, this started off really strong, then delved into some tired and uncomfortable places. For starters, how the hell did that fan bring a gigantic flagpole into the arena? Security was seriously slacking on the job with that one. Mainly, though, the politics of this angle aren’t sitting right with me. Dutch Mantell has very conservative beliefs and having him book L.A.X. as villains because they feel alienated by America (which is a sentiment echoed by millions of others in this current political climate) just isn’t something a lot of people are going to be comfortable with. A contrived segment that felt dated by 30 years.
The Pope: Speaking of dated, Alisha Edwards and Angelina Love brawling at ringside shouldn’t be referred to as a “catfight.” This isn’t ECW in 1997. The women are involved in a serious angle and aren’t trying to just tear each other’s clothes off. Imagine Charlotte and Natalya brawling on Smackdown and Byron Saxton yelling out we’re witnessing a catfight. Can’t we just get one good announcer on this show?
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: IMPACT HITS & MISSES: Edwards vs. Sydal, William Weeks, Matt Morgan, Magnus, GFW, Sad Sonjay, Mathews