The Crowd: An excited crowd always makes for a better wrestling show. Even though aesthetically, the studio itself looked similar to the Impact Zone due to both buildings being roughly the same size, the people who attended in India were incredibly enthusiastic throughout most of the night. It was a refreshing change of pace from the usual fans in Florida who tend to get burnt out after seeing days of tapings in a row. Hopefully, the company can make regular road trips a financially feasible option as it makes for a more entertaining episode.
Mahabali Shera’s Video: I’ve probably been more down on Shera than just about any wrestler who has been in the promotion over the past few years, but that video package made him look like a star. The production values were great and he finally came across like a real person. Shera has a really interesting life story, which is the direction they should take for his character on a weekly basis. More on being a local hero, less Shera Shuffle.
Sonjay and Low Ki: I’ve never been overly impressed with Sonjay on the mic (though, to his credit, he’s often been cast as a goofball), but his work at the tapings may have been his strongest work ever. The crowd was excited to see him challenge Low Ki, and the visual with the bleeding Ki and a one-eyed Dutt was pretty strong. It’s also a huge sign of progress from the company that they are promoting a one-on-one X Division Title match a week out and giving it the main event slot.
Lashley vs. Moose: I would have liked to have seen this match saved for a few months down the road when it can really be built up to mean something (even though they’ve already given it away before on TV), but the match was still pretty effective. Lashley got to pick up a big win headed into Slammiversary and Moose put up enough of a fight that he looked strong in defeat. It’s probably time to get Moose out of the Grand Championship Division altogether so he can compete in more matches like this. It will give him a much better chance at becoming a top player.
Rosemary’s Move: Rosemary continues to be a highlight of the show. This week she implemented some sort of Undertaker/Bray Wyatt type sit up after being knocked down that perfectly fit her zombie-like character. As we’ve seen with those two acts, small, cool character mannerisms go a long way.
Bruce The Boss: Impact continues to struggle with Bruce Prichard. He comes across as unlikeable and meddles in way too much stuff. The opening segment didn’t need his involvement, as they really should be hammering home the feud between Bobby Lashley and Alberto El Patron and not involve unnecessary characters. They keep messing with the Slamiversary main event when that should have had that locked in weeks ago. Also, where was Bruce’s brand new bodyguard, Tyrus?
Caleb Konley Title Shot: Unless I’m mistaken, Konley has literally NEVER won a match on Impact. So how in the world did he get a title shot? They could bring back X from 2003 and he’d have a better claim to a shot. Hell, I think I have a better claim as I’m not 0-10 on TV! Matt Sydal, Trevor Lee, and every single person who has actually won one match should be upset about this ruling.
Park and J.B. Training: Yeah, not for me. Joseph Park is kind of a fun character, but these skits were simply too cheesy for my taste. The music was intentionally bad but it crossed the line into “so bad it’s just really bad and embarrassing.” And yet, this is far and away the most hyped Slammiversary match on the show over the past month. Nothing else even comes close. Also, Impact, next time you shoot something outside, please bring a windscreen for your camera. Any local TV commercial would at least go to that effort.
Adonis vs. El Patron: Impact has probably delivered close to two months worth of main events that I’ve given a thumbs up to. That ended with Chris Adonis vs. El Patron. It wasn’t awful, but it was about as mediocre as you can get. The company has done a poor job of making Adonis seem like a credible wrestler. He hasn’t been perceived as a threat on national TV in literally over a decade! So really, there was no reason to buy that he should have stood a chance against El Patron. In fact, they should have had Adonis tap out in 30 seconds to really put over El Patron strong and make people wonder if he has Lashley’s number.
Hi Jeff!: That may have been the first new footage we’ve seen of Jeff Jarrett on TV since he came back to power. I could be wrong. It was only a couple of brief seconds at the beginning, but that was a strange way to re-introduce him. It makes having three other authority figures feel silly when we know he’s the one who is really in charge. Much like Vince McMahon, make his appearances count.