SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Sonjay’s Celebration: It’s too bad WWE beat Impact to the punch with Jinder Mahal’s post-WWE Title win because Sonjay Dutt’s had a very similar vibe to it with the Indian dancers accompanying him to the ring. Still, the crowd was hot for the segment and danced along with him. Dutt was strong on the mic by believably playing an earnest babyface who was willing to give Low Ki another shot. He felt genuine in his attempt to see who the better man is. Strong work from both men. However, not sure why Evan Bourne needed to be involved, as having Ki look ruthless and completely knock Dutt out would have been the better lead to Slammiversary. However, building towards that show was a troubling issue all night.
The Six-Way Elimination Match: By the time the opening match ended, it was 27 minutes into the show. Impact management needed to ask themselves: “What does this match have to do with Slammiversary?” As far as I could tell, absolutely nothing. And why does a trophy need to be fought over in back-to-back weeks? Another issue is that Trevor Lee lost in two minutes last week, this week he was the final guy to be pinned. Braxton Sutter (who pinned Lee last week) was eliminated sooner than him. So basically, they jobbed out a crazy talented guy for absolutely nothing because Sutter didn’t even get anything out of it.
Edwards DQ’d: Let’s continue with that match some more. Since when does a guy attacking another person NOT in the match result in a disqualification? Eddie Edwards was beaten with a chair by Davey Richards. Richard’s was then DQ’d. Edwards fought back with a chair himself and then was booted from the match. Huh? So after 15 years of Impact being in existence, we’re just going to make up new rules now? Okay then.
Spud and Swoggle: An Indian woman stealing Rockstar Spud’s phone and a short person breaking up a fight between two wrestlers in a random segment. Stop right there Impact! You’ve done it. You have finally convinced me to shell out $40 for the pay-per-view!!!
Rosemary’s First Pinfall: Ridiculous. I’m sure I’ve seen every episode of Impact that Rosemary has wrestled on, but I had no idea she’d never been pinned in a match. Why? Because they never talked about it! That means Sienna finally pinning Rosemary meant absolutely nothing. Why not take some time to build something like that up? It’s probably because that would take actual effort and Impact seems to be winging this thing on a week-to-week basis.
Alberto’s Shirt: Complete personal minor annoyance here. Everyone else can feel free to disregard! But why is Alberto El Patron suddenly wearing a shirt while wrestling? He didn’t start doing it until a couple weeks ago. Just a weird distraction to me. What are you hiding Patron?!?
KM’s Job: Impact has done a pretty good job of building KM into a fun character since his debut. They gave him week’s worth of segments of bullying other people, so quite a bit of time has been devoted to getting him over. And then? He jobbed to Mahabali Shera in 90 seconds. Not only that, but Shera had already been beaten up by Low Ki in the previous segment which then made KM look even weaker. I’m afraid that the company is soon going to put Shera over Kongo Kong. Somebody please tell me that’s not going to happen!
Dummies (Yeah!): Impact sure did make Eli Drake and Chris Adonis look like a pair of big old dummies this week. They walked to the ring assuming Moose wasn’t going to have a tag team partner at Slammiversary. Moose then “shockingly” admitted he had a partner and proved it by airing a video of news outlets covering the story! So Drake and Adonis are so oblivious to their upcoming match they didn’t know that the media knew about it for weeks? Dumb.
The Main Event: Another poor build to Slammiversary. Keeping those guys (James Storm/EC III and Bobby Lashley and El Patron) separate and having them each cut individual promos would have been a more productive way to hype their matches than to throw them all together in the main event. With Impact charging $40 for a pay-per-view and their competitors essentially charging 75% less, they need to really focus on building up intrigue and making fans wonder what it will be like when wrestlers meet up. Keeping talent apart can get your imagination going. Mediocre tag matches kill that mystique.
Overall Show: It wasn’t as bad as last week’s effort (even though I gave that show two hits), but there just isn’t much to praise here. Impact has exactly TWO pay-per-views all year at this point and they completely failed to make Slammiversary feel like a must-see event. They just got around to announcing the X Division Title match. They still haven’t announced a Tag Title match. The match with the most hype involves two announcers, a joke character that was played out five years ago, and a 54-year-old. How is the new management team not completely ashamed of the job they’ve done? They’re letting down each and every wrestler on the roster in this new era, just like the exact same team did a decade ago in one of the old eras. Jeff Jarrett can spew empty platitudes of Slammiversary being a can’t miss show all he wants in interviews, but he and his team have not given fans any reason to believe that’s going to be true.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: IMPACT HITS & MISSES 6/15: One of the new regime’s worst efforts, almost entirely without any merit