SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The Video Packages: Impact finally got around to trying to promote their pay-per-view this week. It’s only about a month too late. D’oh! On the go-home show they aired a series of well-made video packages (DeAngelo Williams and Alberto El Patron were both standout efforts). Those pieces helped to make the upcoming matches feel more meaningful. Believe it or not, they were a far more effective sales pitch than having a couple of guys pull each other’s pants down for laughs. (We’ll get to that in a bit.) Overall, the show felt more like an infomercial than anything we’d seen from them in some time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as they desperately needed to play up the importance of the event. However, that job would have been much easier had the show not been so awful lately. Three weeks in a row now, I’m giving Impact fewer than two hits. Considering their main job was to sell pay-per-views, they came up far too short to be more generous.
Contract signings: What the what? Instead of producing one contract signing to get fans excited for Slammiversary, they aired four brief ones to kick off the show. It was one of the stranger ways to open up a wrestling program and it didn’t come across well. They should have just gone with Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards and really hammered home the personal nature of that feud. Build it to a fever pitch! Actually, let’s chat a bit more about them right now.
Eddie and Davey: At one point, the creative team did an fantastic job of building this feud but it’s now running on fumes headed into the pay-per-view. A huge shame. Despite Alisha Edwards and Angelina Love being involved in the upcoming match at Slammiversary, neither made the trip to India. Impact then didn’t bother to go shoot vignettes or interviews with them because that would have taken time away precious airtime from Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park. And we can’t possibly have that! The match may still be good, it’s just a shame that creative badly dropped the ball on his once hot angle.
The Mumbai Cats: That was it? After showing the Mumbai Cats on-air in multiple segments the past few weeks, one would figure there’d be some sort of payoff to the incredibly random act. They went with jobbing them out to Eli Drake and Chris Adonis in a forgettable affair. It could have been the cat’s pajamas had there been a run reveal. Instead, it was a big box of kitty litter.
Konnan The Company Man: As mentioned above, the videos were great on the show. But why would Konnan sit down and talk about how big and important Slammiverary is going to be? We should be believing his character would slap the hell out of whatever production assistant dared ask him to be in one.
Oh, Hey Drago: Maybe it’s just me, but the arrival of Drago seems like it should be built up with more fanfare. While the deal was recently made to bring him in for the night, Impact is post-produced. They should have gone to the effort of doing more than slapping a simple graphic on the screen announcing his participation in the Tag Title match. Having an act from Lucha Underground on the show is a bizarre meeting of worlds that could make for an intriguing match-up. Unfortunately, bothering to do anything interesting with his arrival doesn’t seem overly interesting to Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantell. Their loss.
Swoggle and Spud (of course): Along with Bayley’s “This is Your Life” segment, and a shirtless LaVar Ball on Raw, put Swoggle vs. Rockstar Spud in the bottom five wrestling moments of the year so far (there’s probably two more I’ve repressed from memory at the moment). Spud is too good for this, the humor isn’t funny, and wrestling’s continued obsession of making fun of short people is horrendously dated and a huge turn-off. So months of valuable screen time was devoted to two men feuding over whether pants were pulled down on purpose or not (shocking reveal, they were!). Perhaps that time could have been more wisely spent by going to…oh, I don’t know…Richards and Edwards?
Kongo Takes The Fall: And so it ends. Kongo Kong’s streak of not being pinned is over. Good thing Alberto El Patron did it, otherwise no one would have believed he had a shot against Bobby Lashley at Slammiversary! Much like Rosemary’s un-pinned streak ending last week with zero fanfare, Kong went down and no one benefited from it. This company’s creative decisions are once again driving me up a wall on a weekly basis! Is it too soon for the newest “new” era to start? Does anyone have Billy Corgan’s number?
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: 6/22 IMPACT HITS & MISSES: Sonjay’s celebration, Chris Adonis & Eli Drake, Alberto, Spud, Eddie Edwards, Swoggle