SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Park’s Delivery: Joseph Park has been dispensing sage advice to Grado about life and women these past few weeks. On Impact, he relayed a quote from a man he knew that sounded inspirational but there was no conclusion to the story. “Why didn’t you ask him?” Grado asked. “He died a couple years ago,” Park responded before walking off. Can’t help it. The line and his delivery got me.
Kim’s Return: Having Gail Kim back on TV immediately makes the struggling Knockouts Division feel more important. I’m curious to see how her last few months on TV will play out and if she’ll end up retiring with the title. It would be great if they had a few more weeks to build Kim/Sienna, but perhaps they have something planned storyline-wise where it will all make sense.
Lashley and Sydal’s Interview: I’ve been rough on Matt Sydal here lately. However, last night he was in a solid segment with Bobby Lashley. Maybe these backstage promos play more to his strength. While the announcers built up that Sydal has little chance to win in his upcoming match, it’s great to see his character show no fear of his much larger opponent. Also, Lashley straight up choking Sydal instead of throwing him into the wall or giving him a wrestling move made the segment feel a lot more realistic. Good stuff all around.
The Super X Cup Semi Final: While not as strong as Drago vs. Dezmond Xavier from last week, ACH and Taiji Ishimori put on a strong bout. And while the two went 10 minutes (which is much longer than X Division matches used to go), I was hoping for another five to really amp up the drama over who is going to make it to the finals. Hopefully they give Xavier and Ishimori enough time to create a classic that will make the Super X Cup something to look forward to every year.
The Main Event: It was nice to see some fresh blood in the main event. Trevor Lee, Low Ki, Sonjay Dutt, and Matt Sydal all had the spotlight on them, and everyone worked well together to put on an entertaining match. Great to see the heels going over too, as El Patron has been booked so dominant that Low Ki needed a win to make his upcoming title shot credible.
Overall Show: The best episode of Impact in well over a month. The company has put on some real duds lately, yet this edition largely delivered. They focused on the in-ring action and cut down on the campy comedy, which made the entire show more entertaining to watch. Sadly, I have no faith that this trend will continue on a weekly basis. Of course, I’m hoping I’m wrong.
Davey’s End: I held off on this miss, as I hadn’t read the spoilers and didn’t know if Davey Richards would be written off the show before the next set up tapings. It didn’t happen. For casual fans who don’t read wrestling websites, Richards is just gone without any explanation. Once again, absolutely no other TV show (besides Raw and Smackdown) could get away with this. He was a big part of Impact for the past few years and didn’t receive a storyline exit, nor was he even mentioned by the announcers. Yes, he announced his retirement after the tapings, but they could have offered him enough money to say, put over Eddie Edwards in a loser must retire match. Hey, when Mr. Hooper died in real life on Sesame Street, they said goodbye to the character in a storyline! Let people know that Richards (while still very much alive) isn’t returning.
Garza’s Pants: No babyface should stop what they’re doing mid-match, and make their opponents stand there like idiots while they tear off their own pants. It’s a total heel spot but Garza Jr. busts it out every time he wrestles. Once again, it backfired on him on Impact. Serves him right. Here’s a thought: how about either keep your pants or take them off before going into hand-to-hand combat?
LAX Keeps Looking Weak: It was great to see Low Ki get a little momentum heading into his World Title match. Unfortunately, once again the rest of the group looked like scrubs. It took five people to take down the painfully bland Veterans of War. It’s hard to take Jeremy Borash’s claim that LAX is the most dangerous stable in the company’s history when they’re booked to get thoroughly massacred on a near weekly basis.
What’s The Deal With Tyrus?: Yes, I’m using an old Seinfeld phrase for this entry, but seriously, what is the deal with Tyrus? Over the past year or so he had months worth of vignettes, then showed up on TV, then disappeared again, then showed up with Eli Drake, then they broke up, then they got back together, then he left to join Bruce Prichard, now he wants to face Kongo Kong for some reason. Maybe this will make sense. It’s much more likely it will not.