SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Petey and Trevor: Well, 15 minutes with these two would have been a lot better, but sometimes you just have to take what you can get. As soon as the match kicked into a higher gear, it was over. Still, having Trevor Lee pick up a pretty clean win over Petey Williams should only help the younger wrestler out in the long run. Now how about a rematch?
Drake Feels Like a Star: For the first time since Eli Drake won the title, he came across as a star on TV. While he’s not bad in the ring, his true talent is behind the mic. Every week he should have something to say and someone to tear down. His work on Impact was a nice start to making him feel like a credible champion. Let’s hope they don’t screw this one up. But then again, this is the company that can’t help but screw up what they’re called on a weekly basis.
Impact vs. Drake: One of the best things about Impact in 2017 is the length of the main events. Drake and Johnny Impact were given over 25 minutes, which made their title match feel important. I haven’t read spoilers, so I have no idea where this is heading, but it seems they should have held this showdown off until Bound For Glory. We’ll see how it all plays out, maybe they have something better in mind. Another big hit was that Drake looked ruthless in his beatdown on Impact in the post-match angle. It’s unfortunate that once again he was overshadowed with all the other stuff going on to close out the show, but this was definitely a move in the right direction.
Grado’s Dinner Attire: There are more important things Impact should be devoting TV time to at the moment, but Grado showing up to a restaurant in his wrestling gear cracked me up. It’s just something that for some reason every character in their universe accepts as normal. Stupid but effective.
Taco Bell: Damn. Screw James Storm. Not just the character, but the man himself. When he first came out and shut down the “USA” chants, I thought that was pretty cool and progressive of him. His battle with AAA shouldn’t be about a war between countries, it’s a promotional rivalry. Then he turned it into a racial one. Storm called his Mexican counterparts “Taco Bell” and made a chihuahua joke to top it off. In the absolute worst, most embarrassing wrestling crowd moment of 2017, some of the Impact Zone faithful joined in with his idiotic and offensive insult and started chanted Taco Bell. If Storm was given that line, he should have refused. If he came up with it, he should be suspended. The AAA wrestlers looked like the good guys here, because they mainly talked about how their company is better. Storm went for racist humor. Which side would you rather cheer for?
The Invasion: Once again, the AAA invasion gets a miss here. Why? Because not one night so far have they got the advantage by show’s end. Not ONCE! Impact is portraying this battle as if it were Shawn Stasiak and Hugh Morrus going up against Kane and The Undertaker in 2001. There’s zero point to actually having a AAA vs. Impact match since we’ve been shown which side is superior time and time again.
Oh, Hey Dezmond: I can’t wrap my head around how pointless watching Impact is at times. Did you get invested in the Super X Cup? Well, you’re a complete sucker if you did because nothing ever came from it. Dezmond Xavier said he was coming for the X Division Title after his big win and then immediately disappeared off the face of the earth. This week he showed up on TV to congratulate OVE over their title win. And that was that. Does he no longer care about that title shot? Is he still even a professional wrestler, or just a guy who hangs out at the shows backstage once every other month?
Taya Feels Ordinary: For weeks, Taya was given some pretty cool vignettes, then she debuted and won a couple of squashes. Now she’s in six-woman tag matches and isn’t highlighted in any meaningful way. Usually it takes TNA/Impact a little longer to make someone feel just like a regular roster member, unfortunately for Taya, it’s already happened.
OVE Wins Gold: Nobody wanted it. Nobody asked for it. But we got it. LAX continues to be the coolest thing in the promotion by far, and yet, they drop the gold to two undefined guys who kind of, sort of look like the Hardy Boyz from 2000. The company has failed to establish the personalities of OVE (and seriously, what does Ohio Versus Everything even mean? Like “everything” in as dogs, cats, water, air…garage sales?), and due to the complete lack of depth in the tag division, they were shot right to the top of it and dethroned the far superior act. Now what?
Borash: It’s becoming a weekly trend here, but man, Jeremy Borash is really taking me out of Impact at multiple points over the course of any given show. During the main event, when complete chaos broke out, all I could hear in my mind was Jim Ross nearly screaming his head off in excitement “All hell has broken loose!” Or even Tony Schiavone during the Nitro era getting worked up about the insanity of the latest NWO attack. Borash just sits there and announces as if he’s watching a game of bowling on senior citizen’s night at the local alley.