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Konnan And Callihan: Impact has gone outside of the building to shoot dramatic segments to mixed results over the past couple years. This show-closing face-to-face promo between Konnan and Sami Callihan was one of their stronger efforts. While Sami did fine, Konnan showed he has the acting chops good enough to land him on most primetime shows. He’s simply in his own league at the moment when it comes to feeling genuine. After a long night of being pretty bored with the episode, this is the one thing that intrigued me as to what will happen next week.
Wrestling Opens A Wrestling Show: I could be mistaken, but I don’t believe one single episode of SmackDown (and perhaps Raw) this entire year has opened with a wrestling match. No joke. But Impact does this quite often, which feels strangely refreshing. While the Knockouts match was pretty mediocre, I’ll take it over a 20 minute Shane McMahon segment any day.
Laurel Van Ness Wins Gold: So many misses here. Now, I like Laurel Van Ness. Her character has been one of the biggest hits for me in 2017 on Impact. However, she never, ever wins. She receives a decent amount of TV time, but has been played as a comedy act without being presented as any sort of danger in the ring. It was simply too much to ask us to suddenly buy into her as a threat so quickly. Plus, the company threw away any storyline intrigue that came out of Gail Kim’s retirement by giving the gold to such a random wrestler without any sort of storyline connection. On top of that, Van Ness has apparently asked for her release, meaning this is another embarrassment for the promotion, which has been far from short on horrendously embarrassing stories. Even if she sticks around, this wasn’t the right call. Rosemary winning, then going to Orlando to feud with Taya Valkyrie (you know, the match we were supposed to get at Bound For Glory) would have made far more sense.
Patron’s Shirt: Why does Alberto El Patron continue to wrestle with a shirt on? He’s not a mid-50s Sting. It doesn’t make him look like a star. It just looks kind of weird. Steve Austin, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Triple H etc. etc. etc. didn’t wear shirts in their regular fights. It’s weirdly distracting…at least to me.
Kongo Kong’s Return: I was initially pretty excited to see Kongo Kong return to the promotion. I was entertained by his squash matches in the past and it looked like they were inserting him into a prominent role by revealing him as a mystery partner. But the entire six-man tag match was designed to revolve around…sigh…Alberto El Patron. Adding to that, Eli Drake looked incredibly weak in the match and took the pinfall. Having him lose to a former League of Nations member is not how you make him feel like a star.
Bahh Logic: Fallah Bahh lost to EC III in a Grand Championship match, then he became a Grand Championship judge, now he’s getting another shot at the title. Why? Meh. Explanations are hard in Impact land.
Insults: B–ch Boy Bobby didn’t catch on months ago when Moose tried it. It also sounds lame. Therefor, it shouldn’t have been brought back. However, James Storm busted out “poo poo,” which has to be one of the worst insults of the year. Picture seeing a bar fight about to break out and one man tells the other that everything he says is like a “pile of poo poo.” Then witness everyone else wonder why he would say something so stupid.
The J.B. Award: The Jeremy Borash Award for Worst Commentary Moment of the Night goes to… Jeremy Borash! When Petey Williams was powerbombed into the crowd, Borash merely stated that Williams was… powerbombed into the crowd. He didn’t show outrage that innocent people were attacked, he wasn’t in awe over what we’d just seen. He merely expressed the thing we saw with our own eyes and moved on. Why bother doing such a big spot if it doesn’t mean anything five seconds later?
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS COLUMN: IMPACT HITS & MISSES 11/30: Alberto vs. Johnny Nitro, LAX clubhouse, Announcers, DEFY, Ethan Page