SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Opening Segment: Impact’s 10 episode streak of starting off the show with a wrestling match is over. It would have been fun to have seen that keep growing but it had to end sometime. While I was incredibly down on the idea of Alberto El Patron vs. Austin Aries for a pay-per-view main event, the two continue to make the best of it. Well, almost. For the most part, their promos against each other were good. However, El Patron was downright dastardly last week and this week he was playing to the crowd on a couple of occasions. You would think with all of his years in the business he would know heels aren’t really supposed to do that.
EC III’s Promo: My Impact laugh of the year so far was the stream of wrestlers interrupting EC III’s promo to declare that he was the one who was going to be fired. It was a fun segment because most fans already knew that Carter was the one getting the case. Richard Justice showing up randomly once again was just the icing on the cake.
Final Segment: A nice send off for EC III. He showed quite a bit of range on his rambling (purposefully so) promo. It’s always good to see long-time talent say their farewells so viewers don’t have to wonder what happened to them. This also served as a fitting bon voyage for Jeremy Borash. Him getting hit with a briefcase multiple times was similar to what he’d done to my well-being the past year on commentary.
Kong Beats Abyss: The Monster’s Ball match was sloooooow. At 44 years old, Abyss is beat up. Compare how he wrestles to the 48 year old Goldust. Considering his time as an in-ring competitor looks like it’s coming to a close, it was the right call for him to put over Kongo Kong in decisive fashion. It was also bittersweet, a feeling that doesn’t pop up much in wrestling. Seeing James Mitchell and Abyss back together was a treat for long-time fans but the good feelings didn’t last long. Time has moved on and there’s a new monster in town.
Su Yung’s Debut: Much better than Hania’s first appearance. Su Yung has a great look and the Knockouts Division badly needs some new faces. I’m looking forward to see what she can actually do in the ring.
OVE’s Attack: First of all, if this was supposed to be airing live (considering Eddie Edwards saw OVE going after his wife while in the arena)…why would Alisha Edwards go to bed and not watch Impact? Second of all, why go to the effort of making the stalking part of the video feel real and then already have a cameraman in the hotel to giveaway it was heavily post-produced? Messy. If you can get past that, OVE was once again in the coolest part of the show. They come across as far edgier and more badass than anything you’ll see in WWE, which is exactly what they should be aiming for. Just compare them to the Bludgeon Brothers, The New Day, or The Club and tell me which one feels more like actual, real-life people. The more angles and characters Impact has like this, the better off they’re going to be.
Cage vs. Lashley Hype: What in the? I know Impact kind of has their hands tied with how much they can do to build to Brian Cage vs. Lashley but they could have done a hell of a lot better than casually mention it at the very end of the night. This is arguably the most intriguing match they have to offer right now and they didn’t even bother to put together a video package for it? Bizarre.
Sydal and Mathews: Week two as a duo was just as bad as week one. Josh Mathews didn’t do a single thing! I expected Matt Sydal to duck out to ringside to get some advice from his guru and center his chi or whatever but Sydal wrestled exactly like he would have if Mathews wasn’t there. Also, Mathews fist-bumped a fan in the front row. Along with El Patron, he should also know better.
Allie vs. Sienna: Unless Sienna pissed off someone in management and this was her last match ever in the company, then this was a really confusing miss. Sienna and Allie have storyline issues dating back to when Maria Kanellis was in the promotion. That wasn’t talked about. Sienna has also been out action for some time and this was her return match. That didn’t matter. And Allie won in under four minutes. Instead of treating this as a major upset to get over Allie’s underdog character, the announcers acted it as if it was a foregone conclusion. Strange and underwhelming.
No Rub: Impact let EC III get away and the only person that benefited from it the past few weeks was…Tyrus? Why not book him in a loser leaves town match? They should have tried to make a star out of someone and chosen, oh, say Trevor Lee and had him stand up to Carter. Sure, it would have been random but at least a full-time roster wrestler would have got something out of booting one of the company’s best homegrown talents out of the promotion. Instead, bad luck was the only one that got over.
Lee vs. Bahh: Yeah, speaking of Lee, this was a pointless match. He gained nothing from the tainted win and Fallah Bahh has been picking up natural support from the fans and yet almost always loses. Both guys deserve better than this. Scott D’Amore obviously doesn’t see much in Lee, as he’s pushed him as a goofball comedy act for months. But doesn’t Don Callis recognize his talent? Can he talk to his pal Scott? Or does nobody there see this guy as a potential breakout star?
Over-Scripted Dutt: Sonjay Dutt is growing on me a bit more in the commentary role. My vote is to boot Mathews from play-by-play (the 432nd time I’ve suggested this), give Dutt his spot and move Don Callis into color commentary. An instant upgrade. Anyway, Dutt fell into WWE’s trap of having overly-scripted lines at the ready when Su Yung beat up Allie. He immediately hammed it up and yelled “she’s left a pile of bodies in her path everywhere she goes!” More shock to seeing her show up and not busting out a corny line would have been the more natural fit here.