SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Su Yung’s In-Ring Debut: A complete, decisive squash for the mysterious new wrestler. Poor Amber Nova didn’t get in a single offensive move. I’m digging the look of Yung as well as her unique mannerisms. The only thing I’m not enjoying so far is her apparent partnership, which we’ll get to below.
OVE and Edwards: Sure, Eddie Edwards looked like an idiot for showing up to an independent show to take on all of OVE by himself (which is known in Impact as “pulling a Moose”) but this was the most compelling footage they’d shown from an indy event, even if it still didn’t look that good from a production standpoint. The best part is that for once, it actually forwarded a story. Though it is quite disturbing that every wrestler in Ohio is apparently a jerk who has no problem supporting Sami Callihan because he’s from their state and not the guy whose wife had been terrorized by him.
The Main Event: Besides the quality of the match, Matt Sydal seemed a bit more comfortable with his new gimmick than he has at any point so far. It was also good to see him duck out to talk to Josh Mathews for some heel heat as he didn’t do anything like that last week. To close out the night, Austin Aries and Sydal gave us 20-plus minutes of in-ring action, which is hard to complain about.
Cage vs. Lashley: Another fun match to watch. Sure, this would have been much better had they saved it for months down the road but time was not on Impact’s side. Brian Cage finally pulled off some of his high-flying offense and looked great while doing it. However, there was a couple of knocks on the match that wasn’t the fault of the talent. The first was that the crowd was absolutely dead throughout. With a hyped up audience this would have been a blast to watch. The second is that Cage didn’t win as decisively as he should have. Sure, he still technically won clean but Lashley was talking to the ref and turned around into a discus clothesline. Cage picking him up for the Drill Claw (or Weapon X, which would be safer) would have made the bigger statement.
Impact’s Promo: Johnny Impact’s babyface promos can be hit or miss but he looked more confident than usual going face-to-face with Jimmy Jacobs. His no nonsense, “I have a problem with you because you interrupted me” type approach is a far better method than his forced catchphrase work has been. A Kongo Kong/Impact feud is also a nice next step for the monster and hopefully leads to his best matches in the promotion so far.
Rosemary and Taya: Another good chapter in this rivalry, and for once, they actually let Rosemary get the better of a fight! While over in WWE, Bayley and Sasha Banks are engaging in a ridiculous feud that makes them both look bad, Rosemary and Taya are looking badass in their heated encounters.
Suicide Returns: When Jeff Jarrett returned to power, he inexplicably brought back the Suicide character. Jarrett left and eventually Suicide did too. This was good. Months later, they dusted off the costume and brought him back out. This was bad. Suicide was terrible a decade ago, it’s even more terrible today. The gimmick literally came from a video game, which means it should have had an incredibly short shelf-life. His awful name also leads to uncomfortable and weird dialogue like Josh Mathews exclaiming “Suicide is a beacon of hope.” Uhhhhh…not sure about that.
Opening Match: Petey Williams, Suicide, Rohit Raju, and Taiji Ishimori put on a decent enough match, it’s just that we’ve seen these random X-Division contests featuring a bunch of random guys a thousand times. It’s tiring. The creative team should make it their goal to not book a single one of them for the next year.
Braxton and Su: I’m not feeling this potential pairing at all. What’s the point of Braxton Sutter vs. Allie at this point? They’re not going to wrestle and he’s already been humiliated on a couple of occasions. Su Yung vs. Allie should sell itself. And if they’re going to give Yung a mouthpiece, put her with the excellent James Mitchell, or as Mike McMahon suggested on the Impact Livecast, have her be aligned with Jimmy Jacobs so he can also terrorize the Knockouts Division.
Moose’s Challenge: In the lead up to Feast or Fired, Moose made it be known that he had no interest in the Tag Team Titles and was only in the match to get his shot at the Heavyweight Title. That’s exactly what he got and now he wants to put that on the line for the Tag Belts? What? As I feel the need to point out often here, there are literally three tag teams in the entire company. All he has to do is beat two teams to get a shot at the titles. No need to put your opportunity at the biggest title in the promotion on the line, buddy. If Impact wants to make Moose a top star, they need to stop booking his character to look like an idiot.
KM vs. Bahh: Terrible. Amateurish. Ugly. Dear Impact, stop allowing awful footage from high school gyms onto your show! There was something sadly funny about KM walking to the back after the match and seeing a basketball hoop and a giant cross in the background. Plus, Bahh once again lost. Not sure why they keep on doing that. The crowds seem to like him, yet he seems to exist to put other people over. Can’t that Richard Justice guy do that instead?