SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Callihan vs. Moose: Sami Callihan continues to be one of the most valuable players in the entire promotion. He’s producing entertaining matches on a consistent basis with a variety of opponents. Moose is also capable of a good performance and the two delivered one of the highlights of the show. It would be a good move for management to make Callihan seem more credible in the ring, so they can move him into the main event scene (because somebody is going to have to now). It feels like he can beat Eddie Edwards but somehow struggles with everyone else.
The Main Event: For starters, why did the company assume that fans knew what a Demon’s Dance was? Can’t say I’ve ever heard of one of those before. Why not explain what the gimmick behind it was? Perhaps some people thought the show would be ending with a literal dance off. Hey, for a company that booked Alberto El Patron in a pay-per-view main event in 2018, it’s not too far-fetched to believe they’re capable of making another equally idiotic decision. With that aside, Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie put on a hard-hitting brawl and had the fans invested. Hopefully this isn’t the end of the feud as the two work well together.
Scott Steiner: Eh, why not? Big Poppa Pump has returned to the Impact Zone once again and is still more entertaining on the mic than almost anyone else in the business. While most of WWE’s talent feel heavily scripted and manufactured, you never have any clue what Steiner is going to say. It usually doesn’t make sense but it’s a lot of fun to listen to. I did get a kick out of Eli Drake making fun of Konnan’s age when Steiner is actually the older of the two. And while it was fun to see the Big Bad Booty Daddy again, they probably shouldn’t have had him and Tommy Dreamer come back on the same night. While surprises are good, it makes the company feel like a landing spot for former WCW/WWE talent once again. It also means there’s only one more show for each feud to build on before the pay-per-view.
An Explanation: The smallest of hits. The company’s hands were tied so they had to let the audience know that Alberto El Patron messed up and week’s worth of storyline build had to suddenly be thrown away. Credit for being honest, no credit for not learning from their own history and allowing themselves to be burned once again.
The New Main Event: Technically, El Patron’s dismissal happened off air, but because of that, the company had to take valuable TV time to explain why they have to change the main event of their pay-per-view 10 days before the show airs. Next week they’re also having to scrap footage of El Patron (I’m assuming) to air the triple threat main event match from Twitch. And then? We’ll see the exact same match again. Only this time you have to pay to see it. Um…thanks? And while I would much rather see Pentagon than El Patron, they company has done an incredibly lackluster job explaining who the Lucha Underground star is. Time isn’t on their side but I imagine a good percentage of Impact fans have absolutely no idea who he and Fenix are. This is another embarrassing chapter in the promotion’s largely embarrassing history. No wonder Kurt Angle made fun of them on Raw. Within one year, they let the same guy ruin two major stories and have to change plans on the fly because of him. It’s completely ridiculous they trusted him again and only damages the promotion’s attempt to re-establish goodwill with the fans.
Sonjay’s Laugh: The thing with fake laughter is that it sounds fake. This also means it’s annoying. Sonjay Dutt was having the time of his life during the Josh Mathews/Petey Williams match and was busting a gut over the entire thing. Only you could tell he didn’t actually find it that amusing and was trying his best to make it feel like he was having a great time. It made him sound dorky and further exposed how unfunny the match was.
The Six Man Tag: Why didn’t they let Richard Justice pick up the pinfall here? He was the one who was being bullied! They could have had Tyrus do all the work and let the jobber score the pinfall for the feel good moment. It also seems like an abrupt end to the feud. KM was a bully last week, got chased off and then his team was beaten this week. Poor guy is the continual victim of start and stop pushes (remember him joining America’s Top Team?). And once again, Trevor Lee should not be relegated to taking part in silly angles like this and losing! With Patron gone, give him some credibility and move him up the card where he belongs.
Un-enlightened: Yeah, I’m still not getting whatever they’re going for with Josh Mathews. He’s a guru to Matt Sydal. Fair enough. Except they showed in a backstage segment that Mathews is clearly BS’ing his way through it. He pretended to be meditating while Sydal was. So then, what’s the purpose? Within the terms of the storyline, Mathews doesn’t believe anything he’s doing. Why is he going to the effort then at all? It would be more fun and make more sense if they made his character believe his own nonsense. I guess the end game is Sydal realizes he’s being conned? But then why give away that he’s being duped so early into the story? Ah heck, I don’t have any answers. Just kick him off commentary. It won’t solve the issues of this storyline, it just needs to be done.