SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Cage’s Vignette: Cool stuff. I liked the small touch of the shots of Brian Cage’s music being quiet when he had his headphones on and getting louder whey they aired old video footage. This was a well edited video that made Cage look like an absolute killer. Showing him actually destroying a bunch of wrestlers in short order was far more effective at getting him over than what they did with him later in the night.
Backstage attack: Back during Paul Heyman’s tenure on the SmackDown creative team, we’d see backstage segments that flowed between one wrestler to the next to set up multiple angles. He probably didn’t invent the concept but it was a cool one and spiced up the storytelling approach a bit. Impact showed a man laid out with an “X” on him right after Fallah Bahh and KM were done talking. It was a nice way to move things along quickly. The promotion continues to up their game when it comes to the way they present their angles.
Show Closing Angle: Longer and more awkward than it needed to be…and the announcers questioning whether Rosemary was actually dead was downright silly. Besides that, this was a great way to end the show. The visual of Su Yung’s undead brides ups the creepiness factor of her character and is a vast improvement over her pairing with Braxton Sutter.
Grado and Park: Oh. Are we going to do this again? Joseph Park is back and Grado has returned once more. But get THIS, Grado has a girlfriend now! Wait…they already did that. I feel they pretty much mined all the humor they could out of this pairing in their last run. I could say I’ll take a wait and see approach with these two but we’ve already seen it.
The Crowd: Well, it was fun while it lasted. The Impact faithful was hotter than they’d been in years at Redemption. Last week’s episode they were still a bit above average from the usual crowd. This week they’re about back to normal. Oh well. It’s going to take better shows than this one to bring in more hardcore fans to the arena on a regular basis. Until then, we’ll have to settle for 20 kids sitting next to each other all wearing the same shirt.
OVE vs. Bahh and KM: First Fallah Bahh missed Redemption and now he was beat in a couple of minutes. I continue to not understand why the management team jobs him out so often. He’s one of the few wrestlers on the roster who get any sort of reaction from the crowd, and yet, he keeps on taking a loss. The bigger problem here is that OVE should not be taking part in this silliness. They’re involved in the most heated storyline on the show and had to lie on the ground while two other guys rolled over them multiple times. Good for a laugh, I guess, but dozens of other tag teams across the country could have filled that role instead.
Ishimori’s Title Shot: What has Taiji Ishimori done as of late to deserve a title shot? I don’t believe he’s won a match since he lost the X Division Title. No reason? All right then.
Taya Means Nothing: Taya Valkyrie sold one of the ugliest looking hurricanranas I’ve ever seen. Much like Jinder Mahal at the Greatest Royal Rumble, she just shouldn’t have sold the move. Beyond that is how little Valkyrie means to the promotion right now. Allie can now beat her in four minutes, and as soon as the match with Hogan ended, she was completely forgotten. Much like Siena, she inexplicably went from the most dominant woman in the company to a jobber. Considering there’s less than 10 active women wrestlers on the roster this is ridiculous.
GWN Match of the Week: I keep hoping they’ll do away with this nonsense but it never ends! Somebody make it stop! Please! I’ve never seen three of the guys in the match and probably won’t see the three of them again. The partnerships with Lucha Underground and House of Hardcore are encouraging and could lead to some great interpromotional material. This was not good. When Impact was taping 8-10 episodes in a row, you can maybe understand the need to throw in these matches now and again. It’s tough to time everything out for TV (especially when your top star gets let go from the promotion…multiple times) but the company tapes four episodes in a row, so what gives? Another issue here is how much Cage sold for the three scrubs. Don Callis tried his best to explain with the laughable line that Cage basically lets his opponents hurt him to test himself. Oh…then why didn’t he do that in his other squash matches? The small plus was that it looked better than any other non-Impact Zone match in month. That’s it.
The Six-Man Tag: Good action, but can the company maybe give some of these guys a personality before booking matches like this virtually every week? Who is Desmond Xavier? What IS a Drago? Why does Aerostar think he’s from space? Besides DJZ, we know almost nothing about any of the guys in the contest (unless you watch Lucha Underground, which Impact shouldn’t be relying on since that show doesn’t even have half the ratings theirs does in the United States). But hey, they can all do flips! Quick, give them 10 minutes!