SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Tessa’s Video: Tessa Blanchard did a much better job in this interview setting than she did on commentary at Redemption. The production values were solid and highlighting her pedigree helps her stand out. Every wrestler who comes into the promotion should be given a video like this.
X Division Match: Finally, one of these multi-man X Division matches actually MEANT SOMETHING! What a novel concept! Brian Cage won a six-man at Redemption and there was no follow-up. Last week there was a six man tag match on the show, and again, it didn’t count for anything. This week there was something at stake. The match itself was pretty good (though Aerostar could have badly injured himself with that dive) and given an impressive amount of time. However, why these four particular wrestlers were chosen for this title opportunity wasn’t explained. Shouldn’t Dezmond Xavier be mad he wasn’t in the match since he was on the winning team last week? What about DJZ and Andrew Everett? Do wins and losses not matter? Why was Aerostar in the match if he took the pinfall last week? This is because explanations of any sort take too much work.
Callis Beaten: “I thought it (authority figures) was overdone in ’03 when I first got here, but people are still doing it thirteen years later.” – Don Callis in January of 2018.
My how times have changed. The biggest thing going on in the world of Impact is Sami Callihan beating up Callis in Canada. So is Callis going to wrestle Sami Callihan anytime soon? I doubt it. And yet, the angle completely overshadowed the World Title match at the end of the night and every other single thing on the show. Keep Callis in the booth and keep him out of storylines. Seems simple enough. And what’s the payoff to all of this? Eddie Edwards facing Callihan NOT IN THE IMPACT ZONE! Edwards begged for Callihan not be be fired so he could fight him. Management accepted, but said it had to take place at House of Hardcore. Does that make any sense whatsoever? Why would Callihan need a contract with Impact to fight in another promotion? Dumb. Pointless. Not only was this angle unnecessary, it ruined weeks worth of storylines…
Eddie Was Right: Well, this storyline is botched beyond repair. Recently, Eddie appeared to be turning to the dark side. He went too far in his quest for vengeance. His friends were starting to turn against him. He went to jail. Even his wife appeared to have something going on with Callihan. There were some intriguing storyline possibilities to go with. Would Edwards join OVE? Would OVE turn face? Would Alisha join OVE? Instead, they went with Callihan beating up Callis, proving Eddie was right all along. It’s like they went back four chapters in a book and started rewriting it.
Winter’s Return: Katie Lea Burchill was painfully underutilized in WWE. She jumped to TNA, became Winter, and turned into one of the best Knockouts on the roster. She has returned to wreak havoc on the division once again and- oh…nevermind, she’s now Katarina and portraying Grado’s girlfriend. If Impact is going to use her for a comedy act it should at least me a good one. But they already did the whole Grado has a girlfriend thing. Are they really going back for more? Second of all, just have Mathews say something like “you may recognize her as the former Winter, but that’s in her past. She’s a new person now and wants to go by her real name.” Don’t insult longtime fans. It’s one thing to do it for an enhancement talent who comes back with a new gimmick, but she’s part of their title lineage.
Commentary: Impact wanted to put over the seriousness of Callis being injured so they had Mathews go it alone. Gratingly, he talked in a super serious voice all night. This is because Callis was injured, you see, and apparently he’s the most important person in the promotion. If any actual wrestler was badly hurt on the show they would get back to normal at some point in the night. Not with Callis. Because this is SUPER SERIOUS. While I’ll take somber Mathews over annoying heel Mathews, this killed the energy for the show in an arena that already has so little energy. It became absurd having Josh call the X Division match and try and put over their great moves while sounding like he was at a wake. As noted, they literally questioned whether Rosemary was dead last week and yet that isn’t why the commentary was so subdued. It was for an injured Callis. The Authority Figure.
Rosemary Follow-Up: Speaking of Rosemary, unless I missed anything her name wasn’t mentioned all night. Again, THEY THOUGHT SHE MIGHT BE DEAD last week. Don’t say and do stupid things like that if you’re not going to take five seconds to follow-up on it. Yes, they showed a bunny and maybe showed Allie might get possessed, but that doesn’t let us know if someone is alive or not.
Kong vs. Moose: I’ve complained so much already. I need a little break. I’ll just go with “this was a bad match.”
KM Trains Bahh: Remember when Joseph Park trained Jeremy Borash last summer? This was that. It’s gotta be Scott D’Amore who loves this cheesy, lame comedy. Right?
Cage’s NOAH Match: More filler. This could have aired any week. We don’t know who Brian Cage’s opponent was so this win meant absolutely nothing to over 90% of the audience. In fact, it made him look worse since he didn’t just destroy the guy. If it was going to be more back-and-forth, then they needed to establish who he was facing in advance. Would WCW have showed footage of Goldberg in Japan three months into his run getting beat up by some guy we’d never seen?
LAX Loses Again: We get it. LAX needs Konnan to win. But a great tag team shouldn’t be losing to a first-time tag team.
World Title Match: Moose was an idiot and put up his Feast or Fired briefcase and lost it to Eli Drake. Without telling us, they removed the stipulation that a wrestler could cash in the briefcase at any time. You now have to declare your intentions in advance. Drake then failed to win in a lackluster sup-10 minute match. What a story!
Overall Show: Callis opened up the show by saying Impact is the hottest wrestling promotion around. Really? Does the hottest wrestling promotion around have Scott Steiner as a tag team champion? Does the hottest wrestling promotion around have a disinterested crowd to wrestle in front of? Does the hottest wrestling promotion around take their hottest act a few months ago (L.A.X.) and have them open the show and lose to a first time tag team? This was a disturbingly awful episode. All of the excitement from Redemption is completely gone. There was cheesy comedy. They threw away and rewrote their biggest angle on the fly. The commentary was absurd and grating. I’d honestly have to award this a 1 out of 10. Yes, there were good moments but the bad stuff was so bad it feels like a stretch to give them credit for anything.