SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
New Tag Champs: A minor hit here. The team of Andrew Everett and DJZ has some potential but this was badly rushed. Blame management for having so few tag teams on the roster to give the division any sort of depth. The new champs just debuted as a duo last week and now they have the belts. It would have been more fun to watch them rise up the ranks for a bit before getting their big opportunity. Still, though, it’s good to get the titles off of Scott Steiner and Eli Drake. While they have more star power, having them as the focal point of the division felt like a nostalgia act.
Katarina Leaves: Grado continues to be the Santino of Impact for me, in that I just don’t find his brand of comedy all that funny. To each their own. But his pairing with Katarina felt doomed out of the gate. We’d already seen him search for a girlfriend and it wasn’t entertaining the first time. At the end of Grado’s match with Kongo Kong, she quickly headed for the back and left her boyfriend in the ring. It appears this duo isn’t for long, which is the right call. Still, they shouldn’t have done it in the first place as the breakup will mean nothing since it was so short lived and he was gone for so long. Here’s a thought, have Katarina turn into back into Winter and join Jimmy Jacobs and Kong to form a new stable.
Rosemary’s Funeral: Well shot. Looked cool. These are the type of vignettes that Impact should be producing on a consistent basis. The feud between Su Yung and Rosemary continues to be one of the highlights of the show and creative is doing a nice job of keeping you wondering where it’s headed next. (unlike the “where the hell is Konnan?” angle that is just meandering about aimlessly). However…if Yung can shoot fire out of her mouth, why doesn’t she ever do that during a match? Seems like a waste of her powers of me!
The Main Event: An entertaining way to end the night. Pentagon Jr., Phantasma, Austin Aries and Matt Sydal delivered a fun, nearly 20 minute match that effectively built up a pair or title matches over the next two weeks of television. Props to Sydal and Pentagon for timing the kick to the face off of the Shooting Star Press. It was the coolest move of the week.
Commentary: Having Sami Callihan beat up Don Callis continues to have been a poor creative move. This marks two weeks in a row that he has been off of the commentary booth, leaving Josh Mathews to go solo. This is not good for anyone. As nearly universally agreed upon, Mathews is a mediocre announcer at best. And due to his heel runs over the past couple of years, his credibility is beyond shot. Asking him to carry a show by himself is an uphill battle. If nothing else, they should have brought in Sonjay Dutt for the night once again or given another wrestler a shot in the role of color commentator.
Production quirks: Whoever is directing the backstage segments in Impact should consider telling other people in the area to be quiet. On one hand, it adds to the realism. Basically, angles can happen at anytime. That’s not a bad route to take, except for the fact the company is writing angles like Su Yung and Rosemary, meaning they’re already throwing any sense of realism out the window. So when Pentagon Jr. is talking directly into the camera, we shouldn’t be hearing other people talking and moving about backstage. It only serves as a distraction.
Callihan vs. Edwards: Impact took their longest running, most personal feud and decided to have the big showdown in an arena that looks worse on TV, with worse sound and terrible camerawork. Makes perfect sense to me! So due to the sheer potential brutality of this match, it simply couldn’t have aired in the Impact Zone. Well, Barbed Wire Massacre was far more violent than this, so what gives? And did nobody edit this match before the show? They randomly cut to a cameraman smiling and chatting with another production guy as the camera tried to awkwardly adjust to where the wrestlers were. The brawl itself was decent, but it didn’t live up to their other bouts. Also, Mathews was badly exposed once again for his inability to convey genuine emotion when he tried to convince us “This has gone too far!” He kept putting over how evil Edwards is becoming, except that all Eddie did was choke Callihan with a bat for 30 seconds, which if nothing else, is getting revenge for what Callihan did to Don Callis. We’d seen Edwards do far worse to his nemesis, so Mathews’ shock seemed ridiculously overdone.
Cage’s World Tour: This continues to be dumb. If Impact isn’t going to show an entire match on TV, then don’t air any of it. It’s impossible to get into the flow of what you’re watching because they can cut the action at any time. Besides that, the hard camera was a lousy angle, as it was too far away from the action. I’ll confess I’ve never heard of Facade in my life (and I’m assuming the majority of the viewers hadn’t either because he’d never been on the show), so why exactly did Cage want to go after HIM? Seriously, why is Facade, specifically, someone that Cage felt he needed to get on a plane to travel to another country to face? That’s the question Impact needs to be answering with this tour. Otherwise, it looks like he’s going around the world to beat up random jobbers at indy shows. Congrats? A simple fix would to be to have his next opponent cut a 30 second promo where they challenge him to a match, then air it on TV.
Overall Show: A much better effort than last week (which I thought was flat-out terrible and counterproductive), but this was a bland offering. It’s hard to recommend this show to anyone right now. If you’re looking for your wrestling fix for the week, well…Impact is shorter than Raw and there’s less corporate-nonsense talk than Smackdown. Otherwise, I got almost nothing. Rosemary and Yung is fun. A possible Edwards/Tommy Dreamer feud could be intriguing, and maybe there’s still time to salvage Pentagon Jr. and make him feel like a star in the Impact Zone. There’s been some sloppy booking lately, though, and they have their work cut out for them if they truly think they’re the hottest promotion in the company right now. 5/10