SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The Opening Tag Match: Phoenix, Pentagon Jr. and the O.G.’z put on a chaotic, but fun, show-opening match. There was some sloppiness to be had, but it was intense enough to be enjoyable. Hopefully management has something in mind for Homicide, Hernandez and Eddie Kingston, as this win was decisive enough that it doesn’t feel like there needs to be a rematch. If this group is going to stick around (which they absolutely should), they’re going to need to start picking up some meaningful wins.
Moose vs. Eddie Edwards: This feud has been all over the place, as both wrestlers have been trying to nail down their characters, and the overall story supporting them has been largely goofy. Still, they’ve risen above the material they’ve been given and delivered some good matches. The crowd was into the brawl and they busted out some big moves (the powerbomb from inside the ring onto the ramp was one of the show’s most memorable spots in months). Also, good work by the announcers (not something I say often!) at really putting over the toughness of Eddie, all the punishment he’d taken over the course of the match, and how Moose had gone too far.
The Main Event: While Johnny Impact may not be lighting the wrestling world on fire with his promos, he continues to deliver in the ring. This didn’t reach the heights of Impact vs. Fenix, but it was another entertaining show-closing match, which Impact has been on a roll with lately. However, Kross maybe should have been protected more here. A rare DQ finish may have been the better option. With such a lack of quality heels in Impact, having their one “killer” lose clean takes away a bit of his momentum. Now it appears that Moose is next up for a title shot, which doesn’t do much for me.
Jordynne Grace’s Debut: A minor miss. I hadn’t seen a singles match from Grace yet and was hoping/expecting to see her booked as a destroyer, where she’d hit a series of dominant, impressive power moves. A gorilla press slam from the top and a bearhug was about all we got. I wouldn’t blame this on Grace, though, as management didn’t choose an ideal opponent for her introduction. Bringing in a jobber and having them get obliterated by Grace would have been the more effective debut. Instead, they gave Katarina a fair amount of offense and showboating against the newcomer. And considering the fact there are so few women in the company, Katarina shouldn’t be designated as the go-to jobber. Grace should have gone through a series of squash matches (which worked well for Braun Strowman and Nia Jax) before laying her hands on any full-time roster member.
Brian Cage’s Inner Moose: I’ve never been to Dayton, Ohio, so no idea if it’s actually a “s**thole or not.” But having the guy who is being groomed as the top babyface in the company claiming that is is doesn’t do him much favor. No matter what, he was going to get booed by a good portion of the crowd, yet Impact went all in on him playing the heel for the “match.” Speaking of which, yikes! I’d be surprised if all the awful indy footage Impact has aired over the past year or so hasn’t chased away a few of the fans who have quit watching altogether. To top it all off, Cage pulled a babyface Moose move by walking into a situation where he was 100% guaranteed to get his ass kicked. Did he really think he was going to beat up an entire locker room (and state) by himself? That’s just bad character development. Everything about this segment was terrible and counterproductive.
The Smoke Show: I’m growing to hate these segments. CGI smoke, dopey music, and it never, ever goes anywhere. Before shooting these skits, management should be asking themselves “what exactly are we trying to accomplish?” Is it to get KM and Fallalh Bahh over? If so. They failed. Is it to get Scarlett Bordeaux over? If so. They failed. Or, is it to get Scott D’Amore and Don Callis to chuckle while watching it? If so, then they probably succeeded. All we’re getting is random dudes shooting video of themselves for some sort of ill-defined talent contest. The worst part was when they cut back to the arena and Josh Mathews busted out one of the fakest laughs in wrestling history.
GWN Flashback: Once again, these random segments with no context (and apparently aren’t even episodes you find on the network, according to John Moore at ProWrestling.net) merely succeeded in making you wish Impact still had a bunch of exciting, young talent competing in front of a hot crowd. What it didn’t do was inspire me to subscribe to the network.
The Undead Realm Won’t Die: This storyline is not something worth staying up for. Allie, Kiera Hogan and James Mitchell are all too talented for this never-ending nonsense. Give The Minister someone to manage (Killer Kross perhaps?), get Allie back to her old fun-loving ways, and get Kiera far away from all of it. A black eyed Allie and a teleporting Su Yung doesn’t make me want to tune in next week, it makes me want to turn off the TV and go to bed.