SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Intro and Sami Callihan promo – HIT: Show starts with a “previously on…” video with an emphasis on the Sami Callihan-Brian Cage match. They cut to Sami celebrating a with oVe and a bunch of reprobates. He talks about being at the top of the wrestling industry and takes a not so subtle shot at Chris Jericho and his “bubbly” catchphrase. It was effective. Then they play the intro and we are on our way.
Moose vs. Willie Mac – HIT: This was a match designed to build up Moose by giving him a win, via spear, over fan favorite Willie Mac. Good match between two big athletic dudes. There was a scary spot when Willie attempted a topé con jiro, and I’m not sure whether Moose missed catching him, or if Moose was supposed to counter the dive into a powerbomb. Either way big Willie hit the ground hard.
Alisha Edwards/Ace Austin Skit – HIT: Alisha is having second thoughts about going on a date with Austin and seeks him out. As she turns a corner, she overhears him bragging to Reno Scum on how he had already “banged” Alisha and admitted that the whole thing was just a plot to get into Eddie’s head. Austin and Reno Scum leave and Alisha fumes. Alisha’s acting was pretty bad and the only good thing about the skit was that it looks like the story is finally moving forward.
Taya Valkyrie Skit- HIT: After an advertisement for Impact’s next PPV, the frenemies, Kiera Hogan and Madison Rayne are arguing about their last match when Taya walks in. Madison and Taya begin bickering with each other. It was somewhat humorous and character building/reinforcing for all the heels involved. Madison challenges Taya to a fight tonight. Taya declines but as she leaves, she bumps into Jordynne Grace who wants a championship match that night, due to having pinned Taya the week before. Taya balks, saying she already has a match set with Madison. Classic coward heel work from Taya.
Michael Elgin vs. Fallah Bahh – MISS: I was really looking forward to this match when it was announced last week. Looks like the crowd wasn’t. Everyone over thirteen in the crowd was dead. Even after the impressive show of power that was Elgin tossing around the massive Fallah, you can hear nary a peep. Fallah was a favorite amongst the younger audience as they chanted “bah” throughout the match. I thought the match was mostly good, but in the end, I was sorely disappointed that it never met its potential. Elgin wins with a cross face.
Alisha Edwards part Deux and Sami Callahan – Things that happened: Austin runs into Alicia and asks her if she is ready for dinner. She tells him to forget dinner and gives him her room key. Then Sami Callahan comes into the building celebrating obnoxiously, making fun of Tommy Dreamer along the way.
The North Promo – HIT: After a Flashback moment of the week featuring a match between Moose and Marufuji, The North, in an interview, discounted Josh Alexander’s loss to Marufuji since it wasn’t in a tag match. Surprisingly, they called out Marufuji, told him to get a partner for a match next week. They were so confident they’d win, they even put the titles on the line. I am looking forward to this match.
***WARNING*** Joey Ryan sighting ***WARNING***
Joey Ryan vs. Ken Shamrock – HIT: Was this a good wrestling match? Doesn’t matter. That not what a Joey Ryan fan is here for. The question is, will Shamrock be phallus flipped? Yes. Yes, he was.
*** END OF WARNING ***
In the back, the Sami Callahan celebration goes into the locker room where they bug a bunch of wrestlers. They get into a heated standoff with Daga, but Rich Swann defuses the situation.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Madison Rayne – MISS: It was a competently wrestled match but, Lord, was it boring. Taya wins with the Road to Valhalla. Jordynne Grace comes out and accosts Taya and takes out Bravo, but not even this was enough to save the segment.
Gama Singh and the Desi Hit Squad skit – MISS: These guys do nothing for me. Gama berates Rojit and Raj and claims Sheera is back in India or something. Excitingly though, Gama introduces a new member to their squad, Bhupinder Singh. He is sure to be the man that elevates the Desi Hit Squad into championship contention.
Su Yung skit – HIT (tentative; only if you like the undead realm): The new “Suzie” (Su Yung) is wandering around in the back where she is confronted first by Rosemary, who vows to get to the center of the “Suzie“ mystery, and later by Jesicka Havok who seems to not recognize the new Su Yung. I am curious to see where this goes.
Bhupinder Singh vs. Petey Williams – MISS: And… Bhupinder Singh loses to a Sharpshooter. This was just a match to fill time. After the match Bhupinder accosts Cameron, the referee (who, incidentally, has no legs). Petey comes in to help and hits a Canadian Destroyer. Cameron hits a 619 and 450 splash wowing the crowd. Not enough to turn what felt like a time sink into a hit for me though.
Third Alisha Edward skit – MISS: Predictably, Alisha Edwards invites Ace Austin to her hotel room. Predictably, she has him disrobe and blindfold himself. Predictably, Eddie Edwards is there. Together, Alisha and Eddie, with Kenny, beat up Austin out of the room and down the hallway. Alisha and Eddie passionately make up presumably ending their estrangement. Can we move on now please.
Sami Callahan & oVe vs. Tommy Dreamer & Rich Swann & Daga & Tessa Blanchard – HIT: Petey Williams and Swinger are in an altercation in the back when the Callahan party train interrupts them. Callahan and oVe head to the ring. Once there, Sami, as obnoxious as only he can be, cuts a celebratory promo. Tommy Dreamer interrupts him, and cuts one of his patented sanctimonious promos. This ends up with an impromptu Extreme match between oVe and Tommy, Rich, Daga, and Tessa. Rich wins with a surprise pin on Callahan. Good promo, reinforcing Callahan’s skumbaggery. The match was your standard brawl. Looks like Rich is now owed a title shot. Interesting development since the two have history.
Overall – MISS: While the wrestling in the episode was solid, the matches were uninspiring. The narrative through line of Alisha Edwards storyline was too much. Hopefully that story is either over or will at least take a new form.
What’s Next: Next week we have the match between The North and Marufuji with Eddie Edwards to look forward to.