SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Overall – MISS: With only a women’s title match worth watching, and even then, only for the historical significance of the end of the longest Impact Knockouts Championship title reign in the history of the promotion. There is also a disappointing lack of Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide talent to freshen up some of the stagnation evident this episode. Sami Callihan is sorely missed but his presence is felt when a QR code is flashed on the screen before the main event, and it sends you to realityislost.com, where you can watch a cryptic video that flashes the words “Reality is lost. When?”
Michael Elgin (2) vs. Eddie Edwards (0), Best of Five Series – HIT:Not much to say here other than yet another good match between these two. The crowd got behind Eddie hoping to buoy him to victory, but it wasn’t enough. Elgin hits the buckle bomb-Elgin Bomb combination for the win and Eddie is now one loss away from being swept in this best of five series and losing his Call Your Shot Trophy.
Madman Fulton vs. Daga – HIT: Another fine match. It starts with Fulton dominating Daga for a while until Daga make his comeback to the crowd’s delight. Jake and Dave Crist run to the ring to interfere, but Daga cuts them off with a dive to the outside. Unfortunately, this gave Fulton time to recover and he straight-up drops Daga on his shoulder for the win.
Moose massage, Rhino message – MISS: I am ready for this feud to be over. Moose is getting a massage and complains about being booked for a match against Rhino at Sacrifice. Rhino takes over the massage and attacks Moose. Meh.
Ethan Page vs. Fallah Bahh – PUSH: Not much of a match but we do get to see the in-ring televised debut of Fallah’s new gear. Thanks to the involvement of Josh Alexander and TJP and the ensuing distractions, Fallah is able to roll up Page with a small package for the win. With TJP beating Josh and Fallah beating Page, there is surely a championship match in the future between these two teams.
Undead Realm Chronicles: The Saga of Suzie – HIT: Jessicka Havok and Father James Mitchell search for Su Yung in the back, hoping to contain what Father Mitchell calls, “a metaphysical equivalent of a nuclear holocaust.” Instead they run into Suzie and are able to convince her to come with them. She agrees and as soon as they turn around, Suzie takes a sinister mien and raises a noose like the one used to hang Su Yung. This is a nice tease for what is coming up next.
***WARNING*** Joey Ryan sighting ***WARNING***
RVD vs. Joey Ryan – MISS: We got Katie Forbes Katie Forbes-ing, Joey Ryan Joey Ryan-ing, and RVD denying the fans what they want. Joey Ryan got RVD to “touch it” but RVD amazingly counters the Dick Flip sadly denying us of the moment. RVD wins with the Five-Star Frog Splash. Not sure what the purpose of this match was.
*** END OF WARNING ***
Mahabali Shera vs. Willie Mack – WAIT FOR IT: Backstage, Johnny Swinger tells Mack that he’s ready to cheat to help Mack win. Mack still wants nothing to do with Swinger. In the match, Mack and Shera exchange a few moves until Rohit Raju jumps in causing the match to be thrown out. Rohit and Shera beat down Mack until Swinger makes the save. The ring announcer announces that the match is now a tag team match.
Willie Mack & Johnny Swinger vs. The Desi Hit Squad – MISS:Willie’s reaction to the news that he is now tagging with Swinger is great. And then everything went downhill from there. An overwrought, complicated mess of a “match”, Mack costs Swinger and himself a victory for refusing to work with Swinger. Swinger gets nailed by Shera’s Sky-High while Mack was busy with Gama Singh on the outside. If this leads to a feud between Willie and Swinger, I don’t see the Desi Hit Squad getting much out of being bit players in this story.
Tessa Blanchard backstage – HIT: Tessa cuts a promo on Ace Austin and how he is a head games playing creep. Ace Austin comes in and is a creep who plays head games on Tessa, pushing her into attacking him in a rage. She lays into Austin until they are separated. Not a super exciting feud but Ace is someone Tessa can credibly beat.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Jordynne Grace, Impacts Knockouts Champion Title match – HIT: This is the brightest part of the show. Taya and Grace but on a PPV-style match, but it is held back by John E. Bravo’s constant interference. This made the referee look extremely incompetent as he repeatedly ignored all the repeated, blatant, physical interference from Bravo without ever kicking him out. Despite the horrible officiating, Grace is able to overcome and win with the Grace Driver, ending Taya’s reign and becoming the new Knockouts Champion.
Commentary – MISS: I feel I have to make special note of the commentary for this episode of Impact Wrestling. I like Don Callis and I don’t hate Josh Matthews. They have some moments of good chemistry together, but they irked me this episode. First, after months of not referencing the backstage parts of the “Suzie” story, Josh has gone all-in acting all fake spooked out in an over the top way. Second, instead of calling out the excessive and blatant cheating by John E. Bravo in the KNOCK OUT TITLE MATCH, they justify it by referencing the Houston Astros baseball team’s sign-stealing scandal, the idea being that if it’s good enough for other sports, it’s good enough for wrestling. Finally, Jordynne Grace ending the longest woman’s championship reign should have been sold as a bigger moment and not, “Hey! That just happened. Neat!” kind of way. It felt like this was just another run of the mill title change and I think Taya and Grace deserved better.