IMPACT HITS & MISSES 2/18: Josh Alexander vs. TJP, Dave Christ vs. Rhino, Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards, Willie Mack vs. Swinger, RVD

By Javier Machado, PWTorch contributor


Michael Elgin (photo courtesy ImpactWrestling.com)

In this episode of Wrestling Night in America, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks breaks down both nights of WrestleMania with callers and emailers. Topics include the quality of the Firefly Funhouse match, the decision to put Charlotte over Rhea Ripley, the potential of wrestlers getting more creative freedom in the current environment, and more.
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•Overall – HIT: Good bounce back after some less than stellar episodes from the Mexico tapings. Impact has done a good job promoting the Sacrifice Impact Plus Special giving it a vibe of a PPV. While none of the HITS were overwhelming, there is definitely more good than bad tonight. The one thing I feel lacking is star power. With Brian Cage gone, Taya possibly gone, Rich Swann, who they were building up, injured, and Sami Callihan out “learning a new hold” the need some new blood. Hopefully, the recently signed Chris Bey gives the roster a much-needed shot in the arm.

•Josh Alexander vs. TJP – HIT: Whoopsie. On my column last week, while writing about the match between Ethan Page and Falah Bahh, I mistakenly mentioned that TJP a had a win against Josh Alexander two week previous to set up a championship match. It wasn’t TJP that Josh lost to, it was Hijo del Vikingo. However, once I saw Josh and TJP were having a match on tonights card, I knew what the outcome of the match would be, since the intention is to set up a championship match. Despite going in knowing who was going over, I still really enjoyed the match. I am really liking TJP’s in ring work. He seems able to match up very well against a myriad of styles. TJP wins by flipping over Josh to counter Josh’s sleeper, trapping Josh’s shoulders to the mat.

•Willie Mack vs. Swinger – HIT: Boo, Willie, boo. Swinger just wants to be your partner. Swinger tells Mack that they need to get some reps in the ring to improve their tag team chemistry and a frustrated Mack agrees to meet Swinger in the ring. Mack comes out, then Swinger, who is surprised when the ring announcer announces them as opponents. What follows is not a high work rate match at all, instead concentrating more on in ring storytelling which is fine. Mack wins with a Six-Star Frog Splash.

•Madison Rayne vs. Mazzerati – HIT: Prior to the match Madison Rayne recaps recent events in the Knockouts division in her condescending heel way and announces the Madison Rayne Golden Opportunity Open Challenge. She asks Impact management to send out the first “schmuck”. Out comes Mazzarati, a local favorite who is over with the crowd. The match itself won’t move any needles but this looks like its all about reestablishing Madison Rayne for some future program. Madison wins with the Cross Rayne. There is a funny, unscripted moment in the match where Don Callis mispronounced articulate which got a laugh from me.

•Jordynne Grace, John E. Bravo, and Taya backstage segments – HIT: Grace cuts a promo in the back, going over what winning the Impact Knockouts Title meant for her. She also states that unlike Taya, she’s going to be a fighting champion and her first opponent will be Jessicka Havok at the Sacrifice Impact Plus special. As she walks out, Bravo walks in and has had the audio-visual guys prepare a “love letter” video of sorts, celebrating Taya Valkyrie. Bravo is later heard being yelled at behind the door of a closed dressing room. He walks out dejected. It was staged in a way that made me believe that Taya might not have been there, but no, she came out and said she’s getting the title back.

•RVD and Katie Forbes – PUSH: Not much going on here. Katie is complaining about social media and RVD uses this as a way to run down the fans. He spots Daga and disparages him, leading to Daga getting hot and challenging RVD to a match right then, but RVD stalls to next week. Maybe they can make up for their disappointing encounter in Hard to Kill.

•Tommy Dreamer Promo (and Trey Miguel and Tessa Blanchard were there too I guess?) – HIT: Okay, I love Tommy Dreamer, but he’s fallen in love with these long, impassioned speeches designed to get over the current product or star. However, less is more, and Tommy has done this speechifying thing so often, he’s coming across like a bloviating old fool. He’s still good a talking, just tone it down a bit. An oblivious Trey’s reaction when Tommy tells him Ace was trying to bang Trey’s mom is a good gag. Tessa batted cleanup and did a good job promoting the main event and her match with Ace at Sacrifice.

•Michael Elgin (2) vs. Eddie Edwards (1), Best of Five Series – HIT:While none of the matches between these two have been five-star classics, they’ve been solid, none the less. Elgin again spends a lot of the match dominating Eddie only this time, Eddie is able to roll up Elgin with a small package as Elgin is going for the buckle bomb, staving off elimination.

•Dave Crist vs. Rhino – MISS: I have a rule of thumb I watch wrestling by. If the commentators can’t be bothered to call the match that’s in the ring and are instead involved in discussing something else, why should I bother paying attention to the match (I haven’t paid attention to a WWE Raw or Smackdown match in years). Moose comes out to do commentary with Josh Mathews and Don Callis and he, at first starts disparaging Rhino, which is not a good idea. If you say Rhino is a nobody and then you beat Rhino, you just beat a nobody. If you lose, well… To Moose’s credit, he recovered and spent the rest of his time building Rhino up. As far as the match goes, Rhino wins with the Gore.

•Undead Realm Chronicles: The Saga of Suzie – HIT: During the “previously on…” at the beginning of the show, there was a scene from last week I either missed, it didn’t air on Twitch, or had an ad running over top of it. It was the death of Father James Mitchell at the hands of Su Yung. His corporeal for may be gone but his spirit lives on in the Undead Realm (for those not in the know, the Undead Realm is a euphemism for Hell.) In today’s episode, a cautious Jessicka Havok is wandering backstage, when “Suzie” teleports behind Havok, gives her a friendly greeting, and teleports away, leaving behind a note written on a nearby cabinet that says, “Ur time has come.” I’m curious if this will play into Jessicka’s match with Grace at Sacrifice.

•Tommy Dreamer & Trey Miguel & Tessa Blanchard vs. Ace Austin & Reno Scum – HIT: This is fun effective match. Good psychology is on display as Tessa Blanchard was denied the tag repeatedly until the crowd was desperate for her to get the hot tag. Reno Scum, Adam Thornstowe and Luster the Legend, make good stooges for Ace Austin. Eventually the match breaks down and Trey hits a nice dive to the outside. However, as he enters the ring, Ace, kicks the rope up into Trey’s groin and hits The Fold for the win giving him “momentum” heading to his match with Tessa at sacrifice.


RECOMMENDED: IMPACT WRESTLING HITS & MISSES 2/11: Valkyre vs. Grace for Impact Knockouts Title, RVD vs. Joey Ryan, Elgin vs. Edwards Best of Five Series, Fulton vs. Dana, Rhino takes over a Moose massage

1 Comment on IMPACT HITS & MISSES 2/18: Josh Alexander vs. TJP, Dave Christ vs. Rhino, Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards, Willie Mack vs. Swinger, RVD

  1. Taya is not possibly gone. She tweeted this earlier this year”

    “I signed for two years LAST YEARRRRRRR.”

    So she’s there until at least sometime in 2021

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