IMPACT WRESTLING HITS & MISSES 3/24: Tessa Blanchard & Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin & Taya Valkyre, Rhino & Sabu vs. OVW, Rosemary at the bar, Reno Scum vs. The Rascalz, Sami Callihan

By Javier Machado, PWTorch contributor


Rosemary (photo courtesy ImpactWrestling.com)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

Overall – HIT: A time of sadness for some, great joy for others, as this chapter in the saga of the Undead Realm may finally have come to an end. For my part, I hope it’s the start of a new chapter but who knows. For those that prefer their wrestling grounded in reality, Sami Callihan is back at his villainous best, (not) explaining his actions last week in a promo (with great backing music). A good opener in the eight-man match to determine the number one contender for the X Division Title, and a good main event with Tessa and Eddie teaming up to take on Elgin and Taya makes up for some missteps like Rhino and Sabu going over on OVE and more in the lackluster build to the TNA special with Moose and the re-debuting of Suicide. At the end of the day, how you feel about the Undead Realm stuff will color your perception of the episode since that story really was the focus for the night.

Willie Mack vs. Chris Bey vs. Acey Romero vs. Daga vs. Rohit Raju vs. Jake Crist vs. Cousin Jake vs. Trey Miguel – HIT: The winner of this match earns a shot at Ace Austin’s X Division Championship. Bey, Daga, Rohit, Crist, and Trey brought the speed, and Acey, Cousin Jake, and Mack brought the power when the match needed to slow down. As far as eight-man matches go, this is one of them. Daga stood out to me the most during the match with Bey getting his own moment to shine early on. Good watch won by Willie Mack (as was telegraphed last week) by pinning Cousin Jake with a Six-Star Frog-Splash. Later Ace, with Reno Scum, approaches Mack backstage but Mack rebuffs him wanting nothing to do with Ace’s head games. Ace leaves peacefully. The Johnny Swinger walks up to lament the dissolution of their tag team (that only existed in Swinger’s mind) and if Mack won the title, Swinger would like to challenge Mack for the belt.

OVE Promo – HIT: I really enjoyed this. Dave Crist is trying to psyche up Madman Fulton for their match later, when Jake joins them. Dave is frustrated that Sami Callihan has been incommunicado for months, but Jake convinces the others that it is a test from Sami. A dubious Dave eventually relents and gets with the program. I like the tension and manic energy exhibited by these three guys. I wonder if the always loyal Jake eventually becomes disillusioned by Sami leading to a split with OVE.

Moose vs. Chase Stevens – MISS: Moose wins in a quick match with his No-Jackhammer-Needed Spear. Afterwards Moose grabs a chair and begins to work over Chase. Scott D’Amore comes out to chastise Moose buying enough time for Suicide to make his return and save Chase. I really like Suicide’s outfit but otherwise the whole thing is a bit meh as has been the build to the upcoming TNA special.

Rosemary at the bar – HIT: Not having found solace among the “airheads” (her words) last week, Rosemary returns to the bar and in her ramblings, when she expresses that she had been seeking revenge for the death of “Bunny” for two years, someone laughs at her, and decides to school her on the art of revenge. That someone… Raven. Raven does what only Raven can do and Rosemary teleports away to ponder his words.

Reno Scum vs. The Rascalz – PUSH: The Dez and Wentz permutation of the Rascalz face Reno Scum in a pretty random match-up. Reno Scum wins a mostly one-side match when Luster the Legend traps Dez allowing Adam Thornstowe to double stomp Dez’s head from the top rope with a tandem move I’m sure has a name I’ll never know because Josh Mathews refuses to call finishers.

#CancelCulture, The Deaners video promos – HIT: Oh, some people are going to have a field day with this #CancelCulture gimmick. While its too early in it embryonic phase for me to pass judgement, The Deaners’s response to possibly getting “cancelled” was hilarious. Definitely a low card feud but could be fun.

Sami Callihan ICU Promo – DOUBLE: “(Ken Shamrock) wants to talk about being ‘the world’s most dangerous man’? Nah. See my career for the last two years? That’s mine now.” This, THIS is why I love Sami Callihan. He oozes menace. While I was so happy to have him back last week that I never questioned, why Shamrock? I trust in the plan when Callihan is involved.

OVE vs. Rhino & Sabu – MISS: Time is a bitch, and she’s had her way with Sabu. He seems a half a step slow in everything he does, and even the walk and brawl that started the match (the match was fought under ECW rules, which they now call Old School Rules) couldn’t cover for him. To make matters worse, Rhino wins with a Gore on Dave Crist. Dave did attack the ref in frustration earlier so the ref did “assist” Rhino so maybe there is a story there but as it stands, I don’t get it.

Taya Valkyrie & Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards & Tessa Blanchard – HIT: This is good match. The participants work hard in this one, uncorking some stuff you’d usually see on a PPV. Miscommunication between Eddie and Tessa killed their momentum leading to Elgin pinning Eddie after hitting the Buckle Bomb – Elgin Bomb combo. Taya finished the match bloody, an imposing sight.

Undead Realm Chronicles: Su Yung vs. Jessicka Havok – HIT: Yes, yes, I can hear the wails and tooth gnashing from here from the segment of wrestling fandom who despises the Undead Realm stuff, and to them… I get it, it’s not for everyone. You can stop reading here and I hope to see you on my next Hits & Misses column (Gods willing). For those still here, RIP Father James Mitchell (again). Hoping to lure Su Yung to her end, Su Yung overpowered Havok despite having to fight off one of the denizens of the Undead Realm. Father James Mitchell, disappointed in Havok, and tired of his “experiment in herding cats” decides to cut his loses and summons the denizens and undead brides to banish Havok and Su Yung to the Barrens of the Undead Realm, a dimensional prison of sorts.

Later, we return to the two ladies wandering the Barrens as something is trying to teleport through, eventually succeeding. It’s Rosemary who, as the Devil’s daughter, has the keys to this prison realm. She encourages the other two to set aside their differences. Three archenemies, powerful demons (well a demon, a ghost, and a kaiju) setting aside their differences to take out their true enemy, was truly a sight to behold. Rosemary returns them to Father James. Su Yung unsheathes a dagger but Havok takes it away. Father James, thinking Havok on her side, lowers his guard and Havok stabs him dead. (I found it interesting Su Yung felt sadness at his passing. Good acting choice from Su Yung there). Father James Mitchell awakens in his own personal Hell… Heaven. Awaiting him there was Abyss (loved that cameo) and kitty cats. His final words… “Who booked this shit?” Who indeed Father? Who indeed…?

If this is truly the end of Father James Mitchell as a character on Impact, he will be sorely missed by me. I am a fan of the whole supernatural aspect that is sometime infused in wrestling and Paul Bearer and Father James Mitchell both have a special place in my heart. Hope to see you resurrected soon James.


RECOMMENDED: IMPACT WRESTLING HITS & MISSES 3/17: Joey Ryan & RVD vs. The Deaners, Ken Shamrock announcement, Kiera Hogan vs. Lacey Ryan, Tessa Blanchard sit-down interviews, TJP, one of better recent episodes

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