SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•Final impact – HIT: Several storylines come to a head in part one of the Impact Emergence special two-part event. With a named show comes the expectation that good wrestling would be involved, and I believe they succeeded on that count, although I’m not sure I’d categorize them as “PPV” good. The best matches bookended the show and one of them saw the title change hands adding a sense of importance to the whole thing. It definitely did feel like the first half of a longer PPV though and I wonder what part two will pick up the pace.
•Chris Bey (c) vs. TJP vs. Rohit Raju – X Division Championship match – HIT: The resourceful, resplendent, rakish, Rohit Raju’s masterplan finally bears fruit as he strikes an unaware Chris Bey with his double stomp to capture his rightful prize, the X Division Championship. I’m off to a wild night of celebratory drinking… oh wait, crap… the pandemic. I forgot. Well, back to Hits and Misses, I guess. This was a very good match, less reliant on the high-flying usually expected of an X-Division match, relying more on really cool one-on-two submissions applied by TJP on his two opponents as he had to fight the two allied wrestlers in a pseudo handicap match. In all due seriousness, I’m happy for Rohit Raju. I’ve been pleased by his more serious promos and if they can move him away from the gimmicky-ness inherent in the “sports entertainment” aspects of a lot of todays “pro-wrestling” presentation, he can be a worthy champion.
•Moose (“c”) vs. Trey Miguel – TNA Heavy Weight Championship match? – HIT: Sometimes you have a match that clearly delineates where you are on the depth roster and Trey Miguel, as I saw it, was emphatically planted back in his mid-card spot after flirting with the main event. This was little more than an exhibition match for Moose as he had his way with Trey cutting of any of Trey’s hope spots with sheer, brutal strength. I’m not even angry about it since this all serves to make Moose all the more credible for his eventual showdown with Carter (EC3). I’m curious at to whether this is just a speedbump for Trey or is it is indicative of what the agents think his ceiling is. After the match Carter attacks Moose and takes the TNA belt with him.
•Eric Young video package – HIT: This was an excellent quick primer on who Eric Young is and they did not shy away from his various past incarnations. He also brought up being forgotten for two years while in the WWE without dwelling on it. Hell, my only complaint about the promo is it made me almost want to cheer the guy.
•Willie Mack backstage interview – PUSH: I’m adopting a wait-and-see stance on this one. Jimmy Jacobs was interviewing Willie Mack on the subject of Rich Swann when Brian Myers hijacked Jimmy to make his declaration of intent. He too took a not-at-all veiled shot at the WWE, specifically Vince McMahon as creative. Willie Mack, upset at the interruption, attacked Myers. This was a fairly interesting start to Myer’s Impact career, and hopefully this is a start of a reinvention of his character.
•Ace Austin & Madman Fulton vs. The Good Brothers – PUSH: This was a good back and forth match which is kind of the problem. I feel like Luc Gallows and Karl Anderson are slightly defined down going even-steven with Ace Austin and Madman Fulton. Despite being a monster, Fulton hasn’t exactly been tearing it up and Ace Austin, while flirting with the main event has always had to resort to cheating to even get there. If you were going to have this much back and forth between these guys, I think there should have been significantly more cheating from the heels. More worrisome is Josh Mathews on commentary implying that this feud isn’t over. I am ready for it to be.
•Wrestle House: Taya Valkyrie vs. Kylie Rae – HIT: There was only one match in the three Wrestle House segments this week so I’ll lump them all together here so you can skip this if Wrestle House just isn’t your thing. For those still here, congratulations for being born with a soul (don’t let the other guys know I said that, let them go on pretending). The first segment was by far the weakest, opening up with John E. Bravo and Crazzy Steve having a play date with Bravo playing with his stuffed dog and Crazzy Steve playing with his monkey… Ahem, then they cut to Acey Romero complaining of a stench in the bathroom coming from Larry D. Larry, still under Rosemary’s enchantment, said it was ring rust (loss of sharpness of competitiveness after not engaging in competition for a length of time). Acey said that a lack of ring-time wouldn’t result in that smell. Larry D came out of the bathroom, dressed to the nines (in his mind), rechristened himself “Laurence D”, and stated that the “ring rust” he was referring to is a perfume. That was a long way to go for a joke and Acey’s delivery was pretty bad, as if he were reading directly from the script. The one funny thing this whole segment is that Laurence now has a soundtrack playing whenever he’s on screen.
The second segment sets up a mystery as a bunch of the wrestlers are gathered together discussing events when the Deaners discover their beer was missing. Laurence shows up, soundtrack in tow, and flirts with Rosemary making Bravo visibly jealous. All the wrestler’s characterizations were on point this scene, (except Acey whose delivery was stiff) and a special shout out to Alisha Edward’s performance. In denying that she stole the Deaners’s beer, she claimed she only drinks the “good stuff”. Boxed wine. She is so on brand.
Finally, there is the match itself which took itself more seriously than the others we’ve seen (while still being indyrific). Rosemary was the ref and cheated on behalf of Taya but a miscue between Rosemary and Taya saw Taya easing s Superkick from Kylie Rae who scores the win. Rosemary checked on her friend afterword then left to flirt with Laurence some more. Steve gave Bravo some advice. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our wrestling lives.
•Motor City Machine Guns vs. The North – HIT: This was an excellent match which feels like it solidifies the end of The North’s dominance. The heel work by Ethan Page and Josh Alexander was great, and Chris Sabin and Alex Shelly showed off a flurry of tandem moves they’ve innovated. My only complaint is some lack of selling from Sabin, who after being on the receiving end of some devastating offense, was fit as a fiddle when it was time for the next tandem move. In the end the Motor City Machine Guns retained.