SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Final impact – MISS: You know somebody was reading from the WWE playbook when there were three impromptu matches on the card, one being the main event. Skip everything but the TJP versus Chris Bey and the Motor City Machine Guns versus the Rascalz matches, and you’re good to go. The EC3/Moose feud that already had one foot in supernatural land crosses over completely getting into some gonzo mind control stuff (unless what we perceive on screen is how Moose perceives them). The rest of the stuff on the show felt like storylines just spinning their wheels awaiting their turn in the spotlight.
Eric Young in-ring promo – MISS: Eric Young came out to give his “state of the championship” address, which was all well and good, until Alisha Edwards came out to stand up for her husband. Alisha is just not good on the mic. She was entertaining on Wrestle House mainly because they were self-aware of her limitations and turned them into advantages. Cutting an impassioned promo isn’t really in her wheelhouse. Once Eric had enough of her, he got ready to piledrive Alisha but was interrupted by, gods have mercy on us, Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer cut one of his impassioned sermons and challenged Eric to an extreme match late in the show.
TJP vs. Chris Bey – HIT: This was a very good match with two extremely talented wrestlers. TJP makes the things he does in the ring look effortless, on point, and with no wasted motion. Chris Bey is no slouch either, keeping up with TJP every step of the way. Rohit Raju graced us with his presence, as he was the one who instigated this match to get out of having a rematch with Bey. TJP won so now TJP believes himself to be next in line for a title shot. I’m sure Raju will find a way to duck him too… I mean, find a way to make sure he is only facing the best of the best at their best.
Locker Room Talk with guests Kylie Rae and Susie – MISS: When you have a talk show segment that is a parody of bad talk show segments, there is a very fine line between it being a self-aware train wreck, and being just a bad segment, and this one went into “bad” territory. They tried to do too much, referencing Kylie Ray, Susie, and Johnny Swinger’s time away at Wrestle House, tying that into accusing Kylie into “ducking” Deonna Purrazzo and spinning it instead to messing with her celebration, maybe sowing the seeds of discord between Susie and Kylie by invoking Su Yung, to finally setting up a match between Kylie & Susie vs. Deonna & Kimber Lee. All of that in a rather short segment that seemed rushed, all while everyone tries to get their character over.
Brian Myers vs. Willie Mack – PUSH: Brian Myers called Willie Mack to the ring to shake his hand for beating him last week (even though Myers cheated). Mack came out and told Myers that not only was he not shaking his hand, Mack was granted a rematch because of how he lost, “And that rematch is happening… right now.” Myers complained that he wasn’t ready, but the match occurred regardless. The match was fine for what it was, a set up for Myers to win by cheating again, this time kicking Willie in the willie. This is an okay angle but I’m just not into these guys yet.
Jordynne Grace interview – PUSH: Jordynne Grace is being interviewed and when asked about Tenille Dashwood, Grace went looking for her only to find her personal photographer. Grace asked him when she was coming back to work, and they ran a photoshoot on screen with the next week’s date. Grace seemed to accept this as his answer. Are characters now aware of the images flashed on TV? I’m all for the meta stuff, and breaking the fourth wall, and supernatural stuff, but not every story needs it.
Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Rascalz – HIT: This was a great match. The action was fast paced, and the in-ring psychology was sound. The Rascalz, Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz uncharacteristically attacked the Motor City Machine Guns before the bell sounded, before Alex Shelly and Chris Sabin even had gotten all of their gear off. This gave the Rascalz the early advantage, but it was not to last. Sabin and Shelly took over on Wentz and absolutely destroyed his knees. It was nonstop vintage tandem offence from the Guns mostly focused on the body part while cutting the ring in half. Once Dez was able to get in he got a few spots in but Wentz proved the liability, having never fully recover from the assault. The Machine Guns won but were attacked by the returning North, Ethan Page and Josh Alexander. After a while, sensing an opportunity, Ace Austin and Madman Fulton jumped in and, together along with the North, beat up the Guns. After a little while more, the Good Brothers, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson showed up to make the save. I loved the timing of the run ins. Instead of each team coming in one right after the other, enough time elapsed so it felt natural instead of looking kike all the teams were lined up behind the curtain to file out one by one. Good stuff and a good showcase of the talent Impact has at the top of their tag team division.
RVD and Forbes announcement – PUSH: I don’t want to be harsh and prejudge this, and the stupidest things Impact has done have eventually grown on me but, damn it, they gave these two a talk show segment? Whole F’n Talk Show premiers next week. It might be good right? Right? Sigh…
Sami Callihan rides to the rescue – HIT: On the heels of the RVD and Katie Forbes “monumental” announcement, along comes the dark knight Sami Callihan with another Sami Callihan promo. He ALMOST makes me want to care about this feud. Such a shame that he is being wasted on Katie Forbes.
Tasha Steelz vs. Taya Valkyrie – PUSH: Earlier, Taya Valkyrie, John E. Bravo, and Rosemary were planning Bravo and Rosemary’s wedding. Rosemary left Bravo to take care of things while she goes to resurrect the only one who can preside over a demon wedding (I assume Father James Mitchell). Taya, being Taya, wants the wedding of HER dreams and Bravo got to work. He ran into Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan who told him that he needs to man up and put Taya in her place, more to stir things up than for any real concern for Bravo’s well-being. Taya gets wind of this interference and challenged Steelz to a match. Taya mostly dominated the match and most of the offence Steelz got in was thanks to Taya being distracted by a distracted Bravo who was busy planning his wedding ringside. Hogan attacked Taya after the match, but Bravo made the save. There was tension between Taya and Bravo. While I look forward to the wedding, there was just too much going on in all of these segments tonight for what amounts to a very small advancement of the story.
Where in the World is EC3? – PUSH: So, my brain is re-calibrating things in regard to this feud. We are shown Moose boarding a plane, on the hunt for EC3. Moose ends up in his old stomping grounds meets with his old football coach. After exchanging pleasantries Moose learned that his coach hadn’t seen EC3 around. Just as he prepares to leave, his coach goes into a trance and says, “control your narrative, you’ve been warned.” So EC3 is magic now, huh? I can work with that, but the aforementioned recalibration is needed first. As a disturbed Moose backed away, he bumped into a bunch of hooded guys, and thinking them to be EC3, he attacked them.
Heath and Rhino – MISS: The “let’s get Heath a job” story is already long in the tooth and I’m ready for these two to get paired together already. Heath needs money to pay for his ads and twenty-seven kids (Rhino reminded him that he’s already admitted that he has two) and Rhino says he has an idea of where to get it. Cut to Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne and Josh, feigning surprise says if he meant Hernandez’s wad of cash and he and Madison stare at the camera in a moment of self-awareness I enjoyed. Not enough to give the segment a pass though.
Eric Young (c) vs. Tommy Dreamer, Old School Rules match – MISS: It’s a hardcore match with an indignant Tommy Dreamer. Yawn. Seen this so many times. Eric Young wins, using his hockey mask like he did with Eddie Edwards but before he could cripple Dreamer, Rich Swann, still in a walking boot and with crutches comes and make the save. I would’ve had Eric take out a few more people before Swann reappeared.