SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
HIT – Josh Alexander story: Nice change of pace to open with an extended promo segment. Alexander getting a chance to show off his chops on the microphone. Of course, he has a legitimate beef about how he was only able to be champion for a few minutes and lose it in such a manner, and he got over how desperate he is to redeem himself and get a one-on-one match with the winner of upcoming match at No Surrender.
Big Kon (Konnor of Ascension fame in WWE) interrupted, and an impromptu match occurred with Alexander making quick work, whilst in his street clothes, which was fine, I guess.
Alexander then drops a couple of the security team, which is morally fine, he then accidentally knocks over D’Amore, which is seen as an egregious offense. Poor security guys – they are people too!
He is sent home, out of No Surrender, which comes as a shock – maybe there is an injury, or hopefully its just a piece of good long-term booking, building up the obstacles to him eventually getting the title match.
HIT – W. Morrissey vs Brian Myers: Aside from a few clunky moments at the start, this was a fun, (not too) violent main event, which hopefully puts an end to this sidebar, Morrissey has with the Learning Tree and means I don’t need to produce another line about wrestling trees.
Morrissey with the emphatic win, and again looking like a million dollars in doing so, what a notable example he is to having had lost his position at WWE and going away and working on himself to return at such a level.
The level of aggression shown after the match by Moose was superb and I honestly cannot wait to see what they do to each other at No Surrender.
This is arguably the best World Championship rivalry on US television right now. It feels fresh and exciting.
HIT – Bullet Club story: Very much a hit, with a couple of trivial things that bother me! White, Tonga and Loa were absolute fire at start of promo, such drive and they sounded so dynamic as a trio but individually as well.
Some of the back and forth between the Good Brothers and G.O.D. was fantastic, a little meta perhaps, but fun barbs at each other and continues a great build to the title match at No Surrender, for which you would struggle to not be hyped.
Only slight drawback is the confusion with Violent By Design being involved in it too. I really don’t think we need them muddying the waters, unless I am being really naïve and there is something in play I am not seeing.
HIT – Taven/Bennett vs Rhino/Swann: Solid tag match, nothing spectacular really, but keeps things motoring on to the big five on five match next week.
Honor No More getting thrown out so they couldn’t interfere, only for Maria, to get the decisive moment that won Taven and Bennett the match was fine.
Following the match, Maclin, making the save and kind of forcing the hand of Impact to put him into the match at No Surrender, makes a lot of sense, even though it is very apparent that he took out Jonathan Gresham earlier in the night.
PARTIAL HIT – Deonna Purrazzo vs Santana Garrett: Open challenges are always fun, and this ended up being no exception. I wasn’t immediately super excited to see Santana Garrett come out, but she put on an impressive performance, and I am maybe misremembering her, but don’t recall her being such a good worker. Comes down to a partial hit for the botch adjacent finish – I can’t imagine that was how that was supposed to look – as it felt a bit awkward. This is a good spot overall for her, defeating talent for a bit, until a marquee match appears.
PARTIAL HIT – Mickie James vs Chelsea Green: Not sure we needed this match If I am honest. Felt like this could have been left for a Premium Live Event, or whatever we have to call them now. Thankfully, it was short so left something for a future match-up.
Steelz was entertaining on commentary and has a bright future.
Be interesting to see where Green goes, with Cardona heel now, and there being a couple of nods in this match to her playing mind games, potentially James defeats Steelz and then has to face a heel, Green, after that. That could be fun.
PARTIAL HIT – Various Backstage Segment: Quite a few segments tonight, not all of them hits. As much as I am not a fan of intergender matches (I will stop talking about that now!), Cardona explained his actions in a compelling manner, and means you are looking forward to Grace getting her revenge.
The separate Bhupinder Gujjar and Gisele Shaw segments were OK, it’s smart to introduce them a little before they debut in the ring, as they don’t have the name appeal and star attraction as yet.
Probably too many backstage area pieces regarding replacing Alexander, I get we need one or two, but it just felt a bit overkill.
I honestly do find Cassie Lee and Jessie McKay so funny but wish they would move on from this stuff with Kaleb, they could be doing more. I know some people will enjoy it, but not for me, really.
Overall Show Thoughts: Pretty much a continuation of the good shows Impact have had thus far in 2022. I do wonder if we will look back on Ring of Honor, effectively closing their doors at the end of 2021 as a pivotal moment in Impact becoming a highly effective third brand in American Wrestling. They are using the roster depth well and able to put on such a good show without the likes of Jonah, Jake Something, Speedball, Trey Miguel, bodes well for the future.