SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
IMPACT WRESTLING HITS AND MISSES
MAY 4, 2023
CHICAGO, IL AT CICERO STADIUM
AIRED ON AXS TV (RECORDED)
REPORT BY JOHN LASLO, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
(1) BHUPINDER GUJJAR & YUYA UEMURA vs. MOOSE & BRIAN MYERS – MINOR HIT
A decent opener, and we got a lot of Bhupinder Gujjar and Moose. I think that Bhupbider Gujjar and Yuya Uemura are rising stars, and I think that we’ll be seeing them more, possibly leading to a Tag Title match at some time, but they have a way to go before that.
DIRTY DANGO & JOE HENDRY VIGNETTE – HIT
Ok, I got to admit, I popped a bit when they accused Mike Tenay as Santino Marella’s attacker. Joe Hendry’s eye looked bad.
(2) SAMI CALLIHAN vs. KON (w/Angels and Deaner) – MINOR MISS
The match of rest holds.This was a really slow match, even by the standards of a hoss fight. When the Army of Violence came in, it ended the match nicely. I dig the Army of Violence, and I would like to see them more. Mainly so that I can buy a Yellow Hoodie for Halloween.
DIRTY DANGO & JOE HENDRY & TREY MIGUEL VIGNETTE – MINOR HIT.
Learned way more about Trey Miguel than I ever wanted to know.
NICK ALDIS WITH JIMMY JACOBS BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW – HIT
I like that they are treating Nick Aldis with a bit of gravitas. Kenny King telling him to work up to a Kenny King match was a delicious bit of heel that fit Kenny King really well.
(3) JODY THREAT vs. ALISHA EDWARDS – MINOR MISS
Jody Threat finally taking on someone from the roster. Alisha Edwards is a great gatekeeper, she can really sell for anyone. It was short, and Jody came out of this looking really good.
MCMG BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW -HIT
Alex Shelley for the World Title is all you have to say.
FRANKIE KAZARIAN INTERVIEW – MISS
That’s it? Like five minutes? Shouldn’t have split it up. I was expecting a lot more about ROH and AEW, not even Frankie Kazarian burying them, but something MORE. And it’s going to go on to next week? I have to wonder if it got cut into another part for time.
(4) PCO & HEATH & RHINO vs. STEVE MACLIN & CHAMPAGNE SINGH & SHERA – MINOR HIT
I was really hoping for Decay, but I’ll take Heath and Rhino, they are the default babyface guys. Champagne Singh got a lot of time in the match. It was a good match, but much like the Tag match opener, the match itself was more about the other players than the big stars.
THE COVEN VIGNETTE – HIT
I really like the clever camera work on these Coven vignettes.
THE DEATH DOLLZ VIGNETTE – HIT
So maybe, finally, we will get Su Yung back? Please. Next week? I feel like this has been dragged out since a bit before Taya Valkyrie left.
(5) JONATHAN GRESHAM vs. “SPEEDBALL” MIKE BAILEY – HIT
One-One and One. Main Event, match of the night. I’ve said all of these things before- both Jonathan Gresham and Speedball Mike Bailey keep making compelling matches. They aren’t doing anything beyond the fundamentals, but it’s all in the execution. Matthew Rehwoldt even mentioned before the match that a ‘Fight Forever’ chant wouldn’t be out of place. They got a ‘This is Awesome’, but I don’t think they get that elusive ‘Fight Forever’ until it is PPV level.
CALLIHAN & RICH SWANN BACKSTAGE – MINOR HIT
OK, I can get behind a Callihan and Swann team up.
TRINITY LIVE MIC – HIT
I love the entrance. Crowd absolutely went nuts for Trinity’s debut. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Trinity is a real needle mover in Impact. Lots of new eyes on the product. This is the thing that I think that Impact does better than any other major promotion. Veteran women come in and it feels like a Big Deal. In some ways, Trinity’s signing feels like a bigger deal than Nick Aldis’s, and from a casual fan’s perspective, it certainly is. Trinity came in hot, and was put to the top of the card. Trinity was interrupted by Deonna Purrazzo and Jordynne Grace, and it’s going to be great matches.
FINAL THOUGHTS – MINOR HIT
This was a filler card, to be honest. One really good match, two more that were ok. The biggest thing were the vignettes and the build ups for things that are coming. This card wasn’t amazing (besides Gresham/Bailey, but there’s a reason they have had 4 matches so far), but it is making me excited for the future, which is the point.