Impact Wrestling returned last night (June 8) and was their first of four episodes taped in Mumbai, India. You can find the results at the live blog here.
Impact continues along with their utterly erratic main event angle this week. Thinking about it, I don’t know if you can even say there’s a story to what’s going on with Impact champion Bobby Lashley and GFW champion Alberto El Patron. The events are random and there’s no real week to week continuity with anything. As someone who appreciates the storylines the most in wrestling, much of Impact has left me wanting.
Take this episode for example. Last week, they set up Alberto vs. Lashley at Slammiversary and it sounds like they’re planning on merging the titles. Sounds pretty basic but something to work with. But then last night Bruce Pritchard (who was on this show in backstage segments a ton) came to the ring when Lashley and Patron were having a verbal spar and told both men they’d be defending their respective titles against mystery opponents to be revealed later.
Why? Who the hell knows.
It’s pretty clear that in Impact, title matches aren’t really earned. They’re mainly handed out on the whims of Bruce Pritchard. There’s no logical story to follow. It’s just a series of random title matches and whoever happens to have a championship when July 2 rolls around will fight for them at Slammiversary.
Because of the sloppiness of the narrative, when Lashley defeated Moose to retain his title last night, there was little weight to the moment. It was another random title match booked by an authority figure without reason. It wasn’t a bad match. It wasn’t epic but it had a fun ending. However it wasn’t enough to hook me given the story around it, or lack thereof.
It was even worse when Alberto El Patron successfully defended his title against Chris Adonis.
Using Chris Adonis as the surprise competitor was the biggest let down. He has barely been on Impact at all, outside backstage segments. Jeremy Borash said he was undefeated, but for the life of me I can’t remember the match. That’s not a good sign. So not only did we have another random title match, but the challenger was a wrestler that the fans rarely see.
The match itself seemed to lack any energy. Perhaps it was because of the piss poor build making it tough to get invested. Maybe the guys were jet lagged after traveling across the world. Either way, it was a match that would be quickly forgotten.
Maybe now that it’s officially Patron vs. Lashley, they can try to finally build the match. They can call back to the fact Patron beat Lashley for the title his first night there, a plot point that’s never really mentioned. Whatever they do, they need to focus. They need to stop randomly changing things up on a whim an actual tell a story. Because if you asked me “What’s the main event story in Impact?” I’d probably answer “I don’t really know.” And that’s not good at all.
Rosemary faced Laurel Van Ness in a Knockouts title last night. What did Laurel do to earn this shot? This is Impact. Who the hell knows? But it still ended building one of the few exciting stories in Impact.
Van Ness had GFW Women’s champion Sienna in her corner. Sienna tried to interfere in the match to help her friend, but Rosemary was able to knock Laurel into Sienna (who was on the apron) and roll up Van Ness for the win. That’s when things got interesting.
After the match, Sienna and Laurel immediately jumped Rosemary and beat her down. Until Allie ran down to the ring brandishing a weapon! The villains soon got the step on Allie, but Rosemary grabbed the weapon and ran off the heels.
The slow pairing of Rosemary and Allie, the definition of polar opposites, has been magnificent. Alongside Maria Kanellis, Allie and Rosemary were the best of the Knockouts by far last year and were some of the best parts of Impact in general. The work done last year has laid the foundation for this odd pairing. Allie and Rosemary were both focused on during 2016, taking time to build the characters into what they are today. Plus, both women are masters at playing the characters.
I have no idea where it will lead. Will Allie become darker under the influence of Rosemary? Will Rosemary find herself changing alongside a beacon of light like Allie? Will the fact they are so different lead to an eventual collision? Whatever it is, I’m hyped to find out.
Low Ki defeated Caleb Konley in an X Division title match. (If you’re wondering, Konley did nothing to earn said match.) Afterwards, Sonjay Dutt walked out and requested a title match for next week in his home country of India. Low Ki accepted.
This is one of the few feuds that has a story behind it, even if it’s not often represented. When both men re-debuted on Impact a couple months ago, they were part of a multi-man X Division title match, which Low Ki won. During said match, Ki busted up Dutt’s eye. In a moment of irony, Low Ki ended up busting his own eye last night. I don’t know if it was planned or not, but the poetry of it was a nice touch.
It makes sense that they’ll run this match while in India, which Dutt referred to as his home country last week on Impact.
Apparently, the Impact Zone in Mumbai looks exactly like the Impact Zone in Orlando. It was the same general set up and look. I was kind of hoping for something that looked a bit different to change things up, but it is what it is.
The crowd was hot. There was word that the crowd was paid and instructed who to boo and who to cheer. Apparently, that’s not uncommon for television in India. When it comes to watching the show, it doesn’t matter either. A hot crowd is a hot crowd and makes a show feel bigger, even if they’re making a couple bucks off of it.
Davey Richards defeated a local wrestler with relative ease. Afterwards, EC3 came out and whipped that local wrestler with a belt until James Storm ran him off. It was very brief.
Pros of the Show:
- Allie & Rosemary!
- The Impact title match was pretty fun
- Crowd was pretty hot, regardless the reasons
Cons of the Show:
- Adonis made for an underwhelming surprise opponent
- Title matches have no rhyme nor reason
- A ton of filler
This just wasn’t a good show. The first hour was super dull, with nothing of note at all outside setting up a match we’ll actually see next week. There was a ton of video packages to cushion a light in ring episode. (This recap is probably half as long as usual ones because of how much filler and non-factors were in this episode..)
Outside Lashley/Moose, the matches seemed to lack energy, possibly because the wrestlers were still jet lagged on their first day. But it wasn’t just limited in-ring action, but the matches seemed to be lacking.
Overall, the show felt extreme light and the storytelling is extremely erratic in the main angle. The matches did little to help the show. Not a good one here.
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