Impact Wrestling waltzed back into our lives last night (Jan. 18) from the Aberdeen Pavilion in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. You can find the results at the live blog here.
The barbed wire match, which wasn’t really part of the show but was meant to be, lived up as a conclusion to the rivalry between oVe and LAX. These teams built a blood feud over the last six months and this was the appropriate way to finish it off.
It was a violent affair with plenty of guys getting wrapped up in barbed wire and general mild cringe moments that a match like this should supply. All in all, it lived up to the name as plenty of dudes were hit with, thrown onto, or tangled up in barbed wire.
Personally, this type of match isn’t my style. Not because of the violence. I’m not too bad with that. It’s more because they end up being rather plodding affairs. Often the pace of these matches is sacrificed for the spots. It lacks that ebb and flow that a match should have. There weren’t real momentum shifts between teams. It was just dudes beating the hell out of each other and which team was on offensive and which was on the defensive was random.
My man ReverendKain, who’s watched these types of bouts more than I have, noted that the lack of blood also hindered things here. In a match with barbed wire everywhere, no one was cut open. That’s almost impossible to believe. I’m sure there were mild cuts on the skin and these guys were feeling it, but visually, it lacked the red hue that sells the violence. That also helps adjust for the lack of flow at times because it adds weight to the spots we’re moving between.
I still enjoyed watching the match, but if I had to choose between a barbed wire match like this or a regular hardcore match, I’d probably take the latter. I’d prefer a more focused pacing over randomized brutal spots.
Indie Title Match
The triple threat title match between Eli Drake, Johnny Impact, and Alberto El Patron ended up being a match that shouldn’t even be canon. It was an indie match in the sense it was goofy and had spots you wouldn’t see in a regular Impact match. For example, there was a moment where the referee (who didn’t look 16 years old like the Impact Zone officials) was tired of being pulled out of the ring to break up the count that he threatened to fight everyone in the match. In response, Patron, Impact, and Drake superkicked the official.
A new official argued with Eli Drake and received a Gravy Train finisher. After that, everyone from the locker room ran out to attack the competitors, leading to a no contest.
This was the silly stuff you’d get at a house show, which this was. It’s great for the crowds there because it’s fun and goofy, like wrestling can be. But it doesn’t translate to television too well. It’s a “You should have been there” type thing. And the lighter vibe of this match detracts from the fact that these three guys really hate each other in the Impact Zone.
Also, what was with how loose those ropes were? I don’t follow that much indie wrestling so maybe that’s a way some promotions set up the ring, but that didn’t look safe.
Rosemary defeated KC Spinelli and cut a strong promo post match declaring her intentions for the Knockouts title.
Then she was attacked from behind by the debuting Hania who utterly destroyed her.
For this week, this was a good segment. Rosemary picked up a win before cutting a promo claiming she’s coming for the gold. It was a strong promo from the Demon Assassin, who owns this character 100%. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’m a pretty big fan of Rosemary. (Since sarcasm doesn’t come across in text, I mention this all the time.)
The Hania attack was great. It’s a good method of introducing a new member of the roster. Rosemary may not be the champ, but she’s one of the top dogs in the division. Putting her down like that immediately makes Hania a threat.
This doesn’t affect this week, but word is Hania didn’t last long with Impact, being fired for heat backstage. (I don’t know much about her so I can’t speak to any reputation she brought with her.) Unfortunately, we may not get to see the follow up to this and if we do, it’d be brief. That’s a shame since her gimmick is “The Huntress” and that’s a persona that would fit in well the the Demon Rosemary and Royalty Taya Valkyrie.
X Division shines
The X Division opened the show and blew the roof off the place. Dezmond Xavier and Taiji Ishimori competed in a title match and it was baller. The X Division has been getting back on track as of late, with more focus on the characters and stories surrounding the match instead of random flashy matches.
There wasn’t much to this but it was there. Ishimori overcame the Helms Dynasty to win the title and his friend Dezmond Xavier, who beat him in the Super X Cup last summer, challenged him.
Two guys who have fought before and respect each other were fighting for the title. That’s all it was but that’s all it needed to be. The stories don’t all need to be layered masterpieces. They just need to have something behind it for fans to attach to.
The match delivered. I mean, this happened:
Now these men are 1-1. Perhaps a rubbermatch will be in our futures?
Hopefully the X Division continues trending upward in the D’Amore/Callis era.
So Chandler Park got squashed by Kongo Kong this week. Straight up owned.
I commend Ethan Page in the role of “Dude who can’t wrestle.” (His punches were the worst.) I imagine it must be tough to actively do something badly when you do it well all the time.
Jimmy Jacobs told Joseph Park, who was tending to his cousin after the match, that Kongo Kong was a real monster. He called Park pathetic. This looks to be leading to an Abyss vs. Kongo monster vs. monster match. Though who knows if the new creative team runs with all the stories that were being told before they got there.
After that killer X Division match that opened the show, they derailed their momentum with a ton of filler. I get why they did it. Pop wouldn’t show the barbed wire match they wanted to. But the reason doesn’t change things. The two hours of Impact, which is what I am really reviewing, was severely limited. Even if there’s a legit reason, the people watching it don’t care. They want a good show and not a ton of filler videos back to back to back.
They could have done better even without Barbed Wire Massacre. They could have showed a better match than Aron Rex vs. Eddie Edwards for the Grand Championship. They could have spread it out instead of spending 40 minutes of the first hour with filler. And that’s not to mention that there’s no reason they couldn’t have prepared better to fill time for a match that was taped last November. Shouldn’t they have learned months ago that Pop wasn’t comfortable with the match and prepared accordingly?
Pros of the Show:
- X Division title match
- Rosemary’s new foe
Cons of the Show:
- Too much filler
- Impact title match probably best left on the house show
The episode itself had way too much filler and not enough to make up for it. The X Division match was baller and the KOs spot was good, but not enough to make up for all the video packages.
(If they aired the episode without the filler and with the barbed wire match, I’d probably go with a B.)
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