Impact Wrestling returned last night from Fronton, Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico. You can find the results from the live blog here.
Sometimes a promo can make all the difference.
Tonight’s one on one promo segment between world champion Austin Aries and challenger Johnny Impact took me from indifferent to intrigued in regards to the big world title match.
With both men alone in the ring (with Kross and Moose off sight dealing with an Eddie Edwards situation), Johnny wanted the champ to agree to leave his goons in the back at Bound for Glory.
Surprisingly, Aries was fine with that. He went on to lay out the crux of this feud.
In Aries words, Johnny Impact looks the part of a wrestler. But he’s got his eggs in way too many baskets (movies, Survivor) to be champion material. Aries does one thing and that’s wrestle, and he’s the best at it. The champ claimed he may even come out at BFG with bland black trunks and no ring music because unlike Johnny, he’s not flash. He’s substance.
This ended with a cheap shot with the microphone from the champ (because he’s a heel of course). Johnny was able to avoid a belt shot and stand tall in the end though.
It wasn’t fancy, but it was effective. When we think “good promo” we don’t often think Aries first off but he’s a very good talker. And pretty much single handedly sold us on what we should be look for in this championship match.
The question I had prior to the Rich Swann/Matt Sydal match was how would they end it so they could still have interest in what would likely be the rematch at Bound for Glory. It was the wrong question to ask since that’s actually not the match that’s going to happen at the PPV. It’s a tag match instead.
It was set up via interference from the outside that screwed Swann in this match.
The match itself was good, but the crowd wasn’t loud for it. Josh Mathews tried to explain that away by saying that Mexican crowds will often settle in and just pay attention. I don’t watch Mexican promotions so that very well may be the case. But for a promotion aimed at the American/Canadian crowds primarily, it doesn’t come across well on TV. With a US or Canadian crowd, this match would have benefitted from the energy they probably would have brought.
The interference was by a returning Ethan Page. (Well, I guess technically Ethan Page isn’t returning to Impact since his last role was as Chandler Park - curious if they address that at all.)
I’m glad to see Page back in Impact. I was upset his role as Chandler was so short lived. However, the execution elicited an eye roll.
Page took Swann from the top rope and powerbombed him into the ring. Even though Sydal was distracting the referee, the official should feel the sudden impact of body hitting canvas and turn his head. This was one of those distraction bits that made the ref look like an idiot.
The tag match a week from Sunday is going to be Sydal and Page against Swann and a partner of his choosing. Time to play guess the mystery partner!
Out of Place
The Eddie Edwards/Moose story took an odd turn this week.
They returned to the off site videos they used for Eddie’s feud with Sami Callihan and then his subsequent breakdown. But this time, it was Moose who was somewhat unhinged, kidnapping Alisha Edwards to lure Eddie to him.
After Moose made his arguments about why he turned on Eddie, which were pretty solid, Alisha was able to escape his side by tossing some water in his face. (Vicious, I know.) Soon Killer Kross emerged but Eddie fought him off. He and his estranged wife escaped.
This didn’t work. It didn’t fit the character of Moose at all and therefore fell flat.
Eddie’s feud with Sami fit this style as did Eddie’s subsequent insanity. But now Moose is kidnapping people? That doesn’t fit what we saw of him since his heel turn. Moose had been playing the cocky, flashy heel. Sure, he’s got some anger, but ramping this up from “You didn’t visit me in the hospital” to “I’m going to kidnap your wife” is too sudden and didn’t click.
Eli Drake’s open challenge continued and, this time, Scarlett Bordeaux was at ringside scouting him as someone she can possibly take to the top.
It was not Drake’s best showing with her watching. Instead of some loser responding, the former chairman of WCW La Parka answered! Drake apparently wasn’t ready for a real challenge. (Note: Fans way more knowledgeable of Mexican wrestling than I pointed out that there have been multiple La Parkas and this isn’t the one who strummed the chair in WCW.)
Drake introduced a chair into the match, but when La Parka grabbed it, Eli opted to bail and lose by countout.
This continues to fall into the “I’m not sure what they’re doing with Eli Drake” category. Squashing losers doesn’t usually transition right to being a coward. At least it doesn’t if they’re using those squashes to build someone up.
Su Yung defeated Kiera Hogan this week, avenging the tag loss she took last week.
After the match, Su’s bridesmaids brought out the coffin. Allie, who was ringside, took the fight to Su Yung given she’s vowed to make sure no one gets stuffed in the coffin again.
However, as the fight spilled up the ramp closer to the casket, Su Yung locked in the mandible claw and tried to get Allie in the coffin herself. Kiera ran up and tossed Allie aside but ended up being closed into the coffin instead.
I like the twist of Allie having to watch another failure, this time Kiera being placed in the coffin. She said backstage later she knows what she has to do and I’m curious what that is. But all in all, this story has been dragging. It’s been three months and not enough has happened to spice it up. Little developments like tonights are good, but there haven’t been enough of them.
The main event of this week was the exact match we’re going to get at Bound for Glory with oVe facing Brian Cage & the Lucha Bros. That one has “oVe” rules which is how this one was different.
Tonight ended in a DQ after Callihan tossed the referee so not to have to face Cage. After the match, they all continued to brawl.
It was meant to give a taste of the PPV match, though it’s always odd to do that by giving crowds the actual match in some degree. But watching these six go was enjoyable enough and their match at Bound for Glory should be fun.
Joe Hendry and Grado’s mocking of Katarina cost them tonight.
Hendry had to face Katarina’s new business partner Murder Clown. Clown beat him with a top rope splash after a rather one-sided match. Then afterwards, Murder Clown splashed him through a table.
I’m curious to where this goes. Is something that the face is able to get revenge after? I can’t imagine Murder Clown is coming to Bound for Glory for a rematch or anything. Will beating another business partner of Katarina be considered evening the scales enough?
Pros of the Show:
- Promo segment regarding the title
Cons of the Show:
- The Moose/Eddie segment didn’t fit the Moose character
- Quiet crowd
- Overall lack of excitement
The main thing I can saw about Impact right now is I’m finding it boring. There are bits here and there that will pique my attention but all in all, I’ve found myself wholly underwhelmed with the product lately. There aren’t doing anything actively bad. But all these stories just seem to be dragging along and that’s the exact opposite of what they want almost a week away from a PPV.
Sound off below.