Impact Wrestling returned a few hours ago yesterday (Nov. 1) from the Melrose Ballroom in Queens, New York. Let’s jump into it.
Rich Swann def. Willie Mack with a Phoenix Splash
No shenanigans here. Their friendship was fine (or at least we haven’t seen any cracks) after this bout. They just had a strong opening match.
Despite Swann getting the win, this match was put together to make Mack look good. He didn’t win, but they ran the spot where he kicked out at one after a receiving a flurry of offense before taking the eventual pinfall.
Not that it’s hard to make Willie Mack look good. He’s one of those guys that I’m still continually astonished to see him perform the moves he does with his frame. He’s like Brian Cage in that respects, and as soon as that thought came to my head, a Cage vs. Mack feud in Impact is something they hopefully have in mind.
The Desi Hit Squad (Raj Singh & Rohit Raju) def the Beach Bums
A couple things of note for the new Hit Squad.
The new member is Raj Singh, who is Gama Singh’s son. (Gursinder Singh wasn’t of any relation I believe, though I did learn Jinder Mahal is Gama’s nephew when looking it up.)
While the story had us feeling bad for Gursinder (and Rohit) given the way Gama had treated him, the old man pulled the right strings here. Raj and Rohit dominated these Beach Bums (who were true enhancement talent). It was a dominant win. Even when Desi Hit Squad 1.0 won matches, they needed Gama to distract the referee. None of that was necessary here. This team dominated while the prior one just squeaked by.
As for Rohit, he seemed completely happy with the new arrangement, so all my speculation that he’d eventually tire of Gama seems to be unfounded. At least for now.
The new Hit Squad could be tag title contenders.
Taya Valkyrie def. Tessa Blanchard by DQ when Tessa punched the referee in the face
Looks like this feud will be continuing.
That’s a good thing because their match tonight was again really good. It wasn’t to the level at Bound for Glory, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. That was a marquee match on their biggest show of the year. This was a match that had a planned DQ finish. They’re not going to give everything like they did at BFG when it ends like this.
Even holding back a little bit, their chemistry is obvious. Both have a combination of power and both aren’t afraid to go to the top rope. Combine that with the confident attitudes they both possess and it’s a great mix.
Tessa resorting to getting herself disqualified helps build Taya Valkyrie as a legit threat. Tessa has faced some talented women, but this is the only one that she needs to turn to a dirty tactic to get it done. And she did so twice.
I can’t imagine Tessa is going to grant a rematch so readily, but it’s possible she’ll be forced to after the cheap way out this week.
LAX def. Ethan Page & Matt Sydal
While this match was fun, it’s odd they sacrificed a new team so quickly.
Page and Sydal are now 0-2 as a team. Perhaps they don’t have any real plans for those guys as a unit, but this start isn’t defining these two as a threat in any way. What’s even more baffling is a new talent is on this team. Ethan Page’s debut has pretty much been tag losses with Matt Sydal.
LAX didn’t need to beat a team like Sydal and Page to look good. Grab another set of Beach Bums or something.
Pentagon Jr. def. Homicide via rollup
After the match, the OGz beat up the Lucha Bros.
We learned earlier in the night that King considers Rey Fenix “one of Konnan’s boys.” So while they can’t put their hands on Santana or Ortiz, they can go after someone else close to Konnan.
This match (which was uploaded on YouTube before it even started because even Impact won’t stay up for the end of Impact) was pretty good. It wasn’t long, but it didn’t need to be. Homicide can still go when not asked for too much.
The OGz haven’t been my bag, but I’m into this feud so far. The fact the LAX/OGz feud is at least hiatus helps me get excited for any next direction. But feuding with the Lucha Bros has a good fit. King is a bastard, but so is Pentagon Jr. Watching King try to maneuver against someone more sadistic and less predictable than Konnan should be interesting.
And maybe this will eventually lead us to a Lucha Bros/LAX title feud.
- At his home promotion in Ohio, Sami Callihan called out Brian Cage. But it was an imposter Cage. It was never a match but a three on one assault. I suppose this was meant to anger Brian Cage, but this is the type of thing I expect the X Division champ to shrug and say “Whatever” about. It got him to accept a challenge to defend his title in Ohio next week so it did its job.
- Eddie Edwards will face Moose at the Final Hour special next week. They set that up with a video package where both men were separately interviewed about their issues. Even though this feud isn’t new, from the brawl last week to announcing the match for next week, it feels like it was rushed to this moment coming out of the PPV. Like there needed one more story beat to feel smoother.
- Eli Drake approached Joseph Park (who was in the janitor’s closet) about his lawsuit against Impact. Joseph Park suggested a class action lawsuit, and it sounds like that’s where this is headed. I really have no idea where this is going or how it’s going to help Drake in the long run.
- They continue to introduce us to Jordynne Grace. This week, the video package had her talking about her style and strength. Outside the battle royal at ALL IN, I haven’t seen any of her work. But I enjoyed her in the battle royal, and she has a unique look. She debuts next week, and I’m looking forward to it.
- Kiera Hogan confronted Allie backstage, demanding to know what’s wrong with her. After a string of denials, Allie finally admits something is wrong with her since returning from the Undead Realm.
Pros of the Show:
- Mack vs. Swann
- New feuds developing
- KOs match was good, even with a DQ finish
Cons of the Show:
- Sydal and Page going 0-2
It was a pretty good show this week, though I’m still getting used to the later hour.
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