Impact Wrestling returned late last night (Nov. 29) from Sam’s Town casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Let’s jump right to it.
The Lucha Brothers def. Rich Swann & Willie Mack
After the match, LAX (sans Konnan) walk out. They put over the match they just watched. They say that they’ve beaten so many teams in this company. Now they want to fight the Lucha Brothers and issue the challenge for Homecoming. The Bros accept.
LAX enters the clubhouse to find a very angry Konnan. He tells him he’s had this problem before. He’s seen his friends have “dream matches” that hurt friendships and ruined relationships. He tells them that since they already made the announcement, he knows what he has to do and leaves.
They opened the show with an indie work rate tag match between the Lucha Bros and Swann/Mack. It was so high work rate that it was barely a tag match. Just dudes hitting their s***. The moves are exciting, but I like a little more “tag” in my tag matches. But that’s just preference.
I more enjoyed the post match angle. LAX coming out without Konnan, outwardly defying him after he told them not to issue the challenge to the Lucha Bros, was the intriguing part here. They wanted the match so they issued the challenge.
And Konnan was NOT happy about it. Name dropping his friends turning on each other because of competition was a great addition to the angle. It’s not just “dream match,” which would be pretty damn good alone. But this extra wrinkle to it of Konnan worrying this will turn friends into enemies gives fans something more to pay attention to beside just the cool spots they’ll perform during a match between two babyface teams.
Jordynne Grace def. Katarina via Bear Hug submission
Much like their first match up, Katarina got in plenty of offense this go around. In fact, she was the more impressive early on, matching up against a woman who is much more powerful. It was only in the last minute that Grace really showed off her offense before picking up the win via bear hug submission. (A submission that looked very convincing. Jordynne hooked it in deep and Katarina sold it very well. A bear hug could be boring looking. This was not that.)
Jordynne has a bright future in the Knockouts division and matches against Taya Valkyrie and Tessa Blanchard are already exciting to think about. On the other side of the ring, I hope that Katarina finds a place in the division as well because she’s too talented to be without direction. Now that she’s no longer in a weird love triangle with Grado and Joe Hendry (what ever happened to those guys?), they can feature her in the division as well.
Taya Valkyrie def. Ray Lyn via submission
Tessa Blanchard attacks Taya post match. The referee, who told her backstage prior she has to stop putting her hands on him, punches him in the face and then puts a choke hold on him.
She won’t let go! A bunch of referees and Scott D’Amore can’t stop her. Gail Kim has to pull her off. When Tessa is staring down Gail, Taya spears her!
Once again, it’s all about the post match angle, which was really good.
But first, the enhancement match: It was enjoyable! Ray Lyn got to show off a little attitude and in ring prowess before pissing off Taya. This led to an angry stomp and a new submission. It was a good way to use the squash.
Now onto that hot post match angle.
Tessa’s all-out assault on the referee was superb. This guy warned her backstage, and she didn’t give a single damn. She just owned the poor man. And none of the other referees nor Scott D’Amore could do jack about it. They were completely powerless to stop her.
Finally, it was Gail Kim (who works as a producer) who had to rip her off the referee. While it led to a spear from Taya, putting the spotlight back on the impending match pretty quickly, the tease of Gail Kim was there.
Yes, Gail is retired. But she retired by winning the title and then relinquished that. She never went out putting over younger talent. Now the division is loaded with it. So if this leads to a match where she puts over Tessa Blanchard, I’m all for it.
If that doesn’t happen, this was still a cool moment. If it’s planting a seed for much later, then awesome.
Zachary Wentz and Dezmond Xavier def. Chris Bay & Mike Sydal
The Rascalz are a fun team. There’s no doubt about that. My question is where are they going to fit into Impact. I suppose the tag scene would make the most sense, but in this promotion, if you’re not in the title picture, you’re not really in the tag scene.
Given there’s three of them and oVe isn’t doing anything any more, I can see a feud coming there. Angry oVe versus a bunch of stoners could be an interesting dynamic.
Tommy Dreamer initially def. Eli Drake by count out (on purpose).
The match is started under a no DQ stip, which doesn’t cover count outs but whatevs.
Eli Drake def. Tommy Dreamer when he put a chair around Tommy’s head and hit it with an oar.
After the match, Eli walks backstage and finds a note addressed to him with some balloons. He reads it and seems upset.
I’ve enjoyed Tommy Dreamer’s use in Impact, but not here.
Tonight, it started with yet another Dreamer promo, this one backstage, insulting Drake by calling him a millennial and focusing on that theme. Can you get any less creative? Dreamer is a pretty good promo, but these ones against Drake have been pretty bad.
Then Eli got himself counted out in their match, so they make it a no-DQ bout, which technically leaves a count out on the table. Eli didn’t go that route. Instead he decided to take part of one of the plodding hardcore match that Dreamer is known for.
The finish was correct, though Dreamer kicking out of Eli’s finish was unnecessary. But the rest didn’t work. I’m watching this fully in agreement with the heel. Here’s a young guy who has to deal with relics of the past who come out and run their mouth about “kids today.” Of course I’m going to agree with Drake. But the way it’s written, it’s not one of the “Choose your side” things. They want you to cheer against Drake.
Sure there are people who watch Impact who aren’t millennials and may appreciate the promo. (Hell, we’ve seen the ratings for people between 18 - 49 years old, so we know there aren’t many millennials watching when this airs.) But why not tell a story that’s a bit less lazy?
Hopefully this chapter is over and done with.
Other points of interest:
- Killer Kross approached Johnny Impact, now that Johnny has to face Cage, trying to get him to enlist his services. Once again, Johnny said no to any assistance. But this an interesting addition to the title match.
- Eddie Edwards was all drugged up in a psychiatric institute. First his wife Alisha visited, telling him that if she didn’t commit him, Moose would have had him arrested. If there’s been one consistent in all this, it’s that Alisha is not a good actor. Moose then visited him, pretty much taunting him.
- KM and Fallah Bahh lost all their money at the casino in a matter of minutes. Then Scarlett Bordeaux told them they’re at the bottom of her list. Rough day.
Pros of the Show:
- The post match women’s angle
- The Konnan factor in the tag match
Cons of the Show:
- The entire Drake/Dreamer thing
Much of the show was pretty good. Some strong angles. Unfortunately, the main event angle (which was a quarter of the show) brought it down.
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