Impact Wrestling returned from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida last night (Mar. 22). You can find all the results at the live blog here.
End of the Road
The Feast or Fired reveal took place in the main event and that means the official end of EC3 in Impact.
The other three briefcases, which I’ll touch on at the end, will be something for another day. We’ll see how they use those. Tonight was all about EC3.
He exited from the company as only he could.
First he cut a promo how he’s too good to be fired. About all he’s done for this company. It almost served as a mini “greatest hits” of promo material. He talked about how he’s the Hardcore American Icon. How he’s a Carter and this company needs him. I was a bit upset the crowd didn’t chant “You can’t wrestle” just to hear his bit with that one more time.
But finally, he got serious for a moment, saying that he knows about being fired. Sometimes, being fired lights the spark that was needed, referring to the fact he needed to be fired from WWE to come to Impact with a chip on his shoulder to make a big name for himself.
The serious didn’t last long though. He soon attacked Jeremy Borash with the briefcase because once a heel, forever a heel. And really, pretending to be humble and then really being a complete douche was often who EC3 was.
This brought out Brian Cage, who quickly laid out the fired Carter. So in the end, EC3 left Impact on his back.
It felt weird watching him leave Impact officially. We knew it was coming for months, but seeing it happen still had a sad finality to it. I know that I can watch him on Wednesdays and I know Impact is headed in a good direction. But when the face of Impact leaves, it’s an end of an era.
It was a fantastic goodbye, fitting of Ethan Carter III. It was a great reminder to all he was in Impact and fit the character he played during that time perfectly.
As for the other three:
Petey Williams won an X Division title shot, which is almost a bit too convenient.
Eli Drake won a tag team title shot, which he was not happy about.
Moose won a world title shot.
I appreciated Moose and EC3 opening their briefcases together. EC3 almost grabbed Moose’s briefcase in the match until the big man tossed Carter aside and grabbed it. Right there was the difference between EC3 getting a championship match and EC3 walking off into the sunset.
Su Yung Debuts
The women segment was really two parts, a title match between Allie and Sienna and then a post match segment with both Braxton Sutter and then the debuting Su Yung.
The post match stuff was way more impactful than the match itself. And since it was a title match, that’s a problem. Not that the match was bad. It was an OK TV match. It definitely had its moments, but the end seemed to come kind of suddenly which left me with a “Oh, that’s the end?” feel.
I think the problem wasn’t that the match was just an decent television match but that Impact has way too many random title matches. Title matches should be earned/built. It doesn’t have to be months long builds, but if they’re going to bring back Sienna AND give her a title match, that needs a set up, not just the graphic they showed us on Impact last week. Two weeks of even backstage bits would do, but title shots need to have something behind them or they lose their luster.
Now, onto the fun post match stuff.
First, Braxton Sutter, who is such a creeper in his new incarnation, came out and told Allie he loved her. It didn’t help that he mistakenly called her Laurel though. He proposed and Allie wisely said no.
This version of Sutter is really entertaining. He’s such an insincere jerk.
Then, Su Yung debuted, sneaking into the ring and attacking Allie when she was backing away from Sutter. I’ve never seen Su Yung prior, but she already made an impression. Her look was captivating, with full face paint an interesting style. She laid out the champ with a sick spinning fireman’s carry into a piledriver.
Yung looks like a character that could be really fun, given her character and mystique. Hell, I’m already psyching myself up for her eventual feud with Rosemary.
Austin Aries and Alberto El Patron started the show with a verbal showdown in the middle of the ring, building to their title match at Redemption.
Alberto El Patron acted over the top with his “respect” for Aries and Aries called him on his BS. They spoke about their similarities in the fact that they’re two men who love traveling for pro wrestling and have huge chips on their shoulder. But Aries stated he doesn’t play games.
At the end of the segment, Austin Aries music was playing but he told the truck to stop it and play Alberto’s instead. Then he told his challenger that he should enjoy hearing his music last because at Redemption, he won’t be hearing his music at the end of the match.
They hit some good plot beats here, such as how similar they are but at the same time, one is full of shit (Alberto) while the other is such a straight shooter it turns people off. And it looks like this feud will be subtle mind games in the beginning.
In the end, this didn’t get me to care about their main event title match in their next pay-per-view any more, but that show is a month away. They still have time for that. As an early set up for the feud, it did its part.
Eddie Edwards’ issues with Sami Callihan continued in videos filmed off site.
First, they showed Callihan stalking Eddie’s wife Alisha Edwards, asking a hotel employee to let him into his room, which is really Alisha’s room. Eddie saw this on the monitors at the Impact Zone and bolted for the hotel.
When he got there, he made his way to the room, only to find Alisha just sleeping. He searched the room but found nothing. As he left, Callihan, dressed as a woman who works there, attacked him. (Callihan dressing like a woman reminded me of the scene in the Dark Knight when the Joker dressed like a nurse in Harvey Dent’s hospital room.) Another member or two of oVe must have been there as well because someone else was manning the oVe camcorder during the brawl.
The fight ended when Alisha got in front of her husband, who was knocked to the floor, and told Callihan to leave.
This was well done. They are going all in on Sami Callihan as the most vile human being and it’s working. The dressing up like a woman who works at the hotel just to attack another man, which felt like a tribute to characters like the Joker, just added a level to how demented he is.
I appreciated the different style the segment was presented in. The oVe camcorder always adds a layer of creepiness because it’s a man stalking someone else. But even the shots taken without the oVe camcorder had a slight horror vibe that adds to the character they’re building with Callihan.
Kongo Kong defeated Abyss in a Monster’s Ball match, giving Jimmy Jacobs’ monster a win over the original monster.
Given the size of these men, it was always going to be a slower match, building to the spots meant to hold up the bout. In that sense, the match was fine. Abyss unsuccessfully used Janice, the board with nails. Abyss took a slam on some tacks. Abyss took a slam on barbed wire. You know... Abyss stuff.
The match was OK, but I found myself more interested in what this means for both men. They did such a good job of telling the story of Jimmy Jacobs unleashing Abyss just so he could test his own monster that if this is it, I’ll be disappointed. After that story, I want to know what happens to Abyss after he proved not to be the top monster in Impact. I want to know what the evil genius Jimmy Jacobs has planned for his monster next.
The fact that I’m more interested in the character fallout means the match didn’t grab like it probably should have. But Monster Ball matches with Abyss are a pretty standard affair at this point.
Matt Sydal successfully defended his X Division championship against Rohit Raju in another random title match. This was probably Raju’s best match in Impact. He seemed at home in the X Division style against a seasoned opponent like Sydal.
They keep referring to Raju as part of the Desi Hit Squad, which is something they once announced and I believe happens on house shows, but hasn’t been on TV at all. There’s a disconnect there. If the viewer doesn’t see it, has it really happened for them?
While Josh Mathews was at ringside, he wasn’t involved at all during the match. That was a bit of a let down. If he’s there to get heat on Sydal, and clearly that’s why he’s there, they should actively work for that. It doesn’t even mean cheating for Sydal to win. But he could at least do a bunch of obnoxious stuff at ring side for people to boo. It felt like a missed opportunity there.
Lee vs. Bahh
Trevor Lee defeated Fallah Bahh. It was an uphill battle but he got it done when he distracted the referee as Bahh was setting up for the Bonzai Drop. Konley jumped on the apron and hit a backhand, allowing Lee to pull Bahh to the mat and roll him up for the win.
This was alright. I like both guys a ton, but this never really clicked. Part of it is because this was a random match. Neither are currently in any feud so it was just something for them to do. The finish was alright, but a backhand from Konley didn’t feel like enough to throw the big man off balance.
Pros of the Show:
- EC3’s farewell
- Su Yung’s debut
- Sami Callihan is a creepy dude
Cons of the Show:
- Too many random title matches
- Monster’s Ball matches haven’t been great in awhile
Carter’s farewell was well done and there were some other fun moments. But there were also a lot of “Eh, whatever” moments this week.
Sound off below.