Impact Wrestling returned last night (Aug. 23) from the Rebel Complex in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You can find the results at the live blog here.
Gimmick Street Fight
Coming into the main event, a Mexican Death Match between Pentagon Jr. and Sami Callihan, I asked Cageside resident expert Reverend Claire what the actual rules of this a Mexican Death Match is. She told me it’s a match where to win you have to pin or submit your opponent and then they have to stay down for ten seconds.
This was not that.
Instead, it was a themed street fight, much like WWE will do in a random city. There were actually pinatas that contained weapons in them when they’d rip them open. One had a stapler. (Callihan’s hat was stapled to his head.) One had a razor. One had a bat. And one had... Legos. Seriously, instead of tacks, there were Legos. A true Death Match this was not.
While Callihan and Pentagon have good chemistry, this was just too cheesy given the story they were telling. Dressing up a gimmick street fight and calling it a “Mexican Death Match” did a disservice to the feud. This is pretty close to a blood feud. This main event was closer to a comedy bit.
The match wasn’t bad (though it was also hindered by a dumb segment prior which we’ll get to next). But the cheesiness took away from the brutality that these guys are known for.
So the LAX/OGz feud is still going.
And it. Is. Bad.
This week, the OGz ran over a kid when trying to run a bunch of other people over during the LAX celebration outside.
No seriously, that’s what happened. They ran over a kid. (In story of course. They didn’t actually run over a child.) They’re using possible manslaughter to get heat on the OGz. If that’s what you have to do to try to get heat, maybe it’s time to move on.
In wrestling, there comes a point where you stop buying what they’re selling because it’s too over the top. And in a feud that lost steam long ago, this did nothing to pull me back in. It just pushed me away more. It’s a emotional ploy that failed. This is the type of thing that’s more likely to elicit eye rolls more than anything else.
And even worse, it took me out of the main event that was right after. A segment this stupid can resonate after it’s over.
Moose is back
Eddie Edwards opened the show, cutting a promo talking about how he’s embraced who he’s become after all he’s been through. He’s a man with nothing to lose and that makes a man dangerous.
Then he called out Austin Aries and his heavy Killer Kross for a fight. Not wise, Eddie.
They responded and though Edwards was once again able to get the early jump on both Aries and the larger Kross, he was soon in a very vulnerable position. Aries put an open chair around his neck and was about to hit it with another chair.
Luckily Moose returned to make the save.
They set up the segment well enough that when Moose, a character I was never too excited about, returned, I popped for it.
This could open up some interesting exploration of the relationship between Moose and Eddie. It’s canon in Impact that these two are close friends. But Moose was one of the many people that Eddie pushed away on his path into the darkness. Will Moose embrace this version of Eddie, who is still very unhinged? Or is he just going to accept his former friend because they both have the same enemies right now?
I’m still wondering how much this pairing with Aries will help Killer Kross. It’s a spotlight and that’s very good. But two weeks in a row, he has looked to be easily neutralized by Eddie Edwards until they were able to employ the numbers. Time will tell.
After months of losing, KM & Fallah Bahh picked up their first win this week over the Desi Hit Squad. Following the advice of Scarlett Bordeaux from last week, Bahh helped them get on the same page by giving KM gear like his own... and he insisted KM wrestle barefoot.
It finally came together as they put away the Hit Squad much to the crowd’s delight.
This has been a silly fun build and has found the best use of KM, who prior to this never seemed to click no matter what they were doing with him.
The Cult of Lee are a bunch of baffoons. And it’s pretty damn funny.
Caleb Konley and Trevor Lee are talented enough to be more than two losers trying to be like Eli Drake, but at the same time, they’ve very entertaining while doing so.
They lost to some no names this week because they were trying to prove to Eli Drake they were good. They immitated his moves too. In fact, Konley lost when he was rolled up after going for the Gravy Train.
Knockouts: Kiera Hogan defeated Alisha Edwards one on one this week. Match was OK overall. There were some good spots but some moments where the timing was off or they looked to be thinking about it too much. (Both women don’t have a ton of years in the ring, so that’s not too surprising.) Kiera has a ton of potential though and has definitely maximized her opportunity in Impact.
After the match, Allie, who was in her friend’s corner, cut a promo challenging both Su Yung and Tessa Blanchard to a triple threat match next week.
Eyes Open: Matt Sydal got back on the winning ways this week when he defeated Zachary Wentz. Wentz looked pretty good in his first match with the promotion but his third eye wasn’t open enough to get the win.
Speaks: Brian Cage’s promo was via a video package. Honestly, that was the way to go. Even here, his promo work seemed a bit stiff. Dressing it up with some background music and editing in different video kept it interesting helped liven things. But he doesn’t need to talk. Just keep kicking ass and looking impressive while doing it.
Scarlett: Grado was sad about Joe Hendry and Katarina, so Scarlett Bordeaux said she’d help him if he does something for her and her lapdog Bobo. That something was a topless dance for the two of them.
Pros of the Show:
- The Cult of Lee are entertaining
- Fallah Bahh and KM are pretty fun
Cons of the Show:
- The really really dumb LAX/OGz manslaughter bit
- Main event stipulation got too cheesy
- Ton of filler
Usually the first episode of tapings are hot episodes, but this had the feeling of a final episode where they run out of material. Honestly, there wasn’t anything great on this episode, and there felt like many filler matches and segments. And that LAX/OGz stuff was so bad it knocked the entire episode down a grade.
Maybe they’ll turn it back around next week for their special episode. They could use it.
Sound off below.