Full disclosure - I keep an eye on Impact Wrestling, mostly by using my man Kyle Decker’s coverage of their weekly Pop TV series for cSs to guide me toward the good stuff, but I am not an every episode viewer. So I can’t speak at any length on the quality of the LAX vs. OGz feud, because I’m not a big fan of many of the performers in it, and it hasn’t sounded like something I’d be interested in.
But I didn’t want folks who don’t pay attention to Impact to miss out on... enjoying? cringing? laughing at?... the segment which aired from their Aug. 23 episode to advance the rivalry between the Konnan-led tag champs Ortiz & Santana and Eddie “King” Kingston’s team of Homicide & Hernandez.
Because, yes, they ran over a kid with a car. In story, of course.
They ran over a kid with a car.
Props for trying something different, I guess. In this crowded marketplace, you’re not going to come back from the depths of where the brand was without a few bold moves.
That said, this ain’t one of the ones that’s gonna do that for you.
As Kyle and others have pointed out, while Impact’s built angles with these kind of mini-movie segments before, it can disrupt the flow of the show when one doesn’t work. Again, I don’t set aside two hours every Thursday night to watch each episode in its entirety like he does, so I’ll take his word on that.
It definitely doesn’t fit into the fictional universe they’ve created for themselves, though. Something like this might work on Lucha Underground, because of the world-building that series does to allow for it. Characters die all the time, police are undercover in The Temple, and we know that in their story the stuff backstage isn’t on national television. Here, Hernandez just ran over someone and, even if we didn’t see it in kayfabe, there were witnesses. If he’s not in cuffs or on a slab after retaliation next week, that’s just dumb.
This also isn’t particularly well done, either. As our other Impact devotee on staff, social media maven Stella Cheeks, pointed out on Twitter during the show:
Also, not to be this guy, but this is the first time we’ve even seen that kid. I have no emotional attachment to him.— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) August 24, 2018
The segment fails as a piece of melodrama which would get viewers on LAX’s side.
It also isn’t “so bad it’s good” enough to get you to send it to your friends so you can riff on the cheesiness, the way Matt Hardy’s Broken/Woken stuff got over. I will, however, be giggling about how young Richie is posed like he’s kicked back, taking a nap when he was just supposedly violently thrown over the hood of the OGz ride at 60 miles an hour...
... What’s your take on Impact’s attempt to grab your attention, Cagesiders?