Impact Wrestling returned last night (May 4) with their third episode from the last set of tapings. You can find the results of the episode here.
There was focus on the titles last night; however, all of the focus was on the GFW titles. Here’s what we got:
Magnus defended his GFW title against Matt Morgan
Magnus was victorious in a title defense against Matt Morgan last night in a match that was set up by them arguing backstage. The champ was able to capitalize on a Morgan leg injury, which occurred fairly early on when the big man missed his Carbon Footprint finisher and instead kicked the turnbuckle. Magnus worked the leg for awhile until Morgan fired up. The Blue Print hit the Footprint later on, but immediately clutched his bad leg. This allowed Magnus to roll outside of the ring to avoid the pin. The champ then grabbed his title and threatened to use it as a weapon. When the referee removed the title, Magnus kicked the challenger low. He finished him off with a Michinoku Driver and a top rope elbow.
While I’m a big fan of Morgan, this match didn’t do much for me. It felt slow and a bit clunky, as if the guys didn’t have great chemistry. It could also be that Morgan hasn’t wrestled full time in awhile and he was knocking off ring rust because he seemed tired in there.
However, the biggest problem this match had is due to the uncertainty of the GFW titles. While this was billed as a title match, it certainly didn’t have the feel of one. This is Impact, so it’s tough to muster excitement for championships from another company, especially a company that no longer exists. And since it hasn’t been made clear that having a GFW title will award the holder an opportunity at the concurrent Impact title, it feels pretty meaningless. Sure, Magnus has said that holding the GFW title means he should get to face Lashley, but the authority has told him it doesn’t work like that. What they haven’t said was how it works.
Until the title situation becomes clearer, these matches aren’t going to have the weight that title matches should. This match featuring two guys that the crowd isn’t used to and hadn’t made a splash outside Impact, especially when one of those guys seemed to still have ring rust, didn’t help matters.
Alberto El Patron defended his right to face Magnus against Eli Drake
The main event was Eli Drake facing Alberto El Patron with Patron’s GFW shot next week on the line. This was set up with a backstage segment earlier in the night. Drake walked up to Bruce Pritchard, angry that all of Pritchard’s guys were being handed title shots (true story). So Bruce could either open the door for Drake or he’d kick it down. Alberto El Patron rolled up and said he’d fight Drake and even put his GFW match next week on the line.
The match was really good. El Patron got the win, which was predictable, but Eli Drake walked away looking like a big deal. When Alberto gives a damn, he can put on a fine performance and he did tonight. Drake held up his end of the bargain. My worries about Drake getting lost in the fray have been assuaged for now.
While the same issues regarding the GFW title applied here, because this match received plenty of time and both men brought it, that was lessened here. A good match can help cover for many things. Plus, Eli Drake is a face that current fans know (and this writer is a big fan of) and Patron, while new to Impact, isn’t new to most wrestling fans. Plus, he’s been built as a big deal since his first day, unlike Magnus and Matt Morgan. Those things helped this match, one that didn’t have a title on the line, feel like a bigger deal than the one that did.
Next week, it’ll be Magnus vs. Patron. While it’ll be for the GFW title, and we don’t have any idea the implications of that, it’s already been set up with a backstage segment last week. Hopefully, we’ll learn the fate of the GFW titles to help give that match some weight.
Sienna won the GFW Women’s title from Christina Von Eerie
Sienna defeated Christina Von Eerie to win the GFW championship. It wasn’t a long match, but it was pretty good considering the time given. Last week we couldn’t really get an idea of what Von Eerie could do because she was up against a rather green Ava Storie. Sienna was a better dance partner for her.
Unfortunately, with a deluge of titles in Impact, the title change doesn’t feel like any big deal. We just met Von Eerie last week, and while she’s very charismatic and could easily be a fan favorite with just a little time, one week isn’t enough time for fans to truly connect to her. And this being a GFW championship with an unknown future, a title change doesn’t make any waves.
This is meant to play into Sienna’s issues with Karen Jarrett. This played out in a post match confrontation backstage where Sienna rubbed in her new title to Ms. Jarrett. But that doesn’t do anything for my personally because Karen isn’t believable as an on-screen face at all. It is good to see Sienna get some focus though.
The show opened with a two segment match between Matt Sydal and Eddie Edwards. Not surprisingly, they put on a fun match. It wasn’t “X Division style” with non-stop high flying, but that’s perfectly fine. They don’t need to. They can take time, sell some injuries, and have a good match. Opening the show with two guys who can work a sharp match is a good way to get things started.
Matt Sydal ended up getting the win (his second in two weeks). However, when Eddie, alongside his wife Alisha, were leaving, they were ambushed by Davey Richards and Angelina Love. Since Eddie just worked a long match, he was no match for Richards and his steel chair. Richards was able to hang Eddie’s knee over the guardrail and hit it with a chair. Alisha ended up jumping the guardrail onto both Davey and Angelina to fend them off as doctors checked on her husband.
The Wolves story is one of the few long standing stories in Impact and it’s a good one. They had a really entertaining Last Man Standing match about a month ago but their issues aren’t over. Eddie cost Davey a chance of winning the Grand Championship last week so retribution was expected.
Richards targeting Eddie’s knee was a nice touch since this story is born from the fact that Davey claims Eddie forgot about him when Davey was out with a knee injury. Now it’s Edwards’ knee that is the target.
This was definitely a solid open, with a good match and then advancing one of the top stories in Impact currently.
The Best Thing in Impact
Remember that insane segment from last week where Spud accidentally took the pants off of Swoggle so Swoggle brutally attacked him with a hammer?
Well they kept up with that ridiculousness last night and it was hilarious.
In a black and white video with sad music playing, we see Spud wheeling himself around and telling us he needs to take four pain killers to use the bathroom. It’s extremely over the top, which is the perfect way to do this. To top it, the video ends with Spud saying “I never meant to pull his pants down” delivered in such a serious way.
Oh man, this is just so outrageous and I love it.
All the Rest:
EC3 defeated enhancement talent tonight and then cut a promo saying that the new Impact regime is accountable what they’ve unleashed. He makes his claim to the Impact title at Slammiversary. Heel EC3 is still on point.
At the end of his promo, it sounded like the show needed to pipe in boos. They just sounded too fake. Maybe this crowd can boo like an audio sample of people booing. But if not, it would have sounded better if they didn’t pipe something in than adding something that sounded so fake.
The last two weeks, they’ve been show videos where KM is a complete and utter douchebag to random paid help like a waiter last week and a janitor this week. Then he’ll accuse them of lying about something they are clearly not. After he intimidates them into apologizing, he tells them “To make like a tree and get out of here.” Basically, he’s playing Biff Tannen.
Honestly, it’s not terrible. I found him very underwhelming on his debut. Just a big guy who yelled his entire promo. At least this is a small wrinkle to make me hate him for another reason. Who doesn’t hate Biff Tannen? (Well, future Biff Tannen, but besides that.)
Much like last week, the announcers feud was confined to a few throwaway segments at the announce desk with Jeremy Borash sitting in the crowd behind Josh Mathews with signs like “Brutal AF.”
With them separated and Mathews keeping his feud to a minimum when he called the matches, this has been much more bearable than the first month and a half. I’ll even chuckle at Mathews idiotic hyperbole at times, like when his Twitter followers doubled from 2 million to 4 million in a sentence. HIs ridiculous ways of plugging Pop TV programmings makes me chuckle as well.
It seems like Mathews isn’t going to be on commentary forever and replacing him with JB would be an improvement. But there is mileage out of him as the obnoxious mouth piece for a midcard heel.
Kongo Kong squashed a poor dude. Laurel Van Ness ordered him to keep beating the guy up until she was satisfied. After the match, Braxton Sutter ran out to get some revenge on Kong and was able to clothesline the man out of the ring.
Pros of the Show:
- Really fun main event
- Strong match to open the show
- The ridiculousness of the Spud story
Cons of the Show:
- Not knowing how the GFW titles tie into the Impact ones hinder those matches
- The Morgan/Magnus match was plodding and didn’t click
Much like last week, this week feelt like a step in the right direction. There’s more focus on matches and less authority figures.
That being said, something hasn’t clicked yet. Unfortunately, I can’t put my finger on exactly what. Perhaps it’s the disjointed aspect of the title picture and the influx of all these other titles. If that’s the case, if they can settle the stories down, that may help.
This show feels like a slight step up from last week, likely given the representation of the main event scene. In retrospect, I felt I was a bit too generous with the arbitrary grade at the end, which is why this episode gets the same one.
Grade: B -
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