Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, March 23
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Photos (c)

Davey Richards (w/ Angelina Love) def. Suicide

JB mentioned that Suicide debuted in the (mediocre) TNA Wrestling video game, reminding the audience that Suicide is a computer game character come to life. He is sentient pixels. This was predominantly a showcase for Davey Richards, being his first real match since splitting with Edwards but Suicide was given more than enough to deliver a fun little competitive squash. Richards (along with Edwards) is obviously one of the best singles workers on the roster right now so featuring him prominently should be a priority. His act with Love has a lot of potential. **3/4

Laredo Kid, Garza Jr., and Mahabali Shera def. Idris Abraham, Fallah Bahh, and Mario Bokara

This was one wacky collection of human beings. Just look at those names. Mexico, India, Croatia, and the Philippines being repped. While a lot of these guys haven’t been introduced to the audience in any real way, the distinct mix of wrestlers and fresh energy made this a really enjoyable little match. I don’t want to say Shera is good, because he really isn’t, but he isn’t as bad as many (myself included) tend to make out. His big comeback here was perfectly competently executed. This was weirdly fun stuff. **3/4

Reno Scum (Luster the Legend and Adam Thornstowe) def. Decay (Abyss and Crazzy Steve w/ Rosemary)

Reno Scum feel like a horribly dated act and I’m trying to work out whether that’s the point. They would’ve felt right at home in TNA in 2002, a tad less so in 2017. Their work is solid though. It’s pretty telling that both DCC and Decay, teams assembled by the previous regime, have been fed to Reno Scum in recent weeks. Solid, unremarkable formula tag team match. **1/4

Eli Drake, fresh off a loss to Garza Jr. last week, was all set to get a Grand Championship match for reasons that were undisclosed, but Cody (Rhodes) attacked Moose with a chair. You’ve got to admire the fact that Impact managed to tape a months worth of Cody content in a day. The build toward Moose vs. Cody next week continues.

The Latin American Xchange (Ortiz and Santana w/ Homicide, Konnan and Diamante) def. DCC (James Storm and Bram w/ Kingston)

The DCC, a heel group for the last six months, worked as babyfaces with Storm in peril. That dynamic worked though with LAX being big bumping heels for Storm and Bram’s comeback. And let’s face it, James Storm knows a thing or two about assembling a compelling tag team match. Miscommunication cost DCC the match and Storm was upset. Storm and Kingston nearly came to blows. The DCC never really got off the ground from the very beginning so splitting them is probably for the best. Time put into trying to redeem the act would be better spent invested in them as individuals (or with Bram and Kingston as a team going forward). I hope Kingston gets a better chance to strut his stuff in the coming months. Santana in particular stood out here. **3/4

ODB def. Rebel

Both these ladies were making their return to Impact. Though I feel like spiritually ODB is never truly gone from TNA. They did a forced kiss spot with Rebel and Earl Hebner, because it’s still 2001 apparently. ODB then forced herself on Earl before ODB won with a TKO. This was harmless and the crowd seemed to have fun. *

Bobby Lashley def. Jake Holmes

There was a really good interview with Bobby Lashley where he delved in his past to inform his current state, talking about how his inability to reach the Olympics drove him to reach that level in every other facet of his career. It was grounded, compelling and human – the sort of content that strips the characters back a layer bringing the audience in while grounding it in reality. Lashley then murdered a guy in a squash match to make this show a really smart showcase for him. When Lashley went for the Spear, Holmes just turned around and ran away which was an awesome spot. **

Karen Jarrett joined Bruce Prichard and Dutch Mantel in sucking up the oxygen on this show by making her return. She spoke in odd riddles for a while before the crowd started chanting “Fire Josh!” She was interrupted by EC3 who did such a big troop rallying speech that it can only seem to foreshadow a heel turn. He said he’s not going to make Impact great for the Jarrett name, he’s going to do it for the Carter name. Josh Mathews then started talking and I began to zone out. Feuding announcers. Performances were good across the board but this whole thing felt a little tedious.

Final Thoughts:

The mass influx of new faces has given this show a renewed energy but it’ll be interesting to see the degree to which that enthusiasm is maintained. This was predominantly a table setting show but it was largely a good one.