Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, April 13
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Reno Scum (Adam Thornstowe & Luster the Legend) def. Laredo Kid & Garza Jr and Decay (Crazzy Steve & Abyss w/ Rosemary)

The least interesting team won, which was disappointing (this will likely set up Reno Scum as the challengers for LAX, further robbing me of an LAX vs. Garza Jr and Laredo Kid match). Solid match, though a tad disjointed at times. The highlight was Luster Border Tossing Steve into Garza in the corner. Reno Scum’s work is usually solid, if a tad clunky, but the act feels incredibly naff. **1/4

Bruce Prichard made his way to the ring. There was a fan poll asking people to choose the next challenger for Bobby Lashley – the choices were EC3, James Storm or Matt Morgan. They showed a montage of those three standing in front of screens watching like normal human beings, rather than freaks watching from two feet next to the TV. This segment was taped a month ago, the poll only went up this week. Everything is a lie. James Storm was announced as the winner. EC3 accused Bruce of a conspiracy, understandable really considering the poll was in fact worked. Prichard gave EC3 a pep talk asking what happened to him recently. EC3 took it on board and it looks like a character reboot (and maybe even a heel turn) is on the cards for EC3. They’ve lost their way with EC3 since October, they do need to get him back on track.

Allie & Braxton Sutter def. Sienna & KM

Allie pinned Sienna after she tripped over KM. The match was nearly entirely a framing device for the debuting Kongo Kong, who sided with Sienna. Kong destroyed Sutter and Sienna dropped Allie. *

Rosemary def. Santana Garrett

Garrett had a run in TNA in 2014 briefly as the lesbian lover of Madison Rayne and the associate of Sam Shaw. This was a really enjoyable little match, Garrett looked better here than she did during her entire initial run and it was a strong showcase for Rosemary. Impact should position Rosemary as a tent pole act for the entire brand, not just the Knockouts division. She is that strong a performer. If they can get Garrett back full time they should, she impressed here. ***1/4

Andrew Everett def. Shane Helms, Suicide, and Marshe Rockett

Helms wrestled in street clothes. This was his Impact in ring debut. The story was Helms picking his spots to attack while the other three were focused on each other. Everett fought off Helms and put away Rockett with a Shooting Star. Everett pinning Helms here would’ve been the more satisfying, logical conclusion but alas. Lee and Helms attacked Everett after the match but he fought them off. They’ve done a pretty good job setting Everett up for a title match and it’s nice to see an actual story in the X-Division. I’m not sure the time is right to switch the title though. Lee’s reign has legs. The X-Division is generally built on three pillars. Everett, Lee and DJZ should be those pillars. **1/4

Davey Richards (w/ Angelina Love) def. DJZ

Richards won a squash with an Ankle Lock. A fine showcase for Richards but there have been too many one sided short matches on this show, not only this week but for the last month. Eddie Edwards and Alisha showed up afterwards for a quick pull apart. **

Team JB (Alberto El Patron & Chris Adonis & Magnus & Matt Morgan) def. Team GOAT (Eli Drake & Tyrus & Bram & Bobby Lashley)

So Impact made their commentary utterly unbearable and entirely counterproductive for a month all for this. I hope it was worth it. The multi-man tag formula held pretty strong here in spite of some blandness. Josh Mathews promised to leave the announce desk if his team lost, though I’m terrified that he’ll have his own announce desk or some dopiness like that. If you want him to play a role on the show have him manage somebody, not undermine the entire show. It’s some pretty clear symbolism for the current state of Impact that a team assembled of Jarrett imports beat a team comprising regulars and the whole roster celebrated. The guard has changed. It would be astoundingly foolish and tone deaf if this isn’t the end of Mathews’ stint as an announcer. Magnus pinned Bram after a top rope elbow to gain the victory for Team JB. ***1/4

Final Thoughts:

The last few weeks have been introducing and rearranging the pieces. Over 30 separate characters have been introduced or reintroduced since the Jarrett regime took over in earnest. That has filled the show with a renewed energy but also a sense of instability. The show has undergone a major upheaval and yet somehow ended up in the same placed. Easy to watch, affable pleasant but ultimately forgettable content. As the tapings unfolded they lost a lot of urgency. The board has been assembled, starting next week we see how it plays.