Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, April 27
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Photos: Impact Wrestling

The show opened with Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews shouting at each other. I spent more of it staring blankly into the distance contemplating the nature of existence.  Josh had JB removed from the broadcast table for hitting him last year. Mathews said the company would not tolerate bully announcers, a reference to the Mauro Ranallo/JBL situation no doubt. Continuing the trend of every single member of Impact management desperately needing screen time; Scott D’Amore, Pat Kenney and Rafael Morffi all appeared here.

Matt Sydal def. Trevor Lee

A mere 7.43 seconds after Sydal appeared on screen Josh Mathews name dropped Evan Bourne and WWE. At no stage did they mention that Sydal appeared in TNA in 2003 and 2004, also competing on TNA’s first monthly three hour PPV. Sydal won a quick fun sprint with a Shooting Star Press. Everything Sydal did looked clean and crisp here and he’s a super addition to the division. I wish they’d have used Marshe Rockett or Suicide or somebody as the fall guy here because Lee going from champion one week to glorified enhancement the next is pretty silly. Especially given they’ll probably go back to him vs. Low Ki in some way. Sydal looked great though. **3/4

EC3 came to the ring and took exception to the phrase “Make Impact Great.” EC3 thought he made Impact pretty great already. Basically a mission statement promo re-positioning himself as a heel and nudging the dispute with Storm along. Storm came out. Josh Mathews said it had been years since he had a one on one title shot before last week. It was eight months ago and that shot was against Bobby Lashley too. Storm said he chose to stay away from the TNA World title scene to give people like EC3 a shot; which is one of those really dumb internal logic shattering things that comes out on wrestling shows every now and again. Storm also called EC3 fugly.

They brawled for a while. The performances were good here and these two are a good fit together right now, but Storm should’ve shown some more frustration and anger at having been screwed out of the title last week. There needed to be more real substance here. EC3 hid behind Stevie the stage manager before dropping Storm with a low blow and a One Percenter. EC3 closed saying “I’m a Carter and this company needs me!” which is a fun play on his original catchphrase.

Global Force Wrestling Women’s Championship
Christina Von Eerie (c) def. Ava Storie

This was Von Eerie’s reintroduction, she had a brief run in TNA as the valet for Ink Inc in 2011 under the name Toxxin. Bleh match but Von Eerie finish, a necktie backstabber out of the corner, looked pretty darn neat. *

Impact Grand Championship
Moose (c) vs. Davey Richards – No Contest?

Moose was accompanied to the ring by Gary Barnidge and DeAngelo Williams, they play American Football apparently (and yes, the American prefix there is entirely necessary). I have been reliably informed that they are good and moderately well known. Richards dominated and won the first round. Moose fired back to claim a super fun Round 2. They were having a fun third round before Eddie Edwards ran out to cause a No Contest. I find it interesting how they use the heat, comeback, back and forth formula to spread the narrative through the three rounds. The NFL lads powerslammed Richards. I understand what they were going for here, they were looking for their #SportsCenterMoment (TM) but realistically how many people are going to randomly see some football players on Impact and then start watching Impact week to week. TNA has had some real major league celebrities through the years (like Chris Rock) and a cavalcade of nobodies (all the Jersey Shore cameos) and none of them ever achieved anything. Moose and the Grand Championship formula are a really fun mix. **3/4

Kongo Kong def. Matt Sigmon

Squash. Literally. Again. *

The Voices of Wrestling Veterans of War def. Fallah Bahh and Mario Bokara

The Veterans of War (shortened to VOW like this very website) are Wilcox (former NWA Heavyweight Champion Jax Dane) and Mayweather (the former Crimson going by his real surname). Squash. The VOW looked solid, if unspectacular. *

TNA World Tag Team Championships – Street Fight
LAX (Santana and Ortiz w/ Konnan, Homicide and Diamante) (c) def. Decay (Abyss and Crazzy Steve w/ Rosemary)

In honour of this being Crazzy Steve’s final Impact match I will formally end my objection to the spelling of his name. He really grew into his own over the last year and under all the makeup and clowning around, he’s a really solid worker. Decay was a super act in 2016. He is likely NXT bound. This was neither manic or energetic enough, nor violent and novel enough to rise above the standard Impact garbage match. It felt a tad disjointed at times. The finish, a Street Sweeper through a table with thumbtacks on it, was pretty cool though. Best of luck Steve. **1/2

Final Thoughts:

This was mostly a table setting show, and as usual there’s nothing wrong with that, but it was just one of those shows where there was far too little energy. Three squash matches certainly didn’t help proceedings but the last few weeks have been introducing characters and I’m ready to see them actually do something. Only EC3 and Storm have an actual story. Everybody else is either in the early stages of being introduced or just having matches. Even Davey and Eddie are just doing the same brawling segment every two weeks. There’s no actual development, either on a character or story level. It makes shows feel entirely skippable unless there’s a strong match.