Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, May 4
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Dave Penzer is back as ring announcer after ‘Swoggle attacked Rockstar Spud last week.

Matt Sydal def. Eddie Edwards

A super fun, briskly paced opener – if every Impact opener was this fun this would be a much better show. Sydal is an excellent addition to the roster in terms of creating a plethora of fresh, interesting matches. Edwards has also been one of the company MVP’s for the last year. He always delivers. Davey Richards attacked Eddie after the match, furthering the lack of depth their dispute has had. We haven’t gotten even remotely near the core of what Richards’ betrayal meant to Edwards. They’ve just done the same brawl over and over without really establishing the emotional crux. Without seeing the effect that the dispute has on the characters and understanding how they feel, the feud lacks any real punch. ***1/2

The role of a good announcer is to establish credibility with the audience and leverage that credibility into adding nuance and context to the stories, matches and characters. The biggest problem with the Josh Mathews character is that he veers from self-aggrandizing blaggard to regular babyface announcer to expressing outrage at a heel attacking a babyface – there’s no consistency there and thus no credibility. Josh Mathews has never really been a great announcer, but only recently has he been openly destructive. I can get over a bad story on a wrestling show. 2012 was one of the best years in TNA history but still had Claire Lynch and the Garett Bischoff push. But the Borash/Mathews dispute is toxic. It largely plays out over the announcing so it pollutes every other aspect of the show and weakens the entire presentation because of it. It sabotages even the strong elements of the show and it desperately needs to stop.

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

This was somewhat rough, Von Eerie didn’t have the best of showings but Sienna managed to hold things together. I’d imagine the direction for introducing all of the Global Force titles is to merge them with the TNA belts to form new Impact titles, presumably at Slammiversary. *

EC3 def. Jon Bolen

*

Global Force Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
Magnus (c) def. Matt Morgan

Both these guys have new music that is inferior to their old music (though Morgan’s is a remix of his theme with Crimson). Impact’s current heavyweight division certainly has a mould. In spite of being introduced as part of Jeremy Borash’s babyface army, Magnus is a heel now. This was largely a slow, plodding match with very little interesting of note happening. They picked up the pace a tad toward the end to bring things up to solid house show effort, though you’d expect more considering they got a reasonable chunk of time. Magnus won after a low blow. **

Kongo Kong def. William Weaks

Compress. Crush. Extinguish. Flatten. Quash. Quell. Squish. Suppress. Trample. Annihilate. Distort. Mash. Pound. Scrunch. Smash. Squeeze. Squash. Braxton Sutter ran off Kong afterwards. *

Alberto El Patron def. Eli Drake

Drake was Impact’s biggest success story in the back half of last year. He grew into the potential break out star that a certain portion of the TNA fan-base pretended he was in 2015. His promos drifted away from his Rock-lite schtick into something his own and he rose to the challenge in major singles matches against EC3, Eddie Edwards and James Storm. He has reached the stage where if he keeps going as midcard jobber to the stars he’ll turn out a major missed opportunity for Impact. He has considerably more upside than the likes of Magnus, Chris Adonis and Matt Morgan. In contrast to the earlier heavyweight match, this was a really enjoyable competitive main event – better even than the opener Drake continued his hot streak and Patron continues to look motivated. The only downside was El Patron’s double stomp in the corner didn’t seem like a convincing finish. Don’t sleep on Eli Drake folks, he’s honestly one of the more interesting wrestlers in the company right now. ***3/4

Final Thoughts:

Watch the really enjoyable opener and the even better main event. Skip everything in between.