Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, May 11
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Andrew Everett def. Matt Sydal, Dezmond Xavier, and Caleb Konley

I have hope for the current incarnation of the X-Division. Though I always have hope eternal for the X-Division. Even Caleb Konley, who has clearly been presented lowest on the X-Division totem poll, has looked super impressive every time he’s been given a chance. Xavier is one of the most exciting talents to grace Impact in quite some time. There’s a bunch of first time title win stories that can be told with the likes of Dutt and Everett. And the talent level is great. This match was a super fun sprint with a bunch of movez and cool flips. Exactly what you’d want out of a match like this. ***1/4

EC3 came to the ring imitating James Storm. To quote the wonderful John Hodgman, specificity is the soul of narrative and EC3’s cowboy satire was a tad too broad to really land. He also sang a satire of Gareth Brook’s Friends in Low Places. EC3 handcuffed Storm to the ropes and whipped him with a strap to some glorious piped in boos. The impression didn’t really land but the angle was nonetheless simple and effective. One would assume this sets up a strap match.

Laredo Kid and Garza Jr def. Idris Abraham and Hakim Zane

More or less a squash for Garza and Kid, though Zane and Abraham did get some stuff in. Garza and Kid are loads of fun. **

“Drunk” Laurel Van Ness (w/ Kongo Kong) def. Ava Storie

Thankfully short, as some of Drunk Laurel’s matches on Xplosion have been significantly less palatable. If this were Lucha Underground they could do some fun stuff with Kong being the physical manifestation of Van Ness’ rage and grief. *

LAX held a funeral for Decay. Funerals have an unusually high bar in TNA. The Team 3D Funeral featured the amusing emergence of James Storm as an entertaining character while the Aces and 8s Funeral was a delightful tongue in cheek look back at how the Aces and 8s sorta sucked. Konnan said he was gonna blaze up in the honour of Decay. Konnan did his usual promo before some guy in the crowd with a US flag irked him. Konnan went to attack him before the Veterans of War made the save. It certainly doesn’t sit among the pantheon of Impact funerals but was nonetheless a simple way to pivot to LAX vs. VOW as the next tag team programme.

Impact Grand Championship
Moose (c) def. Marshe Rockett

Moose was billed from Moose Nation. Rockett, who has never won a match on Impact, is getting a title shot because he asked for one on Twitter. Moose won a boring Round 1 before Moose won outright with a Sitout Chokeslam. This could’ve just been a regular match and it’d have served the same purpose. Eli Drake, Chris Adonis and Tyrus left Moose laying afterwards. *

Alisha Edwards def. Angelina Love by Disqualification

They at least wrestled with a little urgency for a small while but yet another match on this show that served predominantly as a backdrop to something else. Richards destroyed Edwards knee again afterwards. Love was DQ’d for using a chain. This was also the third heel beatdown angle on this show. *

Global Force Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto El Patron def. Magnus (c)

It was nice to at least get a substantive wrestling match after four straight short meaningless bouts. While not as good as the Eli Drake match last night, this was better than it had any right to be. When you think of Magnus vs. Alberto El Patron on paper it doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence but they delivered a really fun, competitive main event built around each others submissions. Magnus looked leagues better here than he did last week vs. Matt Morgan last week. El Patron claimed the Global Force Championship and put an end to Magnus’ 547 day reign with a Cross Armbreaker. ***1/2

Final Thoughts:

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

I’d be interested to hear what those who advocate for more squash matches in modern wrestling feel about Impact these last few weeks. Because generally there has been one to three enhancement matches per show—and they totally spoil the pace of proceedings. Every good show needs a satisfying balance of set up and pay off. If a show is all set up it will feel unfulfilling. If it’s all payoffs, then those payoffs will mean less respectively. This show has basically been setup after setup for two months now. The entire middle portion of this show was either angles to set up future matches (which is fine) or matches that served little real purpose other than to make the show feel like a chore.

The show has been unbalanced.