After writing last week’s column, in which I was perhaps unduly grumpy, I resolved that this week I would look for some positives on a show that I suspected I probably wouldn’t enjoy.
Truth be told, that wasn’t the easiest of tasks, not only because I’m a cynic but because there was a lot on this week’s episode of Impact that genuinely wasn’t particularly good.
In no specific order you had: Rob Van Dam and Rhino beating The North and presumably setting up a three-way tag title match at Bound for Glory, Tenille Dashwood underwhelming again, Jake Something doing jobs, Tessa Blanchard having to jump through hoops and have the odds stacked against her to win the X-Division title when she’s already pinned Jake Crist three times in the last few months and the wedding angle.
While I understood the premise behind the wedding, and the Sami Callihan portion at the close of the show was well done, it was the sort of segment you watch with a non-wrestling fan and feel slightly embarrassed about. The sort of segment that provokes questions like “Do you really like this stuff?”
Still, despite all of that, there was something that I enjoyed and that was the return of ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’, Ken Shamrock.
Shamrock, while definitely rocking the Sylvester Stallone vibes, looks in superb shape for 55 and he’s probably in working shape too – he’s wrestled more matches in Australia this year than he has in his two previous spells with Impact combined.
Some serious Sylvester Stallone energy about Ken Shamrock these days. pic.twitter.com/UPAGP656FB
— Garrett Kidney (@garrettkidney) September 28, 2019
While his promo was a bit rambling and had clearly been cut in places, it had sufficient fire and the whole segment seemingly affirmed to me that he won’t be in action before Bound for Glory, which is the right booking call.
At this stage, Ken Shamrock vs Moose is a first-time match and a ‘draw’ for the PPV. Keeping Shamrock in the spotlight but out of the ring in a competitive sense is key to retain whatever actual pull that match has because it retains intrigue about how Shamrock will look.
I’ve only seen one Shamrock match this year and that was his bout with Veit Muller from wXw’s Superstars of Wrestling back in June. It was nothing special, mostly a case of Shamrock playing the hits, but it was decent for what it was.
That match is not necessarily a completely accurate indication of what Shamrock can bring to the table in 2019, but it does suggest he’s got something left in the tank if presented in the right way and that’s another reason why it’s key not to have Shamrock wrestle for Impact before Bound for Glory.
If he does wrestle and has a stinker, then it diminishes him as an attraction and the match with Moose because very few people choose to watch something that they have been shown will be bad.
Should the match turn out to be a dud at the PPV, then fine, it was a mistake waiting to happen, but even if it isn’t, the company won’t have sullied the match with any form of expectation of how it’ll turn out.
At his age and with his style, having Shamrock work a match that will fundamentally add nothing to the build is a mistake and Impact seem to have understood that.
While I still feel Moose could and perhaps should be doing more in the company, they have done a good job with building this bout thus far to the point that I’m interested to see how it plays out. I think if they keep up what they’re doing and work the match right in Chicago, then you could have a special moment.
So as much as I’m still a grumpy individual and Impact Wrestling remains far from perfect week-to-week, even I was able to find something to enjoy on this week’s show, which can only be a good thing.
The Week in Review
- We got confirmation this week that Impact will be starting on AXS in late October and that it will be moving to Tuesdays. A good night as that’s vacant now (with the exception of NWA’s newly-announced TV) and hopefully, as I’ve said before, they can hit the ground running.
- Next week the Las Vegas tapings continue with Michael Elgin vs TJP, Daga vs Chris Bey in an X-Division Ladder Match qualifier and Kiera Hogan vs Tenille Dashwood vs Madison Rayne.
Well, until next time…