Impact Wrestling has consistently struggled with producing television for Thanksgiving week. They have felt the need to do something a little different, something that doesn’t necessarily sit in the promotion’s canon, as they know that ratings will inevitably dip.

Over time they have repeatedly gone back to the Turkey Bowl match, with the person eating the pin being forced to wear a Turkey costume, because it’s Thanksgiving. Get it? It’s usually harmless television, but it’s also the sort of seasonal filler that the WWE does with increasingly diminishing returns.

My thinking has always been that if you want to do something different and put together a show that’s basically non-canon, you should go completely over the top and produce something that’s very wink-wink, nudge-nudge and very tongue-in-cheek. Last week Impact did that and it was tremendous.

Throwback Throwdown was a brilliant parody of the old television studio wrestling from the 80s. You had obvious tributes to faces from the past like Bill Watts, Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff as well as some tremendous workplace-related gimmicks like Ray Strack, Bill Ding, Jim Nasium and Tim Burr.

It was cringeworthy, in a good way, at times and even though the wrestling was mostly dreadful, that was half the appeal. It was deliberately silly and exactly the sort of thing the promotion should be doing for a one-off show like this.

I have personally enjoyed the Johnny Swinger stuff in the canon shows but last week we got Hot Newcomer Johnny Swinger, beating Buck Gunderson in a squash match exactly the same way he had two weeks before.

We even had a bodyslam challenge!

The commentary from Sexton Hardcastle (Don Callis) and Giuseppe Scovelli Jr (Josh Mathews), as well as the ring announcing, were also superb and set the scene brilliantly.

Even if most of the in-ring work was poor, the main event was actually good. Sami Callihan played the role of snotty manager well and Downtown Daddy Brown (Willie Mack) got to work from the bottom in a featured spot as the blue-collar babyface against entitled heel Julian Cumberbund (Ethan Page).

While it’s not something that they can replicate more than once a year, and they may struggle to recapture the magic of this again, last week’s show felt like a proper reset and has me pumped and interested to watch next week’s show.

Words cannot adequately describe how silly, over the top and downright entertaining I found last week’s episode of Impact Wrestling, or should I say IPWF. For the first time in a long time, the promotion produced a brilliant Thanksgiving special that even this curmudgeonly Brit could get behind.

The Week in Review

  • Normality returns this week with the first of the episodes from last month’s New York tapings.
  • We’ve got the return of ODB, the Rascalz vs Ace Austin & Reno SCUM and Brian Cage against Eddie Edwards, as well as much more.

Well, until next time…