We’re quickly approaching Impact Wrestling’s Bound for Glory, which means that more or less three months have passed since Slammiversary, Impact Wrestling’s last big PPV. The hook for that show was all the big arrivals from the WWE and now they’ve had time to bed into their new homes, it seems time to do a little review on how they’ve got on. Who’s been a success and who’s been a bust?
The Good Brothers
Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows were the headline acquisitions from July 18. They were the only ones announced before the show and that announcement led to the best day on social media in the promotion’s history.
In terms of their work since debuting, or returning in the case of Gallows, it’s been good. Sometimes their promos and backstage skits come off as a little too carny but I believe both by design and a by-product of them not being natural babyfaces.
In-ring they’ve been solid. Their debut match against Reno SCUM was better than anticipated and they’ve since gelled well with Ace Austin and Madman Fulton. I anticipate they’ll more than play their part in the big tag team title showcase match at Bound for Glory and probably emerge as champions, probably with a full heel turn to boot.
Given the fact they’ll probably have a meatier program to work with coming out of next week’s big show (probably with the Guns, and perhaps involving Austin), and they continue to draw eyeballs to the product, I’d say they’ve been a big success so far.
Undoubtedly, Eric Young’s return to the promotion has been a home run. He looked great when he entered the Slammiversary main event, sowing the seeds for his brilliant feud with Rich Swann, and since then he’s gone from strength to strength.
He’s been booked perfectly but he’s also worked in all the small details to just make his presentation that much more effective. There were a couple of one-dimensional promos earlier on that seemed to feature the same words and phrases on loop but he’s also delivered some excellent material, most notably towards the end of this week’s show.
He’s also proved he can still more than deliver in the ring, hitting **** for me in his match with Eddie Edwards at Victory Road. His match with Rich Swann is the biggest thing on the Bound for Glory card and I think it’s going to be brilliant. Overall, picking up Young has been an unmitigated success and I couldn’t be happier for someone who is a rich part of the promotion’s tapestry.
If Young was the biggest success, EC3’s return is definitely the biggest disappointment.
He’s solely been involved with Moose since returning and while the feud started out well and had definite logic and intrigue to it, it’s gone on far too long and now for me is at the stage of diminishing returns.
I thought the closing segment of this week’s show was the strongest part of their feud but when you factor in that their match is going to be a cinematic one at the PPV and EC3’s return seems far from permanent at this stage, it’s hard to see that’s it been much of a success at all.
I’ve personally really enjoyed everything Heath’s done since debuting at Slammiversary. While Impact has got some stick, probably justifiably, for effectively reheating the ‘I got kids’ storyline from his WWE stint, I think they’ve done a really good job.
The video packages he’s used or been part of have all been good and a bit of light relief to cut through the rest of the show. The cameo special was easily one of the best things the promotion has produced this year.
Beyond that though, I just think that he’s shown a level of motivation to make everything he’s been given work. His contract negotiation segment with Scott D’Amore was well done because it was different. They didn’t shy away from the fact he was a glorified jobber in the WWE but they also portrayed a babyface not being dim for once and actually knowing their worth.
While the match to get there wasn’t good at all, Heath’s storyline looks like having a payoff at Bound for Glory and I think it may well go in a different direction to that assumed at the start. Definitely a success for me.
Brian Myers was always going to be a weird get because of what he was in the WWE and the fact his potential upside is limited. I tried to view his early appearances with an open mind but sadly his presentation has done nothing to alter my perceptions.
His full debut came when he answered Eddie Edwards’ open challenge and it was… fine. It was fine. Then came a three-week feud with Willie Mack which made no sense to start with and I’m not sure helped either guy massively beyond establishing Myers’ character (which appears to be that of a generic heel).
Myers interrupted Mack’s interview in the back with Jimmy Jacobs, which prompted Mack to attack him. Well, I think it was an attack, but the weird camera angle basically made it look like Mack was dry humping him. Odd. Mack then lost two of the three matches through nefarious heel tactics but won the last match and now he’s in the X-Division title match and Myers is in the ‘get everyone on the show’ gauntlet match.
Since that Mack feud, he’s had two matches with Tommy Dreamer that have also been aggressively fine. It’s disappointing in a sense because they repeatedly mentioned that Dreamer helped get him signed to the fed the first time, which felt like the sort of story that could play out over a number of weeks and actually help establish Myers. Tommy Dreamer isn’t some sort of workrate star or anything and the feud wouldn’t be groundbreaking but Dreamer would get you in the building (figuratively) with his promos and then give Myers the rub through a couple of matches.
In reality, it feels rushed, poorly executed and at the moment ultimately unlikely to benefit either guy.
Myers already looks like he’s slotted in a lower card role as a generic heel who’ll have short programs with babyfaces where he’ll win a match and then lose overall. It’s probably what I expected but I’m not sure that’s an obvious gap Impact needed to fill…
A lot of this assessment is based on the booking, but there again most wrestling analysis is based on booking decisions and our personal perceptions of whether they are good, bad or otherwise indifferent. However, what I’ve tried to do is give my personal assessment on how these wrestlers have fared over the last three months because their arrivals were the central hook for the company’s first big show in the pandemic era and remain one of the biggest narratives around the promotion in 2020.