Impact Wrestling is heading into a busy few weeks and months, beginning with an upcoming double shot of live shows over the next two weeks—Multiverse United 2, a co-promotion with NJPW on August 20, and Emergence on August 27.

Wrestling, in general, has been very busy in recent weeks, with major shows worldwide and tournament season in full swing over in Japan. I will admit to having a fair bit of wrestling fatigue in the last couple of weeks, and that’s why there’s been no column since I lauded Eric Young’s decision to quit WWE and return to Impact.

This week I was back in the zone, though, and hunkered down to watch episode 995 of Impact Wrestling, ready to flex my critical eye and work out what direction I’d go in with this week’s musings.

Sadly, my overwhelming takeaway from this week was frustration because four of the five matches featured interference finishes or shenanigans.

The opener was ABC taking on Rich Swann & Sami Callihan in the tag title contendership tournament. On paper, it looked like a good match, and in practice, the work was good and entertaining. The finish, though, saw The Good Hands yank the referee out of the ring, and Skyler put Austin down with The Stroke so that Swann and Callihan could steal the win.

Any real explanation of why?

No, not yet.

Next up was Dirty Dango vs. Bhupinder Gujjar. Dango’s “I hate wrestling” gimmick isn’t for me, but it works for others. This match existed to set up something afterward with Jake Something, which is fine, but again, we got an interference finish as John E. Bravo shone a flashlight in Gujjar’s eyes so that Dango could pin him.

Jody Threat then beat Alisha Edwards in an extended squash. I use the word extended because it probably went two minutes longer than needed because you had Eddie Edwards on the outside using his kendo stick to trip Threat and then Frankie Kazarian coming out to stop him.

The main event was Brian Myers, Moose, and Bully Ray (yay!) facing Black Taurus, Laredo Kid, and Samuray del Sol in a trios match. Well, it should have been that, but Lio Rush jumped del Sol in the back to make it three-on-two. That became two-on-two when PCO made his dramatic return (with the lights going out and lightning in tow), and ended when Myers hit a Roster Cut on Taurus.

The only bright light on the show was the one match with no interference or shenanigans.

Instead, KUSHIDA and Mike Bailey, two excellent workers, had 13 minutes to put together a fantastic notebook-level match packed with great reversals, counters, high spots, and a satisfying finish.

I’m annoyed that Mike Bailey is spinning his wheels after that great Best of the Super Juniors run, but KUSHIDA has been so good in Impact this year, and I’m excited for him eventually facing Lio Rush for the X-Division title.

I say that was the only bright light, but that’s probably a bit unfair. It was the only bright light from an in-ring perspective. Still, some of the backstage segments worked for me – Johnny Swinger having an Impact title match at some point will be fun, and Crazzy Steve’s interview with Tom Hannifan was surprisingly fascinating. It could open some doors, and the dynamic between Joe Hendry and Yuya Uemura is nice.

I sound like a curmudgeon here, I’m aware of that, but it’s not that I’m entirely against any interference or shenanigans ever. I don’t like it as a general rule, that’s true enough, but I understand that it’s a storytelling device, particularly for television wrestling companies.

Take, for example, the Dirty Dango match. His hating wrestling and cheating is all part of his gimmick, and it served to get him and John E. Bravo’s pairing over while setting up him getting his comeuppance at the hands of Jake Something. On its own, I’ve no problem with that.

I can’t say I’d be pushing Zachary Wentz, but it’s very clear that Impact wants to put him and Trey Miguel at the top of the tag division tree and then work back to a big feud with the team they screwed out of the titles, Ace Austin and Chris Bey. Those matches should rock, and I think the foundations they’ve laid for the program are fine but why couldn’t Austin and Bey have just lost clean against Swann and Callihan? Wentz and Miguel have already cost them the titles, and if they cheat in their matches, it still builds to the eventual first match and likely string of matches.

On the Alisha Edwards angle, because she’s presented as a bottom-feeder in the division, her husband trying to help her get an advantage makes sense from a kayfabe perspective.

I won’t go through all of them, but hopefully, you get my point—these angles, in a vacuum, aren’t that problematic or irritating for me.

Shows need variety, and I appreciate that not every match needs to be a workrate clinic like Bailey vs. KUSHIDA, particularly on TV. However, when you have one of those and then four screwy finishes on the same show, it’s got go-away heat, and the good stuff can largely get lost.

Sometimes an interference finish works to start or develop a feud. However, if you need to do it to protect people, particularly on TV, I have a simple solution – don’t book it. Make them face someone else, or if you feel you HAVE to book it, reconcile yourself to the fact that sometimes people need to lose.

This isn’t just an Impact problem, by the way. AEW has had more and more interference finishes in recent months, and shockingly enough, that’s coincided with me cooling off on their product.

Bailey vs. KUSHIDA saved this week’s episode for me, but an outing like that doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence going into these two big shows and the busy quarter beyond.