29th Jun2018

‘Impact Wrestling’ Review (June 28th 2018)

by Nathan Favel

impact-wrestling-header

I’m Nathan Favel and welcome to my first Impact Wrestling review for Nerdly. As I recently spoke of in my “Opinionated” column concerning the former TNA Wrestling, I have a genuine interest in seeing this company succeed, even if that is just as a good old wrestling fan. With the WWE being more stagnant than ever, it’s important to have another wrestling league survive and thrive. Featuring incredible action, even during the most dire straits that this promotion has ever seen, TNA/Impact has managed to build a unique legacy in professional wrestling that will never be duplicated, for better or for worse. It’s my pleasure to write these reviews for Impact. Let’s jump right into the action!

Match #1: Rich Swann beat Trevor Lee

In Rich Swann’s debut, Swann gave a great performance in a match that saw lots of excellent wrestling from both men to start the night off right. Swann, who was fired from the WWE for an alleged case of spousal abuse Swann had with his wife, Savannah Young, who now works as Su Yung in Impact, has struggled what to next in his career since it happened. Much has been said about what happened between the couple in their car, but it seems that Swann and Yung able to put the calamity behind them, so both of them should be able to have a great time working together in Impact. Only time will tell if the couple can avoid any level of violence in their relationship in the future. Swann seemed to have looked even better than he did in the WWE’s Cruiserweight Division, which served him nicely, but did marginalize his personality over time by relegating him to just a spot on a roster, instead of the star he already was in other companies. Swann has grown his hair out, so much so that he now looks like a hybrid of Kofi Kingston and Juice Robinson, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Swann’s work was a kinetic, frenetic display of dives and kicks that make you feel like you are watching Ring of Honor instead of Impact, but that isn’t a bad thing either. Lee, on the other hand, looks and fights like a classic grappler from forty years ago, but with a penchant for taking flight, when such a skill suits him, any-way. Lee, for those who have never seen him, looks like Kevin Steen/Owens if he were to ever lose the extra weight (and stop wearing t-shirts during matches). As for the action itself, we had a nice array of mat work combined with fluid aerial moves, which you could definitely describe as quintessential X-Division wrestling. The move of the fight was Swann’s Phoenix Splash, which led to Swann’s debuting victory. I hope Rich Swann is able to use this momentum to revive his career after the terrible incident that led to his firing from the WWE and he’s able to make his life better, as well as his wife’s, Su Yung.

Verdict: This was an excellent opener that was miles ahead of most of the WWE matches I’ve seen this week.

Match #2: Desi Hit Squad (Rohit Raju and Gursinder Singh) beat Z&E (DJ Z and Andrew Everett) – Tag Team Match

The Desi Hit Squad looked excellent in their debut against Z&E, fitting right in with Impact’s tag team division, as well as having the potential to compete with the X-Division as well. This bout was all action, with fast and furious kicks paving the way for dive after dive upon each other as if the wrestlers’ bodies were errant machine-gun shots. DHS has been one of the more interesting acts on the circuit for a little bit, at least from what little I had seen of them. It’s nice to see more middle-eastern wrestlers getting the chance to work in front of global audience. If memory serves, Impact is still on in 130 different countries, so the DHS has just significantly increased the reach of their reputation. At the end of this raucous fight, and despite the blistering action I witnessed throughout this, the DHS was booked to do an anti-climactic roll-up that may have helped establish the debuting DHS as heels, but it also served to leak the air out their balloon too soon, so to speak. The Desi Hit Squad got the win and made a good impression.

Verdict: This was a lot of fun and makes for two good debuts in one night.

Match #3: Impact X Division Champion Matt Sydal beat Dezmond Xavier

Matt Sydal’s bizarre heel turn continued tonight, with Sydal trying to turn Xavier evil with his “third eye”, which might still be a euphemism for some-thing we can’t get into on here, but Dr. Ruth might be able to talk about. Wouldn’t that be a hell of a wrestling feud: Dr. Ruth vs. The Undertaker? Any-way, Sydal focused on Xavier’s leg all throughout the match, with kicks and submission holds deployed on Xavier’s limb with grueling power. It’s weird writing a serious sentence after Dr. Ruth vs. The Undertaker. As matches go, this wasn’t terribly long, but it did have excellent action that makes it worth a viewing.

Verdict: This was a good match that keeps both of these wrestlers fresh for future cards.

Match #4: Main Event – Madison Rayne beat Tessa Blanchard – Knockout’s Match

This was a good match that gave the women a chance to add another piece of evidence in the case of The People vs. Sexism. Make no mistake, the women work just as hard as the men and want to be successful as the men they work with. As for these women themselves, Rayne, who is also working in Ring of Honor, has done very well in rejuvenating her career as of late. Blanchard, on the other hand, has been making a career out of wrestling men, her boyfriend Ricochet in particular, and has been a name of note for some time. When you put these two wrestlers together, you get a fine match with more hard-hitting strikes than you would believe. As a matter of fact, women like Rayne and Blanchard may very well be changing the meaning of “hit like a girl”. I enjoyed this match and the thrill of seeing the women compete in the main event of a wrestling card.

Verdict: This was a good match that gave two talented people a rare chance to work the main event.

News of the Night:

  1. A mystery woman is coming to Impact. Oprah?
  2. After Sami Callahan stole Pentagon’s mask at a PCW Ultra event, a mask vs. hair match was made for Slammiversary between Callahan and Pentagon.
  3. The GWN Flashback Moment of the Week was King of the Mountain Match between Abyss, Sean Waltman, Raven, Monty Brown and AJ Styles for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
  4. Katarina, formerly known as Winter in Impact, will have her re-debut match next week.
  5. A great video package on Moose, who is challenging for the Impact World Heavyweight Title at Slammiversary in July, was aired. This is the most interesting that Moose has ever been and it seems that this is what he needed to expand his character. A similar video package on Austin Aries, the Impact World Heavyweight Champion, will air next week.
  6. A Moose/Eddie Edwards feud is being teased after Moose tried to confront Edwards for attacking Tommy Dreamer during a match a a House of Hardcore card.
  7. The Konnan/Eddie Kingston feud continues to build.
  8. Brian Cage tried to attack Matt Sydal after his match with Xavier, but Kongo Kong and Jimmy Jacobs intervened and aided Sydal. A Sydal/Jacobs alliance seems to be in the cards for the near future.
  9. When Su Yung tried to attack Tessa Blanchard and Madison Rayne after the match, Allie made the save to continue her feud with Yung.
  10. A new backstage interviewer, named Alicia Atout, made her debut for Impact by interviewing Austin Aries.

Final Verdict: This was a fine card with lots of exciting action. The opener was the best match of the night, but everybody else wasn’t too far behind.

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