27th Jul2018

‘Impact Wrestling’ Review (July 26th 2018)

by Nathan Favel

impact-wrestling-header

Welcome to this week’s Impact Wrestling review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have a good night of action to get to, so let’s do so… before Dixie Carter tries to come back… ahhhhhhhhh!

Match #1: Taiji Ishimori beat Petey Williams – X Division Match

My Take: These two opened the card and had a good showing. Taiji made a big gamble by leaving Pro Wrestling NOAH, but I imagine after all that happened with NOAH and the Yakuza, a certain limit has been placed on what NOAH can offer for a wrestler’s career. Taiji has also been working as the Bone Soldier for New Japan Pro Wrestling, from what I’ve read and seen. I hope he gets to keep wrestling people like Petey, who has had a rough road to returning to wrestling, more so because of how many promoters have taken his skills for granted. Petey is capable of being a great champion, or at least a great contender.

In a more ambitious league, these two would be given a longer, more lucrative bout to work, but since Impact has had so many problems over the years, I can see why each new management team has such difficulty with choosing to have a more indulgent length for matches that may lose the television audience. At least these guys are being given carte blanche (well, look at who gets to fluff their ego like a jack-ass) to wrestle at a much higher rate than they might get in the WWE (I’ll stop criticizing Vince when he gets the sport right).

The action was swift and deliberate, leaving no confusion as to what kind of match these fighters were looking to make. It’s almost criminal to see these two fantastic wrestlers stay so stagnant despite having so much more to offer. I suppose, how-ever, we can all take comfort in knowing that Taiji Ishimori and Petey Williams are able to appear on national television and have their work be seen by numerous people who can develop an interest in their work.

Match #2: Tessa Blanchard beat Rebel – Knockout’s Match

My Take: This was a quick squash that Tessa won. I like Rebel, but Tessa seems to be on course for a much bigger career than her. I would say that it helps that Tessa Blanchard has both her father, Tully Blanchard, and her step-father, Magnum TA, to get advice from. Can you imagine Magnum and Tully going to Sturgis, while in character? Poor Tully would get beaten to death by half of the bikers there just for fixing his collar. As for Tessa, she seems to have more of her father’s sensibilities in the ring, but since she’s been around Magnum so much, I bet she could be a great face and one with some gumption to boot. Over-all, the right person won the match.

Match #3: Johnny Impact beat Trevor Lee w/ Caleb Konely

My Take: This was a good match that had a little too much interference for its own good. These two traded some excellent holds, which eventually led to bigger risks being taken, like a great back-breaker, for instance. Impact is a great fit for… Impact. I wish Lee would be given more to do in Impact… now it’s starting to sound like a sex joke. I really wish I had that delete button now… one of those back-space buttons would be sublime. Lee deserves to have a real title shot with Aries, but he seems to be tagged as expendable, for what-ever reason. Caleb deserves better than this as well, as he’s one of the best technicians in wrestling today. I feel like I’m reviewing WWE again the farther I go into this review.

Match #4: Main Event – Brian Cage beat Matt Sydal – X Division Champion

My Take: This was a good main event that finished the card off on a high note, but they didn’t break the glass if you know what I mean. These two have a certain chemistry that hasn’t quite had the right reaction yet, but certainly seems poised to finally obtain the right mixture after a few more matches between these two.

Cage is like a ball of fire that doesn’t just roll, but rages through any opponent it can burn. Sydal continues to confuse with his psychic slut routine, but that seems to be a fun thing for him to try, so why not keep it going… because it sucks! I’m all for trying new things, but this Miss Cleo gone Illuminati thing Sydal is doing is getting in the way of his wrestling, if only to a small degree. I feel like Sydal is auditioning for the remake of Starship Troopers… “If you think you’re psychic… maybe you are.” Yeah, and I’m a Wonder Twin that can take the form of Charlize Theron’s favorite items from her… toy chest. Hey, she’s usually single and certainly needs the Plan B if it’s been a rough month. Wow, this review got away from me, didn’t it?

Cage and Sydal did all of the excellent moves you would expect from an X-Division match, from leaps to dives (say it three times to make Randy Orton cry) and every crazy move in between. I must say, that these two are a major step in the right direction, as their matches feel like a bigger deal than many of the X Division Title matches in the past six years. There is a massive potential for Matt Sydal and Brian Cage to have a unique and thrilling rivalry that could be the jolt of life that the X Division needs to stand out amongst a sport filled with an entire generation that specializes in this style of wrestling.

News of the Night:

  1. Austin Aries and Eddie Edwards seems to be the next World Title feud, with Eddie as a face, with a little bit of an edge to him.
  2. The Desi Hit Squad got more momentum by being booked to attack Petey Williams and Taiji Ishimori.
  3. Anthony Carelli, or Santino Morella as we know him, brought one of his students named Dustin Cameron, who Austin Aries took umbrage with. It would appear Cameron will wrestle Aries for the World Title, next week (yet Petey Williams, Trevor Lee, DJ Z, Andrew Everett, Dezmond Xavier, Taiji Ishimori, to name but a few, don’t get any World Title shots).
  4. Scarlett Bordeaux did her debut promo and made a good impression.
  5. Johnny Impact wants to fight Kongo Kong.
  6. Kiera Hogan and Allie have made an alliance.
  7. Eli Drake tried to drive a wedge between Grado, Joe Hendry and Katarina, by showing them a picture of Joe and Katarina looking affectionate towards one another. Drake deserves better than this.
  8. KM is still trying to make Fallah Bahh into a tough guy.
  9. Killer Kross got a nice video package.
  10. The LAX/OGz feud continued with a King tirade.
  11. Sami Callahan and oVe beat up a guy in a bathroom and shaved him bald. I wonder if the people at Impact are curious as to why their ratings are still down?

Final Verdict: There is a great roster here, but this amateur ECW homage that Don Callis is doing feels cheap and dated. The focus should be on the incredible roster and their abilities, not on the concepts of the booking department, which seem to be more of the same sorts of ideas that Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff championed while they were in charge of TNA. TNA/Impact deserves to have its own identity, not a loan from some-one else’s past.

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