12th Feb2019

‘Impact Wrestling’ Review (Feb 7th 2019)

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 more from this version of Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling, which still feels like a cheap WWE knock-off despite the testimony of so many other people. Actually, this also feels like a cheap Extreme Championship Wrestling knock-off as well, so take that as you will. Then again, Impact gets very low ratings these days, so perhaps the compliments are more from the reviewers than anything else. It’s weird how the same people that complained about how bad Vince Russo and Hulk Hogan’s booking of TNA/Impact was are willing to praise Don Callis and Scott D’Amore for making the same mistakes. It’s like reading all of those reviews of Star Wars: The Last Jedi from critics and seeing them claim that there was a plot concocted by the Russians to make the audience score of The Last Jedi low on purpose. Most folks (non-critics) didn’t like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but the reviewers couldn’t stand that their special movie was just garbage to the rest of the world. Impact has been the same way and I imagine most of the reviewers from other sites wouldn’t like my overall reviews of Impact, with their excuse being that I’ve got an ax to grind because my attempt to buy TNA didn’t work (they would be right). That being said, it doesn’t take a genius to see that these shows are being made with the same bag of tricks that we’ve all been criticizing over the years, yet now we’re being expected to be happy with it just because a bunch of reviewers say it’s suddenly good TV. That’s like doing the same thing a thousand times and expecting a different result at some point, which is considered insanity, to a certain extent. So, is it possible that every reviewer that enjoys Don Callis’s Impact is a little bit crazy, considering that this version of the infamous wrestling league is identical to every bad version of TNA/Impact that has ever existed? Well, before my head explodes, let’s review this show and see if there is anything worth talking about afterward.

Match #1: Rich Swann and Willie Mack beat Ohio Versus Every-One (Dave and Jake Crist) – Tag Team Match

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

oVe go on the attack before the opening bell to jumpstart the match and gain the early advantage. Swann turns the tide with a corkscrew over the top rope to the floor, taking out both members of oVe. Jake is next to fly with a suicide dive into a tornado DDT onto Swann! Mack and Jake crash in the middle of the ring with in-sync crossbody attempts. Mack hits a double stunner on oVe, followed by double cutters from Swann! Swann connects with the 450 splash on Dave to score the victory.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a good match that had lots of action, but it felt a bit remedial. Remedial is too big of a word for a dumb-@$$ like me, but I had it cleared with my therapist. What’s that new thing that people my age always talk about…a “safe place”? I don’t think that has anything to do with this match, but it is annoying. Actually, this match felt a bit like that kind of timid talk, since this match was wrestled more like a candy bar recipe than a great athletic contest. After watching these guys just duck and dive all over the place, I could’ve sworn I was getting a cavity, considering that this was the candy bar recipe match. I understand that today’s wrestlers feel like they’ve gotten the short end of the stick thanks to people like Vince McMahon taking them for the rough ride, but when you’re going out here and wrestling matches that are just moves being fired off one after another, what do you expect to happen in your career? Swann and Mack should have been big stars by now, but they just keep wrestling like its indentured servitude, rather than the way the old pricks used to do it, which was all about them, but at least they took reasonable requests. I’m complaining a bit more than usual, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong either. Overall, this was a fun viewing, but it was also some-thing that represents what’s wrong with wrestling, that being that this felt like it had no purpose. Who cares if these guys are feuding? What goal would these guys be trying to accomplish before they started to hate each other? What context was this match originally meant to have before Sami Callihan tried to corrupt Rich Swann and “kill” Willie Mack? I know it sounds like I’m just spitting on my shirt here, but what makes a feud more enticing than just going with what works best and just making this about a title shot, or at least ascending the rankings to get a title shot? Does it even matter who won here, based on this match’s “story”? Once upon a time, wins and losses were still fake, but they did matter and until this league can understand that, you’ll just get more of the same as we got here. By the way, the score is correct, but I’m getting tired of seeing talented people waste their time on the vision of people that can’t even see where they’re going.

Match #2: Kiera Hogan beat Allie – Knockout’s Match

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Kiera is on fire from the get-go as she hits Alllie with a flurry of offence! Allie turns the tide and begings to wear down Kiera. Allie hits her signature running clothesline in the corner for a two count. Allie attempts the Codebreaker but Kiera counters into a superkick for a near fall! Kiera is distracted by Su at ringside, allowing Allie to hit the Backstabber but Kiera somehow kicks out! Su places the bloody glove in the corner on the ring but that causes Grace to attack her on the floor! Allie hesitates to use it and Kiera hits her with a modified swinging neckbreaker for the win!

My Take: 2 out of 5 – This wasn’t much to talk about. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna give you another bull-$#!@ speech about how Impact is screwing over the women by giving them lousy booking like they give the men. The match had enough action to qualify as wrestling, but this felt like a piss-break match, which is a shame, as those matches don’t need to exist. Overall, this was a few notches below what both of these wrestlers are capable of.

Match #3: Trey beat Rohit Raju

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Trey hits a Hurricanrana, followed by a springboard dropkick that sends Rohit to the outside. Rohit connects with a devastating DDT on the ring apron. Rohit distracts the referee, allowing Raj to attack Trey from ringside! Trey shows amazing athleticism to jump behind Rohit and hit him with the double foot stomp. Trey hits a jumping neckbreaker for a near fall. Rohit takes Trey off the top rope, followed by a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall of his own! Raj gets up on the ring apron but the Rascalz prevent him from getting involved. In the ring, Trey hits a 619, followed by double knees off the top to win!

My Take: 2 out of 5 – The idea of evil dominating good only for good to triumph was fine, but the execution was dull. Trey is very talented, but still feels like he is begin wasted in his singles matches, with only a few exceptions. Rohit is fine, but he lacks the technique that many of his peers have, but I think that ought to come to him long before it is too late to do anything with it. This was decent for what it was, but that’s about it.

Match #4: Sami Callihan beat Puma King

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

This is a preview of next week’s World Cup match as a member of Team IMPACT battles a member of Team AAA. Callihan attacks Puma from behind to gain the early advantage. Puma launches himself over the top with a flip dive to the floor. Callihan connects with a sick tornado DDT on the floor. Puma takes Callihan off the top rope with head scissors, followed by a big dropkick! Puma attempts a springboard to the outside but Callihan avoids it, causing Puma to crash hard on the floor. Callihan traps Puma in the ring skirt and kicks him straight in the head! Puma rolls up Callihan and almost scores the victory but Callihan grabs the bottom rope. Callihan hits the Piledriver to score the victory.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – Now this was good. The wrestling was strong the whole time and it had the gravitas to make a mark. I know, I’m becoming so full of $#!@ that I’m using “gravitas” in a sentence. Sami has really made this hardcore psychopath cult leader thing work very well for him and it has made his wrestling even more interesting. Puma King was a great choice for Sami and it worked out very well here, as the wrestling was what you’d hope for and more. Overall, this was a great fight to the finish that Impact needs more of.

Match #5: (Main Event) Lucha Bros. (new champions) beat Latin American X-Change – Impact World Tag Team Titles Match

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

The match begins at an unbelievable pace as both teams look to end things quickly. Everyone is laid out in the middle of the ring! Fenix hits Ortiz with a double foot stomp on the top rope, causing him to the tumble to the mat. Santana and Pentagon exchange superkick, Santana gets the uppadhand with a follow-up Uranagi. Pentagon connects with the Pentagon Driver on Santana for a near fall! Santana avoids the foot stomp into Fear Factor and follows up with a double cutter to the Lucha Bros! LAX hit Fenix with the Codebreaker, superkick combo but he somehow kicks out at two. Fenix gets hit with the Street Sweeper from LAX but Pentagon breaks up the pin attempt! Lucha Bros hit Santana with the foot stomp into Fear Factor piledriver! Fenix flies through the ropes to take out Ortiz on the floor! Pentagon hits another Fear Factor piledriver on Santana but miraculously, he kicks out yet again. Lucha Bros connect with one final foot stomp Fear Factor to finally put Santana away and win the Tag Team Championships! Both teams shake hands in the middle of the ring after one the most incredible matches in IMPACT Wrestling history.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was an excellent main event that did what most of the card and show couldn’t, which is to be exciting. These four people have a lot of chemistry with each other and they know what to do at any given point in the match. The action was as fast and fierce as you would think a big title match would be. This should be one of the big pairings that Impact sticks with this year and I hope that they do.

News Of The Night:

  1. Rob Van Dam returns to Impact, along with Sabu, to wrestle the Lucha Bros. at Impact’s United We Stand.
  2. Scarlett Bordeaux will debut, next week.
  3. Johnny Impact defends the Impact World Championship against Brian Cage, Moose and Killer Kross in a four-way match next week at Uncaged.
  4. Taya Valkyrie defends the Knockouts Championship against Tessa Blanchard in a Street Fight at Uncaged, next week.
  5. Team IMPACT battles Team AAA in the World Cup at Uncaged, next week.

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

This was a decent show that had an excellent main event. It looks like the Lucha Bros. are going to stick around in Impact this year, which is a great piece of news. Rob Van Dam and Sabu returning is an interesting development, especially in a time where more wrestlers than in any time of the past decade and a half are getting hired to any number of leagues. Impact has a long way to go as a promotion, but at least they seem to know who the big stars are within their roster.

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