07th May2019

‘Impact Wrestling: Code Red’ Review

by Nathan Favel

impact-code-red-art

Welcome to this review of Impact Wrestling called Code Red, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have a mixture of Impact and House Of Glory wrestlers with this card, so we’ll get some interesting bouts here. Okay, let’s see if it all turned out well on a show that is the live debut for Impact on its new streaming service, Impact +.

Match #1: Rich Swann beat Ace Austin, Trey, Smiley, Evander James and Mantequilla – Six-Man Scramble Match For The Impact X-Division Title And/Or The House Of Glory Crown Jewel Title

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Mantequilla and Swann trade pin attempts in the early going. The action spills to the floor and Rich Swann takes out EVERYBODY with a flipping senton! With all competitors back inside the ring, two of House of Glory’s mainstays take out Trey with stereo coast-to-coast dropkicks, prompting an HOG chant! Ace Austin plants Evander James with the Fold, but Rich Swann breaks it up. Swann gets Austin out of the ring long enough to hit the 450 Splash and hold Evander James’ shoulders to the mat long enough to retain his X-Division Championship!

My Opinion: 3 out of 5 – This was a confusing spot-fest that didn’t specify if it was or wasn’t an official title match, to a certain extent. This felt like one of those goofy Vince Russo kinds of booking decisions that just alienate anyone that wants a straight answer to what they’re watching. Either this is or isn’t a title match. The action itself was well performed, but lacked logic or pacing. I enjoyed it, but it likely won’t do much more to bring an entire fan-base back to this once promising league.

Match #2: Anthony Gangone beat Ken Broadway and Moose – Triple threat Match For The House Of Glory World Heavy-Weight Title

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Moose stays out of the action on the outside, opting to watch his two opponents brutalize each other. He sneaks in and narrowly misses the No Jackhammer Needed Spear, getting a hurricanrana from Ken Broadway for his troubles! Later, Gangone tries to nail Broadway with a suicide dive to the outside, but gets caught and flattened with a seamless suplex! After some more action, Moose steps out of the ring and decides to head to the showers to the crowd’s stunned amazement! Now a one-on-one match, Anthony Gangone seizes the opportunity and pins Broadway to retain his championship!

My Opinion: 2 out of 5 – They tried to make this work, but it just didn’t come together. Perhaps it was having Moose be in there. Moose has gotten good over the years, but isn’t good enough to not feel out of place here. If Moose had been as talented as Bret Hart or Kurt Angle or AJ Styles, then his participation in this match may have felt more appropriate. However, I would still argue that this match should have remained between Gangone and Broadway, no matter how dull the match would have been. Overall, this was not one of the great bouts, but it did get a couple of new people on TV and that is something to be excited about.

Match #3: The North beat The Rascalz

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Wentz tries to hit Josh Alexander with a handspring knee, but gets snatched up and broken in two over Walking Weapon’s knee! The North exercise the man advantage, cutting off the ring and abusing a helpless Wentz with hard-hitting offense. Wentz finally slips out of their grasp and rocks Alexander with the handspring knee he was searching for earlier! He’s able to make the tag to a fresh Dez. The Rascalz try to hit Hot Fire Flame but Alexander is able to wrap up Dez before he can propel Wentz across the ring! Later, the Rascalz manage to hit Hot Fire Flame on Alexander, but “All Ego” yanks the referee out of the ring by his ankle! With the distraction successfully made, Wentz is taken out of commission, and the North hit their devastating 2-on-1 finisher on Dez for the big win on IMPACT Plus!

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5 – This was solid stuff, but maybe more solid like Jello rather than steel. That’s a weird analogy, isn’t it? There wasn’t anything bad here, but it all just felt like it had to exist instead of existing because it should be fun to watch (and because people would pay money to see it). The action was excellent, but the match was just a priority, to an extent beyond the norm. Yeah, I’ve really sold you on this one, haven’t I? Overall, this was a promising match that should have been given time and reason enough to promise a little bit more than it did.

Match #4: Tessa Blanchard and Violette beat Scarlett Bordeaux and Sonya Strong

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Sonya Strong shocks Tessa in the early-going by taking her off her feet with a hurricanrana! Tessa and Scarlett find themselves in the ring against each other, and Tessa tortures the Smoke Show with a wicked leg lock! Scarlett is finally able to make the tag and unleash Sonya Strong! Scarlett wipes Tessa out with a gigantic powerbomb but it’s not enough to keep Tessa on the mat. Tessa caves in Sonya’s chest with a Magnum out of the corner, and follows it up with the Buzzsaw DDT, gaining the W for her team!

My Opinion: 1 out of 5 – I think the names might’ve been better than the match itself. Tessa did as good as usual, but the rest of this just fell apart during the delivery. There isn’t much her to say, other than its length should have gone to another match.

Match #5: Michael Elgin beat Willie Mack

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

The two battle to get the other off their feet with shoulder blocks in the early moments. Willie throws just about everything at Elgin in an attempt to pin him, including a thunderous DDT! Mack misses his flip into the corner, which opens the door for Elgin to fire off a momentum-building top rope dropkick! The entire ring shakes as Michael Elgin crushes Willie Mack with a superplex… but Mack narrowly slips the shoulder up! Willie Mack swings the match back his way by flying over the top rope onto Elgin on the outside! Mack whiffs on a Six Star Frog Splash, allowing Elgin to hammer him into submission with forearms. Two concussive lariats and a crucifix powerbomb drive Mack into the mat… but he still kicks out! This match is incredible! Elgin lands a final Elgin Bomb for the three in what ended up being a must-see heavyweight collision!

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – This was the match of the night, easily and without question. They did everything right and had success with everything. This was a big match for Elgin, who has been dealing with the controversy of having had covered up a sexual assault allegation against one of his wrestlers from his independent league. Elgin took a big risk coming to Impact in the wake of that controversy, but it appears that he has made the right decision, because he has been accepted by the crowd (at least it appears that way of TV). Mack was excellent here and made his part of the fight look as mean and nasty as it could. Over-all, this was the best of the card and it’s a shame it wasn’t the main event.

Match #6: Johnny Impact and Taya Valkyrie beat Eddie Edwards and Alisha Edwards

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Johnny and Taya start off with an egregious public display of affection, but Eddie and Alisha counter with a public display of aggression when they unleash chops across their opponents’ chests! Eddie’s tiger driver very nearly keeps Johnny down for the count, and follows up with a devastating chop to the back! Alisha starts to build momentum against Taya, but Johnny reaches into the ring and yanks Alisha down by the hair! Taya steals a page from Eddie Edwards’ playbook by pulverizing his wife with a Blue Thunder Bomb… but Alisha gets the shoulder up at 2.5! Alisha very nearly scores a pin on Johnny after an earth-shaking tornado DDT, but John E. Bravo pulls the referee out! Inside of the ring, Taya nails Alisha with Johnny’s red X, and Johnny is able to keep Alisha down for three!

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5 – There wasn’t anything bad here, but it was another case of a stilted mixed/intergender tag match that felt more like a gag rather than a true athletic contest. The wrestling is fine, but it won’t set the world of fire, either.

Match #7: LAX beat oVe and The New York Wrecking Krew – Impact Tag Team Title Match

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

The raucous Queens crowd starts an early “Go Back to Ohio” chant! oVe makes Santana pay with a superplex/powerbomb combo, but the pin is broken up by Smoothe Blackmon. Ortiz lays everybody out, but Chris Seaton is able to tackle him to the mat. Jake Crist plants Santana with a tombstone piledriver that also sees him crush his knees into Ortiz’ chest! Dave Crist hits a moonsault to the outside that wipes out the New York Wrecking Krew! With Jake Crist left all alone in the ring, he’s double-teamed by LAX for the win!

My Opinion: 3 out of 5 – This was good fun that went over quite well in all the right places. LAX and oVe had as much chemistry as usual, while NYWK fit in nicely, despite being the odd team out. The action was exciting and visceral, which is half the battle of a wrestling match working. Overall, this was a good title match for LAX and a fine match from bell to bell.

Match #8: (Main Event) Sami Callihan beat Tommy Dreamer – oVe Rules Match

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Sami takes the fight to Tommy before “The Innovator of Violence” can even enter the ring. Tommy attempts a dive but Sami cleans him out with a garbage can. Tommy Dreamer produces a staple gun and manages to staple Sami Callihan to the ramp! Tommy’s in full control, emptying another garbage can onto Sami and stopping to snack from the remains. Back in the ring, Sami turns the tables and shoves a turnbuckle into Tommy’s mouth! Callihan brings a fan’s puppet into the ring, and Dreamer puts it on his hands and shoves it down Sami’s throat! This match has gotten completely out of control as Tommy introduces a bag full of Lego and nails Sami with a cutter onto it! With a wooden board set up in the corner, Sami and Tommy take turns trying to put each other through it, but it’s finally Sami who nails a piledriver through the board for the win!

My Opinion: 2 out of 5 – This was not one of the great matches, but it tried in its own way. The goal here was to have a match that resembled the classic garbage matches of Extreme Championship Wrestling’s hey-day, but this felt more like a reason to not bring those matches back. They did the plunder shot and all of that, but it just felt like a waste of Sami. Tommy didn’t look that good here, but he tried to make it work. All in all, this was a match of good intentions that just didn’t get its point across very well.

News Of The Night:

  1. Matt Striker looks to be a regular interviewer going forward.

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

This was a good show that almost didn’t make it to good. This was too much of an attempt to be Ring Of Honor and Extreme Championship Wrestling, when the goal should have been to be just Impact Wrestling.

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One Response to “‘Impact Wrestling: Code Red’ Review”

  • Mark

    Can’t say Impact made the right move with Elgin. I’ve been a fan of the company for 15 years and this is the first time I’m boycotting them. I even unfollowed them on social media and it looks like it’s going to be that way for a while because Impact management doesn’t seem to give a flying fuck that they’re funding a good-will tour for a sex offender.