A Good Alternative: Impact Wrestling 3-6-2015


I just started watching Impact regularly, and so far I’ve been presently surprised. Let’s see if they can keep it going.


We are STILL in the UK, Manchester to be exact. I wonder what Bret Hart would say about Manchester… Our open gives us a recap of Drew Galloway costing MVP the title last week, of course we get the obligatory shot of Lashley in his hat. I don’t know what kind of letter writing campaign I have to start to get that god damned hat off my TV screen. The top three ranked guys will face off later in the night in a number one contender’s match. They aren’t wasting any time pushing the title scene forward. They’re also not wasting any time pushing my buttons by having Eric Young and Bobby Roode in the match.

Heaven IS too far away Warrant…

The BDC is out in their swank matching tracksuits. All except for Kenny King who decided to go with the gray slacks look in place of the typical black track pants. And before you get all up in my face about the word slacks emasculating King understand that I agree with you but felt especially old while I was typing it. Seriously the track suits rock, and come complete with their names on the front. When I was 20 myself and two friends wanted to call ourselves the Bukkakae Club and get matching tracksuits. Sadly it was only a lack of funds that stopped us from having them made.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the BDC’s demeanor is completely different. There’s no posing or jumping around after a loss here. MVP is clearly affected by the loss and it makes the whole segment stronger. Contrast that with Cena smiling and saluting.

Whelp! My family was murdered last night, but THE CHAMP IS HERE!

They get on the mic and King immediately calls out Drew Galloway going so far as to call him the chosen one. They put over the world title by saying that they didn’t mind so much when Galloway stopped them from beating up Grado and Al Snow, but when he cost them the title he messed with their business. See, nice simple strong motivation for a feud. MVP gets on the stick and wants answers. He talks about how him controlling the title was a year in the making and Galloway took that from him. He invites Drew out to talk why he’s still calm.

Drew is in the crowd and I’m a little impressed they had the smarts to not only make him a face, but also to make him a face while they’re in England. I know you may be thinking, ” of course they did idiot, what did you expect them to turn the hometown guy on his own fans? What is this Edmonton?” I’m just glad it’s not.

“Go fuck yourself England”

Drew is here to stand up for all the people who are in the crowd, he’s here to stand up for wrestling. He’s tired of people like the BDC (thankfully he didn’t say “you people”) trying to dictate who gets to be champion. The championship should be decided by what you can do in the ring, and he’s gonna be damned if he’s going to let the BDC decide who’s the best. He gets a nice impromptu spot where he makes the crowd say their names and then declares “you’re screwing (insert name here).”  Drew comes off like a pretty big deal here and there was clearly some untapped promo talent that the WWE completely missed out on. In fact everyone who spoke here was extremely solid and sold the idea that the other’s destruction was important to them. Kenny King threatens to beat up Drew’s parents and Drew wants a fight TONIGHT! King gets shamed into sending the BDC back to the dressing room and we’re off to the races. Good solid segment. Interesting little touch that everyone is cutting their promos right to the camera. I’m not sure if I like it or not yet, but it sure is different.

Match #1 Kenny King Vs. Drew Galloway

Right away the BDC runs back in, but only manage one weak looking kick from MVP. Ok… The match is decent, Galloway gets a couple of cool spots in including a tilt of the whirl on the outside to the apron and a stiff chop to King’s back. I like both these guys and would like to see them wrestle a ppv quality match instead of just a decent TV match. I could also live without Galloway doing the Batista thumbs down pose, but I immediately forgive him when the “future shock” DDT puts the “dirty deeds” to shame. Galloway gets the pin and then escapes the BDC through the crowd.

Where are Taz and Matthews? That’s the weirdest studio I’ve ever seen. I feel if they panned out we’d see one shared bed, disheveled and used, with a Taz singlet draped across a chair. Bobby Roode is going to talk to us. Next! Great…

Out comes Roode in a T-Shirt and trunks which is weird because we just saw him walking backstage with his “Shane Douglas” robe of shame. He’s doing his usual bit where he tries too hard to be serious, he’s still standing, he’ll become the number one contender and there’s not a man alive who can stand in his way. I have almost no time to think “here comes Angle” when Angle comes out and says “Did you say nothing was going to stand in your way?” Actually he didn’t Kurt but thanks for listening. Eric Young attacks Roode and the three brawl. Yet they don’t start the match here. What exactly is the point of doing this here with the three of them saying one or two sentences to each other only to bring them back out later? What a waste.

We now get a package for the upcoming Taryn Terrell/ Awesome Kong match where they build up Taryn by saying she has conquered harlots, monsters and legends. Harlots? When I think of conquering Harlots a suplex definitely isn’t what I picture. Anyways no one thinks Terrell has a chance tonight. Don’t you hurt my Taryn!

You’ll always be a part of me. I love you indefinitely. Ohh don’t cha know can’t es….

Backstage James storm and Bram are plotting. Bray asks Bram to join the Revolution but Bram is wooed by his extremely slow delivery. As much as I cringe at each passing James Storm appearance I do like the idea of heels working together to get rid of each other’s problems. Storm wants Bram to hurt Matt Hardy for him. Hasn’t Hardy been hurt enough? What with his body breaking down and him being publicly cuckolded? When is it enough?

We get a package for the triple threat later… We just had a whole promo/brawl less than ten minutes ago. I’d rather watch more Hardy cuckolding than get another package for a match I’m already pretty tepid about.

Match # 2 Bram Vs. Matt Hardy

Looking at these two you’d think Matt Hardy would have a better chance at a bagging a faithful girlfriend than pinning Bram to the mat. I’m seriously getting uncomfortable watching Hardy. He’s not that old and his body looks like it has the same flexibility of Hogan’s. The man slammed a giant, he’s got a right to be crippled. This is a nothing match that ends when Bram hits a nut shot followed by “the brighter side of suffering.” Ok… It’s a DDT. For those of you counting, two matches, two DDT endings.

Bram gets a turnbuckle to fulfill his heel bond to Storm when Magnus returns. Josh Matthews sounds, either mildly pleased or completely unimpressed which is a complete disservice to the amount of TV time that has been dedicated to this feud. It’s not like he comes back every week like concave chest Chris Jericho, we haven’t seen him since the cue ball to the head!!! Magnus makes the feud about being a man in the eyes of his son, which is about as personal as you can get. He needs to beat Bram to stand up for his family, to show he’s made of the same stock as all the fans. It’s a great promo that enhances the feud by leaps and bounds. That being said, if he wants him so bad, why is he stopping to talk to him. Just got and kick the shit out of him so your son will respect you. He ends with “I promise you Bram that your blood will stain the hallowed ground of England,” which is as bad ass a line that’s ever been uttered on a wrestling show.

You’re who I was fighting for.

The man who ruins everything is backstage being thanked by Rockstar Spud. Don’t encourage him Spud. Rockstar says it has to end tonight and he has to do it alone. He heads to the ring as Anderson mugs to the camera. Fuck you.

Galloway, backstage, standing up for wrestling. It’s good, but don’t beat it into the ground already.

Next up is the best segment on the show. Spud comes out and calls out EC3. He wants this to end. Carter has ruined his life. He wants a match with him, alone, man on man. Carter plays the dick heel so well claiming that people like Spud don’t get to challenge people like him. He mentions that he’s undefeated and if he’s going to face Spud he wants him to put up his hair. Spud agrees and suggests that Carter puts up his hair too. Challenge accepted, but Carter warns him that in this world the bad guys always win. Spud doesn’t care cause he’s a man. I’m not doing this segment any justice, but I would definitely try to seek it out. I’ve never been a huge fan of Spud, but he’s awesome here. So truthful in his delivery with the fire of the great baby faces of yore. Both guys play to their strengths and play off all the history they have together without it feeling tacked on. Just a fantastic segment that makes me legit excited to watch their match.

Like this, but if their lives depended on it.

More hype for the triple threat and I’m picturing Ashley Massaro making Matt Hardy watch her make out with naked Mideon. I may not like Eric Young, but I can’t deny he throws a wicked piledriver.

Match # 3 Taryn Terrell Vs. Awesome Kong.

Terrell comes down looking much more focused than usual. She still shakes her hips, which I like, but then takes the match seriously, which I love. Terrell goes right at Kong and hits her with everything but can’t get her off her feet. Kong pounds away and Terrell keeps trying to knock her down. It’s a great monster vs. baby face battle that Taryn just can’t win. Which is exactly what makes it compelling. Kong eventually juts shoves Hebner for the DQ. Laaaaaaaaaaaame. That’s not how you conclude the story you were telling here. That’s how you cop out. Kong continues to beat Terrell when Gail Kim makes the save. I’m getting the sense they don’t know how they want to book Kong. They clearly want her to be dominant but don’t want to take the belt of Taryn. It’s kind of uncharted for me to see a few knockout storylines going on at the same time, but I like it.

Bobby Roode package. The It Factor is still a dumb moniker.

I banged a pirate while dating Matt…

Match # 4 The Revolution Vs. The Wolves

Solid match that sees Storm keep up with the Wolves. As a general rule I hate when any wrestler is called an innovator on offence as it conjures up nightmares of Kanyon fighting Tommy Dreamer. Is it really that innovative Josh when they’re just kicking each other? Minor complaints aside this was fun and the Wolves take the tag titles with help from an embarrassed Matt Hardy. I’m good with that call as I can totally deal with more Wolves on a weekly basis.

Matt Hardy pep talks the Wolves backstage. They put over the Hardy Boys as a trailblazing tag team and can’t believe how many people have cheated on Matt Hardy. Well one of those two things is true.

Now we’re recapping everything! Hooray! Next week sounds like a killer show as they’re going to pay off the two longest blood feuds going on right now.

Match # 5 Kurt Angle Vs. Bobby Roode Vs. Eric Young.

Typical TV triple threat match which sees Angle win the number one contendership, pinning Roode after an angle slam preceded by a chair shot. (Not sure why Roode is so protected)The match has some problems though. Kurt Angle is slow. I totally get now why the WWE didn’t want him back. He still does a bunch of little things very well, but all the explosiveness and intensity that made him great has faded. He’s still good, but not great. Eric Young for all his experience looks like he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing in there. Kurt Angle hits him with ten successive German suplexes and between each Young has the exact same reaction. He’s wide eyed and flailing his arms for the ropes, seemingly unaffected by each blow. You should be appropriately weakened by each successive suplex, not fine until the last one, then dead. So bush league. How hard is it to act progressively more hurt? Roode is clearly the best worker in the match but when he slaps on the crossface it looks like two guys just laying there. Roode tries to sell it by jetting his head back but doesn’t even bother to flex his arms like he’s wrenching his opponent’s head. Just weak stuff.

Seriously, what’s he even pulling on?

The match isn’t horrible, but those are the kinds of little things that make the business look fake. Kurt and Roode hug it out to end while Lashley and his hat come down for the show closing stare down. I get it Impact: next week will be better.

Best Match: The Wolves Vs. The Revolution
Worst Match:  Bram Vs. Captain Cuckhold
Best Promo/Skit:  Spud/EC3 Face Off
Worst Promo/Skit: Bobby Roode is a serious man.
MVP:   Rockstar Spud

What Worked Really Well

– The EC3 Vs. Rockstar Spud segment was gold.

-The BDC Vs. Galloway, Rockstar Spud Vs. Carter, The Revolution Vs. The Hardys, Bobby Roode Vs. Eric Young, Kurt Angle Vs. Lashley, Magnus Vs. Bram, Taryn Terrell Vs. Awesome Kong, Gail Kim Vs. Awesome Kong. Eight feuds they write for every single week. Eight feuds that somewhat inter connect because everyone is chasing titles. While a bit slow paced it’s simple effective pro wrestling writing. You could argue the choices of guys they choose to build around, but you can’t argue they’re trying to tell consistent coherent stories.

-All the feuds also have solid foundations that are personal and relatable. No spilling coffee or someone being yelled at for not being entertaining.

What Sort Of Works

– Josh Matthews and Taz foucus on the matches well, they could be more interesting.

What Didn’t Work

– So the matches are becoming more and more of a problem for me each week . If this is all we’re getting in terms of programming I want some PPV quality matches. I know they have the talent to put on better matches. I just want to see it now.

– Mr Anderson should be shot on sight.

– Matt Hardy needs to go. It’s not that he can’t work, it’s that I’m legitimately sad when I see him move.

So Why Should I Watch This Instead Of Raw?

Because you get solid storytelling framed with good matches. I may say I want more from the contests but there’s nothing here that is outright bad. The two main blood feuds they have going are particularly interesting and they’re really taking their time to build them properly. Next week’s show should be pretty great. Also Taryn is awesome.

Thanks for reading! See ya next week!