Impact 4/19

Well it’s been a month since I’ve said anything, so I might as well review Impact

Impact opened with the obligatory PPV recap, with some reality style comments from Storm about the loss. It then cut to the also-now obligatory show opening promo, in which a newly trimmed Bobby Roode gloated over his victory, and claimed he had now beaten everybody. Mr. Anderson made the also-now-too obligatory opening promo interruption. He brought up Roode hitting him with a bottle a couple weeks back, and wanted a title shot. This brought out Jeff Hardy, who wanted a title shot as well. Finally Hulk Hogan made the “again-also-now-too” obligatory opening promo interruption ummm… interruption, and stated that Hardy and Anderson would meet in a #1 Contenders match in the main event.

To be honest this came across better than I just described it, but I am just beyond tired of the age old “show opening promo with interruption” format that has been the staple of wrestling TV for the last 15 or so years.

Match One: Bully Ray & Crimson vs. Matt Morgan & Austin Aries – Morgan basically took a double team beating from both men, before making the hot tag to Aries, who looked very good cleaning house. Unfortunately for him, Bully Ray was able to roll him up and pull the tights for the cheap victory.

Winners: Bully Ray & Crimson. It was great seeing Aries get in a lot of offense against the bigger guys. He was really on a tear before the out-of-nowhere finish. But the good of this is it shows that there is unfinished business between the four.

Garrett Bischoff and Team Garrett came to the ring to celebrate their win at the PPV. In a hilarious moment of bad editing, Garrett was seen applauding, then having his hands at his sides in the very next shot. Garrett said that Lockdown was one of the biggest nights of his life, and AJ congratulated him for taking such a beating.

Ric Flair interrupted the festivities and insulted Garrett for calling his father his “old man”. They started bleeping out “Bischoff” when Eric was mentioned. At first I thought maybe a slip of the tongue happened and Flair said “Bitchoff”, but it kept happening. So apparently nobody can say Bischoff’s name from now on.

Anyway, Flair said that next week he was going to throw a party in Eric Bischoff’s honor, and none of them were invited. Team Garrett mockingly acted hurt by this.

The reality cam was backstage. Daniels and Kazarian had a legal size envelope which they claimed was the reason they were blackmailing AJ.

Also backstage, Devon met up with Joe and Magnus, and asked if any of them knew what was up with Hogan’s announcement. None of them knew, but were ready for anything.

Match Two: Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles – Good to see that AJ had enough time to get backstage and grab his hoodie vest before the match. This was an OK match for TV, but very underwhelming considering what we know these two are capable of. There was one scary part where AJ was belly-to-bellied over the top rope to the outside. Kazarian & Daniels came to ringside with the envelope. AJ somehow magically knew what was inside and demanded to know where they got it from. Angle rolled AJ up in the distraction and got the pin.

Winner: Kurt Angle via roll-up. This was the second roll-up finish in as many matches. Impact is once again fading into the “roll-up pin” finish that plagued so many TV matches for so long. Before we thought we could just blame Vince Russo, but we obviously can’t do that anymore.

Joseph Park was backstage talking to Gunner. When Gunner claimed to not know where Abyss was, Park grabbed his arm and gave him a legal threat. Gunner said the last time he saw Abyss he was in the ring with Bully Ray. Nice to see SOMEBODY finally mention this, as Park is apparently too stupid to watch footage of the last known appearance of Abyss.

All of the champions made their way to the ring with full entrances. Hogan was seen backstage telling Rob Van Dam that the #1 contenders match was now a three-way match that included him. Hogan then also came to the ring for his big announcement.

Hogan said that once a month was going to be “Open Fight Night”. On that night there would be an outside talent that will be brought in to try for a contract. There will be three judges, and Hogan himself that will decide whether the talent is given the contract or not. Joe was able to be seeing saying “What does this have to do with us?”. Hogan then went on to say that on Open Fight Night, there can be challenges made to anybody on the roster, including champions. Challenges must be accepted, and if champions are involved, titles are on the line. Naturally the heel champions Roode & Kim objected to this, while her champions Aries, Devon, and Joe & Magnus were cool with it. Devon took the mic and said that he agreed with everything Hogan just said, and that he was a fighting champion. Hogan replied that it’s good he said that, because the TV Title will be defended every week. Once again, Devon was fine with the announcement. Hey, it’s guaranteed work.

Match Three: Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Sarita, & Rosita vs. Tara, Tessmacher, Mickie James, & Velvet Sky – Once again, this was fine for a TV match. Though since it was a Knockouts Match, there had to be some jiggling and suggestive motions. As expected, the match eventually erupted into a brawl, with most of the participants spilling outside the ring. In the end, Tessmacher rolled up Gail Kim for the pin.

Winners: Tessmacher, Tara, Mickie, and Velvet. Yep. We got our third rollup finish in as many matches.

Backstage, Anderson talked the three-way match, saying he was going to win.

Match Four – TV TITLE MATCH: Devon(c) vs. Gunner – Tenay & Taz mentioned that the TV Title defense stipulation must have been effective tonight. Gunner got in some offense, but Devon eventually won with a sit-out style powerbomb in about five minutes.

Winner: Devon. It was nice to see at least one match end in a clean finish without a rollup…

James Storm came to the ring, and cut a spirited promo about not winning the title at Lockdown. He said he tried to hurt Bobby Roode, and not beat him. At first he was happy with seeing Roode battered and broken after the match, but then realized when he got home that he failed to win the title. He said that Roode didn’t beat him, he beat himself. He then ended the speech abruptly by saying “maybe my luck has run out…”, dropping the mic, and leaving.

A promo segment for next week reinforced that there will be a party held for Eric Bischoff.

Match Five – #1 Contenders: Rob Van dam vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy – It was an interesting dynamic to see what was effectively three heroes vying for the win. Also it wouldn’t be a multiman match without the series of signature moves being hit. Hardy hit the Twist Of Fate on Anderson, and nailed the Swanton. RVD came in to intervene. Hardy tried for a Twist Of Fate on RVD, but RVD countered with a backslide and got the surprise win.

Winner And New #1 Contender: Rob Van Dam. This was a fine TV main event, and Hardy didn’t look bad by the loss. Presumably RVD gets the shot at the next PPV. Plus once again it was refreshing to see a clean win. VD can say he earned a title shot by winning a match cleanly. Something that hasn’t happened in a while on any program.

Conclusion: This was much better than the recent Impacts I have been reviewing. They’ve done better recently, but this didn’t feel like a waste of time. The storylines overall were logical by wrestling standards. Still, the rollup finishes were a bit annoying because we got three of them in a row.

6.5 out of 10

 

Thanks so much for reading! I welcome feedback of any kind. seth@a1-wrestling.com

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