Impact: Jun 21st

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krizbii Having watched both Raw and Smackdown in full for the first time in ages, it only seems fair to take a look at the competition. AEW obviously should emerge as the WWE alternative, but for now, lets look at the promotion that will never die, Impact Wrestling.

Last time I watched Impact, it had Laurel Van Ness being a crazy person in a wedding dress, which the internet tells me was mid-2017. That means I have no idea what’s going on or who any of those people are, so this handy recap at the start should help. RVD? Sandman? Sabu? OK I know who some of these people are, but why the hell are they here, didn’t they do this nearly ten years ago when all these guys were already well past their best.

Tessa Blanchard vs Jake Crist
This ring is tiny, and with Tessa seemingly doing everything at twice the speed of any normal person it just looks kind of silly. After kicking her in the head, Crist stalling and doing everything as slowly as possible looked equally dumb. When they actually settled into some regular paced wrestling it wasn’t bad at all, unless you’re opposed to the idea of intergender matches.

Fulton vs Edwards
This appeared to be a stay stood on the tiny strip of padding outside the ring match during the brawl after the break. Once inside the ring it went from high-intesity brwal, to a much slower, duller fight. Edwards lost thanks to the distraction of Sandman being waterboarded by an angry man in a small cupboard.

Even the staircases in this shitty little building are tiny. Josh Mathews appears to have aged about 40 years in the past 10 years, while Don Callis looked half asleep whenever he was shown on camera.

Moose vs Dreamer
I’ve never understood the appeal of Moose, his act is 99% stupid arm gesture, he’s like a 3rd-rate Lashley without the physique, wrestling ability or charisma (and Lashley is one of the dullest personality vacuums in wrestling). Tommy Dreamer is so old, him innovating violence is entirely possible. This match was really slow, it made old 80s British wrestling look high-paced.

Backstage segments
Back in the tiny staircase of doom (this time with added background music and shit lighting) Taya wanted Rosemary to help deal with some demons, and she’d give her what she wanted in return. Rosemary was supposed to be looking at the title, but seemed more to be looking at the titties.

Johnny Impact’s body looks like Iggy Pop, do they suck the life-force out of the younger guys to keep the ECW people alive? He’s still a shit promo, Melissa the interviewer had exactly the right reactions to how crap this was.

Su Yung vs Taya Valkyrie
They should really lay-off the Taya close-ups, her face is more horrifying than the undead bride’s. The wrestling wasn’t bad, the ending was, with Havok causing a DQ for no good reason, Valkyrie having no need of Rosemary’s help and James Mitchell setting up a Monster’s Ball match between the four of them.

Ace Austin vs TJP
TJP did more fast-paced moves in the first few seconds of this than in his entire awful run as champion of the Raw cruiserweight division when he stayed dull and grounded. He was always capable of more and although he’s been no loss to WWE, he’s one of the many people that are much better than the WWE system allows them to appear.

Three tools talk to each other individually in some kind of padded room with shit smoke effect on the screen (apparantly they’re Rascalz and it was a treehouse (my description is better)). Crusty old man Konnan talks to them about respect and you probably need to watch the show to have any clue what any of that was about.

It’s a Trap
Edwards finds the tiny cupboard of waterboarding and soft drinks, only to discover that Sandman was never there to the suprise of absolutely nobody, the spooky backstage music was there again, and turned to unhinged metal when Edwards attacked then tried to eat Killer Kross. Alisha ( I think that’s her name) displayed some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen in reacting to this.

Scuzzy-Looking Video Promo
Sami Callihan says he is Impact Wrestling – he’s mildly entertaining in very small doses, but mostly full of crap, so it’s not the worst analogy. He also says there’s a bigger picture to everything he does, except that’s just to challenge Tessa to a match, which isn’t the most ambitious quest in life.

Johnny Impact vs Rich Swann vs Michael Elgin
An enjoyable main event that allowed everyone to look good had a few good spots and a good finish with Impact hitting a Spanish Fly on Elgin only to be hit with a 450 from Swann. Post-match couldn’t help but look dumb with Swann getting chocked by a big red X, but then Brian Cage surprisingly showed up for a bit of Slammiversary hype with Elgin.

Final Thoughts
Well, it’s not great, but at least it’s different. The tiny arena probably helps hide how few fans this company has, but the tiny ring doesn’t help the wrestling as it really isn’t practical for spots like the double German suplex in the main event where Swann’s feet caught the ropes on the opposite side as there’s not enough room to work.

I like that they try to do something with the production of certain things, but adding shitty filters and dumb music to taped promos and backstage segments doesn’t really give it an edgy, underground feel.

While WWE has lots of talent that get no opportunity to use it, Impact has some ideas that would work much better with better talent. The best acting on the show was by a backstage interviewer reacting to a crap promo, the character work elsewhere was not great.

The wrestling itself was decent, apart from the wretched Moose/Dreamer plodathon. They managed to do an intergender match that was reasonably balanced rather than Tessa always having the upper hand or just being endless man on woman violence.

The build to the PPV was better on Impact than on Raw or Smackdown and the close to the show was solid and tied into that, rather than just being some throwaway last match like the WWE shows.

Scoring this is hard as there’s a mix of bad and good, like Smackdown it was better than Raw, and like Smackdown, that’s not a massive compliment.

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Score: 5