Date: March 30, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Jeremy Borash, D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
So we’re still in Orlando….with a regular episode of Impact. One might think they might try to do something special with the wrestling world’s eyes on their hometown but last week’s show ended with Karen Jarrett returning, seemingly to start a feud with heel commentator Josh Matthews. That’s special, right? Let’s get to it.
We open with a board meeting where Dutch Mantel is handing out ideas while Matthews wants to be in on everything. Karen comes in and says she needs one of the bosses to send Sienna to the ring. So wait: does Karen have authority or not? Dutch flat out said he’s not an authority figure yet he seems to be running things, so I guess Bruce Prichard is in charge? Can I get a flow chart? Anyway, Bruce and Dutch call the meeting because Josh and JB keep arguing.
The opening recap looks at the end of last week’s show with Matthews getting in Karen’s face and getting slapped down.
Here’s Karen to open things up as the announcers are already bickering. She’s here to talk about Maria Kanellis leaving, especially how Sienna has used the departure to become a huge bully. Cue Sienna (Why did Karen need Dutch/Bruce to get her to the ring if she can just call Sienna out?), who asks if there’s a problem.
Karen has been here a short amount of time and hasn’t heard one nice thing about Sienna. She’s not going to tolerate any bullying from anyone but Sienna wants to know where Karen heard this. Sienna thinks it was Allie and doesn’t think much of Karen because she didn’t marry her way into the show.
Cue a big man who Pope knows but the fans greet with a WHO ARE YOU chant. Karen looks terrified as the guy introduces himself as KM (Kevin Matthews, though not mentioned here) and says he’s Sienna’s cousin. KM shouts about demanding respect and tells Karen to shut up. Braxton Sutter and Allie come out for the save and now Karen has a backbone again. Sutter vs. KM is set for later. This was FAR longer than it needed to be, especially when most of it was just so Karen could do her best Stephanie McMahon impression.
The X-Division wants to make Impact Wrestling great.
DJZ vs. Andrew Everett
Everett kicks him to the floor to start but it’s time for a flip off, allowing the announcers to talk about AJ Styles. An armdrag sends Everett to the floor for a big flip dive, followed by some kicks in the corner. Speaking of AJ, Everett gets in a quick Pele but his moonsault hits raised feet. The ZDT is loaded up but Everett small packages him for the pin at 4:26.
Rating: C-. Impact Wrestling could go through a million bosses and regime changes and the X-Division would still get about five minutes in a meaningless match with the announcers talking about the good old days and how important it is while ignoring most of what happens in the ring. Such is life in the X-Division of course and I don’t see it ever changes. Either do something with it or scrap the thing already because this is just lip service at best.
Post match Gregory Shane Helms comes out to say that Everett has earned an opportunity of some sort for next week.
Fury will be unleashed on April 13.
We look back at the horrible Rebel vs. ODB match from last week with Earl Hebner kissing both of them for reasons of unfunny comedy. After a break, ODB and Hebner seemed to go on a date. There is no way this can possibly end well.
Here’s Rosemary, who has somehow been Knockouts Champion for five months, is here for the Burial of the Knockouts Celebration. She talks about all the women’s she’s destroyed but ODB comes out to interrupt. ODB calls herself a four time “Knocked Up Champion” and wants a shot at the title. Rosemary says the Hive disagrees and goes to leave but here are Brandi Rhodes and five other women to chase her back to the ring. A huge brawl breaks out and that’s enough to take us to a break.
Ethan Carter III wants to make Impact great again.
Announcers, bickering, nothing of note.
Here’s Carter for a chat. He wants to apologize to Karen for what happened last week but he wasn’t happy with the man he was becoming. This place is changing and he needs to change with it. Carter was the man who beat everyone around here and it’s time for him to get back to that point. He needs to be the real EC3 and become an EC3 time World Champion.
Cue James Storm in regular clothes (and with no music for some reason). He didn’t hear his name mentioned in Carter’s list of former World Champions (maybe because he was listing multiple time World Champions). Storm wants to know where Carter was when Storm was on the first pay per view. Carter: “At my buddy’s house watching the pay per view.” We hear about AMW and Beer Money so Storm wants to know where Carter was back then. Carter: “I was probably drinking a lot of beer and making a lot of money.” Storm: “Ok that’s a really good answer!”
Both of them want to be the World Champion again and, since they’re allowed to do this, they decide that the fans will get to pick which of them will be the new #1 contender. I like the idea of these two wanting to be World Champion and I especially like the idea of Storm being out of the DCC even more. This sounds like a way to turn Carter heel again, which would probably be best all around.
Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid want to win the Tag Team Titles tonight.
Reno Scum want to show everyone that they’re the best.
We recap Cody vs. Moose for the Grand Championship. Cody wants the title but Moose was in Japan so tonight they can finally have the title match.
Grand Championship: Moose vs. Cody
Moose is defending but Cody comes out with his Nex-Gen Title again. Cody gets shouldered into the corner to start but a quick DDT drops Moose. That just earns Cody a powerbomb and a middle rope moonsault for two. A big chop hits the post though and Cody superkicks one of the judges by mistake, because this match didn’t have enough rules already and needed an angle. Cody can’t quite get a cover as the first round ends. Bruce Prichard comes out to replace the injured judge and it’s Moose winning round one.
Round two starts with Cody kicking the knee but missing a big kick to the head. Moose apron bombs him and grabs a chair, only to have Brandi get in his way. The distraction lets another leg shot set up the Figure Four but Moose hangs on to end the round. Cody wins the round to tie it up and round three starts with Brandi yelling at her husband and walking out.
They slug it out with Cody getting the better of it and the announcers bickering over Josh’s wife being a fair judge. I mean, she’s not a judge but she would be a fair one if she was. Moose peppers him with left hands but eats the Disaster Kick for no cover. They slug it out again and the round ends at 9:00 with neither having an advantage. Moose wins via split decision and Josh loses it.
Rating: C. This match showed my major problem with the entire concept: they had a nine minute match with a commercial and another break between the second and third rounds, yet at eight minutes in neither can stand up? You would think they should have a deeper gas tank than that. Nine minutes is a rather odd time limit, but then again so is a round system in general. Also, what was the point in the judge going down? I’m assuming Cody will claim conspiracy, because that’s the kind of original thinking that’s going to get this company to the top.
Video on Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards. Next week it’s a last man standing match.
Eli Drake wants to make Impact Wrestling great.
We look at Moose vs. Cody again.
Karen brings JB a message about a Knockouts gauntlet battle royal to crown a new #1 contender. I see absolutely no reason for Karen to have been out here for this scene.
KM vs. Braxton Sutter
The much bigger KM (billed at 6’8) drives Braxton into the corner to start but gets kicked in the face. KM dropkicks him down and we’re off to a quickly broken chinlock. Instead it’s a double clothesline to put both of them down, leaving the women to get into a chase on the floor. Sienna grabs Allie though and the distraction lets KM grab a powerbomb into a Backstabber for the pin at 3:37.
Rating: D+. The time hurt this and I’m glad it wasn’t a clean pin. Sutter hasn’t won a big match in months and I don’t know how much longer the strength of the wedding angle and his relationship with Allie can carry him. Giving KM a victory is a good idea and there’s nothing wrong with establishing new talent, but it might help to further establish your older talent first.
Post match the four of them get in a fight with the forces of good clearing the ring. Laurel Van Ness stumbles out, somehow looking creepier every single week. Sutter and Allie look terrified.
We go to the LAX clubhouse where Konnan talks to the team before the Tag Team Title match. Has anyone brought up that Konnan has brought in a team to fight against the team that works for his own company? Like, wouldn’t it mean more money if Garza and Laredo won? I guess loyalty goes before money? It would be nice to have it brought up at least.
Davey Richards wants to make Impact Wrestling better.
Fury is still coming.
Tag Team Titles: Garza Jr./Laredo Kid vs. LAX vs. Decay vs. Reno Scum
The titles are vacant coming in and this is one fall to a finish. Thornstone and Kid start things off with Scum taking over in a hurry. Ortiz tags himself in for some lucha, capped off with a backbreaker to drop the Kid. Everything breaks down in a hurry and Kid dives onto a huge pile of people, followed by Garza doing the same as we take a break.
Back with Garza getting two off a Lionsault but LAX makes the save. Abyss comes in and clotheslines Kid against the ropes but Scum tags themselves in for some corner clotheslines. Kid scores with a DDT so both members of LAX come in to clean house, including a top rope double stomp onto a hanging cutter to Steve. It means posing instead of covering though, leaving Rosemary and Diamante to get into a catfight. Ortiz loads Laredo up for a powerbomb with Santana coming off the top with a Blockbuster for the pin and the titles at 12:13.
Rating: B. I had more fun with this than I was expecting and LAX wining is the right call. We’ve had Decay as champions, Scum really isn’t interesting and the Crash guys are fine but nothing all that memorable. LAX is over and arguably better than any other team here so making them the new champions makes the most sense. Good action here too with a bunch of chaos, which is the best option given how little we know about the teams. Keep things moving and let the action be the draw.
Overall Rating: C+. This show accomplished one major thing above all others: it helped bolster almost everything on the show. We have people fighting to be #1 contender for the World and Knockouts Titles, the X-Division Title got a mention, the Grand Championship was defended and we have new Tag Team Champions. That’s quite the usage of two hours and it’s very nice to see them actually doing something with a lot of the roster instead of just doing the same stuff over and over.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad stuff here to go right along with it. I know I asked this earlier, but who in the world is running this show? I know there are multiple names but various people seem to have authority at some point or another. The worst part is the show doesn’t even need an authority figure (just say the Impact Wrestling bosses have made a decision) but with three being introduced, you’re going to wonder who is running things.
One of the names who might have authority is Karen Jarrett and we saw WAY too much of her tonight. The far too long opening segment really didn’t need Karen as Sienna could have called out Allie to the same result. It really does come off like a Stephanie impression and that’s not a good idea, especially when Karen is supposed to be a face yet she was ready to fight Sienna, who should be able to kill her. So I guess she’s a hybrid between Stephanie and Shane?
On top of that, a lot of the wrestling really wasn’t that great. It was completely watchable but that’s not quite enough. When everyone is putting their best effort out for the biggest weekend of the wrestling year, you need to do something a little better than just a somewhat above average show. The main event is definitely the best thing about the show and it helped things quite a bit.
Overall the show had more good than bad but it needs a lot of work. Getting rid of multiple authority figures (and probably a title or two) would do some good and dropping the MAKE IMPACT GREAT vignettes would give them some more time for the matches. This was a good step in the right direction but since it’s Impact, I have no reason to believe it’s going to last.
Andrew Everett b. DJZ – Small package
Moose b. Cody via split decision
KM b. Braxton Sutter – Powerbomb into a Backstabber
LAX b. Reno Scum, Laredo Kid/Garza Jr. and Decay – Sitout powerbomb/Blockbuster combo to Kid
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