Date: March 16, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Jeremy Borash, Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
Take two. Last week’s relaunch of Impact Wrestling didn’t get the best reception but it should be interesting to see where things go this week. The big story coming out of last week is Alberto El Patron winning the World Title, only to vacate it due to the controversial way in which he won the belt. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week’s show. I think it might have used to work with WWE and it remembers when things were great before the fans left. The World Title gets more focus than anything else with Josh talking over everything a close second.
Here’s Alberto for a chat. He loves it here because he doesn’t need to pretend to be something he’s not. Here he can be El Patron and THIS IS HIS HOUSE (that’s one way to get Paige to break up with you). Last week he proved to everyone that he deserves to be the champion. He’s not here to be a talker though because he’d rather fight. That means a challenge to Lashley but it’s Ethan Carter III instead. Ethan knows how difficult it was to relinquish that title but if Alberto wants it back, he needs to earn it. Tonight, let’s make it Si vs. 3.
Alberto says no but Ethan calls him out for not wanting to fight. That’s still a no because El Patron is here to fight the big dog. Ethan shoves him down and a fight breaks out with security breaking it up. That’s FINALLY enough for the match to be accepted. Now why in the world did this not happen LAST WEEK? If El Patron can beat Carter, at least it sets him up as a title contender instead of just throwing in another WWE reject to the main event.
Eddie Edwards talks about how he wants to make Impact great.
We go to a meeting with Bruce Prichard, Dutch Mantel and two other people who seem to have authority. Ignore last week when Mantel flat out said he was NOT an authority figure. Basically they don’t know how Decay got the Tag Team Titles (they don’t know their own stories) but Prichard knows how to figure it out.
JB gets a phone call telling him that EC3 vs. El Patron is on tonight, much to Josh’s annoyance.
Video on the history of Tyrus and Eli Drake. There’s enough between them for a history package?
Laredo Kid/Garza Jr. vs. Eli Drake/Tyrus
Kid and Garza are from the Crash promotion in Mexico and this is their debut. Drake and the Kid start things off with Laredo snapping off a headscissors. Josh mocks JB for wanting to talk about the international partnerships before it’s off to Garza. Eli misses a charge and falls out to the floor for a suicide dive. That’s followed by a moonsault to the floor from Laredo but Tyrus knocks the Kid out of the air.
Back from a break with Laredo getting thrown across the ring in a good looking Tyrus suplex. Drake drops a jumping elbow but takes too much time talking, allowing Garza to come in off the hot tag. Eli takes him down as well but accidentally hits Tyrus. That means there’s no one to tag, allowing Garza to grab a rollup on Drake for the pin at 11:03.
Rating: C-. Hey, did you know that Garza and Kid are from Crash? Ignore the fact that maybe fourteen people watching this show have heard of Crash outside of the Hardys going there a few weeks ago of course. Garza and Kid were fine but nothing that hasn’t been done several times before.
Josh says that was stupid.
Video on Eddie Edwards, Moose and James Storm appearing for Pro Wrestling Noah as part of the new talent exchange. To TNA’s credit, this is pretty impressive and WAY better than their agreement with Wrestle-1.
Kayci Quinn vs. Brandi Rhodes
Quinn is making her debut. We hear about Brandi’s education, which includes degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Miami. Not bad. And never mind as Cody comes out to say this isn’t happening. Cody isn’t happy with Impact Wrestling pimping out the Rhodes name because he’s going to do it instead. He tries to give Quinn $45 (“It’s $20 more than they were going to pay you.”) before moving on to Moose. Cody: “Moose claims that he’s in Japan. I AM JAPAN!” Cody wants Moose back here for the Grand Championship. Brandi tries to apologize to Quinn as they leave.
Back from a break with Rosemary destroying Quinn. Thankfully this gives the announcers another chance to argue while Quinn is looked at. JB says law and order is coming soon.
Ethan Carter III wants to make Impact great.
Ethan Carter III vs. Alberto El Patron
I’m surprised this isn’t the main event. Patron gets in a quick dropkick to the back for two and they’re already on the floor. We take a break a minute in and come back with Carter punching him out of the air and stomping away in the corner. Carter says this is HIS house and they head outside again with El Patron sending the arm into the post and steps. Back in and Patron cranks on the arm but has to shove away the 1%er. A backdrop sends Patron to the floor and Carter rams him into the announcers’ table for good measure. Back in and Patron enziguris him off the apron to send us to a second break.
We come back with Carter winning a slugout but getting caught in a Backstabber. Patron misses the top rope stomp though and the TK3 knocks him silly. There’s no cover though as Carter hits a second TK3 for no cover again. Instead he goes to grab a chair but changes his mind, allowing El Patron to grab the cross armbreaker for the tap at 21:50.
Rating: B-. NOW WHY DIDN’T THEY DO THIS LAST WEEK??? Patron wins a long match by beating someone who is still a big star which should put him into the title picture. Now it would feel right to have him face Lashley for the belt but as usual they did the whole thing backwards. Also it would have been nice to have a good match on the relaunch show instead of the messy Alberto vs. Lashley match but again, why go with what makes sense?
Alberto applauds Carter and says that was one of the best matches of his career. Carter takes a few seconds but shakes Alberto’s hand.
Reno Scum says they’re here for the titles and call themselves the perfect combination of athleticism and violence. That took twenty seconds and told me more than I learned about them all of last week.
Ethan is frustrated in the back but Bruce Prichard gets in his face and shouts a bunch of stuff we can’t hear.
Madison Rayne wants to make Impact great again.
JB says “she” is going to be here next week.
X-Division Title: Trevor Lee vs. Andrew Everett vs. Braxton Sutter vs. Suicide
Lee is defending and this is one fall to a finish. And yes, they brought back SUICIDE because that character was begging for a revival. Allie is here with Sutter but Shane Helms seems to have lost his Gregory in the relaunch. The champ gets triple teamed to start and we hit the heavily choreographed sequence where no one can make any contact because it’s well rehearsed.
Suicide dropkicks Everett and bulldogs Sutter for two. Pope goes on a rant against Suicide because they had a falls count anywhere match back in the day but the mask kept Pope from knowing when he was hurt. We get a nice fake out with Suicide teasing diving onto Everett but instead falling backwards onto the other two. Everett hits a big springboard shooting star onto all three as we take a break.
Back with Josh plugging Schitt’s Creek and Everett eating a Superman Punch. Lee gets powerslammed so Everett goes up top, only to have Lee get caught on Sutter’s shoulders for a Tower of Doom. Cue Laurel Van Ness (still in the wedding clothes) to distract Sutter though and a jumping knee to Braxton’s head retains Trevor’s title at 12:50.
Rating: C. I am so sick of the X-Division doing the same stuff over and over. How many times have you seen the exact same stuff over and over with the title having no real story to it? Oh and well done on capitalizing on Sutter and Allie being the hottest thing in the promotion by having Allie just be a valet and Sutter taking the fall here when you have freaking Suicide right there.
Post match Sienna comes out to warn Allie and Sutter of upcoming pain. Laurel is very pleased.
Moose wants to make Impact great again. I get what they’re going for here but maybe they should stop talking about how great it’s going to be and actually do something great.
Here’s Bruce Prichard to address the Tag Team Title situation. See, titles are won and lost in the ring, not in space and time (The Hardys won the matches in wrestling rings you nitwit. If you’re going to call a story stupid, at least get the details right.). Josh points out that Bruce too the title from Alberto in a board room on Monday but of course that’s not brought up elsewhere. Anyway the titles will be decided in two weeks but here’s Decay to interrupt. They rescued the titles from space and time so they should just be handed the belts now.
Prichard looks terrified of Rosemary but here’s Reno Scum to cut them off. Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid come out to say they want the belts too and a brawl breaks out. Decay stands tall but here’s LAX (Homicide and Konnan) for the big return, followed by three more members coming in from behind to help in the big beatdown. Konnan says they’re serious “like a late period” to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This was better than last week but not by much. Let’s get the good things out of the way first: Josh was WAY less annoying this time around and that makes the biggest difference in the world. He was still doing the heel schtick here but it was far less annoying and felt more like a heel I can get annoyed by rather than one that’s ruining the show. Keep it around this level and he could be valuable down the road.
Second, they had a good match. Alberto vs. Ethan wasn’t anything great or a masterpiece of any sort but it got time, told a story and was entertaining. It gives El Patron some more credibility and should set him up for a rematch with Lashley, though I have a feeling they’ll wait until Slammiversary because a former WWE star (a company they barely mentioned this week for another positive) deserves that kind of a spot you see.
As for the negatives….there are still a lot of them. The X-Division is as worthless as it was before (though the match wasn’t bad) and Allie and Braxton went from the most popular people in the company to just more names on a list but one problem outshines them all: these new people aren’t interesting. Reno Scum are every “we’re violent and a bit crazy” team I can ever remember and the luchadors might as well have been named Uno and Dos. Maybe they’ll grow on me over time but I really see no reason to care about them.
That brings me to LAX, which was an interesting choice for a big surprise reveal. They got a nice reaction from the crowd but do you really want to bring in part of an act that was a big deal ten years ago? It could be interesting to see where they go but I’ve never been a big Homicide fan in the first place.
The show was far less bad but it’s still really not very interesting. Like I said, the company needs to stop talking about how great things used to be/how great they will be and start doing something great. There are interesting things going on but this weird mix of new people who aren’t interesting and the leftovers from the old era isn’t working yet, though it’s still early.
Laredo Kid/Garza Jr. b. Eli Drake/Tyrus – Rollup to Drake
Alberto El Patron b. Ethan Carter III – Cross armbreaker
Trevor Lee b. Andrew Everett, Braxton Sutter and Suicide – Knee to Sutter’s head
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