IMPACT Review for 03/30/2017

By Lewis Carlan

On this edition of IMPACT wrestling, new tag team champions will be crowned in a fatal four way match as it will be Decay vs. LAX vs. Garza Jr and Laredo Kid vs. Reno Scum. Also, Moose will defend the Grand title against Cody Rhodes in a much anticipated match up.

Last week’s episode of IMPACT was terrific and we are about to find out if this week’s episode was able to match or even top it. Without wasting any more time, let’s get on with the review!

IMPACT begins this week with an “earlier today” segment as Josh Mathews is in the boardroom talking with Bruce Prichard, Dutch Mantell, Jeremy Borash and another individual. After some bickering and talk about EC3, Karen Jarrett enters the boardroom and told them to have Sienna meet her in the ring later. Mathews and Borash continued verbally trashing each other to which Prichard threatened to make changes to the broadcast team if this continued.

By stating “earlier today” I feel they are trying to fool the audience that IMPACT is a live show.  They have done this in the past and it’s something I never cared for. The show is taped and everyone knows it’s taped. Maybe they could spruce up that sad looking boardroom as well? Anthem is a multimillion dollar corporation; couldn’t they have the board meeting at Anthem’s head office to make it look more legit? It looks they found an empty room backstage at the IMPACT ZONE, put in a table and some chairs and have made it a boardroom.

A video package recapping last week was aired.

Karen Jarrett heads to the ring to officially kick off the show. Fans started a “Fire Josh” chant to which Jarrett told them that it was put on her list last night. She said after Maria Kanellis left the company due to a “nervous breakdown”, bullying has been happening in the back and called out Sienna. Sienna asked if there was a problem. Jarrett said she hasn’t heard a positive thing about Sienna from anyone in the locker room and would not stand for bullying. Sienna suggested that it was Allie who made the claim of bullying. Sienna told Jarrett that she made it to IMPACT to her own and not because of her last name. Karen gave Sienna 15 seconds to apologize and started counting down backwards from 15. Her count was interrupted as entrance music hit and KM (Kevin Mathews) came down to the ring. KM said he was Sienna’s cousin, said Jarrett is the one who should apologize, told the fans to shut up, and started a countdown of his own. Braxton Sutter and Allie ran down for the save. Sutter and KM exchanged blows as Sutter got the better of him and cleared the ring. Jarrett books a match between Braxton Sutter and KM for later in the show.

Karen Jarrett has a much better and more believable ring presence than Dixie Carter. Having her as the boss should be fun to watch as long as she picks her spots and doesn’t smother us with her presence. It’s great to see another new face in KM. He was very good on the mic and came across as a potentially good heel. I did feel as it’s the first time we have seen him on IMPACT he should have gotten the better of Sutter in that first exchange to give him quick credibility, then have Sutter demand a match to get revenge. KM looked weak against Sutter in his first segment which kind of takes away from the first match up between Sutter and KM. My opinion of course.

Next Andrew Everett, Trevor Lee, and DJ Z talk about the X Division.

Match 1 – Andrew Everett vs. DJ Z

This match started with both wrestlers exchanging offensive moves and hit some good spots. DJ Z hit a flying somersault onto Everett who was outside the ring and Everett hit a very nice off the top rope spring board dropkick to DJ Z. DJ Z showed off his luchador skills as Borash mentioned the working agreement with Mexico’s AAA promotion. Everett hit a nice Pele kick on DJ Z. The end came when DJ Z went for his finisher but Everett caught him with an inside cradle and got the win.

Winner – Andrew Everett

This was a decent match but not as good as I was expecting. The crowd kind of quiet for this one. They ran a segment prior to the match in which Everett, Lee and DJ Z talked about the great, one of kind X Division yet they couldn’t get the crowd behind them in the match. These two guys have the talent to get the fans on their feet but fell short. The finish could have been a little more spectacular than an inside cradle. I mean, this is supposed to be the X Division! The right guy did go over in my opinion as Trevor Lee and Everett can have a 5 star match if they are let loose.

Gregory Helms and Trevor Lee came out after the match and Helms said next week, Everett gets an opportunity but did not elaborate what that opportunity will be.

We get a Fury Will Be Unleashed segment.

We get a recap of last week’s creepy kiss by Earl Hebner on Rebel which was followed by ODB’s kiss to Hebner. This was followed by ODB backstage last week as her and Hebner agree to get a few beers.

Total waste of time here. Really. Zero interest in a Hebner and ODB  boyfriend/girlfriend angle if that’s where they are going with this. Hopefully that’s not what they are going.

Jeremy Borash is in the ring and introduces Knockouts Champion Rosemary.  Borash asked Rosemary who is there left for her to defeat. Rosemary cut an in ring promo basically calling herself the best and for everyone to stay away or they will Decay. ODB comes out and calls herself the 4 time Knocked Up champion and soon to be the 5 time Knocked Up champion. Rosemary said “the hive” disagrees and leaves the ring. The entire women’s roster including Brandi Rhodes, Madison Rayne, Rebel, Diamante and a few new faces KC Quinn and MJ Jenkins all come out and chases her back into the ring. Madison Rayne cuts her own little promo about wanting a shot at title, Rhodes states she wants a shot, and Diamante said she wants to fight which leads to a melee between all the Knockouts.

There were a few new faces in the Knockouts division that we saw in this segment. IMPACT could’ve done a better job in introducing these new faces. They could just have had one of the new Knockouts come out, challenge Rosemary and take her to the limit. I’m sorry but ODB does nothing for me. Nothing. Was I suppose to roll over with laughter when she called herself the 4 time Knocked Up champion instead of the 4 time Knockouts champion? I wish Jade never left IMPACT Wrestling and hope she decides to come back very soon. The Knockouts division needs her badly right now.

Next is an EC3 Make IMPACT Great segment. EC3 says he has already made IMPACT great and praised himself in a heelish way.

The heel turn is slowly coming and is welcomed by me as EC3 has done his best work as a heel.

Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash bicker with each other as someone is holding up a Fire Josh sign in the crowd.

EC3’s music hits as he makes his way to the ring. He slaps hands with fans then enters the ring. He apologized to Karen Jarrett for last week and said he didn’t mean what he told her. EC3 said he needs to do what he does best, he needs to be the guy who beat everyone and was undefeated, and that he needs to be the real EC3. He said he has been champion 2 times and that places him on the same level as someone who is phenomenal, someone who has the IT factor and Lashley. He said he will be a 3 time IMPACT world champion.

James Storm comes out without any entrance music and was upset that EC3 didn’t mention his name when referring to past champions. EC3 said he was referring to wrestlers who have held the world title multiple times. Storm said he respects EC3 and talked about his accomplishments with the company. He said he has been around for all the big IMPACT wrestling moments including the first PPV which EC3 said he watched at a friend’s house as he was only in high school at the time. The continued to have a back and forth verbal exchange as they both laid claim as to why they should be the next IMPACT champion. EC3 suggested they let the fans decide Lashley’s next challenger. They both played to the crowd. EC3 said the fans will make the right decision.

Hold on here! The fans will decide who the next challenger will be? Two weeks ago Bruce Prichard told Alberto El Patron that they couldn’t force Lashley to give El Patron a rematch and it’s up to Lashley to decide if he wants to defend the title. El Patron defeated EC3 two weeks ago in what I thought would have been a #1 contenders match which would have lined up El Patron for a shot at Lashley’s title. But this week EC3 and James Storm have decided that fans will in fact decide who the next challenger will be for Lashley’s IMPACT championship. Is this OK with Bruce Prichard? Does Bobby Lashley still have veto power here? Since it’s up to the fans who the next challenger will be, is anyone eligible here? Can I make a case for JP Simms, Big Dizzle David Harrison or Raccoon King Brian Sanderson for a shot? It’s stuff like this that insinuates that the fans are dumb. This stuff happened many times during the Dixie Carter era and I had hoped it would end but I guess not.

One thing this will most definitely lead to is a full fledged EC3 heel turn and I expect that the fans will not pick EC3.  It’s good to see the old James Storm back as he really knows how to work the crowd.  The interaction between Storm and EC3 was very good and should lead to a potentially exciting feud between the two.

And where in the blue hell is Alberto El Patron? He has been missing for the 2nd week in a row now.

A segment aired with Garza Jr and Laredo Kid followed by a segment with Reno Scum.

We get a Cody/Moose video package.

Match 2 – Cody with Brandi Rhodes vs. Moose for the Grand Championship

Cody was out first wearing the GFW NEX GEN Title. Match was under Grand title rules, 3 rounds and on a point system.

Moose attacked early and controlled the match until Rhodes connected with a DDT. Moose came back with a series of moves that included a power bomb and senton for a near fall. While on the floor, Cody went to superkick Moose but missed and hit one of the judges instead. The judge was replaced by Bruce Prichard. The match went on as they both exchanged offensive moves.

Winner of round 1 – Moose

The second round saw more back and forth action with Cody working on the knee of Moose.  One spot saw Moose on the outside as Cody attempted a dive but was caught by Moose and slammed on the ring apron. Moose went for a chair but Brandi prevented him from using it. This allowed Cody to regain the advantage on a distracted Moose. Cody was able to lock on the figure four near the end of the round as Moose held on until Round 2 ended.

Winner of round 2 – Cody

In celebration of winning round 2, Cody tried to kiss Brandi but she put up her hand and then said him and Moose can kill each other if they want to and stormed off leaving the ringside area.

Round three started with both exchanging blows which saw Moose get the advantage. Cody took over with few forearms. Moose hit a nice dropkick on Cody while he was on the top turnbuckle and nailed Cody with a “Dusty” elbow. Cody came back with the Disaster Kick. The final minute saw a huge back and forth exchange of blows which led to both be simultaneously being knocked down with 30 seconds left. They eventually both got back up and continued exchanging blows as time ran out.

Winner of Round 3 and winner of the match: Moose retains the Grand Title.

Good match between these two that I felt could have been much better if they had a traditional match and not under Grand rules. These matches have become predictable as it’s expected that the babyface wins 1 round then the heel wins 1 round and then they leave it up to round three to decide a winner. This format just doesn’t work when the outcome is pre-determined. It may work in UFC, but this is pro wrestling. I hope this is not the end of the Cody/Moose feud and hope they can have a regular match.

I wonder if there will be any controversy here as Bruce Prichard technically was not an official judge for the match. I’m thinking maybe the judge that got superkicked will come back and said he watched in the back and would have picked Cody to win round three. Prichard would state he pick Moose causing controversy. I mean, the judge wasn’t accidently superkicked just for effect right? It’s most likely going to lead up to something, right?

A Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards video package is shown.  It’s announced that next week it will Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards in a last man standing match.

Next is an Eli Drake “Make IMPACT great” clip.

Here’s a thought. Let’s get a Marshe Rockett/Eli Drake feud going. Have Tyrus turn on Drake and join Rockett. Just a thought.

Karen Jarrett heads to the announce table and hands Jeremy Borash a piece of paper. Borash announces that next week there will be a Knockout Gauntlet Battle Royal to determine the #1 contender.

I’ll go out on a limb and say ODB will win this. Again, Jade, please come back……Please.

Match 3 – KM with Sienna vs. Braxton Sutter with Allie

The match began with KM attacking right away but Sutter eventually came back as they went back and forth. They hit a double clothesline which knocked both of them down. Sienna chased Allie around the ring and then into the ring as Allie avoided being caught by KM. Sutter hit a powerslam, a big boot and flying neckbreaker onto KM. Sienna finally caught up to Allie outside which distracted Sutter. KM nailed Sutter with a kick then followed up with powerbomb to the knees and got the victory. All four brawled after the match as Sutter and Allie cleared the ring. Laurel Van Ness still a mess with her wedding gown still on, bottle in her hand and makeup smeared made her way down the ring ramp.

Nice first win for KM and really, really cool finishing move. The after match brawl that saw Sutter and Allie clear the ring made KM look weak again. Why couldn’t they just have KM standing tall over an injured Sutter and have Sutter really sell that cool finishing move? Having Sutter bounce right back up and clear the ring did not make the move look devastating at all.

Do I need to talk about Laurel Van Ness as she is still doing the “psychotically depressed” angle? Nope.

Next is a LAX segment as they are in their “clubhouse”. Konnan talks about winning the tag team titles tonight.

Davey Richard takes his Make Impact Great turn.

We get another Fury will be Unleashed segment.

This video had a woman looking at an Allie and Braxton Sutter photo. It was made clear that it’s Kongo Kong who is coming as I recognized him in the clip. Kongo Kong is a monster who should fit in well at IMPACT. I like that the cards are being stacked now against Braxton Sutter. This should be a fun feud!

 

Match 4 – Decay(Abyss & Crazzy Steve with Rosemary) vs. LAX (Santana & Ortiz with Konnan, Homicide, & Diamante) vs. Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid vs. Reno Scum (Adam Thornstowe and Luster the Legend) for the Vacant IMPACT tag team titles.

 

Early on in the match Garza Jr. did his “stop the action so I can tear off my pants” gimmick. There was lots of fast paced action early on as well. Cool spot with Laredo Kid hitting a big dive onto his opponents who were outside the ring which was followed by corkscrew dive by Garza Jr. onto everyone. After everyone was back in the ring and got in offensive moves, Laredo Kid was the guy in trouble as Reno Scum worked him over. Kid came back with a tilt a whirl DDT on Thornstowe as Ortiz was tagged in. Ortiz and Santana double teamed Thornstowe, then Luster, and then Abyss. They performed a “street sweeper” move on Abyss which is Santana catapulting himself off of Ortiz and swanton bombs Abyss who is in the corner. They double teamed Crazzy Steve as well as LAX was in full control. Rosemary tried to interfere only to be met by Diamante who takes her out. Laredo Kid tries a spring board onto Ortiz but is caught. They did a combo blockbuster/powerbomb on Laredo Kid for the victory.

 

Winners and new IMPACT tag team champions – Santana and Ortiz.

 

This was a terrific match and by far the best match of the night. Santana, Ortiz, Laredo Kid, and Garza Jr. were clearly the standouts here. Not to take anything away from Decay and Reno Scum, but they just aren’t on the level of those four. It’s matches like these that are making fans forget about The Hardy’s, Drew Galloway and Mike Bennett.

 

I can’t wait to see Santana and Ortiz vs. Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid. Those are going to be fun and very entertaining matches. Not too long ago, there was literally only one tag team in IMPACT and that was Decay.  Under the new regime, the tag team scene is now thriving with a number of potentially great match ups and I feel it’s only going to get better.

 

Overall this was a good not great show. Last week’s show was great and that kind of set the standard for me when I was watching this week’s episode. The debut of KM was ok and could have been handled better but it is nice to see another new face.

 

I am confused as to why Alberto El Patron has been kept off the show two weeks in a row? Are they trying to make him into a Brock Lesnar type wrestler who is considered an attraction and shows up once in a while? I certainly hope not. I feel he has already lost momentum.

 

And please, lets end the annoying and tiresome Laurel Van Ness angle already and move on. The female division could actually use her talent.

 

In closing, I will repeat four names: Santana, Ortiz, Garza Jr., Laredo Kid. Enough said.

 

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