IMPACT WRESTLING XPLOSION Review for 1/5/17

By Lewis Carlan @PWSoth

After nearly a year, I have returned with my reviews of IMPACT Wrestling’s Xplosion. The new regime has changed the format of its B show by doing away with the atrocious Spin Cycle segment and added a second Xplosion exclusive first run match. I have to applaud these changes and it sparked me to return to my reviews of the show. So, after nearly a year, let’s get to the review of this week’s IMPACT Wrestling Xplosion!

The show began with a brand new Xplosion opening video package.

Josh Mathews is going solo this week calling the shots. Smart move as the last few weeks he has been announcing on Xplosion with Jeremy Borash and they got along just fine without any indication that they are feuding. That made the whole feud a bit confusing.

Match 1 – Fallah Bahh vs. Mahabali Shera

Bahh is out first followed by Shera. Shera gets into the ring and does his best to look intense. Bahh begins by challenging Shera to a Sumo match. Shera accepts as they both get into position and charge each other. Bahh wins by flattening Shera. They go for it a second time with the same result. Bahh gains the advantage by chopping Shera but misses a corner splash attempt. Shera knocks Bahh to the outside as we cut to a break. Back from the break, Bahh hits a huge crossbody splash on Shera followed by a huge leg splash. After a few chops, Shera comes back with a clothesline but fails a bodyslam attempt on the enormous Bahh. Bahh covers for two as Shera kicks out. Bahh misses a splash attempt. Shera lands a few chops and kicks then is successful with a second body slam attempt. Shera hits his finisher the Skyhigh and gets the win.

Bahh attacks Shera after the match and squashes Shera with a Banzai Drop.

Winner – Mahalabi Shera

This was a good match only because Bahh is an extremely talented young wrestler. Bahh moves very well for a big man and makes his offense look awesome. Why in the blue hell they booked Shera to win this match I don’t know. I guess they are trying to keep the people at Sony Six happy. Bahh is this era’s Yokozuna and can be a devastating wrestler. He looked very strong with the post match Banzai Drop. Shera is really an afterthought in IMPACT in my opinion and gained nothing with this win. Bahh, who they should be pushing, should have gone over here without a doubt. And Shera – please stop the dumb dance during your entrance. Nobody cares.

Next up was Josh Mathews’ Around the Ring segment with the guest this week being DJ Z. DJ Z talked about Lucha Libre training, going clubbing, and keeping fit by going to the gym. After the segment was done, they showed a video of DJ Z getting injured and recovering while in Mexico. They wished DJ Z a speedy recovery.

I like this segment as it portrays a more personal side of each guest wrestler. Josh Mathews can actually do a decent job when he wants too. Anything is better than the dumb Spin Cycle garbage we had to endure a few months ago. I’ll take Around The Ring over the Spin Cycle segment any day of the week. It was a nice touch wishing DJ Z a speedy recovery as well. And, the segment is short, sweet and doesn’t get tiresome after 2 minutes like Spin Cycle did.

TNA Classic Match – Jay Lethal(c) vs. Robbie E (w/Cookie) For X Division Title at Turning Point 2010

The match began with Jay Lethal completely dominating the action by hitting numerous offense moves. The crowd was solidly behind Lethal. Lethal connected with a missile dropkick for a near fall. After Robbie E mounted a comeback which was followed by back and forth action, Lethal had Robbie E pinned but Cookie distracted referee Earl Hebner which broke up the pin attempt. The end came with Lethal up on the top rope as Cookie interfered allowing Robbie E to hit his neckbreaker finisher to win the match and X Division title.

Winner and new X Division champion – Robbie E

This match was excellent because Jay Lethal carried the action. I have never been fan of Robbie E and was disappointed when the mega talented Lethal dropped the title back in 2010. I understand they were trying to capitalize on the Jersey Show craze back then but making Robbie E the X Division Champion? C’mon!

It was a very strategic move on IMPACT’s part showing a current low card IMPACT wrestler beating a current top star in ROH. Well played Mr. Jarrett.

Match 2 – Angelina Love and Laurel Van Ness vs. ODB and MJ Jenkins

Laurel Van Ness is wrestling in her psychotically depressed, drunken, wedding dress wearing, lipstick smeared character much to my dismay. The match begins with Jenkins and Love as they exchange offensive moves. Jenkins lands a springboard dropkick to Love. Van Ness stumbles in and is quickly rolled up for two, Love runs in and is also rolled up by Jenkins for two. Going into a break, Van Ness is knocked off the ring apron by Jenkins. Back from the break, Van Ness has the advantage and hits a few weak looking moves. Love is tagged in as she and Jenkins both go down with a double hair whip. ODB and Van Ness are tagged in, ODB hit a corner splash then a double broncobuster on Love and Van Ness, Love deserts Van Ness as she slaps her on the way out. ODB hits her finisher on Van Ness and wins the match for her team. Van Ness thinking she has won, celebrates, ODB drinks Van Ness’s champagne, Van Ness drinks from ODB’s flask, Van Ness kisses Earl Hebner, Van Ness falls down and Earl Hebner struts and dances over the fallen Van Ness as MJ Jenkins is thinking “what the hell is going on here?”.

Winners – ODB and MJ Jenkins

This was terrible. ODB stayed out for much of the match to let newcomer MJ Jenkins showcase her skills but they need a lot of work. MJ is very green and sometimes downright sloppy in my opinion. Laurel Van Ness wrestling a match in that ridiculous character was, well, ridiculous. She was well on her way to becoming a top star in the Knockouts division now she is just a comedy act that is really not funny at all. The ending of the match made me wish I had fallen asleep during it so I didn’t have to watch it.

Next we had Matt Morgan in a Make IMPACT Great segment.

IMPACT Rewind – Lashley vs. James Storm for IMPACT World Title

This was a replay of the world title match that was designed to give us the full fledged EC3 heel turn. I reviewed this match on my IMPACT review of 4/20 here is my opinion of the match –

IMPACT Review Rewind from 4/20:

This was an outstanding match between the two that made you feel it could have gone either way. That’s what usually happens when you get two legit stars in the ring against one another. I love EC3 finally making the full fledged heel turn at the expense of James Storm. The face he made after he smashed the bottle over Storm’s head was priceless. Storm vs. EC3 should be a fun feud.

The bickering between Mathews and Borash really took away from the match. Maybe make Mathews a full fledged manager? That could work.

I did notice Lashley high fiving fans after the match as he made his way up the ramp. Is he a heel or a face?

FINAL WORD: Overall this was a fair show with the high point being by far being Fallah Bahh. It may be a good idea to remove the IMPACT Rewind segment and give us another first run match. It would be awesome if Xplosion became a flagship show for the X Division. Nothing but X Division matches. If they

took my advice, it could become IMPACT’s version of NXT.

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