FEATURE: Josh Boutwell reviews 5/16 Impact Wrestling

The Final Impact
May 17, 2013
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com

Last night had a ton of movement on the road to Slammiversary, furthering storylines and shaping the card. Outside of the Main Event, we now know several of the matches for the big PPV. We also got a ton of action and some solid in-ring promos, as well to come together for a really fun show, even if it wasn’t live.

The opening segment was probably the weakest of the show, though it wasn’t awful. It obviously plants the seed for the Abyss/Park story with the two never being in the same place at the same time.

Chavo & Roode had a solid back and forth match before the James Storm interference. I wasn’t surprised Aries didn’t appear after “Crotch Gate” last week. I’m really not going to speak on it too much primarily because certain individuals in the wrestling media made sure they would do enough talking for everyone. It was blown WAY out of proportion. Aries was reprimanded, Christy Hemme accepted, now it’s time to move on, but those same individuals don’t seem to be willing to let it die which is what’s truly infuriating about the whole situation.

Daniels/Hernandez was okay, but that match was just there to set up the Slammiversary announcement. The 4-Way could be even better than the 3-Way from BFG, but it’s going to hinge on who Storm’s partner is going to be. Chris Harris was obviously the name that popped into my head first, though I don’t know how receptive of that idea Storm would be. If it was a situation where he comes in, does the match, and turns on Storm with maybe Aries & Roode having paid him off, it could be fun. They could then do one more match against each other to put the America’s Most Wanted portion of James Storm’s career fully under the dirt. I expect him to pick someone else though, maybe Eric Young or Rob Van Dam or maybe Magnus or Samoa Joe.

Kurt Angle’s promo was really good and he always seems even more intense when he’s working with AJ. I have to talk about Mr. Anderson though because he really seems to have settled into the Aces & Eights role. At first it just seemed so forced, but now he seems natural in this role. I truly expect him to be bumped up to VP or maybe Sergeant At Arms if Devon is made VP. Kurt & AJ is going to be a show stealer at Slammiversary, which is funny because a few years ago they did the very same thing at Slammiversary (2008 I believe). I’m expecting for something to happen with the “patch in”, but AJ actually being patched in is not what I’m expecting at all. That would be the worst thing they could do.

York/Bradley was okay, Bradley is really good though. I’m excited to see if he stays around the main roster after Slammiversary.

Gail Kim really needs to be commended for her work on Velvet’s knee last night. She was like a pitbull going after it continuously, even pulling out a Cloverleaf (haven’t seen one in awhile). Velvet did do a solid job of selling for most of the match, though she seemed to forget about it at one point in the match, but it played into the finish. I’m really enjoying Gail’s new mean streak.

Really fun X-Division match, but again they really stayed away from high spots. Sabin seems to still be knocking the rust off, but he put together some really cool Lucha-influenced chain wrestling sequences and his power moves continue to be impressive. Kenny King is really getting this “smart champion” that takes advantage of everything character over well. He’s a really strong champion right now.

D-Lo and Park wasn’t very long, but D-Lo was impressive again to be as solid as he is right now despite working very infrequently over the last few years.

The Sting/Bully Ray promo was really great. Sting’s intensity was nice, but Bully was really on it. Great stuff and the No Holds Barred gimmick is going to give them a chance to put on a fun brawl. The stipulation of Sting not being able to wrestle for the belt ever again if he losses was a nice touch because it gives some doubt to what the finish is going to be. I saw a few negative comments towards Bully Ray last night, which is hilarious to me because if you have anything negative to say about him as champion, it’s obvious you haven’t been watching. Bully Ray is easily the best heel in wrestling at the moment and it’s not even close in my opinion.

Promo/Segment of the Night: Bully Ray/Sting
Match of the Night: X-Division (***)
Overall Grade: B+

Until next week… PEACE!

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