Josh Boutwell reviews Impact Wrestling for 1/5/16
Impact Final Thoughts
January 5, 2016
By: Josh Boutwell of
Week one on Pop started with a nice crackle, I sure wouldn’t go as far as to call it a “bang” but I would say it went pretty well for first run. We got a couple of surprises and some solid wrestling on the show. Probably my biggest disappointment was that there was no mention whatsoever of the X-Division as it looks like once again the best thing about TNA will continue to be overlooked. 
The opening video was well done and the brawl to start off was fine for what it was.
The Semifinals Matches were pretty good, especially EC3/Lashley, and they tried to set the stage for Matt to have the out for his loss with the injury due to EY while still fighting and refusing to stay down. 
“The Miracle” Mike Bennett’s debut went really well and I thought it was terrific. I have always felt Bennett was solid in the ring but Maria was always the highlight, charisma wise, of the tandem, but he really came off like a big deal to me in this segment. His promo was solid and he had terrific presence while Maria played more as a background character, though her introduction was nicely done. I kept hearing people say this was going to be a Bo Dallas rip off but it came off as nothing like that character at all. 
Kurt Angle’s promo was really good but Eli and Jessie jumping in it was so random. I really think Drew-Angle could be a special match next week though. 
The Knockouts did a nice job tonight and had a couple of cool spots in their match, especially Jade and Gail (we need to see those two in a feud), but Kong at the end was confusing. I have no idea where they are going with her but I definitely don’t want to see her become The Dollhouse’s henchwoman. 
Bram/Roode was fine but the story of the match was the return of James Storm, which has been rumored for a few days now, and the reunion of Beer Money. That was really cool to see and it was nice to hear Storm bring up his character change with The Revolution and him say that he realized it wasn’t him rather than just ignore that he had been a complete weirdo for damn near a year. It will be interesting to see if TNA brings back Aries and if they go in a route with Aries and Storm both trying to gain Roode’s affection leading to Aries bringing in a new partner (Roderick Strong anyone?) which could be a great angle. 
The Main Event was really good, not the best match of the tournament, but a really good effort from both guys with a clean finish which was nice to see. There were a few clunky spots in the match and that ring step spot looked like it was going to be hard to pull off and they botched it. The false finishes down the line were great and the eventual payoff with the finish was nice.
Promo/Segment of the Night: Beer Money Reunion & Mike Bennett’s debut
Match of the Night: EC3 vs. Hardy (***)
Overall Grade: B