Impact Wrestling Review
September 10, 2016
By: Gerald Bocook
Hoo, nelly. There’s a lot to talk about here, and just a lot to unpack from this week’s Impact. I usually like to talk first about the elephant in the room, but this Impact had two elephants in the room, so it’s hard to pick which to start with. So, let’s start with the crazier of the two; the Grand Championship. Yep, that’s the crazier one.
When I first heard about it, and the match concept, I was… To say that I was unenthused, or that I didn’t roll my eyes, would just be lying blindly to your faces. Rounds? Nine minutes max? Judges and points? I remember the origins of Impact, where ten minute matches would end with Larry Zbyszko or whoever would announce the winner by decision (in fact, if I recall correctly, didn’t America’s Most Wanted beat the Naturals for the Tag Team Championship the first Impact main event that way? How do I remember that?) and so I had all these weird doubts and a feeling of uncertainty.
Let me say, right now, if this Impact was indicative of how the Grand Championship is going to be presented, I am sold. I loved the differences in presentation, I loved the differences in commentary, the whole deal. The announcers were more technical with their play-by-play, the wrestlers exhibited new facets of their ability, it had these great hints of MMA built in with this sense that you were still watching pro wrestling, but everything seemed… heightened. I was quite engaged, and even found myself wondering if the judges were watching the same matches I was at times. A huge up, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they will integrate matches with this format going past Bound for Glory. I’d hope to see at least one per show.
As a side-note, I have to say, I was really surprised by Jessie Godderz. His match against Eli Drake was fantastic, and that’s something I never, ever thought I’d say about one of the Bro-Mans. Like, it was exciting, and I was rooting for Godderz, and I was shocked when he lost. I think the Grand Championship could be a great way to put Godderz up into the higher ends of the card once he gets a solid opportunity, and I always love discovering the upside of talent.
Galloway/Sutter was also a dang solid match. I was under no illusion that Sutter was going to win, but I still got into the match, and it was fun. And even Rockstar Spud beating the ever-loving blue-eyed crap out of Sutter was great. I didn’t know Spud had it in ‘im!
Also, love the belt. I know it was supposed to be the new World Championship, and there are still pics of it online with those title plates, but it has a unique look, and I can appreciate the blue enamel and jewels. Nice touches, and really makes the belt feel like it’s part of Impact Wrestling.
Okay, now the other elephant; DELETE OR DECAY. Who knew that all Abyss needed was a bath? That was just hilarious. I didn’t expect to spend portions of the down ‘n dirty swamp brawl gang war laughing, but I did. The Roman candles as assault weapons, Abyss looking terrified at the sight of fire, Señor Benjamin being insane– oh, and the lead up! The personal zoo?! Holy mother of pearl, that was freaking fantastic. Matt and Nero getting the crap kicked out of them by a kangaroo? Matt declaring that his giraffe was George Washington? Matt has the gleefully insane look down to a science, and he always holds onto it long enough to make it creepy and unsettling. “Broken brilliance” indeed.
I hope the DELETION matches are kept sparingly. As entertaining as they’ve been, I can see the concept wearing thin quick. If they maintain the high level of insanity and quality and fun, do maybe one every quarter, and I think it has some legs. Just please, please don’t do one every month or every other month. Plus, I’m sure there’s only so many times you can set fire to Matt Hardy’s lawn before the neighbors start to complain.
The Lashley/Carter press conference, while completely predictable that it was going to end in a brawl, I really just expected a few fists thrown and maybe Carter going through the table. I didn’t expect them to take it all over and outside the Impact Zone. And I didn’t expect Lashley to just blast Carter on the mic beforehand, either. I really enjoy Lashley’s confidence. He just straight up told Ethan Carter III that he’s going to be torn apart because that’s just what Lashley does, and lists off his accomplishments. Great presentation of their World Heavyweight Champion.
Some quick thoughts. Bennett vs Moose is going to be bowling shoe ugly. But fun. Maria losing her matchmaking control over the Knockouts is a solid move, and a smaller detail that might’ve otherwise been forgotten about.
I’m glad to see Sienna finally had her fill of Allie’s antics, and it was great to see most of that match’s competitors completely bewildered by Sienna’s actions.
Drew Galloway is a world-class jackass. And that’s fantastic. Also fantastic is that Aron Rex keeps calling him “Princess”.
If you read my recap/coverage of this week’s Impact, what did you think of my write-up of the bit between the drunk trucker and The Decay? I wanted it to be different. Did I succeed or did you think I was an idiot for writing it in that fashion?
Billy Corgan really seems like he’s settling into his role and getting comfortable. That’s a big up.
Final thoughts. This was two incredibly fun hours of pro wrestling. The only real low point was the press conference, and even that had a couple nice moments. I spent an incredible amount of time on the recap because of all the new stuff this Impact brought (I even had to go and relearn a bit of HTML for the Grand Championship score cards, so that was a fun trip down memory lane!) and between those two great matches and DELETE OR DECAY, there was just a ton to go over, and I’m really surprised that the episode was only two hours. Like, it really felt like a longer show, but it a way that just made it jam-packed and not long. A fantastic start to the Grand Championship, and another strong show on the road to Bound for Glory.