Impact Wrestling Road to Glory Review
September 30, 2016
By: Gerald Bocook of Wrestleview.com
I’d like to start by saying it’s nice to be in the saddle again. A few tumultuous weeks (and over 1,000 miles traveled) since my last Impact Wrestling review, a bit of normalcy, predictability is nice. Maybe that’s why I watch pro wrestling? I dunno. Let’s talk rasslin’!
First up, did anyone think for an instant that Eddie Edwards was going to win the X-Division Championship on the show before Bound for Glory? A match for the title is conspicuous by its absence on the card, but it just wasn’t going to happen. I was actually getting a bit bored there, truth be told. I even thought it was going to be a squash until Edwards finally started hitting some consistent offense. I do think that we might see a tag team match on the card of DJZ and Eddie Edwards vs Helms Dynasty, but they might just keep that for later.
Also strange was the redebut of Laurel van Ness. She appeared a couple weeks ago with all the pomp and circumstance of a preschool graduation, so it’s nice to see focus on actually introducing her here. Beyond that, uh… she’s just another Knockout that’s unnecessarily rude to Allie (something actually brought up a few times by the announcers,) and we’ll get to hear Josh Matthews occasionally talk fashion designers that over 300,000 people watching the show won’t know, let alone give a crap about. But, we’ll also get to hear Pope make fun of him, so, balance in the universe, I supposed. She did a decent enough job in the ring, seeing the good ol’ Curb Stomp again was nice, and when was the last time Madison Rayne won a match? It seems like Southern Justice was still a thing when that happened.
The Drew Galloway/Aron Rex promo was… I’m trying really hard to like Aron Rex, but every time he says something that he thinks is clever, it gets harder. The “Gallowayed-up” bit was actually kind of cute, though, and a nice callback to Galloway saying that Aron Rex “pulled a Drew” a few weeks ago, but the “Sir six-foot-tall-crap” was lame. Just, lame. Galloway won this segment big time, verbally and physically. Aron Rex is good, but I would really like to see him evolve beyond this weird, fanservice-jokey dudebro thing he has going on. He doesn’t need to be super-serious or anything, but let him be as close as you can without getting sued to that “Intellectual savior of the masses” character that people liked and not this low-hanging fruit joke monkey.
Regarding my write-up for the show, I’m not sure if Reby vs Rosemary was actually declared a DQ or not. I don’t recall an actual decision given, and the TNA website is… Well, I don’t disagree with Joey Styles, I’ll say that. However, I’m willing to forgive that with the insanity that took place after the poison mist. The three brawls were all amazing, and it was nice to see Decay take the advantage over House Hardy. Matt’s electrocution was intoxicatingly B-movie cheesy, but Nero being destroyed by Crazzy Steve was fantastic, and Scorsese-esque in its cinematography. And Rosemary and Reby’s spot… Let me just say that I was expecting absolutely nothing from Reby in this match. It was better than it should’ve been, so I will begrudgingly tip my cap to the woman. Seeing her in the ring could’ve been painful, and it was not. Some of what she did in the ring actually impressed, and now she just needs someone to make sure she doesn’t go out in public in one of those awful “sexy dust bunny” costumes you’d see at Party City. One of the things that impressed was the running spin kick in the corner. That requires a lot of coordination and balance, and did you see those boots? She’s a witch, I tell you. The other impressive thing, holy shit, the Side-Effect through the table. That was just fun to watch. Something I didn’t think they’d even think of doing, and Reby and Rosemary were pros. GG ladies, GG.
Lethal Lockdown was fun, but I feel like we were sold a bill of goods on this one in the form of the Knockouts inclusion. It was just a way to get an extra couple minutes out of the match when all the male competitors were involved, and that’s fine, whatever. It’s not like I expected Gail Kim to get a pinfall victory over Lashley, or for Maria to be on the receiving end of a Gamechanger. Also, and this might just be me showing my age here, but I think I preferred Lethal Lockdown matches when there would be the weapon-laden cage top that would come down once both teams were involved. Seems a better way to enforce the “no weapons until we say so” rule if you don’t have them readily available and only a stern warning stopping anyone from grabbing them. I did not expect Team Lashley to win, though. Caught me by surprise. Especially that his team won by him choking out EC3 in the middle of the ring. Just, surprising booking, and it’ll be interesting to see what this leads to at Bound for Glory.
One thing that was definitely missing from the show was any hype whatsoever for Bound for Gold. There was one promo, Tyrus and Eli Drake in the back, and that was it. No rundown of who the competitors are, no rundown of what the match itself is, no nothing. Lethal Lockdown got at least four promo segments throughout the night. Couldn’t they have cut one of them to have some more of the participants chat about themselves being Bound for Gold? Couldn’t we have had a ten-man tag team match with all the competitors instead of van Ness/Rayne or the sit-down interview segments? Bah.
Impact’s Road to Glory was a decent show, and certainly good for setting the stage for Bound for Glory. It had its predictable parts (the X-Division Championship match, Knockouts match), its “I can’t believe they– did they really just–?!” moments (Rosemary and Reby smash a table), and its “That’s… the exact opposite of what I thought they’d do” moments (Team Lashley wins Lethal Lockdown as Lashley chokes EC3 out). And some good wrestling, which is probably somewhat important for a wrestling show. This might not be the episode I show on Sweeps Week, but it was a solid experience throughout.