For a night where Hardcore Justice wasn’t nearly hardcore enough, Impact Wrestling once again featured some decent in-ring action. I really enjoyed the start of the show, as instead of a long and drawn-out program by Authority figures and their opposers, the action was already happening!
Six Man Tag Street Fight: Davey Richards & The Hardys versus The Revolution
I’m rather tired of the Revolution, but who am I to complain? Every promotion has some overexposed act that tires fans. Anyway, the show starts with all of the combatants throwing fists and dropping foes. Every superstar hits their signature move, with Jeff Hardy picking up the win after a chair shot and Swanton Bomb to Abyss. I really appreciate Abyss as a competitor – he’s been around since the beginning, and since I was little I’ve always respected him. He’s been a part of ridiculous storylines (Joseph Park anyone?), but still comes out week after week to entertain the fans. Props to you sir. Also, I love Richards’s finisher, The Creeping Death. There’s nothing like a well placed kick to the mush of your opponent, and Davey delivers it well. A solid, fun effort by all competitors tonight.
Winners: Davey Richards & The Hardys
Ken Anderson and EC3 have an exchange where Anderson gets on a podium and mocks EC3’s campaigning for a championship match. Anderson thinks EC3 needs to earn his shot, but EC3 thinks he’s done enough to warrant a shot already. Fans will vote on a stipulation for their match next week where Anderson vows to end EC3’s streak. While I appreciate how much EC3 is thriving on Impact Wrestling, I wonder if WWE officials are kicking themselves for letting him go. They have enough of a talent pool as it is, but it’s a shame the artist formerly known as Derrick Bateman wasn’t given a chance to shine.
X-Division Championship Ladder Match: Mandrews versus Spud versus Kenny King versus Tigre Uno
Mandrews starts the match with a Shooting Star Press to the floor, and the action was non-stop from there. Tornado DDTs, moonsaults, and springboard attacks were handed out like candy on Halloween. The match ends with Spud and King fighting atop a ladder, and King grabs the belt after Homicide slams Spud on a second ladder. It’s too bad Spud wasn’t given a longer run as champion, but it was expected. Since his match with EC3 (which was actually before he won the title) Spud has been an afterthought.
Winner – Kenny King
Eric Young comes out to address his actions last week. He says Angle was right – the title did change him, as it made him a world class champion athlete, and now he wants it back. EY vows to end Angle’s career. Whether a face or heel, EY is lovable as a performer. He speaks with such intent and passion, and he’s without a doubt one of Impact Wrestling’s most valuable assets.
Spud talks about how hard it was winning the X-Division Championship, and how it took him 14 years to climb the mountain. He says he’s going to get back at the Beat Down Clan for stealing from him.
Knockouts Championship: Taryn Terrell versus Brooke
Women’s wrestling on Impact Wrestling right now is unparalleled to anything I’ve seen in recent memory. They’re so good at playing their roles, and their in-ring work is crisp. Brooke hits a beautiful crossbody on all three members of The Dollhouse, rolls Taryn back into the ring and goes back to the top. Marti distracts the referee and Jade tosses Brooke from the top before Taryn hits her beautiful Running Cutter for the win. I mean it – that move is fantastic. Taryn Terrell outta nowhere!
Winner – Taryn Terrell
Gail Kim comes out to confront The Dollhouse, disapproving of Taryn’s character change (she must be the only one, because I dig it). Taryn tries to scare her off, but Gail’s not alone… thump… thump… thump… it’s KONG! It just got interesting everyone. Imagine what could have been had Kong stayed with the WWE. She would have absolutely been undefeated, probably taking her first loss to Paige or Charlotte, someone in that vein.
Pipe on a Pole Match: Drew Galloway versus Low Ki
The pipe was not even used in this match. Nice spot where Drew hit Low Ki with a fallaway Slam from the Tree of Woe, but the pipe was merely teased. Galloway pins Low Ki after a Future Shock onto a chair. Not much to speak of here. As expected the BDC assaults Galloway after the match until Mica and Eli make the save. This match actually brought me down a bit.
Winner – Drew Galloway
After a break there’s a short promo involving the weird Mickie James “one more match” angle. I’m so glad one of the (if not THE) greatest women’s wrestlers of all time will wrestle again, but it’s at the expense of Magnus acting like a nagging housewife. Am I supposed to cheer for Magnus because he wants his wife to be safe, or cheer for James Storm because he wants a legend to have one more match? Too many questions, not a fan of this angle so far.
Stretcher Match: Eric Young versus Kurt Angle
Intense action in what feels like Kurt Angle’s first personal rivalry since winning the gold. This match didn’t last too long, and ended when EY hit Angle with two piledrivers then strapped him to the stretcher. I almost had a panic attack because I thought this was a title match (I’m not ready for my man Angle to drop the strap). Perhaps I only thought it was because it seems like Angle defends it every week. That being said, this advances their program nicely, as EY decisively beating Angle will undoubtedly result in a title match sometime soon.
Winner- Eric Young
Despite some good in-ring action, Hardcore Justice would have been better off with a different name. There were not enough spots with weapons, and the match of the night was probably the Stretcher Match for most, but I enjoyed the Knockouts’ screentime best.
(Impact Wrestling airs in the US on Destination America on Fridays at 9pm ET, and in the UK on Challenge on Sundays at 9pm)