Hello, and welcome to weekly Impact Wrestling coverage on With Spandex. And also welcome to me, LaToya Ferguson, your recapper and—alright, this seems easier now—friend. Say, have you seen GLOW yet? If not, check out this recap and then go watch yourself some GLOW. You can Venmo me all your thanks.
Now for some good housekeeping: You can follow me on Twitter here, With Spandex here, and Uproxx here. And don’t forget to watch Impact on Pop at 8 pm on Thursdays (though maybe not this week’s episode) so you can read these pieces and share them with the online world.
Previously: We were living in a pre-GLOW world. And while that’s terrible in and of itself, at least the latest episodes of Impact were better then.
ACE: The Devil’s Advocate
This week’s post-Impact, stellar movie choice — and I hope you all know there’s no sarcasm here — is the Keanu Reeves/Charlize Theron classic, The Devil’s Advocate. Now you might be thinking, “Don’t you want to mention Al Pacino?” And the answer to your offensive question is, “No. No I don’t.” Was Al Pacino in Sweet November with Keanu? Did Al Pacino get his own kick-ass action movie directed by the guy who directed his buddy Keanu’s action franchise John Wick? Do Keanu and Al Pacino throw trash talk at each other while at the gym? The answer to all of these questions is “no,” and “The Devil’s Advocate is a Keanu Reeves/Charlize Theron classic.” Recognize.
Also, try to recognize a world in which Point Break actually becomes the uber franchise that The Fast & The Furious right now (though, somehow even bigger). Then try not to get too depressed with Patrick Swayze’s eventual passing, a la Paul Walker (despite Bodhi technically being the “Dom” of the film). Especially when you realize that Charlize would still end up in this franchise, because she and Keanu would obviously always find a way to each other.
ACE: The Road
It’s go time, baby! Slammiversary 15 is right around the corner, and it promises to be Impact Wrestling’s biggest show in history! Yeah! Get some!
EH: The Day The Earth Stood Still
This episode of Impact, however, is basically the opposite of everything the company is promising for Slammiversary. Last week’s show was a pretty good way for the India tour to go out… But that would have been three weeks of TV from India, not a full month. No one cares about three weeks of anything. Unless there’s really only three weeks of material and you have to stretch to make something out of the fourth.
This week, there’s no Sony SIX-inspired match to remind us how cool this all this. And remember last week’s main event tag match that played off the relationships of Impact’s four biggest stars? Well this time, it’s an eight-man tag match (sort of), and it does not do that at all. In fact, Kongo Kong — who, I suppose you can at least say is a member of the roster — is somehow in this match. Remember how weirdly over-the-top Impact went with Swoggle versus Spud? Well, that blow-off match is on this show and not Slammiversary, for some reason. You could get angry, but then you’d be showing you care much more than Impact does.
Let’s just say, this week’s Impact made me realize why this recap position often tends to fade away and classify itself as obsolete.
EH: 15 Minutes
In theory, the condensed “Earlier Tonight” contract signings are a great idea for Impact. In practice (on the dudes’ side, because Rosemary and Sienna crush it):
- They’re scored by atrocious “dramatic” music that severely undercuts everything that’s happening onscreen. It’s music that would possibly work better if the contract signings were played as a video package, but they’re not. For once, Impact shows a previously segment where it cuts for time. Remember when they would — more than once on any given episode — show about five minutes of uncut match or promo footage during a new episode? I’m actually being generous, since it always felt more like the aforementioned 15 minutes. That was at least two months ago.
- Despite their wives being part of the match, apparently Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards can sign the contract on their behalves. Sure, why not? Literally nothing on this episode of Impact matters.
- Impact also makes a weird decision of having each male competitor stay seated for each individual contract signing, and while it works at first with Eddie staring daggers through Davey as EC3 and James Storm’s contract signing, it’s something he can’t keep up. Then it’s just weird.
- Bruce Prichard turns this poorly thought out segment into an eight-man tag team main event, deeming Lashley and Alberto El Patron team captains … then not letting them choose their own partners. Not only does he split the contract signees into these teams, but he adds Mahabali Shera and Kongo Kong — you know, guys who are nowhere near any of these men’s levels on the card — in the match as well. And as we find out with the main event, Alberto El Patron actually kind of got screwed by having Shera on his team.
If I had to choose my favorite part of this week’s X-Division tag team match, it’s got to be:
Something’s probably wrong when a tag team match featuring Trevor Lee, Low-Ki, Matt Sydal, and Sonjay Dutt isn’t memorable, and that is 100% the case here. Unsurprisingly, the problem in question is the commentary, as Josh Mathews choose this week to go right back to being the worst version of himself. And guess what? Jeremy Borash is right there with him. Say, do you want some added color before Low-Ki and Sonjay Dutt’s 2-out-of-3 Falls match at Slammiversary? That’s stupid of you — you should want to hear about Josh’s Twitter followers and predictions for every other match at Slammiversary (and why JB is an idiot for his predictions). The X-Division is stupid and you’re stupid for trying to care about it.
Anyway, Matt Sydal gets the pin on Trevor Lee, and Sonjay Dutt’s music plays. This is also Sonjay’s first match since winning the title, but who cares, right?
If Don West and Robert Flores are calling all of Slammiversary, then why isn’t Impact’s in-story answer to Josh Mathews versus Jeremy Borash just, “Fire both of these idiots and use Don West and Robert Flores?” Anyone? Anyone? Keanu? Charlize? The commentators who are fighting won’t even be calling the company’s biggest show. There’s your solution.
Also, is Pope just done with the company now? Given the way this Impact goes, good things don’t happen, so I suppose he’ll be back next week.
An ACE in the streets, but an EH in the (ring) sheets: Men Of Honor
While ugly Americans are awful on commentary, at least they’re entertainment in other segments. Enter Eli Drake and Chris Adonis’ training videos … which are only referenced on the show proper instead of shown in full like they are on YouTube. To paraphrase Impact: “Watch ‘em if you want. Who cares?”
By the way, it’s no surprise these videos only have Eli Drake quotes, because what’s Chris Adonis going to contribute?
EH: Something’s Gotta Give
So Eli Drake and Chris Adonis’ “training” videos didn’t make it onto the show, but their “match” against the Mumbai Cats did. You know, the match where even the paid crowd couldn’t be bothered to react? That actually describes the majority of this show, really, because the go-home show to Impact Wrestling’s biggest show is one big fart sound.
You know what? Eli Drake should stay in India and only leave if Impact ever comes back.
EH: Act Of Vengeance
I guess I take back every bad thing I ever said about WeeLC now. Or maybe this match actually makes me angrier about that and anything Swoggle-related. All I know is that I watched Spud throw a trash can at Swoggle’s head, and it almost made me feel happy. I’d say this is feud all over now, but since this commentary team said so, I assume this will continue until Bound For Glory. Though by that point in time, I’m pretty sure these recaps will be somebody else’s problem.
EH: Mighty Joe Young
Joseph Park? More like, Abyss. I’m saying that Joseph Park is Abyss.
Actually, you want more? Remember, I said last week’s show made more sense as a go-home show than this mess, and this week’s JB & JP comedy minute is a great example. Everything about Joseph Park is delightful and goofy and nonsense. So why would you end the TV story with him being reminded he’s Abyss (or at least being reminded of his “brother’s” tricks), basically saving things for himself and Jeremy Borash — and getting rid of any possible tension — days before the pay-per-view?
You end the TV story with their powerful (goofy, but still powerful) training montage, then you bring up the Joseph Park is Abyss thing (if you must) at the last minute, on the pay-per-view. This is ridiculous, so why not keep that ridiculousness going by doing the expected at the right time? The same goes for JB basically informing Josh Mathews that he didn’t fully read the contract and their match is No DQ; it’s an offhand comment, but why would he tell his hated opponent the one other thing that would give him the advantage?
I know, I know: “Who cares?” Touche, Impact. Touche.
HAHAHA: Generation Um…
Impact seriously aired a video package about Alberto El Patron preaching the values of being a good influence and positive role model to children.
ACE: The Neon Demon
I guess Allie and Rosemary are calling themselves “The Demon Bunny,” but I prefer my choice of “The Neon Demon.” Just sayin’.
Finally, we’re back to something good and right on Impact: the beautiful friendship between Rosemary and Allie. Josh Mathews even gets his commentary on point when he calls Allie “a curse upon other athletes in Impact” — Rosemary and Allie segments are just that magical.
After last week’s problems, everything is perfect for the team or Rosemary, Allie, and Braxton Sutter, who is also there. After Sienna pushes poor (but focused!) Laurel Van Ness into Rosemary’s mist, Rosemary gets a win back by pinning Laurel (the one who actually did the damage to get Sienna the pin last week, by the way). Yes, it’s great that Allie hugs Rosemary and immediately thinks better of it, only for Rosemary to then pat her on the head … and lick her forehead. (She also pats Braxton on the head, but you know, they’re not close like that.) But it’s even better that they took to Twitter to continue their friendship and give Impact something worth caring about from this episode:
EH: A Million Ways to Die in the West
This is a match, just like A Million Ways To Die In The West is a movie. Or so they tell me. Actually, no. That was a lie: Literally no one has ever defended A Million Ways To Die In The West to me or anyone else. If you ever thought a wrestling go-home show should end with a house show match that’s not fun, this is really for you. The only thing that was missing was the slow, indy version of Jack Swagger, alleged former king of WWE house shows.
Also, Mahabali Shera only gets attacked because he’s an idiot who apparently doesn’t know how his chosen profession works. Again, Josh Mathews actually has a point when he calls that out. And instead of Bruce Prichard doing anything about this or having “team captain” Alberto El Patron get a replacement — had that happened, this would’ve been called The Replacements — they just make it a four-on-three handicap match until Shera comes back.
And guess what? An injured Shera charges back to the ring faster than his “teammates” did to save him. He was completely destroyed — as is apparently his thing, here in India — and then after that was done, Alberto’s music finally hit, and … they leisurely strolled to the ring. Great team-building, Prichard.
And now to look forward, I guess, to what this is all truly for: Slammiversary 15. The year in which Impact can finally get its learner’s permit. The card actually looks amazing too… but I suppose none of this really matters, now does it? And that’s not just because of this Impact’s “Who cares?” attitude. It’s because GFW — you know, the company responsible for the redundantly named “GFW Global” Championship — is taking over. So tune in next week, when I personally apologize for every “toy belt” comment I made about our new cash-for-gold scamming overlords.