Thursday, January 8, 2015

Destination Impact Review

Lashley vs. Roode
Courtesy: Impact Wrestling
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents

First off let me say that due to not getting Destination America, I had to watch an online stream of Impact. Unfortunately, the feed was choppy at times and had a couple times froze during major action.  The worst part (or maybe best) was whoever was feeding the stream had their TV to autotune to the news at 11pm so I missed the last 5 minutes of the show. Before I get into my thoughts on the show lets look back at my “10 Things I Want From Impact” to see if I have any influence with the Impact booking team.

1)    NO AUTHORITY FIGURES: I’m going to give this a push for now. Kurt Angle did come out as the Director of Wrestling Operations towards the beginning of the show. However his promo was relatively short as far as wrestling promos go and he relinquished his position of authority to set up his match with MVP.  We’ll see if Impact names a new authority figure next week or if this was a one-week occurrence.  

Hair cut time
Courtesy: Impact Wrestling
2)    NO IMMEDIATE NEW EX-WWE STARS: Well, one could argue that starting the show with MVP and Angle, while not being new ex-WWE stars, are still seen as ex-WWE stars. Even though this year Kurt Angle will have been in TNA longer than he was in WWE. There were no new additions to the roster. I had forgotten about Brodus Clay being in TNA and was originally annoyed to see him in the backstage segment with EC3. After their segment though, I think Impact may actually use Brodus in a more meaningful manner than he was last used in WWE.
3)    NO 20-MINUTE OPENING PROMO: I missed the first couple minutes of the show so I don’t know why there was a huge brawl. The brawl led to the Kurt Angle/MVP promo, which as mentioned was relatively short. 

4)    NO SCRIPTED PROMOS: From my memory there weren’t too many promos. The ones that did happen didn’t seem too forced. The wrestlers seem to have a grasp on their characters and that comes across on TV. 

5)    BRING BACK MANAGERS: Still holding out hope. 

6)    GO MORE THAN 6 MONTHS WITHOUT A FACE/HEEL TURN: Since I missed the last five minutes of the show I missed the seemingly random turns of Samoa Joe, Low Ki and Eric Young. 

7)    HAVE THE COMMENTATORS PUT OVER THE ACTION IN THE RING: Josh Matthews sounded like he was excited to be calling the action and kept the focus on what was going on at the moment, as far as I remember. Seeing Mike Tenay’s interview with James Storm was a reminder how dull Tenay is in the announce booth. After one show the addition of Matthews seems to be a good move. 

8)    DETERMINE A FACE OF THE COMPANY: Verdict is still out on this one.

Angle vs. MVP
Courtesy: Impact Wrestling

9)    NO POINTLESS GIMMICK MATCHES: Well there was a street fight to kick off the show. Given the nature of going straight from a promo where MVP and Angle weren’t dressed to wrestle to the street fight does add some common sense reasoning to the match. 

10) NO MORE REF BUMPS/RUN INS/OVERBOOKING: Again, I missed the last five minutes of the show so thankfully I missed this part of the match. 

Awesome Kong returns
Courtesy: Impact Wrestling
If I discount the part of the show I didn’t see as it originally aired (just watched it on YouTube) overall I’d give Impact a thumbs up. My only real issue with the show was how none of the matches felt fresh. Roode/Lashley was their third match up. Having Austin Aries win the X-Division title felt too much like “been there, done that.”  I was excited to see Awesome Kong make her return. Hopefully the build to a match between her and Havok will have a solid pay off.

While there were some elements of the show I wasn’t too fond of, they were mostly things that I could overlook or chalk up to just my nit picking.  The ending however is something that I can’t overlook. The ending is the epitome of everything I dislike about Impact. Once again I’ll ask, is it too much to ask for clean victories, no turns and no ref bumps? 

I’ll give the new Impact another chance due to Dixie Carter’s comments about how their vision doesn’t really work with a live show. I’m curious to see how they integrate the reality aspects into the show. I am giving the one caveat though that if Impact continues to be Impact, I’ll not make the effort to try and watch. Fool me once, shame on you. 

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