Impact Wrestling delivered one of its best shows of the year on Thursday night, highlighted by the return of the Ultimate X match, where Low Ki retained the X Division Championship over Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett.
Of this set of tapings, Thursday’s show was the best show to date. There were some low points, but the ECIII-Storm match, the opening tag match between LAX and Garza Jr/Laredo Kid, and the main-event Ultimate X match were all exceptional.
We’ll see what Impact does with all the titles, though. They booked a triple threat next week where Magnus, ECIII and James Storm will determine a No. 1 contender for the Impact World Title. This is all happening while the GFW Title is still on the show. The assumption was that they were heading towards unification matches at Slammiversary. That’s still possible, but with the triple threat match next week to determine a No. 1 contender for the Impact Title, it’s possible they go with a triple threat at the pay per view. With so many guys being in the World Title picture, that route makes some sense.
Regardless, there are way too many titles on Impactright now. Between Raw and SmackDown, WWE has nine titles. That’s for six hours of television, including 205 Livefeaturing the cruiserweights. Impact has two hours of weekly television, and eight titles on the show.
It’s way too many. Clearly.
I still think that they’ll move toward unifying titles. That’s why the multi-man concept of the Slammiversarymain event makes some sense. You put the Impact Champion, Lashley, in a match with the GFW Champion (Alberto El Patron) and whoever wins the triple threat match between Magnus, ECIII and Storm next week. As part of that triple threat, you could run an angle that takes two guys out of the title picture and sets them up for a grudge match at the pay-per-view. I’d say it’s likely that Magnus goes over and gets added to the title match, with Storm and ECIII going 1-on-1 again at Slammiversaryon July 2. ECIII-Storm didn’t have a finish on last night’s show, and that was a 1-on-1 match that was supposed to settle a situation from last week, when ECIII whipped Storm with his belt.
LAX beat Garza Jr. & Laredo Kid in the GFW Tag Title Tournament
Another solid opener for Impact. In fact, this was one of the better tag matches in a while. You can tell right from the start that there is some chemistry between the teams and the action was fast-paced, but slow enough that they still told a very good story. Sometimes, not to sound like Randy Orton, but with all the flying and diving, things can get lost. Not here. They kept the pace slow enough that you could follow the story. The match was also good enough that it got both teams over. Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid looked strong enough to beat the Impact Tag Champions, if not for the interference from Diamante.
Kongo Kong beat Braxton Sutter
Kong looked damn impressive. It’s a long way down the road, but I could see them building him into a title contender in the future. For now, he’s stuck in a silly storyline, though. Sooner than later, he needs to break away from Laurel Van Ness if he wants to be taken seriously as a monster. He’ll need a spokesperson. This could be a good role for Josh Mathews, if they take him off the announce table permanently. Josh could easily be the mouthpiece for the monster.
Hype Video for Ultimate X aired
Let’s face it, the X Division has been garbage for some time. It hasn’t been treated with any real importance. Here, you had the three guys in the match talking about what the division means to them, and more importantly, what the X Division Title means to them. They weren’t talking about “putting smiles on faces,” they were talking about why they wanted to win, or retain, the X Division Title. It was good production to show those early Ultimate X matches as well, not only showcasing that it was the “start” for AJ Styles, but also that’s a period in time that longtime Impact/TNA fans are longing for. They want that aspect of the company to return. One thing that has been noticeably better since Anthem took over the company is the production of packages like this. The music, the clips and the interview content was all totally on point.
James Storm beat ECIII via DQ when ECIII attacked the referee
Is Magnus a heel or a face? He was on commentary for this match and he was acting like a heel, but then he was running down Josh Mathews as a guest on commentary. Seconds after that, he’s calling the fans “mouth breathers.” The inconsistency was a little disruptive.
I like the storyline of ECIII being unhinged. But, after whipping a referee with a belt and then attacking an authority figure, how can they keep ECIII in the match next week? You would have to think that this leads to some sort of suspension storyline. At least, it should. If not, why isn’t every heel on the roster attacking Karen Jarrett, Bruce Pritchard and Dutch Mantell until they get what they want?
Sienna beat ODB to retain the GFW Women’s Title
Why the random title match? Impact isn’t guilty of this alone, WWE does it as well, but why did ODB deserve a title shot here? It would be nice if they gave some sort of explanation, even if it’s just the announcer saying that a committee voted her No. 1 contender.
Joseph Park (and Jeremy Borash) challenged Josh Mathews and a partner of his choice to a tag match at Slammiversary
We might have to wait until July 2, but it at least appears like this storyline is going to come to an end. There’s no need to break this down word for word. The storyline is not good, and some of the verbiage – particularly from Mathews – is groan-inducing. Hopefully this ends with Mathews as a heel manager and Borash as the lead play-by-play voice.
Low Ki beat Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett in an Ultimate X match to retain the X Division Title
I really liked the finish of this match and the story they told with Low Ki injuring his hand. The commentary was on point, talking about how Low Ki removed his glove “because of the swelling in his hand” after he had punched a chair into the face of Trevor Lee earlier in the match. Then, Low Ki struggled to climb the center ropes and had to slide across the steel setup to win the match. Also, the bump that Andrew Everett took off the rope, going straight down and landing on his back in the ring, was impressive and probably hurt like hell. Very entertaining match, which should go a long way in putting the X Division back on the map. The video they aired to hype this match was also excellent. They talked about how important the division and title is, and that’s the first time in a long time that the division and title have been held in such high regard.