Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Impact Wrestling: Uncaged Review

Matches
1.Knockouts Title,Street Fighter: Taya(c) vs Tessa ***1/2
2.Willie Mack vs Ethan Page **1/2
3.World Cup, Elimination: Team AAA vs Team Impact ***1/4
4.Impact World Title: Johnny(c) vs Cage vs Kross vs Moose ***1/2

Thoughts:
This is the conclusion of the Mexico taping episodes of Impact. These themed episodes are typically fun watches, and I still feel that Impact is one of the more underrated weekly wrestling programs. Years of negative word of mouth have left a stain on the company, despite how good they've been of late. In terms of sports entertainment style wrestling, I think Impact is a more enjoyable series than Raw or Smackdown more often than not. To each their own, though.

We start with a street fight for the Knockouts belt. I love how these special episodes almost feel like mini-ppv's. The two worked hard, keeping a steady pace of violence throughout. Taya's attire was a nice touch here, given the location. Tessa played the dominating heel role well for a large portion allowing for the comeback moments from the champ to work well. Nice start to the show and a pretty good street fight.

We get a flashback to Impact vs AAA from the 2017 Bound for Glory event. Only Edwards is still with Impact from that group. He is also involved in the Impact vs AAA match later tonight.

Up next was Willie Mack taking on Ethan Page. I really like both of these guys, but the match wasn't anything special. It kept the show going on a decent note, at least. I know Page isn't super happy with his current position in Impact. EVOLVE was the last big company to treat him right, in my opinion. Fun fact, but if anyone reading this watched my little YouTube series where I had a custom fed called IPWA (using WWE 2K17/18), the plan was to eventually reveal that the character Master was indeed Ethan Page. Mack's Lucha Underground style shirt is awesome.

Decent promos follow from Kross, Psycho, and Callihan. I guess Sami and X-Division Champ, Swan are feuding? Ok...Sami and Swann's segment together here was fun, at least. And they got it over with before the elimination contest instead of having run-in's and shit. I thought...

The semi here was something I was really looking forward to. I actually hope that we see more AAA talent in Impact this year. I know they struck a deal with AEW, but the partnership between AAA and Impact is supposed to remain as well. AEW might be partnering with Impact and MLW soon enough, too, for what it's worth. Even if it's just a loose partnership. We're already seeing a touch of that being teased. This match was a good outing full of fun moments and everyone got to showoff a bit, but some in-fighting stuff held it back a touch. Still, fun use of the eight men.

Reno Scum are coming back. Good team to add to the division. Speaking of the tag division, it looks like LAX and the Lucha Bros are going to go at it again. Impact is going to the well a lot with this contest, but at least they've all been enjoyable.

The tease of Scarlett's in ring debut is entertaining. She has a lot of experience prior to Impact, like Allie did. She also worked AAA recently as part of the partnership. I get that they technically mean it's her Impact in-ring debut, but that's not what they are selling it as. It's the small things that bug me.

The main had several of the normal tropes seen in four way matches, but was well worked and a rather good contest either way. The false finishes were believable enough, due to the quality of performers involved. It speaks to the depth of the heavyweight division that they have four solid hands involved here, all that could be seen as championship material, and also have others in the same category not even booked here. The finish worked well to show that while Johnny retained, his time is limited. Cage is clearly being set up to take over the role, and I look forward to seeing his reign.

In all, this was a really fun special installment of Impact Wrestling. The show has slowly become a blend of their older, WWE style mixed with themes from Lucha Underground. A sports entertainment series that is entertaining for "diehard" fans, too. If you haven't watched the company in a while, go ahead and give this a watch. You might be surprised.

Overall Rating: 75/100%

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