Tuesday, November 12, 2019

IMPACT (Nov. 5th, 2019): Ryan Shamrock



You know... I forgot that Impact was a thing that was being recorded on my DVR thing... so might as well look at last week's episode because that's all I got. I'm not going to do a full recap or anything like that because honestly, I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention, sadly... but I've seen enough of a show to gather five talking points.




1. The First Two Matches Were Fun Stuff
We open the show with Moose beating Willie Mack in what I thought was a fun little match. This is the first time I actually watched Moose in action and the guy can sure as hell move for someone his size. There was also a match between Michael Elgin (big bald guy) and Fallah Bahh (who looks like a slimmer-but-not-by-much Yokozuna) that started off like a good ol' hoss fight between two big guys beating the shit out of each other before it kinda overstayed its welcome. But hey, it was an otherwise good start to the show.

2. The Backstage Segments Are Well Shot
I like the backstage vignettes here. Not so much the actual content because some of it (such as the spat between Taya Valkyrie and friends) is nothing to write home about, but just the way they're shot and presented, they feel a bit more organic and more polished than, say, a WWE backstage vignette which feels like amateur hour. Perhaps this is the advantage of doing a taped show over a live one, but regardless, one thing I always liked about Impact even during their less than prime years is that their backstage stuff was always well filmed. It's nice to see that hold up here.

3. Yeah, Let's Talk That Match
This show also gave us Ken Shamrock taking on Joey Ryan and... yes, Shamrock did indeed take the "dick flip" move that Ryan is known for. For the uninformed, it's a bit where a guy grabs Ryan's crotch, which somehow paralyzes the attacker enough that Ryan can flip the guy with his dick. Somehow, a guy like Shamrock was convinced to do this spot. And then he ankle-locked Ryan for the submission win.

I had already seen the spot done before the episode aired and honestly, I've seen many variations of this spot over and over and over again. And yes, it is a ridiculous spot and not something I want to see on a regular basis... but I'm also not going to throw a fit over something stupid that is done for a laugh, call it an insult to the business, or whatever the usual malarkey is. I've addressed this bit last year when I did my ALL IN musings. For those interested, click here for the musings. For those not, I will re-post the relevant segment here;

The Joey Ryan stuff is not everyone's cup of tea... and it's stuff like that has me shaking my head a bit. In a vacuum - i.e. a random Youtube video or two - I chuckled at the visual. As part of a one-off wrestling show, I got a good laugh out of the walking penises and just the overall absurdity of the whole thing. I suppose it has more to do with my lack of exposure to that gimmick and I'd imagine the joke wears itself out and I'd be over that sort of thing. It's happened before.

But killing the business, this is not. Wrestling is, has always been, and always will be full of stupid shit that has people questioning their love for this form of sportive entertainment, whether it'd be wrestling plumbers and boogeymen or having guys giving up due to getting a sock stuff down their throats. One of the most popular stars in the WWF's hottest period had a ridiculous elbow move that we're supposed to believe wins championships. We've had wrestling penises and porn stars, foreign and racist stereotypes, hardcore matches spilling into bars, lakes, and other places outside the wrestling arena. Cowabunga the Wrestling Ninja Turtle, the Shockmaster, the Gobbledy Gooker, celebrity wrestling matches and appearances, untrained interchangeable magazine models being put into competitive wrestling matches, ladder matches where it takes a guy ten years to climb a fucking ladder EVERY SINGLE TIME, approximately 95% of anything and everything conceived by Vince Russo throughout his entire career, THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS BULLSHIT WRESTLEMANIA STREAK...

And all of a sudden... Joey Ryan's Dick Suplex and his Dick-Tourage is the thing killing the business. It's one thing if you don't care for this sort of thing or are embarrassed by this sort of thing; that's perfectly fine. But saying that this is killing the business when there have been MUCH WORSE THINGS come along... whatever, moving on.

And that holds true for me today as well.

4. The Classic Moment Is A Nice Touch... But Feels Like Filler
So the one thing I've noticed Impact do a couple times before is they like to pull out a classic clip from their archives; in this case, an old match between Moose and Marufuji for the now-defunct Grand Championship, which was apparently contested under the old rounds system of the long-defunct American Wrestling Federation; the system based on British pro wrestling. It's a nice touch to showcase some of the promotion's best moments, but I also can't help but feel that this is something to fill time because they don't have material to fill two hours. I'm not knocking the idea; honestly, it's a fine way to get people to subscribe to their Impact Plus VOD service, but showing a whole match from a couple years back instead of furthering your current storylines feels a bit... I don't know.

5. The Rest Of The Show Was Forgettable
There was a Madison Rayne/Taya Valkyrie match that was just kinda, sorta there, but served its purpose in teasing an eventual match between Taya and Jordynne Grace. Petey Williams was in a match somewhere, and then we had an eight-person tag match which saw the World Champion, Sami Callahan, get pinned. Honestly, after that Ryan Shamrock match, that's where I tuned out and lost interest because nothing that came afterwards held my interest for long. All I know is that they're building towards Sami Callahan defending his World title against Tessa Blanchard and I'm like... whatever.

So yeah, that was my experience watching last week's Impact. I'm not quite sure that it was a show worth watching, but I gave it a chance and it gave me something to look forward before losing me. Now I've heard people say that Impact is a better show these days and this was just an anomaly that turned out to be a dud. That could very well be the case and I might give Impact another show down the road, but for now, one and done is more than enough for me at the moment.

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