Saturday, March 2, 2024

Ring of Impact #8 - Epilogue

Are you ready for some more Ring of Impact? I don’t need a Gom jabber test (for you Dune fans out there) to surmise the answer.
Folks, it’s been real, and it’s been fun, and dare I say it, it’s been real fun? But just like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Jonathan Majors I’m getting out while I’m ahead. I’m guilty of the accusation of long-windedness (just revisit this projects’ own prelude mission statement) but I’ll try not to overindulge here. In short, I’m closing down the Ring of Impact project, in so far as an ongoing chronicling done via blog. I will be continuing to watch all of (I haven’t done the math but quick estimate I just tabulated is over 1500+ hours) TNA and Ring of Honor’s shows from 2017 to present in my own free time. In fact, I’ve already plowed through a dozen or so more shows.
Here's some notes on stuff I’d typed up for future editions – get them while they’re hawt:
TNA Xplosion #650 3/4/17
Robbie E vs. Marshe Rockett – 2
“Khaki suits, locs, chokes the grokest sacs / Got your drug cause you sprung on the gangsta mac” – from U Couldn't Deal Wit Dis by South Central Cartel
TNA Xplosion #652 3/18/17
ODB vs. Lauren Van Ness – 2
Another episode of Xplosion mysteriously missing from TNA+. Had to play Sherlock too as listings online made it a task to figure out what actually aired on this particular date. Watched this one outside my kids’ school because I’m a pro wres fiend. Didn’t know ODB still popped up on occasion. Laurel was still wearing smeared lipstick and chugging a bottle of bubbly after Braxton Sutter stood her up at the alter on Impact a while ago. Ugly finish as Van Ness appeared to land awkwardly on an ODB Samoan Drop that almost broke her arm.
TNA Xplosion #716 6/9/18
Fallah Bahh vs. Caleb Konley – 3
Only 2018 episode of Xplosion that is mysteriously missing from TNA+. Found it on the interwebz. Billed at 425 lbs. and wearing a pair of Yokozuna’s hand me down trunks nice to watch the big guy roll all over Konley. Caleb is accompanied by Trevor Lee who interferes liberally. Lee also holds a leg from outside to allow Konley the tainted victory.
TNA & WrestlePro Brace for Impact 2018 (Twitch) 2/9/18
1. Chris Avery Queling, Delroy & Habib from the Car Wash vs. Reality Check (Chris Steeler, KM & Talon) – 1
2. Colby Covington vs. Tyquil Woodley – 0
3. Chris Payne & Matt Sydal vs. Heavenly Bodies (Desirable Dustin & Gigolo Justin) – 2
4. Shawn Donovan vs. Moose – 2
5 Allie & Braxton Sutter vs. Nikki Adams & Nikos Rikos – 3
6. Teddy Hart vs. Bobby Wayward – 5
7. Eli Drake vs. Matt Macintosh vs. Anthony Bowens – 3
8. Alberto El Patron vs. Fallah Bahh – 5
9. Dan Maff vs. Johnny Impact – 6
Average Score: 3
(Editor’s Note: I'd jumped ahead and started working on this, the first Twitch special from 2018, because I was under the impression the only way I could watch it was on the Twitch mobile app on my phone. Then partway through I noticed TNA+ had added a section containing all the Twitch specials.)
We’re coming from what I always think of as the home of JAPW none other than the Rahway Recreation Center in Jersey. Opener is just the drizzling indie shits. CAQ is rocking a modern Norman the Lunatic gimmick and riding a two-year unbeaten streak. Habib the Car Wash Attendant is just … why? What are we even doing here? KM we know from his TNA appearances and does loud-mouthed heel shtick adequately. But this certainly wasn’t a good first look at WrestlePro. I’m actually a big follower of UFC but I did not need this “segment”. Colby’s MAGA shtick has lost any modicum of cultural cache, him stooging on Tyrone (or “Tyquil”) would be fine for a bit on a UFC pre-show or weigh-in special, but eating up time on a wrestling show was dispiriting. Dustin and Justin are about one-tenth the talent Jimmy Del Ray ever was. Sydal was kept on the apron. Real bad. Actively worst match I’ve seen of Moose’s and I’m a fan legit.
Nikki & Nikos working Grecian gimmick and all I could think about was Rikos’ outrageous attire looked like a Greece flag themed version of Super Mario Bros. 2 enemy character Phanto. Surprised to see featured TNA act Allie & Braxton take the loss here. Wayward was supposed to work Eddie Edwards who came out in street clothes and handpicked his replacement Teddy Hart. If Hollywood ever wants to make a movie about Hart’s exploits, they’ve got to hire Colin Farrell to play him. The resemblance is uncanny. Ironic Wayward is in pink and black gear. Bobby didn’t look bad, and Hart hit a few gross moves I liked. Weird seeing Drake who’s prominently in the TNA World title picture in a bland three-way. Weirder still that he didn’t win the match. Hadn’t seen Patron work in a while. Usually when people do those mounted punches, where you’ve got your opponent against the turnbuckles and you’re standing on the 2nd rope firing them down, they’re as weak as an Applebee’s $1 cocktail – but I like how Alberto really snapped them off and made simple strikes look nasty. I think Maff is still underrated to this day and is legit a top 20 2000’s indie guy, just has a harder resume to flaunt since a lot of it was on East coast indies and not the big spotlight feds.
Who won?
We all did. I hope you were entertained if you took the time and followed along the journey. Brief as it ended up being. Or if you discovered it long after and read it for the first time. In closing, I’m paying for Honor Club and TNA+ out of my own pocket, so my endorsement is mine alone, but if you have any interest in either (or both) I strongly recommend them. For mere shekels a month you can have access to HUGE back catalogues of footage accessible with a single click on a remote. And while I’ll no longer be writing about my journey I’m beyond stoked to continue watching along. I’ve done the research and can’t wait to see the various eras ahead: the pandemic no-fans events, the “end of an era” short-lived demise of ROH, then it’s rebirth at the hands and bankroll of Tony Khan, etc. I’m in for quite a treat. Thanks for looking and I encourage you to fully enjoy your own journeys, wherever they might take you.