Also, I’m slightly confused. How is a match that goes on for four minutes, involves numerous outside interferences, and more be a no contest? Even the announcers were confused when the ref said there was ‘no match.’
This just confused the hell out of the fans, the announcers, and me, too.
Grade: F. While it showed Rob as a scumbag, the whole segment’s a mess. Hard To Kill? No. Hard to stomach.
#5. Rob Van Dam (w/ Katie Forbes) vs. Daga – Winner: Rob Van Dam
Predicted Winner: Since this wasn’t on the card, No Prediction (2-1-1)
Was this the Hard To Kill match that planned at first for RVD and Cage? Was this Impact management calling an audible with Cage’s injury?
If so, they should have just gone with this match from the beginning, writing off Cage via backstage attack or something similar.
Unfortunately after the last segment, it took the fans awhile to get into this match. Daga did his best to elevate and fire up a confused, dead crowd… but honestly watching the RVD post-match midlife crisis trainwreck was just painful.
Grade: D. Daga did his best, but everything on RVD’s side of the match, including Katie Forbes and their girlfriend Jennifer Barlow, was stupid. And apparently they’re planning on Jennifer being on screen more? No. No. Noooooooooooooo!
#6. [Call Your Shot Trophy] Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin – Winner: Eddie Edwards
Predicted Winner: Eddie Edwards (3-1-1)
Backstage in the Gorilla Position, I can only image how these two felt seeing the crowd’s reaction to the last match. “Oh crap, we’re gonna have to turn it up to 11 just to get things back on track.”
And they did. This match was brutal. Hard hitting. Well paced. One negative note: Eddie Edwards, PLEASE GET SOME BETTER PANTS. I don’t know what those skinny capri jeans are about, but they’re just wrong.
Forget the move by move breakdown, they brought the crowd back into things. Fans were yelling for Eddie, and legit pissed at Michael Elgin. There were even ‘that was awesome’ chants. Considering how poor Impact is with crowd noise, if this had been WWE it would have sounded like the main event at Wrestlemania.
They even did the pin right. There was no way that Eddie Edwards was going to out strong-style Michael Elgin, no matter how crazy he is. So stealing the win with counter-wrestling? Perfect for his character and this match.
This was more or less a Japanese strong-style match, and it delivered. I can’t give it an A because the match needed better buildup to get that grade, but it was the best match of the night to this point.
Grade: B+. Two pros going out there and putting on a good match. They took a dead crowd and not just brought it back to life, but saved Hard To Kill.
#7. [No Disqualification] Moose vs. Rhino – Winner: Moose
Predicted Winner: Moose (3-1-1)
Well, the no-DQ stipulation was a small surprise for me. But it adds to the match, removing the limitations that Rhino has to work with at his age and ability level.
Moose’s entrance is much improved. I think his music could use a bit of a remix, be a bit more impactful (har har), but he’s learning how to work his entrance a lot better.
This match had roughly… two wrestling moves. Maybe three. Basically it’s a couple of three hundred pound men beating the everlovin’ sh*t out of each other. Chair shots, outside brawling, tables… it’s your classic hardcore match, and done very well.
There are a few things I think could have been improved. For example, why toss five chairs in the ring? Sure, it’s a classic hardcore spot, and it’s a rest spot for both wrestlers. But I’ve never understood the idea of getting out of the ring, tossing half a dozen or so weapons into the ring where your opponent can pick them up at any time, and then climbing into the ring without holding onto something. As a former Army officer, we didn’t teach people to hand the enemy weapons and then go after them.
Also, like most hardcore matches, especially those involving ECW alumni who are really too old for this sh*t, there’s a lot of rest spots that makes the match plodding at times. While I understand guys like Rhino want to stay relevant, and want to pass on to the next generation, they really can’t be doing this much longer.
But the right guy won, IMO, and it’s a good match for the type it is. And watching Rhino flipping off some fans and still getting a face pop was funny.
Grade: B. Right guy wins, good action, and while it does plod at times, it doesn’t go on too long.
#8. [World Tag Team Championship] The North, Ethan Page & Josh Alexander (c) vs. Willie Mack – Winners: The North
Predicted Winner: The North (4-1-1)
Talk about a match that saw itself be put through the blender. I talked about Josh Alexander’s injury hurting the match. Then Rich Swann gets hurt, and Ethan Page gets salmonella poisoning.
Might as well have called this match the ‘Get A Medic Match.’
However, perhaps the injuries, illnesses and such helped the match and the feud. By making this a handicap match, it was able to protect both members of The North (Alexander’s arm, Page’s illness) by letting them use tons of tags and short spurts of action.
Mack gets his spots in as well. Counter wrestling, picking his moments, and even a top rope electric chair Canadian Destroyer? Well, props to Mack and everyone for some damn good work.
And Willie Mack loses nothing eating the pin here. He lost to the Tag Team champs by himself. This isn’t WWE, where heel tag team champs are pretty much jobbers in handicap matches and matches involving children. This is Impact, where physics and logic get used sometimes. As such, having heel tag champs get the win makes sense.
Although one illogical moment: The North hits Mack with a double team Gotch-style Equalizer, and he kicks out? Cesaro does not approve.
The question is where and when Impact continues this feud post Hard To Kill. A lot of that, I suspect, will depend on how quickly Rich Swann can come back from his ankle injury. Until then though, the window’s open for Willie Mack to get some shine and attention of his own, which will benefit the team when Swann does return.