Eddie Edwards, Allie (Cherry Bomb), Richard Justice, Fallah Bah and Garza Jr. vs. Chris Adonis (Masters), Caleb Konley, KM (Kevin Matthews) and Laurel Van Ness – Eli Drake’s Gravy Train Turkey Trot, IMPACT! Wrestling, November 23rd 2017
Okay, I’ll be upfront here, this article isn’t really about the match. Since the departure of The Hardy Boyz and numerous management shake-ups, TNA, GFW and now just IMPACT! has struggled to find footing. They’ve also been hemorrhaging talent which hasn’t helped much either. Characters disappearing while others haven’t yet been established takes away a lot of opportunity for both creative and the wrestlers to establish new personae. IMPACT!’s strength has been in its roster since day one, and at this point, many wrestling fans couldn’t tell you who’s on the show week to week. However, since Bound for Glory, things have been improving. The last two weeks of the show have been two of the best since that aforementioned footing was lost, with the addition of OVE/Oi4K and the formation of the Cult of Lee. Sami Callihan is one of the best in the world and hopefully some of his fans turn their attention over to the show. Hopefully they didn’t try to jump back in this week.
This Thanksgiving edition of IMPACT! is a bizarre moment for wrestling on television. Yes, many shows have built to a single match, but typically they have something else on the show anyway and don’t run for two hours. That’s right, the only new match on this entire episode is The Turkey Bowl, which the champ renames early on. Other than that, the audience is treated to some clipped matches from years past (only three by the way), a brief appearance from Chef Robert Irvine and a lot of commentary by the roster on different aspects of Thanksgiving. I hope Irvine, Gail Kim’s real life husband, knows his meal was Bound for The Arena Floor (sorry). I’m sure he didn’t cook it anyway. Some of these segments are amusing, but they become tedious pretty quickly. I’m glad I was able to skip the commercials, watching this live would have been a task. The match, entrances and promos included, runs about 45 minutes of television time, which in itself is fine. It is just baffling how much of the show was wasted prior to it. The match is amusing, and the talent seemed to be into it, hamming it up in the pre-bell stuff. Keep an eye on Richard Justice and Allie, they’re great. No dead weight in the ring, everyone played their part in this comedic Survivor Series-style contest. The last ten minutes are centered around getting the heel loser in the turkey suit, which might have been too long, but it was at least relevant to the story. Yes, this main event was fun, and worth giving a look, but I can’t help but feel that it might have been the wrong choice for the company when trying to build back momentum. This match is a blast, a tradition and I commend IMPACT! for maintaining it, but it easily could have been part of a more interesting episode.
IMPACT! Wrestling is available on demand through many cable providers.