• Rob Goodwin

Impact Barbed Wire Massacre III Review!

Updated: Aug 4

I really could talk all day about the shortcomings of Impact Wrestling as a promotion; the fact that the mismanagement of key assets has lead to the company having to advertise for and pay spectators, the GFW/Jeff Jarrett debacle and the fact that Alberto el Patron persists on causing more trouble for them than he can possibly be worth. Yet here we sit, in the middle of January of 2018 and I am looking at the Barbed Wire Massacre III Match between OvE and Sami Callahan and LAX - a match that has been been widely publicised as ‘Too Violent for TV!’ Could Impact use this as a stepping stone to bigger and better things? We will soon see!

OvE and Callahan are out first adorned in their customary masks, showing literally no concern for the barbed wire now replacing the ring ropes. Callahan in fact looks positively buoyant, though this could all be to fit in with their recent (ish) heel turn. The Impact Tag Team Champions LAX come out next to a fairly substantial pop from the crowd, firmly establishing that they are most definitely the faces. One thing that does put me off is the obscenely unnecessary camera cuts during the intro to LAX’s theme; shooting around the roof and walls of the venue - why? They are accompanied by Konnan and eye the ring with the same disinterest that OvE did just moments before.

The opening exchanges lead to an all-out brawl between the two teams - no tags here, it’s tornado rules - and early on we see OvE whipped toward the barbed wire, only to slither underneath. They then tease the completely dead audience until Santana performs an over the top dive onto the trio on the outside. Ortiz and Santana then grapple with the Crist Brothers on the outside, hitting them with dustbin lid shots to the head, while Callahan and Homicide duel with forks in the ring. Yes. Forks.

Nothing comes of the fork duel and instead Homicide is thrown into the barbed wire, which instantly comes loose from the ring posts, leaving the LAX member tangled and struggling. Callahan and Ortiz quickly follow suit, but their bumps into the wire are considerably more tame, merely grazing it, yet still selling it as though it is hell on earth!

Dave Crist and Santana are next, with the latter driving the former toward a barbed wire covered board, but missing so that Crist’s neck and back scrapes the barbed wire instead. Santana is then whipped toward the same board, pulling it onto himself for some reason whilst the commentary team sell the fact that the wire is sticking to his clothes.

The first real spot of any note is as, after a plethora of chair shots to the head, Homicide is Suplexed onto the barbed wire board by Jake Crist and Callahan. With no way of bracing for the impact, I guarantee that smarts a lot!

Dave Crist meanwhile, blood pouring from his shoulder after the botched attempt at the barbed wire board earlier, has alcohol poured into the open wound by Homicide, who is then DDT’d onto a trash can lid by Callahan for the first pinfall attempt of the night, with the LAX man kicking out at 2.

The action really begins to pick up as Jake Crist is Suplexed onto a barbed wire board suspended between 2 chairs, which snaps on impact, before Homicide is front Suplexed onto the barbed wire ring ropes, which give way instantly!

A great spot follows as Jake Crist is flung through the barbed wire ropes. Whilst tangled, Ortiz cuts one end of the ropes free and wraps Crist up until he gets to the other ring post. Santana then cuts that section free, Ortiz then gets the barbed wire wrapped Crist up on his shoulders and drives him into a barbed wire board!

Ortiz is then Speared through a table on the outside by a still-wrapped-up Jake Crist, whilst Santana is Tombstone Piledrivered onto a barbed wire wrapped steel chair by Callahan.

Callahan sets up two tables whilst Dave Crist gets a ladder. Santana is placed on top of the tables and Crist ascends. However, Konnan interferes (it baffles me that it has taken this long for him to interfere mind you), hitting Callahan with a barbed wire bat, clearing the way for Santana to ascend the ladder too, driving a handful of wooden skewers into the head of Dave Crist. Santana Superplexes Dave Crist through the tables and pins him to bring to an end this match.

The match certainly started slowly, with the wrestlers understandably conscious of going near the wire, but the contest really heated up later on, with the Crist Brothers especially seemingly dead set on destroying their bodies for the fans.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still things that irked me about this match; where did the chopsticks come from and why did Crist let them by drilled into his scalp? Homicide disappeared after half the match and the crowd were awful, shouting ‘We want tables!’ despite the fact that someone had just been speared through one whilst wrapped in barbed wire - some people are never happy!

All in all though, a fun little match which I enjoyed. Biggest question though; was it too violent for TV?

I’ll be honest, I don’t think so - with the possible exception of the chopstick spot - but that shouldn’t take away from a good match and the effort these two teams put in here!

Rating: 7 stars