By John Moore
GFW Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped July 3, 2017 in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Joseph Park and Grado drove into the Universal Studios lot in a trashy looking Volkswagen Bug. Grado congratulated Park on losing a few pounds and for having a “fancy” car. Park said he was lucky since he received the Bug in a will from his uncle Jedidiah Park. Park said the car only has three payments left before he owns it. Park said the bigger news is that the country wants to throw Grado out. Park said “our orange haired President” wants Grado gone and there was no more American Dream for Grado. Park said he had a somewhat immoral plan. Park said Grado needs to get married. Grado said he can’t settle because he as chicks wanting him from all directions. Park said he had a better plan. Park said Impact Wrestling was the best place for courtship and dating. Park said Grado needs to get married to a knockout since all the boys are doing it!
An intro teaser aired featuring Alberto El Patron and Lashley’s interactions from last week, ending with LAX dragging an unconscious Alberto out of the Impact Zone claiming he was one of them…
Jeremy Borash, D’Angelo Dinero, and Josh Mathews checked in on Commentary. LAX made their entrance. Josh Mathews questioned if LAX’s relationship with Alberto El Patron was legit. Borash brought up the possibility of a lot of Gold being concentrated in LAX due to the possibility of LAX having the Global and Tag Team titles. Konnan grabbed a mic and told us again that LAX was serious like a late period. Konnan also compared LAX to Viagra again and said that’s why LAX were so hard. Konnan said he was announcing the new soldier in LAX. Konnan introduced the “Undisputed GFW Global Champion” Alberto El Patron.
For some reason, another (possibly planted) fan brought a giant flagpole into the Impact Zone and swung the giant US Flag in front of Alberto. Not sure why? Alberto walked to the ring looking a bit confused. Alberto called Konnan “Carlos” su hermano. Alberto brought up doing everything together with Konnan and Alberto’s friend Rey Mysterio. Alberto called the ending of Impact last week bull crap because Konnan said Alberto was in LAX without even consulting with Alberto. Alberto said he’s a leader, not a follower.
Konnan said Alberto was familia. Konnan said when Alberto was going to represent Mexico in the Olympic amateur wrestling they knew Alberto would bring the gold medal. Konnan said they were tired of what happened to his idolo, Alberto’s uncle Mil Mascaras as well as leyendo Dos Caras, and even Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. Konnan said he personally had problems with Impact’s previous owners. Konnan brought up the problems Alberto had in WWE. Alberto said you can call it cultural ignorance but he thinks it’s oppression. Alberto said he hasn’t forgotten what those [censored]s did to him. Alberto said that was the past and he’s in a bigger better place with better fans (Universal Studios Orlando?). Alberto said this company is doing something different. He said he understands what Konnan wants to do but doesn’t like the way he does it. Alberto called Konnan a bitter man. Alberto said he was a loner in Mexico and Japan. Alberto said he’ll remain a loner “in my house” Impact Wrestling.
Konnan said Alberto is no longer alone because LAX is his family. Konnan told Alberto not to listen to the idiots, the fans. Konnan said Alberto is letting emotion override his intelligence. Konnan said he wants to start a Hispanic revolution which is what the crackers don’t want. Konnan said power can be consolidated and all Alberto has to say is “si, si, si”. Alberto called Carlos his friend and said the answer was “no you son of a bitch”. Konnan sent LAX after Alberto and they mauled him. Bobby Lashley’s entrance theme played as Lashley stormed the ring and beat up all three male members single handedly. Lashley cleared the ring and stood alone with Alberto in the ring. Lashley handed Alberto the TNA Championship (the belt still says TNA in big letters). Alberto had some red marks on his face from the brawl… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Hmmmm… There’s a part of me that wanted to like how that segment went. I also think that this LAX heel turn was much better. Last time LAX were heels because they wanted to fight for ethnic minorities? That had xenophobia written all over it. This time, they’re militant foreign heels a la Nation of Domination, which I don’t think works in 2017. Konnan’s delivery was great, but his message was too all over the place and it seemed like he and Alberto were having an argument that shouldn’t have been argued over. The possible Lashley turn has two bad outcomes. Either we get an underwhelming swerve that everyone saw coming and screams bad early TNA. Or we get babyface Lashley which isn’t great because Lashley is a top tier heel. It will be like turning Drew Galloway heel! Well… maybe they might need a new top babyface given how their face of the company is (indefinitely) suspended.
Josh Mathews talked about all the attention Impact has gotten from DeAngelo Williams wrestling. They mentioned TMZ, ESPN, Fox Sports, NFL Network, and others as places that gave them attention. Josh played a radio clip of Williams saying the match was his debut and retirement at the same time. They quickly cut to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer entering the Impact Zone to be honored. Buddy declared July 5th as Impact Wrestling day. Josh also talked about the memorial that Impact gave to the survivors of the Pulse Nightclub shootings from last year. Josh Mathews said “Thank You Orlando”…
Jeremy Borash told us Bruce Prichard booked the main event which was the Tag Team Champions Santana and Ortiz vs. Bobby Lashley and Alberto El Patron in a tag team match…
John’s Thoughts: Now, I don’t like it when WWE does this too and I don’t remember them doing it in recent memory. But this was a bad trend in WWE around the Johnny Ace era (around 2010-ish). Why make your Tag Team champs look week by putting them against main eventers? LAX might win this match later on and I kinda hope they lose via DQ so we don’t get LAX looking weak. Either that or that’s were Lashley swerves us which will also be lame.
Jeremy Borash cut to a Super X Cup profile video on ACH. ACH talked about watching Shelton Benjamin wrestle being what inspired him to be a wrestler. ACH said he wants to be the first wrestler to wrestle on the moon. ACH entered the Impact ring wearing what I think is a DBZ anime-inspired Gogeta Fusion suit. An Andrew Everett profile package aired where Everett talked about constantly being cut off on his quest to become X Division Champion. Everett said winning this tournament would lead to him becoming X Division Champion. Everett made his entrance. Mathews made Dezmond Xavier his favorite…
1. Andrew Everett vs. ACH in a first round Super X Cup match. ACH locked in a side headlock to start. Everett was taken down and he made a kip up. Everett and ACH shared a light stalemate sequence. Everett gave ACH a huracanrana. ACH blocked a whip with a baseball slide and gave Everett a kick. Everett kicked him back to maintain the upper hand. ACH blocked a whip with a somersault and came back with a dropkick. Everett and ACH traded waistlocks. Everett kicked ACH with a thrust kick to get a two count.
Outside of the ring, Everett gave ACH a top rope Asai moonsault. Dinero talked against Everett taking his time and playing to the fans. ACH tripped up Everett with a running baseball sweep followed by a double footstomp and guillotine legdrop to the back of Everett. ACH kept the pursuit up with a plancha. Everett springboarded right into a deadlift German by ACH. ACH hit Everett with a follow-through lariat and did a handstand to get to his feet. Everett hit a Pele kick on ACH. Everett got a nearfall after a Falcon Arrow. Jeremy Borash hyped up that the finals of the X Cup will happen August 17 at Destination X.
Everett took his time to get to the top rope causing Dinero to decry Everett’s showboating again. Everett missed a top rope flip but landed on his feet. Everett caught ACH with a kick. ACH powered through and hit Andrew Everett with the “Spirit Bomb” Brainbuster.
ACH defeated Andrew Everett via pinfall in 6:24 to advance in the Super X Cup tournament.
Josh Mathews talked about how Austin Aries used the Brainbuster Suplex and how he created Option C. They showed replays of ACH hitting his Spirit Bomb Brainbuster. The camera cut to Gail Kim walking backstage to get ready for her big announcement.
John’s Thoughts: I know this was taped before I typed last week’s report, but did ACH read my mind in wanting to book a Vegeta vs. Goku, Final Flash vs. Spirit Bomb, Xavier vs. ACH match? I didn’t even know that ACH was going all Goku? Anyway, that was a good first match of the Super X Cup and again showcases the benefits of telling stories via singles matches. It’s also devoid of lame stories and parity booking a la 205 Live. If Impact can keep this up the X Division might not be a symbol of mediocrity anymore. That title can go to WWE 205 Live!!! (the booking, not the wrestlers just to be clear).
Jeremy Borash the formal introduction to Gail Kim, who made her entrance to the Impact Zone. Gail Kim thanked the fans and television audience. Gail Kim said this announcement is a year in the making but got delayed due to her injury. Gail said she was grateful to be able to work with the most talent and respected people in the business. Gail talked about the opportunity to wrestle in front of millions. Gail said she gave her mind, body, and soul to wrestling. Gail said she doesn’t regret one moment. The crowd showered Gail in a “Thank You Gail” chant. Gail Kim said she was announcing that at the end of year 2017 she will be retiring from the ring. The crowd showered her in boos and “no!” chants. Gail Kim thanked everyone he wrestled in the past and thanked all of the fans. The fans responded with “Thank You Gail” and “Please don’t Go” chants. Gail Kim said it was not the end yet and she wants to go out on top in her home Impact Wrestling.
Jeremy Borash called the announcement breaking news. Dinero said it was sad to see her go. Josh said it wasn’t sad since Gail’s ending her career on her own terms. Gail Kim went to ring side to give the fans hugs. Chris Adonis crossed paths with Gail Kim. Chris Adonis jawed with the Swolemates again. Dinero said the swolemates were jacked. One of the swolemates entered the ring. The other swolemate ripped apart the ring barricade. Chris Adonis took off his shirt and flexed doing his Chris Masters things. Every one took off their shirts to show off their muscles. What am I watching? Eli Drake ran into the ring to stop Masters. The referees ran in to stop this?
They showed the mini Octagoncito getting ready for his match after the break… [C]
John’s Thoughts: What the hell was that segment? I thought we were done with lame cross promotion ever since TNA left Destination America and they were doing all of those lame ghost and barbecue advertisements in the ring? This was an “Only in TNA” moment and I’m not quite sure how to describe it? What made it even more odd was they had that blob of confusion happen right when Kim was giving such a heartfelt and huge announcement! Ugh… This better not lead to Swolemates vs. Adonis/Drake. Only in TNA! And Cut Drake so we can see him on NXT because this is ridiculous.
Mini wrestler Demus made his entrance to the Impact Zone. Borash told us he goes by the name Damien 666 in AAA. Borash said he was a Mini with a bad attitude. Octagoncito made his entrance. Jeremy Borash said Octagoncito has earned the title of Mini Rey Mysterio.
John’s Thoughts: But Octagoncito translates to Mini Octagon and his history is he’s a Mini to Kalisto the Octagon Jr. who inherited the Octagon mask at the time. I know about the Flamita controversy, so I’m not going to dig too much into that one. By the way, most U.S. viewers might be familiar with Pentagon from Lucha Underground. Pentagon is the ninja of dark, while Octagon is the ninja of light. Rivals.
2. Damus vs. Octagoncito. Demus toyed with Octagoncito early on. Octagon showed off some agility and gave Demus a Lucha armdrag. Octagon gave Demus a huracanrana. Octagoncito then followed up with a tilt-a-whirl on Demus. Octagoncito followed up on the outside with a corkscrew plancha. Dinero told us that Octagoncito is a 22-year veteran. Demus planted Octagoncito with a popup powerslam. Demus then planted Octagon with a reverse body slam. Demus then hit Octagoncito with a spinebuster to lead to a two count. Octagoncito swung the pendulum in his favor by giving Demus a huracanrana to the outside.
Octagoncito hit Demus with a top rope Asai Moonsault. Octagoncito almost picked up the win with the West Cost Pop. Octagoncito then added a few more spins to the headscissors to lead to a win with a rollup.
Octagoncito defeated Demus via pinfall in 3:56.
Jeremy Borash hyped up GFW’s relationships with Noah, Crash, and AAA. Borash said that’s the reason they are a “Global Force” (awwwww shoot!). Dinero said that the mask helps Octagoncito stay looking young…
John’s Thoughts: Good mini match. The best part, similar to how Lucha Underground treats intergender matches, is they treated the wrestlers like regular wrestlers having a match as opposed to something special of goofy. If this were Vince McMahon booking, I’d be afraid of how they’d book it weekly. Octagoncito looked great for his age and Demus was good in his power moveset.
It was time for a Grado and Joe Park skit. Park was trying to hype up Grado to talk to the knockouts. Grado started his prowl by trying to ask Ava Storie out on a date. Ava said she had to go wash her hair. Grado also failed on other knockouts as poppy Girl Band music played. Grado was rejected by knockouts suck as Amber Nova, Rebel, and Sienna. Rosemary roared in his face to scare Grado. Grado tried to ask Allie to marry him before Braxton Sutter walked in. The random overweight guy from last week who was doing squats was doing squats again. Park said Grado only has one more chance. Park gave Grado some champagne and chocolates to help him in his next attempt…
They showed a Matt Sydal vignette. Sydal said instead of money [TNA] payed him in “exposure and experience”. Sydal said he doesn’t see himself as an X Division star or a light heavyweight. Sydal said he can stand in the ring against anyone. The commentators hyped up Moose vs. Naomichi Marufuji for the Grand Championship…
John’s Thoughts: I feel like I say the same thing for the Broken Hardy skits, and they aren’t even similar; but even though the humor isn’t for everyone, I get a kick out of cheesy Joe Park. I also think Grado has great comedic timing when Impact isn’t trying to make him a “Showtime” Eric Young clone. Having Joe Park around as a regular is also fun and better than having old school TNA Abyss doing his random Abyss things and turning heel and babyface every week.
Ethan Carter III made his entrance to join the commentary table for the Impact Grand Championship match. EC3 replaced Dinero as the middle commentator. Naomichi Marufuji came out first. Josh talked about how Marufuji won all of Noah’s top titles. Moose came out doing his Moose dance. Josh said Moose’s goal is to make the Grand Championship the same as the World/Global Championship. EC3 was silent. Jeremy Borash asked EC3 “why are you out here?”…
3. Moose vs. Naomichi Marufuji in an Impact Grand Championship Match. Bruce Prichard, Scott D’Amore, and Dutch Mantel were the judges (thumbs up to Billy Corgan for having faceless judges). Tyrus was the bodyguard. Mathews said Marufuji is at a disadvantage since he doesn’t compete in the round format. Moose gave Marufuji a shoulder and did the Moose dance. Marufuji dodged a gamechanger. Moose nosold a Marufuji clothesline. Moose blocked a huracanrana and gave Marufuji a boot. Moose gave Marufuji a back-body drop. Marufuji hit a few chops on Moose but Moose hit Marufuji with a popup powerbomb and running senton. None of Marufuji’s strikes registered since Moose overpowered Marufuji. Moose won the first round via split (?) decision. Judge #3, either Dutch or Prichard I assume, gave Marufuji the win for some reason.
Moose opened the next round with a pump kick. Moose missed wildly with his running moonsault. Moose no sold chops in the corner and returned the chops to Marufuji. Marufuji gave Moose a low dropkick and several other kicks to get a one count. Marufuji hit Moose with a delayed chest slap. Marufuji then hit a shoulder block. Marufuji hit Moose with a clinch knee. Moose knocked down Marufuji with a pump kick. Marufuji landed kicks on Moose. Moose told Marufuji to go to hell and was dropkicked off the top rope. The round ended with #1 and #3 voting in favor of Marufuji. Marufuji won round 2 via split decision… [C]
Moose gave Marufuji a pump kick again. Moose hit Marufuji with a hesitation dropkick in the corner. Moose missed the Gamechanger again (he never hits anyone with that move!). Moose went for another and ate a knee from Marufuji. EC3 interfered and hit Marufuji with the ring bell.
Naomichi Marufuji defeated Moose via DQ with 1:29 left in round 3? Or No Contest?
EC3 tried to hit Moose with the bell but Moose gave EC3 the pump kick. EC3 retreated up the ramp. Jeremy Borash then cut to LAX…
It was now time for an LAX clubhouse cinematic. Konnan said Alberto El Patron went corporate to appease the idiots. Konnan said it’s better for Alberto to be with his familia, the Latino nation. Konnan said LAX has to beat that ass, but they also have to send a message by making sure Alberto leaves in a stretcher. Konnan also asked LAX to beat Alberto’s ass while he’s lying in the ambulance. Konnan said this was tough love and street justice to beat some sense into Alberto. Konnan said the message is also for Lashley. Konnan asked LAX to also beat their ass in the hospital…
John’s Thoughts: Like most Grand Championship matches, the rounds end before the match really gets a chance to pick up. Moose has been imprisoned in Impact by being forced to wrestle in solely round matches ever since Drew Galloway left the scene. The rounds are starting to look fake too because they always go with the same formula of splitting the first two rounds. Atop of that, the split decisions don’t make sense most of the time. This Grand Championship concept needs to burn in a fire and compacted in a trash compactor.
Trevor Lee walked to the ring claiming he’s the X Division Champion while also wearing the X Division Title that he stole from Sonjay Dutt. Impact’s resident expert jobber, William Weeks, was in the ring. Trevor Lee said he was going to be a fighting champion. Lee called William Weeks the best competition they could bring to the X Division. Lee said Weeks has come from Japan, Australia, Germany, and Canada. Lee said he was humbled to defend the title against Weeks. The ref tried to take the belt from Lee but Lee made excuses not to take it off during his match.
4. Trevor Lee vs. William Weeks. Weeks slapped Lee to start the match. Lee quickly turned the tide and pummeled Weeks. They cut to a Picture-in-Picture where security guards were holding back Sonjay from entering the Impact Zone (why? He’s trying to pick up his belt?). Josh Mathews wondered why the security guards were pulling Sonjay away. Lee gave Weeks a punt to the chest from the apron. Borash and Mathews talked about how absurd it is that Lee is allowed to keep the title belt. Lee gave Weeks a double stomp to pick up the win.
Trevor Lee defeated William Weeks via pinfall in 1:22.
Sonjay Managed to enter the ring to attack Lee. Lee ran to ringside and Sonjay decided to stay in the ring for some reason and not get his title back?
John’s Thoughts: It’s good that they’re doing something (?) with Trevor Lee. I’m not sure this stealing the belt thing is going to do him any favors. Also, is it just me or is there a lot of “Only in TNA” happening tonight? What prompts those moments is when the commentators point out how illogical the things they are watching are. Taz was good at pointing these out and Mathews continues that trend.
Laurel Van Ness walked to the ring in her trashed wedding dress. She carried a shoe to the ring. Her opponent was Ava Storie.
5. Laurel Van Ness vs. Ava Storie. Josh wondered how many months Laurel has been wearing he wedding dress? Ava had the early advantage and locked in the body scissors. Laurel kicked out of several pin attempts. Laurel sold the rolling around as making her dizzy. Ava gave Laurel forearms. Laurel escaped with an Irish Whip. Laurel pulled Ava to the ground by the legs. Josh wondered where Kongo Kong was?
Ava kicked out at two. Laurel slammed Ava’s head into all three turnbuckles. Laurel choked Ava on the second rope by sitting on her. Ava dodged the curb stomp. Ava then slipped away and landed a neckbreaker. Ava tripped Laurel with a low kick. Laurel tried to retreat at ringside. Ava kept the attack up. Laurel caught Ava and planted her with the Orton hanging DDT. Laurel hit Ava with the curb stomp (to her back) for the victory.
Laurel Van Ness defeated Ava Storie via pinfall in 3:21.
Laurel did her drunken lap around the ring. Grado’s entrance music cut off her celebration as Grado and Joseph Park went into the ring to court Laurel Van Ness. Grado did his dance at ringside with Park. Josh said he’s all for the deportation of Grado. Grado grabbed a mic along with the champagne and chocolates. Grado introduced himself to Laurel. He said his name is Graeme (which I couldn’t decipher and had to look up on Wikipedia). Grado said he thinks Laurel is the most beautiful creature he laid his eyes on. He said he likes her hair and makeup. Grado said her teeth are as white as eggshells. Grado asked if Laurel and he can go out, get some food, drinks, and watch a movie. The crowd chanted “Netflix and Chill” (a.k.a. Sex). Grado asked Laurel if they can “Netflix and Chill” which Park gave a thumbs up to. Grado asked Laurel on a date. Kongo Kong made his entrance which caused Grado and Park to clear the ring…
John’s Thoughts: Just to get the bad out of the way. A curb stomp doesn’t look as damaging when it’s to someone’s back. Think Kick vs. Shove. Again, I’m not quite sure why, but I didn’t hate that Grado and Laurel interaction. As I said before, Grado has something when he’s not trying to be someone else. Park is also a good complement to any complementary segment. It’s a bit odd to have Kongo Kong in all of this as it looked like he was heading higher on the card, but I’m willing to see where this goes to start.
6. Santana and Ortiz (w/ Konnan, Homicide, and Diamante) vs. Bobby Lashley and Alberto El Patron in a non-title tag team match. Lashley and El Patron shared a handshake to start. Lashley started the match against Ortiz. Santana taunted Lashley a bit. Lashley overpowered Ortiz to the corner. Lashley hit Ortiz with his delayed vertical suplex. Ortiz tried to escape but El Patron tossed him back into the ring. Lashley hit Ortiz with a sidewalk slam. Mathews said there was some controversy behind the future of Lashley. Lashley tagged in El Patron. El Patron hit Ortiz with a dropkick on the ground.
El Patron hit Ortiz with the ten count punches. El Patron made sure to knock off Santana from the ring apron so he could attempt an uninterrupted pin. Ortiz managed to tag in Santana which allowed them to get some double team moves in. Santana hit a moonsault elbow drop on El Patron. [C]
Back from the break, El Patron backtossed Santana to ringside. Ortiz cleaned up and put the boots to El Patron in their corner as they isolated El Patron away from Lashley. Santana hit El Patron with a body slam and went high risk. El Patron tripped him and hit a reverse Superplex on Santana. Lashley and Ortiz tagged in as Lashley did the hot tag rally. Lashley hit Santana with the Dominator powerslam. Lashley went for the spear but Diamante held Lashley’s foot while Konnan distracted the referee. LAX gave Lashley a double back suplex.
Homicide punched Lashley outside as Santana and Ortiz distracted the referee. Lashley got a huge “Lashley!” chant as they tried to rally him from behind. Santana isolated Lashley back in LAX’s corner. LAX hit Lashley with a double front suplex as Ortiz tagged in. Borash compared the ability of Santana and Ortiz to that of Chris Sabin and Alex Shelly. Lashley managed to take down LAX with a crossbody. El Patron managed to tag in El Patron for the hot tag. El Patron hit Santana and Ortiz with his running enziguri. He grounded Santana with the backstabber to get a nearfall. El Patron put Santana in the Tree of Woe as Lashley hit Ortiz spinebuster. Lashley and El Patron then did a combo double stomp neckbreaker on Santana to give El Patron the pinfall victory.
Bobby Lashley and Alberto El Patron defeated LAX via pinfall 9:05.
El Patron and Lashley celebrated their win. Lashley and El Patron shared a handshake at the end of the match. Lashley picked up an LAX bandana and put it on his head, for some reason. El Patron grabbed a mic and said even though he and El Patron have been enemies they make a “damn awesome team!”. LAX interrupted and beat on El Patron. It was Homicide, Santana, Ortiz, and Diamante. Konnan said that’s what El Patron gets for turning their back on him. Konnan ended his promo by saying “Hasta la muerte, despues!”. LAX laid their flag on El Patron. Lashley shrugged and left…
John’s Thoughts: Similar to what El Patron said, even though I thought the booking of this match was shoddy, they do make a damn awesome team. That was a solid tag team match. In fact, I think El Patron have better chemistry as a tag team than they do against each other. It also helps that Santana and Ortiz have had nothing but good matches since debuting earlier this year. Pushing aside this good match, I’m not really sure there are any good endgames from this. Lashley swerves El Patron, Lashley turns babyface, El Patron feuds with LAX, Lashley and El Patron feud with LAX. There are not good scenarios in place. Santana and Ortiz already lost decisively. Homicide has credibility as a former ROH Champion, but he hasn’t had one match at all in 2017. Konnan is retired. Who else does El Patron have to beat? Again, what’s the endgame? Hopefully GFW surprises me.
This was a really up and down show, but I can’t help but remember a lot of the annoying parts. Everett vs. ACH was good. Damus vs. Octagoncito was presented well as well as simply being a fun match. The only other bright spots was the Joe Park and Grado stuff for me. I try not to let the outside stories interfere with my writing, but I can’t help but take into account that Alberto El Patron has outside problems and that GFW made him their world champion. Only in TNA! It’s the credo GFW lives by. Maybe Jason Powell felt better about this show than me. You all get his thoughts via the Hit List and his member exclusive audio review later today