4/20 Powell’s Impact Wrestling TV Review: “Live” show headed by Lashley vs. James Storm for the Impact Wrestling Championship

By Jason Powell

Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped earlier today in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios

[Q1] James Storm was shown arriving at the building earlier in the day in a Ford F150. Another shot aired of Lashley walking through the parking lot area… A video package focussed on Storm and Lashley… The Impact Wrestling opening montage aired complete with “F— That” the Owl… Jeremy Borash and “Pope” D’Angelo Dinero checked in on commentary and welcomed viewers on Spike UK for the first time…

Powell’s POV: A cool video package focussing on the champion and the challenger. I would love to see Impact Wrestling (and every other promotion) give every championship match for every title this much attention.

1. Impact Wrestling Tag Champions Santana and Ortiz (w/Konnan, Homicide, Diamante) vs. Jake Holmes and Joe Coleman. Holmes and Coleman did not receive a televised entrance. Borash noted that Coleman was trained by Scott D’Amore. The LAX duo plowed through their opponents and won with a top rope Blockbuster…

Santana and Ortiz (w/Konnan, Homicide, Diamante) beat Jake Holmes and Joe Coleman in 2:35 in a non-title match.

After the match, Konnan took the mic and repeated his line about being serious like a late period. He said the power structure has been in the hands of the good ol’ boys for too long. Konnan introduced the LAX members. In reference to Diamante’s role in the group, Konnan said that if anyone acts like a ho, they would get jacked.

Decay members Abyss, Crazzy Steve, and Rosemary made their entrance and fought with LAX at ringside and then in the ring. Steve got the better of Santana and was biting him when Konnan punched him heading into the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: The LAX entrance wasn’t as cool from a production standpoint as it was at the last taping for some reason. The lighting seemed different, but perhaps it’s the way it was shot. Hopefully Decay coming out to brawl with the tag champions is a sign that creative intends to get Abyss and Steve back on track after using them in an attempt to elevate Reno Scum more often than not at the last batch of tapings.

[Q2[ The broadcast team narrated new footage of the LAX and Decay Brawl with Santana performing a flip dive onto a Decay and security…

Karen Jarrett made her entrance to what sounded like a bass-heavy version (or is it just my sound system) version of Jeff Jarrett’s theme. The graphic listed her as the Queen of the Mountain. Karen delivered a promo and boasted that they were live and making Impact great. She introduced herself and said she is the co-founder of Global Force Wrestling.

Karen announced that GFW and Impact Wrestling have merged. She said they were in the process of creating working relationships with companies all over the world. Karen called it the night of champions and said they would have three title matches: Rosemary vs. ODB for the Knockouts Title, Trevor Lee vs. Andrew Everett for the X Division Title, and Lashley vs. James Storm for the Impact Wrestling Championship.

Sonjay Dutt made his entrance and joined Karen in the ring. He said it was great to be back in the Impact Zone. Dutt said it was many years ago when he arrived in Impact Wrestling and he was a pioneer of the X Division. He said he and others made the division one of the cornerstones of the company.

Dutt suggested that they made the X Division Title match the main event and make it a three-way with him involved. Dutt said he came back to Impact Wrestling on his own dime to do something he’d never done before by becoming the X Division Champion.

Andrew Everett made his entrance and said that he respects the hell out of Sonjay and it’s because of people like him that he does what he does today. Everett said Lee and Helms pulled the rug out from under him week after week, so they are his and his only.

Helms and Lee came out and questioned who “you three losers” are to dictate policy. Helms said Dutt was there for years and never won a championship, “so maybe you suck.” Helms told Karen that the X Division is run by one man and it’s him.

Bruce Prichard rushed out and said Helms doesn’t “run a damn thing around here.” Prichard said he hoped that Dutch Mantell and Karen didn’t mind that he was speaking on their behalf. Prichard said they could get a little wild. He said they would hold the X Division Championship in the main event spot, but they also had three other sides to the ring, so he said he would find three other wrestlers and make the main event a six-way match.

Lee attacked Everett and put the boots to him while Helms attacked Dutt. Lee set up for a move on Dutt, but Everett broke it up. Everett and Dutt tried to pick up the X Division Championship at the same time and jawed at one another…

[Q3] A video package aired with Crimson introducing himself as Anthony Mayweather and said he is better known as Crimson to Impact Wrestling fans. He spoke about growing up the son of a single mother and lacking a hero. He said it made him the man he is today. He said he has a five year-old son who changed his life. He spoke about dropping out of college after two months. He spoke about joining the U.S. Army. A grahic cut him off and hyped “VOW” for next week…

Powell’s POV: It’s encouraging to see Impact put the X Division wrestlers in the main event slot. However, it’s discouraging to see them go with a six-way match rather than a straight up singles match. Of course, they could have a surprise in mind for the main event. Either way, I liked the angle with Everett standing up to Dutt and saying he wanted Lee for himself, as that plays into the story told at the last taping. It’s nice to hear that the Helms character doesn’t have any say over the title matches. I still hope they define the roles of Karen, Prichard, and Mantell in terms of the hierarchy. Meanwhile, the video with Crimson was well done and did a better job of telling his story than entire previous run with the company did.

2. Rosemary vs. ODB for the Knockouts Championship. Borash noted that ODB was attempting to win the title for the fifth time. Late in the match, ODB went for her version of the bronco buster, but Rosemary put her foot up. Rosemary performed the Red Wedding (F5) and got the clean pin…

Rosemary defeated ODB in 3:45 to retain the Knockouts Championship.

After the match, the broadcast team was talking at ringside when they noticed a commotion in the crowd. It turned out to be Swoggle (Hornswoggle), who came out and shook hands with the fans. He also came to ringside and shook hands with Borash, didn’t notice Pope sticking out his hand, and then exchanged pleasantries with ring announcer Rockstar Spud.

Borash announced LAX vs. Decay in a street fight for the Impact Wrestling Tag Titles for next week. He also hyped the Lashley vs. Storm match for later in the show… [C]

Powell’s POV: The clean finish to the women’s match was somewhat surprising in that they seemed to be building up to a program between Rosemary and ODB. That said, they are also trying to establish Rosemary as one of the most dominant champions in Knockouts history. It hasn’t run true thus far if only because she hasn’t had many title defenses, so perhaps they had that in mind by putting her over clean.

[Q4] Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell stood in front of a locker room door and said she was trying to find out who the remainder of the participants were in the X Division Title match. Bruce Prichard and Karen Jarrett walked out. Prichard said Suicide would be in the match. Mitchell asked about the other two entrants. Prichard said all in due time while Karen flashed a confident grin.

Sienna showed up and told Karen she sees they have all the GFW talent walking around “our locker room.” She asked about the GFW Women’s Champion yet. Karen said she would be there and Sienna better be ready. Sienna said she’s always ready…

Powell’s POV: The GFW Women’s Champion is Christina Von Eerie, who worked as Toxxin in TNA. Yes, I had to look it up too.

A video package recapped the Allie and Braxton Sutter feud with Laurel Van Ness, Sienna, KM, and Kongo Kong…

3. Kongo Kong (w/Laurel Van Ness, KM, and Sienna) vs. Chris Silvio. No televised entrance for Silvio. Laurel is still doing her Courtney Love in a wedding dress schtick. Kong dominated the match and no sold the only punches that Silvio threw. Kong performed a cannonball in the corner and then followed up with a top rope splash for the win…

Kongo Kong defeated Chris Silvio in 1:18.

Powell’s POV: A nice squash win for Kong. It was also nice to see him wear additional gear that covered the fact that he pulls his trunks over his belly. Little things like that can be very helpful cosmetically.

Backstage, James Storm took a swig from his beer and then delivered a promo. Storm said he was feeling pretty damn good, but he knows Lashley can’t sleep at night because he’s afraid of losing the championship to him. Storm said Lashley thinks he’s the best in the company, but he knows he is the best. Storm said he has waited a long time and it would happen tonight. Storm said the only thing Lashley would hear once the 1-2-3 happens is “sorry about your damn luck”… [C]

Borash set up an Alberto El Patron video “from earlier today.” El Patron said he was in Arizona getting ready for a show, but he would be keeping a close eye on what happened on Impact Wrestling. He said he would face Lashley at some point, perhaps even Slammiversary, and he would become the next champion…

Powell’s POV: A little too lopsided in terms of hyping El Patron vs. Lashley considering that Lashley is defending the title against Storm on this show.

[Q5] Backstage, Mitchell interviewed GFW Champion Magnus and asked him what his main goal was now that he is back in Impact Wrestling. Magnus said he came back to help an old friend (Borash) initially, but then he heard a rumor that El Patron was staking his claim to be number one contender. Mitchell tried to say that El Patron beat Lashley. Magnus cut her off and said that El Patron had his chance and lost. Magnus said he got the win for his team in the eight-man tag match. Magnus said he is next in line for the title shot and he needed to watch the title match to see which wrestler he would be facing next…

James Storm made his entrance while drinking a beer and carrying what was left of a six pack. Lashley walked onto the stage with Josh Mathews. Borash was shown looking surprised. Lashley entered the ring and mocked Borash, who delivered in-ring introductions for the title match…

4. Lashley vs. James Storm for the Impact Wrestling Championship. Mathews put on a headset and stood next to Pope, saying that someone had to save the show. Borash said Impact would be returning to the road this summer. He said they would have announcements next week.

Lashley worked over Storm at ringside. EC3 came out and went face to face with Lashley. Storm struck Lashley from behind. Lashley regained offensive control and slammed Storm onto the ring steps heading into the break. [C]

[Q6] Storm came back after the break. Lashley shoved him off from a superplex attempt, but Storm regrouped and pulled him down to the floor. Storm followed up with a top rope elbow drop for a two count. Lashley battled back and caught the referee with an inadvertent elbow. REF BUMP!!!! Storm got a visual pinfall while the referee was down.

Storm went to ringside and took a swig of his beer and then entered the ring with the bottle and set up to hit Lashley with it. EC3 entered the ring and took the bottle from Storm and then hit him with it. EC3 shrugged his shoulders and left the ring. Borash said EC3 made a statement. Lashley waited for Storm to get up and then speared him and pinned him as the ref recovered and counted the pin…

Lashley defeated James Storm in 17:15 to retain the Impact Wrestling Championship. 

Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Dutch Mantell, who announced that Desmond Xavier would be in the six-way match for the X Division Title. Dutch said that if you don’t know who he is now, you would by the time the match was over. She asked who the sixth entrant would be. He said everyone likes a surprise, but everyone will know before the match is over who the sixth man is… [C]

Powell’s POV: Well, at least they were wise enough not to close the show with another ref bump and screwy finish to an Impact Wrestling Championship match. The EC3 turn was easy to see coming, yet it didn’t get much heat from the live crowd. He’s more than good enough on the mic to turn the fans against him, though. As for Xavier, most of his work has been in CZW. Also, they are doing a good job of building up the identity of the sixth man.

[Q7] Footage aired from a Border City Wrestling event. Moose was defending the Impact Wrestling Grand Championship when he was attacked by Chris Adonis (Chris Masters), who put him in the Masterlock and then held up the title belt…

Backstage, Mitchell interviewed Moose, who challenged Adonis to a title match for next week. He said he was bringing some friends and was interrupted by Adonis before he could say who would be showing up. Adonis had his arm in a sling. He said Moose broke his arm and therefore he would not be ready to compete, but he knew the perfect guy. Davey Richards attacked Moose from behind. Angelina Love entered the picture and said Moose has been making enemies and he just made another one. “See you next week,” Love said…

The broadcast team (still including Mathews) hyped LAX vs. Decay in a street fight for next week’s show. Borash narrated a clip of the finish of the Lashley vs. Storm match. Mathews said Moose is ducking every competitor for the Grand Championship and it was a good thing that Richards got him… Borash set up an X Division video package…

Ring entrances for the X Division Title match took place Sonjay was out first. Swoggle was shown cheering in the crowd. Suicide was out next. Desmond Xavier made his entrance. Borash said he was the hottest free agent in wrestling and now he’s with Impact. Andrew Everett made his entrance. Trevor Lee and Gregory Shame Helms made their entrance. The broadcast team hyped the announcement of the sixth man for after the break… [C]

The final entrant in the match was Low Ki, who came out wearing a suit and black gloves. Borash spoke about Low Ki’s history with the company and noted that he was on the first show in 2002…

5. Trevor Lee (w/Gregory Shane Helms) vs. Low Ki vs. Andrew Everett vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Suicide vs. Desmond Xavier in a six-way for the X Division Championship. Low Ki wore the suit, tie, and gloves as the match started. The five challengers threw a five-way dropkick at Lee. Pope pointed it out. Mathews said it’snot radio and everyone saw it.

[Q8] Dutt performed a moonsault off the top rope onto Suicide and Lee on the floor. Xavier performed a cool handstand into a dive over the top rope and onto multiple opponents at ringside. [C] Mathews said Low Ki (?) texted him and thanked him for coming back because the broadcast team was terrible without him.

Late in the match, Everett caught Lee and then Low Ki with Pele Kicks. Xavier caught Everett with a kick. Dutt threw a couple of kicks before Suicide cut him off. Lee got a near fall on Suicide before Low Ki broke it up. Low Ki took off his suit jacket, but Suicide tossed him to ringside. Low Ki caught Lee with a kick from the apron.

Xavier cut off Low Ki. Xavier went to the top rope and went for a double stop that Low Ki avoided. Suicide caught Everett with a kick to the head and then performed a springboard trust fall onto Lee, Xavier, and Dutt on the floor.

[Overrun] Everett performed a springboard flip onto multiple wrestlers on the floor. Everett went to the top rope with Suicide down, but Xavier cut him off. A short time later, Everett caught Xavier with a Frankendriver and then followed up with the same move on Lee. Everett went to the ropes, but Low Ki knocked him down with a kick. Low Ki performed a double stop onto Lee and covered him for the win…

Low Ki defeated Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, Desmond Xavier, Suicide, and Sonjay Dutt in 19:15 to win the X Division Championship.

After the match, Borash applauded Low Ki. Mathews griped. Pope told him to focus on the man who won the match. Mathews continued to rant and said he was tired of carrying Pope, who then stormed off. Borash told Mathews to go to hell. Mathews asked what Borash was going to do. Borash punched Mathtews. Low Ki was shown leaving the ring with the title belt and having his arm raised while Mathews was still down on the floor at ringside to end the show…

Powell’s POV: A big spot fest match with hard work from everyone involved. The Low Ki win did nothing for me. Creative did a nice job of building up the Lee vs. Everett feud at the last batch of tapings. Instead of paying that off, they went with a big six-way match and put the title on a returning wrestler who wore a suit and tie while working the match. Meanwhile, the Josh Mathews heel announcer routine seemed to be universally criticized, but they brought it back again despite the payoff from last week’s show being that he was out of the picture. Let me guess, Borash punching out Mathews means that Mathews will be given his job back to avoid a storyline legal dispute? Ugh. This wasn’t a lousy show, but with the six-way X Division Title match, a returning name who felt overvalued, and a ref bump in the world title match, there were too many bad TNA moments for this to be considered a good show. Just who do they think this bickering broadcast team nonsense appeals to? I will have more to say in my member exclusive audio review later tonight. Check back on Friday for John Moore’s Impact Wrestling Hit List.


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