By John Moore
Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped in April, 2017 at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida
The opening recap teaser aired opened up with a Karen Jarret slap as well as Josh Mathews supplanting Jeremy Borash from last week. Matt Sydal, EC3, Deangelo Williams, Gary Barnidge, and LAX were featured. Konnan spoke about LAX being there to make a statement and for Latino empowerment. LAX was shown defeating Decay…
After the opening Owl intro, we were taken to the Impact Zone where Matt Sydal made his way to the ring for the opening match. Josh Mathews and D’Angelo Dinero were the commentators for tonight. Eddie Edwards was his opponent who came out to some new (and pretty generic sounding) entrance music. Alisha Edwards accompanied him to the ring. Josh Mathews reminded us how Jeremy Borash wasn’t on commentary…
1. Matt Sydal vs. Eddie Edwards (w/Alisha Edwards). Edwards and Sydal did the code of honor thing with a handshake to start off the match. Eddie managed to back Sydal into a corner early on. Sydal locked in the rear waistlock after the reset. Edwards countered into a wristlock. Both men traded wristlocks with athletic escapes. They transitioned to a stalemate stance. Edwards gained the upper hand with a shoulder block. Sydal turned the tide with a huracanrana. Edwards tried to trip up Sydal but Sydal countered with a headscissors followed by a running dropkick. Sydal locked in a Muta Lock on Eddie Edwards.
After Edwards made the escape he planted Sydal with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall. Both commentators stressed that Edwards should take more of a power approach against the quick style of Sydal. Edwards hit Sydal with a sitout F5. Sydal came back with a single leg dropkick. Sydal hit a few low kicks, a rolling sobat, and a standing shooting star. Edwards tried to go high risk but Sydal jumped from the mat to the top rope for a frankensteiner. Sydal hit Edwards with a running clothesline to the corner. Edwards managed to recover and sent Sydal outside. Edwards then hit his signature Tope on Sydal… [C]
Edwards planted Sydal with a backpack stunner to pick up the nearfall. Josh Mathews hyped that Impact Live Events were returning this summer and that they were first having a tour of India in May. Edwards hit a top rope codebreaker. Sydal reversed a Tiger Bomb into a huracanrana. Sydal went for a Frankensteiner but Edwards slipped out to make Sydal hit air. Sydal hit a knee on Edwards to put Edwards in position for Air Bourne which he nailed for the victory.
Matt Sydal defeated Eddie Edwards via pinfall in 10:29.
After Edwards recovered in the ring he gave Sydal a handshake as they shared mutual respect. Josh tried to transition to McKenzie Mitchell, but before they could cut Davey Richards and Angelina Love attacked Eddie and his wife on the ramp. Edwards was draped over the barricade which allowed Davey to hit Eddie’s leg with a steel chair against the barricade. This was when the security team broke things up. Alisha managed to give Davey and Angelina a crossbody. Josh Mathews went into babyface mode in defense of Eddie Edwards regarding his hard work from the match. Josh said Davey Richards gone too far in what he has done against Eddie Edwards…
After the attack angle, McKenzie Mitchell interviewed on his upcoming match against Alberto El Patron. Magnus said he wants to clarify that he has the GFW championship, which means he’s already qualified to be in the main event of Slammiversary. Magnus said he walked into this company and won the 8-Man-Tag match [for Jeremy Borash] which also qualifies him for a main event spot in Slammiversary. Magnus said he will go through his next roadblock, Alberto El Patron, and he will move on to face the World Champion at Slammiversary. Matt Morgan walked in with a mocking laugh. Morgan said Magnus must be joking and that Morgan takes exception for Magnus thinking that the GFW Championship puts him in the front of the line. Morgan said he also takes exception of Magnus taking credit for something he didn’t do in regards to Morgan setting up the win for the 8 person tag with his Carbon Footprint on Bram. The two bickered until Bruce Prichard waddled in and broke it up. Prichard told Magnus that he was defending his GFW championship against Matt Morgan tonight. Magnus argued to Bruce that he can’t do that since Magnus was already defending his title next week (Magnus does have a point there)… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A stellar match between Sydal and Edwards who seem to have good chemistry with each other. Unlike Trevor Lee, who should have never been pitted against Sydal on Sydal’s debut, Edwards can absorb a loss and beating him means a bit more these days with Eddie’s heavyweight success. It was also cool to see the Davey Richards post-match angle since Davey and Eddie’s feud has been the lone bright spot left in Impact Wrestling these days (the Trevor Lee vs. Andrew Everett bright spot faded). To give Josh Mathews credit, where he is surpassing Heel Cole in quality, at least for this match, is that he toned down the heel mannerisms to a minimum, which I hope he does more often. Where it was a bit jarring was when he went full on babyface in regards to Eddie Edwards after the match.
Backstage in a waiting room area, KM was lying on the ground randomly (I’m just going to assume he was doing situps) as he saw another poor victim to bully. This was a regular guy who I guess was the janator? He had a broom and dustpan as he wished KM a good day. KM ripped out paper and littered to draw the guy back. The guy apologized to KM about missing the mess. As the guy was leaving, KM threw more paper on the ground and called the guy back. KM said that paper wasn’t there 10 seconds ago. KM went over the top in asking if the cleaning guy was calling him a liar. The poor victim said “no sir”. KM then quoted Biff from Back to the Future in telling the guy to make like a tree and get out of here (and future Biff would slap this past Biff in the head for not saying, make like a tree and leave). KM said that’s what’s wrong with this country, people have to work on their people skills…
John’s Thoughts: This segment was as cheesy as last week’s but I’m starting to like these bully KM segments. What’s a bit odd in a positive way is why are they not doing these character development videos to help develop any other characters? They want to let you know that KM is a dick and a bully like Biff and these videos are simple and effective in that point.
KM joined Sienna as she made her way to the ring for her GFW Women’s Championship match. Christina Von Eerie was out next as she “Oi”d a lot like she usually does. Josh Mathews mocked the new Ring Announcer, Dave Penzer.
2. Christina Von Eerie vs. Sienna (w/KM) for the GFW Women’s Championship. Eerie went for a springboard move but was caught into a side suplex by Sienna. Sienna went for a pin attempt after a corner splash. Eerie recovered and hit Sienna with a running boot. Sienna managed to return the favor with a boot of her own. Eerie hit some strikes on Sienna. Sienna powered through and woman handled Von Eerie to the outside. Sienna dominated on the outside.
Von Eerie kicked Sienna into KM and she gave Sienna a crossbody. Von Eerie let out a loud Oi. Sienna hit an ugly looking backdrop, which worked in their favor since it looked like legit hurt. Sienna went for the AK-47 but Von Eerie locked in the sleeper. Von Eerie Oi’d several times and went for her straightjacket finisher but Sienna slipped out and managed to hit The Silencer (a.k.a Monty Brown’s “The Pounce). Josh Mathews said we have a new Global Force Women’s Champion and he was actually right after doing the Michael Cole/Vince call.
Sienna defeated Christina Von Eerie via pinfall in 4:01 to become the new Global Force Women’s Champion.
Josh Mathews and Dinero talked about this possibly getting on Karen Jarrett’s nerves. They then cut to Eli Drake confronting Bruce Prichard. Drake said he’s not mad that he’s not one of Prichard’s “guys”. He pointed out how Matt Morgan and Alberto “El Plinko” are walking around with title shots while Eli Drake is high and dry. Drake said Eli Drake was standing at your door and you can invite him in or stand at the peephole to wait til Drake leaves. Drake threatened to beat Prichard’s fat keester. He said the only way you seem to get things around here these days is to interrupt people. Drake said he was going to find and confront Alberto El Patron. Prichard said Drake doesn’t have to look far and just turn around.
El Patron was there as he called Drake a dummy in a “patron”izing way by slapping Drake in the chest. Alberto called Drake stupid for wanting a match against El Patron and calling him ping pong behind his back. Alberto said all you have to do is ask for a match as he pushed Drake in the chest again. Drake told Alberto to watch those hands. El Patron said he’s willing to put his title opportunity on the line. Prichard waddled into the middle of this for some reason and thanked El Patron and Drake for thinking of a good idea for him. He then booked El Patron and Drake in a match with El Patron’s title opportunity on the line in the main event…
An ODB “Make Impact Great” video package aired. Josh bragged about getting rid of Jeremy Borash as he got annoyed by a “Bored AF” sign held by Jeremy Borash who was a fan tonight. Pope gave JB a high five. Josh said EC3 will be in action after the break… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A good brawl in the limited amount of time that the women were given, but there were still a lot of flaws in play, the biggest one being how the GFW belts are nothing more than toy belts in this promotion with no real history established. What is Global Force and what is its context in relation to Impact Wrestling? Zack Ryder’s internet championship and some of those weird title belts that the Hardys won on their expedition of gold have more credibility than GFW which has been this phantom promotion. Sadly, Sienna doesn’t gain much from winning a toy belt and Christina Von Eerie looks a bit weak as a champion who loses her second overall match in decisive fashion. Also equally as puzzling, why is Bruce Prichard all over the show as much as Global Force and Karen Jarrett, all in undefined roles.
Matt Sydal was interviewed backstage about what title he was gunning for. Sydal said he was gunning for the fan favorite title. Sydal talked about feeling the love and how he feels welcome. Sydal said you might be seeing the next X Division Champion. Sydal said a normal man can’t beat Low Ki but Sydal was finding a way…
Karen Jarret had a “huge announcement”. Jarrett announced that Alisha Edwards was making her Impact debut against Angelina Love next week. Sienna walked up to Karen’s face and bragged about winning the GFW Championship. Karen asked Sienna how it feels to have a target on her back because a lot of women backstage want the GFW Women’s championship (really? and if so Why?). Sienna said she hopes Karen lines them up so she can knock them down.
John’s Thoughts: Seriously! Sienna is a babyface now, right? The overbearing and undefined natures of Karen Jarret and Bruce Prichard make heels like Sienna, Eli Drake, and Ethan Carter III come off more justified than intended. It’s almost if Karen, Bruce, and the TNA bookers have caught the Dixie Carter sickness even to the point where Karen’s giving out “huge announcements”.
Ethan Carter III made his entrance to a favorable reaction. He faced a local wrestler who was already in the ring…
3. Ethan Carter III vs. John Bolin. Dinero talked about how Bolin came up through a system of winner. EC3 stomped a mudhole into John Bolin. Bolin had no chance. EC3 used the ropes to inflict as much pain as possible on Bolin. Bolin tried to make his comeback outside of the ring to no avail. Bolin’s head was just slammed into the apron several times. Back in the ring EC3 hit the Stinger Splash and TKO. EC3 used the running knee to set up for the One Percenter and the pinfall victory.
Ethan Carter III defeated John Bolin via pinfall in 2:32.
EC3 took a mic and told the crew to take this piece of overrated crap out of his ring. EC3 talked about the new management telling him to take a look in the mirror. EC3 told Impact to look in the mirror and be accountable for the hell they’ve unleashed. EC3 said you can’t stop EC3 and the coward James Storm can’t either. EC3 said he was going to Slammiversary to become the EC3-Time World Champion. The crowd cheered for this and I think there were some piped in boos(?) or strange sound mixing. EC3 actually started to get a legit muted reaction as he made his way up the ramp.
Jeremy Borash held up a “POS” sign that pointed at Josh Mathews. Josh Mathews tried to hype Matt Morgan vs. Magnus as well as Alberto El Patron vs. Eli Drake but was distracted by Jeremy Borash and the crowd that was antagonistic towards him. The pocket of fans chanted “Free JB”… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Mentioned it in my NXT review this week in how NXT was actually becoming great again. Impact should trim the fat in some of the extraneous things they are doing and boil things down to solid character development and slower builds. Two good examples of approaches they should take are how they are building up KM with the skits and EC3 with his squash. Those are clearly logical and progressive. One little thing that might backfire, and I totally think it’s because EC3’s coming off as a rebel against the flawed new regime, is people might take EC3 in as a babyface mostly because he’s back to being on fire on the microphone. At least it’s not as bad as Drew Galloway looking too good that it made Moose look bad.
4. Magnus vs. Matt Morgan for the Global Force Wrestling World Championship. Dinero noted that Magnus was the first person to hold the Impact Wrestling Championship and Global Force Championshp (which honestly is not hard to do since with the exception of the Next-Gen, most of the GFW current champions are the inaugural champs. Hell, their tag champs have been in WWE for about half a year and are still the inaugural champs). Morgan no sold some punches to show his power. Morgan gave Magnus some right hands and a headbutt.
Josh and Dinero went over how Matt Morgan has been a prime prospect for both the NFL and NBA. Magnus retreated to ringside end Morgan’s dominance. Morgan sidestepped a baseball slide and slammed Magnus into the apron. Morgan cleared the top rope and scraped Magnus. Magnus sidestepped the Carbon Footprint and went on to target his attack on the left knee of Morgan. Dinero pointed out how this was a prime strategy in taking out Morgan’s strength while also setting up for the cloverleaf. Magnus went for the cloverleaf but after it was blocked he converted it to the figure four.
Morgan went for and managed to “reverse the pressure” by rolling over. Magnus made it to the ropes for a rope break. Magnus went back for the figure four but was kicked off. Morgan made his way to his feet and hit some of his signature elbow spots. Morgan hit a corner splash and sidewalk slam. Matt Morgan went for a chokeslam but Magnus kicked his way out. Magnus went high risk but was caught by Morgan into a chokeslam. Magnus managed to get his leg on the rope to stop the pin.
Matt Morgan hit the Carbon Footprint on Magnus. Magnus rolled to the outside and Morgan sold the leg injury from the damage that Magnus inflicted on him. Josh Mathews pointed out how all this time is working in Magnus’s favor to allow him to recover. Magnus tried to bring the title in the ring. The ref was distracted by taking the title out of the ring, which allowed Magnus to kick Morgan in the balls. Magnus hit the Michinoku Driver on Morgan. Magnus followed up with a top rope elbow drop for the victory.
Magnus defeated Matt Morgan via pinfall in 9:10 to retain the GFW World Championship.
John’s Thoughts: That was a surprisingly good match between Magnus and Morgan given Morgan’s long layoff away from professional wrestling. The entire match was good aside from the finish as TNA are falling back into the initial problem they had with Magnus’s first run. He’s coming off as weak and the ball kick finish was just too chickenshit. Magnus could have easily have come off as a heel with his attack to Morgan’s leg and a distraction or even clean finish with a heel promo at the end would have served him better than just the ball kick. Another thing that brought this down is the pointless GFW title. Impact Wrestling has eight active titles now and only one show. Huh?!?
Mayweather and Wilcox were shown. Mayweather said they were the Veterans of War and it was not just a name it’s who they are. He brought up their experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mayweather said their new battlefield was Impact Wrestling and they were coming for the Impact Wrestling Tag Team Championships and were carrying America on their back…
McKenzie Mitchell told Lashley that GFW has been the talk of the whole show and asked Lashley what he thinks of Global Force. Lashley said the Global Force Championship means nothing to him. Lashey said it means something to “them” because it is the only thing in their reach to attain. Lashley called the Impact Wrestling championship the most prestigious title in the company. Lashley brought up James Storm, El Patron, and even Matt Morgan right now just failing. Lashley said Magnus was just not good enough Lashley said while they’re out there having fun beating each other up, he’s going to sit back and wait. Lashley said instead of just sitting here he was going to get some training into defend the “real” heavyweight title…
John’s Thoughts: Well… Lashley’s right! All the heels tonight have been right in regards to the GFW shoehorning. That said, Lashley is still one of the best promo acts in Impact at the moment which was surprising two years ago, but the Corgan/Lagana creative team did some sort of magic in turning a mannequin into a beast on the mic and in the ring.
Josh Mathews was still annoyed at Jeremy Borash who was holding more anti-Josh signs. Josh Mathews rushed the production crew to cut to the LAX clubhouse. Konnan said dem boys in Impact were crazy for putting Decay in a street fight with LAX. Konnan proposed a funeral for “these bitches”. LAX said they were going to show these people the proper respect next week. Konnan hyped up LAX and said Boom…
James Storm was making Impact Great. A Rockstar Spud video was shown were he teased the end of his career. Wow! He looked like crap and was popping bottles of painkillers! Spud said he cries himself to sleep and he has to take four painkillers every morning just to use the restroom. Spud said his neck was as stiff as a board. Spud said his left knee was beaten mercifully with a hammer. Some emotional music played as Spud struggled to pop more painkillers. Spud stared at a Hornswoggle photo. He asked why did he do it and Why Spud? Spud said he didn’t mean to pull Swoggle’s pants down.
John’s Thoughts: I’m not quite sure what to think. 75 percent of that video was sad, serious, and dark with the painkillers and all. That 75 percent of the promo would have been taken seriously if they utilized that for the EC3 beatdown from two years ago. But all seriousness gets thrown out of the window when you are reminded that this is towards a serious (?) feud with Hornswoggle? The last line spud delivered also took all seriousness out of this potential feud.
Kongo Kong made his way to the ring with Laurel Van Ness who was still a drunken wedding dress lady. Willian Weeks was the victim. He kinda looks like he’s related to the guy KM bullied. Weeks pushed Laurel away because she was creeping up on him which angered her. Laurel told Kong to “Kill Kim!!!!”…
5. Kongo Kong (w/ Laurel Van Ness) vs. William Weeks. Well… Kongo Kong “killed” the jobber just like James Ellsworth was killed by Braun Strowman. Kong hit Weeks with three backbreaker chokeslams as ordered by Laurel. Kong won with a cannonball followed up by a top rope splash.
Kongo Kong defeated William Weeks via pinfall in 2:48.
Braxton Sutter’s theme played as Braxton Sutter came out which shocked Laurel. Sutter took the fight to Kong and managed to use his quickness to gain the upper hand. Sutter clotheslined Kong over the top rope, but Kong landed on his feet for the no sell… [C]
John’s Thoughts: When you extricate KM and Sienna from the act, I’m starting to warm up to Kongo Kong and Laurel Van Ness as the odd duo. Laurel got the most out of her crazy bride gimmick than she’s ever had tonight and I liked the touch of Kongo Kong being her weapon of mass destruction in the hands of an unstable woman. It was also a nice touch with the Sutter run in to have Kong land on his feet to so sell the end of the beating while Sutter looked strong as a gallant babyface by managing to get more shots than anyone has ever done so far against Kongo Kong. There’s three pieces of good booking tonight: The Kongo and EC3 squashes, as well as the KM vignette. More of that style of solid development would be appreciated from Impact. I also like how we got a lot less Karen Jarrett and Bruce Prichard in the second hour. Hell, the first hour could have done much better with 0 percent of them.
A graphic video was shown where they were draining the fluid from Sonjay Dutt’s eye from the injury sustained in the X Division multi man match. Low Ki was shown as he talked about this being a dangerous environment. Dutt said you can’t argue with that. Dutt talked about wanting his son to see him as X Division Champion. Ki talked about having respect for Dutt but he’s a realist and Dutt doesn’t have what it takes. Dutt said Ki put him in this state but it made him think if it was right for him to come back as X Division Champion…
John’s Thoughts: Add another positive point to the good things Impact is doing this week. That’s how you build up a feud in the X Division. As much as Impact has screwed up things with Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett right on the verge of them becoming stars, that’s the approach TNA should take with X feuds. Just give them video packages, identities, and chances to respond to each other. As much as I didn’t want to see two older guys supplant the young promising talent on Impact, now I actually am looking forward to a Low Ki vs. Sonjay Dutt singles match… A singles match, please!!! But this is [not-] TNA so I totally expect them to throw Low Ki in multi man X division title defenses where Dutt will be one of 3-5 other people in some sort of ladder spotfest where no one stands out.
Eli Drake came out to new entrance music (maybe because the person who wrote and performed his initial TNA theme was Jeff Hardy?). Alberto El Patron had an upgraded version of his first Impact theme that sucked. This theme had more instruments and was actually pretty awesome. More bonus points for Impact tonight. El Patron went into the crowd to celebrated with fans…
John’s Thoughts: Quick note, all it took was a good and epic theme from Alberto for me to make the guy look a bit more main event. Plus, him hanging out with the fans adds to that top babyface character that WWE screwed up on and Lucha Underground/Ring of Honor got correctly. It looks like Impact is allowing that version of Del Rio to surface and that’s a huge positive.
6. Eli Drake (w/ Tyrus) vs. Alberto El Patron in a match to become number one contender for the GFW Championship. Josh Mathews noted that El Patron’s goal at the end of this might be to get a path back to the Impact Wrestling World Championship. El Patron led the crowd in Si chants. Eli Drake got a few cheap shots in and ran up the ramp to avoid El Patron. El Patron caught up to Drake and threw Drake in the steel steps. Josh Mathews said this was one of the best Impacts in recent memory. Tyrus tripped Del Rio and did a shimmy. Brian Hebner caught this and tossed Tyrus out.
John’s Thoughts: Josh may be right in that statement. To stack on to that, in a rare non-TNA moment, the referee actually looked intelligent with the throwing out of Tyrus even after not seeing the interference. It also didn’t involve a ref bump, though we could still get one by the end of this match.
Eli Drake gained some fire and worked on Alberto on the outside. Drake hit El Patron with a suplex on the ramp. Drake maintained an advantage in the ring but was backdropped on the apron. El Patron kicked Drake off the apron and hit him with at Tope Suicida… [C]
El Patron hit some Si punches in the corner. Drake recovered and put El Patron on the apron. Drake pulled out a side suplex on the apron to El Patron. Eli Drake locked in a headlock in the ring. Drake put El Patron on the top rope but El Patron managed to sneak in a cross armbreaker. Eli Drake turned the tide with a nice neckbreaker and even got a nearfall out of it.
Eli Drake hit El Patron with a guillotine neckbreaker. Eli Drake targeted El Patron’s neck in the ring with a headlock. El Patron escaped with a back suplex. Eli Drake sidestepped an El Patron dropkick which caused him to dropkick himself to ringside. Eli Drake covered El Patron for a nearfall and hit a high elbow drop on him. El Patron came right back with his signature jumping enziguri to allow for some time to recover.
Eli Drake maintained control but missed the corner splash after showboating a bit. El Patron hit Drake with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. El Patron called for his Si Superkick but Eli Drake reversed into an argentine driver for a nearfall. El Patron surprised with knees to the arm and his signature superkick. Eli Drake kicked out at two. Nice!
El Patron went to the top rope with the crowd chanting Si. Drake countered and hit a nice looking reverse Angle Slam. and a nice nearfall which popped the crowd. Drake went for the superplex but fell into Del Rio’s double stomp Tree of Woe. Eli Drake managed to avoid it by pulling El Patron down. Drake botched it initially but recovered and hit a springboard moonsault for another solid nearfall.
Drake went for the celtic cross but El Patron recovered and rolled up Drake. Alberto rolled into the crossarmbreaker but Josh Mathews did a good job calling that El Patron doesn’t have the hands locked. Eli Drake tried to convert it to a pin which caused El Patron to break. El Patron was given an improvised version of his footstomp finisher, from the middle ropes this time, to pick up the victory in a well wrestled match!!!
Alberto El Patron defeated Eli Drake in 13:16 to become number one contender to the GFW World Championship.
The crowd was hot for this victory and deservingly so. This new music is helping in the hype moment. Impact closed with El Patron celebrating his win…
John’s Thoughts: Hot damn! That was surprisingly delightful. Who knew Eli Drake had it in him and who knew that Alberto El Patron would come in to have an inspired match against Eli Drake. I remember Drake having at least one standout in ring performance last year and he was improving by the week, but this might have been his best match of all time. Not only that, but this might have surpassed all of the Davey and Eddie matches this year as my Impact match of the year to this point. There was good psychology all across the board, there were no ref bumps, it didn’t take kicking out of multiple finisher, there were no ref bumps, there was just solid wrestling. The two instances of Del Rio’s Tree of Woe finisher made perfect sense and it only does about 25 percent of the time. This was that 25 percent. This was good, I totally recommend.
Though Impact still has their TNA moments sprinkled in, and the huge enemy of tonight was the sprinkling in of pointless GFW references that only appeal to Jeff and Karen Jarrett, this was a really good show. Impact did some good things with character development, production, and storytelling. The same compliments I gave NXT post-WrestleMania, I give to this episode. Impact should take the keys from from this episode and apply them to every single show moving forward. I wonder if Jason Powell has the same immense praise for this show that I gave it? Check out in his Impact Wrestling Hit List and All Access audio review later today.