By John Moore
Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Taped in April in Orlando, Florida and Universal Studios
This week’s intro teaser focused on the GFW World Title with Bobby Lashley and Eli Drake talking about how insignificant the title’s value really is. It also showed Magnus saying that the title automatically qualifies him for the main event of Slammiversary. The rest of the video focused on Alberto El Patron and Ethan Carter III also on their own paths to main event Slammiversary. Clips of Magnus in the gym were spliced in…
Caleb Konley and Dezmond Xavier were already in the ring as Andrew Everett got a full televised entrance for the upcoming X Division spotfest. Matt Sydal came out next. Josh Mathews and D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary. Josh said Sonjay Dutt was scheduled for this match but he was still recovering from his eye Injury inflicted on him by Low Ki. They cut to the clips of Sonjay getting the fluids drained from his eye…
1. Caleb Konley vs. Dezmond Xavier vs. Andrew Everett vs. Matt Sydal in a four-way match. Konley paired off with Sydal to start off. They all did huracanranas on each other. They then all did rollups on each other. Sydal locked in a Muta Lock on Xavier while Konley had Everett in a sharpshooter. Josh Mathews hyped that the next set of Impact tapings were happening in India this month and said it was the first time a pro wrestling promotion will tape their flagship show in India. Dinero said the X Division wrestlers were all alike where something you say about one wrestler pertains to anyone else in the X Division.
Everett went high risk but Sydal kept him grounded. Sydal then did an elbow and leg drop combo on Xavier and Everett. He took down Konley with a leg lariat. Konley threw Sydal on Xavier and hit both of them with a basement dropkick. Madness ensued and Dinero compared this to watching a video game. Everett cleaned house with a springboard missile dropkick. He cleaned house on the outside with a Tope Con Hilo. Xavier stood up and did a somersault Tope Con Hilo. Sydal caught Everett with a double knee press. Konley hit a nice fisherman suplex. Sydal tried to nail Xavier with a Frankensteiner, but he landed on his feet. Xavier did walk right into a Franken-Driver from Everett though. This gave him the pinfall victory.
Andrew Everett defeated Dezmond Xavier, Matt Sydal, and Caleb Konley via pinfall in 6:33.
Josh Mathews did his usual sales pitch talking about how exciting the X Division is. Matt Sydal met Everett in the middle of the ring to show his respect by holding the hand up of the winner. Mathews has been a babyface so far in the show and it was at this point where Jeremy Borash went right into his sign schtick. He held up the POS sign. Josh took the sign away and tossed it aside. Josh moved on to hyping the Alberto El Patron vs. Magnus match for the GFW championship.
Ethan Carter III was walking backstage where he called James Storm a coward as opposed to being a cowboy since he no-showed last week. EC3 said tonight we will see the cowboy… [C]
John’s Thoughts: I am still not a fan at homogenizing the X Division into just being standardized spot monkeys. Luckily enough, the in ring work of Andrew Everett and Matt Sydal stood out to rise them above this match and allow them to stand out as individuals. The only real flaw with that match really was the commentary of Dinero and Josh. Josh was in babyface mode, which was fine. The problem was in both commentators hyping the X Division as a unit rather than as individuals. They talked like they were commentating over a circus acrobatic show rather than a wrestling match where they are just calling high spots over the wrestlers performing them.
KM was at his hotel room where he was peeking out finding more victims to bully. He found a pizza guy walking the hallways. The pizza delivery guy was looking for “Billy” and KM claimed his name was Billy. KM took the pizza and started eating it. The pizza man tried to bill KM but KM informed the guy that he did not order Pizza and was not named Billy. He then went into the same sequence as last week where he called the guy stupid, asked if the guy thought he was a liar, and then quoted Back to the Future’s Biff again by telling the pizza guy to make like a tree and get out of here. KM ended this week’s skit by saying that some people need to learn to do their jobs…
John’s Thoughts: Even though the lines KM used were almost verbatim from the last two KM skits, these cheesy skits aren’t getting old yet and are really making KM out to be one of Impact Wrestling’s most developed characters solely because they are taking their time in introducing him as a movie bully. It doesn’t hurt that he looks the part and he’s not just coming off as just some random guy trying to act like Biff Tannen.
Ethan Carter III entered the Impact Zone ring mocking James Storm by wearing over the top cowboy gear while also coming out to James Storm’s Longnecks and Rednecks entrance theme. EC3 attempted a southern accent and called everyone pilgrims. He said this county has a new sheriff and it’s E-COwboy-3. EC3 said there are only three types of sun’s that come from this part of Florida: Sunflowers, Sunshine, and a son of a bitch named EC3, giddy up.
EC3 said he rode up her on a steed named Sebastian. EC3 said this cowboy’s butt drives the ladies nuts. EC3 said he was paying homage to the coward James Storm. EC3 then said this town isn’t big enough for the both of us. EC3 said he’s not only a cowboy, he’s a crooner. EC3 then made up a song where he talked about ruining Storm’s title match and smashing a beer bottle over his head. Storm’s entrance theme interrupted EC3’s mock ballad.
James Storm came from behind and gained the upper hand with a Thesz Press. Storm put the boots to EC3. A boot came off of EC3 which EC3 used to beat Storm with and turn the tide to his favor. EC3 pulled out handcuffs to tether Storm to the 2nd rope . EC3 put the boots to a trapped Storm. He ripped off Storm’s shirt and proceeded to lash Storm in his back with said belt. Josh counted 21 lashes at the point when the referees ran down to stop him. EC3 didn’t relent and went back to lashing Storm. EC3 tripped over a random stagehand and started to whip the regular guy with his belt. The referees and security were too afraid to stop EC3 from whipping Storm. It took Simon Diamond and Scott D’Amore’s presence to calm down EC3 and send him to the back. The camera focused on Storm’s red and purple back… [C]
John’s Thoughts: While that may have been an uncomfortable scene to watch, that was the intended effect. They needed to find a way to put heat on EC3 as a heel so he had to pull off such a vile act on a fan favorite. The comedy portion wasn’t that great, but I wasn’t intended to be good comedy because it just was supposed to come off as disrespectful enough to draw out James Storm from a kayfabe point of view.
After recapping EC3’s attack on Storm, Josh called JB’s constant presence and sign act workplace harassment. Dinero said it was just free speech. Hakim Zane and Idris Abraham came out for a tag team match. Josh told us that this upcoming match was for entry into a tournament for the vacant GFW tag team titles…
John’s Thoughts: What? I’m pretty sure we all assumed that the purpose of putting the meaningless GFW toy belts in play was to eventually merge them at Slammiversary. Jason Powell assumed Reno Scum were the tag team champions of GFW but I thought they held some Las Vegas indie promotion’s titles. That said, If there are no GFW tag team champions then why introduce new belts to Impact?
2. Hakim Zane and Idris Abraham vs. Laredo Kid and Garza Jr. in a GFW Tag Team Championship qualifying match. Zane started off against Laredo Kid. Zane knocked down Laredo with a kick combo while Laredo used his lucha ability to take down Zane. Garza tagged in and hit a dropkick on Zane while Zane was in the electric chair position on Laredo’s back. Garza then hit Zane with an assisted wheelbarrow splash . Abraham broke up the pin attempt.
Abraham and Zane tried to isolate Garza in their corner but Garza outwitted them and even tore off his tear-off sweatpants in front of Idris. Zane hit Garza with a high knee while Idris used his speed to take down Garza with a shoulder block. Zane took down Laredo with a tiger knee too. Idris went for poetry in motion but Laredo caught Idris and powerbombed him on Zane. Laredo hit Zane with a 450 while Garza took down Idris on the outside which secured the pinfall win for Garza and Laredo.
Laredo Kid and Garza Jr. defeated Hakim Zane and Idris Abraham via pinfall in 3:25 to advance in the GFW Tag Team Tournament.
Josh and Dinero complemented Garza and Laredo on looking really impressive. They cut to Laurel Van Ness and Kongo Kong getting hyped for something in the back… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Idris Abraham and Hakim Zane didn’t look all that bad for enhancement guys, but of course the showcase was again for Laredo Kid and Garza Jr who continue to impress. Laredo Kid provides the high flying offense while Garza is utilizes his swagger in the ring to his advantage. Overall, a good showcase match with the confusing plot point of them now fighting for two sets of tag team titles in the Impact Tag Team Division.
Laredo Kid and Garza Jr. were interviewed backstage were Garza talked about representing Lucha Libre and Mexico. Garza said they were the best team anywhere. Laredo said they were Mexican Warriors and nothing can stop them, booyashe…
Ava Storie came out to the ring and she was randomly a babyface this week. She’s probably trying to compete with Abyss at one point who would turn heel to face on a weekly basis. Laurel Van Ness came out in her jacked up wedding dress and hot mess look. Kongo Kong was with her. Laurel stumbled around in the ring and wrestled in her wedding dress.
3. Ava Storie vs. Laurel Van Ness (w/Kongo Kong). Ava tried to go for the quick rollup. Laurel speared Ava and worked on Ava on the ground. Laurel yelled. She hit Ava with a bulldog. Laurel said she would kill Ava and she hit Ava with a boot. Laurel hit Ava Storie with a back variant of the curb stomp for the victory.
Laurel Van Ness defeated Ava Storie via pinfall in 1:23.
Laurel slammed Ava’s head on the ground post-match. Earl Hebner put his hands on her to stop her but was scared off by Kongo Kong. Laurel led Kongo to the back with a crazy look on her face. Josh Mathews hyped Angelina Love vs Alisha Edwards “for the first time ever”. He also hyped Decay’s funeral…
John’s Thoughts: Not much at all from an in ring perspective but Laurel is doing a good job with the character-wrestling integration. In a similar way that KM comes off as a legit Biff Tannen doppelganger, Laurel is coming off as legit crazy due to her not forgetting to bring her act to the ring. It took a while for it, but I’m starting to dig this oddball Laurel and Kongo Kong pairing and that is helped by them being separated from KM and Sienna.
A Rockstar Spud recovery vignette aired. It was very similar to last weeks as far as us not supposed to taking it seriously except it didn’t involve painkillers. 70s Soul music played. Spud said he was all about fun and games but he had a job to do. He called it the worst assault of his entire life. Spud laid on the bed wondering “why? why? Why?”…
LAX wore face paint while driving around in a lowrider. Konnan said they have just arrived. LAX wore skull face paint as they all talked about showing their respect. They carried an urn to the Impact Zone. LAX’s cool entrance thing happened just with funeral music and gunshots.
Konnan said this was hard to do and it was a somber day in this company’s history. Konnan said there were some fallen comrades in the back known as Decay. Konnan said they should show respect to Decay. Konnan then quickly shifted by saying they were here to show disrespect by throwing ashes on the ground. There was someone in skull face paint in the rafters who I think was Rosemary? Konnan said it was time to get blazed with some Swisher blunts in Decay’s honor. Konnan said dem boys in Impact put their best tag team, Decay, in LAX’s specialty match, a street match. Konnan said now you have a clown in a coma and another guy eating from a feeding tube. Konnan said this funeral was symbolic to show the other tag teams what they have to face. Konnan said his guys had caras del muerto, faces of death. Konnan said if you thought his rhetoric has changed you must be twisted. Konnan said this was about Latino empowerment.
Konnan said this company was like this country, full of broken promises and exploitation. Konnan called out to “Yankee Doodle Cracker”, a (planted) fan waiving an American flag. Konnan said he was pissed off and was sticking the flag up the guy’s ass. Konnan said the American flag was as useful as toilet paper to him. The guy didn’t relent. Konnan pushed the guy down and to sit his bitch ass down. The Veterans of War, Mayweather and Wilcox, made their way to the ring. LAX had a three on one advantage but the VOWs overpowered the three male wrestlers of LAX. Josh Mathews said you don’t disrespect the United States with the Veterans of War around…
John’s Thoughts: That was some really solid mic work by Konnan there, but I’m not on board with the reverse-xenophobic type of angle. This is what I feared a few weeks ago when they positioned LAX’s segment right after the VOW’s. I like the VOW’s act, but I don’t like how they are doing it against ethnic empowerment. I can really see this getting over with a lot of Americans, but I can’t help but feel a bit alienated as an ethnic American and I’m sure I can’t be the only one.
3. Marshe Rockett vs. Moose for the Impact Grand Championship. Josh Mathews said Moose had accepted this challenge on Instagram. Marshe Rockett hit the early boot in the match. Moose went for the gamebreaker but was countered by a Rockett dropkick. Rockett staggered Moose with a boot and crescent kick. Moose grounded Rockett with a low kick and running boot. Rockett blocked Moose with his boot. Moose dropkicked Rockett off the top rope. Josh and Pope talked about Josh’s wrestling ability while Marshe stalled until the end of the round. Moose won the first round by Unanimous decision.
Marshe Rockett kept yelling “All Day”. Moose hit Rockett with a popup powerbomb and running senton. Moose then hit Rockett with a sitout chokeslam. To pick up the quick win in round two.
Moose defeated Marshe Rockett 0:35 into Round 2 via pinfall to retain the Impact Grand Championship.
Josh said Moose was winning him over a bit. Tyrus walked out during Moose’s post-match celebration. Eli Drake attacked Moose from behind as the duo worked on the Grand Champion in the ring. Chris Adonis (a.k.a. Chris Masters) ran in to lock in the Master Lock. Eli Drake sold apprehension before ultimately slamming a steel chair on the shoulder. Eli Drake’s new (non-performed by Jeff Hardy) entrance music played… [C]
John’s Thoughts: While I don’t think every Grand Championship rules match has to be a Grand Championship title match, this was okay and it was actually refreshing to see them sway away from the usual formula of splitting the first two rounds only to have Moose pick up the win in the third. The Grand Championship still just seems like an incomplete remnant from a previous creative vision. I liked the post-match attack as it seems like Impact might have something in mind for Eli Drake. The Adonis thing is random but I like the subtle apprehension Eli Drake showed which came from his comments on GFW guys being pushed ahead of Impact stars.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Dutch Mantell (a.k.a. Zeb Coulter) backstage. Dutch talked about opening up his social media to listen to what the fans want. Dutch said 80 percent of the responses were about the X Division. Dutch announced that we were getting an Ultimate X match for the title between Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and Low Ki. Sweet!
Angelina Love was accompanied by Davey Richards. Eddie Edwards came to the ring in crutches to accompany Alisha Edwards. Josh Mathews informed the viewers that Eddie underwent minor surgery from the attack from Davey Richards…
4. Angelina Love (w/Davey Richards) vs. Alisha Edwards (w/Eddie Edwards). Angelina and Alisha rolled on the ground trading punches. Dinero said this was a cat fight. Josh Mathews said Eddie and Alisha were like beacons of hope while Angelina and Davey were darkness. Angelina gained the upper hand with a clothesline. Angelina stomped on Alisha while locking in the hands. Alisha dodged a boot and nailed Angelina Love with a Future Shock DDT (as Josh Mathews called it).
Davey Richards tried to argue with the referee but Alisha crotched him with the second rope. This was enough to distract Alisha which allowed Angelina Love to nail Alisha in the back with a chain wrapped around her fist.
Alisha Edwards defeated Angelina Love via DQ in 2:29.
Love pummeled Alisha in the ring with the chain as Alisha laid lifeless. The referee couldn’t do anything. A limping Eddie yanked the chain away from Angelina. As Eddie had Angelina’s hand in hand, Davey tripped him with the crutch. Davey slammed the crutch over the leg of Eddie as Earl Hebner ran in to restore order. Angelina Love made out with Davey Richards…
John’s Thoughts: Again, we didn’t get “great” in-ring work, but this blood feud doesn’t need it. We sometimes forget, but Angelina Love is was the better in-ring worker of the Beautiful People, so she can still go in the ring. Mathews called Eddie and Alisha a beacon of light and what’s pretty ironic is that this feud has been the beacon of light in all of Impact just based off of how well it has been booked. This is the most well rounded storyline going in Impact Wrestling in 2017 hands down.
Bobby Lashley was interviewed where he said he was going to pay attention to the main event. Lashley said he’s collected all of Impact’s titles since he got here and the Global Force one is a new one. Lashley said he’s looking forward to getting his hands on that one. Lashley said he was the most dominant person in this business and sooner or later he will get the GFW title…
John’s Thoughts: Well… Lashley has four new titles to go after since his last conquest for all the gold… Ugh… Impact has nine active titles!!! Yes, nine!!!
Alberto El Patron made his way to the ring for his title match against Magnus. Alberto has that upgraded version of his entrance theme which is pretty cool. What’s uncool is Magnus’s generic theme where he had a pretty good euro-rock theme when he was last in TNA. Josh Mathews also said the GFW title was called the GFW Global Championship, even though the graphic said Heavyweight Championship…
5. Magnus vs. Alberto El Patron for the Global Force Wrestling Global Championship. Alberto and Magnus traded punches with Magnus gaining the upperhand in the duel. El Patron snuck in an illegal crossarmbreaker on the ropes. Alberto then made a hot rally in the middle of the ring on the GFW champ. El Patron gave Magnus a dropkick to the head.
Magnus regained control after a suplex. Magnus went for several pin attempts after a back suplex. Magnus slowed things down with a side headlock. El Patron countered with his own back suplex. El Patron hit Magnus with a top rope clothesline. Magnus escaped an El Patron headlock with a jawbreaker. El Patron staggered Magnus on the top rope. Magnus and El Patron fell off after trading punches.[C]
El Patron and Magnus continued to trade punches until Magnus gained the advantage after a rake to the eyes. El Patron quickly mounted his signature offense topping it off with a running enziguri. Magnus dodged the Si kick and hit El Patron with a sitout body slam. Magnus hit his finisher, the elbow drop. El Patron kicked out of the pin attempt. El Patron escaped the cloverleaf but Magnus kept control with an elbow drop.
Mathews took the moment to go into heel mode randomly. Magnus gave Alberto a back suplex on the entrance ramp. El Patron beat the ten count at nine. El Patron gained control with a backstabber and managed to lock in the crossarmbreaker on Magnus. Magnus managed to get his foot on the bottom rope. El Patron slammed Magnus’s hand on a chair to soften it up. Magnus caught Alberto with a European Uppercut and managed to lock Alberto in the middle of the ring with the Texas Cloverleaf. Alberto teased tapping but made it to the bottom rope.
Alberto hit Magnus’s arms with the knees and planted him with a thrust kick to the head for another nearfall. Alberto yelled Destiny which Magnus scrambled away to escape the cross armbreaker. El Patron grabbed the ring apron to avoid the cloverleaf. El Patron fought his way out of the Superplex. Alberto put Magnus in position but missed his finishing double stomp from the Tree of Woe. El Patron sold a leg injury. Magnus hit El Patron with a powerbomb. Magnus went for a TKO but Alberto El Patron locked in the Crossarmbreaker to pick up the GFW Championship.
Alberto El Patron defeated Magnus via submission in 14:06 to become the new Global Force Wrestling Global Champion.
The ring announcer said heavyweight, but Josh Mathews has been calling the title “Global” all night. Josh talked about the “golden ticket” slipping away from Magnus as we have a new person in line to main even Slammiversary…
John’s Thoughts: A very good match from Alberto El Patron. I liked El Patron’s match from last week with Eli Drake a big more since Drake showed he can be a good worker, but El Patron provided the right amount of psychology and suspense in this one as well. One small caveat that hurt this week’s match was the stakes. No one really cares, including Alberto, about the Global Force Wrestling Global Championship. El Patron has made it clear that his goal is to get the championship from Lashley and he just got this one because Bruce Prichard booked him in this match for an opportunity to face Lashley at Slammiversary.
Remember the last time when GFW “invaded” Impact, and they were made to look like scrubs because they couldn’t win anything? Last week, the GFW Women’s Champion lost the title in jury her second match since returning to Impact, and the GFW Global Champion just did the same. This gets compounded with how I pointed out them booking Magnus as a chickenshit heel as opposed to being a powerful heel, which was the problem they had during Magnus’ first TNA Title run. To move on from that, this was a show that did a bunch of good things, it was solid. The only problems I saw was the Xenophobic collision between Veterans of War and LAX as well as the contrived injection of Global Force Gold (I mean the title belts in this case) into Impact. Jason Powell will have his additional thoughts in the Impact Wrestling Hit List and in his members’ exclusive audio review later today.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...