By John Moore
Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped May 30, 2017 in Mumbai, India at Film City Stage 7
Bruce Prichard was having a meeting with Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash before the show. Prichard said “it ends right now”. Prichard complained about the constant bickering on commentary. Prichard said JB and Josh Mathews have both been acting like jackasses. Prichard said if there is any physical altercation between the commentators before Slammiversary, they will both be fired. Prichard said it doesn’t matter who starts it…
They then cut to the intro video which showed some of the Indian production team members praying to the gods for inspiration. It then cut to a montage featuring inspirational music and various Impact Wrestling talents talking about their positive experience in India. Jeff Jarrett was shown hyping up the production crew. There were also clips showing the fans as well as their reactions during the Impact tapings. The Impact opening video aired featuring Indian music instead of the regular theme. Interesting note, Cody [Rhodes] is still featured briefly in the intro owl vid…
John’s Thoughts: Even though Jarrett and crew don’t have the best creative track record, they have proven in the past that they can put on a hell of a show in India with their good Ring Ka King production. I’m actually looking forward to this and in seeing if they can strike the same magic as before.
Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews checked in on commentary. This show was emanating from Film City Stage 7 in Mumbai India. Alberto El Patron made his entrance. Mathews talked about how unexpected things can happen with Alberto El Patron now in the Slammiversary main event when EC3 was slotted in before last week’s Steel Cage match. El Patron hyped up an extremely excited crowd. Alberto talked about the energy in the place as the crowd led a loud si chant.
In a funny edit, the crowd was suddenly silent when they cut the camera. El Patron said he was going to do what he does best and kick some traseros (asses) in the ring tonight. El Patron said he has done this for years all around the world with his love for professional wrestling. El Patron he won all titles in the companies he worked for and he needs one more. Albero El Patron promised that at Slamiversary he will become the Impact World Heavyweight Champion.
Bobby Lashley made his entrance to confront Alberto with a microphone. He said he was sick and tired of “Albert” telling him and the people how tough Alberto is. Lashley said he heard Lashley’s name and he had to shut Alberto up. Lashley said he is the Impact World Champion and the realest wrestler in the entire wrestling business. Lashley said he would fight Alberto in the ring, in the cage, or he’d drag Alberto’s ass to the parking lot for a beatdown. Lashley said Alberto isn’t the only person going around the world winning titles. The fans chanted si to say that Alberto was. Alberto said his Indian friends are answering for Alberto. Lashley called Alberto another cheerleader. Lashley said he knows Alberto has a rich wrestling heritage that Lashley doesn’t care about. Lashley said he’s the man around here and can’t wait until Slammiversary. Lashley said he’s still going to be Impact Champion still as well as Global Force Champ. Lashley said then Alberto can walk his ass back to Mexico or wherever he came from because he’s not needed here. Lashley said all this talk Alberto has been doing is going to stop because he’s going to be locked up with Lashley. Alberto was in the middle of cutting a retort promo when Bruce Prichard waddled out to the ring for some reason.
Josh Mathews thought this was a joke and I must say I agree with Josh. Prichard said he sees two champions ready to fight. Lashley said it’s one champion and a challenger. Prichard asked Lashley if he wants to defend his title tonight. Lashley said he can anytime anywhere. Prichard asked Alberto the same question. Alberto (logically) shook his head for a no! Prichard hyped two title matches for Alberto and Lashley’s titles. Prichard said they both will have a chance to be in Slammiversary. Alberto wanted to know his opponent. Prichard said it was a mystery and they will find out when everyone else finds out. Prichard wished Lashley and Alberto good luck. Josh Mathews talked about how Prichard’s mystery opponent idea doesn’t make any real sense (and I must agree). Josh hyped Rosemary vs. Laurel Van Ness for the Knockouts Championship as well as Low Ki vs. Caleb Konley for the X Division Championship…
John’s Thoughts: Good opening segment between El Patron and Lashley, at least before Prichard walked in and brought his bad TNA logic with him. At least Alberto got to talk this week unlike last week where Prichard and company cut the babyface off for no good reason. Alberto is very similar to Drew Galloway in how affable and relatable they are. Alberto takes a different approach where Drew can get a bit campy at points, Alberto has a realness and seriousness to him to coincide with his affability. Lashley, after being the absolute worst promo in pro wrestling, is arguably one of the best heel promos in wrestling today. They played off each other very well. Prichard is unnecessary and a detriment. Why is he constantly cutting off Alberto? Why is his character always booking title matches out of nowhere? I get that they should put on title matches in India, but they could have found a better way to get there? And what’s up with the Prichard character and constantly rebooking the main event of Slammiversary?
Prichard was chatting backstage with a comedy luchador tag team known as the Mumbai Cats. Prichard didn’t know their names even though it was written on their gear. The Cats just made some meowing noises. This made Prichard figure out who they were. He talked about his podcast. The Cats wanted to face El Patron and Bobby Lashley tonight. Prichard denied them…
Caleb Konley came out first for the X Division Championship match. Low Ki came out wearing his Agent 47 Hitman cosplay. Josh Mathews went into talking about his wrestling past and how he politic’d his way out of a match against Low Ki due to the damage he witnessed Low Ki delivering in the ring with is kicks…
1. Low Ki vs. Caleb Konley in a singles match for the X Division Championship. The crowd was fully behind Low Ki. Low Ki took a kickboxer’s fighting stance to start off the lockup. Konley was smothered in the corner. Low Ki used his kickboxing to set up Konley in the corner. Conley was rough but Low Ki overpowered Conley and even was able to adjust his tie. Ki used his fists and chops to maintain an advantage over Conley. Conley tried to rally back with intermediary chops but Ki maintained an advantage on that front.
Conley was able to gain momentum with a low leg sweep and running senton to get the first nearfall of the match. Konley locked in a side headlock. Ki came back with a corner splash and initiated the ten count punches. Conley slipped away. Ki kept the pressure on with pin attempts. Ki hit Conley with a headbutt and went into a boxer’s stance to punch around Conley. Conley used the referee as a shield to get some breathing room. Ki maintained the advantage with right arms and a body stretch. Conley fought back with forearms. Conley ran right into a Low Ki boot. Conley slipped away to send Low Ki to the outside.
Conley hit Low Ki with a Tope Suicida which busted Low Ki open in the eye area. Conley went to the top rope and nailed Low Ki with a crossbody to attempt a nearfall on his end. Low Ki showed a bloody eye as Jeremy Borash creatively related Low Ki’s eye injury to possible karma for inflicting an eye injury on Sonjay Dutt. Conley gave Low Ki a backhand to get another nearfall. Low Ki escaped a back suplex and trust Conley in the chest with a shotgun dropkick. Conley tried to recover (awkwardly) on the ropes which put him in position for Low Ki’s Warrior’s Way against the second rope.
Low Ki defeated Caleb Konley via pinfall in 6:32 to retain the X Division Championship.
The crowd cheered as Low Ki celebrated his in mid ring sporting a partial crimson mask on his face. Low Ki’s celebration was cut short as he was met by Sonjay Dutt. Sonjay spoke in Hindi (I think) to the crowd. Sonjay Dutt received a huge “Sonjay” chant from the crowd. Sonjay said that Low Ki’s eye was one hell of a coincidence because the same thing happened to Sonjay a few months ago when they both returned to Impact Wrestling. Sonjay asked Low Ki for a title match. The crowd did the Daniel Bryan “yes” chant. Sonjay said 15 years ago he was just a punk kid that rolled along with Low Ki, Homicide, and the Hit Squad in Brooklyn. Sonjay said it’s not like those days because he has 1.5 billion people of India behind him now. Sonjay said Low Ki is a man of honor so he has to give Sonjay a title match. Sonjay spoke in Hindi and said “please”. Josh Mathews verified that Sonjay was speaking in Hindi. Low Ki accepted Sonjay’s hand. Jeremy Borash said this confirms a title match for the X Division title for next week. Josh and JB then hyped Lashley and El Patron vs. ???…
John’s Thoughts: Still not a fan of Impact just handing out title shots like candy, especially to a guy who has never won a match in Impact. That little nitpick aside, this was a step in the right direction because we got a singles match! The advantage of singles matches is the wrestlers are allowed to tell a story as opposed to the multi-person spot fests where wrestlers are a homogenous cluster of dudes who do flips. Mathews and JB did a solid job in this match in getting over how dangerous Low Ki is. I do wonder if Low Ki bladed because even Sonjay Dutt pointed out how convenient that was. The bleeding was a good visual and good analog to the injury done to Sonjay to set up their encounter.
A Swoggle recovery video package aired. Swoggle defended his hammer beatdown because Rockstar Spud “pulled down a midget’s pants on national television”. Swoggle talked about not caring if Spud was in the hospital or if he can’t get out of the bed to piss (or shit? it was bleeped). Swoggle called Spud’s boot’s stupid and said that Spud was 45 years old trying to act like he’s 22 (wikipedia stays Spud is 34). Swoggle talked about being embarrassed having to address his injuries to his child. Swoggle swore revenge against Spud…
There was an Indian ring announcer. Davey Richards made his entrance. Josh Mathews said Angelina Love-Richards was ordered to stay home by Bruce Prichard because Angelina put Alisha Edwards through a table.
2. Davey Richards vs. Vikas Kumar. Richards beat up on Kumar in the corner with rapid fire roundhouse kicks. Kumar went for a sunset flip. Richards blocked it and hit Kumar with a footstomp. Richards missed a clothesline which allowed the local jobber to drop kick Richards to the outside. Kumar went for a plancha but Richards sidestepped it as he yelled for Eddie Edwards on the camera. Richards taunted the fans ringside. Richards put Kumar on the second rope to go for a Super German Suplex. Kumar missed a bad looking moonsault. Richards hit Kumar with a running punt kick to the chest. Richards locked in the ankle lock to pick up the submission win.
Davey Richards defeated Vikas Kumar via submission in 2:31.
The referee had to rip off Davey Richards from Kumar post-match. Richards continued to taunt Eddie Edwards through the camera. Ethan Carter III crossed the path of Davey Richards on the entrance ramp. EC3 had duct tape in his hand as JB pointed out. EC3 was also stone-faced and stoic. It wasn’t tape and was in fact a belt. EC3 milked the moment and beat down Vikas Kumar with the belt. James Storm’s entrance music played as Storm walked to the ramp. EC3 retreated as Storm stormed the ring.
John’s Thoughts: Vikas Kumar reminds me a bit of Ho Ho Lun in that he’s not that great of a wrestler, even for the enhancement variety. Even if that’s true, his was still good as the sacrificial lightning rod to draw heat from the crowd towards the heels. I also can’t help but think that Davey Richards would have made a way more interesting World Champion than his tag partner due to him being more intriguing character-wise and unique with martial arts background.
Eli Drake complained to Bruce Prichard about his judging of the match Drake had against Moose. Drake said that Prichard walked out because he knows Prichard has a problem with Drake. Drake put his hands-on Prichard. Chris Adonis (Chris Masters) interrupted and pled his case for him and Drake to face El Patron and Lashley. Drake told Prichard to do what’s right. Prichard said he was going to think about it… [C]
An Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame video aired with current wrestlers talking about their thoughts on the Impact Hall of Fame. James Storm ended the video by talking about how “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig inspired him to pass on knowledge to the younger generation…
Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash were standing in front of a Sony Six backdrop in a dark/secluded location. Borash hyped up the mystery opponents for El Patron and Lashley. Josh Mathews cut in to hype up the “Josh Mathews Sparring Session” for next week. Borash said next week’s main event was Low Ki vs. Sonjay Dutt in a singles match for the X Division Championship. Suddenly, Hornswoggle chased Rockstar Spud through the crowd. Josh Mathews wondered if there was a way both of these men could lose this feud. Spud wore his strange leather as he retreated up the ramp…
Impact cut to a Mahabali Shera video package. Shera said that there are two things people love in India, Cricket and Wrestling. Shera said these are the two things he grew up loving. Shera was shown super excited to see his family arrive because they’ve never been to a live wrestling show. Shera said he always wanted to be a part of sports. Shera talked about being inspired by his father and uncle who played sports themselves. Shera hugged his younger brother (who looks like a buff Robbie E). Shera also showed the world his father. Shera hung out with the fans in the area. Shera talked about people not being exposed to wrestling and being able to see live wrestling for the first time. Shera said he was proud to be the first Indian in Impact which puts a huge country behind him. Shera talked to the fans and said they were going to make history.
John’s Thoughts: What the freaking hell? That was a really good video package for Mahabali Shera and the best Shera has ever come off on the microphone in like ever. It’s not necessarily the Lashley level type of improvement, but more so some really good production work and some good confidence shown by Shera, who comes off as a bit nervous at times. I can totally relate to that myself. Shera still isn’t really good in the ring but I wonder if there is some way Impact can emphasize this more human characteristics in Shera when they get back to Orlando?
Joseph Park was shown approaching the Impact Wrestling headquarters.
John’s Thoughts: Wait? Impact Wrestling has a headquarters?
Park asked the secretary to see Jeremy Borash. The secretary said Borash was in the editing room. Park used the camera time to do a shameless plug for Slammiversary. Park entered the editing room as cheesy B-Movie music played. Jeremy Borash did that bug eye thing that he does. Park was astonished at being in the place where the editing magic happens. Park said fighting was in the Park DNA as he claimed that his great great grandfather, Zebadiah Park, wrestled George Hackenschmidt and almost won. Park said he and JB have to become one. Park pulled JB away to train as a production team member shook his head in disappointment…
Jeremy Borash revealed that the ring announcer’s name was Siddarth Kannan. Kannan handled the formal ring introductions for the Impact Wrestling World Championship match.
3. Lashley vs. Moose for the Impact Wrestling Heavyweight Championship. Lashley locked up against the taller Moose. Moose and Lashley stood at a stalemate. The crowd gave Moose a Moose chant. Lashley caught Moose with a back elbow after showing off some agility. Moose showed some agility with a kip up. Moose showed more agility with his high dropkick. Moose walked on the ropes to hit a springboard crossbody on Lashley. Lashley dodged a Moose clothesline and hit Moose with a running crossbody. Moose got the wind knocked out of him with a Lashley shoulder tackle in the corner. Moose turned the tide by hitting Lashley with chops and a pump kick.
Moose went for the discus clothesline but Lashley made it to the rear waistlock into a deadlift German Suplex. Lashley rammed Moose into the ring apron as the Indian crowd chanted “Delete”. Lashley worked on Moose against the ringside barricade. Lashley maintained control with the eye rake. Josh Mathews talked about the possibility of Moose walking into Slammiversary as a double champion. Moose was grounded in the ring with a body scissors. Lashley nailed Moose with a neckbreaker. Moose started to fade in the sleeper. JB hyped up the Impact Minor League baseball stadium live event.
Moose kept from fading away as he made it to a vertical base where he gave Lashley chops. Lashley caught Moose with a boot but Moose caught Lashley with his high dropkick to the top of the turnbuckle. Lashley tripped Moose off the ring apron as they cut to commercial. [C]
Moose kicked out of a pin attempt back from the break. Lashley hit Moose with the ten count punches. Moose powered out and planted Lashley with a powerbomb, running senton, and moonsault to get a nearfall. Moose ran at Lashley several times to put him on the mat where Moose hit a nice hesitation dropkick. Moose missed a corner splash which allowed Lashley to nail Moose with a stiff lariat. Lashley went for a Spear but Moose cleared Lashley and hit a spear of his own. Lashley kicked out at two and three quarters.
Borash gave Moose and Lashley credit for having good conditioning after such a long trip. Lashley hit Moose with a superplex to get his own close nearfall. Lashley went for another spear but Moose caught it with a pump kick. Moose hit Lashley with a sitout chokeslam for another nearfall. Moose went for the gamebreaker (a.k.a. Discus Rainmaker), but Lashley ducked it and hit the spear to pick up the victory.
Bobby Lashley defeated Moose via pinfall in 11:40 to retain the Impact World Heavyweight Championship.
Impact had more weird post-production as they showed a clip of fans booing heavily from another moment in time, yet when they cut to Lashley the crowd was mildly booing. It then cut to a Lucha Underground inspired LAX clubhouse cinematic. Konnan said he was excited that LAX were double tag team champions. Konnan handed Santana and Ortiz their double belts. Konnan said this was a historic moment. Konnan said the belts were bargaining chips because now “they” have to deal with LAX. Konnan said they weren’t the side platter, LAX was the entree. Konnan talked about making their people proud… [C]
John’s Thoughts: This wasn’t a match of the year candidate, but it was one of Moose’s best matches in recent memory. It’s probably due to Moose being relegated to awkward and segmented Grand Championship matches. Moose and Lashley had a good match down the stretch where both Moose and Lashley got to show off some good agility. I hope they find a way to dissolve that Grand Championship soon because it is truly a hindrance to any talented individual who holds it. Meanwhile, LAX are babyfaces because they are fighting for respect for their culture and people, right? I’m proud, as a member of two minorities, that LAX is fighting against the social oppression that exists sometimes for people of color.
Rockstar Spud was shown talking about his trip to India. Back at the arena, they cut to the Knockouts Championship match…
4. Laurel Van Ness (w/ Sienna) vs. Rosemary for the Impact Knockouts Championship. Rosemary was wearing her more skulllike makeup as she looked to be doing more of Crazzy Steve’s mannerisms in herself. Rosemary took down Laurel with a clothesline. Laurel took some punches and distracted referee Brian Stiffler which allowed Sienna to sneak in some cheap shots. Laurel yelled and hit several pump kicks on Rosemary. Laurel yelled around the ring missing that Rosemary recovered in a zombie like fashion, slightly different from The Undertaker.
Rosemary dodged a pump kick Matrix-style. Rosemary came back with a punch and corner forearm. Rosemary planted Laurel with a fisherman suplex which popped the crowd. Sienna distracted the referee but the distraction backfired because Laurel ran into Sienna instead of Rosemary to send her off the apron. Rosemary won with the rollup.
Rosemary defeated Laurel Van Ness via pinfall in 2:00 to retain the Impact Knockouts Championship.
Laurel and Sienna beatdown Rosemary post-match. Allie’s music played as she saved Sienna and Laurel with a kendo stick. Sienna and Laurel managed to get the upper hand despite the weapon. Rosemary shooed off the heels with the stick. Rosemary met Allie in the middle of the ring and placed it on the ground. Rosemary did an animated bow in front of Allie…
John’s Thoughts: I was afraid they were going to burn through Laurel Van Ness vs. Rosemary, but Laurel gets protected a bit with the rollup. I hope Impact doesn’t go the Gail Kim route of having Rosemary being the only knockout that can win anything. The post-match angle was nice. There’s a level of intrigue and mystery as to the intentions of the Rosemary character, who talks to tree spirits. Allie is also getting a chance to show a bit of the personality that got her over in 2016.
Backstage, Prichard and KM chatted. KM put his name in the hat to face El Patron. Prichard said it wasn’t KM. KM said he’s undefeated and the number one contender. Prichard said both of those statements are wrong. KM did his catchphrase and asked Prichard if he was calling KM a liar. Prichard said he’s not calling KM a liar. KM nodded. Prichard said he also wasn’t calling KM the number one contender… [C]
Exercise music played as Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park had a workout montage. Borash was jogging on a treadmill as Park hung out on the side of his treadmill not knowing how to run it. Park and Borash tossed around a medicine ball. Borash got some support from Park during his front lats. Park offered Borash some inspiration while still not jogging on the treadmill. Park said speed was the key. Park also struggled to lift 20 lbs. Borash threw a balance ball in Park’s face. JB burned himself out on the treadmill as he said they were screwed. Park pointed out a stadium where he said “Gladiators” play every Sunday. Borash said that the Tennessee Titans play there. Park said “Gladiators” do. Park said he and Borash were gladiators. Park said this company was built around the X Division. Park said since he’s grounded Borash has to be the high flyer. Park said the high altitude was to train Borash to be an X Division wrestler so he can hit a big dive on Josh Mathews. Park tried to inspire Borash to do a belly flop into a pool. Borash did the body flop and Park questioned if Borash was alive. Borash wondered if this was the correct way to be training. Park said Borash’s leap was beautiful. Josh Mathews said that sucked and next week we were going to see the world’s greatest Swanton…
JB and Mathews were hyping next week’s events in their backdrop area where Mathews taunted JB a bit. Borash hyped up the X Division Main Event for next week as well as El Patron vs. ???…
John’s Thoughts: Why didn’t they put Joe Park in this feud sooner. Park is the complete opposite of old tired Abyss, in that he is a huge bundle of awesome. That training montage was great. I also wonder how the Josh Mathews one ends up and if we’re going to hear maniac Scott Steiner. Josh Mathews was known to do a good Swanton in his day as he did legit say that Jeff Hardy was his inspiration on Tough Enough.
Alberto’s opponent was Chris Masters. Ugh….
John’s Thoughts: Wow. This match feels like it came straight from lineup of the WWE Superstars show on Hulu.
5. Alberto El Patron vs. Chris Adonis (w/ Eli Drake) for the GFW Championship. Jeremy Borash claimed that Chris Adonis was undefeated in Impact Wrestling. (Wait? Wasn’t he one of the Global Force invading losers in his last run on TNA Impact?). Adonis dominated and put the boots to El Patron. Patron retreated to ringside. Adonis distracted the referee which allowed Eli Drake to get some cheap shots in. El Patron punched Adonis in the gut as the two men brawled into the crowd. Adonis took the action to the crowd. The ref chased them down to take the action back to the ring. Patron rallied the crowd in the ring. Adonis sidestepped a dropkick and locked in the Master Lock against the ropes which wasn’t legal.[C]
Adonis did a few hip attacks on the back of Patron as he did his male boob shake talent. Adonis kept Patron grounded with a right arm and a choke on the ground. Adonis dominated and showboated to the crowd. Patron dropkicked Adonis off the apron. Adonis ran into patron’s boot. Patron had a hot streak of lariats and hit a backstabber on Adonis. El Patron teased his superkick but Adonis dodged it and hit a spinebuster… and the crowd could care less about Adonis on offense.
El Patron hit the knees to the arm and a succeeding superkick to get a nearfall. El Patron went for the armbreaker but Adonis fought back with shoulder blocks. Adonis put El Patron on the top rope. El Patron trapped Adonis with a cross armbreaker on the ropes. El Patron missed a flying clothesline. Adonis hit a Sky High for a two count. Adonis teased the Master Lock. He actually yelled “Master Lock!!!”. Patron blocked the Master Lock and creatively positioned Adonis for his double stomp finisher. El Patron wins via pinfall
Alberto El Patron defeated Chris Adonis via pinfall in 8:13 to retain the GFW Championship.
Eli Drake ran at Patron with an axehandle right after the match ended. Lashley watched at the top of the ramp with a smile. Eli Drake gave El Patron a shot to the face with the GFW belt. Moose, who was now wearing bright red shorts, ran out to clear out the heels. Moose led the crowd in Moose chants as he helped up El Patron. Lashley stood at the top of the ramp with a smirk on his face. El Patron’s entrance theme played as El Patron posed with his GFW title on the turnbuckle…
John’s Thoughts: Well… At least El Patron tried to make the most out of it. It’s not like Adonis is not proficient in pro wrestling because he can execute the moves fine. He’s just so boring on offense and that’s vindicated by the crowd’s tepid reaction when he was on the attack. This brought back bad memories from two years ago where Chris Adonis wrestled Bobby Lashley in a really dull matchup. Why couldn’t we get Eli Drake vs. Alberto El Patron because we know Drake and Patron are capable of putting on a top tier wrestling match performance. It wasn’t so bad, but it surely wasn’t a main event quality affair.
Aside from the main event that might have happened on WWE Main Event, this was a really good show. The change in venue helped because the Impact Zone can be so odd sometimes that you don’t get a good atmosphere. The positive about being in this India arena is that the crowd came to see a wrestling show and participated as such. We got some good matches. They shouldn’t all be title matches every week, but I understand that here since they are a traveling show currently in a foreign land so they have to showcase title matches house-show style. The comedy skits were good with Joe Park being a riot. And even Mahabali Shera had the best mic work of his career with a quality interview piece. Sonjay Dutt and Shera one-upped Jinder Mahal as far as performance was concerned. It helps that Sonjay is American-Hindu so his promos translate better to the American TV Audience. Jason Powell will be by later today in his Impact Hit List, and I’ll be by later with my members’ exclusive audio review.