By John Moore
Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped May 30, 2017 in Mumbai, India at Film City Stage 7
The cold open to Impact Wrestling this week included an inspirational focused video of Sonjay Dutt’s first ever X Division Championship win. Sonjay talked about having India in his heart even though he was a VA boy from Virginia. Sonjay talked about watching Bollywood and eating naan and butter chicken. Sonjay said he grew up in schools where people judged him based on how he looks but in India they see him as one of them. Sonjay ended his promo saying that it was an “eye for an eye” (in regards to Low Ki I assume)…
Sienna tried to get the attention of Laurel Van Ness in their tour bus. Laurel was distracted by her shoe. Sienna informed Laurel that Rosemary wasn’t in the building and it was her perfect chance to get revenge against Allie. Sienna tried to tell Laurel to focus, but Laurel just did strange laughing and hand motions…
After the Indian Impact intro theme, Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash checked in on commentary. Siddharth Kannan introduced a Sony Six X Division Elimination match. The winner of this match wins a generic trophy that looks exactly like the Sony Six invitational trophy that they gave out last week…
1. Trevor Lee vs. Davey Richards vs. Suicide vs. Braxton Sutter vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Matt Sydal in a Sony six six way X Division elimination match. Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards quickly paired outside of the ring as madness ensued inside of the ring. Richards managed to shift to Braxton Sutter who gave Richards a back suplex. Eddie Edwards gave Richards a tope when Richards went to retreat. More madness ensued. Suicide took everyone out with a springboard trust fall heading into the commercial. [C]
Braxton Sutter had a bit of momentum back from break. Trevor Lee eliminated Braxton Sutter by grabbing the tights. Trevor Lee and Davey Richards formed a heel alliance to beat up on the babyfaces. Eddie Edwards managed to fend of Lee and Richards. Richards tried to slow down the momentum and did so by throwing Eddie into the turnbuckle. Suicide took down the heels with a double dropkick. Suicide did this innovative move that wasn’t so innovative. Suicide locked Lee in the octopus hold. Davey gave Suicide a roundhouse to set him up for the double stomp. Suicide rolled away. Trevor Lee did manage to hit Suicide with the double stomp to eliminate Suicide.
Oh! A wild Matt Sydal appears. I forgot he was in the match and Josh Mathews did as well. JB made a Low Ki pun by saying that Sydal was playing low key throughout the match. Eddie Edwards managed to stand alone in the ring. Eddie went for a tope but Davey Richards threw a chair in his face. The referee disqualified. Davey Richards.
Davey Richards put Eddie Edwards on a chair and teased running down the ramp to get a running start with the chair shot. This allowed Eddie to recover and hit Davey with a Bloody Sunday on the chair. Eddie Edwards got disqualified for defending himself from a person not currently in the match?[C]
John’s Thoughts: Ugh… Impact/TNA finally did something logical and have the referee disqualify a person for cheating. Now I’m confused a bit because I thought these multi man matches are usually no-DQ. In the latest “Only in TNA!” moment, Eddie Edwards got disqualified for defending himself against a person not in the match? Davey was eliminated and therefore was out of the match. Dammit TNA!!! When Impact does dumbass things I reserve the right to call them TNA because TNA is known for dumbass things.
Sydal tried to pick up the win with a backslide. Sydal hit Lee with a feint kick into a standing moonsault. Lee went high risk but Sydal made a high jump to hit Lee with a Frankensteiner. Sydal went for Air Bourne but Lee dodged and took out Sydal with a Superman Punch. Sydal escaped a fisherman suplex and hit a spinning roundhouse on Lee. Sydal hit Lee with Air Bourne for the victory.
Matt Sydal won the Sony Six X Division Elimination Match in 7:32.
Bruce Prichard, Scott D’Amore, and Nitin Nadkarni came out to present Matt Sydal with the Sony Six trophy. Nadkarni is the CFO of Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India. Didn’t SPN India just release a WWE Press Release earlier in the day?
John’s Thoughts: Even though this was a 3+ way X Division match, and multi-man X Division matches should burn in a fire until the X Division means something again, This was one of the best multi-man matches that TNA has presented due to the elimination match aspect. The result still doesn’t really do anything since the Indian house show trophy will mean nothing in the long run. Where an elimination match excels over fatal [fill in the blank] ways is the multi pinfall setup allows for multiple stories to be told throughout the match. The hot American Wolves feud also did a good job propping this match up. Poor Trevor Lee though, the guy just can’t catch a break.
Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash were shown in their secluded darkened area in front of a Sony Six backdrop. Borash hyped Sienna and LVN vs. Allie and Rosemary for later on in this show. Josh hyped Lashley and E-Singh-3 vs. Alberto El Patron and James Storm. Borash cut to a video package with Rockstar Spud walking around in India…
The audio was terrible due to it being recorded on a cell phone. They cut to cinematic mode when Hornswoggle was shown eating with some Indian people and laughing in the direction of Spud. Spud and Swoggle teased a brawl in the streets of India, complete with stock dramatic ambient music. Randomly, a mini Indian man stepped between them to “bring peace” as Jeremy Borash put it…
Oh Mah goodness, back in the Impact studio Allie was talking backstage. She was super nervous due to Rosemary not being around as her tag team partner. Allie talked herself up to be confident enough to believe that Rosemary will be there. JB ended the segment with the question whether Rosemary would show up… [C]
Cut to a Joseph Park and Jeremy Borash training skit. Joe Park was demoralized after his skype call with Scott Steiner from last week where Steiner called him and Borash fat asses. Park said he was having a bad day. Borash tried to cheer Park up with his favorite food, frozen pizza, but Park was too sad to accept. Borash tried to give Park ginger ale since it was perfect for a hot summer day. Park was still too sad. Park continued to doubt his chances to win at Slammiversary. Borash tried to inspire Park by saying that he saw Park as a fighter in the past. Borash said they weren’t going out and Park mumbled “we ain’t going out!” in a squeaky voice. Borash asked Park if it was over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, No! (wait? Didn’t the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor?). Borash said if it was over when TNA made Josh Mathews lead announcer, no! Borash said they persevere and move forward. Joe Park was motivated and he said he was ready. Park and Borash then did the Mega Powers handshake…
Sienna and Laurel Van Ness were out first. Allie walked onto stage next. Allie had a weapon with her. Rosemary’s theme played, but no one came out. LVN and Sienna mocked Allie and tried to double team Allie up the ramp. “The Demon Assassin” Rosemary crawled from under the ring and took out LVN and Sienna. Allie squeaked in joy at this.
2. Sienna and Laurel Van Ness vs. Allie and Rosemary. Allie and Rosemary took the initial shots with corner splashes to both of their opponents. Sienna managed to overpower Rosemary and put the boots to Rosemary. LVN tagged in and used the second rope to put pressure on the neck of Rosemary. LVN then hit Rosemary with a dropkick. Allie came it on fire and hit Laurel with a Codebreaker. KM walked out to hand the heels a stick. Braxton Sutter ran out to cancel out KM. Sienna hit Rosemary with a German Suplex. Laurel hit Rosemary with a curb stomp to the back. sienna picked up the quick win.
Sienna and Laurel Van Ness defeated Rosemary via pinfall in 1:48.
Josh Mathews told us that this was the first time in Impact history that Rosemary was pinned (and under two minutes. yep….ugh). KM and Sienna stood on the ramp with their pinkies out…
John’s Thoughts: Huh. I like TNA making the effort of trying to put some heat on some heels, but that was an odd way to do it. Rosemary has had some big-time wars against Jade/Mia Yim this year where they were trying to push those two as dominant and durable. Rosemary then ends up losing in under two minutes via tag team transition sequences? Weird? “Only in TNA” does the “most dominant knockout in Impact history” lose in under two minutes to a tag team transition? If I were Josh I wouldn’t have drawn attention that this was supposed to be a moment in history that happened in less than two minutes.
Don West was in salesman mode for Slmammiversary where he told us that for only $199.99 you can get the VIP package and be allowed to hang out with the Impact Wrestlers. West threw in a $10 coupon and a free DVD. West also threw in some priority tickets to the Impact Tapings. Don West threw in on top of that a chance to ride the “Revenge of the Mummy” ride at Universal Studios. Don West gave another deal for traveling fans which included a gift bag and breakfast. Don West said the priceless part of the package was that he was back and calling Slammiversary… [C]
Sonjay Dutt was shown celebrating in an Indian mini-taxi which looks like a dressed-up Thai Tuk. Dutt wore colorful royal Indian garb. Mathews cut to the same LAX clubhouse vignette from last week where Konnan talked about dropping some independent tag teams. Konnan said they were going to do some real G shit in taking the bankroll of promoters. LAX rolled into an independent promotion in a lowrider. They showed LAX wrestling a tag team matches in similar fashion to the Hardy Boyz expedition for Gold…
Jeremy Borash was in the ring with Mahabali Shera. Dutt came to the ring with Indian dancers. They wore similar clothes and it was similar to the Jinder Mahal Punjabi Celebration, just without the WWE big budget and pyro. The crowd was hot at least and Dutt had a carpet in the middle of the ring. Sonjay got a large Sonjay chant. Oh my word! They chat “You Deserve It” in India too! Dutt said some things in India. Dutt said it was great being in India as the X Division Champion Sonjay Dutt. Dutt said he’s tried to win this belt for 15 years. Dutt said he got to win it infront of the people of India. Dutt said to everyone who stood behind him all these years, Thank You. Dutt said now that he’s the X Division Champion, he’s going to be the greatest X Division Champion who ever lived.
Sonjay Dutt was interrupted by Video Game Cosplayer, Low Ki. Dutt said he thinks Low Ki walked out there to congratulated him. Ki said Dutt was correct. Ki said he’s not one for excuses, but there was a bit of luck on Dutt’s side. Ki said luck or not, he’s still giving him a congratulation for becoming champion. Ki said he understands the belt should rightfully be on Low Ki. Ki said since he offered Dutt a chance to get title match upon request, it should only be fair if Dutt returns the favor by giving Ki a rematch for the title. Dutt agreed to the offer and proposed that they have a two out of three falls match. Dutt said Low Ki and he were pioneers of the X Division and India would like this stipulation match since India likes sportsmanship. Ki and Dutt shook hands. Ki then blindsided Dutt with a haymaker and managed to take out Mahabali Shera as well. Low Ki hit Shera with the Warrior’s way. Ki tried to hit Dutt with the Warrior’s way but Sony Six Way Match winner, Matt Sydal ran in to protect Sonjay. Low Ki walked up the ramp trash talking…
John’s Thoughts: This was an interesting segment to analyze. It was okay. What dragged it down a bit was the X Division title and how they haven’t really established it as a truly prestigious belt yet. It’s also easy to compare apples to apples with WWE doing a much more refined version of this on Smackdown a month or so ago due to WWE’s superior production budget/techniques. Sonjay’s a better promo than Jinder but he doesn’t quite seem to come off as a big deal, at least not yet. He talked about this 15-year quest, but that’s not completely true. He was hindered due to not being in the TNA and even won GFW’s Next Gen title. It’s simply not time for Sonjay to be champion in my opinion and I hope they put the belt back on Low Ki ASAP at Slammiversary because Low Ki is and has been more of the complete package for years.
KM came to the ring with his Samoa Joe entrance theme. Jeremy Borash said KM comes off as delusional and paranoid. Mahabali Shera’s theme played as he tried to walk out but he was selling rib injuries and was held back by Indian doctors. Shera wore orange tape on his abdominals. KM beat down Shera on the outside.
3. KM vs. Mahabali Shera. KM tried to end things with a simple pin but Shera kicked out to pop the crowd. Shera tried to come back with punches but KM maintained dominance with an Irish Whip. KM went for a pumphandle body slam but Shera reversed into fireman carry. Shera couldn’t do anything with it because he was still selling the ribs. KM missed a slingshot splash. Shera struggled and hit his strongest of his three offensive maneuvers, the Sky High. Shera wins.
Mahabali Shera defeated KM via pinfall in 1:37.
Shera couldn’t celebrate because Kongo Kong made his way to the ring. Kong started his attack by punching the injured ribs of Shera. Shera tried to roll away but Kongo Kong managed to overpower Shera when he tried to fend off Kong with punches. KM hit Shera with a pumphandle sitout body slam. Kong followed up with a top rope splash. Kong got some good distance off the Splash…
John’s Thoughts: Shera may only have three offensive moves, but the guy does have a good look and he might as well be Jeff Hardy in India since he’s an enigmatic ball of charisma there. So much that creative has to put him in almost every segment to give another non-Indian’s some rub. They even had him out there to prop up Sonjay. What Shera did do well in this match was sell the ribs. Even though a lot of people have taken Warriors Way and haven’t acted like they’ve been stabbed in the ab. The Kongo Kong beatdown was well done too but I do wonder why they didn’t do anything with Kongo until now. He’s had a good string of squashes but in India he was a bit MIA aside from a cameo in the Sony Six match.
Back to the Joe Park and JB skit where they just finished their Mega Powers handshake. They then cut to a Borash and Park training montage. We’ve seen this before, complete with medicine balls and bicep curls. JB quoted AJ Styles’s old theme by saying “Get Ready to Fly” as he did a Swanton into the pool. It wasn’t as good as Josh’s (but Josh is a trained wrestler). Joe Park then freaked out Borash by doing a cannonball into the pool. A huge splash of water ensued. Borash and Park did a slow mo high five in the end…
Eli Drake and his fanboy, The Masterpiece Chris Adonis, came to the ring for a promo. Drake said week after week. He’s heard the name Moose when he eats, sleeps, and even breathes. This invoked a Moose chant from the crowd. Chris Masters told the crowd that they really like Moose. He said that punk doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring and Christopher Adonis and Eli Drake. He handed it to Eli Drake who wanted to talk to ya. Drake said Moose puts his nose in their business. This drew an Eli Sucks chant. Drake said huh and called them dummies. Eli Drake said Moose rhymes with Bruce. Drake said he thinks since Moose is one of Bruce’s guys, he thinks Bruce Prichard was Moose’s mystery tag partner at Slammiversary.
The crowd told Drake to shut the hell up. Drake said he wants Moose to come out and be a man like he and CA. Drake wanted Moose to say he’s going against Adonis and Drake two on one in a handicap match at Slammiversary. Moose came out and the crowd really loved dancing to the Moose entrance theme. Moose said Drake was not a dummy tonight since he was right. Moose doesn’t have a partner from the Impact locker room. Drake asked if this meant it was a handicap match. Moose announced that his tag partner was top rushing NFL Running Back DeAngelo Williams. A Williams sports news and training montage aired. Williams said he didn’t want to come in as a celebrity and he wanted to make his family proud. In a funny moment, Moose was getting his ass kicked by Adonis and Drake when they cut back to Impact. Drake hit Moose in the head with the Impact Grand Championship. Drake and Adonis stood over the prone body of Moose in victory…
John’s Thoughts: I still don’t see the point in having the artist formerly known as Chris Masters in the ring as Drake’s fanboy, but I am looking forward to see how Impact utilizes DeAngelo Williams on Slammiversary. Williams is a strong get for Impact. He’s not that well known to non-NFL fans, but he was the backup to Le’Veon Bell. What’s funny, is Bell has been gone more often than fantasy owners would like and during his absences, Williams was a top-tier starter who led the league in many rushing statistics.
Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews were hyping up their tag match from their dark secluded location. Borash transitioned to hyping the tag team main event of this episode. Lashley and EC3 were shown entering the studio. Lashley even pushed some guys in the street. Storm and El Patron came in as well… [C]
Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews named the entire Slammiversary card. E-Singh-3 came out to an Indian version of his Trouble theme. They showed a female fan giving him a thumbs down yet getting down to his awesome entrance theme. Alberto El Patron came to ringside and picked up Lashley’s championship belt after Lashley entered the ring. EC3 was meditating at ringside and was chased away by James Storm. Borash billed this match as a preview to two Slammiversary matches…
4. Bobby Lashley and E-Singh-3 vs. James Storm and Alberto El Patron. Ethan Carter slapped the Sony Six symbol with his belt. Carter teased squaring off with Storm, but Carter quickly retreated to tag in Lashley. Lashley overpowered Storm and put him in a corner. Storm escaped and hit Lashley with several clotheslines in the corner. After Lashley escaped the onslaught they both traded their partners. EC3 trash talked El Patron. El Patron came at EC3 with a running chop. El Patron dropkicked Carter out and tossed out Lashley. El Patron assisted Storm to help him give the heels a Plancha heading into the break. [C]
Lashley stopped El Patron from hitting EC3 with the double footstomp. El Patron managed to sidestep Lashley who speared the turnbuckle. EC3 tagged in to prevent El Patron from tagging Storm. Carter put El Patron on the top rope which allowed El Patron to lock in the illegal version of his Crossarmbreaker. EC3 and Patron took each other out which allowed Lashley and Storm to tag in. Storm went into a hot tag sequence. Storm kicked Lashley in the back of the head and followed up with a Sling Blade.
James Storm grabbed EC3’s belt. Lashley took Storm down before he could use it. Lashley then taunted El Patron. Jeremy Borash hyped next week’s show as a “contract signing” episode. Josh Mathews told us that next week we were getting a “Mumbai Street Fight” between Swoggle and Rockstar Spud. Lashley hit Storm with his delayed vertical Suplex. Lashley and EC3 isolated Storm in their corner. Storm managed to tag El Patron by lifting the deadweight of EC3 the ref didn’t catch the tag and prevented El Patron from entering. EC3 and Lashley continued to isolated Storm in their corner.
Lashley hit Storm with the Dominator powerslam. EC3 slapped Lashley in the face which Lashley didn’t like, but it counted as a tag. Storm blocked a Stinger Splash with his boot. Storm hit EC3 with a hanging tornado DDT. Storm circumvented the ring ropes and tagged in El Patron while EC3 was staggered. El Patron hit some of his signature moves on EC3. Lashley quickly regained the advantage with a neckbreaker. El Patron countered a dominator with a backstabber. Storm staggered EC3 on the top rope with a kick. Storm and El Patron tried to hit EC3 with a double superplex but Lashley ran in to turn it into a tower of doom. El Patron frog jumped a spear to open him up to be hit by superkicks from both Storm and El Patron. Lashley barely locked in the Cross Armbreaker but EC3 broke it up.
EC3 teased hitting El Patron with the belt. EC3 instead hit Brian Stiffler with the belt. Brian Hebner ran out to disqualify EC3.
James Storm and Alberto El Patron defeated E-Singh-3 and Bobby Lashley via DQ in 13:38.
James Storm ran in to take down EC3. Storm beat down EC3 against the steps and barricade. Lashley and El Patron brawled into the barricade too. Josh said it was Bedlam. Storm chased EC3 with a belt outside of the arena. El Patron chased Lashley up the ramp. El Patron picked up both his and Lashley’s belts to celebrate with the Indian fans as Impact closed…
John’s Thoughts: This match had some good wrestling, especially the parts with Lashley and Storm who have good chemistry in the ring; but I feel like not much was advanced story-wise here. This was a type of match you would catch on a house show circuit where the wrestlers are experimenting spots for their PPV encounters. I did get a chuckle of Brian Hebner being the standby referee for the DQ, but when TNA has had dumb ref bumps in the past, there is no standby ref. It was better here.
The show was okay in terms of having a good atmosphere that the Impact Zone can’t provide, but this one more than others came off as a house show as opposed to being a lead up to a PPV. Bad timing by Anthem for booking this tour right before their big PPV. Slammiversary is in little over a week and the only match that really seems compelling is the Josh Mathews and Scott Steiner vs. Joe Park and Jeremy Borash tag match which has been given constant build via the skits and Josh Mathews’s surprisingly good in-ring showing last week. I’m not sure how I feel about next week’s show being a majority of Contract signings and a Hornswoggle match. This week we got two house show matches and two matches that were less than two minutes. They also gave away Rosemary’s first pinfall loss with zero fanfare. You know what, this was a bit of a dull show who’s only saving graces were the amazing Indian fans and the funny Joe Park skits. I’ll also give credit to Low Ki for a good promo and beatdown on Sonjay. Jason Powell will be by with his Hit List and members’ exclusive audio review later today.