7/2 Powell’s GFW/Impact Wrestling Slammiversary live review: Lashley vs. Alberto El Patron to unify the GFW and Impact Wrestling Championships, Scott Steiner and Josh Mathews vs. Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park, Sonjay Dutt vs. Low Ki in a best of three falls match for the X Division Championship

By Jason Powell

Global Force Wrestling/Impact Wrestling Slammiversary 2017
Aired live on pay-per-view
Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios

In a pre-show match, Allie, Braxton Sutter, and Mahabali Shera defeated Laurel Van Ness, Kongo Kong, and KM in a six-person tag match.

Footage aired of Lashley and King Mo arriving at the building earlier in the day. They also aired a shot of Alberto El Patron arriving at the building… A video package aired and focussed on the company’s history and included shots of Sting, Randy Savage, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, Bully Ray, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Gail Kim, and many others. The narrator was shown delivering his lines. There were also comments from EC3, Lashley, Low Ki, El Patron…

An owl flew to the ring and sat on a perch. Yes, really…

Powell’s POV: Cue Reby Hardy.

The broadcast team of Robert Flores and Don West checked in on commentary… The ring announcer introduced the the executives of Crash, Pro Wrestling Noah, AAA, and Ed Nordholm of Impact Wrestling…

1. Ortiz and Santana (w/Konnan, Homiside, Diamante) vs. Naomichi Marufuji and Taiji Ishimori vs. El Hijo del Fantasma and Drago vs. Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid in a four-way for the Impact Wrestling and GFW Tag Titles. LAX received the cool entrance. Flores noted that there were lucha rules in play for the match. Santana and Marufuji had a fast paced and entertaining exchange to start, then they traded chops. Garza did the bit where he put his hand up to stop Ortiz before ripping off his tearaway pants.

Drago and Fantasma checked in and had a nice run of offense on the other teams. At 6:35, they cleared the ring and then Drago was hoisted over the top rope for a dive onto two opponents. Fantasma ran the ropes, but Diamante tripped him from the floor, which put LAX back in offensive control. They had Fantasma pinned after a double team powerbomb move, but Drago broke it up at 7:45.

At 10:00, Drago and Fantasma teamed up and had Ishimori down, but he kicked out at the last moment. The wrestlers set up a spot with three wrestlers on the top rope in the same corner. They all performed moonsaults in different directions onto different opponents. Diamante got involved again with an attempted top rope huracanrana on Garza, but he caught her and flipped her from the apron and onto a group of wrestlers on the floor.

At 12:35, Homicide distracted the referee while Diamante kicked Garza. She charged at him and then he hoisted her over his head, over the top rope, and onto wrestlers on the floor. Homicide put Garza down with a move on the apron and then rolled him back inside the ring for a near fall. Drago performed a nice tornado DDT on Ishimori and then followed up with a corkscrew plancha. LAX performed a double team blockbuster move on Kid and got the win. Afterward, Konnan announced that LAX would be introducing a new member and then the takeover would be complete…

LAX defeated Naomichi Marufuji & Taiji Ishimori, El Hijo del Fantasma & Drago, and Garza Jr. & Laredo Kid in 14:40 to retain the Impact Wrestling and Global Force Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: Holy spot fest, Batman. That was a wild way to start the show. The athleticism was off the charts. I just wish there had been more of a setup so that viewers were more familiar with the two visiting international teams. Even so, that was fun way to open the night.

Backstage, Joseph Park told Jeremy Borash that Scott Steiner and Josh Mathews didn’t read the fine print. He explained that this mean the match would have no disqualifications. Borash freaked and questioned whether Park was trying to get him killed. Park told him to calm down and remember to rely on old friends…

A video package on Moose and DeAngelo Williams aired… Footage aired of Flores talking with Moose and Williams backstage…

2. Moose and DeAngelo Willams (w/Gary Barnidge, Austin Dillon) vs. Eli Drake and Christopher Adonis. The broadcast team noted that Barnidge is an NFL players and Dillon is a NASCAR driver. A couple minutes into the match, Drake checked in and said he wanted Williams. Moose obliged by tagging in Williams, who wore a t-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes. Drake knocked Williams down with a shoulder tackle. Williams had a nice flashy spot where he used Drake as a base while performing a backflip before a takedown. Williams also performed a cannonball in the corner.

Williams took another tag, removed his shirt, and worked over Drake with moves, including a Samoan drop for a two count. Williams followed up with a neckbreaker for another two count. Moose and Williams performed sentons on Adonis. Williams hopped on Moose’s back and they performed a double team senton. Fun spot. Williams cleared both heels to ringside and then kicked them through the ropes. Moose leapt off the middle rope and onto both heels on the floor.

At 8:10, Moose and Williams pulled out a table and slid it inside the ring. The heels regrouped and hit both men from behind. Williams was down at ringside when Drake and Adonis doubled up on Moose inside the ring. They set up the table in the ring. Adonis put Moose on the table. Drake went up top, but Williams pushed him off. Moose caught Adonis with a big boot and then placed him on the table. Williams went to the top rope and overshot a frogsplash. Williams overshot the table, which did not break, but he still covered Adonis for the win…

DeAngelo Williams and Moose defeated Eli Drake and Christopher Adonis in 10:40.

After the post match celebration, the heels apparently took a cheap shot at Moose and Williams. Moose and Williams brought Drake back to the ring and powerbombed him through the table…

Powell’s POV: It’s a shame that Williams overshot the frogsplash because he did a hell of a job by celebrity standards before then. Fortunately, he didn’t appear to hurt himself, as he looked dejected initially, but was all smiles by the time he left. The broadcast team did a nice job of putting over the work of Williams, though it may have been easy due to their legit surprise. Here’s hoping that frogsplash isn’t what ends up on SportsCenter tonight. Williams did well enough that if he doesn’t end up on an NFL team, I’d be surprised if he wasn’t invited back. That said, I’ll bet his agent’s heart skipped a few beats if he saw that frogsplash.

Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell interviewed EC3 about his strap match against James Storm. EC3 said Storm is a man, but he won’t leave one… A video package set up the strap match…

3. James Storm vs. Ethan Carter III in a strap match. They used the type of strap that attaches at the wrist rather than the single straps that Hangman Page and Frankie Kazarian used on the ROH Best in the World event. EC3 stalled a bit. Storm went at him aggressively once the bell rang. EC3 rebounded, but Storm started no-selling his strap blows and went back on the offensive.

Storm put EC3 down and went up top, but EC3 pulled him down by the strap. At 5:00, EC3 reached under the ring and pulled out some handcuffs and then tried to handcuff Storm to the ropes. After some jostling, EC3 ended up handcuffed to the ropes. Storm whipped EC3 32 while the fans counted along. Referee Brian Hebner unlocked EC3 from the ropes. EC3 blocked a Last Call, but Storm followed up with EC3’s One Percenter for a near fall (so it’s not a touch all four corners style match).

EC3 went back to ringside and became free of the strap. The referee checked on him. Storm went to the floor. EC3 pulled the strap, causing Storm to crash into the ring post. Back inside the ring, EC3 told Storm he was sorry about his damn luck. EC3 performed the One Percenter and covered him, but Storm kicked out at the last moment. West said he’s never seen anyone kick out from that move.

Storm connected with a Last Call superkick. Storm then fell to the mat. The crowd became quiet with concern. West played up the idea that the ring post shot must have done more damage than they realized. EC3 blew off the concerned referee and performed another move before covering Storm for the win. Trainers rushed in to check on Storm afterward. West noted that Bob Ryder was at ringside and they did a closeup of him briefly…

EC3 pinned James Storm in a strap match in 10:50.

Backstage, Dutch Mantell was shown on the telephone when Karen Jarrett approached him and asked if he’s heard from Bruce Prichard. Mantell said he was trying to contact him. Karen said he wasn’t answering calls or texts. She said they need to sit down in the morning and figure it out. Mantell left Prichard a phone message…

Powell’s POV: A decent strap match that didn’t have enough time to be anything special. In fact, I’m surprised this match was on so early in the night, as I felt the build to the match was behind only the broadcast team member tag match, which oddly enough is coming up next. Even so, I think they took the right approach by having EC3 take enough strap shots to make the match satisfying, yet putting him over in the end to keep the feud going. It was obvious the crowd was concerned over seeing Storm drop the way he did, but they seemed to figure out once the match continued that it was an angle and not a legitimate situation.

Back in the studio, trainers helped Storm out of the ring…

A video package aired on the Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews feud and the involvement of Joseph Park and Scott Steiner…

4. Scott Steiner and Josh Mathews vs. Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park. D’Angelo Dinero joined Flores and West on commentary. Steiner wore a shirt with the sleeves cut off. He took a sign from a young female fan and tore it up, then threw it at a male fan. Mathews started the match for his team and a group of fans chanted for Steiner. A short time later, Borash and Park headed backstage. Steiner and Mathews followed.

This turned into something out of the Broken Universe with music playing. Steiner and Mathews chased Borash and Park in a golf cart with Steiner calling them “fat asses” repeatedly. Borash and Park sprayed a fire extinguisher at them and the chase resumed. Mathews chased after Borash into a pool area. Mathews ended up in a pool. Borash did a flip onto him. Meanwhile, Steiner worked over Park elsewhere. Shark Boy showed in the pool and helped Borash. Park went through a wall where Father James Mitchell handed him an Abyss mask.

Steiner and Mathews ended up bringing Borash back into the studio and rolled him inside the ring. Mathews went for a swanton, which Borash avoided. Borash speared Mathews. Steiner attacked Borash from behind and put him in the Steiner Recliner. Shark Boy’s wannabe Stone Cold music played and he headed to the ring. Steiner suplexed Shark Boy several times.

Abyss’s music played. Mitchell walked out and then Abyss followed. Abyss worked over the heels, then Mitchell handed him some tacks, which were spread in the ring. Abyss eventually gave Mathews a Blackhole Slam. Borash performed a top rope splash on Mathews, then Abyss covered him for the win…

Jeremy Borash and Abyss beat Scott Steiner and Josh Mathews in 10:45.

Powell’s POV: A fun match with a nice mix of comedy, Broken Universe style fun outside the studio, and some throwbacks on the anniversary show. Mitchell is one of the most criminally underutilized talents in the industry, so it was especially good to see him again. Here’s hoping it’s more than a one-off for him.

Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Alberto El Patron about the main event… A video package set up the Full Metal Mayhem match…

5. Davey Richards and Angelina Love-Richards vs. Eddie Edwards and Alisha Edwards in a Full Metal Mayhem match. Davey and Love were out first. They were attacked from behind by Eddie and Alisha to start the match. Alisha performed a big dive off the top and onto the heel duo on the floor. The heel couple came back briefly. Eddie and Alisha put a trash can over them and hit it with a kendo stick.

There was a rough spot with Davey holding up Edwards for Love to hit with a kendo stick, then he dropped him onto a chair with a brainbuster. Davey poured tacks into the mouth of Edwards and then kicked him. At 8:15, Edwards performed a sunset flip powerbomb that drove Richards through a table and then he pinned him…

Eddie Edwards and Alisha Edwards beat Davey Richards and Angelina Love in a Full Metal Mayhem match in 8:30.

Powell’s POV: The live crowd was a little quiet as it seemed like they were coming down from the previous match, but they were into the action by the end. The match didn’t get much time and the over the top hardcore elements are not for me personally, but they crammed a lot into what they had.

A video package set up the X Division match…

6. Sonjay Dutt vs. Lo Ki in a best of three falls match for the X Division Championship. West spoke about how intimidating Low Ki is in his suit. Flores cracked that he was intimidated when he saw West in his suit. Dutt performed a tornado DDT at 6:10. He set up for a top rope move that Low Ki avoided, yet Dutt landed on his feet. Ki performed a running dropkick for a two count. Dutt caught Ki on the ropes with a punch. Dutt went for a sunset flip from the ropes, but Low Ki rolled through and hit the Warrior’s Way double stomp and got the pin. Low Ki won the first fall in 7:25.

At 10:30, Dutt avoided another Warrior’s Way double stomp. Low Ki came up selling an ankle injury. Dutt caught him with a kick for a two count. Ki continued to sell his ankle. The referee checked on Ki, who threw the ref into Dutt and then performed a springboard kick for a good near fall. Dutt ended up on the ring steps. Ki went for Warrior’s Way from the top rope, but Dutt moved. Back in the ring, Ki sold ankle pain. Dutt applied a half crab. At 13:40, Dutt countering a Ki move into a pin to get the second fall.

Ki removed his jacket to start the third fall yet continued to sell the ankle injury. Ki picked up a couple of near falls around 16:30. The wrestlers traded chops and then Dutt connected with a pair of big kicks. Dutt put Ki on the ropes, but Ki slipped under and tripped Dutt into the turnbuckle. Ki tied up Dutt in the tree of woe and went to the top rope. Dutt sat up and flipped Ki off, then performed a backflip off the top rope into a double stomp for the win at 18:20…

Sonjay Dutt defeated Low Ki in a best of three falls match to retain the X Division Championship.

Powell’s POV: A very good match with some nice pacing between the falls. There’s nothing I hate more than a best of three falls match that feels like the wrestlers were forced to cram three falls into a brief match. They probably would have benefitted from a few more minutes, but it was okay in that regard. Both wrestlers were very aggressive and there were some really cool spots, including that moonsault into a double stop finisher.

A video package set up the women’s unification match…

7. Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion Rosemary vs. Global Force Wrestling Women’s Champion Sienna in a unification match. Gail Kim was introduced prior to the match and she came out wearing a dress and heels. Sienna made a normal entrance. Rosemary was led out by a bunch of women wearing zombie-like makeup. Sienna blew off a handshake from Kim. Rosemary licked her hand and then shook hands with Kim. In the opening minute, Laurel Van Ness and KM walked out and stood in Sienna’s corner.

Van Ness stood with her back to the ring while holding the second rope. Rosemary tossed Sienna toward her and Sienna crashed and burned. Flores told the story that Van Ness was holding down the ropes and that’s why Sienna fell out of the ring. Sienna shoved Van Ness, who was then carried to the back by KM. Rosemary dove from the top rope onto Sienna at ringside. Sienna came back with a nice suplex at 3:00, but Rosemary sat up. Sienna knocked her down and covered her for two.

At 4:55, Sienna knocked Rosemary off the apron to the floor. Sienna followed her to the floor and then rolled her back inside. Sienna heeled on the crowd and then charged Rosemary in the corner, but Rosemary moved. Rosemary ended up placing Sienna on the ropes and climbed up behind her. Sienna elbowed her into a tree of woe. Rosemary sat up and flung Sienna off the ropes in German suplex style with her legs still hooking the ropes. Rosemary sat up and then performed a missile dropkick.

At 8:05, Sienna connected with her Silencer move for a two count that the live crowd didn’t seem to buy into. The fans did chant for Rosemary. Sienna approached Rosemary, who hoisted her up and hit the Red Wedding (F5) finisher. However, Van Ness came back out and pulled referee Earl Hebner from the ring and prevented him from making the three count.

Allie ran out with the kendo stick she carries around for no good reason and chased Van Ness to the back. Sienna hit Rosemary with the title belt and covered Rosemary. Hebner returned to the ring and counted, but Rosemary kicked out at the last moment. Sienna looked shocked. Rosemary teased blowing mist at Sienna, who covered her mouth. Sienna acted like her hand was burning. Rosemary held up Sienna for the Red Wedding, but Sienna used the mist covered hand to wipe it over Sienna’s eyes. Sienna applied a hold and got the submission win…

Sienna beat Rosemary in 10:55 to become the unified GFW and Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion.

Powell’s POV: Solid action, yet a little too much happening at the end with the interference and the mist that apparently burns in addition to being blinding. It’s the only truly unsatisfying finish of the night.

Jeremy Borash stood in the ring with his hands taped from his match and said it was his pleasure to welcome back the founder of Impact Wrestling and Global Force Wrestling and the King of the Mountain Jeff Jarrett. Jeff’s music played and he walked out wearing a suit and slapped hands with fans as he headed to the ring. Once in the ring, Jarrett hugged Borash.

Jeff said he was going to keep it short and sweet because time was of the essence and they had a main event to get to. Jarrett spoke about his dream becoming a reality. He spoke about his family being in attendance and told his wrestling family (fans) that they put food on the Jarrett family table for three generations. He received a small round of applause. Jarrett told the fans in attendance and those who have gone online and tweeted or retweeted about the company “thank you, thank you, thank you.” The fans cheered. Jarrett said Lashley and Alberto El Patron better bring their A games because the fans deserve it “and I’m damn sure going to be watching”…

Powell’s POV: This was not the same hero’s welcome that Karen Jarrett received when she returned to Impact television earlier this year. I don’t know if the majority of those fans know his role in the company or not because it’s never really been addressed on television. I was hoping that he was going to address the switch to GFW and present new title belts, but perhaps that’s being saved for Thursday’s television show.

A video package set up the main event… Lashley made his entrance first and was joined by King Mo Lawal, Jeff Munson, the man in charge of American Top Team, and other MMA fighters. Alberto El Patron was out next and was accompanied by his father Dos Caras and his brother El Hijo de Dos Caras…

8. Impact Wrestling Champion Lashley (w/King Mo Lawal) vs. Global Force Wrestling Global Champion Alberto El Patron (w/Dos Caras) in a unification match. Jeremy Borash delivered in-ring introductions for the main event while Jarrett stood by and ended up taking both title belts. Brian Hebner was the referee for the main event. Jarrett held up both title belts, then handed them to the referee, who passed them off to someone at ringside. Jarrett shook hands with both men and then left the ring. Flores noted that most of the MMA team and El Patron’s brother had headed backstage.

Lashely tumbled over the top rope to the floor early on. El Patron followed and ended up having his head slammed into the broadcast table. Lashley shot Caras a nasty look. Mo took a cheap shot at El Patron, then actually sold what appeared to be a chop from Caras. Back inside the ring, El Patron dodged a charging Lashley, who ran into the corner. El Patron performed a DDT.

At 8:50, El Patron caught Lashley in a cross arm breaker over the ropes and had to break the hold due to the ref’s five count. Back inside the ring, El Patron performed a Backstabber for a two count. At 9:30, El Patron crashed and burned at ringside when he charged Lashley, who moved out of the way. The referee checked on El Patron, who was tossed back inside the ring by Lashley. El Patron came back with a soft tornado DDT and then applied a cross arm breaker, but he didn’t get Lashley’s arm fully extended. Lashley powered up El Patron and slammed him to the mat at 11:25. Lashley covered El Patron for a two count.

Lashley ended up performing a Death Valley Driver from the second rope for a two count at 12:30. King Mo was shown picking up a chair at ringside. Meanwhile, Lashley slapped El Patron repeatedly. Lashley turned to Dos Caras and jawed at him. When Lashley turned back to El Patron, he caught him with an arm breaker and then a superkick for a two count. Lashley rolled to ringside.

At 14:30, Lashley was down at ringside. Mo picked up the chair. Caras walked right by him to stand by El Patron on the floor. Mo and El Patron went face to face and exchanged shoves. El Patron returned to the ring and Lashley caught him with a cross arm breaker. Flores questioned whether Lashley would beat El Patron with his own move. He also said the fight was over just before El Patron rolled over and got to his feet and kicked Lashley.

Lashley connected with a spear at 16:00 and went for a cover, but El Patron kicked out. At 17:00, Caras kicked Mo below the belt. Lashley walked over and shoved Caras. Flores said the legend deserved more respect than that. Lashley shoved Dos Caras again and then returned to the apron and jawed at him. El Patron took advantage of the distraction with a kick to the back of the head and then rammed him into the ring post. With Lashley hung up in the ropes, El Patron performed a double stop and scored the pin…

Alberto El Patron defeated Lashley in 18:05 to become the unified Impact Wrestling and Global Force Wrestling Unified Champion.

After the match, Jeff Jarrett, Karen Jarrett, Scott D’Amore, Ed Nordholm, Sonjay Dutt, and others walked onto the stage and applauded. In the ring, Dos Caras raised the hand of El Patron, who celebrated with both belts. El Patron’s brother joined the in-ring celebration, then Jarrett, Nordholm, and the others entered the ring. El Patron stood on the ropes and celebrated with both title belts. Lashley was shown seated in the corner of the ring with his eyes closed…

Flores said Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash would be back next week. He closed the show on behalf of himself and West while El Patron continued to celebrate with both title belts…

Powell’s POV: A decent main event that would have been better without the cornermen. West tried to play it up as something special, and obviously the executives coming out were supposed to help create that feeling. The problem is that the main event just didn’t feel important, the unification certainly didn’t feel important, and nor was the match particularly memorable. That said, I enjoyed the overall show. They didn’t overbook the show with ref bumps or other silliness. Rather, they tried to deliver a mostly straight forward event with rapid fire matches and succeeded for the most part. I will have more to say in my members’ exclusive audio review later tonight. Enjoy the holiday weekend.


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