By John Moore
GFW Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped July 3, 2017 in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
This week’s Impact started off with an LAX clubhouse cinematic. LAX were in the middle of a game of Dominoes. Ortiz won all the money. Konnan took a break from the game to announce to his crew that he was going to present the newest member of LAX to the world and prove why LAX is the most gangsta. After that cinematic, a Slammiversary recap video package aired which included the Owl flying into the ring…
Impact used it’s regular [non-Indian version] intro theme. The opening video was changed. Cody [Rhodes] was finally taken out. People like Jeff Jarrett and Drago were added into the opening video…
We got a three man announce team tonight with Jeremy Borash, Josh Mathews, and D’Angelo Dinero. Alberto El Patron made his entrance with his family members. He had his father Dos Caras with him along with his little brother El Hijo De Dos Caras (The Son of Dos Caras). El Patron came to the ring with both of his belts. El Patron said tonight was a time for celebration. He said people know that Mexicans don’t need a reason to party, they just do because they like to. El Patron said people know he can put on a good party. El Patron said another thing about Mexican parties is the entire family has to attend.
El Patron introduced El Hijo de Dos Caras and said that he was going to wrestle in Impact Wrestling soon. El Patron said you are going to see his brother do what he does best which was kicking traseros (asses). El Patron then moved on to introducing his legendary father Dos Caras Sr. who he grew up watching kick traseros all around the world. El Patron said he had the most difficult fight of his life last week. He talked about being in too much pain to handle. He said he only got up because of the support of the fans. El Patron said Lashley is one tough son of a bitch. He said Lashley gave him the toughest fight of his life and therefore El Patron was going to respect Lashley for the rest of his life. El Patron told people his name and said he was the Undisputed Champion.
John’s Thoughts: So? Are we going to use the vernacular WWE used when they merged the WWE-WCW Championships?
Alberto said he’s a fighting champion and he will allow anyone to wrestle him for the championship. El Patron said he was even going extend the offer to people of other companies. Bobby Lashley’s theme cut El Patron off as he walked to the ring wearing black street clothes and black shades. Lashley called El Patron an egomaniac. Lashley said he challenged everyone every week without confetti, flags, or champagne. Lashley threw the champagne bottle on the ground which splash on the fans in the front row.
Lashley mocked El Patron for bragging about himself in front of the fans which Lashley qualifies as being an egomaniac. Lashley told the crowd to callate their bocas (shut their mouths). Lashley blamed El Patron for celebrating a fluke win. Lashley asked El Patron’s family if they were legally allowed to be here. Lashley then said he wants to build a wall around Caras and his Hijo to keep them where they belong.
John’s Thoughts: Ok… That was clever given Lashley’s close association with our President.
Dos Caras got all fired up with the Trump comments. Caras slapped Lashley in the cara. Lashley laughed and said that Dos Caras hits harder than El Patron. This drew out the Impact referees and Scott D’Amore (I think). El Patron told the refs not to touch him. Lashley then called out to Bobby and said that they were going to fight right now. El Patron then called Lashley a bitch. Lashley accepted the challenge and Borash wondered if we were getting a title match later on? Josh then cut to a backstage Bruce Prichard skit from earlier on in the night.
John’s Thoughts: Good promo segment between Lashley and El Patron. Both men got to utilize their great ability on the microphone without Bruce Prichard interrupting them.
The three Impact commentators were having a meeting with Prichard. Josh tried to low key say that Jeremy Borash outnumbered him on Sunday with all the help he received. Prichard asked JB and Mathews if they were done with all of the bickering from before Slammmiversary. JB said to ask Josh. Prichard said he’s talking to both men since he should have fired both of them before Slammiversary. Prichard said he’s taken a lot of heat on Social Media for the bickering announce team. Prichard said he’s keeping up the same edict that he set up in India that Borash AND Mathews will be fired if they bicker again. Dinero raised his fist in relief. Prichard then pointed out Dinero for no reason and said he will be fired too under the same edict. Pope rightfully pointed out that he never had anything to do with this. Prichard said Dinero now has something to do with this (wait what?). Dinero looked confused (and so do I?). Prichard and Tyrus walked out. Dinero asked Borash “what did I do?”. Borash didn’t know either?
John’s Thoughts: Thumbs up for keeping up the method of commentary that they set up in India because I thought that Impact had some of their best commentary in 2017 with heel Josh as color rather than heel play-by-play. As for Prichard? Are we supposed to hate the guy? Because he acts like a real douche to babyfaces. When EC3 was a babyface he looked down to him. Dinero has been the babyface voice of Impact in 2017 and he gets punished for no real reason? not to mention, Prichard has heel Tyrus as his heavy.
Jeremy Borash thanked the fans for a great Slammiversary. Josh Mathews went over the bullet point victories from Slammiversary. Josh said we might be seeing some changes in Impact coming in the next six weeks or so. Dinero gave credit to DeAngelo Williams and Moose for putting on a good showing. Jeremy Borash announced that we were getting the Slammiversary main event rematch on Impact. Lashley vs. El Patron for the World Title!.. [C]
John’s Thoughts: Dammit! My memory isn’t too vivid on this one, but if I remember correctly one of the worst “Only in TNA” trends is how they make fans spend $40+ on a PPV, and then give away the same main event just a few days later? Give me a break.
Caleb Konley came to the ring. Borash hyped up two bodybuilders in the front row who were a part of a PopTV series premiering on Pop in a few weeks. They were the “Swole-mates” and they look like two dudes that sucked up all of whatever chemicals were in Rob Terry’s body. X Division Champion Sonjay Dutt came out next to a really mild reaction. Even the guy Sonjay gave a high five to didn’t look interested. There were some fans though and one fan had a sign that said Sonjay Dutt will kick your butt. I got a chuckle out of a guy rhyming Dutt with Butt…
1. Caleb Konley vs. Sonjay Dutt in a non-title match. Dutt and Konley shook each other’s hands to start. Konley escaped the opening wristlock. Dutt took down Konley with a running huracanrana. Konley came back at Dutt with a rising palm strike. Konley took down Dutt with a low sweep. Konley then kept the pressure with pin attempts and knee strikes. Konley kept Dutt grounded with a body scissors. Dutt caught Konley’s knee and gave it an elbow. Konley came right back at Dutt with a strong lariat.
Konley gained momentum with a side chinlock. Dutt got up and flipped out of a suplex. Konley came back with a strong chop and nice Sunset Flip bomb into the buckle. Dutt dodged an incoming Konley in the corner and staggered him with a kick. Dutt hit Konley with a rolling dropkick followed by a tornado DDT. Dutt went to the top rope and hit his finishing top rope hands-free splash for the victory.
Sonjay Dutt defeated Caleb Konley via pinfall in 4:43.
Before Sonjay could celebrate his win, Trevor Lee pummelled Dutt with punches in the middle of the ring. Trevor Lee took the microphone and declared himself at the new X Division Champion. McKenzie Mitchell interviewed the Veterans of War, Eddie Edwards, and the returning Grado. Grado had an American flag. He said he was as American as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Apple Pie. Crimson said the VOWs were out celebrating the fourth of July. They said they were back to get back to their winning ways. Crimson said he loved teaming with Edwards and Grado because they were as American as… Eddie cut Crimson off before he could drop an F bomb (I think). Eddie said it’s great to celebrate the 4th with the VoW and Almost-American Grado. Edwards said they were proud to be American. The camera cut to some overweight guy doing squats.
John’s Thoughts: Thumbs up all across the board for the singles non-title match. It seems like Impact is finally figuring out how to book their X Division. You don’t need title matches every week and you don’t need multi-man spotfests. Let’s see how long this lasts? I’m still not 100 percent sold on Dutt as a face of a division quite yet and the Impact Zone didn’t give him a great reaction coming in. I like that it looks like Trevor Lee might be getting a push, but we’ve seen this before with him and I don’t expect it to be consistent. Last time they did this early this year they made Lee out to be illiterate and an idiot.
Eli Drake and Chris Adonis made their way to the ring. Adonis started to jaw with the Swolemates. Adonis still has Cesaro esque kinesiology tape…
2. Eli Drake, Chris Adonis, Mario Bokara, and Fallah Bahh vs. Crimson, Wilcox, Grado, and Eddie Edwards. Wilcox waited to see who his opponent would be. Drake stood up to the plate. Wilcox hit Drake with a Samoan Drop and isolated him in the babyface corner. Drake escaped after getting Suplexed by Mayweather. Adonis tagged in and pressured Mayweather into his corner. Mayweather powered out and tagged in Wilcox who ran through Adonis. Wilcox gave Bokara a Uranage.
Grado tagged in and did some of his theatric punches. Adonis stopped Grado from doing the Bionic Elbow. Adonis put the boots to Grado and dragged him to Fallah Bahh. Bahh hit a few punches and tagged in Bokara. Bahh bodyslammed Bokara onto Grado. Grado crawled under Bokara’s legs to tag in Eddie Edwards for the hot tag. Bokara tried to end Eddie’s momentum with an uppercut. Edwards came back with a kick and went for his backpack stunner. Bahh took down Eddie with a running crossbody. Grado hit Bahh with the Bionic Elbow. Bahh was staggered and Grado played around like he was staggered. Grado hit another elbow which sent Bahh outside. Eli Drake hit Grado with a modified hiptoss.
Drake showboated a bit which drew Wilcox and Mayweather into the ring. The VoWs hit the Mother-of-all-Bombs (delayed Dudley Death Drop). Adonis took down the VoWs with clotheslines. Edwards hit a Codebreaker on Adonis. Edwards took down Bokara with a Boston Knee Party to pick up the victory.
Eddie Edwards, Crimson, Wilcox, and Grado defeated Eli Drake, Chris Adonis, Mario Bokara, and Fallah Bahh via pinfall in 4:52
The babyface team hugged each other in the ring. Joseph Park walked to the ring. He shook hands with the Swolemates. Park acted afraid of Fallah Bahh. Park went into the ring to deliver some sort of legal papers to Grado. Park’s face was of sadness when he served Grado the papers. The crowd chanted “no!”. I’m assuming it’s immigration papers, but Borash did say we didn’t know what the papers were. Mathews assumed it was immigration papers and talked about getting rid of yet another Brit. Borash said since he’s Park’s friend/retainer he would love to ask Park what the papers are all about… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Aside from that being a throwaway eight person filler tag match with the most random set of wrestlers ever, there was a lot of good action there. One thing that’s strange is early in the year it looked like Impact was starting to put together a pretty strong Tag Division, but the VoWs and Bahh/Bokara were just auxiliary here. Bahh and Bokara have been jobbers! Anyway, good action, strange presentation. It also looks like we’re getting Grado back in Impact. Grado was gone because he was supposed to represent Impact on the British World of Sport wrestling weekly show. Sadly, that show got canceled/delayed so Grado is back on Impact!
Matt Sydal came to the ring. Braxton Sutter and Allie were out next. Allie wore a spring dress as opposed to her ring gear. Josh Mathews said Allie look like an Easter Egg while Sutter looks like he’s trying to dress like 90s Triple H.
3. Matt Sydal vs. Braxton Sutter (w/ Allie). Sutter pressured Sydal into the corner on the onset of the match. Sydal came back with consecutive armdrags. Sydal locked in a headscissors lock on the ground. Sutter turned the tide with a front kick. Sutter hit Sydal with a gutwrench gutbuster. Sutter gave Sydal knees in the corner followed by a chop. Mathews talked about liking how Braxton Sutter had the confidence to leave Laurel Van Ness at the altar. Borash and Dinero were shocked that Mathews would side with Sutter.
Sydal hit a rolling sobat kick on Sutter. Sutter tried to hit a powerslam on Sydal. Sydal countered with a clinch legdrop. Sutter came back with a pump kick. Sutter caught Sydal with a power slam. Sydal came back with a high roundhouse. Sydal hit Air Bourne for the victory.
Matt Sydal defeated Braxton Sutter via pinfall in 3:16.
Allie did her sad face at ringside. She entered the ring to check on her boyfriend (real-life husband). Sutter aggressively pulled his arm away from Allie to tease dissention. Sutter then told Allie to follow him out. Borash said it just seems like Sutter is just frustrated… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Another thumbs up on X Division booking. You don’t need title matches every week, and you don’t need multi man spotfests. When’s the last time Impact/TNA had two X Division singles matches in the same show? The real story of the match is Sutter teasing turning against Allie. I hope they don’t turn Allie heel with him because she’s Impact’s adorable babyface.
There was another LAX Clubhouse cinematic back from the break. Homicide said they had to find out who the new member was. Konnan said ever since he made the new member announcement the cracker barrels in Impact have been trippin’ by making inquiry calls. Konnan said they are going to show rather than tell. Konnan said they were going to raise LAX’s level of violence and sadism. Konnan said LAX was going to be bloodier, deadlier, and colder than ever. Konnan said LAX was like Viagra, that’s why they stay so hard…
Jeremy Borash was in the middle of the ring with a legit looking trophy. Borash said this trophy was for the “Super X Cup”. Borash introduced the eight participants and the first round matches. The wrestlers came out one after each other. They all wore “Super X Cup” T-Shirts, including Drago (Drago shouldn’t be wearing T-shirts!!!). Davey Richards was the last person. Richards sold shoulder pain. Half the wrestlers wore grey and the other half wore black.
Borash announced the first match as Sammy Guevara vs. Drago. Drago showed off his creepy jello tongue thingy. The crowd gave Drago a huge Drago chant; they must own netflix. Borash announced ACH vs. Andrew Everett. Next was Taiji Ishimori vs. Davey Richards. Last was Dezmond Xavier vs. Idris Abraham. Borash announced that Dezmond Xavier vs. Idris Abraham would be happening now…
An Idris Abraham video aired. He said he hates Dezmond Xavier. He also said he was the best. This was followed by an Xavier video. He said he wants to test himself against the best in the world. Xavier said he was going to turn Abraham’s speed and aggression against him to come out on top…
John’s Thoughts: I’m a bit disappointed that it looks like we’re getting the end of Edwards vs. Richards and Drago should not be wearing a T-Shirt. He’s a freakin’ (kayfabe) real life Dragon! Those two nitpicks aside, the pairings so far look really good. I’m looking especially forward to ACH vs. Andrew Everett! Drago and Davey Richards has the potential to be an instant classic if they can possibly get to that.
4. Dezmond Xavier vs. Idris Abraham in a first round Super X Cup match. Idris Abraham as a ton of hair all over his head! Dinero said Xavier was his favorite to win the whole thing. Josh Mathews said Idris Abraham is representing Global Force Wrestling and Scott D’Amore’s Canadian-American dojo while Xavier was representing Impact. Xavier hit a cool agility sequence topped off with a smooth headscissors takedown. Abraham caught Xavier with a yakuza kick. Abraham yelled in a foreign language and hit Xavier with a Tope Suicida. Xavier tried to get some offense in but Abraham suplexed Xavier into the suplex. [C]
Idris Abraham dominated back from the break. Mathews talked about how great of an athlete Dezmond Xavier was. Abraham follows all of his moves with yelling. Xavier slowed things down with a back elbow and headbutt to the gut of Abraham. Xavier hit a CQC combo on Abraham with a quick cutter to top it off. Xavier hit a backtrot elbow on Abraham. Xavier got a really close nearfall after a bridged German Suplex. Xavier maintained momentum with a running elbow. Abraham got a discus elbow on Xavier followed up by a basement dropkick. Mathews compared the X Division stars to Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, and Colin Kaepernick in regards to innovating the sport.
Xavier flipped out of a suplex. Xavier staggered Abraham with a back kick to the back of the head. Xavier put Abraham into position with a back suplex. Xavier hit Abraham with the Spiral Tap to pick up the victory.
Dezmond Xavier defeated Idris Abraham via pinfall in 6:36 to advance in the Super X Cup Tournament.
They cut to a replay of Xavier hitting that nice Spiral Tap on Abraham. Borash hyped up El Patron vs. Lashley for the main event…
McKenzie Mitchell asked Gail Kim about her big announcement. Gail Kim said she was supposed to give this announcement a while ago but she got injured and sidetracked. Kim said life is about timing and her time is now. She said she has to iron out a few details before giving the announcement…
A Naomichi Marufuji video package aired. It talked about him winning the Junior Heavyweight championship in New Japan, All Japan, and Noah. They showed clips of him in Noah and at Slammiversary… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Ok, that has to be a record. Three X Division singles matches on Impact. Impact may not have the horses in tow for their own women’s revolution, but they are laying the foundation for a possibly strong cruiserweight revolution. Just keep Abyss away at least? Good singles match between Xavier and Abraham. Xavier stands out with his athleticism and I’m always a huge fan of the Spiral Tap which is the finisher of AJ Styles that he pulls out once every few years. AJ out of Impact so I guest Dezmond can borrow it.
Dezmond Xavier was interviewed by the mystery interviewer. Xavier talked about the Super X Cup being an international tournament. Xavier said the cup was going to be his. Xavier called his version of the Spiral Tap, “The Final Flash”…
John’s Thoughts: Was that a Vegeta reference? That makes me want to see Xavier vs. ACH for some reason?
McKenzie interviewed Moose about facing Naomichi Marufuji for the Grand Championship next week. EC3 cut Moose off. EC3 complained about an outsider getting a title shot. He called Marufuji Fuji-Man and the Big-Fuge. EC3 bragged about leaving James Storm unconscious. Moose said he doesn’t care about who Ethan is, how long he’s been here, or that he’s named “Carter”, none of that makes EC3 skip the line. Moose told EC3 to get his ass in the back of the line to wait his turn. EC3 said with that face, physique, and title he’s going to remember Moose. Moose then randomly did his Moose dance…
Rebel came to the ring. She’s a babyface now? And still a Cowgirl. Borash told us that Rebel was sent to tour Japan and is now back. Rebel did the splits on the second rope. Sienna was out next and billed as the “Undisputed” Knockout and Global Force Wrestling Women’s Champion by Dave Penzer.
5. Sienna (w/ KM) vs. Rebel in a non-title match. Sienna dominated early on with kicks to Rebel’s gut. Sienna put Rebel in split position and gave her a kick. Josh Mathews hyped up Sienna as a MMA fighter. Rebel dodged an incoming Sienna. Rebel went for a showboating elbow but Sienna caught the elbow. Sienna gave Rebel a Samoan Drop.
Rebel tried to get a surprise pinfall to no avail. Rebel came back with a flying forearm and some punches. Rebel hit Sienna with a corner hip attack and double knee. Rebel acted like she was swinging a lasso. Josh said she’s doing it because she’s from Nashville. Rebel hit the handspring clothesline this time. Rebel decided to give KM a slap and crossbody when he was rallying Sienna which Josh pointed out wasn’t smart. Sienna reversed a suplex into a Guillotine choke. Borash pointed out that this was a bit of Sienna’s MMA showing. Sienna picks up the submission win.
Sienna defeated Rebel via submission in 3:21.
Josh Mathews recapped how Rebel cost herself the match by focusing on KM. Josh also reiterated the point of Sienna practicing MMA and Brazilian Jujitsu. KM joined Sienna in the ring. KM had blood on his lip from the Rebel slap. Borash gave more hype for the Slammiversary Main Event rematch. Josh annoyed Pope with his pinky. Pope hyped Gail Kim’s big announcement. Josh said he was looking forward to Moose vs. Marifuji for next week. Borash also hyped the debut of Octagoncito (Mini-Octagon)… [C]
John’s Thoughts: The sudden shift to Sienna being an MMA specialist was a bit random. They probably should have propped up that with a video package or something. Sienna does need a character shift away from being Maria Kenellis’s former lackey. The match was okay and Rebel has improved since we last saw her. She’s still very green, but improved. The problem with the match is Sienna gave away too much offense to someone she should have dominated as the new Undisputed Champ.
Josh Mathews talked about Paige being backstage for Alberto’s win on Sunday. Jeremy Borash handled the formal ring introductions and dubbed the title the Undisputed Unified World Heavyweight Championship.
6. Alberto El Patron vs. Bobby Lashley for the Undisputed Unified World Heavyweight Championship. El Patron had an early sidestep and set up Lashley in the corner with a side kick. Lashley did the ten count punches. Lashley forced his way out and disposed of El Patron to the ringside. Lashley and Alberto brawled outside. Lashley threw Alberto into the steel steps. Lashley took Alberto in the ring and kept him grounded. Lashley drove punches into Alberto in the corner. Alberto was about to rally but Lashley backtossed Alberto on the outside. [C]
Lashley had the upper hand over Alberto back from the break in a resthold. Lashley sidestepped Alberto and hit him with a reverse STO. Alberto blocked the spear with a dropkick. Alberto and Lashley countered each other. Alberto gained some breathing room after the backstabber. Alberto hit Lashley with the 619. Lashley sidestepped the superkick. Alberto slipped out of the grasp of Lashley. Lashley hit Alberto with the power bomb. Alberto gave the knees to Lashley’s arm. Lashley came right back with a spinebuster.
Borash pointed out how this match has less distractions without the cornermen. Alberto used his boots to fend of Lashley and hit Lashley with double stomps to the back of the head. Lashley blocked the cross armbreaker and hit Alberto with a neckbreaker. Lashley told the crowd to shhhhhh. Lashley set up and hit a shoulder block on El Patron in the turnbuckle. Lashley put Alberto in the Tree of Woe. Lashley teased doing Alberto’s dumb Tree of Woe finisher.
Alberto pulled Lashley off the top rope. Alberto went high risk and Lashley speared him midair. Lashley didn’t pin him though. Lashley hit El Patron with a flapjack slam to set him up for a spear. Suddenly Santana from LAX tried to give Lashley a crossbody but Lashley caught him midair. The rest of LAX entered the ring. Konnan kicked Lashley in the balls to invoke the DQ.
Bobby Lashley defeated Alberto El Patron via DQ in 10:29.
LAX put the boots to and cleared Lashley from the ring. Konnan took the mic and said their catchphrase “Hasta La muerte despues 5150”. Konnan said Impact was a cracker company that tried to bury LAX, but they were seeds that sprout venom and more dangerous rhetoric. Konnan introduced the newest soldier in LAX. He said the Champion, and Chingon (badass), Alberto El Patron. LAX held up Alberto El Patron who sold being asleep. LAX had a hard time holding up the sleeping Alberto El Patron. LAX dragged El Patron to the back as the GFW Impact logo closed out the show.
John’s Thoughts: The match quality was solid. There’s no doubt that Alberto El Patron and Bobby Lashley are world class pro wrestlers. I just feel this was a bit of a slap in the face to the fans that spent money on Slammiversary. In fact, I was hoping that Eli Drake would have took up Alberto on his open challenge because in my opinion, Drake and El Patron had the best main event in Impact Wresting in 2017, and it wouldn’t give away the Lashley vs. El Patron rematch. WWE doesn’t even do it these days, they save the rematch for a later PPV. Or at least put weeks in between it. That was classic Jeff Jarrett bad-TNA. Another TNA thing, was the DQ finish to their first Unified Undisputed World Title match. The bright spot from the ending was still odd. It’s a personal bright spot in that I laughed that Alberto sold the ending like he was asleep, like all of a sudden he has narcolepsy. Because of Alberto’s narcoleptic selling, that should be the tell that he’s not joining LAX. Another tell is the production crew zoomed in at the few fans with thumbs down in the end which means they are turning LAX hard heel.
Aside from giving the PPV main event rematch away on free TV, this episode had a solid set of X Division matches. It was probably the most X Division singles matches we’ve seen in years. The show was so good, that they didn’t have to give away the unannounced Slammiversary main event rematch. I would have been fine with Joseph Park skits. Jarrett and crew also took a lesson from last year’s regime in hyping a few segments for next week. We’re getting Moose vs. Marufuji, a Gail Kim announcement, and possibly more Super X Cup matches. They even announced the debut of Octagoncito, who I believe is the Mini-version of Octagon/Octagon Jr. Make sure to check out Jason Powell’s All Access audio review for the show along with his Hit List later today.