By Jason Powell
GFW Impact Wrestling Hits
Joseph Park and Grado: The opening skit was fun. Park had a few gems in the brief opening alone. First, while talking about the junker car his great grandfather willed to him and then adding, “Only three more payments and she’s all mine.” Park followed that up by talking about the storyline with Grado being forced to leave the country and working in the U.S. President: “You know him, he wants you out.” Finally, Park told Grado the plan that they need to get him married to a Knockout. “All the boys are doing it,” Park said. Comedy gold.
Alberto El Patron and Lashley vs. LAX: First off, I’m putting aside the El Patron suspension and legal matter when it comes to reviewing this show. It was unrealistic to expect Impact to edit him out of these taped shows given the significant role that he played. With that out of the way, the verbal exchange between El Patron and Konnan was well done with Konnan working in references to their issues with management of multiple companies in an attempt to get El Patron in his faction. Lashley coming out to make the save was logical from the standpoint that he was attacking LAX, who cost him the title match with El Patron last week. It’s odd that we never heard from Lashley before the match. Surely, a backstage interview with a simple explanation from him and Alberto about putting their own issues on hold was in order, especially considering the disrespect that Lashley showed to El Patron and his family last week. The post match angle with Lashley walking out as LAX worked over El Patron played into their history yet also felt awkward in that they just worked well together and were chummy after the match.
Gail Kim speech: A rare speech in pro wrestling that wasn’t interrupted. Kim announcing her retirement at the end of the year sets the stage for some interesting storyline possibilities. On a side note, Kim doesn’t get nearly enough credit for where women’s wrestling is today. Her matches with Awesome Kong were
Moose vs. Naomichi Marufuji for the Impact Grand Championship: This was one of the better Grand Championship matches with the wrestlers splitting the first two rounds and the challenger having the champion on the ropes during the final round. EC3’s interference was explained in
ACH vs. Andrew Everett in a Super X Cup Tournament match: A back and forth spot heavy style match that never had a dull moment. It was cool to see them bring in ACH for the tournament. Hopefully he will be sticking around.
Laurel Van Ness vs. Ava Storie: The match was fine, but the real story was the post match angle with Grado asking Laurel for a date. Grado did a nice job of getting the crowd engaged and the segment came off well. Kongo Kong coming out before the flattered Van Ness could respond was a nice touch in terms of keeping the story going.
GFW Impact Wrestling Misses
Swole Mates, Chris Adonis, and Eli Drake: The promotion for the forthcoming Pop TV television show is making for some bad television. Viewers have not been introduced to the personalities of the Swole Mates duo, so it’s just two jacked up reality guys they know nothing about engaging in posedowns. This doesn’t make me want to watch Impact Wrestling let alone Swole Mates.
Octagoncito vs. Damus: A minor Miss for a mixed bag. The work of Octagoncito certainly brought back some fun Rey Mysterio memories. And it was nice to hear the broadcast team call the match rather than taking the old WWE approach of fake, over the top laughter at the minis. That said, I wasn’t really sure what were supposed to feel as they were just sort of thrown out there without any pre-match introduction to their personas. The broadcast team did a nice job of explaining Octagoncito’s history and the match was fine, but it all felt a rather random.
Trevor Lee vs. William Weeks: Three authority figures and one of them can order Lee to return the title belt he stole from Sonjay Dutt? Instead, Dutt was escorted from the building by security because, well, he was backstage and presumably wanted his property returned. He found his way back in just in time to attack Lee following his squash match, yet Lee still ran off with the title belt. I’m happy to see Lee is getting an X Division Title program, but this one has some logic gaps.