By John Moore
GFW Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Taped July 4, 2017 in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
El Hijo de Dos Caras and Dos Caras were shown walking outside of the Universal Studios lot to head to the Impact Zone. The show then cut to the intro teaser which showed highlights from LAX and El Patron’s interactions from the week prior…
After the GFW Impact opening video, Sammy Guevara made his entrance to the Impact Zone. Josh Mathews, Jeremy Borash, and D’Angelo Dinero were the commentary trio. Sammy got his introductory vignette where he talked about wrestling for eight years. Sammy said he was going to win for his people in Cuba. He said he was proud to face such a well-known veteran in Drago. He also said he has some highlights which you can check out online. Sammy said he has an advantage of being an unknown. Sammy said Drago was the past while he is the future. Drago made his entrance next with his gooey tongue thingy. Drago’s vignette was next and he said he was from el inframundo, the underworld. Drago got this hilariously goofy-ass voiceover that translated his Spanish. Drago said it was important for him to win the X Cup to prove how powerful he is to the world. Drago talked about Sammy Guevara lacking experience. Drago said he was bringing the X Cup to AAA. Drago said he wants people to believe in the person known as Drago…
John’s Thoughts: Two good vignettes! Sammy came off as youthful and confident while Drago gained back some of his Drago mystique. It sure beats Drago walking into the Impact Zone in a T-Shirt. We’re also going with Drago’s Lucha Underground backstory of him being from Hell? I’ll get a good chuckle if Impact beats El Rey to the punch with utilizing how Netflix is giving the world exposure to a lot of the talent on their television.
1. Sammy Guevara vs. Drago in a Super X Cup match. Drago dominated the opening minutes with a leg sweep. Guevara showed off a bit with his agility. Drago showed that he can keep up with the younger Guevara. Drago asked for a handshake but Guevara responded with a slap. Drago dispatched Guevara to the outside. Guevara dodged some of Drago’s strikes to dispatch of Drago. Guevara hit Drago with a shooting Star press to the outside. Guevara set up for a pump kick but Drago countered by hitting Guevara with a reverse huracanrana. Drago then attempted to pick up the win with his Dragon’s Lair rollup finisher.
Jeremy Borash talked about LAX posting threatening videos to Alberto El Patron online and that we were going to see those videos on Impact. Sammy Guevara hit Drago with a nice looking 630. Drago cut down Guevara with some strikes. Drago then hit Guevara with a running blockbuster to pick up the win.
Drago defeated Sammy Guevara via pinfall in 4:23 to advance in the Super X Cup Tournament.
Jeremy Borash cut to a visual bracket that showed the current playoff picture of the Super X Cup. Drago advanced to face Dezmond Xavier in the Semi Finals. Jeremy Borash then hyped up some of the other segments for this episode including an X Division three way match, Moose vs. Eli Drake vs. EC3 vs. Moose, and an Alberto El Patron/LAX segment…
John’s Thoughts: This was a good contrast in styles with Guevara playing the confident youngster who pulls out all of the flips while Drago was the calculated veteran who got the win by picking his spots. I’m not a huge fan of using what is usually finishers as transition moves, but it did fit the cocky personality of Sammy. Sammy reminds me of a younger Jack Evans who plays the cocky high-flying heel in Lucha Underground and I feel that Guevara can play that to similar success. Speaking of Lucha Underground, it’s a bit odd to see Drago featured two nights in a row on two different channels in two different tournament brackets (The Super X Cup and Dario Cueto Cup). It’s also like a Reece’s Cup with LU getting in the GFW. It’s also strange knowing that a few years ago Hernandez, Homicide, MVP, and Low Ki all got let go from Impact due to Hernandez’s Lucha contract situation.
Karen Jarrett talked about the community service event that Impact was participating in called the Champions for Children. Wrestlers like ODB, Eli Drake, Alberto El Patron, Matt Morgan, and I think I saw Sienna and Davey Richards in there….
John’s Thoughts: Ugh… Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge proponent of community service and I even run a non-profit organization myself, but I’m not a huge fan of jarring corporate PR pieces. I’m also not a fan of wrestling showcasing their heels in situations that contradict their on-air character. It reminds me of when WWE had three of their top heels Alberto El Patron, Mark Henry, and Stephanie McMahon in their Make-A-Wish videos. Impact also looks even worse with Karen Jarrett coming off as a hybrid Stephanie McMahon knockoff and bad Dixie Carter.
2. Sienna vs. Amber Nova in a non-title match. Amber Nova tried to show some initial aggression but got caught midair by Sienna. Nova was caught into a wheelbarrow suplex by Sienna. Sienna went for a long delayed suplex before Nova escaped. Sienna hit the AK-47 for the quick win.
Sienna defeated Amber Nova via pinfall in 1:24.
Sienna grabbed a microphone for a promo. She said she did exactly what she was going to do. Sienna said when Rosemary was petting bunnies and reading emo poetry, Sienna was putting in work. Sienna said no one believed in her. Sienna said one more person that didn’t believe or congratulate her, Ms. Jarrett. Sienna demanded that Karen get her ass out to the ring to give her the respect she deserves. The Jeff Jarrett siren played as Karen Jarrett walked out to the Impact Zone. Josh said when you call out Karen Jarret, you hope she doesn’t respond.
Sienna said she doesn’t just want congratulations right now. Sienna wanted Karen to get on her knees to call her the most dominant knockout in Impact history. Allie’s music played and she still has a kendo stick. Laurel Van Ness ran out. Rosemary ran out. VINTAGE TNA!!! RUN-IN CITY! Madness ensued? Karen Jarrett pulled Sienna’s hair. Gail Kim Run in!!! TNA! TNA! ugh…
Gail Kim’s music played. Karen Jarrett yelled to cut Gail’s music off. Karen said if Sienna wants Karen to say something she was saying that Sienna has a match against Rosemary next week for the “Unified Knockouts Championship”. Laurel cried “no!”. Karen said it was “Last Knockout Standing”…
John’s Thoughts: Wow! With all those random and extraneous run-ins, you’d think we were in bad mid-2000s TNA. The only thing missing was a guitar to the head. Karen Jarrett is so bad! What was even worse was Impact forced Gail Kim and Rosemary to take a back seat for said Karen Jarrett! This was a lame and odd follow-up to Gail Kim’s emotional retirement speech from last week. Karen Jarrett is starting to make Dixie Carter look good by comparison.
Jeremy Borash cut to an LAX clubhouse cinematic. Homicide wanted to make money in Vegas. Konnan asked LAX to bring in Hijo de Dos Caras. LAX held down the Hijo in a chair. Konnan threatened Hijo with gardening sheers. Konnan talked about how LAX sent Crazzy Steve on a “Mexican Vacation”, never to be seen again. Konnan asked Hijo to send a message to El Patron for an answer on Thursday. Konnan said if Hijo double crosses him he will find Hijo wherever he is. They sent Hijo away. Jeremy Borash then hyped up the Impact Minor League Baseball live shows…
They showed the Swole Mates again! Jeremy Borash cut to a Hijo de Fantasma (Son of The Phantom) vignette. Mathews narrated the vignette talking about how Fantasma made a name for himself in 2008 while also inheriting the Phantom mask of his father. Mathews said Fantasma was a AAA Cruiserweight and Fusion champion. Mathews said Fantasma’s signature moves were called the Thrill of the Kill, a modified package piledriver, and the Arrow from the Depths of Hell, a high velocity Suicide Dive. Josh said the ghost walks among us tonight on GFW Impact…
John’s Thoughts: Even though they’re not calling him King Cuerno, they are using the titles that King Cuerno used for his moves which is why they sound like a hunter rather than a ghost. It’s just weird to see Impact utilizing so much Lucha Underground backstory in the characterization of Drago and King Cuerno. At least Konnan isn’t a walking dead zombie?
Bruce Prichard was supposedly talking with Conrad Thompson about buying his shirt on his website. He randomly walked into Trevor Lee in the backstage area. Prichard asked Lee why he’s defending the X Division title like he’s champion. Trevor Lee said the Low Ki return caught him off guard. He also said it wasn’t Prichard’s fault that he didn’t receive his rematch clause against Low Ki for the title. Lee said it was probably the fault of someone in the office. Sonjay walked in to get his belt back and Bruce Prichard told security to take him away. Huh? Lee said he’s the better champion. Prichard said it makes a lot of sense.
John’s Thoughts: TNA? TNA?
3. Idiris Abraham, Demus, and Trevor Lee vs. Laredo Kid, Garza Jr, and Octagoncito in a match with Lucha Libre Trios rules. Josh said the rules state that no tags have to be made and partners can exchange by entering the ring. Lee starts the match by tagging in Demus. Garza teased a test of strength with the mini but decided to tag in Octagoncito. I thought this was “Lucha Rules” where you don’t have to tag? Octagoncito did some fun handstand dancing to start. Octagon then sent Demus out with a huracanrana. Garza and Kid took out the heels and held up Octagoncito’s hand heading into the break. [C]
Demus dominated back from the break. Abraham tagged in and put the boots to Octagoncito. Abraham hit Octagoncito with a basement dropkick. Borash told us of the breaking news that Laurel Van Ness accepted Grado’s date. Trevor Lee put the boots to Octagon while wearing the title. Dinero talked about Bruce Prichard making some obvious questionable calls. Josh mentioned how Dinero got punished for no reason. Borash talked about Sonjay Dutt being banned from the Impact Zone for no reason.
Octagoncito hit Lee with a tornado DDT. Garza got the hot tag and took down the rudos. He stopped everyone in their tracks by taking off his pants. Garza and Lee took out everyone leaving Demus for Octagoncito. The technicos took out the heels with topes. Kid and Garza did some double team moves on the heels. The technico team did a unique hamstring stretch pin attempt. Laredo gave Demus a huracanrana to the outside and took out Demus and Lee with a moonsault. Garza put Octagoncito on his shoulders to hit Abraham with an assisted splash to pick up a win for the technicos.
Laredo Kid, Octagoncito, and Garza Jr defeated Idris Abraham, Demus and Trevor Lee via pinfall in 5:33.
Octagoncito had some super generic create-a-wrestler entrance music. They cut to a Joseph Park and Grado skit. Park tried to hype up Grado for his date. Park told Grado to be himself, have fun, be romantic, hold her hand, and look out for the monster Kongo Kong. Grado hyped himself up in the mirror. Cheesy music played as Laurel met up Grado in an empty eating area. Grado said he ate all the chocolates and lost the champagne but at least he has coupons. The coupons said “Coupons” on it. Laurel said she had her own champagne today, all day. Grado and Laurel sat across from each other. Laurel asked Grado for some pepper or her multi layered chicken sandwich. Laurel crawled on the table to freak out Grado. Grado was also freaked out by Laurel sprinkling pepper all over her face and her burps. Laurel supposedly ate the not-mcchicken in one bite…
John’s Thoughts: The match was obvious filler. So much that the commentators were more focused on Bruce Prichard’s odd behavior as of late. In another only in TNA moment, Mathews said the match was under “Lucha Rules” they go on and follow regular tag match rules. In another bizarre moment, even though I know Konnan respects the wrestlers in AAA, it’s odd to see luchadors from his promotion team up with contracted AAA talent.
They cut to another LAX clubhouse cinematic. Konnan said Hijo de Dos Caras almost shit his pants. Konnan said he sent Santana and Ortiz to fetch Alberto’s father. Konnan said Dos Caras will certainly convince Alberto to join LAX. Konnan said he might have to actually use the garden sheers on Dos Caras. Homicide said some things… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Is Homicide half awake? Why is he even in LAX for that matter? I thought Homicide was awesome when he was having singles matches in ROH but now he’s just a random dude who may hit a Gringo Killer once every two months. This Konnan vs. Alberto El Patron feud is so strange so far, especially with Konnan being retired from the ring.
Back at the clubhouse, Homicide said some things. Santana and Ortiz supposedly brought Dos Caras in. We didn’t see Dos Caras. Konnan said there is a part of him that doesn’t want Dos Caras to send a message to Alberto so he can torture Caras. What an odd cinematic?
Back at the Impact Zone it was X Division Triple threat time! Low Ki still wrestles in Jason Powell’s favorite Hitman suit (doubled with the fact that the commentators still won’t tell us why he’s Agent 47. Jeremy Borash told us that Fantasma is King Cuerno on Lucha Underground. Huh? The crossover is happening isn’t it?
4. Matt Sydal vs. Low Ki vs. El Hijo De Fantasma (Son of The Phantom/King Cuerno). Low Ki picked up the action right after the bell and dominated both Sydal and Fantasma with strong strikes. Sydal and Fantasma teamed up a bit to take down Ki. With Ki aside. Sydal and Fantasma squared off. Sydal locked in a leg lock on Fantasma. Ki choped Sydal out of the submission. Josh Mathews reminded us of Prichard banning Sonjay Dutt from the Impact Zone. Ki took down Sydal with a headbutt. Fantasma hit a rana on Sydal and a backbreaker on Ki.
Sydal took down Fantasma with a spinning wheel kick. Jeremy Borash hyped up the GFW Amped PPV. Low Ki dominated the next sequence. Sydal and Ki traded strong strikes. Ki blocked Sydal with a boot. Ki worked on Fantasma while Sydal was temporary disposed of at ringside. Ki drove his elbow into the head of Fantasma. Fantasma turned the tables by kicking Ki on the top rope. Fantasma kept Sydal outside with a kick. Dinero pointed out that Fantasma was the biggest body of the three wrestlers. Low Ki kept Sydal outside with a dropkick. Fantasma hit Low Ki with the Arrow from the Depths of Hell. [C]
Fantasma dominated back from the break. Mathews talked about how Fantasma utilized what Dinero talked about by utilizing power moves. Sydal almost won after a standing moonsault. Sydal gave Ki snake eyes on the buckle. Fantasma went for a surfboard. That put him in position for a sweet Warriors Way. Fantasma kicked out almost forgetting that his shoulders were on the mat. Sydal blocked a fisherman suplex. Ki hit Sydal with a muay thai knee.
Sydal gave Low Ki a tiger knee to the face to leave Sydal standing alone. Ki recovered before Sydal could hit Air Bourne. Ki took off his suit jacket and went for Warriors Way. Fantasma brawled with Ki on the top rope. Fantasma won the exchange but Sydal took him off the ropes with a frankensteiner. Ki hit Fantasma with the Warriors Way. As Ki went for the pin, Sydal hit Ki with Air Bourne to pick up the pinfall win on Low Ki.
Matt Sydal defeated Low Ki and Hijo de Fantasma via pinfall in 9:16.
Borash said it seemed like an upset. Mathews said it wasn’t since Sydal is world traveled. Sydal shook hands with Hijo de Fantasma. For some reason, Fantasma’s trunks say “Club Chocolate” on it? Sydal took a mic and said the X Division was world class wrestling. Sydal said he earned this platform by putting his life on the line. Sydal said his message is to trust yourself and question authority. Sydal called out Bruce Prichard to the ring. Prichard took Sydal up on the offer and said he likes Sydal. Prichard said he’s sick and tired of everyone making demands. Prichard said Sydal was deserving of a championship match but there are also other guys backstage deserving.
Bobby Lashley’s theme interrupted as Lashley walked past Prichard. Lashley wanted to talk to Prichard. Sydal asked to not interrupt him. Lashley took over and told Prichard that the only person who deserves a World Title shot is the one true warrior, Lashley. Lashley said he ran through everyone Prichard put in his path while champ. Lashley said Slammiversary was just a hiccup and he hasn’t got a fair shot since. Sydal asked Lashley to shut up and he was demanding a title shot. Lashley no-sold Sydal and continued his discussion with Prichard. Lashley teased walking towards Prichard and gave Sydal a spear in the ring. Mathews said the best solution would be to give Lashley a world title shot and Sydal an X Title shot…
John’s Thoughts: That was a solid three way match where Low Ki’s more practical style was more conducive of keeping the match from being a spotfest. In that, the third man taking a powder break worked in the favor of making it more like a series of one-on-ones. Now for the negatives. I like that Sydal has been protected for the most part but I don’t like that it seems like they have moved on from Low Ki at the moment so soon after he lost the X Title. In the post-match promo, we know Prichard’s a heel now. The announcers pointed that out in the last two matches. Lashley was great in his promo since he’s one of the best heel promos in the wrestling industry today. I’m just not sure what positive endgame can come from this scenario. Either the X guys get marginalized again at not being in Lashley’s league. Lashley gets marginalized with another sidetrack into the X Division (like last year). I’m not sure where they go from here that’s beneficial to Impact as a whole.
After more hype for the Minor League live event tour we were taken back to Grado and Laurel’s date. Grado was still freaked out. Laurel said she was a human bottle of gin. Grado saw an afro and thought it was Kongo Kong! It was Idris Abraham’s Afro and he was BBQ’ing. Grado and Laurel had a date montage. Grado continued to be afraid of Laurel. Laurel tried to kiss Grado but Grado found a way to escape that by lying on the ground. Laurel got a demonic voice for a bit. After the date Joe Park wanted an update. Park wanted to know if Laurel was ready for marriage and reminded Grado that this was so he can stay in the United States…
Chris Adonis/Masters threw water on a swole mate. The Swole mate ran in the ring and gave Adonis a clothesline. Both swolemates took off their shirts in the ring again. The swole mates tried to rally the crowd but they didn’t bite other than one guy cheering who wore a US flag as a shirt. Good job Impact Zone!!![C]
John’s Thoughts: Not only are we getting “Only in TNA” but this reminds me of those bad ghost/BBQ ads we got during the Destination America Era. Ugh. As for the Grado and Laurel thing, Laurel isn’t as good as she usually is but the skits are saved by Grado and Park being so funny. I have to say, Grado, Park and the X Division are keeping this episode from being absolute bullshit.
5. Eli Drake (w/ Chris Adonis) vs. Eddie Edwards vs. EC3 vs. Moose. US T Shirt fan redeemed himself in my opinion by getting into the Moose Dance. Josh Mathews said all four of these men were number one fantasy draft picks and used that to plug the fantasy football website. The heels double teamed Moose. Edwards pulled Drake away to even the odds. Edwards hit Drake with a suicide dive. EC3 had Moose in the ring and did the Moose dance punches. Moose countered with his high dropkick. Drake blindsided Moose with punches. Moose came back with his springboard crossbody. EC3 booted Moose out of the ring. Edwards took down Drake and EC3 with elbows. Drake took down Edwards with a tilt-a-whirl slam.
EC3 and Drake took turns in hitting power moves on Edwards. EC3 eventually had enough of Drake doing his catchphrases. Edwards gave EC3 and Drake a huracanrana in one motion. Moose took both men down and gave Drake a hesitation dropkick. EC3 and Drake teamed up again but Moose took them down with a clothesline. Moose and EC3 teamed up to dispose of the heels. Moose gave Edwards a boot. Moose blocked a hurcanrana. Moose threw Edwards into EC3 and Drake. Moose did a lap into a pump kick into Drake. EC3 sidestepped Moose into the ringpost.
Edwards threw EC3 in the ring. Edwards missed EC3, but staggered EC3 on the top rope. Edwards gave EC3 a frankensteiner. Drake stopped Edwards from hitting the Boston Knee Party. EC3 hit Edwards with the One Percenter. Moose pulled EC3 out of the ring. Drake stole EC3’s win by pulling him out of the ring.
Eli Drake defeated Eddie Edwards, EC3, and Moose via pinfall in 6:23.
In an interesting production note, Eli Drake’s old entrance theme played. The one that Jeff Hardy performed and is on Jeff’s album. EC3 sold confusion up the ramp. Drake celebrated in the ring while EC3 yelled in Drake’s direction.
John’s Thoughts: This match has “House Show Main Event” written all over it, but at least some people benefited from being in it. Moose benefits because we rarely see him in regular matches and he does pretty well when he’s not hindered by the Grand Champion malarkey. Eli Drake benefited because he picked up a win. This match does have be a bit disappointed in this year’s creative regime since Eli Drake, Eddie Edwards, Moose, EC3, and you can add Davey Richards, Maybe Low Ki, Maybe Lashley, and you don’t need Alberto. Take all those guys and utilize Dave Lagana’s “Smackdown Six” model, and you can have so many fun tag team and main event matches for months! I’m not confident that Jarrett and crew are going to capitalize on any Drake momentum. I hope they do, but they haven’t proven themselves great yet.
Ugh. McKenzie Mitchell interviewed the Swolemates. They acted like they were Bro Mans. Konnan saved the day by cutting off that interview and taking the action back them. Konnan confronted Dos Caras and his masked son. Konnan asked Caras and the son if Alberto was joining. Caras talked in Spanish and said “no!”. Konnan calmed things down and said it wasn’t a problema. Konnan then sent LAX on the Caras family. Konnan said if Alberto doesn’t come to the ring LAX will do away with these [censor]s… [C]
John’s Thoughts: I don’t know about you. But LAX seems like babyfaces for ending that Swolemate interview right?
LAX continued to beat down Caras and his Hijo as they made their entrance. Konnan said he knows Alberto is in the building. Konnan said Caras and Hijo were in the building because they were being interviewed for an Alberto documentary. Alberto said the gringos made Alberto stupid and LAX isn’t going to handle things like the way they do here, with lawsuits and cease and desists. Konnan said they were using Mexican street style violence. Konnan said you put your hands on his family he’s going to put his hands on Alberto’s family. Konnan ordered LAX to hit Alberto’s brother with kendo sticks. Konnan then moved them over to Dos Caras. Konnan said he was going to do something better by humiliating a punk ass luchador by taking off his mask.
This caused Alberto’s entrance theme to play as he made his entrance with a mic in hand. Alberto called Santana a son of a bitch and to leave his dad alone. Alberto said Carlos is taking this too far. Alberto said he, Rey Mysterio, and Konnan had a friendship for so long. Alberto said if Konnan touches Dos Caras one more time he was going to beat the shit out of LAX. Konnan said if Alberto joins, he’ll let his family go. Alberto said the worst part of everything is that he and Konnan were brothers with Rey Mysterio. Alberto said Konnan doesn’t know how to let things go because of his Latin Temper. Alberto said he understands he the same as Konnan because he is Mexican. Alberto said he bleeds and dies for his family. He asked Konnan to let his family go. LAX uncuffed Alberto’s family and stood face to face with Alberto. Alberto said he’s sorry because he’s a man of his word. Alberto said Konnan’s not Carlos, just Konnan the Hijo de Bitch (?) (Son of a bitch). Konnan said he doesn’t need a friend, he needs a soldier. Konnan said he just wants Alberto to put on the LAX T-Shirt. Alberto asked Konnan if the bullshit with the family ends tonight. Konnan said they squash the issue if Alberto joins LAX. Alberto put on the shirt and shook hands with Konnan. El Patron then clotheslined LAX and beat Homicide with a kendo stick. Alberto took his time which allowed Santana and Ortiz to take the bullet for Konnan. Alberto pummeled both men with the kendo stick.
John’s Thoughts: There was some solid mic work by Konnan and he truly understands the power of the lucha mask, but this feud is just too bizarre to get into. Not only that, but Impact is sacrificing their most over tag-team/stable in order to do something with Alberto. I’m not going to break down all of the booking holes and logic gaps because I’ve just gotten tired with seeing too many classic TNA logic gaps throughout this night. I’m not sure who benefits from this feud. LAX is just set up to fail. Alberto would have been better served in a singles feud with Lashley. Hell, Alberto in a feud with Eli Drake would be amazing given how Alberto’s best match in 2017 was against Drake.
This might have been my least favorite Impact episode in 2017, and that’s saying a lot given how bad/boring some of these Anthem shows have been. They really had something there with the Dave Lagana and Matt Conway crew and just lost it. The one shining light, is the X Division, which was the only pro wrestling thing worth watching tonight. Grado and Joe Park do a solid job as well. Idris Abraham’s afro might be the MVP of the episode! Everything else? Well? This reminds me of watching a bad episode of TNA Impact. Maybe I’m just getting the wrong message. Maybe Jason Powell liked the show a lot more than I did. Find out later today via his Hit List and members’ exclusive audio review.