By John Moore
GFW Impact Wrestling
Taped at in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Impact opened up with a LAX Clubhouse cinematic. Konnan showed everyone a text message on his phone that hyped everyone up. Konnan said “he’s in”. Konnan said this was going to be the biggest night in LAX history when they introduce the newest member of LAX. Konnan said on this episode they were facing Alberto El Patron and his family Dos Caras and the Hijo de Dos Caras (I hope they find a better name for Alberto’s brother other than “Son of Dos Caras”). Konnan said the newest member thinks just like LAX and is vicious like LAX. Santana was shown touching the tag belts with a box cutter. Konnan said Viva La Raza! Impact then cut to a teaser which featured the upcoming Super X Cup match between Drago and Dezmond Xavier. Both men talked about how important it was for them to win…
John’s Thoughts: Even though LAX can’t beat El Patron four on one as has been proven the past few episodes, at least they are allowed to cut these slick promo pieces to remain different from anything else we see on Impact. Konnan, the tag team, The Lucha Underground-esque cinematics, and their youthful appeal still make LAX one of the coolest acts on Impact.
After the opening owl intro, Jeremy Borash opened up Impact. Borash recapped the LAX cinematic and wondered if the newest member of LAX was from the “El Patron Family”. Dave Penzer introduced the Super X Cup as Dezmond Xavier and Drago made their entrances. Jeremy Borash, D’Angelo Dinero, and Josh Mathews checked in on commentary at this point. Borash commented over a visual bracket that showed the remaining wrestlers in the X Cup. The ellimated wrestlers had their faces grayed out…
1. Dezmond Xavier vs. Drago in a Semi-Final Super X Cup match. Drago hit Xavier with some standing strikes. Xavier tried to do a handstand but he took a dropkick to the gut. Xavier rolled to ringside to recover. Xavier made a double leg takedown and flipped away from a Drago strike. Drago overpowered Xavier and trapped him in the corner. Drago hit a reverse Huracanrana. Xavier got to show off some reversals to hit Drago with a running huracanrana.
Borash hyped up Konnan’s announcement about LAX and said that the rumors are saying that the new LAX member is from Alberto’s own family. Josh asked Borash how Alberto must be feeling if he can’t trust his own family member. Drago hit Xavier with a Suicide Dive. Josh said after the break he’s going to reveal why he knows that Alberto can’t trust his family.[C]
After several flips and dodges Drago and Xavier took each other out with high roundhouse kicks. Borash used the recovery time to hype up the GFW Impact Minor League Ballpark tour. Drago and Xavier traded punches. The crowd had dueling chants with the women chanting with Dezmond while the men chanted for Drago. Dezmond hit Drago with a CQC combo topped off with a cutter. Xavier broke up the ten count with a kip up. Xavier sent Drago outside with a head-scissors. Xavier hit Drago with a Tope Con Hilo. Drago hit Xavier with a heel kick and a hanging DDT.
Drago flapjacked Xavier and hit him with a sit-out powerbomb. Josh Mathews said his sources have confirmed that the newest member of LAX is a member of the El Patron Family. Xavier and Drago traded more reversals. Drago got a nearfall after a knee. Drago hit Xavier with a backhand CQC combo. Drago planted Xavier with a reverse running blockbuster which Borash pointed out defeated Sammy Guevara in the first round. Xavier gained breathing room after a drop toehold into the ropes. Xavier circumvented the ring post with a Tiger Feint Kick. Xavier hit the Final Flash (Spiral Tap) on Drago for the victory.
Dezmond Xavier defeated Drago via pinfall in 12:10 to advance to the finals of The Super X Cup.
The Final Flash was shown in Impact’s new filtered slow-mo camera. Jeremy Borash interviewed Xavier in front of the cup. Borash showed a graphic which had Drago greyed out now. Xavier talked about how he hopes whoever is facing him is going to be ready.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed EC3 about his upcoming Grand Championship match against Moose. EC3 said it was hot in here and McKenzie can feel it. Mitchell rolled her eyes. EC3 kept calling Moose “The Moose”. EC3 said “The Moose” is a formidable opponent. EC3 said he’s also battling three other people. Three Knuckleheads, the judges. EC3 said the judges are led by the forever corrupt Bruce Prichard. EC3 said he was in the Moose’s head. EC3 said the greatest feeling in the world is saying and doing what he says. EC3 said he’s a Carter and this company needs him. Borash hyped LAX vs. The Patron Family in what is being dubbed a “Civil War”…
John’s Thoughts: This was a really fun 12-minute match and more evidence why singles matches are the way to go in the GFW X Division. We got to see what both Drago and Xavier were all about. I hope they don’t screw it up this time like they did with Andrew Everett earlier in the year when Everett was being built well as a future star in his singles feud against Trevor Lee. Drago probably had the best chance of any outsider to win the X Cup so Xavier is now the favorite. I wonder if we’re getting Xavier vs. ACH in the finals since both men randomly named their finishers after DBZ finishers?
A Lashley vs. Matt Sydal vignette aired where Sydal talked about how he never expected back many years ago that he would be facing Bobby Lashley. They showed clips of a younger Matt Sydal in his early TNA days. Clips then replayed of Lashley and Sydal asking Bruce Prichard for title matches. Lashley said he was excited to see what he can do with Sydal and that their match has the potential to be match of the year.
Sydal reiterated his thoughts from a few weeks ago where he said he doesn’t see himself as a X Division wrestler or Light Heavyweight. Sydal said he sees himself as someone who’s not afraid to face anybody. Lashley said there are a lot of people in his way to the championship. Lashley said he’s just going to push Sydal out of the way and move on. Sydal said he’s faced the strongest men (referencing Mark Henry) and the “Biggest Shows” (Big Show). Lashley said Sydal may have a good match but there’s no chance Sydal is beating him. Lashley said the only thing Sydal can hope for is a lottery type of win. Sydal said if you can bet on anyone, you should bet on yourself…
John’s Thoughts: This was a nice hype package for Sydal vs. Lashley and it made me actually excited for what these two can do in the ring. Bobby Lashley used to suck on promos, and in 2015 TNA used to do a good job masking that by putting him and other weak promos in sit-down situations to play to their talking strengths. Lashley’s a great promo now, but Sydal has a ways to go. Sydal came off well here in the sit-down setting. A lot of people in the X Cup have as well in this setting.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed the Patron Family about their upcoming match against LAX. El Patron said he knows what Konnan is saying. Alberto said there’s one thing everyone in Mexico knows is that you don’t trust Konnan. Alberto said Konnan is a lying snake. El Patron then turned on El Hijo De Dos Caras by saying that he sees his brother hugging Konnan like best friends. Hijo told El Patron not to worry. El Patron said he can’t trust each other. They then had some words censored. Alberto and his brother argued in Spanish. Karen Jarret appeared into the camera shot for no reason to stop them. Karen said if you can’t trust your family, who can you trust? Bruce Prichard appeared out of nowhere. He said he’s seen stranger and that the Patrons should prepare for their match. The Patrons scurried off. Prichard looked angry and told Karen Jarrett that he has to talk to Karen alone, now! Karen looked stressed as the two authority figures walked off…
John’s Thoughts: I’ll qualify again that I’m not taking Alberto’s personal problems into account in my analysis. Alberto has been all over the place in this set of tapings and is very out of character. He’s usually good at delivering great babyface promos a la Drew Galloway, but now he just changes motivations sentence-to-sentence that makes him a bit unlikable. This feud with LAX is awful for all parties involved. So what if Alberto’s unknown brother joins LAX? This conflict seems shoehorned and “Son of Dos Caras” joining LAX would just be like D’Lo Brown revealed as an Aces and Eights leader, no one will care!
Trevor Lee walked to the ring wearing the X Division belt. Jeremy Borash clarified to viewers that Lee was not the real champion and that Sonjay Dutt was. Lee’s opponent was a Mumbai Cat. Borash recapped that the Mumbai Cats were a tag team introduced during GFW’s tour of India. Josh Mathews said this was Mumbai Cat #1.
2. Trevor Lee vs. Mumbai Cat #1. Lee put the boots to the cat against the turnbuckle. Lee gave the cat a punt kick from the apron. The Mumbai Cats did “Twin Magic”. Borash assumed this was now Mumbai Cat #2. #2 gained the upper hand over Lee easily and hit Lee with a back thrust kick. #2 hit Lee with a running tornado DDT. The Cat then did Sonjay Dutt’s diving splash to pick up the win.
Mumbai Cat #2 (Sonjay Dutt) defeated Trevor Lee via pinfall in 1:38.
Mumbai Cat #2 took off his mask in the middle of the ring to reveal that he was Sonjay Dutt. The Bruce Prichard referee brigade ran out to escort banned Sonjay Dutt out of the building. Dutt asked for some time before he was kicked out. Dutt said Lee has a discrepancy in his head about who is the real champion. Sonjay said a wise man said to be the champ you have to beat the champ. Dutt then proposed a ladder match at Destination X for the X Division Championship. The camera cut to Bruce Prichard who said Dutt has to go…
John’s Thoughts: Well, the positive of this head scratching feud is that Trevor Lee is starting to draw good heat. The fans cheered Dutt initially when he appeared but that soon calmed down once Dutt established himself as a bumbling fool for failing to get his title, especially since he had it in hands distance during the pinfall and DDT! On top of that, this was the third segment in a row that featured Bruce Prichard as the central figure and the fourth one in a row where Prichard was mentioned. We already got an unnecessary Karen Jarrett skit and EC3 told us that we’re getting Bruce Prichard, Scott D’Amore, and Dutch Mantell later on! This show is being built around authority figures over the wrestlers isn’t it? TNA! TNA!
Jeremy Borash hyped up the New York area live events. Borash then talked over highlights of Sonjay Dutt defeating Trevor Lee before the break. Borash then cut to a video package about Bobby Lashley’s MMA team, America’s Top Team. Several team members talked about how great Bobby Lashley is. Head Trainer Dan Lambert Lashley is a stud athlete due to his wrestling background. King Mo said Pro Wrestling is harder than MMA. Lambert said he wants Lashley to choose MMA over wrestling. King Mo said he thinks Lashley can continue doing both. Lambert said Lashley is good enough to do both but if you want to be the best you have to focus…
Joseph Park was hyping Grado up for his latest marriage attempt to Laurel Van Ness. Park said Laurel loves Grado. Park talked about how his grandmother told “Little Joe” something, but he couldn’t remember the quote. Grado was confused at Park saying that he’ll never forget the quote even though he can’t remember it…
Eli Drake and Chris Adonis/Masters made their way to the ring. Adonis wore a suit. Josh Mathews said Eli Drake is a future world champion. Eddie Edwards’ theme played but he didn’t come out. Kongo Kong was beating up Eddie Edwards with Laurel Van Ness begging Kongo Kong to stop…[C]
Laurel Van Ness continued to beg Kongo Kong to stop beating up people backstage. Kongo Kong beat up Richard Justice this time. Josh Mathews told us that Justice “is always ready”. Mathews said Kongo Kong is sending a message to Grado. Mathews wondered why security wasn’t stopping this.
3. Ethan Carter III vs. Moose in an Impact Grand Championship Match. Dutch Mantel, Bruce Prichard, and Scott D’Amore were the judges. Yay (bored sarcasm)… More authority figures… Tyrus was there too. Moose dancing guy still really loves doing the Moose dance. Moose gave EC3 a shoulder tackle once the bell rang. Moose gave EC3 chops against the corner. Moose dominated EC3 with chops. Borash hyped up some TNA DVDs. Moose dominated EC3 in front of the judges. EC3 turned the tide by tossing Moose several times into the steel steps. EC3 yelled in Prichard’s face. EC3 worked on Moose against the ring apron. EC3 dominated heading into the first round bell. EC3 won round 1.
EC3 dominated the early portion of round 2, picking up where he left off. EC3 had a headlock on Moose in the center of the ring. Moose powered out and gave EC3 chops. EC3 blocked a discus lariat with an exploder Suplex. EC3 toyed with Moose with some soft slaps. Moose gave EC3 a headbutt. Moose hit EC3 with the hesitation dropkick. EC3 went high risk but Moose hit a high dropkick. Josh said he thinks EC3 won round 2. Moose ended up winning.[C]
John’s Thoughts: I’m with the Josh Mathews character on this one. Does every Grand Championship match have to have the first two rounds split?
Moose gave EC3 a pump kick. EC3 hit Moose with a TKO. Moose came back with a pump kick, popup powerbomb, and running senton. Moose hit EC3 with the Go To Hell for a nearfall. EC3 hit Moose with the one percenter. Moose kicked out. EC3 hit a several running knees on Moose. Moose dared EC3 for more. EC3 hit a strong lariat on Moose. Moose blocked the ECD. Moose gave EC3 a sitout chokeslam. The referee gave the results to Dave Penzer. Penzer announced that Scott D’Amore scored the last round 10-10 tied. Dutch scored round 3 10-10. Prichard scored 10-8 in favor of EC3.
EC3 defeated Moose via split decision to win the Impact Grand Championship.
Josh Mathews continued to question the validity of the judging and how Prichard obviously gave away the match to EC3. A vignette played for OVE (One Versus Everything) tag team. It said they were debuting at Destination X…[C]
John’s Thoughts: There’s so much wrong with the Grand Championshp format. I get that they’re trying to make Prichard the obvious heel, but Mathews correctly pointed out that you can just as easily blame D’Amore and Mantell for giving shady calls in the first two rounds. In a regular match, Moose kicking out of the one percenter would have meant something but in this lame round format it’s hard to build up to big moves. This belt needs to go because this creative team has no vision for it.
4. KM, Fallah Bahh, and Mario Bokara vs. Suicide, Braxton Sutter, and Grado. Braxton Sutter is full-on babyface again? The faces dominated early on. Grado led a dance. Bahh choked Grado against the ropes. Suicide sidestepped KM. The faces took out Bahh with punches. Sutter took out everyone with a flip dive. Suicide hit the heels with a trust fall. Bokara tripped Grado off the top rope. Bahh used his body like a steamroller on Grado. KM tagged in and knocked off Sutter and Suicide. Grado hit KM with the Bionic Elbow. The teams cleared each other out of the ring with Grado beating KM with a backslide.
Grado, Suicide, and Braxton Sutter defeated KM, Fallah Bahh, and Mario Bokara via pinfall 3:54.
Joseph Park escorted Laurel Van Ness to the ring. Kongo Kong’s theme played before Grado could say anything. Kong made his way to the ring. Grado tried to take Kong down with punches. Kong hit Grado with a side slam. Sutter turned heel again by ordering Allie to the back. Park helped Grado escape a Kong top rope splash. Laurel Van Ness escorted Kong from the ring. Borash said Grado faces imminent deportation from the US.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Konnan. Konnan told McKenzie to shut up and called her “Random White Girl #5”. Konnan said a new era of violence, brutality, and sadism is about to commence. Konnan said El Patron lied to him last week. Konnan also talked about how El Patron can’t trust his family. Konnan said revenge is a dish best served cold. Konnan told El Patron to look at his face because this is what nightmares are made of…
John’s Thoughts: That was the random six man filler match of the week. The real story was the Grado, Laurel, and Kongo Kong story which went nowhere this week.
EC3 went back to the Impact Zone to brag about being champion. EC3 stood atop the announce table and said it was a night to celebrate. EC3 talked to the title like it was a person. EC3 said he wants to touch, hold the hand, and kiss the belt. He said he loves the grand championship. EC3 gave the belt a smooch. EC3 asked the belt if she wants to go, he said he did too.
John’s Thoughts: So EC3 is about to have sex with the Grand Championshp?
5. Homicide, Ortiz, and Santana vs. Alberto El Patron, Dos Caras, and El Hijo de Dos Caras. Homicide started the match off against Dos Caras. Homicide sold for Dos Caras. Caras tagged in Alberto’s brother. Hijo did an armdrag to Homicide. Homicide took a suicide dive heading to the break.[C]
El Patron beat up on Homicide. El Patron gave Homicide a basement dropkick. Homicide backdropped El Patron to the outside. Ortiz slammed Alberto and dominated the next sequence. Ortiz sidestepped El Patron sending him into the ringpost. Santana and Ortiz traded quick tags working on patron.
El Patron tripped Ortiz off the top rope and tagged in the brother. Hijo gave Ortiz some back elbows and a clunky backbreaker. Santana crotched Hijo on the top rope. Ortiz gave Hijo a superplex. Homicide tagged in and punched Hijo. Hijo fought out of a chinlock and hit a terrible looking Pele Kick. Homicide tagged in Santana. LAX continued with the isolation and quick tags.
Hijo did some kind of toss. Pope said it was a knee. El Patron tagged in for the hot tag. El Patron gave Ortiz a powerslam. El Patron gave Santana two backbreakers and a backstabber. Hijo clotheslined Homicide outside. Hijo missed a phancha by a mile. El Patron went to the top rope but Santana met him there. El Patron hit Santana with the double stomp finisher (and it made sense this time since Alberto locked Santana’s hands in the tree of woe with his foot.
Homicide was taken off the top rope with an enziguri. Ortiz accidently clotheslined the referee. REF BUMP! El Patron made Ortiz tap out with the cross armbreaker. El Hijo teased that he was hitting Alberto with a steel chair. He instead worked on Homicide. Swerve? Alberto locked Santana in the crossarmbreaker. Low Ki came out of nowhere and gave Alberto the Warrior’s Way. Ki showed that he had LAX written on his suit jacket. Santana picked up the pinfall
LAX defeated El Patron and his Family via pinfall in about 11:25.
Borash narrated highlights from the match. Mathews said Konnan’s family tease was a red herring. They showed the Warrior’s Way through the filtered slow-mo cam. Impact ended with Low Ki holding the TNA and Global Force Championship belts…
John’s Thoughts: That match was not great. Alberto was fine in the hot tag sequences. Dos Caras isn’t able to do wrestling at this age. Alberto’s brother kept botching moves and reminded me a bit of Jack Black as Nacho Libre with wearing the vintage Dos Caras mask. Alberto should have worn his cooler Dos Caras Jr. mask. This also screamed classic bad 2000s TNA where you had a ref bump, false-swerve, swerve, and overbooking.
As for the Low Ki reveal, it was fine, I guess. I like that he does add something to LAX after Alberto destroyed them single-handedly two weeks in a row. I would also take Ki as world champion over Alberto. The only problem is I can’t help but think that we’ve been through this thing with Low Ki in a faction before. Last time Low Ki was in TNA he was in a faction with MVP, Kenny King, AND LAX (Hernandez and Homicide) back in 2015 when Hernandez got him released. I’ll wait and see, but a lot of things in GFW aren’t great now. This was so much TNA! GFW feels so much like the bad parts of TNA that caused me and so many viewers to stop watching during the 2000s. Not to mention, 75 percent of this show was written about Bruce Prichard and the many authority figures in Impact. Jason Powell will be by later with his GFW Impact Wrestling Hit List and member exclusive audio review.
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