By John Moore
GFW Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Backstage at the Universal Studios studio lot, Wilcox and Mayweather, the Veterans of War, were brawling with Santana and Ortiz of the Latin American XChange for some reason. Konnan, Diamante, and Homicide were shown watching from the periphery. It was hard to catch anything because GFW decided to use an exaggerated amount of shaky cam. Jeremy Borash said that LAX will be facing the VoW later in this episode…
The opening video consisted of a highlight music video package with highlights from the Sienna vs. Rosemary match. A female narrated the package (Sienna?). The video ended with the woman saying “The hero always falls”. The Impact opening theme played…
Sienna was staging a Sit-in in the middle of the ring. Jeremy Borash, D’Angelo Dinero, and Josh Mathews were the commentary team. Sienna said she was the epidemy of a true champion. Sienna said she has confidence, charisma, and class. Sienna talked about how Karen Jarrett booked a match for Sienna’s championship at Destination X. Sienna said she was sitting in until Karen Jarrett gave her an answer as to who her mystery opponent was. The Jeff Jarrett instrumental theme played as Karen Jarrett made her entrance to a Dixie Carter-esque reaction from the crowd.
Karen said she doesn’t like Sienna and will probably never like Sienna. Karen said Sienna is the type of woman other women like to hate. Sienna said Karen Jarret wasn’t Mrs. Jarrett, she’s just “Karen”. Sienna asked Karen to reveal her mystery opponent. Karen said Sienna’s opponent is always ready (oh! Is it Richard Justice!?!). Karen said Sienna’s opponent is a true professional and is always ready for the call. Karen said Sienna may know her opponent. Gail Kim’s theme played as Gail Kim walked down the ramp. Jeremy Borash hyped that Gail Kim was facing Sienna at Destination X.
Gail Kim said Sienna has been bragging about being the greatest Knockouts Champion of all time, but she was great six weeks ago and not great now. Gail Kim said she will not only beat Sienna but retire as Knockouts Champion. Sienna and Gail Kim brawled. Sienna escaped Eat-D Feet. Gail gave Sienna mounted punches on the outside. Sienna gained the upper hand in the ring with mounted punches. The two referees struggled to contain Gail and Sienna. Several more referees managed to separate Gail and Sienna. Gail Kim posed with the TNA and GFW women’s championship belts in the ring…
Grado and Joseph Park were chatting backstage. Grado said he’s in a pickle since he and Park might get killed later on and Grado will still get deported. Park said the one thing Joe Park knows is how to buck up. He asked Grado if Grado was a man. Park asked if Kong was a man. Park also asked if Grado was tired of Kong interrupting his proposals. Grado said yes to all of that. Grado said Kong was bigger than Park. Grado mentioned a quote from his old football coach: “The fear of the hit is greater than the hit itself”. Grado wondered what that meant. Park said he never got around to ask. Grado said Park should call his football coach. Park said he can’t since his coach died a few years ago. Grado had a blank and hopeless stare as Park left the room. At the announce table, Jeremy Borash hyped up some upcoming matches…
John’s Thoughts: So, rather than treat Gail Kim’s retirement tour as a huge deal and monumental moment, GFW is deciding to build the entire women’s division around the wife of the promotor with Gail Kim as Karen Jarrett’s in-ring surrogate?
1. Laredo Kid and Garza Jr. vs. El Hijo De Fantasma (The Son of The Phantom) and Naomichi Marufuji. Fantasma is known to Lucha Underground viewers as the bounty hunter King Cuerno. Jeremy Borash said this match is what puts the Global in Global Force Wrestling. Laredo Kid started off against Fantasma where they shared a handshake. Fantasma corner Kid and then allowed him to meet him in the center of the ring. Kid and Fantasma shared a stalemate sequence. Kid landed a huracanrana and armdrag. Garza tagged in. Fanrasma hit Garza with a front dropkick. Garza came back with a monkey flip. Marufuji tagged in and dominated with some loud slaps. Garza came back with a rally and loud slap. Marufuji hit a quick rolling sobat. Garza hit a pump kick on Marufuji. Kid took out Marufuji with a high crossbody. Fantasma took out Garza with a high flip dive.
Fantasma hit Garza with a frankensteiner and frog splash in the ring. Kid took down Fantasma with a crossbody and tornado DDT. Garza managed to lift both Marufuji and Fantasma by himself. This allowed Kid to hit Fantasma with a Ruff Ryder leg lariat to also slam Marufuji. Kid hit Fantasma with two moonsaults (first and second rope). Fantasma escaped the top rope moonsault. Fantasma hit Kid with a jumping knee which allowed him to lock in the surfboard.
Marufuji hit Kid with a wraparound kick and lariat combination. Garza tried to take of his pants in front of Fantasma and Marufuji. Fantasma and Marufuji didn’t allow him to stop the action and instead they gave him a superkick. Marufuji and Kid traded chops. Kid put Marufuji in a dragon sleeper and turned it into a DDT on Marufuji. Garza hit Marufuji with the GTS. Fantasma hit Garza with a modified rolling sobat. Kid and Fantasma took each other down with front kicks. Kid sent Fantasma out with a huracanrana. Fantasma sidestepped Kid’s tope attempt and then hit Kid with the Arrow From the Depths of Hell (Cuerno’s Suicide Dive).
Garza stopped the action for a bit and quickly took off his tear off pants in front of Marufuji. Garza threw his pants at Marufuji to superkick him. Josh said that Garza must be obsessed with taking his pants off. Garza missed a lionsault. Marufuji knocked out Garza with a wraparound kick. Marufjui hit Garza with Sliced Bread #2 to pick up the win.
Naomichi Marufuji and El Hijo De Fantasma defeated Laredo Kid and Garza Jr via pinfall in 9:22.
Marufuji and Fantasma celebrated their win afterwards. They helped out their opponents to get to their feet. The commentators talked about some of the highlights from the match. Garza and Kid held up the hands of the victors. Suddenly a OVE vignette played. OVE stands for “Ohio vs. Everything”. They are debuting at Destination X…
John’s Thoughts: This was a fun tag division time filler with Garza and Kid continuing to stand out at one of Impact’s strongest tag teams, even in loss. Marufuji and Fantasma could also use the win since they haven’t established themselves to non-Lucha Underground and Noah/New Japan viewers. They also don’t look dumb for allowing Garza to stop the match in front of them and take off his pants.
Grado and Joe Park made their way to the ring for their handicap match against Kongo Kong. Park nervously tried to do the Grado Dance. Borash said that Kongo Kong was bigger than a legal battle… [C]
2. Grado and Joseph Park Esq. vs. Kongo Kong in a handicap tag match. Park’s face sold the fear of Kongo Kong. Grado and Park did rock, paper, scissors as to who would start. Grado lost. Kong easily took down Grado with a shoulder block. Grado quickly tagged in Park. Park managed to sidestep a Kong clothesline and land a headbutt. Kong nosold the headbutt and Park fell to the ground in pain and fear. Kong retaliated with his own headbutt. Park sidestepped a Kong cannonball. Grado tagged in and hit Kong with the Bionic Elbow. Kong nosold the elbow and went for a double chokeslam on Grado and Park.
Grado and Park took down Kong with a double shoulder block. Grado hit Kong with a Splash followed by Park. Kong quickly recovered and hit a double clothesline. Kong gave Grado a chokeslam. Kong hit Park with a cannonball. Kong picked up the pinfall win.
Kongo Kong defeated Grado and Joseph Park via pinfall in 2:45.
Kong landed punches on Grado and beat him on top of Park. Kong went to try to splash Grado and Park. Laurel Van Ness got into the path of Kong to stop him. Grado and Park rolled away. Laurel yelled at Kong and slapped him in the face. Kong lifted Laurel on his shoulders but was interrupted by Tyrus’s entrance. Tyrus and Kong stood face to face. Dinero said it was like Godzilla against King Kong. Laruel pulled Kong away to send him into retreat. Laurel pulled Kong up the ramp…
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Lashley, Trevor Lee, and Low Ki. Lee said he was showing Sonjay who the real champ was. Low Ki spoke in SpangLish. Ki said Alberto has his family in Impact and wasted an opportunity that Konnan presented. Low Ki said Alberto paid the price for lack of responsibility. Ki said Alberto will not be champ for long. Ki said he was showing El Patron that Alberto can be beaten. Lashley said Matt [Sydal] was in the ring with heavy hitters. Lashley said he was going to throw Sydal’s ass across the ring. Lashley told Ki and Lee that they weren’t friends but rather associates. Lashley told Ki and Lee to stay out of his way… [C]
John’s Thoughts: That Kong handicap squash over Grado and Park was surprisingly well done to build up Kong a bit more. I can’t say I’m intrigued about Bruce Prichard’s bodyguard Tyrus going against Kong but maybe they can find a way to heat up that feud? As for Lashley, I continue to respect the heel mic work he puts in and he’s great in even intimidating his tag partners.
A Sonjay Dutt video package aired where Dutt talked about his path to the X Division Title. The video package showed clips from his career (when he had hair) leading to his title win in India. Lee was also interviewed and talked about how the X Title is truly his. Lee congratulated Dutt for winning the title after 15 years. Lee said he’s the true champion since he never got his rematch. Dutt said Lee claims to be champion but he didn’t beat the rightful champion. Lee talked about being a two time champ already and how possession is 9/10ths of the law. Dutt hyped up the ladder match. Lee said they can’t take the title from his waist so they have to hang it in the air. Lee claimed that Dutt couldn’t keep Lee down for the pinfall. They showed a clip of Mumbai Cat Dutt pinning Lee. Dutt said he’s the top dog now and needs to get his belt back…
John’s Thoughts: That was a good video package. Dutt does better in post-production and Lee is making the most of his mic time with some solid heat-drawing wit. Dutt’s interviews would work so much better if he doesn’t come off as dumb in this idiotic feud. It’s still hard to shake off that GFW is making this feud over nothing too complicated. It reminds me of old TNA stories.
They cut to last week’s Lashley’s America’s Top Team video package where his teammates want him to put his Pro Wrestling Career on hold. A Jeff Jarrett interview was spliced in. Jarrett talked about some of the great members of America’s Top Team. Jarrett also talked about how King Mo said that Wrestling was harder and that Lashley has the capability to do both MMA and Wrestling. Jarrett laid out both sides of the Lashley argument between King Mo and Dan Lambert. Jarrett said when Lashley has his A game he’s the best in the world. Jarrett said Lashley was under contract to Impact. Jarrett hyped up Sydal vs. Lashley and Lashley’s quest to get the title back. Jarrett said that Lambert shouldn’t put stuff in Bobby’s head and to let Bobby be Bobby…
Dutch Mantell hosted a new segment on Impact called “Getting Down and Dirty with Dutch”. Matt Sydal and Bobby Lashley were the first guests. Dutch asked Lashley about how Lashley ranks himself amongst top athletes. Lashley talked about how Dutch brought up disrespect early on and how he didn’t disrespect anyone. Lashley said he reacted to Matt Sydal. Lashley said he’s top 10. Lashley said he could be top three if not number one. Lashley said he could stand against anyone in the ring with sheer toughness alone. Dutch asked Matt Sydal where he ranks himself amongst X Division Athletes. Matt said it’s not about separation between divisions.
Sydal said he doesn’t see himself within a boundary because he transcends them. Sydal said he already beat the number one X Division guy in Low Ki. Sydal talked about facing giants since day one. Sydal said he’s the number three athlete in the world. Lashley retorted by saying there’s reason we have weight divisions. Lashley said many X Division guys think that they can transcend their division. Lashley said he could put Sydal to sleep with his fist. Sydal tried to get a word in Lashley just shrugged his head. Dutch asked Lashley and Sydal about their Destination X match. Lashley said he was going to beat Sydal to an inch of his life. Sydal said he comes in peace but he came to win. Lashley said he’s sick of Sydal’s people trying to step up. Lashey tried to calm down and said Sydal was simply not at his level. He said he will hurt Sydal. Sydal and Lashley stood face to face. Dutch tried to calm things down. Lashley choked Sydal to end the segment… [C]
John’s Thoughts: This was actually similar to a segment that I’ve really wanted to see brought back to Lucha Underground called “Ringside with Vampiro”. Out of the many unnecessary authority figures on Impact Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantell come off the best due to them showing up enough to have a presence yet the focus of their segments is on the wrestlers rather than the authority. Karen Jarrett is the on the other end as absolute worst. Lashley continues to put in good work as a character. Sydal was okay but he comes off a bit as an annoying pest rather than a credible challenger.
Jeremy Borash talked about the Impact hidden cameras catching the private meeting Bruce Prichard and Karen Jarrett had from last week. Of course, there was no audio but Prichard was yelling aggressively at Karen. Borash said Prichard will have an announcement next week that will affect the entire roster. LAX then made their cool entrance for their match against Veterans of War.
Konnan said they LAX was serious like a late period, on point like a decimal, and like Viagra which is why they stay so hard. Konnan talked about Low Ki being the newest member and how the true Latino revolution can commence. Konnan gave the GFW bookers a shoutout for putting them in their specialty match against some GI jabronis. Konnan said Hasta La Muerte Despues, LAX for lIfe…
3. Santana and Ortiz (w/ Konnan, Homicide, Diamante, and Low Ki) vs. Wilcox and Mayweather for the Unified GFW Tag Team Championships. The teams brawled up the ramp. Wilcox had a kendo stick to dominate Ortiz as Wilcox used a trash lid on Santana. VoW’s had the upper hand. Ortiz threw Mayweather into the ringpost. Santana tried to hit Wilcox with a jumping cane strike but Wilcox caught Santana and gave him a belly to belly. Mayweather and Ortiz brawled in the ring. Mayweather hit Ortiz with an Exploder Suplex. Mayweather set up some tables. Jeremy Borash used the moment to hype up the Pop TV “Swedish Dicks” show.
VoWs set up tables and chairs in the ring. VoW hit a delayed Dudley Death Drop on Ortiz in the ring. Homicide broke up the pin attempt… [C]
Veterans tried to keep Homicide at bay but Diamante got involved. Low Ki handcuffed Mayweather to the turnbuckle. Ortiz hit Mayweather in the head with a cookie tray. Wilcox took down Santana and Ortiz with clotheslines. Wilcox gave Santana a Samoan Drop. Ortiz escaped and chop blocked Wilcox with a kendo stick. They sent Wilcox into the chair. Wilcox kicked out at two. Josh Mathews questioned why Veterans of War would accept this technical handicap match. Santana and Ortiz beat on Wilcox with a trash lid and kendo stick. Santana hit Wilcox with a poetry in motion cannonball into the table to pick up the win.
LAX defeated Veterans of War in a street fight to retain the Unified GFW Tag Team Championship.
Jeremy Borash talked about how the numbers game took advantage of the VoWs. Konnan said it was on and it didn’t matter if it was Lashley or Alberto El Patron…
John’s Thoughts: I’m a little more excusing of the booking of this match given how Prichard is a heel nowadays, but the VoWs look a bit dumb for not getting backup. On the other hand, I’m glad LAX got to get some heat back. I’m also glad that GFW saw the light a few months ago and decided to scrap the Xenophobic storyline between VOW and LAX.
Sonjay Dutt, Alberto El Patron, and Matt Sydal were chatting backstage. Dutt talked about getting his belt back. Sydal said he needs help against Lashley. Alberto said their opponents were going to pay mexican style, si si si, esta noche (tonight). The trio bumped fist for Destination X. Jeremy Borash hyped up Taiji Ishimori vs. ACH. ACH made his entrance first wearing his Gogeta fusion vest from DBZ. Ishimori wore his buffalo mask to the ring…
4. ACH vs. Taiji Ishimori in a Semi-Final Super X Cup Match. Ishimori and ACH had a quick stalemate to start. ACH turned a wrist lock around with flips. Ishimori came back with flips. A picture-in-picture showed that Dezmond Xavier was watching the match on a TV (and they didn’t have him stand at an awkward 90 degree angle like WWE does. ACH took down Ishimori with a shoulder block. Ishimori sent ACH outside and taunted him with a feint kick. ACH recovered and hit Ishimori with a clothesline back in the ring. [C]
Ishimori took down Ishimori with a seated senton. Ishimori gave ACH a slingshot footstomp. ACH baseball slid to block a whip. ACH turned the slide to a kick. ACH went for a German Suplex. Ishimori turned it into a victory roll attempt. ACH took down Ishimori and did a modified Kip Up. Ishimori blocked a suplex by adjusting his weight. Ishimori punched the kidneys of ACH. ACH took a foot to the face but quick came back with a lariat. ACH reversed a pile driver into a reverse codebreaker. Ishimori hit a springboard 450 on ACH and then hit a top rope 450 on ACH for the win
Taiji Ishimori defeated ACH via pinfall in 5:43 to advance to the finals of the Super X Cup.
Dezmond Xavier came out post-match to scout his opponent. Xavier gave ACH a handshake. They both stood face to face in front of the X Cup. A recap video package aired of last week’s events that led up to Low Ki joining LAX…
Low Ki spoke in Spanglish again. He said everyone want to know what happened. Ki said everyone’s hero El Patron dethroned Lashley. Ki said he can celebrate with his family and fans but he didn’t introduce himself to Low Ki. Ki said Alberto walked in his house and put his feet on his table. Ki ended by saying Hasta La Muerte. Santana said brrryat![C]
John’s Thoughts: The X Cup continues to be a weekly highlight of the show. I hope this type of action doesn’t go away once the cup concludes but It’s possible that it might happen. See how Alberto single-handedly defeating the tag champs took down the tag division several notches after that rebuild. I’m looking forward to Xavier vs. Ishimori because of the solid progression of this Tournament. Dezmond is the favorite because he is the contracted Impact guy but there could also be a good story told with Dezmond coming short of his goal.
The commentators hyped up the card for next week’s Destination X show. The six wrestlers advertised for the main event made their entrance for the Destination X preview trios match. Low Ki still wrestles in a suit…
5. Low Ki, Trevor Lee, and Bobby Lashley vs. Alberto El Patron, Sonjay Dutt, and Matt Sydal. Alberto quickly went after Low Ki. El Patron gave Ki ten count punches in the corner. El Patron kicked Ki in the gut. Alberto and Dutt isolated Ki in their corner. Ki managed to ram Dutt in his corner to tag in Lee. Dutt tagged in Sydal and they gave stereo moonsaults to Ki and Lee.
Lee turned the tide and tagged in Lashley who dominated Sydal. Sydal landed a few kicks and a knee. Lashley took down Sydal with a flying crossbody. [C]
Lashley hit Sydal with a delayed vertical suplex. Josh Mathews hyped up Bruce Prichard’s announcement that will rock Impact to it’s very core. Ki tagged in and gave chops to Sydal. Ki hit Sydal with a headbutt. Dinero said Low Ki is a hitman. Ki isolated Sydal in his corner and tagged in Lee. Sydal escaped a chinlock. Lee gave Sydal a dropkick. Lashley tagged in and gave Sydal hip strikes to the back. Lashley stretched Sydal with one hand.
Lashley gave Sydal a shoulder block in his corner and tagged in Low Ki. Ki locked in a body stretch on Sydal. Sydal escaped with some elbows to Ki’s gutt. Ki reversed a Sydal headlock into a dragon sleeper. Sydal made it to the ropes for the break. Lee tagged in and continued to work on Sydal. Lee and Ki traded quick tags for the isolation game. Sydal gained a window of opportunity by hitting Ki with a spinning wheel kick.
Sydal tagged in Dutt and Ki tagged in Lee. Dutt hit Lee with a huracanrana. Dutt then hit Lee with a low dropkick. Lashley tagged in and hit Dutt with a flapjack slam. Ki slowed things down with an abdominal stretch. Dutt gave Ki a knee. Ki gave Dutt a stomp to the back. Lashley tagged in and gave Dutt a neckbreaker. Lee tagged in and drew boos. Dutt escaped the heel corner with pump kicks. Dutt used Ki as leverage to hit Lee with a tornado DDT. El Patron made the hot tag.
El Patron gave Lee a backcracker. El Patron took down Ki with a backbreaker. He gave Lashley a suicide dive. Low Ki gave El Patron a shotgun dropkick. Sonjay hit Ki with a tornado DDT again. Sydal, Dutt and Lee were on the top rope. Sydal gave Lee a frankensteiner which allowed Dutt to hit Lee with a frog splash. Lashley gave Dutt a clothesline. El Patron took down Lashley with low kicks. He superkicked Lashley and Ki. Lee took out El Patron. Lashley hit Dutt with a running powerslam. Low Ki hit Warrior’s Way on Dutt to pick up the win.
Low Ki, Trevor Lee, and Bobby Lashley defeated Alberto El Patron, Sonjay Dutt, and Matt Sydal via pinfall in 13:06.
The commentators commented on “G-Motion” replays of the Warrior’s way. The heels jawed with the their opponents at Destination X who went up the ramp. This closed out Impact…
John’s Thoughts: This was a much better trios match to forward a program compared to last week’s main event. It’s mostly due to the use of able professional wrestlers as opposed to the elder Dos Caras and green Hijo. The heels picked up the clean win and looked good doing so. Trevor Lee got a rare chance to get some wrestling in, which we rarely see from him in the X Division due to his mat based style.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do at Destination X. GFW did a good job throughout this episode building up their live show next week like a PPV, albeit with some rushed hype. The El Patron personal drama actually adds to the event because it makes Low Ki a favorite to win. I wouldn’t mind Ki myself as champ. This episode also showed that Low Ki is a really affluent promo. Make sure to check out Jason Powell’s Hit List and member exclusive audio review.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Brian Fritz of Sporting News and Between The Ropes discussing WrestleMania 36, WWE television from the empty WWE Performance Center, his own travel woes, NFL free agency, and more...