By Jason Powell
GFW Impact Wrestling Hits
Sienna vs. Gail Kim for the GFW Knockouts Championship: The show opening video package with both women talking about the match had a cool UFC-style vibe. It was nice to see the company get right down to business with a good opening match rather than going with a lengthy talking segment (thought they more than made up for it with the Jim Cornette appearance). Kim looked great in her in-ring return following her back injury. A good match. The return of Taryn Terrell was a pleasant surprise. She did a great job as the leader of the Dollhouse faction and it looks like she’s back playing the same type of character.
Sonjay Dutt vs. Trevor Lee in a ladder match for the GFW X Division Championship: A quality ladder match and it was a positive that the interference by Caleb Konley and Petey Williams didn’t affect the finish. It was a fun throwback moment to see Williams return and it will be interesting to see what he does with the company going forward.
Jim Cornette returns: Another truly surprising moment and a mixed bag overall. Normally, I’d be worried about the live crowd having a flat reaction to a name from the past returning. However, Cornette is so strong on the mic that he can win over fans even if they are young enough that they haven’t had much exposure to him. It was good to see Cornette dressed professionally, as his throwback to the glory days look would have looked very out of place in 2017. That said, it was odd to hear him labeled as a corporate consultant. Yes, he’s obviously worked behind the scenes for numerous companies over the years, but he’s always come off as an anti-establishment guy, so having him cast as a company guy may take some getting used to. I also didn’t care for Cornette saying that he didn’t know the newer members of LAX. While that may have been a truthful statement, Diego and Ortiz are the tag champions and therefore should be treated like stars. Konnan was on fire on the mic and delivered his best mic work since returning to the promotion. The ridiculously long segment was supposed to be about Cornette, but it was actually Konnan who stole it and closed it on a high note.
Johnny Impact teaser: A cool teaser for the debut of the man formerly known as John Morrison/Johnny Nitro/Johnny Mundo. A very nice addition to GFW roster.
Lashley vs. Matt Sydal: An entertaining main event, though it doesn’t seem like Sydal is connecting with the fans the way they want him to given his high profile spot on the card. Meanwhile, the American Top Team drama does nothing for me. I don’t care why one of them choked out referee Brian Hebner, and I have no desire to see Lashley’s MMA buddies at this point. Obviously, we’ll see where this goes, but so far I prefer Lashley as a one-man wrecking crew.
Eli Drake speaks: It’s about damn time.
Overall show: A loaded show with plenty of surprises and some quality in-ring action. By the way, I liked some of the cosmetic changes, but the florescent green ropes are obnoxious and straight out of the ’90s.
GFW Impact Wrestling Misses
Dezmond Xavier vs. Taiji Ishimori in the Super X Cup final: A good match, yet it didn’t live up to high expectations or close the tournament on a high note. Xavier obviously benefitted from winning the tournament. However, this didn’t come off as a star making moment for Xavier. Still, the overall tournament was good enough that it should mean more going forward if they make it an annual event.
Ohio Versus Everything debut: What am I missing with the name? Is the goal to get heat once a year in Michigan before a big showdown college football game between the Wolverines and the Buckeyes? Anyway, after a couple weeks of videos that made the duo look like a team that Sinister Minister could manage, they showed up looking like British glam rock band members. I enjoyed Irish Airborne back in the day and I’m curious to see this act evolve, but it seemed like a poor choice to debut them on a night when they were lost in the shuffle.
EC3 and Moose: An oddball moment with two wrestlers who have been feuding with one another suddenly approaching Cornette backstage as if they were suddenly friendly with one another.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features guest Eli Drake talking about signing with the NWA, his departure from Impact Wrestling, rejecting an intergender match with Tessa Blanchard, his WWE developmental run, and much more...