By John Moore
GFW Impact Wrestling
Taped August 17, 2017 in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
The GFW intro graphic played which was the new one that focused on GFW’s wrestling and television partnerships. The intro teaser of the show consisted of highlights from the prior week’s Destination X Show. Matt Sydal, Jim Cornette, Sonjay Dutt, oVe, Lashley, and Dan Lambert were amongst the people spotlighted. The end of the teaser focused on American Top Team choking out Brian Hebner. They cut to a clip from last week in the Gorilla Position area. Dan Lambert and Jeff Jarrett yelled at each other complete with censor bleeps. Jeff kept yelling “are you going to pay [Lashley] the money I’m paying him?” to Dan Lambert. Lashley and Scott D’Amore tried to get in between Jarrett and Dan Lambert. Randomly, James Storm shoehorned himself into the argument and started yelling at Dan Lambert…
John’s Thoughts: So, Jeff Jarrett has done a good job painting himself as the wizard behind the curtain of GFW; and this is when he decides to surface? To feud with Dan F’n Lambert? Now the only thing I know from the spoilers is what’s going to happen in the main event of this show but what I picked up with James Storm randomly interjecting himself is are we getting some sort of Dan Lambert vs. Jeff Jarrett match for Lashley’s contract with Lashley and Storm being surrogates for Lambert and Jarrett? I hope not!
Bobby Lashley and Dan Lambert were shown entering the Impact Zone lot with American Top Team behind them. Jeff Jarrett called Dan Lambert over to continue arguing with him. Lashley pulled Dan away…
Jim Cornette had a meeting before the show in the Impact Zone with the entire GFW roster. Cornette said that Anthem has the resources and ability to put this television program all over the world to make everyone in the room a bigger star in the process. Jim said it was a two-way street and they need the drive and determination to succeed. Jim talked about how he was a part of major wrestling companies and even ran a few. Cornette said he’s seen every excuse and trick that people use to get a free ride and that’s not happening right here.
Cornette said he is bombastic but if there’s no gaga everyone is going to get along fine. Cornette said nobody is going to sit on their ass to get a paycheck in the form of easy money. Cornette said nobody is going to have their personal life plastered all over TMZ and nobody is going to get away without doing what they are supposed to do in the ring, which is fight. Cornette noticed there were only 18 people in the room and Lashley was getting fined for being tardy. Cornette said the 18 plus Lashley will wrestle for the global championship and there will be a mystery entrant. Cornette said he expects chaos. Cornette said the person who is going to win is the person who fights hardest and longest. Cornette cheered and said he would like to see some chaos!
The GFW Impact Wrestling intro theme played. Alberto El Patron was taken out of the video. Taryn Terrell, Jim Cornette, American Top Team (w/ King Mo), Petey Williams and oVe were amongst those added to the opening video. Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews checked in on commentary. To random wrestlers were already in the ring. Jake and Dave Crist, Ohio Vs. Everything made their way down the ramp wearing masks…
1. Jake and Dave Crist vs. The Heatseakers. Jake and Dave did tandem dives to the outside. OVE hit a double Alabama Slam on a headseaker. They also kicked down the other one. Jake quickly caught one of the guys into a seamless DVD. Josh Mathews talked about how he’s looking forward to seeing Reno Scum return once Adam Thornstowe gets back from injury. Jake and Dave traded quick tags and isolated their opponent. Jake talked to the camera starting an OVE/Ohio vs. Everything chant. Dave hit a unique twist into an apron DDT. OVE hit their double kick finisher on the heatseeker that looks kinda like Chavo to pick up the win.
Ohio Vs. Everything defeated The Heatseekers via pinfall in 3:04.
The Crist Brothers celebrated their win. Jeremy Borash called Ohio a great state and Josh Mathews asked Borash “what’s so great about Ohio”…
John’s Thoughts: Not bad. I’m going to count this week as their debut because they were an afterthought last week due to the high profile returns and their match this week served as a better showcase for the Crist brothers. Josh Mathews made the tangent on talking about waiting for Reno Scum to return. I have a lot of emails in my Inbox on this one, Adam Thornstowe has been healthy for months and wrestles for a local California independent promotion in my neighborhood. He in fact wrestled Johnny Mundo/Impact a month ago.
Jim Cornette was talking on his cell phone in his office. He had a Bound for Glory poster behind him. Cornette talked on the phone about fining someone $5,000. Eli Drake and Chris Adonis walked in to try to suck up to Jim Cornette. Drake complemented Cornette on his weight and suit. Drake tried to talk his way out of the number one spot. Cornette talked about how Drake and Low Ki were the only ones in the match without a random number. Cornette said he can make a deal with Drake for a different number if it results in Drake not speaking to him for the rest of the night. Drake accepted the deal. Cornette said congratulations to Drake and Drake was now number two. Drake yelled “that’s the same thing!” as Cornette left the office. Chris Masterpiece stooged up to Drake…
Jeremy Borash hyped up the mystery person for the Gauntlet for the Gold. Borash also hyped up Grado’s “Farewell to America”. Taryn Terrell was shown walking backstage wearing what looked like underwear…
John’s Thoughts: I’m not sure why? But I’m really liking the Jim Cornette character on GFW? He’s a good talker and very entertaining. Eli Drake is allowed to talk again. It’s a Christmas freakin’ miracle! Still think he should move away from Chris Masters the same way Akira Tozawa should move away from Titus O’Neil; they both have WWE Superstars stank. I think Masterpiece can work? If instead of playing the Masterpiece body guy, he can play a suit wearing stooge. Chris Masters has been in need of a gimmick overhaul for years. Why not start now!
A Gail Kim highlight video played with Jeremy Borash saying that Gail Kim was retiring at the end of the year. Sienna and Gail Kim talked about Gail Kim. Sienna said she thinks Gail is self-absorbed. They showed clips from their Destination X match…
Taryn Terrell came out to some new non-Hole theme music. She made her way to the ring wearing lingerie. Taryn started off doing seductive movements but then started to scowl at the fans…
John’s Thoughts: As a warm blooded American male, I have no problem with Taryn’s look. I just wonder, didn’t she leave this company abruptly, and in the middle of a feud with Gail Kim, since she made it publicly known that she was a born again Christian and it hurt her to play this highly-sexualized character?
Jeremy Borash asked Taryn why she decided to target Gail Kim and last week. Taryn said she used to be “kinda best friends” with Gail Kim. Taryn said she managed to show up for Gail’s Hall of Fame. Taryn said Gail Kim didn’t call to say thank you even though she kept contact up. Taryn screamed that Gail doesn’t even follow her on Twitter. Taryn plugged her twitter account. Taryn picked up from where she left off two years ago, and talked about Gail Kim’s husband, celebrity chef Robert Irvine. Taryn said Gail is going to lie, cheat on, and leave Robert Irvine high and dry, just like Gail is about to do to the Knockouts Division. Taryn said she’s so sick of this being the Gail show over, and over, and over again. Taryn said she’s just here to help Gail on her retirement journey. The Gail Kim gong sounded as Gail Kim made her entrance.
Gail Kim marched to the ring. Taryn made sure she took off the high heels so she can elude Gail. Gail chased Taryn out of the ring. Taryn ran up the ramp while also trying to keep her top from falling off. Taryn mocked Gail Kim as Jeremy Borash tried to hold Gail Kim back. Gail Kim’s entrance played. The camera cut to Josh Mathews who recapped the last segment. Borash joined Mathews. Borash cut to a highlight package of the GFW live event shows…[C]
John’s Thoughts: Haydn Gleed and I dubbed Taryn as “vanilla ice cream” as a babyface since she was the most vanilla babyface wrestler ever. Taryn really turned the switch on when she turned heel and puts on some solid heel mic work. Taryn’s simply great at playing the bitchy valley girl type despite having strong sex appeal. To be honest, I think that type of heel can draw a lot of heat from female viewers! Gail Kim was great in saying nothing and looking badass in the ring. That’s the answer to my criticism of her (and to Ember Moon) where I think she works better as a silent assassin.
An advertisement aired for the main event “Gauntlet for the Gold” aired. We were shown that “The Standby Wrestler” Richard Justice was going to be one of the many listed wrestlers for this match. Low Ki talked about how he had a singles match for the title taken away from him. EC3 talked about “Fallah Balla”, “The Moose”, “Blow Ki”, and “Richard Justice!” being in the match. Moose said he was going to win. Eddie Edwards cried (?) about having a taste of the gold and wanting it again. Chris Adonis told people to look at his body. KM said he’s the only undefeated member of the GFW Roster. Braxton Sutter said he’s going to make the most of his opportunity. Eli Drake said he’s going to win because he’s E-li Drake. Lashley said the gauntlet match is his way of getting his gold.
Bobby Lashley and Dan Lambert entered Jim Cornette’s office. Cornette asked Lambert why his men attacked Cornette’s officials. Lashley tried to mediate. Cornette said he respects MMA fighters and pro wrestlers and expects the same back since you don’t have wrestler jumping in and interfering in the MMA cage. Lashley said he’ll take care of his team and he asked Cornette why Cornette took the title away that Prichard was about to award him. Lashley said Cornette screwed him. Cornette said he knows the type of person Lashley is and wants Lashey to earn the title. Cornette accused Dan Lambert of giving Lashley bad information. Dan Lambert reacted to this. Dan Lambert said GFW should be lucky to have Lashley and Cornette should be lucky since GFW doesn’t know how to use Lashley (huh?). Cornette said Lambert and the team should be moved out of the Impact site. Lambert asked him who’s going to move them. Cornette said the authorities are. Cornette and Lambert told Lashley to pick a side MMA or wrestling. Cornette said this meeting was over. Lashley and American Top Team walked out with Lashley saying it wasn’t over.
John’s Thoughts: Since Dan Lambert said on the GFW conference call that he was good friends with Jeff Jarrett, I can’t help but wonder if Lambert being given a high-profile spot on a national wrestling show is just Jarrett allowing a friend of his to play pro wrestler even though he didn’t work his way up to it. The only thing that kept me from blowing up on that segment was Cornette’s solid promo work. Now, let’s backtrack a bit. The preceding ad-like hype for Gauntlet for the Gold, thumbs up to whoever put that together! I liked the advertisement style as well as each wrestler giving a unique reason to win the GFW Championship.
A Taya Valkyrie vignette aired. Taya talked about wars, darkness, and stuff. It looks like she’s going for more of a mystic character as opposed to the more grounded valet-type she plays on Wednesdays on El Rey. The video ended by saying that Taya Valkyrie was coming soon…
John’s Thoughts: Taya Valkyrie is a Canadian wrestler from AAA who was trained by Lance Storm. Melina Perez was brought in as Johnny Mundo’s valet during the end of Season 1. Due to something behind the scenes, Taya was brought in as Melina’s replacement and Taya has done a stellar job. In Mexico they call her “La Wera Loca” which connotes to “Crazy White Chick” because she can have some crazy matches in the ring where both people get beat up. I’m looking forward to see her wrestle females for once, since she usually wrestles only men on Lucha Underground, and I’m looking forward to seeing the Knockouts Division get a main event quality female talent to plug in.
Josh Mathews talked about how excited he was to see Grado leave America. A video package aired about Grado’s quest to marry a knockout to prevent his deportation. Kongo Kong and Laurel’s odd eccentricities were shown as the barriers to Grado’s goal of staying in the US. They showed highlights of Grado and Joseph Park losing to Kongo Kong in a handicap match. They edited out the part where Tyrus interfered. Grado said he was going to miss American Wrestling, American Mac-n-cheese, and American women. Park talked about Grado not being a mark and how he’s going to say goodbye in person. Grado and Joseph Park were shown walking down a hallway. Borash hyped up Grado’s “American Farewell”…
Grado made his entrance to the Impact Zone accompanied by Joseph Park. Borash said immigration is a tough thing for everyone. Grado said he promised himself he wouldn’t cry but when he sees the fans they mean the world to him. Grado said he apologizes if he starts crying because it’s a sad day for him. Grado said unfortunately he has to go home. This drew sad chants from the crowd. Grado said he’s tried everything to stop deportation including trying to get married and even getting advice from his friend Joseph Park. Park said he was sorry that Park, Park, and Park couldn’t help Grado. Park told Grado “I love you man!” and he said the people love Park too. They found a camera shot of a grown man actually crying! Park gave Grado another word of wisdom that he didn’t know of.
Grado said he’s going to miss so much about this great country: like mac-n-cheese, hot dogs, boneless wings, wings with bones in it, cheese fries, chili cheese fries, chili cheese fries with sour cream. Grado was about to say more things that included cheese and fries but Park stopped Grado since Grado was making him hungry. Grado said he’s going to miss the fans most of all. He pointed out specific people. Grado said he thanks everyone for making his dream come true in being a wrestler in the United States of America. Grado said he has to go because his time is unfortunately up. Grado got a huge “Thank You Grado!” and “Please don’t go!” chant. Grado said it was time to say good bye to the US. Grado gave a final bow.
Suddenly Laurel Van Ness’s theme played. The old Laurel Van Ness came out, sans the Courtney Love hot mess attire. Joseph Park made his shocked face. Laurel was met with “yes” chants. Laurel said the past few weeks have been the happiest of her life and she’s a changed woman because of Grado. Laurel said Grado is the peanut butter to her jelly. She said he’s the whipped cream to her twinkie. The BBO sauce to her ribs. Laurel said she has one small little thing she wants to ask Grado. Laurel went down on one knee to shock the crowd. Laurel asked Grado if he will marry her. Grado said “I d…I mean Yes!”. Laurel dragged Grado on the ground to plant a huge kiss on him. Grado, Laurel, and Joe Park did some circle dancing to some wedding music.
Kongo Kong walked to the ring as he looked extremely angry. Grado looked afraid at this. Suddenly we saw the back of some guy. Since he had Indian words on his tights it was Mahabali Shera. I’m assuming Shera is taking over for the role of Tyrus. Shera walked towards Kong which caused Kong to retreat…
John’s Thoughts: I didn’t want to like this segment due to how campy it was, but to be completely honest it was one hell of a segment and probably one of Grado’s best. Joseph Park has done a great job in his return. He saved Jeremy Borash from coming off as akin to heel Josh Mathews. He’s also had clever humor in boosting up Grado, who was great on his end. That shot of the grown man crying enhanced the moment for me. It was also great seeing regular Laurel Van Ness back. I totally expect her to screw over Grado since that was her character before she got “broken”, but it was good to see her out of the tattered wedding dress.
Jim Cornette talked with Eddie Edwards backstage. Cornette talked about meeting Edwards during his ROH days and how Adam Pearce recommended Edwards for being a tough guy. Cornette said he was shocked that night because he expected Edwards to be replaced that night since Edwards broke bones at a match before but the American Wolves ended up having a match for the Tag Titles that night. Cornette said Edwards proved that night that he had more guts than anyone Cornette has known in 45 years. Cornette talked about how Eli Drake and Low Ki were the only ones with chosen numbers at the moment. Cornette said Anthem and he would be proud if Edwards became champion…
It was time for an LAX clubhouse cinematic. Konnan wanted an update on the income supply lines of LAX. Santana gave Konnan an update on their tequila/beer distribution and told him that the increase in price have upped their profits. Diamante gave Konnan an update on their prostitution ring and told him the hoes were in check and producing a lot of money for LAX. Konnan said the reason that Homicide was no longer here was because he was assigned to do border patrol in helping out LAX’s distribution to and from Mexico. Konnan said one thing this place hates is Latinos getting power. Konnan said they’ve held Low Ki down. Konnan said Low Ki is going to go out there to prove LAX hasta la muerte despues. Konnan then started a dice game with the other members of LAX…[C]
John’s Thoughts: Hmmmm… LAX having a business empire? That’s straight from the Lucha Underground playbook which I don’t mind. Because it’s concentrated to the LAX faction, it makes LAX seem like one of the most powerful forces in GFW. The writing out of Homicide was also similar to how LU would do it.
Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews recapped the events of the night. Josh talked about going twitter to try to find out the mystery man in the Gauntlet for the Gold. Brian Stiffler, Earl Hebner, and Brian Hebner presented the new singular GFW Global Championship belt to the Impact Zone. Eddie Edwards walked to the ring as the random number one. Eli Drake came out as the assigned number two…
John’s Thoughts: Wow. The only match we had in the first hour or so was the Ohio vs. Everything squash!
2. The Gauntlet for the Gold for the vacant GFW Global Championship. Josh Mathews talked about predicting that Eli Drake will be champion before the end of the calendar year. Drake and Edwards jawed at each other early on. Edwards gave Drake a chop. Drake came back with a shoulder block. Edwards landed an armdrag and chop on Drake. Drake tried to pull the top rope to send Edwards out but Edwards hit the brakes and gave Drake a chop. Mario Bokara was the third entrance. Borash talked about how Bokara and Fallah Bahh have had a lot of success in the tag division (wait? Really?). Bokara had an intense face on the way to the ring.
Bokara pulled Edwards off of Drake and gave Edwards a German Suplex. Drake and Bokara slowly put the boots to Edwards. Drake gave Bokara a high five and then went on to put the boots to Bokara. Edwards gave Drake a running enziguri. The returning [Eddie] Kingston was the next entrant. He wore a suit vest to the ring. Kingston gave Edwards an STO. Kingston gave Drake a back release suplex. Eddie (Borash gave Kingston his first name back) took down Bokara and dominated all three men. Borash talked about how this match will have many surprises according to Cornette. Braxton Sutter was the fifth wrestler to come out.
Sutter gave Bokara a neck breaker. Sutter gave Kingston a powerslam. Drake flapjacked Sutter on the ropes. Bokara gave Drake a German Suplex. Eddie Edwards made it to his feet to cause everyone to get back to brawling. The countdown clock got back up. Some generic hip hop music played as “Standby Wrestler” Richard Justice made his way to the ring with a blank stare. Justice made sure to do some squats before he entered the ring. Justice tried to help out Sutter but Sutter didn’t accept. Kingston didn’t either. Justice asked Bokara to let him help him. Bokara didn’t take it. Kingston ordered Justice to go to the corner. Justice obliged and did squats in the corner.
EC3 was the next entrant. EC3 exaggerated in forming an alliance with Richard Justice. It was a joke because EC3 kicked Justice in the balls to eliminate Justice. Edwards brawled with EC3 heading into the commercial.[C]
Kongo Kong made his entrance. Kong easily eliminated Bokara. Kingston tried to give Kong chops. Kingston was also easily eliminated. The remaining wrestlers swarmed Kongo Kong. Suicide was out next where he did a trust fall dive to everyone. Kong no-sold Suicide’s chops after Suicide made a strong rally. Mahabali Shera soon entered the ring. Kong and Shera traded right hands. Shera eliminated Kong by pulling the top rope down as Kong was running. Shera hit Drake with an Attitude Adjustment. Eli Drake skinned the cat as Chris Adonis made his entrance. Drake and Adonis teamed up to take out Shera. Adonis and Sutter held on to the top rope to avoid elimination by Drake and Adonis.
El Hijo Del Fantasma (King Cuerno) made his entrance next. Fantasma gave Adonis a running huracanrana. Fantasma then hit a rolling dropkick on EC3. Jeremy Borash hyped up Jim Cornette’s surprise for after the commercial.[C]
The #13 wrestler was the debuting Johnny Impact. The current on-air Lucha Underground Champion and current AAA Mega Champion struck the Johnny Mundo pose on his way to the ring. Impact gave Adonis a thrust kick. He gave EC3 a standing Spanish Fly. Impact hit Suicide with a single leg dropkick. Adonis tried to eliminate Impact but Impact slid under Adonis’ leg and sent Adonis over the top rope. Impact did some of his parkour moves and gave Suicide a body scissors to eliminate him over the top rope.
John’s Thoughts: It’s tough typing Johnny Mundo as Johnny Impact. I’ll try to turn the Mundo’s to Impact’s during proofreading. This is the case because I review a show on Wednesdays where John Morrison has been called Johnny Mundo for a few years.
Impact struck the Mundo pose as he waited for the next opponent. Hector Garza Jr made his way to the ring. He work black pants. Garza gave Impact a springboard dropkick. Garza and Fantasma had a quick running sequence with Garza hitting Fantasma with a huracanrana. Garza stopped the match in front of Sutter so he could take off his pants in front of him. Sutter wasn’t buying it. Garza used it to play possum as he sent Sutter out of the ring with a sidestep enziguri.
The six remaining wrestlers all paired off: Impact, Garza, Carter, Drake, Fantasma, and Edwards. Fallah Bahh made his entrance and took down everyone with a shoulder block. Impact sold his shoulder block by doing a corkscrew midair. Mundo hit Bahh with an enziguri. The babyfaces in the ring all teamed up to try to eliminate Bahh. Drake and EC3 just hung out at ringside. Samoa Joe’s entrance theme played as KM made his entrance. KM hit Impact with a half nelson side slam. Edwards chopped KM to gain the upper hand. Madness ensued. Impact and EC3 brawled on the outside.
Taiji Ishimori was the next wrestler out. KM shoved Ishimori to the ground. Ishimori kicked KM to the ground with a dropkick. Ishimori gave KM a frankendriver. Impact gave KM an enziguri as more madness ensued. Bobby Lashley was out next. Lashley easily eliminated KM and Fallah Bahh. The Camera zoomed in to American Top Team who sat in the same spot as last week’s episode. Lashley eliminated Ishimori by punching him out of a springboard. The camera kept cutting to Dan Lambert and crew.
Number 19 was Quinn Moose Ojinaka. Moose did the Moose dance to the ring. Moose gave Fantasma and EC3 headbutts. Garza stopped in his tracks to allow Garza Jr to take off his pants. Garza took of the tear aways and gave Moose a Superkick. Moose blocked the subsequent huracanrana as he powerbombed Garza to the guys on the outside. Cut to commercial.[C]
LAX’s entrance theme played as Low Ki made his entrance. Instead of wearing a suit jacket, Agent 47 Low Ki now wears a gun holster with 47’s two plastic guns? Ki struck a Muai Thai pose to confront Johnny Mundo. Mundo did the double leg takedown on Ki. Impact tried to slingshot Ki but Ki gave Impact a footstomp. Fantasma kept from being eliminated by EC3 as he hit EC3 with a high crossbody. EC3 was in a fireman carry as Fantasma gave him knees to the head. EC3 gave Fantasma a TKO to eliminate Fantasma. Madness went back to ensuing. Josh Mathews announced that Eli Drake and Eddie Edwards were in for thirty minutes. Moose and Eddie Edwards kicked EC3 off the apron to eliminate him. The censors bleeped a curse word from Ethan.
Low Ki fought out of power bomb position into a Dragon Sleeper position on Moose. Lashley took advantage of the positioning to toss Low Ki over the top rope. [C]
Lashley, Edwards, Impact, Moose, and Drake were the remaining wrestlers in the match. Moose and Lashley stood back to back. Moose gained the upper hand with a European uppercut. Lashley dodged Moose’s lariat and hit him with a spear. Lashley gave Edwards a running crossbody block. Impact hit Lashley with the Flying Chuck. Drake hit Lashley with a side slam. Moose took down Drake and hit him with a running senton. Moose eliminated Lashley in front of Dan Lambert and American Top Team by using a dropkick on the top rope. Josh Mathews said American Top Team has been bad luck for Lashley.
Eddie Edwards eliminated Moose with a Huracanrana in front of American Top Team. American Top Team was shown talking with Lashley on the outside. Drake, Edwards, and Impact were the final three. Drake worked on Impact. Drake skinned the cat by using his feet to hang on the bottom ropes, Morrison style. Impact and Edwards traded right hands in the middle of the ring. Impact was almost eliminated because Edwards blocked a Flying Chuck. Drake was not eliminated because he threw himself to the outside but through the second rope. Drake simply pulled Impact down to turn the match into a singles match.
2. Eli Drake vs. Eddie Edwards in a single fall match for the Vacant GFW Global Championship. Edwards gave Drake a tope to the outside. Drake caught Edwards midair into a Celtic cross. Edwards hit Drake with a blue thunder bomb for a nearfall. Drake tried to steal the win with his feet on the ropes for leverage. Eddie blocked Drake with a shoulder block. Drake rolled through a cross body block into a Celtic Cross which led to Eli Drake picking up the pinfall win.
Eli Drake defeated Eddie Edwards via pinfall in about 40 minutes of TV time to win Gauntlet for the Gold and become the new GFW Global Champion.
Drake celebrated his win to a decent reaction. The camera moved away from Drake/Adonis to focus on Dan Lambert and American Top Team messing with the referees. Drake started to lead the crowd in an Eli Drake chant but he then sushed them. Drake stood celebrating with the title ad GFW Impact closed…
John’s Thoughts: Well, I did say this is what GFW should have done during my review last week and I think Drake should be their top champion. The ending sequence of the match and the entire episode does have me a bit weary though as I’m afraid GFW might try to focus on Dan Freakin’ Lambert and American Top Team over their own world champion in order to tell some sort of pseudo-shoot. It’s also just me, but I would hope that Chris Adonis either leaves or becomes a huge background player for Eli Drake. Let’s see what they do going forward but I’m not confident given how the whole show focused on these MMA guys that the viewers have no reason to care about. If Josh Barnett or King Mo were around I would understand a little bit, but these are unnamed MMA fighters and the training coach. It comes off as Jeff Jarrett giving his friends TV time that they don’t deserve.
If you extricate all of the focus on Dan Lambert and American Top Team, you come out with a decent show. I like the move not to go with Johnny Impact as world champion as it would send the wrong message to the viewers and to the locker room of TNA always giving the title to former WWE castoffs. The Grado segment was feel-good so there’s that. Out of the wrestlers that gained from the Gauntlet, I think EC3, Moose, Impact, and Eddie Edwards gained something while the others didn’t gain much. On top of that, Jim Cornette is proving to be a really solid authority figure. Now let’s hope they keep Karen Jarrett and Dutch Mantel out of the picture. Dutch is fine. Just keep Karen and her screaming off TV. Let’s see where Jason Powell ends up with his thoughts on a show that heavily featured Dan Lambert and his MMA crew, as Powell will be by later on with his Hit List and member exclusive audio review.