By Jason Powell
GFW Impact Wrestling Hits
Eli Drake’s first promo as GFW Champion: Drake looked the part of a world champion and showed off his gift of gab with a promo that sent the message that he’s even hungrier now that he’s won the title. Johnny Impact’s interruption was a good touch in that they are clearly building to a match between the two. Impact has improved as a talker over the years and I laughed at the line that he’s had more names than Drake has won championships. The interruption by Eddie Edwards was also solid in that it showed that multiple challengers are in play for the title while also setting up the show’s tag team main event.
James Storm vs. Low Ki: A good television match. The LAX distraction finish was no surprise, but it was also logical in terms of putting heat on Low Ki and the faction at this early stage of what could be a feud between the two wrestlers. Well, as long as Low Ki is around, as reports indicate that he has opted to leave the company.
Taryn Terrell attacks Allie: The lovably naive Allie character was on display while asking Terrell why she attacked Gail Kim the week before. It was perfect for Terrell to take advantage of Allie by telling her to deliver a message to Kim before attacking her. I also liked the way they showed that there is at least a loose alliance between Terrell and Sienna, as it provided a good reason for Karen Jarrett to book them in a tag match against Kim and Allie for next week.
Grado, Laurel Van Ness, and Joseph Park: Van Ness revealing that she is Canadian was a fun, unexpected twist to the story of Grado wanting to marry her so that he can remain in the United States. My guess remains that Allie eventually steps up to marry Grado, which would also explain why Braxton Sutter has been acting heelish. The only negative of this scenario is that Van Ness could be headed back to playing the Courtney Love version of her persona given that Grado is unlikely to marry her.
Petey Williams vs. Caleb Konley: A nice return match for Williams, who looked great for a guy who hasn’t wrestled in three years. Williams is a really nice addition to the X Division and the broadcast team did a great job of putting him over as the creator of the popular Canadian Destroyer finisher.
OVE vs. Fallah Bahh and Mario Bokara: Another solid showcase win for OVE. However, the company really needs to give the duo some promo time. The broadcast team continues to talk about how the brothers are polar opposites from a personality standpoint, but viewers have yet to actually see it.
GFW Impact Wrestling Misses
Dan Lambert and American Top Team: A Mega Miss. GFW has a new champion in Eli Drake, yet the show once again opened with a confrontation between Lambert and Jeff Jarrett. Yes, they got to Drake seconds later, but the ongoing storyline of a guy who owns an MMA training center feuding with Jarrett over lord knows what is my least favorite storyline in pro wrestling today. And just when it seemed like they had wasted enough air time on Lambert and his apparently nameless fighters, they showed up again at the end of the night.
Eli Drake and Chris Adonis vs. Johnny Impact and Eddie Edwards: The stipulation that the person who scored the win for his team would get a title shot (or Drake would not have to defend the title) was a nice touch in that it made an ordinary tag team match feel meaningful. Drake going over was a pleasant surprise in that he needs credibility building clean wins and this was a step in that direction. At the same time, it felt too soon for Impact to be featured on the losing end of a tag team match. The match felt needlessly long and Impact was not showcased in a meaningful way, though at least they protected him by having Edwards take the loss for his team. Jim Cornette’s post main event announcement made no sense in that Drake earned the right to not defend his championship by getting the winning pinfall, yet Cornette came out and booked him in a title match against Matt Sydal anyway. I believe the idea is that Sydal earned the title shot by beating Lashley, but that should have been explained better.
Jim Cornette, Moose, and EC3: It was strange enough when the three men were talking about the AAA TripleMania event as if it were coming even even though the show has already taken place. It was even worse when Cornette and Moose taunted EC3 by delivering a Road Dogg’s WWE catchphrase.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Jake Barnett co-hosting the Boom and Dot Net Weekly combo show. Jason and Jake discuss Becky Lynch announcing her pregnancy, Alberto Del Rio being accused of sexual assault, WWE's IC Title tournament, Mike Tyson appearing at AEW Double Or Nothing, Undertaker's Last Ride documentary, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV thoughts, and more...