By John Moore
GFW Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Taped in August in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Eli Drake and Chris Adonis was shown entering the Impact Studio. This was followed by Matt Sydal entering the studio…
After the Impact intro video, Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley made their entrance. Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews were the commentary team and they went over the setup of the upcoming tag team match…
1. Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley vs. Petey Williams and Sonjay Dutt. Lee baited Dutt from outside which allowed Konley to get some cheap shots in. Dutt came right back at Konley with some lucha moves leading to a grounded armbar. Petey Williams tagged in and got a pin attempt on Konley after a side takedown. Lee tagged in and did some tandem offense on Williams. Williams bulldogged Konley on Lee. Dutt tagged in. Lee tried to run away but Dutt pulled Lee’s hair and him back to the ring. Lee caught Dutt with a stomp in the ring. Lee and Konley isolated Dutt from his partner.
Dutt turned the tide and used Williams to help him do a standing Sliced Bread #2. Lee and Konley were put in Trees of Woe. Williams stood over Konley and sung the Canadian National Anthem which Mathews called illegal. Borash said singing the Canadian anthem is not illegal. Petey tried to sing the song over Lee but Lee did a sit up to pull Williams off. Lee had a hard time getting out of the Tree of Woe so Konley assisted Lee. Konley took down Williams with a low leg sweep. Lee and Konley isolated Williams from Dutt again. Williams rolled under Konley to get Dutt in. Lee continued to play the pest role. Dutt jumped off of Lee’s chest to hit Konley with a tornado DDT.
Konley hit a Fisherman buster on Dutt. Williams broke up the pin. Madness ensued. Williams hit Konley with the Canadian Destroyer. Dutt hit Konley with the jumping splash to pick up the win.
Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams defeated Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley via pinfall in 7:26.
Mathews and Borash went over the finishing sequences as the “G-mo” replay aired (G-mo is their camera filter). Borash hyped up Sienna and Taryn Terrell vs. Allie and Gail Kim. As well as Matt Sydal vs. Eli Drake for the Global Championship… [C]
John’s Thoughts: GFW is continuing to benefit from staying away from the meaningless spot-fests of the X-Division. Even though Sonjay Dutt hasn’t stood out as a character and Lee is still utilized in the wrong way, at least the workrate and ring psychology has improved.
2. Santana and Ortiz (W/ Konnan and Diamante) vs. John Bolin and Zachery Wentz. Josh Mathews compared LAX’s entrance to the entrances of Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGreggor. Santana gave Wentz a few big knees and quickly sent him outside. Bolin was the big man and tried to hype himself up but was quickly taken down by Ortiz. The picture-in-picture thing happened where Ohio vs. Everything were shown watching LAX wrestle. Ortiz hit Bolin with a cutter with Santana sneaking in a boot. Ortiz went on to put the boots to Wentz. LAX body slammed Wentz into Bolin. LAX hit their blockbuster bomb for the victory.
LAX defeated John Bolin and Zachery Wentz via pinfall in 1:36.
Borash talked about how LAX was completely dominant. oVe then made their entrance. Konnan gave oVe a smirk from the apron. Dave Crist said LAX claims to be family but he and Jake are actual brothers. Dave said he and Jake have been a tag team since birth. Dave said he hears a lot of talk of LAX being the best tag team here. Dave said since they stepped foot in the scene oVe is the best tag team in the world. Dave said they were going to prove that by taking the titles.
Konnan then called Dave “Pippin” and wondered if their tag team name was “ovaries”(nice one, Konnan!). Konnan said the Crist Brothers look like they just came out of a meth lab. Konnan said LAX dictates the terms. Konnan then asked the Crist Brothers to bring their ass to the Crash Promotion in TJ to challenge for the belts and find out what those two fruit rollups are all about. Dave said that sounds like their kind of place because “Ohio vs. Everything”… [C]
John’s Thoughts: We haven’t seen LAX wrestle since getting beat up by Alberto El Patron’s weak-wrestling family. This was a good squash. I believe Zachery Wentz and his partners were the team that oVe sold a lot to in their debut, but I could be mistaken. Konnan has been great on the microphone since he stopped saying that “LAX is serious like a late period” every week. I’m glad the Crist Brothers got some mic time, but it was tough getting run down by Konnan’s solid mic work. Konnan also showed that oVe isn’t that clever of a tag team name.
3. Taryn Terrell and Sienna (w/ KM) vs. Gail Kim and Allie (w/ Braxton Sutter). Josh Mathews said Allie looks likes an Easter egg. Gail Kim made a beeline towards Taryn. Gail Kim then focused her attention on Sienna. Gail hit Sienna with a straightjacket neckbreaker. Taryn distracted Gail which allowed Gail to wheelbarrow Gail on the top rope. Taryn wanted in with Gail being dominated by Sienna. Taryn got a few shots in and quickly tagged in Sienna. Sienna gave Gail Kim forearms. The crowd chanted at KM to shut up.
John’s Thoughts: Speaking of KM, after that huge build they were doing for him with those entertaining vignettes, he is now just Sienna’s male-valet.
Taryn hit Gail with a blockbuster and tagged in Sienna. Gail gave Sienna a headscissors to tag in Allie. Allie gave Sienna a codebreaker and a clunky looking Sliced Bread #2. KM pulled at Allie’s leg on the top rope. Braxton Stutter brawled with KM to the back. Sienna rolled through Allie’s crossbody attempt to pick up the win.
Taryn Terrell and Sienna defeated Gail Kim and Allie via pinfall in 4:30.
Taryn and Sienna celebrated their win. It sounded like GFW piped in some canned boos because the boos didn’t match the crowd reactions. Taryn and Sienna then put the boots to Allie and Gail Kim. Rosemary ran in to clean house. Borash said Rosemary just “came back from Mexico City!”. Rosemary went for the F5 on Sienna but Taryn pulled Sienna off and the heels double teamed Rosemary. The heels then moved their attention to new entrance music. It was the debuting Taya Valkyrie who was dressed up in royal attire (I’m assuming she’s playing a “Queen of Queens” character based of her long time “Reina de Reinas” status). Taya is a Canadian wrestler trained by Lance Storm who was the longest ever AAA Reina de Reinas Champion (mostly because she didn’t defend the title).
Josh talked about how we’ve been waiting for Taya for weeks. Taya made a slow walk to the ring. Taya then took off her robe to reveal leotard gear. Taya then jawed with the heels for a bit and in classic TNA fashion, the turned against Rosemary. Taya hit Rosemary with a Glam Slam. Gail Kim and Allie went to check on Rosemary…
John’s Thoughts: To start off with Taya. Taya Valkyrie is a great get for the knockouts division and a hidden gem in women’s wrestling. She’s a tough brawler who can work with anyone. I’ve only seen her wrestle many matches with men the past few years (via Lucha Underground) so it’ll be refreshing to see her wrestle women again. She also had some cool entrance music. Not a fan of the vintage TNA swerve? I’m also not thrilled with what looks like a budding trios feud. Booking an entire division in a trios feud is just lazy booking/writing (see: WWE’s “Divas Revolution” and TNA’s X-Division pre-2017). On the same note, Sienna is just like Sonjay Dutt, an irrelevant champion.
An Eli Drake vignette aired. Drake talked about how he’s driving everyone on a rocket ship to the future. Drake said he sees Cornette bringing in Johnny Impact as a personal golden boy. Drake said he senses Impact coming after him and might even be outside his front door right now. Drake then talked about Matt Sydal’s “spiritual thing”. Drake said he was going to give Sydal a ticket on the “Gravy Train” straight to the nirvana that Sydal is looking for…
Jim Cornette made his entrance. His video wall was the Botchamania Cornette Face. Josh Mathews hyped up the Global Wrestling Network as the GWN iOS/android icon popped up on the screen. Cornette thanked the TV audience at first. He said things were hotter than ever with the relationships that GFW has worldwide leading to talent exchanges. Cornette said GFW also has hot competition and new talent like Johnny Impact. Cornette then hyped up Eli Drake vs. Matt Sydal. Cornette said he sees Drake cracking and Sydal coming strong. Cornette said if he were a betting man he would put all his money on Matt Sydal walking out tonight at GFW Global Champion.
Johnny Impact (or MunPactSonTro as I like to call him). Impact did his Johnny Mundo pose in the ring. Cornette told Impact that Impact wasn’t scheduled to be here. The crowd gave Johnny a Johnny chant. Johnny said you’re looking at “the man”. Johnny said he wants the winner of Eli Drake vs. Matt Sydal. Cornette said he has confidence in Impact. Impact said he respects Sydal and would like to challenge him. Impact said he doesn’t respect Eli Drake but would love to take drake to Slam Town. Impact said it will be the GFW champion against AAA Mega Champion so worlds will collide.
LAX made their entrance again, this time with Low Ki. Low Ki wore his gun holsters again rather than the suit jacket. Cornette said he doesn’t like seeing five against one. Konnan said if Cornette keeps talking it will be five against two. Konnan said Impact’s opinion on the title situation is as irrelevant as the AAA title. Konnan said he doesn’t know what kind of White Privilege is happening where a “bathhouse honey” like Impact can cut to the front of the line and get a title shot while Low Ki gets overlooked. Cornette said he’s not overlooking anybody. Cornette said Impact is a recognized international superstar and Low Ki is a hell of a talent. Cornette said Ki has to wait his turn like everyone else. Cornette said Konnan isn’t discriminated against because he’s Latino but he’s also not going to get any favors for being Latino. Ki yelled at Cornette. Cornette said he sees what Ki does and Ki is in line like everyone else. Ki yelled that he should be ahead. Ki said he earned it. Ki said everyone saw it.
Ki said Impact just showed up and and didn’t earn crap. Ki said Impact was speaking to a man homeboy. Ki said he will tell Impact that this ain’t WWE, this ain’t Lucha Underground, “This is Global Force Wrestling, Bitch!”. Impact started punching LAX. Impact gave Ortiz a spinebuster. Low Ki then gave Impact some strong right hands. Impact floated over and traded shots with Ki. GFW “security” ran in to break things up. Borash said Ortiz is going to get fined for hitting security. LAX pulled Ki up the ramp to calm things down. Cornette told LAX to get the hell out of here or get suspended. Johnny Impact’s theme played… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A simple and effective segment which set up future opponents for either Drake or Sydal. Ki against Mundo could be a really fun match that GFW Impact should really promote. Konnan got some good words in, Ki got some solid words, and Cornette was effective as the moderator. Mundo’s still a bit weak on the mic but he didn’t overexpose himself.
Josh Mathews called the last segment “Cornette’s state of the Union” which ended in confusion. Jim Cornette was red and irate backstage. He then booked Johnny Impact vs. Low Ki in a number one contenders match for next week and he said he hopes they beat each other dead. Jeremy Borash then transitioned to the Grado and Laurel wedding saga from last week where Grado found out that Laurel is Canadian. They showed the skit from last week.
In new material, Grado asked Park if he really has to do this. Park said Grado absolutely has to do this. Park said sadly Laurel being Canadian doesn’t help Grado’s visa issue, it makes it worse. Park said Grado has to be strong, confident, and look Laurel in the eye to tell her the truth. Park told Grado “I love you man!”. Laurel then walked up to Grado and gave him a hug. Grado told Laurel he has some bad news and the wedding was off. Laurel asked why? Grado said it’s not her, it’s him. Laurel tried to speak but Grado went “a tatatatatata”. Grado said every end has a new beginning. Grado told Laurel not to be sad that it’s over but to be happy and smile it up. Laurel smiled at Grado then turned away to seethe in anger as evil sounding Kill Bill sounds played. Laurel then turned back to Grado to tell him she’s fine. Grado said that was great and gave Laurel a high five and told her that he will see her later. Grado left. The evil music played again and Laurel wiped her lipstick all over her face. Crazy Laurel is back?
Borash said that plan sure backfired. Borash then cut to a AAA Triplemania highlight video package. Johnny Impact talked about being at Triplemania. They showed the GFW wrestlers heading to the ring. DJ Z wore a light brite display as gear. AeroStar was shown shooting his signature flamethrower in the air. Aerostar then was shown doing his scary looking signature splash from the rafters. Andrew Everett talked about wrestling for the first time in Mexico and how it was one hell of a debut to debut in their biggest show of the year.
Jeff Jarrett said it was remarkable seeing a full arena even though the McGreggor vs. Mayweather fight was happening. Lashley said AAA got a big enough arena to hold all his fans and they set this up just for him. Karen talked about energy, Johnny Impact said it was the calm before the storm. Jeremy Borash talked about the surprises that can happen when competing in Mexico. DJ Z talked about being close to death four months ago. They showed DJZ’s surgical scars and him watching wrestling on his laptop. Zema talked about how he owes alot to the Mexican style of wrestling. Moose talked about being in tears and seeing his friend Zema back. Jeff Jarrett called DJ Z a remarkable story and how he knocked on death’s door a few months ago in Mexico. Clips were shown of Zema’s physical therapy.
Andrew Everett talked about the adrenaline rush from wrestling. Jeremy Borash then hyped up the AAA Battle Royal. Borash said Lashley was probably unhappy for not wrestling in a title match. Lashley talked about not liking being thrown in another gauntlet match. He said it was fine and he was just going to throw all of their little guys out so he can collect the title. Moose said you can bring on wrestling legends or even Lashley. If Lashley gets in his way he’s going to whoop his ass. Moose and Lashley were shown brawling. Moose eliminated Lashley. Moose and Lashley then brawled to the back. Borash said Lashley probably didn’t expect it to be Moose that eliminated him.
Lashley was asked about Dan Lambert’s thoughts. Lashley said Dan Lambert was pissed. Lashley said he’s scheduled for a fight in December so there is fear that he might get hurt. Jarrett said Lashley was engaged because he thought AAA was offering more to him like a title shot or something but that wasn’t in the cards. Jarrett said Lashley and Moose were buddies and also two-sport athletes. Jeff Jarrett said Lashley is the seasoned guy while Moose is the young stud. Jarrett talked about how impressive it was to see a big man like Moose do a dropkick to the top rope. Lashley was shown ranting in the concourse about being eliminated by a GFW teammate. Lashley then concluded that “Pro wrestling is not for me”… [C]
Back from the commercial, it was back to the TripleMania recap package with Jeff Jarrett and Jeremy Borash talking about how big Johnny Impact is. Johnny ran down other GFW roster members as some of the best wrestlers in the world. Impact talked about “The calm before the storm”. Borash said Impact is all of AAA’s champions which include the Cruiserweight, Latin America, and Mega Championships. Jarrett said Johnny was up for the challenge. Johnny said he tries to steal the show in the “hexagon circle”. Johnny talked about defending his title in a ladder match against El Hijo De Fantasma and El Texano Jr. Borash talked about Fantasma and Texano being from famous families. They showed clips of Fantasma’s father. They also showed El Texano Sr. who passed away in 2006. Johnny Mundo (as he was billed) was shown wrestling against Fantasma Jr. and El Texano Jr.
Fantasma was shown bleeding and even did his signature Arrow from the depths of Hell tope. They used ladders. Johnny Mundo was tossed on tables. Johnny Mundo grabbed one of the belts to win the match. Moose said Johnny Impact made an Impact. Johnny Mundo said no one has more gold than Johnny Impact and he was trying to prove that in GFW. Johnny Impact said the GFW Title was his title. Eli Drake was shown doing burpees in front of the GFW Championship. Matt Sydal was shown doing Yoga stretches. Borash then said after the commercial we were going to hear about the “controversy” in Mexico. Jeff Jarrett was shown complaining with Argenis (Sin Cara/Mistico’s brother) and Vampiro… [C]
Rosemary was spotlighted next and Jeff Jarrett talked about how there was a lot of drama at TripleMania. They showed the clip of Sexy Star break Rosemary’s arm. Jeremy Borash made his weird faces as he said he knew something was wrong. Karen Jarrett talked about the respect level in the ring and how what she saw was disgusting. Jeff Jarrett was shown arguing backstage with La Parka, Argenis, and Vampiro. Vampiro was wearing an El Rey Network shirt. Jarrett said La Parka is a lockerroom leader and he was actually doing his job in trying to calm things down. Jeff Jarrett was then shown trying to start a random fight with El Texano Jr. and El Hijo de Fantasma with some words bleeped out. Vampiro pushed Jeff Jarrett away from conflict.
Jeremy said there was bound to be speedbumps with two different wrestling companies, in two different countries, run by two different people. Borash said TripleMania was a wonderful show. Lashley talked about how GFW was expanding the brand in places like Canada and Mexico. DJ Z said GFW could have chosen anyone else to wrestle but he was happy since Lucha Libre was so important to him. Jeff Jarrett said the GFW-AAA alliance was stronger than ever. Jeff said he has a lot of respect for Dorian Roldan and his mother. Dorian’s mother was shown in front of a flag with Antonio Pena’s face on it. Jarrett said GFW and AAA were working on things for the long term. Moose said GFW came, saw, and proved why they were the best…
Jeremy Borash announced that Ohio Vs. Everything would be wrestling LAX for the GFW Tag Team Champion next week in Tijuana Mexico. Borash then cut to a Dezmond Xavier video package…
Xavier said he comes from a military family. Xavier said he started wrestling in Maryland and started off with Maryland Championship Wrestling. He then talked about his military experience leading to him being a wrestler since he was stationed in Maryland. Xavier said he didn’t have a lot of independent wrestling experience and traction. Xavier said Dave and Jake Crist, Irish Airborne/oVe, were the ones who got him into pro wrestling. Xavier said the X Cup showed he can go against top tier talent. Xavier said once he held the trophy he knew he can move his focus to the X Division Championship. Xavier said hard work and dedication can get you where you want to be…
Borash hyped up the upcoming Matt Sydal vs. Eli Drake match for the GFW Championship. He then cut to a vignette of AAA wrestler Pagano who was “coming soon”. Borash said there was breaking news from Japan. Eddie Edwards has just won the GHC Heavyweight Championship from Pro Wrestling Noah. Mathews said Edwards was the first American to win the GHC Championship… [C]
John’s Thoughts: What makes me happy this week is we just got through about 75% of the show and there’s no Dan Freakin’ Lambert. Good! What I find interesting is GFW talking about controversies, AAA, and a lot of other auxiliary components of GFW. With all that, the GFW Champion is taking a backseat to everything that GFW is talking about. On the other side of the coin, what are they doing for Matt Sydal?
Back from the break, Josh Mathews cut to a Garza Jr. video package. Garza said he’s from the Garza dynasty. Garza said he’s been wrestling for 8 years and is from Monterey, Mexico. Garza said his family loves wrestling and wrestling is the best thing in the world. He said his uncle is Hector Garza. They showed clips of Hector Garza wrestling in TNA. Garza talked about his uncle winning an X Cup in TNA before. Garza said his uncle also wrestled in AAA and CMLL and was one of the best wrestlers in the world. Garza said his uncle told him to keep on going. Garza Jr. said Garzas never give up…
Jeremy Borash said that Kongo Kong destroyed the “Standby Wrestler” Richard Justice. Justice was shown struggling to do his signature squats. McKenzie Mitchell asked Justice why he was around? Justice said Kong hurt him but you’ll never know when they are going to need him. He said he always has to be ready. Justice said an old timer once told him that you should never take yourself out of the game because you’ll never know when you can get back in. Justice then went back to struggling doing squats just in case they need him…
A Matt Sydal vignette aired. Sydal said he’s a boundary dissolver and American shaman. Sydal said he was undefeated in GFW. Sydal talked about choosing the GFW Title as the title he’s going for. Sydal said the championship was coming to “re-bourne” Matt Sydal. Sydal said he will extricate the title from the waist of Eli Drake. He said he’s now “Transcendent” Matt Sydal and to “Turn on, tune in, and Take off”…
4. Eli Drake (w/Chris Adonis) vs. “Reborn” Matt Sydal for the GFW Global Championship. Eli Drake tried to quiet down the cheers of the crowd. The crowd started up a “Dummy… Yeah!” chant. Drake started the match with a side lock takedown. Borash hyped up GFW Amped which features Curt Hawkins, Chris Masters, Eric Young, and Shelton Benjamin. Mathews then said the Global Wrestling Network and Pluto TV channel was coming soon. Sydal tried to get the win with a rollup. Drake went to his corner to talk with Masters. Sydal caught drake with a boot and kicked Drake several times in the shin. Sydal tried to pick up the win with La Magistral cradle.
Sydal caught Drake with another boot. Drake caught a flying Sydal and shoved him into the corner. Drake gave Sydal clubbing blows to the back of the head. Drake gave Sydal a Suplex. Jeremy Borash talked about Bobby Lashley, Dan Lambert, and American Top Team. Borash said Lashley has been in a downward spiral.
John’s Thoughts: Again. I’m happy that Dan Lambert hasn’t been on television at all tonight, but why did the commentators decide that during the world title main event was the time to start talking about non-wrestler owner Dan Lambert?
Sydal continued to target the shin of Drake. Drake shoulder tackled Sydal in the corner. Sydal picked up the pace with a spinning wheel kick followed up by a yakuza kick over Drake. Adonis grabbed Sydal’s leg as he was running the ropes. Sydal took care of Masters with a baseball slide. Drake gave Sydal a modified TKO… [C]
Back from the break, Drake gave Sydal a guillotine hanging legdrop. Drake teased using a chair in the ring. Drake told the referee that he was “just kidding”. Sydal landed a jawbreaker on Sydal. Drake came right back with a swinging side slam. The crowd joined Drake in saying E..li…Drake as Drake hit Sydal with an elbow drop. Sydal tried to fight out of a headlock but Drake shoved Sydal down . Sydal escaped a reverse suplex with a crossbody block. Drake came back with a neckbreaker.
Sydal pushed Drake into the ring post on the outside. Drake eyepoked Sydal and brought the action back to the ring. Drake got a swinging neckbreaker leading to a nearfall. Drake dragged Sydal down with the hair. Sydal popped up and caught Drake with another boot. Sydal followed through with a backtoss. Sydal got up and kicked Drake several times. Sydal hit Drake with a Rolling Sobat and basement knee strike. Sydal got a nearfall after a standing moonsault. Sydal hit Drake with a frankensteiner. Sydal hit a gut kick to Drake and an axe kick. Drake recovered and stopped Air Bourne.
Sydal hit Drake with diving knees. Chris Masters put the GFW Championship at one end of the ring. Masters threw a chair to distract Brian Hebner. Drake missed the belt shot and ate a knee. After a pin attempt Sydal went for Air Bourne but focused on Chris Adonis. Adonis distracted Hebner which allowed Drake to slap Sydal with the title belt. Eli Drake hit the Gravy Train to pick up the win.
Eli Drake defeated Matt Sydal via pinfall in 15:03 to retain the GFW Global Championship.
Eli Drake received a decent ovation from the crowd (but he’s the heel). Drake stood at the turnbuckle to celebrate his win. Jeremy Borash then hyped up oVe vs. LAX in Tijuana as well as Low Ki vs. Johnny Impact in a number one contenders match…
John’s Thoughts: That was a fine television main event for what it was, but it felt like it could have been built up a bit more. For starters, Sydal was coming in as a babyface yet the crowd has no reason to cheer him because they’ve done zero exposition on the guy. Yes, he was Evan Bourne. Are they expecting their audience to be fringe fans of WWE from the 2010 era? Maybe that’s why they have Chris Masters roaming around? It’ll also be very tempting for GFW to turn Eli Drake babyface now because the crowd is way more behind him even though he’s the heel. Again, I’m not saying this was a bad match because it was decent, not great. Eli Drake needs a few great matches to start off his championship run similar to the match I would dub as GFW’s Match of the Year which was Eli Drake vs. Alberto El Patron.
Overall, this was an interesting show. They got all of the matches out of the way in about the first half hour or so and then filled the rest of the show with promos and TripleMania highlights leading to the final quarter hour main event. I think there’s where their planning was a bit odd as it probably would have helped for GFW to maybe split the AAA highlights over two weeks. It’s also odd that they are making AAA out to be a bigger company than GFW when AAA is on the decline in Mexico (I’m not the only person to share that opinion).
Last year, TNA Impact Wrestling was one of the best pro wrestling shows on television top-to-bottom. Now, the show is just strange and interesting at best. They have a world champion in Eli Drake whose strength is in talking, yet they didn’t give him any promo time to set up his title match. They never gave Sydal any promo time. His promo videos just say he’s reborn. Reborn from what? I’ll move on, this was an above average show. And by comparison with the last few weeks, I’d take this as long as we don’t get Karen Jarrett and Dan Lambert all over TV.