By Jason Powell
GFW Impact Wrestling Hits
Johnny Impact and LAX: Low Ki showed great fire while stating his case for deserving a title shot more than Impact. Low Ki was intense and believable, and it may have been his best mic work in GFW/TNA despite being brief in length. The pull apart brawl between the duo was well done and left me looking forward to seeing them wrestle. In a rare moment of inconsistency, it was odd to see Jim Cornette appear to side with Impact in the ring, then moments later announce the No. 1 contenders match and state that he hopes they beat each other to death.
Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams vs. Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley: Good in-ring action to open the show. The return of Williams is off to a strong start and it will be interesting to see if he and Dutt remain storyline allies or if Williams will eventually turn on him. The duo of Lee and Konley are very good. It’s just a shame that there hasn’t been much in the way of storyline development or mic time for the duo.
LAX’s Santana and Ortiz vs. John Bolin and Zachery Wentz: A simple and effective squash match win for the tag champions. LAX wins so many matches due to outside interference that it’s important to make the team look dominant from time to time. The post match verbal exchange was dominated by Konnan. The OVE rebuttal that The Crash promotion sounds like their type of place “because Ohio versus everything” was not exactly a hot comeback. What the hell does that even mean?
Taryn Terrell and Sienna vs. Gail Kim and Allie: Josh Mathews stating that Allie looks like an Easter Egg was his best one-liner to date. The heel duo getting the win was the right call in that it puts heat on them while extending their issues with the babyface duo. Allie’s character is still new to the in-ring game, so it’s logical to have her lose. The debut of Taya Valkyrie was solid. The swerve that she was going to help the babyfaces didn’t mean anything since fans had no reason to have any preconceived notions about where her allegiances lied, but I like that she was cast as a heel and she’s a nice addition to the Knockouts division. The scene with the typically dominant Gail Kim pulling Rosemary to ringside while the heel trio stood tall was particularly effective in making it look like the babyfaces were in a bad place.
GFW Impact Wrestling Misses
Video packages: AAA’s biggest show of the year received some attention on last week’s show, but not enough to justify dedicating the first 20-plus minutes of the second hour of Impact to recapping the GFW involvement in the show was overkill despite the fact that there was some cool footage along the way. They told some stories within these video packages, but it asked a lot of the viewing audience to sit through all of this. And to go from all of those video packages into a video package on Dezmond Xavier, a vignette, a video package on Garza Jr., a brief Richard Justice interview, and then a video package on Matt Sydal, with some commercial breaks in between was way too much. And that’s coming from someone who typically enjoys the GFW video packages.
Eli Drake vs. Matt Sydal for the GFW Championship: A quality title match in the main event slot. Unfortunately, the finish made this a minor Miss in that it took a distraction from Chris Adonis and a belt shot from Drake for the new champion to successfully defend his title. The goal was likely to protect Sydal, but the focus should be on establishing in-ring credibility for heel champion Drake. It’s not that Drake should never cheat. Rather, it’s that he needs to be established as a strong champion rather than a flukey heel champion who relies on outside interference to win his matches. Drake’s big title defenses should feel like showdown matches because he’s good enough to hang with the top contenders, not just matches he’s likely to lose unless there’s outside interference.
Laurel Van Ness: Grado using Laurel to get his visa reads like a dick move, but his character is likable enough that it’s more comical than anything. On the flip side, the return of the campy Van Ness character is disappointing. Here’s hoping they have something fresh in mind. How about giving her deranged character more of a mean streak?
Pagano video package: If I didn’t know better, I’d question whether he was the third member of OVE given the similarities between their introductory vignettes.