By Jason Powell
GFW Impact Wrestling Hits
Johnny Impact vs. Low Ki in a No. 1 contenders’ match: A solid television match that didn’t get enough time to be more than that. It’s a shame that GFW and Low Ki have since parted ways. As much as Low Ki wrestling in a suit has been a turnoff for this viewer, he did excellent work during his latest run with the company. Impact going over is the logical move to set up his match with Eli Drake for the GFW Championship. The post match attack by Drake and Chris Adonis was simple and effective in terms of putting heat on Drake going into his title defense in two weeks.
EC3 vs. El Hijo Del Fantasma for the Impact Grand Championship: A nice match with the wrestlers splitting the first two rounds and then having a quality third round with a dramatic judge’s decision that came down to the final vote from just Hector Guerrero. I still couldn’t care less about the Grand Championship even with the entertaining EC3 holding the strap, but this was better execution of the rounds format than usual. The post match with Pagano helping Fantasma turned out to be a weak debut for Pagano in that he was cleared from the ring quickly and the focus was on Eddie Edwards saving EC3.
Garza Jr. vs. Braxton Sutter: A nice match with the added dynamic of Garza playing to Allie, upsetting the angrier by the week Sutter character. I am hopeful that Garza vs. Sutter is an actual program and not just a quick one-off, as they can have a lot of fun with the drama over Allie. By the way, what happened to Laredo Kid? Garza and Kid were really good together and I was hoping to see a lengthy feud between them and LAX over the GFW Tag Titles.
Grado and Joseph Park: The storyline of Grado being forced to leave the country was good fun, but it was also effective in terms of making the fans care more about Grado. Jeremy Borash sold the tease of Grado’s match with William Weeks being his last in the country by in a believable manner by talking about what a pleasure Grado had been both personally and professionally. The payoff of Joseph Park hiring Grado and keeping him in the country was fairly flat, as I was convinced they were building up to another wrestling wedding with Allie stepping up and marrying Grado to spite the angry Sutter. Even so, the crowd was pleased to see Grado stay and we’ll see where they go with this now that Grado signed a contract with Park.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Amber Nova: A nice showcase match for Valkyrie, who established her character’s sadistic side by pulling up Nova when she could have pinned her. The backstage segment with Karen Jarrett felt like the latest attempt to needlessly find camera time for Karen.
GFW Impact Wrestling Misses
Lashley and Moose brawl: The Dan Lambert and American Top Team storyline has sadly managed to cool of Lashley, who was in the midst of the best run of his career before his MMA buddies were added to the storyline. It didn’t even pack a punch when Lashley announced that he had chosen MMA rather than sticking with GFW. This entire storyline with Lambert and the apparently nameless fighters of American Top Team is just plain bad television. The feud between Lashley and Moose has also been poorly developed and it was hard to care when Lashley and ATT worked him over at the end of the show. Here’s hoping that Anthem gets the money from Lambert that I suspect they are looking for. Why else would this guy be placed all over the television show?
LAX vs. OVE for the GFW Tag Titles: Viewers were told they would see this match from The Crash promotion. Instead, it turned out to be a four-way tag match and only highlights from the match were shown. The production work was good, but it was disappointing that the company didn’t deliver what was advertised. I was hoping the post-match angle with OVE confronting LAX and covering this by having the challengers complain that they didn’t get what they were promised, as this would have shifted some heat to LAX for the switcheroo.
Sonjay Dutt vs. Trevor Lee in a Falls Count Anywhere match for the X Division Championship: This was a mixed bag even though the match was certainly a Hit from a match quality standpoint. The reason it falls in the Miss section is all about the presentation. First off, why was this a falls count anywhere match? It felt completely random. Worse yet, this was positioned like just another match on the show. The X Division has improved this year and the company would be wise to spotlight it properly. A match like this could easily be positioned as the show’s main event had it received the proper build.
Richard Justice and American Top Team: A corny segment with the comedic Justice asking to join the team, which led to the nameless fighters attacking him in a completely unconvincing manner.
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...