By John Moore
Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Before Impact started there were several graphics. The first one was a memoriam for Lance Russell. They then showed a graphic which said to Pray for Vegas. This led to the intro teaser where Eli Drake and Johnny Impact/Mundo recapped their encounter. Drake talked about how he loves it when people don’t escape with the championship and how he was taking the life out of Mundo. Drake said he hopes that if Johnny does return that Johnny won’t come knocking out on his door again. Johnny Mundo talked about wanting a one on one match. He said he would leave with the championship ten out of ten times in a one on one match and that Eli Drake will wake up in Slamtown…
The Impact intro theme aired. The video was overhauled with a bunch of new clips like Crazy Laurel Van Ness, oVe, LAX, Chris Masters, and Drago. Johnny Impact was given a spotlight in the intro too. Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews checked in on commentary. Eli Drake and Chris Adonis entered the ring. They were wearing suits. Drake had his celebratory cigar. This is where the canned boos stand out. The crowd is clearly giving the guy a positive ovation yet they are using the boo track that they used to play during Drake’s talk show segment it seems. Josh Mathews talked about how impressive Bound for Glory ticket sales were going.
Eli Drake took the mic to talk to ya. Drake said it was a time for celebration. He said that last week he got in his car, drove down victory road, and to drive straight into Johnny Impact’s slam town. Drake said he made it back home and he turned that ghetto into a parking lot. Drake said he built his palace on it and he built “Eli’s Cakes”. Drake said he did that because Johnny Impact looks like a malnourished 12 year old girl. Drake said it felt like Johnny needs a place where he could apply his craft. Drake said Impact wasn’t here tonight and not going to be here. Drake said Johnny was not coming back. Drake said he was staring in Mundo’s eyes and Mundo was begging for mercy. Drake said he told Johnny to pipe down dummy and they weren’t done.
John’s Thoughts: By the way, I don’t write the word “Mundo” to be cute or anything. It’s just to avoid confusion since Johnny Mundo decided to name himself after the TV show. What makes that worse is now Impact is the name of the company, maybe? Brand confusion sucks!
Eli Drake then gave the Gravy Train to his jacket. Drake said he’s still the Global Champion, E-Li Drake. Drake said this reign doesn’t end because there is one man with “Chet chonies”(?) and that’s Jim Cornette who has power. Drake said Cornette’s golden boy couldn’t get the job done. Drake said Cornette tried to make him lose in Mexico and wrestle every jumping J-brone on Impact (the show). Drake said the belt isn’t changing hands every week. Drake said this is the reign of the defiant one. Drake said he’s not letting anyone else win. Drake said Johnny Impact or nobody else will have a chance to take the belt from Drake. Drake said he worked a deal to get the night off since he has worked around the world. Drake then made an announcement to all the girls with size 2 and double D cups. Drake said they should come to the doubletree hotel to ask for the champ.
Drake then said he sees a fire in Chris Adonis’ eyes. Drake then said he got Adonis booked in a match. Adonis wasn’t too happy with this. Garza Jr. then made his entrance…
John’s Thoughts: It’s great to see that the [not-]GFW writing team has discovered what we all knew and that Eli Drake has a voice. I’m also impressed by how good Drake has become in his promos. He used to be a guy who would just make up catchphrases in every sentence but now he’s settling on a few catchphrases while adding a bit of meat to his promos.
1. Chris Adonis (w/Eli Drake) vs. Garza Jr. Josh Mathews pointed out that Adonis wasn’t dressed to compete. Adonis took off his suit and at least had jeans. Drake soon retreated up the ramp. Jeremy Borash then tried to sell this as him moving to the “Commentary table”. They showed a picture-in-picture of Drake at the “commentary table” (remember! JB and Mathews are not doing live commentary, but I do like them being clever with this!). Garza dominated early on and went for a few quick pin attempts. Drake mocked Garza for having salsa pants. Adonis took down Garza with a wristlock. Adonis took Garza down with a wristlock lift. Drake claimed on commentary that there is a line of females at his hotel room right now.
Garza blocked Adonis’ wristlock pin attempts with a bridge. Adonis did a great job in making his wristlock look painful. Garza kicked Adonis while he was taunting. Garza turned the wristlock to shortarm kicks followed by an innovative springboard huracanrana. Garza caught Adonis with a plancha to the outside. Garza went for another plancha but Adonis sidestepped it before the break. [C]
Adonis grounded Garza with a hip attack to the gut. Drake locked in a cravate. Garza tried to fire up but Adonis took down Garza with a lariat. Adonis hit Garza with a leg drop. Adonis gave Garza a knee shot to the back. Adonis then hit Garza with a tiger suplex. Adonis maintained dominance over Garza with calculated strikes. Garza was starting to fade by a sleeper. Garza fought out with some elbows. Adonis caught Garza and gave him a spinebuster. Johnny Impact was shown walking around backstage and he was selling being pissed (yet he made sure to show off his “Boone the Bounty Hunter” shirt).
Chris Masters then yelled “Masterlock!!!”. Garza blocked the master lock with a drop toehold. Garza had a rally. He caught Adonis with a kick and missile dropkick. Eli Drake then claimed that he had to put some coins in the parking meter. Borash said he thinks Drake is escaping Johnny Impact’s arrival. Garza missed a lionsault. Johnny Impact then ran in to lay the punches on Adonis for the DQ.
Chris Adonis defeated Garza via DQ in 7:47 of TV time.
Garza tried to pull Mundo aside but Mundo started to attack Garza. Mundo went back to pummel Adonis. Jim Cornette then cut in with the referee to calm things down. Cornette told Garza and Johnny to fight each other when they can get paid to do so. Cornette then booked Johnny Impact vs. Garza Jr. for next week. Jim Cornette then turned his attention to Eli Drake who was eating popcorn with Chris Adonis. Cornette informed Drake that Garza vs. Mundo is a number one contenders match for Bound for Glory. Garza and Impact were then so pissed off at each other that a pull apart brawl happened (why?).
John’s Thoughts: Adonis has been pretty dull in the ring the past three years or so since he’s just wrestled in a very mundane fashion. This was not that Adonis because Adonis was pretty good here. He told a good story as a heel and it helps that Garza was so great at selling. Adonis is good though, he just needs to find a way to stop being the Masterpiece. Now as for the post-match stuff. The Mundo run in was fine and made sense. What didn’t make sense was Cornette’s “booking”. Why are Johnny Impact and Garza set up as sudden rivals? Are we missing a segment or cinematic because I don’t remember why Garza is suddenly here when he was built up for a match against Braxton Sutter? On top of that, why is Garza getting a possible world championship match at Bound for Glory? Bound for Glory is TNA’s WrestleMania. This would be just like AJ Styles vs. Viktor from the Ascension for a world title match at WrestleMania since Garza has been the comedy wrestler that loses a majority of his matches. Very weird writing here and I feel we’re missing a chapter somewhere. What do we always say though? Only in TNA!!!
Jeremy Borash then cut to a Moose and Lashley vignette. The clips focused on Moose eliminating Lashley at TripleMania which forced Lashley to pick American Top Team as his home over Impact. Moose was on the phone and he said he was looking for Bobby! Moose said Bobby is going to pay for what he did. Moose then was shown driving up to the American Top Team gym… [C]
An LAX vs. OVE highlight music video aired. It was a well-produced highlight vid. Jake said they told the world not to sleep on Ohio vs. Everything. Dave said they can’t sleep any longer…OVE!
It was time for an LAX clubhouse cinematic. Low Ki was with LAX this week. Everyone looked depressed. Ortiz held two beer bottles to his nose for some reason. Konnan brought in a suitcase. Konnan then ranted by saying that this briefcase used to be full of money but was now empty because LAX lost the “goddamn titles”. Konnan said he hopes Santana is made because Konnan is. Diamante calmed things down. Konnan yelled for everyone to get things together. Konnan left and Santana did a table flip. Ortiz tried to hold Santana down and remind him that they shouldn’t fight because they were a family. They then cut back to the Impact Zone where OVE made their entrance for a match.
2. Jake and Dave Crist vs. Tray Miguel and John Bolin. Jake tried to start OVE chants while fighting Tray. Jake had minimal success with starting the chants. There’s this one high pitched woman in the crowd who was also trying to start an OVE chant to little success. Jake caught his opponent with a gut shot and crossbody. Jake hit Miguel with a cutter reversal. Bolin then missed with a spear. Cave caught both opponents with an Asai moonsault. Bolin showed some nice power with a delayed powerslam. Jake escaped with some knees.
Jake hit a running enziguri on John Bolin. OVE then hit tandem kicks on their opponents. Jake then stopped to try to start an OVE chant to no success. OVE hit a Total Elimination Esque move (as Josh Mathews put it) on Tray to pick up the win.
Ohio vs. Everything defeated Tray Miguel and John Bolin via pinfall in 3:25.
John’s Thoughts: Hmmmm… Not a good showing by OVE and it reminded me of their debut match where their opponents looked more impressive (did they face these same guys). I’m also not a fan of the way Jake is working his matches. He’s taking long periods of the match to try to start an OVE chant to no avail. The only person who seems to be into the chants seems to be this one lady with an annoying screech. Dave has been the one who’s done a good job focusing on their tag team moves and on the match. At the same time, OVE look like weak champions because the crowd has no reason to care about this duo. Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid would make better tag champs than OVE at this point.
A Bound for Glory commercial aired which had ticket information. The commercial also hyped up that they were selling tickets for Impact TV tapings. Sienna and KM were then shown walking to the Impact Zone backstage… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Wait a sec? This is huge news! For years, TNA has been a TV show filmed at Universal Studios where they are essentially a free amusement park ride for people who attend the park. Did that commercial actually say that Impact is selling actual tickets to make actual money? I’m not facetious or sarcastic on this one. Impact should make real money more often instead of their usual trend of bleeding money. Good for them.
A recap video aired of the AAA vs. [not]GFW feud aired which featured James Storm and country music in the background. This was another well produced music video type teaser. Luckily it didn’t involve replays of Taco Bell. Sienna then made her entrance to the ring. KM was flanking her.
Sienna talked about Bound for Glory and how she isn’t booked for a match. She talked about beating the entire roster to a pulp. KM yelled that Sienna beat them twice. Sienna said she might have to star fighting guys. Sienna said she’s down to fight with the guys, which drew a pop. Sienna said she understands now. Sienna said she’s flattered at what the officials are doing. Sienna said she thinks the surprise is that she’s being inducted into the Impact Hall of Fame. This drew boos. Sienna said KM should induct her and it’s time for Sienna to retire as champion. Something Gail Kim couldn’t do.
Gail Kim then interrupted and made her way to the ring. Gail said she’s fought long and hard for the knockouts division with blood, sweat, and tears. Kim said she’s not going to let Sienna disrespect Kim and the knockouts that came before her. Kim reminded Sienna that Sienna only won a few weeks ago because of Taryn Terrell. Kim demanded a rematch and title shot. Taryn Terrell then interrupted. She wore her usual lingerie and tutu attire.
Taryn said she wants everyone’s attention for a history lesson. Taryn said Sienna is the current longest champion, but Taryn Terrell holds the all-time record as Knockouts Champion. Taryn said that’s longer than both Sienna and Gail. Taryn said it was time for Gail Kim to do something could never do, and beat Taryn. Allie then waddled to the ring. Josh Mathews gave Allie credit for not looking like an Easter Egg this week (she looked to be wearing a bra and yoga pants).
Allie stuttered in her promo and gave everyone in the ring credit for their accolades. She then said “but I’m Allie”. Allie got a legit strong response. Allie said she’s worked really really hard and deserves a title shot too. The crowd popped huge. Now in a hilarious moment, the Jeff Jarrett entrance music played as Karen Jarrett made her entrance and the crowd went silent. It was a funny visual! Karen said she wanted everyone’s attention. Karen said no one will be honoring Sienna at the Hall of Fame. KM ranted without a mic and said “She’s a Champion!!!”. Karen then booked Gail Kim vs. Sienna vs. Taryn Terrell vs. Allie for the knockouts championship. It was that simple. The Jeff Jarrett theme instrumental closed out the segment… [C]
John’s Thoughts: I don’t want to sound like a broken record but I’m sure a majority of people watching (if not everyone who still watches this show) agrees that babyface Karen Jarrett sucks and should be treated at a vestigial part of everything she’s involved in. We’ll, just act like she didn’t appear. Minus Karen, that was a good segment. Sienna was decent and Gail Kim wasn’t bad. KM is great as a character. The stars of the segment were Taryn Terrell and Allie as they cut strong promos that played into both of their characters and it earned the proper response from the Impact Zone. Allie vs. Taryn Terrell post BFG? That might be an analog to the Allie vs. Maria feud that never was and that had the potential to be something great.
Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews were then shown from their darkened commentary room. Josh hyped up El Texano Jr and Fantasma vs. EC3 and James Storm. Borash cut to the latest Grado and Joseph Park skit. Park hyped up Grado for his first ever VIP photo shoot. Park said the price was a hundred bucks a photo. Grado thought that might be too expensive. Park said not to worry since the boys told him you can charge marks anything. Hip hop music played a montage of fans lining up for Grado while paying park hundreds of dollars. Park was shown raking in that cheddar. Park pocketed most of the cash. Park hyped up Grado again after the photoshoot. Park said he had Grado’s earnings. Park handed Grado a few twenty dollar bills. Grado had the look that something might not be right with his earnings but then he just shrugged it off…
North Carolina guys, Trevor Lee, Caleb Konley, and Andrew Everett made their entrance to the ring. Everett was a heel now and had a cocky look on his face…
John’s Thoughts: What the F’n hell? Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett started this year with a blood feud between each other and Everett looked to be in line to become of TNA’s hottest rising stars. They had a surprisingly good feud that got cut short when Low Ki made his debut. Now they are suddenly back to being friends? Only in TNA! Is there a “lost Impact episode” somewhere? The same lost episode that also explains why Johnny Impact and Garza Jr hate each other? The same lost episode that had the Garza vs. Braxton Sutter episode we never saw?
3. Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and Caleb Konley vs. Sonjay Dutt, Petey Williams, and Matt Sydal. Oh look! A Matt Sydal sighting! Dezmond Xavier is still MIA from the Impact Zone though. A Josh Mathews voice clip interjected before the match saying that Trevor Lee has “brainwashed” Everett and Konley to join the “Cult of Lee”.
John’s Thoughts: That’s an odd explanation, but I do like how Josh Mathews during his entire TNA run has been great with his logic in not insulting the intelligence of Impact viewers.
Konley and Dutt had a lockup sequence early on. Dutt hit a shoulder tackle takedown. Dutt reversed a wristlock into an armbar takedown. Dutt did some evasion leading to a huracanrana on Konley. Madness soon ensued between both trios. The North Carolina guys dominated. Lee ordered Konley and Everett to lay forearms on their opponents. The babyfaces did stereo whips to the heels. They then did stereo flips/dives to the outside to take out the heels. [C]
Dutt dominated Konley in the middle of the ring. Williams tagged in and put Konley in a Tree of Woe. Sydal hit Konley with a basement dropkick and tagged in. Dutt and Sydal hit stereo standing shooting stars. The babyfaces made quick tags to isolate Konley. Petey Williams did some chain wrestling on Konley. Konley managed to lay a punch on Dutt but Dutt laid in more punches. Konley distracted the ref to allow Trevor Lee to get a cheap shot on Dutt. Lee then tagged in once Konley had an advantage. Lee gloated during his segment of offense.
Everett tagged in and hit Dutt with a dropkick. The heels traded quick tags to isolate Dutt from his partner. Josh Mathews talked about Everett, Lee, and Konley showing unity by wearing uniform gear. Dutt ran over Lee and Everett to hit an impressive tornado DDT spot. Petey Williams made the hot tag. He hit Lee with a codebreaker. Williams then turned La Mistica into a side Russian legsweep on Konley. Petey hit Konley with a flatliner.
Petey dodged an Everett moonsault causing Everett to accidently moonsault Konley. Lee blocked a Petey Canadian Destroyer. Sydal took out Lee with double knees. Everett took out Sydal with a Pele kick. Sydal turned the tables on the heels by crotching Everett on the top rope, hitting Lee with a Rolling Sobat, and giving a leaping knee to Konley. Sydal hit Everett with a standing frankensteiner. Matt Sydal hit Everett with Air Bourne for the win.
Matt Sydal, Sonjay Dutt, and Petey Williams defeated Andrew Everett, Trevor Lee, and Caleb Konley via pinfall in 9:23 of TV Time.
The babyface held up their arms in celebration post-match.
John’s Thoughts: It’s a bit of a shame that the Helms Dynasty 2.0 has to take a loss after reforming, but at least the match was pretty solid. Prior to 2017, the X Division had just a ton of meaningless 5-plus man spot fests that last about six minutes max where the commentators talk about how great the flips are. I still prefer singles matches but this match wasn’t bad since it wasn’t all spots. There was actual wrestling and storytelling. They got time too. Now, Impact just needs to not have another one of these for three months or so and we’ll be good. Let’s get Dezmond Xavier back and beating Mario Bokara or something?
Dutt grabbed a microphone and demanded a title match against Trevor Lee. Petey Williams cut off Dutt’s entrance theme and said he respects Dutt but it’s his turn for a title shot. Sydal then grabbed the microphone and said he deserves a title shot. The three babyface then bickered like children. Petey Williams got his entrance theme…
John’s Thoughts: Was that a cliffnotes version of the Knockouts segment from early, except Sydal, Williams, and Dutt aren’t as good as Allie, Taryn, or even Sienna? I can’t help but think they are scrambling to put together a Bound for Glory card.
It was time for “Global Forge – Episode 4”. This week’s iteration had former WWE IC Champ, Santino Marella, talking to one of his MMA school students about getting a chance at an Impact contract. A graphic said six men are competing for a chance at a contract. The students cut the cliche documentary lines about “wanting it” or “doing what I can”. D’Amore talked about sacrifices and stuff… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Why is this a thing? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The Babyface X Division trio was shown in Cornette’s office continuing to bicker like children…
John’s Thoughts: Is someone else other than the usual person booking this week’s episode? Because this week is more TNA than last week! We better not get three ref bumps in the main event!
Laurel Van Ness was crazy. She wore black form fitting clothes. She was also riding what I’m assuming to be Dutch Mantel/Zeb’s Scooter. Laurel gave one fan a huge kiss. Josh said “she’s on the hunt for a man!”. Jeremy Borash cut to Moose invading the American Top Team gym…
Moose said he was looking for Bobby. Moose walked around. He called Lashley a “bitch boy”. Moose entered Lashley’s octagon. King Mo punched Moose and knocked Moose out. There was actually a cartoon stock punch sound effect. Lashley and the unnamed MMA guys comically punched Moose like a punk. They showed Moose being thrown around in slow motion. They tossed Moose out like a piece of trash. Dan Lambert said “Thanks for coming moose!” as some little MMA guy did a comedic hehhehheh. They cut back to the commentators. Borash said we were hearing from Konnan later on in the show about the tag titles. The AAA and Impact wrestlers then made their entrances for the main event… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Well, that made Moose look like a bitch. As “bad-TNA” as the Moose segments have been on this episode, they were so bad that they were funny. That cartoon punch by King Mo got a nice chuckle. Dan Lambert still sucks though as he’s really regressing the quality of this show and the mystique of Lashley. Seriously! They’re giving Lambert a bigger push than Impact’s top star Lashley!
4. El Texano Jr. and El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Ethan Carter III and James Storm. Storm and Texano brawled. Texano dominated and gave Storm forearms. Storm rallied back with axe handle strikes. Storm slammed Texano’s head on the mat. Storm was apprehensive in tagging in EC3. This caused Texano to turn the tables on Storm. Mathews pointed out that Storm’s pride got the best of him. Storm gave Texano a jumping lariat and then accepted EC3’s tag. EC3 decided to glare at Storm which allowed Texano to dominate him. Fantasma tagged in. Fantasma was taken down by chops from Ethan Carter. Carter hit some short arm chops on Fantasma.
Storm tagged himself in and taunted EC3. The petulance allowed Texano and Fantasma to double team Storm. Texano gave Storm a body stretch. Storm sidestepped Texano and tagged in EC3. EC3 hit texano with a jawbreaker and stinger splash. Carter gave Texano a flapjack. Fantasma helped Texano escape a one percenter. EC3 managed to nail Texano with a TKO. EC3 gave Texano a high knee. Fantasma stopped EC3 from hitting Texano with a tiger driver. Texano locked in a chinlock which the crowd rallied him out of. Texano took down EC3 with a back elbow. Fantasma hit a high leaping dropkick on EC3. Fantasma worked on EC3 in the corner.
EC3 took down Fantasma with shortarm chops. EC3 hit rapid fire chops in the corner. Texano ended that onslaught. EC3 took down fantasma with a desperation lariat. Pagano walked out for some reason. Borash talked about how hardcore Pagano is. Fantasma gave EC3 a high knee. [C]
Texano had a chinlock locked in on EC3. Fantasma and Pagano got cheap shots in on EC3. Texano hit EC3 with a dropkick. Fantasma tagged in and continue to keep EC3 away from Storm. Fantasma hit some various strikes on EC3 in the corner. Pagano and Texano crotched EC3 on the bottom of the ringpost as Fantasma distracted the ref. Texano tagged in and hit EC3 with a jaw breaker and body slam. EC3 dodged a Fantasma splash. EC3 gained some breathing room with a facebuster on Fantasma. This allowed Storm to make the hot tag. Storm kicked Fantasma in the back of the head and forced Texano to DDT Fantasma in a neckbreaker motion. Texano and Fantasma teamed up for a wheelbarrow codebreaker combo. Storm kicked out of the pin attempt.
Storm tossed Texano into Fantasma to crotch him on the top rope. Texano recovered and went for a superplex. EC3 ran in for a Tower of Power spot. Pagano whipped EC3 into the ringpost. Storm was taken out by a Texano punch. Storm got out of the way to force Fantasma to hit his always-impressive Arrow from the depths of Hell Tope. Fantasma slipped on top of Storm which allowed Fantasma to pick up the cheap win because Pagano held Storm’s legs…
El Texano Jr. and El Hijo Del Fantasma defeated James Storm and Ethan Carter III via pinfall in 15:30 of TV time.
Storm had a look of disappointment. Storm tried to argue that Pagano cheated. Mathews said this was bogus. Fantasma put a Mexican flag on the ringpost. Borash cut to an LAX Cinematic where Borash said Konnan would reveal the stipulation of their tag title rematch…
Santana and Ortiz were arguing. Konnan walked in and calmed things down. Konnan said he has a solution and Ki has the news. Low Ki said it’s a 5150 Street Fight. Konnan said this is the shit we invented and the shit we perfected. Konnan said to take the tweeker ovary fruit rollups to school. Konnan then said they can go to the club to hang out with the ladies. Santana and Ortiz then showed they were on the same page. They walked out joking about who would get to hang out with “peaches”…
John’s Thoughts: That match started out great, but then it dragged for a bit during the middle part like it was put there to fill time. I’m okay with the cheap finish but I’m not buying into this feud not one iota. Why are we getting an undercard “invasion” angle? The last few weeks have been weird. I’m not even going to get all bent out of shape about it again. What more could you expect from this company that still has the spirit of TNA? There was some good wrestling. Allie and Taryn were exceptional on the microphone. The stories throughout the show were just plain out of whack. I’ll be by later on with my Audio Review of the show. This was an exhausting show to sit through.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...