By Jason Powell
Impact Wrestling Hits
Eli Drake promo: A quality promo with an homage to Ric Flair in the form of the Gravy Train performed on a suit jacket. It took the creative forces some time to get behind Drake, but he is a strong choice for the role of top champion. The one thing missing from his act is in-ring credibility. He was mistreated earlier this year and his title win came out of nowhere. Drake needs credibility building wins to become someone the fans see as being an in-ring threat to the top babyfaces rather than as a champion who always relies on help from his sidekick. If they can establish Drake as an in-ring force then he could be a terrific champion.
Knockouts Title match set for Bound For Glory: A good segment with Sienna boasting to start and then Gail Kim, Taryn Terrell, and Allie coming out and doing a nice job of stating their case for a spot in the title match at BFG. I’d prefer to have a singles match and some type situation where the challenger earned their shot rather than having it handed to the women simply because Karen Jarrett said so, but this was still a good segment.
Sonjay Dutt, Petey Williams, and Matt Sydal vs. Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and Caleb Konley: A quality six-man tag match. The explanation for Everett teaming with his rival Lee is that Everett has been brainwashed. Ugh. How about some actual storytelling with Konley getting frustrated and choosing to align with his rival? Meanwhile, the babyfaces looked like petulant children when they were bickering in Jim Cornette’s office about who would deserves the title shot at BFG and didn’t even realize that he threw his hands up and left the room.
EC3 and James Storm vs. El Texano Jr. and El Hijo del Fantasma: A quality match with the right finish given that they are frantically trying to make viewers care about the AAA heels before Bound For Glory.
LAX: Compelling footage from the clubhouse this week with some apparent dissension between the crew, which is logical given that they dropped the tag titles. It looked like things were fine between Konnan and Santana at the end, but it was interesting that Low Ki was shaking his head in apparent discuss as everyone else walked away. Unfortunately, Low Ki left the company after these tapings, so I’m not sure if we’ll ever know where this was going.
Lance Russell memorial graphic: Let the record show that one company was classy enough to acknowledge the death of a legend on their television show this week and it was not WWE.
Impact Wrestling Misses
GFW Global Championship challenger at Bound For Glory determination: In past years, the company has held the BFG Playoff Series to determine which wrestler would challenge for the top title at their biggest pay-per-view of the year. This year, Jim Cornette randomly decided that Johnny Impact and Garza Jr. will meet in a match next week to determine which one of them will challenge Drake at BFG. This felt like the setup for a throwaway title match on television, not for the main event of the company’s biggest show of the year. And while Garza Jr. is a talented guy, it seems ridiculous to have him be one of the two wrestlers vying for the title shot when he hasn’t been a real player in the heavyweight division until now.
OVE: The Crist Brothers need to stop trying to get burned out crowds to chant their team name because the results make them look bad. Hopefully this won’t be an issue at the next tapings with a different batch of fans.
Moose and American Top Team: I don’t care about anything involving Dan Lambert and the still nameless American Top Team fighters. The beatdown on Moose was embarrassingly tame. I’d be more understanding if this had taken place in front of the live crowd, but this was something they could have done multiple takes for until they made it look good.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Todd Martin on his background, attending pro wrestling events in Japan, the NJPW G1 Tournament, why lucha libre companies haven't been as successful as NJPW in the United States, AEW optimism, covering pro wrestling and MMA, and more (68:57)...