11/16 Moore’s Impact Wrestling TV Review: Gail Kim’s Retirement speech, Eli Drake vs. Petey Williams for the Impact Global Championship, Ethan Carter III vs. Fallah Bahh for the Impact Grand Championship, LAX vs. OVE, Dan Lambert requests Lashley’s release


By John Moore

Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped November 6, 2017 from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada at the Aberdeen Pavilion

Gail Kim was shown entering the Pavilion from the backstage area. As usual at the beginning of these shows, we saw Dan Lambert, Bobby Lashley, King Mo Lawal, and the unnamed American Top Team guys entering from an other entrance…

An Eli Drake and Petey Williams video package aired. Drake talked about how Williams has a lot of history in Impact Wrestling with things like the X Division and other stuff. Drake recommended that Williams stay in his own lane and hang out with the X Division guys. Drake said when Williams comes after Drake, brotha, Williams is barking up the wrong tree. Williams said Eli Drake doesn’t deserve to wear the championship and is not what a champion should be. Drake talked about loving the experience in Japan and in Mexico but when he goes to Canada they throw another Yay-hoo at him. Drake said they are just trying to get a local buzz. Williams talked about making the most of the opportunity. Drake said the outcome of the match is the same as ever, E…li…Drake will still be champion…

The Impact intro video aired. More changes with Sami Callihan, Alberto El Patron, and Johnny Impact jumping from a roof added to the video. The video still features an owl. They cut back to the Impact Zone where Taiji Ishimori made his entrance. Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley were out next. Lee’s video wall had “Cult of Lee” in giant letters. Garza Jr. made his entrance and he still had his right shoulder in a sling.

John’s Thoughts: I’ll give props to Garza for being a pretty damn tough son of a gun. Extra man points for him. On the other hand, this doesn’t make sense? Why would a sporting company send out an injured guy for an exhibition match? I get Garza wrestling injured if this were a championship match, but this is a throwaway filler exhibition with no real implications. Or to use McKenzie Mitchell’s wording, a “relatively random” match. I guess this is just more of that “only in TNA” logic that continues to persist in this company.

1. Trevor Lee, Caleb Konley, and Taiji Ishimori vs. Sonjay Dutt, Dezmond Xavier, and Garza Jr. Lee dominated Dutt early on with European Uppercuts. Dutt ran the ropes and hit one of his signature huracanranas on Lee. Josh Mathews pointed out that Trevor Lee was a finalist in the 2016 Battle of Los Angeles (BOLA). Ishimori tagged in. Ishimori showed an impressive chain wrestling escape and one of his own huracanranas. They then had a babyface stalemate. Ishimori bickered with Konley and Lee. Konley tagged in and got beat up by Dutt.

Dutt gave Konley a dropkick. Dutt tried to take care of Lee on the outside but Konley tripped Dutt off the springboard. The Lee team dominated Dutt in their corner. Lee had to insist that Ishimori join in the three on one beatdown. Borash said Caleb Konley has “pledged [his] allegiance” to Trevor Lee as a part of his cult. Dutt escaped a back suplex and pushed Konley into Lee. Dutt tagged Garza who fought with one arm tied. Garza called the time out on Ishimori and made him look like the latest idiot to allow him to rip off his pants mid-match.

John’s Thoughts: Just to clarify, I actually get a chuckle of Garza ripping off his pants. It is a bit charming/qwirky. It just makes is opponents look dumb for becoming a 70s cartoon character for a few seconds per match.

Garza executed a one armed huracanrana on Ishimori. Xavier tagged in and hit a flip dive on Lee and Konley. Ishimori took down Xavier and hit his Vader Bomb-like into a stomp move. Ishimori went for a 450 but Konley tagged in and blocked it. Konley was pushed by Xavier which in turn crotched Ishimori on the top rope. Garza and Konley brawled. Xavier caught konley with a Tiger Feint Kick. Xavier then hit the Vegeta move, the Final Flash (a.k.a. AJ’s Spiral Tap), for the victory.

Dezmond Xavier, Sonjay Dutt, and Garza Jr. defeated Trevor Lee, Caleb Konley, and Taiji Ishimori via pinfall in 6:44.

The good guy team celebrated. They then hyped up Petey Williams vs. Eli Drake for the Impact/GFW Global Championship (The belt still says GFW on the graphic since the side plates don’t have stickers on it like the center one). They then showed Petey Williams walking in the plaza outside. He wore a maple leaf t-shirt… [C]

John’s Thoughts: To give [not-] TNA some little bit of credit, I do like that they’ve included wrestlers like Dutt, Lee, or even Matt Sydal who aren’t all just flips and dives. They get ring psychology. What’s frustrating is we’re back to X Division time fillers with no context or implications. The one single innovative, fun, and progressive thing that this Anthem creative team has done since taking over is that right after they put the belt on Low Ki they finally got the X Division to the greatness it should be. They made it great. The X Cup was amazing. Now, we’ve regressed. It’s a never-ending pattern. Wait? Doesn’t Dutt have creative control?

An Ohio Vs. Everything Handycam cinematic promo aired. Sami Callihan cut the promo. He said tonight in the “Impact Zone” all six of them will be in the ring at the same time. Callihan said this is not a wrestling match. Dave Crist yelled in the background that this is a fight. Callihan said it’s gang warfare with family vs. family. Callihan said they don’t care because they are equal opportunity haters. Callihan said they represent for Ohio, by Ohio, and they are Ohio vs. Everything. EVERYTHING!!! EVERYTHING!!!

John’s Thoughts: Wow. I might be afraid of going to Ohio now. Remember when Jake and Dave were a couple of nerdy dorks who begged Konnan for money, randomly went on a mission for lap dances, quoted Peter Griffin, and tried to get Universal Studios to chant their dumb tag team name? Sami Callihan has been a godsend to them and with him plus the cinematic injection, they’re starting to come off as a couple of bad asses instead of lame dorks.

Fallah Bahh made his entrance for his upcoming Grand Championship title shot. Wait? Why is the guy who has a similar win-loss record as Richard Justice getting a championship title shot? Only in TNA? Jeremy Borash talked about how Fallah Bahh weighs 420 pounds yet he moves like a high flyer. The three judges are three random unnamed guys (which I like better than them using their “authority figures”).

John’s Thoughts: Random sidetrack. There’s the belt they can use that doesn’t have “TNA” or “GFW” on it. Why not scrap the Grand Championship concept and make the belt their new world title? It looks more like an Impact World Championship than the other belt with letters GFW and an Impact sticker on it.

2. Fallah Bahh vs. Ethan Carter III for the Impact Grand Championship. Bahh led a “Bahh” chant similar to how Akira Tozawa leads a “ha” chant. Ethan Carter III mocked Bahh with a pseudo-Sumo stance. Bahh roared at EC3 and tried to run a “Bahh” chant again. Bahh shoved with his butt. EC3 fell on his ass and Bahh did the Dikembe Mutombo “no no no” finger wag at him. EC3 locked in a headlock. Bahh gave EC3 a lariat and combined his Dikembe Mutombo “no no no” into a comical Godzilla stomp which caused EC3 to roll in retreat. Bahh managed to fire up the crowd on his side and even got the judges to chuckle. EC3 went for a body slam but he couldn’t lift Bahh. Bahh threw Carter down and rolled on him like a steamroller. Bahh ran through EC3 ringside. The round ended and the commentators agreed that Bahh should have won this round unanimously. The announcer announced Bahh as the winner without saying the score.

Bahh dominated Round 2 with punches and an axe handle strike. Bahh ran into the gut of EC3. EC3 sidestepped Bahh to send him into the buckle. EC3 taunted the judges after kicking Bahh. Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews went into a Global Wrestling Network plug. Josh Mathews talked about how he’s always watching GWN because of “the rich history of this incredible company”. EC3 dominated Bahh in the corner with chops. EC3 dominated Bahh with a headlock. Bahh fought out. EC3 came back with a jawbreaker and a Stinger Splash. EC3 locked in a chinlock on Bahh. Bahh yelled “Bahhhhhh” and made it to his feet as the round ended. EC3 won round 2. [C]

Bahh punched EC3 with the crowd chanting his name. EC3 went for some lariats but couldn’t get Bahh off his feet. EC3 went for another lariat but Bahh hit a Samoan Drop on him. Bahh continued to dominate and he hit a corner splash on EC3. Bahh then hit EC3 with a belly to belly suplex. Bahh went for another Samoan Drop but EC3 raked his eyes. Bahh blocked a one percenter and hit a running cross body block. Bahh went to the top rope and was pushed to the ground. EC3 stole the victory via a pinfall with his legs on the ropes.

Ethan Carter defeated Fallah Bahh via pinfall with 0:26 left in Round 3 to retain the Impact Grand Championship.

EC3 explained to the camera that he has to win “by any means necessary”. EC3 did snow angels on the ground wearing the belt…

John’s Thoughts: Nitpicks out of the way first. This match should have never happened and EC3 looks a bit weaker in seemingly losing to the guy nearly everyone on the roster has beaten/pinned in weekly enhancement matches. The Grand Championship still sucks and should be scrapped since this was a Lagana/Corgan project that others can’t decipher. All that said. I liked this match despite all the negatives because of Bahh. Why were they jobbing this guy out for months? He already looked destined for success since he has a good sumo wrestler look to him. His height is the only negative. Now we find out that he has some charisma. They should really reset the ship on Bahh since this guy has something.

They cut to the commentators in their dark commentary room. The announcers did more hype for Eli Drake vs. Petey Williams for the Impact/GFW Global Championship. LAX then made their entrance coming through the crowd. Ohio Vs. Everything made their entrance through the entrance ramp. Jake and Dave wore their usual Halloween masks. Sami Callihan wore a demonic mouth mask. Jake Crist is the latest wrestler to wrestle in a dress suit.

3. Homicide, Santana, and Ortiz (w/ Konnan) vs. Sami Callihan, Jake Crist, and Dave Crist in a non-title Match. Madness ensued. Homicide brawled with Callihan in the ring. Callihan tossed out Homicide leaving him alone with Santana. Santana caught Callihan with a Death Valley Driver. Jake caught Santana with a Death Valley Driver. Ortiz hit Jake with a gutbuster. Callihan raked the eyes of Ortiz and hit him with a shoulder breaker and elbow strike. Callihan nailed Ortiz with a suicide dive. More dives followed ending with Homicide hitting a unique corkscrew suicide dive. Homicide tossed a chair into Callihan. Homicide went for the Gringo Killer but Callihan escaped, distracted the referee, and kicked Homicide below the belt. Callihan tossed Homicide into the corner heading into the break. [C]

OVE kept Homicide in their corner away from the rest of LAX. Jake and Homicide trade punches. Homicide escaped the brawl with a Fisherman Buster but Callihan tagged in and continue to take down Homicide. Dave tagged in and maintained dominance. OVE continued their triple team isolation game. Jake hit a nice twisting back suplex on Homicide. Homicide flipped out of a Sami suplex and he managed to tag in the other LAX members. Not sure who got the actual tag. Ortiz and Santana hit some tandem moves on Dave. LAX hit a boot Tower of London combination.

Callihan outsmarted Santana and Ortiz and made Ortiz give Santana a stunner. Callihan put a middle finger into the face of Santana. Santana fought off both Jake and Sami for a while but they then hit Santana with a kick piledriver combination. A “this is awesome” chant was invoked. Callihan motioned eyes up and eyes down. They tried to hit their finisher but Ortiz and Santana broke this up. LAX hit their blockbuster powerbomb to pick up the pinfall win on Jake.

The Latin American XChange defeated Ohio Vs. Everything via pinfall in 8:42.

Callihan was pissed as he randomly threw chairs into the ring to try to hit LAX with. Ortiz threw a chair like a lawn dart right into the face of Sami sending him to the ground. Borash accidently called Ortiz “homicide” (Ortiz obviously has the afro). Konnan went into the ring to hold up the Mexican flag.

John’s Thoughts: I was afraid that great tag team matches were done in Impact when Eddie and Davey broke up but LAX have picked up the slack and OVE are great in their own rights. These teams put on great performances all of the time. I’m a bit perplexed as to why Homicide is so limited on offense these days because when he teamed with Hernandez, he was the workhorse. Injuries catching up maybe? Anyway, given that OVE are badass now and great heels, I can watch these teams wrestle for days. Could we be in store for the latest great Impact Best-of-five series a la Beer Money vs. Motor City Machine Guns as well as Aries and Roode vs. The American Wolves?

GWN Flashback Match: Ken Shamrock vs. Malice (w/ James Mitchell) for the NWA Heavyweight Championshp w/ Ricky The Dragon Steamboat as the guest referee. Mike Tenay, Don West, and some other guy was on the commentary. Shamrock had the ankle lock locked in on Malice. Malice made it to the rope but Shamrock pulled him away. Shamrock kept the ankle lock locked in even though Malice made it to the ropes. Mitchell demanded a rope break and Steamboat forcefully made Shamrock break the hold. Shamrock went after malice with some low kicks. Malice caught Shamrock with a boot. Malice went for a chokeslam. Shamrock hit the belly to belly to become the new champion.

Ken Shamrock defeated Malice via pinfall to become the NWA Heavyweight Champion.

Mike Tenay talked about how this was the first NWA-TNA PPV…

Back to the Impact show, Mathews and Borash ran through some of the upcoming segments…[C]

Bobby Lashley’s music played with Dan F’n Lambert walking out to the Impact Zone. Lambert said he’s here to say “I told you so”. He talked about how they exposed professional wrestling for being a fraud. He called wrestlers exposed for being wannabe loudmouth tough guys. Lambert asked the crowd why Anthem moved Impact away from their sunny home in Orlando to this icebox known as Ottawa. Lambert talked about how Canada has devalued, deflated, and depressed currency. Lambert said Impact just relies on gullible Canadian wrestling fans. Lambert said Canadians still complain about Vince screwing Bret even though the world saw Bret tap out. Lambert said he heard Bret say “i quit” all the way in Ft. Lauderdale. Lambert blamed the Canadians for messing up traffic in Florida. He called Canadians bad drivers and said that Canadians are cheapskates. Lambert said Canadians only bring one white shirt and $20 bucks to stay in Florida for two weeks. Dan Lambert then ended his Canada portion of the promo.

Lambert talked about how Impact Wrestling promised Bobby Lashley his release and Lashley held up his side of the deal. Lambert said Impact reneged on the deal. Lambert said it’s his fault for taking Impact on their word. Lambert said in MMA a man’s word is his bond, people say what they mean, mean what they say, and when they have a problem they settle things like men. Lambert said that’s what American Top Team does. Lambert said fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. He had a paper contract for Lashley’s release. He said he’s reasonable and he’s asking the company for one last chance to do this the easy way. Lambert asked an Impact executive to walk his ass to the ring to sign the contract. Lambert talked about putting this company in a beating for the past few months. Lambert said this company and said that it will burn so bad that Canadians won’t even watch it. Moose interrupted Lambert’s promo.

John’s Thoughts: Smart of Lambert to use the extended cheap heat segment to draw lasting heel heat throughout. There wasn’t a problem with the promo and Lambert was fine there. The problem is the latter part of the promo was right. Impact/Anthem comes off as the kayfabe douches now since they did agree on air with Lashley that he would be released.

Moose talked about how it took six MMA guys at Bound for Glory to take down one Moose. Moose said Lambert is a dumb ass. Lambert said lambert was dumb for coming to an Impact show with Moose in the Impact Zone and that he was by himself. Moose did his Moose dance. Moose then got his hands on Lambert. Lashley and American Top Team then put the boots to Moose. James Storm walked out for the save. He tossed the MMA guys out with one hand. Storm gave Lashley a Last Call. Storm was about to attack Dan Lambert but then the smaller stooge MMA fighter did some bad acting and said “no one puts their hands on Dan Lambert”. He slapped Storm and Storm smashed a bottle over his head.

Storm said professional wrestling was here before Dan Lambert came out of his daddy’s worm and will be here when Dan’s buried and eaten up by worms. Storm said if anyone needs to talk about wrestling it’s James Storm. Storm said for 20 years he got to live this dream of being a professional wrestler. Storm talked about people saying he couldn’t do it back in 1996. Storm said his mom believed in him and told him to work his ass off and make the haters beg him for a job. Storm said he did that and did it for pro wrestling. Storm talked about being in Impact day one. Storm talked about proving he could belong with Chris Harris as a part of America’s Most Wanted.

Storm talked about teaming with “another guy” (Bobby Roode) when Impact didn’t know what to do with the two wrestlers. Storm said he came up with a unique name. He led the crowd in a “Beer!!! Money!!!” chant. Storm said no matter what you watch, the men and women come down the ramp and don’t care about what goes wrong in the ring. Storm said they live for the moment, the crowd’s applause, the cheers, the boos, the “this is awesome” the “you deserve it”, the “holy shit”, and the “thank you” chants. Storm said they do it for professional wrestling. Storm thanked the production people and said their exact names. He thanked Rafael Morffi for doing everything. He thanked the production girl named Stevie. Storm talked about how American Top Team at least knows respects. Storm then said the crowd gives them back respect.

Moose whispered into Storm’s ear. Storm comically pointed at the knocked out skinny MMA guy and said “this guy… uh… I respect him”. Storm said he tried, he got knocked out, but at least he tried. He took off the guy’s shoes and tossed it to the crowd. Storm said that was funny and that’s what they call doing it on the fly (at least Moose didn’t steal any more ATT socks). Storm said this is professional wrestling and he’s the Cowboy James Motha F’n Storm. Storm’s theme played to close out the segment… [C]

John’s Thoughts: I was afraid they were going to make Moose look like a bitch again and he was when he decided to try to fight ATT by himself again. Storm was his usual strong self again. He’s one of the top five people in the business at delivering a promo in my opinion. In a less skilled talker with the same content, that Storm promo would have been rambling but Storm is just a pure great talker, especially when he isn’t making racist slurs. The only part that disappoints me a bit is we’ll never get to see Lashley and Storm go at each other on the mic because Lashley has been one of Impact/TNA’s best promos since the beginning of 2016. The battles between Lambert and Storm with Lashley as the mute stooge.

It was time for the Pluto TV rewind of the week. They showed a clip of Comedian Chris Rock in the TNA ring. Chris Rock said the NWA-TNA is the best wrestling in the whole world. Rock said if you think this is fake you can come here and get your ass kicked…

Jeremy Borash went over a replay of the last segment. They showed Lambert and the American Top Team walking away with their knocked out fighter. Out of nowhere, KM (Kevin Matthews) walked up to Dan Lambert and told him how he likes his style and wants to roll with him. Lambert said KM was a bozo. KM asked Lashley for a chance. Lashley said if KM wants a chance he has to prove himself. KM said “okay”…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Eli Drake (w/ Chris Adonis) about Petey Williams. Drake said he’s going to talk to ya. Drake said the crowd is heavy and he’s still Global Champion. Drake said he got a week rest and out comes the half-wit little Petey Williams. Drake gave Petey credit for being a multi-time X Division Champion. Drake said Petey can make himself a Canadian hero by attempting to attack Adonis and himself. Drake said if Petey can last three minutes with him and he said a string of his catchphrases. Drake said Petey won’t be champion since he can’t afford fare to board the gravy train. Drake said that is not an insult, that is just a fact of life. A Petey Williams history vignette aired with Team Canada clips and how his grandfather just passed away right before Bound for Glory this year…

Allie met Gail Kim backstage. Allie talked about how great it was to share the ring with her at Bound for Glory. Gail said she’s emotional right now and she hopes Allie is happy with what she’s about to say tonight… [C]

A Gail Kim history video package aired which showed Gail Kim at the beginning of her TNA run (after leaving WWE). An acoustic song was playing in the background. They showed clips of her against Awesome Kong as well as Gail winning the championship. They had clips of Gail’s epic ladder match with Taryn Terrell and her Eat Defeats on people…

John’s Thoughts: Nope… I won’t shed a tear… (to late, a tear just came out). That was a great little piece of video package that said a lot in regards to a true professional wrestling legend that will probably never truly receive the credit she deserves.

Jeremy Borash recapped Gail Kim’s Knockouts Championship win at Bound for Glory. Borash introduced the Hall of Famer, Gail Kim. Josh Mathews talked about how Gail Kim talked about retiring at the end of the year. Allie made her entrance next.

Gail talked about 18 years ago as a young woman in Canada and loving wrestling. Gail Kim said she saw other women doing what she loved and said that’s what she wanted to do. Gail talked about going to wrestling school and finding out that was what she was going to do. Gail said not too many women can say that dreams can come true. Gail told everyone especially the young women out there that with hard work, fighting for what you believe in, and sacrifice dreams do come true and she’s living proof of it. Gail said she couldn’t have done it without the ladies who paved the road alongside her. She gave credit to Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly, Awesome Kong, and Taryn Terrell as a few of those women.

Gail said she’s had a lot of time to reflect since Bound for Glory. Gail Kim said she was at peace at making her decision. Gail Kim said she was relinquishing the title. Gail said she was excited to see what’s next in her live. She said she’s excited to see what’s next for Allie and the rest of the knockouts who are going to carry the legacy of strong powerful women. Gail thanked Impact Wrestling and the fans for making her dream come true. Gail said “I love you and I would have never made it this far without you”. Gail said she’s so proud to be champion one last time and she thanked everyone… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Ahhhh the feels… Selfishly, I’m truly saddened to see such a legend who still puts in great matches whenever she wrestles, go away; but in a bittersweet happiness, I’m happy that she got to go out on top as opposed to when her body starts giving out on her as far as in-ring performance is concerned. The greedy wrestling fan, not the analyst, in me wants to see her have some great NXT Takeover matches and a final run against WWE’s Four Hoursewomen since she is the one who literally paved the way for them as far as main event workrate is concerned. I can say more, but I’ll probably blog on that later. As for her speech. It was good. It touched the heart strings. I would have found a way to do this in America though because it would have been great if they could bring in a Lita, Molly, Taryn, or Kia Stevens. Hell, is Dutch in the back? He would have been great too.

It was time for a Joseph Park and Grado skit. Grado was eating lunch with Braxton Sutter, John Bolin, and people I’m assuming are from Border City Wrestling. Joseph Park tried to sit down and hang out with them but they gave him an awkward star and then walked off giving him the cold shoulder. Grado was angry at Park. Park said he understands and he’d be angry at Park too. Park said he knows now that he’s the monster Abyss and he promises that you will never see the monster Abyss in professional wrestling again. Park said Abyss turned him into a liar. Park said it made him cheat.

Park said Abyss made him hurt the only woman he ever cared about who wasn’t named Janice. Park said he knows he can’t make it up to Grado but he’ll try. He handed Grado a visa and said Grado can now stay in the United States. Inspirational music played. Park reiterated that Abyss was gone. Suddenly a random Mountie walked in and informed Grado that the visa was only valid in the United States but not in Canada. The mountain then took Grado to be deported. Park was sorry and said that Canada was outside of his jurisdiction. Park asked “look what Abyss did? Look at what I did now?”…

Josh Mathews cracked up at Grado being deported and said Jeremy Borash should have been with him to see it. Josh Mathews was hyping up next week’s “special” Thanksgiving episode of Impact. Jimmy Jacobs walked in and joined the announce table. He requested a selfie with Mathews. Petey Williams then came out dressed up as Canada. Eli Drake came out next with Chris Adonis and is Impact/GFW Belt. Josh Mathews talked about how Drake became champion after Alberto El Patron was stripped of the title. Jeremy Borash handled formal in ring introductions (which he didn’t do at Bound for Glory)…

John’s Thoughts: My ref-bump senses are tingling. Please don’t let yet another Impact main event end in crappy TNA finish tropes.

4. Eli Drake (w/ Chris Adonis) vs. Petey Williams for the Impact Global Championship. Josh Mathews said no one has ever kicked out of Petey Williams’ Canadian Destroyer which means if Williams hits the move it is a guaranteed win for Williams. Jacobs talked about the pros and cons about the Destroyer. He said it’s powerful, but everyone knows it’s coming. Williams grounded Drake with a dropkick. Williams went for a Destroyer but Drake rolled away. Drake dominated Williams with calculated strikes. Williams took down Drake with a huracanrana. Williams put Drake in the Tree of Woe and sung the Canadian National Anthem. He then locked in a single leg crab on Drake. Williams used a drop toehold and dropkick to the back of Drake to get a nearfall. [C]

Eli Drake hit Williams with a flapjack slam. Drake distracted the referee so Adonis could choke out Williams a bit. Eli Drake gave Williams an elbow on the apron. Drake maintained control with elbows in the ring. Petey was rallied up by the crowd. He hit a jawbreaker on Drake. Drake came back with a powerslam and jumping elbow drop with theatrics. Drake locked in a chinlock on Petey. The crowd rallied up Petey but Drake maintained an upper hand over the hometown favorite. Williams fought back with chops. Drake came back with a swinging power slam. Drake distracted the referee again so Adonis could get some cheap shots in.

Adonis maintained an onslaught over Williams despite Williams making several comeback attempts. Williams gained a bit of breathing room and got some punches on Drake. Williams did a side Russian leg sweep into a pin attempt. Williams hit a Flatliner into another pin attempt. Williams called for the Canadian Destroyer. Drake blocked it and hit a flapjack slam. Williams hit Drake with a kick to the gut and Drake came back with a European Uppercut. Williams hit a Codebreaker and German Suplex on Drake. Williams set up for the Destroyer but Drake escaped. Drake hit a reverse powerslam on Williams.

Eli Drake told everyone his name and missed an elbow drop. Drake missed a moonsault. Williams went for a Destroyer but Drake held his ground so Williams hit a sunset flip into a Sharpshooter. Petey blocked Drake’s arm with his own arm but Drake managed to get to the rope for the break. Drake blocked a Suplex. Drake powered Williams in the corner. Williams hit a tornado DDT on Drake. Williams took out Adonis with a suicide dive. Petey Williams hit Drake in the gut but went right into Gravy Train position. Williams escaped and successfully hit the Canadian Destroyer. Josh pointed out how no one kicked out. Then Josh ruins the nearfall with his classic “we have a new champion” Vince McMahon call (dammit Josh!!!). It was a great nearfall nonetheless.

Josh did a great job after putting over how no one has kicked out of a Williams Canadian Destroyer. Drake reversed a Canadian Destroyer into a Reverse Thrill of the Kill driver. Williams kicked out of Drake’s pin attempt. Drake went for the Gravy Train but Williams rolled up Drake in a crucifix. In a sweet and slick transition, Williams went for another Destroyer but that put him into Drake’s Gravy Train for Drake’s victory.

Eli Drake defeated Petey Williams via pinfall in 13:13 of TV Time to retain the Impact Global Championship.

Jeremy Borash gave Drake credit for succeeding under pressure. Jimmy Jacobs thanked the commentators for letting him join them. Petey Williams looked disappointed in the ring as he wore the Canadian flag. Impact closed with Eli Drake walking up the ramp.

John’s Thoughts: That was a nice main event and it might be Eli Drake’s second-best match I’ve seen him wrestle. He best match still goes to Eli Drake vs. Alberto El Patron from earlier on in the year. Thumbs up to Impact for resisting the urge of the ref bump and crappy run in finish. The best part of this match was Eli Drake got something that he’s been missing his entire championship run so far, gaining in-ring credibility. He’s capable of a great match as we’ve seen with the El Patron match, but they’ve presented him as a chicken heel for so long. This was great. Williams was great too in that he told a strong story of going for that Canadian Destroyer. I hope they find a way to extend this somehow while Alberto and Johnny Mundo can continue their feud from Lucha Underground that never truly got finished.

This was yet another good episode. There were nitpicks here and there, but the show overall had a string of enjoyable segments. I would have done without the Gail Kim retirement here since it would have been better suited in the main event slot. That said the main event didn’t disappoint. Gail had a great promo, Storm had an inspired promo, Joe Park had a funny segment, and the matches were splendid. The only thing that we didn’t need was the random X Division six way. Make sure to check out Jason Powell’s Hit List and members’ audio review for some alternate thoughts on Impact. Maybe he liked the show less than or even more than I do? Who knows?


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