By John Moore
Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped November 7, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario at the Aberdeen, Pavilion
Jeremy Borash was backstage with the women competing for the Knockouts Championship (KC Spinelli, Rosemary, Allie, Laurel Van Ness, Madison Rayne, and Sienna). Borash announced that Spinelli vs. LVN vs. Madison Rayne would kick off Impact. They then ran a teaser video package showing the card for the show. In the latest “Only in TNA” moment, the moment they just announce the Knockouts match, they goofed on the graphic by saying the opening match was Allie vs. Rosemary vs. Sienna was happening even though the names didn’t match the picture. To correct my typo from last week, I’ll correct myself in saying that Taiji Ishimori is facing Hakim Zane. We were also going to “Hear from LAX” (whatever that means?).
They then cut to a Johnny Impact/Morrison vs. Alberto El Patron teaser. Patron said Johnny hasn’t done anything in this company. Johnny said he has history with Alberto in Lucha Underground and AAA (wait? Have they in AAA? To my knowledge, right when Mundo started to wrestle in AAA Alberto bailed to WWE?). Alberto said he and Johnny facing off for the first time in the ring is going to be spectacular. Morrison said he wants to make Alberto.
Laurel Van Ness walked out dressed and acting like a bad TMZ story. She’s playing the role of a drunk debutante these days. Even though Borash called the belt the “Knockouts Championship” the belt is labeled “Women’s Championship” (which is a label I’m more of a fan of). What I’m not a fan of is those damn Impact Wrestling stickers that cover up the GFW part (just get new plates or find a metallurgist to melt the metal and recraft it. It would look less tacky). Borash said Laurel had a run-in with a stick of lipstick. KC Spinelli was out next. Madison Rayne was out last. Josh Mathews said Madison Rayne is making headlines with the things she is doing in life. Josh said that Rayne also makes him breakfast…
1. Laurel Van Ness vs. KC Spinelli vs. Madison Rayne in a triple threat match for a Title Shot at the Knockouts Championship. Borash joked about how he saw Laurel’s wedding dress get up and walk away on its own. The three women attempted quick rollups which Josh said was a good strategy. Laurel tried a pin on Madison after a barrel roll. Borash tried to give us a bit of info on who KC Spinelli is. He said she’s a “power wrestler” and that we’ve seen her before in BCW footage. Josh said KC Spinelli calls herself “two scoops”. Laurel pulled Madison off the apron. Spinelli gave Laurel a rolling elbow.
Spinelli took Laurel’s fur coat and mocked Laurel. This caused Laurel to hulk out and run over Spinelli. Laurel gave Spinelli some strong right forearms. Laurel then hit Spinelli with a curb stomp into the turnbuckle. Borash and Mathews then tried to do a plug for the GWN app. Laurel gave Spinelli a pump kick off the apron. Rayne tripped Laurel on the apron. Madison hit Laurel with some knees. Spinelli and Rayne traded strikes. Laurel hit both women with a double missile dropkick. Both women kicked out of pin attempts. Laurel went for the Unprettier but Madison reversed into a running enziguri.
Rayne went for a sleeper but Laurel tossed her off the top rope. Spinelli then gave Laurel an electric chair drop onto Madison Rayne. Spinelli called for something, not sure what. Laurel then reversed into a jumping Unprettier to pick up the win by giving Spinelli a trashy cover.
Laurel Van Ness defeated KC Spinelli and Madison Rayne via pinfall in 5:46 to earn a Knockouts Championship title shot.
Josh said this was a huge upset (I’m guessing he’s being sarcastic based off Rayne being his wife). Borash said this was a tough 2017 for Laurel because she was left at the alter twice.
John’s Thoughts: Huh. I didn’t expect it, but that was surprisingly good match at several levels. Not mind-blowing great, but delightful. The lowest-common-denominator presentation of Laurel is not my cup of tea, but I give Impact some credit for trying to target a possibly large demographic that digs TMZ stories and trashy train wreck women. I can see Laurel being successful at playing Paris Hilton way more than as Courtney Love. That was a really hard worked triple threat and one of the rare really-good women’s matches we’ve seen on Impact that doesn’t involve Gail Kim. I’ve said for two years that Madison Rayne is the most underutilized woman on the TNA roster because she was green at one point but has evolved to one of the best workers and technicians in the Knockouts division. I see Peyton Royce as a young Madison Rayne in NXT and with both women I have the same gripe, they are both treated as the designated enhancement talent when their storytelling ability should make them mean much more.
Alberto El Patron was shown walking outside and talking on his cell phone. He wore an all-black suit this time as opposed to the goofy red tracksuit. Johnny Impact was also shown entering the arena. He also wore different attire. He wore a DDP Yoga shirt as opposed to the Boone the Bounty Hunter shirt he usually wears… [C]
Borash and Mathews recapped the match from a few weeks ago where Taiji Ishimori was randomly teamed up with the Cult of Lee and of course they weren’t on the same page. Borash and Mathews were shown in their darkened commentary area. Mathews sent it to the ring where “The Winner of Global Forge” Hakim Zane walked out. Josh Mathews talked about how he watched Global Forge every week because of his tough enough experience.
2. Hakim Zane vs. Taiji Ishimori. Mathews talked about how Ishimori was a three time GHC Junior Heavyweight champion. Sane showed some impressive kicks early on to take down Ishimori. Mathews talked about how Zane was pissed at being beat up randomly by Johnny Impact in his Impact debut. Ishimori took down Zane with a seated senton. Josh Mathews told us that GHC stands for “Global Honored Crowd” and how important it was for Eddie Edwards to win the belt as the first gaijin champion. Zane came back at Ishimori with another fast-paced rally topped off with a cannonball senton.
Ishimori hit Zane with a handspring jumping roundhouse. Zane escaped a gutwrench. Zane went for a gutwrench but Ishimori hit a facebuster. Ishimori hit the 450 Splash for the victory.
Taiji Ishimori defeated Hakim Zane via pinfall in 3:31.
Trevor Lee stormed the ring to stop Ishimori’s post-match celebration. Caleb Konley helped Lee. No sign of Andrew Everett. Konley hit Ishimori with a Michinoku Driver. Josh said this was a smart move to get to Ishimori before he got to them…
They cut to James Storm pacing around McKenzie Mitchell with a beer bottle. James Storm said cold beer is what professional wrestling is all about, at least that’s what he thinks it’s all about. Storm said pro wrestling is about cold beer, hot women, and fast cars. Storm said El Texano is about to see the Ottawa crowd say the words “cow-boy”. Storm said he is James Mother F’n Storm. They bleeped out the letter “F’n” which was odd because he didn’t say “f–king” and they usually don’t censor that part in his promos. Storm said Dan Lambert wants to take out Pro Wrestling but Storm is pro wrestling and he’s coming to take Lambert and ATT out. Storm ended the promo by saying “sorry about your damn luck”… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A great X Division match. These X Division singles matches are so much better than the weekly multi-man spot monkey fests at getting talent over. Ishimori hasn’t had a bad match yet and I could see him bringing prestige back to the belt in similar fashion to Low Ki with the quality of his matches. Zane also got a chance to shine a bit in his limited offense even though no one gives a damn about “Global Forge”. I hope Zane doesn’t end up having a similar career as the legendary Maven and more of a Johnny Impact like career if they are going to go with the Tough Enough winner analog.
It was time for a LAX clubhouse cinematic. Diamante is no longer in the clubhouse (I wonder if she’s selling LAX Beer in place of Homicide. Or “keeping those hoes in check” as we found out in another Lucha Underground esque LAX cinematic). They were playing cards this time and had some playful bickering. Konnan said white boy Sami Callihan is becoming a problem and someone needs to handle him. Homicide said he “Needs!” to handle this and he’s tired of the baseheads (basehead is a synonym for crackhead). Homicide said some weird run-on sentence that I couldn’t understand. Homicide talked about bringing in all the products in this country. Homicide said he gets everything including dry soap.
John’s Thoughts: Preemptive Konnan NSFW warning in the next paragraph.
Santana said they have a chainsaw crackin’ in the back and they can use that thing on OVE. Ortiz said to forget about chainsaws because it would be more gangsta to use a chain to hang the OVEs off a roof so everyone can see. Konnan said what he would like to use is a staple gun. Konnan then said that is some street shit and before they get to that shit they have to get the tag titles. Konnan said Callihan is the middle part of the human centipede who talks about thumbs up thumbs down. Konnan said they all stick both their thumbs up all their asses. Konnan said he likes to call OVE “ovaries” because they are a bunch of pussies and “bitch-made”. Konnan said they are going to get the tag titles back. Konnan then compared LAX to a late period again. Konnan said they are taking it to the streets and they live and die for this shit. Konnan said Hasta La Muerte Despues LAX, which means to Live and Die for LAX. Santana said “yay yey-yeah”. Homicide started to talk about some red apple bottoms. They then continued to play a playful game of cards…
John’s Thoughts: That was really good. A bit vulgar; but Konnan is Impact’s best talker at the moment. Konnan has proven he can play the Old Bruce Wayne role in Lucha Underground to perfection and in Impact he’s playing the godfather role just as well. It’s also fun to see a bunch of fam just having fun like how fam is supposed to be. When I see WWE’s Cryme Tyme presentation, I get offended at what comes off as a white man’s perspective on ethnic culture (note that I’m black on my father’s side). When I see LAX or the Usos I see people that are relatable and put in a position to express themselves in a more realistic fashion. Speaking of such, even though it would be impossible due to how vulgar Konnan can be, how awesome would it be to see the Usos vs. LAX feud in the ultimate dream feud?
3. Sami Callihan vs. Randy Meyers at the DEFY promotion in Seattle, Washington. Meyers called a time out in the middle of the match. I thought he was Garza pulling of his pants for a sec. Instead this guy started to shake his hips for some reason during his imposed time out on Callihan. They cut to random parts of the match. Callihan gave Meyers a pump kick. Callihan buried the guy in a pile of chairs. Mathews said DEFY is the biggest independent in Washington State. They did another edit where Sami Callihan chopped Meyers on a chair. They did another edit to Sami giving Meyers a superkick and takedown lariat. They did another edit to Meyers trying to hit a superplex on Callihan. Mathews compared Callihan to “The Devil’s Advocate” to do a movie plug for PopTV. Callihan reversed and bit Meyers in the neck. Meyers blocked a sunset flip but Meyers adjusted into a superkick. Meyers kicked out of a pin after a powerbomb. Meyers gave Callihan a boot and made several pin attempts. They did another edit. Callihan and Meyers traded pump kicks and they had a head clash moment. After another edit, Callihan won after a clothesline from hell.
Sami Callihan defeated Randy Meyers via pinfall in about 3:40 after a heavy amount of jump cuts.
Ohio Vs. Everything’s theme played. Josh Mathews told the viewers to look out for DEFY on the Global Wrestling Network… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Maybe Impact (the show/company) is trying to cut corners by using cheap camera footage from independent shows, but all they are doing with this is give the viewers an excuse to go and use the restroom or make a sandwich. I also don’t get why they show some mediocre matches in full, but when they have a talent like Naomichi Marufuji or Sami Callihan having what looks like a great match, they decide to edit the hell out of the footage. I’ve watched Callihan’s indy and Lucha Underground matches for the last couple of years after he left WWE and they have all been thoroughly good. This would have been a perfect moment to introduce Impact viewers to the Callihan style of match but instead they decided to do the bad jump cuts.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Alberto El Patron. Patron called Morrison a kid who what’s to fight like a man. Patron said he broke Johnny’s arm, spirit, and saw his mom cry. Alberto said the reason he came back to Impact is to “destroy”. Patron said the best way he can destroy is by kicking this kid’s “Trasero” (a.k.a. ass). Alberto said Johnny is a golden boy but the people started buying Impact PPVs because of Alberto El Patron. Patron said they repay him with this little kid trying to face a man. Alberto said he’s going to kick the kid’s trasero. Alberto said he loved cleaning the ground with Johnny’s face. Patron took off his scarf to cover McKenzie’s mic holder and said the word “impact” on the microphone is making him mad. Patron said “little Johnny” went crying to the vice president of Impact about El Patron being to strong and fast. Patron said tonight is going to be 1-2-3 for El Patron.
Patron told McKenzie to tell Johnny that he’s looking for him. McKenzie tried to close the interview but the camera man panned over to show KM beating up a random guy with weak punches (they looked weak due to the guy’s bad selling). KM asked American Top Team if that was enough. KM saw some other guys and threw them into the trailer. KM threw a across a table and said there was his prove if they want him to prove himself.
John’s Thoughts: Bad looking punches aside, KM has needed more segments like that after they gave him the big push with the vignettes. Instead after the good vignettes, they made him a bully that losses all of the time and makes Biff quotes. KM should be put in more positions to look strong and not chickenshiz. Not all heels have to look weak. The most compelling heels are strong heels and that’s what Impact got right in 2016 (amongst other things) and in 2017 they’ve regressed.
The Triple A video wall appeared in the Impact Zone as El Texano Jr, which translates to “The Texan Jr.” made his entrance. They switch between “El Texano” and “Texano Jr.” in every sentence so I’ll just go with his regular wrestling name. Texano was dressed up as a cowboy and had a bullrope (he is Lucha Underground’s James Storm after all). Borash said this was The Cowboy of Impact vs. The Cowboy of AAA. The cameras cut to American Top Team and Dan Lambert arriving at the Aberdeen Pavilion. KM asked Lambert if he saw what he did to the random guys backstage like he was trying to ask a father for approval. Lambert said of course he didn’t because they just got here. Lambert said they have a cowboy to take care of now. KM cried “Bobby!”… [C]
4. James Storm vs. El Texano Jr. Borash said this match has “international implication”. Borash said social media explodes when Lambert gets on the microphone. Texano and Storm had a quick lucha libre chain wrestling sequence. Texano ducked away from the Last Call Kick. Storm dropkicked Texano through the dropkick. Mathews said it was like watching a mirror match. Texano gained the upper hand by distracting him by touching his beer. Texano gave Storm a lariat at ringside. Texano gave Storm a hiptoss on the entrance ramp.
Texano locked in a camel clutch in the middle of the ring. Texano hit Storm with his signature chop clotheslines. Texano locked Storm in a half crab. Mathews pointed out that the referee was making it harder for Storm to reach the ropes. Storm managed to turn and grabbed the ropes. Texano whipped Storm to the outside but Storm skinned the cat on the fall. Storm entered the ring to eat a Ruff Ryder Lag Lariat from Texano. Storm kicked out at two. Texano ran into the boot of Storm. Texano blocked an Eye of the Storm. Borash explained that it was because of Texano being too heavy. Storm managed to initiate the move but Texano slipped off. Texano hit Storm with a superkick. Texano put on a cowboy hat and yelled “I’m a real cow boy!”. Texano walked into the Last Call to lose the match.
James Storm defeated El Texano Jr. via pinfall in 6:25.
Storm wore the cowboy hat during the pin and post-match celebration. Storm gave the crowd a beer shower and led the crowd in clapping to his theme. Storm turned his back up the ramp which meant he was going to be blindsided. Dan Lambert, Lashley, King Mo, and the MMA guys blindsided and beat up Storm. Mathews tried to give us the list of names at least. Lashley threw Storm into the steps with the neckbrace guy spitting in the face of Storm. Mathews said the neckbrace guy is the general manager of American Top Team.
John’s Thoughts: So both Dan Lambert and his general manager office guy can pay fantasy pro wrestler now? I see what’s happening.
Neckbrace guy walked into the last call. Lashley gave Storm a Dominator Powerslam. Moose’s entrance theme played. Moose strolled to the ring with a chair. One MMA guy who is a former rugby player was jabbed by the chair and disposed of. It was time for a Lambert promo. Lambert said the sad truth about the circus is once you get past the clowns and the bearded lady the novelty wears off. Lambert said the freakshow known as Impact Wrestling is no different. Lambert said when you lie with dogs you get fleas and he’s all out of bug spray. Lambert said this needs to end next week. Lambert said this can end when they get rid of both of the clowns. Lambert called the Canadians “Eskimos”. Lambert said it’s going to be Bobby Lashley and their “Secret Weapon” who’s the biggest heel in MMA. Colby Covington thought it was him. Lambert said the “Destroyer of Pro Wrestling” is Lashley is Lashley’s partner, himself. Covington did a cartoony facepalm. Josh Mathews said Lambert’s “Fantasy pro wrestling camp” has gone too far (Is Josh listening to Jason Powell’s audio reviews because I got a bit of deja vu with that quote?). The cameras showed Matt Sydal stretching backstage… [C]
John’s Thoughts: From an old school pro wrestling booking perspective, it’s logical to put Dan Lambert in the ring and have him pull the rug from under the babyfaces with a backup plan. The problem I continue to see here is they continue to tank Lashley’s pro wrestling career down the toilet in favor of pushing Dan F’n Lambert as a main event heel. You can say Lambert’s a good promo, and I agree that he’s a good promo in the same way that Heel Michael Cole is a good promo. Lashley is Lambert’s Jack Swagger in the Cole scenario. If they wanted a heel Cole they already have someone more qualified and can do nice Swanton Bombs in Josh Mathews. This is just so sad to see Lashley who was one of the strongest heels in all of wrestling be made booked as a bit player stooge to the Fantasy Pro Wrestling Fanboy.
It was time for this week’s “Pluto TV Rewind of the Week”. They showed Rhyno give a slightly younger and skinner Abyss a Gore through a metal wall plate. James Mitchell was roaming around…
A 90s Style faux commercial aired for “Park, Park, and Park”. Joseph Park introduced his cousin Chandler Park (I looked him up and he was Ethan Page, who I always confused with Adam Page due to the name). They flashed a phone number on the screen (615) 492-4883…
John’s Thoughts: I called the numbers when Famous B (LU) and Tyrus (TNA) had similar faux commercials. Famous B’s led to a fun kayfabe answering machine and Tyrus’s led to an incomplete Google Voice message. I just called the number and got Joseph Park talking about his grandma so at least they went the extra mile with making a kayfabe answer machine message.
Bonus GWN Match of the Week: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe from TNA Genesis 2006. Angle’s head was a bloody mess at the point of the match. Angle locked in the Angle Lock as Don West talked about how Samoa Joe has never been put in this position. Angle rolled with Joe to maintain the lock. Joe rolled and locked in the Coquina Clutch on Angle. Angle locked in the Ankle Lock to cause Joe to break the hold. Joe did a leg whip into the turnbuckle. Angle sidestepped Joe and hit him with the Angle Slam. Angle put the straps up and down again. Angle then grapevined the ankle lock. Samoa Joe tapped out.
Kurt Angle defeated Samoa Joe via submission to end Samoa Joe’s winning streak.
Back to modern times. McKenzie Mitchell asked Johnny Impact if his arm was okay. Johnny said “no!”. Johnny said it is good enough to get the job done tonight. Johnny talked like a robot reading off a teleprompter (and I don’t think they use teleprompters). Johnny said he’s had one thing on his mind since Bound for Glory, Alberto El Patron. Johnny said he knew Alberto was crazy and reckless but he didn’t realize how delusional Alberto is. Johnny said Alberto thinks he runs the place. Johnny said Alberto has personal issues but his biggest problem is Johnny. Johnny said this isn’t about the title or contendership. This is about “me and you and you getting what’s coming to you”. Johnny said Alberto is a speed bump on the highway to the “Global Impact Championship” and tonight he is going to take Alberto to Slamtown (ughhhh… he did it)… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Is it just me or are Johnny Impact babyface promos reminiscent of John Johnson, the Southpaw Regional Wrestling World Champion. That’s the character that TJ Perkins plays that cuts dry babyface promos. Couldn’t they edit this? I saw Lucha Underground sadly cut good Johnny Mundo promos (they exist) and this was a bad one that needed to be cut by Impact (the show/company). He can be a great babyface but to make modern analogs he’s just like Kalisto on the microphone. And like Kalisto, the guy should be more of a stoic ninja as opposed to the goofball babyface. I’m making a lot of analogs tonight. Johnny Impact’s “Slam town” is like Kalisto’s lucha things. Impact can be good as I saw in his feud with Ron Killings and early on in LU as a babyface against Prince Puma and El Hijo Del Fantasma. He just has to drop the goofball crap and robot promos. That interview was funny and entertaining but in all the wrong ways that their top babyface shouldn’t be. Cursing Konnan is a better babyface at this point.
It was time for Eli Drake to deliver a promo. He had Chris Adonis flanking him. Drake said the Champion will be watching the main event. He said he hasn’t forgotten the five stitches that El Patron gave him and he hasn’t forgotten about Johnny. Drake said he’s not revealing when he’s punching those tickets. Drake said that’s not an insult, that’s a fact of life. Drake left and crossed paths with Jimmy Jacobs…
Ethan Carter III joined the commentators at the announce table…
5. Tyson Dux vs. “Reborn” Matt Sydal. The guy that looks like a child was the referee. Ethan Carter III said Sydal lacks a killer instinct. Dux and Sydal had a slower chain wrestling sequence to start of the match. Dux grounded Sydal with a side Russian legsweep. Sydal attempted some innovative leg whips. Sydal locked in his Yoga Muta Lock. Mathews said both EC3 and Sydal are Yogis. EC3 said he uses Yoga to stretch and pick up chicks while Sydal does it as a lifestyle. EC3 said inner peace does not win matches. Dux blocked a moonsault with his knees. Dux went for some quick kicks to the back of Sydal. Dux worked on the knee of Sydal. EC3 talked about Sydal being a choke artist. Borash talked about Sydal being good in winning the “Sony Six Invitational”.
EC3 said Sydal even beat Lashley but he still chokes when it counts. Dux locked in a half crab and Sydal made it to the ropes. The cameras continued to focus on the commentary table. Dux ran into a Sydal spinning wheel kick. Sydal gave Dux a feint kick and standing moonsault. Dux kept up the pace and gave Sydal a DDT. Dux went for a deadlift but Sydal escaped and gave Dux a boot and knee combo. Sydal went to the top rope as Dux crawled into position for Sydal to hit Air Bourne. Sydal picked up the win.
Matt Sydal defeated Tyson Dux via pinfall in 5:40.
The camera showed multiple show motion angles of the Air Bourne. Sydal stared at EC3 from the ring. They cut to the Johnny Impact and Alberto El Patron teaser from the beginning of the show. With more sound bites. El Patron said Drake’s a paper champion. Patron said it was just the company turning their backs on him. El Patron said he’s coming for the title that belongs to him. El Patron was shown getting ready backstage. Johnny Impact crossed paths with Petey Williams who was wearing a Canadian Flag on him… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Not a great match. For one, we didn’t see most of it because the camera would focus on EC3 and the announcers. Two, they did dub Dux as one of the “hottest free agents in professional wrestling” yet he’s lost two matches and both matches were so unimportant that the cameras decided to focus on other things. Three, that was not a great finish since the cameras caught Dux who looked fine crawling and laying in position across the ring for Sydal to hit Air Bourne.
Mathews and Borash reminded the viewers of the announced matches for next week. Alberto El Patron made his entrance and they teased more tension between him and Jeremy Borash. The ring announcer now announces that Johnny Impact is from “Slam Town, USA”…
John’s Thoughts: Where in the blue hell is Slam Town, USA? He better not be labeling my hometown of Los Angeles as Slamtown USA. Is it somewhere near “Parts Unknown” and right before “Moose Nation”?
6. Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Impact. Alberto tried to bring a chair in the ring but the ref made him throw it away. Patron dominated Johnny with kicks and punches. Johnny blocked Patron with a boot and hit him with a side Russian leg sweep. Johnny started the ground and pound offense. Johnny called for and hit a corkscrew plancha on Patron. Johnny was selling a left arm injury which allowed Patron to throw him around the barricade. El Patron grabbed the Mundo glasses and broke them. El Patron stood on the turnbuckle to gloat to the crowd. Mathews said El Patron ruined the main event of Bound for Glory. El Patron kept Johnny grounded with boot stomps and kicks.
Johnny fought back with a punch combination. Johnny did a baseball slide under the legs of El Patron. El Patron did a back body drop to Johnny to send him outside. [C]
El Patron hit Johnny with a punch from the top rope. They showed Alberto El Patron giving Johnny a double stomp on the ring steps during the break. Johnny had scars on the side of his gut. Alberto El Patron had Johnny’s blood on his head. Johnny gained some rest time by hitting El Patron with an enziguri. El Patron tried to take down Johnny but Johnny had an adrenaline rush and smothered El Patron with punches. Johnny ducked an Alberto enziguri. Johnny took down Alberto with a leg lariat and running knee. The cameras focused on the cuts on Johnny’s side. Patron attacked the non-injured arm and gave Johnny a dropkick to lead to a nearfall. Patron tried to lead a “si” chant but a few fans responded with “no”.
Johnny hit El Patron with a Flying Chuck Kick. Patron blocked a Starship Pain attempt and nailed Johnny with a reverse grip Superplex. Alberto put Johnny in position for his bad looking double stomp. Johnny did what everyone should do and just turned to the side instead of putting effort into doing a hard situp. Johnny slipped on the top rope but recovered and hit a double stomp on the back of El Patron. El Patron kicked out at 2 and 3/4 seconds. Johnny went for the Impact Elbow but missed. El Patron pulled the referee for a REF BUMP!!! El Patron punched Johnny in the balls. Josh Mathews called Alberto El Patron “a pathetic son of a bitch” and even though they commentate in post, it wasn’t censored.
El Patron pantomimed eating and licking his fingers. El Patron gave Johnny Impact a right hand. Johnny Impact then acted concerned and made sure the referee was okay in fake emotion. Johnny Impact kicked out of the pin attempt at two and Josh Mathews let out a babyface “yes!”. Mathews compared Johnny to Superman. Alberto went for his Double Stomp again. Alberto ripped off Johnny’s arm bandage and put it in Johnny’s mouth. Eli Drake showed up at ringside to taunt Alberto El Patron. Alberto El Patron gave Eli Drake a right hand. He hit Drake with the title belt to the back. Johnny gave Alberto a German Suplex from the Tree of Woe and then hit an improvised Starship Pain on Alberto to pick up the victory.
Johnny Impact defeated Alberto El Patron via pinfall in 15:35 of TV Time.
Drake hit Alberto El Patron with the belt after the match. Drake also went after Johnny with punches. Chris Adonis helped Drake maintain the numbers advantage over Johnny. Eli Drake teased a belt strike on a detained Johnny. The “Oh Canada” theme played which caused Chris Adonis to walk up the ramp to try to intercept Petey Williams.
John’s Thoughts: To quote Black Panther from the Avengers: Infinity War Trailer, somebody “give this man a [Canadian] shield”.
Petey Williams surprised Drake by coming from the crowd. Williams gave Drake a single leg codebreaker and a took out Adonis with a Tope Suicida. Drake had Williams locked in Gravy Train position but Johnny Impact gave Drake a thrust kick. Petey Williams nailed Drake with the Canadian Destroyer. Petey Williams whipped out the Canadian flag and celebrated in front of the Canadian Impact Zone to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: Yes, the match was ugly, but it wasn’t supposed to be smooth or anything because they are trying to tell the blood feud story. Even though the face/heel role was flopped, I did like this match better than their match at Ultima Lucha Uno which was more a set up for the return of Melina Perez as opposed to the culmination of a huge program. This was a good match with the exception of the ref bump spot. It wasn’t only bad due to the usual TNA trope, but it was bad because the wrestlers had to scramble to shoehorn it in there. Drake’s ringside appearance would have been enough. It was good to have Johnny pick up the win because he should continue to build credibility if they are pushing him as the top babyface, but maybe they have another top babyface in mind with the guy I like to call “Captain Canada”.
I liked the post-match stuff. Eli Drake attacked both men rather than just attack the good guy. What I liked the most is that it plugged several guys into Impact Wrestling’s main event picture. They set up Johnny Impact, Alberto El Patron, Petey Williams, and Eli Drake at the top dogs in Impact. If only they can pull Lashley back into this picture and drag EC3 along, Impact Wrestling can replicate 2003 Paul Heyman’s “Smackdown Six” formula that was so efficient and successful at building new stars. This was the formula that Dave Lagana and Matt Conway used so effectively in 2016 which made viewers take Impact seriously with characters like badass Lashley, Drew Galloway, and Big Money Matt Hardy. With that formula, The Final Deletion was catalyst that made that “Smackdown Six” formula burn a bright light that actually moved the needle positively for TNA that no other creative team has been able to do from a storyline standpoint.
There were negatives spread throughout this show but ultimately, I came out of this show satisfied with the final product. The remedy to that would be to suck up some pride and truly do a reboot of this show. Triple H was strong enough to admit that NXT wasn’t in a good place and that they were going to reboot. Hunter then had Tom Phillips straight up say “this is the ‘new NXT'” several times on the broadcast and WWE had the show completely overhauled. Impact needs to do the same as far as new beginnings. It’s good that they’re at least sticking to singles X Division matches. I was afraid for a few weeks when they did the trios matches. They’re doing a decent job giving Drake mic and television time. The matches were all good. Captain Canada Petey Williams is successful fan service. I would have taken out the low budget independent footage, the bad Johnny Impact promo, and the ref bump. Find out what Jason Powell thought about this show in his Impact Wrestling Hit List and audio review later today.