By John Moore
Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped November 8, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario at the Aberdeen Pavilion
Right after the Impact Wrestling signature, the show aired an Alberto El Patron promo. El Patron called Eli Drake a paper champion several times. El Patron said he’s the pride of Mexico. He said Eli Drake cost him his match against Johnny Impact. He said Drake was a perro. He said he’s going to find and destroy Drake to find his revenge. He then said “si…si…si…” They cut to an episode teaser which featured Dan Lambert, James Storm, EC3, Alberto El Patron, Johnny Impact, and Eli Drake referencing their feuds. The Impact intro theme played…
John’s Thoughts: Something has seemed way off with El Patron from a professional wrestling perspective for a long time. It’s to the point where he comes off as overrated (and we know he has the natural ability to be a top tier talent). I would be first to defend Patron in saying that when focused he can be both one of the dastardly heels in pro wrestling and most affable babyfaces in wrestling too. The problem with him recently is that every single promo he’s cut since he won the [GFW] Global Championship has been a rambling rant. He’s also been living off of both Daniel Bryan’s “yes” chants with forcing “si” into his promos (Andrade Almas gets si chants but he’s not asking for it, it’s just a genuine crowd reaction). Can’t he go back to playing the rich guy with the expensive suits and rental cars because that’s where he’s his strongest as a heel? Can they bring back Ricardo? Something to keep this guy from just being the 2017 Dolph Ziggler of Impact?
Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley made their entrance. Taiji Ishimori made his entrance wearing the water buffalo mask which he takes off…
1. Caleb Konley (w/Trevor Lee) vs. Taiji Ishimori. Both men had a pretty even grounded chain wrestling sequence. Once things got to standing, Ishimori dominated causing Konley to retreat. Ishimori faked out Konley by teasing a Tope Suicida, but showboating with a Tiger Feint Kick. Lee tried to distract Ishimori to no success. Ishimori laid in punches on Konley in the corner and in the center of the ring. Konley managed to get a kick and head takedown on Ishimori. Konley gloated and got a one count on Ishimori. Konley blocked a huracanrana and hit a running senton on Ishimori. Borash went into a plug for the Global Wrestling Network.
John’s Thoughts: Even though the announcers try their best, the GWN still comes off as an afterthought. Here’s another thought. They have to do more shameless plugs and don’t they have access to the King of Shameless Plugs in Don West?
Konley locked in an inverted ground surfboard. Konley distracted the ref to allow Trevor Lee to get a few cheap shot punches in. Both men traded forearms. Ishimori gave Lee a forearm to take him off the apron. Ishimori did some parkour through the ropes to impress the crowd and avoid Konley. Ishimori then did a seated senton, landing on his feet. Konley dodged a knee strike and hit Ishimori with a Gory Slam. Konley locked in a unique arm trap submission. Konley went for a deadlift suplex but Ishimori escaped. Konley caught Ishimori with a backhand. Ishimori reversed a TKO into clunky DDT. Ishimori hit a 450 for the victory.
Taiji Ishimori defeated Caleb Konley via pinfall in 6:10.
Trevor Lee ran into the ring to put the boots to Ishimori. Lee yelled and gloated in front of the crowd. Randomly, Dezmond Xavier ran out for the save to dispose of the Cult of Lee members. Borash talked about how Ishimori is targeting the X Division Championship. They cut to the darkened commentator area. Mathews ran over some of the advertised matches for later on. Borash cut to American Top Team walking around outside while saying that Dan Lambert is making his in-ring debut on this episode… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A very strong match with Konley showing that he has a very fun arsenal of offense that stands out as different from the other cruiserweights on the show. They are also doing a great job building towards an Ishimori vs. Lee feud by having Ishimori have to conquer hurdles to get to the final goal. The huge problem is not with the division, because they’re doing a solid job there. The problem is we are getting yet another Trevor Lee title reign where Trevor Lee as a person means very little as far as credibility, and this isn’t the first time they’ve done this with him. Lee has zero credibility. They have an internet darling on their hands and don’t understand that his ability is comparable to a Daniel Bryan, Davey Richards, CM Punk, and others. Impact treats him as a dopey comedy figure. It’s not like they don’t know how to book strong X Division Champs because earlier in this year Low Ki elevated the prestige of the belt with his strong run and in turn Ki gained from being a strong heel champion. Why can’t they allow Lee to ever look the slightest bit credible?
After the break the entrances occurred for the Knockouts “tournament” match (even though it’s not an actual tournament. William Regal on NXT “booked” something very similar on that show and he didn’t even call it a “Tournament”).
2. Sienna vs. Rosemary vs. Allie in a Triple Threat for a Knockouts Title Shot. Josh Mathews opened up his call of the match like he usually does and he called Allie an Easter Egg. Sienna bowed out early on. Sienna tried to pull Allie outside to single her out but Rosemary ran out and initiated a two-on-one advantage for Allie. Sienna managed to pick up the advantage when Rosemary and Sienna hesitated figuring out that only one of them can win. Rosemary countered Sienna’s offense with a modified tarantula hold. Allie broke the hold with a basement dropkick. Rosemary and Allie gave each other a glare but got back on the same page against Sienna. Sienna managed to whip both of them into each other and took both women down with kicks.
Allie and Sienna brawled. Sienna got Allie on the top rope and hit her with a Superplex. Rosemary broke up the pin attempt. Rosemary locked Sienna in a Muta Lock while Allie had a double armtrap submission locked in at the same time. Rosemary broke up the submission to work on Allie. Rosemary roared at Allie. Allie started a forearm war with Sienna. Once Sienna got back in the mix, both women teamed up and gave her a double superkick. Allie gave Sienna a codebreaker and Rosemary gave Sienna a German Suplex. Rosemary blocked Allie’s Codebreaker and gave her the Red Wedding F5 for the win.
Rosemary defeated Allie and Sienna via pinfall in 6:14 to earn a spot in the Knockouts Championship Match.
Rosemary made her usual Crazzy Steve like mannerisms after the match. Borash announced Rosemary vs. Laurel Van Ness for the Knockouts Championship. A silent handycam cut-in occurred with OVE wearing their masks. Sami Callihan did the thumbs down hand gesture heading into commercial as the subtitled told us that they were appearing after the break… [C]
John’s Thoughts: The match was pretty boring for about 70 percent of it. The three women involved are solid workers but it didn’t have the ring generals and technical ability that the other triple threat qualifier did. Allie can be that general, but she does have to pretend like she doesn’t know how to wrestle. Sienna’s just lost a lot of prestige since her debut. She was great when they ran vignettes for her initially and had her be Maria Kanellis’ heavy-hitter. Now she just comes off as a less-charismatic Maria with no real defining qualities. Another misstep is not actually making this a tournament. Impact struggles these days filling out their television and weeks of television matches would have saved the creative team some time and the stories would have written themselves. Instead, they’re rushing to put the belt on someone.
Ohio Vs. Everything were all in the ring. Dave and Jake Crist took off their Halloween masks while standing on the turnbuckles. Sami Callihan mocked the “Oh Canada” theme and said it’s bullcrap. Sami said Mexico, Lax, and Lucha Libre are bullcrap. Callihan said Canada and Mexico are all the same, two big countries filled with bull crap. Callihan was using cheap heat tactics but they worked well in drawing solid heat from the crowd. Callihan talked about how insane the feud with LAX was getting with all of the tables, ladders, chairs, and stuff. Callihan said this is gang warfare. Sami said LAX will get their title rematch but it will be on their conditions since they are at least not running and hiding. He said they are coming with everything they have because “we are from Ohio”. In a great camera shot they showed a Canadian fan roll his eyes at the quote.
John’s Thoughts: As lame as the Ohio thing tends to be, Sami did a great job fixing that confusing ass “…because Ohio vs. Everything” predicate that Dave used to end his sentences with. Also bonus points for the Crist Brothers looking like badass polar opposites: Dave looking punk rock and disheveled and Jake wearing the suit attire. Another plus with Callihan keeping his Lucha Underground look over the singlet troll look he had before and during his WWE run.
Sami, Jake, and Dave drew more heat by putting their hands on their hearts and Sami calling Ohio “The heart of America”. Callihan said he didn’t forget about Ottawa which he said was simply Canada’s big ass hole. Callihan then ended the line with the Dave Crist predicate of “…because Ohio vs. Everything”. He then repeated the word “everything” until two local wrestlers walked out that no one really knows about. They got theme music and a video wall for some reason. Their names were Du Bois and St Jacques and their team was called TDT, whatever that means. They cut a promo. They talked about defending Canada. The guy on the right said something that popped the crowd in French (I took Spanish classes and lived in LA so there is no way in hell I can translate French for you guys. Sorry).
Sami cut them off and yelled in their faces to speak “American” because he didn’t understand what the hell they just said. The smaller guy said they forgot their Canadian manners. The TDT guys dominated The Crist Brothers. Sami Callihan took down both of the TDT guys with a Kendo Stick. Borash told the viewer that Callihan goes by the name “Death Machine” and that he also wrestles for New Japan. Callihan built a chair structure with the legs pointing up ready to impale. OVE tried to hit their “All Seeing Eye” special but LAX storm the ring to beat up OVE.
Homicide chased out the Crist brothers with a Kendo Stick. Ortiz and Santana held Sami in place for a Konnan kendo stick strike (It would fit his character if Konnan still had his Lucha Underground pimp cane. That company actually gave his pimp cane vignettes). Konnan missed the cane strike because Callihan ducked away last minute. In a huge accident, the cane slipped out of Konnan’s hand and a fan in the front row took the cane shot. Oops and ouch! The guy looked fine thankfully. LAX stood tall in the ring while Jake and Sami held their thumbs down up the ramp… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Not sure why they gave a little attention to the designated j-brones in TDT. Jake and Dave have a good look now but they do have to stop selling so much to enhancement talent that’s there to make them look dominant. Aside from that misstep and the Konnan cane accident, that was a simple and effective segment in forwarding the LAX vs. OVE gang warfare as Sami Callihan likes to put it. That was really fun and they initiated it with a well delivered promo from OVE’s best promo guy Sami Callihan. OVE vs. LAX is Impact Wrestling’s best feud and I hope they continue to stretch out the best thing they got going. I’m still waiting for that epic promo battle between Sami Callihan and Konnan because Konnan has been on fire since LAX reformed and Sami Callihan can hold his own on his end by not getting shredded like the Crist brothers.
It was time for the “Pluto TV Rewind of the Week”. They showed a clip of a Low Ki vs. Christopher Daniels cage match from back in the day. Mike Tenay talked about how Low Ki was making his return to Impact and was now going by the name “Senshi” (Seriously. Low Ki quits TNA and comes back every two to three years on average and then quits again as we’ve just seen. We might just see Low Ki come back as another video game looking character next year or in 2019 if Impact is still around). Low Ki/Senshi won that match…
Allie ran into Gail Kim and told Gail how she didn’t like letting down Gail after the faith she put in her. Gail tried to inspire Allie by telling her she sees a new kind of Allie and how Gail and the fans believe in Allie. Gail then hyped up Allie by telling her “it’s your time” which worked and Allie walked away inspired…
Jeremy Borash cut to KM trying to impress American Top Team at “a gym” as Borash put it. KM demanded the camera man to film his actions and he vowed to impress American Top Team. KM tripped a guy off a treadmill and tossed him around. KM grabbed a guy doing rowing exercises and tossed him into a stacked step aerobic platform. KM lifted up a spotter and body slammed him into the guy he was spotting. KM threw a guy reading into a door. He kept yelling “IS THAT ENOUGH!” after each assault…
John’s Thoughts: Well… KM knows how to really do a gym invasion and not look like a bitch like Moose did in those replays we saw for months. Kidding aside, Impact has done an exceptional job with the KM skits since his debut and they really have something with this guy. They did lose their way with him with the tangent to Back to the Future jokes and him losing all of the time but they’ve righted the ship it seems by adding this edge to him.
It was time for a LAX clubhouse cinematic. Santana wanted a shot at the titles. Ortiz sweared that he smelled piss coming from one of the OVE guys. Konnan said he wants a one-on-one meeting with Sami Callihan to set up a title match. Konnan asked for Homicide to bring in their security squad and Homicide’s TSA friend to do body cavity searches on Sami so he doesn’t hide weapons. Konnan said he’ll even know if they’re hiding weapons up his ass. Konnan said first he’ll force him to get his thumbs out of his ass at least. Konnan said he was going to give Sami an offer he can’t refuse. Konnan compared this business transaction to when people have to move their “product” into hostile streets. Konnan said this was business but if Sami wants to make it personal, they’ll make it personal. They showed Matt Sydal and EC3 getting ready for an upcoming Grand Championship match… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Oh wow. Damn. How great is Konnan. How blessed are the viewers to get what seems like a feud pulled straight out of the good part of Lucha Underground including Lucha Underground characters and Lucha Underground cinematics. It’s also great that we are getting that Konnan and Sami face-off to continue the singular best program on Impact Wrestling. Nothing else tops this on this show, not even close.
Eli Drake and Chris Adonis were backstage with McKenzie Mitchell holding a mic up for them. Of all people, Chris Masters started delivering a promo. He reestablished that their team was called DNA (Drake N’ Adonis). Adonis said he had bigger chucks than Petey in his poop. Drake said it was time to talk to ya. Drake said he came right back Alberto. Drake said when Alberto puts cash in a register, he gets a receipt. Drake demanded Mitchell hold the mic up so he can stand tall. Drake said unlike the Canadian Destroyer, Drake is the American Destroyer. Drake said you also have Chris Adonis to make up the team DNA. I think Drake unintentionally took a shot at Johnny Impact’s bad acting by comparing him to the “oh my god” guy from Troll 2. Drake said the Gravy Train is going to run over both Petey and Johnny…
Fallah Bahh made his entrance wearing a suit jacket over his sumo gear. Bahh was the guest judge as he joined two unnamed judges. Matt Sydal gave all three judges handshakes. Ethan Carter III refused handshakes outright. EC3 and Bahh had a standoff before EC3 entered the ring.
3. Ethan Carter III vs. “Reborn” Matt Sydal for the Impact Grand Championship. Borash and Mathews used this moment to hype up the sale on ShopImpact.com where you get a random free item with every purchase. Hopefully this year they aren’t just giving out “free Dixie Carter downloads” as they did last year. EC3 teased Sydal by kicking him during the test of strength. EC3 manhandled Sydal on the onset. Sydal hit a huracanrana and standing moonsault to gain the upper hand on the Grand champ. Sydal used his agility to leverage a chain headlock. EC3 crotched Sydal off the top rope and hit him with a TKO. EC3 hit Sydal with a tiger knee to send Sydal outside for more dominance. EC3 ended the round by taking up the clock with a delayed vertical suplex. Josh and Borash agreed that EC3 should win anonymously. EC3 won round 1.
EC3 continued to use his power advantage heading into round 2. Sydal turned the tables with a striking advantage. EC3 gained his momentum back after an Irish whip. Sydal escaped an EC3 cravat but EC3 used his knee to lift Sydal. Sydal countered into a crossbody pin attempt. Sydal hit EC3 with a spinning wheel kick. Sydal followed a miss spin kick with a rolling sobat. Sydal caught EC3 with a frankendriver. Sydal kept EC3 out of the ring with several dropkick variations. Sydal tried to win after a high roundhouse but the round ended. Josh and Borash agreed that Sydal won this one. EC3 intentionally punched Matt Sydal after the bell rang (This was oddly timely with Rob Gronkowski and his suspension). Borash presumed that with the judges writing on their papers that EC3 got a point deducted. Matt Sydal won round 2.
EC3 was aggressive right out of the gate. Sydal came back at EC3 with superior strikes. It looked like EC3 was trying to win with the tights but it was to perform a legal deadlift sitout powerbomb. Sydal dodged a stinger splash. Sydal hit his signature diving meteora on EC3 to get a nearfall on his end. EC3 blocked a roundhouse outright and landed a paydirt on Sydal. Borash was excited at the judges writing on their paper. Sydal tried to win with La Magistral. Sydal hit an axe and boot combo. EC3 got out of the way of Air Bourne. Sydal punched EC3 off the top rope. EC3 dodged Air Bourne. Both men took each other out with a clothesline with the clock running out. [C]
The ring announcer announced the scores for the final. Judge 1 voted 10-9 in favor of EC3. Judge 2 voted 9-10 in favor of Sydal. Judge Fallah Bahh voted 10-10. So the match was decided as a draw.
EC3 vs. Matt Sydal ended in a draw via decision.
Borash talked about how the rules of the Grand Championship came back to bite Matt Sydal (Borash is right, these rules do suck). EC3 continued to taunt Sydal by calling him a choke artist…
John’s Thoughts: This match might have been the best Grand Championship match between the bells during the Anthem era but Lagana/Conway/Corgan’s creative team still had the better Grand matches with Eddie Edwards, Jessie Godderz (really, this guy was good here), and Drew Galloway leading the way. Jeremy Borash did a great job in pointing out that EC3 might have had a point deducted in the second round which could have played into the draw but Impact screwed it again with the final scorecard proving that the current creative team doesn’t watch MMA/boxing on the regular. The point deduction could have made a great story.
Jeremy Borash cut to Bound for Glory 2012 to a Bobby Roode vs. James Storm match…
Bonus GWN Match: Bobby Roode vs. James Storm with King Mo as the guest enforcer. Mike Tenay talked about how general manager Hulk Hogan set up this match. Taz was also on commentary. Beer Money traded punches. They cut to later in the match with Storm bleeding from the face. Roode jabbed Storm in the gut and back with a chair. Storm had a crimson mask. The cut to Storm with the advantage. Storm hammered a garbage can into the crotch of Roode with a kendo stick. Tenay analyzed that Storm was stumbling around due to the immense blood loss. Roode and Storm traded (unprotected) trash can lid shots to the head. Storm really hammered in the shots in gaining the advantage (we really didn’t have to see that spotlighted. With today’s knowledge on concussions, that would drive people away from the Global Wrestling Network, trust me). They cut to an announce table spot where Roode gave Storm a spear in front of Taz and Tenay. Taz yelled “damn”. They cut to Storm hitting Roode with the (sugar) glass beer bottle. Storm gave Roode a last call superkick on a pile of thumbtacks to pick up the pinfall win.
James Storm defeated Bobby Roode via pinfall.
The camera shot showed an impressive crowd attendance in an actual arena. They cut back to modern times were Dan Lambert Lashley and the neckbrace guy having a meeting. They also showed Moose and James Storm getting ready… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Completely tasteless by Impact Wrestling here in advertising a match that showcased a possible concussion. Storm was presented earlier on this year in having concussion history and they actually focused on blunt force trauma to the head, minus the storytelling of the match.
Another old school parody Park, Park, and Park video aired. Joseph Park and Chandler Park slapped an actor in the back. The next segment had intentional audio and visual problems to emphasize the comedy. Their 615-492-4883 numbered aired which actually leads to what is probably a legit Google Voice account…
Dan Lambert and Bobby Lashley came out and yes, they announced them as “Dan Lambert and Bobby Lashley” continuing to emphasize how marginalized Lashley is. Mathews talked about how Lambert’s fantasy wrestling camp is about to end…
4. Dan Lambert and Bobby Lashley (w/ American Top Team) vs. Moose and James Storm. Storm and Lashley started off the match. Lashley pressured Storm in the corner. Storm showed agility and hit Lashley with a sling blade to set him up for Moose. Moose hit Lashley with a running senton. Mathews pointed out that Lambert was barefoot. Moose gave Lashley chops. Lambert distracted Moose to allow Lashley to gain the advantage with the ground and pound. Lambert tagged in and went for a pin and quickly tagged back in Lashley after he failed. Lambert ran around the ring to avoid Storm.
Lashley dominated Moose. Moose came back at Bobby with chops. Lashley hit Moose with a buckle bomb. Moose hit Lashley with a spear. Storm hit an atomic drop on Lashley. Storm hit Lashley with an enziguri and neckbreaker. Storm took off Lashley’s headband, put it on, and hit Lashley with the codebreaker. The neckbrace and bandage guy ran in and tot beat up/tossed by Moose. The distraction allowed Lashley to hit Storm with a spinebuster. Lashley hit Storm with a spear. Lambert took advantage and pinned Storm.
Dan Lambert and Bobby Lashley defeated James Storm and Moose via pinfall in 5:26.
They actually had some generic wrestling music cued up for Dan Lambert (to be honest, that was actually funny). Borash sarcastically said that Lambert got his Sportscenter moment (does ESPN really care about the lawyer that funds American Top Team?).
John’s Thoughts: The match between the three wrestlers was good especially the Lashley/Storm part. Storm and Lashley have great chemistry in the ring. The demotion of Lashley is still very shocking. Why not put Colby Covington or any of the other interchangeable MMA guys as Lambert’s stooge. Instead they are killing off Lashley’s credibility when he was their most marketable main eventer. Lashley is a great wrestler, MMA fighter, and promo yet the guy who’s “heel Michael Cole” good is getting the main event push.
Oh no. It’s time for a Johnny Impact backstage interview. Luckily he has Petey Williams with him who was wearing the Canadian Flag. Petey said Canada is a proud and respectful nation. Petey said Drake and Adonis are sticking their heads in other people’s business which means it’s time for the Canadian Destroyer’s business. Johnny said it was time to kick some “timmys” and wipe some “hortons” around the Impact Zone. Johnny warned El Patron not to be near the Impact Zone because El Patron is Johnny’s number one problem. Johnny compared “fact of life” to the 80s sitom and said he and Petey are about to beat some asses in the Impact Zone… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Johnny wasn’t bad here and to his credit he didn’t mention Slam Town. Petey was cheesy as hell but it works for him with the whole Captain Canada thing as I dubbed it.
After the PopTV commercials, a well-produced music video advertisement aired for the Rosemary vs. Laurel Van Ness aired. The match was billed as “The Demon Assassin vs. The Lunatic Lush”…
The main event match followed. Johnny is still from Slam Town, USA. Wherever that is. It sure as hell isn’t Los Angeles, believe me (I refuse to say that I’m from Slam Town, USA)…
5. Eli Drake and Chris Adonis vs. Petey Williams and Johnny Impact. Adonis and Johnny started off the match. Johnny dominated early and tagged in Williams for some tandem offense. Williams outsmarted both opponents by making them accidently attack each other. Williams gave Adonis a drop toehold into Drake’s crotch heading into the commercial. [C]
Williams dropkicked the back of Drake. Williams gave Drake a jawbreaker. Drake gave Williams a body slam and used a cross armbreaker to set up Adonis for some offense on Williams. Adonis hit Williams with a backbraker and backstretch. Williams kneed his way out. Adonis took down Johnny to prevent the tag. The referee was distracted by Johnny to allow Drake and Adonis to double team Williams. DNA isolated Williams from his partner. Drake hit Williams with a hanging elbow drop for a nearfall. Williams hit Drake with a huracanrana to gain momentum. Drake came back with a side slam to keep Williams away from Drake.
Johnny Impact made the hot tag and disposed of both opponents. Johnny hit Adonis with his finishing running knee and standing shooting star. Johnny counted down to the Impact elbow but Adonis got out of the way. Drake broke up the pin after Johnny hit the Moonlight Drive. Williams hit Drake with a huracanrana and side Russian legsweep. The crowd fired up for petey. Williams called for the Canadian Destroyer but the hand raise put him in position for Chris Adonis’ Masterlock. Johnny hit starship pain on Adonis for the win.
Petey Williams and Johnny Impact defeated Eli Drake and Chris Adonis via pinfall in 9:14 of TV time.
After Williams and Johnny left the ring, Alberto El Patron blindsided Eli Drake and beat him up. EL Patron lifted the GFW Championship and DDT’d Drake on the belt. Petey told Johnny to not worry about it as El Patron tried to taunt Johnny…
John’s Thoughts: The tag match was a fine television main event with the right team going over the right guy in Adonis. The smart decision here was is to have Adonis be Drake’s fall guy. What wasn’t too great is Drake is still presented as a weak champion. It doesn’t make him a vulnerable champ; it just makes him not credible. At this point Eddie Edwards is the most credible singles champion on this show with his Noah title. It’s not hard to do, as fluky as they made Mike Bennett last year, they made him a credible chicken heel with him picking up big wins over people including being the only person ever to pin Ethan Carter III.
This wasn’t a bad episode per se. If you’re comparing this episode to some of the crap we’ve received in 2017 then yes, this was a decent outing. The problem all across the board is that nothing is really compelling on this show. To pick out a few things going well: The X Division build is good, Eli Drake’s the right champion, LAX vs. OVE is the best thing they have going, and Petey Williams is the perfect fan service idol. Aside from the LAX/OVE stuff, everything else is marred by a flaw. I’ll be by later on today with the All Access Audio Review.