12/14 Moore’s Impact Wrestling TV Review: Laurel Van Ness vs. Rosemary for the vacant Knockouts Championship, Konnan and Sami Callihan summit, Alberto El Patron, Johnny Impact, and Petey Williams vs. Eli Drake, Chris Adonis, and Kongo Kong

By John Moore

Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped November 8, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario at the Aberdeen Pavilion

After the Impact signature aired they showed Laurel Van Ness walking around outside in a drunken stupor. Rosemary was shown in a dark place speaking to the air. The commentators cut to a Knockouts Championship video package. This was the video package from last week which set up “The Demon Assassin” vs. The Lunatic Lush. The Impact intro theme aired…

Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews were the commentators. The first match was a four way match to decide the number one contender to the Knockouts Championship. For some reason KC Spinelli and Madison Rayne were in this match. Spinelli hasn’t won a match on Impact at all and Rayne hasn’t won a match in what seems like years. Borash made slight references to Rayne being married to Josh. Josh acknowledged that he’s supporting his wife in this match.

1. Sienna vs. KC Spinelli vs. Allie vs. Madison Rayne in a fatal-4-way to determine the Number One Contender to the Knockouts Championship. All three women triple teamed Allie. Borash said this might have been premeditated due to Allie having momentum on her side. Rayne and Spinelli teamed up to pressure Sienna. Rayne tried to pick up a pin over Spinelli with a bridge. Rayne and Spinelli both attempted Northern Lights Pin attempts. Borash hyped the sit-down between Konnan and Sami Callihan. Allie grounded Sienna and Spinelli with a combination armdrag and leg scissors.

Rayne took down Allie with a sortarm lariat and facebuster. Sienna came in with a boot. Sienna caught Rayne who attempted a crossbody. Allie broke up a subsequent pin attempt. [C]

Sienna gave Rayne a wheel barrow slam. Sienna dominated and gloated. The three women took Sienna down. Sienna gave Allie a Saito Suplex. Spinelli gave Sienna a clothesline. Allie managed to get all of her opponents on the bottom turnbuckle where she gave them basement clotheslines. Allie hit a few clunky moves. Allie hit a bad looking codebreaker. Sienna hit a bad looking Silencer on Rayne. Allie hit Spinelli with a Death Valley driver. Sienna broke up the pin attempt. Rayne broke up Sienna’s pin attempt on Rayne. Allie rolled up Sienna for the win.

Allie defeated Sienna, KC Spinelli, and Madison Rayne via pinfall in 8:03 of TV Time to become number one contender to the Knockouts Championship.

Allie tried to sell being shocked at ringside. Allie walked to the Knockouts belt and then touched it…

John’s Thoughts: Two criticisms here. For one, that was not a good match and the women seemed very off tonight. It’s a shame given how immensely talented these women are. For two, If they were just going to show an exhibition match for the women’s division, then why not make the pseudo-tournament into an actual tournament with real brackets. It’s not hard and they did the bracket thing well earlier in the year with the World X Cup.

They cut to Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash in their dark commentary area. The commentators went over a few of the upcoming matches and then cut to the X Division tag team match in the Impact Zone.

2. Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley vs. Taiji Ishimori and Dezmond Xavier. Ishimori and Lee locked up. Ishimori dominated Lee with the submission. Xavier tagged in to start some tandem offense with his partner. Xavier caught Lee in the back of the head with a dropkick. Xavier was then tossed out of the ring while running. Xavier went for a slingshot but was tripped off the apron. [C}

Lee dominated Xavier back from the break. Borash reminded viewers that Xavier and Ishimori were the finalists of the Super X Cup. Lee and Conley traded quick tags to continue to work on Xavier. Xavier fought out of Conley’s attack with an enziguri to tag in Ishimori for the hot tag. Ishimori hit a meteora and Vader bomb stomp. Conley prevented Ishimori from hitting a 450. Xavier broke up a pin attempt after Lee hit Ishimori with a deadlift German. Conley put Xavier in the tree of woe. Xavier fought out. Ishimori rolled up Lee for the victory out of nowhere.

Taiji Ishimori and Dezmond Xavier defeated Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley via pinfall in 11:46.

Lee rolled to ringside to sell shock and anger. Josh Mathews said this wasn’t an upset and Dan Lambert winning a match last week was an upset…

They cut to a Dan Lambert and American Top Team video package. Lambert talked about ATT being dominant. Storm talked about American Top Team’s number’s advantage. Moose said he was honored to team with Storm. Lashley talked about how ATT put protection around Lambert. After the video, they showed Lambert and his team walking backstage. James Storm and Moose were walking around a different part of the arena…[C]

After a GWM commercial, Johnny Impact and Petey Williams were talking about their assigned tag team partner, Alberto El Patron. Johnny said Alberto is a douchebag. Alberto walked in and said he didn’t want this match to happen, the “president” and “vice president” brought in a ton of lawyers to force him to do this. Johnny laughed at Alberto for claiming to “run the place”. Alberto responded by saying “shut up kid”. Alberto said Johnny is fighting a battle he can’t win. Johnny and Alberto bickered a bit. Alberto told Johnny to be careful since accidents happen when Alberto is in the ring…

Jeremy Borash hyped up how Gail Kim was the inaugural Knockouts Champion and she won it back in 2007. they went into the vault to show the Gauntlet for the Gold for the Knockouts Championship at Bound for Glory 2007.

GWN Bonus Match: Gauntlet for the Gold for the TNA Knockouts Championship. ODB and Angel Williams (Angelina Love) were double teaming Gail Kim with Kicks “Madison” (Velvet Sky) was the next one in the match. Madison was really green at this point and hit some ugly offense. Williams gave Madison a neckbreaker with the help of the ropes. Gail Kim and ODB shoved Williams off the apron. ODB and Gail Kim brawled. Mike Tenay and Don West pointed out how it took teamwork to take Awesome Kong out of this match.

Roxxi was the last wrestler in the match as she wore some really bright “voodoo” makeup. Don West pointed out that ODB stands for “One dirty bitch”. Tenay said Roxxi was the favorite being the freshest. Gail Kim caught Velvet Sky’s leg and eliminated her. Roxxi tossed ODB easily to turn this into a singles match.

Roxxi vs. Gail Kim. Roxxi and Gail traded forearms. Roxxi hit Gail with a back body drop. Gail Kim turned a headscissors into an octopus hold. Roxxi made it to the ropes for the rope break. Roxxi missed a missile dropkick. Roxxi got a two count off the misfire. Gail Kim went for a victory roll pin attempt. Roxxi got a two count after a bridge pin. Tenay kept trying to get over Roxxi doing “voodoo spells”. Gail Kim lifted Roxxi with a Celtic Cross and hit it for the pinfall win.

Gail Kim defeated Roxxi via pinfall to become the first ever TNA Knockouts Champion.

Gail cried in the center of the ring…

John’s Thoughts: Smart move here to go into the vault to promote the main event of this show. It was also very cool to see how good Gail Kim was in the ring early in her run. It was also very odd to see Velvet Sky look so bad in the ring. ODB, Roxxi, and Angelina Love weren’t bad though.

Eli Drake and Chris Adonis were talking to their mystery partner who was revealed to be former WWE writer Jimmy Jacobs…

Johnny Impact is still from Slamtown USA (I actually spoke with Johnny randomly one time at “The Temple” about growing up in the same hometown and I refuse to say that I’m from Slamtown USA, where ever the hell that is?). Jeremy Borash said after the break we will find out who the third partner is (Even though they just announced it earlier and the announcers acknowledged it? Only in TNA)… [C]

Jimmy Jacobs made his entrance and said “the princess is here”. He said he was going to talk about why he’s here. Jacobs said despite what anyone says he’s a good guy. Jacobs said he’s here to help but he’s not the partner. He said he promised he will get a partner. Jacobs told Drake to forgive him because he didn’t find him a partner; he found him a monster, Kongo Kong. Josh Mathews pointed out how it looked like Jimmy Jacobs was supposed to be the tag partner…

3. Alberto El Patron, Johnny Impact, and Petey Williams vs. Eli Drake, Chris Adonis, and Kongo Kong (w/ Jimmy Jacobs). El Patron tagged himself in to start the match against Adonis. El Patron dominated Adonis. Johnny made a blind tag. The two shoved each other. Johnny tagged in Williams to initiate tandem offense. El Patron retreated up the ramp in disapproval of the situation. Williams and Drake fought as Borash recapped how both of these men had a great match a few weeks ago. Williams took down Drake with a Russian Legsweep. Kongo Kong tagged in to face off against the smaller Williams. Williams attempted punches but Kong no sold them. Kong planted Williams with a belly to belly and cannonball roll.

Adonis tagged in and picked up the scraps. Borash talked about how there’s a logjam at the top gunning for Drake’s title now that Kongo Kong was inserted into the picture by Jimmy Jacobs. Williams went for a sunset flip pin on Adonis. Adonis came back with a lariat takedown. Drake recommended that Kong tag in and he did to attack Williams. The heels played the isolation game. Drake planted Williams with a powerslam and telegraphed elbow drop. Williams took down Adonis with huracanrana. Adonis almost accidentally punched Kong which caused some bickering within the heels. This allowed Johnny to get the hot tag who took down Drake with a huracanrana.

Josh Mathews said we’re seeing the main event of Bound for Glory. Johnny caught Drake with a Flying chuck. El patron gave Drake a chop block to save Johnny. El Patron turned on Johnny and hit the backstabber on Johnny. Drake hit the Blunt force Trauma on El Patron. Drake and Adonis hit Williams with a double flapjack. Kong missed a top rope splash. Williams and Johnny disposed of everyone and hit Drake with a corkscrew Tope. Kongo Kong power bombed Williams on (planted) fans. Kong and Jacobs carried Williams out of the arena. Johnny and El Patron brawled. Johnny hit Starship pain on Drake. El Patron pulled Johnny away from the pin and hit him with a DDT on the steps. Drake hit a frog splash on Drake to pick up the win.

Alberto El Patron, Johnny Impact, and Petey Williams defeated Eli Drake, Chris Adonis, and Kongo Kong via pinfall in 8:38.

The commentators hyped the main event of Laurel Van Ness vs. Rosemary for the Knockouts Championship… [C]

John’s Thoughts: While the booking of the match is a bit shoddy, the in-ring storytelling was good. All of the bickering between the teams made sense. I did like them going back to Kongo Kong as a monster. It seems like with KM, Kongo Kong, and even Fallah Bahh, they are trying to go back to making new stars instead of glorifying the past. It also helps that they are trying to build a strong main event scene.

Borash said we just got some “breaking news” with El Patron earning a title match against Eli Drake in three weeks. Joseph Park and Chandler Park were chatting backstage. Joe said their grandma thought Joe looked handsome in the commercial. Joe talked about how the commercials are helping out their business. Chandler said he’s going to help their business even more by becoming a professional wrestler. Joe was shocked at this and said as a veteran, bad things can happen in the ring. Joe said he’s a true veteran since he beat that “mid-carder” Bully Ray. Joe recommended that Chandler stay out of the ring. Chandler said Parks are fighters…

An EC3 hype vignette aired where he bragged about bating Fallah Bahh and Matt Sydal. This was leading to a Three way Grand Championship match in three weeks. Sydal even admitted that a three way match with this belt is convoluted… [C]

Moose and James Storm made an entrance. Moose said ATT is pissing him off. Storm said AT&T pisses him off too since his internet is not working. Moose said American Top Team are bitches. Moose brought up how they keep interfering in matches where he’s about to beat Lashley. Moose said he thinks that Lashley doesn’t think he can beat Moose one on one. Moose said Lashley calls himself walking Armageddon and he should call himself “Bitch Boy Bobby”. Dan Lambert and Bobby Lashley made his entrance. Lashley told Moose to shut his mouth. Lashley said he told everyone that he will fight anyone at any time. A Bitch Boy Bobby chant ensued. Lashley said he’s going to cut the strings off the puppets that are being controlled by Moose. Lashley said he’ll fight Moose but on his terms.

James Storm talked to Dan Lambert and said he respects what American Top Team does. Storm put over how great ATT are. Storm said they are just disrespecting him and now all he sees is a giant bag of “poo poo”. This pissed off Lambert. Storm said poopoo came out of Lambert’s mouth. Lambert said he’s a BJJ Blackbelt. Storm said poo poo. A “poo poo” chant ensued.

John’s Thoughts: Storm is such a great promo. Who would have thought that a pro wrestling crowd would ever chant the words “poo poo” ?

Storm said he wants Dan Lambert one-on-one. Lashley tried to advise Lambert against it. Lambert said he can’t figure out why pro wrestling wants to pick a fight with MMA. Storm said he just wants Lambert one on one so he can beat the shit out of Lambert. Lambert said if Storm wants to pick a fight with another sport, he should go and slap the sissies from the Ottawa Senators. Lambert said he had to listen to Storm rant about his love for pro wrestling and the mindless sheep. Lambert said Storm lives for “This is awesome” and it made Lambert want to puke. Lambert said he sees an opportunity. Lambert said Strom has been here since day one and outlasted every single guy who came through these doors. Lambert said Storm is the face of Impact Wrestling and the head of the snake. Lambert said if he can cut the head, Impact can’t sell snake oil to the mindless sheep. Lambert proposed a match were if Storm loses, he loses his Impact career. Storm agreed. Storm said when he kicks Lambert’s ass, Lambert, Lashley, and ATT can get out of his company. Storm was about to say his catchphrase but Moose and Lashley cut him off by brawling. Storm was about to beat up Lambert but was distracted by KM. Storm gave Lambert a Last Call and got out his sorry bout your damn luck catchphrase… [C]

John’s Thoughts: My complaint the whole time has been Lashley being relegated due to the Dan Lambert push. Move Lambert to a program of his own and he isn’t bad. I hope this leads to more of a KM and Lashley pairing where Lambert could take a back seat as KM’s manager. Storm was inspired on the mic, which lead to some strong mic work.

Josh Mathews said on January 4, we were getting a Career vs. Career match between Dan Lambert and James Storm…

John’s Thoughts: Wait? is this the last impact episode of the year? They are advertising all of the matches for “3 weeks”. They are also going to air the same day that New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom is happening.

Drunken Debutante Laurel made her entrance followed by Jeremy Borash. Borash handled the formal ring introductions…

4. Laurel Van Ness vs. Rosemary for the vacant Impact Knockouts Championship. Mathews noted that this was a continuation from the Abyss and Grado match. Laurel was grounded by a Rosemary back elbow. Rosemary caught Laurel with a boot heading into the commercial. [C]

Rosemary dominated Laurel with forearms. Laurel ran back with a running forearm which Rosemary returned the favor. Rosemary sent Laurel to ringside. Laurel came back by giving Rosemary an Irish Whip into the ring post. Laurel gave Rosemary a curb stomp on the ramp leading to an in ring nearfall. Laurel hit Rosemary with a blockbuster for several nearfall covers. Laurel put the boots to Rosemary. The crowd tried to rally Rosemary. Mathews compared Laurel to Taryn Terrell while comparing Rosemary to Awesome Kong. Laurel started a ground and pound.

Rosemary caught Laurel with a modified tarantula. Rosemary gave Laurel a belly to belly on the outside. Both women beat the ten count. Rosemary gave Laurel the ground and pound. Rosemary caught Laurel with a springboard punch. Both women blocked each other’s finishers. Laurel got Rosemary tangled in the top rope and took advantage with a flurry of punches. Laurel shoved the ref and the ref stood his ground. There was no real ref bump. Rosemary did get a mist in while the ref was looking the other way, but Laurel ducked it. Laurel got an eye poke while Rosemary was perched on the top rope. Laurel hit a hanging unprettier to pick up the win.

Laurel Van Ness defeated Rosemary via pinfall in 8:43 to become the new Impact Knockouts Champion.

Laurel ran around the ring while also being in character. Borash quickly cut to the “sit down” between Konnan and Sami Callihan…

John’s Thoughts: A bit short for what was supposed to be a big deal and the match started off pretty slow, but the ending part made up for the slow parts at the beginning. Rosemary is sure taking a lot of loses recently and I wonder if there’s some sort of game plan there. Laurel as the drunken debutante is much better than the drunken wedding lady. This one works a bit better for her even though personally I’m not a fan. Laurel is a good choice for the new champ, but of course there is the looming rumor about her asking for her release right after this win.

But Wait? There’s More! (I haven’t written that since LU finished for the season). In what looked like a post-credits scene pulled straight out of Lucha Underground, Sami Callihan was looking for Konnan. A random security guard handed Sami a piece of paper with an invitation. Sami told a random guy to get off a bench. He then found Konnan on another bench. Sami said he’s freezing his balls off and wants to know what Konnan wants. Konnan said to insult Sami he has to respect Sami’s opinion, which he doesn’t. Konnan said one of life’s tragedies is people get gold too fast and wise too late. Konnan said Sami’s emotions take over his intelligence. Konnan said Sami is oblivious to his ignorance. Konnan said he’s not arguing with a man who has renounced logic because that’s like giving poison to a dead man. Sami said he’s tired of Konnan’s old man nursery rhymes. Sami said OVE is about to take over LAX’s territories. Konnan said Sami has what he wants, the Tag Team titles. Konnan said it’s costing him a lot of paper. Konnan wants a tag team title match. Sami said he agrees but only if LAX disappears if they lose so OVE can take over everything. Konnan said he was going to game Sami up. Konnan said if Sami reneges on his promise. Konnan talked about Ohio tattoo parlors and Sami’s loved ones. Konnan said all of Sami’s clients and associates, LAX will burn down all of their property. Konnan said Sami will be so toxic that people would rather work with Weinstein, Cosby, Spacey, and O’Reilly before they f— with Sami. Konnan said if Sami disrespects him this will be Sami’s last day on earth. Sami said this was business. Business. BUS-NESS! Sami then blindsided Konnan with a flash paper fireball. Sami said it was now personal. Bitch.

John’s Thoughts: Damn. That wasn’t bad. Most of these LAX and OVE segments have been great since Sami entered the scene. Sami’s a huge upgrade over Dave Crist’s dorky promos. I could see this ending scene not flying well with some in the same way that Lucha Underground comes off as a telenovela. That was a Lucha Underground cinematic with Lucha Underground characters, but it was the best of Lucha Underground. Hell, I wish Lucha Underground went back to the cool cinematics like this which they’ve strayed from as the originator. This lived up to the hype in my opinion. As I said, Sami’s been great as Jeremiah Crane and I like seeing Crane work as a heel in Impact yet retain the tweaks he made since leaving WWE. Konnan is Impact’s golden microphone MVP replacing what they lost when Maria Kanellis left. Konnan’s ruthless, cold, calculating, gangsta, and that murder threat on Sami’s friends and family was straight up OG. I have to say, I want more of this. As much as I don’t want to see them do Lucha Underground, if they can do it better with good production values, then why not?

This episode had it’s flaws just as most Impact episodes do, but this was leaning on positive with a lot of reason to be optimistic creatively which is a huge compliment because optimism and TNA/Impact usually don’t mix. It looks like they are trying to be progressive. Because of Impact/TNA’s history, all optimism should be guarded because it’s usually more often than not a show that knows how to find a way to f— up even the best of storylines. I’ll give them yet another benefit of the doubt here but at least they have some good things going on (which might take a slight left turn with the Laurel Van Ness departure news).



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features referee Rob Page discussing the difficulty of reffing tag matches in the modern era, making three counts if a wrestler's shoulders are down even if it wasn't the planned finish, the growth of F1rst Wrestling, and more...


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