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By John Moore
Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped November 10, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario at the Aberdeen Pavilion
The Impact Wrestling signature aired. Dan Lambert was shown walking outside of the Aberdeen Pavilion with Lashley, the bandaged-up guy, and American Top Team. Lambert told American Top Team that he didn’t need their help tonight against James Storm since he was just a pro wrestler. The team agreed and Lashley seemed a bit apprehensive about Lambert not needing help. Borash talked about how James Storm would be facing Dan Lambert on this episode of Impact in a Career vs. Career match…
The intro teaser aired with various wrestlers hyping up their upcoming matches. Alberto El Patron talked about kicking tracero (Spanish for “ass”). El Patron said Eli Drake is a paper champion. They showed a graphic that said this episode was going to have independent wrestling footage from Wrestle Pro. Eli Drake talked about how he thought it’s good to wrestle in different promotions. James Storm said he wants to get rid of Dan Lambert and show him a good ol fashioned ass whooping. Dan Lambert talked down to professional wrestling. Matt Sydal said the grand championship represents professional wrestling (I thought it represented pseudo MMA?). EC3 hyped up the first Grand Championship three way match. They then aired the ending part of the Sami Callihan and Konnan cinematic where Callihan threw a flash paper fireball in Konnan’s face and called Konnan a bitch. The Impact intro theme aired…
John’s Thoughts: There’s a drinking game. Take a shot every time El Patron uses the word “Tracero”. He uses that word a bit too much and even more if you listened to his conference call.
Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews checked in on commentary. Taiji Ishimori made his entrance. Jeremy Borash talked about how there are four title matches on this show. Trevor Lee made his entrance as Jeremy Borash called him “dominant”…
1. Taiji Ishimori vs. Trevor Lee (w/ Caleb Konley) for the Impact X Division Championship. Lee dominated the early lockup. Ishimori came back with a wristlock. Lee made the exchange as the two had a chain wrestling stalemate. Lee gloated a bit but Ishimori sent Lee outside. Ishimori caught Lee with a reverse enziguri. Konley tripped Ishimori when Lee distracted the referee. Lee caught Ishimori with his apron punt kick to the chest of Ishimori. Ishimori dominated in the ring for a sequence while also gloating in front of the crowd.
Ishimori turned the tables and hit Lee with a Vader bomb stomp. Ishimori hit Lee with a handspring crossbody which Lee sold like a champ. Lee and Ishimori had a punching battle heading into the commercial. [C]
Ishimori kneed his way out of a suplex but Ishimori came back with a flip overhead thrust kick. Ishimori went for a rollup. Lee and Ishimori traded suplex attempts. Lee hit a sitout powerbomb for a nearfall. Ishimori hit Lee with a jumping Scorpion Death Drop for a nearfall. Ishimori hit Lee with a double knee. Ishimori hit Lee with the 450 for the clean victory to become the new champ.
Taiji Ishimori defeated Trevor Lee via pinfall in 9:18 to become the new Impact X Division Champion.
Ishimori celebrated his title win in the center of the ring. Caleb Konley was overacting at ringside in agony. Impact aired replays of Ishimori’s 450 which Mathews called the best in the business…
John’s Thoughts: Great singles match and I give Impact credit for continuing put on great singles matches over forgettable multi-man spotfests. Two huge negatives though. Even though a clunky story was told with Ishimori being Lee’s partner randomly, there was no real build to this match. The most frustrating part is that Impact viewers were given yet another meaningless Trevor Lee title reign when he has main event potential in every other company. This company had CM Punk, the Young Bucks, Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, Nigel McGuinness, Homicide, Hernandez, Low Ki, Brutus Magnus, the list goes on and on and I can even put AJ Styles and Bobby Roode into the equation. Trevor Lee is going to be the next name in the list of these guys who TNA/Impact repressed. Lee is special and they treat him like crap. Why not mention that strong feud early in the year between Andrew Everett vs. Trevor Lee in their “Best of…” when it looked like they were on the verge of creating two stars? Because it wasn’t written by the Jeff Jarrett and Scott D’Amore team. No knock on D’Amore because I like his scouting ability, but can you see why I’m not too excited to see D’Amore in charge creatively if he takes a vintage TNA approach to things?
They cut to the Wrestle Pro promotion in New Jersey where Alberto El Patron said he was there to kick someone’s “tracero”. Wait? They’re replaying the intro teaser. Dezmond Xavier ran into Taiji Ishimori in the Gorilla Position and congratulated Ishimori. Dezmond reminded Ishimori that he beat him before and that he’s looking forward to facing Ishimori someday for the belt. Ishimori agreed and shook hands with Xavier…
It was time for an LAX Clubhouse cinematic. Konnan had the right side of his face covered in a bandage to sell the fireball that Sami Callihan threw at him. Konnan said Callihan was a crazy cracker. Konnan said he should cut off Callihan’s balls and throw them in fire (Wow, that as a great punny line). Konnan said he should get violent and stab somebody. Konnan said he should revert to being an ambassador of violence. LAX, 5150, Hasta La Muerte despues. Konnan slammed his fist on the coffee table and spilled beer on top of dominos. Josh Mathews hyped up LAX vs. OVE in a Career vs. Title match… [C]
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed James Storm. Storm said he’s usually happy go lucky and hyping everyone up but tonight’s different. Storm said Lambert is disrespecting everyone in this company. Storm talked about giving everything to this company and how this company gave him life. Storm said Lambert has no idea what he does. Storm talked about Lambert not respecting what Storm does behind the scenes in training people backstage on wrestling and promos. Storm said he was going to see Lambert soon. McKenzie gave Storm best wishes. Next was the three-way Grand Championship Match.
John’s Thoughts: Oh lord. A three-way round system match that’s supposed to simulate combat sports. Seriously, how funny would it be if we got Alistair Overeem vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez in a triple threat MMA match. Not to mention, Bahh has been Impact’s designated enhancement guy for most of 2017 and Sydal just lost a title match. Only in TNA folks.
2. Fallah Bahh vs. Matt Sydal vs. Ethan Carter III in a triple threat Grand Championship match. There were judges at ringside. Madness ensued. Bahh had a rally and rallied up the crowd with “Bahh” chants. Bahh dominated with multiple body slams. Sydal tried to get a pin off of Carter but Bahh was still fine and broke up the pin with a cannon ball where he looked like a steamroller. Carter tried to chop Bahh but Bahh came back with a Dikembe Mutombo “no no no” and gave EC3 the chops. Bahh continued to run through EC3 and Sydal with ease. EC3 rolled away to avoid a seated senton. Sydal got a random shot in on Bahh before the round ended. EC3 went to ringside and yelled that “This is ridiculous”. The judges gave the first round to Fallah Bahh. [C]
EC3 and Matt Sydal double teamed Bahh to start off the next round. Sydal hit Bahh with a Rolling Sobat to send him to ringside. EC3 turned his attention to Sydal. Sydal nailed EC3 with a Rolling Sobat for a nearfall. EC3 Gorilla pressed Sydal outside onto Bahh. EC3 called Sydal a loser and tossed him on the ringpost. EC3 gave Bahh a DDT. Sydal recovered in the ring and caught EC3 with a spinning wheel kick. Sydal came back with an exploder suplex. EC3 hit the stinger splash on Sydal. EC3 made sure to kick Bahh to secure the round for himself. EC3 won round three.
John’s Thoughts: Now what would happen if Sydal won round three? Overtime? More “Only in TNA” crap. This show isn’t that bad, I’m just frustrated at this company’s regression.
Slow triple threat madness ensued. Bahh cave Sydal and EC3 a crossbody. Bahh sat on EC3 during a sunset flip attempt. Sydal hit Bahh with a shining wizard and high roundhouse. Sydal hit Bahh with a meteora for a nearfall. Sydal went for a roundhouse combo on Bahh. EC3 hit Sydal with a TKO. Bahh hit EC3 with a Samoan Drop. The crowd went crazy for Bahh. Bahh went high risk and EC3 shoved Bahh to ringside. Sydal caught EC3 with an axe kick and tiger knee. Bahh prevented Sydal from hitting Air Bourne. Sydal hit Air Bourn but the bell sounded. The crowd chanted “one more round”. The judges awarded the third round to EC3. What?
Ethan Carter III defeated Fallah Bahh and Matt Sydal via split decision (?) to retain the Impact Grand Championship.
Matt Sydal threw a tantrum in the ring in front of the ref. EC3 walked up the ramp pantomiming choking to reiterate his claim of Sydal being a choke artist…
John’s Thoughts: I know this match doesn’t make sense, but EC3 was only involved in about 10 percent of the sequences. Bahh looked like the winner if you’re going to apply any logos to this TNA garbage. Now to be positive a bit, Impact has something there with Fallah Bahh. This guy has a ton of charisma and the crowd is treating him like a star. I really hope they don’t screw up this natural phenomenon that landed in their lap.
A Johnny Impact vignette aired. Johnny wore a “Boone the Bounty Hunter” shirt and talked about how people call him “golden boy”. Johnny said he can’t control what people say on commentary. Johnny said they call him that because he does things better than Eli Drake, Chris Adonis, Lashley, ATT, and Fantasma are doing in the ring. He said he doesn’t care what people call him. He mocked Eli Drake for tweeting. Johnny said people get kicked in the head all of the time. He said he was not Mr. Nice guy… [C]
They showed backstage footage of Moose getting hit by KM with a chair. McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Allie who was the number one contender for Laurel Van Ness’ championship. McKenzie talked about how Allie won a match last week for the title shot (whoops by Impact. Continuity error). Allie acted nervous and shocked that she was number one contender. Allie talked about being inspired by Gail Kim. Allie said she’s just getting started. Laurel Van Ness ran at Allie and hit her with a shoe. Laurel put the boots to Allie with bare feet. Laurel made a random screech and walked away. Mathews asked “what is wrong with her?”…
Dan Lambert made his entrance for the Career vs. Career match. James Storm brought a six pack to the ring of his James Storm brand beer. Storm poured beer in a random fan’s mouth.
3. Dan Lambert vs. James Storm in a Career vs. Career match. The referee held Storm back as Lambert stalled taking off his jacket. One of the ATT MMA fighters ran into the ring. King Mo and the rest of American Top Team ran in to beat up Storm. Storm hit the last call on the bandage guy. Storm easily superkicked American Top Team, including Lashley and Mo. Wow. Storm milked the moment to corner Lambert. KM blindsided Storm with a beer bottle to the back of the head. American Top Team surrounded Storm and laughed at him. Lashley held back Lambert as Mo hit Storm with another (sugar) glass bottle. Lambert picked up the pinfall.
Dan Lambert defeated James Storm via pinfall in about 3:58 to end James Storm’s Impact career.
There was a quick “Thank You Storm” chant and they quickly cut to commercial… [C]
John’s Thoughts: To give Impact credit, the first two matches had really good in ring segments. The only deterrent is crappy TNA logos. That Storm retirement segment was dumbass TNA crap. Why doesn’t storm have any friends backstage who want to help him other than Moose who was beat up? It makes the babyfaces like Garza, Morrison, Sydal, Williams and others look bad. This does not put heat on ATT. They are killing Lashley’s heat with a vacuum. This is anti-Impact heat.
Speak of the Devil, the Impact Wrestling babyfaces were standing at the Gorilla Position and they all gave James Storm a hug. There was Garza, Williams, Xavier, Joe Park, John Bolen, Ishimori, Eddie Edwards, all the guys…
John’s Thoughts: What the hell, Impact? Only in TNA. Always TNA. Maybe it was a shoot. Like everyone backstage I’m happy if Storm is leaving for better and better things rather than stay on the Titanic.
Storm was shown talking on his cell phone. He told who ever was on the phone that he was coming home. Storm walked away…
They cut to the commentators room where they talked about not liking what they saw. They cut to “Global Wrestling Network” footage on the history of Joseph. They ran the Joseph Park debut skits where he was asking TNA wrestlers if they knew the whereabouts of Chris/Abyss. Velvet Sky was shocked that Abyss had a brother. Eric Young told Park to check with the Immortal faction. Gunner told Park to ask Bully Ray. Ray told Park to shove it.
Bonus Archive Match: Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park. Mike Tenay and Taz were on commentary. Bully Ray dared Park to come at him. Park missed every punch with Ray teasing him. Ray said he was putting his hands behind his back. Ray spat in Park’s face and called him a coward. The crowd fired up Park and he landed a slap on Ray. Ray ran through Park. Ray kicked Park while he was on ground. The crowd chanted “New York Sucks” at Ray which distracted him enough to allow Park to kick the chair out of his hand. Park gained the chair. Ray distracted Park by calling a time out and punched Park in the back. Ray beat up Park on the announce table. Ray yelled “New York City!” and went for a senton in the ring but Park rolled away.
Park hulked up and laid in some punches that Shane McMahon wishes he could throw. Park shoved a wobbly Ray to the ground. Ray came back with a Yakuza Kick. The crowd cheered because Dudley brought in a table to the ring. EC-Dub chants ensued. Park punched Ray in the balls and hit him in the head with a kendo stick. Park picked up a nearfall. Park rolled to under the ring. Out came Abyss who wore a hoodie. Ray yelled “what the fuuu” as Abyss (?) chokeslammed him through the table. Joseph rolled back out from the ring and he defeated Bully Ray via pinfall.
Joseph Park defeated Bully Ray via pinfall.
John’s Thoughts: Good replay match. A flaw with most Abyss matches is that they are boring and formula. Partial credit goes to Bully Ray who was one a top 10 heel of the 2000s. That wasn’t a technical masterpiece but it was one of the better Chris Park singles matches with stellar psychology.
They quickly cut to Chandler Park (Ethan Page) making his debut. He walked to the ring stumbling and bumbling. He was facing one of Impact’s designated enhancement wrestlers, Jon Bolen.
John’s Thoughts: Fallah Bahh and Jon Bolen look like huge monsters (in different/unique ways) and they are Impact’s enhancement guys? Weird.
4. Chandler Park (w/Joseph Park) vs. Jon Bolen. Park and Park acted purposely dorky. Chandler wanted a handshake from Bolen but Bolen punched down Chandler. Borash pointed out that Bolen is from Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Josh Mathews used the moment to hype up tickets for the Impact Zone tapings and the “Impact Mini-Golf Tournament”. Bolen gave Chandler a delayed body slam. Chandler did some back body drops and got hyped up. He went to Joseph and Bolen crotched him on the second rope. Bolen told Joseph “screw your grandmother Jenny”. Chandler rolled up Bolen for the victory.
Chandler Park defeated Jon Bolen via pinfall in 2:34.
Park and Park acted overexcited as they cut to commercial… [C]
Alberto El Patron talked about being betrayed by the company and fans. Eli Drake talked about El Patron trying to take advantage of Eli Drake’s work in his return. Patron talked about medals. El Patron wanted to kick more “traceros”. Eli Drake mocked El Patron for being repetitive with his paper champion line. Drake said Drake is a “paper champion” because he’s out there printing that paper. Drake said he gets paid since he is the champ. El Patron acted like a mental patient as he ranted incoherently. He said “si si si”. Drake mocked Alberto again and said that the result tonight is that Drake will stay champion.
5. Eli Drake vs. Alberto El Patron for the Impact Global Championship from Rahway, New Jersey. This was from the Wrestle Pro promotion in New Jersey. Borash said this footage came from this past Saturday. It was tough to catch the action due to the constant camera cuts to a low-res shaky camera and a stationary camera with a purple tint. El Patron gave Drake a DDT on the ramp. After El Patron dominated in the ring there was a jump cut.
John’s Thoughts: Eli Drake and El Patron had one of my favorite Impact singles matches in the Anthem Era and now they’ve been reduced to what might as well be Snapchat footage. Only in… well.. you know.
Drake gave El Patron a suplex on the basketball court after the jump cut. El Patron and Drake brawled with minor weapons in the crowd area. Drake locked in a resthold. El Patron managed to get Eli Drake’s arm caught in the second rope with a Cross Armbreaker. Another Jump Cut with Eli Drake hitting a Gravy Train. In a botched moment, Drake lifted El Patron’s leg for the rope break. Eli Drake brought in his championship to the ring. El Patron recovered and gave Eli Drake an X-Factor on the title belt for a nearfall. Drake shoved El Patron into the referee and picked up the win after hitting El Patron with the belt for the win.
Eli Drake defeated Alberto El Patron via pinfall to retain the Impact Global Championship.
Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash hyped up the OVE vs. LAX match for later in the show…
John’s Thoughts: I give up. This company sucks compared to 2016. Maybe Callis and D’Amore can save things but they have a huge amount of work on their hands. The only solace I have in this episode is how I know LAX and OVE haven’t let me down yet as the small glimmer of hope due to them existing in what seems like a Lucha Underground pocket universe.
It was time for the Pluto TV Rewind of the Week. It was an Ultimate X Match. Petey Williams fell off the rope. Hector Garza missed Chris Sabin with a missile dropkick. Chris Sabin pulled down the giant letter “X” that was hanging to win the match…
An Eli Drake vignette aired with music in the background. Drake bragged about beating El Patron in the independent wrestling footage. Drake reminded the viewers that El Patron ripped off some of his skin on the belt at Bound for Glory. Drake quoted Dr. Dre in his Ring Ding Dong song as he continued to brag…
LAX tried to make their entrance but OVE had weapons and beat down on LAX. Konnan stayed in the entry way as the two teams brawled.
6. Jake and Dave Crist (w/ Sami Callihan) vs. Santana and Ortiz (w/Homicide and Konnan) in a Title vs. Career match for the Impact Tag Team Championships. The bell ran once Dave Crist and Santana made it to the ring with Dave having the upper hand. The Crist brothers had the two on one advantage on Santana. Jake Crist mocked the fans for chanting for LAX as the duo continued to beat up on Santana. Santana tried to fire back but Jake came back with a head slicer kick. Mathews pointed out the Crist brothers having the plan of turning this into a handicap situation for Santana. Ortiz was shown prone at ringside. [C]
Santana had a rally. He sent Jake outside with a back body drop and hit a rolling cutter on Dave. Ortiz was still crawling slowly to the ring. Dave hit Santana with a snug twisting hammerlock DDT. The Crist brothers traded quick tags to continue the isolation. Santana went for a Asai Moonsault. Santana turned it into a tornado DDT headscissors on the brothers. Santana tagged in Ortiz for the hot tag. Ortiz hit Dave with Jake’s body with a Death Valley Driver.
Jake hit a body run kick on Ortiz. Dave recovered and OVE hit Ortiz with LAX’s finisher, the Blockbuster Powerbomb. Santana stopped OVE’s offense to allow Ortiz to set up Dave in the center of the ring with a DVD. Santana tried to beat Jake to the punch with a splash but in a sweet and well-timed move, Jake flew in the air and hit Santana with a Super RKO as Santana was doing a frog splash. Wowzers! Ortiz and Jake were left trading strikes in the ring. Ortiz had the adrenaline rush. Jake hit a kick combo on Ortiz. Ortiz recovered and LAX hit Jake with their Blockbuster Powerbomb for the win.
The Latin American XChange defeated Ohio vs. Everything via pinfall in 9:07 of TV Time in a Career vs. Title match to become the new Impact Tag Team Champions.
Santana and Ortiz sold the tough battle and celebrated with their regained titles. LAX celebrated with the crowd to the beat of their music to close out the show…
John’s Thoughts: There we go. I knew these guys wouldn’t let me down. That was a sweet match. A bit clunky at points, yes, but that just adds to the tough battle aspect of the match. The match quality also made it easy to forget the unanswered question of the disappearance of Konnan, Callihan, and Homicide. Jake and Dave Crist do some innovative shiz in the ring and I love them pulling out stuff that you don’t see often on TV. Man, was that a sick Super RKO stealing the frogsplash. Konnan also deserves more scouting props for finding these Santana and Ortiz guys because they have talent. Bonus points to Santana for playing the sympathetic babyface role very well.
As for a recommendation. Most of the show was skippable, but go out of your way to watch that main event if you want some quality tag team wrestling. The worst part was showing the low quality independent footage for their world title. I know NXT did the same thing with house show footage last night, but that match had way better match quality, video quality, psychology. Plus that match had Drew Galloway and Shawn Michaels. Impact should wish they have Drew Galloway right now. Maybe I’m overreacting but I don’t think so, Impact was the best weekly wrestling show throughout 2016, and pretty damn good January to March 2017. Now? Well. I would like to have a sensible discussion with a person who thinks this is good because them having good shows two years ago makes it easy to contrast. Maybe Jason Powell thought this was a better show than me? He’ll be by later today with his Impact Wrestling audio review and Hit List.