By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped November 10, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario at the Aberdeen Pavilion
After the Impact Wrestling signature, a highlight video package aired which recapped last week’s Impact Wrestling matches. The primary focus was on LAX vs. OVE as well as James Storm vs. Dan Lambert. The Impact Wrestling theme aired…
Dan Lambert and Bobby Lashley made their way to the ring for a Dan Lambert promo. Dan Lambert talked about how he comes out every week to gloat about punking out professional wrestling. Dan Lambert said it isn’t old for him because he’s having the time of his life. Dan Lambert said he’ll give credit to Impact Wrestling for being resilient. Lambert compared Impact Wrestling to cockroaches, no matter how often he calls the exterminator they won’t go away.
John’s Thoughts: As much as I hate how Dan Lambert is pushed as Impact’s top main event heel over Lashley, the man speaks the truth there. That’s true, Impact/TNA has been the cockroach of the professional wrestling industry.
Lambert joked about how even cockroaches don’t want to live in Ottawa. Lambert demanded silence from the crowd. Lambert talked up James Storm for being the “face of Impact Wrestling”. Lambert then said Storm is now unemployed. Lambert asked the crowd to pass a money collection cup to help Storm gets some beer money. Lambert said the real reason he was here was to introduce a new member of American Top Team, KM. Lambert said KM did what Lashley couldn’t do, which was take out James Storm. Lashley looked a bit annoyed at the statement.
KM made his entrance to Samoa Joe’s TNA music (It’s still strange for me to see KM come out to Joe’s entrance music without the rap lyrics). KM talked to Lashley and said that Lashley told him to prove himself. I think there was an edit here since it look liked either a frame skip or there was an obvious cut. KM said he proved himself and he’s taken out every person in front of him. KM bragged about helping Dan Lambert “retire” James Storm. About 10 fans in the crowd tried to start a “you screwed Storm” chant which didn’t really catch on. KM was about to brag about taking out Moose. Moose made his entrance as he walked to the ring wearing a black hoodie.
Moose went to takedown KM but was quickly dominated by Bobby Lashley. Lashley and KM then had the numbers advantage over Moose. Eddie Edwards ran out to help Moose clean house. The good guys were about to get their hands on Lambert but Lashley pulled Lambert to ringside. Eddie Edwards’ theme played as the crowd did the Moose dance. Josh Mathews advertised Ethan Carter III’s “Open Challenge” for after the commercial…
John’s Thoughts: Sharp heel work by Dan Lambert as usual, but just like Heel Michael Cole and Heel Josh Mathews, the non-wrestler is getting the huge push over the wrestler; and what’s worse is Bobby Lashley is Impact’s best overall heel and one of the company’s strongest heel promos. Other than the solid mic work by Lambert, I don’t know what to make out of the segment. They didn’t make a bit deal of Storm’s retirement so there was no heat. Moose continues to look like a dope because he always runs into situations where he get’s beat up (the story of Moose’s Impact career). The only guy who looks good out of that segment is Eddie Edwards, who has been this company’s most legit and respectable champion with the GHC Heavyweight Championship (which he did end up losing after these tapings).
Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash were shown in their dark commentary room. Mathews and Borash debated over weather Matt Sydal was screwed out of the title win or if he was a choke artist. The show then cut to Ethan Carter III making his entrance in the Canadian Impact Zone. EC3 was wearing a grey hoodie. He talked about how he’s the grandest champion in the company. He said he was the best guy here, there, and anywhere. Carter asked if Mr. Nice Guy Matt Sydal was better than EC3? EC3 talked about EC3 choking in all of this championship opportunities. EC3 said Matt Sydal lacks a killer instinct. EC3 said Sydal chokes so much he might as well be a forward for the Ottawa, Senators.
EC3 asked for a referee. EC3 called the referee that walked to the ring “nameless official #3”. EC3 said it doesn’t matter where his opponent is from. EC3 went for more cheap heat by calling Canada “America’s top hat”. On cue, the Canadian hero Petey Williams made his way to the ring waring the Canadian Flag.
John’s Thoughts: Is it just me or does EC3 look like he’s lost a lot of confidence. EC3 was so good before March of last year whereas now he’s just an afterthought that cuts cheap heat promos. EC3’s more than that but for some reason this creative team never even gave him a chance to show off how great he truly is. On another note, it’s also disappointing that they cooled off Captain Canada Petey Williams, who was looking really good in his main event push being the cheap pop guy. Williams has done a better job so far in Impact than Johnny Impact. With Storm gone, Petey might be their current “Mr. TNA” with his long history with the company.
1. Ethan Carter III vs. Petey Williams in a non-title match? Josh Mathews clarified that since this was not contested under “Grand Championship rules” , it was just a regular matchup. Petey Williams hit the ground running and dominated EC3. Williams hit EC3 with a huracanrana and hesitation dropkick into the second rope. Williams put Carter in the Tree of Woe and sung “Oh Canada” on the top rope. EC3 gained the advantage after referee separation. Williams worked for heat in the next sequence. Jeremy Borash used the EC3 bear hug sequence to do a plug for the Global Wrestling Network.
EC3 continued to dominate after a back suplex on Petey. EC3 hit a Falcon Arrow on Williams and then went back to the restholds. Williams regained control after a rollup attempt. Williams went for a pin after a side Russian legsweep. Williams then nailed EC3 with a deadlift Flatliner. EC3 escaped the Canadian Destroyer and hit a TKO on Williams for his own nearfall. Williams escaped the one percenter. EC3 dodged a plancha and reentered the ring. Matt Sydal ran in from the crowd and beat up on EC3 to cause the Disqualification.
Ethan Carter III defeated Petey Williams via DQ in 6:45.
EC3 retreated to ringside as Petey Williams casually walked away. After EC3 made it up the ramp, Matt Sydal celebrated in the ring. They cut to McKenzie Mitchell interviewing Allie. Allie took the mic from Mitchell and cut a promo on Laurel. Allie said Laurel Van Ness beat her up with a shoe and thinks she is just “meek little Allie”. Allie said things are changing. She said she’s not weak and not small. Allie yelled that if Laurel wants to play the game, then let’s play. Borash cut to Eli Drake and Chris Adonis entering the Aberdeen Pavilion to deliver a “championship address”. They then cut to footage of Alberto El Patron in a black tracksuit tossing around papers and chairs backstage… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Even without the dumb Grand Championship Rules BS, they are putting up odd segments with EC3 and Sydal. The match looked like it was about to get good and it was the supposed babyface who ran out and caused the DQ. I agree with Sydal’s promo last week that the Grand Championship rules suck, but EC3 still won clean if my memory is correct and his pre-match promo was spot on in saying that Sydal loses all his title opportunities. That was a bit of a dick move by Sydal.
Matt Sydal was cutting a promo backstage. He said he delivered a message with his feet. Sydal called out EC3 for hiding behind the Grand Championship Rules. Sydal requested that he and EC3 have a 60-minute time limit regular match with the judges fired. Sydal said the rounds are gone too. Sydal said if EC3 can beat him at that he’ll give him a handshake and a hug. Sydal talked about being the change that is happening and being reborn. Sydal said EC3 is a cookie cutter example of all of Sydal’s opponents…
GWN Bonus Archive Match: James Storm vs. Kurt Angle for the TNA Heavyweight Championship. Mike Tenay and Taz were on commentary. The ring was four sided. Jeremy Borash handled the formal ring introductions. Angle dominated early on with a low kick on Storm. Angle dominated Storm with boots as he drew mega heat from the crowd (due to the crowd being more impressive in TNA back in the day than it is today). Angle gloated a bit and was caught by the Last Call Superkick to give Storm the clean win.
James Storm defeated Kurt Angle via pinfall in less than a minute to become the new TNA Heavyweight Champion.
The crowd popped huge for the title win as Taz was shocked on commentary. Taz yelled “holy crap!”. A long-haired Bobby Roode, long haired Frankie Kazarian, and short haired AJ Styles celebrated with Storm in the ring. Storm entered the crowd and had a beer bath with them…
John’s Thoughts: A bit odd to do this flashback a week after Storm’s exit, but it was one of my favorite Impact moments. I thought it would have been better if they showed the post-match promo where Storm offered to give Roode the title due to Storm feeling Roode deserved it with Roode telling Storm that Storm was the true champion…
Back to 2018, Josh Mathews said Storm was a great champion. Borash and Mathews advertised a few of the matches for after the break… [C]
KC Spinelli made her entrance. Laurel Van Ness then made her entrance still acting like a drunk TMZ debutante…
2. KC Spinelli vs. Laurel Van Ness in a non-title match. Spinelli dominated early on by dragging Laurel by her fur coat. Laurel escaped the coat and punched Spinelli in the back. Laurel gave Spinelli a real curb stomp into the bottom turnbuckle. Laurel told Spinelli to not touch the champ’s fur coat. Spinelli hit an ugly looking side slam on Laurel. Spinelli yelled at Laurel and slapped her. A sequence of reversals occurred. Laurel hit Spinelli with a blockbuster. Spinelli sent Laurel into the mat and hit a few varied suplexes on Laurel. Laurel and Spinelli took each other out with boots. Laurel had a bit of a rally. After some more work Laurel hit Spinelli with the Seth Rollins Curb Stomp. Laurel hit the Unprettier for the win.
Laurel Van Ness defeated KC Spinelli via pinfall in 5:19.
After the match, Allie ran to the ring to beat down Laurel Van Ness. Allie hit the Thesz Press on Laurel. Laurel rolled away and retreated with her bumper sticker Knockouts title (thank goodness D’Amore and Callis are getting rid of those tacky titles. Borash hyped up Eli Drake’s “Championship address”… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Not a good match, mostly due to chemistry. Laurel and KC have shown that they are good in-ring workers. This match didn’t click and the crowd, which has been a bit odd on this episode, showed that they were getting restless and didn’t know who or what to cheer for. I actually liked the polarizing Wedding Dress Laurel, but this TMZ druggy debutante Laurel is just not clicking. Wedding Laurel was fun, this seems like an act.
Eli Drake and Chris Adonis made their entrance. Jeremy Borash said Eli Drake made the most impact in the company by being a traveling champion. A few chants chanted “shut your mouth” at Eli Drake (but he didn’t open it?). Chris Adonis told everyone to sit down and shut their mouths. Adonis demanded request for himself and “The Namer of Dummies”, “defiant one”, “one man revolution”, and “Global Impact Heavyweight Champion”. The crowd chanted “deport Drake”. Drake said it was time to talk to ya. He said he’s going to deport himself from this cesspool because he can’t wait to get back to LA. Drake said you must be a dummy, yeah for wanting to life your life in yearlong subzero weather.
Eli Drake said being the champion was more important than Canada. Drake talked about how El Patron found out in New Jersey last week that he can’t swim with the big fishes and belongs in the kiddy pool. Drake talked about El Patron whining about getting the title taken away from him. Drake said he should have sat at the bar and stay away. Drake said Drake’s success makes El Patron want to try but all he can do is try. Drake then hyped up an upcoming match in Detroit next week.
Eli Drake’s promo was cut off by Alberto El Patron. Patron called Drake a perro. El Patron said something was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. El Patron said Drake was a loser and little kid trying to act like a big deal. El Patron said Eli Drake doesn’t have the cojones (balls). El Patron repeated the same sentence for some reason about balls. El Patron talked about booking himself in the match in Detroit so he can kick Eli Drake’s Tracero (El Patron still really likes to say “ass” for some reason). El Patron talked about not wanting to wait for Detroit and he wants to show the crowd the real champion, Alberto.
Johnny Impact interrupted. Johnny Impact talked about a party in Detroit (which got boos because it’s not in Canada). Johnny said he likes parties. Johnny said it’s time to tell the internet that he’ll see the turd cutters in Detroit. One fan tried to chant “turd cutters” and was embarrassed. Johnny said when Alberto opens his mouth, stupid nonsense comes out. Johnny said one thing did make sense though, why wait for Detroit? El Patron ended that terrible promo by starting a brawl. A brawled ensued. Johnny Impact won the brawl with a corkscrew plancha on everyone… [C]
John’s Thoughts: What a strange segment. The Eli Drake promo was strong, but it all fell apart when we discovered that this was all to hype up more independent wrestling footage. It would be fine, but last week’s empty bleachers in a high school gym for a world title match was embarrassing. On top of that, El Patron cut another one of his scattered promos. On top of that, Johnny Impact comes out and cuts another terrible promo where he sounds like he’s reading bad material off a teleprompter (and I’ve seen him cut great heel and babyface promos that didn’t make air at the Lucha Underground Temple, but Lucha Underground seems to have stricter quality control than Impact Wrestling it seems). To add the cherry on top of this strange sundae, the crowd was also awkward with weird chants and the weirdest of times. That was just an overall strange, not god awful, but strange segment to hype up what I assume to be more near-empty high school gym footage. To Johnny’s credit, I have seen the guy draw huge All Pro Wrestling crowds here in California so at least he’ll be better than Drake/El Patron.
It was time for the Pluto TV Rewind of the week. They showed a clip of James Mitchell shaving the hair off of the head of Raven with Vampiro helping Mitchell out…
They cut to Dan Lambert gloating with KM and Bobby Lashley backstage about kicking James Storm out of Impact…
The commentators cut to Joseph and Chandler Park backstage. Chandler was overly excited over his win over John Bolen and Joe had to calm him down. Joe said that Impact Wrestling is a dangerous place. “The Princess” Jimmy Jacobs interrupted. Jacobs talked about who Joseph Park used to be and now he’s a “cheap suit wearing lawyer or something”. Jacobs talked about how Joe used to be the monster Abyss and now he’s just chasing ambulances where Abyss was usually the reason people had to call the ambulance. Joseph Park said Abyss was never coming back ever again. Jacobs said Park was smart because if Abyss showed up again he would find out who the real monster is. Chandler tried to confront Jacobs and did this awkward Curly Joe voice. Kongo Kong cut in and Jacobs said Kong is his family. Chandler did some bad acting and acted scared…
John’s Thoughts: Very odd, again. Lot’s of bad acting there, mostly from Chandler Park. Jimmy Jacobs has had better days and I remember him being more compelling in Ring of Honor and Wrestling Society X. What made this segment worse is that it seemed like it was the setup for a potential Abyss vs. Kongo Kong match. Yikes, in a bad way.
Here to save the show, it was time for an Ohio Vs. Everything cinematic. The cinematic was done with a static handycam filter. Dave Crist and Sami Callihan handled the camera work. They invaded the LAX clubhouse. The Crist Brothers and Callihan were shown stealing LAX’s betting money and poker chips. They threw around LAX brand beer bottles and trashed the gaming table. They continued to trash the entire clubhouse area. Callihan ordered Jake and Dave to also steal the LAX flags. Callihan said “ey LAX bitch, welcome to Ohio amigo…”… [C]
The show immediately cut to the LAX style cinematic. Santana yelled “where they at? they took the money!”. Santana said this has to happen right now. Konnan said these crackers are crazy for taking their paper, flags, and destroy their clubhouse. Konnan said it was time to go back to their roots as the ambassadors of violence. Konnan wanted to take away the ring ropes and put in barbed wire. Santana yelled “hasta la muerte, despues”. Jeremy Borash said “wow” about the barbed wire match…
John’s Thoughts: Didn’t Konnan mention in several cinematics that LAX’s clubhouse has several layers of security for the main office area? Anyways, you can easily look past that because these cinematics and matches seemingly in the Lucha Underground like universe have been awesome. Remember when dorky Jake and Dave tried to “invade” the clubhouse last time and ended up just paying Homicide’s strippers for some action? Sami Callihan has been such a godsend for these guys and they come off now as badass serial killers that get heel heat because you fear them. Callihan has impressed me in particular with his wide range of indy work which I’ve witnessed on TV and in-person which is why I want to see him get another NXT run. On the other side of the coin, Konnan is Impact’s best character and LAX are just too damn cool. To live and die LAX indeed. [Random fact: Konnan revealed on a podcast recently that LAX wasn’t supposed to even happen and creative wanted Konnan to be in the Dan Lambert spot as Lashley’s mouthpiece, which is absurd because Lashley’s a good promo now].
Hakim Zane was introduced as the “Global Forged winner” as he was the latest random tag team partner for the Cult of Lee. Their opponents were Sonjay Dutt, Dezmond Xavier, and Garza Jr. Garza still had right shoulder taped up. We’re in for a throwaway X Division spot fest aren’t we?
3. Trevor Lee, Caleb Konley, and Hakim Zane vs. Sonjay Dutt, Garza Jr, and Dezmond Xavier. Garza and Zane started off the match. Garza mocked Zane’s short height. Zane showed off some impressive kicks. Garza overpowered Zane with a strong headbutt. Garza dominated Zane and isolated Zane in his corner. Xavier dominated Zane with quick agility and a piston dropkick. [C]
Zane dominated Sonjay Dutt back from break. Sonjay turned the tide with a huracanrana. Zane regained control with Lee distracting the referee to allow Konley to get cheap shots in. Konley continued to overpower Dutt with a surfboard stretch. Josh Mathews used this moment to pimp out TNA DVDs. Jeremy Borash said he’s predicting that Caleb Konley is going to win an Impact championship in 2018. Lee gloated a bit and hit Dutt with roundhouse kicks. The heels continued their isolation sequence on Dutt with quick tags.
Dutt hit a dropkick on Zane to tag in Garza for the one handed hot tag. Garza made the heels look like idiots because he wanted to take his pants off. Zane was so distracted that he accidently dropkicked his partners. Xavier tagged in and hit Zane with the Final Flash (spiral tap) for the win.
Sonjay Dutt, Garza Jr, and Dezmond Xavier defeated Trevor Lee, Caleb Konley, and Hakim Zane via pinfall in 6:22 of TV time.
After the match, Taiji Ishimori walked out to congratulate Dezmond Xavier as well as set up for a showdown down the road with Xavier. Borash announced that this match will happen next week. Xavier and Ishimori shared a respectful handshake…
John’s Thoughts: To use the terminology that McKenzie Mitchell uses for these matches, Impact trios matches are just “relatively random”. Meaningless time filler. Nuff said. I just continue to be disappointed that Impact has an obvious breakout star in Trevor Lee, they’ve had him for three years, and all he has been presented as is as chickenshiz cannon fodder. Watch his work for other promotions. This guy as a babyface can wrestle like Davey Richards, with Daniel Bryan’s charm, and Dolph Ziggler’s selling ability. As a heel, the guy can look dominant and simply bad ass. Lee’s a stud but for some reason this company has never understood that.
Borash hyped up next week’s Detroit independent wrestling footage between Johnny Impact, Eli Drake, and Alberto El Patron. Borash also advertised LAX vs. OVE in “Barbed Wire Massacre III”. Borash said this was a trios match which will include Homicide and Sami Callihan with their respective factions.
Bobby Lashley and Km entered the arena with Dan Lambert and the bandaged up American Top Team General Manager guy. Moose and Eddie Edwards came out to Moose’s music so they can do the Moose dance…
4. KM and Bobby Lashley (w/ Dan Lambert and John Hartnett) vs. Eddie Edwards and Moose. Eddie Edwards gave Hartnett a running boot to continue the running joke of the American Top Team General Manager adding more and more bandages to himself due to in-ring injury. Moose sent Lashley outside with a high dropkick. Edwards grounded KM with a huracanrana. Moose and Edwards played isolation with KM. Lashley gave Edwards a body slam to bring the momentum back to KM. [C]
Lashley had Edwards in his signature delayed vertical suplex. Moose and Edwards regained control and had KM locked in their tandem moves. Moose used Edwards as a backpack to add more force in a senton. Lashley tripped Edwards off the apron while Edwards dominated. Lashley tagged in to continue to pummel Edwards. Lashley hit consecutive shoulder tackles into Edwards against the turnbuckle. The heels played the isolation game with Edwards. Edwards blocked a vertical suplex and turned the tables with a vertical suplex of his own. Lashley clotheslined Moose off the apron to keep momentum with his team.
Edwards grounded Lashley with a missile dropkick. Edwards slid under KM’s legs to get the hot tag to Moose. Moose hit KM with a hesitation dropkick in the corner. Moose hit KM with the Go to Hell. Lashley broke up the pin. Moose and Lashley brawled outside. Edwards set up KM and hit him with his signature suicide dive. Dan Lambert distracted Edwards enough to nail him with a Lungblower Bomb for the victory.
KM and Bobby Lashley defeated Eddie Edwards and Moose via pinfall in 10:20 of TV Time.
Borash closed out the show with KM celebrating up the ramp…
John’s Thoughts: The match was okay but nothing memorable. I liked that KM finally won a match because the rebuilt bully needs wins and I forgot that he even had a finisher. Again, disappointment reigns supreme with Lashley playing the role of undercard stooge as KM’s tag partner when he should be this company’s centerpiece. I can’t wait until this set of tapings is over and we get to the real meaningful stuff.
I am looking forward to next week’s episode though with LAX vs. OVE still running wild in their alternate reality pocket universe. They might as well be on another show because their stuff is solid. Unlike Impact/TNA where you walk into the situation ready for disappointment, LAX and OVE at this point are just the opposite with guaranteed entertainment. I hope Impact provides the indy company they are working with in Detroit with better camera equipment. All in all, this was a tough show to go through. It wasn’t terrible as past weeks have contained a lot of terrible segments. This week’s episode was just odd, with an odd crowd, odd segments, and overall deflating feel. It also hurts that all these episodes feel meaningless with the new creative powers coming in. Jason Powell will be by later today with his Hit List and audio review of the show.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...