1/18 Moore’s Impact Wrestling Review: Dezmond Xavier vs. Taiji Ishimori for the X Division Championship, Johnny Impact vs. Alberto El Patron vs. Eli Drake for the Impact Global Championship in Detroit, lots of video packages


By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

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

The Impact Wrestling theme played. The show went right to the Canadian Impact Zone where Dezmond Xavier was making his entrance for his X Division title shot. Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews checked in on commentary…

1. Dezmond Xavier vs. Taiji Ishimori for the Impact X Division Championship. Josh Mathews said Taiji Ishimori was a three time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion. This match is a rematch from the final of the Super X Cup. Ishimori and Xavier gave each other space after the opening lockup. Xavier used his knee to create separation. Xavier went for a quick pin attempt. Ishimori dominated the ground chain wrestling game with quick pin attempts. Xavier came back with a roundhouse and dropkick. Ishimori returned the favor with a dropkick of his own. Ishimori used a Tiger Feint Kick to fake out Xavier.

Xavier cleverly circumvented the ring to nail an unaware Ishimori with a superkick. Xavier tripped up Ishimori and locked in a Muta Lock on Ishimori. Ishimori escaped and went for a handspring but was kicked to the outside. Xavier quickly followed up with a darting Suicide Dive (it had Fantasma-like velocity) which sent Ishimori into the audience. In a sweet-sick move, Xavier did a Tope Con Hilo over the ringpost, over the barricade, and into Ishimori who was in the crowd area. [C]

Xavier and Ishimori traded pump kicks. Xavier hit a CQC combo on Ishimori along with an Ace Crusher. Xavier continued to dominate with a plethora of offense with strikes, dropkicks, and other moves. Josh Mathews noted that doctors checked on Ishimori during the break after the Tope form Xavier. Ishimori caught Xavier and planted him with a deadlift Superplex. Xavier dominated Ishimori with several elbows. Ishimori came back with a twisting flying thrust kick. Ishimori fell into Ishimori’s boot during a Vader Bomb stomp attempt. Xavier hit the Final Flash and got a nearfall off of it which Xavier sold with shock since the Super Saiyan move was his finisher.

Josh Mathews noted that Xavier won last week’s match with that move. Xavier’s gave stiff punches to Ishimori and yelled to “stay down!!!”. Ishimori yelled and had a face that screamed “come on”. Both men traded counters with Xavier coming out on top with a corkscrew splash. More countering ensued. Xavier went for the Eddie Gordo Mars Attack kick but Ishimori caught Xavier and planted him with a double gutbuster. Ishimori hit Xavier and defeated him after a 450.

Taiji Ishimori defeated Dezmond Xavier via pinfall in 22:50 of TV Time to retain the Impact X Division Championship.

Josh Mathews said that Xavier let his emotions get the best of him by screaming at Ishimori instead of trying to take advantage of the knocked out Ishimori. Ishimori and Xavier had a handshake after the match. Xavier turned it into a hug and held up Ishimori’s hand in victory. Borash said that Ishimori can take the X Division Championship to Pro Wrestling Noah in Japan. Borash hyped up the start-time of Barbed Wire Massacre III (which was happening on Twitch TV).

John’s Thoughts: A bit slower than most X Division matches and more attune to “WWE style” of buildup, but after the halfway point things got good and fun. Good on Impact for continuing to put on great X Division singles matches to allow these wrestlers to differentiate themselves. The only thing I would have done a little bit differently is put together one more video package before this match to make this seem more important or at least have Borash do formal ring intros.

An OVE handcam cinematic aired where Sami Callihan talked about taking over everything, everything, everything. They cut to an OVE vignette spotlighting OVE after they won the tag team championships. A highlight package aired of OVE and LAX’s 2017 before and during Bound for Glory. In the interview, Dave Crist talked about how no one saw it coming and that they had a secret weapon at BFG, Sami Callihan. LAX gave them some words. Konnan compared this feud to cellblock rules with OVE trying to make a name for themselves by punching the big dog in the prison. They also had LAX comment over the Konnan and Callihan fireball cinematic… [C]

They aired the Dan Lambert promo from a few weeks ago where he laid out his plan for “exposing pro wrestling”. The cinematics included a lot of Moose getting beat up and Storm leaving the company via Lambert. The video package hyped Moose vs. Lashley for next week’s “Genesis” themed show…

GWN Bonus Match: Eddie Edwards vs. Aron Rex in a Grand Championship match to crowd the first Impact Grand Champion at Bound for Glory 2016. For match details, I’ll recommend you check out Jason Powell’s Bound For Glory 2016 which would have complete match details. Some things of note, Aron Rex is better known as Damien Sandow in WWE. This was also not the advertised match and probably why TNA at the time had their plans derailed for the title. This was scheduled to be Aron Rex vs. Drew Galloway (Drew McIntyre) but Galloway had gotten injured during the week and was ruled out of action for the rest of 2016. This match also had longer, five minute, rounds since the rule was set that PPVs would have longer rounds.

Aron Rex defeated Eddie Edwards via Split Decision to become the first Impact Grand Champion.

Back to the present time, a Matt Sydal vs. EC3 hype ad aired to hype up their “regular match” for the Grand Championship at the “Genesis” Themed show…

An Allie vs. Laurel Van Ness hype video aired. This led to McKenzie Mitchell interviewing Allie. Allie said playtime is over. Allie reminded viewers that Laurel used to treat her like crap. Allie referenced her time as a servant to Maria Kanellis where she was beat up and treated like a slave…

John’s Thoughts: The video packages are fine, but unnecessarily long. This is Impact going back into “we ran out of first run material” mode again. That doesn’t make for great television. Impact handled this better in 2015 when they ran out of TV when Impact took one of their unaired “One Night Only” shows and chopped it up to get three months of storylines and first run matches.

2. Kongo Kong (w/Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Chandler Park (w/Joseph Park). Chandler was confident on his way to the ring. Joe ended up making his signature scared face. Chandler walked around the ring like a cartoon. Park did some purposely bad cartoon punches which Kong nosold with his gut. Kong then ran through Park. Park sidestepped Kong and laid down the 10 count punches. Park got overconfident and Joseph was excited. The showboating allowed Kong to hit Chandler with a backbreaker and corner cannonball. Kong hit Chandler with a side carry pile driver to pick up the win.

Kongo Kong defeated Chandler Park via pinfall in 2:00

Jimmy Jacobs entered the ring to celebrate with Kong and taunt Joseph. Jacobs directed Kong to inflict more pain and ordered him to hit a flying splash on Chandler. Joseph went to check on Chandler. Kong and Joseph locked eyes with Joseph showing fear. Joseph comically put up the “X” sign to call for medical attention for Chandler… [C]

John’s Thoughts: The best part was probably Joe Park doing the X signal since it’s one of his signature “Kay fab” breaking moments. Other than that, this has not been a good feud, debut of Chandler, or build towards Abyss vs. Kong. Ethan Page has been a straight out bust in Impact due to his terrible acting as the Chandler character. Not his fault due to him probably not being suited for this hammy role. Jimmy Jacobs has also been a bust, mostly because we were never introduced to to his character in Impact. He’s playing his Ring of Honor character from five years ago, but that’s just it, it was five years ago and he’s been off camera as a solid TV writer.

Borash cut to BCW footage titled “Motor City Mayhem”. Johnny Impact cut a promo before the match saying that he likes parties. Johnny said he was going to win the title and take it back to Los Angeles with him (Hell yeah. He didn’t say the words Slam or Town because that city doesn’t exist in southern California). Alberto El Patron called Johnny Impact “Juanito” (Little Johnny). El Patron said Eli Drake was a paper champion and kid. El Patron repeated the rant he’s been doing since BFG. Eli Drake cut one of his signature Rock-like promos…

John’s Thoughts: Random tangent about that random Johnny Impact quote, I was told by a former WWE writer in a conversation that Johnny Impact was the one that the writers had written to play a Russel Brand type character. John Morrison was supposed to be Adam Rose at one point before they gave it to Leo Kruger.

3. Johnny Impact vs. Alberto El Patron vs. Eli Drake in Detroit, Michigan in a triple threat for the Impact Global Championship. Madness ensued. At least there were more people in the seats this week and the video quality was noticeably better, but still lower quality compared to the main Impact cameras. Drake dodged a superkick from El Patron and hit him with a power slam. Eli Drake brawled with Johnny in the crowd where he hit Johnny with a chair.

They did a jump cut. El Patron hit his double stomp finisher for a nearfall. In another independent wrestling botch, the ring ropes were falling apart (that can’t be safe). Johnny Impact had a bit of a rally. Eli Drake struggled to fly over the loose ropes. Johnny hit El Patron with a capoeira legdrop for a nearfall. Johnny also dominated Drake. Eli Drake came back with a side slam. El Patron broke up the pin attempt. Josh Mathews randomly said that El Patron is living in a fantasy land (no kidding). Drake blocked a cross armbreaker but ate a backstabber. Johnny Impact broke up the pin just like El Patron did earlier. Johnny hit El Patron with a Moonlight Drive and Eli Drake broke up the pin just like the other two wrestlers did.

The referee was angry and yelled at all three wrestlers for pulling him around. All three wrestlers gave the referee a triple super kick. Johnny Impact kicked out of the next pin after El Patron low blowed him. A new referee was refereeing the match. Madness ensued. Eli Drake argued with the next referee. Drake gave the referee the Gravy Train finisher. Madness went back to ensuing. The madness ensued so much that the unidentified BCW roster ran out to brawl. Borash told us that he was now told that this match was cancelled and doesn’t count.

Johnny Impact vs. Alberto El Patron vs. Eli Drake ended with no winner since Borash said this match doesn’t count.

Borash sent it to commercial… [C]

John’s Thoughts: At least there were fans in the seats this week and the video quality was better. Other than that, the Impact world title has been defined down so badly in these public access matches. The bad ropes and overall atmosphere made things seem low budget, which is symbolic of Anthem and TNA/Impact now but it doesn’t make for compelling television.

4. Rosemary vs. KC Spinelli. Rosemary tossed around Spinelli around the turnbuckles. Rosemary hit Spinelli with a stinger splash followed by an Exploder Suplex. Borash said he was getting “breaking news”, Borash hyped up a rematch between Johnny, Albert, and Eli Drake inside of a steel cage for “Genesis”. Spinelli landed a drop toehold on Rosemary followed by a hip attack to Rosemary’s gut. Rosemary came back with a springboard forearm and lariats. Rosemary hit Spinelli with a German Suplex. Spinelli escaped the red wedding and hit Rosemary with a discus lariat. Rosemary scared Spinelli by not shooting mist at her and she beat Spinelli with the Red Wedding F5.

Rosemary defeated KC Spinelli via pinfall in 3:40.

Rosemary cut a promo after the match. Rosemary directed her promo to the “crazed darling bride” Laurel Van Ness who has a “shiny new toy”. Rosemary gave Laurel props for blocking “acid mist” with her hands. Rosemary talked about how Laurel was defending her title against the bunny Allie. Rosemary said the hive was proud of Allie. Rosemary then said the shadow was coming after whoever was the winner at Genesis, therefore declaring that she was coming after the winner. Suddenly a small lady came from the crowd and punched around Rosemary. Borash said the random person appears to be “Hania”. Hania gave Rosemary a clothesline to ringside. Rosemary fought back and tossed Hania up the ramp. Hania escaped a Red Wedding and hit a bad looking spinebuster on Rosemary. Hania was purposely trying to act ratchet. Hania gave Rosemary a scorpion death drop on the steps. Hania got some boos before the referees and security sent her to the back.

John’s Thoughts: An okay enhancement match but Rosemary hasn’t been very strong since her feud with Jade (Mia Yim) ended back around March. Rosemary just ends up selling and losing to anyone other than enhancement talent. Hania’s debut wasn’t that great as well. Her offense was really bad and she looked like a random fan doing bad punches.

A continuation of the LAX vs. OVE video package aired which focused on the post Bound For Glory part of the feud. This led to more hype for the Twitch match. The funniest part of this was they brought in Abyss for a regular interview where he talked about wrestling in Barbed Wire Massacre before. Sami Callihan reiterated that PopTV declared that this match was too violent for television…

A trailer ad aired for the “Genesis” themed show. Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews ran over the same card that was just shown. They cut to OVE and LAX making their entrances to the barbed wire ring to close out the show…

Twitch TV: LAX defeated OVE and Sami Callihan in Barbed Wire Massacre III.

John’s Thoughts: The X Division match was really good and while a bit low rent, the World Title Match was an improvement over the last independent footage. Otherwise this was essentially what WWE would call a Pre-Show for their PPV. This just consisted of throwaway segments, a few matches, and video packages for next week’s Genesis themed edition. Here’s hoping that this is the last of the footage before we get to the latest new era this time with Scott D’Amore and Don Callis heading creative together. I’ll be back in a few hours with my review of Barbed Wire Massacre III as well as an audio review for the members.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. Hey, shocking, Moore didn’t like Impact.

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