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 signature aired, a stylistic intro teaser appeared which featured highlights, swishing water graphics, and the wrestlers hyping up the Genesis themed episode. The video included generic movie trailer music. The Impact intro theme played…
Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews checked in from their dark commentary room. Borash welcomed viewers to the Genesis themed episode of Impact. The commentators ran down the fight card with the bumper graphics. Josh Mathews predicted that Allie would beat Laurel Van Ness on this episode for the Knockouts Championship…
1. Ethan Carter III vs. Matt Sydal in a regular match for the Impact Grand Championship. Josh Mathews noted that EC3 didn’t really gain an advantage from the round system given how he’s a multi-time World Champion in Impact Wrestling. Sydal quickly started off the match with a shotgun dropkick. Carter retreated to ringside with Sydal not relenting on his offense. After kicking around Ethan on the outside, Sydal gave EC3 a huracanrana and basement dropkick. Josh Mathews noted how Grand Championship Rules are convoluted (no kidding).
Sydal continued to work over Ethan with kick variation. EC3 gained his first advantage after a power lariat. EC3 chopped around Sydal against the ropes. JB and Josh used the moment to advertise an upcoming Impact-WrestlePro joint show from Rahway, New Jersey. Mathews said you can watch it live on Twitch TV. Josh said the event was being called “Brace for Impact”.
John’s Thoughts: Oh my lord. I may sound sour but trust me, I’m not being facetious with this one. Isn’t Rahway, New Jersey’s Wrestle Pro where that terrible indie footage we got a few weeks ago with Alberto El Patron wrestled Eli Drake for the title in a near empty high school gym? I’m very intrigued in the analytics for that stream but to be honest I don’t think interest is high for some bootleg looking cam footage.
Borash advertised the Impact Wrestling and WrestleCon joint event happening during WrestleMania weekend in the Mania host city. Back to the match, Ethan Carter initiated methodical offense on Sydal. EC3 was trying to draw heat but he actually received a good amount of cheers from the crowd. Sydal created a bit of distance with an axe kick. EC3 blocked a huracanrana with a sit-out powerbomb. EC3 tried to draw heat by yelling the word “choke” but a good amount of the crowd decided to chant “choke” in favor of EC3 and against Sydal, at least that’s what to appeared.
Sydal hit a kick combination topped off with a hanging hook kick. Sydal dodged a stinger splash and hit EC3 with a top rope Meteora. Sydal put EC3 on the top rope. EC3 dodged a frankensteiner which Sydal sold like he got turned inside out. [C]
Sydal blocked a One Percenter but Ethan hit a front facebraker on Sydal to get a nearfall. EC3 took Sydal to the apron and used the ropes to assist him in hitting a TKO. Sydal recovered and surprised EC3 with a spinning wheel kick. Sydal followed up with a baseball slide to the outside. Josh Mathews compared Sydal’s limb movement TO Gumby. EC3 hit Sydal with a facebuster on the ring apron. Sydal made it back in the ring to prevent the countout loss. Sydal came back with a Frankendriver followed by a Rolling Sobat. EC3 was staggered from a high knee. Sydal missed Air Bourne and was hip tossed into the turnbuckle.
EC3 hit the One Percenter. Rather than go for the pin, EC3 decided to do more “choke” pantomiming which allowed Sydal to roll to ringside. Sydal escaped a Super TKO and hit a sunset flip bomb. Sydal hit Air Bourne to pick up the win.
Matt Sydal defeated Ethan Carter III via pinfall in 11:21 of TV Time to become the new Impact Grand Champion.
The replays focused on the Air Bourne Shooting Star Press. Ethan Carter III sat on the ramp and sold a bit of the shock…
John’s Thoughts: Good effort by both men. The match was a bit slow to get started but you could tell both men put a little bit of extra effort to try to make this a good match. That said, this match wasn’t that great overall partly due to the lack of real stakes as the Grand Championship doesn’t have any real cachet behind it. The other part that actually surprised me a bit but I shouldn’t have been is the crowd obviously doesn’t care about Matt Sydal yet as evidenced through the crowd cheering for EC3 more than him despite EC3 going for heat (and EC3 is a great heel). What is “Reborn” Matt Sydal? He just comes off as a weird hippy that talks in transcendental quotes.
Josh Mathews claimed that Matt Sydal was trending on Twitter. Borash and Mathews commented over still shots of the OVE and LAX match. Borash hyped up some Pro Wrestling Noah Footage with Taiji Ishimori vs. Andrew Everett for the X Division Championship… [C]
An Allie vs. Laurel Van Ness music video package aired which included highlights and some clips from when Maria Kanellis was bullying Allie…
2. Laurel Van Ness vs. Allie for the Knockouts Championship. Laurel had a white fur coat this time as a part of her drunk debutante act. Laurel wouldn’t let the referee hold up the championship before the match. Mathews told us the referee that looks like a kid was named “Riley” or “Ricky”. Laurel and Allie rolled to ringside during the lockup. Allie dominated in the ring with lariats. Josh Mathews talked about how you can watch wrestlers from the past on the Global Wrestling Network and named a bunch of former and current WWE wrestlers. Allie continued to dominate at ringside. Laurel gained the advantage with Allie slipping during a run. [C]
Laurel dominated while trash talking Allie and the crowd. Laurel put the boots to Allie. Mathews said Allie looks like she’s going up “Schitt’s Creek” as a PopTV plug. Allie used the elbow to stop some of Allie’s momentum. Laurel managed to come right back with a hanging DDT. Laurel yelled at the ref for not counting to three. Laurel and Allie traded forearms and took each other out with a lariat. Josh Mathews pluged the “Josh Mathews megacast” on Twitch as well as the wrestlepro event. Allie gave Laurel a baseball slide lariat and dropkicked Laurel’s ass sending her into the turnbuckle. Allie gave Laurel a suplex into the turnbuckle.
Laurel blocked a Codebreaker initially but Allie went for it again and hit it to get a nearfall on Laurel. Laurel set up with a gut kick and hit Allie with a Seth Rollins Curb Stomp/Blackout. Allie blocked the unprettier and hit Laurel with a superkick. Laurel got the rope break for the pin attempt. Dammit, Laurel punched Allie into the child referee, TNA REF BUMP!!! Laurel hit Allie with the belt and Laurel picked up the win.
Laurel Van Ness defeated Allie via pinfall in 9:49 of TV Time to retain the Impact Knockouts Championship.
Jeremy Borash wondered if Laurel purposely putting the title belt at ringside as opposed to the timekeeper area was on purpose… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Strong effort by the women in this match and the added sympathy for Allie made this a stronger match overall over the opening title match. The crowd isn’t 100 percent sure how to take in the Laurel character yet but she has to be commended for not holding back. Despite the strong effort, the Impact Wrestling bookers decided to book in the laziest of all lazy TNA tropes, the classic TNA Ref Bump. That’s all it comes off as, a lazy way to extend a feud.
The same Dan Lambert and Moose video package aired after the break. Clips of Lashley were included where he talked about Moose not being too wise…
Lashley had not only Dan Lambert with him but also KM. The ring announcer said Moose hails from “Moose Nation” (is that Atlanta or somewhere near Slamtown?)…
3. Bobby Lashley (w/Dan Lambert, KM) vs. Moose. Lasley got the early takedown and ground and pound. Moose made it to a vertical base with Lashley continuing the pounding. Mathews and Borash talked about Lashley having a speed advantage while Moose has the agility advantage. Jeremy Borash did another GWN plug. Moose turned the tables and returned the favor by punching Lashley around the turnbuckles. Lashley turned the tables and hit Moose with shoulder tackles and calculated offense.
Moose staggered Lashley with a pump kick. The crowd chanted with the Moose dance. Moose hit his signature springboard crossbody and kip up. Lashley dodged Moose punches. KM tripped up Moose to allow Lashley to hit a lariat. Lashley went to ringside to yell at KM for interfering. [C]
Lashley dominated back from the break. Lashley used an armtrap high guard on Moose. Lashley tossed Moose to ringside. Lashley dominated Moose with power strikes. Lashley worked on the right arm of Moose. Moose reversed an Irish Whip and knocked Lashley off the top rope with his high flying dropkick. Lashley recovered and tossed Moose into the ring steps. Lashley continued to manhandle Moose as he had done throughout the rest of the match. KM put a Table in the ring which caused Lashley to protest. The distraction allowed Moose to gain the upper hand and hit Lashley with a hesitation dropkick.
Moose hit the Go To Hell on Lashley to get a one count. Lashley shocked Jeremy Borash (and surprised me too) with a Lucha Libre looking huracanrana causing Borash to say “are you kidding me?”. Lashley hit Moose with the Spear. Moose broke up the pin with a rope break. Lashley escaped the Dominator because Lashley started to argue with KM. Moose hit Lashley with a lariat and then with a Game Changer for the victory.
Moose defeated Bobby Lashley via pinfall in 12:29 of TV Time.
Dan Lambert went in the ring to yell at Moose. Moose got his hands on Lambert but Lashley pulled Lambert to ringside. Lambert yelled in the face of Lashley with KM trying to play peacekeeper. Lashle tossed Lambert back in the ring to get hit by a Moose pump kick (and led to a bad looking bump but at least he tried). Moose set up the table and Lashley speared Lambert into the table against the buckle. “Bandage guy” walked into the ring. He’s American Top Team General Manager John Hartnett. Lashley built up a punch and then hit the bandage guy with a side slam. Moose gave the bandage guy a spear. Moose’s theme played and Lashley walked up the ramp doing the Moose dance since he’s a babyface. They showed Alberto El Patron getting redy in his personal trailer while Johnny Impact did some awkward turn… [C]
John’s Thoughts: This booking was very odd and rushed but I’ll give Impact a bit of credit if this is their way of pulling the plug on this unsuccessful American Top Team thing. The match was solid and it was refreshing to see Lashley in an important position again, but the tension between him and KM/Lambert felt a bit forced and took away from the pacing of the match. The rushed nature of this scene also nullified any sort of build towards a Lashley face turn. The only person who really gained any heat from this angle was the bandage guy. I’m also not too excited for Lashley as a babyface because of how strong of a promo he can be as a heel. He hasn’t proven himself as a face so it might be a good point of analysis to see how he can work but it’s not putting him in the best position for Impact’s best interest.
This week’s “Pluto TV Rewind of the Week” was Samoa Joe choking out AJ Styles to become the TNA X Division Champion…
They cut to the ring showing that the six sides of steel was set up. Mathews noted that he was wrong in all of his predictions. Mathews predicted that Johnny Impact would win the main event…
4. Andrew Everett vs. Taiji Ishimori for the X Division Championship from Pro Wrestling Noah. The match was joined in progress and the footage was gained from the “Fighting TV Samurari” Channel (that’s a funny and oddly cool TV channel name). The video feed was was noticeably in a higher quality since it was taken by TV cameras, but in the PAL format. Ishimori hit Everett with his signature Vader Bomb stomp. Everett came back with a lionsault to get a two count. Ishimori escaped a Phoenix Splash but Everett followed up with a Frankendriver. Borash pointed out that Ishimori was knocked out cold.
Andrew Everett went for the Shooting Star but Ishimori got the knees up. Everett and Ishimori traded fatigued strikes. Everett was turned inside out by a Ishimori lariat. Ishimori hit a DDT into a knee strike for a nearfall. Ishimori hit the 450 for the victory.
Taiji Ishimori defeated Andrew Everett via pinfall to retain the Impact X Division Championship.
John’s Thoughts: Is Everett still “brainwashed”? Anyway, I felt like we missed out on the build towards the finish with them cutting out the beginning of the match. With that criticism aside, I would take Impact going to more Noah or AAA footage because even though they have more storyline control over the cheap independent footage, at least the Noah or AAA footage doesn’t make them look like a low rent pro wrestling charity. What we’ve seen from Noah has also translated to the best overall in ring action from their outside endeavors so I hope we get more of this footage just without the cutting.
Borash quickly cut to the Canadian Impact Zone for the main event of Impact where Eli Drake was out first for the main event match. Josh Mathews said Eli Drake was champon for 154 days. Jeremy Borash handled the formal ring introductions…
5. Eli Drake (w/Chris Adonis) vs. Johnny Impact vs. Alberto El Patron in six sides of steel for the Impact Global Championship. Those giant ass holes for the cameras (that I personally don’t care for) were in the match. El Patron and Drake weren’t on the same page but they agreed to put the boots to Johnny Impact. Drake and Patron agreed for a little bit and threw Johnny into the cage. El Patron tossed Drake off the cage and hit him with a lariat. Johnny tossed around both drake and El Patron.
John’s Thoughts: For those wondering, the reason I have a hatred for the giant ass camera holes in Impact/TNA was due to when I first started covering TNA for this site and TNA was still doing their dumb-ass things, cage matches were useless because the wrestlers would use the holes in the matches. Matt Hardy was crawling in and out of them and we even had wrestlers using the holes to put weapons through.
Johnny pumelled El Patron with punches and hit Drake with a moonlight drive. El Patron prevented Johnny Impact from escaping with a clothesline. El Patron hit Drake with a backstabber and then hit Johnny with a backbreaker. El Patron was on the top of the cage and had the match won. Dammit, but like a dumbass El Patron saw Johnny Impact hold himself in the awkward position to hit his dumbass stomp finisher. El Patron ended up missing his finisher. Josh said this was “smart” somehow.[C]
John’s Thoughts: Really, Josh? Smart by who?
Eli Drake gave both Johnny Impact and Alberto a low blow. Drake controlled the action with quick offense on both his opponents. Drake took down Johnny with a swinging side slam. Eli Drake tossed around Johnny and Patron against the cage while doing his signature taunts. Johnny used his parkour to run up the wall and block being tossed into the cage. Johnny tossed Drake back. Johnny put the boots to both Drake and El Patron. Drake kicked out of a pin attempt.
El Patron pulled Johnny off the cage and hit him with an enzuigiri. El Patron went to tossing Drake over 7 times around the cage and hit him with a DDT. Johnny broke up El Patron’s pin attempt. Borash gave Drake credit for being resilient. Johnny and El Patron brawled while scaling the cage. El Patron successfully hit his double stomp finisher. Johnny Impact broke up Patron’s armbreaker with an elbow drop. All three men made it up the cage. Johnny Impact pushed off both his opponents. Johnny had the match won but because of the need for needless high spots, Johnny Impact gave his opponents a crossbody.
John’s Thoughts: One of these dumb high spots is fine, but two is just ridiculous.
There was a pile of bodies in the center of the ring. Eli Drake managed to gain the upper hand in the brawl and hit Alberto with a Gravy Train. Drake blocked the Moonlight Drive and went right for climbing the cage. Johnny brawled with Drake up the cage and kept him shaken up with kicks. El Patron tried to escape via the cage door. Johnny pulled El Patron back in while Drake was staggered on the top of the cage. El Patorn took down Johnny with an Enziguri. Chris Adonis slammed the cage in El Patron’s face to prevent the Patron victory. Drake and Johnny managed to both escape the cage over the top but Johnny fell into the arms of Chris Adonis (and in a kayfabe breaking moment, Johnny tried his hardest to not get his feet on the floor). Drake won by cage exit.
Eli Drake defeated Johnny Impact and Albeto El Patron via escaping the cage in 14:31 of TV Time to retain the Impact Global Championship.
Eli Drake and Chris Adonis walked up the ramp celebrating as the commentators noted that Chris Adonis was the reason for Drake’s victory. Borash tried to stress this random stipulation that Johnny Impact and Alberto El Patron are no longer allowed to challenge for the Impact Global Championship (Retroactive Continuity? Because they’ve never established this with promos or vignettes).
John’s Thoughts: Like a lot of matches on this episode the effort there but the logic was thrown out of the window somewhat. This match had the most logic gaps, mostly because of the decision of several wrestlers to go for needless high spots rather than go for their obvious win. Adding the no-rematch stipulation is obviously a retcon, or else it makes Alberto and Johnny look like dumbasses for doing high spots when there were supposed to be big stakes. The finish was also a bit botched in my mind because Johnny Impact had to try his hardest to not get his feet to touch the ground.
Overall, a subpar “Genesis” themed show. The hype was there with last week’s video packages but when we got to the payoffs of these matches, they weren’t built all that well. Matt Sydal is someone that the crowd wasn’t cheering, Laurel Van Ness wasn’t clicking, the Lashley face turn came out of the blue (but it’s fine if it’s pulling the plug on Dan Lambert), and the cage match had classic TNA logic holes. Ultimately, I’m happy that 2017 is now truly over with this being the final show taped in Ottawa. This was a terrible year for Impact and it may have been one of their worst creative years in the current decade. Remember, 2017 footage began airing around March/April this past year because of the creative shift and sadly the time between January and March was the best creative in 2017 actual. Jason Powell will be by later today with his Hit List and Audio Review for the Dot Net Members.