11/29 Moore’s Impact Wrestling TV Review: Tommy Dreamer vs. Eli Drake, Rich Swann and Willie Mack vs. The Lucha Brothers, Jordynne Grace vs. Katarina, Eddie Edwards gets committed, the in-ring debut of The Rascalz

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

Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped November 11-13, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada at Sam’s Town Casino

This week’s intro teaser was a recap package about the Impact episode from two weeks ago (since last week’s turkey episode was presumably non-canon). The Impact Wrestling theme aired…

Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary. Rich Swann and Willie Mack made their entrance to Swann’s Impact theme. Mack was wearing a modified version of the Lucha Underground logo on his shirt while Swann was wearing “Snowboarding goggles”. Josh said he never saw an athlete before who wore “snowboarding goggles”. Their opponents were the Lucha Brothers. Josh said his usual line of pointing out that Pentagon is a “former [Impact] World Champion”. Rich Swann was doing an air guitar to Pentagon’s entrance theme which confused Mack…

1. Rich Swann and Willie Mack vs. “The Lucha Brothers” Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix. The crowd were alternating between “Cero Miedo” and “Animo” chants. Mathews noted that LAX wants to face the Lucha Brothers but Konnan’s holding them back. Callis said that Konnan’s job is to keep LAX as world champions so all he’s doing is managing their title defenses. Mathews questioned whether Konnan wasn’t confident in LAX’s ability to beat the Lucha Brothers. Callis said it’s most likely a “complicated family situation” that Konnan has to deal with.

John’s Thoughts: If in the unlikely scenario occurs of Impact Wrestling closing shop, I wouldn’t mind seeing Josh Mathews and Don Callis call wrestling for another company because their exposition exchanges are really good in flushing out storylines. To be completely honest, as great as the NXT (Mauro, Percy, and Nigel) and the New Japan (Callis and Kelly) commentary teams have been, I would argue that Josh Mathews and Don Callis have been the best commentary team in 2018. This is coming after a bunch of Impact fans wanting Josh off TV (understandably so) due to his horrendous Heel Michael Cole run (which he has said made him sick to his stomach).

Swann and Fenix started the match in a flip stalemate. Fenix continued to awe the crowd with his unique escapes but Swann matched Fenix flip for flip. Pentagon and Mack tagged in. Pentagon called Mack a “Pinche” and then did his Cero Miedo thing. Mack cleverly did the same hand sign which can double for “W M”. Pentagon continued to do his indie phone-it-in sequence. Fenix superkicked Mack while he was distracted by Penta. Things picked up when everyone took each other out with roundhouse kicks. Pack and Pentagon traded taunts and kicks.

Mack grounded Pentagon with a huracanrana. Mack and Swann hit Pentagon with a nice flapjack bulldog combo. Mack gave Fenix a Samoan Drop and moonsault. Swann gave Fenix a 450 and followed up with a rolling thunder on Pentagon. Fenix and Pentagon staggered their opponents with kicks. Fenix hit Mack and Swann with a double Lethal Injection. Pentagon hit both opponents with sling blades. The Lucha Brothers hit Swann with a What’s Up double stomp. Fenix hit Mack with a Slicing Sobat. Pentagon hit Mack with a codebreaker.

Fenix and Swann brawled outside with Swann hitting Fenix with a cross kick. Pentagon went for his signature chop, but Mack recovered and hit Penta with the Monty Brown Pounce. Mack took out Pentagon with a flip dive to the outside. Swann put the goggles on and hit Mack and Pentagon with a Phoenix Splash senton. Fenix hit the pile of people with a tightrope corkscrew crossbody. [c]

Mack took down Fenix with a strong chop. Fenix tried to chop back but Mack’s chops were overpowering. Josh Mathews hyped the Impact Twitch show happening near San Jose (which I’m planning on attending if all goes well). Mack grounded Fenix with a Superman Punch. Fenix came back with a sweet Tiger Feint cross kick. Mack tried to set up for a Doomsday Device, but Fenix got out with a reverse Frankendriver. The LBs took out Swann with a spike double stomp. Pentagon hit Fenix with a wheelbarrow slam onto the body of Mack to lead to the pinfall victory for Penta.

The Lucha Brothers defeated Rich Swann and Willie Mack via pinfall in 11:10 of TV Time.

John’s Thoughts: A great tag team match involving the best Lucha Underground has to offer plus a little bit of 205 Live flava. Looking in recent months, Impact Wrestling’s opening matches have been better than their main events similar to how the first hour of Nitro was better than the final hour. I wouldn’t have had Swann and Mack take another loss (Mack loses more than he wins in Impact), but I understand the need to build up Lucha Brothers for a dream match encounter, which probably won’t even happen due to Rey Fenix having a serious groin injury which will keep him out of action for “months”.

The LAX gunshots played as Santana and Ortiz made their entrance to the Sam’s Town Casino crowd. Callis pointed out that it was odd to not see Konnan not around. LAX and the LBs gave each other some daps and hugs. Ortiz hyped up the crowd with the cheap pop. Ortiz said the opening match was straight fuego. Callis told Josh that “Fuego” means “fire”. Oritz asked the crowd “who’s next?” for LAX. Ortiz said LAX beat up the “Ovaries” (OVE), “Third Eye Scrubs” (Sydal and Page), and the OGz.

John’s Thoughts: Well… We know Impact won’t allow Santana and Ortiz to wrestle The Street Profits. Sorry, had to toss that one in. But, hey, Santana has even posted online that he’s disappointed that Impact didn’t allow for what would have been a cool NXT vs. Impact battle.

Santana took the mic and pointed out that LAX has beat all of the tag teams in Impact Wrestling. Santana said they also took the titles outside of Impact and beat the best tag teams in the world (except NXT tag teams. I kid, but it’s true). Santana said the thing they want to do now is allow their familia, the Lucha Brothers, to challenge for the titles. LAX said that it’s time to give the world what they’re asking for on January 6 in Nashville. Santana brought up the LAX vs. Lucha Brothers. Don Callis said he votes yes. Pentagon said his catchphrase “Nosotros somos los Lucha Brothers, Somos Cero Miedo”. The four wrestlers held up their hands in unity to close the segment…

John’s Thoughts: Simple and effective stuff from Santana and Ortiz. Konnan’s next level on the mic, but these two have developed into solid talkers in their own right. Pentagon has his formulaic shtick, but it’s shtick that works well in the Southern California/Nevada area so I’m not complaining there either. I still say Fenix and Pentagon are WAY better as singles acts, as evidenced by Fenix fading into the background in the LB tag team; but LAX is a top three tag team in the world so I don’t mind putting the LBs together for what has the potential to be an early match of the year candidate on paper. Again, hold your brakes, because Fenix had to pull out a ton of upcoming bookings due to a groin injury. He might be ready for Homecoming, but hopefully Impact has backup plans for Penta and LAX.

A Josh Mathews voiceover cut in announcing LAX vs. Lucha Brothers and an Ultimate X for the vacant X Division Championship at Homecoming. Josh said Ultimate X qualifying matches will happen next week. Josh announced Eli Drake vs. Tommy Dreamer for later in this show as well as the Rascalz debut…

A Brian Cage video package aired. Cage said it pisses him off that he hasn’t won the big one. Cage said people don’t want to face him, people duck him, and companies don’t give him a chance. Cage said he is cashing in Option C to create his future to be world champion. Cage said Johnny may be his friend but he’s also the world champion which is a goal for Cage. Cage said he’ll injure Johnny if it means he’ll become world champion… [c]

The show cut to this week’s LAX clubhouse cinematic. Konnan was pacing back and forth in their temporary “clubhouse”. Santana and Ortiz were excited about the match they made up. Konnan berated LAX and yelled “WHAT WAS THAT?!?”. Santana said he was just trying to take initiative. Konnan said they should have told him because it wasn’t time for LAX vs. LBs yet. Ortiz countered by saying that Konnan always advised them to give the people what they want. Konnan said he’s seen this problem before with Eddie Guerrero, Psichosis, Rey, and Juvi.

Konnan brought up Juventud and Rey being AAA tag team champions and the two thinking that a match against each other would be great for business. Konnan said Rey and Juvi hurt each other in subsequent matches and their bond was broken up which also broke up the tag team. Konnan brought up Homicide and Hernandez as the next example. Konnan said he knows that Pentagon Jr, Fenix, Santana, and Ortiz have the capability to hurt each other which will cross the line of friendship never to be obtained again. Konnan said all four are like his sons and he even does business with Penta and Fenix (which you can watch on MLW). Konnan said LAX already booked the match and now he has to do something. Konnan walked out to do something about the situation…

John’s Thoughts: More strong mic work from Konnan, who keeps finding new ways to freshen his act up. That was a stellar performance in playing the fearful papa who’s trying to keep his family from breaking apart. Konnan bringing up real life, kayfabe, examples of past tag teams was an expert example of injecting strong ethos into his argument. Konnan’s plea also did a good job taking advantage of what is usually a pro wrestling cliché of tag teams always being bound for separation down the road.

2. Jordynne Grace vs. Katarina. Josh and Don talked up Grace’s power in the gym. Callis compared Katarina to Barry Windham. Katarina managed to get control over Grace, but Grace came back with a powerful shoulder block. Grace then hit Katarina with a spinebuster. Grace went for two pin attempts. Callis noted that Grace should have hooked the leg first and she probably would have won. Katarina dropped Grace with a pump kick but couldn’t get the pinfall due to Grace falling on the bottom rope. Grace tried to fight out of a corner, but Katarina used a snapmare to maintain high ground over Grace.

Katarina locked Grace in a rear naked choke. Callis reiterated his early comparison in comparing Grace to ECW’s Rhyno. Katarina planted Grace with a jawbreaker for a two count. Katarina continued to evade Grace’s offense. Katarina hit an impressive diving tornado DDT. Callis noted that Katarina has long limbs which give her an advantage. Katarina decided to pose again which allowed Grace to hit Katarina with a good-looking Monty Brown Pounce. Grace threw Katarina into the ringpost and followed up with a meteora and basement back elbow. Grace called for and locked in a bear hug for the submission win.

Jordynne Grace defeated Katarina via submission in 6:10.

Callis said Katarina may have broken ribs… [c]

John’s Thoughts: A strange but good match? Strange because Katarina was for the second time in a row the more impressive wrestler and only lost due to feeling the need to do a pose. I’ve been a proponent of Katarina for years and said she’s been underutilized by both WWE and TNA (though TNA did give her a title reign with the weird zombie Angelina Love gimmick). That said, why not have Grace squash some of the local indie talent? In the same breath, Katarina showed that she should be in the mix with Taya and Tessa Blanchard if she would only drop her random five second pose moments.

Fallah Bahh and KM were backstage sulking about their loss to LAX recently. KM said the bright side is they’re in Las Vegas. KM said it was time to hit the town and win some money. Bahh happily said “Bahh Bahh Bahh”. A “seven minutes later” graphic went on the screen. KM and Bahh were on the floor backstage crying from what we could assume is casino losses and debt. KM said his kids will be embarrassed of him and his wife is going to divorce him. The Scarlett Bordeaux smoke show appeared as Scarlett was shown hanging out on top of boxes. Scarlett said KM and Bahh were at the top of her list at one point but were now at the bottom. Scarlett said there was a lot of competition. After Scarlett left, Bahh and KM cried out loud…

John’s Thoughts: KM and Fallah Bahh are hilarious and were good here as usual. Scarlett is really good in her character but she’s completely superfluous in all of the comedy backstage segments she’s involved in. I feel like Impact is wasting Scarlett’s talent. Similar to the Grado and Katarina storyline that lasted over half a year, this Smoke Show thing is starting to drag out a bit too much without progression. My guess is they’re maybe heading towards pairing Scarlett with Killer Kross as a part of this talent search due to the story Kross and Scarlett are telling in AAA? Call it a hunch, but not a hunch that I’m a fan of.

Josh Mathews cut to the Global Wrestling Network match of the week. Josh said they were cutting to a 2017 Ultimate X Match, Trevor Lee vs. Andrew Everett vs. Low Ki with Shane Helms roaming around at ringside…

John’s Thoughts: As much as the GWN segment is a waste of time most weeks, I would actually recommend this hidden gem of a match. I hated that they tanked a really strong storyline between Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett that Matt Conway’s creative team wrote with Everett looking like the next big X Division star, but this match was solid and was the beginning to a hot Low Ki X Division title run. This match also included Low Ki giving a steel chair a Falcon Punch and Ki doing a great sell job for the remainder of the match.

An Impact referee walked up to Tessa Blanchard in the makeup room to try to lay down the law to Tessa. The ref said the stripes stand for “law and order”. The ref asked Tessa if he was clear. Tessa sarcastically said “yes sir, we are clear” as she rolled her eyes when the referee left…

John’s Thoughts: I wonder if that nerdy referee would have done the same thing to someone like Brian Cage or Sami Callihan? These refs need to show respect to Tessa because Tessa can kick their ass as hard as any man on the Impact roster.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Tommy Dreamer, who was wearing a Superstar Billy Graham shirt. Dreamer reiterated how he hates “Skinny jeaned millennials” in 2018 because millennials feel entitled. Dreamer said they should respect the men and women who paved the way for Drake. Dreamer said Drake only got into the business because he wanted to be an actor. Dreamer mocked Drake for always trying to “Walk like The Rock, talk like the Rock, and act like The Rock”. Dreamer said Drake is nothing but a little pebble and a jabroni.

Dreamer mocked Drake for not making the cut on the Stone Cold season of Tough Enough and saying that it was everyone else’s fault. Dreamer said Impact Wrestling positioned Eli Drake to be a star and franchise player but after Drake lost the title Drake only settled for complacency. Dreamer said Drake was a dummy, yeah. Dreamer said it’s so passé to be calling Tommy Dreamer fat and trying to end Dreamer’s career. Dreamer said Dreamer’s career ends when Dreamer says it’s going to end. Dreamer then mocked Drake’s catchphrases. Dreamer went into his usual yelling passion mode…

John’s Thoughts: So, Tommy Dreamer went into rant mode again, but this rant was better than his CTE rants in past Impact promos. This was actually pretty good and almost too good in shooting on Eli Drake’s real-life flaws. Dreamer’s right, and it’s the exact same shoot criticisms that Jason Powell and I have had of Drake for months. From the endless streak of Dwayne Johnson imitator promos to Eli Drake wallowing around with undercard comedy acts.

Local indie wrestler Ray Lyn made her entrance. Josh noted that even though Lyn comes from Pittsburgh, she prefers to live near anywhere with a beach. Callis said Pittsburgh doesn’t really have anything. Taya Valkyrie was announced as “La Wera Loca” as she made her entrance doing a dance to her new hip hop theme…

3. Taya Valkyrie vs. Ray Lyn. The crowd showered Taya with “Wera Loca” chants. Ray Lyn did some dorky mocking of Taya. Taya responded with a cooler version of the taunt. Taya landed the first shots. Lyn came back with a corner high knee. Josh and Don did their weekly PopTV plug, this week it was Top Gun. Callis said he and Josh should play beach volleyball. Josh said they can do it shirtless.

Lyn gave Taya a missile dropkick. Taya reversed with an Irish Whip to the corner. Taya grounded Lyn and hit her with a corner hip attack and meteora. Lyn blocked the Road to Valhalla and hit Taya with a few roundhouse kicks on Taya. Lyn waved her booty in the face of Taya which allowed Taya to recover and hit Lyn with a heel hook. Taya hit Lyn with a surfboard curb stomp. Taya then beat Ray Lyn with a new submission finisher, a surfboard camel clutch.

Taya Valkyrie defeated Ray Lyn via submission in 2:47.

Josh said pointed out that Taya has a new submission weapon in her arsenal. Tessa Blanchard blindsided Taya and then went into ground and pound on Taya. Tessa turned her attention to referee Brandon Tolle. Tessa gave the referee a right hand and then started choking the referee by the collar. Don Callis said that a suspension was coming Tessa’s way. Josh said somebody needs to stop this. The referee brigade ran out led by the child referee. Callis said it was odd that the referees weren’t helping their fellow ref, but he also rationalized that the referees are scared to death of Tessa.

Suddenly Sonjay Dutt and Scott D’Amore ran out to try to stop Tessa. They were oddly wearing matching grey suits. Tessa continued to choke the referee until his face turned red. Impact Wrestling legend and current producer Gail Kim ran out and pulled Tessa away. Gail tossed Tessa into the corner and the two had a standoff. Taya took advantage of the commotion by giving Tessa a spear. Tessa retreated. Callis noted that Tessa looked like she saw a ghost. Taya and Gail Kim stood tall in the ring as Taya’s theme played…

John’s Thoughts: This section of the Impact women’s roster is in a great place without the G-damn undead realm crap. Tessa’s straight fire and I liked how Impact utilized the squash match to introduce viewers to Taya’s new submission move. I do know where this leads so I’ll avoid spoilers, but how great would a Tessa Blanchard vs. Gail Kim match be? Gail Kim vs. any modern day top female wrestler would be a dream match worth buying a PPV for.

A Johnny Impact video aired. Johnny talked about how he’ll defend his title against anyone. Johnny said no one deserves a title shot more than Cage. Johnny commended Cage for having motivation and ambition. Johnny talked about Cage’s machine moniker and how Cage is a machine in the ring and good at it. Johnny tried to continue his promo but a man in a black trench coat spooked him from behind. It was Killer Kross who dismissed the camera man. The camera person didn’t listen and instead hid behind a wall to catch the meeting. Johnny talked about doing “whatever it takes” means Johnny is going all out to defend his title. Kross said he has a different interpretation of “whatever it takes”. Kross used rhetoric to offer his services to Johnny again. Johnny got nervous and told Kross to stop being vague in his rhetoric. Johnny said he doesn’t care and the answer is still no. Kross yelled “the answer is not no, John!” to the point where a vein appeared on his head… [c]

John’s Thoughts: So, Cage didn’t have to “cash in” the title because Johnny would have given him a title shot anyway, just like he did to Rey Fenix? In fact, why didn’t Cage just propose a title vs. title match like Eddie Edwards did against Bobby Lashley two years ago? Again, Cage’s character is acting like he’s cashing in the Lucha Underground Gift of the Gods championship. Moving along, that transition from interview to Kross confrontation was slick. Bonus props for Impact logically positioning a camera in a logical position (none of that strange cinematic stuff that they’ve done with Johnny segments in the past). Kross continues to be the best part of this program with his intriguing talking ability and great body language.

Josh recapped the last segment and focused on Gail Kim’s involvement…

Dezmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz, and Trey Miguel, “The Rascalz” made their entrance…

4. “The Rascalz” Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz (w/Trey Miguel) vs. Chris Bey and Mike Sydal. Josh noted that Mike Sydal is the brother of Matt Sydal. Callis argued that the Rascalz have nonsensical discussions in their “sharing circle”. Xavier and Sydal started off the match. Both men had a stalemate until Xavier implemented his CQC in his flips. Sydal recovered and did a core kip up. Wentz tagged in and hit Sydal with a corkscrew crossbody. Bey entered the ring and caught Wentz with a huracanrana. The crowd loved Bey.

Xavier used his dodges to set up Wentz for a Bronco Buster on Bey. Wentz gave Bey some extra bronco buster humps. Wentz and Dez took down Sydal with roundhouse kicks. The Rascalz took out their opponents with stereo suicide dives. Wentz hit Sydal with a rip cord knee. In a cool looking (but somewhat impractical. cool nonetheless) move, Wentz went for a standing moonsault about a foot away from Sydal with Dez pushing Wentz into position. Wentz picked up the win.

The Rascalz defeated Chris Bey and Mike Sydal via pinfall in 3:11.

Replays aired of Dez throwing Wentz at Sydal in the unique way…

John’s Thoughts: A solid debut for the PWG tag team champions. I’ve been hearing great things but haven’t seen any of their tag team work. This was pretty good. I know it might be too soon but if they can bring Konnan into the studio, might Impact want to start filming things to build towards a Radcalz vs. LAX match at Homecoming if Fenix can’t make it?

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Kiera Hogan about “the darkness finally consuming Allie”. Kiera went into a melodramatic and somber voice and said the darkness hasn’t consumed Allie yet. Kiera said in the ring, Allie could have attacked Kiera, but Allie didn’t. Kiera said she knows her friend Allie won’t hurt Kiera. Kiera talked to the camera and brought up a promise about the two having each other’s back. Kiera told the camera “don’t let the darkness consume you” as the camera slowly zoomed into Kiera’s face. Kiera ended the promo by saying “please come home”… [c]

John’s Thoughts: To give Kiera credit, she said all of those corny lines without breaking into laughter. Do we have to put Allie’s face on a milk carton now? This came off as a parody of a lost child news plea as opposed to anything that should be taken seriously. Impact writers, most likely Jimmy Jacobs, should ask themselves, who is this supposed to appeal to and what is the end game to this story? All this story has done was damage Su Yung, Rosemary, Allie, and Kiera Hogan while others like Tessa Blanchard and Taya Valkyrie are thriving in the “real world”.

The show cut to a cinematic emanating from supposedly the Shady Acres mental hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Alisha Edwards tried to explain himself to Eddie, but Eddie was being vegetative. The “doctor” told Alisha that Eddie was docile due to the drugs they have him on and in time those drugs will bring back the old Eddie. The doctor told Alisha that all Eddie needs is rest. The doctor escorted Alisha away.

The cinematic did a time-skip and Moose entered the room and sat in front of Eddie. Moose wore a pretty normal suit this week, but he also wore glasses and a pink upside-down cap. Moose pointed out that the hospital only allows family to visit so he told them that he was Eddie’s brother. Moose reiterated his point about Eddie not visiting him while he was in the hospital. Moose said this visit makes Moose a better man. Moose brought Eddie a copy of his real-life published children’s book. Moose said he realized that there were a lot of things left out of the book, like Eddie betraying Moose, Eddie’s wife leaving Eddie, Eddie getting power bombed on the ramp, etc. Moose said Eddie being in a nut house was also not included. Moose said the book was a fraud. Moose said Eddie might get out of the hospital one day because “Anything is possible”. Moose said he was going to do a buddy (Eddie) a favor and check up on Lish on his way home. Moose left and Eddie remained vegetative… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Again, I’m torn on this story week to week. Moose is a riot and is doing great and funny things as a heel. These cinematics are hilarious some weeks and others they are dull. I think they’re going for comedy and a bad B-movie feel? I bring up the same question as I did with the weird undead realm stuff, what’s the point of this? Compare this to Lucha Underground cinematics, Jeremy Borash cinematics, and LAX cinematics and all those make narrative sense. Things like the undead realm or the oddball Eddie Edwards universe seem funny and odd with no real purpose.

Josh Mathews said that Moose is a despicable human being. Josh also recapped Tessa choking out the referee and being chased away by Gail Kim. Josh hyped Ultimate X qualifiers next week…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Drake for not liking hardcore wrestling. Drake said he doesn’t have issue with hardcore wrestling, he has an issue with Impact Wrestling. Drake said all he sees is that he succeeded in striking a nerve in Dreamer. Drake said Dreamer has a soft ego. Drake said he ended Abyss’s career and is going to send Dreamer to the retirement home. Drake said that wasn’t an insult, that is just a fact of life…

Matt Sydal and Ethan Page were hanging out and chatting in a storage room around crates. Page said he was grateful for Sydal teaching Page to remained composed even after losing matches. Sydal said he agrees that the universe has a plan but this tag team thing isn’t working (someone needs to tell Sydal that this “Third eye” thing isn’t working). Sydal said the X Division title is what’s important and he was going to teach Page a lesson in an Ultimate X qualifier next week. Page said he’s okay with that. Sydal said he’ll show Page the way…

Eli Drake made his entrance. He now holds up his hands in the form of the letters E-L-I. Dreamer made his entrance now wearing a black shirt and polka dot pants (does Dreamer own one pair of pants these days?)…

5. Eli Drake vs. Tommy Dreamer. Josh said Dreamer’s shirt is in honor of Dusty Rhodes. Drake took down Dreamer early on with a shoulder block. Drake went for a hammerlock but Dreamer countered with a drop toehold and armdrag. Dreamer went for a Bionic Elbow, but Drake got out of the way and then started jawing with Dreamer. Dreamer caught Drake with a front kick and strikes in the corner. Dreamer bit Drake in the face. Drake poked Dreamer in the eye. Dreamer countered with a neckbreaker. Drake recovered at ringside and decided that he’ll take a countout.

Tommy Dreamer defeated Eli Drake via countout in 3:00.

Dreamer didn’t want his hand held up. Suddenly Josh Mathews from his headset as he grabbed a microphone at ringside. Josh said that “Impact Officials” were restarting the match under no-DQ rules… [c]

6. Eli Drake vs. Tommy Dreamer in a no-DQ match. Dreamer spit Bud Light in the face of Drake. Dreamer walked to the back while Eli Drake decided to drink the Bud Light. Dreamer threw a cookie pan at Drake’s face as Dreamer brought his trash can filled with weapons and trash to ringside. Dreamer hit Drake with a doughnut box. Dreamer started eating the dounuts while the crowd chanted “We want donuts!”. Dreamer hit Drake in the gut with the ring bell. Dreamer put the bell on top of Drake’s junk and then rang the bell. Dreamer then gave Drake a water mist.

Dreamer grabbed a walking cane from a fan in the crowd and then shoved it near the bum hole of Drake. Drake recovered and gave Dreamer a suplex near the ramp. Drake found a traffic cone and kicked it near the face of Dreamer. Drake worked on Dreamer on the apron and gave Dreamer a catapult into the bottom rope. Drake brought the foil cookie sheet to the ring. In a comical note, a fan yelled “why did you bring the weakest weapon out of the bunch”. Don Callis said that Dreamer’s recovery time is slower than it was 20 years ago. Drake got a one count after a neckbreaker.

Dreamer recovered and hit Drake with a swinging neckbreaker. Dreamer struggled a bit but he hit Drake with a Bionic Elbow. Dreamer brought chairs to the ring. The crowd chanted “EC-Dub” because of course. Drake recovered and gave Dreamer a drop toehold onto the back standing part of the chair. Dreamer got the boot up when Drake went for a chair assisted elbow drop. Drake countered and planted Dreamer into a chair on the ground. Dreamer swung over and hit Drake with a DDT for a close nearfall. Drake escaped Dreamer’s DVD finisher and shoved Dreamer into the trash can. Eli Drake hit Dreamer with the Gravy Train and got a really good false finish nearfall off it. Drake put a chair around the neck of Dreamer and then teed off on it with a boat oar. Drake picked up the pinfall win.

Eli Drake defeated Tommy Dreamer via pinfall in 8:55 of TV Time.

Drake walked a lap around the ring with his boat oar. Josh Mathews talked about Eli Drake’s quest to end hardcore wrestling. Josh then handled the outro of the show while advertising Top Gun after Impact…

The show cut to Eli Drake walking into the Gorilla Position where there were balloons tied to a mini water bottle and an envelope. Drake opened the birthday card and there was a note inside. Suddenly Drake acted like he saw a ghost as he said “what?”. Eli Drake walked away to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: In-ring wise, that was a solid match. Dreamer is a work-rate warrior these days and he’s impressed me more in recent years than he did around the 2000s. I commend him for growing with the times. Good ring work aside, this storyline is not compelling at the least. It’s overall confusing. A lot of Drake’s points make sense and he’s not generating heat. I think he’s trying to piss people by acting like an elitist prick, but the problem is he’s not pissing people off. He’s just a guy. What makes things worse is everything Dreamer said about Drake was true in a meta sense. He does come off as a Dwayne Johnson rip-off artist and has spent the most part of 2018 middling around in mediocrity. This program is included in that mediocrity. I wish the birthday card were leading to the return of Crazzy Steve, Abyss, and Rosemary as Decay, but sadly they’ve been telegraphing that this is going to somehow lead to a formula Monster’s Ball match made to pop the TNA diehards and nobody else.

While the show ended on an average note, I’ll give this Impact episode a positive grade on the Impact curve. I said it in my thoughts in the beginning, anchored by people like Rich Swann and Fenix, the opening matches have been consistently hotter than the actual main events of the show. That’s not to sell the world title program short because I think Kross and Johnny Impact’s interactions have been great too. The rest of the show was not bad either because it was carried by good in-ring storytelling and solid promo work. Jason Powell will be by later today with a Hit List and Member’s Exclusive Audio Review so make sure to check out the site later to see Jason’s alternate perspective.

Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Jonny Fairplay discussing WWE Raw’s struggles, All Elite Wrestling, Johnny Impact on Survivor, and Drake Maverick’s gimmick infringement.


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