Impact Wrestling – September 14, 2017

Impact Wrestling
Date: September 14, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Jeremy Borash

We’re closing in on Bound For Glory though nothing has actually been mentioned about the show yet. The big match this week is OVE vs. LAX for the Tag Team Titles….from the Crash in Tijuana, Mexico. In other words, it’s more footage from another promotion instead of here at Impact Wrestling. This is starting to feel like Ring of Honor and that’s really not a good thing. Let’s get to it.

Lashley and American Top Team arrive and beat up a backstage guy.

Quick video on Johnny Impact vs. Low Ki for the #1 contendership.

Opening sequence.

Garza Jr. vs. Braxton Sutter

Fallout from Sutter talking to Allie last week. Sutter headlocks him to start but stops to let Garza take off his shirt. A slam gives Garza two, followed by a sunset flip out of the corner for the same. Sutter gets two off a powerslam but again stops so Garza can take off his pants, but not before blowing a kiss to Allie. Her jaw drops as the pants come off and Garza superkicks Sutter for good measure. A powerbomb gives Sutter three straight near falls but he gets superkicked for a second time. Garza adds a Lionsault (minus the running start) for the pin at 4:53.

Rating: D+. So the story now is about Garza hitting on Allie and Allie causing Sutter problems. That’s quite the shame as they seem to be teasing a breakup here, despite the two of them being such an awesome team just a few months ago. Allie is incredibly talented and it’s kind of a shame that she’s been relegated to a really standard story instead of letting the two of them run with what they had earlier in the year.

Post match Sutter yells at her but then apologizes. Allie doesn’t seem to accept it at first but eventually leaves with him.

Grand Championship: Ethan Carter III vs. El Hijo de Fantasma

Carter is defending and gets a decisively face pop. Hector Guerrero is one of the judges and Josh accuses him of being biased. Fantasma is forced into the corner to start but comes right back with an armbar to slow things down. Naturally the announcers talk about Lashley and MMA because that’s what this wrestling show is now about. Some chops get Carter out of trouble and he drops an elbow for two. The TK3 connects but sends Fantasma to the floor as the round ends.

Round one goes to Carter so Fantasma starts round two in a hurry. A right hand puts him back down though and the pace slows again. Fantasma jumps over him in the corner and snaps off a hurricanrana. A jumping knee to the face sets up running knees in the corner as Carter is rocked. Fantasma gets two off a top rope hurricanrana and frog splash. The 1%er is broken up and it’s a surfboard hold to take us to the end of round two.

Fantasma wins to tie things up and we take a break before the third fall. Back with Carter powerbombing him twice for another near fall and both guys being a bit spent. A slugout goes to Fantasma but Carter flips out of a Fujiwara armbar. Another TK3 gets two but Fantasma sends him outside for a suicide dive. Back in and a hanging 1%er plants Fantasma as the time expires at 9:00. Carter wins via split decision.

Rating: B-. Good match, and another great example of one that completely doesn’t need the round thing. It’s a good enough match and they were beating each other up but it was really hard to buy the near falls when they just love these judges’ rulings. I liked the match enough but this just needs to be the TV Title again with this whole nonsense dropped.

Post match Fantasma gets in a shoving match with Hector, who was the deciding vote. That dies down and it’s Pagano debuting (in a very weak moment) to beat Carter down. Eddie Edwards runs in for the save, which Carter doesn’t seem to care for.

We go to Mexico where Homicide reunites with LAX. They hit a club and Konnan says the fix is in because they’ve paid off the referee and gives OVE tainted water.

Tag Team Titles: Ultimo Maldito/Hijo de Pirate Morgan vs. Black Boy/Arkangel Davino vs. LAX vs. OVE

Don’t know who these guys are? Well that’s just your fault because you didn’t do your homework by watching a promotion from Mexico to study up on things. Jeremy says one of their names is Black Diamond but when I looked up some of the names to see how they were spelled, it was listed as Black Boy. Much like the matches during the Hardys’ World Tour, this is a bunch of clips instead of the full match. There are some good looking dives and near falls, followed by what seems to be a three count but the referee is pulled out. Homicide adds a Gringo Killer and LAX retains after less than three minutes shown.

We see OVE going up to I believe the Crash locker room and Konnan says that’s like signing your death certificate.

Grado vs. ???

Grado is leaving due to visa issues and wanted one more match. The Wee Boot gives him the pin at 47 seconds.

Post match Grado says he’s leaving on a coach flight at 10am but he wanted to perform in front of the best fans in the world one more time. Joseph Park interrupts and he has a surprise. He’s going to be sponsoring Grado’s visa so Grado can stay! Park is going to be his agent it seems, promising him booking, in-ring Polaroid shoots and podcast appearances.

Johnny Impact says Low Ki is a dream opponent and tonight, Low Ki goes to Slam Town.

Lashley and American Top Team goes in to see Jim Cornette and demands his release. Cornette grants it but the fighters have to leave, but before Lashley leaves he wants him to face Moose one on one.

X-Division Title: Sonjay Dutt vs. Trevor Lee

Dutt is defending and this is falls count anywhere. Lee gets two on the floor off a baseball slide but Dutt sends him into the barricade for a breather. They head inside for the first time with Lee kicking him in the face, only to get dropped again. Dutt throws in a chair but Lee throws it right back out.

They hit kicks to the head at the same time for a double knockdown. Why there’s no count when Dutt’s leg is over Lee isn’t clear, but I’d guess it’s because that’s not in the script and the referee doesn’t know any better. Dutt’s tornado DDT plants Lee but a superplex plants Dutt just as fast. They head outside again with Lee throwing a chair at his head before fighting into the crowd.

We take a break (of course we do) and come back with the fight heading into the back. Caleb Konley jumps Dutt, because falls count anywhere now means No DQ. A trashcan to the head gives Lee two but heel miscommunication lets him get a breather. Dutt is busted open and it’s time to hit Lee in the head with a trashcan lid. A tornado DDT off the wall is countered with a crotching onto a barricade and Lee rolls him up (with tights) for the pin and the title at 13:57.

Rating: C+. It never ceases to amaze me how much they’ve sucked the soul out of this division. This was a fast paced match and I couldn’t bring myself to care about it no matter how hard I tried. It’s just not interesting no matter how hard they try (and the wrestlers are trying) and so much of that is due to how worthless the X-Division is now. They’re treated like an afterthought and have been for years now. Why would I care if the company doesn’t?

American Top Team beats up Richard Justice for general purposes.

Clip of Global Forged, GFW’s version of Tough Enough/Breaking Ground.

Taya Valkyrie vs. Amber Nova

Taya slams her down to start and sends Amber into the corner. A raised boot in the corner staggers Taya as JB mentions Bound For Glory, perhaps for the first time. Taya gets two off a sitout powerbomb and pulls Amber up before three. A double chickenwing facebuster (Beth Phoenix’s Glam Slam) ends Nova at 1:20.

Eli Drake and Chris Adonis smell desperation from the people trying to reach his level with their little T-Rex arms. Drake has spotted two marks in the main event and he’ll be watching.

Johnny Impact vs. Low Ki

The winner faces Drake at Victory Road, whenever that is. Ki tries some shots to the face but gets swatted away as they seem to have a lot of time here. They hit the mat for some grappling before Impact blocks a kick and grabs a dragon sleeper over the ropes. We take a break and come back with Impact fighting out of an abdominal stretch and kicking Ki down.

The breakdancing legdrop gets two and Ki is placed on the middle rope for a sliding German suplex (cool). Impact’s split legged moonsault is broken up though with Ki grabbing a hanging dragon sleeper. The Flying Chuck puts Ki down but he comes back with a shotgun dropkick into the corner. Back up and Ki crotches himself while trying the Warrior’s Way, setting up Starship Pain to give Impact the title shot at 11:14.

Rating: C. Hopefully that’s it for Low Ki as I’m sick of his stupid ultra serious yet still paying homage to/ripping off a video game look. At least he’s toned down the kicks a bit and learned to do something else for a change. Impact winning was obvious and at least they didn’t have the match go on twenty minutes for the sake of going on twenty minutes.

Post match Adonis sneaks in to put Impact in the Adonis Lock. Drake comes out to add the Gravy Train.

Lashley tells Cornette to watch what’s about to happen to Moose.

Taya yells at Karen Jarrett and tells her to pay attention to what happens in that ring.

Here’s Lashley as this show’s run time has been extended to approximately nineteen hours. Lashley talks about being forced to choose between wrestling and MMA, even though he’s doing pretty well at both. American Top Team has been begging him to come there full time and win that “mixed martial arts heavyweight championship”. He’s going back to MMA full time but first, he wants to call out Moose. The announcers are surprised by this, despite seeing what Cornette said and mentioning it during the show.

Moose comes out and immediately punches him in the jaw, only to get clotheslined to the floor. A powerbomb on the floor keeps Moose in trouble but he cuts off the spar with a boot. They fight into the crowd because this needs to fill in more time. This just keeps going as they head into the back with the announcers continuing to name drop Dan Lambert every chance they have.

A neckbreaker drops Moose on the apron as the announcers talk about how Lashley leaving might cost them their Christmas bonuses. Moose kicks him down and hits a spear at ringside. They get back inside and of course here are the MMA guys to beat Moose down to end the show after a nearly seven minute brawl.

Overall Rating: D. This show felt as long as Wrestlemania and my goodness we’ve got how many weeks left in this taping cycle? I don’t even know where to begin on what was wrong with this show. Above all else though, it’s the same problem I have watching Ring of Honor when they’re in their New Japan phases: I don’t watch the show to see other promotions. I watch it to see GFW, not whatever other promotion they can fit in this week. Last week it was twenty minutes of AAA and this week it’s the other AAA guys plus the Crash.

If that’s not enough, the big story, with the last segment of the show and a lot of time, is still the MMA stuff. Combine that with all the international material and it feels like A, GFW doesn’t have enough content of its own to fill two hours a week or B, they don’t think their own stuff is good enough. It’s like they keep having to show you something else to entertain you instead of paying attention to what they have and that gets very, very old in a hurry.

The wrestling is decent at best, the stories are dreadful, the talent isn’t all that great and the focus is all over the place. It’s such a mess anymore and I have a feeling this is going to be how things go all the way to Bound For Glory in November. The worst part is that the show wasn’t completely terrible but rather just exceedingly boring. Nothing caught my attention and almost nothing felt special. It’s just stuff going on for two hours with a bunch of segments and matches that you might like. Not a good show, but much worse, not a good sign for the weeks to come.

Results

Garza Jr. b. Braxton Sutter – Middle rope moonsault

Ethan Carter III b. Hijo de Fantasma via split decision

Grado b. ??? – Wee boot

Trevor Lee b. Sonjay Dutt – Rollup with a handful of tights

Taya Valkyrie b. Amber Nova – Double chickenwing facebuster

Johnny Impact b. Low Ki – Starship Pain

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