Date: December 28, 2017
Host: Josh Matthews
It’s the second half of the Best of 2017 show and that means a lot more copying and pasting. There are several options that they could choose to air here but the Bound For Glory main event has already been announced. Next week is the show that really matters though so let’s get to it.
We open with a quick video from Slammiversary.
Speaking of Slammiversary.
Impact Wrestling Knockouts Title/Global Force Wrestling Women’s Title: Rosemary vs. Sienna
Unification match and Gail Kim is at ringside. Rosemary has an army of freaks with her. Rosemary goes right after her and here are Laurel Van Ness and KM for the nearly immediate distraction. Sienna gets thrown out onto them and orders them to the back, leaving us one on one again.
Back in and Sienna hammers away before grabbing a chinlock. Rosemary gets sent hard into the barricade, only to fight out of a Tree of Woe for a German superplex. That doesn’t do much actually as the Red Wedding is broken up and Sienna gets two off the Silencer. The second Red Wedding attempt connects but here’s Van Ness to pull out the ref. Allie comes in for the save but the distraction lets Sienna get in a belt shot for two. The mist is blocked and Sienna rubs it in Rosemary’s eyes, setting up a guillotine to make Rosemary tap at 10:03.
Rating: C-. I’m still not sure why these two are fighting or why I should care about the GFW Women’s Title but that’s the case for the entire “promotion” pretty much since its inception. The match was a good brawl but the overbooking really dragged things down. This story has been going on for months now and it doesn’t seem anywhere close to being finished, even though there’s not much left for them to fight over.
From Slammiversary again. This was joined in progress but here’s the full thing.
Jeremy Borash/Joseph Park vs. Josh Matthews/Scott Steiner
No DQ and D’Angelo Dinero joins commentary. Josh starts with Park and flips around a bit, followed by a kick to the head. A crossbody doesn’t work so it’s off to Steiner, who looks to be about 50lbs (of muscle) lighter than he was in his regular career. He’s also wearing a shirt, which he would never do given that his character was built around a great physique. Again, there was NO ONE ELSE on the active roster that could play this role?
Borash hands it right back to Park….and they run to the back for a pre-taped segment. Park and Borash grab a fire extinguisher while Steiner and Matthews are in a golf cart. A car with a random fan (I think he was in one of the Final Deletion segments) shows up so Matthews and Steiner steal that to give chase, but they can’t catch an announcer and an out of shape lawyer on foot.
They finally get out of the car (which had cameras inside) and chase after them with Matthews being backdropped into a pool while Steiner throws Park through a wall. With a camera under the water, the Jaws theme starts playing and Shark Boy shows up to bite Matthews. Steiner leaves Park and here’s Father James Mitchell (Abyss’ old manager) to say happy anniversary.
Back inside (and after an unnecessary cameo from celebrity chef Robert Irvine) and Matthews misses a Swanton. Josh spears him down but here’s Steiner for the save. Matthews grabs a hug which is called a Steiner Recliner, only to have Shark Boy come in for the failed save attempt. Now Steiner puts on the Recliner and we’ve got Abyss to get rid of Scott without much effort. The Black Hole Slam onto the tacks crushes Josh and Borash adds a top rope splash to give Abyss the pin at 10:50.
Rating: C. That was as good as it was going to be and the Shark Boy thing made me chuckle a bit. You knew Abyss was going to be in there at some point and there’s nothing wrong with that as it was the only way they could really go. Steiner could have been any heel here though and that’s not a good thing. Again, it looks like the company has no faith in its roster, which is a very bad sign. The wrestling wasn’t the point here of course, but I’m more worried about it continuing until we have a singles match at Bound For Glory. Just let it be over as I don’t think anyone really cared much for this in the first place. Please let it end.
From August 24, we see the final five entrants in Gauntlet for the Gold. The match ran over fifty five minutes but we only see about five minutes.
Videos on the international partnerships, including long videos on Eddie Edwards as the GHC World Champion and Johnny Impact as the triple champion of AAA.
Video on Taya Valkyrie.
From September 14, joined in progress again.
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?
From Bound For Glory.
Tag Team Titles: OVE vs. LAX
LAX is defending and this is a street fight. There’s no Homicide, suggesting that he was the one down in the back. Santana and Ortiz dive onto the champs to start in a hurry. The brawl splits in two with Jake kicking a trashcan wrapped around Ortiz as Dave and Santana fight in the crowd. Ortiz fights back and grabs a running Liger Bomb off the ramp through a table to basically kill Jake.
Santana climbs the scaffolding as the fans chant about how they can’t see anything. A big splash from near the roof crushes Dave through a table and thankfully they’re both alive. Back at ringside, Jake fights off a table and pelts a chair at Ortiz’s head to save himself. Some chairs are set up in the ring and it’s Jake superplexing Ortiz through them, banging up his own back pretty badly in the process.
Santana is back inside and the Street Sweeper onto a pile of chairs plants Jake, only to have Dave come back in for the save. Four strikes to the face give us a quadruple knockdown with LAX getting the better of it. Some ladders and tables are set up at ringside but here’s Callihan to throw powder in Konnan’s face. He throws Ortiz onto a ladder and piledrives Santana through a table, giving OVE a double pin to retain at 10:21.
Rating: B-. Fun brawl, though they didn’t exactly hide the ending. It also doesn’t help that OVE was losing a fair fight when Sami came in. That should be a heel turn and given how this company goes, it really wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. Good match though, with the violence being the focus, as it should have been.
Video on Gail Kim. Now you knew they were getting this in there somewhere.
From November 16. As in we’re skipping the title win, because that might put some focus on ANYONE other than Gail.
Gail comes out for her speech and Allie comes out as an invited guest. Kim talks about wanting to wrestle eighteen years ago and finding a wrestling school so she could do just that. We get the required YOU DESERVE IT chants, even though no one deserves as much praise as Gail gets around here. She thanks the women who helped pave the way to get her here (Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly, Awesome Kong) and she’s at peace with her decision.
She’s vacating the title and can’t wait to see where things go from here. No interruption, nothing for anyone else and just Gail. I’m so glad she got this one last moment to add to her collection of other moments. There’s no denying that Gail is great but this company seems to think she’s Austin and Rock combined. Did I miss it when she became the biggest star the company has ever had?
Video on Moose/Stephan Bonnar vs. American Top Team.
Video on Johnny Impact vs. Eli Drake.
And we’ll close it out at Bound For Glory. Joined in progress again, but at least we got to talk about Gail Kim and TripleMania.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Eli Drake vs. Johnny Impact
Drake is defending and has Chris Adonis in his corner. Impact avoids a pre-bell jumping and starts fast with a clothesline. The champ bails to the floor so Johnny is right on him with a slingshot dive. A running flip kick off the apron has Drake in more trouble and a backdrop makes things even worse. Johnny adds a sliding German suplex as Josh says this is the first real test for Drake as champion. Keep in mind that Impact already had a title shot, making Josh sound dumber than usual.
Adonis gets in a cheap shot though and Drake takes over with an elbow off the apron. Drake keeps him outside and throws him into the barricade before choking with a boot. Back in and Drake gets two off a powerslam, followed by some elbow drops. They head outside again with Johnny kicking him in the face, knocking the champ into the post. Johnny’s leg hits post though and Drake takes it back inside.
That’s fine with Impact, who kicks him down and tries a moonsault, only to get elbowed for his efforts. A belly to back superplex drops Drake and another moonsault gets two. The standing shooting star gets the same as that leg seems just fine after hitting the post. Countdown to Impact misses as we’re just waiting on the ref bump/Alberto. Johnny kicks him in the head and goes up again, only to have Adonis offer a distraction.
This time it’s Drake running the corner for a superplex and another near fall. They head up at the same time this time around with Johnny scoring with a super Spanish Fly. That’s not enough either so Adonis throws Drake the belt. Johnny takes it away though and takes Adonis down, followed by Countdown to Impact for two. The Gravy Train is countered into a Shining Wizard but Drake sends him shoulder first into the post.
They head up again (fourth time) but Johnny kicks him down, setting up Starship Pain for two as Alberto pulls the referee out. That’s not a DQ for no logical reason so Johnny dives over the top at Alberto, hitting the referee by mistake. Alberto hits Drake with the belt before breaking a chair over Johnny’s head (Who needs PG?). Drake is pulled onto Johnny to retain the title at 19:49.
Rating: B-. Well Alberto looks like a big deal, Johnny looks like a choker and Drake and the title are now somewhere in the top seven or eight most important things in this company. This sets up Johnny vs. Alberto, but we have no one to challenge for the title. I mean, assuming we don’t get a triple threat out of this, which would be one of the least interesting things they could do. Alberto is clearly the focus of the promotion whether you like it or not, but he should be better now that he’s away from the horrible LAX feud. The match was good, but it was a long exercise in waiting for Alberto.
Josh wraps things up.
Overall Rating: D+. All this show did was show me how messed up Impact’s priorities really are. To recap: we can fit in the entire Gail Kim retirement ceremony and most of a match featuring Shark Boy and Scott Steiner, but we need to clip the main event of the biggest show of the year. Oh and make sure to have that big, long package on the main event of AAA’s biggest show of the year because of course. The lack of ANY kind of hype for next week’s huge show (a graphic or quick announcement wouldn’t have been hard) didn’t help either, making this the mess that I was expecting the Best of TNA to be.
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