Date: September 21, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Jeremy Borash, Josh Matthews
It’s time for whatever this promotion is called this week, though I would recommend MMA Pro Wrestling at this point as the American Top Team fighters are the undisputed top stars of the show. Lashley’s release has been revoked due to getting in a big fight with Moose to end last week’s episode. Let’s get to it.
In Memory of Bobby Heenan.
We open with a recap of last week with Johnny Impact becoming #1 contender and the MMA fighters beating down Moose.
Here’s a mad Johnny Impact to open the show. He wants Eli Drake out here right now for his title shot but it turns out that Drake is in Mexico defending the title (because GFW thinks we still believe this is live every week). Instead it’s KM and a referee to interrupt. KM doesn’t want to hear this but Johnny still wants to fight Eli because he saw the champ’s car in the parking lot. KM: “YOU FANS IN THE IMPACT ZONE SUCK!” And this man is a professional ladies and gentlemen. After some insults, Johnny agrees to put up his #1 contendership right now.
Johnny Impact vs. KM
Johnny kicks him in the face at the bell and gets two off a standing shooting star. KM drapes Johnny over the top rope to take over and hammers away at the head. A sitout full nelson slam gets two but Johnny is right back with a leg lariat. KM takes a knee to the face and the breakdancing legdrop gets two. The countdown 450 puts KM away at 2:59. KM might be the most worthless member of the roster.
Pagano is ready to do bad things and tells someone that they know what to do.
Ava Storie vs. Taya Valkyrie
Taya throws her down without much effort and the beating is on in a hurry. The Road to Valhalla (a great name for the double chickenwing facebuster) is good for the pin on Storie at 1:19.
Taya says lucha royalty has arrived and she wants the Knockouts Title. Cue Rosemary to say there is laughter in her head. The Hive thinks it’s funny that Taya should get a title shot first. How dare anyone think Rosemary would lose without help from the evil bride or the champ’s speed bump of a cousin. Sienna comes in to turn this into a big brawl with Allie and Taryn Terrell following her out soon thereafter. Gail Kim finally comes in for the save to clean house.
It’s back to Mexico where OVE is refusing to leave until they get a fair title shot. A spy calls someone (presumably Konnan) to say they’re coming. Post break Konnan tells his women to show OVE a good time until LAX is ready. This is little more than an excuse for strippers to dance. LAX comes in for the showdown and a match is made for next week.
We meet some names in Global Forged. As usual, none of this has a chance to sink in because we need to get to whatever is next.
Gail, Allie and Rosemary want a six Knockouts tag. Rosemary wants the blood and gore, which seems to excite Allie more than you would expect.
We recap Trevor Lee stealing the X-Division Title last week. Petey Williams really isn’t cool with that and he wants to bring some prestige back to the title.
Bound For Glory is coming to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Video on Grado performing at an indy show in Cleveland on his first assignment as a member of Joseph Park’s sports management group. It’s a fairly well attended show and Grado says he was well paid. I think you know where this is going.
El Pagano/El Hijo Del Fantasma vs. Eddie Edwards/Ethan Carter III
So yeah, Carter is just kind of a face now. Eddie starts fast with a sitout F5 to Fantasma and it’s off to Carter for some right hands in the corner. Carter makes the mistake of going after Pagano though and Fantasma kicks him in the face to take over. A running corner dropkick from Pagano gives Fantasma two, followed by a running Blockbuster to give Pagano the same.
Carter runs over both luchadors but Pagano breaks off a hot tag attempt. A quick TK3 drops Pagano and now the hot tag brings in Eddie to clean house. Everything breaks down and a modified 1%er plants Fantasma, followed by the Blue Thunder Bomb. There’s no count though as the referee decides to enforce the rules for a change. Cue fellow AAA wrestler Texano to powerbomb Eddie, giving Fantasma the pin at 6:36.
Rating: C-. I just do not care for invasion angles as these three are just people attacking GFW wrestlers. Why? No particular reason really other than they’re outsiders. I don’t have any reason to care about any of them and the match was nothing special in the first place. On top of that, I have a big issue buying the idea that GFW wrestlers who might have had issues in the past are just suddenly all friendly for the sake of standing up for the promotion.
The beatdown is on until James Storm makes the save. The announcers point out that Carter and Storm were bitter rivals just a few months ago, making this story all the less logical.
Johnny Impact is looking for Eli but runs into Fantasma and Texano. They don’t like him being in AAA so they want to fight him here, with Impact being willing to put up his #1 contendership tonight.
Kongo Kong vs. Mahabali Shera
Josh: “This is like Godzilla vs. the other big thing!” Shera hammers away but gets powerslammed down for his efforts. Kong throws him around a bit more before having to block a slam attempt. A running splash staggers Kong and a springboard….I guess clothesline that was left short puts Kong down for two. Back up and Kong scores with a headbutt, followed by the Cannonball. The top rope splash ends Shera at 3:49.
Rating: D. This would be another good example of just throwing people out there because they need to fill in time. Neither of these two have anything interesting and Kong continues to be more embarrassing than anything else. Shera is somehow the more interesting of these two, which has probably never been said before.
Eli Drake is in Mexico to find Johnny Impact but it turns out Johnny isn’t here. That gravy train is coming down the tracks to run Johnny over and no one is taking this title from him. As usual, Drake is one of the best things about this promotion by several, several miles.
We look at Lashley and the MMA guys beating Moose down. Moose isn’t happy.
Texano vs. Johnny Impact
For the #1 contendership. Felling out process to start with Texano slapping him in the chest, only to be taken down with some right hands to the face. A running knee to the jaw and the standing shooting star give Johnny two so Texano bails to the floor. Back in and Johnny hits three straight flip neckbreakers for two but the 450 misses. Texano gets in an enziguri to put Johnny on the floor and we take a break.
Back with Texano sending him into the steps and a variety of other things in lieu of actual wrestling. Texano grabs a reverse Figure Four, which goes as far as a submission hold from a heel is going to go. Johnny is back up with an Asai moonsault to the floor but loses another brawl. Back in and Texano hits some chops/clotheslines in the corner but Johnny scores with the Flying Chuck. The sliding German suplex sets up Starship Pain to give Johnny the pin at 14:35.
Rating: C-. Just another example of a match where if you don’t follow either AAA or Lucha Underground, you’re watching Johnny fight some random guy. Texano is a talented performer but he’s another name on a list of people being brought in and it’s getting really old in a hurry.
Laurel Van Ness is in the crowd looking for a man.
Sienna, Taya and Taryn go into Karen Jarrett’s office and demand a match next week. Karen is smug (ala Stephanie McMahon again) and the match is made.
For our main event, we go to AAA where Drake defended the title against Bronce.
GFW World Title: Eli Drake vs. Bronce
Drake is defending and clotheslines the much smaller Bronce down to start. A middle rope hurricanrana is countered into a powerbomb so Drake can start choking away. The pop up Big Ending gives Drake two as this arena, which doesn’t seem to be anything huge, already feels entirely better than the Impact Zone. Bronce gets two off a hurricanrana but the Gravy Train retains the title at 4:35.
Rating: D. It was watchable enough while it lasted but this was just a step above a squash. There were two big positives here though. First of all, as mentioned, the arena felt big for a change. Instead of just having the same 500 or however many bored fans, this felt like people there to see a wrestling show. That’s so much better than the norm. Second, it was nice to have a full match instead of just clips. I could live with this going forward instead of seeing about three minutes of a probably fifteen minute match.
A Victory Road ad takes us out.
Overall Rating: D. Here’s the thing: this was WAY better than last week’s show as it at least had a point and some stories running throughout the show. They have a direction (at least for now) and that’s an upgrade. However, the problem is that direction not being interesting. If you don’t REALLY like the AAA story or the MMA guys, you might as well just wait until after Bound For Glory as you’re not going to like the show until then at the earliest.
The AAA/Crash guys were all over this show, being featured in nearly every match. As mentioned, I’m not a big fan of invasion angles in the first place and I’m even less of a fan of just bringing people in and being told to care about them because they’re awesome. Without watching AAA (or Lucha Underground, which is starting to see a very similar cast of characters), I have no idea who most of these newcomers are. Therefore, I have no reason to care about them or what they’re doing. Throw in the fact that they’ll likely be gone after this taping cycle and Bound For Glory and it’s a big waste of time.
As usual, the problem is having one story dominate the show. It’s what they did in Immortal, Aces and 8’s and a host of others. While it’s not to that level yet, just wait until Alberto El Patron is back to be the big star of the AAA wrestlers (if they stick around that is). It’s a really annoying tactic and if you don’t like the story, you’re just kind of stuck waiting around, which is hardly a good way to run a TV show. Anyway, this week was less boring, and that’s about the extent of the positives.
Johnny Impact b. KM – 450
Taya Valkyrie b. Ava Storie – Road to Valhalla
El Hijo Del Fantasma/El Pagano b. Ethan Carter III/Eddie Edwards – Sitout powerbomb to Edwards
Kongo Kong b. Mahabali Shera – Top rope splash
Johnny Impact b. Texano – Starship Pain
Eli Drake b. Bronce – Gravy Train
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