Impact Wrestling – April 6, 2017: One Story Can Kill a Show

Impact Wrestling
Date: April 6, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero, Jeremy Borash

We’re past Wrestlemania so it’s time for the real Orlando wrestlers to take their city back. Last week’s show focused on a wide variety of stories, which helped set up a lot of this week’s material. Tonight we have a gauntlet match for the #1 contendership to the Knockouts Title plus a last man standing match between Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Eli Drake vs. Caleb Konley

This starts immediately after the opening sequence with no entrances. Drake sends him outside for a cheap shot from Tyrus, followed by some right hands from Eli back inside. A neckbreaker out of the corner gives Eli two but Caleb comes right back with a rolling palm strike. That actually sends Drake outside for a suicide dive, followed by a high crossbody for no cover. Caleb goes up but Tyrus offers a distraction, allowing Drake to hit White Noise for the pin at 4:05.

Rating: D+. I’m very glad Drake has a better finisher as no one was going to buy a knee lift and clothesline for someone who is supposed to be climbing the card. Drake seems to be just a few months away from rocketing towards the main event (or at least he should be) and changing finishers was the right call. Not the worst match here and it’s a rare instance of just a match to put someone over.

Josh and JB bicker AGAIN, this time focusing on Josh calling JB ugly. Bruce Prichard comes down and demands that Josh and JB get in the ring. Josh: “I’m sorry I said I wished you were dead!” Bruce says everyone is sick of hearing from these guys so he’s got a solution. They’re both going to pick a team and we’ll see who knows the most. I hope that means the loser is off commentary.

Gauntlet Match

This is basically a Royal Rumble with the final two having a regular match where the winner gets a future title shot. Ava Storie is in at #1 and Madison Rayne is in at #2, complete with the Killer Queen song. That goes nowhere so after the first one minute interval, Rebel is in at #3. Storie runs them both over with a double clothesline and Amanda Rodriguez is in at #4.

The two newcomers slug it out with no one even attempting an elimination. M.J. Jenkins is in at #5 as the announcers just act like we should know who all these new people are. Diamante from LAX is in at #6 and Rodriguez is the first one eliminated. ODB is in at #7 and sends the other five into the corner for a huge splash.

Storie is put out after a pretty solid performance and Brandi Rhodes completes the field at #8. Brandi gets rid of Diamante and Jenkins eliminates Rebel. ODB and Brandi double team Jenkins out but Madison tosses Brandi a second later. That leaves ODB vs. Rayne for the title shot and it’s now pin or submission. Not that it lasts long or anything though as ODB hits a quick Bam for the win at 9:21.

Rating: F. Yeah this was horrible and there’s no way around it. I have no idea who half the wrestlers in this match were and commentary would rather talk about Josh being married to Madison than tell us ANYTHING about these people. To be fair though, TNA fans have proven that they’ll watch anything this company presents so they might as well fill the shows with cheap talent.

Here’s James Storm for a chat. During his entrance, Josh says he won a coin toss to determine who gets to make the first pick. So wait: do they get to pick anyone they want or do the people have to agree? Earlier tonight it was implied that the announcers have to pick the teams with JB saying Josh didn’t have enough friends to fill a lineup. Anyway, Storm says the Cowboy is back and it’s time for him to become World Champion again.

Cue Bram and Kingston to rant about Storm lying to them about the DCC. Storm says he picked the music and bought the suits while Kingston was the one begging for a job. Kingston spits in Storm’s face and takes a Last Call. Bram loads up a chair shot but gets stared down. Another Last Call sends the chair into Bram’s face and Storm hits the catchphrase.

Andrew Everett thinks he’s earned an X-Division Title match. Gregory Helms and Trevor Lee come up to say Everett can have a shot if he wins his triple threat tonight.

Andrew Everett vs. Marshe Rockett vs. Suicide

Everett kicks Rockett to the floor as the announcers KEEP GOING about their upcoming tag match before switching over to fantasy baseball. This is the kind of stuff you expect from One Night Only shows. Suicide knocks Andrew to the floor and follows with the falling dive. Back in and Rockett stomps on Everett before powerslamming him out of the air.

Everett sends both of them to the floor again and follows with a corkscrew dive. Suicide grabs something like a Black Widow on Everett as the announcers argue over whether Al Snow should have Pope’s job. A kick sends Suicide to the floor and Everett hits a shooting star for the pin on Rockett at 6:24.

Rating: C. I like the fact that they’re actually building someone up as a challenger for a title match down the line and for once there’s an actual story in this division. I have no confidence in them to follow up on all this stuff but at least we’ve got something brewing for now, which is more than they’ve done in a long time.

Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards

Last Man Standing and Eddie jumps Davey in the aisle. Eddie knocks him into the barricade and follows with two suicide dives as they quickly head into the crowd. Davey gets crotched on a barricade but ducks a dive, sending Eddie crashing into a garbage can for a good looking spot. Richards gets in a few kicks, stops to kiss Angelina Love, and grabs a chair.

Angelina throws in two more chairs with Davey setting the two of them up in the middle. Josh’s response: “I have my third member!” Eddie uses another kiss distraction to powerbomb Davey through the chairs for a six count. Not that it matters as Eddie grabs even more chairs (bringing the total up to at least six) and pelts one at Davey’s head. Eddie piles the chairs up but Angelina grabs the foot, allowing Davey to superplex Edwards onto the pile. We see Eddie’s wife Alisha Edwards in the front row for some trash talk with Angelina.

Back from a break with Davey hitting Eddie in the head with a chain wrapped fist but Alisha’s cheers bring Eddie back to his feet. Rapid fire chops have Davey in trouble and a belly to belly into the corner makes things even worse. A baseball slide sends a chair into Davey’s face and Eddie wraps a chair around Davey’s neck.

The top rope double stomp somehow doesn’t kill Davey so the women get into it, resulting in a chair taking Alisha down. Eddie gets chaired as well so Davey wraps a chain around his foot but stops with second thoughts. Angelina tells him to do it for her and Creeping Death with the chain ends Eddie at 22:43.

Rating: B+. This got the time that it needed and the violence was more than enough to make it work. These two beat the heck out of each other and made it look like they wanted to kill each other. Now the problem is they need to let the feud end here instead of just continuing it for the sake of continuing it, which gets old in a hurry.

We get a video on Veterans of War involving Operation Iraqi Freedom. I believe one of them was Gunner, who is a former member of the military.

JB wants to make Impact Wrestling great.

LAX celebrates their title win.

We look at James Storm updating his theme music in a studio.

Alberto El Patron vs. Jon Bolen

A few kicks have Bolen in trouble but he grabs a powerslam. That’s about it for his offense though as Alberto sends him into the corner for the top rope double stomp and the pin at 1:18.

Post match Alberto calls out Lashley.

Allie/Braxton Sutter and KM/Sienna are getting into it again when Karen Jarrett comes in to break it up. They’ll have a mixed tag next week.

Fury is unleashed next week and has something to do with Sutter and Allie.

Bruce Prichard is out to moderate the picking of the teams, which really is how they’re closing the show. Josh goes first and picks Lashley while JB picks Alberto El Patron. Next up we have Bram for Josh and JB picks Chris Adonis (Masters). There’s nothing in between these picks save for a little arguing here and there. Josh goes with Eli Drake and Tyrus helps Josh’s team beat down the good guys. Matt Morgan comes out for the save and gets in a staredown with Lashley as someone else gets out of a limo. We’re out of time though so go to Impact’s website to find out who the last team member is (it’s Magnus).

Overall Rating: D+. This is a show where one thing really does bring the whole thing down. We had a great gimmick match and some stuff involving the World Title but what closes the show? Bickering announcers. Can you imagine if Cole vs. Lawler closed a show instead of something involving John Cena?

This show also gave a great illustration of the problem with announcers as major characters: it was the main thing we heard about all night long. The stuff in the ring got almost no focus because we had to hear about how great Josh was and how JB didn’t want to hear about it. I’m going to assume Josh winds up being some big heel manager (which wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world) but DANG this story is ruining some good stuff on the show. Big step down from last week here and it’s almost all because of one story.

Results

Eli Drake b. Caleb Konley – White Noise

ODB won a gauntlet match last eliminating Madison Rayne

Andrew Everett b. Marshe Rockett and Suicide – Shooting star press to Rockett

Davey Richards b. Eddie Edwards – Creeping Death with a chain around the boot

Alberto El Patron b. Jon Bolen – Top rope double stomp

 

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