Impact Wrestling – August 10, 2017: For Those Of You Who Like To See Me Rant

Impact Wrestling
Date: August 10, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero, Jeremy Borash

The battle between Alberto El Patron and LAX continues but this time around LAX has some help in the form of Low Ki. Last week Low Ki helped LAX against El Patron and his family, revealing himself as the newest member of the team. Other than that we’ll find out the other finalist in the Super X Cup tournament. Let’s get to it.

We open with LAX and the Veterans of War brawling in the parking lot. They’ll fight for the Tag Team Titles later tonight. I like the idea of pushing the Veterans of War but is there a reason they weren’t even mentioned last week?

Video on the Last Knockout Standing match between Sienna and Rosemary with Sienna narrating about how you have to govern in light or darkness but the hero always falls.

Opening sequence.

Sienna is sitting in the ring and says she’s the epitome of a champion. She’s dealt with every challenge Karen Jarrett has thrown at her but now she has a mystery opponent at Destination X. This show isn’t continuing until she gets some answers, so here’s Karen to respond. Sienna says no one can be ready for her in a week but Karen says the opponent is always ready. In the worst surprise ever, it’s Gail Kim. I’m laughing. Really, I am. We’re supposed to be stunned that Gail Kim is getting a title shot. I’m laughing. The fight is on with Gail diving off the apron with a clothesline and some right hands. Referees break it up.

Joseph Park gives Grado a pep talk before they have a handicap match against Kongo Kong later. Park says his football coach taught him that the fear of the hit is worse than the fear itself. Grado doesn’t know what that means and Park doesn’t either. Grado: “Why don’t you call and ask him?” Park: “He died a few years ago.”

Laredo Kid/Garza Jr. vs. Hijo de Fantasma/Naomichi Marufuchi

Fantasma and Kid start things up with an exchange of non-near falls into a standoff. Garza comes in and eats a basement dropkick for two but catches Marufuchi with a Codebreaker for the same. Everything breaks down with Kid and Fantasma both hitting huge dives to the floor. Back in and a hurricanrana sets up a frog splash for two on Garza but Kid takes Fantasma down with a tornado DDT.

In quite the complicated spot, Garza picks Fantasma up for a powerbomb while also holding Marufuchi in a World’s Strongest Slam. At the same time, Kid adds a top rope leg lariat to Fantasma to make it kind of a Doomsday Device to put both opponents down at the same time. Naturally, it gets two. Kid misses a Phoenix Splash and it’s time for that stupid deal where you throw partners together and make one DDT the other.

We pause for Garza to take off his pants but thankfully the distraction lets Marufuchi and Fantasma superkick him down. Something like a GTS puts Marufuchi down but a double kick to the head drops Fantasma and Kid to put all four on the mat. Since they haven’t gotten enough stuff in yet, Fantasma hits a dive onto Kid, leaving Garza to get in the stripping. He misses a moonsault to give Marufuchi two but Sliced Bread #2 finally puts Garza away at 9:20.

Rating: B-. Here’s the thing: this feels like they’re trying to channel the Monday Nitro cruiserweight formula and while the match was entertaining, it doesn’t quite work as well. There’s probably a half dozen promotions on YouTube offering either something similar or better and that keeps this from feeling as special. When you have people like Will Ospreay, Ricochet or others like them out there, this doesn’t quite measure up. It also didn’t help that it felt like they were just cramming stuff in for the sake of cramming stuff in, which made the match feel a bit longer than it should.

That being said, there’s FAR worse stuff they could be using this time for and the match was fun. It’s just not as awesome as I think GFW thinks it is. If nothing else, it would be nice to have them put some of these teams towards a title instead of just having them out there doing random flips and superkicks.

Kongo Kong vs. Grado/Joseph Park

Grado starts, looks at Kong, and hands it off to Park. Joseph hurts himself on a headbutt attempt but Kong misses a Cannonball. Some splashes in the corner have Kong in some trouble but he runs them over with clotheslines. The Cannonball puts Park away at 2:46. Remember a few years ago when Park was one of the most entertaining characters in wrestling because he got to show off how good he could be with comedy and let you see how much more he could do than Abyss? Well screw that because we need this fat, embarrassment to wrestling named Kongo Kong to get a monster push instead.

Post match Kong loads up a top rope splash to both of them but Laurel Van Ness comes down and slaps him. Kong loads her up for something but Tyrus of all people comes down for the save. Laurel and Kong bail.

Low Ki, Trevor Lee and Lashley are ready for a six man tag tonight. Low Ki speaks Spanish and rants about Alberto turning down an offer from Konnan.

Video on Trevor Lee stealing Sonjay Dutt’s X-Division Title and declaring himself the real champion. Lee says he never got his rematch and he has the belt so he’s the title’s rightful owner. They meet in a ladder match next week.

Jeff Jarrett talks about Lashley being a pro wrestler and an MMA fighter. The head of Lashley’s MMA gym wants him to pick MMA but he and Jarrett have agreed to work together.

Dutch Mantel sat down with Matt Sydal and Lashley to talk about their upcoming match. Lashley says he might be the #1 athlete in the world because he dominates two sports. Sydal says he’s the #3 X-Division athlete in the world, which Lashley laughs off because Sydal is just an X-Division guy. A fight nearly breaks out and security makes the save.

Tag Team Titles: LAX vs. Veterans of War

LAX is defending and this is a street fight. Before the match, Konnan brags about how awesome LAX is. The brawl is on in a hurry on the floor with some trashcan lid shots putting LAX in early trouble. Santana gets belly to belly suplexed onto the ramp and it’s already table time. The Veterans botch the MOAB through the table on Ortiz but Homicide pulls the referee out at two.

Back from a break with Mayweather handcuffed to the ropes and LAX stomping away. Wilcox cleans house with a Samoan drop but Ortiz sends him into a chair in the corner for two. Something like Poetry in Motion puts Wilcox through a table in the corner to retain the titles at 11:37.

Rating: C-. This was two different matches with the break changing everything. As usual, the tag division has one set of challengers at a time and since LAX is apparently the most amazing team EVER, the Veterans are easily dispatched. As usual, the numbers game dominates everyone, except for Alberto of course after he beat the whole team in about nine minutes a few weeks back.

Matt Sydal, Alberto El Patron and Sonjay Dutt are ready for the six man.

Super X Cup Semifinals: Taiji Ishimori vs. ACH

ACH headlocks him down to start but Ishimori spins away and grabs a headscissors to put ACH on the floor. Back from a break with Ishimori hitting a double stomp out of the corner for two. ACH gets in a hard clothesline but his back gives out on a suplex. Ishimori’s superkick is no sold so ACH hits a clothesline for two. Ishimori hits a gutbuster and a 450 for the pin at 10:28.

Rating: C. Yeah whatever. This is a great example of all the problems in this company in a nutshell: it’s a tournament for a prize that hasn’t been around in over ten years between people who have barely ever wrestled here. All we’ve seen are a few entertaining matches between the participants and the same promo from all of them.

That’s not enough to make this feel important and the tournament just keeps going with no reason for fans to care. That’s the promotion in one statement: these people are having watchable matches but there’s no reason to care about any of them. That’s really not good and it’s plagued this company for years.

Dezmond Xavier comes out to stare Ishimori down.

Recap of Low Ki joining LAX.

We run down the Destination X card.

Trevor Lee/Bobby Lashley/Low Ki vs. Sonjay Dutt/Alberto El Patron/Matt Sydal

Alberto goes after Low Ki to start and it’s quickly off to Dutt and Sydal for stereo standing moonsaults. Sydal stays in and kicks away at Lashley but gets taken down with a crossbody. Back from an early break with Sydal getting choked by Lashley and then chopped by Low Ki. Pope: “There’s something about Low Ki that makes you think HITMAN!”

Lee comes in to beat on Sydal too and Lashley adds a running shoulder in the corner. Matt gets out of an abdominal stretch but gets put in a dragon sleeper. Low Ki misses a charge into the corner though and it’s off to Dutt for a hurricanrana. A roll into a dropkick drops Lee but Lashley comes in for a Dominator to Dutt.

Sonjay finally gets in a tornado DDT to escape and the hot tag brings in Alberto, because he’s always the one who gets to do the big house cleaning segment. Alberto powerslams Low Ki and hits a suicide dive onto Lashley. Everything breaks down and Alberto hits everyone in the knees but Dutt springboards into a powerslam from Lashley. The Warrior’s Way ends Dutt at 17:48.

Rating: C-. Totally standard (and WAY too long) six man tag with Low Ki getting a push towards next week’s World Title match. Everything else was just filling time because, as usual, this company seems to have no idea how to use its time well. This felt like they were trying to stretch a match because that’s what a main event should be, even though it did very little to make me want to see the three matches next week.

Overall Rating: D. Sweet merciful goodness I’m glad this is over. GFW has gone from a watchable enough promotion to one of the most dull, lifeless places I’ve seen in years. There’s no reason to care about anything on this show and they cram in so much stuff that it feels like it’s about 19 hours long every week.

You know what would help this promotion a lot? Some promos. When is the last time you had someone in this company come out, talk for three to five minutes about what they’re doing and why the fans should care without being interrupted by either one of the three bosses (yes three bosses) or the person they’re feuding with to start a brawl? You’ll get one every now and then but more often than not it’s all rushed along because we need to get in some international tag match or an extra ten minutes on the main event or another tournament match in a tournament with no meaning or significance whatsoever.

There’s no connection to any of these people and it’s killing the shows. Why should I care if Grado can’t stay in the country? Or why should I want Alberto to overcome LAX? Or why should it matter which newcomer wins the Super X Cup? I have no idea, because none of these people are presented as anything more than people who come in, have a match, and then get off screen as fast as they can so we can move on to something else.

The commentary isn’t helping either. The three of them are really just there to do their individual thing. Pope is the guy who gets excited about moves, Josh is the self obsessed heel and Jeremy is the guy who plugs everything. Not once do you see them slow down for a second and add any emotion to anything. All those times when JR and King would have a camera on them talking about how important something was actually mattered. They gave you a connection to the stories and that makes a difference. I know more about Pop’s sitcoms than I do about why Alberto and Low Ki are fighting for the World Title next week.

I’m really hoping that this hyper focus on the X-Division changes after Destination X because it’s crippling the show. There were three different matches (out of five) involving the X-Division tonight and none of them felt like anything more than run of the mill X-Division stuff. Having the people come out and do the flips and such is fine, but it needs to be part of a package instead of the focal point of the show.

This show was a mess but it’s just a part of the bigger problem. The promotion seems to think that throwing as much stuff as possible at the fans is the way to go but don’t seem to understand that you need a reason to care about someone. Fans gravitated to Austin, Hogan, Cena, Bryan and any other top face you can think of because they either felt a connection to them or were sucked in by their personalities and charisma. GFW offers neither of those and it makes for really hard to sit through television a lot of the time, which is what happened tonight. Bad show, and it’s for one big reason.

Results

Hijo de Fantasma/Naomichi Marufuchi b. Laredo Kid/Garza Jr. – Sliced Bread #2 to Garza

Kongo Kong b. Grado/Joseph Park – Cannonball to Park

LAX b. Veterans of War – Flip dive through a table

Taiji Ishimori b. ACH – 450

Trevor Lee/Bobby Lashley/Low Ki b. Sonjay Dutt/Alberto El Patron/Matt Sydal – Warrior’s Way to Dutt

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