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MCMAHON’S IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT
March 30, 2017
Taped in Orlando, Fla. (Universal Studios)
Aired on Pop TV
— The show opened with Dutch Mantell leading a meeting with Josh Mathews, Bruce Prichard and Jeremy Borash. Mathews was being very aggressive and aggravating the participants of the meeting. Karen Jarrett walked in and apologizes for interrupting the meeting, but asked one of them to have Sienna meet her in the ring later. Prichard stops Mathews and Borash from arguing and said if they don’t stop, there would be permanent changes at the announce table.
— A video highlighting last week’s episode aired, including Karen Jarrett’s return.
— In-arena: Borash welcomed us to the show as Karen Jarrett walked to the ring. Mathews said that his lawyers advised him not to speak on what happened last week, when Karen slapped him. Pope was there, and interjected that Mathews shouldn’t speak at all.
A “Fire Josh!” chant broke out. Karen slipped up and said she put “fire Josh” on her list, “last night.” Karen said that everyone was aware of Maria’s “nervous breakdown” and her leaving the company. By doing this, Karen said that her spot being open has caused some extremely ugly and unprofessional behavior in the women’s locker room. Karen said that someone has bullying, and that’s something she won’t tolerate. Karen then called out Sienna to the ring.
Sienna came out to her music and walked slowly to the ring. Sienna asked why Karen wanted to see her? Sienna asked if they had a problem? Karen said that she had been with Impact for a very short period of time, but she hasn’t heard one positive word about Sienna. Karen said that Sienna’s action and words will not be tolerated.
Siena asked who told Karen she was being a bully, and then blamed Allie for it. Sienna said that she got to Impact on her own abilities. Sienna wasn’t in Impact because of who she married. Josh said Sienna was “dropping some reality.” Karen called Sienna “little lady” and said she had no clue how she got here. Karen said she remembered being in the same position as Sienna 10 years ago. Karen said she regrets some of the things she did and said 10 years ago, but she is going to give Sienna the chance to apologize. Sienna asked, “or what?” Karen began to count down from 15. When Karen got to 10, music played and a mystery man walked down the aisle. Sienna smiled.
Karen looked concerned. Mathews, Borash and Pope don’t know who this guy is. The man took the mic as the crowd chanted “Who are you?!” The yelled at Karen to wipe the stupid look off her face because she knows exactly who he is. Whoever this is, he likes to scream and he said he wanted to “smarten up this stupid crowd in the Impact Zone.”
The man said he was named, “KM” and Sienna is his cousin. He screamed that he deserved respect, and so did Sienna. KM screamed that Karen had 15 seconds to apologize to Sienna. KM then counted backwards from 15 and Karen looked concerned. Allie and Braxton Sutter ran down from the back and Sutter attacked KM as he got to three. Sienna and KM ran off as Sutter and Allie stood in the ring with Karen.
Karen asked Sutter if he wanted a crack at KM. Karen said tonight, KM had a match … against Braxton Sutter. KM acted like he didn’t care.
(McMahon’s Analysis — KM was “2Cocky” Kevin Matthews. He’s a longtime indy wrestler and former WWE developmental talent, back in Deep South. He screamed a lot in this promo … like a lot. He also used the term, “smarten up” a lot. The segment was perfectly fine and it sets up a match for later in the show, but I could have done without the “insider” terms being used in the promo. I’m more a fan of angles setting up matches, and KM has an impressive look. To me, his debut should have felt more impactful than this — no pun intended — if they plan on doing something with him).
— A “Make Impact Great” video with X Division talent is shown.
(1) D.J. Z vs. ANDREW EVERETT
Minutes into the match, Everett threw D.J. Z to the outside with a head scissors. Mathews plugged that AJ Styles was the first-ever X Division champion. D.J. Z took out Everett on the outside with a dive over the top rope. Back in the ring D.J. Z landed a kick and he traded forearms with Everett. D.J. Z landed a huge clothesline. D.J. Z ran Everett in the corner. Everett landed a kick to the head and went to the top rope but missed a moonsault, as D.J. Z put up the boots. D.J. Z charged Everett but he caught him with an inside cradle for a pin.
WINNER: Andrew Everett in 5:00.
After the match, Everett celebrated on the turnbuckle why the commentators speculated if he did enough to earn an X Division Title shot. Helms and Trevor Lee walked out on the ramp. Helms said that Everett had a big win, and winning is something Everett isn’t used to. Helms said it takes more than one win to get a shot at Trevor Lee’s X Division Title. Helms said, because he is generous, Everett will have an opportunity. Helms didn’t specify what, but Mathews said Everett would have an opportunity to climb the ladder.
(McMahon’s Analysis — Good match, though quick, and they did a nice job with the angle at the end to continue to prop up Andrew Everett. A win over D.J. Z is a big deal for Everett, who continues to climb the ladder, as Mathews put it).
— A vignette aired of someone walking down stairs. We saw eyes and then a graphic aired that Fury will be unleashed on April 13.
— Highlights of the ridiculous Rebel-ODB match from last week were shown, including Earl Hebner making out with both competitors.
— Backstage: ODB was shown last week drinking after her match. ODB said she needed to do more cardio, and she asked where her hubby was? She asked where EY was? Hebner walked in and said that he would pick up the world for ODB, and he’d go out drinking with her.
— In-arena: Jeremy Borash was in the ring. He called out Rosemary for an interview. Borash asked Rosemary who is left for her to compete against? Rosemary called herself the greatest champion of all-time. Rosemary said she retired Gail Kim and blackened Jade’s soul. She told the division to accept their decay.
ODB entered with music. She introduced herself to Rosemary, calling herself a “four-time knocked-up champ.” ODB told Rosemary she wouldn’t be standing here if not for ODB.
ODB said that soon become the five-time knocked-up champ. Rosemary said that ODB might consider herself worthy, but the hive disagrees. Rosemary said bye. Brandi Rhodes, Kacey Quinn, Rebel and the rest of the Knockouts locker room emptied and surrounded Rosemary. Madison Rayne grabbed the mic and told Borash to shut up, because he talks too much. Madison said she has been Knockouts Champion more than anyone in the ring, so she deserved a title shot. Brandi said that she deserved a title shot. Diamante, the member of LAX, said she wasn’t in there to talk, she was in there to right. A brawl broke out in the ring. ODB attacked Rosemary on the ramp.
(McMahon’s Analysis — This was a solid promo. Rosemary is doing a great job playing her character and cutting promos in character. Not sure anyone else on the roster could do that right now. That said, it was sort of funny to watch Brandi ask for a title shot. Based on what?)
— At ringside, Borash is playing it up with the fans. Mathews was upset about this (of course). Mathews mocked Impact for making the TV tapings free.
(McMahon’s Analysis — Totally brilliant. Even if he’s a heel, let’s have someone ON the show MAKE FUN of the show for making the tapings free. Brilliant! … Seriously, the commentary tonight is totally horrendous. It’s hard to listen to. Just like the first week of this mess).
— ECIII made his ring entrance for a promo. Mathews suggested he and Borash put teams together and have a match, to which Borash said that was a terrible idea. ECIII started off apologizing to Karen Jarrett for his behavior last week. ECIII said he realizes Impact has changed and he needs to change with it. He needed to be the guy who could walk down the ramp and beat anybody. ECIII said he needed to be the guy who, for a very long time, was undefeated. Mathews dropped in, “just like I was.”
(McMahon’s Analysis — MAKE IT STOP!!! Just do the show with no commentary, please!)
ECIII said he will constantly evolve, and he will become an E-C-III time World Hvt. Champion.
James Storm said he must have been drinking a lot of beer in the back, because he thought he heard his name? ECIII just shrugged. The crowd chanted, “Cowboy!” Storm said he was back there and he didn’t hear his name, and he wanted to know why. ECIII said he didn’t mention Storm, because he only mentioned multi-time World Champions. Storm said that ECIII held down Impact for the last three years, “but my hands and my shoulders built this son of a bitch.”
Storm said that he was on Impact’s first pay-per-view in June 2002. ECIII said he was watching it at his friend’s house, because he was in high school. Storm asked where ECIII was in May 2004, when they had the first Orlando show. ECIII said he was in a fraternity. Storm said that they both had the same mindset, and that’s to be the World Champion. Storm said if anyone deserved a last call, it’s him.
ECIII said he couldn’t agree more. But this decision was beyond them and even beyond the office. ECIII suggested the next challenger for Lashley be decided by the crowd. ECIII and Storm played up the crowd for a few moments. ECIII said it might be Storm’s last call, but he knew the people would make the right call. ECIII’s music played and the segment ended as ECIII and Storm shook hands.
Borash wondered with El Patron thought of all this?
(McMahon’s Analysis — I asked this last week on the PW Torch Livecast … Who is in charge?!?! Prichard? Dutch? Karen? Can wrestlers just make their own matches like Storm and ECIII? Who is running things? I’m all for not going with a storyline driven by authority figures, but the buck seemingly stops with no one.
— A vignette hyping Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid aired.
— A vignette hyping Reno Scum aired.
(2) CODY RHODES (w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. MOOSE
Cody walked to the ring with his Global Force Nex-Gen Championship.
Cody hit a tornado DDT out of the corner very early in the match to gain control, but he hit the rope and Moose caught him with a pop-up powerbomb. Moose hit a moonsault for a two count. The match spills to the outside. Moose sets up Cody near the ring post but Cody ducked. Cody tried to kick Moose but he ducked and Cody kicked the judge. Moose fired back at Cody with a chop. The referee was trying to help the judge. In the ring, Cody hit a hangman’s DDT.
After the break, Bruce Prichard replaces the judge at ringside
Scores: Moose, 29-28.
Moose missed a clothesline and Cody took control. Mathews complained that Bruce has no experience to be a judge. Cody dropkicked Moose’s leg for a two count. Cody continued to work on Moose’s leg and ankle and covered Moose again for a one count. Cody went for a dive to the outside but Moose caught him and powerbombed Cody onto the apron. Moose grabbed a chair but Brandi stopped him after Cody pulled her in front of him. Cody kicked the chair into Moose. In the ring, Cody applied a Figure Four. Moose was trying to hold on and did, to survive the submission hold and the round went to the judges.
Scores: Cody, 29-28
Before the round, Brandi screamed at Cody that he and Moose were acting like idiots, and she walked out. Moose and Cody traded right hands as the bell rang. Moose hit a big boot and then dropkicked Cody, who was perched on the top rope. Off the rope, Moose caught Cody with jabs. Cody landed a Disaster Kick but both men are down. The referee began a 10 count. With one minute left, Cody and Moose again traded right hands. Moose and Cody land punches at the same time and both fall to the mat. The referee again begins a 10 count. Both men got to their feet with five seconds left and traded punches as the final bell sounds. Moose and Cody need to be pulled apart.
Scores: Moose, 29-28
WINNER: Moose via split decision.
Moose celebrated with his title after the match as Cody looked snarled in the corner. Mathews complained that Cody should have won. Mathews said he should be a judge.
(McMahon’s Analysis — Perhaps this is being viewed through a more positive lens because of the first hour of the show, but I thought this was a really good match that might have been better if not for the flow interruptions that are inherent with the Grand Championship rules. That being said, the story was good, and they’re going to be able to re-visit this match again).
— A video on Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards aired, highlighting Richards jealousy and turning on his partner.
— Next week: Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards in a Last Man Standing match
— Eli Drake’s Make Impact Great video aired.
— Mathews again complained that the judges were wrong and didn’t change their decision. Karen Jarrett came to the announce table and gave Jeremy Borash a note. Borash got on the house mic and said that next week, a Knockouts Gauntlet Battle Royal would take place to crown a new No. 1 contender for Rosemary’s title. Mathews called Borash “slapnuts” and said he breaks news around here.
(3) KM (w/Sienna) vs. BRAXTON SUTTER (w/Allie)
KM kicked Sutter in the gut to start the match. Sutter landed a boot on KM out of the corner. KM tried for a powerbomb but Sutter rolled into a pin for a two count. KM stepped on Sutter’s face and walked across him. Sutter fired elbows into KM’s gut and the two collided with a double clothesline. Back to their feet, KM is powerslammed by Sutter. Sutter landed another kick and then a cutter off the top rope. Sienna grabs Allie on the outside and it distracted Sutter. KM landed a boot and then a powerbomb into the knees for the win.
WINNER: KM in 4:00.
After the match, Allie entered the ring and went after Sienna. KM pulled Allie off Sienna and then Sutter got back up and went after KM again. KM and Sienna bailed out of the ring. Laurel Van Ness showed up again, walking out from backstage, still in her wedding dress, screaming at Allie and Sutter.
(McMahon’s Analysis — Sutter is a hot act right now but KM needed a win here in his debut. They kept Sutter strong with the fight after the match. KM’s finisher was really impressive.
— Backstage: LAX is playing cards in the same spot at last week. Konnan tells Homicide the 5150 tequila is the best investment he’s ever made. Konnan is going through business with his crew.
— Make Impact Great video with Davey Richards aired.
(McMahon’s Analysis — Is it really smart to be doing these videos with heels? Eli Drake earlier, now Richards, who has been an intense heel since his return. We’re all smart to the business, I get it, but it doesn’t jive with the narrative structure of the show).
Another “Fury will be unleashed” video aired. This time it was a female walking down stairs and the woman was carrying a picture of Sutter and Allie.
(4) LAREDO KID & GARZA JR. vs. RENO SCUM vs. LAX (w/Konnan, Homicide and Diamante) vs. DECAY (w/Rosemary) — Four Way Match for the Impact Tag Team Titles
Two men are in the match at a time, and Mathews said that anyone can tag anyone. Luster and Thornstowe trade tags on Laredo Kid. A brawl breaks out on the outside as Mathews wondered who was legal? Laredo Kid dove off the top rope and took out everyone. Garza Jr. then went to the top rope and took out everyone.
After a commercial break, Laredo Kid hit a 450 on Santana of LAX. Garza Jr. hit a moonsault for a two count. Ortiz covered Laredo Kid for a two count. Abyss tagged himself in and began beating up Laredo Kid.
Thornstowe and Lared Kid were legal. Laredo Kid hit a spinning DDT. Ortiz tagged in, though, and LAX double-teamed Thornstowe. LAX cleared the ring. Diamante hit the ring and speared Rosemary. Laredo Kid tried for a dive off the top and LAX hit a powerbomb off the top for the win
WINNER: LAX in about 12:00.
After the match, LAX celebrates in the ring.
(McMahon’s Analysis — This was a good match, although, as matches with this many people tend to do, a lot got lost here. By the time you got to the end of the match, no one remembered the big dives from Garza Jr. and Laredo Kid. They were trying to keep LAX, Reno Scum and Garza/Laredo Kid as strong a possible. I thought they did the best job with LAX and Garza Jr/Laredo Kid. They had good spots in the match that were meant to be memorable. Decay did almost nothing other than add some star power and Reno Scum, after all they did to build them up the last few weeks, was lost with so much chaos).
This was pretty much way off of the mark in many regards.
1) No one was making fun of the show for being “Free.” It was free advertisement. Maybe some people didn’t know it was free? Now they do. Orlando is a pretty hot spot for tourism. Perhaps they will be able to continue to fill the building.
2) Karen saying she put fire Josh on the list “last night” isn’t that big of a deal. Maybe she did put it on the list the night before the show aired? Logically, that doesn’t make sense, but if you say she messed up you are assuming everyone knows it is taped ahead of time. The causal fan may not know that.
3) As a wrestling fan for over 30 years, the insider lingo made me smile a little. It is much better than the cookie cutter stuff in WWE. I am not a WWE mark, so the overly scripted promos don’t really resonate with me nor does pretending no other wrestling organizations exist.
Overall, I thought the show was pretty good. It was better than anything I saw on WWE tv this week and that is pretty sad considering this is mania week. For the record “the thrill ride” line in WWE was just terrible. I mean, hey we did hear it over and over, but it did nothing for me.
For the record, I believe John Matthews might be the greatest wrestler of all time. 😉
I also like the idea that the show is not run with the evil owner angle that has been played out for 20 to 25 years in the WWE. I don’t really care who is in charge. In the 80’s we had Jack Tunney, who appeared on screen once in a blue moon. The NWA had a “board of directors” and I don’t remember seeing them on tv too much. I understand if people only watch WWE and think the whole evil owner thing is normal for wrestling, but can you imagine going to a baseball game and having the owner come out and tell people to kiss his ass. Then on top of that say he is going to do something that you don’t like, cause it is “best for business.” Belittling the customer is never best for business. The ratings certainly reflect that if you compare where wrestling was and where it is now.
There really aren’t any flow of interruptions during the Grand Championship match. Nor are there any in a MMA match. A real flow of interruption though is when they place commercials in the middle of a match.
Having the heels do narratives would only confuse a vanilla wrestling smart mark. There are heels in boxing and MMA, they are allowed interview time as well.