SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Trevor Lee Gets A Push: Well, the circumstances weren’t all that great but at least it’s happening! Impact/GFW has been so incredibly random lately. Trevor Lee jobbed to Braxton Sutter clean in two minutes a few weeks ago during the India tapings. Last night Sutter jobbed to Matt Sydal clean in about four minutes and Lee is now suddenly in the title hunt again, despite not winning a match in a long time. It’s the right direction to go in, but from a storyline perspective it makes little sense. Still, a Trevor Lee push is better than no Trevor Lee push.
The Super X Cup: TNA’s Super X Cup took place in 2003 and 2005. It’s now back. Just some more GFW randomness on display. Is the Dupp Cup up next? The Hard 10 tournament? Okay, so the lengthy inactivity doesn’t mean it’s a bad move; it could end up being a fun yearly event. Or maybe it will pop up next in 2029. Even if the approach isn’t quite connecting at the moment, it’s nice to see the company trying to focus on the X Division. The videos that aired of Dezmond Xavier and Iris Abraham were strong and resembled the compelling Cruiserweight Classic sit-down interviews from last summer. And while it’s still disappointing that Drago was given an underwhelming Impact TV debut (going from a cool outfit and insane backstory on Lucha Underground to a guy in a dragon mask wearing a plain old t-shirt doesn’t feel right), the tournament could should lead to some entertaining television and will hopefully elevate at least one wrestler in the process.
The Commentary Team: Any commentary team featuring Josh Mathews, Jeremy Borash, and The Pope isn’t going to make any wrestling show better. However, this week they didn’t actively make it worse. Progress! While it’s months overdue, J.B. and Mathews finally quit arguing. However, it’s also a bit a surprising that there wasn’t some form of public humiliation or… something for Mathews. Where’s the big cathartic payoff to all that nonsense?
Lashley vs. El Patron: For the people who bought Slammiversary on Sunday night, they have to be feeling a little ripped off right now. Myself included! GFW has exactly two pay-per-views a year right now. These two events will cost you roughly the same as eight months of the WWE Network. Therefore, they shouldn’t re-book the main event from the paid show on free TV just a few days later. It’s completely terrible for business. It would be like going to Dairy Queen, buying a large Blizzard, sitting down to eat the Blizzard, and then for no reason the employees give everyone else in the store a free medium Blizzard. To make it worse, at least two commercials aired for Slammiversary which solely revolved around Lashley vs. El Patron. So uh… either spend $40 to watch that match or wait 30 minutes and see it for free. Hey GFW, can I get a partial refund at least?
The Eight-Man Tag: Chris Adonis, Eli Drake, Fallah Bahh, and Mario Bokara took on Grado, Eddie Edwards, and The Veterans of War. What the? And Why? It seems management just grabs random people backstage and then puts them together in matches for the night. The number of people in the promotion who have no storylines or character development behind them is becoming a bit troubling.The pre-match promo was also strange, as they were playing up a Fourth of July/pro-America theme even though the 4th had passed when the show aired. They noted that fact but it still felt way too forced.
Sienna vs. Rebel: The X Division is getting an influx of new talent but the Knockouts Division is becoming staler by the week. Where’s the Dutch Mantell from a decade ago who brought in women like Awesome Kong, Hamada, and Sarita? Instead we get Rebel again? Having the continually green Rebel battle Sienna would be as silly as booking something along the lines of Naomi vs. Lana. And that would just be ridiculous!
Patron Is Carried Out: Much like Trevor Lee getting the spotlight, it’s great to see LAX featured in the main event. However, the execution was flat-out goofy. In a regular match, the wrestler who loses is usually “knocked out” for only a few seconds before they roll out of the ring, open their eyes, and walk to the back. El Patron was out for minutes with his eyes closed. It became visually comical as LAX carried him away, looking like a scene straight out of Weekend at Bernie’s.
Oh, There’s Bruce: Remember at Slammiversary where they aired a segment of Karen Jarrett and Dutch Mantell looking for Bruce Prichard because he had gone missing? Impact doesn’t. Bruce was alive and well on the show and just doing his job as if nothing happened. That has to be one of the fastest dropped storylines in TNA history. Even if they pick it back up next week, there’s no good storytelling excuse for not at least mentioning that odd pay-per-view segment on the show.
Please Tell Us: What is the name of this promotion? Seriously. It is GFW… right? Right?!? And The Undisputed Unified World Heavyweight Championship? It reminds me of a classic Simpsons episode where Bart has to read The 10 Do’s And 500 Don’ts of Knife Safety. The book starts with: Don’t Do What Donny Don’t Does. “They could have made this clearer.” Once again, no one in management can tell us what we are watching. It somehow is a recurring theme. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Jeff Jarrrett should have opened the show, spoke for two minutes, and cleared everything up. But he didn’t. There are wrestlers walking around with multiple titles and no explanation as to why so many of them exist. From a narrative standpoint, nobody knows why a tiny, nearly non-existent brand that invaded Impact in 2015 and lost now suddenly won the war and gets to name everything. Jarrett even admitted in recent interviews that he was guilty of creating market confusion in the past. So what’s his excuse now? I’m already waiting on his next apology.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: IMPACT SLAMMIVERSARY HITS & MISSES: DeAngelo Williams, Shark Boy, Alberto vs. Lashley, Flores & Don West, Sienna-Rosemary