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MCMAHON’S GFW IMPACT REPORT
August 17, 2017
LIVE from Orlando, Fla. (Universal Studios)
Aired on Pop TV
Announcers: Josh Mathews & Jeremy Borash
Immediately following tonight’s Impact Wrestling, tune in to the PWTorch Livecast. Mike McMahon and Andrew Soucek will discuss tonight’s show with callers. Listen at www.pwtorchlivecast.com and call the show at 515-605-9345
– A new GFW signature aired, showing all the networks around the world where Impact airs.
– Bobby Lashley was shown arriving at the Impact Zone earlier today along with members of American Top Team. Jeff Jarrett greeted Dan Lambert as ATT walked in the building.
– A video aired hyping the matches for Destination X. Highlights and interview clips were shown.
– The Impact opened aired.
– McKenzie Mitchell was trying to get an interview with Bruce Prichard. The door to his office opened and she looked surprised. Mitchell said that we wouldn’t believe who she just saw in Prichard’s office.
– In-arena: Gail Kim and Sienna made ring entrances. The ring now features neon green ropes, which GFW used when it taped its pilot episodes “Amped” a few years ago.
(1) GAIL KIM vs. SIENNA (w/ KM) [c] — GFW Women’s Title match
Gail and Sienna traded the offense at the opening bell. Gail went for a quick cover but Sienna kicked out. Sienna rolled to the outside after Gail tried for Eat Defeat. KM discussed strategy with Sienna at ringside and Gail threw a kick on the outside. Gail tried for a DDT on the floor but Sienna blocked and it dropped Gail on the ring steps. Josh Mathews was playing a subtle heel roll on commentary, talking about how it was “smart” for Sienna try for a count-out to retain her title. Mathews also said it would be a disaster for Gail to win the Women’s Title and retire as champion. Sienna tried for a superplex but Gail blocked it and then flipped over Sienna, powerbombing her off the second rope. Gail hit a splash in the corner. Borash noted that Gail is showing no ring rust. Gail Kim hit Eat Defeat but KM caused a distraction which prevented the pin. Gail hit KM with an elbow to take him off the apron. A blonde woman hit the ring and hit a cutter on Gail Kim. We couldn’t see who it was, but after the cutter, it was revealed that it was Taryn Terrell. Sienna recovered and hit Gail with an AK-47 for the win.
WINNER: Sienna retained in 7:00.
After the match, Taryn got into the ring and stood over Gail Kim.
McMahon: Good opened match. The Taryn Terrell interference was an interesting twist and completely unexpected. Sienna and Gail have great chemistry and it was good to see GFW trust them to open a pretty big show for the company. The match had good action and the screwjob finish keeps Gail’s hopes alive for another title shot down the line, with the Taryn interference giving her an excuse to remove herself from the title picture for the time being. Solid match with solid booking. Good start to the show.
— As Borash and Mathews are talking about Prichard making a ruling on the World Title tonight, we see someone backstage walking towards the ring. He’s wearing a suit, but we can’t see his face. Mathews said, “what the hell is he doing here?” as the show went to a break.
— Matt Sydal is backstage. He said before the end of tonight, Lashley will know his name. He said he would earn Lashley’s respect tonight and make him remember his name.
— In-arena: Bruce Prichard walked to the ring with the GFW World Title. Borash said that Low Ki was supposed to challenge El Patron for the title tonight. They haven’t mentioned why El Patron was suspended or stripped of the title.
Prichard said he was a corporate consultant for GFW. Prichard it’s his job to oversee talent for GFW and he said he appreciates everyone’s loyalty and patience with some issues they’ve had lately. Prichard said the last year has been great, but the next year will be bigger and better. Prichard said he has a prepared statement.
“Effectively immediately, due to an incident involving Alberto El Patron, real name Alberto Rodriguez, we are announcing tonight that El Patron is no longer GFW Global Champion. El Patron has voluntarily surrendered the GFW Championship to concentrated on his family. We wish El Patron the best in his future endeavors.”
Prichard said it falls upon his shoulders to rectify this situation. Prichard said that he is mandating the championship be returned to its former title holder. Prichard brought out the new GFW Global Champion, Bobby Lashley.
Instead of Bobby Lashley walking out, Jim Cornette walked out on stage and walked slowly to the ring. Mathews said Cornette has not been relevant in 25 years. Cornette and Prichard shake hands and hug in the ring. Cornette said he surprised Prichard. Cornette said he told Lashley to hang back because he wanted to see his face. Cornette said that he is a corporate specialist. Cornette said that Anthem hired him to help fix some things, because he doesn’t mind telling people where to go and how to get there. Prichard said that no one out-ranks him around here and he’s the one in charge. Prichard asked security to come and get Cornette. Prichard said that Cornette is not his boss, and not in any universe will he ever he his boss.
Cornette said that he’s not Bruce’s boss. Cornette said that Bruce is arrogant, obnoxious and he pushes people around. Cornette said he’s not Prichard’s boss, because to be his boss, he’d have to be working here. Cornette fired Prichard in the middle of the ring. Prichard said he can’t fire him, but Cornette said he just did fire him. Prichard said this wasn’t the last Cornette would see of him.
Cornette said he had a few things to say about what would really happen there. Cornette said corporate was sick of bad dealings. Cornette said that El Patron didn’t relinquish the championship, he was stripped of it. Cornette said it was a new day from this point onward. Cornette said they won’t have big stars come in here and say they’re on vacation and still get sent to the top. Cornette said the GFW athletes would have to prove themselves in the ring, and they would have to prove to the fans that they can conduct themselves as champions or they would have to deal with him. Cornette said he wasn’t giving anyone the championship. Cornette said that next week, the 20 biggest men in GFW will fight it out in a 20-man gauntlet match. He said he doesn’t care who wins, but he can guarantee whoever holds the championship will earn it.
The lights went out and LAX entered the arena through a side entrance.
McMahon: The first part of this promo was absolutely painful. Prichard and Cornette were awkward and there was no flow to their back-and-forth whatsoever. The promo picked up after they booted Prichard from the ring and Cornette got to cut the promo on the championship himself.
This segment likely spells the end of El Patron in the company. Cornette ripped him pretty hard and Prichard “wished him well in his future endeavors.” Bringing in Cornette as an authority figure is fine. He’s good on the mic and certainly has a passion for what he does. I’d expect this leads to a storyline where Prichard tries to power play his way back into the company, and that’s what worries me. The power struggle storyline has been done time and time again in pro wrestling. It’s time to come up with something else.
Cornette told Konnan it has been a long time. Konnan said GFW changed “one lying cracker for another one.” Konnan said that Low Ki should be No. 1 contender and he should face the winner of the gauntlet match. Cornette said he might be a cracker, but he’s not a liar. Konnan said he doesn’t trust Cornette. Low Ki told “Mr. Cornette” that he respects his position, but he smells fear in him. Cornette said he’s willing to listen to what Low Ki has to say. LAX crowded around Cornette. Cornette told Low Ki that he is getting screwed over and he feels bad for him. He told Low Ki that he’s going into the gauntlet match just like everyone else, but he’ll go in at No. 20. Cornette said that’s the best he can do. LAX looked like they were going to attack Cornette and he said he’s corporate, so if LAX attacked him, they would all go to jail. Konnan said if Cornette double-crosses them, his next paycheck would come from social security disability. Cornette told Konnan that they might not like what Cornette has to say, but they can believe it.
— Borash and Mathews talked about Cornette joining the company.
(2) TAIJI ISHIMORI vs. DEZMOND XAVIER — Super X Cup Finals
Borash and Mathews put over both Ishimori and Xavier to begin the match. Xavier looks like he’s in incredible shape, and has more muscle tone than he did at the last set of tapings. Borash said both men were best in the world when it comes to conditioning. Ishimori dropped Xavier on his knee. Borash plugged the addition of the Global Wrestling Network, which sounds like a WWE Network type platform. Borash also plugged a new Impact channel on Pluto TV. Ishimori and Xavier were mat wrestling, which Mathews said was a surprise. Ishimori hit double knees in the chest. Borash sent GFW’s thoughts and prayers to Ric Flair. Xavier hit a cutter. Borash said Xavier wants a title shot and Ishimori wants the prestige of bringing the Super X Cup trophy back to Japan. Ishimori and Xavier traded forearm strikes and then Xavier hit a dropkick. Xavier went to the top rope but missed a 450, landing on his feet. Ishimori got up and sidekicked Xavier. Ishimori hit a springboard kick. Ishimori hit a believable near fall after he hit a springboard off the ropes. Ishimori dropped Xavier on his knees and then went to the top rope and hit a 450 splash but Xavier kicked out for a believable near fall. Xavier kicked Ishimori in the back of the head and then landed a spinning heel kick for the win.
WINNER: Dezmond Xavier in 9:00.
After the match, Xavier looked emotional as Brian Hebner raised his hand. Xavier was presented with the trophy but he sort of ignored it at first, helping Ishimori to his feet before he would accept the trophy. Ishimori shook Xavier’s hand and said thank you before rolling out and allowing Xavier to be interviewed by Borash.
Borash said this was the biggest win of Xavier’s career.
“This … this is a moment I will never forget,” Xavier said. “This is also a moment that everyone else will not as well. Whoever is the X Division champion by the end of the night, just know that I, Dezmond Xavier, am coming for that X Division Championship.”
McMahon: I’ll be honest, I was a little disappointed in the match. I think I had it built up so much in my mind, that it couldn’t live up to my lofty expectations. They weren’t really in a spot to be the “show stealer” on this card, but I think they should have been. Xavier can be an X-Division star, and I didn’t feel like the match allowed him to showcase everything he can do. It’s still a defining moment for him, and I’m excited to see him get a title opportunity, but I felt like it wasn’t as much of an exclamation point for him as it should have been.
— Backstage, Prichard was screaming at Karen Jarrett that this is what she always wanted. Prichard said that she has not seen the last of him. Karen screamed that he would never set foot in GFW again.
(3) SONJAY DUTT [c] vs. TREVOR LEE — Ladder Match for the X Division Championship
Early in the match, Dutt hit a hurricanrana to the fan’s applause. Lee rolled to the outside and grabbed the first ladder but Dutt cut him off on the outside. Lee was able to fight off Dutt and throw him back into the ring. Lee rested the ladder on the apron and Dutt executed a baseball slide into the ladder, sending it into Lee’s face. Dutt hit an impressive springboard moonsault to the outside. With the ladder set up in the ring, Lee threw Dutt into the corner. Lee dropped Dutt onto the ladder.
Back from the break, Lee is climbing the ladder and he almost grabbed the belt but Sonjay stopped him. Lee hit a standing double stomp to Dutt’s face. Lee rolled to the outside and grabbed a table from under the ring and set it up in the corner. Lee tried to belly-to-back suplex Dutt through the table but he blocked it and then hit a tornado DDT. Dutt grabbed the table and set it upright in the ring. Dutt put Lee on the table and climbed to the top rope but Lee rolled off the table and cut off Dutt. Lee tossed Dutt over the table. Dutt charged him and Lee hit a big elbow strike. Lee grabbed a second ladder and tossed it into the ring. Lee tried to climb the ladder but Dutt grabbed his ankle. Lee set up the second ladder inside the first ladder, resting the other end on the second rope to create a platform. Dutt set Lee up on the platform ladder and hit a diving cross body, which sent Lee off the ladder and he rolled to the floor. Dutt was about to win the title but Caleb Konley hit the ring and powerbombed Dutt through the table in the ring. Borash said that they are two North Carolina boys. Petey Williams hit the ring and took out Konley. Lee threw the ladder at Dutt, who was on the apron, knocking him to the floor. Lee set up the ladder and climbed for the title but Dutt climbed to the apron and springboarded himself onto the ladder. Dutt then knocked Lee off the ladder and on top of a ladder that was laying on the ring canvas. Dutt then grabbed the belt for the win.
WINNER: Sonjay Dutt retains in 16:00.
After the match, Sonjay Dutt celebrated in the ring while Petey Williams celebrated from the top of the ramp.
McMahon: This was an exciting ladder match. They worked it pretty safely, but the match still felt like it had some big spots. I’m not a fan of Sonjay retaining, but if the idea is that he’s holding the title for Dezmond Xavier to win, I like it more. I’d like to see a program where Lee is chasing Xavier for the title, rather than have Xavier go over Lee for the championship so soon after he would have officially won the belt here.
— Borash and Mathews were running down what has happened on tonight’s show at ringside.
— Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Bobby Lashley. Lashley asked Mitchell if she actually watches the show? Lashley said if she watches the show, she knows what he is capable of doing. He said he’s not an X Division guy. Lashley said Sydal is keeping him away from winning the GFW Title.
(4) OVE (Dave & Jake Crist) vs. JASON CADE & ZACHARY WENTZ
Borash explained who OVE was. Borash said he saw them beat the Young Bucks in the ECW Arena. Right at the opening bell, Wentz hit a huge new on Jake. Wentz chopped Jake in the corner but Jake came back and tried for a fireman’s carry. Jake hit Wentz with a huge kick to the face and he tagged in Dave, who hit a dive off the top rope. Cade was tagged in and he was immediately double-teamed. Dave hit a pump kick. Wentz tagged in and charged Jake, who hit a huge kick to the face. Jake hit a right hand and then superkicked Cade off the top rope. OVE hit a double kick for the win.
WINNER: OVE in 2:00.
After the match, OVE had their hands raised and they went to celebrate on the turnbuckles. Borash and Mathews both put over OVE.
McMahon: This was not a great debut. For a team that was coming in with some hype, I thought they sold too much (particularly at the beginning of the match) and then looked sad and depressed walking back up the aisle after their win. Admittedly, I haven’t seen a lot of the Jake and Dave Crist before, so maybe that’s the gimmick, but it felt out of place. Their in-ring work was really impressive (I thought the finisher was really cool) but their debut didn’t feel like it was big enough.
— Backstage, Moose and ECIII walked up to Cornette on the phone. ECIII and Moose both said they want to be in the gauntlet match next week. Cornette said that they were both in the gauntlet next week because they were both two of the top 20 on the roster. Eli Drake and Chris Adonis walked in and Drake said that they dragged in the old dog. Cornette told Drake and Adonis that they were both in the gauntlet. Cornette told Drake that he was No. 1 in the gauntlet, that way he could prove to everyone how good he was.
McMahon: It’s refreshing to see a babyface authority figure, and I liked Cornette’s interaction with Drake. But someone will need to explain to me why Moose and ECIII, who were just feuding over the Grand Championship, both walked up to Cornette like they were tag-team partners trying to get into the gauntlet match?
— A video aired on Lashley and American Top Team.
(5) BOBBY LASHLEY vs. MATT SYDAL — winner gets a title shot of his choosing
Lashley had the early advantage in the match, sending Sydal to the outside about three minutes in.
Back from the break, Lashley was dominating Sydal in the ring. Borash and Mathews continued to talk about Dan Lambert insisting that Lashley train full-time in MMA. Borash and Mathews talked about how Lambert has to deal with so many different personalities at American Top Team. Lashley choked Sydal on the second rope until a four count and covered him for a two. Mathews said the 20-man gauntlet match, in GFW, when they get down to two men they go one-on-one for a pinfall. Lashley hit a delayed vertical suplex on Sydal. Lashley cut off Sydal who went to the top rope as Mathews questioned if Lashley took Sydal as seriously as he should have? Back on the top rope, Lashley tried for a superplex but Sydal fought him off and hit double knees for a two count. Lashley questioned Brian Hebner after he went for a pin and only got a two count. Lashley tried for a belly-to-back but Sydal moved to the side. Lashley quickly countered into a power slam for a near fall that was telegraphed by the announcers. Lashley rolled to the outside and grabbed a chair. Mathews said that Lashley needs to put Sydal away and not let him hang around. Hebner tried to take away the chair but he couldn’t, and Sydal kicked the chair into Lashley’s face. Sydal went to the top rope and went for a shooting star press but Lashley got his knees up. Back up on their feet, Sydal rolled up Lashley for the win.
WINNER: Matt Sydal in 15:00.
At ringside, Dan Lambert and American Top Team looked disgusted, but it was hard to tell if they were upset at the officials or Lashley. Sydal celebrated with fans at ringside. Hebner raised Sydal’s arm on the ramp and someone from American Top Team applied a rear-naked choke on Hebner. Lashley ran to the outside and broke it up, screaming at American Top Team to calm down.
— The show suddenly cut to a video package. It was Johnny Mundo. Mundo said that no one does what he is doing right now, and this is just the beginning. “Johnny Impact” appeared on the screen, and it said he’d be on the show next week.
Final Thoughts: This was a very newsworthy edition of Impact. The final segment almost felt like a mini-babyface turn for Lashley, who was saving Hebner from one of his ATT teammates and was trying to diffuse the whole situation. Andrew Soucek and I will have a lot to discuss on tonight’s PWTorch Livecast, which goes on the air in seconds and will be available on-demand after the show goes off the air.
Mike McMahon has covered Impact Wrestling for PWTorch.com since 2015. Go ahead and follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonPW