SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Petey Returns: On the Post-GFW PWTorch Livecast, I mentioned that Petey Williams still looks good. He should! I just looked him up and he’s only 34. Wow. The guy has been around so long I figured he was pushing 40. Anyway, good to see him back. He’ll add some additional depth to the X Division for as long as he sticks around. And I can’t help it, but the Canadian Destroyer is in my Top 3 finishers of all time! It was a thing of beauty to see again (though they should have booked Trevor Lee to sell it for more than 30 seconds).
Borash’s Analysis: It’s not often that the commentary team lands in the hits section here, but Jeremy Borah did some good work last night when he mentioned that OVE has beat The Young Bucks. It gave them instant credibility, and it’s always cool when promotions acknowledge there’s a whole other wrestling world out there.
Eli Drake: This guy is getting good. It’s a shame that he’s vastly underutilized (he took 1st on my list and 3rd on Mike McMahon’s on last week’s GFW post-show for Most Underutilized on the roster), but maybe, just maybe, someone in management will realize he’s a potential top star in the making. He doesn’t need to wrestle every single week, but they should be finding him something to talk about on almost every episode.
The Main Event: I was very critical of Matt Sydal being pushed in this spot for the past couple weeks, but I’ll gladly admit that he came through here and his match with Bobby Lashley helped raise his stock a bit.
The Knockouts Match: I would have liked another 5-10 minute to try and make this a memorable title match. Still, Gail Kim and Sienna put on an entertaining bout with the limited amount of time they had. Kim looked great, and the return of Taryn Terrell was a nice surprise. Here’s to hoping they hire a few more women soon, as the division badly needs some new match ups.
Johnny Impact: I did not see this coming. I knew Johnny Nitro/Morrison/Mundo worked a live event recently for GFW, but I thought he was restricted from appearing on TV for any additional 90 days after Lucha Underground Season 3 ended. I wasn’t expecting him for months. This is a nice get for the company and helps to repair their image from the Alberto El Patron debacle. Mundo was fantastic in Lucha Underground, and is someone who doesn’t feel like a WWE has-been. Hopefully he’s coming in as a heel, as his face work flat-out stunk. I’ll never forgive him for the lameness of the time he claimed Maryse said the fans had “hippopotamus breath.”
Overall Show: Two weeks in a row now, Impact delivered an entertaining show. There are some big reasons to be worried for future episodes (which we’ll touch on), but it was a fun night of wrestling with three (or four for some) good surprises.
Bye Pope: Okay, so a BIG hit for Pope leaving the commentary team. He had potential as a wrestler at one point, but he never grew into even being a decent commentator. The miss here, though, is that once again (like Davey Richards and Angelina Love) the company can’t be bothered to say he’s no longer employed there! From a storyline perspective it’s madness. Hundreds of thousands of people heard the man’s voice for the past few years on Impact. He had to have some fans! Simply saying he parted ways with the company and wishing him the best would have gone a long way. Imagine watching a pro sports game of your favorite team, and the announcer you’ve listened to for years was suddenly gone. Someone would at least let you know they weren’t coming back!
Corny Is Here: Nope. I don’t like it. For a number of reasons. For starters, we’re going back to 2006 when Jim Cornette first came to TNA as an authority figure, and hell, he feuded with LAX then too! Second of all, Cornette is…a bit unhinged. Whether wanting to murder Vince Russo, or recently saying “f— Kurt Cobain” because he killed himself (and adding on that Courtney Love should have been behind him to make it a “two for one”), or his nonstop crusade against Joey Ryan, Colt Cabana, and Kenny Omega, well… the guy is no babyface to me. And really, Cornette is now known to a large segment of wrestling fans for being out-of-touch and blasting away at a lot of their indy favorites. Even if he does have some good points, that’s the perception he has. This is who GFW wants to bring in to be the new face of authority in 2017? Also, he looked incredibly foolish for not knowing who the other members of LAX are…you know…the Tag Team Champions.
Karen Screaming: Holy crap. Karen Jarrett yelling in the face of Bruce Prichard for 30 seconds may have been the worst 30 second of wrestling this year. Unfortunately, this is likely only the beginning. Prichard will surely come back and management will go to war. After all, if he was leaving for good they just wouldn’t mention it. If this is the plan, it is an incredibly inept and frustrating one. Prichard can’t wrestle. Karen can’t wrestle. Cornette can’t wrestle. Dutch Mantell can’t wrestle. Jeff Jarrett…well…he can wrestle, but not many want to see that. Please don’t waste our time GFW with any more of this authority figure nonsense. But I have a feeling things are going to get really bad, really soon.
The Super X Cup Finals: That was it? As soon as the match moved into another gear, it was over. Two weeks ago, Drago and Dezmond Xavier got 16 minutes. The final match in the tournament got nine. I’m definitely hoping they bring the Super X Cup back next year but this year’s offering landed on a flat note.
What’s Tougher?: “What’s tougher, the world of MMA or the world of professional wrestling?” Jeff Jarrett asked. I don’t care. Tell me when you figure it out. This is three weeks now of talking heads speculating if Bobby Lashley is going to leave or not. What’s the payoff here? If he sticks around, then a heel decides he likes wrestling more… so we should cheer him? If he leaves, then GFW looks foolish that they wasted all this time trying to settle this debate and Lashley chose the other endeavor. The show closing angle was interesting, but unless they have something really intriguing in mind, then this entire angle will be a waste of time.