Low Ki’s Promo: Low Ki getting in Johnny Impact’s face and tearing him down was easily one of the highlights of the show. If he is able to bust something like that out whenever he’s given the mic, he could be (or could have been) a big player in the company. I’m already nervous about Impact’s potential as a top face (he just comes across as a natural heel), but it may be worth a shot to see if he’s capable of carrying the load for a bit. Having these two go face-to-face felt edgier than just about anything offered up in WWE. However, even though Ki was fired up and entertaining, it also felt sadly pointless because he’s already out of the company. Keep in mind, though, that he’s been in-and-out of the promotion so many times it’s impossible to rule out that he won’t be back before too long.
Crazy Laurel: I’ve been more of a fan of the Grado/Joseph Park skits than most, but even I admit they had a very short shelf-life. A Van Ness/Grado pairing wouldn’t have worked in the long-term, so it was fun to see them already revert back to her old act. Sure, it may be too soon for some, but if they develop a running gag of her getting turned down with weddings, it could be a fun angle to come back to now and again. Hopefully, though, they actually let Laurel win a match or two this time around.
Lashley at TripleMania: I feel this is one of the best videos Impact has ever produced. It had a very sports-like feel, it made GFW seem like a bigger deal, and everyone in the piece came off as believable and passionate about what they do. It’s just a shame they didn’t stop there…
So. Many. Videos.: We had four matches on Impact, but three of them went down in the first hour. After a four minute Knockout’s match, they went to an Eli Drake Vignette, then a Jim Cornette promo that featured LAX and Johnny Impact, then Grado and Laurel, then three TripleMania videos, then a Dezmond Xavier one, and Richard Justice was even given a promo somewhere in there. It was one of the strangest paced episodes of Impact I’d ever seen and may have contributed to the show’s dismal ratings.
Rosemary’s Beatdown: For starters, it’s cool to see Taya join Global Force, however, Rosemary was made to look completely ineffective once again. Ever since Slammiversary, she’s lost all her momentum. Heels keep getting one-up on her and she hasn’t picked up any big wins in ages. You can hear the crowd cheering for her, but the way she’s been positioned that’s doubtful to last long. Also, they kept hyping the Triple A footage, yet failed to capitalize on it by airing some sort of post-production interview with her. The only thing we saw of her on the show “live” was her getting beat up. So really, she didn’t gain anything from all the online buzz.
Drake vs. Sydal: In no way should management think of giving up on Eli Drake right now, but his run as GFW Champion has left a lot to be desired. He was in a far too long 25 minute match last week, and this week he went 20 minutes…only for the match to end with a belt shot. Without the title at play, this could have easily been the second match on the show a month ago and it would have felt about the same.
Real Life Overshadows Again: For myself, it was impossible to get invested in this episode whatsoever. With news of Jeff Jarrett leaving the company, Impact once again had an aura of “nothing matters.” Even if GFW isn’t sold, there’s bound to be big creative changes in play once again. So if you enjoyed anything going on (Bobby Lashley’s MMA stable, LAX, Eli Drake as champ), it may be gone soon. It was like Alberto El Patron’s suspension overshadowing all of his segments on TV, only much worse. The company needs some good news quick (and no, the app doesn’t cut it), as John Gaburick leading a creative team once again is one of the last things I want to see on a wrestling show in 2017.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: GFW IMPACT HITS & MISSES 8/31: Petey Williams returns, American Top Team, Johnny Nitro, James Storm, Cornette, Park