MCMAHON’S IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT 1/11: ECIII’s Grand Championship open challenge, Eli Drake with a Championship Address



Jan. 11, 2018
Taped from Ottawa, Ont. (Aberdeen Pavilion)
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 and call the show at 515-605-9345 or email

— Highlights from last week’s episode were shown, including Ishimori winning the X-Division Title over Trevor Lee and LAX beating OVE for the Tag Team Championships. Highlights were also shown of James Storm being beaten by Dan Lambert, forcing him to leave Impact Wrestling.

— The Impact opening credits rolled (there was no GWN-style signature to start the show).

— Bobby Lashley and Dan Lambert came to the ring. Lambert said he was having the time of his life “punking professional wrestling.” He said Impact was like cockroaches, they just won’t go away. Lambert said he wanted a moment of silence in honor of James Storm, “the man who built Impact Wrestling, the man who is now unemployed!” he said. Lambert said he wanted to also introduce the newest member of American Top Team, KM.

KM came to the ring. Lambert said he was skeptical at first. KM was wearing new ring gear, including a new vest. KM told Lashley he wanted to run with ATT, and Lashley told KM to prove himself. KM said he thinks that he’s done a great job proving himself. KM said he also took out Moose, and that brought Moose to the ring. Moose charged KM as he hit the ring but Lashley pulled him off and they began to double-team Moose. Eddie Edwards hit the ring to help out Moose and they ran off the heels.

McMahon: We’ve been saying this for a while, but Dan Lambert is really effective as a heel mouthpiece. I know he’s been a fan of pro wrestling for a long time, and you can tell because he delivers his heel promos well. He doesn’t try to get cheers and he doesn’t try to be cool. He’s just a bleep-talker. We’ll have to see where this angle goes moving forward. I can’t help but feel like the next few weeks of Impact episodes are a total waste of time until the new episodes (with Don Callis and Scott D’Amore) begin airing. If they’re changing directions — and they are — these episode are lame ducks. 


— ECIII was out to cut a promo before his open challenge. ECIII took a dig at the Ottawa Senators, which drew heat from the live crowd. ECIII told someone to fetch him a referee. Petey Williams answered ECIII’s open challenge.


ECIII attacked Williams before the bell. Mathews said that this would not be contested under traditional Grand Championship rules and would instead be a regular 1-on-1 match. After about six minutes, Petey Williams kicked out of a TK3. Moments later, Matt Sydal ran through the crowd and attacked ECIII. Sydal went to the turnbuckle and yelled at ECIII as he charged up the ramp.

WINNER: ECIII via disqualification through interference in 6:00.

McMahon: Why was it not a title match? It was billed as a ECIII open challenge, but in the advertising on the Impact website, they definitely made it sound like the title was going to be on the line. Here is how they advertised it on their very own website:

“One man who is excited for a new year is Impact Grand Champion EC3. EC3 is in the giving mood and on this weeks episode of #ImpactOnPop the champ has decided to issue an open challenge to anyone in the Impact locker room at a chance to win the Grand Championship title.

Now it’s a new year and EC3 feels confident being the Grand Champion. Who will answer the open title challenge this Thursday in the Impact Zone?

EC3 is in the best shape of his career and he’s taken on all the big stars in the company and has been successful. But will their be a surprise opponent that will be able to take the title away from the EC3?

It’s a new year and as every Impact Wrestling fans knows well is that anything can happen on Thursday nights in the Impact Zone. Tune in on PopTV at 8/7c to see the Grand Champion EC3 put his title on the line.”

Why, just a few weeks ago, was Fallah Bahh a judge in a Grand Championship match? Why would Matt Sydal, a babyface, run in to cost Petey Williams, a babyface, the match by attacking the heel from behind? As you can see, there are way more questions than answers when it comes to this title and this division. This segment was a total mess.

— Backstage, Allie was interviewed by MacKenzie Mitchell. Allie addressed Laurel Van Ness and said that she’s not weak or small. Allie grabbed the mic and said that she was ready to play the game.

— Eli Drake and Chris Adonis were shown arriving at the building.

— Alberto El Patron was shown trashing the backstage area.


— The GWN Flashback Moment of the Week was James Storm winning his first World Title over Kurt Angle.



Spinelli began the match by grabbing LVN’s hair as the bell rang. LVN came back with a slap to Spinelli, after she yelled that you do not touch the champ’s fur coat. Spinelli came back with a slap on LVN. Spinelli knocked LVN off the top rope at the 2:00 mark and then hit a suplex into a bridge for a two count. Both women were down after a dropkick at the 4:00 mark. Spinelli missed a splash and LVN followed up with a series of clotheslines and a kick. LVN hit a curb stomp and then picked her up for an unprettier for the win.

WINNER: Laurel Van Ness in 5:00.

LVN celebrated with the title for a second before Allie ran in from the back and charged her. Mathews pointed out that Allie is attacking LVN after she was just in the middle of a match and is tired. LVN escapes and Allie’s music played as LVN retreated.

McMahon: Alright, well that’s two matches and both end with a babyface charging the ring and attacking an unsuspecting heel who just wrestled a full match. This show is off to a weird, weird start.


— Chris Adonis and Eli Drake came to the ring for Drake’s championship address. Drake called everyone dummies. Drake said that last week Alberto El Patron thought he could swim with the big fish, but he beat him (at WrestlePro in New Jersey). Drake said that El Patron found out in New Jersey that he belongs in the kiddie pool. Drake said that he’s going to Detroit next week to defend the title again.

El Patron came to the stage and told Drake to shut his mouth. El Patron said there was something wrong in this place, because there was a loser pretending to be the champion. El Patron said that he’s booking himself in the match in Detroit next week and he was going to beat him 20 different ways.

Johnny Impact then emerged from backstage and said that if Eli and Alberto were going to be in Detroit, it sounds like there will be a party in Detroit and Johnny likes parties. Impact said he would see “those turd-cutters” in Detroit. Impact asked why they would wait until Detroit? El Patron attacked Impact and then Drake and Adonis joined in the brawl on the ramp.

McMahon: That was a pretty big risk by Impact, having Drake cut this promo about a match that hadn’t happened yet, but would a few weeks later (he was talking about the match at WrestlePro). What if someone got hurt? What if someone’s travel got messed up with winter weather and the match never happened? I guess they could have just cut this promo and run a video package or something else, but it was still a risk. 

On top of that, isn’t El Patron a heel? At this set of tapings, he was a heel on Sunday at Bound for Glory, and now we’re just a few days later and he’s cutting a babyface promo and getting a big crowd reaction? Consistency, fellas! Consistency, please!

On top of THAT … Johnny Impact is terrible. Turd cutters? He’s a very good wrestler, but his promos stink. I didn’t think it was this possible to be so uncool. He needs to be a heel and he needs a mouthpiece, because this babyface thing just isn’t working with him whatsoever.

On the positive side, this was a decent promo to build the title match next week. Let’s hope it’s not in a high school gym that’s filled about 30% like last week. Oh, and maybe some lights? Y’know, so people can actually SEE the match. Just my $0.02. 


— The Pluto TV Rewind of the Week was Raven getting shaved bald by James Mitchell.

— American Top Team gloated backstage about getting rid of James Storm. KM and Dan Lambert look thrilled while Bobby Lashley looked a little annoyed by the two of them. Lambert gave KM all the credit and said he did the job Lashley couldn’t get done.

— Joseph and Chandler Park were backstage. Chandler was gloating about his win but Joseph tried to get him to “pump the brakes.” Jimmy Jacobs walked into the shot and said that he knows who Park used to be, and he can’t believe what he has become. Jacobs said that Park used to be Abyss, and he was the reason they called ambulances, but now Park just chases them. Jacobs said that if Abyss ever showed his face again, Jacobs would prove to him there’s only one monster in Impact Wrestling, and it’s Kongo Kong.

— OVE was shown breaking into LAX’s hangout. They sat at LAX’s table and opened a briefcase full of money. OVE then trashed the beer bottles and threw everything from the table onto the floor before flipping the table over. Sami Callahan grabbed the camera as OVE ripped down the flags hanging on the wall.


— LAX returned to find out that OVE broke in and took all of their money. Konnan was stewing. Konnan said it was time to go back to their roots and get violent. Konnan said it was time to take down the ropes, put up some barbed wire and cut them.

— Highlights were shown of Taiji Ishimori winning the X-Division Title last week.


After some quick action to start the show, it went to a break.


Borash and Mathews put over Xavier as the next possible contender for Ishimori’s X-Division championship. Konley hit a back elbow on Dutt for a two count. Mathews said that any of the six in the ring could challenge for the championship next. Borash said that Ishimori is scheduled to defend the X-Division Championship in Japan in Pro Wrestling NOAH as well as in Impact. Garza Jr. tagged in and be began clearing house before stopping the heels to pull his pants off. Zane missed a dropkick on Garza Jr. and knocked out his own teammates. Xavier tagged in and hit a twisting corkscrew off the top for the win.

WINNERS: Dezmond Xavier, Garza Jr. and Sonjay Dutt in 13:00 (w/commercial)

After the match, the babyfaces celebrated in the ring. Ishimori emerged from backstage and came to the ring with the X-Division Title. Ishimori pointed right at Xavier and they went face-to-face in the ring with Ishimori holding up the belt. Borash said the match would happen next week. Ishimori and Xavier shook hands.

McMahon: Good action, as you would expect from an X-Division match. I’m genuinely excited for the singles match next week. They had a good match to close out the Super X Cup and I like the potential of both guys. Hopefully they can have a show-stealing performance next week that elevates both wrestlers, regardless of the result.

— Borash and Mathews ran down what we would see next week, including the X-Division Title match, the Global Title match in Detroit, the Barbed Wire match between LAX and OVE as well as Chandler Park vs. Kongo Kong.

(4) LASHLEY & KM (w/ American Top Team) vs. MOOSE & EDDIE EDWARDS

The bell rang and Moose and Edwards double-kicked the ATT injured guy off the ring apron. KM and Edwards began the match officially but Moose tagged in quickly and chopped KM.


Edwards tags in when the show came back from the break. KM was chopped by Edwards but Lashley ran over and pulled Edards off the apron and to the barrier. Lashley tagged into the match and he was legal opposite Edwards, who was getting beaten up by KM on the outside. KM sprung over the top onto Edwards for a two count. Edwards got the hot tag to Moose and Moose used his head to ram KM and followed that up with elbows. KM kicked Moose in the face but Moose followed up with a Go to Hell powerbomb for a two count. Edwards tagged himself in and kicked Lashley. Moose and Lashley spill to the outside. KM goes over the top when Edwards pulled the top rope down and then Edwards hit KM with a dive. Edwards rolled KM back into the ring. Lambert interfered which allowed KM to get the pin on Edwards.

WINNERS: KM & Bobby Lashley in 15:00 (w/commercials)

McMahon: Not a great show, overall. The main event was OK and the six-man tag was OK, but nothing about this show stood out as being overly special and too much of it was frustrating. Next week’s show, on paper, is a good one but again, a lot of what we’re watching feels like a waste considering we know a new direction is coming, and just hasn’t yet debuted.

Mike McMahon covers Impact Wrestling for PWTorch and also hosts the weekly Thursday night PWTorch Livecast with Andrew Soucek at 10 p.m. ET, as soon as Impact Wrestling goes off the air in the United States on Pop TV. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeMcMahonPW or email him


9 Comments on MCMAHON’S IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT 1/11: ECIII’s Grand Championship open challenge, Eli Drake with a Championship Address

  1. Actually it is refreshing to see a face try to get vengeance for past sneak attacks. Faces have always been seen as dumb for allowing themselves to always be taken advantage of. I think fans would love to see faces fight fire with fire. Stone Cold was huge when he didn’t care about the rules. Sting sneak attacking the NWO was way over. Faces showing fire to me is a good thing

    • Yeah this dirtsheet writers are so stuck in their ways they don’t seem to appreciate change. And that comment about Patron being a heel at Sundays Bound for Glory and now a few days later he’s a face just made me lol. Bound for Glory was Nov 5th and this aired Jan 11th. It’s like he refuses to enter their universe or something.

  2. I thought this was better than anything on WWE tv this week, but it was a step down, in my opinion, from the last couple weeks. I am interested in how they pull of the barb wire match. I have seen a limited number of these matches and most of them are not good, with an exception or two.

    • Impact traveled to Canada. 🙂

      I think they are going to do one of those cut ins with a taper match for the 3 way match like they did with the El Patron/Drake match a couple weeks ago.

  3. fucking garbage as usual, inconsistent booking that’s been the norm since Jarrett came and got fired again by this company. Hopefully Callis and D’Amore will at least book consistently, or at least go to booking school so they can LEARN how to book consistently. I can still list half a dozen indy companies that book more consistent week in and week out than this company does. When indy groups can book better than ‘major’ leagues? something definitely is wrong with the picture.

  4. Does this guy even watch the show?
    Or understand the basics of booking?
    He is almost as bad as Caldwell smh
    PLEASE someone new review impact

    • I believe he watches the product. The problem is a Sports Entertainment guy that likes WWE style things and thinks that is old school wrestling is never gonna “get it” in my opinion. THat is why I think the reviews are off the mark most of the time. Nice to another person speak up, the silent majority is growing.

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