Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, June 1
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

For the second time in Impact history, Impact opened with EC3 having a barber shop quartet sing his entrance theme. The first one was better. This review has now become a review of various barbershop quartet’s apparently. EC3 was great though. EC3 gloated about being number one contender before El Patron, Karen Jarrett, Bruce Prichard, and Dutch Mantel interrupted. Prichard booked EC3 vs. Patron, number one contendership vs. GFW title. Prichard then made that a salad steel cage match. He actually said solid but it definitely sounded like he said salad. Considering EC3 already became number one contender fair and square that seemed a tad unfair. Prichard grinding his axe.

Impact Grand Championship
Moose (c) def. Eli Drake

Scott D’Amore, Dutch Mantel and Bruce Prichard were the judges, as if management weren’t already getting enough screen time on this show. Drake kept Moose grounded, worked over his leg and claimed victory in Round 1. Drake attempted the same strategy in Round 2 but Moose managed to fire back enough late in the round to pick up the win. A competitive Round 3 went the distance before the judges awarded the match to Moose. This was one of my favourite Grand Championship matches yet. They did a really good job of weaving a narrative across all three rounds with each round informing the next in a satisfying way. They’re still having too many matches go the distance but at least in this case both Rounds 2 and 3 could have reasonably went either way so there was at least some drama surrounding the decision. Honestly these two are some of the most consistent performers on the roster right now. ***1/4

Allie def. Amber Nova

Nova looked very assured and confident before Allie fired back and picked up the win with a Death Allie Driver. Allie hugged everybody after the match. Squash. *

Global Force Wrestling Tag Team Titles
LAX (Santana and Ortiz) def. The Veterans of War (Wilcox and Mayweather)

This was a No DQ match for some reason, I guess to give VOW an excuse for losing because they were overwhelmed by Konnan and Homicide at ringside.  LAX won with the Street Sweeper after Homicide smashed Wilcox with the TNA tag team title. LAX are now dual champions and far and away the best team in the company right now. They desperately need something to really sink their teeth into though. **1/4

TNA X-Division Championship
Low Ki (c) def. Andrew Everett

Everett is getting a title shot in spite of losing in two straight title matches. Sonjay Dutt joined the announce desk to discuss his eye injury, Impact emanating from India starting next week and the fact that he has still never won the X-Division title. Sonjay was excellent in terms of laying out his dispute with Low Ki without distracting from the action. This was a fun match though I’d have liked to see more from Everett. Low Ki controlled large portions of it. The way Low Ki moves and bumps and carries himself in the ring is so unlike anybody else around – there’s a conviction to everything he does. Low Ki got his knees up on a Shooting Star attempt before picking up the win after a dropkick and a Warriors Way. Low Ki went face to face with Dutt as that’s the big programme going into India. **3/4

Let’s bring some stuff forward. A few weeks ago then ring announcer Rockstar Spud accidentally pulled down ‘Swoggle’s pants. ‘Swoggle then violently retaliated, sending Spud to the hospital as he did a bunch of skits about how he was badly injured and preparing for a return to get revenge. Well he returned and attacked ‘Swoggle with a hammer. I like that they’re having a weirdly serious dispute.

Six Sides of Steel
Alberto El Patron def. EC3

I’ve never been a huge fan of Alberto but he’s been delivering some really fun Impact main events lately. This was also one of EC3’s better recent efforts. This match was escape the cage as well as pinfall but thankfully that didn’t play too big a role because escape the cage matches are very dumb. El Patron hit a double stomp in the corner from the top of the cage and followed with a Frog Splash to go on to face Bobby Lashley at Slammiversary. As I said last week, if Impact’s main event scene churns out matches at this level every week I’ll be a happy camper. There’s very much a house style but when it clicks it delivers on a satisfying enough level. I didn’t care much for the first Lashley/El Patron match but hopefully in a PPV main event setting with less shenanigans they’ll deliver. ***1/2

Final Thoughts:

This was one of the best shows in weeks. Everything had a purpose, we had a couple of good matches and there wasn’t nearly as much filler. They still don’t quite answer the “why” question often enough, but this show was a step in the right direction.