Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, July 6
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Alberto El Patron opened the first episode of Impact post-Slammiversary to celebrate winning the TNA World Title in a Unification match vs. Bobby Lashley. Jeremy Borash, Josh Mathews and The Pope are the announce team now (and are considerably better now sans bickering). Alberto was joined by his brother and his father. ‘Berto thanked the fans for their support before paying respect to Bobby Lashley. I love El Patron’s over the top, super earnest warrior gimmick. Every match is the greatest fight he’s ever had and he will respect everybody he wrestles until the end of his days. A Lashley vs. El Patron rematch was made for the main event. Lashley made a bad Trump reference before Dos Caras slapped him.

Sonjay Dutt def. Caleb Konley

Caleb Konley has looked really solid every single chance he’s been given so far on Impact. He’s looked crisp and explosive in all of his matches. He hasn’t had many real chances but he’s made the most of what he’s been given. This was a solid win for Dutt, to give him a quick showcase after putting Low Ki behind him. Trevor Lee attacked him after the match and stole his belt to set up the next X-Title programme. I hope Konley gets some meatier chances in the coming months. ***

Eddie Edwards, Grado, and the Veterans of War def. Fallah Bahh, Mario Bokara, Eli Drake and Chris Adonis

This is definitely the sort of match you book when you have to fill ten more minutes of TV time on a TEW file and you just throw whoever you haven’t booked into one match. I love this kind of match. With so many moving parts, a wide assortment of personalities and a brisk pace it was the perfect wacky midcard tag match. Give me a fun, energetic tag match like this every week over a pointless squash. Joseph Park escorted Grado away after the match. This was a lot of fun. ***1/4

Matt Sydal def. Braxton Sutter

Sydal won pretty handily with Air Bourne. Sutter was frustrated after and blew off Allie. While I have little problem with Sutter showing frustration (he should be frustrated considering how frequently he loses) I am not a fan of them teasing issues between Allie and Sutter at all. They are too wholesome to tear apart. **1/4

Jeremy Borash announced the that the third installment of the Super X-Cup would start on this show. The Super X-Cup was previously held in 2003 (won by Chris Sabin) and 2005 (won by Samoa Joe) – you can read a full history of them right here. The first round matches are as follows:

  • Sammy Guevara vs. Drago
  • ACH vs. Andrew Everett
  • Taiji Ishimori vs. Davey Richards
  • Dezmond Xavier vs. Idris Abraham

That is a superb, varied group of talent to launch a tournament like this with. Wacky international fly ins and fun once off bookings used to be one of my very favourite things about TNA and I’m glad they’re back to doing that.

Super X-Cup – First Round
Dezmond Xavier def. Idris Abraham

Xavier is the more spectacular of these two, but Abraham is a rock solid roster hand. A wrestler like him is invaluable on any roster – a tremendous utility wrestler. These two had a very enjoyable match on the most recent episode of Xplosion and this was right in line with that. Xavier picked up the win with a Spiral Tap that he calls the Final Flash. Xavier is still a little rough around the edges but he’s definitely somebody Impact should be going all in on in terms of trying to round those edges into a future star. ***

Moose will face Naomichi Marufuji next week.

Sienna def. Rebel

Rebel is fresh off a Stardom tour. Rebel got distracted trying to take KM out with a dive which opened the door for Sienna to choke her out. Rebel looked more assured and convincing than she has in the past. Like the Dutt win earlier in the show, this was to reinforce Sienna’s dominance in this new PPV cycle. **

Unified TNA and Global Force Heavyweight Champion
Bobby Lashley def. Alberto El Patron by Disqualification

It’s probably a tad questionable to give away the PPV main event the following week for free. Screw the suckers who paid $45 or whatever for it. Faster paced and better structured with less side distractions before the finish, this was more enjoyable than the PPV main event. LAX, who have been teasing the debut of a new member, attacked Lashley to cause the DQ before announcing a disoriented and woozy El Patron as their newest recruit. I wish the PPV match between these two was as coherent and well paced as this was. With a real finishing stretch this would have been a strong main event, these two have another match in them yet. LAX are still the most interesting act in the company. They feel different, like they have some actual momentum. ***1/4

Final Thoughts:

Coming off the back of a rock solid Slammiversary show, Impact delivered a strong two hours of wrestling setting the table for the next PPV cycle, introducing even more fresh young and international talent, full of energetic matches and simple angles. This was one of Impact’s strongest efforts in recent memory.