Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, July 13
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

LAX opened the show and recapped how they inducted El Patron into their fold last week. It turns out that was done unwillingly and El Patron declined their invite. El Patron referred to Konnan by his shoot name so you know this was the realest. Lashley was also mad that his title shot was ruined last week so LAX vs. Lashley and El Patron was made for the main event after Lashley saved El Patron from LAX. Brief teases of ass kicking baby face Lashley excites me, though based on how the show ended they may just be that – teases. Considering LAX is built on the idea that the industry has discriminated against them and how El Patron very clearly feels about his time in WWE, the drama here was pretty effective.

Super X-Cup – First Round
ACH def. Andrew Everett

They’ve been airing some simple, effective little character profiles before each X-Cup match. This was a really fun sprint, especially when they kicked it up a gear with some really tremendous closing exchanges. It’s a shame Everett had to go out in the first round here but ACH was the right choice to advance. He looked really, really good. He showed a tonne of personality, looked crisp and aggressive and he just popped off the screen. ACH is exactly the sort of wrestler this company should be bending over backwards to showcase as strongly as possible. It will pay off. ***1/4

Jeremy Borash introduced Impact Hall of Famer Gail Kim.

Kim has been injured since last October after she had to vacate the Knockouts title. Kim announced that 2017 will be her last year in wrestling and that she will be retiring by years end. But it’s not years end yet and she’s looking to go out on top. Gail Kim has grown a lot as a performer, it was always one of her weakest suits and she’s grown into the legacy legend role she fills now. Considering the Knockouts division was launched ten yer ago, Kim’s retirement is a perfect way to shine a spotlight on the division and how it’s grown and developed over the last decade. Hopefully they do right by Kim’s final six months in the company, considering her talent their track record with her has been pretty spotty over the years.

Octagoncito def. Demus

It would appear Impact are looking to dig their minis division back up. I wonder what Puppet the Psycho Dwarf is up to these days? Hope he hasn’t pulled a gun on anybody any time recently. Once nobody jerks off in a trash can I’m fine with this. Octagoncito was great here. He did flips and dives. Flips make me happy. **1/2

Impact Grand Championship
Naomichi Marufuji def. Moose by Disqualification

Moose and Marufuji were on opposite sides of a tag match in NOAH this year and they were dynamite together. There were some really fun exchanges in Round 1, won comfortably by Moose. Round 2 was more even, focusing a lot on Marufuji’s strikes, and was awarded to Marufuji. Like their NOAH tag match back in March, this felt more of a tease than a full match. There were glimpses of greatness and these two have great chemistry together but they were just stepping things up a gear when EC3 struck Marufuji with the ring bell (which busted Marufuji open hardway) to cause the DQ. We are left to wait for our full Marufuji/Moose match. They need to deploy either five three minute rounds or three five minute rounds in these Grand Championship matches. **3/4

Trevor Lee def. Williams Weeks

Lee wrestled wearing the X-Division title, which he stole from Dutt last week. Squash. *

Laurel Van Ness def. Ava Storie

Grado is being deported so he’s been looking for somebody to join him in a sham marriage to get a green card. Laurel Van Ness, who’s been walking around in a wedding dress since Braxton Sutter dumped her at the alter, seems ripe for such an arrangement. Grado proposed some Netflix and Chill to her after she squashed Storie and she seemed amenable before Kongo Kong came out and ruined everything. The crowd was super into this and Grado was adorable. *

Bobby Lashley and Alberto El Patron def. LAX

I’m never a huge fan of when two singles wrestlers beat an established team. I get that El Patron and Lashley are meant to be a dream team but I think there should always be something to be said for a team being superior to two individuals. Especially given this was LAX’s first loss as a team since debuting back in March. I do like positioning LAX against Lashley and El Patron at least, it elevates them by association. This was a breezy, digestible all star main event. Babyface Lashley was a hoot and El Patron and Lashley made for a fun team. LAX attacked El Patron after the match and Lashley, content with having already gotten his revenge on LAX after last week, simply walked away. Fun main event and simple, effective angle. ***1/4

Final Thoughts:

Another fun, strikingly varied show. The shorter squash matches still hinder the flow of things but largely everything here worked and there are some solid stories. The influx of international and X-Division talent is really helping this show.