Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, July 20
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Super X-Cup – First Round
Drago def. Sammy Guevara

“I am Drago. I am from an intergalactic universe from another world.” That was how Drago introduced himself. Sammy looked very good in his television debut, though it was a little depressing how little reaction his Shooting Star to the floor got. This was a fun sprint and Drago advances to face Dezmond Xavier next week. Hoping to see more of Sammy post-Super X-Cup. **3/4

Sienna def. Amber Nova

Squash. Sienna won with the AK-47 before calling out Karen Jarrett. Sienna was upset that Jarrett never congratulated her for unifying the TNA and GFW titles. There was a schmoz involving Van Ness, Allie and Rosemary before Gail Kim made the save. Karen then made Rosemary vs. Sienna for the KO title next week in Last Knockout Standing. That should be a good match next week though obviously Gail Kim will be the biggest player in her last six months. *

Garza Jr, Laredo Kid and Octagoncito def. Demus, Idris Abraham and Trevor Lee

I am a fan of these wacky multi-man tags. The unique mix of talent makes for super fun, really easy to watch matches. It helps that all the people in this are actually very good too. Octagoncito picked up the win with a splash off Garza’s shoulders in the corner. ***

Matt Sydal def. El Hijo Del Fantasma and Low Ki

The opening stages, like a bunch of Low Ki matches since he returned in April, were a little disjointed and felt like these three were on different pages but things got a great deal cleaner after the break (and with some dives before the break). Low Ki hit the Warriors Way on Fantasma but Sydal flew in with an Air Bourne to score the win. Interesting that Sydal pinned Low Ki here. ***

Sydal called out Bruce Prichard, who’s feuding with practically everybody on this show, and demanded a title shot. Lashley then also demanded a title shot. Sydal was very upset that Lashley interrupted him and said “I’m asking for a title shot.” like a petulant child. Lashley dropped him with a Spear that he thoroughly deserved. I wonder if them positioning Sydal with Lashley here suggests them using him as a heavyweight, though JB reinforced that he was looking for an X-Division title shot.

Eli Drake def. Eddie Edwards, EC3 and Moose

Following on from them feuding last year, Drake and EC3 couldn’t get along. If Impact is looking for a strong core to their heavyweight division, these four along with Lashley and Davey Richards would be a pretty great place to start. This was a fun sprint and I’m glad Drake won because he’s been floundering in midcard obscurity lately after looking like breaking out last year. The wrestling on this show has had a lot more energy lately. ***1/4

After Alberto El Patron refused to join LAX last week, LAX decided to kidnap his family and force him to join under duress. Alberto’s brother and father also refused so they decided to beat them up instead. LAX was beating up his family for a very long time before Alberto made the save. Even when he did arrive, he stood on the ramp for a while. I suppose he was outnumbered but like, he tried to talk Konnan down. I admire his attempt at reason and diplomacy to be honest. El Patron agreed to join LAX if they freed his family. Patron put the LAX shirt on but then betrayed LAX immediately and beat them up with a kendo stick. It feels like they could’ve gotten a couple weeks of dramatic tension out of Patron in LAX but alas. Patron didn’t get his hands on Konnan so it appears that’s the end game.

Final Thoughts:

This show still has some problems—the storytelling beats and character work still feel strained and authority figures still play too big a role—but the energy levels are up, the talent is interesting and the wrestling is better and that makes those flaws a little easier to forgive.