Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, August 3
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Super X-Cup – Semi Final
Dezmond Xavier def. Drago

The show opening video package was devoted to promoting this match, a  rarity for Impact and the X-Division. There were portions of this that were extremely rough and disjointed as they appeared to be reading from different books. They got a load of time though which at least gave them to opportunity to bring things together – they still didn’t entirely get there but things smoothed considerably when they settled into more of a power vs. speed match. Xavier can be a little too cute for his own good at times and some of his stuff doesn’t look the cleanest as a result – he has time to iron out those wrinkles though. Xavier advances to the final at Destination X to face the winner of ACH vs. Taiji Ishimori. **1/2

Mumbai Cat #1 def. Trevor Lee

Trevor Lee has been flaunting the fact that he stole Sonjay’s X-Division title for weeks. Bruce Prichard then banned Sonjay from the Impact Zone because of the disturbance Sonjay was causing. Mumbai Cat #1 did the old switcheroo with Mumbai Cat #2 before #2 went on to beat Lee. #2 unmasked and revealed himself to be Sonjay Dutt. Hold your gasps. Sonjay challenged Lee to a ladder match at Destination X. Belt theft angles are one of those “Should be left in the last decade things.” *

Impact Grand Championship
EC3 def. Moose

They worked a pretty boring, bland first round dominated and won by EC3. Moose made a comeback and won a tightly contested round two. D’Amore and Mantel scored the final round 10-10. Prichard scored it 10-8 in favour of the new champion EC3. More on that in a second. Going the distance is a useful story telling device in situations like this when used sparingly, significantly less so though when the majority of “important” Grand Championship matches go to the judges. It simply leads to unsatisfying outcomes. Instead of creating a new genre of match ripe for new ideas and a different dynamic, they’re just mimicking bad MMA. Boring matches with unfulfilling conclusions.

If your idea of compelling pro wrestling drama is to create overbearing authority figures then you should stop writing wrestling. You clearly have no new ideas. Not only has the authority figure role ran its course as a storytelling device long, long ago, it was never really all that effective. We’re seeing the same story over and over again and it’s never achieved anything since Vince McMahon and Steve Austin. Bruce Prichard is feuding with everybody on this show to a frankly obnoxious degree. The 10-8 decision was nonsensical given the presentation of the match (and was treated as such) so we had another case of an authority figure essentially handing a belt to a champion (and we just know how crowds treat champions under those circumstances). And no doubt this will all lead to some sort of Prichard vs. Karen and Mantel programme so the focus can be right where it belongs – the people in management roles in the company stealing the spotlight from those who actually need it. If this is what you bring to the table, if you look at the pro wrestling landscape in 2017 and think this is whats needed, then your creative well has run dry. *

Grado, Suicide and Braxton Sutter def. Mario Bokara, Fallah Bahh and KM

This was a fun, silly character driven six man tag and was infinitely better than the black hole of creativity that was the segment prior. Grado tried to propose again but Kongo Kong killed him. Allie tried to get Braxton to help but Braxton refused. **1/2

Homicide, Ortiz and Santana def. Alberto El Patron, Dos Caras and El Hijo de Dos Caras

The dramatic crux here was that LAX promised to reveal a new member and they were teasing that it was a member of El Patron’s family. Seeing Dos Caras wrestle on Impact was a fun novelty and thankfully he mostly worked with Homicide so the tag champs didn’t really have to sell for him. El Hijo De Dos Caras looked pretty darn solid for the most part. Low Ki nailed El Patron with a double stomp after the ref was bumped to reveal himself as the new member of LAX (he even had the logo stitched into his jacket). This was a fun novelty tag and at least LAX got a win over El Patron (even if Alberto had to score a visual submission before he was beaten by interference) and Low Ki vs. Patron should be a fun programme to pivot to if Patron is still around. **1/2

Final Thoughts:

The weakest episode of Impact in quite some time. The storytelling and character frailties that have been simmering under the surface lately came to the forefront as a focus on non-wrestling characters threatens once again to derail the show. The wrestling was less engaging than recent weeks so the show didn’t even have that to help offset some of the other flaws. This show has had a lot going for it lately but they desperately need to reevaluate some of the ideas that have been carried over from a bygone age and seem to have planted roots so firm that they can never be removed.