Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, August 10
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Sienna staged a sit in protest because she didn’t know who her Destination X opponent was. Karen Jarrett came out to her theme that was discussed on the most recent episode of Music of the Mat. Doing Mick Foley proud with those cheap plugs. Karen introduced Gail Kim as Sienna opponent. There was shockingly little heat for this. Like you’d be able to convince me that nobody was even there. Karen’s performance didn’t help, her delivery, intonation and smugness aren’t really conducive to being a likeable character.

El Hijo De Fantasma and Naomichi Marufuji def. Garza Jr and Laredo Kid

This was a really enjoyable mix of styles and personalities. Garza tried his pants shenanigans and ate only superkicks (though it did work later as Marufuji was suitably baffled by pantless Garza), there were a bunch of dives and fun sequences before Marufuji put Garza away with the Shiranui. It’s a bit of a double edged sword when it comes to how Impact has used Marufuji. You don’t want to put too much stock in him in case he isn’t available on upcoming shows put at the same time you’d want to get the most out of him while you have him. He mostly had fun but inessential matches, hopefully there’s a few more big Impact matches for him in the months to come. Garza Jr and Laredo Kid should be one of the featured teams in the division – they’re far and away one of the most exciting acts in the company. ***1/4

Kongo Kong def. Grado and Joseph Park

Basically the same deal as recent weeks, Kong beat Park in short order and was going to maim them before Laurel Van Ness prevented it. Kong was going to take him frustrations out on Van Ness but Tyrus came out and stared him down. Not sure I really want a Tyrus vs. Kongo Kong match. *

GFW Unified Tag Team Championships – Street Fight
LAX (Santana and Ortiz w/ Konnan, Diamante, Homicide and Low Ki) def. Veterans of War (Wilcox and Mayweather)

A messy, dull and occasionally dangerous plunder match – LAX did their best here but they didn’t have much to work with. The highlight, which was also the finish, was LAX cannon balling Wilcox through a table in the corner. It’s a shame LAX have been sidetracked with the El Patron dispute and have lost some steam because they felt like the hottest act in the company a month ago. *1/2

Super X-Cup – Semi Final
Taiji Ishimori def. ACH

The former Global Junior Heavyweight Tag League winning partners faced off here, subtly playing a game partners knowing each other very well chess (though the announcers never acknowledged their past). The crowd couldn’t have seemed more bored though, they even went so far as to pipe in a low hum (something they’ve been mostly only doing for entrances lately) just to make it seem like there was people paying attention. It’s not like the work was blow away and warranted huge reactions or anything, the match was just good, but man this crowd seemed incredibly drained. Ishimori put ACH away with a 450 to progress to the final. **3/4

Trevor Lee, Bobby Lashley and Low Ki def. Matt Sydal, Sonjay Dutt and Alberto El Patron

Low Ki comes out to the LAX theme now which upsets me because his own theme is very good. I will never understand heat sequences airing on television, because this match had two. I understand if you want to include them as part of your match structure but there is literally no reason for it not to be left on the cutting room floor on a taped television show. There’s no reason to air filler. Once they got through that and turned things up a gear we got a super fun, formula six man tag delivering a load of action and Lashley destroying poor Sonjay Dutt on a number of occasions. Thumbs up main event. ***

Final Thoughts:

First of all, even without the initially advertised Patron vs. Low Ki main event the Destination X card looks tremendous. Trevor Lee facing Sonjay Dutt in a Ladder match, Ishimori vs. Xavier in the Super X-Cup Final, Gail Kim vs. Sienna and Lashley vs. Sydal all look like excellent matches on paper.

But I worry for this upcoming set of tapings in general. Not necessarily for the content, we know what we’re going to get from the Jarrett regime at this stage, rather just how stretched everything will feel. They’re taping 12 weeks of content, for both Impact and Xplosion, in six days. That’s spreading wrestlers, creative and crowds extremely thin. You could tangibly feel the lack of energy from the crowd on this show. It was actively noticeable. I worry how it’ll be as they tape the go home content for Bound For Glory by the end of the next set of tapings. That lack of energy seeps through the entire product. It makes it feel lifeless. It makes it feel inessential. The burden for success of absolutely everything on the show suddenly becomes higher.

People talk a great deal about what Impact and GFW “needs” to do. The biggest priority for them at this stage needs to be to get back to taping bi-weekly on a sustainable basis. So much of the problems with how Impact feels goes back to those marathon tapings. They are a financial necessity but they are a long term burden.