Destination X on Pop TV
Thursday, August 17
Sienna def. Gail Kim
Gail Kim looked sharp in her return, but this felt more designed to set up Gail Kim’s next programme as Taryn Terrell (last seen inducting Gail Kim into the Hall of Fame at Bound For Glory) returned to cost Kim the match. Kim and Terrell had some of the best matches in the history of the KO’s division back in 2014. It would be nice if these matches had a chance to actually excel fully in their own right – that’s been a bit of thing when it comes to the ten years of the Knockouts division. **1/4
Bruce Prichard came the ring and said that while the last few months have been rough, next year will be great for GFW!
We only have to wait another four months until Impact gets it act together. Yay! Prichard was about to award the GFW Global title to Bobby Lashley before he was interrupted by former head of TNA Management Jim Cornette, making his return to the company for the first time in eight years. I hope they rehire Vince Russo a couple months after hiring Cornette again just to mess with him. Cornette is Anthem’s new consultant and he fired Prichard. Cornette basically did the exact same promo he did 11 years ago when he first showed up in TNA about how this is a new day. He announced that a 20-man Gauntlet match will crown a new champ next week with Low Ki entering last.
You know what Impact needed? Another authority figure. Adding to Karen Jarrett, Dutch Mantel and (maybe) Bruce Prichard, Cornette as solid a performer as he is will just be another person on this show sucking up oxygen from people who need it. I for one am certainly looking forward to those four shouting at each other all the time.
Super X-Cup – Final
Dezmond Xavier def. Taiji Ishimori
This felt like these two had at least three more levels. They did a slower build than you’d hope for from a roughly ten minute match but they never built to that next level like you’d hope. Xavier kicked out of Ishimori’s 450 and rather than feeling like a big moment, it felt like a routine spot. Compared to the Chris Sabin vs. Juventud Guerrera and AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe finals of the past this paled in comparison. Xavier is a smart choice to win, he’s a guy with a tonne of runway and is exactly the sort of person Impact should be investing in. **1/2
X-Division Championship – Ladder Match
Sonjay Dutt def. Trevor Lee
Caleb Konley interfered on behalf of Trevor Lee, suddenly turning heel, before PETEY FREAKING WILLIAMS returned to smash Konley with a Canadian Destroyer (he’s reclaiming it!) setting up Sonjay to retain. A good ladder match but nothing blow away – sort of like everything else on this show so far. Neither grueling nor spectacular enough to really stand out, especially with the uphill battle singles ladder matches generally have. I am incredibly happy to see Petey Williams back. I have an irrational love of Petey. Looks like Dutt vs. Xavier up next. ***
oVe (Jake and Dave Crist) def. Jason Cade and Zachary Wentz
oVe stands for Ohio vs. Everything. Cade and Wentz got way too much here for what was the Crist’s debut squash, though Jake Crist kicking people’s faces off was very enjoyable. At various stages Cade and Wentz looked more impressive. Between oVe, LAX and VOW the tag division is jammed with acronyms these days. *1/2
Matt Sydal def. Bobby Lashley
Lashley absolutely destroyed Sydal for ages (some of which was rather flat, some of which was amazing – depending on the degree to which Lashley was throwing Sydal around) before Lashley got frustrated and grabbed a chair. That’s always been a consistent aspect of Lashley’s character and I’ve never liked it. Sydal booted the chair into Lashley’s face and rolled him up for the win. Lashley dominated but still lost and Sydal got his ass kicked for the whole match and won by fluke. Nobody really came out looking better from this. At least a Sydal comeback would’ve been nice. Lashley was accompanied by the American Top Team (his MMA team) and they attacked Brian Hebner after the match before Lashley settled tensions. Looks like Lashley will have to choose between his MMA bros and his pro wrestling family. I hope this leads to the return of Double J Double MA. **1/2
The show closed hyping the debut of Johnny Impact – who’s logo is just the Impact logo with the word Johnny slapped on top. It was sort of amazing.
A disappointing show. Certainly notable with the returns of Taryn Terrell, Petey Williams and Jim Cornette as well as the debut of oVe and the announcement of Johnny Mundo/Nitro/Morrison/Impact debuting next week but many of the key matches just didn’t deliver. Most were given the time to, they simply weren’t nearly as compelling as they looked on paper.
Next week a new Global champion will be crowned in a 20-man Gauntlet match.