Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, August 31
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Eli Drake made his way to the ring alongside Christopher Adonis to celebrate winning the GFW Global Championship. Drake cut a functional but not blow away promo about how he has finally made it to the top of the mountain and that nobody can stop him. Not his best work but entirely solid. The still amusingly named Johnny IMPACT (stylised as IMPACT so as to differentiate from Impact the television show) and Eddie Edwards interrupted staking a claim to a title shot before Edwards and IMPACT vs. Drake and Adonis was made for the main event. The winner would get a title shot, if Drake won he’d have no upcoming defenses. Drake has a series of interesting challengers lined up at least. I really hope they give his run every opportunity possible to succeed.

The Undeniable Kavorka of Global Force Wrestling’s Eli Drake

oVe (Jake and Dave Crist) def. Fallah Bahh and Mario Bokara

Josh Mathews said this would be oVe’s biggest test to date in spite of Bokara and Bahh never winning a single televised match to date. oVe won after an assisted Ace Crusher. This was their least impressive squash so far. Nothing they did popped and again their opponents got too much in. Proper competitive matches will likely do oVe a world of good because their squashes haven’t done a tonne for them. *

Petey Williams def. Caleb Konley

This was Petey Williams’ first singles match since losing a Headdress on a Pole match vs. Scott Steiner in February 2009. Steiner (who had stunningly good chemistry with Petey) broke out a Frankensteiner in that match. I am mad that Petey is using his bad Maple Leaf Muscle theme instead of the better theme he had before that. This was also Williams’ first match since his 2014 retirement. He showed little sign of ring rust though as he looked crisp and his offense was clean before he put Konley away with the Canadian Destroyer. Very happy to have Petey back. **3/4

Kongo Kong def. Richard Justice

Kongo Kong’s Impact run has been a crushing disappointment so far. He’s done nothing except these meaningless squash matches. His match against Magnus on the fourth episode of AMPED was a highlight of that PPV presentation but he hasn’t been given any opportunity to impress like that in the new GFW so far. He squashed Dick before Shera made the save. *

Low Ki def. James Storm

This was Storm’s first match since EC3 concussed him at Slammiversary. This was also the first ever James Storm vs. Low Ki singles match, harkening back to the early AMW vs. Triple X days of TNA. This was a really fun midcard match and the sort of match that should be all over this show in place of the endless string of squash matches we get more often than not. It’s 2017, there’s too much strong wrestling out there to present filler content. This was a fun, competitive match (reminiscent of a lot of Storm’s stronger TV matches back in 2012) before LAX’s interference gave Low Ki the win. This was one of my favourite Low Ki matches of this run. ***1/4

Eli Drake and Chris Adonis def. Eddie Edwards and Johnny IMPACT

Aside from the two heat segments (made more baffling by the fact that this match went through a break that could’ve made for a clean cut), this was a very enjoyable substantial main event.

IMPACT—who has always thrived as a television wrestler—looked great in particular – impressing with his nifty high flying antics. Drake winning was vital too in terms of further establishing him as the guy, even if he picked up the win with the Gravy Train after hitting Edwards with a low blow. It feels exceedingly rare for a stipulation to be that a champion won’t have a challenger if he wins in a tag and then that champion actually wins. The American Top Team came out again to steal Drake’s thunder. Jim Cornette closed the show saying Drake would defend against Matt Sydal, who earned a title shot of his choosing after defeating Bobby Lashley at Destination X, next week. ***

Final Thoughts:

Just a good solid show. Three good matches, two of which had the necessary time to develop, and while the angles were nothing to write home about they were functional at least.