Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, September 14
Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Garza Jr def. Braxton Sutter

Garza Jr appears to be going solo now which will be tremendously disappointing if that means Laredo Kid won’t be around anymore. Pretty straightforward match, Garza pops as a personality too which is nice to see. Story was Garza went out of his way to avoid hurting Allie only for Sutter to berate Allie after the match. The decision to drive a wedge between Allie and Sutter reflects the utter failure to sustain any of the momentum Allie had last year. **1/4

Impact Grand Championship
EC3 def. El Hijo del Fantasma

When the Grand Championship was launched they made a smart move – the judges were nameless, faceless randoms at ringside. They were not characters, the stories and characters that were to run through the match were the focus. The judges here were Dutch Mantel, Scott D’Amore and Hector Guerrero (representing AAA). That shifts the attention away from what the wrestlers do and toward how the judges (who have all been established characters on this show in the past) are seeing what they do. That’s a fundamental switch. And not necessarily one for the better.

EC3 dominated and won Round 1. Fantasma fired back and just locked in a surfboard before time ran out in Round 2. I love little stories like that peppered into these matches. Fantasma lost the first round and needed to fire back in the second, so he was a lot more aggressive. The result of the first round informed the second. But also Fantasma, who is not familiar with the Grand Championship format, took his time locking EC3 in a submission in the dying seconds of the second round and had he worked faster he may have scored the submission win. That builds in a logic to the format, it makes the format meaningful.

EC3 won by split decision after Hector Guerrero awarded the match in favour of EC3. Fantasma was very upset that Hector didn’t rule in his favour. While this will likely play a role in the bubbling AAA vs. Impact feud, they are having way too many Grand Championship matches go the distance. Pagano debuted after the match and joined Fantasma in attacking EC3 before Eddie Edwards made the save. This was a really enjoyable Grand Championship match and an illustration of the strengths of that format. ***1/4

They aired highlights of a four way tag from The Crash featuring oVe and LAX and while it was heavily clipped and edited it looked like a super fun match with lots of dives. Konnan added another two teams to what was meant to be a straight tag, I guess to lessen oVe’s chance of winning the belts by adding people.

Grado def. William Weeks

Grado was all set to marry Laurel Van Ness in order to maintain his green card before coming to the unfortunate realisiation that Laurel is in fact Canadian. He bid farewell before he was interrupted by his good pal Joe Park Esq. Park opened a sports and entertainment management division as part of esteemed law firm Park, Park and Park and he was officially sponsoring Grado’s visa! Grado is now an employee of Joseph Park. Park and Grado are a delightful combo. *

GFW X-Division Championship – Falls Count Anywhere
Trevor Lee def. Sonjay Dutt

While Sonjay’s initial big title win was extremely satisfying, Trevor Lee should be a marquee talent for the company. A guy with untold potential, a guy who can carry the brand for years to come – its just a matter of investing in him as Trevor Lee. Finding his personality and placing him in as many positions to succeed as possible, to make everything he does feel meaningful. Dutt as a member of the management team likely recognises this. Lee won a fun match to capture the belt for a third time, hopefully this reign is more memorable than his first two. Lee won after he and Konley jumped Dutt backstage and pinned him. **1/2

Taya Valkyrie def. Amber Nova

Valkyrie looks and carries herself like a star. She has a great presence and projects an aura. Whether she can back that up remains to be seen. Good first impression here though. *

Johnny IMPACT def. Low Ki

This was a fun match with some interesting exchanges but like some Low Ki matches in this 2017 return, it felt a little flat. Some of IMPACT’s matches can feel a little wishy washy, his matches can lack intensity a little. He did do a nifty German suplex while sliding through the ropes to the floor though and that was cool. His best matches feel like pure adrenaline rushes and his weaker ones tend to lean toward exhibitions. Either way, this was fun on the whole. Drake and Adonis attacked IMPACT after the match. Yet again American Top Team headlined Impact ahead of Eli Drake. ***

Bobby Lashley announced that he has decided to take him ball and pursue MMA full time – but he’d only get his release from Cornette on the condition he faced Moose in the ring. Moose and Lashley brawled. The brawl went on for a very long time before American Top Team attacked Moose.

Final Thoughts:

This was your prototypical Impact. Nothing was bad, some stuff was good, but for the most part it was all just there. Fine, agreeable but entirely forgettable.