Impact Wrestling has taken the bold step of filming the run-up to their next pay-per-view (PPV) in Mumbai, India. It’s a move they hope will give them a foothold in a key market a lot of companies have their eye on, including Vince McMahon’s WWE.
Will it produce good television, and help them sell the Slammiversary event coming up on July 2 in Orlando?
This live report from the first day of taping, sent to a number of sites by Himanshu D, should start to give us an idea.
Filmed Tuesday, May 30:
- Low Ki def. Caleb Konley
- Sonjay Dutt is out afterwards, wearing an eye patch from his last run in with Ki. He talks up being in India, and their history, en route to asking for a title match. They shake on it.
- Davey Richards def. Vinaash Verma via submission.
- Ethan Carter III shows up to whip Verma with a belt post-match. James Storm made the save.
- Rosemary def. Laurel Van Ness via pinfall with a roll-up after LVN accidentally bumps Sienna, who accompanied her to the match, from the apron. The heels attack Rosemary, but Allie runs in with a stick/broom to chase them off. Rosemary takes the weapon from Allie, but then drops it and smiles at a tense-looking Allie.
- EC3 has a custom tron & music introducing him as “Ethan Singh 3”. He’s dressed in local attire and has a translator. Carter/Singh says his great-great-great-great grandfather was Indian. Impact is in Mumbai because of rich cultural opportunity, but he’s rich and doesn’t see much culture in a third world hellhole (all of this gets him “Loser” chants from the crowd). Intermittantly during his promo, he demands the translator tell the crowd what he’s saying. Carter/Singh talks about seeking tranquility in India, but finding despair. He says Impact and Sony Six deserve each other because they’re just like the people in the crowd. He’s the best, even in a country of 1.3 billion people. He tells the translator to do his job, but the guy refuses. EC3 says he’s going to punish him and makes to whip him with the belt, but Storm is out to knock it from his hands. The Cowboy is ready to whip Carter/Singh, but he escapes. Storm then poses in the ring with the translator.
- Josh Mathews is out in his “GOAT” shirt for a match. He puts over Scott Steiner’s return, and introduces his hand-picked opponent, who he says was on the ‘08 Olympic Team and appeared in a Bollywood film... Sandeep, a heavy guy in a singlet.
- Mathews def. Sandeep via submission with a Steiner Recliner after a comedy match.
- When Josh refuses to release the hold, Mahabali Shera appears to stop him. Lashley then comes out to attack Shera. Mathews puts Shera in the Recliner, then Alberto El Patron’s music hits and he clears the ring. Alberto holds up the GFW title and poses with Shera.
- Braxton Sutter def. Trevor Lee via pinfall with a neckbreaker (Lee was in control until he tried to go after Allie, who accompanied Braxton)
- Sienna & LVN come out to taunt the happy couple post-match, and seem to set-up a tag match against Allie & Rosemary... though the heels tease her about whether her “friend” will show up
- A ten-man Sony Six Invitational Gauntlet (royal rumble style match) is won by Mahabali Shera. He celebrates with his father & brother in the crowd, and accepts a trophy from a Sony exec, Bruce Prichard and Scott D’Amore. Shera last eliminated KM in a match which also featured Suicide, Matt Sydal, Davey Richards, Swoggle, Kongo Kong, Rockstar Spud, Moose, Eddie Edwards (the Davey/Eddie & Spud/Swoggle feuds are built within the match).
- Moose promo where he talks about defending the Grand Championship against a “dummy”. Eli Drake comes out with Chris Adonis. Drake runs down India and complains about Impact management and Moose being “so far up Bruce’s keister, he knows what curry he ate today”. This sets up a Slammiversary tag between Drake & Adonis and Moose & a MYSTERY PARTNER.
- Alberto is next to “Si Si Si” chants. He cuts a promo about having wrestled all around the world, and puts over the great reception he’s received from Impact fans. At the PPV, he’s gonna win the one title that’s eluded him - the Impact World championship. Lashley interrupts to call himself the realest wrestler in the world, and tell El Patron he’s not the only one who’s won everywhere he’s gone. At Slammiversary, he’s gonna send Alberto back to his rich wrestling family. Prichard cuts them both off to say they’ll both be defending their titles tonight, but not against each other. He reminds them if they lose, they won’t have their champ vs. champ match at Slammiversary. Bruce also says they’ll learn who their opponents are when everyone else does.
- Lashley def. Moose via pinfall following a Spear to retain the Impact World title
- Alberto El Patron def. Chris Adonis via pinfall following the rope-hung double foot stomp to retain the GFW title.
- Drake, who was with Adonis during the match, helps attack Alberto afterwards, prompting a rescue from Moose. The GFW and Grand champs celebrate.
- Sonjay Dutt def. Low Ki via pinfall following the Hindu Press to become the new X-Division champ
- Afterwards, the babyface locker room is out to celebrate with champagne. Dutt and Shera speak to the crowd, with Sonjay telling them in Hindi that the win was for the whole country.
That’s what we know... what do you think?
H/T: PWInsider, Wrestling Inc, 411Mania