Impact Wrestling returned last night (June 15) with their second episode from their Mumbai, India tapings. You can find the results at the live blog here.
The main event last night was the X Division title match between Sonjay Dutt and champion Low Ki. In front of a home country crowd, Sonjay Dutt defeated Low Ki to become the X Division champion for the first time. He celebrated with the locker room (at least the good guys in the locker room) after the match.
They made sure to build this match up tonight. There were three different video packages throughout the night setting this up and telling the story that Sonjay has never won this title.
Yet despite their efforts, Sonjay’s big title win in front of his home crowd didn’t feel like it had the emotional impact that it should have.
Sure the title match was good. Low Ki and Sonjay Dutt are good workers and there was nothing lacking from the match itself. Likely it was due to the quick build. Clearly they wanted to get this match done in India instead of Slammiversary given that’s where Dutt is from and to give the crowd a big home town hero win. But to do so they rushed the build.
Coming into this match, outside a video after Sonjay injured his eye months back, we had Dutt on commentary for a Low Ki match two weeks ago, and the challenge last week. With so little preceding the bout, there wasn’t enough build to pack the emotional punch that this deserved.
They could have put this off until the last night of the taping and built it more with a couple of in ring promos or a brawl between the guys. Perhaps they didn’t want the spoiler out there too long. Perhaps they need to build to Slammiversary (though if I recall, it’s an Ultimate X match with multiple people so there isn’t much to build.) Either way, using this week and next week to set up for the match in two weeks would have helped it feel bigger.
In the end, it wasn’t a bad match and it was cool seeing Sonjay finally win it. But the act of winning a title that’s eluded him for 15 years in his home country should have felt like a bigger moment than it did.
Sony SIX Invitational
Tonight there was a gauntlet style battle royal dubbed the Sony SIX invitational, where the winner would win a surprisingly small trophy. Not surprisingly, Mahabali Shera took this match.
The finish makes sense. Mahabali Shera is from India and a battle royal is the perfect way to get him some spotlight. They had his father front row, which made it feel more meaningful for the man himself.
The fact they had him as the last man to enter this match made it feel less impressive. I would think they’d try to get him involved sooner, so he could outlast the other men and really earn the win in front of his home crowd. Plus, it’d give the hometown fans more time to get behind him. The fact they didn’t could be because he is still rather green in the ring. But it is a battle royal and much of that time is spent beating someone down, getting beaten down, or laying in the corner. Surely, he could have done that.
When it was down to him and KM as the final two, they had to win by pinfall or submission so they wrestled a very short bout. It was entertaining enough and getting a pinfall to win made Shera look better, especially since he wasn’t in the match for that long.
As for the rest of the battle royal, there were a couple other notables. Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards eliminated each other because they were brawling too hard and hate each other so much. Eddie ran out and immediately took it to his former tag partner. They eliminated each other within a minute.
Swoggle and Rockstar Spud were both in this match and those two guys are hilarious. Swoggle felt the need to try a series of chops on both KM and Davey Richards, which had no effect. Nonetheless, he decided to keep trying and continued to pay for it. Rockstar Spud came out and went right after Swoggle. At one point, he had his boot on Swoggle’s head while shouting “I didn’t mean to pull your pants down!” This feud rules.
Hail heel Carter
Ethan Carter is a top notch heel.
It’s something I had forgotten during his face run. I didn’t mind his run as a good guy. He still had his attitude and was still entertaining, but it wasn’t the same. He’s inspired as a heel. Tonight, he showed that off.
He came out calling him E-Singh-3, wearing Indian garb, and flanked with a translator. On the mic, he ran down the entire country, calling them a third world hellhole. In fact, he insults them so much his translator is reluctant to translate it. Because of that, the poor guy ends up getting whipped with his own belt.
It ended with Storm making the save, running EC3 off.
This is by the book heeling, but it surely works. Carter mocked the local culture first, then he turned to straight up running them down, and then ended by beating up the local man who didn’t want to disparage his country. And EC3 does it with such passion that he just oozes “piece of shit” when he’s in this mode. He’s so great at heeling that despite being so good at pro-wrestling, we still want to see him get beat up.
Josh Mathews’ exhibition
Josh Mathews had a exhibition match against a local talent as a warm up for his Slammiversary match.
That sounds bad, but it actually wasn’t. Mathews off commentary is a solid heel character. He’s so obnoxious on the microphone you just want to see him get his ass kicked. And he has enough wrestling experience to pull off a segment like this.
He ended up getting a win over the local talent, who he first talked up as a member of the Indian wrestling team, a cricket champion, and a Bollywood star. (In reality, the guy was a short chubby guy in a red singlet.) As homage to his tag partner, he won with a Steiner Recliner that he set up with a Swanton Bomb (seriously).
When he wouldn’t let the hold go after the match, Mahabali Shera made his second appearance of the night. Mathews tried to beg off the bigger man, but then his friend Bobby Lashley came out and attacked Shera. This is a callback to the fact Lashley was on Mathews 4 on 4 team and the champ has seemed to tolerate Mathews’ BS for some reason.
This of course brought out Alberto El Patron. It was the only representation of this feud during this episode, but on a two hour show, not every feud is going to get a ton of time. It was clear tonight was about the X Division title match.
Steiner hates lawyers and fatasses.
The announcers feud has been put aside and mainly used for comedy lately, which is the way it should be. After dominating Impact for months, more recently, they’ve backed off that and just used it sparingly for some laughs. While many won’t forgive how much this feud killed the show for over a month, and that’s understandable, what they’re doing now is fine.
Tonight, we saw Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park continue to train, or in reality, avoid training. But they got a call from Big Poppa Pump and he cut a promo via video chat. Steiner promos are always welcome.
Braxton Sutter defeated Trevor Lee in a short match. They need to do better with Trevor Lee.
After the match, Sienna and Laurel Van Ness came out to challenge Allie and Rosemary for next week. Sienna then put the idea in Allie’s head that maybe Rosemary isn’t someone she should be trusting. I’m really into the Allie/Rosemary/Sienna story and I’m excited to see how the tag match plays out next week.
Josh Mathews also slipped in the fact that Sienna will face Rosemary title vs. title at Slammiversary.
Moose had words with Eli Drake and Chris Adonis last night. He challenged them to a match at Slammiversary with a mystery partner. While he’ll reveal that partner next week, it’s already out there.
Pros of the Show:
- EC3 is a fantastic heel
- Shera got to have a moment in front of his family
- Mathews is a fun character off of the desk
Cons of the Show:
- Trevor Lee deserves better
- While the main event was good, more build would have helped the impact of the win
Much better showing this week than last. Slammiversary is coming together and things seem to be tidying up. EC3’s heel work has been on point and it was nice to see Shera get some time in front of his family tonight. The X Division title match was fun, though I would have liked to see them build it for a couple more weeks.
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