GFW Impact returned last night (July 20) from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida. This was their third show from the most recent taping. Find the results at the live blog here.
Alberto El Patron’s issues with Konnan and LAX continued last night as LAX proved to be a dangerous stable you don’t want to cross.
Konnan decided the way to get to Patron was through his family. This was set up with the fact that Alberto’s championship celebration was with his father and brother. So earlier this week Konnan had his boys in LAX retrieve both individually, bring them to their clubhouse, and threatened them if they don’t convince Patron to join LAX.
Then last night, Konnan and LAX found Patron’s brother and father and asked if Patron is going to join. Dos Caras (Patron’s father) said no and LAX beat down the two men and dragged them to the ring. First he grabbed El Hijo de Dos Caras and threatened to beat him up if Patron didn’t come down and join LAX. Berto didn’t show and his brother took a beating for it.
Konnan then turned to Dos Caras and threatened to de-mask him if Patron didn’t come out. Finally, the champs music hit and Alberto slowly walked out. I mean it. It was pretty slow. He stayed on the ramp instead of running down and told Konnan not to lay another finger on his family.
Maybe this was supposed to be strategy to avoid his family more harm, but it all came off as unintentionally funny. He didn’t bother coming out when his brother was taking a kendo stick beating and only slowly walked out when they threatened his father.
When he got into the ring, he and Konnan exchanged words but it ended with him agreeing to join LAX if they’d let his family go. He made it clear that he and Konnan (who he had called Carlos through this) are no longer friends. Konnan didn’t care though. He told Berto he didn’t want a friend. Just a soldier to follow orders.
They let his family go and handed him an LAX shirt which he reluctantly donned. However, as soon as his family was clear, he unloaded on LAX. Clotheslines to the tag champs followed by a kendo stick walloping to Homicide. That left him alone in the ring with Konnan, who started backing off. Patron went for a kendo stick attack but the tag champs Santana and Ortiz took that bullet.
Patron ripped off the shirt after he cleared the ring.
I’m still enjoying this story. LAX has been built has a threat from the day they walked back into the Impact Zone. Tonight they upped their game by doing whatever it took to get what they wanted, including threatening a man’s family.
The heavy lifting of this angle was performed by Konnan tonight with a bunch of videos from their clubhouse. Patron only showed up for the last 10 minutes, which helped with the suspension issue. Last week, when his suspension was ripe, he was all over the episode. This week, he was only there for 10 minutes. Maybe because it’s a week out or maybe it’s because he was on much less this week, but I found it easier to separate story from real life this week. (It helps that no new information has been revealed yet.)
Within the story, Patron is selling his issues with LAX well. He’s got some passion to his promos and his fire for the beat down was good. They set it up so that I was suprised that he didn’t reluctantly join the Latin American Exchange tonight. He surely could have walked off with them to save his family and that would have been an understandable move. But he’s too proud for that and decided to attack.
Things are not going to improve for the champ as he’s made some serious enemies of a group who’s shown themselves to be quite cruel. Without any real allies, he may have made the wrong decision tonight.
Sienna had another squash match tonight, disposing of Amber Nova in no time. It was after the match that business picked up.
She renewed her issues with Karen Jarrett by demanding Ms. Jarrett come out, get on her knees, and acknowledge Sienna as the best Knockouts champion of all time. Of course, Karen wasn’t having it. The champ started backing Karen into the corner, which brought out Allie to help out, which brought out Laurel Van Ness to assist Sienna, which then led to Rosemary’s return, and finally Gail Kim.
At the end, Karen announced a Last Woman Standing match for the title next week between Sienna and Rosemary.
They looked to open the feud/story of the division, by introducing Gail Kim to it all. That’s all well and good. However, I don’t see why Karen needs to be a part of all of this. While I’ll always appreciate following up on a story, if they opted to forget about Sienna’s feud with Karen Jarrett, I’d be OK with that. I don’t think it helps Sienna much and it often feels like Karen is the focus when involved. (Sienna has been overall great lately and she’s becoming very confident on the mic. But she can do that without Karen.)
It was also a bit disappointed that after missing two weeks, Rosemary’s return wasn’t a focus but just a bigger part of a series of run-ins. Hell, she didn’t even get to be the difference making one. That was Gail Kim. The former Knockout’s champion felt like more of an afterthought in this segment instead of a big deal. That’s a shame.
We’ll need to give them a bit of time to see what the fallout of all this is and what the next feuds are. But we do get Rosemary/Sienna Last Knockout Standing next week. Can’t complain about that.
Matt Sydal defeated Low-Ki and El Hijo de Fantasma (aka King Cuerno) in a fun X Division match. After the match, Sydal asked Bruce Pritchard to come out and requested a title shot. While Bruce understood Matt deserved one, he was a complete dick about it, complaining he’s tired of people demanding things from him. That’s what happens when you’re in charge, Bruce.
This brought out Lashley, who figured this is the best time to demand a world title shot. He completely cut off Sydal, who wasn’t too happy about being interrupted. Bobby told Pritchard he deserves a shot at the world title and Bruce knows it. Before Lashley left, he makes sure to spear Sydal.
If this turns into a match between Sydal and Lashley, I’d be game for that. It’d be a contrast in styles, but it would be entertaining. I could do with less of Pritchard out there just being totally obnoxious though. But more on him in a bit.
Six Man Action
Laredo Kid, Garza Jr., and Octagoncito defeated Idris Abraham, Trevor Lee, and Demus.
The only real notable here, outside the fact the match was overall entertaining, is that Trevor Lee wore “his” X Division title most of the match. This story is a bit weird. Prior to the match backstage, Pritchard asked Lee why he was walking around with a title that wasn’t his. As Trevor was explaining, Sonjay Dutt, the actual champion. tried to get at Lee, but was held back by security. Pritchard ended up sending Sonjay away and banning him from the building.
That’s a really odd move for an authority figure who isn’t really a heel. Sonjay is rightful champ and as Bruce has Lee right there, he doesn’t take his title. Instead, he bans the actual champ from the building. Either Pritchard is an idiot or he’s turning heel. I wish he’d be neither and instead not be an on-screen character.
Drago advanced in the Super X Cup by defeating Sammy Guevara tonight. They had a short but very entertaining match that allowed the less experienced Sammy to show off what he can do before Drago predictably got the win.
The Super X Cup is shaping up to be quite the tournament. Hopefully as they get deeper into the tournament, these matches will more consistently be two segment matches. (I can imagine Davey Richards vs. Ishimori next week may earn that as well.) But it’s been a great exhibition display.
With the Super X Cup, the story with the X Division title between Dutt and Lee, and Sydal’s climb, the X Division had three segments tonight. The refocus on the division is one of the biggest positives coming out of new regime. The division was often forgotten and overall on life support the last few years. It’s good to see it really getting some focus.
They held a fatal 4-way between Eli Drake, EC3, Moose, and Eddie Edwards. And Drake won!
You can tell that’s the Drake fanboy in me coming out, but after putting over DeAngelo Williams and then helping promote friggin’ Swole-Mates for the last month, it’s good to see him get a win in a match that had two former Impact champions and the current Grand Champion.
Eli didn’t straight earn the win. Of course not. He’s Eli Drake. He’s going to capitalize on an opportunity when it’s presented to him. Eli distracted Eddie, who was setting up for the Boston Knee Party on EC3. Carter hit the One Percenter on Eddie but Moose pulled Carter out of the ring. As they brawled, Drake took the chance to get the pin on Eddie. He kind of did some work. But not really.
It fit his character. Plus they built on the feud that Moose is having with EC3, and this gets Drake a good win. Better than dealing with the Swole-Mates.
Pros of the Show:
- The main event is still intriguing
- Eli Drake got a pretty big win
- X Division has been fun
Cons of the Show:
- Bruce Pritchard is a bad on screen character
- The returning Rosemary felt overshadowed in her return
Impact is finding a pretty good formula for their episodes. They’ve got their main event angle threaded through the night. They have an exhibition match or two. And then they tell the rest of their tales.
It gives a decent flow to the episodes, though I’d prefer a few more stories for guys like Eli Drake and Eddie Edwards. With Gail Kim returning, they could afford to focus on another Knockout’s program as well.
Tonight had a little more story substance than last week, but they are still only really telling four stories over two hours. Most of the ones they are telling are pretty entertaining. Most of the exhibition matches are quite enjoyable.
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