Hello, and welcome to weekly Impact Wrestling — that’s what this is, it probably won’t change again — coverage on With Spandex. And also welcome to me, LaToya Ferguson, your recapper and friend.
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Previously: I’m sure there will be a recap of all the recaps. If not, then nuts to you, McGillicuddy.
EH: No One Asked For This
Before even starting this week’s episode, I decided to go to the company’s website. You know, as professional preparation. This was the first thing I saw. I’m an idiot.
ACE: Yeah, I Suppose We Asked For This
One good thing about this week’s show is that it’s not Total Nonstop Recaps. There are clips and video packages and replays … but they’re a normal amount of clips and video packages and replays. In fact, the two matches we get in different promotions are actually matches in different promotions. They have their own problems — and those problems highlight Impact Wrestling’s problems as a whole — but they’re still better than what we’ve been getting.
From ACE to EH: The Slap Felt Around The World
I’ll give this one to Impact Wrestling. I was originally going to call this bit “The Slap Heard Around The Impact Zone” until I saw this tweet.
Here’s the deal: During this week’s X-Division bout, Josh Mathews announces that Taryn Terrell is no longer cleared to wrestle at Bound For Glory after last week’s slap from Gail Kim. It’s so amazingly Taryn Terrell over-the-top that it’s perfect. It’s the type of thing where you wonder exactly what kind of story they’ll make out of it, even though you know it’ll probably lead to a gimmick that makes no sense.
But over the night, I saw talk (not within the show, just on Queens Boulevard* — that’s what I call any place with live Impact Wrestling discussion) that the actual reason Taryn Terrell won’t be wrestling at Bound For Glory is because she truly is not cleared to wrestle. Possibly due to a concussion. Now if that’s the case, I obviously wish her a speedy recovery and again praise Impact Wrestling for making a delightful in-character excuse for her absence.
Then the next day, Impact Wrestling announced Taryn Terrell has left the company. Concussion or not, this means another swing and a miss for Impact Wrestling. Because you know they had to have taped a bunch of other Bound For Glory material with or about her. And because you know the other three participants in the Knockouts Title match had to have been part of said material. So now either Impact Wrestling drops all of that — since they’ve already announced she’s not part of the match — or they air it all and fail to make it work for an audience that’s already confused about so many other things. We shall see.
R.I.P. Taryn Terrell Top Team. You’ll always be our hot mess.
* Let the record reflect that this of course means the obvious: I am Queens Boulevard.
EH: PSA: Orlando Has Film Students For Hire
I’m pretty sure Impact Wrestling has completely forgotten how television works, if it ever really knew to begin with. Seriously, what happens with this match is just a brand new form of strange for this company. I can’t even call it bad. Just strange.
The particular strangeness occurs after Johnny Impact vs. Chris Adonis takes a commercial break. As we all know, commercials breaks are totally normal for televised wrestling matches. So it comes back, with Johnny Impact fighting to get out of a superplex predicament. That’s fine. He gets out of it, knocking Chris Adonis onto the mat. Also fine. Then he does his Countdown To Impact finishing move. Hmm. Then he wins, 1-2-3. That’s it. What I’m saying is: 99% of the match happened, it went to commercial, and then it returned from commercial for the immediate finish.
That’s not how this works. That’s a step away from finishing the match during commercial to plug the GWN App. (Do not do that, Impact Wrestling. It did not work for WWE. It would not work for you.) Now consider the fact that these shows grasp for material to fill time. With that objective, this match could have easily gone on longer to make the time before and after the commercial feel more even. Not that I’m asking for a longer Chris Adonis match, but it would’ve at least made sense and eliminated the need for more recaps or promos for Bound For Glory or the same Alberto El Patron video package (this is an EH, but I don’t need to repeat it separately) from last week.
EH: Low-Ki Already Told Y’All This Ain’t WWE
Chris Adonis still says “Master Lock” before he does the Adonis Lock. And we know it’s the Adonis Lock because his name is Chris Adonis now and also commentary says “Adonis Lock” 50 times in a row when he locks it in. Yet this guy still grits out (which I guess is better than shouting it, as he did when he first came here) “Master Lock” before he does it. Because “lolTNA” dictates that when you can remind your audience about that time you were relevant in WWE, you should always remind your audience about that time you were relevant in WWE. And as we know, “lolTNA” is the driving force no matter what iteration of this company. I wish it weren’t so, which is why I’m going to watch some classic Knockouts match on the Global Wrestling Network after this recap.
ACE: No One’s Watching, Just Let Eli Drake Become Ric Flair
The Gravy Train-ing of the suit jacket was obvious, but now Eli Drake is ending up stripped to his boxer briefs in segments.
Chris Adonis also gets an ACE (I know) for making the beautifully homoerotic subtext of the segment text by shouting to Eli Drake, while beating Johnny Impact down: “Whip him! Harder, baby!”
The Saddest ACE I Ever Heard: For Real
I mean, I understand the intelligence of showing off how cool the promotion used to be and reminding the audience that there are avenues to stroll down memory lane … But that doesn’t make it any less sad to compare and contrast.
EH: Who Booked This Crap? Part Infinity
This is the type of thing that, when you see guys like Bully Ray and Shane Helms tweet about how the Impact talents’ hands are tied and not to direct the criticisms toward them, this is what they mean. Because oh boy — literally nothing in this segment is the result of the talent not doing their jobs well. It just turns out their jobs make absolutely no sense, and then Eddie Edwards has to try to verbally make it work. (Spoiler alert: That’s an ACE just because of how much Eddie Edwards commits to pretending to care. You’ll see what I mean in a moment.)
As is Impact Wrestling’s way, this match is announced right before it happens with no set-up or explanation to go along with. Sure, all five of these men are part of a particular storyline, but after last week’s main event tag match, a five-way (instead of a six-way, considering there are six men in this story) match between the participants is kind of a big thing to not give some background. There’s no video package, there’s no Cornette or backstage segment. JB and Josh just tell us this is happening, Josh says “Impact truly is global” (tell that to your new title cover up jobs), and we’re back in AAA with its stupid vuvuzelas. Again, I’ll say: James Storm, EC3, and Eddie Edwards do a great job in this match. They play to the crowd and play their roles perfectly. They are regular ACEs in this company, and I’d like to think I’ve made that clear on a weekly basis.
But considering Impact Wrestling makes their roles sudden heels — for two weeks in a row, since next week’s show will also feature them in AAA — if you tried to pretend anything about this Impact vs. AAA feud made sense before, I dare you to try now. JB tries by calling this “almost a parallel universe.” Though that’s not even because of the heel thing. That’s because Impact Wrestling made sure to pick two AAA wrestlers who are feuding (in AAA) to bond together, then had to figure out how to make their teamwork in Impact Wrestling make sense. It hasn’t, and it still doesn’t now with more context.
JB: “Interesting. When you come to Impact, Texano and Fantasma have been on the same page. Even brought Pagano into the mix. But here on their home turf, make no mistake about it, they’re not friends.”
Except the thing is, whenever we turn on this show, we are coming to Impact. As I’ve been saying since the beginning of the Global Force, the audience watches Impact Wrestling to watch Impact Wrestling. There needs to be a proper mixing and blending, not the constant reminders that other promotions treat your talent better, other promotions make your talent look like better wrestlers, and none of it matters because duh MMA is better. Also, if only this company showed that (like EC3 and James Storm) Texano and Fantasma are an uneasy alliance. And no, I’m not counting the JB talking point that nothing about this story(other than this match, finally) has corroborated.
Also, obviously Team Impact were going to be the heels in AAA. Except to that one guy the cameras zoom in on very clearly chanting “USA” when everyone else is supposed to be chanting “Mexico” (a chant Texano manages to start while getting his ass kicked):
But this match confirms that after all of this, the Impact Wrestling guys really are the assholes. EC3 even goes after Fantasma’s mask, and Eddie Edwards makes the best douchey jock bro face when he first hears them getting booed. Again, good heel work, but what exactly is the intent? And James Storm and Texano end up working together in this match, so I’m really excited to see none of that matter in the coming weeks. What a waste for all three (the actual Impact wrestlers, as Texano and Fantasma and even Pagano have nothing to worry about with the AAA cushion) of these men. James Storm promises they’ll finish this on next week’s show, and hopefully that’s the case. Because what an upsetting Bound For Glory if this is part of it.
By the way, this is not in the set-up for the match — because there is no set-up — but this match is apparently part of AAA’s Ring & Rockstars 7 event. Then, much later in the match than you’d expect, JB says the winner of this match goes on to the Ring & Rockstars finale. First of all, how is this not something you say at the beginning of the match, when you first bring up Ring & Rockstars? Second of all, how do you not — at any point in this match — explain what Ring & Rockstars even is? We now know it’s something with a “finale,” and thankfully none of the full-time Impact Wrestling stars win this match because imagine JB trying to explain why we don’t see that finale.
One of my notes for this week’s show was questioning why the whole “Team Impact” concept isn’t being used for something where it makes sense, like against American Top Team. Then American Top Team ended up physically imposing their will over those fake wrestling losers — again — so I got my answer.
EH: Notes From The Parallel Universe
JB: “Last week we brought you great action from Japan.”
The hell you did.
ACE: This Masshole Right Here
Eddie Edwards is barely part of this storyline, yet he gets to be the one who rallies them all about how important it is … before he says he’s gonna peace out to go to Japan. Because technically, he’s important in at least one company. I’m honestly surprised Eddie Edwards doesn’t take the pin in this match — because despite how big of a deal he should be treated as, he’s not — but I assume that’s because he reminded officials he’s the GHC Champion literally minutes before the match. Instead, EC3 — who is a champion in Impact Wrestling — takes the pin.
EH: Ohio Vs. Tangible Explanations As To What They’re Doing
This week, oVe decide to go back to Tijuana and The Crash to … show Konnan the title belts and let him touch them one last time. This could’ve happened at the Impact Zone, it also could’ve not happened at all, but this week’s show really wants to hammer home that oVe are immature kids in the bodies of somewhat grown men. Them calling out for Konnan (like 13 year olds who want to know if Bobby can come out and play) in one of these vignettes is baffling, because Impact Wrestling still forgot to explain to us who these people are. But I think I’ve got them pegged now.
Jake and Dave’s “polar opposite” description comes from the fact that Jake is dumber than rocks and Dave is also dumb but still technically the brains of the team. Remember, Dave was the one who came up with the “plan” last time they were in TJ, and now Dave has to explain to Jake that he’s being sarcastic when they return to Tijuana this week. Also, it explains why Jake is on an “oVe” chant loop and why he dressed up in his Sami Callihan cos-play this week. (I know Jake’s dressed in the gear he wears when they team with Sami, but they really could’ve coordinated on this one.)
So Konnan decides that if oVe want to speak to him, they have to put their titles on the line and win. That’s honestly fine and it makes sense. It doesn’t make sense why oVe wouldn’t just go back to LAX’s club and get VIP service again though, since we know that’s how these things work. Commentary doesn’t even begin to sell oVe’s opponents as a threat, but come on — no one on any of these partner promotion matches is a threat. Then oVe go to Konnan … to ask to get paid.
No, I’m not skipping anything here, these guys think for some reason that they’re going to get paid. This isn’t even a Joseph Park “fine print” situation; these dummies weren’t booked for a show and then agreed to wrestle for free. Josh “I’m Not A Regular Nerd, I’m A Cool Nerd” Mathews even calls them winning the match like a video game level to get to the boss battle. They do their childish teasing, stupidly ask for money, and then get their asses kicked for invoking Roadhouse without earning it.
Josh calls oVE “beloved” on commentary and I’ve never heard a bigger lie. Okay, that’s a lie too, as I watch Impact Wrestling on a weekly basis.
ACE, Sadly: oVe’s Best Match So Far, Again
Unsurprisingly, oVe’s best match is outside of the Impact Zone. And because this time we get to see the full match — unlike the original tag title four-way which looked awesome — we see the things I’ve noted about oVe in Impact Wrestling. Specifically the company’s slower pace, which calls attention to way more things like the fact that Jake Crist is obsessed with chanting “oVe.” This match, however, goes so quickly that he only gets to do it once, and Josh Mathews smartly calls him out for it, pointing out that they’re considered the bad guys here. Funnily enough, oVe is more well-received by the crowd at The Crash than Team Impact were at AAA.
Also unsurprisingly, the guys they go against (Black Diamond and Black Danger, who we don’t learn the names of until they attack oVe) look more impressive and presentable than they do for most of the match. Because that’s just the standard that’s been set at this point.
Josh Mathews calls this match “Tag Team 101,” and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a supposedly standard tag team match fail “Tag Team 101” in my life. There’s no indication on commentary (big surprise) if things are different over at The Crash or even if this is possibly a Tornado Tag match, but there’s not a single tag in this match. And it’s not even a lucha rules thing, because everyone just comes in and decides to be legal at any time, with no reaction from the referee on anything. Seriously, he doesn’t even faux count during double team maneuvers (of which there are many) or top rope shenanigans. Literally the only thing this referee does in this match is count the pinfall.
EH: The People Who Should Be Addressing Stuff Like The AAA/Impact Thing Or Why Trevor Lee Is A Cult Leader, Not Doing That
Jim Cornette, Scott D’Amore, and Dan Lambert all shouting nonsense at each other gets its own little bit in this episode. It’s been two weeks since Cornette left those three old men X-Divisioners shouting in his office for being unprofessional, but this is fine.
EH: That’s The Company You Keep
I guess Pop TV has decided that it might as well just start pairing Impact Wrestling with movies that match its quality level, which is why JB twice (TWO TIMES) hypes up the “Tyler Perry double feature” of Madea Witness Protection and Meet The Browns.
ACE For Action, EH For UGH: All You Need Is ONE Segment
The biggest problem with the Cult of Lee thing — and the concept itself is not the problem — is that, if you’re one of the people in the Impact Zone during these tapings? You have absolutely no idea that Trevor Lee is a young boy cult leader. (Is it because of his genius IQ? I know Josh Mathews wanted to focus only on that before and not anything that might tell a story.) We the viewers have commentary done in post, and we don’t even have a real understanding of why or how. And this week, the show even lays it on thick on commentary and in the Trevor Lee in Mexico sneak peak.
There’s simply no catalyst, no definitive point in these past weeks where you can say, “Yup, that’s it. That’s the point Trevor Lee turned from petty thief to cult leader.” Caleb Kon-ley showed up all of a sudden because NORTH CAROLINA, but it’s one of those things that at least can make some sense … and then Andrew Everett shows up because NORTH CAROLINA AND ALSO CULT BRAINWASHING. And because in-ring promo time is dedicated to MMA bros instead of the X-Division Champion, we’ll never get the missing piece of this story.
Meanwhile, Dezmond Xavier is currently involved in this little “feud” with the Cult of Lee, but it’s all most likely leading to a multi-man X-Division title match at Bound For Glory. As much as JB tries to pretend Xavier’s been all over the show since winning the Super X Cup, we know that’s not true, and apparently winning that trophy did nothing to give him a logical one-on-one match against the champ. If he doesn’t win at Bound For Glory either? Then it really means nothing. Oh, I just thought of something: Bound For Nihilism.
Also, this is petty, but I’m looking forward to at least getting out of this set of tapings to get away from the oVe/Andrew Everett front row stan crew. The Jake Crist cos-player yelling “Andrew can do more flips!” at Dezmond right before the match starts is so lame. And it’s possible that it’s factually inaccurate. This match (which is fine, for getting less time than a Chris Adonis match) even proves that.
A Choice: Your New Title Cover Up Jobs
At least it looks better than this:
ACE: The Gospel According to Saint Lee
Leave it to Trevor Lee, cult leader, to speak for the people and say he has no idea why he’s in Mexico. And to roam around looking for “el promotor” on the same show where oVe proves yet again that it’s very easy to gain access to Konnan at The Crash. Okay, I’ll stop talking about this now, since this is just a sneak peak for the full (or “full”) segment next week.
I’ve seen a lot of people who don’t watch wrestling outside of WWE and/or Impact Wrestling say they’re surprised Trevor Lee is doing this well on the mic/as a character or that he’s really improved. I just want to say: He’s been this good for a very long time, and Impact Wrestling is just now getting around to showing even a fraction of it.
EH: At Least It’s Almost Over
I know it was always building to a match at Bound For Glory, but how appropriately Grado (and Impact Wrestling) is it that Grado’s answer to getting screwed over because he’s an idiot who doesn’t pay attention … is to sign a contract without reading it, because he’s an idiot who doesn’t pay attention?
Also, this match has already happened. Last year. I remember because it was the rare One Night Only show I even watched. The match was fine. So I hope at Bound For Glory they just play that match and still somehow do cuts to backstage pre-tapes (the only reason to be excited about this feud). Do it. See what happens.
ACE: Channel 666
Grado has terrible taste in music, but at least we get Channel 666 on his radio, which naturally plays the Abyss entrance music. And also summons Father James Mitchell, because this is just what Impact Wrestling does now.
ACE: Dan Lambert Can Talk …
I just need to make this clear: Dan Lambert can talk and gives a better promo than a lot of Impact Wrestling talent. He also gets much more screen and actual promo time than a lot of Impact Wrestling talent too, but at least he does well with it.
However, he does meander in this segment. It’s both the symptom of the length (there’s quite the argument between whether the heat he gets from the audience is because of his work or because no one cares about this storyline) and the fact that he has to connect all of this mess of a story from how a love of wrestling and a favor for Jeff Jarrett turned into a need to destroy it (and Jeff Jarrett can destroy himself without any help).
“I love wrestling, but I’m asking them to destroy it. I’m asking them to expose it for what it really is: a bunch of loudmouth, wannabe tough guys, who have no idea what it’s like to be in a real fight. And they just wanna bottom feed in the combat sports arena.”
Guess what? He doesn’t even have to wait until Bound For Glory. It happens in this very segment! Also, he says this after trying to show that he’s the biggest smark, so what does it make him that he’s amassed a collection of trophies for “wannabe tough guys?”
EH: … But This Storyline Is Still Trash
Josh (reminding the audience that everyone at Impact Wrestling is inferior to MMA bros): “They’re here, they’re not invited to be here, but who’s gonna stop American Top Team?”
Also, after telling us American Top Team will be coming up next, immediately after commercial, JB has to act surprised American Top Team just interrupts his Hall of Fame segment. He is literally the one who says that people who aren’t even technically booked on the show are coming up next. They recorded these segments in advance, they could’ve easily had JB hype the Hall of Fame announcement next, making the takeover a “surprise.” But since American Top Team is supposed to be the draw, another little Impact Wrestling thing goes unnoticed.
I’ve already gone through how this American Top Team storyline is a mess of epic MMM > professional wrestling proportions, and this segment and episode’s end continues to fall right in line with that. But it also falls in line with what I’ve previously said about this storyline simply making Lashley a tool instead of the driving force. Remember when Lashley was actually a big deal in Impact Wrestling? It was around the time EC3 was actually a big deal in Impact Wrestling. It was before Alberto El Patron came to town and kept beating them, coincidentally.
Dan Lambert can talk for days, and that’s great. But that’s not getting Lashley, the actual Impact Wrestling star, over. It’s getting over how Lashley and King Mo are both under his thumb, under his control. I’ve seen people compare Lambert to Paul Heyman after his promo, and I just want to ask: Is there ever a moment when Heyman is cutting a promo these days and you think he’s the one in charge, not Brock Lesnar? Because all Dan Lambert and the American Top Team segments do is make sure we know that Lambert’s the boss and that Lashley is the — according to Lashley — “bitch.” Look at the YouTube clips for these segments. Dan Lambert’s name is on all of them for a reason.
I know he’s no Kanye West, but this is a condensed version of his very long promo:
“You should be honored by my lateness
That I would even show up to this fake shit”
There. Now there can be more time for the main event of this show. The main event that only gets a video package right beforehand, while there are multiple segments dedicated to this. I swear, if this “fight” main events Bound For Glory …
EH: Global Fumble
We don’t get a full Global Forged update this week, because they want us to go to the website to watch it. Only, it’s not on the website (as of Saturday, October 21, 2017). It’s (episode six, by the way) not on the YouTube. So even condensed, that was a waste of time.
ACE: Black And Blonde
Rosemary vs. Taya Valkyrie is nowhere near as epic as Josh Mathews tries to sell it (“an incredible, incredible encounter and collision”), but it is a good encounter and an example of an Impact Wrestling match that does what it’s supposed to do. The match is obviously building to Bound For Glory, so it has the task of being good enough to hype another match while not being too good to waste pre-Bound For Glory. Neither woman hits her finisher, and Rosemary also gets Taya back for the red mist trick.
The lack of finishers does mean an anti-climactic win for Taya though (the Northern Lights into the double stomp), but this main event is exactly what this episode needs after … this entire episode.
EH: Are You Stupid For A Living?
After Rosemary screams about blood and shrieks “Bloody Mary” three times:
JB: “What on Earth is Rosemary challenging Taya Valkyrie to at Bound For Glory?”
Josh: “I don’t think we wanna find out.”
Even the folks at the Impact Zone — who couldn’t care less about anything — react with the obvious sounds of people who get what these ladies are putting down. Who is this show for? How stupid do these people think their audience is? How stupid do they want their audience to be? And how can anyone still defend … so much of this?
EH: LOL Are You Gonna Cry?
I was ready to wrap this up, and then I saw this video added to the Impact Wrestling YouTube: “Sonjay Dutt on Dealing with Haters.” I don’t even need to remind anyone that this company brings it on itself, because you’ve read the rest of this recap, but seriously? Is there any adult in charge in this place? We’re posting videos about “haters” now? Please. Please.
Now it’s your turn. Please don’t forget to share this recap, because otherwise I won’t be able to keep these up. And if that happens, then Josh Mathews wins.