Date: August 24, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Jeremy Borash, Josh Matthews
It’s a huge night in Orlando as we’re guaranteed a new World Champion. After Alberto El Patron was stripped of the title, a Gauntlet for the Gold was announced. It’s basically a Royal Rumble but the final two participants will have a singles match instead of being thrown over the top for the title. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week’s show with a focus on the American Top Team fighter attacking Brian Hebner.
We get some post-show footage of the MMA fighters yelling at Jeff Jarrett and the leader of the fighters saying it’s Lashley’s fault for trying to do two things. James Storm got in an argument with one of the fighters too. So……yeah this is going to be a big deal at Bound For Glory isn’t it?
Earlier today Jarrett talked to the leader of the MMA guys but Lashley got the boss away. It seemed to be more calm this time. I apologize if I don’t recognize a few of the MMA names but I’m a casual fan of the sport at best.
Jim Cornette addresses part of the roster and says no one is getting an easy paycheck or getting away without fighting. After fining Lashley for being late, he gives everyone a pep talk before the Gauntlet for the Gold.
OVE vs. Heatseekers
OVE sends them outside for a suicide dive/moonsault combination. Well they’re already off to a better start than last week. Back in and a double snap spinebuster takes down we’ll say Heatseeker #1. A Death Valley Driver plants #2 as this is rather fast paced. #1 gets sent into the corner and a twisting DDT sends him onto the apron. The superkick/running kick to the knee combination puts away #2 at 3:03.
Rating: C+. Now THAT was how they should have debuted. The team looked great here as they cared up the jobbers with all of their cool moves which is exactly what they should have been doing last week. The tag division is dying for some new talent at this point and OVE seems like a great addition so far.
Cornette is on the phone and says the fine with Lashley was $5000 and if it makes TMZ he’s fired. Eli Drake and Chris Adonis come in so Drake can apologize for getting off on the wrong foot with the boss last week. Drake wants a different number so Cornette makes him a deal: if he leaves Jim alone, Drake can have another number. It’s a deal so Cornette makes him #2. Eli: “IT’S THE SAME THING!”
Oh don’t let WWE hear you say that buddy. They’ll let you know how much more amazing it was for Shawn Michaels to enter in 1995 at #1 and survive a forty minute match than it was for Rey Mysterio to enter in 2006 at #2 and set the longevity record (seriously happened on a list of impressive Rumble feats they released).
We look back at Taryn Terrell returning to take out Gail Kim and cost her the Knockouts Title match last week.
Here’s Terrell in the ring for a chat. Taryn says she and Gail used to be friends with Taryn even going through some issues to be at Gail’s Hall of Fame announcement. Has Gail ever called her or thanked her? Of course not. SHE DOESN’T EVEN FOLLOW TARYN ON TWITTER! Taryn rants about Gail following her husband around the country before she cheats on him and leaves, like she’s doing to this division. She’s tired of this being the Gail Show (preach it) but here’s Gail for the fight with JB breaking it up. Taryn bails while she has the chance.
Video on the recent house show tour. The crowds might have been small but it’s a good idea to get them back on the road, if nothing else to help spread the word about the company.
Some people say they’ll win the title tonight.
Lashley and the American Top Team guys come in to see Cornette, who yells at them for what they did last week. Lashley needs to make a choice about what he wants to do and stop listening to bad advice.
Taya Valkyrie is coming.
We recap Grado’s attempts to stay in the country by marrying Laurel Van Ness.
Here are Grado and Joseph Park for Grado’s farewell to America. Park says he’s going to miss him and Grado goes into a list of American food he’s going to miss. He says goodbye but stops for a THANK YOU GRADO chant. Cue Laurel Van Ness looking completely normal in a rather revealing dress. She calls Grado the peanut butter to her jelly and the barbecue sauce to her ribs. She proposes to Grado and he says yes, only to faint when she kisses him. This brings out Kongo Kong but Mahabali Shera cuts him off and Kong bails.
Cornette is in his office with Eddie Edwards and praises him for wrestling through an injury the night Cornette met him. Jim thinks Anthem would be proud to have Eddie as champion.
LAX talks about beer and tells Low Ki to win the title tonight.
GFW World Title: Gauntlet for the Gold
They have almost an hour for this. There are twenty entrants with a two minute interval for the first two and then ninety seconds between all following entrants. It’s over the top rope eliminations until there are two left and then it’s a regular match for the title. Eddie Edwards is in at #1 and Eli Drake is in at #2. They stall to start (makes sense in something like this) until Eddie slaps him in the face. Drake tries to low bridge him but gets chopped for his efforts as Mario Bokara is in at #3.
A German suplex drops Edwards and it’s a double stomp to put him in trouble. Naturally Drake turns on Mario but Eddie gets back up as it’s Kingston in at #4. Nothing of note happens until it’s Braxton Sutter in at #5. Things slow down again as they tend to do in these things until it’s Richard Justice (the standby wrestler) in at #6. Justice does his exercises both outside and inside the ring until Ethan Carter III is in at #7. Carter talks to Justice before kicking him low and tossing him for the first elimination.
Back from a break with time having stood still as Kongo Kong is in at #8. Kong throws out Bokara and Kingston to clear the ring a bit, only to have everyone else jump him to little avail. Suicide is in at #9 for the trust fall onto everyone with only Kong left standing. Drake bails to the floor without being eliminated and it’s Mahabali Shera in at #10 giving us Shera, Drake, Edwards, Carter, Suicide, Kong and Sutter. Shera low bridges Kong to the floor and it’s Chris Adonis in at #11 to team up with Drake. They get rid of Shera as Suicide and Sutter chop away at Carter. El Hijo Del Fantasma is in at #12 and we take another break.
Back again with Johnny Impact making his debut at #13 and getting rid of Adonis and Suicide without too much effort. Garza Jr. is in at #14 with a missile dropkick to Impact. Sutter breaks up his stripping routine and gets eliminated for his efforts. Fallah Bahh is in at #15 to give us Bahh, Edwards, Drake, Carter, Fantasma, Impact and Garza. Fat man offense ensues and it’s KM at #16.
Drake and Carter fight to the apron as Taiji Ishimori is in at #17. Lashley is in at #18 and it should be time to clear the ring a bit. KM is the first victim, followed by Bahh with no effort. Ishimori actually takes Lashley down with a springboard seated senton, only to slip on another springboard and get eliminated as well. Moose is in at #19 to beat some people up but he’s nice enough to let Garza strip. A powerbomb eliminates Garza, though luckily for him KM was still on the floor to catch him. Back from a break with Low Ki in at #20 to give us a final grouping of Edwards, Drake, Carter, Fantasma, Impact, Lashley, Moose and Low Ki.
Impact tries to catapult Low Ki out but gets caught in a double stomp instead. Fantasma cross bodies Carter and hits a jumping superkick, only to get TK3’d over the top. A pair of kicks to the head gets rid of Carter and we’re down to six. Moose dumps Low Ki and we take our final break. Back again with Lashley spearing Moose but getting caught with the Flying Chuck. Drake plants Impact, followed by Lashley missing a charge to eliminate himself. Edwards hurricanranas Moose out and we’re down to Drake, Edwards and Impact.
Drake gets knocked to the apron and kneed in the head but he hangs on by his feet and pulls himself back in. Impact loads up the Flying Chuck but gets dropped onto the apron. Drake dives through the ropes to the floor (not eliminated) and pulls Impact outside for the elimination. We’re down to Drake vs. Edwards for the title and it’s Eddie hitting the Shot of Caffeine to start fast. A Blue Thunder Bomb gets two on Drake but he rolls through a high crossbody. Drake muscles him up into the Eli Drop (White Noise) for the pin and the title at 55:48. As usual, the announcers act like they’re ordering dinner because they can’t show emotion.
Rating: C-. Mostly dull match here but that’s almost always the case with most of these things. You’re only going to get so much out of a Royal Rumble with the better part of an hour and this could have been worse. Drake winning is a major plus for me as I’ve been a big fan of his for several months now. If nothing else I was expecting them to just give the title to Impact but it’s nice that they might make us wait a few months first. Watchable match, but nothing that hasn’t been done better elsewhere.
The celebration is on but hang on because American Top Team is beating up someone at ringside. Dan Lambert (the Top Team leader) shoves Scott D’Amore down as the team is lead off. Oh yeah and Drake is World Champion to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. Annoying focus on the MMA stuff aside, this was a completely fine show that accomplished its major goal. I’m very glad that the title match got so much time as it feels more important than just throwing them out there for fifteen or so minutes. Now that they’ve done something here though, they need to follow up on it, which has long since been a major issue around here. At least there’s an entertaining champion though and that’s a very good start.
OVE b. Heatseekers – Superkick/Running kick to the knee combination to #2
Eli Drake won Gauntlet for the Gold – Eli Drop to Eddie Edwards
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