The second part of the Best of 2017 of IMPACT as we’re going to take a look at the second part of the year. Even if, in the UK, this episode won’t be aired until next week, the IMPACT fans you are won’t be surprised to read this review. Again, I absolutely don’t know what IMPACT decided to pick, so I’ll find out with you, review you it for you, but also try to remember with you why these matches were important. Of course, we’ll stay on action mode this week (I may be one year older since yesterday, don’t expect me to change). Let’s get ready to rewind 2017, the “Doctor Frenchy” Steph way, of course…
A recap of Slammiversary XV aired. A great PPV that was supposed to open a new chapter for the company. We saw Jeff Jarrett thanking the fans, DeAngelo Williams teaming with Moose, the rough confrontation between EC3 and James Storm and Alberto El Patron winning the Global title by defeating Lashley, in front of his father and brother.
Slammiversary XV – Knockouts Title Unification Match: Sienna vs. Rosemary (July 2, 2017)
By the time of Slammiversary Global titles and IMPACT titles were coexisting and the merger of the 2 entities led to a series of unification matches. This should not be the match I was expecting to see in the best of as Rosemary and Sienna offered tremendous matches this summer. Laurel Van Ness and KM showed up to distract Rosemary and give Sienna the momentum. Back from break, Rosemary was in control with a flying elbow from the corner. She went for the Red Wedding but Sienna countered into a suplex. Rosemary was then able to put Sienna into the tarantula but Sienna slammed her into the barriers when Rosemary was on the apron.
As the crowd was fully with Rosemary, Sienna climbed on the top turnbuckle, followed by Rosemary who got stuck in the Tree of Woe. Rosemary was able to rise and hit a brilliant suplex while still in the corner. Rosemary continued with a missile dropkick and release suplex. Rosemary hit the Red Wedding but Laurel pulled the referee out. An infuriated Allie rushed to the ring to chase LVN with a kendo stick. Thanks to the distraction, Sienna hit Rosemary with a title, but Rosemary didn’t surrender. When Rosemary tried to spit out some mist, Sienna blocked it with her hand and blinded Rosemary as she was coming for the Red Wedding. Sienna locked her into the AK-47 for the victory.
Slammiversary XV Tag Team Match: Josh Mathews & Scott Steiner vs. Joseph Park & Jeremy Borash (July 2, 2017)
Here was a match Josh Mathews presented very, very quickly… The battle of the announcers was not the greatest moment of the year too, but it led to a quite funny and interesting match at Slammiversary XV. We started with Park and Borash running away, with Steiner and Mathews chasing them. They were able to spray Steiner and Mathews with a fire extinguisher. But the chase was not done as Steiner and Mathews stole a car to have them. Mathews and Borash ended in a swimming pool, with an underwater fight and Shark Boy appearing to scare Mathews. Meanwhile, Steiner was working on Park in a storage facility and threw him through a wood wall.
While Steiner was back in the ring, James Mitchell showed up to give Park his Abyss mask. Steiner and Mathews were punishing Borash in the ring, Mathews went for a senton but Borash countered it into a spear. Shark Boy made another appearance to bother Steiner and Mathews, but Shark Boy was suplexed outside the ring by a nervous Big Poppa Pump. As Borash was about to tap out of the Steiner Recliner, James Mitchell and Abyss arrived. Abyss clotheslined both opponents, spread some thumbtacks in the ring and sent Mathews into them with the Black Hole Slam. Borash followed with a splash from the top rope on Mathews and the thumbtacks for the win.
20-Man Gauntlet for the Gold Match for the Global Championship (August 24, 2017)
At this very moment IMPACT Global Championship was vacant as Alberto El Patron had to relinquish the title due to personal issues. This match is the epitome of all the rivalries of the moment, Moose and Lashley, Eli Drake and newcomer Johnny Impact. We started the match when only five people were remaining in the match, Lashley, Eddie Edwards, Moose, Eli Drake, and Johnny Impact. Moose just dropkicked Lashley out of the match, as American Top Team was watching front row. Moose and Edwards locked up, Edwards nearly got powerbombed out of the match, but Edwards trapped into a hurricanrana that sent him to the floor. Edwards, Drake and Impact were the 3 last contenders. Drake was nearly sent out of the match by Johnny but he hung by his feet to the first rope, while Edwards and Johnny were fighting in the ring.
Johnny almost went out, Drake again. At this moment, all 3 were valuable future Champions, but Drake then grabbed Johnny and pulled him to the floor, eliminating him. The future Global Champion would so be Eli Drake or Eddie Edwards. Edwards hit a beautiful Blue thunder bomb, Drake kicked out and stopped Edwards who was charging. Edwards stunned Drake, reached the top rope, Drake leapt to the top too but got sent back. Edwards hit a splash, Drake caught in mid-air and hit the Gravy Train to become the Champion. It was a good surprise as Drake has done a lot for the company for the last 2 years and proved he could be the leader IMPACT was needing at that time.
Recap of Edwards winning the Pro Wrestling NOAH Global Honored Crown Heavyweight Championship and Edwards talking about how all of this training led to his championship win.
Another recap about Johnny Impact who held multiple titles with AAA. Johnny talked about AAA TripleMania and how the best stars of Mexico showed up to put on one of the biggest shows of the year. Johnny put up all 3 of his titles at the event and was able to retain against El Hijo del Fantasma and Texano.
We also saw the debut of Taya Valkyrie and the beginning of her feud with Rosemary.
Falls Count Anywhere X-Division Championship: Trevor Lee vs. Sonjay Dutt (c) (September 14, 2017)
Was it necessary to celebrate the loss of a title after celebrating its win last week? This match was a shame as it was made to make lose Sonjay Dutt. Lee used every possible trick and tip to win the match. Dutt was sent into the steps and through the barricades. When action went outside the arena, Caleb Konley and Andrew Everett, the Cult of Lee students, used a garbage can on Dutt, crotched him into a barricade before Lee threw Dutt into a building post for the win. Lee already had the belt, that day he was definitely the Champ and the mastermind of The Cult of Lee.
Bound for Glory – Tag Team Championship 5150 Street Fight Match: oVe (c) vs. LAX (November 5, 2017)
Just a shortcut to a way more complex and intense feud between oVe and LAX. We started when Dave was put on a table and Santana was climbing up a scaffolding to drop down through Dave and the table. Near the ring, Jake put on a ladder going across the apron and the barricade, then launched a chair at Ortiz. Jake then set 4 chairs in the ring, climbed up to the top rope and hit a superplex that sent him right into the chairs.
Ortiz and Santana threw more chairs into the ring and hit their blockbuster/powerbomb combo on Jake onto the chairs. Dave broke the pin. Then arrived Sami Callihan to save oVe, Konnan got powder in the eyes, Santana was flipped on a ladder. Callihan then piledrove Ortiz through a table and tossed him back in the ring to give the win to his brothers.
Gail Kim announced she would be retiring in 2017 and would go out on top at Bound for Glory. Kim finally won the title in Canada and left IMPACT as the Knockouts Champion. We saw some highlights of the Bound for Glory match and a retrospective of Gail Kim’s career in the company. We also saw her relinquishing the title, announcing her in-ring retirement. Kim said she was fully confident in her decision and in the future of the Women’s division.
Bound for Glory Global Championship Match: Eli Drake (c) vs. Johnny Impact (November 5, 2017)
The Ottawa Screwjob. No other way to describe the end of this match. Even if Chris Adonis was on Drake’s side, Johnny was ready to handle both of them. And they really offered some great action, until… Match in progress as we saw both men on the top rope, Johnny hit a Samoan drop from the second rope, a standing moonsault and standing shooting star but Drake was able to kick out. Johnny went for the Countdown to Impact, missed, but rolled through to connect with a dropkick. Adonis tried to interfere, allowing Drake to hit a superplex. But Johnny has never been more better than on the top rope so he hit a devastating Spanish Fly from the top.
Adonis gave the title to Drake, Drake tried to hit Johnny who nailed Adonis with it. Johnny connected with the Countdown to Impact but Drake kicked out again. Back from break, Drake was in control but Johnny fought back and hit the Starship Pain. But here came Alberto El Patron, back from suspension, pulling the referee out, grabbing a chair to whack Johnny in the face, taking the title to hammer Eli Drake in the face with it. Another chair shot to Johnny before Alberto dragged Drake over Johnny and the win. Personal advice to IMPACT, forget about El Patron…
I don’t fully agree with IMPACT on their choices for the second part of the year. Putting Sonjay Dutt’s win and loss of the X-Division title in the same best of a year is a little quirky. Eli Drake becoming Global Champion and Gail Kim retiring are of course major moments. But the rest of this best of is absolutely reflecting how the storylines had been going nowhere over the last few months. May they end with 2018…
The first IMPACT of 2018 is going to be epic. All the titles, excepted the Knockouts one, will be on the line, Dan Lambert could end the career of “The Cowboy” James Storm, and Chandler Park will make his debut. An episode you can’t miss. And I won’t miss too. Because in 2018, count on me to continue to review IMPACT for and with you. If you agree with me, of course, I see you next Friday…
All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.