Destination X is now in the rear-view mirror (read our review here). No title changes but a new opportunity for Matt Sydal who earned a shot at the Championship of his choice and the return of Jim Cornette, Taryn Terrell and Petey Williams to the Impact Zone. Eli Drake was announced to enter as #1 and Low-Ki as #20 in the 20-Man Gauntlet of Gold match that will crown the new GFW Champion. While Bobby Lashley is feuding with American Top Team, a group of MMA fighters.
This week on GFW Impact Wrestling is brought to you by Miss “Doctor Frenchy” Steph.
Before the show started, we saw Jim Cornette giving a pep talk to the roster earlier in the day. He told them there will be no free rides and everyone had to earn their spot on the roster. And it was starting tonight in the Gauntlet for the Gold match where the winner will become the new GFW Global Champion.
oVe (Jake and Dave Crist) vs. The Heat Seekers
For those who didn’t have the chance to watch their debut at Destination X, this match against two jobbers was the best way to introduce oVe to the Impact audience. Excellent team work from Jake and Dave Crist who easily won the match with a high kick/low kick combination. Like I told you last week, Ohio Versus Everything could be serious contenders for the GFW Tag Team Championships with their punk attitude and striking moves.
Eli Drake asked Jim Cornette to be out of the number one spot in the Gauntlet match. Cornette agreed and gave him the number 2. Which in fact was the same, because it takes two wrestlers to start the match…
Taryn Terrell came to the ring to explain why she attacked Gail Kim at Destination X. Terrell was there when Gail Kim was inducted into the Hall of Fame, despite their ups and downs, and Kim never thanked her or even followed Terrell on social media. Terrell told she is tired of the “Gail Show” and wants to help Kim get to retirement a bit quicker. Jeremy Borash had to retain Kim who was coming to the ring to take care of Terrell.
The Bobby Lashley- American Top Team feud continued in Jim Cornette’s office. Cornette asked everybody to respect The Impact Zone, the wrestlers and referees. Lashley asked Cornette why he took the title away from him, Cornette answered he just had to earn his spot, like anybody else. Cornette and Lashley’s MMA coach both agreed on the fact Lashley will have to choose between MMA and wrestling at some point.
A promo announced the arrival of Taya Valkyrie to Impact Wrestling.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) August 25, 2017
Grado and Joseph Park were in the ring because Grado had to come back home (good riddance…). Park apologized for not being able to do more for him. But here came Laurel Van Ness, in a nice dress, hair brushed and makeup done. She claimed Grado changed her, that he’s the perfect match for her and got on one knee to propose to him. Grado said yes and the two kissed in the middle of the ring. Kongo Kong tried to stop them but Mahabali Shera got in his way. Disfigured or not, the Bride, like this situation, was beyond redemption…
While Cornette told Eddie Edwards he would love to see him become Champion, Konnan advised Low-Ki to destroy everyone in tonight’s match to bring the title in LAX’s home.
Gauntlet of the Gold 20-Man Match for the GFW Championship
The Impact Wrestling version of the Gauntlet match is an over-the-top-rope elimination match, with a new entrant coming every minute. Once it’s down to the final two, the match can end by pinfall or submission. Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake started the match. They just had the time to exchange a few strikes until Mario Bokara entered the match. Bokara attacked Edwards and connected with a released belly-to-back suplex. All three men were going after each other when Eddie Kingston arrived.
Kingston was working on Edwards and Drake on Bokara when Braxton Sutter arrived. The first attempt of elimination finally happened when Eddie Edwards tried to throw Bokara over the top rope. But Richard Justice, well it was really Grado, who seemed to have passed through Southpaw Regional Wrestling on his way to the ring. As frightened as he could be, nobody in the ring was taking care of him. Until Ethan Carter III arrived, laughed at him and eliminated Justice.
Here came Kongo Kong who quickly hammered everyone and eliminated Bokara and Kingston. Suicide then arrived and grounded everyone with a moonsault. But Kongo Kong stopped his momentum as Mahabali Shera, Kong’s bitter enemy, made his way to the ring. He went right into Kong’s face, got the best of him and got him out. Eli Drake’s partner in crime, Chris Adonis, rushed to the ring to help his friend and did a good team work by eliminating Shera and nearly getting Sutter out of the ring. El Hijo Del Fantasma came to attack Ethan Carter III.
Under a huge pop from the crowd, Johnny Impact came to the ring. He immediately went on Adonis, eliminated him and Suicide just after. Garza Jr. was the following entrant, attacked Johnny and Fantasma, then kicked Sutter off the ring. Fallah Bahh entered to ground everyone in the ring. He then attacked Drake. Johnny tried to ask the others to help him pick up Bahh. But here came KM who went right after Johnny until being chopped by Edwards.
The following entrants were Super X-Cup finalist Taiji Ishimori and Bobby Lashley. Lashley instantly sent KM, Fallah Bahh and Ishimori out of the match. The second to last entrant was Moose who worked on both Fantasma and EC3 in the corner. Moose countered a hurricanrana by Garza Jr. and threw him out of the ring. Low Ki made his way to the ring as the last entrant. Eight wrestlers were remaining in the ring. Low Ki attacked EC3, Fantasma and Johnny. But it was Carter who eliminated Fantasma. Until Edwards knocked EC3 out of the ring. Moose got rid of Low Ki, under a huge reaction from the crowd.
Lashley, Moose, Edwards, Drake, and Johnny were the last five competitors. Moose hit a dropkick on Lashley that sent him over the top rope. Moose then tried to powerbomb Edwards out but Edwards countered and sent Moose out. Interest final-three as the first entrants were still there. Drake worked on Johnny but even if he kicked him out, Drake was able to hang to the bottom rope by his feet and so was not eliminated. When back in the ring, Drake grabbed Johnny and eliminated him.
The new GFW Champion will be Eddie Edwards or Eli Drake. Edwards unloaded a suicide dive and a Blue Thunder Bomb on Drake but only earned a two count. Drake rallied, dropped Edwards, hit the Bottom Rung for the win. While Lashley was trying to calm down American Top team guys, a stunned Drake celebrated his first-ever GFW Championship with Chris Adonis.
Impact Wrestling decided to play an interesting card by giving Drake the belt. A lot of contenders are expected to make his reign uneasy and, in a way, it’s a good sign of upcoming action. This episode was a transitional one, so not good and not bad. It opened a new page in the history of Impact Wrestling with new wrestlers and new possible feuds. And of course a new World Champion. Congratulations Eli Drake!
All pics, tweets and screenshots courtesy of GFW Impact Wrestling. Gauntlet match chart created by @frenchnygma for @steelchairmag.