Karen Jarrett Introduced Gail Kim as Unified GFW Knockouts Champion Sienna's Opponent for Destination X
Sienna is settling into the elitist role well and I'm glad she isn't backing down from Jarrett, but the less we see of Karen on GFW TV the better. Thankfully, Jarrett didn't speak for too long before bringing out Kim, who has been out of action since last October. She is definitely a high profile opponent for Sienna, but she's done nothing lately to earn a shot at the title. She also said she plans to retire with the title, but didn't she already technically retire as champion late last year? What's different this time around?
El Hijo del Fantasma and Naomichi Marufuji def. Laredo Kid and Graza Jr.
I've been loving the partnerships GFW has been having with other organizations lately because it has led to an ample amount of terrific talent coming in and fun matches such as this one. All four stars put forth a hell of an effort and it's cool they were given some time to showcase their skills and weren't rushed. I realize this matchup wasn't the most meaningful and likely took place late in the tapings, but these guys deserved a livelier crowd.
Kongo Kong def. Grado and Joseph Park in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Grado and Park are an entertaining comedy act, but they are far from being threats in the ring, so it was only academic that Kong would squash them as decisively as he did. As always, the focus was on what happened afterward with Laurel Van Ness and Kong teasing tension before Tyrus confronted Kong. Tyrus hasn't wrestled in a while, and I guess he makes sense as a viable opponent for Kong, but I don't know how good the matches are going to be.
Dutch Mantell Hosted Down and Dirty with Dutch with Lashley and Matt Sydal
Lashley has come so far on the mic during his latest heel run and just might be the best talker in the company right now next to Eli Drake. Meanwhile, Sydal isn't the stronger mic worker, but he was serviceable here and he stood his ground against the intimidating Lashley. This also benefited from being pre-taped and I loved how real it felt, especially when Lashley got heated and put his hands on Sydal. I'm really looking forward to seeing these two face each other at Destination X.
Unified GFW World Tag Team Champions LAX def. The Veterans of War in a Street Fight
Although The Veterans of War do nothing for me personally, the backstage brawl between the two teams that kicked off the night was effective in building toward this bout and they fared well for themselves here. The Street Fight was the perfect stipulation for LAX considering that's the chaotic style they wrestle anyway and I thought this was a solid hardcore matchup. LAX is an excellent act, so of course, it was wise to keep the tag titles on them.
Taiji Ishimori def. ACH in a Super X Cup Semifinal Match
Once again, the Super X Cup competitors killed it with another awesome performance. This was an exciting affair from start to finish and they maintained a nice pace throughout. I'm biased toward ACH because he was among my favorite wrestlers in Ring of Honor, but I can't complain about Ishimori advancing because he's tremendously talented as well. The Super X Cup has been handled very well and the finals next week should be a blast.
Low Ki, Lashley and Trevor Lee def. Unified GFW World Heavyweight Champion Alberto El Patron, X-Division Champion Sonjay Dutt and Matt Sydal
Similar to most multi-man matches, this was well-wrestled early on, but it didn't start to get interesting until the final stretch. That was when the suspense kicked in and all six stars had their time to shine. Given he'll be challenging for the Unified GFW World Heavyweight Championship at Destination X, I totally understand having Low Ki pick up the pinfall victory, but why would X-Division Champion Sonjay Dutt be the one to be beaten? That aside, this was a quality main event that successfully boosted my excitement for next week's stacked show.
As a go-home show for Destination X, this edition of Impact gets two thumbs up from me because it touched upon all the scheduled matches for next week's show. Not everything was amazing, mind you, but the two hours flew by and the main storylines were furthered, not to mention the wrestling was better than usual on the whole. I tend to anticipate Destination X more than any other event GFW does each year, and with the card the company has on tap, I would be shocked if it was anything less than great.