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Superstar Sleeze

[2017-07-02-Impact Wrestling-Slammiversary] Bobby Lashley vs Alberto El Patron

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Impact World Champion Bobby Lashley vs GFW Global Champion Alberto El Patron - Impact Slammiversary 2017

I wanted to watch at least one match from Impact in 2017 which seems like a real nadir for the promotion in terms of match quality which is saying something. After AJ left at the end of 2013 to the reboot in 2018 under D'Amore/Callis, TNA looks completely irrelevant on paper and it may be a coincidence but it does coincide with Lashley being on top for those four years. This seems like a very TNA main event having two WWE upper midcarders main event their second biggest show of the year. Interesting announce team of ESPN's RoFlo, a well-known wrestling fan, who did a great job and the returning Don West who is always good for a laugh. This was also during Jeff Jarrett's magnificent con job of starting a promotion that only ran 37 shows in two years with Magnus/Nick Aldis on top and no real permanent roster and somehow got Impact Wrestling to bend overbackwards for him and unify all these sham championships with theirs. I dont know what the story is but I think they ended up in litigation with Impact over the rights to the footage. What a huckster!

Honestly, the match was better than my really low expectations for it. I expected it to be boring but it really wasnt. Del Rio runs hot and cold for me. He can have some stellar performances like against Big Show or Ziggler, but boy can he mail it in. This was not one of those nights. He had his working boots on. Like Jack Swagger, I really want to like Lashley because of his amateur pedigree and the fact that he is a stacked powerhouse, but he tends to leave me wanting more. Del Rio does have an MMA background even if an old Tito Ortiz proved it is not a very extensive one, so I liked the beginning of the match. It felt more like shoot style with the throw-takedowns and the kicks. That didnt last long and they went to standard WWE style wrestling. Lashley did his heat segment brawling around the ring. Slammed Del Rio into the steps. Del Rio got a lot of hope spots in. Common issue I have bene having lately is matches seem too noisy. It is not a "my turn, your turn" problem per se, but no one is doing meaningful momentum shifts. Lashley stymies Del Rio pretty much at every pass. Del Rio is targeting the arm for his Cross Armbreaker which he applies in the ropes and once on the mat but cant get all of it. Lashley channels Backlund and slams out of it. Don West marks out hard. The moves really were not sticky so it is hard for me to remember the order, which is a sign of an ok match not a great one. I remember a really great Del Rio spear to the outside and Lashley doing an FU off the middle rope. The first time Del Rio did that hanging Double Stomp was more organic and I liked that more. I would have put Lashley over honestly, but maybe they knew even then he was headed to WWE in early 2018. Del Rio was a headcase and his personal life fucked up this run. Anyways, they had a great sequence to put Lashley over. Lashley had a great counter to Del Rio with a nice flying cross-armbreaker, which is Del Rio's move, but Del Rio fought out ONLY for Lashley to hit his Spear. That should have been the finish. Kick out. Each man has seconds. Del Rio has his father, Dos Caras. Lashley has his MMA teammate, King Mo. Caras punts Mo in the balls. Lashley bullies Caras. Del Rio takes advantage hits an Enziguiri this sets up a terribly stilted Double Stomp in the ropes that had ZERO HEAT on it and got NO REACTION when it got the pin. 

The match was fine. Del Rio had good energy and Lashley had some moments of power. They just kinda threw moves at each other and then ramped into a finish run. They incorporated the seconds well.  It was a very alright match.

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