Impact Wrestling – February 22, 2018

Impact Wrestling
Date: February 22, 2018
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Sonjay Dutt

We’re back again after last week’s major main event with Austin Aries successfully defending the World Title against Eli Drake. Johnny Impact is the #1 contender so we have a big match coming up in the near future but for tonight, we have….actually I’m not sure so let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s show, including a look at the big stories. That’s a very good idea and something they should do more often.

Opening sequence.

LAX vs. Cult of Lee

Non-title with LAX going right after Lee and Konley for the big brawl before the bell. They finally head inside with Ortiz chopping Lee and getting two off a suplex. Konley comes in and gets caught with a basement clothesline for two. Santana adds a moonsault (using Ortiz as a launching pad) for two more and it’s Konley getting double teamed in the corner. That’s not something you often see from faces but LAX aren’t your usual faces.

Lee pulls Santana to the floor though and Konley snaps off a Saito suplex to take over. The announcers try to talk up the cult aspect of the villains and it’s just not working. Don’t you need more than one follower to be a cult leader? Even Bray Wyatt would find that lame. Lee drops a knee to the head as Dutt talks about being a gamer. Ortiz can’t fight out of the corner as we go to a break.

Back with Lee kicking Santana off the apron but Ortiz hits a top rope double dropkick. That’s enough for the hot tag to Santana as things speed way up in a hurry. Konley takes an enziguri and it’s a wheelbarrow facebuster/cutter combination to Lee with Konley making the save. The Street Sweeper is broken up though and Lee grabs a rollup (with a lot of shorts) to pin Ortiz at 13:31.

Rating: C. The ending picked things up a lot and the ending was the right call. The Cult of Lee isn’t the most over team in the world so having them win here should put them up for a title shot. That’s as good of a way as you’re going to have when the division is primarily three teams, the other of which are also heels. This wasn’t anything spectacular but it accomplished its goal.

Brian Cage vs. Hunter Law

Dropkick, gorilla press powerslam, discus lariat, Drill Claw (Screwdriver) to end Law at 1:11.

Eddie Edwards and Bobby Lashley are ready to take out OVE.

From Destiny World Wrestling in Toronto.

Grand Championship: Matt Sydal vs. Petey Williams

Sydal is defending and the camera shot is over a ring post (ala the old Maple Leaf Gardens shows). Matt offers a clean break as the fans are all behind Petey (of course). Petey shrugs off a headlock and scores with a headscissors, followed by a dropkick for two. Something like a reverse Muta Lock puts Petey in trouble for a few seconds and we’re clipped to Petey hitting a lifting Downward Spiral.

Sydal grabs a sliding German suplex but Petey is right back with the slingshot Codebreaker. The Sharpshooter has the fans all happy again but Sydal makes the rope. Sydal’s shooting star doesn’t work so Petey powerbombs him down. The Canadian Destroyer is broken up as well though with Sydal driving him down instead and getting the pin at 5:49 shown.

Rating: C-. And it’s in Canada! Like really, that’s the entire appeal of this match: it’s taking place at a small promotion in Canada. I’m not sure why that’s supposed to be interesting and it’s certainly not just a way to stretch out the shows without having to film more at the Impact Zone. Nothing to see here, other than Canada of course.

Post match Sydal grabs a scroll and talks about his spiritual adviser telling him to wrestle like you’re in a war. On March 8, Sydal wants an X-Division Title match. But will it be in CANADA?

Jimmy Jacobs and Kongo Kong want Abyss.

Here are Jacobs and Kong for a chat. Jacobs declares himself to be a princess and recaps the invasion of Joseph Park’s offices. He’s done being nice though and wants Abyss to come play with the new monster. Cue an older lady, who turns out to be Grandma Jenny Park. She calls the two of them sissies because Joseph is like a son to her.

Jimmy insults her and gets slapped in the face so Kong gets in Jenny’s face. This brings out Joseph who defends his Grandma (after thanking her for a delicious Thanksgiving) but Jimmy threatens her if Abyss doesn’t come back. Joseph decks him but Kong lays Park out. This is a fine story, but egads I can’t bring myself to care about Jacobs or Kong in the slightest.

Sydal is on the phone with his adviser.

We look at Lashley vs. Edwards from Destination X 2016, featuring the debut of Moose.

From Future Stars Wrestling in Las Vegas.

Alberto El Patron vs. Moose

Anything goes with a slightly better lit arena. Moose drives him into the corner to start and Alberto heads to the floor for some water. This time it’s Moose being taken to the floor with Alberto doing the Moose pose and sending him into the barricade. That earns El Patron a pump kick to the face as the announcers mention that Moose’s knee seems ok, likely because this took place before he was hurt.

They fight into the crowd with Alberto sending him out the door and getting in a trashcan shot. Alberto brings the can into the ring and we’re clipped to Moose being cut off by a low blow. A DDT drops Moose again and the top rope double stomp gives Alberto the pin at 6:43 shown.

Rating: C. It was better than the Canada match as there was more intensity and better talent, though the idea of Alberto being on a future stars show is somewhat funny. Both of these two are likely to be in the World Title scene going forward as Moose is a rising star and Alberto…well he’s always in the main event scene.

From the early days: Brian Urlacher beats up Johnny Fairplay.

Video on Rosemary vs. Hania.

Ethan Carter III and Tyrus are officially allies again (Carter’s words) and they’re like the Avengers combined. Ethan is ready to win the #1 contendership and then get the title back at Crossroads.

OVE vs. Bobby Lashley/Eddie Edwards

It’s another brawl to start as Dutt gives us Edwards’ career history. Lashley gives Dave a very delayed suplex, followed by a double back elbow for two. Dave manages to drive Eddie into the corner though and it’s Jake hammering away. A big kick to the face gets two and Sami Callihan drops Eddie back first onto the apron.

With Eddie down, Jake needs to shout OHIO VERSUS EVERYTHING into the camera because that’s almost the entire gimmick. Eddie knocks them both down and the hot tag brings in Lashley for clotheslines and suplexes. Jake gets powerslammed and Eddie hits a double Shot of Caffeine. Back in and the Boston Knee Party ends Jake at 8:11.

Rating: C. Ever since the heel turn, OVE has turned into a chore to watch. Maybe it’s Sami yelling every ten seconds or maybe it’s them getting rid of their interesting/cool offense and shifting to a generic brawling style, but they’ve lost anything about them that was remotely interesting. The match was fine, though the tag division still needs A LOT of upgrades.

Video on Aries vs. Drake. Eli promises to get the title back because that’s what he deserves.

The Cult of Lee gets their Tag Team Titles hot in two weeks at Crossroads.

Also at Crossroads, Kong vs. Park.

Ethan Carter III vs. Johnny Impact

Impact’s #1 contendership is on the line and Tyrus is in Ethan’s corner. Just to hammer it in, Tyrus breaks Johnny’s sunglasses. Ethan bails to the floor for a bit before a quick wrestling sequence ends with Johnny’s leglock being countered into a standoff. Johnny gets taken down and chinlocked, only to fight up with the breakdancing legdrop for two. An enziguri looks to set up a springboard but Carter knocks him out to the floor instead.

Back from a break with Tyrus hitting an elbow to Johnny’s chest and Ethan getting two off a suplex. We hit a chinlock followed by a DDT, though Johnny pops up for a superkick for a double knockdown. Johnny’s standing shooting star gets two but Starship Pain is countered into a rollup into a powerbomb for the same. A Spanish Fly gets two on Ethan but he counters Starship Pain again into a super TK3 for another near fall.

The 1%er is broken up (You knew it would be as he wasn’t looking at the camera. Gotta learn that in NXT chum.) but Tyrus trips Johnny up, allowing Ethan to put his feet on the ropes for two. Ethan gets caught up in those ropes and Johnny adds a sliding German suplex. Starship Pain is broken up AGAIN (this time by Tyrus) and the 1%er connects for two. For some reason Ethan blames Tyrus, who walks out in short order. Johnny’s flip neckbreaker into Starship Pain is good for the pin at 18:15.

Rating: B. I liked this one more than last week’s with a very solid back and forth match. There’s also the idea of Tyrus and Carter already splitting, which makes sense as Carter is on his way out. Impact vs. Aries should be a good match and feels like an indy show main event, which is about as accurate as you can get here.

Austin Aries comes out for a staredown with Impact to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. The more I watch this promotion, the more it comes off as an independent promotion with a budget. They’re booking show to show (which is fine), people are being brought in or back in and the quick stories that don’t have a lot of long term developments. That’s their best bet at the moment as they start over (again) and it made for an inoffensive yet not exactly memorable two hours.

Results

Cult of Lee b. LAX – Rollup to Ortiz with a handful of shorts

Brian Cage b. Hunter Law – Drill Claw

Matt Sydal b. Petey Williams – Kneeling belly to back piledriver

Alberto El Patron b. Moose – Top rope double stomp

Eddie Edwards/Bobby Lashley b. OVE – Boston Knee Party to Jake

Johnny Impact b. Ethan Carter III – Starship Pain

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the 2018 Updated Version of the History of the WWE Championship in e-book or paperback. Check out the information here:

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