Impact Wrestling – May 17, 2018

Impact Wrestling
Date: May 17, 2018
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentator: Josh Matthews

Last week’s main event wasn’t the most interesting as it left us without many places to go in the World Title scene. Pentagon Jr. easily dispatched Eli Drake and likely only has a rematch with Austin Aries to go. Other than that, it’s hard to say where things are going to go around here. Let’s get to it.

The opening video looks at the big stories, including Brian Cage’s World Tour, the X attacker and Sami Callihan jumping Don Callis last week.

Opening sequence.

Tag Team Titles: DJZ/Andrew Everett vs. Eli Drake/Scott Steiner

Drake and Steiner are defending. Everett and Drake start things off but DJZ comes in for an early double spinebuster. Steiner gets in a shot to the back though and a neckbreaker drops DJZ. The belly to belly (not butterfly Josh) suplex gets two and it’s back to Drake to drive DJZ into the corner.

Steiner’s super Samoan drop plants DJZ but not well enough as a kick to the face allows the hot tag to Everett. Everything breaks down and Drake tries the Gravy Train on DJZ but a Codebreaker from Everett sets up a Code Red for a rather creative near fall. Drake breaks up Everett’s springboard but Steiner chairs Drake in the head by mistake. A quick standing shooting star from Everett is good for the pin at 6:22.

Rating: C-. Just…thank goodness man. Having Scott Steiner as anything more than a comedy guy on a wrestling show in 2018 is inexcusable and thankfully they put someone young over for the titles. The division is dying for new teams and it makes sense to throw some people together like this. Sure they’re hot shotting the titles, but anything is better than Steiner and Drake.

Post break the new champs celebrate and say it’s been a long road for the both of them. They’ve been a team for ONE WEEK. I know that’s not exactly what they were going for but it was a bad line.

Madison Rayne is here for commentary for the next match.

Tessa Blanchard vs. Kiera Hogan

Kiera jumps Tessa right after the bell (nothing wrong with that) and Madison approves. Unfortunately that means Madison was doing commentary, which really isn’t her strong suit. Tessa is right back with a forearm and a hanging Downward Spiral to really take over. The trash talking begins but Kiera comes back with forearms and a step up Fameasser for two. That’s it for Kiera though as a cutter and a hammerlock DDT are enough to give Tessa the pin at 4:06.

Rating: D. Just a squash to get Tessa off the ground and likely the start of a setup for Madison vs. Blanchard. That’s not the most thrilling thing but it’s better than having Madison on commentary. She doesn’t have much emotion and is really analytical, which doesn’t make for the best wrestling announcer. Blanchard looked good though.

Post match Blanchard stays on Hogan but Madison comes in for the save.

Earlier today Grado and Katarina accused Jimmy Jacobs and Kongo Kong of being the X attacker. Jacobs threatened Grado with Kong so Katarina set up the match.

We recap Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Edwards, focusing on Sami’s series of attacks on various people, which drove Eddie over the edge.

Pentagon Jr. is ready for tonight’s tag team main event because he’s brought the Chocolate Champion (I don’t get it either) El Hijo Del Fantasma.

Kongo Kong vs. Grado

Can they just destroy each other? Oh and we’re never getting an explanation for how Grado is allowed back are we? Grado walks away from him to start before his right hands have no effect. A single uppercut drops Grado and a belly to belly gets two. Grado’s punches and Bionic elbow don’t do much but a top rope shoulder puts Kong down for a second. That’s about it though as a hard slam sets up the top rope splash for the pin on Grado at 3:34.

Rating: F. Imagine that: taking two of my least favorite people on the roster and putting them in a short, nearly comedy match wasn’t something I was going to enjoy. Kong is still a big fat guy who is nowhere near as impressive as Impact thinks he is while Grado is a small, uninteresting guy who is nowhere near as entertaining as Impact thinks he is. And those are their good points.

Post match Katarina bails as Grado gets hit with the steps but Moose comes out to break up another attempt.

LAX runs into the Cult of Lee, who laughs about Konnan being gone. I’m sure a match is coming.

Tommy Dreamer tried to talk Eddie out of the street fight but Eddie won’t hear it. This ends when Sami has no blood left.

Eddie Edwards vs. Sami Callihan

Street fight from House of Hardcore. Eddie wastes no time and attacks him before the bell, including a kick to the face. A suicide dive knocks Sami into the barricade and there’s something metal to the head. Josh gives us a full history of Sami being all evil until Sami gets in a pipe shot to the ribs. Eddie knocks a spike out of Sami’s hands but a Death Valley Driver on the ramp cuts Eddie off. They head to the ring (which they haven’t been in yet) and Eddie DDTs him on the apron, allowing them to finally get inside.

A kendo stick duel goes to Eddie as Josh compares this to Dreamer vs. Raven. At least they’re just saying what they’re doing this time. Sami spits in Eddie’s face and goes low, setting up Get Outta Here for two. Two chairs are set up and a Falcon Arrow onto them gives Sami two more in what I thought was the finish. Back up and the Boston Knee Party gives Eddie the pin at 10:10.

Rating: C. So what’s the next match? I mean, you know that’s not going to be the end of the feud so what do they have next? My guess: something else where Sami is despicable and Dreamer tries to talk Eddie out of doing this because of something that happened in ECW twenty years ago and Sami is the most evil, horrible thing in the world while still not being anything more than someone who can’t get by without bad brawling. Just a hunch of course.

Post match Eddie chokes him with the bat until security comes out for the save. Dreamer comes out to stare at him as I wonder how well an Eddie heel run could go. Just don’t have him join Sami in some nonsensical turn.

From Destiny World Wrestling in Canada.

Brian Cage vs. Facade

Thankfully Josh gives us a quick bio on Facade, which is still more than when Cage beat the Noah World Champion last week. Facade gets thrown around to start and a powerbomb against the post makes things even worse. For some reason the cameras are staying on a wide shot, which isn’t the best look for a wrestling show. Some chops in the corner have Facade in trouble and a swinging full nelson slam gets two. We’re clipped to a pumphandle faceplant getting two on Facade, followed by a sitout Alabama Slam for two. Weapon X is good for the pin at 7:50 shown.

Rating: D+. The match quality was nothing compared to what we got last week but Josh told me something about this guy and Cage won in a squash from what we saw. This was Cage going around wrecking everything in front of him and it was a fun squash. I got more out of this than I did last week and that’s the point of this whole Cage deal.

From No Surrender 2011, Austin Aries beats Brian Kendrick.

Earlier today, KM praised Fallah Bahh on his weight loss. Next up, hair care. And a tie over bare chest. Bahh tried to hit on Kiera Hogan.

We recap the night.

We run down the card for next week and Under Pressure, two weeks from now. Aries will challenge Pentagon Jr. for the World Title in the main event.

We go to a cemetery where Su Yung and the undead bridesmaids are burying Rosemary. They drop the casket and set it on fire as Yung hisses. Nothing else is said.

El Hijo Del Fantasma/Pentagon Jr. vs. Austin Aries/Matt Sydal

Sydal and Fantasma start us off in a preview of next week’s title match. A headlock takeover gets Fantasma out of early trouble and it’s a standoff. Fantasma snaps off a hurricanrana and a double tag gives us Aries vs. Pentagon. The champ says CERO MIEDO and gets bopped on the chin. A kick to the ribs cuts Aries off and it’s time to go for the arm, sending Aries to the floor and us to a break.

Back with Pentagon superkicking Aries from the apron and Fantasma’s suicide dive getting caught on the ropes. Pentagon takes Aries back inside and grabs a chinlock, followed by What’s Up with Pentagon as D-Von and hitting a dropkick instead of a headbutt. A wheelbarrow Codebreaker combination gets two on Sydal but he’s right back up with a jawbreaker/backbreaker combination to both masked guys.

Aries’ slingshot corkscrew elbow keeps Fantasma in trouble and a top rope ax handle rocks him again. Sydal knees Aries in the face though and the hot tag brings in Pentagon for the Sling Blades. Fantasma’s cutter drops Sydal but Matt hurricanranas him off the top. Pentagon Jr. breaks up the shooting star with a superkick and the Thrill of the Kill gives Fantasma the pin on Sydal at 19:05.

Rating: C. Completely standard main event tag match here with two feuds put together to make a tag match. Fantasma pinning Sydal is fine and the right way to set something up for next week. Aries vs. Pentagon still doesn’t feel big no matter what they do, which is part of what’s wrong with Impact as a whole. The World Title should feel bigger than at least almost everything and that’s just not the case right now.

Overall Rating: D+. As usual, the problem with the new regime shines through: they’ve completely stabilized the stories but they’re not the most thrilling. Pentagon vs. Aries feels like nothing special, I forgot that Sydal was X-Division Champion, the comedy stuff isn’t funny and the Tag Team Titles are on life support because there are about three teams and Scott Steiner just lost a title. They need something interesting and big, which hasn’t been the case in a good while.

Results

Andrew Everett/DJZ b. Eli Drake/Scott Steiner – Standing shooting star press to Drake

Tessa Blanchard b. Kiera Hogan – Hammerlock DDT

Kongo Kong b. Grado – Top rope splash

Eddie Edwards b. Sami Callihan – Boston Knee Party

Brian Cage b. Facade – Weapon X

El Hijo Del Fantasma/Pentagon Jr. b. Austin Aries/Matt Sydal – Thrill of the Kill to Sydal

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