Impact Wrestling returned last night (Feb. 15) from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida. You can find all the results at the live blog here.
Austin Aries retain the Impact championship against Eli Drake this week. It was a convincing win, meaning they didn’t do anything that would hint Drake is getting another title shot soon.
The match was very enjoyable, which will happen with Austin Aries as champion. Not to take away from Eli Drake, who’s ringwork is often overshadowed by his superb promo skills. Drake has the ability to put on really good matches himself. But for my money, Aries is one of most fun to watch move in that ring and while he’s on top, we’re in for some treats.
Curious to see where Drake goes from here. He’s going to drop in the card merely by the fact he’s not going to be in the title picture. Anything else is lower in the card. He’s too talented to drop far though and hopefully they’ll find something that will continue to showcase his talents, even though he won’t have the top title around his waist.
Bobby Lashley fought Sami Callihan last night, looking for a measure of revenge after oVe attacked him and locked him in the trunk of his own car last week. How he got out, we’ll never know. (He probably used the release button most cars have in the trunk.)
Sami had a little help from the Crists, but he held his own against the powerhouse Lashley. However, in the end, a kick to the face just angered Lashley and he delivered a nasty spear. Before he could pin Callihan for the win, the Crists attacked him, ending this match in a DQ. They continued the attack post-match until Eddie Edwards made the save.
Sami looked really good against Lashley. Part of me wonders if this is to help build himup as a bigger star in Impact as Bobby heads out. (Though KM had a decent showing against Lashley the other week, so we’re not going to read that much into it.) Sami could be a major player in Impact and hopefully this feud helps establish that.
It was intriguing to see Eddie make the save again to help his old rival. I honestly don’t know where they’re headed with this, but interested to find out.
Hania and Rosemary had their first match this week and then continued their feud in a post match segment.
Unfortunate, the match itself didn’t click. It didn’t get much time at all (maybe 4 minutes). The chemistry wasn’t there, but it’s hard hard to get something going with so little time. While I think Sonjay Dutt has been solid on commentary, he took away from the match by spending too much of those four minutes talking about other angles. As he talked about who Allie’s secret admirer could be or who would win the main event, I found it difficult to concentrate on the match at hand.
Rosemary won the match, but Hania attacked her right after. The post match angle was more exciting than the match itself, which was probably the aim. (It still doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have gotten more time to put something together that Sonjay would have paid attention to.) Hania looked to hit another reverse DDT on the steel steps but Rosemary took a bite out of the Huntress’ arm to escape. Classic Demon.
This feud isn’t over. Hopefully next time, the match gets more care than it did this time.
EC3 reached out to a friend from his past to team with tonight: Tyrus.
And it paid dividends. The big man was able to knock down Johnny Impact mid springboard, which allowed EC3 to get a pinfall win on Impact using the ropes as leverage.
It was surprising to see the #1 contender take a loss to the guy who is leaving the company. But that’s the story they’re running with as it was announced later in the night that Johnny will have to defend his #1 contender spot against EC3 next week. Part of me is hoping that Carter wins because I’d love to see EC3 vs. Austin Aries as one of Carter’s final Impact matches.
Overall, this was OK. Not great but not bad. It was actually pretty cool seeing Tyrus back teaming alongside Carter. It was another random match, but at least it set up a more important match for next week.
Brian Cage won a squash match in his debut. It was a good squash in the sense it gave the audience not familiar with the Machine the scope of his size, strength, and impressiveness.
That’s really all you can ask for with a debut enhancement match. Hopefully he doesn’t squash for too many weeks before finding a legit program.
Taiji Ishimori successfully defended his X Division title against El Hijo de Fantasma.
The match took its time getting going, but when it did, it was really good. There was a great sequence outside the ring that started with an Arrow from the Depths of Hell, followed with Ishomori hitting a springboard off the ring apron and then a rana on the floor, and ended with a moonsault to Fantasma on the outside from the second rope.
Exciting stuff, though hopefully they get back to some X Division stories to add something more to these impressive matches.
Other bits of note:
- Allie’s secret admirer was really just a ruse by Laurel Van Ness to attack Allie from a crate. Allie was able to react in time and beat up Van Ness and closed her back in the box.
- Jimmy Jacobs had Kongo Kong destroy the office of Joseph Park and next week, will be calling out Abyss.
- The Cult of Lee (Trevor Lee & Caleb Konley) heard that LAX was coming after them so they tried to get the step on them. They looked for them but only found Fallah Bahh eating a jar of M&Ms and the Mumbai Cats. The Cult thought the Cats were really LAX in disguise so beat them up, but it turns out, they were just the Mumbai Cats. Poor guys.
Pros of the Show:
- Fun main event
- The X Division title match was fun
Cons of the Show:
- Hania vs. Rosemary was disappointing, though the post match angle was alright
There were a couple good matches to anchor the show, and Cage’s squash worked, but the show is still lacking an overall excitement. Even during some of the good matches, this episode still lacked electricity. It’s likely because the stories they are telling are still very new. And the X Division title match, while entertaining, lacked any build to give it that extra fire. This may take time.
As I got back through the recap, most of what they did is pretty good on paper. But that hasn’t translated to a thrilling program on screen yet. Again, it will take a bit of time.
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