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Impact Wrestling results, review, & video (Feb. 1, 2018): Spoiled

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Impact Wrestling returned last night (Feb. 1) from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida. You can find all the results at the live blog here.

New Champion... But you already knew that

Most of us probably knew the ending of the main event segment for awhile now. But knowing the finish doesn’t necessarily make something bad. Good stories can be appreciated even with knowledge of the ending.

That wasn’t the case here. This segment was built for the shock factor and Impact took that shock away when they told us what happened.

Eli Drake and Chris Adonis came to the ring and Adonis put his friend over as the greatest champion, greatest friend, and greatest dressed. Drake agreed, that making him the greatest man who ever lived.

Normally, this would create a bit of a buzz for the viewers who know Austin Aries’ nickname but instead, it felt more like, “OK, let’s just do this at this point.”

Aries came out with the most generic music ever, ran down a list of accomplishments, and told the champ that if he wants to be considered the greatest, he has to beat the greatest. Drake pretended to think about putting the title on the line right then and there, but left the ring instead.

Chris Adonis took that moment to hit Aries with the championship and suddenly Eli called a referee down to have that match. Of course, Aries kicked out, hit a drop kick, and delivered his brainbuster for a surprising win. Well, a surprise for those in the crowd.

This would have been fun for the shock factor. But it wasn’t much without it. This segment was built for the surprise. The surprise of Austin Aries returning. The surprise of the impromptu title match that ended with a title change. It was made to be an “On my God!” moment but needed the unknown factor to achieve that.

Then there’s the question if Drake even said “This is a title match.” There wasn’t enough to indicate that. It’s very likely this will become part of the story going forward, but not being clear to why this was even a title match also detracted from it.

It wasn’t a bad segment. Austin Aries cut a pretty good promo before Eli Drake cut his usual great one. But this segment was built for shock and awe. Someone who doesn’t follow wrestling online watching at home likely enjoyed this more than someone who knew. However, I can only watch through my own eyes and as someone who knew what was coming, this was underwhelming.


Newcomers to the tag division

While they didn’t bring in a new tag team into the company, we have a new tag team in the division to freshen things up.

LAX came to the ring and cut a promo about how they’re ready for anything when oVe came down to the ring. But it wasn’t to fight. No, Sami Callihan made it clear that while they hate LAX (and everyone else), they respect LAX (not everyone else). But they will be coming for those titles in the future.

oVe then left but Konnan, having to have the last word, followed them up the ramp to run his mouth. While this was happening, Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley attacked LAX from behind with weapons and made off with their flags.

Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley, who look to be now going with “We are Trevor” over the “Cult of Lee”, are a great foil for LAX. oVe and LAX felt like two sides to the same coin. Lee and Konley feel like different currency.

They ran in wearing Hawaiian shirts, which they talked up backstage prior, and some short shorts. They’re goofy where LAX are serious. But they’re legit at the same time. That dichotomy should make for a fun feud.

Adding the Cult of Lee to the tag scene is a smart move. Hopefully they come up with a few others teams to fill things out.


Grand Championship changes

The Grand Championship is pretty much a TV title now as Matt Sydal decreed he’ll be defending it without judges and rounds. Just mono a mono. I’m not sure if there really needs to be another singles title, but we’ll see the journey this belt takes throughout the taping.

Tonight, Fallah Bahh challenged Matt Sydal in a match that opened the show. Unfortunately, the first match of the new show was a bit of a dud. Sydal was on the offense much of the time, which is hard to believe given the size discrepancy between these men. Even after Bahh hit a big crossbody block, he wasn’t on the offensive for long. It took just a single shooting star press to put him away, which is a bit unbelievable for a man that size.

A pre-match promo from Sydal had me wondering if he is headed heel. He talked about his spiritual guru and is really playing up his hippie/new age personality. That’s more of a heel gimmick than ones fans can get behind.


All the Rest:

The end of Top Team?

Lashley defeated KM one on one, though the vast majority of the match belonged to KM.

This match was OK for what it was and KM opened up his arsenal a bit, but there’s not much to say about it. It felt like an epilogue to the long, rocky American Top Team story. If that’s it, that’s fine. If this continues in some way, that’d be disappointing.

Upset

Champion Laurel Van Ness had a non-title match against the debuting Kiera Hogan. It was pretty much a long squash match outside a quick fire up by Hogan towards the end. When it looked like Laurel was about to hit the Unprettier for the win, Allie walked down the ramp shouting at Van Ness after the champ cheated to beat her last week.

In this moment, Kiera rolled up Van Ness for a non-title win. She’ll get a title match next week.

It looks like the Allie/Laurel story is continuing. There honestly wasn’t much to it prior to their first match and this didn’t add too much more. Hopefully they add a few more layers before the eventual rematch.

Tag Bout

Moose and Johnny Impact defeated EC3 and Alberto El Patron last night in a tag bout. It was an entertaining match but there wasn’t much more to it. Commentary tried to get over how it was important to win this, but they never actually explained why.

In the end, this was an enjoyable match involving four talented guys, but as of now, it’s rather inconsequential. We’ll see if something ends up coming out of this or if it was just a random match.


Pros of the Show:

  • Tag Team segment
  • Fun tag match

Cons of the Show:

  • The title change depended on shock factor that wasn’t there for many
  • Grand Championship match didn’t click

The first hour of the show (the Grand Championship match, the KM/Lashley match, and the Knockouts match) was all rather underwhelming, starting off the new taping/new regime with little hype. The show picked up in the second half, but the only really noteworthy thing was the title change, which lacked the shock factor it needed.

Grade: C+

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