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Impact Wrestling results, review, & video (Feb. 22, 2018): Heading towards a Crossroads

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Impact Wrestling returned last night (Feb. 22) from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida. You can find the results at the live blog here.

Same #1 Contender

Johnny Impact retained his #1 contender right against EC3 this week.

Despite knowing that Carter left the promotion after these tapings, this was early enough that it didn’t spoil the finish. I could reasonably come up with a reason in my head that Carter would win to face Austin Aries in two weeks. Hell, this match hadn’t happened before so why not?

It’s probably for the better that he didn’t win though because even though this left some doubt, there would be no doubt that Ethan would lose the title in two weeks.

This match was enjoyable. EC3 played his power and Johnny used his speed/agility. But the most entertaining part may have been Carter’s ever so brief relationship with Tyrus.

The big man helped out his friend a couple times by tripping Impact up where he could. When Johnny jumped up to the top ropes for Starship pain, Tyrus grabbed his legs hanging him up in the Tree of Woe. Carter went and hit the One Percenter but that wasn’t enough to put away Impact. This upset EC3, who went outside and yelled at Tyrus. This escalated into a shove. Tyrus shoved him back and left.

So after one long week, their dysfunctional relationship fell apart again. Sounds like the typical pattern for these type of relationships.

After the match, Austin Aries came out to shake Johnny’s hand. Their championship match will happen in two weeks at their Crossroads show and it should be a great one.

As we move to the next section, enjoy these fantastic EC3 gifs:


Grandma Jenny

Jimmy Jacobs’ quest to bring out the monster Abyss continued this week when he and Kongo Kong came to the ring demanding Abyss. Instead, they received Joseph’s Grandma Jenny, who scolded Jacobs, insisting he leave her grandson alone.

When things got heated after Jimmy called her an “old hag” and she delivered a slap, Joseph Park came down to the ring. He stood up to the Zombie Princess but ended up getting pummeled by Kongo in front of his sweet ol’ grandmother.

This story has actually been intriguing me. The idea of Jimmy Jacobs as the monster handler trying to pull out Abyss from Joseph Park as a challenge to his own beast is entering a comic book style which I dig. This is the first time that Park has acknowledged he holds Abyss inside him, making this a Bruce Banner/Hulk situation. It’s a newer wrinkle to his lore which they’re exploiting nicely. Now that Joseph knows, much like Bruce Banner, he’ll do anything to keep his monster at bay.

The introduction of the fake old lady was a bit too corny for me. I absolutely realize how funny it sounds after praising this story for it’s comic book tendencies, that the cartoonish old woman is too much for me. (And if it turns out the matriarch has the original demon inside her, I’ll change my tune in an instant.) Grandma Jenny worked great as the never seen but often talked about character, like Norm’s wife Vera from Cheers or Niles’ wife Maris on Frasier. But introducing her didn’t work as well. They lost the mystique of the legendary Grandma Jenny.

This wasn’t any story killer though. As long as she’s not an on screen character consistently, it’s fine. It served to get heat on Kongo and Jimmy this week, and I’m still very interested to see how this plays out.


Non Title

The Cult of Lee (Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley) were victorious in their non-title bout against LAX this week. Because of course they were. Champs rarely win in non-title matches.

Lee and Konley are very entertaining. They’re two absolute doofuses in the best way. They walked to the ring still wearing LAX bandanas and trying to do hand signals. They’re a team that can play heel like they are now but easily translate to babyface if necessary because you can’t help but laugh.

The match, which opened the show, was very entertaining. LAX has proven to be a top notch tag team and Lee and Konley tagged here like they’ve been tagging for years. (Maybe they have on the indies, but in Impact, they haven’t been book as a tag division team.)

The trope of beat the champs non-title to get a shot at the title has always been a lazy one. Impact doesn’t rely on it too much so it’s fine. But if they are going to do it, they need more of a reason behind the non-title match and then enough of a change coming out of it to make a rematch feel like it’s all part of a bigger story.

But that’s a nitpick. This was good overall.


Outside the Impact Zone

Here’s what happened at other promotions:

  • At Destiny Wrestling, Matt Sydal retained his Grand Championship against Petey Williams. After the victory, he produce a scroll (yes a scroll) written by his spiritual guru that he read, which challenged Taiji Ishimori for the X Division championship on the March 8 Crossroads show.
  • Alberto El Patron defeated Moose in a no DQ match at Future Stars Wrestling in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When it comes to the matches taped at different promotions, Impact needs to figure out how to make them special. Right now, no matter how good the matches may be, there’s nothing that makes me want to see them in these places more than the Impact Zone. These promotions aren’t set up for television so the lighting and the audio aren’t as good. While I appreciate their relationship with all the different indies, there’s nothing special outside the drop in quality.

To their credit, they’re using them continue stories, like with Sydal challenging Ishimori after his match, but that would have all looked better in Orlando.

I don’t have the answer to what would make these ventures out of the Impact Zone more exciting. Perhaps focusing on talent that don’t make their way to Impact? I don’t know, but Impact needs to figure out how to integrate them that adds to the overall show instead of detracting from the quality.


Other Happenings:

Strange Bedfellows

Lashley & Eddie Edwards defeated oVe (with Sami Callihan in their corner) as a measure of revenge for last week. The babyfaces worked well together to get the win.

The match was fun enough. I’m still wondering what the end game story is, and I definitely was curious about having the established tag team lose to the ragtag one, but this was entertaining enough this week.

Squash

Brian Cage squashed a man named Hunter Law. It had me wondering if hunter law is a branch that a lawyer can specialize in.


Pros of the Show:

  • Strong main event
  • Enjoyable match between LAX and Cult of Lee

Cons of the Show:

  • Grandma Jenny was just a bit too corny for my tastes
  • The time outside of the Impact Zone feels like a step down.

I found myself more engaged with this episode than the past few weeks. Likely that is because everything on this show was built upon something they did weeks prior. There were less wasted motions. In the weeks past, they had a decent amount of random matches. Even the bits outside the Impact Zone were part of some story this week.

Grade: B-

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