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Impact Wrestling preview (Feb. 8, 2018): Welcome to the Era of Aries


Impact Wrestling returns tonight (Feb. 8) from the Impact Zone in Orlando Florida. This is the second episode from the most recent set of tapings.

Advertised for tonight:

  • Austin Aries speaks for the first time since winning the title
  • EC3 vs. Moose vs. Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Impact in a #1 contenders match
  • Laurel Van Ness (c) vs. Kiera Hogan for the Knockouts championship
  • Hania vs. Amber Nova
  • The Cult of Lee will be in action

As per usual, here are our five questions about Impact tonight:

1) What’s the plan for Eli Drake?

Drake’s title loss last week was a bit of a hot shot. Instead of building a feud between the champ and the debuting Aries, they made the switch the first night of their tapings. This move was likely to create some buzz. Now what?

Surely the man who held the title for a good six months is granted a rematch, but not right away. There’s a number one contender’s fatal 4-way to crown that opportunity.

The execution of the title change was a bit sloppy, much of that because it wasn’t exactly clear that it was a title match. Drake never said “This is a title match.” No one announced it. It was just the announcers. It took away from the moment but perhaps that was part of the plan. It gives the former champion something to complain about it.

Eli isn’t going to be out of the title picture just yet. Tonight, we’ll probably get a better idea of the plan. Expect an interruption during the Aries speech.

2) How do they write EC3 out?

This was a question I asked last week and it’s one that I may ask again next week. Because it’s certainly something that is intriguing.

EC3 is in NXT now but he was an Impact guy for years. He’s one of the few wrestlers out there who made their name in the more recent incarnation of the promotion. He was an Impact guy and will always be known as an Impact guy. So he deserves a good story on the way out.

So far, the Third Version of Carter is still in the main event scene as part of the #1 contenders match. Will this start the lead in to his final feud? Will there be a final feud? Or will his exit be somewhat inauspicious despite his history with the promotion?

3) Is this Knockouts title match just meant to play into the Allie/Laurel Van Ness story?

It feels like the answer to this is an easy yes. Kiera Hogan just debuted last week and the only reason she picked up a win was because Allie distracted Laurel. Prior to that, Ms. Hogan was not having a great showing in the match as it was a one sided beat down.

The only thing that gives pause is the fact we know that Laurel left the promotion after this taping. So she needs to drop the title at one point. While I doubt it’ll be to Kiera Hogan, nothing is impossible.

It’d still be a big surprise though.

4) Will Hania the Huntress have a big story?

Hania debuted at the end of the last taping, which was two weeks ago on television, and attacked Rosemary. The logical next step would be a feud with Impact’s top Knockout.

However, there is rumor that at this taping that Hania had some heat with the locker room, possibly for not wanting to take a loss. This is only rumor obviously and Hania said that while she’s already departed with Impact, it was mutual and there was no bad blood. But even if that’s true, it doesn’t mean there weren’t issues with people while there.

The reason I bring this up is in wondering if these outside issues ended up affecting their plans for her. If they had big plans but then learned that she did not fit in with the company, could it mean her big debut doesn’t amount to much in the next few months?

5) When does Brian Cage debut?

On the second night of tapings, Impact tweeted out a picture of Brian Cage, who is now working with the promotion. Does that mean he debuted on the second night? Or was he just there to tape some video hype packages to debut later in the taping?

It’ll be cool to see the Machine in Impact, where he’ll likely be in the main event scene. Perhaps, we’ll see him tonight.

Impact Wrestling airs tonight at 8 EST on Pop TV. Who’s watching?

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