Impact Wrestling returned to us last night (Feb. 8) from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida. You can find the results at the live blog here.
This week, the new champion Austin Aries was represented by a video, taped last week of him answering questions from the press after his title win. The main take away was that he hasn’t yet signed a contract with Impact yet. Drake stormed in claiming it wasn’t a real match and Austin isn’t the champ. Aries said that Drake can have a rematch at any time so he can have no excuses. This will happen next week.
I wonder if the press corps segments will stick around. It’s another way to tell their stories and to allow the performers to get their messages across. The bit is similar to a regular backstage promo but with faux reporters asking questions, they can cover more.
As for the match next week, it makes sense that Drake wants his rematch sooner than later, though part of me hopes it doesn’t mean this will be the end of Eli’s run at the top. It would feel a bit unceremonious if he gets pushed down the card so quickly after such a long reign. Not that he needs to win, but he should still be in featured programs. We’ll have to wait and see.
Johnny Impact defeated Moose, EC3, and Alberto El Patron in the main event to become #1 contender to the title, facing the winner of next week’s title match.
This was the main event and it had enough fun spots to be overall enjoyable, though nothing you need to seek out if you missed it. In the end, Impact rolled up EC3 for the win.
It was a bit of a repeat from last week regarding the men involved. Last week it was a random tag so this week at least had stakes. But having seen these four just work together gave it a bit of a repetitive feel, but at least the time fighting through the crowd was something to differentiate the tone from last week.
Now we’ll get Johnny Impact vs. Austin Aries in the future and that’ll be a fun match. I’m unsure if these two have fought before on this type of stage. Likely they’ve hooked up in the indies at one point. If you know the answer, let us know in the comments.
Laurel Van Ness retained her title against Kiera Hogan this week. Hogan still took most of the offense, but had a more convincing, energetic fire up this week. Laurel didn’t need to cheat to win. She tossed Kiera hard face first into the ropes and delivered the Unprettier for the victory.
When the champ decided to beat on her vanquished foe more after the bell had rung, Allie ran out to make the save. She stood tall in the ring holding the title.
I enjoy the fire in Allie and the crazed champ is always fun to watch so their eventual rematch should be entertaining. Kiera Hogan is clearly new in the business (the announce team said either 3 or 4 years) and definitely has potential with more time.
Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley won an extended squash against an enhancement team. After the match, LAX appeared on the screen and told the Cult of Lee that they made a mistake attacking them last week.
This is alright. Basically just a brief LAX response from last week, but nothing too exciting
Apparently Lee and Konley are still going by the “Cult of Lee.” I like that name, but they really need a third person to make it a cult. Right now the Cult of Lee is just Lee himself and one dude who really likes him.
Hania the Huntress had her first Impact match against Amber Nova, which she won rather handily. After the match, she was attacked by a revenge seeking Rosemary. The Demon Assassin tried to deliver the Red Wedding but the Huntress escaped and fled the ring.
The match was nothing special and really just there to get to the post match angle. Rosemary always brings some electricity to her and the crowd always responds. It was the logical next step for this early program on a show that had plenty of the same.
Impact opened with a tag match to show off their international flavor. Ishimori teamed with Matt Sydal to defeat Rohit Raju (formerly Hakim Zane) and El Hijo de Fantasma.
The match wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good enough to capture my attention given there was really nothing to this. It was two random teams, neither heel nor face, in a match with no purpose. If there is zero backstory in a match with guys who have little character (outside Sydal), it then falls to the in-ring action to carry the load to get fans to care. That would have required an insane match here and it was just an OK match.
Some other bits to note:
- The announce team was Josh Mathews and Sonjay Dutt. Dutt was pretty good on commentary.
- Jimmy Jacobs cut a promo saying if Joseph Park won’t bring him Abyss, he’ll have to force him out. I wonder if Chandler Park is still a part of this.
- oVe attacked Lashley in the parking lot and closed him in his own trunk. Is the the final storyline for Bobby in Impact?
Pros of the Show:
- The brief press conference with Aries
Cons of the Show:
- Another dud of a match to open the show
- Little excitement of note for a 2 hour show
While there was nothing outwardly bad in this episode, there was a lot of nothing going on here. There was the meaningless tag that opened the show. Most of the stories they are telling had slight advancements that took place after long pseudo-squash matches. Outside the brief Aries and the main event, which was good but not great, this show had nothing to note. Frankly, it was pretty boring at times.
This is the beginning of a new vision and like all new visions, sometimes they take time to come together. Even the most recent Jarrett regime found their footing after a worse start than this. But right now, for two hours of a wrestling show, there isn’t much excitement to be had.
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