Impact Wrestling returned last night (Mar. 29) from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida. You can find the results at the live blog here.
In the main event, Austin Aries defeated Matt Sydal to win the Grand Championship in a title vs. title match.
If you read last week, you’ll probably guess my main gripe here. And that’s the fact that title matches don’t feel special like they should in Impact. They happen all the time with little set up. This is very evident than this week, with a world title vs. secondary title match that was set up on the same show with a backstage pre-tape.
Yes, this world title match wasn’t even set up last week. I’m not asking for a months long build, but if the promotion’s main title is going to be defended, it should be at least mentioned on the show prior.
That complaint out of the way, the rest of this worked pretty well. Nothing stellar given the lack of build, but still overall enjoyable.
The set up, while rushed, made enough sense. Aries got to jawing with heels Sydal and Josh Mathews backstage and that led to him issuing the challenge for the Grand Championship because it is a belt he’s never held. Josh Mathews, who was gifted that belt from Sydal, was incredulous at the idea but Matt was down with it.
The match was really smooth, to the surprise of no one. These two are very entertaining workers and had a good deal of chemistry. This week, Josh Mathews tried multiple times to get involved, but his attempts never seemed to actually find success.
Now Austin Aries holds the main title and a secondary title. My bet is this is the beginning of the end for the Grand Championship. It’s a belt that never found its spot in Impact. If it ends up being absorbed into the world title, that would be perfectly fine.
Powerhouses or High Flyers?
Brian Cage defeated Bobby Lashley in a powerhouse showdown... kind of.
Given that this was pretty much a hoss fight, it was entertaining to see these guys deliver some moves you’d expect to see in the X Division. Both men opened the match with huricanranas. Cage did a top rope dive and a springboard DDT. It was clear that these aren’t just big guys. They’re extremely athletic guys as well.
Lashley eventually landed his spear, but the Machine rolled out of the ring. Lashley was quick to get him back in the ring and go for the pin, but too much time had passed and Cage kicked out. The Destroyer got in the face of the referee briefly. This allowed Cage to get back to his feet and deliver his Discus Clothesline (and not the Drill Claw) for the 1-2-3. It should be noted that Lashley kicked out after three.
This was a fun television match, though it also feels like there’s more story to be told after this. It didn’t come across as a final match, especially since they did the bit where Lashley kicked out after three. Given Lashley hit his finish and Cage barely won, it didn’t leave the finality that a feud ender would. All of that is likely by design.
If this is it between these two, it’ll be slightly disappointing. But I really don’t think it is.
Into the Lions Den
Eddie Edwards’ balls were bigger than his brains tonight.
Tired of dealing with oVe’s crap, he decided to go into the lion’s den. He drove to Ohio and stormed into Sami Callihan’s promotion demanding to fight him. In doing so, he had to fight off a lot of wrestlers.
He held his own for a long time, using a kendo stick as a weapon. But predictably, the numbers eventually caught up to him. He took another bat to the face.
Eddie’s stupidity aside, this was a great segment. The style of video was ominous. It felt like Edwards was walking into a cult they way the crowd chanted “oVe” and “Everything” while Eddie was fending off the Crists and Callihan. Here’s a man who has been targeted by Sami Callihan, who’s wife was targeted, who had his eye socket broken by him. And here he is fending off multiple men, and the crowd is cheering against him, despite the fact that Eddie is the clear hero of this story. Talk about enemy turf.
That all added to the dangerous aura of Sami Callihan. He’s not just a brutal man with a baseball bat. He’s an evil man with a cult-like following.
Meanwhile, despite bad decision making, Eddie Edwards has been able to find some fire with such a big time antagonist. Eddie is a great wrestler, but a bit bland at times. This story has allowed him to shine as the never say die babyface.
These videos have done a great job building up Callihan and this feud. This one was no different.
The Undead Bride
Su Yung’s debut match was a squash, but it was sufficient to continue to introduce her character.
She’s a more fantastical character with her look and actions, similar to Rosemary. But I don’t worry she’s too much like the Demon Assassin. Perhaps if they debuted at the same time, when Rosemary was playing more of the horror movie undead character, it would be. But currently, Rosemary has transformed into a babyface with her own spin on the demon gimmick. So there’s enough difference that I’m just excited for their eventual match.
Braxton Sutter introduced Su Yung this week, but I get the impression she just tolerates his being there. She almost looked confused at the end of the match when he was walking up the ramp close to her. I expect him to find another ass kicking in his future. That one from the Undead Bride.
X Division action
The show opened with a fatal 4-way between Petey Williams, Ishimori, Suicide, and Rohit Raju. It was a fast paced match where no one had control for too long. It’s the type of match that’s fun to watch, but at the same time feels like just a showcase for moves.
Petey Williams won with a Canadian Destroyer on Suicide. Post match, he declared that he’s bringing his Feast or Fired briefcase to Redemption so Matt Sydal better show up with that X Division title.
Petey vs. Matt Sydal is a strong X Division championship match for the PPV.
Rosemary and Taya had a backstage brawl, which included a Richard Justice cameo, a demon misting, and Rosemary flying from above to take down a whole group of people. It was a solid way to remind us of their feud and how these women hate each other.
KM defeated Fallah Bahh in a match that was taped at an indie in Brooklyn. Which means the lighting and camera work was shotty. These out of Impact Zone matches just don’t do it for me.
Pros of the Show:
- Fun main event match
- Eddie Edwards/Sami Callihan video
- Lashley vs. Cage... if that’s not the end
Cons of the Show:
- Another title match with no build
- KM vs. Fallah Bahh in Brooklyn was just a time killer
Overall decent show, but felt like there was more filler this week with the match from Brooklyn and the random X Division match. Outside the Eddie Edwards bit, which I really enjoyed, the rest of the stuff on the card was pretty good but not great.
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