Impact Wrestling will hold a new pay-per-view (PPV) tonight called Redemption. It’s the first PPV of the newest era and the first one since Bound for Glory in November.
Redemption airs tonight at 8 EST on PPV and the Fite TV app. Also, GWN premium members in the UK are able to watch it for free on the app.
To get you all ready for it, we’re going to give you the quick rundown of the matches, our anticipation for each bout, and then our predictions. The anticipation will be a simple 1 to 5 with 1 being “not into at all” and 5 being “REALLY PUMPED”
I’ll be joined by occasional Impact reviewer and co-host of the Not Your Demographic podcast “Stunning” Stella Cheeks for the predictions and anticipation levels.
Let’s jump right into it!
Austin Aries (c) vs. Pentagon Jr. vs. Fenix for the Impact world title
Normally, the world title match would take the most explanation. But this is almost as random as the Aerostar vs. Drago match that’s an exhibition.
That’s all because that the build between Aries and his initial opponent, Alberto El Patron, had to be scrapped when Impact released Patron. Alberto was set to work the Impact vs. Lucha Underground show in a tag match teaming with Pentagon Jr. against Champion Austin Aries and Fenix. But then Alberto didn’t show up and they changed the main event of that show into Aries vs. Fenix vs. Pentagon in a non-title match. Pentagon won by pinning Fenix.
The released Alberto El Patron the next day.
Without a main event for their PPV that was just over two weeks away, Aries announced the next night at a House of Hardcore show that he will defend the title against Pentagon and Fenix since he wasn’t victorious in their first match.
It should be noted that Eli Drake currently has possession of the Feast or Fired world title briefcase, meaning he can get a title shot at any time. He won this from Moose in a briefcase vs. briefcase match a few weeks back.
Kyle: 4 - I was initially between 3 and 4 on this as it’s so random. But the talent in the match won me over. This will be a good match. While I feel there’s little doubt about who will win and there’s no build, which kept me from getting too pumped about it, this match should deliver in the main event spot.
Stella: 5 - Talk about creating a diamond out of coal. What an upgrade!! Pentagon Jr and Fenix both have dedicated fans and as we saw at WrestleCon these three can put on a great match. Isn’t it nice when the main event actually feels like it should be the main event? I love A Double as the belt collector and am really impressed with how Lucha Underground and Impact have been working together.
Kyle: Austin Aries - Given the impromptu nature of this match, I would be really surprised if either Fenix or Pentagon won the title.
Stella: Austin Aries - Now my gut is to say A Double retains because he’s on the Impact roster and he’s the “belt collector.” Plus, if he wins this match after his spectacular loss at WrestleCon he has literal redemption. But since they are really promoting this partnership I wouldn’t be surprised if Pentagon Jr. or Fenix won and we see a rematch on Impact television. AAAHH I don’t know! Let’s play it safe and say Austin Aries.
Allie (c) vs. Su Yung for the Knockouts championship
Allie defeated the departing Laurel Van Ness to win the Knockout’s championship.
While things were overall looking up for the new champion, her relationship with her ex-boyfriend Braxton Sutter got weird. Sutter now blames his crappy life on Allie and not the fact he’s just a giant loser. (He even tried to propose to Laurel before she left. If you recall, he left Laurel at the alter for Allie.)
While he was confronting his ex after she had a match, the mysterious Su Yung attacked the champ from behind. The Undead Bride also picked up a non-title win over Allie, with help from tagalong Braxton Sutter.
They’ll do it again tonight, this time for the title.
Kyle: 4 - I originally had this at a 3 but enjoyed the go home pull apart brawl enough to bump it up. I enjoy Allie as performer, though not as much as I did when she was the victim of Maria Kannelis’ rage. And Su Yung is intriguing, but rather new for me to be really hyped about. It’ll likely be a good match since I think they’re going to go all out in this one.
Stella: 3 - I don’t really understand this feud, but I like it. I like that Braxton Sutter keeps showing up with Su like they’re partners and every win she gets he acts like he also gets one. I especially like how Su seems to also be entirely confused by Sutter’s presence. Impact is doing intergender wrestling now so I’m anticipating Sutter getting his ass kicked by the bloody bride soon. I really like Allie as the champ and thinks she deserves it, but she’s not particularly shining in this match up. There is too much going on and Su Yung is such an over the top character that Allie is getting a bit lost.
Kyle: Allie - I’m torn on this one. Maybe more than any other match on the card. But they’ve done more character work with Allie than they have yet with Su Yung. I see more potential in Allie vs. Taya and Allie vs. Rosemary for the title than I do with the Undead Bride in those spots just yet.
Stella: Allie - I think Allie must retain to prove that she is worth being the leader of the Knockouts division. Su doesn’t need to win. She’s made her mark on the roster and now that the crowd knows her we can move her into other feuds and storylines. Plus, if Su loses we could be on our way to Su vs Sutter which is what I really want.
Matt Sydal (c) vs. Petey Williams for the X Division championship
Petey Williams won the Feast or Fired briefcase that holds an opportunity at the X Division title. He’s cashing it in against current champion Matt Sydal. If he wins, it’ll be his third time holding the gold.
But we should stop and talk about Matt Sydal. Because his character is something else.
Starting earlier this year, Sydal started really playing up his spiritual persona. He’d ramble on about his spiritual adviser and his third eye. It was quite obnoxious (intentionally so). He used this new found outlook to defeat Taiji Ishimori for the title.
It was eventually revealed that none other than Josh friggin’ Mathews was his spiritual adviser. Sydal even gifted Josh the Grand Championship that he had won from EC3 last year. (Sydal ended up losing that belt to Austin Aries.)
Kyle: 4 - This match is going to be really good and I’m greatly enjoying the current version of Matt Sydal. With Josh at his side, he’s so easy to dislike and it’ll add a bit more heat to the match.
Stella: 4 - OK. I hate Josh Mathews. For real. But this “guru” Josh Mathews is really fun to hate. Sydal as a culturally appropriating heel is clever. It plays on his actual persona and the traditional heel work juxtaposed against his “inner peace” has been very entertaining to watch. I always love a heel that thinks they’re the good guy. Petey Williams is kind of bland as a persona, but damn can he wrestle! If he wins the symmetry of his career and title reigns would be perfect.
Kyle: Matt Sydal - There’s more to be had with jerk Matt Sydal and his obnoxious spiritual adviser as champ instead of babyface Petey.
Stella: Matt Sydal - This seems like the ULTIMATE opportunity to solidify Sydal as a heel by having him take away Petey’s anniversary win. My guess is that Petey hits the Canadian Destroyer, and Mathews gets involved to break the pin ultimately leading to a win by Sydal.
LAX (c) vs. Eli Drake & Scott Steiner for the tag team championships
LAX are faces, which was the result of their feud with oVe. They have since turned aside the challenge of the Cult of Lee (Trevor Lee & Caleb Konley).
Eli Drake won the Feast or Fired tag team briefcase, but his most recent partner Chris Adonis quit/was fired over the phone.
Therefore, he went and found himself a partner to challenge for the titles at Redemption:
Now the unpredictable Steiner and the talented Drake will try to earn themselves some tag gold.
Kyle: 3 - Scott Steiner is entertaining, but not once the bell rings. And unlike last match he had with Impact, this will take place in a ring and not be filmed around Universal Studios prior. LAX are really talented and Drake is a good worker. But the allure of Steiner dissipates when we’re talking about watching an actual match.
Stella: 1 - There always has to be one stinker right? This is my bathroom break. I’m not a big fan of LAX. I think the team itself is talented, but I’ll never be able to get behind the misogynist that is Konnan. And as much as I love Eli Drake (YEAH), my old timey wrestling knowledge is limited, so I don’t have lots of nostalgia for Steiner. Much like Dreamer in the hardcore match, this move feels truly old school TNA – just bring in an NWO guy and call it good.
Kyle: LAX - The Big Bad Booty Daddy isn’t winning an Impact title. I have a feeling this is a one time thing. His brand of insanity that mixes in some racism like in the conference call isn’t something Impact will want to keep around with a championship.
Stella: LAX - Ugh. Talk about a lose/lose. On one hand LAX is a great tag team but has a terrible manager. On the other Eli Drake is the best, but I don’t want to see Steiner on my TV every week. I’m going to sy LAX retains and Steiner turns on Drake.
Moose, Eddie Edwards, & Tommy Dreamer vs. Sami Callihan, Dave Crist, & Jake Crist in a House of Hardcore match
This all started with the baseball bat gone awry.
After a match on Impact, Sami Callihan set up a chair on Eddie Edwards, hit it with a baseball bat which bounced off the chair and hit Eddie in the eye socket, breaking his orbital bone.
Impact used this unfortunate spot gone wrong to build Sami Callihan as a vicious bastard. He showed no remorse. And this wasn’t just on screen. This was in media too to the point where even fellow wrestlers were talking about it online. He even did a half shoot/half work podcast with Chris Jericho.
On Impact, he vowed to make Eddie’s life a living hell. He stalked Eddie’s wife Alisha. He targeted his friends such as Moose. Callihan even cost Moose the world championship Feast or Fired briefcase when Moose was defending the case against Eli Drake.
Moose tried to get revenge in a match against Sami two weeks ago. It ended in a DQ when Callihan’s boys the Crist brothers attacked the big man. This brought out Eddie Edwards but they were still out numbered. Alisha Edwards even ran down to protect her husband from another assault from Sami. Eventually, Tommy Dreamer randomly appeared to book a 3 on 3 match.
He claimed that oVe (the name of the stable of the Crists and Sami) tried to start a revolution but now they’re going to pay for that in a hardcore match at Redemption.
Kyle: 3 - This would have bee a 5 if they were running Eddie vs. Sami one on one. But the 6-man hardcore match seems random and feels like it’s going to kill the momentum of what they were doing. I don’t really want to see Tommy Dreamer wrestle. Even Moose seemed randomly inserted. It will give oVe a chance to show off how vicious they are, but at this point, I wanted to see a match that’s more in line with the story they had been telling the past few months.
Stella: 3 - I want to hate this match. I really do. oVe has been booked so weirdly – NOT a fan of the creepy handheld video stalking. But on the other hand, I’m impress with how Impact turned a potentially tragic moment (the baseball to the eye) into a fully realized story. Tommy Dreamer feels like a weird addition and feels very old school TNA in the sense they’re just bring in someone already famous. But the fact that he’s not the driving force of the feud and that he’s known for a hardcore style, which at this point is the only solution to this feud, makes sense to me. Storyline wise this all checks out, but if no one bleeds I want my money back.
Kyle: oVe - Callihan and the Crists are strong as a unit. Much stronger than the ragtag crew they’re facing. If this is meant to buy some time until they finally run the one on one match, it would make sense for the heels to get the win here.
Stella: Eddie, Moose, & Dreamer - If team Eddie doesn’t win, I have no idea what else they could possibly do. This seems like the moment to have the good guys come out on top. Especially considering that Eddie has had his ass handed to him over and over again but litearally refuses to quit. A hardcore match with a team Eddie win seems like the only way to end this feud.
Ishimori vs. Dezmond Xavier vs. El Hijo de Fantasma vs. DJZ vs. Trevor Lee vs. Brian Cage
This is more of a random “Get the rest of the guys on the card match.” DJ Z hasn’t been on an Impact taping since his medical scare a while back. Fantasma is on here and there.
Lee has been active alongside Caleb Konley in the Cult of Lee. Ishimori is a former X Division champion. Dezmond Xavier works here and there in the X Division.
Brian Cage is the big name in this match. He’s undefeated in his short run in Impact, with back to back wins over the departing Bobby Lashley. Without anything to do tonight, he’ll be in this match, a match likely booked to increase his stature.
Kyle: 2 - There’s a lot of talent in this match which avoids the 1. But otherwise it’s a random match with no story meant to get Brian Cage more over. Feels a bit lazy.
Stella: 4 – I’m assuming this will be the opening match and although it looks like a hodgepodge of whoever they had left, I think it has the potential to be a banger match. Ishimori, Xavier and DJZ are all impressive high flyers. Trevor Lee is wily and quick. Fantasma always impresses me with his in-ring ability (even if I’ll never get used to him as anyone other than King Cuerno). And Cage is, well swole af. I think the pairing of X-division high flyers with some bigger wrestlers is really clever for two reasons:
- You get dynamic match ups that inherently have that ever coveted “underdog” status.
- It gives the bigger wrestlers a chance to wow the audience with their unique, unanticipated high-flying abilities.
Kyle: Brian Cage - This is a match meant to build his stature.
Stella: Brian Cage - OMG it’s Brian Cage. Duh. He’s being pushed so hard in Impact – I mean storyline wise he’s the reason that Lashley left the promotion. That’s a huge deal! Swolverine wins this match 100%.
Aerostar vs. Drago
This is an attraction match that will get some well known Lucha Underground talent on the show but isn’t part of any Impact storyline.
And I highly doubt this is part of the LU feud these two men have where time traveler Aerostar was betrayed by his trios partner Drago, who was captured and brainwashed by the queen of the lizard tribe Kobra Moon.
That last paragraph was entirely accurate.
Kyle: 2 - There’s a lot of talent in the match, but exhibition matches aren’t really my bag on PPVs. I’m more of a story driven guy.
Stella: 2 - This match up seems like they simultaneously freaked out because they didn’t have enough matches and wanted to highlight their partnership with Lucha Underground. Neither of those things are bad per se, but it doesn’t elicit excitement from me. I’ve seen these two wrestle a billion times. It’ll be great, but I’m not hype for it.
Kyle: Drago - Tough to really make a call with these exhibition matches. Since Drago has done work with Impact prior and this is Aerostar’s first appearance, I think they’ll give it to the guy who’s done more work with them.
Stella: Aerostar - Because fire.
Kyle: Honestly, I’m a bit underwhelmed by this card. For the first PPV of its kind and the first of the new era, I was expecting a show with more oomph to it. Granted, they had to alter the main event. (That’s partially on them for opting to continue doing business with Alberto.) But even if it were Patron vs. Aries, that match wasn’t getting a 5 from me.
Major players such as Rosemary, Johnny Impact, and Taya Valkyrie aren’t even on the card.
There’s not a single match on the card that earned the anticipation of 5, meaning there’s not one thing on here I’m really excited for. There are only a few matches that I put above 4. There are matches I’m looking forward to. But to be frank, they aren’t matches I’d order the show for.
In fact, if I weren’t recapping, I probably wouldn’t pay money to watch this. I support Impact and want it to succeed. But when it comes to my wallet, this show isn’t offering anything that I believe is worth $40.
Stella: I just said every champion retains, didn’t I? I guess in this latest incarnation of Impact it’s important to set your top guys. All the current champions are well chosen and by keeping them all champs it sets the roster dynamic and could lead to some interesting post Redemption match-ups. Overall, I am really looking forward to this PPV and am on board with the direction that Impact Wrestling is headed.
That’s how we see it Cagesiders. Let us know what you think of tonight’s card and if you’ll be tuning into Impact’s latest PPV tonight. And keep it here to CagesideSeats.com for all of your Redemption coverage starting at 8 EST.