By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped April 2018 in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Sonjay Dutt was wearing a suit and calling a town hall meeting (wait? He’s an authority figure now?). Dutt talked about addressing the red “X” attacker. Dutt talked about how the company is trying to put an end to this. Dutt said they called the authorities and everyone who was in the know is in the know. Dutt told the roster not to be panicked and alarmed. The camera showed that Petey Williams looked panicked and alarmed. Caleb Konley said no body in the office has been taken out, only the workers. The roster rallied behind Konley. Petey Williams calmed everyone down and try to instill everyone’s trust in Sonjay due to knowing him for a long time. Williams said the person doing the attacks wants the roster to be pointing fingers at each other. Williams said they need to stick together. Williams said if the person is a roster member then they have to stop because they will find out who it is. Dutt nodded in agreement. The show cut to the hype teaser which ran through hype for the “Under Pressure” card…
At the Impact Zone, Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary as Eli Drake made his entrance. Josh Mathews introduced viewers to “Under Pressure”…
1. Eli Drake vs. Scott Steiner. Don Callis talked about how the only person Steiner got along with was his brother, which is why this match is happening. Steiner yelled at Drake to start the match. The ten or so fans in the front row chanted “you both suck” at Drake and Steiner. Steiner powered Drake to the corner and showed off his bicep. Both men started bickering and blaming each other for the tag title loss. Don Callis called Drake and Steiner two of the great trash talkers in the business. Drake managed to power Steiner in the next collar and elbow. Drake used the ropes for separation as Steiner called him a bitch.
Steiner managed to catch Drake and hit him with a belly to belly. Josh Mathews said Steiner found the Fountain of Youth. Drake staggered Steiner and hit him with a slingshot flying elbow. Drake hit a power slam on Steiner and then missed his elbow drop with theatrics. Don Callis talked about Drake not being focused and more focused on being an actor in Los Angeles (what? That was random). Drake punched Steiner around outside. Steiner went for a body slam but Drake escaped and tossed Steiner into the ringpost. Steiner kicked Drake in the gut to block a chair shot. Drake caught Steiner with a boot in the ring. Steiner came back with a Belly to Belly suplex. Steiner hit another Belly to Belly.
Steiner planted Drake with a Flatliner. Drake caught Steiner with a back elbow. Drake went for a lionsault but he crashed hitting nothing. Steiner called for the Steiner Recliner. Drake blocked it and dropped Steiner from the Electric Chair position. Steiner sent Drake to the apron after sidestepping him. Drake went for a slingshot but ate a forearm. Steiner shoved the referee away (thankfully, he didn’t take a full bump). The distraction allowed Drake to replicate the chair shot that cost them the titles onto Steiner. Referee Johnny Bravo (best referee name ever) counted the three count.
Eli Drake defeated Scott Steiner via pinfall in 6:05.
Josh Mathews ran through the upcoming card… [C]
John’s Thoughts: That match was what it was, but for some reason, I liked it somewhat. Scott Steiner is better than a lot of the older legacy wrestlers you see sometimes on the indie circuit. Remember, last year Dos Caras was wrestling matches for Impact and those were horrid. Steiner is no Dr. Wagner Jr. or Jushin Thunder Liger though. He’s extremely limited. Eli Drake tried really hard and managed to carry Steiner to a passable match. Drake did a great job providing movement. The best parts of the match were when they were brawling in the ring. Drake’s in ring work is starting to win me over more now when he puts in good performances against people like Alberto El Patron, Petey Williams, Johnny Impact, and at least a decent one against the elder Scott Steiner.
After the commercial break, Josh Mathews pointed out that the Eli Drake vs. Scott Steiner match ended the exact same way that Z and E vs. Drake and Steiner ended, just with Steiner taking the overhead chair shot instead. Josh Mathews and Don Callis hyped up Blanchard vs. Rayne. Don Callis was fully behind Blanchard due to her aggression. Josh moved on to Allie vs. Su Yung in a coffin match for the Knockouts Championship. Don Callis noted that when he was a wrestler he would try to avoid the opponents’ specialty match and Allie might be falling into a trap. They went on to talking about Pentagon vs. Aries for the world title. Callis said Aries is making excuses for losing the title due to facing two brothers in a match. Callis said Aries might also be underestimating how good Pentagon really is. Callis noted that Pentagon doesn’t wrestle your traditional Lucha Libre and can utilize many styles. Callis said that Pentagon is also bigger than most luchadores. A Tessa Blanchard and Madison Rayne vignette aired with sound bites from past weeks and highlights from their one-week feud. In the video, Rayne called Tessa a brat…
John’s Thoughts: By the way, why are they going back to the cheap green screen room set when a few weeks ago they were trying to make it look like they were at ringside (where they were really in a black room made to look like ringside). This has a very cheap feel to it. Maybe they really are the “public access channel” of pro wrestling in 2018. What I did really like about that segment though was the back-and-forth between Josh and Callis where Josh would set up a topic and Callis would provide detailed insight into the matches. Don Callis, by himself, might have did more hype for all those matches than the actual Impact show has done in about two months. (with the exception of The Allie and Su Yung which has gotten solid build over the past month).
2. Tessa Blanchard vs. Madison Rayne. Josh Mathews noted that Rayne came back to be a commentator but couldn’t take seeing Tessa be a bully. Rayne and Blanchard jawed at each other. Blanchard pie faced Rayne. Rayne went right at Blanchard with stiff forearms. Rayne showed off some impressive chain wrestling on Blanchard with some innovative rollups. Rayne did some traceur dodges to avoid Blanchard. Blanchard halted Rayne’s momentum with a body slam and cartoony angry face. Blanchard planted Rayne with a shortarm lariat and ground and pound.
Blanchard laid in a stiff looking punch which drew awes from the tepid Impact Zone. Blanchard hit Rayne with a stiff knee. Rayne tried to rally back with forearms strikes but Blanchard powered through and shoved Rayne’s face into the ground by her hair. Josh Mathews mentioned how everything Tessa does looks violent. Blanchard caught Rayne with a running draping dropkick. Don Callis noted that Rayne was a five-time Knockouts champ. Blanchard planted Rayne with a twisting Flatliner for a nearfall. The six or so fans that cared in the front row tried to cheer up Rayne. Rayne powered out and hit an enziguri on Blanchard. Callis named some of the impressive wrestlers in Blanchard’s family lineage including getting knowledge from her step father Magnum TA.
Rayne hit a series of forearms and chops. Rayne gained breathing room with an Irish Whip. Rayne hit a basement lariat on Blanchard. Don Callis was selling being obsessed with Blanchard. Rayne got a two count after a Northern Lights. Rayne caught Blanchard with a boot. Blanchard caught Rayne with a hanging Flatliner. Josh Mathews did the Vince McMahon cliché of saying the match was over which means the match wasn’t over. Rayne kicked out of course. Blanchard made her angry face again. Callis wanted Blanchard to slap the referee. Tessa said a word that was censored. Rayne caught Blanchard with a schoolgirl for the surprise victory.
Madison Rayne defeated Tessa Blanchard via pinfall in 6:12.
Blanchard sold shock in the ring. Josh Mathews sold this win as an upset (which is true). Josh also talked about how odd it was to say that a former five-time champion is the underdog (which is also true, Rayne hasn’t won meaningful matches in TNA/Impact in years). Josh Mathews then hyped Dezmond Xavier vs. Brian Cage… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Despite 92% of the Impact Zone being their usual tepid self, that was an entertaining match. The finish might rub some people the wrong way but I thought it did a good job stretching out this feud while also protecting Tessa. Is this the first time in about four years that Rayne has won a match? I keep saying they should do more with her because with Gail Kim gone she might be the best in-ring technician on the Impact Knockouts roster. This match was fun. Rayne was the more agile while Tessa looked great in her stiff striking and violent attacks which Josh Mathews pointed out. I’m already looking forward to more between these two.
It was time for an LAX Clubhouse Cinematic. LAX seemed happier these days and were back to playing card games. Their homeboy Eddie Kingston walked in with a money box and a bottle of Patron. LAX was impressed by whatever was in the money box (I’m guessing it’s the same random stuff that was in the Pulp Fiction briefcase). Kingston said he had a gift which was “two beautiful pieces of ass for [Santana and Ortiz]”. Kingston called over two working girls to rub up on Santana and Ortiz. Kingston pulled out his Cuban and said he wasn’t done because he has two more pieces of ass for LAX, Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley. Santana rolled his eyes and said “balls”. Kingston said LAX needs to get revenge for Lee and Konley disrespecting LAX. Kingston told Santana and Ortiz to show them what “Blood in, blood out” is all about. Santana said their Hasta La Muerte y Despues catchphrase. The show cut to a Slammiversary ad…
John’s Thoughts: Good to see that all is right in the LAX crime empire again I guess. While Konnan was a lot more eloquent and witty on the mic, Kingston takes a different approach which works well. The guy is well spoken. The only thing I’m not a huge fan of is him being very cartoony with the Italian Thug thing (as I mentioned last week, it reminded me of cartoony Aiden O’Shea). That cinematic also did a good job at keeping the story thread of LAX alive with them addressing their most recent loss.
A pretty good Brian Cage music video highlight package aired (still waiting for something of storyline significance from him because it’s about time for him to move on from squashes). Dezmond Xavier made his entrance at the Impact Zone. Josh Mathews and Don Callis talked about how they were impressed by how Eddie Kingston runs a board meeting… [C]
3. Dezmond Xavier vs. Brian Cage for an X Division Championship title shot. Xavier went for a waistlock but Cage quickly powered out. Xavier hit Cage with several shotgun dropkicks. Xavier staggered Cage with a missile dropkick from the steel steps. Cage swatted Xavier down and hit him with an Apron F5. Don Callis pointed out that Cage has the agility of a Junior Heavyweight. Cage tossed around Xavier like a shot put and said the PG version of his catchphrase “who better than Cage!”. Cage tossed Xavier with a backdrop. Xavier blocked another Biel throw and went for a Tornado DDT. Cage blocked it and hit a Butterfly Suplex. The ten or so fans in the front row finally learned the Cage Terminator Clap (now they need to learn the Terminator Stomp).
Xavier caught Cage with precision strikes. Cage was taken to his knee with a spinning roundhouse. Xavier flew over the top rope with a Tiger Drop to take down Cage. Don Callis tossed Xavier on the apron and put him in the ring. Don Callis confirmed that Cage is on the Chris Jericho Wrestling Cruise. Xavier caught Cage with step-up enziguris but Cage no-sold them. Xavier grounded Cage with a meteora to the back of the head and then hit his finisher, the Final Flash, on Cage. Cage kicked out at one. Cage messed up on a move but managed to get back on track by planting Xavier with a drill claw for the win.
Brian Cage defeated Dezmond Xavier via pinfall in 5:38 to win a future X Division Title Shot.
Josh Mathews wondered who will be the man who will finally beat cage. Cage lifted up Xavier and shook his hands as a sign of respect. The camera cut to Su Yung and the Undead Brides shambling in the hallways of the Impact Zone (maybe they’re the Red X people, I’m kidding). Allie was shown in her Rosemary themed gear looking at her championship belt and a wooden crucifix stake… [C]
John’s Thoughts: That was a good match in the limited time given. This match was in fact too short because I felt like these guys had another five to ten minutes in them to put on an entertaining show. This was a good clash in styles with Xavier managed to get one over Cage in various situations. They should be presenting this Xavier guy as a big deal and hopefully Callis and crew see that (Jeff Jarrett was very high on Xavier during his run on creative). Matt Sydal has had a resurgence in the ring recently which has me looking forward to their match down the road. It is a bit odd to see them putting Cage in the X-Division which is where he was during his first run in Impact a few years ago when they were doing weekly Triple Threats and that Gut Check thing. Cage was also about half the size he is now during that time.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Austin Aries about finally getting his World Title rematch. Austin Aries told McKenzie to ask herself the question of what this match means for pro wrestling as a whole. Aries said he’s been on a mission the last six months collecting belts and trying to get people to play together. Aries said he was changing the industry. Aries said Pentagon took a little of his power away at Redemption but luckily A Double is a double champion in Impact. Aries said Pentagon can’t call himself the face of Impact until he beats Aries one-on-one. Aries talked about breathing new life into Impact when he returned. Aries said tonight there is no brother by Pentagon’s side. Aries said we will find out if Pentagon really has what it takes to be the one true champion of this company. Aries said they both know Pentagon doesn’t have what it takes. Aries said Pentagon may have no fear, but tonight he will have no title. The show cut to a music video highlight package to set up the Allie vs. Su Yung match…
John’s Thoughts: Aries is such a talented wrestler that he can get by being a main event babyface, but the guy is just so damn natural in being a heel. Impact may have been doing a terrible job with their world champion Penta, but Austin Aries is taking it upon himself to do an amazing job making himself a strong heel via excellent promos.
After the highlight package, Su Yung’s undead brides carried out the coffin to the ring. This was really similar to what Lucha Underground does with the Mil Muertes “Grave Consequences” matches. The bride zombies laid the coffin next to the ring and shambled back up the ramp. The choir music changed to Su Yung’s entrance theme as Su Yung made her entrance. Su Yung was billed as from “off the grid” (well… that beats being “from the underground” or something. It also beats being from “Moose Nation”). Allie’s peppy theme played as Allie slowly paced to the center of the ring. When Allie took off her hood she did the Rosemary yell and the theme changed to Decay’s theme as Allie took on Rosemary’s mannerisms. Su Yung acted shocked and confused (but she purposely acts confused). The little child referee guy was the ref. Hopefully he doesn’t run away this time.
John’s Thoughts: Oh my, that was well done. Lucha Underground has done this exact same ceremony, just with Dia De Los Muertos zombies instead of wedding zombies, but if it ain’t broke then why fix it? It was also cool to see a high-quality entrance routine for once in Impact. It’s the stuff we usually see for WrestleMania or Takeovers. The only little gripe, that isn’t really a gripe, is that no matter how demonic Allie tries to look, she still just so adorable. It reminded me of when I was reviewing a match a few years ago where Kairi Sane tried to play heel. Allie just has too much Moe (pronounced Mo-ay)
4. Allie vs. Su Yung in a Last Rights (coffin) Match for the Impact Knockouts Title. Don Callis said “Allie has embraced the darkness”. Allie was aggressive early on. About fifteen fans (more than the usual ten) were cheering “Demon Bunny” in favor of Allie. There were two referees who would open the coffin when a wrestler was close to it. Su Yung managed to turn the tables and drag Allie near the coffin. Su Yung had control over Allie with a body scissors. Su Yung also worked on Allie’s right arm. Don Callis caught Su Yung slipping on her glove which she uses for the Mandible Claw (Mr. Socko to people who only watch WWE). Josh Mathews said the glove was disgusting with blood soaked through it.
Allie used a reverse STO to set up a forearm. Su Yung sidestepped Allie and managed to get Allie inside of the coffin, but Allie maintained a vertical base. Allie kicked Su Yung off the apron. Allie then yelled “We are Allie!” as she hit Su Yung with a flying forearm. [C]
John’s Thoughts: I couldn’t help but smile at that callback to famous Spiderman Villain/Anti-Hero Venom.
Allie had control over Su Yung back from the break. Su Yung sidestepped a hesitation dropkick and then took down Allie with a series of kicks. Allie was knocked down on her back but she did the Rosemary version of the Undertaker sit-up no sell. Rosemary didn’t relent and followed up with a rising palm strike. Yung brought a chair in the ring but Allie recovered and hit a Russian Legsweep on Su Yung. Allie went to put Yung in the coffin but Yung escaped Allie’s grasp. Yung put on the “bloody” glove. Allie used the chair to hit Su Yung with a Codebreaker.
Su Yung was convulsing. Allie put Su Yung in the coffin but she blocked the closure with her head between the corners. Su Yung escaped with a rising palm strike. Allie caught Yung with her finisher, the superkick. Yung was prone in the coffin. Su Yung caught Allie with a Mandible Claw when Allie almost got the thing closed. Allie faded away. Callis said “it paralyzes you”. Yung closed the coffin and Su Yung became the new Knockouts Champion.
Su Yung defeated Allie in a Last Rights match in 7:55 of TV time to become the new Impact Knockouts Champion.
The undead brides entered the Impact Zone. Su Yung was kneeling on top of the coffin. The undead brides rubbed all over the body of Su Yung. Don Callis said this looked like a scene from Dante’s Inferno (good reference) … [C]
John’s Thoughts: Is Allie dead now? Anyway, I’m happy that I finally get a chance to review a good episode of Impact for once in a long time without the need to lower my standards. This was a fun match. This might be Allie’s best in-ring performance to date. Usually I can’t wait for Impact to be over but this is two matches in a row where I actually want to see more. The whole presentation of this match has been done exactly like this in Lucha Underground, but it was good there so why not do it here. What makes it different is that it is a women’s match where there they can do that bizarre near-sexual scene at the end to add an added layer of uncomfortability. See how much better Yung is without Braxton Sutter? I have a feeling that this title run might be a fun one. Advise to Impact bookers, DO NOT pain Yung with the dancing Rich Swann. Just sayin.
It was time for the Global Wrestling Network Flashback Moment of the Week. It was some random casket match between Sting and Abyss. Sting bladed. There were random light bulb candles (only in TNA, do they pull out the equipment from the 99 Cent Store party section). Mike Tenay and Don West were on commentary. Sting managed to knock out Abyss with the obviously plastic Candelabra (complete with plastic “fire”) which sent Abyss into what looked like a foam tombstone. Sting put Abyss in the coffin and won the match. Tenay noted that Sting was knocked out on top of the Casket as the casket was rising to the ceiling…
John’s Thoughts: Going from a really good coffin match, to what I would assume was a crappy Monster Ball Casket Match. Only in TNA. At least the casket looked like they spent some of Dixie’s money on it. This one took about four to five minutes of time that I want back.
Impact cut to a modern day backstage Pentagon Jr. promo with a lot of screen filters and effects. Pentagon said throughout his life he has gone through many obstacles. He said he swarms against the water current and always found a way to come out ahead as a winner. Pentagon said the World Title is very important in his life and career. Pentagon said he recognizes that Aries is a great luchador with a great following in the United States. Penta said that while Pentagon is in Impact Aries will not have a good night, not have a good month, and not have a good year. “Por que Yo Soy Pentagon Jr, El Cero Miedo”…
John’s Thoughts: Dammit, Impact, with the damn filters and vocal distortion. If you dig through all the egregious video filters, there was a superb promo in there. Why didn’t they air this promo a month ago? Even though Pentagon doesn’t speak English, it doesn’t matter, he’s still one of the best promos in all of pro wrestling and that’s not me being hyperbolic. A lot of people share my sentiment. That parallelism with the word “buena” in that promo was done to perfection.
Don Callis and Josh Mathews recapped the Su Yung and Allie match. Callis said that Su Yung turned this to a different setting that wasn’t pro wrestling. Mathews asked for Callis’ thoughts on the shocking win by Rayne. Callis talked about how he thought it was a guarantee that Tessa Blanchard would win. Josh and Callis wondered if Rayne was ready to move on to Su Yung for the Knockouts title. The camera got “hacked” by the Red X production team (I guess). The Red “X” entrance music played as Petey Williams was shown standing over the knocked-out body of Sonjay Dutt. Petey Williams told the camera person to call for help…
John’s Thoughts: By the way, I’m really digging these Josh Mathews and Don Callis expository segments. As I mentioned earlier, Callis is taking it upon himself to repair some of the damaged storylines on this show with some sound logic as opposed to the crappy logic we’ve been getting for weeks. Good job, Callis, and I was actually pissed off at him a few weeks ago for that dumb and ass “camera in front of the Impact door” episode. Maybe it was D’Amore’s fault and he can be the scapegoat. As for the Red X scene, I’m assuming it’s to set up Petey Williams as a Red Herring to the real culprit. This culprit is also a hacker. Please don’t let it be Solomon Crowe, Sami Callihan’s weird hacker character from NXT.
Impact aired another PPV-type video package. This one hyping the Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan feud. The camera cut to Alisha Edwards and Eddie Edwards were chatting backstage. Eddie said, “it’s good” because he set up a match between he and Sami Callihan in the middle of the woods with no referee. Eddie said he and Alisha were good to go. Edwards said, “we are going to the woods to end Sami Callihan”. Alisha didn’t want to go to the woods. Eddie said Alisha wasn’t going to the woods now. Eddie said he was going to “murder” Sami Callihan (So they have this obvious confession on tape. Call the police?). Eddie said after “it was back to us” in regard to Alisha. Alisha yelled at Eddie but he just walked away. Josh Mathews asked Callis, “what the hell is wrong with this guy?” when talking about Eddie. Callis said Eddie is sick…
John’s Thoughts: Along with whatever Grado is doing, this is my second guilty pleasure for just being so bad. I’m not a huge fan of the Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae interaction in NXT at the moment, but Alisha Edwards and Eddie Edwards are making the Garganos look like Shakespearean stage actors. Eddie has to be self-aware of how funny this is coming off. He said he was going to assault two random women in Ohio one time, “f—ing Kill” Callihan in a hospital, and now murder Callihan in the woods. Oh my freakin’ word…
Austin Aries made his entrance to his generic rock music while carrying his Grand Championship. Josh Mathews said they need to talk about what just happened to Sonjay Dutt. Don Callis was tongue-in-cheek in insinuating that Petey Williams took out Sonjay Dutt. Pentagon Jr. made his entrance next (using music that WWE is currently using to advertise next week’s WWE Raw). Don Callis talked about Pentagon putting Impact Wrestling on his back (Callis has been good all night, but that was a bit hyperbolic). The boys and girls club returned which means this was in Day 1 or Day 2 of the tapings…
John’s Thoughts: Random thought, why don’t they ever mention that Pentagon is currently the on-air Lucha Underground Champion?
5. Pentagon Jr. vs. Austin Aries for the Impact World Championship. Aries attacked Pentagon before the bell by catching Pentagon with one of his impressive Suicide Dives. Pentagon returned the favor on Aries with a superkick. The referee yelled at Pentagon that “The match doesn’t start until you get into the ring”. Pentagon rolled into the ring and rolled back out to continue to put a hurting on Aries. Josh Mathews said, “well, Pentagon did enter the ring”.
John’s Thoughts: It’s little things like that, in addition to the solid ring work and promos, that make Pentagon a top tier talent. The guy managed to get a match-of-the-year candidate against old man Vampiro a few years ago. Thumbs up to the referee for not starting the match with the ringside pre-match brawl. Logic for once.
Penta hit his signature loud chest chop. Pentagon politely asked the referee to allow him to hit one more chest chop on Aries. Pentagon accidently slapped the ringpost. Aries put Penta in the ring and hit a Slingshot Senton Bomb on Pentagon. Aries went for quick pin attempts but Pentagon managed to get to the ropes. Aries tied Pentagon’s ninja mask to the top rope to put the boots to Pentagon. The referee helped untie the mask while Aries was gloating. Pentagon hit a series of boots to take down Aries. Pentagon went for his injury-angle arm breaker, but Aries escaped and took down Pentagon with a missile dropkick.
Pentagon regained control and pummeled Aries in the corner. The ten fans in the front row did the Lucha Underground National Anthem. Callis said that Pentagon looks like a goblin. Aries countered Pentagon and hit him with a neckbreaker. The small group of fans had dueling chants for Austin Aries and Pentagon Jr. Pentagon and Aries had a strong style exchange. Pentagon gained the edge with kicks heading into commercial.
John’s Thoughts: Obviously the Impact Zone didn’t get the memo that Austin Aries is a heel now. Can’t blame them. They didn’t get to see the promos. I don’t want to keep making tangents to what Lucha Underground does, but the way that LU gets around this is they have Vampiro read a synopsis before the tapings and before the matches to update the fans on the storylines, or at least get them to react accordingly a certain way even if the storyline is going to be different.
Pentagon hit rapid fire chest chops on Aries. Aries tried to retreat to the apron but Pentagon caught him with a suplex. Aries went for the Package piledriver but Aries escaped it. Pentagon hit two Sling Blades on Aries to lead to a nearfall. Pentagon blocked the discus elbow. Aries blocked the Fear Factor (package piledriver). Aries hit Penta with an Atomic Drop into a back suplex. Don Callis compared Aries to Nick Bockwinkel. Pentagon staggered Aries on the top rope. Aries blocked a Super Fear Factor. Both men brawled on the top rope. Aries escaped with a thunder clap, sunset flip, into a Last Chancery. Pentagon made it to the ropes for the break.
Pentagon blocked a brainbuster. After a lariat exchange, Pentagon hit Aries with a backstabber. Aries escaped a Pentagon Driver attempt and hit him with a discus lariat. Pentagon slipped out of the Brainbuster and hit the Pentagon Driver on Aries. Josh Mathews did the Vince McMahon cliché again of saying “we have a winner/new champion” to telegraph the false finish. Aries broke the pin because his foot was next to the rope. Aries escaped a Fear Factor on the apron. Aries went for a headscissors plancha but Pentagon caught Aries. Aries adjusted and locked in the Last Chancery on Pentagon. Aries noticed that he couldn’t win the title but it was too late. The referee called for a double countout.
Pentagon vs. Austin Aries ends in a draw via double-countout in 11:39.
The ring announcer, whoever he is, announced the match as a double countout.
John’s Thoughts: Thumbs up to both Kayla Braxton of NXT and the anonymous ring announcer of Impact for announcing a non-pinfall match finish. There is hope for the future of the kayfabe sport of pro wrestling.
Aries took the microphone and said that the finish was bullshit. Aries said there needs to be a winner and one champion in Impact Wrestling. Aries called Pentagon a “puto” (It was censored so I was reading lips). Aries asked Pentagon that if he has the cajones to want to continue the match. Pentagon responded with a Cero Miedo hand sign. The referee took this as a yes for some reason and then rang the bell.
5. Pentagon vs. Austin Aries continues. Pentagon went for an inside cradle but Aries kicked out and hit Pentagon with a discus elbow. Aries hit Pentagon with a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron. Pentagon recovered and hit Aries with the Fear Factor on the apron.
Pentagon vs. Austin Aries ended in a double countout again in 14:19 of total TV Time.
Pentagon grabbed a microphone and I’ll try my best to translated this with my high school level Spanish. Pentagon said to wait and that they will fight to the death and a finish. Pentagon talked about this being pretty badass. Pentagon asked for “uno mas” reset because “yo soy Pentagon Jr, El Cero Miedo, tu Puto” (because I’m Pentagon Jr, the Zero Fear. And you’re a ho). Aries agreed that this was bullshit and asked the referee to ring the bell. The referee rang the bell and while he was distracted Aries kicked Pentagon in the balls. Callis yelled “he just punted him in the crotch!”. Austin Aries hit Pentagon Jr. with the Brainbuster Suplex to pick up the win and title.
Austin Aries defeated Pentagon Jr. via pinfall in 15:25 of total TV Time to become the new Impact World Champion.
Austin Aries quickly ran to the ramp with both of his title belts. The two fans who really like doing the Moose dance were pleased at this win. Josh Mathews closed Impact by asking “is this the era of the truth?” while also saying that the “era of Zero Fear was over”…
John’s Thoughts: That was a really good match as expected with these two world class wrestlers. They really should have hyped the hell out of this match on social media because this had “classic” written all over it. Pentagon does coast sometimes when facing lesser competition but I’ve seen this guy really put on some amazing main events when wrestling other main eventers. Aries is amazing too and in a right place as the top heel of this show. He can be the Adrian Neville of Impact which wouldn’t be too bad (small fantasy booking. How awesome would it be if we can get a continuation of Neville vs. Aries if WWE would just release Neville from his contract)? The finish may have been a bit overbooked for some, but I’ll accept it due to the match being so good and it building up Pentagon’s “fighting spirit” in the process. It also developed Aries as a heel. This is some nuance shiz that we usually don’t see often in Impact. You know what else was great? There was no God damned REF BUMP! Extra Credit for no Alberto El Patron.
I finally got my wish for one week. All three shows that I review weren’t only just good, but they all had some really lit main events. As a recommendation to ya’ll, go out of your way to watch Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy, Shayna Baszler vs. Dakota Kai, and Pentagon Jr. vs. Austin Aries. This was a good week for non-Raw and Smackdown shows. A handful of credit goes to Don Callis and Josh Mathews in their exchanges. They did a lot more in this episode to build all of their feuds than the last two months of shows did. It reminded me of that period where Raw was mediocre and Triple H would hold exposition interviews with Michael Cole to fix some of the damage done to logic on Raw.
The only negative I could remember at the top of my head is them ruining a really good Pentagon Jr. promo with some cheap Windows Movie Maker effects. Maybe I’m overblowing it a bit, or maybe I’m just so used to crappy Impact shows. Ah, there’s a huge negative. The Impact Zone still sucks. It’s not personal, I assume those are all good people. It’s just not great for television to have ten people forcing cheers while the majority just look around aimlessly. Jason Powell will be by later today with his Impact Wrestling Hit List and a Members’ Exclusive Audio Review.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ROH COO Joe Koff confirming plans for a weekly ROH online series, discussing his decision to call off ROH events due to the coronavirus outbreak, making Marty Scurll the head booker, ROH's partnerships with NJPW and the NWA, and much more...