By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped April 2018 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
The intro teaser was a recap video package from last week’s “Under Pressure” themed show. The Impact intro theme aired…
John’s Thoughts: Wait? Didn’t OVE defeat Drago and Aerostar via DQ due to Eddie Edwards running in and interfering in the last match in the tag division. Why are Drago and Aerostar getting the tag team title shot? I’m also a bit disappointed that we’re still stuck in the damn Impact Zone tapings.
1. “Z and E” DJ Z and Andrew Everett vs. Drago and Aerostar for the Impact Tag Team Championships. Josh Mathews started off with a plug for Lucha Underground to hype next week’s season 4 premiere. Drago dominated Zema Ion early on with ground game and kneebars. Zema dominated when focusing on Drago’s arms. Mathews wondered if it was surprising seeing these wrestlers utilize so much submission wrestling. Don Callis noted that Drago specializes in submission wrestling. Aerostar and Andrew Everett tagged in and did a flipping contest where both men won. Drago showed off his balance by doing a tightrope escape on the second rope.
Aerostar hit a tilt a whirl backbreaker on Everett. Callis and Mathews debated over what provides electricity to Aerostar’s light up mask. Callis said he would toss water at Aerostar to electrocute him. Everett won the next sequence with a huracanrana. Drago and Aerostar cut the ring in half to isolate Everett. Everett utilized his feet and a flip to elude the luchadores. DJZ tagged in and dominated both opponents with agility moves. Drago ended Zema’s rally with a flapjack and double dropkick. Drago cut the ring in half on Zema and then flapjacked him to the outside heading into commercial. [C]
Everett tagged in and took down both opponents with a jumping back elbow. Everett nailed Aerostar with an enziguri and running Shooting Star Press. Drago intercepted Everett with a few punches. Drago nailed Everett with a power bomb. Zema and Everett crashed and burned with a double lionsault attempt. Drago hit both champs with a springboard dropkick. Aerostar hit a Tiger Feint Kick to Zema’s gut and then hit him with a springboard meteora. Zema assisted Everett in hitting both an X-Factor and corkscrew moonsault. Madness ensued. Everett hit Drago and Zema with an Asai Moonsault. Aerostar took out everyone with a diving crossbody.
Aerostar hit Everett with a frankensteiner. Drago hit Everett with his signature running blockbuster. Aerostar hit Zema with a slingshot DDT. Zema used the boots to block an Aerostar dive. Zema hit the ZDT on Aerostar. Andrew Everett hit Aerostar with the 630 senton for the win.
Z and E defeated Drago and Aerostar via pinfall in 12:10 of TV time.
About six of the ten regular fans tried to do DJ Z’s hand sign and dance to his EDM. Highlights aired. The rest of the crowd didn’t seem to care because it was the Impact Zone…
John’s Thoughts: A really good tag team match with all four men having one of their better performances in a while. Aerostar has been very clumsy in his last few Impact matches (which is odd, because Aerostar has been near perfect in “The Temple”), but was back to his old and smooth ways here. Of course, the Impact Zone crapped all over this match with their unbridled apathy. God bless the ten regular fans in the front row, but even they are misguided because Impact is not coaching them on the storylines they are trying to tell. How can this crowd be so dead when it’s in the same town as the NXT crowd?
Josh Mathews and Don Callis were shown in their green screen room. Don Callis was on his red smartphone while Josh Mathews hyped up the upcoming segments on this episode of Impact. Both men talked about Brian Cage. Don Callis talked about Cage finishing up his world tour and leaving a trail of bodies. Josh Mathews wanted on the Red X situation. Don Callis said there is no update and they have detectives working on the issue. Josh Mathews and Don Callis also hyped up the Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Edwards “in the woods” match. Don Callis said Impact management doesn’t want any part of this but Josh Mathews said they are bringing their cameras “to the woods”. Callis said there is going to be a camera man due to Eddie Edwards really wanting to document what he is going to do to Sami Callihan. A Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards video package aired…
John’s Thoughts: Eddie Edwards is the dumbest serial killer ever. Did he get his felony lessons from Moose?
Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams were bitching at each other backstage. Petey Williams was extra hammy and defensive. Sonjay Dutt told Petey to take a break. Petey said he was going home. Josh Mathews then cut to an Allie and Su Yung video package. The video package ended with Su Yung having a near-orgy scene with the undead brides and her new title belt on the top of “Ferman” and “Verna’s” tombstones…
It was time for the Global Wrestling Network flashback match of the week. This was from an old “Turning Point” PPV. It was Tommy Dreamer vs. Rob Van Dam in a hardcore match. Tommy Dreamer wore MMA gloves and shin guards for some reason. I fast forwarded through about seven minutes. RVD won..
It was time for an LAX Clubhouse Cinematic. Santana and Ortiz were happy and playing dominoes. Ortiz finally has stacks of chedda to play with. LAX were even more hyped when their long lost crew member returned in Diamante (is it just me, or does Diamante look like a gangsta version of Bayley?). Diamante asked Santana and Ortiz where the money, K-Dawg, and Homicide went off to? Ortiz said they are still trying to solve those mysteries but at least King was providing them with stuff like money and Patron liquor. Diamante wasn’t buying this as she thought it was too convenient with Konnan disappearing and King slipping in as the new Jefe of the group. Eddie Kingston walked into the scene to suck up to LAX per usual. He kept saying the word “revenge”.
Suddenly epic music played when Kingston saw Diamante there. The dark music meant there was some negative tension between the two, which there was. Kingston and Diamante exchanged sarcastic comments. Diamante asked where K-Dawg was? Kingston said Konnan was fine and Diamante’s worry shows that she is a true sweetheart. Diamante’s face sold that she wasn’t buying Kingston’s bullshit. Kingston deflected Diamante and went back to talking about revenge. Kingston kept saying to do this revenge for K-Dawg and was looking extra shady. Kingston asked Diamante to do this for K-Dawg. Kingston gave a dap to Diamante but Diamante’s glare showed that she wasn’t buying Kingston’s act… [C]
John’s Thoughts: While they are being a bit heavy handed in telling viewers that Kingston’s full of BS, I continue to be impressed by the level of nuance storytelling in the LAX pocket universe. Diamante has barely been on Impact and her only television singles match during that time was an enhancement match on NXT, but that cinematic did a great job in developing her character by making her out to be intelligent and cunning. I like that Santana and Ortiz are made out to be under Kingston’s spell and naive due to their youth. If this is Konnan’s work, and through interviews he’s done I believe it is, Konnan needs a spot as one of Impact’s head of creative.
Cult of Lee made their entrance first. The camera focused on about five fans led by the guy who loves to do the Moose dance, doing a dance to Trevor Lee’s entrance music. Eddie Kingston (now being called “King”) joined LAX. Josh Mathews talked about how King provided LAX with girls, paper (a.k.a. money), and tequila. Don Callis asked why people don’t give the commentators girls, paper, and tequila out of nowhere? Josh Mathews pointed out how Diamante returned backstage and was very skeptical…
2. “The Cult of Lee” Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley vs. “The Latin American XChange” Santana and Ortiz (w/King). LAX got the upper hand over Cult of Lee early on. Callis talked about how the Tequila and Paper might be helping them. Don Callis also noted how LAX really relied on Konnan as a father figure for success and without him they were like the Patriots without Bill Belichick. Josh Mathews noted that King was filling in that role. Santana nailed Konley with a footstomp. Santana got a nearfall on Lee after a standing moonsault. Lee backdropped Ortiz to the outside and was able to smother Santana in his corner to cut the ring in half.
Konley dominated Santana with a low sweep. Don Callis talked about how hot the Impact tag team division is and how people all over the place are talking about it. Cult of Lee continued to isolate Santana. Santana gained a window of opportunity after a sunset flip rolling cutter. Konley tagged in and Ortiz tagged in with the hot tag momentum/ Ortiz hit Konley with a back body drop and Lee with a cannon ball Tope. Cult of Lee escaped a wheelbarrow move. Lee and Konley hit Ortiz with a tandem German Suplex and Jackknife pin attempt. Ortiz managed to slip out of the corner allowing he and Santana to hit a wheelbarrow cutter combo on Konley for the win.
LAX defeated The Cult of Lee via pinfall in 7:23.
LAX held up a version of the Puerto Rican flag with a heavyset man doing the Michael Jordan dunk pose as the lone star. Josh Mathews hyped the return of Eli Drake’s “Fact of Life” talk show… [C]
John’s Thoughts: You know my bit about Trevor Lee. Just cut this guy already and set him free so he can go elsewhere and live up to his potential. Moving along, this match was a good LAX showcase with LAX going back to their winning and calculated ways. It’s solid storytelling in a redemption arc. Impact’s obviously foreshadowing the Kingston heel turn, but that works in making you speculate as to where it leads. In the ring, Santana and Ortiz are on fire. These guys were unknown two years ago and with television time they are one of the top tier tag teams in the world.
Eli Drake made his entrance and stood at his dummy button podium. Don Callis randomly brought up again how Eli Drake isn’t focused due to getting many acting offers from Los Angeles, CA. Drake talked about “Fact of Life” being the biggest return in pro wrestling. Drake bragged about getting rid of Scott Steiner. The crowd booed which Drake took as them saying “who?”. Drake said this is the reincarnation of Fact of Life which means it was time to name off the top five dummies in Impact Wrestling. Drake said the Impact Zone was the number five dummy.
John’s Thoughts: Well… Drake has a point with that one.
Drake said when the Impact Zone chants that he sucks, that it’s jealousy. Drake said the men want to be him and the women want see him, yeah. The camera showed Moose dance guy flipping a Dummy, Yeah sign. Drake said the number four Dummy was Austin Aries which he said he would get back to. Drake said the number three dummy was Impact management. A few of the front row fans cheered that one which Drake acknowledged.
John’s Thoughts: The Impact Zone finally got one cheer right. Good job ten fans!
Drake said the Impact fans were also the number two dummy in the company (Is Drake cutting a shoot promo? I’m half-kidding). The regular fans chanted “Dummy, yeah” at this for some reason. Eli Drake said the number one dummy is a cross-eyed half-wit named Moose. Drake talked about people saying Moose is on a roll. Drake reminded people how he outsmarted dumbass Moose. Drake mocked Moose’s voice by saying he said, “uh I think I uh take your tag team title case” and how Drake ended up getting Moose to put the World Title case on the line and taking it from him. Drake went on to hype Eli Drake vs. Moose next week to become number one contender for the world title at Slammiversary. Drake was interrupted by Moose’s entrance theme. The Impact Zone was so dead that only the ten regular fans were doing the Moose Dance.
Moose said that Eli Drake has the cheesiest one liners in Impact Wrestling. Moose said he heard Drake call him the number one Dummy but it was Drake who lost both his tag titles and world title shot after when he cashed in against Pentagon. Moose said Drake is both a dummy and loser. Drake said he doesn’t need gold because he is gold. Drake then got a few cheap shots in on Moose. Moose ended up overpowering Drake. Drake snuck in a low blow on Moose and hit him with the Gravy Train. Drake then covered Moose up with the Fact of Life podium as his entrance theme played…
John’s Thoughts: I know who Moose reminds me of now. He’s the “Wimp Lo” (from the Kung Pow movie) of Impact Wrestling. It’s like people purposely trained him wrong, as a joke. This was a good promo by Eli Drake but the crowd was acting odd to it because they are the Impact Zone. Speaking of Double Turns, I would like to see a double turn here with Moose and Drake with Drake heading into Slammiversary as Austin’s babyface challenger. I’m afraid that with all of the “Mr. Impact” stuff going around, that dumb ass Moose is going to somehow go over. Moose really needs his version of Zelina Vega, which I keep saying should be Veda Scott or Taeler Hendrix.
Impact’s resident enhancement wrestler, Rohit Raju, made his entrance. Josh Mathews reminded people of the Desi Hit Squad, which has been hyped up since last year and never showed up. Raju has no chance because he’s facing Brian Cage…
3. Brian Cage vs. Rohit Raju. Raju tried to yell at Cage like an idiot as five fans in the crowd tried to do Cage’s Terminator clap (Thank God we’re going to see Cage return to the Los Angeles Temple next Wednesday, possibly). Cage tossed Raju around. Raju managed to get a little rally in with a high knee. Cage took down Raju with a lariat. Cage hit Raju with his Lucha Underground finisher, Weapon X, for the victory.
Brian Cage defeated Rohit Raju via pinfall in 1:14.
Josh Mathews noted that Cage usually starts losing on purpose to get a work out in (has Impact Cage been trained by Wimp Lo too?). Matt Sydal interrupted Cage’s celebration. Sydal entered the ring and tried to talk his way out of a title match against Cage by talking about his third eye and sucking up to Cage. Sydal said he sees weakness in Cage and he can make Cage the strongest Brian Cage ever. Sydal touched Cage in the forehead. Cage lifted up Sydal and gave him an F5. Cage celebrated with the X Division Championship in the ring. Josh Mathews wondered if Cage is going to redefine the Division when he faces Sydal next week. Josh Mathews then hyped a skype interview with Austin Aries… [C]
An ad aired hyping up some matches for next week’s show. A camera man was in the passenger seat with Eddie Edwards heading to the woods. Edwards said wants everything recorded even if Callihan “f—ing dies”. Edwards left the car and yelled at the camera man to film it all…
Josh Mathews interviewed Austin Aries via skype who was drinking a smoothie poolside. Mathews wondered where Aries was. Aries said if he revealed his location there would be a line of people outside his door. Mathews asked Aries about who he would prefer to face against Moose or Drake. Aries said he doesn’t have to reveal that due to strategy. Aries said Drake has never beat him and Moose was a mediocre NFL player. Josh Mathews then addressed Aries using a low blow and showing a “different Austin Aries”. Aries brought up how Ric Flair won his championships. Aries said the record books don’t show how a person won, it just says that they won. Aries bragged about being the belt collector and greatest man that ever lived. Aries said he’s willing to do the dirty work that people aren’t willing to do. Aries gave Drake credit for also doing dirty work and Moose credit for being an elite athlete. Aries said Moose doesn’t measure up to Drake and Aries in mental muscle. Mathews thanked Aries for the skype interview… [C]
John’s Thoughts: I like the timely interview and more definition to the heel Austin Aries persona. What I’m not a huge fan of is Impact taking the Skype approach when they’ve done high quality interviews with Aries preceding his match against Pentagon. I just don’t think Impact should be trying to look low budget.
Josh Mathews hyped up last week’s Slammiversary press conference where Austin Aries, Moose, roster members, Impact executives, and Santino Marella were there. Mathews talked about the announcement that Johnny Impact was returning. Johnny called his fans “the John-tourage” (oh good lord, someone hand him a script). Johnny talked about how he recently got married (to Taya Valkyrie). Johnny joked about being gone due to “surviving”.
A Madison Rayne video package aired which was the same package that aired last week with added acoustic music. They cut to backstage where McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Tessa about losing to Madison Rayne. Tessa said in life there are winners and losers and that Tessa is a winner because winners make things happen. Tessa said losers are insecure. Kiera Hogan interrupted Tessa and gloated in Tessa’s face about Tessa not living up to the hype. This made Tessa livid and start tossing Kiera all around the backstage area. Tessa bullied Kiera about acting tough. Kiera managed to get a few shots in after pushing a roadie case at Tessa. A random indy wrestler “security” mook ran in to give Tessa the advantage. Tessa left Kiera lying next to a trash can… [C]
John’s Thoughts: That’s the way to go with Tessa taking the loss and developing her heel character with it. I like that they are also continuing to develop Kiera Hogan in this program on the periphery. This is cool. The knockouts division having six wrestlers involved in two well-built feuds. I talked about how great TNA utilized the “Smackdown Six” formula in the main event of 2016, but they are on to a similar formula with the knockouts division starting at this set of tapings. They just need to get the hell out of Universal Studios and stop airing bootleg indie footage.
Moose was pissed off backstage when the guy tried to interview him. Moose said Drake not only messed up, he F–ked up. Moose said he was just planning to beat Drake for a chance at the title. He said he wasn’t only going to beat Drake but he’s also going to hurt Drake. Josh Mathews and Don Callis hyped Moose vs. Drake from the green screen room…
John’s Thoughts: Well, to beat Drake doesn’t Moose have to hurt him anyway? I know, but if the guy was presented as a badass then that threat would have more credence. This guy needs a reboot. If Drew F’n Gulak can reboot into an unstoppable monster then there is hope for dumb ass Moose to do the same.
4. Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Edwards in an Unsanctioned match in the middle of the woods. Edwards was looking for Sami. Randomly, Jake Crist was perched in a tree saying the word “everything” like he is an owl from Ohio. Eddie Edwards called Jake a bitch (?) boy. Jake teleported away. Sami Callihan was laughing behind the back of Edwards and calling him a dumbass. Sami teleported away too. Jake Crist wore his Halloween mask and blindside Eddie Edwards. Edwards shoved Jake into a tree and found a smooth tree branch. Eddie Edwards choked out the life of Jake Crist. Edwards put Jake’s head on a rock and stomped on it for good measure. Jake Crist may be dead folks!
Eddie Edwards went back to his car to pull out a random piece of wood. Dave Crist came out of the trunk and took a video with his camera of Eddie. Dave then tried to beat up Eddie to no avail because Eddie gained the upper hand after shoving Dave into metal wire. Edwards choked out Dave and then used all his force to jab Dave in the spine with the car trunk. Dave Crist may also be dead folks!
Edwards kept walking around the forest with his mouth open and saying “Sami”. Sami Callihan had a bad and then said “let’s do this mother f–ker”. Eddie and Sami then had a backwoods duel of the fates. Sami used dirt to gain the upper hand early on but Eddie used the stick for protection as well as dirt of his own. Eddie lost Sami. Sami came from behind a tree and tried to jab out the eyes of Edwards with his thumb. Sami found a random ox skull and tried to jab it into Edwards. Edwards dodged the thrown skull. Both men tried to choke out each other with Edwards managing to toss Sami into a tree. Eddie Edwards then rubbed a wooden stick on the head of Sami which drew out some red liquid (stage blood hopefully?). Edwards said it was “time to die”. A random car interrupted Edwards as Alisha Edwards and Tommy Dreamer ran out yelling at Eddie to stop and that it was over. Tommy Dreamer wore his Lucha Underground shirt since he’s now on that show. Eddie turned around and Sami disappeared. Eddie Edwards started to cry because Sami was gone. Alisha said that if Eddie loves her he would end this. Tommy Dreamer tried to console Eddie but Eddie Edwards betrayed him by jabbing him in the gut with Sami’s bat. Eddie yelled at Alisha while Dreamer writhed in pain. Eddie said he was going to “f—ing find” sami and he doesn’t care about Alisha. Alisha went to check on Dreamer to close out Impact.
Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Edwards never ended. Jake and Dave Crist may or may not be dead.
John’s Thoughts: Well, that was cheesy as hell, but they have to be aware at how bad this is right to the point where it’s freakin’ hilarious. Edwards is putting in more and then some in the over-bad-acting department. Sami and Dreamer stand out as the good actors in this funny B-movie. That’s what this is, a funny B-movie and it have become a guilty pleasure of mine. I’m not sure if this will appeal to the masses tough because unlike the Hardy Boyz, Eddie Edwards isn’t considered a legend in pro wrestling.
This was an interesting episode of Impact Wrestling. It wasn’t bad. The thing that seemed really bad, seemed purposefully bad. Go out of your way to see that main event. This episode also had a lot of good in-ring action. This set of tapings didn’t suck. What made a bunch of episodes bad was bad storytelling, bad logic, and outside footage. The Impact Zone is the lone bad constant throughout this taping. That said, that’s two weeks in a row with solid stories. The only standout negative I could remember promptly is Moose as a character. Make sure to check out Jason Powell’s Impact Wrestling Hit List and Members’ Exclusive Audio Review later today.