I’ll start this review with a special nod to Eddie Edwards who announced this week he signed a new long-term contract with the company. Like I told him, Impact Wrestling would not be the same without Eddie and Kenny. As he told me many times, Impact has always been his home. The fan and the reviewer I am has 2 words for Eddie Edwards, Thank You!
We left Mexico with new Tag Team Champions and a lot of uncertainties… It’s time to move on and go to Sin City. Never forget that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, so we may expect everything to happen.
On the menu this week, LAX vs. The Lucha Brothers III, with Penta and Fénix as Tag Team Champions this time, Alisha Edwards will compete against Delilah Doom, The Rascalz will square off with The Desi Hit Squad, Eli Drake will face off Eddie Edwards. We’ll also hear from Impact World Champion Johnny Impact, and probably his contenders…
So, no more words, let’s get ready for some action, but your French Enygma Steph way, of course…
The Nygma’s Chart of the Week
- Johnny Impact to kick off the show. He explained that it can be rare for someone in pro wrestling to do what they say they are going to do. He reminded everyone that he said he was going to be a fighting champion and that’s what he has been. Johnny Impact said he established his place at the top of the mountain and said that he beat Kross, Moose, and Cage all last week.
Out came Moose to the stage that said that Cage and Kross are the only reasons he’s not the Impact World Champion. Kross came out and told Moose that he betrayed him. Kross went off about Moose’s obsession with his outfits (at least, someone else than me told him…), and they began bickering until Impact broke it up. Moose told Impact that he has no place in the conversation.
Impact explained that the problem is that Moose and Kross both think they’re the A+ talent, but there can only be one A and one B. Impact persuades them to have a #1 contender’s match for a shot at his Title. Kross said that Impact was just trying to stir things up. Kross added that he’s going to show Impact how it’s down, but Moose punched him in the face. Kross began choking Moose, but Mr Impact Wrestling escaped.
- Moose vs. Killer Kross ended in a no-contest. Johnny, who was at the announcer’s table, got involved, but “The Machine” came to save him. Cage hit a double superkick to Kross and Moose, Johnny sent them packing. Another staredown between Cage and Impact.
- Don Callis announced 2018 Turkey Trot winner (and wrestler formerly known as Disco Inferno) Glenn Gilberti signed with Impact Wrestling.
- Backstage, Konnan reminded his boys they are like scarecrows standing in a field. Win, lose or draw, LAX will shake hands with The Lucha Brothers afterwards. They were pumped for tonight’s title match.
- Backstage, Johnny Impact thanked Brian Cage for helping him out. He knew everyone thinks Cage deserves another title shot. He added it was a shame they can’t have a straight-up one-on-one match due to their problem (Kross/Moose). Cage said he can’t trust his word anymore after doing him so many favours. Johnny handed him a contract to sign, and if he signs it, Cage will get a guaranteed title shot if he can help Johnny to get rid of Moose & Kross for good.
- Another “70s Show” Rascalz pot smoking segment. They booked matches for themselves next week. Gama Singh popped in and said The Rascalz have no chance against the Desi Hit Squad because they had a lot to learn. Gama pulled out his personal bong pipe and let them take on it. None of them could handle his stuff, all of them coughed. Gama said that’s how real men did it back in the day. Hilarious…
- Reno Scum is returning to Impact next week.
- The Rascalz (Trey & Dez) defeated The Desi Hit Squad (Rohit Raju & Raj Singh w/ Gama Singh).
- Backstage, Eli Drake said to Melissa Santos he hasn’t got a problem with Eddie, but Eli wanted to take him by the hand and show how using hardcore made him a loser. Eli said he is wrestling and no one can touch what he does or stop The Gravy Train… not even him. Tonight, he was going to show everyone what Eli Drake’s all about, and that’s just a fact of life.
- Sami Callihan visited Rich Swann in the hospital. Sami said he is not living up to his potential, but Rich doesn’t want to know. Callihan repeatedly demanded Rich to look at him. What he was here for was to tell him he has balls for standing up to him. He got this is hard, but his big brother is here. Sami reminded Rich that even though he was in Japan, he was the first to hit him up (on the phone) when things happened in his life. Rich needed to step up and reach his potential. The nurse entered and tells Sami only family is allowed to visit. Swann told her that Callihan is family, and he ultimately tossed Swann the oVe shirt. Before leaving, he told Rich to call him in the morning.
- Eddie Edwards defeated Eli Drake. Kenny’s effect…
- Tessa Blanchard came out of Impact’s management room frustrated. Management won’t give her a rematch for the Knockouts title. She revealed the “big scoop” of officials are only caring about Gail Kim, and that was why they won’t grant her another shot. She said she is going to do anything it takes to get that match.
- Glenn Gilberti showed up and asked a guy how to get to the management room. He got a little confused with the directions. Glenn walked out of the building and got locked out.
- Alisha Edwards vs. Delilah Doom ended in a no-contest, due to Tessa Blanchard’s interference. Delilah Doom challenged Tessa to a match next week.
- Vignette on Ace Austin coming to Impact.
- “Father” James Mitchell was with Rosemary, Su Yung and Allie. He said Rosemary is trying to take something which doesn’t belong to her, and possession is nine-tenths of the law. Rosemary asked if they can come to an arrangement. Mitchell wanted Rosemary’s soul in exchange for Allie’s, but she was not going for it. As an alternative, and seen as she previously pitched a Dark War, he suggested they assemble their own dark armies for a “Winner Takes All” match. If Rosemary wins, she’ll get Allie’s soul, but if she loses, Mitchell will get her soul as well. She accepting the terms.
- Backstage, Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie told Melissa Santos she planned on not responding to Tessa’s temper tantrums. She talked down to Tessa like a spoiled brat and was not getting anything from her.
- Impact World Tag Team Champions The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. & Fénix) defeated LAX (Ortiz & Santana w/ Konnan). LAX offered handshakes but The Lucha Brothers turned them down. LAX retaliated and took the masks off Pentagon & Fénix, holding them high in the air.
The Nygma’s Nutcracker(s) of the Week
– The Desi Hit Squad (Rohit Raju & Raj Singh w/ Gama Singh) vs. The Rascalz (Trey Miguel & Dezmond Xavier)
I don’t know what Gama Singh put in his bong but Dez and Trey were very high… And The Desi Hit Squad is getting better…
Raj went for a roll-up right in the match and stomped away Dez. Singh connected with a dropkick to Dez’s face, he came full speed off the ropes but ate a double forearm strike to the face from Singh that knocked him down. Raju got tagged in but Dez was mostly able to fight off both men for a bit. Eventually, Singh caught him in a flapjack, stomped him again. Dez once again tried to fight off both members of the Desi Hit Squad but Singh cut him off. Dez threw some shots to Singh’s knee, followed by a superkick that allowed Dez to finally make the tag to Trey.
Miguel connected with a double stomp to Raju’s back, a kick to the head on the apron and a springboard cutter. Singh and Raju tried to clean up the ring but Miguel pulled the rope down, sending out Singh. Raju was able to use a sweeping kick to take the legs out from under Miguel. The Desi Hit Squad then hit an elevated DDT. Dez replied with some kicks and an enzuigiri to Singh. Raju slammed Trey into the turnbuckles and perched him on the top rope. Miguel wiggled out, hit the head-tucked kick, the Rascalz connected with a stereo 619-X19 ( around the ring post 619), and Miguel connected with the Meteora- double knees from the top rope for the win.
– Eli Drake vs. Eddie Edwards w/ Kenny
Last week, I was joking about “Kramer vs Kramer” situation, but let’s be serious. Eli vs Eddie is what I love to call an instant classic. These 2 men are way too damn good not to provide us with a very good match.
Drake avoided Eddie at first, they finally met in the middle of the ring and exchanged a series of reversal wrist locks. Edwards connected with a headlock takeover, but Drake got him up and backed him into the corner. Some punches by Eli were followed by a couple arm drags and a hip toss from Eddie. Drake slid out of the ring and began pacing. He came back in and the two exchange a few words before Edwards smacked his chest with a stiff chop. Edwards clotheslined Edwards out of the ring and then raked at his back. Drake fought back with a couple of elbows but Edwards picked him up and hit what I will call the NutGrinder into the ring post (he hit the Nutcracker and crushed Eli’s nuts on the post… I call that a NutGrinder…).
Edwards went for his kendo stick but the referee stopped him. The distraction allowed Drake to wack him with a clothesline on the outside. He threw Edwards back in and hit repeating shoulder tackles in the corner until the referee has to force him away. Edwards ducked a clothesline and hot some chops on Eli. Drake replied with a jumping DDT. He then climbed to the second rope and went for a classic Bret Hart elbow drop, but missed. Drake tried to follow up with a springboard moonsault but Edwards unloaded more chops and a kick to the head on the top rope. He continued with a backpack stunner, a back chop and a blue thunder bomb.
Drake caught Edwards and nearly hit the Gravy Train but Edwards rolled through. Drake put Edwards in his sleeper hold slam. Drake went for another Gravy Train but was hit with the Tiger Driver instead. Edwards rolled out of the ring and retrieved Kenny the kendo stick. He came back in the ring and argued with the referee, as Drake picked him up for the Gravy Train. A frustrated Drake grabbed Kenny. Edwards took the opportunity to roll Drake up for the 3-count.
I think we can conclude on the fact Eddie has now full custody of Kenny…
– Impact World Tag Team Champions The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Junior & Fénix) vs. LAX (Ortiz & Santana) w/ Konnan
If the rematch was as good as the first match was at Homecoming, what is this third encounter going to be? With Penta and Fénix now Champions, something is meant to change in this storyline…
Before the match could even officially start, LAX blindsided The Lucha Bros on the stage and stomped away at them. Ortiz led Fenix back down to the ring and slammed his head against the ring apron and the steel steps. Santana chopped away at Penta as Ortiz threw Fenix face-first into the ring post. LAX hyped up the crowd and Ortiz jumped out of the ring with a Top Con Hilo. Santana jumped up to the apron but Fénix delivered a running top rope kick to his head.
Back from commercial, Ortiz and Fénix were trading sharp forearms and strikes in the centre of the ring. Fénix connected with some kicks but all 4 me participants entered the ring. Penta and Santana yelled in one another’s faces until Santana began his attack. Santana came off the ropes but Penta hit a superkick. He ran after him but Ortiz connected with a sunset flip and Santana with a superkick combo. LAX continued the tandem offence with a somersault senton and a tag team moonsault/fist drop. They turned their attention on Fénix with a reverse STO and some splashes off the ropes.
Santana came off the ropes with a double stomp on Fénix’s arms, while taunting at Penta. Fénix nailed multiple kicks on both Santana and Ortiz. Penta in came off the top rope with a splash on Santana. He connected with some kicks and caused Ortiz to dropkick his partner. Penta hit the sling blade and the Lucha Bros connected with a tandem superkick on Ortiz. Santana ate a kick and a German suplex. Penta hit the Pentagon Driver, Ortiz broke it up. Penta climbed to the top and gave a double stomp to Ortiz’s legs. Santana and Ortiz rallied with kicks, a rolling cutter, and a jumping codebreaker off the second rope. LAX used their alley-oop tandem slam. Santana officially tagged Ortiz back in and delivered right hands to Penta. Fénix came out of nowhere with kicks to LAX. Lucha Bros hit with the Bumcracker/Fear Factor piledriver on Ortiz.
This match was not the best of the 3, it was fast and furious, but it sold the end of La Familia thing as, if Konnan agreed with early stomping, he was not when Ortiz and Santana took off the Lucha Brothers’ masks.
The not-Nygma’s Moment(s) of the Week (or the Nygma’s Broken Record Moment of the Week)
2 matches ending in a no-contest, Glenn Gilberti signed… Well… At least, I didn’t say any bad thing on Scarlett Bordeaux and The Desi Hit Squad this week…
The Nygma’s Award of the Week
– Ace Austin, Reno Scum, Delilah Doom and Josh Alexander
New faces are ready to grace the Impact Zone. At a moment when AEW is making the wrestling Mercato explode, Impact Wrestling is proving it can also attract talents. Delilah Doom made her debut this week, Reno Scum next week, Ace Austin and Josh Alexander very soon.
Since 2014, Doom has worked for many indy promotions, but also RISE, and SHIMMER where she won some gold. Reno Scum had a really short stint on Impact Wrestling in 2017. Since 2015, and at only 21, “The Ace of Spades” Ace Austin has wrestled for CZW, House of Hardcore, and Sami Callihan’s Pro Wrestling Revolver. Josh Alexander was signed this Saturday night by Scott D’Amore, one of Impact Wrestling Executive Vice-Presidents. He offered PWG star and current Destiny World Champion a potential three-year deal with Impact.
The future is bright for Impact Wrestling with such a group of young and talented wrestlers coming…
The name on everybody's lips.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 23, 2019
– Father James Mitchell
For me, he was the missing link in this “supernatural” storyline. When it comes to lost souls and Dark Wars and, due to the fact is Abyss is not a member of the Impact Wrestling roster anymore, James Mitchell is the perfect match to add the necessary spice to a storyline that needs to find a proper end.
– The cinematic segments
With the “70s Show” pot smoking parody, Sami Callihan visiting Rich Swann, and Dark Allie/Rosemary/Su Yung moment, we had great moments to make us laugh, make us a threat, and make us freak out. A huge part of wrestling is psychology, what can’t be done in a ring can come from brilliantly tapped segments that can bring a storyline to another level. I may love action, those segments that made the success of Lucha Underground are fitting the Impact mould perfectly.
To be eNYGMAtic…
There was action and some very good one, but the no-contests were unnecessary. I tend to think the third match between LAX and The Lucha Brothers came too soon after the second one. The show was good, The Rascalz were stunning as always, Eli and Eddie offered a great match, but in fact, for me, the “cinematic orchestra” saved the show from a certain lacklustre. If it was meant to be the Final Chapter for LAX and The Lucha Brothers, it was not the Final Chapter for any Mexico storylines… But we have to move forward…
On this very sceptical note, until next week, never EVER forget to stay #eNYGMAtic…
All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.