wrestling / TV Reports

Csonka’s Impact Wrestling Review 2.01.18

February 1, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Austin Aries Impact Wrestling

Csonka’s Impact Wrestling Review 2.01.18

Impact Grand Championship Match: Champion Matt Sydal defeated Fallah Bahh @ 7:36 via pin [**½]
– Lashley defeated KM @ 11:58 via pin [**½]
Non-Title Match: Kiera Hogan defeated Champion Laurel Van Ness @ 4:16 via pin [**]
– Moose & Johnny Impact defeated Alberto El Patron & EC3 @ 18:53 via pin [***]
Impact World Title Match: Austin Aries defeated World Champion Eli Drake @ 0:53 via pin [NR]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– My Top 23 EVOLVE Matches of 2017.
– My Top 24 ROH Matches of 2017.
– My Top 8 Matches of December 2017.
– My NJPW WrestleKingdom 12 Takeaways.
– My Top 38 WWE Matches of 2017.
– My Top 25 Matches of 2017.

– We get highlights from last week’s show.

– We see a mystery figure arriving.

– And in case you missed the news, the six-sided ring is gone, and we’re back to a traditional ring.

Impact Grand Championship Match: Champion Matt Sydal vs. Fallah Bahh: Sydal says that he has a spiritual advisor now, and there are no judges anymore for grand championship matches. They stall a bit to begin. Sydal claims a hair, and stalls some more. Sydal now lays in some leg kicks, but Bahh cuts him off. Sydal tries to fire up but Bahh hits a head butt. Sydal hits a head scissors and basement dropkick. He then takes out the knee, but Bahh hits a clothesline. He slams Sydal to he buckles, but Sydal hits the spin kick. Sydal follows with more leg kicks, and then grounds things, attacking and focusing on the knee. Bahh fights back, but misses a leg drop and Sydal hits the standing moonsault for 2. Sydal back to the leg kicks, hits a head kick and heads up top. Meteora follows for 2. Bahh hits the running cross body, and follows with chops. Bahh then looks to charge, gets cut off, but catches Sydal with a Samoan drop. Bahh hits his rolling splash for 2. Sydal counters the banzai splash and kicks Bahh to the floor. Back in, Sydal up top, but cuts off Sydal and follows him up. Sydal looks for a sunset bomb, gets cut off but Bahh misses the banzai. Sydal hits the shooting star press for the win. Champion Matt Sydal defeated Fallah Bahh @ 7:36 via pin [**½] This was a perfectly solid opening match, with Sydal picking up the win to get his title run started off, and heavily teasing a heel turn with a change in attitude. Bahh is a fun mid-card guy and plays his role well. I loved that we kicked off with a match.

– Lee & Konley meet backstage, and says he’s five-steps ahead of everyone else, and he has a lot in store for them.

KM vs. Lashley: They circle and trade strikes, with Lashley working KM over in the corner. Lashley follows with mounted corner strikes, and then a clothesline. KM counters a suplex, but runs into a flatliner. Lashley sets, but KM sidesteps him and Lashley hits the post. Post break, and KM is still in control. The slam and elbow drop follow for 2. KM grounds the action, Lashley fights to his feet, but KM drags him back down. KM works the side headlock, but Lashley fights to his feet, escapes, but gets dumped to the floor. KM now busts out a dive, wiping out Lashley and then whips him to the steps. Back in they go, Lashley battles back and hits a clothesline. The running cross body gets 2. Lashley follows with a powerslam for 2. The suplex follows, and Lashley looks for a spear, countered and KM hits a full nelson slam for 2. Lashley counters the pump handle slam, hits the spear and wins. Lashley defeated KM @ 11:58 via pin [**½] This was another perfectly solid match, and while nothing great, it was KM’s best performance in Impact so far. It felt a bit too lethargic, and should have been a harder hitting and violent affair since KM was looking for revenge after Lashley took out Dan Lambert.

– Joe Park talks with grandma Jenny. Jacobs interrupts and says they will take things farther unless he gets Park’s monster, next week.

– Lashley says he will still do wrestling & MMA, and whatever the hell he wants.

Non-Title Match: Champion Laurel Van Ness vs. Kiera Hogan: Hogan is making her debut here tonight. Van Ness attacks the arm right away, and grounds the action. Van Ness lays in a big right, covering for 2. She then chokes out Hogan in the ropes. Van Ness continues the heat on Hogan, hitting a corner splash for 2. She then repeatedly slams Hogan to the buckles, and covers for 2. Van Ness misses a charge, Hogan fires up and lays in rights, and the grounded superkick follows for 2. Hogan heads up top, gets cut off and Van Ness slams her to the mat. The curb stomp follows by Van Ness, but Allie arrives and distracts Van Ness, allowing Hogan to roll up Van Ness for the win. Kiera Hogan defeated Champion Laurel Van Ness @ 4:16 via pin [**] This was a solid overall debut and match for Hogan. The Allie distraction gets her some revenge, and will likely be part of a plan to frustrate LVN into giving her a rematch.

– The mystery man walks.

– Mackenzie Mitchell interviews Alberto El Patron & EC3. Patron is an asshole as usual, saying he should be the main event. EC3 say the main event goes through him, and that Patron should follow his lead. Patron tells him to follow his lead. They end up shaking hands.

LAX Comments on Winning Barbed Wire Massacre III: Konnan, Homicde, Ortiz, & Santana arrive. Konnan says it’s a new year, they are the champions, and beat oVe. He jokes about Sami Callihan having a sex change operation, but that the doctor stopped halfway through. LAX is always ready for a fight and a war. All three oVe members arrive, and they all talk trash. Sami says that they hate all of LAX because they hate everything. But he’d be lying if he said he didn’t respect them, they did it all, and if they don’t end it, someone will die. For now, lets wrap this up and put it in the past, but will come again for the tag titles and will take over everything. oVe bails. Konnan says that oVe gets nothing and will like it. Konley & Lee arrive and attack LAX. They attack with a pipe and kendo stick. Konnan & Homicide run them off, but Lee & Konley steal LAX’s flags. This was a solid, but unspectacular segment. I do like that they are moving on from LAX vs. oVe and trying something new. Also, someone tell Sami he has a mic, and doesn’t need to yell.

– Moose & Johnny Impact are interviewed. Moose jokes about calling Impact Mundo, and they run down their opponents for being douche bags, but admit that they are talented. They are getting along unlike their opponents.

– We get clips of an old Galloway vs. EC3 match, where they brawled all over the building.

– Drake & Adonis talk about tonight’s celebration. Drake asks about the special guest (the mystery man) but Adonis doesn’t know anything about him.

– We get a video package for Cage.

Alberto El Patron & EC3 vs. Moose & Johnny Impact: Impact & EC3 to begin, they work some solid back and forth and Moose tags in. The dropkick follows, Impact back in and they work over EC3. Moose drops Impact with a big right, and Impact hits a leg drop for 2. Patron distracts Moose, allowing EC3 to attack and tag out. Patron takes control, grounding the action. Patron & EC3 work quick tags now, isolating Moose. EC3 grounds the action, and then sends Moose to the floor so Patron can attack. Back in and double teams follow and Patron covers Moose for 2. Patron hits a DDT, and that also gets 2. EC3 back in, Moose fights off the suplex and he hits the suplex and looks for a tag. He gets it and Impact is in and running wild. He takes Patron to the floor and hits the Spanish fly on EC3 for 2. Starship pain gets cut off, EC3 then misses the corner splash and connects with the kick. Patron and Moose brawl, Impact hits starship pain and EC3 pulls out Impact to break up the pin. Post break, and Patron is working over Impact. Impact fights back and dumps him to the floor. EC3 pulls Moose to the floor to stop the tag and he tags in. The TKO follows for 2 as Moose makes the save. EC3 grounds things, cuts off the tag and Patron hits a clubbing strike off the ropes, and then hits a belly to back suplex for 2. EC3 tags backing, sets Impact up top and Impact counters the belly to back superplex into a cross body and both men are down. Wholesale changes to Patron and Moose. Moose runs wild,, hits the shotgun dropkick and the hesitation dropkick for 2 as EC3 makes the save. Impact takes out EC3, but patron hits him with a superkick. Backstabber to Moose, and Patron posts him. Impact cuts off Patron, and rolls through on the Thursday night delight. Patron sets him in the tree of WHOA, and hits the double stomp, Moose levels Patron with a lariat and picks up the win. Moose & Johnny Impact defeated Alberto El Patron & EC3 @ 18:53 via pin [***] This was a good tag match, that started slow, but picked up down the stretch; fun stuff.

– Kiera Hogan gets a knockouts title shot next week.

Chris Adonis Presents Facts of Eli Drake’s Life: Adonis & Drake arrive for the big celebration. Adonis says we are in for a treat tonight. Adonis says Drake single-handedly beat Impact &Patron last week to stay champion and eliminate them from contention. Adonis calls Drake the greatest champion that ever lived and we get a video package. Adonis then says that Drake is greatest dresser that has ever lived, and we get another video. Adonis then says that Drake is the greatest friend that ever lived, and another video airs, but it’s Adonis being embarrassed on Thanksgiving and he throws a fit. Drake says he’s the greatest champion, dresser, and also the greatest friend that ever lived. Drake then calls himself the greatest man that ever lived. Austin Aries now arrives, and I think he disputes that claim, while eating a banana. He gets welcome back chants and says he missed the fans as well. He couldn’t help but to hear Drake’s claims, and says he is the greatest man that ever lived. Aries says he is a 6-time and longest reigning X-Division champion, a world tag team champion, and a former world champion. While Drake has been running his mouth, he’s been collecting championships. They’ve never faced so before Drake can be the greatest, he has to beat Aries. Aries challenges him for the title, and Drake says everything Aries did was in the past. Drake then runs down Aries for his commentary work, and can’t be stopped. Drake declines and then attacks and agrees to the match. He calls out a ref.

Impact World Title Match: Impact World Champion Eli Drake vs. Austin Aries: Drake covers for 2. He is surprised that Aries kicked out. Drake throws a fit, Aries to his feet and Drake misses a charge and posts himself. The shotgun dropkick and brainbuster follows. 1…2…3! Austin Aries defeated World Champion Eli Drake @ 0:53 via pin [NR] This was more of a moment than a match, and I think that it came off well. Aries, when he’s motivated and not being apian in the ass, is an asset to any company and brings a fresh face into the mix since he’s been gone for so long. I am interested to see what Aries does as world champion.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Average
The 411
We cannot judge the new era of Impact (as a whole) on its first show, but I will say that I felt overall that it was a rock-solid start, and a fine show. They drastically cut down on the meaningless talking, and the promos they did in the ring both led somewhere. The wrestling was all solid to good, and the main event segment gave was an attempt at a big moment to get some buzz. While far from a home run, the show ran smoothly and I liked the feel that they were going for. Hopefully, they stay the course and build from here.